[KRAFTWERK] My 2 cents about the DVD

MK McDowell mkmcd at qcwisp.com
Fri Dec 30 06:55:17 CET 2005

Alright, I'll chime in here a bit if I may...but I think Ian really sums 
it up quite nicely!  For one thing, Kraftwerk does not *move* on stage 
(like Madonna or most other bands or singers).  Therefore, the filming 
technique has to be completely different.  Obviously, I had not seen the 
Madonna concert that you were referring to, but I can almost bet that 
the camera was following her all around with the occasional pan to the 
band members, several close ups,  and few zoom outs of the stage.  I've 
seen several concerts on tv as well as on DVD and this is basically what 
they're all like, no?  In the case of Kraftwerk, the only visuals we 
have (besides the non-moving members) are the videos.   So in order to 
capture those videos for the DVD watching audience, they have two 
choices...shoot far back from the stage or show them full screen.  In my 
opinion, they interchanged *both* of these views brilliantly.  If you've 
not seen the band live before (have you?), you may not grasp the 
vastness of the screen behind them.  Well, it really is huge and there 
is no other way to fit it all in besides filming from far back without 
much room to be moving the camera all over the place.  So to compensate, 
they added in plenty of other angles as they felt were necessary, like 
some close ups, the showing of the hands on the controls, and the angled 
shots.  And really...how professional and demanding do any of these 
shots have to be?  From the bad reviews I've read, it seems like a lot 
of people are wanting more of these shots or fancier effects.  But in my 
personal opinion, overkill of these additional shots would not capture 
the live experience of the band at all.  So I think what Priscila meant 
about it being amateur was not how it was directed, but instead the 
minimal use of fancy effects and perhaps the *quality* of some of the 
video.  There was a bit of video noise present in some of the scenes, 
but it doesn't at all take away from the overall feel of the concert.

I'll admit that some of the effects weren't all that fancy (but it's so 
Kraftwerkian!) on the DVD, but I quite enjoyed them with the exception 
of the mass pixelization on "Home Computer".  And as far as the fancy 
MTV video goes, as cool and professional as it is, it is SO not true to 
a live Kraftwerk concert, but rather a live *MTV* concert *featuring* 
Kraftwerk, if that makes any sense.  There's quite a difference.  I'm 
also not quite understanding your thoughts on "Vitamin".  I though this 
was portrayed quite well on the DVD (I've not looked at the book yet 
though).  There were plenty of great shots showing the background screen 
in it's entirety and the full screen shots they added were a nice touch 
as well. 

Basically, I feel that the DVD isn't any better or any worse than I 
expected it to be.  Given what they had, I think they did a great job 
*trying* to capture the audience point of view all the while trying to 
keep it entertaining.  Heck, if this were filmed like a rock concert, 
then people would complain they couldn't see the videos. If it were like 
an MTV production, it wouldn't be accurate. If shot only from the back, 
then it would be boring.  Yet too many close-ups would be 
inappropriate.  The list goes on an on.  It's really hard to please 
everyone...including me! ;)  Well, that's my $.02!

Take care!

Piero Lopalco wrote:

> Dear Priscilla
> I can't agree with you.
> Surely this in not a Madonna DVD, but the care about the sound is not 
> maintened in the video part.
> They used just three cameras (as seen in credits), when also the most 
> unknown band use at least a crane and 5 cameras for they live outtake
> I think there are difference between simple and minimalist, and most 
> of time this dvd (I refer to video) is simple.  The problem is not 
> about close-up (in this I agree with you) but the whole projects in 
> video-side.
> I work for TV and in particular I remember a concert of an italian 
> singer (Patty Pravo, maybe known also out of Italy). She was on tour 
> but we work only in one location, re-doing after the show some parts 
> that the director assume were not good or there was not enough shots 
> or some instrument was missed (an so on). Just for the cameras. It can 
> sounds a fake, but the tv works most of time in this manner. And the  
> result was great.
> When Madonna was in Turin, there was a LIVE show on tv at same time (I 
> mean no editing), and since I like Madonna, but not enough to dive in 
> the crowd for her, I see the show at tv with popcorn and a coke. It  
> was really an amazing show, because the director was a great tv 
> director (someone from Netherland if I remember well). And was not 
> just a close-up matter!
> OK OK, Madonna has a lot of money to spend for that, but maybe exists 
> something between Madonna and Nothing.
> In this DVD it seems nobody has planned or directed the video part  , 
> but they just collect shots during the tour  and then edited 'em. In 
> this case the result can be good, but not really professional as they 
> usually are. Better if they planned before and choose just 2 concerts 
> (1 for english, 1 for GSA) . If you compare  the concert  with  MTV 
> video ( that can be considered a live itself) maybe my discussion can 
> be more cleare.
> About the whole DVD , why they don't use multiple angle to let the 
> viewer switch between live and background video? As you can see in the 
> pics on the book (i,e. Vitamin) some video are really well-defined, 
> better than you can see on concert or on dvd. I really enjoyed bg 
> videos on stage, they are minimal, and I've hoped to see them in full 
> screen  (they never release their videos, all you can find are copies 
> from VHS or from broadcast programs on the net). I think this was in 
> sympathy with their minimal line.
> Sorry for repeating myself, the sound is really great, and there are a 
> wide difference with video. Too much.
> PS This was the mind speaking, but my heart jump each time I see their 
> shadows among a red light behind the curtain !!
> ciao Piero
> Priscila wrote:
>> Well, I have watched the DVD enough times (don't hate me about it, 
>> MzDe! ;) to  be able to say something about it.
>> My first impression when I watched the previews of Numbers and The 
>> Model, was that were wouldn't be enough close ups. But after watching 
>> the whole DVD I realized this is not a Madonna DVD, it simply 
>> wouldn't make sense to show the boys all the time - not that *I* 
>> would mind! ;) But I think showing the videos by shooting the stage 
>> from far away then switching to full screen is *brilliant*. And there 
>> are enough
>> close ups to make me happy. :)
>> In the end, I think it is a very enjoyable way to watch a Kraftwerk 
>> concert from
>> a different point of view. Just like any official concert DVD that 
>> has nothing to do
>> with the audience point of view - only that it is the best concert 
>> I've ever seen.
>> Sound wise, it goes without saying that Kraftwerk has never ever 
>> sounded better.
>> I've been watching it using a Dolby Headphone decoder so I get some 
>> of the surround effect on the headphones. Absolutely breathtaking!
>> This DVD will help me wait until the next Kraftwerk concert. :-)
>> Cheers,
>> Priscila.
>> -- 
>> http://paginas.terra.com.br/arte/kwcybercafe
>> Last updated: December 23th (small update)

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