Let me see sum up my review of Intellect right now: If you have a strong desire to become a DJ, get this DVD set; if you're interested in techno music but have no desire to stand in front of the party spinning the records, skip it.
Easy enough. Now on with the show…
Intellect is jam packed with everything you ever wanted to know about being a DJ. This two-disc set features interviews and tutorials that detail the ins and outs about every aspect of being a DJ. I can't imagine a better source of material short of having a Q&A session with a professional.
On disc one, you'll find a 25 minute documentary about DJs and producers of techno, house, and progressive music. It's not particularly in-depth, but it does whet your appetite for more knowledge, which this DVD set most certainly has. I see this documentary as the perfect introduction to a week long DJ workshop—it simply hints at what you're going to learn.
Also on disc one are the full interviews found edited in the documentary. Although these interviews don't flow together in any way and are definitely hard to take all in one sitting (there's over two hours of interviews here), they are very informative. Plus, it's fun to see the personalities of 34 DJs, producers, or teams and how they feel about every aspect of the profession.
Although disc one is a worthwhile disc, disc two features the heart of this DVD set. The coolest section of disc two is the DJ tutorial. Nigel Richards takes nearly two hours to show how you do everything from putting together your equipment to learning how to mix to the more difficult areas of mixing three records at once. Richards is a fun host who not only knows what he's talking about, but is obviously into his line of work. Even without a turntable in front of me, it was fun to watch him describe the function of each knob and button on his Techniques 1200. If you're new to the DJ game, you won't be after following along and practicing with this tutorial.
Also on disc two are more interviews. This time, however, the views of various DJs about specific subjects are placed together in a few mini-documentaries. These topics include: Producing Tracks (what you need to know to make your own music), Marketing and Promotion (what you need to do to make yourself known), The Booking Agent (how and when to get an agent to help boost your career), Playing Gigs (ins and outs of playing at clubs, featuring some funny stories from a few DJs), Programming and Preparation (what you need to know about getting ready for a gig), Equipment and Mix Technique (tips on using your equipment to match your style), The EQ (how to make use of the most crucial piece of equipment), and Playing Live (tips on making your performance lively).
That's a lot of material to cram into one DVD set. The folks over at Stepfilm really put together a nice package that any new and aspiring DJs should have at their disposal.
Stepfilm presents Intellect in 1.85:1 non-anamorphic widescreen. For the most part, this transfer looks fine, but with any documentary shot in various conditions, the quality varies. Most of the inside shots are too dark with little detail and there is a fair amount of grain. Plus, the strobe lights and bright colors inherent to clubs are sometimes too luminous.
Despite some of the live show segments being mediocre, most of the interviews look great, with sharp detail and crisp, nice looking colors.
Offered here in 2.0 sound, this track is adequate but not much more. All that matters really is that you can hear the voices clearly, and you can. The music sounds clean, too, but there isn't much bass.
Perhaps the only drawback to this entire disc set is the fact that music plays over every interview. However, there are no samples from any particular artist. I would've liked to listen to each DJs style as he or she was talking, as opposed to some random music playing over the interview.
THE BONUS FEATURES
This disc doesn't really boast any "bonus features" since all the material is chopped up and spread across two discs. However, with all this material, this disc earns five stars for an "Extras Rating" because anything less would not be appropriate.
Intellect is an exhaustive look at the world of DJs. If you are considering a life in the industry, get this disc. If not, skip it.