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Old February 3rd, 2008, 08:41 PM   #1
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A 30 Second Jewelry Spot

Hey everyone,

I was recently tasked with shooting a 30 second commercial for a 150 year old British company called "Charles Green". They specialize in handmade lockets and gold jewelry.

I felt the shoot went really well. This is my first time dealing with a live animal and one that could completely destroy my equipment, so we were lucky that the horse didn't come my way on the jump scene. Also we were able to get the sixth generation owner to be in it and he is the judge at the end. The only problem I ran into was getting the over the shoulder shot without a monitor which I now find to be an essential piece that I desperately need to buy. Thankfully, it can out pretty sharp.

Any feedback you can give me is appreciated.

Equipment: Canon XHA1, Bogen 516 Pro, Redrock Micro 35mm Adapter for Medium to Close shots (50mm 1.4), and FCP2.

http://www.vimeo.com/661115

Thanks,
-Josh
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Old February 4th, 2008, 12:01 AM   #2
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nice job! I really like the filming and the effects but the graphics were a little bit weak in my opinion.
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Old February 4th, 2008, 12:59 AM   #3
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I like it. The music was fitting. I think the voice could be a little more...what's that word, bold?

Would you mind posting your settings and workflow?

thanks for sharing!
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Old February 4th, 2008, 07:57 AM   #4
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Really liked it.

I agree with the voice over comment, but would go further and suggest removing it completely. Is it really necessary? All the information is displayed on the screen for the view to read- why bother having the voiceover to distract from the visuals?

Also, loved the shot of the horse jumping, it looks as if you slow it down as the horse jumps through the air, did you experiment with having the whole shot slowed, instead of normal speed then slow? It might look slightly more refined that way.

Either way, great ad- were they happy with it?
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Old February 4th, 2008, 08:53 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emil Habouri View Post
nice job! I really like the filming and the effects but the graphics were a little bit weak in my opinion.
Thanks! I agree with the graphics, the owners wanted them this way but I feel like it could have been improved. The locket was the biggest problem in my opinion. They shoot these photographs on white backgrounds and you can still see a bit of white on the chain. If I would had more time, I would have rigged up a on black shoot, although the problem is you still get white in from the lights. The fades are fairly boring as well but I was just trying to keep it simple. Any thing you would suggest would be very helpful to me for future projects.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Stakes View Post
I like it. The music was fitting. I think the voice could be a little more...what's that word, bold?

Ah yes, the studio we recorded them in added reverb which makes things a tad hectic, so I had to lower the voices a tad to get that annoying buzz out. I do believe they were crisper on the second voice but because the second voice is a representative of the company and the first voice is the actual owner, they wanted it that way.

Would you mind posting your settings and workflow?

thanks for sharing!
Sure. I shot everything in 1080i, 60i for the jump scene because of the slow bit and used a modified VIVID preset. Then in post, I used Final Cut Studio 2, added slight effects from Magic Bullet Looks (didn't go overboard but wanted to unify the scenes so it would like like England..we filmed on a horse farm in Virginia), used Livetype for the text, and the graphic stuff was done in Motion (I have very little experience with doing anything complex in that program so I was hesitant on this part.)

My aim here is to do commercials without showing Jewelry and that they'll show people something other than discounts but what it is about (this one is based around tradition). I'm only 17, and have shot three commercials so far, and each one gets so much better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Rizzo-Naudi View Post
Really liked it.

I agree with the voice over comment, but would go further and suggest removing it completely. Is it really necessary? All the information is displayed on the screen for the view to read- why bother having the voiceover to distract from the visuals?

Also, loved the shot of the horse jumping, it looks as if you slow it down as the horse jumps through the air, did you experiment with having the whole shot slowed, instead of normal speed then slow? It might look slightly more refined that way.

Either way, great ad- were they happy with it?
Well, when dealing with a client, it is always there way. I agree, I would have stripped it completely but I think it adds something. Say your in the kitchen and you hear it, it's another way you'll remember it.

Thanks! Glad you liked that shot. What I did was cut in the center and then just slow down that section on jump. I haven't played with slowing the entire scene down. The reason I did it this way was to allow a second or more time for their name to be on it.

I appreciate you saying that and they were defiantly over joyed by it.
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Old February 4th, 2008, 09:02 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Gooden View Post
Sure. I shot everything in 1080i, 60i for the jump scene because of the slow bit and used a modified VIVID preset. Then in post, I used Final Cut Studio 2, added slight effects from Magic Bullet Looks (didn't go overboard but wanted to unify the scenes so it would like like England..we filmed on a horse farm in Virginia), used Livetype for the text, and the graphic stuff was done in Motion (I have very little experience with doing anything complex in that program so I was hesitant on this part.)

My aim here is to do commercials without showing Jewelry and that they'll show people something other than discounts but what it is about (this one is based around tradition). I'm only 17, and have shot three commercials so far, and each one gets so much better.
ahh magic bullet. Man only 17. I wish I knew what I wanted to do at that age, but I guess everything happens for a reason. I found out when I was 23, but I got to experience a lot. I am also using FCP2, were you using the NTSC 48KHz capture?
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Old February 15th, 2008, 08:47 PM   #7
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Hey, Josh. If I'm being completely honest, I thought the commercial was terrible. The VO sounded like a joke. Like something out of an SNL sketch. The titles were really crude. The scene was dreary and gray, which didn't bring up happy feelings in me, but rather feeling of anxiety. I like the concept with the horse riding and stuff. Obviously these people aren't trying to sell jewelry to the everyday person. If they are, this commercial is way too snotty.
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Old February 16th, 2008, 12:04 PM   #8
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Much too long static shots - an nothing of them correspond with the music.
Too hard first cut - look at the woman`s hand. And tragic VO.
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Old February 17th, 2008, 09:30 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Steve Yager View Post
Hey, Josh. If I'm being completely honest, I thought the commercial was terrible. The VO sounded like a joke. Like something out of an SNL sketch. The titles were really crude. The scene was dreary and gray, which didn't bring up happy feelings in me, but rather feeling of anxiety. I like the concept with the horse riding and stuff. Obviously these people aren't trying to sell jewelry to the everyday person. If they are, this commercial is way too snotty.
Thanks for the feedback but I would like to know exactly what is so wrong with the voice over. I didn't personally record that, a studio did and they added a reverb to it (which I'm not to fond of). Do you have any helpful tips for voice overs or what you would have done? This commercial was never aimed at the average joe either as these are four to five thousand dollars, handmade, and imported from England.
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Old February 17th, 2008, 11:40 AM   #10
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Josh all things considered it looks great. I've seen 10,000 times worse. Take every opinion with a grain of salt because conceiving and producing a purposeful, compelling TV spot is a hard thing that not many people can do.

Seems like you already know what the weak points are, which you can improve on next time around, and with a little more experience/confidence I think you won't have to make as many creative concessions with "hands-on" clients. Be sure to post your next spot.
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Old February 17th, 2008, 12:43 PM   #11
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It looks nice, too bad vimeo compression is pretty bad, could you possibly convert it to a better codec/bitrate to really appreciate your work.
Regards, Oleg.
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Old February 17th, 2008, 02:34 PM   #12
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For a local/regional TV spot, your work is considerably above average. I think it also targets the products demographic very well. The equine industry in VA is one of the nations largest and this ad should definitely appeal to them. These people drop $3K-$5K per month on each horse alone, so this locket is right up their alley. Who came up with the concept?

The approval you are looking for will not be found on these message boards. Every project screams for areas of improvement, especially when presented to your peers. The only opinions that should matter to you are of the client and yourself. Your best indicator of success will be how effective the ad is once it starts running.

My professional opinion of this spot is as follows:

The opening shot is framed, lit, and chosen perfectly.

The look on the little girls face isn’t that convincing towards the end of the second shot. She seems uncomfortable. As director, it’s your responsibility to keep retaking it until she gets it right. Speak up, clearly dictate your vision of what you want to see, and get everyone involved to make it happen. As editor, you can slow it down a bit and fade before she looks away to stay on the eye contact and smile.

The jump shot is good.

The music and VO are fine for this spot.

The titling can easily be improved by adding a slow zoom-in on the words.

Between the VO “Remains” and “Endless” is slightly longer than it needs to be.

My only real issue, which I find the most important, is that there is no call to action. There is a huge blank space where a website can go. On the end VO he should say something like “fine custom jewelry,” to define the product offering a little better. The address of the retailer wouldn’t hurt either.

My best advice to you would be to start sending the spot around to other niche market retailers in your area and secure more work. You can play around with your camera all day long… but nothing will make you a better filmmaker like working on someone else’s time and cash.
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Old February 17th, 2008, 06:16 PM   #13
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I liked the look of your video a lot Josh. i definitely got the feeling of being in the English countryside (makes me want to get a copy of magicbullet...) and your shots were well done. i agree that the voice over may have needed a little more Ompf... his accent sounded slightly fake, but over all i really thought you did a great job. if the client was happy with it then rock on, keep it up.
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Old February 18th, 2008, 04:16 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Gooden View Post
Thanks for the feedback but I would like to know exactly what is so wrong with the voice over. I didn't personally record that, a studio did and they added a reverb to it (which I'm not to fond of).
This reverb make its sounds like recording from a bigger distance to microphone. In commercial sounds it better with "direct to ear" effect. Also without reverb, echo and room accoustic.
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Old March 17th, 2008, 07:04 PM   #15
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looks beautiful...
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