DVD Reviews

“The Dead Drift” – DVD Review?

Update notice—I have updated the post with additional information at the end of this review based on a quick and kindly email reply from Stealth Films.

You’ll notice the question mark in the title of this post. That’s because I’m not actually reviewing the DVD, but rather the promotional efforts of the website that produced and markets the DVD.

Steve Couper’s Stealth Films is mainly a producer of hunting trips: your hunt will be recorded then can be turned into a documentary or promotional for clients or just enjoyed by an individual. They have two commercial DVDs, the first being a hunting DVD.

Stealth Films’ latest video, “The Dead Drift,” is now available (about $23 US). (The link also has a link to a trailer of the DVD.) The brief blurb on the site states the following:

Join Dean Bell – one of New Zealand’s best Fly Fishing Guides – as he fishes the wilderness waters of Fiordland and gives an in depth analysis to the fly fishing techniques he uses. Filmed in the the rugged Fiordland mountains we experience the best wilderness fishing waters that New Zealand has to offer.Stunning scenery, beautiful footage and spectacular fishing.

A little poking around on the site brought up this additional blurb:

Stunning scenery, beautiful footage and spectacular fishing with many ‘gems of wisdom’ from one of New Zealand’s top fishing guides. The result is a film that any fly fisherman – young or old, inexperienced or a veteran – will gain knowledge from.

That’s all I can find on the website concerning this DVD.

A blurb should entice the buyer to want to purchase the DVD for a particular reason. In this case, it sounds as if the DVD will have “in depth analysis,” “gems of wisdom” and something to “gain knowledge from”—in other words, an informational/instructional DVD.

A trailer should also entice the buyer to purchase for a particular reason. This brief (about 1 minute) trailer shows fishing in some crystal clear water (which could actually be about anywhere in the world that has clear water—for those of you who have been to the fiords of New Zealand, you’ll know this is some of the most beautiful scenery on the planet, and it would be nice to see a hint of some identifiable geography in the trailer). If it is just an eye candy DVD, then this trailer might be enough to convince those who like eye candy to purchase it.

But the promotional words used leads me to believe the DVD contains more than just eye candy, it also has some instruction. I believe there should be a match between a trailer and written promotional descriptions. So I want to know how the “analysis” is given: in voice-overs, sit down interviews, talking through the actual fishing, etc.? I’m sure putting together a trailer is not the easiest thing in the world, but this problem between words and trailer could be resolved if there was a ten second snippet within the trailer of these “analysis” portions to give the buyer an idea. I’m also curious what the ratio of  “stunning scenery, beautiful footage and spectacular fishing” to technical information is? In other words, when I read “in depth analysis,” I’m under the impression that there is quite a bit of technical information. Is that the case?

Other, smaller issues deal with the length of the DVD (I can’t find it listed anywhere)  and if the instruction is valuable only to fly fishing New Zealand, or is it general instruction that I could use in Montana as well? I’m not sure the DVD is even intended for an international audience in the first place. If so, what would someone from outside NZ get from it: Eye candy? Instruction? PR to get me to fish in NZ?

My major concern about the promotion of the DVD: the trailer and words should match and compliment each other.

As I said before, Fiordland is a beautiful place. From the trailer, the filming and post-production looks to be of great quality. I’m sure the DVD is top-notch. And although $23 US is not a lot of money, I’m hesitant to pay for something that I have questions about. I have left an email with Steve Couper of Stealth Films asking if he would like to reply to this review and/or provide any additional information concerning the DVD which I will pass on to you.

Steve Couper kindly replied to my email. Here is his reply:

Thank you for your interest and I take on board your points Scott.

This is not an instructional DVD but one for the more experienced angler that would like to enhance their skills – reading water, types of casts needed, obstacles in the river are some of the points mentioned. Methods are universal in their application.

Analysis is given throughout, as voice over where needed to get a point across, and during the fishing sequences as well.

Technical insight is given throughout the movies 1 hr and 10 min length. There are more than 25 fish landed – both Rainbows and Browns taken with dry fly and nymph.

The scenery is stunning and you will just have to purchase the film to see it all !!! Filmed with a High Definition camera it should be viewed on a 42 inch plasma TV to get the best from the footage. As mentioned this has to be one of the best fishing locations on the planet.

The DVD is intended for an international audience and I believe it will be enjoyed by all that view it. It has something in it for all fisherman.

Regards Steve

So my readers know, I did purchase a copy and gave it a full review here.

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2 comments for ““The Dead Drift” – DVD Review?”

  1. I like fishing. I will take a look this DVD and definitely need a guide for my fishing hobby! Thanks for the review! 🙂

    Posted by Dedy's Guide to DVDs Source | July 24, 2010, 9:42 pm
  2. could be useful for better match fishing

    Posted by bluray | October 2, 2010, 2:05 pm

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