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Old May 28th, 2007, 08:32 PM   #1
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Feedback Request: New Classical Guitar Master Class Videography

I am right in the middle of my first post-production experience! I'm producing a classical guitar master class DVD that will be released later this year. I would like feedback, especially in areas that should be improved prior to release. The entire master class shoot is 75 minutes; although this introductory segment is just a few minutes long, it represents most of the content and effects used throughout:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUiFVcow6iA
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Last edited by Trenton Scott; May 29th, 2007 at 03:37 AM.
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Old May 29th, 2007, 12:37 AM   #2
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Hey there,

I like the calm atmosphere, but I had problems reading the "red text" in front of the white painting.

It would be nice to see a short "guitarlesson" segment, because I think its most important that this part of the DVD is right.

take care
Ulrik
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Old May 29th, 2007, 03:56 AM   #3
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Thanks for your comments. Yes, we wanted a relaxing environment for the viewers/students. I like your idea of including a short "lesson" segment in the trailer; I was trying for something lighter for the trailer, but Masakazu Ito does go into considerable depth in several parts of the score. I think the red titles need to be reconsidered, even though it does render well on larger widescreen (this footage is shot in 24p widescreen) LCDs, the smaller monitors/resolutions aren't rendering clearly. Maybe I can keep the red, but soften the white graphics behind?
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Old May 29th, 2007, 09:43 AM   #4
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Well you asked for feedback, so here goes....

#1: As already pointed out, your font treatment is difficult to read.

#2: Greater consideration should have been paid to the lighting.
There is no separation between your subject and the background, as if you just put a single light to the right of the subject.

#3: Your zooming in and out on your subject gives your video a very amateurish feel and is an annoyance while trying to watch.
Next time you might consider a master shot with accompanying tight shots.

Good Luck with your project!
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Old May 29th, 2007, 12:31 PM   #5
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Thanks for taking the time and for your input; this is what I need to know about, so I can learn/grow. I didn't expect glowing reviews on my very first video project!

Quote:
Originally Posted by David W. Jones View Post
#1: As already pointed out, your font treatment is difficult to read.
No doubt about it, the red titles aren't working, especially with the smaller monitors; it's still a little hard to read on my 1080p TV/LCD. This title sequence will be redesigned.

Quote:
Originally Posted by David W. Jones View Post
#2: Greater consideration should have been paid to the lighting.
There is no separation between your subject and the background, as if you just put a single light to the right of the subject.
You've nailed it-- lighting is hard! When I shot this footage in Feb., I thought I was "lucky" when the room had hard wood floors (helps the guitar project/sound) and adjustable/focused drop-lighting from the ceiling. I tried to offset the lights from above and to one side, to focus light on his hands and the playing area, but I don't know how to properly handle the background lighting. Also, I don't like the shadows cast against that wall, but I didn't notice this until editing started...

Quote:
Originally Posted by David W. Jones View Post
#3: Your zooming in and out on your subject gives your video a very amateurish feel and is an annoyance while trying to watch.
Next time you might consider a master shot with accompanying tight shots.
I wish I had two cameras during the shoot, and time was limited; the footage was shot in one take over a two-hour period, and as you point out, all the zooming shows this. I should have allocated more time, perhaps another session even, just for additional/follow-up shots. Perhaps I can edit the zoom footage out? Use a quick fade-in/out to the close-up footage and just removed most of the zooming?

Thanks again for your input...
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Old May 29th, 2007, 08:20 PM   #6
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Yall are right. The red titles are unreadable.

I second the comments about the light. There is primarily a key light that is too high so it is making nasty highlights on the subject's upper cheek and forehead. It almost looks like a hairlight, but it is too far forward so it doesn't achieve separation from the background. Try bringing the key light farther down and further from the talent to reduce highlights. It would be nice if that was a softer source. Put a different light above and behind as a back light to put a rim of light on his head and shoulders.

Also, the hard floors are NOT helping your audio. There is too much room reflection in the vocals. Get some soft stuff like blankets and furniture in that room to absorb reflections. Get your mic closer to the talent if at all possible or switch to a lavalier mic for his voice. For this type of video, a mic in the shot would not be inappropriate. The audio is more important than the video.

Like David said, the composition was a bit off. The wide had too much headroom and I would like to see some tight shots of the guitar work. You are right that this is hard with only one camera, but you should be able to re-shoot closeups of him playing without vocals so the viewer can see the details of the fingerwork.

Can you get a different background? The black and white is accentuating his body and making his head disappear. The power outlets right next to the guitar are also slightly distracting. That's a minor point, but that's the kind of thing to watch for.

I realize all these things may not be feasible, but you at least need to adjust the lighting and get the mic closer to have a professional product.
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Old May 30th, 2007, 10:48 AM   #7
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Thanks for the advice; I appreciate your insights very much. It's very tempting to re-shoot the session with better lighting/sound/background. The time/cost involved is prohibitive, but there's no doubt a second pass would yield a better result.

This was my (obviously rookie) thinking. Regarding lighting, I was trying to use the key lights above to focus light on his hands and face. For whatever reason, I didn't want the light hitting him directly in the face or from right above his head, so I adjusted the lights above to come in from from above and to his left, two targeting his hands and one for his head. I didn't know what to do about the background lighting, obviously, and I really don't like his shadow against the wall. I should have found/used a black screen behind him, but we were in his recital/practice room and I didn't have anything on h and-- I thought the blackboard was better than nothing.

Regarding sound, I actually used a nice stereo mic and I originally placed it right in front of him and slightly below, but he wanted to move the mic above his head, just outside of the camera's frame. I recorded a bit using the mic in both positions and didn't notice any drop/loss in quality, so I relented to his request to move it above. It's also ironic that i did have a lavalier for him to use, but he didn't want to wear it! And when he reviewed the short segment I shot without the lavalier, he decided not use it. What can I do? I guess I should have been more demanding!

Regarding the tight shots, well the trailer doesn't have any and perhaps I should add one to the trailer, but there are many tight shots in the other 70 minutes of footage. In fact, as pointed out earlier here, there's too much zooming. I tried to zoom in very slowly using a preset sometimes as well, but I regret not having a second camera doing tight shots all the time.

Thanks again for your help...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus Marchesseault View Post
....Try bringing the key light farther down and further from the talent to reduce highlights. It would be nice if that was a softer source. Put a different light above and behind as a back light to put a rim of light on his head and shoulders....

Get your mic closer to the talent if at all possible or switch to a lavalier mic for his voice. For this type of video, a mic in the shot would not be inappropriate. The audio is more important than the video.

I would like to see some tight shots of the guitar work. You are right that this is hard with only one camera, but you should be able to re-shoot closeups of him playing without vocals so the viewer can see the details of the fingerwork.

Can you get a different background? The black and white is accentuating his body and making his head disappear. The power outlets right next to the guitar are also slightly distracting.
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Old June 1st, 2007, 03:14 AM   #8
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Trailer Updated...

I added some additional footage to the trailer, and made a few other changes as well. Still working on the new titles, however:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnxnQxjpjkw

Regards,
Trent
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