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22 October 2003
Mark Dunn: The man behind Lene Marlin's new DVD
Source : DVD Magazine
- I'm a great supporter of DVD because of the new possibilites it gives us.

Then it's all set for the greatest commitment to a music DVD in Norway, ever! In these days, Virgin releases Lene Marlin - Another Day, a DVD crammed with juicy bits for the fans, but also for us who wants to know more about the phenomenon Lene Marlin.

Following the release of Lene Marlin's first album, which until now has sold 1.8 million copies, she disappeared from the limelight. Four years later she is thus back with a new album, and a specially developed DVD. We have been talking with Mark Dunn, head of EMI's commitment to music DVD, who has been working on this project for several months.

- When we started out planning the project, we sat down and tried to imagine everything a Lene-fan would wish to have included on the DVD. The result became a nice product which I think everyone would find much joy in, says Dunn.

- The DVD has become a very personal regard from Lene to the fans.

Mark Dunn is working with EMI's departments worldwide to develop the DVD format within music. Two years ago he created a strategy plan for EMI's commitment to DVD. EMI had seen the potential for music DVD, and was firmly determined to be working actively with this. EMI is trying constantly to think anew to create the best DVDs with music. Previously, Dunn was involved in developing Beatles - Anthology, the world's best-selling music DVD so far. In the later time he's been working with Lene Marlin towards the release of her new album, which now also comes as a DVD.

- Lene was herself heavily involved in the process. In addition to selecting the material which is included, she has among other things contributed with hand-written menus and the lyrics of all the songs. She was very open to the idea of creating a totally unique and technically advanced DVD, and has been very creative all along, he says.

- The DVD gives an unique insight into the work with the new album. We were in the studio and were filming the whole process, both song-writing, recording, and production. We were interviewing the band and the producers along the way, and in the end we edited the material together into a documentary. According to Dunn, this documentary is just a little piece of the final product.

In addition to the documentary, the DVD contains all the songs from the new album, remixed to Dolby Digital 5.1 in Abbey Road Studios. We get to see the band perform the songs in the studio, and may also read the lyrics while we're listening. Exclusively for this release, there are also some concert recordings and acoustic versions of the songs. Interviews are texted in several languages, and a picture gallery with lots of pictures of Lene is also put in.

- After having finished the filming, we edited together a documentary and some other material, mixed the music in surround, and made everything ready. After this, we dicussed with Abbey Road Interactive about how the menus were to look, and how the DVD should be as most user-friendly as possible, says Dunn. - We have been trying to think creatively, and to be slightly ahead to really exploit the format to its fullest. I'm a great supporter of DVD because of the new possibilites it gives us. My personal DVD favourite is David Gilmour - Live. This one is kind of a Pink Floyd unplugged, and is frighteningly beautiful.

Dunn says that Abbey Road Interactive, which is behind the technical side of the DVD, got some real issues to handle. Some things were just impossible to do due to the limitations inherent in the DVD format. Other functions were tried and developed. The viewer can choose between watching the band who is performing the songs, or watch the lyrics pop up on the screen while Lene is singing them. Some of the most complicated was actually to get the hand-written lyrics on screen synchronized with the song.

- The DVD is very flexible. It may be viewed like a TV-program, as a collection of performances, or played like an album. We are pretty proud of the finished product. There is a lot of work behind.

With a surround system one really gets to experience the music in a new way. All the songs on the record are mixed in Dolby Digital 5.1 especially for use on the DVD. DVD Magazine have not had the chance to listen to the DVD yet, but according to Mark Dunn the surround mixes are supposed to be phenomenal. Lene Marlin has been involved in the whole production, something which is very unusual, especially for such a young artist. Dunn says that Lene herself had the last word in regards to what was to be included.

- Lene and the band let us enter the studio to film the whole process. It's rare that artists allow such a close and authentic angle in a DVD production, but Lene was very supportive and really wanted to tell her fantastic story. On the DVD, she's talking about how she wrote the songs, her inspiration sources, and about the recording.

Mark Dunn has, as previously stated, worked closely with Lene Marlin and the band. He also mentions Virgin Norway, and especially Per Eirik Johansen, who has been heavily involved in the project. Together with Abbey Road Interactive and Abbey Road Studios, they have been using four months on the release.

- When you're working on a project like this one, you're starting to realize that DVD will be the new format for the album. It's exciting with such a flexible format which gives the artists the possibility to give the fans so much more than just music. It really gives the fans a chance getting to understand the artist. Lene Marlin's DVD is a very moving experience. The words, the music and the pictures are mixed together, and give the viewers a good feeling. It really gives me hope for the future.

Lene Marlin broke through in 1998 with the single Unforgivable Sinner. In 1999 the album Playing My Game followed, but the tour activity and the sudden star status became too much for her. The later years she has kept retired, but is now ready with her new album. The first single from the album, You Weren't There, was relased in July, and has been played a lot on the radio.

Both the CD and the DVD Lene Marlin - Another Day has release date September 22nd. Virgin has as a goal selling between 15 - 20.000 copies of the DVD in Norway. In that case, it would be the best-selling music DVD in Norway thus far. We wish Lene Marlin and Virgin Music good luck, and we'll be back with a review in the next issue.

Translation by Tef Johs


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