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Old November 10th, 2010, 01:24 PM   #1
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My Creative Commercial

Here's my stab at making a commercial for a product that you use to make wine breath more quickly.

I have tried to put across the main message ie that it saves time.

The secondary message is that it is available in many different colour combinations.

I have also tried to make it interesting and desirable: something you want to own.

I would really appreciate honest feedback about it's strengths and weaknesses.

Many thanks!

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Old November 10th, 2010, 01:50 PM   #2
New Boot
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Nicely done! Lighting is perfect!
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Old November 11th, 2010, 05:57 AM   #3
Inner Circle
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Location: Cambridge UK
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Excellent promo. Love the lighting, types of shots used and especially the woman's voice - the lovely breathing sound she makes really strengthens the key aspect of the product.

Well done!
Andy K Wilkinson -
Cambridge (UK) Corporate Video Production
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Old November 12th, 2010, 05:29 PM   #4
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Thank you Hank and Andy

I really appreciate the feedback.

If anyone else would care to comment I would love to hear from you.

In particular I would appreciate feedback about the soundtrack. Probably half of the work in the film went into the sound. Does it work for you? Could it be improved? What is your impression of it? What kind of age group and demographic might it appeal to?

It would be great to hear from anyone with views about this.

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Old November 12th, 2010, 10:47 PM   #5
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First - Can I ask if it is a commercial OR a promo? If itís a promo, duration is unimportant.
BUT if it is a commercial, duration should be 30 sec. Everything you are trying to accomplish should/can be done in 30sec. (then you can make a 15, 45 and a 1min versions)

Second - Iíll approach this as a creative director of an ad agency might if they were reviewing a rough cut of spot or promo

- The beginning ďpopĒ is tacky, and the jump cut calls too much attention to itself. Itís not in harmony with the tone.
- Thereís too much fat: i.e. excessive amount of empty time (whether its a spot or promo). From 00:09 to 00:14 as example. And this happens a few times. Cut it down/out. The last shot/fade out is almost 10 secs. Too much!
- Around 00:26 (I know itís a match cut) you start the shot by the bottle leaving frame and the weaver emptying - Donít think the audience is stupid. We are well accustomed to watching 30sec commercials, and our brains fill in everything, so you donít need to show everything.
- Make sure your framing is spot on for centered product shots on white backgrounds. Unlike real backgrounds, white backgrounds make it difficult to judge angles, and or even things like focal length distortion (so use focal length accordingly), and without background reference itís disorienting. So your framing must be perfect. Ie 00:18 center it in post if you have to! If you donít want the product to be centered donít put it anywhere near center.
- Also at 00:18 (and again at 00:35 Ė why the freeze frame?) there seems to be some frame rate/slow-mo/under sample thing happening with the drip (if this is a vimeo encode problem, my bad, stop reading). Donít use those post effects unless they are motivated by the story. If you want a slow-mo, effect do it in camera, itíll be much smoother.

- The mix isnít polished enough; too loud at times, then too quiet, the VO is muddy and the wine sounds are too bright in comparison. The breath is much too powerful, where just a hint would be perfect.
- The VO(voice over) quality isnít great. There are VO artists you can find online, that work over the internet - get them to do it. You can record a demo for them (intonation, timing, tone) and they redo it. They are professionals, they have a voice over booth, microphones matched to the voice, and they record on very high end mics and mic preamps and best of all for short commercial spots they are priced quite cheap and there are lots of different VO artists to choose from!
- Sound should be dynamic. When the VO isnít happening, the music is too low in volume. Sound is about balance, one sound gets loud, and one gets quiet. Listen to music, when a guitar solo comes in, the audio engineer will ďmake roomĒ for it by adjusting the other instruments accordingly. That said Ė make sure you never call attention to this happening, the effect should be subtle
- Headphones can never replace good studio monitors and studio acoustics, but unfortunately most of us donít have these resources, and instead we rely on computer/stereo speakers for our audio. Computer speakers and stereo speakers are liars! Do not trust them!!! Ever!! A good pair of (open air) studio headphones can fill in when it comes time to judge audio. For a 100$ you can pick up a pair of AKG K240 STUDIO headphones. Very accurate and wonít color your audio.

Problems aside Ė the lighting is good, your focus is bang on, the music fits in well with the tone of spot.
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Old November 15th, 2010, 02:19 AM   #6
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Thanks Mike. I really appreciate your thoughtful comments.

The brief was originally for a film that would be played on a loop on a point of sale display in the wine section of a fashionable store in Hong Kong. But a film that could also be used and reversioned, if necessary, on a website etc.

In retrospect, calling it a 'commercial' is a bit misleading.

The idea behind the pop was to attract attention in the wine shop.

Yes, it could probably do with sharpening up a bit. It was too frantic at one point and I felt that it needed a bit more space (to breath!) but perhaps I went a bit too far.

The framing of the morphing Wine Weavers is not precise. They were actually stills that I took separately for a stills shoot for the same client and I was not thinking of using them in the film at the time.

I shot a massive amount of material in a day so the placing was not as precise as it could have been. It's a learning curve. Next time I would understand the need for more precise placement.

The freeze frames are a result of technical cock-ups.

The slo-mo is because the client wanted me to remove a drip so I cut it out and applied a bit of slo-mo.

I agree that the mix isn't as sophisticated as I'd like it to be. I did this in Avid Liquid. The sound tools are quite good but perhaps some dedicated software would help? This probably represents the limit of my competence at the moment. I would certainly have liked to have made the breaths a bit more dreamy. Any suggestion about improving audio skills and/or kit would be welcome.

I hired an actress for the VO. I did enquire about using online VO services but they started at 250 euros which was outside the budget (yes, it was very low budget).

If the voice is muddy then perhaps I have messed around with the soundtrack too much as the original recording is clear (I used a DPA 4061 mic into a Fostex FR2LE via an SD302 at 24 bit).

I'm using Genelec speakers to monitor.

The idea behind the soundtrack is that is hyper-real. Like you are very close to the action. To fit the closeup nature of the visuals.

If you have any suggestions about how I could get a better mix I'd be really grateful eg tools to get or techniques to learn.

Many thanks again for your feedback.
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