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Old July 4th, 2010, 04:35 PM   #1
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Hello, Everyone

This is a non-profit video that I've produced for an organization called Pure Works. The photos and video clips came from their camera videos. I did the interviews and editing.

Can I get a critique on this video? Thanks!


YouTube - Pure Works Organization: www.PureWorks.org
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Old July 5th, 2010, 12:32 PM   #2
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In the spirit of constructive criticism:

1) Needs improved storytelling. It's too long for general use. Maybe OK for an intra-church small group or something. Every story needs to have a beginning, middle and end. This one has a great beginning and end with a big honkering disjointed bloated middle. Consider breaking the thing up into two stories. Each one can then be made compelling on it's own. Think 4-5 minutes at the most.

2) The Tom Young narrator is good and you start out with a compelling story that captured my interest. Then all of a sudden it goes somewhere else and it takes a minute to reveal it's gone from Africa to the Philipines

3) Many music transitions are jarring and rough. If you keep the selections, you could slow down the transition so there's time for fading out/in

4) Color correction would help a lot of the poor quality footage you were given. In particular, the Tom Young footage, as your opener, is washed out. A basic 3-way color corrector will let you deepen the blacks, boost the mids, lower the highs (maybe) and add some saturation...you want him to pop.

5) After color correction, consider adding a 16x9 mask to the 4x3 footage so everything matches from an aspect ratio perspective

6) The black void interviews don't have enough light. Learn 3-point lighting principles and apply them. It will revolutionize your black void footage. It's a simple way to make black void look good. Watch Charlie Rose on TV for an example. Notice the rim light or hair light that comes from behind/above him to separate him from the void. The black hair of your asian speaker disappears into the void. As a rule, I light all sides of speakers in a black void setting. Here's some examples of ones I've done recently (BTW my first ones were like yours):
a) YouTube - ddmincorporated's Channel
b) YouTube - ddmincorporated's Channel

7) Consider cross dissolves between stills in the section around the 7:55 mark. Also, the transitions between stills seem arbitrary. Pace them to line up to a shift or chord in the music bed or a phrase/sentence by the speaker...add some Burns effects. I feel the hard cuts jar me out of the emotional connection you are trying to make at the end where you want to motivate the me to action.

8) I have no idea why there's footage from a concert in the middle of the piece.

9) The handheld footage is jiggly to a point of distraction (IMHO). Look for a filter in your NLE or experiment with slowing the footage down to 80-90%.

OK that's a lot. I'm not trying to tear it apart. You are on a journey to improving a craft. A teacher can point the way but you ultimately have to develop your own eye and ear of what's good and bad in the various aspect of media production: communicating a story or idea. Working on these areas will improve your skills. Then the next version of this video or next project will be better.

SIDEBAR: Through my own experience producing many of these types of videos (many done badly), I have concluded that storytelling is the backbone of this type of video. Without it, you end up with a pile of sequences stitched together (sometimes adequately but uninspiring). Your Inspire U suffers similarily. That one spends 2 minutes defining the problem (over and over) with some nice visuals and music. Then it puts the solution up for 3 seconds, and goes into the repeated urging to the viewer to "get in the game". At the end I said "What game?" and the answer that came in the video was the credits.

Please take all this in the spirit it's given...to improve your next piece.
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Old July 5th, 2010, 12:46 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Les Wilson View Post
In the spirit of constructive criticism...

Please take all this in the spirit it's given...to improve your next piece.
I appreciate the comments. Although everyone says it's a great video, I wasn't so sure.

I'm glad someone who is better than me can honestly tell me. After spending so much time on it, it was hard to see what I was doing...


I appreciate all constructive criticism...I need it for my next video project.
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Old July 5th, 2010, 01:50 PM   #4
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Don't get me wrong. It's a fine video but for a small group of people. I've been where you are (11 years ago). Those people that are involved or aware of the project will give you glowing feedback. It does the job to a point. They won't tell you to color correct Tom Young or add lighting in your interviews.

Many of the things I mentioned are technical things that improve the production value... I never had anyone who knew production to point those things out. I suspect you are the same...hence the value of DVinfo. The storytelling things are an ongoing journey...you just do the best you can based on where you are....like learning to write, the best thing you can do is read. Read good writing. Watch good promos and documentaries...watch carefully...study...learn by watching...take it apart...learn by reading...learn by taking a course...then go do...rinse and repeat.
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Old July 5th, 2010, 04:16 PM   #5
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[QUOTE=. The storytelling things are an ongoing journey...you just do the best you can based on where you are....like learning to write, the best thing you can do is read. Read good writing. Watch good promos and documentaries...watch carefully...study...learn by watching...take it apart...learn by reading...learn by taking a course...then go do...rinse and repeat.[/QUOTE]

Thanks, Les for the advice. I never settle for less. I'm always wanting to do something better and different for each project.
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