The Bournemouth Air Festival 2011 was one of the most outstanding events of airshow season. Following a very, very damp Thursday which led to the cancellation of the day’s activities, the following three days saw some outstanding weather with the flying displays enjoyed by huge crowds. Sadly as many of you will know, the event hit the national headlines following the fatal Red Arrows accident that occurred as the team recovered to Bournemouth Airport following their display on the Saturday.
Since the event first started in 2008, the event has been well supported by Hallmark Productions who not only produce the souvenir DVD, but also provide a number of video clips for the Air Festival’s own YouTube channel.
The flying displays are covered in great depth, particularly compared with some other airshow DVDs which sometimes only give a few seconds of airtime to some displays. Coverage is also very complete with every act covered in the main feature except the Red Arrows. The filming of the flying displays is superb with not only some superb image quality and clarity, but also a pleasing number of different angles. The film crews have taken full advantage of Bournemouth’s wonderful seafront venue and there is also plenty of brilliant mini-cam footage from in the cockpit and mounted all over various aircraft.
The main commentary is provided by Brendan O’Brien, but impressively many of the displays feature commentary from the pilots involved. Much of this has been recorded after the event, some of which has been done via Skype and provides a fascinating insight to the displays and how they are performed which means you can forgive a slight drop in sound quality.
However, what I find most impressive are the many bonus features. Perhaps the most notable is coverage of the Red Arrows display on the Saturday which is present minus commentary which is very poignant. There are some extended interviews with airshow personalities such as Paul Bonhomme, Brendan O’Brien and Jonathon Whaley and the RAF pilots. Another feature which also stands out is a time-lapse sequence of the seafront which shows the incredible scale of the event.
The Red Arrows accident clearly made coverage of the Bournemouth Air Festival very difficult, but Hallmark have produced a wonderful reminder of a truly great event!