AFL-Access All Areas: Shane Crawford Exposed (2004)
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Deleted Scenes-Interview Off-Cuts
Additional Footage-Diary Entries
Featurette-Intimate Moments With Shane
Featurette-A Day In The Life Of Shane
|Year Of Production||2004|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||None Given|
|Visual Entertainment Group||Starring||Shane Crawford|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Screen, not known whether Pan & Scan or Full Frame||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
It was with some fanfare that Access All Areas: Shane Crawford Exposed was announced and telecast last year. Eddie Maguire, on Channel Nine's popular The Footy Show, gave it a ringing endorsement as a frank, sometimes brutally so, portrait of the life of one of the AFL's most well known players, Hawthorn's Shane Crawford. As is so often the case with celebrities, be it from the red carpet of Hollywood or the runways of the MCG, in spite of their constant presence in the media, our perception of them and our understanding of their lives is often completely skewed and superficial. This documentary, told exclusively from the perspective of Crawford and those people - friends and family - closest to him, seeks to provide people with a better understanding of the pressures, both off-field and on, that face professional footballers. Athletes in such high profile sports as AFL, rugby union or rugby league, are today met with equal measures of adulation and criticism: many are the heroes of thousands of young school children, and the pinup boys of adolescent girls (and let's face it, some guys as well) but also feature in the firing line of prominent community members for abusing their position as role models or for being paid what are deemed 'obscene' amounts of money for merely kicking a ball around.
What this documentary, which charts the disappointments, injuries, laughs and successes Crawford encounters throughout the 2003 AFL season, does successfully, is demonstrate that there are more often than not two sides to every story. Without in any way trying to trivialise the serious problem of sexual assault that has caused angst within the football codes in recent years, the documentary rightfully points out that for young sportsmen, thrust into the limelight with plenty of money and plenty of insistent cries for attention from women, it can all become a little overwhelming. Interviews with Crawford and his family reveal that sometimes matters can get out of hand - stalkers, threatening phone calls and the basic inability to do anything without being harassed or photographed. Crawford also talks frankly about his own personal ups and downs - the persistent gay rumours, his love of performing and the criticism he received for continuing his work in the media whilst Hawthorn struggled to get wins on the board, as well as the sadness of learning that seriously ill patients he visited have passed away. It also, more than anything else I've seen, brings into focus the physical toll of playing professional football - the injections, the physio, the ice baths, the blisters, torn ligaments and sheer exhaustion that threaten to overwhelm a player as the long season drags on (particularly for teams not enjoying on-field success). The film is not all doom and gloom however, and apart from these serious matters it does take a very candid look at the excitement of travelling on the road with mates and playing one of the world's greatest sports.
A good mix of humour, insight and sport make Access All Areas: Shane Crawford Exposed an intriguing sports documentary.
This is a 1.33:1 transfer, not 16x9 enhanced, drawing an obvious wealth of footage shot throughout the 2003 season, in a variety of locales and filming conditions. For this reason there is an obvious fluctuation in picture quality. That said, the transfer is consistently pleasing.
Sharpness and shadow detail vary from very good to reasonable - some of the night-cam shots lose out significantly.
Colours were generally well rendered, although the hand-held cameras obviously don't offer the rich palettes more sophisticated equipment can.
Compression artefacts were noticeable on a few occasions, but nothing serious. As for aliasing - the grass shimmers a little on occasion but it isn't really a problem. There is no glaring edge enhancement to cry foul about.
Film artefacts are almost non-existent.
We are presented with a clear English Dolby Digital Stereo 2.0 track that does its job well.
Audio dropouts and distortions are negligible. Audio is always in sync.
Dialogue is generally easy to understand, however some scenes have extraneous noise which creates some problems.
The surrounds get nothing to do at all on the default stereo setting, but engaging them allows a little ambience. The subwoofer is relatively quiet.
|Surround Channel Use|
As a lot of footage was shot over a nearly twelve month period, some of it not included in the documentary proper has been handballed into the extras section. All the extras footage is presented at letterboxed 1.66:1 or 1.78:1 aspect ratios, making me wonder why the decision was made to frame the feature at 1.33:1. Anyway...
Interview off-cuts (11:17)
Most of these are the excised parts of interviews shortened for inclusion in the main documentary, featuring interviews with Shane himself, his mum, former football coach and friends.
Diary entries (6:57)
Shane Crawford one on one with the camera - offering a look at pre and post match activities, a night all alone having to cook himself dinner - mildly interesting.
Intimate moments with Shane (5:31)
This edited segment is a female fanatic's dream - Shane in speedos, Shane nude, Shane nearly nude... Not much else happens. It begins with his two mates giving him a ribbing for his obsession with his birthday suit and the fact that he'll likely end up at a nudist colony.
A Day in the Life of Shane (5:11)
A brief look at Shane at leisure - golf, the Logies - standard footballer stuff.
Considering that much of the documentary itself plays like a long winded blooper, this inclusion is somewhat odd, but still quite funny.
Game Day (8:16)
The most interesting extra in the package - this sequence takes a look at the preparation the team goes through before a Wizard Cup match - warm-up, meeting with the coach, running out onto the ground, and recovery at the end.
This DVD will play on all PAL compatible systems - regardless of region. It is likely to be only available from Australian retailers however.
Access All Areas: Shane Crawford Exposed is an interesting look at a life so many of us dream (it seems a little naively) about.
The video quality is very good.
The audio is fine.
The extras are of a reasonable quality.
|DVD||Yamaha DVR-S100, using Component output|
|Display||Sony 76cm Widescreen Trinitron TV. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to DVD Player, Dolby Digital and DTS. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.|
|Amplification||Yamaha DVR-S100 (built in)|
|Speakers||Yamaha NX-S100S 5 speakers, Yamaha SW-S100 160W subwoofer|