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Old August 22nd, 2008, 10:26 AM   #1
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My very first video piece ever...

My very first video piece ever... I shot it, edited it, and encoded it out to WMV... all in 3 hours. It's a promo piece for the TASFA conference.

Shot 1080/60i on an XHA1 using Steven Dempsey's most recent VividRGB setting. No color correction/effects in post. It is as shot with the exception of cuts. Shot two takes from different angles and then cut them together.

YouTube - TASFAA Fall Conference 2008

I'd be interested in any advice, suggestions, recommendations, etc.
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Old August 22nd, 2008, 11:14 AM   #2
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Looks good to me. Well done.

It sounds like you were using the on-camera mic?

Better sound would improve the film. You could do that with a lavaliere or a boomed mic. By placing them closer to her you would pick up her voice more vividly.

There's a bit of wind noise too so some some wind protection for the mic would be useful.
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Old August 22nd, 2008, 11:25 AM   #3
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Nice job. Some comments:

1. I wished the piece "breathed" more. It starts pretty fast right out of the gate and doesn't take a moment for the audience to stop and aborb what she's saying. By the end my brain didn't really want to focus on what she was saying anymore. Perhaps adding a few pauses in between comments, if you have the footage to do that.

2. I know it's cliched, but you might want to start with a wide shot.

3. The cuts in the piece felt a little forced, they didn't feel motivated by the content, but I think letting the piece breathe a little more will help this.

4. You might try adding simple intro to prep the audience for what's coming.
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Old August 22nd, 2008, 12:41 PM   #4
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I agree about the first shot; better to establish the setting with a wide. This is especially true since your close-up camera is a bit severe in the framing. Granted 16x9 is a difficult format for faces, but a looser shot (below the neck to top of head) might have been a wiser choice. I also felt that the cuts weren't motivated, and added little to the production. It could have been a 1 camera shoot, and a bit of zoom, or cutaway to the hands would have been a 2nd option.

What was behind the subject in the wide shot? Telephone pole? Keep an eye out for those objects directly behind your subject.
Background was fine (otherwise), and audio was clean enough for government work (as they say). A bounce card just out of frame would help fill in the shadows around the eyes. If you have a car windshield sun-reflector (the collapsing sliver kind), it works great (in a pinch).
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Old August 25th, 2008, 07:35 AM   #5
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Thanks for the replies folks, I appreciate your input. I'm always looking to get better at what I do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Gooderick View Post
It sounds like you were using the on-camera mic?

Better sound would improve the film. You could do that with a lavaliere or a boomed mic. By placing them closer to her you would pick up her voice more vividly.

There's a bit of wind noise too so some some wind protection for the mic would be useful.
I actually had a lav (Senn EW100G2) up on her right collar underneath her hair (you can see it in the frontal shots every now and then) and it actually had a wind screen on it. Most of the wind noise you heard was actually her hair moving back and forth across the mic (I know it's not the best setup--I wish I had a nice small countryman, but there's no budget for it yet). With that in mind, any suggestions how to get a better result from that lav mic without it being huge and ugly in the picture?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Wisniewski View Post
Nice job. Some comments:

1. I wished the piece "breathed" more. It starts pretty fast right out of the gate and doesn't take a moment for the audience to stop and aborb what she's saying. By the end my brain didn't really want to focus on what she was saying anymore. Perhaps adding a few pauses in between comments, if you have the footage to do that.

2. I know it's cliched, but you might want to start with a wide shot.

3. The cuts in the piece felt a little forced, they didn't feel motivated by the content, but I think letting the piece breathe a little more will help this.

4. You might try adding simple intro to prep the audience for what's coming.
Thanks Michael. I agree about the wide shot... when I first started cutting it together I wished I had gotten one, but by that time it was too late to go back and re-do it.

What do you mean by "breathed" more? Let me give a little background to this particular piece--there will be 15-20 of these from six-seven different colleges and universities around the southeast. They will be shot and edited by the cameramen on each campus, and then put together by me on one DVD project that will be shown to the annual meeting of the financial aid officers from each of these schools. That said, first, they'll know what's coming... it's not like I've got a green audience to prep. Second, there will probably be some sort of intro piece to the final DVD compilation. This first one was shot so that the financial aid officer at our school (who heads up the program) could show it to his colleagues at the other schools and give them an idea of what he was looking for. With that background in mind, how best could I make it "breathe" better?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oren Arieli View Post
What was behind the subject in the wide shot? Telephone pole? Keep an eye out for those objects directly behind your subject.
Background was fine (otherwise), and audio was clean enough for government work (as they say). A bounce card just out of frame would help fill in the shadows around the eyes. If you have a car windshield sun-reflector (the collapsing sliver kind), it works great (in a pinch).
Great suggestion about the windshield reflector, thanks. When I sat the subject down on that flower box, the sun was coming nicely through the trees and had some great contrasting shadows on her face. Unfortunately, when the actual takes were made, the sun had gone behind a cloud and I missed it until the edit booth. Oh well. Behind her head was the post of the campus clock-tower. I had tried to position her so that it wouldn't be "growing" from her head, but that positioning also served to block a very ugly bright green fire-hydrant which was also right behind her. I knew I wanted to do the shoot in that location and the guy for whom I did the shoot thought it wasn't a problem. In retrospect, had I gotten the wide establishing shot which I needed, everyone would've known what that was and it wouldn't have been a problem. As it stands now, only those who have been on the college's campus will recognize the clock post.
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Old August 26th, 2008, 10:11 AM   #6
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breathe is a good word :-) I'm outta breath watching it. Did she ever take a breath? whew... okay, the point is, she didn't, so you need to. A couple shots of the campus used to break up her stream of consciousness would help. find some obvious edit points in her comments and insert some campus shots there to give it room to breathe and the viewer a chance to digest what she just said.

at least that's my take on it.
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Old August 27th, 2008, 12:53 AM   #7
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Well for a first video ever you certainly did a pretty good job - I don't think it will take you long to become a pro. Here is my 2 cents worth:

- Yes, I too agree with opening on a wide shot. But before that even, you might want to open first with a short title shot briefly introducing the following interview.
- For close-up shots people usually go with a medium-close (if memory serves me correctly that is from the shoulders up to just past the top of the head - the best tip for lining up this type of shot is to try and get the subjects eyes about one-third down from the top of the screen).

Hope this helps - great video!
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Old August 27th, 2008, 01:39 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Mecca View Post
breathe is a good word :-) I'm outta breath watching it. Did she ever take a breath? whew... okay, the point is, she didn't, so you need to.
Yeah exactly what Bill said. Give the audience a quiet, calm place to stop, reflect, and absorb the information. Right now it's like a firehose of information.
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Old August 27th, 2008, 07:33 AM   #9
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Ah, thanks Bill... that makes good sense. I'll try re-cutting it with some of that in it and see what happens. If I've got time maybe I'll even repost it to YouTube and ask y'all to review my second try... Love this board!! :-)
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