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Author Topic: First Real Video Project; Would Love Some Critiques  (Read 1178 times)

JoeKitchen

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First Real Video Project; Would Love Some Critiques
« on: August 06, 2017, 08:20:48 PM »

Hello,

My other half and I put together our first real video project that we produced ourselves.  It was on farming and being a farmer, and would love to get some feed back. 

Thank you. 

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Joe Kitchen
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Chris Sanderson

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Re: First Real Video Project; Would Love Some Critiques
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2017, 09:42:46 PM »

Nicely done and a very fine first effort.

Some possible suggestions:

- slow your camera moves (& time lapses) down unless you want to inject additional energy to your subject. This film has a relaxed feel and I think slower moves would be more appropriate.
- think about coverage when you shoot a wide shot. Try for at least one additional angle and preferably move from wide to closer or vice-versa.
- The same applies to the edit; change up the pattern of repeated Wide Shots to add MS, CU into the cadence and to avoid repetition.

and this is all highly subjective!!
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Christopher Sanderson
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Morgan_Moore

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Re: First Real Video Project; Would Love Some Critiques
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2017, 06:02:12 AM »

Some nice little bits there.

Big thing is the sound design.. that track works for 8 bars but is drilling a hole in my brain by 1.30 and is too loud over the spoken audio.

Also consider (and this is something Im only now learning) is giving space to breath in the audio.

"If you are thinking of a career in farming go for it"

Now I need to think about this and absorb it.

Give me a couple of seconds to do that.

Then pile in that 'it is stimulating'.

Fair enough.. but there is no jeapordy/emotional journey. Stimulation is the payoff.

OK this is not Bourne but you can still lift emotion up and down.

Thinking about farming?

Get up early
Work in all weathers
Dont get holidays

This is not sounding good - emotional down

But it is still better than being in an office

OK good point - actually not so bad.


In fact it is really stimulating.

Right, you are beginning to sell it to me.. the emotional payoff

Play the viewer like a violin, edit your conversation with the viewer.

--

Random things..

Lets hear some animal grunts.

He started showing at 16..? show me a pic on the mantelpiece

Opening..
Why the landscapes, boring.. hit me with a pig.

Photographers

We can all frame images.. but learning to play the audience is the key to video.











« Last Edit: August 07, 2017, 06:05:59 AM by Morgan_Moore »
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Morgan_Moore

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Re: First Real Video Project; Would Love Some Critiques
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2017, 06:31:00 AM »

Id do your edit on a spread sheet - a 'paper edit'

Type the soundbites in a column and then order them to make a journey - I dont care what order he actually said anything.

In fact I usually open the film with the last thing said because doing an interview I get the facts down 'name, rank, location' and then last question is 'cheeky' pushing them on their emotional journey.

Also some things he said do we care?

'I drink coffee in the morning'
A man drinks coffee in the morning?.. this is not interesting new or different or a revelation.. it does not add to the story.. so edit it out.
Everything you edit out adds power to what you left in.

Also the pictures.. the order?

The payoff is the eggs and the butcher.. so maybe they are the end of the journey?

--

In the real world edits are done like this..
On paper
Then in audio in the NLE
Then the edit producer goes home and leaves the intern to paste some pretty pictures over the sound edit.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2017, 06:35:13 AM by Morgan_Moore »
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Don Blauvelt

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Re: First Real Video Project; Would Love Some Critiques
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2017, 11:25:06 AM »

For a first video, you guys did great.

I just read Chris and Morgan comments and I kinda agree.

First:
Your farmer is talking a little too much and a little too fast for me. Morgan's suggestion about breathing room is right on. And for my ears you definitely want to fade the music down before he starts speaking.

Second:
Chris also mentioned slowing down and his suggestion varying the shots; Wide, Ms, CU is a good one.

For me, your cutaways also seemed too fast and a bit frenetic. Don't forget to hum when doing panning shots :).

As a Videographer and Producer of documentaries (in the past.), the most important input to the films I did, was the editor.

One last thing, definitely more animal stuff.

Two last things.
I just looked back on the opening and you've got that beautiful wide shot of the distant field with the cows moving around in it, if you have a close-up of them, I'd add it.

Again really nice images.

Don
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Peter McLennan

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Re: First Real Video Project; Would Love Some Critiques
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2017, 03:59:00 PM »

Every thing those guys said.

As a rule of thumb: unless you're following action, your panning speed should be such that it takes about four seconds for a bit of detail to cross the screen from side to side. Interestingly, this rule is independent of focal length.

Sound is more important than picture.
Amazing how well you did as a first effort.
Keep it up. Congrats.
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JoeKitchen

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Re: First Real Video Project; Would Love Some Critiques
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2017, 04:45:49 PM »

Thanks all, some really great pointers that we will need to incorporate into our next video.  I really like the idea about writing our all of the quotes in Excel and organizing the story there. 

Insofar as further edits for this video, we actually did not do the editing, only the production and shooting.  We had a good friend of ours help with, and pretty much do, the editing for free, and he is off doing work of his own currently.  I really don't want to bug him too much more, so this will be the final edit (at least for a bit). 

Editing, is that a mind drain!

Insofar as having wides and close ups, this was a sticking point with our editor too.  Next time we will certainly have two cameras rolling for interviews. 

Slower camera movements are noted.  I also learned why ND filters are so important.  Some of the footage was shot with a 5D IV and I adjusted the shutter speed as I would for stills, sometimes as fast as 1/1200.  This produces choppy video, which is good to know for the future. 

Sound is what really had me concerned, especially for the interview.  For this, we had a mic boomed overhead and another on camera, and lucked out with an outside location without issue for echoes or bad ambient.  Shooting inside, with echoes and ambient noise, has us a bit more concerned for our next one. 

This was Felicia's idea; next is mine on architects.  Indoor shooting will be a must on that one. 

Any pointers on recording sound indoors; should we just hire a sound guy? 
« Last Edit: August 07, 2017, 04:54:38 PM by JoeKitchen »
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Joe Kitchen
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JoeKitchen

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Re: First Real Video Project; Would Love Some Critiques
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2017, 04:51:46 PM »

Not going to lie though, gimbals are awesome but we ended the day with some pretty sore shoulders. 
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Joe Kitchen
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"Photography is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent moving furniture."  Arnold Newman
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Chris Sanderson

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Re: First Real Video Project; Would Love Some Critiques
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2017, 04:54:28 PM »

If the $$ are there, definitely hire a competent sound guy who will (or should) come with all necessary equipment.

If you have to record sound yourself and you are in a problematic (noisy, echo-y) location, remember one thing only: get the mic as close to the source as possible. For that reason alone, I use lavalier mics 90% of the time. 'Room tone' or local ambient noise can always be recorded separately.
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Christopher Sanderson
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JoeKitchen

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Re: First Real Video Project; Would Love Some Critiques
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2017, 04:57:28 PM »

If the $$ are there, definitely hire a competent sound guy who will (or should) come with all necessary equipment.

If you have to record sound yourself and you are in a problematic (noisy, echo-y) location, remember one thing only: get the mic as close to the source as possible. For that reason alone, I use lavalier mics 90% of the time. 'Room tone' or local ambient noise can always be recorded separately.

Thanks for the advice.  We did not get paid for this project, totally personal. 

My idea would be to approach a really good client (I kind of already have one, and they are the jolliest firm I work with) and ask if they would mine us doing a project.  If they like it enough to use it, I would ask them to pay for my costs. 

A sound guy may be a good idea. 
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Joe Kitchen
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Don Blauvelt

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Re: First Real Video Project; Would Love Some Critiques
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2017, 11:28:04 PM »

Glad to see Chris brought up room tone, I totally forgot to mention it.
I worked 95% percent of the time with a sound man/women, (I was not doing personal films at that time.). They would never leave any exterior or interior location without a minute of "room tone". Do a search about it's importance. Even if you don't have an audio person you can record it yourself.

If you wind up getting a paid production (I'm sure you will), and it includes interviews and the like, budget for transcripts. Less work for you and your editor will be forever grateful.

I would now say as others have, Photography for Films is 25%,  Audio is 75%.
Many references in film blogs about how key the audio is.

About interviews, Two cameras (two tripods) are great, but some times it creates angle and lighting issues of their own. I'm assuming your doing a 1080P HD film. It might make sense to use a Canon 1DX2 (* or any other 4K Camera) recording at 4k (DCI/ UHD) shoot medium and crop for the close up and down convert to 1080P.
**I have not done this myself, yet, but have read some blogs that have indicated this works pretty well from some serious videographers.

* I see your using a canon 5D IV if that records 4K try out the crop idea.

** Can't promise, but I might be shooting a test of this in the next few weeks or so. If I do happy to send you a Blu-ray of the results.

Joe:
" Some of the footage was shot with a 5D IV and I adjusted the shutter speed as I would for stills, sometimes as fast as 1/1200
. This produces choppy video, which is good to know for the future". 

For a natural look you generally want to double the FPS so if your shooting 24FPS you probably want a shutter speed as close to 48 (50 in this case) as possible. 30FPS- 60 Shutter etc.


PS  a sound person is always a good idea (if they are are a good sound person.)

Don
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Peter McLennan

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Re: First Real Video Project; Would Love Some Critiques
« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2017, 11:59:45 PM »

we actually did not do the editing

When you do, that's where the real learning begins. And the fun! There's a reason for the aphorism "everybody wants to direct".  It's in the edit suite where you learn what directing really is. Nothing improves your shooting and directing skills like cutting your own stuff. It's a privilege now to be able to do this.  Previously, you were lucky if you got to watch!

Most docs involve shooting interviews at one point or another.  A wireless mic with a lavaliere will do wonders for your interviews and your productions. It doesn't have to be expensive.  I have a 20 year old Sony "Prosumer" grade wireless mic that cost about $200, still works perfectly and has earned me a lot of money.

Sound effects are just like cutaways.  As Morgan_Moore said "I'd love to hear some pig grunts".  Absolutely!  And all the other sounds that farms make. An underlying bed of chickens mumbling away to themselves would do wonders.  That's sort of what room tone is.

So easy to do on location. 
So difficult to create later.
So much added value to your show.
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Morgan_Moore

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Re: First Real Video Project; Would Love Some Critiques
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2017, 04:07:45 AM »

Joe

Absolutely you need to edit. Because sitting in front of your NLE punching your own forehead because you didnt hold a shot long enough or didnt ask a question. Or didnt nail the interviewee for starting every sentence with 'So..'. Or didn't get any wildtrack.

That is when you learn to shoot.

Sure hire an editor in the future.

Sound.

Personally I don't like wasting time wiring people up and then listening to a rustling shirt. Get a boom mic, place it well and you are good.

Lavs are for fancy walk and talks shot with a telephoto or multiple talent around a table.

For single interviews a boom on a wire will do. Not only will it do.. it will work. Get that boom mic 18in from the talent.

I would not worry about echoes inside or any of that right now. Get the boom in and get great content.

Editing.
Personally I would suggest Resolve. Free and the best NLE anyway.

Also be your own harshest critic. Then show your mother/wife/kids/granny/neighbour.. people who know nothing of production complexity and see them react.

S

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john beardsworth

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Re: First Real Video Project; Would Love Some Critiques
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2017, 04:20:35 AM »

What would you guys say about transitions between the clips?

I don't know, I've little experience of video. I just feel a bit of cross-fade would suit the subject.
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Farmer

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Re: First Real Video Project; Would Love Some Critiques
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2017, 06:24:15 AM »

This was really interesting to watch and read the comments, because I have no video creation skills :-)  But I do watch a lot of them!  For a first effort, I thought it was great.  As a non-video guy, I agree that some of the pans were jerky and too quick, but I thought the concepts were good - lots of "right ideas" that had me interested regardless!

A weird continuity thing with the farmer talking without a dog for several scenes and then, without any introduction of the dog or real pause in the narration and suddenly he has a dog next to him.  I actually jumped back to see if I'd missed it earlier :-)

I didn't find the narration too quick - I like getting lots of info, but compared to watching a Attenborough it was certainly quicker so I imagine a lot of viewers might want some more time.

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Phil Brown

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Re: First Real Video Project; Would Love Some Critiques
« Reply #15 on: August 14, 2017, 06:26:38 AM »

A weird continuity thing with the farmer talking without a dog for several scenes and then, without any introduction of the dog or real pause in the narration and suddenly he has a dog next to him.  I actually jumped back to see if I'd missed it earlier :-)

I did exactly the same.
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Don Blauvelt

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Re: First Real Video Project; Would Love Some Critiques
« Reply #16 on: August 15, 2017, 11:00:15 AM »

Joe, I just came across an example of what I was referring to in my post on Aug 7th about considering shooting interviews in 4K and cropping for the CU for a 1080P Film deliverable.

link:
https://www.redsharknews.com/production/item/4802-choosing-the-best-camera-for-the-job-part-two?page=1

The photos examples are on Page 2 0f 2

Don
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JoeKitchen

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Re: First Real Video Project; Would Love Some Critiques
« Reply #17 on: August 16, 2017, 12:02:10 PM »

Thanks all again. 

Insofar as the dog suddenly appearing, this was a sore point with us as well.  We did have a clip of the dog being introduced, but since we only shot the interview with one camera at 2K, we could not edit it into the video without it seeming weird. 

The jump in motion was just to obvious and overlapping dialogue did not work either.  Next time we will use two cameras for interviews. 
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Joe Kitchen
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Peter McLennan

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Re: First Real Video Project; Would Love Some Critiques
« Reply #18 on: August 16, 2017, 08:43:32 PM »

"It's much harder to make television than it is to watch television"
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Farmer

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Re: First Real Video Project; Would Love Some Critiques
« Reply #19 on: August 16, 2017, 08:57:09 PM »

"It's much harder to make television than it is to watch television"

As evidenced by any number of reality TV shows...although I find them impossible to watch most of the time :-)
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