Many times there's a concert I'd love to watch on VH1 or PBS that I can't get past the first minute or two because it's cut too fast and flat. That might work for music videos (I'm not sure it does) but it sure doesn't for a concert. I want to be engaged, I want to be pulled in and I want to really see the performance in a way I never could before.
So here are my 5 reasons why concert videos are so bad.
1. The cuts are way too fast. Give me a moment or two to get a feeling for the artist. If you cut on every beat I never get pulled into the performance. There's no rule that says you can't keep a shot on the artist for 5, 10 or even 30 seconds. I promise, if the artist and the music is great, it's not going to be boring!
2. There's never enough of the supporting players. Let me see the rest of the band. And not just for a second either. I want to know who the players are. I want to see how much they're into the music. And just maybe there might be a great mini-performance within a performance that's worth seeing.
3. Too many audience shots. Who cares about the audience? Unless there's something really special about the audience, I don't have to see them in every song, and not more than once or twice at that. This constant cutting back to generic audience shots just makes me loose interest. Sure they like the band. That's why they're there. You don't have to keep reminding us.
4. Too many long shots from the audience. Once I get the feeling of how large the venue is and how many people are there, I don't need to see it again. Giving me that same shot over and over just disconnects me from the performance.
5. The shots make the performer look smaller than life. Please, learn how to frame a shot. I'd like to see the performance from a perspective I can't normally get, but I don't need to count the singer's nose hairs. Too many times the shooter frames the shot flat. A concert is bigger than life so let's shoot it that way.
Too many times a director thinks that the project is his. It's not. It's the artists. Let's give the fans more of them and less of you.