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Taking Care of Business
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Old February 23rd, 2009, 07:06 AM   #1
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This is a follow up to an earlier project I did for a group of western reenactors last year. All shot with the XHA1 with no adapters. I also composed and performed the music for the soundtrack on this video.

The exposure room streamed video seems to be quite a bit lower quality than the original file I uploaded, so you may want to download the original file(581mb) for accurate color judging. I'm researching to see what I can do to up the quality.

Would love to hear comments, criticisms, likes and dislikes.

Palestine Rangers Company A By Mike Watkins On ExposureRoom

This video will be used by the group to help acquire bookings and will be embedded on their website.

Can you guys give me an estimate of what a turnkey project of this sort would normally run? Some of the group members are friends and family so I cut them a deal, but I'm ready to start charging for my work, and want to be in the ballpark. I've roughly estimated this to be around a $6,000.00 dollar project. Does this seem accurate?

Thanks in advance.

Mike Watkins
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Old February 23rd, 2009, 09:27 AM   #2
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Moved to Taking Care of Business from XH Sample Clips since the main question is really about the business side...setting rates and such. Should get more answers on that here in TCB.
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Old February 23rd, 2009, 10:04 AM   #3
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Your time involved would be a factor in your pricing. Also, how much equipment you used and the size of your crew would play a part.

My critique is that it takes a while to start and I don't think the music fits. Also, it's kind of boring to see all of those people interviewed in the same spot. The audio needs a bit of fine tuning and it could use more broll within the interviews. Also, there were a lot of jerky shots in the broll. Other than that, I think you did a good job. I think the interview lighting was good as well as the opening shots.

Last edited by Corey Williams; February 23rd, 2009 at 11:38 AM.
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Old February 23rd, 2009, 10:36 AM   #4
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I was thinking what Corey said, more along the lines of how many hours did you put in, divide that by the figure and are you happy with that amount per hour, and does it cover wear and tear of gear etc. Used to be a rule about $1,000 per finished minute, not sure if that holds true today.

Not that you asked for it here, but I watched analytically. As for the video, I thought over all it looked great. a few nits: music was much louder than the interviews, opening titles were very nice, but long for the web (get to the meat ) and leave your logos until the end. It was interview heavy, I would like to see more action. Some of the jumpcuts in the interviews were the perfect opportunity to cut to the action of them in character, doing what they do. That would give prospective clients a better flavor for what they do. Watch the backgrounds in the exteriors, the gunfight has cars in the background. Maybe nothing you could do, but something to keep in mind, as you try to create a new reality in the frame.

Lighting is NOT one of my strongest points, so I watch closely to try to learn. What struck me in the interviews was the key light on the interviewee was to screen right, but the background shadows (coyote) fell the opposite way. I don't know whether that's right or wrong, just something I noticed, and I would have had the key light on the background the same as on the interviewee.
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Old February 23rd, 2009, 09:29 PM   #5
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Corey,

Thanks for the input.

The music was intended to be a Bon Jovi-esque knock off( More a feel of Blaze of Glory-Dead or Alive), maybe it didn't hit the mark. I was trying to stay away from copyrighted music, and couldn't find any stock clips that I liked, without sounding like you were headed to a square dance.



We were limited on time at the facility and on a crunched schedule when shooting the interviews. Would love to have done some different locations, but time and budget(none) wouldn't allow such for this project. This project was basically a barter type transaction: They performed for my youngest son's b-day party, I shot and edited them a demo video, and got experience and some sample footage in the process.

Hopefully this project will lead to some paying work!

Thanks for taking the time to watch and provide input!

Mike
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Old February 23rd, 2009, 09:41 PM   #6
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Bill,

Thanks for watching. The audio was a real problem with this video. Soundtrack pro sounded perfect...until export. Then it went to crap. Ultimately I ended up combining the fcp sound track with the exported track from STP. after 3 hours of re-exporting through compressor and different formats in STP, I decided it was time to leave it alone...

As far as cars in the background, those cuts were shot at a community festival, where we were set up about 200' from a stage where live bands were sound checking all day, and a helicopter tour was flying overhead every 15 minutes...Terrible setup for audio and authentic looking footage...I covered some of my jumpcuts with B-Roll but agree that more would have been better.

I agree that it is interview heavy. I was kind of in a political pinch with the group being friends and family, most of which have never had this kind of opportunity to be filmed. It was kind of a "who can I leave out and they not get offended?" Answer: give everyone some time in the chair.

As far as lighting, this was my first real set up of this kind. I agree that the lighting is a bit harsh on the coyote, and could have used a little tweaking...

Thanks for the comments...


Keep the critiques coming... The more I hear from dis-interested parties, the better I can make my next projects... and don't forget advice on charging...I ready to move from hobby-grade to supplemental income!!!

Mike
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Old February 24th, 2009, 12:11 AM   #7
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I liked it!

Otherwise,

What others have said, particularly about how long the titles took. Nice, but too long. Plus levels on the music were way too high compared to the interviewee voices - had to turn the volume down on the opening, then had trouble hearing the speakers.

I also noticed the shadow on the coyote being opposite to what you'd expect from the position of the key light - most people would probably not pick up on it I think.
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Old February 27th, 2009, 06:36 AM   #8
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Thanks Jim,

I've had some real issues with STP on the audio end of this project. I may tweak some more.

thanks for watching!

Mike Watkins
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