highly recommend “Nina Goddess of Dance- The Videos” to any and everyone.
When I heard that ZapTronic Productions had released a DVD of the Nina videos, I knew it would be a first rate production, but frankly, I was unprepared for the degree of professionality, artistry, and technology that went into making it. From start to finish this is a quality product. The packaging, navigation screens, menus, videos, and extras are every bit as professional and impressive as anything you will find coming from major labels. First off, this DVD is an SVCD. Look at your DVD player to see if it will support SVCD technology, and remember that there is a real difference between DVD, VCD, and SVCD. Most new players will support it as SVCD is fast becoming the industry standard. SVCD has a different navigation process than VCD or standard DVD, you use the number pad and arrow keys to navigate, and one of the first screens on the Nina DVD explains this. I thought that was a very good idea and knowing this made navigation quick and easy. (If you’d like to take a quick look to see if your player supports SVCD, here’s a good site: www.dvdrhelp.com/dvdplayers.php) These days, whenever I get a new DVD, one of the first things I do is look at the menus to see what the extras are. I was excited to see that not only are there all three of Nina’s music videos on this disc, but there are also short films explaining the process’ behind the making of the videos, and extra artistic photos of Nina, as well as mention of her website where many Nina songs can be had for free listening. The videos on this disc are: Thousand of a Kind, Trip to the Moon, and Come Fly with Me. Each is extremely well done in terms of artistry and technology. One of the many things that fascinated me was the way each video was centered on flight in their own ways. I know I’ve always dreamed of flying and it’s nice to see three different artistic interpretations of flight in these videos. Thousand of a Kind shows Nina floating in a white space amongst small screens showing music playing. I was extremely impressed with the way these screens came and went because they aren’t just flat rectangles, they come and go as if they really are floating in space slowly spinning or floating randomly by. On the screens are films of Nina playing guitar and someone playing keyboards. These screens were a very nice touch and they impressed me greatly. Another thing that impressed me was a scene in which Nina takes a tear from her eye and basically gives it to us, the viewer. When she lets go of the tear, we see a reflection of her in it, and wouldn’t you know, the reflection is upside down, JUST like it would be in a real tear or water droplet. This kind of attention to detail is most impressive to me and shows up throughout the entire DVD. Trip to the Moon is a technological marvel for me. Almost the entire video is computer generated, but this is interspersed with film of Nina’s head inside the space helmet, and of Nina as Goddess. For those of us who are not overly familiar with computer animation, this is an amazing thing. Master Zap took a film of Nina’s face singing and put it inside the helmet of a spacesuit that he made on the computer, and then animated it to be walking and driving a spaceship and all. It’s totally amazing. The story in the video is pretty neat too. Nina as astronaut is in danger, but Nina as Goddess is watching over her and does a nifty trick to save the day. Then Nina as astronaut and Nina as Goddess say goodbye. It’s very cool and touching and interesting and just plain beautiful. Come Fly with Me is by far my favorite of the three videos. I think it’s because it gives us a glimpse of the real Nina (or maybe the other two videos are the “real” Nina?). In this video, Nina is flying a plane, rock climbing and standing near what I assume are Viking ruins. Throughout this all are several beautiful headshots of Nina singing. It’s a very beautiful video. One of my favorite scenes in it has Nina “swimming” in the sky near the plane- an interesting and well done bit of computer magic. The story behind the story is good too. Apparently Nina and Master Zap were shooting the video at home and decided to go to the local airport. There they found a plane and some pilots and explained the video and wondered if she could fly in the plane. I’ll bet the pilots were delighted to cooperate! The extras on the DVD are not to be missed either. Part of the extras are short films about the filming of the videos, including some very nice examples of how some of the technical aspects of them were done on the computer. I really enjoyed the behind the scenes information on these short films and they truly added a new level of enjoyment to the videos. They were both informative and entertaining too. For instance, in the film about filming Thousand of Kind, the “secret” of how Nina floated in space is revealed. Believe me, it’s quite sweet and entertaining. Seems a crew of qualified assistants was involved in the whole process. Also, in these extras is mention of the production time, computer tools used and some actual step by step examples of exactly how it was done. To someone with little to no knowledge of computer magic, these films were amazing. I highly recommend “Nina Goddess of Dance- The Videos” to any and everyone. It’s first-rate from it’s packaging to it’s art to it’s technology. It’s a definite hit in my book.
--Bud Bennett CD Baby