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Old July 3rd, 2008, 04:31 AM   #1
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You like sailing in the Caribbean?

A short impression of an island hopping trip in the Caribbean on board De Eendracht from Sint Maarten to the British Virgin Islands, Jost van Dyke, Virgin Gorda, The Baths, The Bitter End and Saba back to Sint Maarten. An incredible sailing trip, best enjoyed with a tropical cocktail in hand.

Shot with a Sony Z1, edited with Premiere Pro CS3.

Any suggestion to improve is welcome. A voice over will be added at a later date by a well known TV personality, so it is difficult to consider the flow as it is.

Look here: http://www.vimeo.com/1122531

Looking forward to your feedback.
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Old July 12th, 2008, 10:32 AM   #2
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Over a hundred people have seen this post and no comments, remarks, or other point of critique? I can't be that good. That is utterly unbelievable.

Please give some feedback and if you like the clip as it is, please register at www.vimeo.com and after registering, please indicate you like my clip by clicking the heart icon in the upper right hand corner while playing it. The icon will then turn blue. Only click it once.

Two remarks from my side: There was hardly any opportunity to use a tripod so the stability of the shots could have been better if a tripod was used, and secondly it is rather tight. I will have to see how the voice over will impact the flow.

Looking forward to any comments.
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Old July 12th, 2008, 01:20 PM   #3
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Harm - This is awesome subject matter for getting creative shots. I particularly liked the stark angles you got looking up at the ship and whatnot. Content like that really lends itself to making use of forced perspective.

I can see what you mean about the tripod being helpful. The hand shots are fine, that's sort of what's in these days in all types of filmmaking. The only times I found it distracting were when the horizon was thrown off and things looked crooked. Seeing as how it's shot in HD, you could probably afford to crop the clip a bit and level things out. I'm not sure what Premiere Pro has in the way of motion tracking these days, but that could help to remove some motion in a few of the more noticeable shots. Without the motion, you had excellent framing for interesting shots.

One thing about the editing though, it was hard to find any sort of consistency between the shots - ie going from wide to mid to tight, different times of the day, etc - in what seemed like a random manner. I think it detracts some from the linearity viewers might be expecting subconsciously.

I am by no means as experienced as most people here, but that's my two pence. The video was fun to watch without V/O, the content maintains your attention.
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Old July 12th, 2008, 01:32 PM   #4
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Dave,

Thanks for your comments and I do recognize your remarks. This a pro-bono job and I had to get the best shots out of 7 hours of source material without too many people in the shots. The average age of the people on board was 55+ and the intended viewer is around 20. They are not much interested in balding, grey haired, pot belly elderly men. I don't have Mercalli as a plug-in for PP CS3 but I have heard great things about that stabilizing software. I'll have a look at that. It is specially beneficial to the shots of the Baths on Virgin Gorda and the pan on Jost van Dyke.

The horizon being off in a number of shots is distracting in one way, but on the other hand this was a situation with a 5-6 Bft wind, sailing with around 1000 square meters of sail and heavy heaving and stamping, with quite a number of people being seasick, including the ship's physician and during the night it got a bit worse, wind increasing to 7-8 Bft and the food, being brought up to the bridge, being blown off the ship. This must be covered in the VO.

Thanks for your remarks.

Last edited by Harm Millaard; July 13th, 2008 at 04:47 AM.
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Old July 13th, 2008, 07:36 AM   #5
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First shot - palm trees. The promo is about the boat not the palm trees. Use the wide shot of the boat from shore with trees in foreground. That sets the stage for location, subject, etc.

Way, way too many wide and medium shots. Too few closeups. Visually the shots didn't tell a story. What were the accomodations, onboard activities, etc. like. Not enough CU faces or hands or crew or captain. Where's the nat sound of the wind, water, people, etc?

Should have used the tripod much more since your handheld isn't that solid. No excuse for not using the sticks on land.

On a promotional video why would you want to talk about high seas, food being thrown on the floor and people being seasick. I'd rethink that one.

Some nice shots but you need to revisit your edit. No excuses.
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Old July 13th, 2008, 10:16 AM   #6
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Rick,

Your criticisms are great. Thank you for that. I completely agree that the land shots would have been much better had I been able to use a tripod. However that was utterly impractical, especially in The Baths. There was very limited time for the outing, you needed to disembark by rope ladder into a small Zodiac tender, with the camera in a waterproof bag, next was a bus ride and then a pretty steep descent over a slippery rock path for over a mile, a tropical shower making it extra slippery both during the descent and on the climb back.

I'll look into getting more CU's into the clip and reedit.

Thanks again for your trouble.

Last edited by Harm Millaard; July 13th, 2008 at 11:22 AM.
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Old July 16th, 2008, 04:15 PM   #7
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Great Video!

I think the first shotfrom island to island was good also. I dont mind the palm trees because when you traveling your going to see a whole lot of them. I really like how you incorparated the ship rasing the sail and caught a very nice close up of the chain. Im a close up person also i always like those views. The only thing i dont like is the way that sailboat leans! lol but overall i think this is a great film and your had another big asset when shot! Great Audio your choice of music was great.
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Old July 16th, 2008, 04:57 PM   #8
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Derrick,

Thanks for your comments. They were not as harsh are Rick's, even though he was right and I asked for it and I have to concur with Rick, no excuses, but extenuating circumstances. If you do like the clip in general, I would request you join Vimeo and after registration give the clip a LIKE by pressing the Heart icon in the upper right corner once (it will turn blue then) to indicate you like the clip. This will only work after you have registered and confirmed your membership by internet.

I expect the clip to be much more telling when I have the voice over added.
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Old July 16th, 2008, 05:06 PM   #9
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Hi,

I do a lot of this kind of work. Check out (I quite like the ending of this one):

http://www.oystermarine.com/sampleDv...=255&asset=191

I do have the benefit of the occasional helicopter and dedicated rib though but still suffer from an under use of a tripod - like yourself due to time and having to jump out on beaches etc. Try and at least use the tender to get some boat exteriors.

A narration would really help. The narration on mine isn't a perfect example but it is what the company wanted.

I am actually editing a similar event in the BVI as we speak, including the Baths and Bitter End etc. I always try and get quality shots over quantity - spend an hour climbing a hill over the bay to catch the sunset; film the pelican's for 2 hours until you get the perfect shot of it catching a fish etc. Also try and incut with people talking. I often film quick sound bites whenever possible (although the link above lacks that). Valencia was also a very hard shoot to make look pretty, because it is all ugly concrete!

Another tip (can't believe I'm giving away my secrets here!) is to go to gift shops and look at the local postcards. They'll always have the best viewpoints! Find them and shoot from them.

Use the music and editing, ie cross dissolves etc to give a sense of pace and time passing. Maybe even cut to a cheesy map to show where you are, maybe even google earth...? Play around and see what works.

I also use a KS8 gyro to stabilize my camera.
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Old July 16th, 2008, 05:08 PM   #10
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BTW, I would love to hear criticism of my piece too!

I'm shooting another one of these next week and would love to hear anyways people think I can improve. What you like/don't like about it.

Thanks
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Old July 16th, 2008, 05:28 PM   #11
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Mike,

That was a lovely clip you linked to. If I may comment on this clip, I would try to adjust the sound of the speaker on the podium a bit and reduce the echo and reverberation a bit. For the rest, fabulous, and I wonder how you managed to get those stable shots from water level? I could not see the time code, but there is a shot at the end of the movie where faces are a bit dark to my liking and a single shot of a lady, that I can imagine she may not like very much if she wants to look young.

Please put my efforts in the right perspective, I'm a mere hobbyist, that sailed along as a passenger during this trip. I had no helicopter available, nor a second sister ship to take De Eendracht under full sail. We were a group of around 35 passengers that had booked a week long island hopping trip and we covered around 530 nautical miles in that week, so our times ashore were pretty limited. I did look at nice places for good shots beforehand, but did not have the time to wait for nice bird shots, or likewise. I needed to get the whole group of passengers on tape.

A voice over is planned for September or October with one of the leading Dutch TV personalities to give the clip more body. Depending on the VO I may have to adjust the flow, but this is the basis to work from for the VO.

Thanks for your link and the constructive comments.

Last edited by Harm Millaard; July 16th, 2008 at 06:16 PM.
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Old July 17th, 2008, 03:40 AM   #12
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Thanks Harm,

The speaker at the start wasn't planned, so I literally just leaped up and filmed it. Hence no tripod and poor sound. Can you remove echo in post? I'm not great with sound and couldn't afford a separate mixer.

In that context, your work is very good! If it is whilst you're on holiday you don't want to be glued to a camera the whole time. Maybe try and get some quick sound bites with other passengers though. It can also remove the need for some narration if they describe what's going on.
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Old July 20th, 2008, 11:26 AM   #13
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Harm, I have sailed the BVI extensively over the years, and wanted to say that considering the lack of land time you had in which to get footage, I was impressed with how the clip created a feeling and brought back memories. Some suggestions, had you had enough time to get them, center around the special scenes on the islands, such as at the Baths, some footage inside looking up & out would have been memorable, if you went the Bitter End, some shots of the entry into the resort showing the name, etc. A tendency of mine is to use easily recognizable things like that set up or tell the story, but considering the conditions you described in your posts, I though the film was well done.
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