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Old January 24th, 2008, 11:00 AM   #16
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John,

I appreciate your comments, and I'm genuinely happy that someone other than me has chimed in to this discussion. It benefits a novice filmmaker more to hear many points of view on techniques.

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Originally Posted by John De Rienzo View Post
If you use the zoom correctly, for creative effect it, can look great, but if not then it just falls into the amateur variety which we see many examples of.
That's the point I'm trying to get across, I guess. In my opinion, there are very, very few instances where a zoom adds to a production like the one discussed here. Which is not to say I'd never approve of one, just that I think there are better ways. I came up as an NPPA photographer, where (at the time) there were NO zooms and pans. It's a style I've excelled at.

When I'm giving advice to a guy who lives on an opposite coast about zooms, it's my opinion that 1 in 100 zooms that I see are effective. Rather than pontificate about what makes the one good, my advice is "don't zoom". If it were 50/50, perhaps I'd tailor my advice a bit.

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I'm one for rule breaking, and I do not have such a rigid approach as yourself(my opinion).
As Jay said, it's my experience that people who proclaim that rules must be broken are people who don't know the rules to begin with. Recently I shot something handheld, zoomed all the way in, intentionally rocky. I wanted to use it as a background element. It looked great. I would never use that shot without a gaussian blur of 10, but with the blur, and as a background element... I love it.

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I think the video has achieved what it was set out to do.(my opinion again)
As do I. I think the video could be better, and that's why I chimed in. Do you think the video could be improved upon?

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Originally Posted by John De Rienzo View Post
You said - "I will sometimes do a slow (s-l-o-w) zoom on an interview subject because producers like it."

Have you asked the producers why they like it???
I like it too. Gives a still frame a little movement. At the same time, it's completely unmotivated. Yikes, I'm breaking a rule!
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Old January 24th, 2008, 11:39 AM   #17
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Great discussion guys! Thanks for all your input.

Thanks John for your support, but I have to agree with Jay on this one. There is far too much crap out there in YouTube-land and we need to hold ourselves to a higher standard. It is too easy to say "I am breaking the rules" without learning them first.

I prefer not to call them "Rules". Why don't we call them "Methods"? In that way we won't ever have to BREAK the rules, just BEND the methods to suit our purpose. However, we still need a strong understanding of the practice of those methods before they can be intelligently bent or else we are floundering about, relying on luck to get us the shot we need.

Mike, you've opened my eyes a hell of a lot with this discussion, and for that I thank you again. I completely agree with you about the composition of the interview, the weakness of the voiceover and especially the zooms. Believe it or not I've shared your anti-zoom philosophy myself for quite some time. Therefore I am surprised upon re-watching my commercial for the hundreth time, to see just how many zooms I left in!!

MIke, if we were to remove all of the zoom shots in the piece, do you really think that the handheld shots that remain are really all that sloppy? I watched the whole thing yet again and I must say that I think that that commercial contains some of my most controlled hand-held video to date and, with the exception of one or two shots, I don't think it falls into the "wobbly" category.

My bottom line is...I still like the way most of it looks and if I had to reshoot I think I would still go hand-held. Are we just talking a difference of preference here or is my eye still not sophisticated enough to see where I'm being amateurish?
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Old January 24th, 2008, 12:42 PM   #18
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"As Jay said, it's my experience that people who proclaim that rules must be broken are people who don't know the rules to begin with."

Again, a very black and white answer!!!

If I am reading this correctly, you are claiming ALL who say this do not know the rules. You would be very dangerous as a minister of the Gospel!!!!

We will have to agree to disagree on this one.

Cheers
John De Rienzo
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Old January 24th, 2008, 12:43 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John De Rienzo View Post
"As Jay said, it's my experience that people who proclaim that rules must be broken are people who don't know the rules to begin with."
Again, a very black and white answer!!!

If I am reading this correctly, you are claiming ALL who say this do not know the rules. You would be very dangerous as a minister of the Gospel!!!!

We will have to agree to disagree on this one.

Cheers
John De Rienzo
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Old January 24th, 2008, 01:13 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Michael Pulcinella View Post
MIke, if we were to remove all of the zoom shots in the piece, do you really think that the handheld shots that remain are really all that sloppy? I watched the whole thing yet again and I must say that I think that that commercial contains some of my most controlled hand-held video to date and, with the exception of one or two shots, I don't think it falls into the "wobbly" category.

My bottom line is...I still like the way most of it looks and if I had to reshoot I think I would still go hand-held. Are we just talking a difference of preference here or is my eye still not sophisticated enough to see where I'm being amateurish?
I watched it again. The handheld shots don't bother me so much the second time around. I would prefer them on sticks, but that is a personal preference. I don't think it reduces the effectiveness of the video to have it handheld.

I have done this for fifteen years and if I looked back on a video I shot two weeks ago I would tell you things I should have fixed, things I should have shot from another angle, things I should have lit another way. If you look back on this video and learn a few things, it was a success. I see video all the time that I wonder how people live with putting their good name on such crap, and your video does not fall into that category. I see commercials that probably cost millions that have things that still need cleaned up. We live in a world with deadlines and cost limits, and eventually things have gotta make air. You did your best and did a good job.

If you told me that I was right, you should have asked him to spit out his gum... but told me that zooms and handheld video and shotgun framing were the wave of the future, I'd count it as a victory that in your next video the guy wouldn't be chewing gum in the interview. Evaluate what I say and what you think of it. Take the good stuff, and discard the rest. I won't be offended, I'll be flattered that you took some of my advice.
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Old January 24th, 2008, 01:32 PM   #21
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I don't think it reduces the effectiveness of the video to have it handheld.
But it doesn't ADD to its effectiveness either, if I read you correctly. I get your point! I'll try it on sticks next time and then decide which I like better.

Thanks again!

P.S. Damn my brother and his ever-present gum!! That's all I can see now!! I'm going to smack him on the back of the head next time I see him! "Spit your gum out next time!!"
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Old January 24th, 2008, 01:35 PM   #22
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Mike, I am intrigued.I would be interested in seeing some of your work so that I can judge for myself what you say seems to be THE RIGHT WAY of doing this or that. Since you have seen so much crap, yours must be far superior. I trust it will have your name on it. I have been filming since the age of 16. I am now 40. Makes me no wiser for it!

Please feel free to pm it to me or even post here.

Cheers.

John De Rienzo
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Old January 24th, 2008, 01:40 PM   #23
 
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Again, a very black and white answer...

... You would be very dangerous as a minister of the Gospel!!!!
Evidently, John, you aren't very familiar with the Gospel. The Lord himself told John to write to the mediocre saints of the early church: "So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold [black] nor hot [white], I will spue thee out of my mouth" (Revelation 3:16).
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Old January 24th, 2008, 01:44 PM   #24
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Jay you are too much! LOL!

John, thinking along the same lines as you I found this example of Mike's work early on in our discussion.

http://www.mikewatsonproductions.com...eneric2007.mov

It was as professional a piece as I had ever seen and led me to try and glean some knowledge from Mike while I had his interest.

What do you think of it?
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Old January 24th, 2008, 01:47 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Michael Pulcinella View Post
But it doesn't ADD to its effectiveness either, if I read you correctly. I get your point! I'll try it on sticks next time and then decide which I like better.
There are some things that are a matter of perspective, experience and feel. I think trying it on sticks and deciding which you like best is a brilliant idea!

Quote:
Mike, I am intrigued.I would be interested in seeing some of your work so that I can judge for myself what you say seems to be THE RIGHT WAY of doing this or that. Since you have seen so much crap, yours must be far superior. I trust it will have your name on it. I have been filming since the age of 16. I am now 40. Makes me no wiser for it!
Not sure if you're serious or being facetious, but I have posted on show your work in the past... perhaps a forum search would satisfy your curiousity? I don't fancy myself the best photographer in the world; just try and learn from those better than me and try to teach those with less experience. I don't feel like there is a RIGHT WAY, merely that there are more and less effective ways to tell a story. I probably see zooms I like every day, but don't notice them, because they're effective. :-)

edit to say: Michael, you're a real sleuth! That's one of the ones I posted for advice about last year! May I ask what you thought of it?

Last edited by Mike Watson; January 24th, 2008 at 01:49 PM. Reason: added response
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Old January 24th, 2008, 02:10 PM   #26
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I started out with video as a hobby I really couldn't afford, until one day I inadvertently made a sellable instructional video. after two months of learning to edit, I learned a lot of what Mike Watson has given in this thread. pans and zooms are bad, cuts are the way the eye sees things. the one thing I did not like in the video that was not mentioned specifically was the grocery store aisle. walking past the food did not seem natural. when you walk down the aisle looking at food, do you look straight ahead, and the food goes by one your side? or does your eye cut from item to item? maybe it was just me, I was a little dizzy from the aisle shot.
Mike watson, I enjoyed seeing your comments, I think a lot of us less experienced videographers as myself can learn from it.
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Old January 24th, 2008, 02:19 PM   #27
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when you walk down the aisle looking at food, do you look straight ahead, and the food goes by one your side? or does your eye cut from item to item? maybe it was just me, I was a little dizzy from the aisle shot.
Then it worked!!

The angled blurriness was intentional. The concept I was trying to get across was that there is a dizzying array of choices in your local supermarket and Dave helps you sort out the good from the bad. I'm sure it could be done better than I did it, but would you agree that I can be excused for bending the rules a little bit and including a shot that, while not exactly the way the eye sees things, was intended to communicate my message?

Mike? Anyone?? Back me up on this??? ;-)
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Old January 24th, 2008, 02:24 PM   #28
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Evidently, John, you aren't very familiar with the Gospel. The Lord himself told John to write to the mediocre saints of the early church: "So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold [black] nor hot [white], I will spue thee out of my mouth" (Revelation 3:16).

I am saved by the grace of God, not by works,lest anyone should boast.

I am a Christian because I have put my trust I Christ. It is God who holds onto me, not I to him. I will not be perfect, or perfected till the day I die.

We are saved by faith, even that of a mustard seed, but as you say, evidently I do not know the Gospel. Maybe another thread!!

John De Rienzo
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Old January 24th, 2008, 02:28 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Pulcinella View Post
Then it worked!!

The angled blurriness was intentional. The concept I was trying to get across was that there is a dizzying array of choices in your local supermarket and Dave helps you sort out the good from the bad. I'm sure it could be done better than I did it, but would you agree that I can be excused for bending the rules a little bit and including a shot that, while not exactly the way the eye sees things, was intended to communicate my message?

MIke? Anyone? Back me up on this??? ;-)
I have no artistic talent, I do instructional stuff, and I am good at that. My style is to accurately convey a message and/or images as the eye would perceive it.
yes, I see the intended effect now, and maybe I was the only one that didnt catch your intent... lol
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Old January 24th, 2008, 02:34 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Michael Pulcinella View Post
Then it worked!!

The angled blurriness was intentional. The concept I was trying to get across was that there is a dizzying array of choices in your local supermarket and Dave helps you sort out the good from the bad. I'm sure it could be done better than I did it, but would you agree that I can be excused for bending the rules a little bit and including a shot that, while not exactly the way the eye sees things, was intended to communicate my message?

Mike? Anyone?? Back me up on this??? ;-)
The grocery store stuff was great! I thought I wrote that in my initial review, but apparently not.
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