One of the most successful airshows of the past two years has been the Bournemouth Air Festival. In 2009, over 1.2 million spectators enjoyed the Air Festival so this should be a popular production.
Hallmark have produced a very different DVD. The coverage of each display is far more extensive than we may be used to. Many items have their display covered in it’s entirety making the complete flying displays portion of the DVD run for around 1 hour 40 mins! That doesn’t include all the extras!
Commentary on the DVD is shared in the most part by Brendan O’Brien and Jez Hopkinson. Commentary for the Red Arrows, Blades and the Black Cats is provided by thier own team members and often recorded from their live commentary. This may lead to the odd bit of background noise, but it does give a really good feel of the show’s atmosphere.
Despite some small errors in the commentary, there are several very pleasing aspects to the coverage. Despite having to face into sun, there is some really wonderful footage and great image quality. The seafront at Bournemouth allows for several different views of the flying display whether it be from the beach or on top of the cliffs. It is very good to see that Hallmark have taken full advantage of this with a wide variety of angles of the flying display alongside the occasion on-board footage. I’m really quite envious of the cameraman who filmed the event from the top of the Queen’s Hotel – that footage is particularly spectacular.
The coverage takes in all the displays, even those that appeared on just one of the days making this DVD a complete record of the weekend. The only minor niggle was a rather odd caption for the Hunter display (“Kemble Jet 01”) which appears to be someone taking more notice of the flying display directors flying programme rather than the aircraft!
As well as the main flying display program, there’s an extensive set of bonus interviews and footage. Interviews come from a number of displays including the Vulcan, Team Guinot, Black cats and Typhoon. There’s also an interesting time lapse section of the show as well as features with the show organisers and coverage of other aspects of the festival. These extras add another dimension to the coverage, particularly explaining how the Air Festival benefits Bournemouth and it’s business which is not often covered in other productions.
There may some small faults with this DVD, but I really think this is a well thought out and content packed DVD. It’s refreshing to see something a little different from the norm.