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Old July 12th, 2005, 10:36 AM   #1
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"The Witness" a short film

Here's a short film titled "The Witness" for your constructive criticism. It can be seen through http://www.undergroundfilm.org/films...cl?wid=1017400
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Old July 12th, 2005, 02:49 PM   #2
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Good job... just a few pointers... Be careful with that big score at the top, I like it BUT it really makes you think you are about to see something with bigger production values. Also, watch the dutch angles, they tend to lose their effect when overused or sat on too long. It appears you used camera sound and natural light, which sometime is what we are stuck with, but in that case, try to find locations that work with your restrictions, add a lamp here or there when possible, etc. Lastly, get more creative with your angles, when they are huddled in the bathroom, that shot just screams for an extreme overhead. You relied too much on dutch angles, try mixing in some extreme low and high in there...


ash =o)
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Old July 12th, 2005, 07:51 PM   #3
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Thanks for the comments. You're right. We did use the on-camera mic and just the available hardware light. Since, this is our (group) first collaborative work, your constructive comments will be used to improve our craft in our future moviemaking ventures.

Thanks and have a nice day.

Last edited by Julius Tan; July 13th, 2005 at 01:03 AM.
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Old July 12th, 2005, 09:03 PM   #4
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It appears you used camera sound and natural light
I was a spectator on the set, lighting was set-up very carefully and I guess they didn't want the incandescent light in your face look...

and then I've read that video is best in low light otherwise it would be a dead give away; likewise those who shoot on video must also be wary about using natural or ambient light.

Last edited by Paolo Macachor; July 13th, 2005 at 05:55 AM.
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Old July 14th, 2005, 03:36 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Ash Greyson
Good job... just a few pointers... Be careful with that big score at the top, I like it BUT it really makes you think you are about to see something with bigger production values.
lol agreed...that score is huge. I half expected Brad Pitt to ride out on a horse in the middle of giant battle of greeks, demons, and polar bears. For a second there I thought I was seeing things when in a split second I recognized Bernadette Monisit, because I just watched Paolo Macachor's "The Vanishing" yesterday. That is especially funny to me...because I'm the kind of person who can be halfway through a movie and go "hey wait a second...is that Robert Dinero?"

Anyways, I digress. It was definately well done, and for an on camera mic you ended up with a very good result. All the dialogue was clear and understandable (not that I know the language...but then again I practically do considering just how many movies I watch from the Phillipines...though honestly Japanese and Korean film is my preference.)

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I was a spectator on the set, lighting was set-up very carefully and I guess they didn't want the incandescent light in your face look...
I agree that that wouldn't be what you are looking for, but a heavily diffused key light would have come in handy for a few of the darker shots.

Good story, good acting. A little too dark to see at times, but overall pretty good stuff.

Its also kinda funny you credit the actresses as "make-up artists"...I guess they did their own makeup lol.
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Old July 14th, 2005, 03:26 PM   #6
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The best thing for video is to overlight then crush it with ND filter or aperture. The incandescent light in your face look ONLY comes with a cool white balance. If you WB to gray, that light will now be warm and golden.

Having just done a documentary with ONLY natural light and very little of it, I can tell you moving some lamps around can really help. Here are some grabs lit by ONLY a couple lamps and some Xmas lights. White balance was warm...

http://members.aol.com/ashVID/Grabs/studio61.jpg

http://members.aol.com/ashVID/Grabs/studio65.jpg

Video actually looks very poor in low light because, unlike film, the grain created is digital and unflattering. There are ways around it but they are not reversible.




ash =o)
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Old July 15th, 2005, 06:30 AM   #7
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Bernadette Monisit, because I just watched Paolo Macachor's "The Vanishing"
She's very versatile and talented, and self-motivated. Has a keen eye for continuity - yet she can be a lackey, which might be to a director's disadvantage. She's in 4 of my movies (not yet uploaded), it's like a Robert Zemeckis, Tom Hanks collaboration. I'd be happy to do all my movies with her, much like Bob would like to work with Tom always.

*There you go, arrogance equating myself with Zemeckis :-b

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Video actually looks very poor in low light because, unlike film, the grain created is digital and unflattering. There are ways around it but they are not reversible.
Hold on, I thought video is best in low light? Although, not too low... I read it was best shot like that, yet one must also be wary of using natural and ambient light as it might be a "dead giveaway" if one is to achieve a color-corrected "film look".
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Old July 15th, 2005, 01:03 PM   #8
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That info is not correct. Video looks best when the light is CONTROLLED. If you overlight, then control it back to slightly underexposed, it will look best. The problem with video in low light is that you have to turn on the gain to get a picture, that creates digital noise. You can overcome slightly this with a camera that has NR or a sharpness setting you can turn down.

Video in general and especially DV, needs light to get the information. The less light, the less color information, the less dynamic the picture and the more noise. I think the best case scenario is to light a scene where your aperture can be wide open and use a filter to crush the light if needed. This will allow for the most shallow DOF. You can see in the grabs I posted, the DOF was very shallow.



ash =o)
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Old July 15th, 2005, 02:42 PM   #9
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Hold on, I thought video is best in low light
I think you have interpreted this backwards of what people mean...not that its best to shoot video in low light, but rather if you have to shoot low light its easier to shoot video. Film requires alot of light
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Old July 15th, 2005, 07:22 PM   #10
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Thanks for the enlightenment, see I got that info from Nancy Schreiber, DP of "November" that won an award for Best Cinematography....

By the way, this might be rambling already, but what is "shooting long" as opposed to "shooting wide"? Cos wide exposes the "pixels" as well. No, they don't show up, but pixels are pixels unlike celluloid if you know what I mean.

What does "shooting long" mean?

Quote:
I think you have interpreted this backwards of what people mean...not that its best to shoot video in low light, but rather if you have to shoot low light its easier to shoot video. Film requires alot of light
You mean video requires a lot of light ;) Nope, i misinterpreated, but as Ash has mentioned the light can be crushed if needed so there's more leeway to work with, methinks.

Julius,

naning kaayo ang mga tawo diri sa? ;)
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Old July 16th, 2005, 01:00 PM   #11
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Let's clear up... nothing looks good in low light =o) Video cameras have electronic GAIN to help in low light situations. Of course in film world, if it is darker you can also use faster film and faster lenses to make up for it...

Dont fixate on a couple peoples comments about DV video as they may be specifically limited to their experience with a narrow range of cameras. Long, refers to "zoomed" in simple terms. I agree that DV does look best when shooting with a longer lens because the depth of field is reduced but even wide shots look very good, maybe not like 35mm but good for the indie filmmaker.

So if you want to shoot long, step back further from your setup, zoom in a little and frame your shot from there.


ash =o)
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Old July 16th, 2005, 07:53 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Ash Greyson
Let's clear up... nothing looks good in low light =o) Video cameras have electronic GAIN to help in low light situations. Of course in film world, if it is darker you can also use faster film and faster lenses to make up for it...

Dont fixate on a couple peoples comments about DV video as they may be specifically limited to their experience with a narrow range of cameras. Long, refers to "zoomed" in simple terms. I agree that DV does look best when shooting with a longer lens because the depth of field is reduced but even wide shots look very good, maybe not like 35mm but good for the indie filmmaker.

So if you want to shoot long, step back further from your setup, zoom in a little and frame your shot from there.


ash =o)

There are really a lot of things that we can learn from the nice people of this forum.
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