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Old December 2nd, 2003, 04:03 AM   #1
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Drunk Driving Commercial

Hey guys,

This is my first time posting one of my clips onto the DV For The Masses board. I made this 60 second commercial the other day for a competition in my area, and I was wondering if I could get some feedback from all the more experienced and better filmmakers out there.

http://zed.cbc.ca/go.ZeD?CONTENT_ID=...nt&user=Cyi101

I know that my work doesn't really compare to the rest on this board, but I would just like feedback in order to improve my skills. Thanks for your time!

- Chris Yi
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Old December 2nd, 2003, 04:45 AM   #2
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Chris,

Don't sell yourself short...that's an excellent job! It's very well done, in my opinion.

Only two critical comments come to mind on the first watch.

First, if I were you, I'd pick a less decorative font for the subject of drunk driving. In fact, I'd go with something more conservative like verdana or arial. This Tolkien-style font just doesn't seem to fit the subject matter.

Second, at the climax where all the rapid-fire images are coming at an increasing rate, it seems to me that you need the final two or three to have more impact. All I see is empty road, but I'm hearing screeching tires. Perhaps a quick cut from oncoming headlights, tires screeching on pavement, then a closeup of the girl with a shocked expression right at the moment of impact...something like that.

But don't let my comments detract from the fact that I think you've done a great job. Congratulations!
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Old December 2nd, 2003, 04:54 AM   #3
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wow not bad...

you really should check out the TAC drink driving campaign in Australia, it is the most graphic and agressive in the world.

Ultra realistic crashes and bodies mutilated, one of them now has an interior view of a car in a head on accident into a truck in ultra slow motion showing the drivers head cave in and the car crushing, very scary stuff.

The tagline here is "If you drink, then drive, you're a bloody idiot".

here is a link to their site www.tac.vic.gov.au

anyways, well done

zac
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Old December 2nd, 2003, 12:59 PM   #4
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Very well done. I think you used the same "flash" sound effect that I used on my Lady X project.

I agree with what John says about the impact of frames as well.

The only thing I didn't like was the actress. I'd redo the scene in the graveyard with a much better actress and cut the new material back into it. She ruined it for me, because I felt like I was watching a grade 11 drama student (sorry, I'm sure she's very nice), not a girl that was mourning her dead friends.

The angle on the final shot could have been a little more dramatic. It was pretty flat.
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Old December 2nd, 2003, 02:39 PM   #5
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I don't know why it happened but each time I went into the site and started viewing the video, I got a windows message that said my "system settings had changed, do you want to restart your computer."

Never had that happen before out of the blue. It sounds like nobody else had that happen.
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Old December 2nd, 2003, 02:54 PM   #6
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Great job. What did you edit it in?

You have really captured the "I did'nt mean to..." attudute.

I've run a few calls like this. People dead. Driver ok. Not cool. They really did'nt care, just to drunk to know...

- good job again.
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Old December 2nd, 2003, 10:11 PM   #7
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Hey guys,

Thanks for the replies!

John - Font was something I skimmed over as I was extremely rushed to finish this (from Sunday afternoon to 5 am Monday), so I just picked a thick font that didn't look too goofy and wouldn't flicker. Next time I'll pay more attention to how well the font fits the scene. And I completely agree with you about giving the rapid-fire scenes a little more impact.

Dylan - I actually didn't see anything wrong with her acting, and that kind of scares me. I want to make sure I make the right choice next time, so are there any suggestions you have towards separating great from not-so-great actors? Oh and I found the "flash" sound from findsounds.com, possibly the same place you got it from?

Aaron - I edited it in Premiere Pro and also used Trapcode's Shine plug-in. By the way, what do you do for a living? It seems as if you've actually seen this sort of thing happen...I'd like to hear more.

Thanks for all the comments guys. If you have any more suggestions, please post them. Thanks!
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Old December 2nd, 2003, 10:29 PM   #8
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<<<-- Originally posted by Chris Yi : Hey guys,

Dylan - I actually didn't see anything wrong with her acting, and that kind of scares me. I want to make sure I make the right choice next time, so are there any suggestions you have towards separating great from not-so-great actors? Oh and I found the "flash" sound from findsounds.com, possibly the same place you got it from?
-->>>

findsounds.com RULES :)

Check the Open DV Forum here for a current thread on actors. If you do a search using the Search function, you will find a few good threads on picking and working with actors over the last 6 months.
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Old December 2nd, 2003, 10:30 PM   #9
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Chris -

I worked on an ambulance for 5 years, then moved inside to dispatch them after I hurt my back.

Feel free to e-mail me it you like. I would be happy to relay some things for you.
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Old December 2nd, 2003, 11:15 PM   #10
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Aaron - Look for an e-mail pretty soon. I'm the Editor-in-Chief of our high school paper, and we're set to do a spread on alcohol and it's effects for our next issue. I think it would be interesting to hear from a former ambulance worker.

Dylan - I forgot to ask this, but you mentioned that the last angle was very flat. How would I go about making it more dramatic and less flat? I'm assuming that you meant I should move the camera over so I wouldn't have that perfectly parallel side shot of the actor, but perhaps you could elaborate some more? Thanks.
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Old December 3rd, 2003, 12:33 AM   #11
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Chris, you could do lots of things. I'd start with a low camera angle. You could place the memorial in the forground and the girl in the background off to one side, making it more prominent in the frame. You could shoot the memorial low, from behind the girl, with the camera showing only her legs and the grave(s) for an interesting perspective.
If you ask I'm sure people will chip in more ideas.
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Old December 3rd, 2003, 08:49 AM   #12
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Great job.

I also was distracted by the actress. In moments like she was trying to pull off a trick I learned from director Nick Meyer is you have to almost get the actor bored with the scene. Meaning you just do take after take after take until they're not "acting" anymore, just there in the moment.

He mentioned he did this a lot with William Shatner as he tended to over-act.

How did you create the motion effect on the car when it's parked and you're moving towards it? That looked pretty cool.

Good sounds in the clip. Very crisp.
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Old December 3rd, 2003, 09:27 AM   #13
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Bryan I think the effect's a variation on the "shine zoom" effect that's detailed on http://www.trapcode.com/products_shine.html. Basically you take two shots of an object from different distances and stick them into After Effects, then keyframe the scale of the long shot to go from the original size until the object in the shot is the same size as it is in the close up. Next animate a quick cross dissolve, so opacity from 0 to 100 on the close up and 100 to 0 on the long shot, and finally add an adjustment layer over the top of both layers and animate the ray length option of shine to disguise the scaling up.

On the subject of the advert, I thought it was very good too. But I agree about the last shot. It works in editing terms on a purely theoretical level, but it has so little emotional impact compared to what it could have had, if it had been from a more interesting angle for instance, or had been brought about by a slow dolly back. That's the pay off of the advert - that she's talking to the grave - and it seems a little flat. I guess maybe it works with the general numbed feeling, but again that idea could probably be achieved better by pulling back to a much wider, more isolating shot.

Don't let that detract from the rest though, which was very well done.

Kieran
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Old December 3rd, 2003, 09:15 PM   #14
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Again, thanks you guys for the constant feedback. This is really helping me.

For the car zoom-in scene, I first tried the exact same method that Kieran detailed in his post. However, I found that you have to have the object in the same general area on screen (if you want to zoom from A to B, the object needs to be in the same place, like the center of the screen, at both A and B) for the crossfade zoom to work. I couldn't get the car to match up in the same area for both shots, so I tried messing around with Shine and some speed effects. What I ended up doing is cut a chunk of footage in the middle, sped it up around 500%, and then applied Shine to only that chunk. I keyframed the Ray Length value so that it would be 0 at the beginning of the zoom, grow to 4 at the middle, and go back to 0 at the end. I actually feel that this worked better then what I had initially intended to do. It looks like sometimes you just get lucky by messing around.

Bryan - So would you say that my actress was overacting? And are there any other methods to spot/combat this problem?

Keep any questions and/or comments coming. Haha, I'm trying to milk this learning opportunity for all it's worth. =)
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Old December 4th, 2003, 08:07 AM   #15
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I wouldn't call it overacting, but it did feel like she was trying too hard.

There's a line actors cross from knowing the lines to knowing the moment.

As stupid as it sounds, she felt like an actress in a scene rather than a girl at a graveyard.

Did you give her much direction, or just let her do the scene?
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