Complete Season One Set -- contains 7 hours of programming, plus bonus materials including "the making of" documentary, interviews with Tony Scott, Jesse Negron and Leon Malas, additional footage, effects and animation and... more » much more!« less
The editing is what caused this series to get canceled not t
T. Timmons | 03/03/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)
"This is by far the worst editing I have seen. You will enjoy if you suffer from schizophrenia or Attention Deficit Disorder, since no single video clip lasts for more than 1 second. Had this series been produced as a traditional documentary it would have been fascinating, but so much for that idea. I sat through three episodes before I could no longer stand it and turned it off. Thank God it was a rental. DO NOT BUY THIS DVD 1) you will regret it and 2) you will always hear me saying "I told you so!""
Could have been great if better edited ...
Kurz Schluze | 01/11/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This is one of the worst edited documentary I have ever seen. You can not have a single shot spoiled with flashes, slow motion, and unnecessary digital FX. I have nothing against crazy editing when it is for a 3 min MTV music clip or a TV add. But on a 7 hours documentary you get airsick. If fine edited, all this interresting story could have been told in less than two hours. Each episode has a more than 2 min introduction... During the episodes you see some shots more than ten times.
By the way, I am a very long time aviation enthousiast."
An interesting, if somewhat hokey ride
J. Clark | 08/02/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"After the series "American Fighter Pilot" died a quick death on network TV due to abysmal ratings, we finally get to see the three USAF pilots complete their journey through Eagle driver school. This 3 CD set includes all seven original episodes, five of which were not aired. Also included is the "how they made it" view from the producers.
Three USAF officers are profiled and we follow their trials and tribulations under the intense pressure of fighter pilot training. We are treated to some excellent ground-to-air and air-to-air footage of the world's premier fighter aircraft, the F-15 Eagle. We see some behind the scenes action in the classroom, briefing rooms and squadron bar room. Commentary on the student's performance and progress is given by the intense type-A flight instructors who seeks to train but are not shy in pointing even the smallest mistakes. We also go into the students personal lives with profiles on their families and the challenges that they face.
If you are a die-hard aviation fan, this title is worth seeing. Unfortunately, it is long and drawn out with all the time spent on the pilot's personal lives. How many times do we have to see one student sitting in church? Too many to count. Does the prospect of seeing home videos in another student's kitchen sound appealing? More filler. Then there is the production - put simply, it is overproduced and overblown with gee-whiz quick scene edits that attempt to create excitement. At many points, the viewer will feel like they are being talked down to with over simplified text and voice overs. Example "Mission Objective: Kill" is supposed to describe a 1 v 1 air-to-air guns-only engagement where a student performs basic fighter maneuvers against his instructor.
They could have made this whole series in three episodes if the producers just concentrated on the pilot training and flying. If Top Gun had the AFP production treatment, it would have been 12 hours long with no additional flying sequences. Bottom line, buy it for the flying sequences and keep the remote handy with your finger on the fast forward button."
Too many good reviews
J. Roberts | 01/01/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Great subject matter. Truly. But the worst editing possible. Period. I love anything to do with F-15s, and really wanted to like this, but could not. I watched all seven episodes and it just about broke my brain. It seemed like no scene was longer than about a second, and I'm not exaggerating. Tony Scott took the material for a great documentary and wrecked it with MTV-style editing for schizophrenics. It would be nice if someone recut this into a two hour great documentary, instead of 5+ hours of superficial, hard to watch garbage."
A great program, polluted with some annoying editing
Mark Brown | Rockdale, TX United States | 04/28/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I originally found out about this program when viewing a Google Video trailer for a documentary that used to be called "Eagle Drivers". The trailer included various briefing shots, small insights about life in a squadron, and some vary nice aerial and flightline footage. I was thrilled that someone was going to release a documentary that actually went into some detail about the training procedures and life as an aspiring military aviator instead of a dull narrative dubbed to dated, stock footage of military flying.
I did a little bit of searching and discovered that the project had turned into a "reality" TV show which was unfortunately canceled after a few episodes had aired. I wasn't able to find any more footage online than just the trailer, and I was very intrigued to check out the show. I found it here and was a little put-off by some of the reviews, but I decided to take the plunge.
It is a 3 DVD set and spans 7 one-hour episodes an an hour-long interview. The show follows 3 Lieutenants who are beginning training at Tyndall AFB in Panama City, FL to fly and fight in the F-15C. A big part of what drew me to the program is how much I like that plane. 2 of the pilots, Todd Giggy and Marcus Gregory, are straight out of Undergraduate Pilot Training and only have a small amount of flying experience from the airframes there (the T-37 and T-38). The other pilot, Mike Love, has former experience as a B-1 pilot.
They are filmed during various briefings and debriefings, simulator and centrifuge training, at the squadron bar, at home with their families, and there are a lot of shots with comments and personal insights from the pilots themselves. There are also numerous commentary shots from instructors and family members of the pilots, and it is really a great way to get a personal view of what is going on.
There was a lot of great aerial footage in the trailer I watched, and I saw that great aerial footage again. The only problem was that this footage was all I saw in pretty much every flying scene. It becomes increasingly obvious with each episode that they had a small amount of aerial and cockpit footage and they had to reuse it in as many different ways possible, such as reversing the image, using high-contrast filters on some shots, etc.
There are also some staged cockpit shots in which the pilot jerks the stick and throttle around, complete with exaggerated "clanging" sound effects. It was a little cheesy, but it's understandable that the camera crew probably would not be allowed to film a ton of flying footage. However, there are a lot of great shots of the flightline at Tyndall, and it's a pretty awe-inspiring sight to see the groups of planes all taxiing together at Tyndall on a sunny day.
All this talk about the footage gets me to the complaint that I'm sure you've already read about numerous times. The editing. The show is edited in the cheesy, short-attention span MTV style. Camera angles change rapidly every few seconds and random parts of dialog are emphasized with cheesy echo sounds put on the voice and a caption of the words placed on the screen. Although it is disappointing, I can understand why this editing might be necessary on the flying scenes since they apparently didn't have a lot of footage, but it gets pretty annoying after a while. Some of it seems really unnecessary though, like the captions during simulated training missions stating whether each pilot passed or not, as if the viewer really couldn't tell by watching the show.
Although all of the episodes are abundant in this cheesy style of editing, it seems to cool down a bit after the first few episodes. There's a lot less of the "emphasis on a particular phrase" thing. The thing that disappoints me the most is just that I wish they would have spent more time in each episode on each particular part and not jump around so much, but this is understandable because most average television viewers would not be looking for a very in-depth look at what goes on.
A lot of people claim the show was canceled because of its editing style, but I disagree. A majority of the "reality" shows you see on major-networks have editing just like this and they seem to do fine. I think the show was canceled because the average viewer isn't too interested in military aviation to begin with, and because there actually isn't really a ton of drama going on throughout the program (which is what most of these average viewers want). It's a real shame, but at least those of us who do care about what happened can now purchase this DVD set.
Anyway, if you can look past the editing, there is a great program here. Although it is not the most in-depth look at it you could ever get, it does put things into perspective a bit and gives you a very good idea of what the pilots have to go through and it is very entertaining. I'd highly recommend this program to anyone who is at least moderately interested in military aviation."