So I'm watching American Idol last night, and was once again completely apoplectic at the obvious incompetence of the sound engineer(s) on this show. How are they not getting fired? They don't seem to be getting any better, so clearly their on-the-job training isn't working out so well. I've lost count of the number of times I've complained to Kathy that the background singers or the band is too hot for the lead vocal mike. Does the sound engineer not listen to the mix during the show? Seriously?
The director and/or D.P. sucks too, but at least he's/they're sucking less than he/they did at the first part of the season. Yes, dude, we know you have a crane; that doesn't mean you need to make Every! Single! Cut! a crane shot. I understand that the contestants don't necessarily know how to be visually interesting while singing just yet, and so you have to help them out, but howzabout you learn another couple of techniques? Plzkthxbai!
I'm also pretty much over the "SteadiCam-enabled circular dolly around the vocalist" trick. There's a reason why three-camera setups are so common, and it's because they don't make the audience motion sick. Also they provide plenty of visual interest without drawing attention to the fact that a camera is involved.
When Gwen Stefani was performing a few weeks ago, her natural visual-intensive performance was completely ruined by the director's insistence on trying to gin up visual interest via pull-zoom and crane shots. Ms. Stefani just needed close-up, medium, and establishing shots. The rest of it was irritating and distracting.