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Old July 16th, 2008, 09:05 PM   #1
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Fragile: A Short

Hello All,

Let me first say, I have been reading this forum for the past 3 months. I have learned alot and seen some amazing videos from all. I just recently purchased my Canon XH A1 4 weeks ago. Friends and I put this short together - very first project

I hope you enjoy and comments are always welcome.

http://vimeo.com/1321611

Thank You,
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Old July 17th, 2008, 01:02 AM   #2
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Ron-

Welcome to the forum man... You had some nice shots in there...

Here are some of my critiques that I would suggest...

The audio levels on the 'evil voice' were much lower than that of the talent. I had to crank my speakers up to hear his voice but then once the talent spoke it was too loud... I think it was around 4:11 the aspect ratio was squeezed so it kind of stood out from the rest of the footage...

Flow... This was a 15 minute project that could have easily been a 4 - 7 minute project... I always try to edit under the theory that at the end of the project I want the audience to want more not less...


I really liked some of the city shots though.

These are just my two cents... Take them for what they are worth... : )
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Old July 17th, 2008, 11:42 AM   #3
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Thanks Doug! I really appreciate your input and knowledge on the sound track. That is good information to know on the next project. :-)
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Old July 17th, 2008, 12:19 PM   #4
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You're going to develop quickly :) You have some really good compositions in there. Well done.

I agree with the edit being a bit long. When editing, I like to cut at the point that each shot has done its job in getting the point across that it is intended to get across. The audience will forgive alot in your production. The two things that will be the cardinal sins are bad sound and boredom. For a short, I expect a faster pacing for the story telling...keep in mind that all critiques are based on individual expectation and aesthetics.

A couple of your outdoor shots with the actor were too dark. Darker skin sucks up light and requires that you throw more light at it. To test this, try lighting a scene with a dark skinned and fair skinned individual in the same shot... it'll drive you to distraction ;) You'll be shocked at how much more light dark skin needs.
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Old July 17th, 2008, 12:21 PM   #5
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There are also some interlacing issues during the driving scene (I'm viewing with HD off due to the laptop I'm on playing HD like molasses).

On the laptop, I can barely hear the other voice at all (lower bass response on little speakers).

Interior shots became too dark and the cool compositions you had outside fell into standard indie film single actor shots once you moved inside. A single lightsource could have helped add some definition to the actor, as it sits though, it's really to dark to make much of anything out... As I've only been able to hear the one side of the conversation I've stopped watching at about 11 minutes.

Actor's not too bad, some of the lines could be more direct: i.e. "I just want to be left alone" to "leave me alone".

quite frankly, I'd watch the outdoor daytime stuff from you all day long. You have a good eye for composition. Don't lose that when you start having actors speak. Tell the story with pictures like you were doing outside... have the actors deliver their dialog to support the visual story.

Cameras capture light, without light, no picture. make sure to light your scenes so your audience is seeing your story being told. Even just outlines are fine, but we didn't have that. I understand that you were using existing light, but if you were to have increased the light in the room while shooting, then reduced it while editing, you would have had more control over what gets seen in the frame. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tenebrism ), even showing a dark room on screen takes lots of light. The painting in the wiki page shows a dark room, but allows you to see the subjects as well. Look to the masters (rembrandt, caravaggio, da vinci), these guys figured out how light works hundreds of years ago...and even though the technology for presenting that light has changed, the physics and nature of light has not.
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Last edited by Cole McDonald; July 17th, 2008 at 12:45 PM. Reason: adding notes as I watch. figured two posts was enough for me on this.
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Old July 17th, 2008, 02:54 PM   #6
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Making a "full" length short a month after buying a camera takes guts! Congrats!

Now comes the hard work; i.e. making your productions into masterpieces. In my opinion you absolutely must fix 2 things.

1. Audio levels are way too low. I could barely hear the actor and couldn't hear the "voice" at all.

2. Cut it down! You have a good eye for composition but you were telling a story, not making a scenic short. That means you have to leave allot of good shots behind in order to move the story along.

Overall I thought you did well. Fix at least those two things and you'll be winning film-making competitions in no time.
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Old July 17th, 2008, 04:25 PM   #7
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Thanks you guys for taking the time to view the short and giving me feedback, you don't know how much this means to me. I will definitely take your valuable input and use it for the next project.

Ron
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