DVD & Blu-ray Reviews
Tele-Vision, by Ethan Winer (2007)
Published on July 9, 2008
Program: Tele-Vision; A Cello Rondo; Behind-the-Scenes Documentary; Making-Of section
Featuring: Mostly Ethan Winer
Studio: Ethan Winer [www.ethanwiner.com/video]
Video: Enhanced for 16:9 on both music videos; others 4:3 color
Audio: DD 5.1 DD 2.0 for both music videos
Extras: Play-along version of Tele-Vision music video (no lead guitars); Unmastered soundtrack of Tele-Vision for comparison; Behind-the-Scenes documentary (41 min.); Making-Of section (159 min.)
Length: Tele-Vision 12 min.; Cello Rondo 6 min. (3 hours 38 mi. total time)
This is an amazing DIY AV project by a professional recording engineer and semipro musician who plays a variety of instruments. He formerly owned and operated a commercial recording studio and now works out of a computer-based home studio of which he takes a viewer on a tour in one of the documentaries. Later he shows his home theater room where he mixed the surround soundtrack for the videos. He also manufactures a type of acoustic bass trap which he also discusses in the videos. He dispenses tips about what equipment to get for your own home studio. From his web site you can even download the cello, piano and bass parts for the two music video compositions, so you can play along with them.
Winer created original compositions for both music videos, then laboriously videotaped himself playing nearly all of the various parts and instruments – with a bit of help from some family and friends. When there are two electric guitars heard, you see two Ethans – sometimes in different costumes, which often get quite outlandish. When the music swells to a whole string section with drums, you see a dozen Ethans sawing away at the violins and celli and a drummer in the background. It reminds me of the Animusic series which we reviewed in that the music seems to trigger the visuals on the screen. The Tele-Vision compoisition is like a sort of DIY Tubular Bells - though you only hear and see one single bell near its end. Ethan brings in his wife to hit a note on the triangle at one point, and even his cat participates. The video and audio quality are very professional. In the documentaries Ethan explains that he was not a video- or visually-oriented person at the start and had to learn how to make use of the many effects possible with computer video software today. He took more than a year of work to create both music videos, which have made quite a splash at YouTube and Google Video, getting more than a half million viewings. Of course this DVD has much improved resolution and surround sound.