Trailer up! Film almost done, at last... at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > And Now, For Something Completely Different... > Show Your Work

Show Your Work
Let's see what you're doing!


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old January 13th, 2004, 03:19 PM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Posts: 43
Film almost done, at last...

I'm not convinced this is the right board for this so if anyone feels it belongs somewhere else then please do the honours!

Anyway, my first live action short film (shot on canon xl1) is almost done. Some of you may remember me asking some rather stupid questions (and maybe a few good ones!). Man, it has been a tough experience. I did almost everything wrong along the way. I really should have researched stuff more but, hey, I got there in the end right?

Trailer is up at www.detainedthemovie.com if you're interested. It's actually a bit mucky at the moment which is actually what drew me back here (to read up on compressors etc) but it's something to look at.

Actually I owe all the people here a big thanks for helping me out and giving me a place to come when I had no idea what I was at. You're all lifesavers. It's weird wthough as I've developed this love/hate thing with the whole concept. Is that normal? I mean, in some ways I'm itching to do another but some of it really was hell and it has eaten up a year of my life for a mere 14 minutes of a short film. How many years would it take me to do a feature I wonder? I had totally gone off the idea of doing another until I saw Undead. It's an Australian zmobie movie. Thing is it looks like a big movie, very polished, and yet it only cost 1 million australian dollars to make! That's only about €650,000! Learning that really inspired me and showed me that it is possible to create quality work on a cheap-ass budget.

I've been thinking of writing a list of everything I did wrong along the way. Maybe it might help someone else sometime, who knows...

Anyway, after all that I'm actually very happy with the results and I got so much out of it that it has all been worth while so, although much of this sounds negative, I think I may well do it again! I can't help feeling I'd do the next one way better! So thanks to everyone! What a year 2003 was...

Jay.
Jason Tammemagi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 14th, 2004, 07:52 AM   #2
RED Code Chef
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Holland
Posts: 12,514
I've moved the thread to the DV For The Masses forum since
this forum is all about showing off your work!

Now to your trailer. Basically I liked it. Some cuts and fades didn't
feel natural though. Also there seemed to be quite a lot of grain
in some images (and this was downsized footage).

I'd be interesting to see the final result! And yes, writing down
what you did wrong is very helpful to at least yourself and indeed
perhaps others (I've written two articles here on the site about
the same thing).

It is also very normal to have a love/hate feeling with it. We all
have. It's hard work and can sometimes really be hell indeed.
But if it was all worth in the end then you don't care that much.
And if it indeed starts itching again you know you have to do it again!
__________________

Rob Lohman, visuar@iname.com
DV Info Wrangler & RED Code Chef

Join the DV Challenge | Lady X

Search DVinfo.net for quick answers | Buy from the best: DVinfo.net sponsors
Rob Lohman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 14th, 2004, 09:39 AM   #3
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Posts: 43
Thanks Rob,
Yeah, unfortunately I've been picking up on the cuts myself. That is an issue with the film itself too at the moment. I edited it myself and I have no shame in admitting that I'm simply not all that great at it. The fact that I'm noticing where things aren't right shows I'm learning something but there is a gulf between recognising problems and being able to fix them! I also feel that I've become far too familiar with it to view it objectively so my thoughts at the moment are to simply finish it and take what I've learned from it and apply them to my next one, rather than work on this for another year with the hopes that I might perfect it.

Heh, maybe that's just me wanting to take the easy way out, eh?

I'll have to check that grain too. That has not been fully applied yet as (through the advice of someone here on the boards) I am going to run it through the system of a local posthouse who have a license for the Cinelook program so my grain at the moment is more a marker of where it should go.

Mind me asking which cuts and fades in particular really jumped out as being wrong?

Thanks very much,
Jay.
Jason Tammemagi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 14th, 2004, 10:07 AM   #4
RED Code Chef
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Holland
Posts: 12,514
So you are saying you are adding grain? I think I'd never do that
personally. Yes films have grain too, but if you look at good
quality DVD's you won't almost see any grain. I would not go
down that road, a "film look" is usually in a lot of other things.

A good advice that is usually given when you are editing your
movie is to step away from the project between shooting and
editing. Do something else that occupies the mind so that your
not thinking about it too much.

About my "issues"

1) fading house in beginning. It fades up beautiful, but goes away too fast. I usually prefer to use the same speed for fade in and out.

2) some shots of the people "twitching" were just a tad too short for me. I liked the longer one just before the title "detained" comes up

I think the fading house was my biggest gripe, overall I really liked it! Good job!
__________________

Rob Lohman, visuar@iname.com
DV Info Wrangler & RED Code Chef

Join the DV Challenge | Lady X

Search DVinfo.net for quick answers | Buy from the best: DVinfo.net sponsors
Rob Lohman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 14th, 2004, 10:16 AM   #5
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Posts: 43
The grain wasn't for the film look really. It's only used in a couple of scenes that are meant to be more surreal than real so I needed something to seperate them from the rest of the footage. I found that giving the colours some unnatural hues and adding the grain helped that a little and I'm hoping to tie that all up with the sound. It may well be a bit much though...

Jay.

Edit: Ah, just read your fading comments. Yep, you're spot on about the house. It fades off much quicker than it fades on. I'll have a look at that and the twitching. The only thing with the speed of the twitching was that I did want to show it for a little less than is needed to fully make it out if you know what I mean - to create a 'what was that?' sort of feel. But if it is off-putting then I'll definitely take a look at it. Thanks very much for the help, Rob. I really appreciate it!
Jason Tammemagi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 14th, 2004, 01:00 PM   #6
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Gudhjem Denmark
Posts: 93
Hi... I just saw your trailer...very good job indeed, but there are a few things I would consider to re-edit...

1. the sound just before the title and the sound under the title does not fit together...There is like a black hole between the two cuts..

2. I will also give rob right in his oppinion about the fade up and down in the start... make fade and down at the same pace...that will make it a lot smother...

besides those two minor things;)...Very good job and I am looking forward to seeing the whole film...

Ps: What program did you use to make the "white eyes" of the zombies? and did you use a tracking-tool to keep the "eyes" where they should be...Please explain:)
Christian Hede Madsen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 14th, 2004, 01:15 PM   #7
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Posts: 43
Heh, the white eyes are about as amateur as it gets! I did those in After Effects. Most of the zombies have their eyes closed so there is only one shot where you get a very clear shot of the eyes. Even at that, they are in shadow under a hat so still not all that easy to make out and there is little movement in that scene. That was simply a mask of colour over the top. There are then a couple of scenes with a sort of 'transition' zombie. These are so quick that you'd barely notice it but I used a similar method but because I couldn't track them properly I made them cloudy and a little vague rather than committing to the white eyes. It means I got away with it and the cloudy thing helps that feeling of transition.

Aside from that I think all of the eyes are closed.

There is one shot towards the end where I wanted to try removing the jaw of a zombie from the side but, due to the fact that we shot it so quickly, the footage isn't helping and it still doesn't look right. That one is my real tracking nightmare and possibly the last effect that will be finished (or dropped)...

Jay.
Jason Tammemagi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 14th, 2004, 01:42 PM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Princeton, NJ
Posts: 363
if I can give a little advice on editing, jason, here's a couple of methods I've found helped me out a lot.


(don't know what NLE you use but I use Final Cut Pro)

The BIGGEST and most important thing I ever learned about filmmaking (directing and editing) is ".. know how to get out of the shot you are in." In other words, know how you are going to transition from this shot/scene/whatever to the next. Before you shoot a shot you'd better know this or you are in deep crap come editing time...

After I go through my supervisor's listing of shots I start by viewing my raw footage and usually I mark a couple of other shots other then the one marked 'print' (throwback to my film days) and once I do all that I capture the video.

I've already got a good idea of how everything fits together so I just start grabbing pieces of film and throwing them together in order and I usually don't pay attention if there is extra time on the front and tail of a shot. (matter of fact I always include the slate no matter how far from that the part I want is so I can color correct off it)

Just get the shots in order and don't care about inserts or how you are going to fade, disolve, cut...

Then it's a cakewalk if you followed the biggest and most important rule. You just go in and trim your cuts to where and how you want them, add your inserts and you're all set. You've done your rough cut.

Trimming is a never ending process. A frame here a frame there-- the disolve a little longer here, little shorter there. Luckily my partner comes in and gives it the once over and gives his opinions and criticism.

Then comes the sound mix... God help me.
Kevin Burnfield is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 14th, 2004, 02:16 PM   #9
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Posts: 43
Thanks for that, Kevin. I did actually have the shoot well planned in terms of shots which helped a lot. Although I knew nothing about live action, I'm an animation director and there really isn't an editing process in animation - you edit you storyboards before you animate. So I thought I'd apply this to live action and storyboarded every single shot and played with the boards for almost two months. I thought that all I'd have to do is shoot the shots and string them together exactly as they were in the storyboards.

Well, during the shoot, reality kicked in. Some shots were just a nightmare to get. We were booted out of one key location meaning that some locational improvisation was needed and the biggest thing that I didn't take into account was that people aren't drawings - you can't ask them to adjust a couple of frames, slow their movements by 7 frames, would it be okay if they moved their eyebrow up 4mm and that sort of thing. Of course when the actors got going I realised it was a blessing in that the performances I got were interpreted in ways I hadn't considered and often came out better.

But what that meant was that editing wasn't as easy as I'd planned. One thing I've noticed too with live action is that you notice the most subtle timing differences during cuts, far more so than animation. I suppose that's because we observe human behaviour every day. You don't get away with much! And it was mostly that fact that threw me off. It really did turn into a frame here and a frame there just like you say. Far more precise than I had anticipated.

And you're absolutely right about not worrying about the fades, dissolves etc early on. That's a trap I fell badly into and I wish I'd asked you when I started! I spent over a month tweaking the cut and colour of a short sequence that I was determined to perfect. When I put the whole thing together and viewed it with the attitude 'lose everything except the good bits' it was the first sequence I cut. It may well have cut nicely and had interesting colour but it added nothing to the film and had to go. I learned the hard way!

Heh, don't get me started on the sound mix! That is what is being finished at the moment and I made the error of not even considering it whilst editing the picture. I'm still not sure what the best way to do a sound mix is but I can guarantee you that the way I did it is not the right way. I edited all of the picture together just using the sound the camera picked up. When that was all done I looked at the DAT tapes of the actual sound and thought 'now that I've edited out all of my slates, how do I sync the sound?'. Yes, I know. Idiotic. I was thinking everything through one step at a time and never thought about what I'd have to do afterwards. By the way, that was actually a concious decision because I knew early on if I began to worry about anything except the next stage (find actor, track down camera etc) I'd get overwhelmed and chicken out. Around 96% of the achievement on this for me is that I stuck with it!

Anyway, thanks very much for the advice! It may well be a good idea to ask many questions in advance next time rather than asking the questions when I dug myself into a hole. Actually I picked up Filmmaking for Dummies. Wish I'd got it at the beginning of last year. Still, I've learned so much by experience that maybe the mistakes were all important to go through!

Jay.
Jason Tammemagi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 14th, 2004, 02:52 PM   #10
Trustee
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Saguenay, Québec, Canada
Posts: 1,051
Thank you Jason to share your experiences with us! This will help a lot of readers to do a better planning of their projects.
__________________
Jean-Philippe Archibald
http://www.jparchibald.com - http://www.vimeo.com/jparchib
Jean-Philippe Archibald is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 14th, 2004, 04:47 PM   #11
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Princeton, NJ
Posts: 363
Any effects, color correction or anything post like that gets held off (or in the case of effects worked on seperately) till after I'm fairly close to locking in an edit.

Yeah, sound is a b-tch. At least to me.

Again, I don't know what NLE you are using but there is a book called "Editing Techniques with Final Cut Pro" by Michael_Wohl. He's an editor first and so the book starts off just being about filmcraft and the craft of editing and only after that does he get into the program to do the editing in.

His section on sound is great.

Basically you need to find 'room tone' and usually you record it on location specifically for this reason. BUT if you didn't and you have a space of video where no one is talking or making noise you can copy that out and repeat it as the 'room tone' and lay it under all the sound. Doing this allows you to just cut out the assorted distracting noises and creaks and with the room tone on a secondary audio track no one will notice.

BUT... this is far from a fix all. Sometimes you will have to have an actor/actress dub in their dialogue later on.


Yeah, you've got to get actors in the mode of repeating performances. With theatre actors they are used to live and they are used to giving LARGE performances to the back row. They don't get it so you have to find a way to tell them "okay, not so BIG a performance and remember you'll have to match your moves on the close ups." Which I hope you know about already: shoot your master first then move to your CU setups.

Location changes and location inspiration is always going to happen. You may have written it one way and when you get there it's totally different or it gives you a great idea. As long as you know how you are getting into that shot and out of that shot you can change around.

There are a lot of better books then dummies books on this subject:

Grammar of the shot, Grammar of the edit are both short, simple (you could read it on your lunch hour easily) but good solid basic information.

The C's of Cinematography. (just cause it's about film doesn't mean you can't learn from it)

I just picked up a rather interesting book called "TRANSITIONS" and it's interviews with editors on the subject of digital editing.

Best place to get these books: www.half.com you can get them there CHEAP.

Look on amazon and BN at the books and read the reviews... usually for books like this the reviews are pretty on.
Kevin Burnfield is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 15th, 2004, 05:26 AM   #12
RED Code Chef
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Holland
Posts: 12,514
There is some very good advice and experience talking in this
thread. You shouldn't indeed worry about fades, color correction
or all this stuff until you are done with editing or nearly done.

I also learned that footage you thought would not edit together
might actually work if you re-arrange it somewhat. I saved my
ass multiple times on my Lady X short in the editing. Not that
I'm saying you should shoot bad, definitely not.

For example. I shot the closing scene of my short ont he first
day of shooting. I had been out of movemaking a while and thus
started editing that seem the same night. Bad call. It didn't
work at all and I was really sad. The good thing was, that I
realized that I needed more close-up stuff for the other scenes
and more material to cut away to (if you want to scenes to
connect but don't have anything to go in between it might be
possible to use a general shot or wide angle shot for example,
if you shot it, ofcourse). In the end I still didn't shoot enough
of that, but that's one of the main things I learned on that short.

When all the footage as in the "can" I basically just edited from
beginning of the short to the ending. This helped me to get into
the flow of the movie and it was at least ten times easier to cut
the ending scene which was so troublesome earlier on. Actually
I cut that in one go and never changed it during later trimming
at all, not one frame.

I think I did actually add a couple of fade-out's and in's between
the major sections of the shorts and I do think most of my slow
motion stuff was in as well (because this changes the length of
your cuts etc.). But only after editing was nearly done did I start
on all of the color correction work (basically every frame was
color corrected).

It was a great learning experience in editing and it will definitely
enhance my pre-production and shooting for the next one!
__________________

Rob Lohman, visuar@iname.com
DV Info Wrangler & RED Code Chef

Join the DV Challenge | Lady X

Search DVinfo.net for quick answers | Buy from the best: DVinfo.net sponsors
Rob Lohman is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > And Now, For Something Completely Different... > Show Your Work

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:05 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network