Earlier, I linked this video as a resource for writing essays about how to improve the game. Having had some time to think about it, there's a few other things I'd like to break down about the video's opening and why it annoys me so much.
As of late I've had a number of discussions with my players about filming a game session. It isn't as easy as it sounds. Sound is definitely a big problem. I know that when I watch junk like I Hit It With My Axe (yes, I know there are worshippers), I'm annoyed by random ambient noise, crap sounds that the players make, mumbling, dramatic changes in sound levels from one cut to the next, comments of general insignificance and the need for players to echo each other (if one says 'your turn' another one has to say 'your turn' too) and so on.
Editing is necessary, to keep the speed of the event flowing, but it is woefully easy to overcut the material in an attempt to make it look like a rock video, destroying any of the pacing that is actually experienced in the game - and reality of pacing is definitely something I'd want to preserve.
The reasons for editing come from the reality that four or five different angles are necessary to tell the viewer who's speaking or rolling dice; role-playing is 360-degree event that takes place in a very small space, so that every possible single or dual camera attempt to catch the action will invariably leave someone with their back to the camera or giving a poor profile that captures none of their involvement. The alternative, a moving camera, is shaky, annoying, and frankly not fast enough to catch the pace of change or involvement that is part of the game.
In short, I've come to the conclusion that I don't know enough to properly film a game. I'm looking into finding an expert; and sorry to say, as much as people love I Hit It With My Axe, I'm really hoping I can find a director that will look at that and say, "Wow, that looks like shit." For that is how I feel when I look at it.
The linked video above, however, is a completely different issue. It is based on the recent skype concept, where everyone has their own camera on their own computer, so we get a good face shot of five people. However, please note that throughout the entire video, the DM is the STAR. All we get of the other players is a tiny facial view stuffed together in the bottom corner of the picture.
I cannot begin to explain just how infuriated that makes me. The action, and therefore all the emotion and interplay, happens between the players! The only emotional response we get from the DM is his big smug superior mug, depicted as a MASSIVE IMAGE compared to the lowly, diminuative players.
Really? I mean, fucking really?
This bothers no one else. Because the representation, the "I am so Holy that I shalt be the center of attention for the whole two hours," really makes me want to hunt this guy up and punch him in the face. I wouldn't do that, obviously - but that is the visceral reaction that I experience. It just makes me HATE him.
It is a game played by everyone. The DM is not the star, the DM is the facilitator - and deserving of as much camera time as a referee at a football game. That is, if the ref has a judgement call to make, we'll watch him wave his arms for three seconds - and then it is time to show the players again!
No one, absolutely no one, deserves top billing.