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Old June 26th, 2006, 09:09 AM   #481
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looks awesome.. i wish i knew how to do that. what programs do you use for the vfx?
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Old June 26th, 2006, 10:42 AM   #482
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Carl ~ Short Film

Okay, let me introduce myself. My name is Justin; I have been creating short videos as a hobby for about 8 years. I am somewhat disappointed with Carl, my short film. I guess it was because I was working with people who think one cut is good enough. The film doesn't really make much sense and was butchered into 5 minutes because of a short film festival time limit. I know for sure that for now on, if I know something is wrong, I will make it right, such as re-filming scenes.

I bought a new consumer camera, a DCR-DVD-403. I couldn't afford a pro camera. (Although it is a very nice camera, it can be fully manual and it is customizable.) This is the first short film I made with it. So, I had not really figured everything out. This was a film that I learned a hell of a lot from.

So anyways, if you would like to take a look at it and give some pointers I would really appreciate it. There are some animations on my site if you want a take a look at them as well.

Link to Carl:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=AV9S-CrgfRY

Link to Website:
http://users.eastlink.ca/~jtomchuk/index.html

Thanks,
Justin
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Old June 26th, 2006, 10:51 AM   #483
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Lookin' for feedback...

Ok, first posting of something I've shot-n-edited....

I've been videotaping certain cultural dance events for a few years now. Considering the relative (extreme) lack of quality in the videos typically produced of show events, I find it very hard to get quality feedback (everybody raves about my cuts....which should be an indication of the level of their expectations...).

Anyhow, this is my first cut at a two-camera setup. I was on the master camera (FX1--SD), and my wife (bless her heart! with no practice) was on the 2nd camera (GL2). I'm looking for feedback on the camera work and editing cuts--I want the finished product to be as professional as I can get it. The audio has not been edited yet!!.

This clip is an Egyptian guest performing a Nubian folkloric dance. It's mpg, 320x240 @ 31MB, 4:16 long.

http://mysite.verizon.net/res0t4mo/bahaia.htm

I appreciate any constructive feedback on the camera work and/or editing. It's been through the Color Corrector in PPro 1.5, to make the two cameras color match (more or less--I *did* white balance both cameras together...*sigh*). I found the FX1 colors to be quite saturate, and had to tone those down and bring up the GL2 colors a bit.

Thanks,
Matt
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Old June 26th, 2006, 11:40 AM   #484
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It looks fine. If it's a dance performance, the people are generally looking at the video because of the dancing.... not your editing or production values. In my opinion, the most important things for a stage performance are:

A- The content / performance itself. As a baseline, you should convey this without losing important information or detracting from the performance. Excessive cutting or cropping off the feet while the performer is dancing can do this. It's good that you did neither.
B- Good stage lighting can enhance the mood and feel of the piece. Cirque du Soleil would be a good example of this. That isn't quite your department though... and it would be way too much to ask for (Cirque's lighting grid must be insane).
C- There are some jib / dolly camera moves that can add a little to the production values. But I don't think this would be reasonable to expect!

Suggestions:
A- You can shoot some b-roll of the audience reacting if you need to cover stuff up. Because you can throw this in out of sequence, it can look like you have more cameras than you actually do.
B- You can put little interview bits with the performers that either:
Gives a sense of their (life) story, so you're cheering for them. i.e. American Idol. Or...
A sort of Coles notes about what to look for in the dancing. Or it could be some interesting things about the dance itself. If you could throw in some information like this, it could make the dancing more interesting to watch.
C- You could throw in a lower third title about the performance details. There are ways to make the title look slick and polished... just watch the titles on TV and see what you like. Sometimes a simple, clean design can be highly effective too. Look at print graphic design work for some ideas maybe.
D- You could do a little bit of color correction to add a little life to the colors. A place to start would be to add a s-shaped curve to the RGB curve in the color corrector in Ppro.

Little nitpick items:
The camera moves on one of the cameras (the one that was zoomed closer) could've been smoother. It's a matter of skill/experience and having a good tripod.

I found it slightly weird that the camera angles were 'unbalanced'... you see one angle from the left, but there is no angle from the right. This just might be me though.
If you shoot head-on, you can have another problem where you get jump cuts if the difference between the two angles isn't enough.
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Old June 26th, 2006, 12:31 PM   #485
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Not an expert opinion, by any means.

I think anyone who posts their work here and invites criticism is brave...but we'll never know what we're doing "wrong" if no one ever tells us. So, BRAVO for asking.

My impressions:

A moving subject like that is certainly tough to shoot.

Just my opinion (and I'm certainly not an expert): you made decent use of the 2nd camera, but I think you could have made better use of it. Since the master cam was basically a straight-on shot and required little or no attendance after you chose your settings, perhaps YOU should have manned the 2nd cam while your wife attended the 1st cam. Maybe using a few shots from the thighs or waist up, (e.g. an occasional CU from mid-vest up), on the 2nd cam to get the striking colors. An occasional CU (chest-to-head) at 45 degrees to left of center cam might have provided the hand/arm movement, more detail of the dancers attire, and maybe even a smile or 2. While I can see there is a pattern in the dancers attire, I was not able to make anything out of it. Is the pattern somehow integral to the dance?

Did you consider starting close-up, i.e. filling the frame from head-to-toe for just a second, then a quick zoom-out to cover the entire stage once the musci started?

The cuts are pretty good, but there was a tiny bit of zoom-in midway through from the straight-on cam. I'd try avoiding that in the future.

Was there a rehearsal? If so, were you able to attend to get a sense of what to expect?

Food for thought...but don't feel you have to taste it :)
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Old June 26th, 2006, 01:03 PM   #486
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Chan
Little nitpick items:
The camera moves on one of the cameras (the one that was zoomed closer) could've been smoother. It's a matter of skill/experience and having a good tripod.

I found it slightly weird that the camera angles were 'unbalanced'... you see one angle from the left, but there is no angle from the right. This just might be me though.
If you shoot head-on, you can have another problem where you get jump cuts if the difference between the two angles isn't enough.
Glenn,
We had mono-pod on camera 2. We didn't really have time to get my "operator" a lot of practice before the show, but definitely next time she will be well-versed (if I can't find a second operator). I didn't really want to use a tripod (or a monopod, for that matter) because I had wanted to get certain moves and shots (pedestals, CUs of certain moves, etc.). Unfortunately, there was also the live audience to consider--we couldn't have camera 2 moving from stage right to left or vice versa during the show, in front of the audience. Otherwise, there would have been more variety in Camera 2 (no $ for a camera 3. :( ).

The point about the color correction is very good--I should have remembered the S curve. Titles are on the way, but only for the first 20 seconds of the dance--I really try to keep things simple and, to your point, emphasize the performer over "neat video tricks". The rest of your advice I will store away for future activities, because it's very good input.

Thanks,
Matt
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Old June 26th, 2006, 01:20 PM   #487
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denis Danatzko
Since the master cam was basically a straight-on shot and required little or no attendance after you chose your settings, perhaps YOU should have manned the 2nd cam while your wife attended the 1st cam.
Dennis,
Thanks for the feedback. It's still an open question who's the boss here--she really didn't want to be perched atop a ladder working the master cam (my tripod/head gets up to 10', and I use it all to minimize front-row head-shots). I tried...

Your points are all well-taken, especially about CUs. There was no rehearsal--this is a get-it-or-not-the-first-time thing.

The outfit was "native", but the pattern wasn't integral. It's clearer on the full-size version, I believe. I don't know that it comes across in the video (speaking of CUs for smiles/facial expression), but the performer was suffering from a pretty bad back injury. He actually did 3 numbers that night (the show must go on!), and very well, too! Some of the other performers got some tighter footage.

One thing I was looking to cut on (in general, and not specifically this clip) was zoom-ins/outs, when they occurred at opportune moments (e.g., cutting from full front to camera 2 zooming in on detailed midriff or upper body movement, etc.). Do you find that such cuts affect the flow or disrupt the viewing experience?

Generally, I'm looking to make cuts or dissolves on motion, or on sudden changes (direction, tempo, the temporary pause), if I have good footage.

Thanks,
Matt
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Old June 26th, 2006, 02:23 PM   #488
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Welcome to the DVi Justin. Hope you enjoy your stay.

Learning by doing it one of the best ways to learn. Keep 'doing' and you will develop a style that is uniquely yours. There are a myriad of things you need to buy and learn in order to make really clean looking video. All the information is, thankfully, linked from or contained right here on this site. If this is just a hobby then you may want to stick to the run and gun style you have right now.

Make more movies. Keep them in the YouTube ten minute range and keep posting them. The more you make, the more you learn.

As for this video, you already stated some really big problems that need to be addressed. I think being a director takes a lot more diplomacy than most people realize. You should sit down with your cast and crew and tell them how things are going to be. Make sure everyone is making the same picture.

Doing more than one take is a given but you should also do "coverage". That is make sure you've covered the whole scene from different angles. This gives you much better flexibility in post.

My experience, once the camera is placed, 3-9 takes. I've had them go up to 27 takes to get it right.

Shoot a master shot from two or three visually interesting angles.

Shoot your two-fers, three-fers, and more-fers for the whole scene.

Get in closer, shoot your medium and close-ups, the over the shoulder or off the hip stuff for the same scene.

Then shoot some isolations, a nervous foot, fingers picking at a button, a spinning m&m, something that shows emotion that you can insert when you edit to cover something else. To keep it short and the energy high, figure on one isolation per scene.

At minimum, for two cast members, 12 takes per scene. Actors hit their stride at different times and this can vary from day to day. It's just something you have to learn about each actor.

The other thing I would tell you is be prepared to get reamed. Especially on YouTube. When people are allowed to hide behind anonymity they can be excruciatingly cruel. You have to thicken your skin against people like this. Trust that this is a hobby you enjoy and that you are getting better with each thing you do.

When it stops being fun, maybe that's a hint to quit. Otherwise, get out there and do it some more.

You jump from the cool liquid opening shot to a close up of rubber gloves and and magnets. Then a really quick jump back. This would be less jarring if you dollied back into your master shot. This happens a lot though. Your cuts are really hard and they jump in elevation quite a bit.

When he changes from playing with candy back to the magnets, you jump cut a whole 180 laterally and you drop from 6 foot to coffee table level. Having one of those isolation shots in between them would have made for an easier transition.

Would have been funny to watch this guy using the spray bottle as the narrator speaks of it and all we see is two guys walking which isn't all that visually interesting.

You know the jump from him crying to the messed up DVD's is bad. We're still in a flashback and the scene is way too dark. The worst thing about this scene is you crossing the 180 line indiscriminately. Especially since you don't give us a master shot. The whole scene is visually confusing.

Back to live action and one guy throws his spray bottle, we watch it go then cut to a two-fer and the OCD guy isn't flipping out or anything, he just sees a garden. This kind of killed the flow for me.

I never did understand why it was so bad for Carl to weed a garden? You never set this up so it seems really odd here.

You also never set up the Clean Breeze company so it really comes out of left field. The fact that you needed a card inserted with exposition on it should be your first clue that something is wrong story wise.

Out of all the things you need to work on, I'd say sound is something you should fix first. Learn how to do it well and it will help a lot.

I wish you good luck and lots of fun for the future.
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Old June 26th, 2006, 03:30 PM   #489
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Trailer Lost Towns of the Pine Barrens

Click Here

feedback welcome
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Old June 26th, 2006, 04:17 PM   #490
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Thanks Dennis, I learned a lot from that post. I really appreciate your time in writing it.

When I was filming this, I never even thought about how the cuts are going to look like one after the other. When I was editing it, I couldn't really piece the short film together, it was really a mess and the only way I thought I could wrap it up was with a card. Thankfully, these and all of the other issues I will address when I make something new.

Thanks again,
Justin
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Old June 26th, 2006, 05:02 PM   #491
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Hey Bill - greetings from a resident of the Pine Barrens (I live out in the woods on the edge of a state forest).

As far as the trailer, I personally didn't find it compelling since it mostly shows walking feet and trees. Then at the very end you very quickly show a montage of shots from (off the top of my head from a quick watching) Brooksbrae, Quaker Bridge, Atsion, etc. Seems that if you want to get people interested in buying your DVD you should include some real content from it that would introduce these places and whet the viewer's appetite. But of course my perspective is that of someone who is already very familiar with these lost towns....

At any rate, good luck with the project!
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Old June 26th, 2006, 10:42 PM   #492
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man looking at that makes me cringe at the amount of work you must have spent rotoscoping the mattes on the harbor recreation. :P Big ups to you looks great.

Good luck.
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Old June 27th, 2006, 11:25 AM   #493
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"Clicker" a 'Click' movie parody

http://media.putfile.com/clicker-68

All improv, I didn't even really think I was going to put it together really... Especially the music, I just dropped it on the timeline and let it go and gave it an abrupt stop, lol.
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Old June 27th, 2006, 03:34 PM   #494
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Film Screening Ideas Input (NYC)

Hello All,
Working on the completition of my 4th Film, and Im looking to do things more special this time with the screening. So im looking for advice in this area, basically money is the issue there is almost none to work with, but I have been told a view ideas, just looking for some that have done screenings before with almost no money. My goal here is to mainly get some notice with it, but mainly so the cast and all can get to see their work. Im based in NYC so i have heard some ideas about "two boots theater" also "the Den" which is under two boots, so i am looking for advice from anyone that has screened in NYC and a idea of cost if possible. Thanks


Also heres a clip from my last Project SOLACE http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfsmJiGjbVM

and another clip from SOLACE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPbX9CVW7pQ
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Old June 27th, 2006, 03:58 PM   #495
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Check out Dekk in Tribeca. You could also contact the organizers of the Tuesday night screening, I screened a short there, they were mostly interested in the participants buying food & drinks.
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