short film - feedback gratefully received 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 July 5th, 2010, 12:17 PM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Lewisham, London, United Kingdom
Posts: 386
short film - feedback gratefully received

I shot the film below recently and am about to shoot another in a similar vein. I'd really appreciate any hints/tips/advice people could give me.

Many thanks,

Henry

YouTube - Viola - Short Film
Henry Williams is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 5th, 2010, 12:45 PM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Boca Raton, FL
Posts: 2,979
I like it.
Les Wilson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 5th, 2010, 01:03 PM   #3
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Lewisham, London, United Kingdom
Posts: 386
Many thanks Les. Really glad you liked it. At the risk of being a pain could I ask if there are any areas you think I might be able to improve?
Henry Williams is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 6th, 2010, 07:54 AM   #4
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Boca Raton, FL
Posts: 2,979
I don't feel qualified to criticize artistically. I thought the shots were well done and nicely paced.

Visually, it struck me as pushing the limits of the dynamic range of your camera. The window light or whatever, blows out the actor's skin throughout (see attached). That could be what you wanted artistically, dunno. My personal reaction was that it was a blowout that might be recoverable in post or if there was a bit more fill opposite the window plus more ambient light, you could have reduced the exposure range. Also, you can see in the attached how she's out of focus on the right side of her head but in focus on the left. Again, the razor small DOF look may have been exactly what you wanted. Where you using a DSLR or a soft lens?

Was there a mix of daylight and tungsten lights? Sometimes the background is orange and others yellowish. It's a nit because your subject is consistently naturally white balanced. So visually, it kinda lacked punch. Maybe a splash of purple or blue on the wall with a gobo or something would have added a more dramatic feel.

I felt connected to the script but not the actor's delivery. That seemed a little cold/stilted in the eyes....the brain was working overtime to deliver the lines but the face was not expressing the experience...again, that could have been the character she wanted to portray....that moment of withdrawal after tragedy. Personally, I can barely talk and drive. So talking while playing the piano and acting is a feat in and of itself. Hope that helps.
Attached Thumbnails
short film - feedback gratefully received-screen-shot.png  
Les Wilson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 6th, 2010, 09:15 AM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Lewisham, London, United Kingdom
Posts: 386
thanks so much for taking the time to give such detailed feedback Les, this is absolutely brilliant.

The footage was all shot handheld on a canon xh-a1 with no DoF adaptors, artificial light (all the light you see in the vid is what was coming in through the french windows on either side of Catherine and bouncing off the walls), reflectors, gels etc... I wanted to see what I could do if I just reduced everything down to the naked camera and the grade. The camera was shooting HDV in 25f mode on full manual settings. The raw footage had Catherine's face in sharp focus with the background slightly blurred and no blowout.


When it came to the grade I deliberately blew the actors skin out slightly and used vignetting to desaturate and defocus the background (and some of Catherine's face) further. I also put a little bit of soft focus onto the part of Catherine's face that wasn't vignetted as well.

Whilst I tried to use tracking vignettes on the shots where Catherine's head moved around a lot it ended up being distracting so I mostly abandoned the idea and left their positions fixed for the duration of each shot, hence brief moments like the start of the very opening shot which look, if I'm honest, a bit pony ;)


It hadn't occurred to me before but I absolutely agree that a splash of purple on the wall would have looked fantastic! I'm not going to pretend I would have shot footage that looked much nicer if I had used artificial light though- I'm still a bit of a noob at proper lighting and at the stage where I make disastrous mistakes I don't notice till post ;)


We did actually do a take with a lot more emotion in it but we both felt it telegraphed the punchline a little too much. That said I removed thirty odd seconds of dialogue in the edit to make the whole monologue more oblique so maybe the finished version could have sustained a delivery that was more openly grieving.

I guess the way I saw the character was someone unable to absorb the loss they've just suffered- you know that terrible thing where your mind constantly wanders off on tangents because as soon as you come back to reality your brain reminds you of what you've lost and its all you can think about until the next tangent whisks you away to temporary oblivion.

many thanks again Les, that was a very helpful post.

Henry
Henry Williams 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 08:14 AM.


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