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Old January 31st, 2007, 07:31 PM   #1
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music video- stock HVX

HVX200 music video, this one shot in Des Moines, Burlington and Iowa City IA in December. Viewable in QuickTime or Flash:

http://www.benhillmedia.com/musicvideo.html

First listing called "This Is Not My Life". Thanks for looking
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Last edited by Benjamin Hill; March 22nd, 2007 at 02:30 PM.
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Old February 1st, 2007, 09:10 AM   #2
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overall i think its good. I didnt really like this radial blur effect though, sometimes it looks a little cheap when very significant...

nice job anyway
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Old February 1st, 2007, 09:15 AM   #3
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Thanks for the feedback, I agree
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Old February 1st, 2007, 10:22 AM   #4
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Hello,

I thought the video was visually clean and entertaining to watch. The directional blur fits many aspects of the opening sequence style considering the pace of the music and the theme of the story. Just my two cents. The sequence of the story was a little hard to follow in some places, but the look of the work is something to be proud of.

Thanks for sharing,
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Old February 1st, 2007, 12:50 PM   #5
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The visual stuff was great. Very clean, cuts well. The story didn't work for me and it seemed a lot of stuff was just being thrown into the video for the sake of having a visually interesting music video. Unfortunately, it takes a lot more work, storyboarding and thinking in order to really make a story music video shine and when it's just thrown together to look cool, it winds up falling flat. The shots of the band playing and individual shots of the story looked good, but didn't really make a "sum greater than the total of its parts," kinda thing. Lots of great looking parts on your end, just a lack on the direction end.

Great stuff on a stock HVX, though. Great work. But clean your lens :)
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Old February 1st, 2007, 04:58 PM   #6
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Jason, if you prefer a very concrete narrative you might find the video unsatisfying. However if you like having options for interpretation (as most of the people who have seen it seem to) then it works.

Granted, the video could always be better and constructive criticism is most welcome; but to say that the video was "just thrown together" and needs "a lot more work, storyboarding and thinking" is just lazy, not to mention disrespectful (to filmmakers in general). I would expect that on YouTube but not here.

I invite you to help me make my work better by returning to the video for specifics, and maybe even applying a little film theory; refer to examples from your own body of work, if it will help you make your point better.

-Ben

PS Clean your own lens! That's one of my favorite shots :)
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Old February 1st, 2007, 06:41 PM   #7
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Okay, I went and watched the video three more times. My opinion still stands.

Maybe you'd care to explain the story to me, because I don't get it. I watched it again and again and again, looked at every single shot, and I don't know what the heck you're going for. I see a series of dream sequences, a chase, and a woman who is supposed to be haunted by something and has some sort of crazy jewel?

There are a couple of questions I go into every story and screenplay I write with. First off is, why am I telling this story? What does it mean? And how do I convey that?

The major problem I see here is that most people who watch this video will watch it once and once only. You have 3 minutes within which to tell your story and make it crystal clear to the audience. That's not being achieved here - and once again, not to knock the visuals - they're beautiful and well done. But at the end of the video, I don't know what happened other than I just watched a music video.

The biggest issue, IMO, is that the footage of the band is pretty much entirely separate from the rest of the video (is there a theme that ties them together? I didn't see it. The only thing that I can gather is that you're doing a "this is the camera filming the band in the studio" thing. Timecode, marker, plus the dolly tracks across the floor, etc), encapsulating its own portion of the video. It takes up over half the video, which leaves you precious little for story. The shots are great, lots of angles and movements so the visuals keep my eyes satisfied, but I don't see the theme that ties the band footage to the video.

Then you go to the video. It's all in colour. The themes used in the band footage don't carry over to the story. The scene with the guy watching the lady uses interlaced video on a tv set - so if you're trying to imply that it's a similar voyeuristic theme, it doesn't work because the style is different.

Then you have a lot of story shots that are beautiful, but don't do anything. In a music video, every single shot should advance the story. The lady standing on the bridge with cars in fast motion - what does it tell me? I didn't get anything from it. Walking down the train tracks? Through the hallway? Standing over the water? What does it tell me about the character and what they're going through?

Look, honestly, this "concrete narrative" vs "options for interpretation" is the hiding hole of a bad storyteller. You can tell a story with a concrete narrative and leave room for interpretation. "Options for interpretation," as you phrase it, is just another term for "can't figure out what's going on, gonna make it up." People will tell you they like it because it looks slick and has great production values - and it does - but I'm a story fiend, through and through - I study story, I study mythology, I write features and shorts, documentaries and music videos, I work with professional screenwriters on my own stuff and theirs, and I spend every summer working as staff at a screenwriter's school.

I think you did a great job, and I encourage you to keep going, but I think you need to learn to take criticism a little bit better, and take a look at some really successful story-based music videos. I'll give an example of possibly the best story-based video I can think of off-hand, Aerosmith's "Crying" (note: I don't particularly care for the music but I always look at this video as very successful and well done). First, there's way more story shots than band shots, it's a much more balanced variety. Second, every shot advances the story in a meaningful way. After every single shot, you go back to the band knowing exactly what happened before. And yet at the end, there are still options for interpretation.

You can have both. But claiming that a video or a story can only have one method is, as you claim "just lazy, not to mention disrespectful to filmmakers in general." If you're gonna do something, do it all the way. If you want a band-only video with lots of cool visuals, then go for it and make it the best you can. If you want a story-based music video, then go for it, but you can't skimp on story and cover it with production values. That's what I see here, and when the video ends and I can't figure out why I just watched it, that's a very serious problem for any film.

For everybody else, sorry about going into the story aspect - this is an HVX forum so I'll understand if my posts are trimmed or removed as it's a derail.
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Old February 1st, 2007, 08:21 PM   #8
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Jason,

You're looking for a story where there isn't one. The song didn't have a story. The music video doesn't have a story. Music videos, in general, do not have to have a story. Take a trip through iTunes to confirm this.

This video is intended to be a visual background to the music, and nothing more. The loosely connected narrative scenes are meant to only suggest, to the extent that a viewer feels like making it up. Making up a story is not required (but yours was funny).

I really just wanted feedback (good or bad) on the production values, from fellow filmmakers- that's what they tend to discuss here in the HVX forum.

It's OK if you don't dig my approach nor the results- I know it could be better. It's even OK to be arrogant and think there is one way to do everything. But when you bring Aerosmith into it, that's where I draw the line.
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Old February 6th, 2007, 11:21 AM   #9
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I like it. The song is good and the video suits it - fast paced cuts etc. The blur doesn't bother me - I think it goes with the style of music - warp speed.

You've executed it well, with good camera angles and lighting.

Simple.



Andrew
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Old February 6th, 2007, 09:52 PM   #10
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The video is sick! Very nicely done.
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Old February 8th, 2007, 08:07 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjamin Hill
Jason,

You're looking for a story where there isn't one. The song didn't have a story. The music video doesn't have a story. Music videos, in general, do not have to have a story. Take a trip through iTunes to confirm this.

This video is intended to be a visual background to the music, and nothing more. The loosely connected narrative scenes are meant to only suggest, to the extent that a viewer feels like making it up. Making up a story is not required (but yours was funny).

I really just wanted feedback (good or bad) on the production values, from fellow filmmakers- that's what they tend to discuss here in the HVX forum.
.
I personally think that if you can get a story into it, even if you are the only one who "gets it" is a good thing to do... just because hardly anyone else is, doesn't make it neccessarily optional. the work that I get the most compliments on is the stuff where there was a story people can connect to.
of course what really qualifies as a story? that can be pretty subjective. one persons "genious" can be anothers "cheese"

I liked the video. even though you say there was no story planned, you did a good job eluding to a story. Good job.

Phil
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Old February 8th, 2007, 09:54 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phillip Palacios
I liked the video. even though you say there was no story planned, you did a good job eluding to a story.Phil
Thanks Phil, I hope you mean "allude" :) Glad you liked it. Appreciate anyone taking the time to watch.
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Old February 8th, 2007, 11:01 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjamin Hill
Thanks Phil, I hope you mean "allude" :) Glad you liked it. Appreciate anyone taking the time to watch.
ha! we need spell and grammer check on this forum.

phil
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Old February 8th, 2007, 11:28 AM   #14
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Sometimes, I think we need to step out from under our DP hats and look at it as a fan of music. We need to ask ourselves, "If I knew nothing about creating videos, storyboards, framing shots, FX, etc, would I keep my tV tuned to this channel to watch the remainder of this music video?"

I would.

Sometimes, we need to drop our"knowledge" at the door and concetrate MORE on making a video thats entertaining than making one that is technically sound. There is not a music video made, refardless of bufget, that the director wouldnt go back and change something, or someone won't critizize, (SP) but they are still incredible videos.

THis video, I liked. It was well put together and the images matched the attitude of the song. I think this is a video that the "viewer" will really enjoy.

I did.

Bryon <><
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Old February 8th, 2007, 04:41 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryon Akerman
Sometimes, I think we need to step out from under our DP hats and look at it as a fan of music. We need to ask ourselves, "If I knew nothing about creating videos, storyboards, framing shots, FX, etc, would I keep my tV tuned to this channel to watch the remainder of this music video?"
Brian I completely agree, that was really who I made the video for. Thanks for the comments
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