November 5, 2009 at 4:30 PM #45757atomterribleParticipant
This is a video I made with some friends of mine for my birthday party. I like to make shorts, so I had everyone over for cake and videomaking. We had fun, and the final product reflects that I hope. I had to deinterlace for YouTube, but besides that, what things would you recommend changing or watching for on future shorts? Thanks!
Adam T. (19)
November 5, 2009 at 10:05 PM #189604composite1Member
Not bad at all. Good exposure, good composition, very little camera shake, decent field audio and the music helped carry the tone of the flick. The edit could have been tighter, but it wasn’t bad for an ‘ammy’ (amature) posting stuff on the ‘Tube’. Most important was the story (though the end was totally predictable) was cute and looked to be well thought out (unlike the deluge of crap swirling about the Tube.) It kept my interest and got a few chuckles out of me. You guys looked like you had fun and it showed in the work.
As for suggestions, stuff I would have you work on production wise would first be using more medium shots (MU), close ups (CU) and the occasional extreme close up (XCU.) You seemed a bit timid with how close you got during those shots that were supposed to be in close. Also, your wide shots could be a bit tighter when framing your subjects. Yes you want to get them all in frame and show the environment they’re in, but unless there is a recognizable background item (building, monument, etc.) that is integral to the story, tighten the shot. Don’t sweat it though, it’s a typical ammy mistake. Oh yeah, your 360 degree point of view shot (POV) was a good idea but you have to slow it down so the audience can see the faces of those in the shot without getting dizzy (unless you’re showing your primary talent getting dizzy.) There were many obvious spots where you broke the ‘180 degree’ rule as only an ammy could possibly do.
Editing wise, knowing when to cut is an acquired skill. Basically, it’s a matter of trimming off uneeded footage. Your comedy was quick-paced so the cuts should reflect that. Some cuts worked perfectly, some dragged on longer than necessary. Remember, always cut on the action and match action between cuts.
Now, with that all said I do believe you have lots of potential as a filmmaker. The hardest part is telling a story that will hold the audience. You seem to have a grip on that part. So the parts that take the most work to improve are your shooting and editing. So far you’re on the right track but you need to learn the basics. A good book to use is one I teach out of, “The Little Digital Video Book” by Michael Rubin (Amazon.com.) It will walk you through the basics and discuss briefly in more detail the things I’ve just mentioned. Good luck. We only get better by doing.
November 6, 2009 at 3:48 AM #189605atomterribleParticipant
Predictableoutcome? No way!
There was only one incontinuity that I can clearly remember being necessary. As for the rest, I don’t have any other reason besides the old, daylight fading excuse. If this were a budgeted production, heck, yes, we would take some time here, but we only had about ninty minutes, and it had gotten a bit darker. Anyway, this was half fellowship time anyway! Give me a break! (No, I really do appreciate it.)
180-rule, yes, I hate this rule. It’s so hard for meto establish things where people move around and you need to get to the other side to have a look-see. I know the 180 applies to cuts, but does it as strongly apply to continuous footage? I know there are specific times to break it, but what if I just really need to look at something from over here without using a cut. Is it just not recommended? (Recommended as if the 180 were a punishable offense.)
About tighter shots: my camera is quirky, and interlaced does not like being resized, plus my home TV cuts off about 20!!!!!!!!! (*hellfire and brimstone*)pixels on each edge. This is where we watched it when it was done. Close-ups, yes, I am having to overcome my aversion of them. My brother has only so much amateur, home-movie actingexperience. I am always so conscious of using distance-effective shots. But, hey, having a penchant for murder is no excuse either, right?
That POV shot…yes, blur, yes, filler. I admit the Smartsoundmusic fit better with that in there. As to how I could have legitimately gotten an actually good shot for that part of the mental storyboard, I can’t think of much else besides a new camera. Any thought?
You didn’t mention color correction! Either that was because it’s too ‘ammy-ish,’ or I did a good job, and you didn’t notice. I’ll go with the latter.
Thanks forhelping this unsocializedhomeschooler.
November 7, 2009 at 5:05 AM #189606composite1Member
“Predictableoutcome? No way!”
Way. Title and the build-up totally led up to the kid getting a knock-out. It wasn’t bad, I just saw it coming. But that is part of the writing though you ‘did it in your head’, it still worked.
The ‘180’ rule helps the viewer from getting confused with the flow of your shots. You almost made it work with the initial neutral shot with the instructor and kid early in the flick. Had you gone with a tighter shot, you would have had a smooth flow into the that sequence. Don’t ‘hate the rule.’ Knowing how to work it separates the ‘wheat from the chaff’ so to speak. Certain rules you can’t break, but when you learn how they work you can bend them. The main thing to remember about the 180 rule is you have the most control over it during production. Once you’re in the editing bay you have what you have.
As a director/shooter you have to keep up with your talent’s movements. If you’re going to ‘Direct’ that means you must control the movement and placement of your talent. When you do so from behind the camera, you have a far greater view of where everything is and twice the responsibility to keep up with screen direction in the field. So those things you mentioned as to why ‘this wasn’t or that wasn’t’ are just excuses. No, you don’t have to approach filmmaking as seriously as a military commander but if you want to turn out ‘good product’ you still have to possess a ‘serious thread’ in what you are doing. Even if you are not bankrolled, you are taking people’s time and energy as well as your own in putting together these videos. You owe it to them and yourself to put out the best possible flick you can.
Don’t blame stuff on your camera. Unless it blew up in your hands spontaneously, it’s just a tool. Learn how to use it. During my initial training, I worked with oldschool ‘Handycams’ and learned that though I didn’t have the same quality of imagery and control as the procams I would work with later didn’t mean I couldn’t master the controls basic to all cameras and the composition of the image. You don’t have to ‘resize’ the image in post. Get closer to the subject during the shoot. Don’t get into the retarded mindset of ‘fixing it in post.’ Do the ‘heavy lifting’ during production so that post is just for putting together a completed film. If the day comes and you start having to pay for post-production, you’ll find the ‘fix it in post’ thing will cost you lots of money for no good reason.
No, you don’t need a new camera for that POV shot. Just bring your talent into a closer circle. There was no need to have all of that space between them anyway. Bring them in closer, then slow down the 360 shot so you can clearly see their faces. If necessary, you can speed it up during the edit.
Nah, color was just fine. You’re putting that stuff up on the ‘Tube’. The extra color info will increase your file size and you’ll have to mess around with your compression settings and decrease your image quality. Just do a good white balance prior to each shot change and keep consistent looking exposures from shot to shot and your color should be just fine. With a camera like yours, you don’t have much control over the color anyway.
Don’t sweat the ‘Ammy’ tag. Nobody rolls into this stuff as a master-level virtuoso. You’re just getting into this so you’re bound to make ammy mistakes. Deal with it. Now, if after about a year of doing this stuff you’re still making the same mistakes…. Like I said in my initial critique, you’ve got the eye for it no doubt. There are plenty of books like the one I recommended and tons of ‘how to’ videos online as well as buttloads of classes that can help you to go from ammy to pro should you choose. Whether you utilize them or not will determine your depths of ‘unsocialized homeshooling.’
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