George Sampson: Access 2 All Areas
Well, fans may lap this up (it's the only substantial product available for teenagers locked in the throes of 'Georgemania') but with just four music videos and a short documentary it's a very slight package for the merely curious.
Other than a spate of Disney sponsored, squeaky clean heartthrobs, teenage girls are a little bereft of objects of obsessive affection. The usual focus is on boy bands or singers, though 15 year old Warrington born 'dancer' George Sampson is something of an exception. There's no doubting his popularity. I happened upon the premiere parade on the South Bank for Disney's 'Camp Rock' and strolling up the red carpet was Sampson himself. 90% of the teen screams were for George and he handled it with great aplomb, stopping to talk with many and combining his endearing shyness with cool street style as he strutted up the carpet.
The problem with marketing George starts with the show that brought him to fame in the first place. Unlike The X-Factor or Pop Idol, 'Britain's Got Talent' includes dozens of talented but entirely unmarketable acts. A poodle balancing a spoon on the end of its nose could be considered raw talent but where are you going to take an act like that? To a much smaller degree, the same is true of George Sampson. How do you exploit the swell of teenage adoration of a street dancer and turn it into dollars? Well, one way is to get him to rap over a few limp but dance-worthy songs and then wow everyone with the accompanying video. The ideal 'product' of this plan is a DVD because the single itself leaves out the very kernel of Sampson's undoubted talents. So that's where 'Access 2 All Areas' DVD steps in. At last some product to satisfy unrequited 'George-Mania'. It picks up from the £100K talent competition win (a lot for a humble lad from the mean streets of Warrington) and (as the title suggests) gives the viewer a back-stage pass to get a feel for what it might be like to be George.
It features four new music videos, 'Get Up on the Dance Floor' , 'Candy Girl', 'Headz Up' and the track that won him the talent show, a body-poppin' rap version of that urban street classic (huh?) 'Singin' in the Rain. In short, the entire recorded and video works of George Sampson. Brilliant! So that takes care of the first 12 minutes of the DVD ....what now?
So what else are you going to get for your circa £10? Well, there are the 'making of' documentaries though these turn out to be a little scant because they end up looking like the rushes for the videos you've just seen. Then there are a whole bunch of George stills which, to an obsessive fan, may be something worth having.
Finally there's a 20 minute documentary where we see George in action, George speaking, and dozens of choreographers, street dancers and singers giving George a hug or a high five. In other words, not much, unless of course you're a huge George fan - which you would have to be to buy this DVD.
Picture quality and sound quality are all top notch. The documentary was shot on DV-Cam and remains ungraded, whilst the promos are shot on film or graded HD. (I never thought I'd admit this but I can't tell the difference once it's back down to Mpeg2 on a DVD).
For the record, my two teenage daughters (13 and 16) both watched the DVD with me and concluded that it was 'a bit scant', They thought it might show you how to do some of George's body-popping and break-dancing and were mighty disappointed to find it didn't. They'd already checked out the videos on YouTube, so all that was left was a fairly average documentary. In other words, they were fairly unimpressed. But then neither are obsessive fans. Now, Dougie Poynter from McFly would have been a different matter altogether and I suspect a similar selection featuring him would have been declared brilliant. In other words, this DVD should be reserved for big fans only.