Recently I got the question if I was interested to watch and review the two DVDs produced by the Scottish Elvis Presley Film Society: That’s The Way It Is: The Album on Film and Elvis Remembers Elvis: “Days Gone By”.
Normally I skip “home made products”, mainly due to lack of time (and some are really bad), but since I have a weak spot for Scotland in general and Scottish Elvis fans in particular, I decided to say yes. We are bound to stay at home as much as possible anyway, so there should be enough time to watch them, I thought.
The oldest DVD (produced in 2014) is like the title suggests an overview of the songs on the soundtrack album of That’s The Way It Is. Content wise it is pretty good: tons of information about the recordings, the authors and previous versions of the songs, with both images and film. Of course Elvis’ own version is present too, if possible with motion pictures. All together it is a very nice deepening of the album.
Unfortunately the sound is a bit unbalanced. The narrator, Bridie Stevenson, who has a lovely Scottish accent (a bit hard for non native speakers in the beginning, but I got used to it quickly), is often mixed in too loudly, even causing distortion sometimes. Another minor is that the resolution of the pictures is too low regularly, which causes ugly images on the TV screen. The captions are very present: loud colours and big fonts, in my opinion too much. The biggest minor is the lack of chapters on the DVD. I pressed stop by accident halfway and had to fast forward to where I was, reminding me of the VHS-age.
The 2019 production Elvis Remembers Elvis gives the interview Elvis did with Robert Abel and Pierre Adidge in July 1972 for Elvis On Tour. The interview is decorated with motion pictures and stills. Sometimes really great stuff, that I hadn’t seen for ages (probably since my last VHS broke down). During some parts, like when talking about The Stamps, there are clips inserted from several sources. This presentation makes the interview a lot more pleasant to listen to.
The technique is a bit improved, compared to the TTWII DVD, there are still some below par images, but way less and the sound is still loud sometimes, but not distorted. Unfortunately the captions are still too present and the chapters are also missing.
Reading back I sound pretty negative, which is not really my intention, since the products are more than worthy to watch content wise. Obviously it is a labour of love, both DVDs, and there is much dedication put in it. The remarks on the production are merely to help improve, if the Film Society ever decides to make another one, which I surely hope.
When you want more information on the society or the DVDs (or you wish to obtain them), you can contact the Elvis Presley Film Society at firstname.lastname@example.org.