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Old January 25th, 2005, 06:56 PM   #1
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hey check out my shorts

hey everyone befor you watch these i would like to say that im really new to all this filming and editing stuff so i would like some feed back good bad i want it all . these are just a few things to give my self practice and you'll all notice on the "The Ex" the film ratio is crapped cuz i didnt know windows movie maker didnt suport 16:9

And i would like to Give DONIE KELLY a shout out for hosting these for me

THANKS DONIE you RULE!

so with out anymore interuption

my first super short THE COMPUTER
http://www.lusmagh.com/the_computer.wmv

and

my second super short is THE EX
http://www.lusmagh.com/the_ex.wmv

thanks for watching and please critic away :)

Mike
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Old January 26th, 2005, 12:00 AM   #2
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Well you asked for honesty, so here goes (sorry if I sound like an ass). I'm going to focus on each short separately just to keep everything organized.


The Computer

First I'll focus on your cinematography. The most noticable thing for me was all the unnecessary dead space you had around your subjects. In the shots of the guy at the computer, half of the frame is consumed by the wall and ceiling above his head. Bring the camera down and pull in tighter to show only what your really need to in order to establish what's important in the shot. The shot of the other guy also could have been a little tighter (although I liked how he was offset from the center of the frame). Also, some variation in shot types would have improved this film. A wide establishing shot can be helpful at the beginning of a scene to give the viewer some understanding of the environment and where the characters are in relation to each other. Your shots between the characters seemed off balance from one another, and they didn't ever change. Have a wider cut-away shot (like you had in your other film) would have tied things together a little better I think. Even changing how close you are to each character's face each time you cut to them can be a big improvement. Play around with different types of shots, and then pick the ones you like the best when you go to edit. Lighting is also an issue here. The shot of the guy by the door was extremely dark. He blended in with the background and you could barely make out his face, much less facial expressions. Some simple lighting, even with natural light from windows or other light from lamps in the room, would have greatly improved this movie. The editing was fairly good on this one, you had good timing (especially when you showed the guy looking at the porn website).


The Ex

I thought that this short had a better "look" to it than your other short, but there were perhaps some bigger errors in it than in the first. The first thing I noticed was your repeated breaking of the most basic rule of cinematography: The eye line. Whenever you shoot over-the-shoulder dialogue between two people, there is a simple rule you have to follow to make your shots look consistent. If your two characters are facing each other, draw an invisible line between their eyes. Now, when you film them, never move the camera across that line. So if you film over Person A's right shoulder, film over Person B's left shoulder when you film the reverse shot. If you shoot like this, each character will remain on one side of the frame when you cut back and forth between your two shots. Hope I was clear enough with this, because it's VERY important. Whenever this rule is broken, it screams "amateur". Also, make sure your OTS shots match each other. I noticed that in your shots that faced the darker-skinned actor, the camera was pointed slightly off to the left, whereas in the reverse shot, the shot was balanced with each character near the edge of the frame. Try to keep both shots looking equal to one another in terms of composition. In terms of lighting, it was 100 times better than your other short, but I think most of that just comes with a well-lit room. Editing-wise, there were a couple of things I noticed. You jumped very quickly between different shots. Don't be afraid to let a shot linger a little. Even if you can't see the face of the character who is talking, it's easier on the eyes and the audience still knows who is talking. I liked the occasional cut away to the wide shot showing both characters, though, but again... just less frequent. Another editing recommendation: when you cut back and forth between speakers in your OTS dialogue shots, wait until the person starts speaking before you cut to them. It connects the shots a little better and gives the entire sequence a nice flow.


Obviously you were just using the camera microphone for both of these shorts, so your audio quality is obviously very limited. The room noise changes between cuts, and as you get farther away from your subjects, it's harder to hear what they are saying, but there isn't a whole lot you can do about that until you can get better equipment to record with.

Overall, not a bad start, but you definitely have a lot of learning to do before you can start making some great films. But hey, everyone's gotta start somewhere, and it's good that you're getting out there and making films. It's the only way you're going to learn. Good job, and I hope I wasn't too harsh.
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Old January 26th, 2005, 12:33 AM   #3
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thank you brent that was the type of answer im looking for
and i under stand everything your talking about.

the computer was the first thing i filmed took about 30 second to throw together and it shows lol as for the lighting the guy standing(that was me) i forgot to turn the hall light on behind me and i had to light the shot with me in it but it got to bright with the colour so i turned it B&W and it looked a hell of a lot better.
as for the quick cuts on both shorts its cuz we arnt actors(im sure it shows lol) so we would laugh or screw up befor the next line.

yes sound was a big issue on both cuz i filmed in a small room with my computer on 2 feet away from the mic and one person wasnt speaking high enough but i didnt notice till edit cuz it was late at night cuz my 2 friends work afternoons and could only help me late.

now with the ex i put more thought in to it i brought a big standing lamp to light the area as best as i could and covered my tv with that tiger blanket cuz that glare was huge. but yes im going to use your recommendation on the next one i film this saturday

again Brent i thank you very much

Mike
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Old January 26th, 2005, 06:40 AM   #4
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they only thing im not entirly sure what you ment after reading your review and watching my flicks is

that part about A shoulder B shoulder

i not exctly sure what you mean.

do you think you could give me a small paintshop scribble show the frame and the OTS if you dont mind i would really appriaciate
it

thanks again Brent


cheers

Mike
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Old January 26th, 2005, 11:50 AM   #5
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http://www.sweepinghalo.com/pics/eyeline_demo1.jpg

That is a picture of what I was talking about. It's a bird's-eye view of a typical two-person dialogue scene. The black things are where you should place your camera when filming their dialogue using over-the-shoulder shots. Is this more clear now? If you need any more clarification, please let me know.

Glad to help!
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Old January 26th, 2005, 02:22 PM   #6
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Hi Mike

Have a read of http://www.dvcreators.net/discuss/ar...hp/t-1432.html

this is what Brent was talking about in slightly more detail...
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Old January 26th, 2005, 02:33 PM   #7
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that great Brent thank ya very much i understant it clearly now

thanks Donie this helps aswell

cheers guys

mike
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Old January 26th, 2005, 04:39 PM   #8
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They are nice little shorts but you could reduce the time in the credits roll since they take up 50% of the short time!

Regarding the 'line', it's called the Line of Action and as stated above you should always keep the cameras/staff to one side and the set/characters on the other.

Mind you, a lot of professional film directors throw this rule out of the window often (Quentin Tarantino springs to mind) BUT for amateur films you're better off following the rule.

Wait until you have a big name in the industry to put unorthodox techniques into pratice...
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Old January 26th, 2005, 05:05 PM   #9
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thanks Dave :)
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Old January 26th, 2005, 07:58 PM   #10
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Exactly. The best thing you can do is UNDERSTAND the rules before BREAKING them.

I agree completely with what everyone else said, so it would be redundant for me to type it. Keep shooting; it only gets better!

On the EX, this is really squeezed; not sure what your output settings were? In my viewer it looked squeezed!
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Old January 26th, 2005, 08:09 PM   #11
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"The Ex" the film ratio is crapped cuz i didnt know windows movie maker didnt suport 16:9 which is what i filmed it in.


but im in the middle of re- editing it in premire pro
(well its done'ish to about the same qual. as the one you watched) im just trying to figure out after effects so i can make title and credits, this prog is weird lol.


thanks John

cheers
Mike
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