I know that for many of you, there hasn’t been the opportunity to view the DVD as of yet. For reasons I don’t quite understand, the DVD wasn’t included in the UK deluxe versions. Instead, they were given an extra CD of remixes. I, on the other hand, have not heard the remixes – so if you’ve got them, drop Daily Duranie a line and let us know what you think of them! Our intention here isn’t to be the big spoiler, we just want to share our thoughts of what was included on the DVD.
Interestingly enough, I immediately noticed that most of the footage on the DVD was things I’d already seen. The making of AYNIN for instance, was completely of things that had already been shown on dd.com, facebook, and probably even DDM. That disappointed me somewhat because I would have thought there would more new footage. Unfortunately because of the fact my darling husband has my CD package – I’m unable to recall ALL of the sections that were included. (mainly I can’t think of their titles. Hopefully Amanda can help me out with that. *note to self: smack Walt later*) There was a very short section that was behind the scenes on the video (again, we’ve seen it) and a section on working with Mark Ronson that was really interesting (short – but how much more in depth can they get about Mark wanting to make the album they should have made after Rio??)….the reality for me was that none of that really mattered. I mean, they were really nice tidbits, but the real “meat” of the DVD was the very last section, or item on the menu: Album commentary! The band sat down and discussed what went into the making of each song. I’d heard much of what went into the song All You Need Is Now, but I hadn’t heard much about the rest of them – the DVD did not disappoint. The band really shared some of the more behind the scenes process that goes into the making of each song, which was very interesting. I really hadn’t given much thought to the songwriting process over the years. What struck me the most was just how creative Simon has to be with his lyric writing. Ideas would strike him from the most ordinary things – I suppose that’s just how the mind of a writer works. I’m not a poet (obviously), and I think calling myself a writer is really a stretch, so hearing this about Simon was really fascinating. I guess that for me, I was just very interested in the process. I’ve been a fan for 30 years now, and I’m ashamed to say that I really didn’t understand much of what goes on when they go in to write an album. I’m one of those people who sits back in frustration when I hear of things they’ve “shelved” or given up on, as though I think they should be able to finish everything they start. After watching the album commentary, I have to say I’ve changed my thinking quite a bit. I also have a huge increase in appreciation for the songs on this album that I might have cast aside a day or so earlier. From learning just how focused Mark Ronson was about making this follow up album that when they were working on Girl Panic! he wanted Roger to play the same drum rhythm as Rio (as well as bass, synths, etc.) to Simon and Mark taking a field trip to the Tate Modern to get ideas for lyrics on Other Peoples Lives. I can’t go on about the commentary enough. I found myself saying how genius the writing of the album really was – over and over again – while watching! The album commentary alone is something that I think every serious fan should watch and would absolutely enjoy; and I really hope the band does more of this in the future. -R
To fill in for her partner’s lack of an actual DVD, the sections of the DVD are as follows: The Making of All You Need Is Now, All You Need Is…Mark Ronson, The Art of Clunie Reid, On Set at the Photoshoot, All You Need Is Now-Official Video, Behind the Scenes-the Video Shoot, Track by Track-The Band Describe the Creative Process.
My reaction to the DVD was very similar to Rhonda’s on the surface, in terms of what new footage it offered. I was able to pop in the DVD for a few minutes at work during lunch just to see what was on it and was initially very disappointed that there didn’t seem to have much new on it. For example, the making of All You Need Is Now was originally put online as the EPK. We have all seen the official video for AYNIN, too. When I got passed that reaction, I noticed that we have already commented on many of these elements. Rhonda commented on the EPK on December 20, 2010, and can be found here: Poptastic. We have also commented on Mark Ronson, which can be seen here: Thanking Ronson. The art work created much discussion within the fandom and couldn’t be ignored. We talked about it here: So About that Artwork. We definitely reviewed the video here: AYNIN-The Daily Duranie Review. We also reviewed all of the iTunes original nine songs as well during the month of December. In fact, we covered everything so well that I was really hoping that the videoshoot and photoshoot behind the scenes stuff would make the DVD worthwhile. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. They are both terribly short. Really short. Of course, after watching the photoshoot footage, I was really left wondering where those pictures actually are because they looked fabulous! At this moment, I put all of my hope into the part on Mark Ronson, Clunie Reid and the track by track commentary.
The Mark Ronson segment wasn’t much of a surprise really. I know the story about how big of a fan he is and how he wanted to help them make new Duran “classics”. I love that idea and very much feel that they were able to achieve that. Most of the segment featured the different members of the band talking about why Mark is such a great guy and the “perfect producer” for Duran Duran. Despite knowing all of this, I was able to pick out a couple of very interesting lines. The first line that caught my attention is when Nick commented about how Mark was able to pick a gem from what is being played. I would think that would be particularly important because of how Duran writes their material. I would like to think that a good producer would need to be able to hear something really worthwhile in the middle of what might seem like a nonsense type jam. Soon after Nick’s statement, Mark commented that he wondered where these songs were for the last 20 years? I have to agree. How come other producers couldn’t get Duran to make an album like this?! Roger sheds a little light on that, perhaps. He commented about how the band was so busy trying to “find new ground and be contemporary” that they forgot themselves. Maybe the other producers just let them do that and Mark didn’t? Thus, I appreciated this segment because it shed some light on why Mark Ronson was able to help Duran do what they did with this album.
The Clunie Reid piece was interesting to me as the artist gave some insight as to how her artwork is made. As soon as she emphasized using the camera flash to make an effect, I understood completely why Nick was drawn to her, as a photographer himself. I also thought it was interesting that while Nick provided the pictures to use, which she mentioned were a lot of girls at parties (go figure!), she was able to come up with something on her own. She didn’t rely on them to direct the project but had freedom to do her own thing. I respect the band for allowing her to have artistic freedom like that.
Speaking of respect, like Rhonda, my respect for the songwriting process increased after watching the track by track commentary. I found it fascinating to hear the different stages the songs went through on their journey of becoming a finished product. I have already found myself listening to certain songs differently after hearing what the band was thinking when they wrote them. One of the thing that I thought was really cool about the album commentary was seeing all of the footage from the studio. Clearly, the footage was recorded at different times as both Simon and Mark’s looks changed throughout. It made me really want to be a part of their creative process. Perhaps, that is one of the reasons I enjoy writing this blog and our book. They have inspired us to do more than just be fans but to harness that energy into something productive. I know that I really felt that way after seeing all of the little post it notes with titles and words on them. I thought that was a pretty cool way of keeping inspiration as well as focus alive.
All in all, I thought the DVD offered a serious glimpse into what making this whole project was like. Duran Duran, as we all know, is more than just music. They pride themselves on being a complete package and this DVD shows that. Yes, the bulk of it was about the music, but there were segments on the video, photos and artwork. The DVD definitely enhanced my appreciation of a project that I already love.