DVC5 Feedback - Death After Life at DVinfo.net

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Old April 20th, 2006, 09:18 AM   #1
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DVC5 Feedback - Death After Life

This was shot at a famous cemetery (Laurel Hill Cemetery) in Philadelphia.

Used my JVC DVM75 camcorder and edited on premiere pro. Made the music in Sonar.

There is plenty of things I want to criticize about my short, but I will leave that to the others. Wouldn't want to take the fun away.
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Old April 20th, 2006, 09:55 AM   #2
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I seem to have it in for most of the voice over narrated shorts this go round. I had a hard time connecting the dialogue with the visuals on the first go round. Interesting visuals, but a lot of camera movement and the voice over made it hard to discern the intended message.
Chris J. Barcellos
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Old April 20th, 2006, 10:06 AM   #3
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Nice message, a bit too wordy to follow. I think maybe the music was mixed too loud and it made it harder to follow the VO. Great location, I would have used a tripod to make the visuals a little more steady. It would have also give a more focused intent on what you were showing. there were some great scenes but my eye was distracted by the moving camera so I wasn't sure what I was supposed to be looking at sometimes. maybe use fewer more deliberate shots so that the viewer can absorb what it is they are looking at. this would also slow the pace down and let what you were saying come through more. I always wanted to take my camera into a graveyard and shoot some footage but I never got up the nerve. So for having more nerve than me, big thumbs up.
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Old April 20th, 2006, 10:19 AM   #4
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i can't tell if you were making a contemplative piece or a sermon. the images seem potentially on the contemplative side, but the V/O sounds more like a sermon, and that is accentuated by the bouncy music bed, which seems like a counterpoint to the image. so while i like the imagery a great deal, the overall effect is a bit puzzling to me. overall, it comes across as more sermon-ish than reflective. for a video, i would prefer more space to contemplate the ideas that are being put forth, especially the last line "will you be happy with your death?" it almost seems like that would be the place to start, rather than to finish, and let the images participate in the contemplation of that provocative line.

cemeteries are sooo cinematic. you have some very cool images here and a neat idea.
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Old April 20th, 2006, 10:19 AM   #5
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I'm with Michael, going into a graveyard with a video camera? I could never do that, good work.

I also agree that things (both the camera movement and the voiceover) seemed to move a bit too quickly. I know shorter is usually better when it comes to short films, but I think this could have been stretched out a bit. In addition, the voiceover sounds very deliberate and intentional. Doesn't strike me as being the casual, conversational tone someone would have if reflecting on matters of life and death, it sounds more like a speech, or dictation, like there's a message that has to get across, and the narrator is dedicated to telling me what that is at any cost.

A tripod would have helped, yes, but again, you went into a graveyard; I'd feel strange enough just with a camera, let alone driving spikes into the dirt above someone's resting place (even using a spreader, it would feel wrong to me).
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Old April 20th, 2006, 11:26 AM   #6
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Thanks for all the great feedback. I definitely need to plan better. I was starting to run out of time, and still didn't have an idea, so this was my attempt to keep of the wall of shame.
About the filming in a graveyard, I kind of felt the same way, till I got there and was looking around. This place seemed more for site seeing. Most of the people we dead before the 1900's. It's not like people that knew them are still alive and going to visit their grave and here comes some shakey hand cameraman ruining it.
I really should have picked a few things and got a lot of footage of those things, instead filming a lot of things and picking things I liked from that. Also thanks for the feedback on the VO, it was a last attempt to make what I felt was a boring video more interesting. I do agree that it was pretty cramped into the video though. I will attempt to take what I've learned into DVC6.
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Old April 20th, 2006, 04:09 PM   #7
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Hi Joel!

Was looking for your post and thread and am glad to see it up.

I agree. I think you had some very nice visuals in your film. What a wonderful place to shoot. Unlike a few, I would have no problem shooting graveyards, especially a very old one such as you have found. You are on the right track with the concept.

Am in the same boat and feel the voice over and the images almost fought with one another. Michael's suggestion of fewer shots on a tripod seems like a good one.

Also, sincere congratulations for finishing your film. You are to be commended!

Best Wishes~
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