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Old February 19th, 2007, 08:06 PM   #1
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Surf video Part 2 teaser.

here's the teaser!

If you missed it make sure to check out Part 1 at

I would really appriciate comments and criticizms from anyone and everyone. Thanks,

Julian Kehaya is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 21st, 2007, 06:57 PM   #2
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Not bad

I saw your part 1 piece on When I first watched it, I liked it. The piece brought back memories of my time and surf sessions in Myrtle Beach. Now, I could tell it was shot and voiced by someone with minimal experience. However, to find out it was your first piece, I think you did an excellent job!

Bruce, Bill, and Jason have given you great advice, especially Bill’s “Less is More” rule. And since you have talent, let me throw in more tips and emphasis the important ones I’ve learned shooting, writing, and editing stories for TV news the past many years. I’d love to see your work improve. Forgive me if I go nuts….

-Story, summarize your story in one sentence…not two…one. Write it down. Then, go shoot what you need to tell it. If you’re out shooting and a better story presents itself, go for it. Just make sure you re-summarize into one sentence…that’s right…not two. Use this start…”my story is about….”

-Writing…not bad, but not focused. “Shorter, Sharper, Stronger”. (It’s a book title about TV news writing, but works for just about anything). For me and many people writing is tough, period. Make it ring. Use active sentences with nouns and verbs. Forget the adjectives & never use an adverb. Video is adjectives. (Ever hear “A picture is worth a thousand words”?) Let the viewer decide how something looks or feels to them. Remember…“Less is More”.

-Story structure, start strong, stay strong, finish strong. Start your story with the best piece of video and with a natural sound pop, if possible, and then match your VO to the video. Get the viewers attention. For example, the sunrise is an o.k. start, but your VO doesn’t match. What does graduation have to do with a sunrise? This is a great time to “hear the ocean”. Finish with great video and send them away with something to remember.

- Use natural sound. Then…use more. Believe me, sound can tell the story better than your VO. For example, your piece is based entirely around surf, but you never hear one wave! Not one! Ask yourself, why do people love the ocean (or this thing I’m shooting)? For sight, smell, and sound. Of course, you can’t smell the ocean on a TV so make sure they see and hear it.

-Did I mention to use nat sound? Let’s hear cheers from the surf contest, talk from surfers coming in and out of the water. Ask them, what’s it like out there? Get a bite from the guy with the bloody back. Ask him, what happened man? You mention strong winds a couple times, so let’s hear it. A 3-5 second clip of wind howling is a great way to make a natural transition.

-Music, great use to create emotion, but take it easy. That’s the one thing that drives me nuts with most surf videos. It’s a music video…not a surf video…and what if I don’t like the music you picked? Again, use more nat sound to substitute constant music.

Anyway, I could babble on, but I don’t want to give you info overload! Don’t take this as a nock. Like I said, I think your piece is solid. It’s like anything in life, the more you do the better you get. You have talent, but it will take time. Hopefully these tips will help.

Good luck in the future. Any questions? Just ask.
Monte Montello is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 22nd, 2007, 03:52 AM   #3
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This looks like every other surf video I've ever seen. I liked what I saw in the other one because it was different and had a personal feel.
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Old February 22nd, 2007, 08:25 AM   #4
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Wow, it’s really cool that my video spread to sights I never even knew about.

Also I wanted to say thanks because I can tell you put a lot of thought and time into your advice. I especially liked the bit about sound during a sunrise, or sunset for that matter. I watch a lot of Sunrise Earth on Discovery HD and don’t think I would appreciate it if they started talking during that show. The fact that I never had the crowd cheering during the contest is bugging me now! I think the only part I used the sound from the footage was during the storm and my friend’s cheering on the dock after we caught the ray. I would have liked to use some sounds to transition but I lack proper equipment to even run software that would let me manipulate it like that let alone the funds to buy software. Though now that I think about it, I probably could have searched hard enough and found an acceptable, free, sound on the web somewhere.

As far as music goes, I feel like the music I used for the surf footage was appropriate. Granted, it does have a music video feel to it but the section of Tony was music of an artist that he likes. He picked the artist and I picked the song. I felt like it gave it a more personal touch to him. Often when I surf, I think of music and it can have a huge impact on my performance. I'm not sure how I could incorporate natural sound into a surfing montage without it seeming either really choppy, or not matching up at all. Perhaps my ideas and tendencies in this matter are a byproduct of too many surf videos like Momentum, Hit and Run, Loose Change, etc. To me the surf montage is like an action sequence, unlike the movies where you get people yelling, talking, weapons and fists striking there is little useful sound that can be recorded from the beach. If you have some ideas it would be good to hear them. I wouldn’t have the faintest idea what equipment could do that.

My VO definitely needs a lot of work still. I need to be more concise and stop throwing in things that probably don’t need to be included. I'm putting “less is more”, “let the image tell the story”, and a few other choice words on a post-it right on my monitor. Do you have any advice on technique for VO? I try to do a lot of warm-up exercises before I record anything, try to memorize what I want to say, write it out, refine it, get into a state of mind that the images bring me to, and then just relax and do it while trying to pronounce my words well with as general an American accent as I can.

Thanks again Monte, the more advice the better!

Oh and Brian,

Don’t worry there will be a personal side to it… I think I might have to shoot some dramatization though because it will be better than just VO of things I couldn’t shoot, that happened to me in Costa Rica. Even though it could be easy to think “it looks like any other surf video I’ve ever seen” could be a really negative comment it definitely motivates me. Not so much to search for something original, or to try and BE different, but to realize when I'm doing something, like editing a certain way, or shooting a certain way, that I might not be doing it because it’s how I do it, but because it’s an imitation of something I saw in another video or film. Hmm, does that make sense? I mean there’s more too it than that, you know, that whole, finding the different perspective, the personal part of my perspective that is how I see surfing different from everyone else. Ok, not sure if any of that made sense.
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Old February 22nd, 2007, 10:37 AM   #5
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the waves are sick. If you dont get to a point where you are happy with your VO work, you can always put it down as text. Sometimes text can have a bigger impact than an actual voiced narration.
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Old February 22nd, 2007, 11:06 AM   #6
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I had an expansive reply typed up but then couldnt access the forum so I will try again (and see if I can remember it )

Great Advice from Monte! (I did my time in TV news as well).

Let me use an example of how NOT to start. Back in the day I was doing a story on how motorcycle sales dipped in the colder months. the editor chose a shot to start the story. His choice was of the rider pushing the motorcycle out of the garage. I opted for something a bit different.... several quick close ups of the key, kickstart, throttle twist and the rear tire kicking up gravel and the motorcycle sped away.

You only have a few seconds at the beginning of any video to catch the viewers attention, so use that time to your advantage.

how woudl this apply to surfing? extreme closeups of the wave curl, feet, the board slicing thru the water, and surf sound!! USE SOUND.

After my tv stint i worked in news radio. I used a lot of NAT SOT in my stories, and I remember the Asst. News Director commenting that my stories sounded like "TV pieces". I had to shake my head in disbelief.... this was RADIO wasn't it??? they didn't use sound???? incredible.

As for music, it may be cliche but in my mind I hear a Dick Dale type downward chromatic run at the start (can't think of the tune, it might even be the Ventures Walk don't run) but experiment, be cre8ive.. have fun.

as for the VO remember less is more, and listen to movie trailers, sometimes they aren't full sentences, use the words to complement the pictures ( have never like the connotation of the word narration). Tell the viewer somethign they cannot see or hear in the picture.

News Consultants use to preach "See Dog, Say Dog" " I reject that reality and subsitute my own" I say "See dog, Save Pekingese" add to the video don't echo it.

I think that is what I had typed before... so here's a start...

in my best worst Don LaFontaine impression "On a Beach....."
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Old February 22nd, 2007, 04:45 PM   #7
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there's an amatuer surf video contest here in Santa Barbara.
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Old February 23rd, 2007, 07:17 PM   #8
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I took a look at your part 2 trailer. More on that in a second. But, just to clear up the point on music. Actually, I liked all the music you pick. The music drew me to watch the piece again. I was just thinking from the viewers perspective. If they don't the music, they probably won't like the video. You're right, a surf montage should have music. Just try not to go crazy. Maybe, tone down the background track under your VO.

Also, your comment on nat sound, about your friends cheering, makes me think you have the concept of nat sound. That's the kind of stuff I'm talking about. I understand your problem with equipment. Hopefully that will solve itself soon!

Trailer: I like the sound of fan and door at the beginning (another example of nat sound), but I don't think it works. I think I know where you're going, but what does a fan and a door have to with surfing in Costa Rica & Hawaii? Can you think of a stronger start? Here's an example of how I might start such a story.

<best wave shot, nat sound>
track: When you surf the pacific
<nat, wave wipe out shot>
track: You don't just ride to survive
<:25 secs of surf shots> (just like you have with the drum well)

Then, one more sentence that summarizers the story. That's really all the VO I think you need for a trailer...depending on the story, of course.

As far as your VO, it will come. It's funny, when I go back and look at my very first work, it doesn't even sound like me!! I still have a hard time hearing my voice on TV. It sounds like you have the same problem...if you're doing warm-ups and all that stuff. Image you just rode the sickest wave of your life. How would you tell your friends? That's how to voice.

Good luck.
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