I have now managed to watch three programs on Voom’s Gallery HD, which include ArtStar, The Art of the Heist, and Artland, and it has to be said that if the company can’t do something about the production quality of their shows, they are destined for failure. Take for example the editing of The Art of the Heist which is so full of entirely redundant video footage, it is almost laughable. A scene that involves narration might include a voice overlay that describes a phone ringing, and immediately the viewer is provided with a clip of the ringing of the phone and reenactment of someone answering it. We all know what these things look like, so you can imagine how thrilling it is to experience this technique employed endlessly over the course of the show.
Artland, suffers less from this particular problem, but is plagued with some of the worst scenic transitions I have seen on television. Many edits are choppy, created without any effort to forge relationships between contrasting imagery, and there is entirely too much empty narration provided by the hosts. There are plenty of techniques commonly used to bridge scenes, and jump cuts voice overlays shouldn’t be the only ones in an editor’s vocabulary. Certainly the use of a small amount of text from time to time would have been an easy way to transition a few more scenes. In addition to this, the episodes are littered with shots that crop people off in odd ways, and zoom in and out on the interviewee without rational.
These problems are a real shame, because behind all the crappy production there is some real content to these shows, (ArtStar not included.) The Art of the Heist put together a compelling narrative, particularly in the case of the Conman and the Forger (which aired September 12), and there are plenty of very interesting interviews conducted by both hosts on Artland. Of course, you’d never know it if you were to judge these programs on what they look like, and that’s a problem because let’s face it, these shows target an audience that does just that.
The Art of the Heist has two shows left in the schedule which air every Tuesday. Artland Premieres Thursday October 12th.