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Old February 9th, 2008, 10:06 PM   #1
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Input needed: College Video for Son

I've been working with my son to try and show some of his technical experimentation via video for college application and scholarship consideration. He's most interested in pursuing aerospace engineeing at MIT or Georgia Tech. Much of the video was shot over the years, some on DV, some in "movie mode" on still cameras, and some in HDV. The real segment will have his name and email. I've also thought of adding a short interview with him.

http://s176.photobucket.com/albums/w...ame320x240.flv

I'd appreciate your input.
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Old February 10th, 2008, 12:09 AM   #2
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Very impressive! He's like a young MacGyer. You must be very proud. But I feel the video needs some ruthless editing to be much better. I was expecting more structure to help tell your son's story; with maybe some commentary from him about his philosophy and thought process as he designed & built all the items.
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Old February 10th, 2008, 02:23 AM   #3
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throw in some nice pace cutting to an action beat, spice it up, give it that actionish tone with a mixture of musical costruction elements, editing can really kick it up
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Old February 10th, 2008, 05:18 AM   #4
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The shot I liked most was the entry shot. It also was a impressive demonstration of handicrafts.

However I don't feel like the movie would do its job as a video resume for studying engineering sciences. These are the reasons why:

- it is way too long (5 minutes just about building a sterling engine).
- it shows nothing about doing some research and development, which should be the main motivation of a engineer.
- the availability and use of all the professional tools gives me more the feeling like if "dad and son are doing some handicrafts" instead of "this guy can't hold to be an engineer".
- there is no story in the movie. It is just a compilation of handicraft job of which you think are impressive. One project which your son is building from the scratch, with all the research in books and the internet, creation of drawings and finally building it, would be much more useful as a resume.
- full screen shots in epic length of bad craftsmanship, like the ugly welding of the pulse jet. Try to avoid these shots.
- there is nothing new about the things he has built. Descriptions of all of them can be found everywhere on the internet. A pulse jet driven rc-plane or a rc-boat with a sterling engine (with self casted aluminum parts?) would be much more a engineering job than simply building useless stuff.
- there is not too much to see about you son - what kind of person is he? Is he a good teamplayer? Did he build everything? The movie should be about your son and why he needs to be a engineer. A interview of your son in which he tells why he so badly wants to become a engineer and what else he likes to do would also be nice.

I hope this input helps you to improve the resume.

Cheers, Oliver
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Old February 10th, 2008, 07:28 AM   #5
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Great input, thanks for not pulling the punches. Its hard to get feedback like this and a little intimidating on a forum like this with guys who make their living at this!

Some of the elements of research are covered in the written resume (a binder of pictures, awards and such). I agree an interview would make it much more personal, and would also give him a chance to share his passion for engineering.

These clips were taken over quite a span of time, not intentionally for this purpose. So virtually everything segment is a rendered project on various platforms, making it really tough to shorten it without a complete overhaul and then compressing the content one more time. I may have to make a couple of tough choices and discard one or more segments and tell a tighter, better story and let the hard copies do the rest.

Perhaps one way to pull it together is to have a very brief interview of my son, then have have him narrate some of the footage (telling why, how, challenges...) and perhaps pop in a few visual portions of the interview to break this things up a bit.
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Old February 10th, 2008, 11:48 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Shealy View Post
Great input, thanks for not pulling the punches.
I didn't want to be intimidating. I thought a resume is a serious thing, so that you might need some serious input. When you think about the video resume, you should think about the best way to "sell" your son to the college. ;-)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Shealy View Post
[...] Perhaps one way to pull it together is to have a very brief interview of my son, then have have him narrate some of the footage (telling why, how, challenges...) and perhaps pop in a few visual portions of the interview to break this things up a bit.
Perfect! Maybe you can also add some other shots, like sitting him in front of the computer searching the web, working at his desk creating drawings or interacting with teammates. The interview could be the "red line" which leads through the movie and is the comment for the pictures. Try to break it down to 3 or 4 minutes. Don't show all the handicraft work too detailed. Stick to the absolute highlights - you want the movie to be a powerful resume and not a "how to build sterling engines" tutorial. ;-)

If you still have some of the things which he has built in the resume, you could re-do some of the scenes so that your son is in the center of attention and not the sterling engine or the pulse jet.

Just my two cents... ;-)

Cheers, Oliver
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Old February 10th, 2008, 04:14 PM   #7
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Oliver, great insight, and your input is much appreciated. Don't take my "intimidating" comment wrong; it wasn't meant as a cut.

I really enjoyed video as a hobby, and took to editing more seriously about 2 years ago. Now I find myself wanting to go deeper and take things a little more seriously. One way to get better is to wade into the deep end and expose in-process work to others. Most of my work has been institutional, shooting instructional video or creating presentations in lieu of PowerPoint. Trying to deliver a message artfully is a little more daunting. Given this resume as an example, there may be a creative way to weave the rough video elements to perhaps make it a little more edgy. I could then provide contrast through some level of sophistication in the interview and narration.

I think your comments on making my son the focus are dead on. I may, for instance, video him with a wireless mic walking through the back yard with some dialogue like: "To you this may look like many other back yards in America. To me it's also my laboratory and proving grounds. Since I was about 10 years old I've had an incredible desire to research, design, and build things. Let me show you a few of my projects...... then have him narrate off camera and cut him in a few times and talk about his desires in aerospace...

Getting it down to 5 minutes will be really rough. I may be able to use some window-in-window to show multiple facets of the project at once to reduce time and create energy. It may make it too busy, however. Being an engineer myself, I don't want to short change the value of showing the work in a way that provokes an engineer to look closer.

Hopefully I can post the improved version in the near future.
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Old February 10th, 2008, 04:31 PM   #8
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Hello Roger!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Shealy View Post
[...] I may, for instance, video him with a wireless mic walking through the back yard with some dialogue like: "To you this may look like many other back yards in America. To me it's also my laboratory and proving grounds. Since I was about 10 years old I've had an incredible desire to research, design, and build things. Let me show you a few of my projects...... then have him narrate off camera and cut him in a few times and talk about his desires in aerospace...

Getting it down to 5 minutes will be really rough. I may be able to use some window-in-window to show multiple facets of the project at once to reduce time and create energy. It may make it too busy, however. Being an engineer myself, I don't want to short change the value of showing the work in a way that provokes an engineer to look closer. [...]
This sounds like if you already have some great ideas! :-)

I have just searched vimeo for "resume" - there a 81 films containing this keyword. Another good idea might be to search vimeo for "documentary". Maybe you want to get an inspiration out of them!?

I wish you and especially your son that you will succeed with the resume and that he gets a place at the college! :-)

Cheers, Oliver
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Old February 10th, 2008, 05:06 PM   #9
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I've always thought that a "video resume" should be more like a movie trailer, the kind that makes you forget the movie you're seeing, and want to see the movie from the trailer. Basically a teaser to get the viewer more excited about the subject and want to see more.
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Old February 10th, 2008, 09:00 PM   #10
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Michael,

What would the trailer video look like in this instance?
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