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Old September 21st, 2003, 02:39 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Greenville, TX
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Help with demo

Hey guys, I'm starting a wedding video business beginning next year. Over the last two years I've done four weddings for friends all with my very NON pro 1st Gen. 1-chip Canon Elura. Needless to say much of my footage is noisy. Even so, everyone was really happy with the end results and friends and family have convinced me to give it a try for real. Of the many things you need to get started in this business, I'm assuming one of them is a decent demo video. Well, all I have to work with is this medicore quality footage. Since I'm comitted to doing this right I just bought three GL2s, but that's not doing me much good for the demo. I've tried to slow motion it, diffuse it, desaturate it, de-interlace it, you name it to disguise the fact that the video quality is sub-par. After I do a few weddings with the new gear I will have something to work with, but for now any advice on how to get this video looking better or edited better would be appreciated.

Here's a link to my first attempt at a demo:

http://homepage.mac.com/bradc2755/de...Theater44.html

...let me know what you think.
Brad Carrier is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 21st, 2003, 07:06 PM   #2
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If you put it onto VHS tape you can kind of hide the fact that the quality is poor (since VHS is such a low quality format). If your colors aren't right then it will look bad though.

A lot of NLEs have noise-reduction filters which do an OK job. Most have a median filter. Some of them have special plug-ins like Grain Surgery for FCP.

You can get some good results by color correcting your project.

2- Word of mouth seems to be the best way to get business. A decent demo video on a professional-looking website (not necessarily professionally done) wouldn't hurt though.

3- Ok I looked at your demo reel and I think it's great. The content is good but the editing is a bit rough where the voice "I love you" part comes in. It doesn't fit the rhythm and mood that is set up. The sound there also didn't fit too well because all that hiss came in. You can try noise reduction from a program like Soundsoap or Cool Edit Pro (now Adobe Audition) or maybe Pro Tools Free. A noise gate and/or a longer crossfade might also work. If your sound sucked in the first place (which is unavoidable with the built-in mics on some cameras and in some shooting conditions) then it's hard to fix it in post.

Some of the shots look very different from each other and don't cut together too well.

The quality of the video looks great. Web quality is pretty low so it kind of hides some things. There is just that one shot which wasn't really steady and that stuck out. Unsteady shots just scream amateur work.

I could definitely see you getting work with that demo reel though.

4- Remember to put your contact information somewhere. That's pretty important! ;)
Glenn Chan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 21st, 2003, 08:24 PM   #3
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Thanks Glenn. The website is in the works as well. Figured I better start here though. I sincerely appreciate the suggestions. I know what you mean with the audio, I was also using my cheap VHF Azden wireless. I haven't put a good effort into cleaning that hiss up yet. A new UHF system is definitely on the list before I start. I'm particularly interested in your comments about flow and the clips fitting together. I figure if I don't have great footage yet, I better at least get that part right. I think that song is overused too, but it was the first thing that came to mind. I'm hoping someone can suggest something different.
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Old September 22nd, 2003, 05:36 PM   #4
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The part where the dialogue comes in sticks out because it's all montage before that part. I feel that it breaks up the flow and mood/tone of the piece. I'm not sure how to fix it. I would try:
A- Fixing up the sound so it fits in.
B- Start the clip earlier so there's more video/footage before he speaks
C- Changing the crossfade on the music there. Change the timing and the volumes maybe?
D- Change the timing of the music so the music fades out a little on the start of a new bar or around there.
E- Show your clip to someone and watch how he/she reacts.
F- Take it out entirely?!
I'm not sure which of these suggestions will work except for E.

Good luck!
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