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Old February 10th, 2008, 05:06 PM   #1
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New to the board, and new to filmmaking

Here is my third attempt at a music video. If you guys would be so kind to give me any feedback. I am very happy with it, and have no excuses. But I'm sure there are a bunch of more tech oriented people who could rip it apart. So have fun! and thanks in advance. I've only been doing this for about 6 months now. But I've been doing different things with cameras all my life.

http://vimeo.com/653261
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Old February 11th, 2008, 01:48 AM   #2
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Wow, still no replies? Is it that bad?
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Old February 11th, 2008, 12:11 PM   #3
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I like your work. I am also new, and not worthy to make technical comments, also, I am more of a heavy metal fan, ballads are not my favorite style of music. I didnt care for the split screens, something about it just seemed awkward to watch, but maybe thats the intent.
with that said, I think it looks more like a short film than a music video, there is a lot of effort put into this video by everyone. It showed a lot of emotion. hopefully others with more background than I have can comment
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Old February 11th, 2008, 03:00 PM   #4
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Thank you so much for your comment! Yes, we actually intended for it to be shot like a short film. Regular sing-along music videos just don't really interest me. I try to stay away from being overly cliche' and unoriginal. I am glad you enjoyed it! It took a lot of time (about 3 months) since we only had one camera, and only could meet up to shoot on certain days.
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Old February 11th, 2008, 04:44 PM   #5
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Good job for a first effort! I like the storyline, it's easy to follow.

You seem to be craving suggestions, so I'll give a few. It doesn't mean your work is bad, just some places to improve the next time.

I find most (if not all) zooms to be un-natural to the eye. I have written extensively about this in past posts (search for 'em if you're interested), but when you walk into a room, your eye snaps from place to place looking for things of interest. You will never see a beautiful woman walk into a room and slowly zoom into her with your eyes. You'll be taking it all in (wide shot), then notice the woman and look right at her (tight shot). I think some shots in your video would be more effective as a wide/tight sequence than a zoom. One that comes to mind is the pull from the clock in the second shot. How about a steady, tight shot of the clock, cut to a wider shot of the girl at the desk?

You are a big fan of the medium shot. Your work would grow if you could mix in tight shots and wide shots. In my opinion, truly memorable shots are wide shots and tight shots. When you shoot tight, go tighter than you think you want, and when you shoot wide, go wider than you think you want. Tight shots show detail. Wide shots show context. When I teach this, I tell students that at every shot, you should take the shot you came for, and give yourself two bonus shots: one where the lens is zoomed all the way in, and one where the lens is all the way wide. You'll come home with a lot of excess, but the real gems are in the wides and the tights.

A lot of the video had been color corrected, most notably B&W. Looks like you desaturated it (took the saturation to 0%). Try using one of a number of B&W filters that "stunning" B&W look, where the whites are extra white, and the blacks are deep black. You'll get more of the Ansel Adams look than just a bunch of shades of gray.

http://www.nattress.com/Products/Big...Monochrome.htm

Along those same lines, a lot of the video was dark. I realize that's the effect you were going for, but I don't know that it worked in the manner you were hoping for. I'm sorry to say I don't have a lot of suggestions. Some color correction would help (bring down the blacks, bring up the highlights), but it's mostly a lighting issue. I'm far from a lighting expert, and my weakness is lighting dark scenes to look dark, but visible. A strong backlight seems to help.

I am a big fan of stuff on a tripod, and would encourage you to use a steadicam, jib, or tripod instead of handheld.

So, there's a few suggestions. As I said, overall, I thought it was good work and an ambitious project for a n00b. You should be proud!
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Old February 11th, 2008, 04:54 PM   #6
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Hey Kevin, when it comes to music videos i tend to have an "its easy to do" kind of outlook, don't get me wrong i liked your video, it had a nice sense of detachment and personally i like that sentimentality. I also really liked the song and i think your video was exactly what was needed for that particular track.

Imo music videos are a free for all because they are seen as creative and very art based which basically means you can put whatever you like in and it doesn't matter. You can never be right or wrong because the video expresses the emotion of the song using many unrelated images, million dollar mtv videos are exactly the same.

I personally think when it comes to music videos you can only tell people what you liked about it because anything you didn't like may be construed as derliberate.......put 5 people in a room and they will all have diffirent opinions each as relivant as the other.

basically what i mean is there is so much creative license in music videos its hard to do it "wrong"

nice job though, well done.

Andy.
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Old February 11th, 2008, 07:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Watson View Post
You seem to be craving suggestions, so I'll give a few. It doesn't mean your work is bad, just some places to improve the next time
Interesting points Mike, i like a good debate as to what makes a good film, the best quality of a filmmaker in my opinion is to be able to listn to the people around you and to be aware of what is happening. I respect those who teach because i personally don't have the patience for it.

The world is changing though, alot of what you say is traditional in nature and i agree it still works and has a place in film but there are more and more films breaking the rules. Hand held seems to be becoming more and more a part of the hollywood arsenal. You mention zooms being unnatural and i agree but in the right situation like "munich" it works. I think "cloverfield" is a vision of whats to come, ground breaking cinema that has never been done before. Just look at the blockbusters recently, they are all sequals and remakes of other films, origionallity is wearing thin and the indipendant filmmaker is coming in to its own.

Eventually it will be about making high grossing films for very very little money as lucas has predicted.

I think it is a good time for talented young filmmakers at the early stages of digital high def film production, Talented young filmmakers will have the chance to stand up and be counted for what they are rather than being in the right place at the right time like some lucky people whom i will not mention and we all know.

Im not saying that is you or me but it will open the door to stories told by filmmakers who would not have had the chance if it were'nt for HD and breaking the rules.

I understand this is more fundamental than a simple post about another members film but you're an intelligent guy and i like good conversation

Andy.
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Old February 11th, 2008, 08:20 PM   #8
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Thank you guys so much, and Mike I LOVE the comments you gave. A lot of that was the same criticism I got from my teacher. The zooming at the cafe was terrible, but the thing was I didn't shoot that. When you see the singer writing something, then the girl goes in the cafe, when she is in it I'm not on the camera, I'm in the shot! I am wearing the green shirt.

Yes, lighting was an issue, we just used what we could get. This was my first project where I used color correction. I've been shooting videos and stuff all my life, but I am just now beginning to do actually short films or music videos. Before it was just stuff that would turn out like crap.

I did shoot it handheld, only because I couldn't afford a tripod. I spent all my money on the camera (a canon XL2.) But it was fun, and took a long time to make. Ultimately it was a rewarding experience. Although I must admit while shooting it there were often times where I was frustrated.

Right now it seems to me the creativity isn't a problem, it's getting that creativity to look like it does in my head. And with advice like yours I believe I'll be able to further achieve this. So all comments are welcome.

On a side note I was debating for like a month if I should post this on here, because I was too afraid people would tear it apart. But I am glad I did post it. thanks guys
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Old February 11th, 2008, 09:08 PM   #9
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Kevin , the worst thing a person on this site can do is to discrouge you from your goal. I wish you success as do i do the same for all low budget filmmakers.

I went to a "meet the experts" seminar at the edinburghh film festival and what they said was insperational.

good luck my friend, don't let anyone make you think you're not good enough.

i firmly believe that a skilled person will do well

Andy.
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Old February 11th, 2008, 09:25 PM   #10
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Thanks Andy, that really is a big relief not to have my video completely picked apart and called crap. Haha. I'm a little sensitive when it comes to my art. As I'm sure you guys are too.
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Old February 11th, 2008, 09:32 PM   #11
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Kevin, this is just a site........there are people on here that have "made it" and i respect them. I respect you too, don't give up and neither wil i .

plough your own field and if it is ment to be it will be.

Andy.
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Old February 11th, 2008, 09:57 PM   #12
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Kevin, maybe if you had posted your first two videos here, you might have gotten comments that could have helped develop your styles sooner. or possibly given you confidence to do even more.
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Old February 12th, 2008, 01:01 AM   #13
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You know what Allen, that's a really good way to look at it.
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Old February 12th, 2008, 01:04 AM   #14
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We're really not too terribly mean, vile and spiteful people here. :)

We just know how to give (and take) constructive criticism. There's always the element of attachment, of it being your work... I've seen people fail miserably because they refuse to listen to feedback. To actively seek out constructive criticism is the other end of the spectrum. It can make you succeed. :)
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Old February 12th, 2008, 01:38 PM   #15
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Andy, I appreciate your comments. One of the things I try and tell people whose work I critique is that I don't want them to take all my suggestions, but to evaluate them based on their merits, and pick and choose the ones they like. If everyone took my advice, we'd have no zooms (a personal victory!) but a lot of very similar-looking films.

I said in the last thread I participated in, if the guy took one of my suggestions and tossed out 99, I'd consider it a personal victory because I made him a better filmmaker.

I don't consider myself old school. I see a place for handheld photography, though not often. I very, very seldom see a place for zooms. I see lots of places for dolly shots, truck shots, jib shots, etcetera -- movements our bodies (and thus our eyes) naturally make. Pans and tilts, when used effectively, are good. I think as a novice filmmaker, we tend to emulate better known films that use these techniques, without taking note of why and when these movements happen.

Kevin, good sport about the critiques here. Good luck in your next film, I can't wait to see it!
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