Am I on the right track? at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Techniques for Independent Production

Techniques for Independent Production
The challenges of creating Digital Cinema and other narrative forms.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old July 20th, 2003, 01:36 AM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Posts: 138
Am I on the right track?

I am working on one of my first serious projects... a documentary style program for local use. It's called "Loop Dreams" and the subject is about young hip hop artists working on their art.

I got the chance to sit in on a recording session, so I took the liberty of getting some footage... as unobtrusively as possible, as they were trying to work and didn't need the distraction. One camera, one on-camera mic, no special lighting.

I thought I would start out with a freestyle segment and try to give it the film look, with some artistic license. I had no control over the sound, so I did my best with what I had to work with.

I welcome all comments, from the camera work to the post production. I am sure I'll learn more from your observations.

This piece streams at 670K, so feel free to right click and "save as" if your internet connection won't support that speed.

http://www.homesellersatlanta.com/video/j&odoc1.wmv
__________________
If you're not the lead dog...
the scenery never changes
Doug Quance is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 21st, 2003, 09:02 AM   #2
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Posts: 138
Well, I know the link works...

Is it the subject matter?

No takers?
__________________
If you're not the lead dog...
the scenery never changes
Doug Quance is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 21st, 2003, 09:43 AM   #3
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Lakewood Colorado USA
Posts: 150
Well aside from the "sepia" I really didn't see anything that qualifies as "film look". It did look kind of strobey, not sure if that was your intent or not. The clip could be more effective if you edited it down to maybe a minute or even less. I know you're just starting this project out so maybe you'll do that later. As far as the camera work, the guys went out of frame from time to time and then the camera suddenly moved to correct the framing, and there seemed to be quite a bit of zooming. These can be easily edited around in post.

I realize you had no control over it, but the music was very repetitive. The same loop over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over. I wanted to die, but I just turned the sound off instead. From what I could hear the whole thing was about calling each other motherf*ckers and niggas as much as possible, so I don't think I was missing much in that aspect. The best part was when the phone rang.
Curtis T. Stoeber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 21st, 2003, 10:14 AM   #4
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Posts: 138
Yeah, it's not my preferred music to listen to... in this case, they were just getting warmed up to record, so they were "freestyling".

I used gaussian blur and a few other tweakers to get away from that harsh video look. I wasn't trying to make it strobey... although once compressed, it kinda has that look.

It was shot in 60i.

And yes, I wouldn't use the whole clip (without voice-over and other clips or such interweaved into it)

Thanks for your comments.
__________________
If you're not the lead dog...
the scenery never changes
Doug Quance is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 21st, 2003, 03:42 PM   #5
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Binghamton, NY
Posts: 141
Hey Doug,

I have a couple comments. Before I start, let me just say, that I'm not pretending to know everything, but I find the best way to help through a critique is by being as critical as possible. First, whatever that strobing in the video is gets to be too much after a while. It seems a bit too intense whatever it is, and it really adds a visual rythm that contradicts that of the sound track (I thought I was going to go into convulsions with the strobe over the repetative music, LOL).


Also, I understand that you're not trying to be too intrusive in the studio, but you should see if you can't make some arrangements to put up a light or two. I'm not saying you have to go as far as three point lighting or any sort of major scheme, but I think some additional lighting would imrove the image ten-fold (moves it away from that flat, everything is in focus video, and offers at least some suggestion of depth). In any documentary with subject matter like yours, frequently you can tell that some supplimentary lights are being used at least at some point in the production (you don't always need them).

Also, I would also second Curtis' comment about camera work, while handheld and somewhat shakey camera work gives a raw feeling to the fact that it is a real life situation being recorded and not some predesigned narrative, I think that maybe you should try to frame things differently. It would be much easier with a second camera (you'll have to be real creative to get different angles with one camera and continuous action), but I think it would look more professional if you tried to get away from just standing in one place 10 feet from the guys and only zooming to change the distance. You could possibly just get a bunch of different angles and edit in other content as well, that way you can try to make some associations between the visual rhythm and the beat of the music.


While rap (or hip-hop) is not my cup-o-tea as far as music is concerned, the fact that it is a genre that relies heavily on pace and rhythm is something I think you should try to take full advantage of when thinking about editing and camera work. One last comment, as for using a blur in post to get rid of that harse video look, I don't really think it works so well for this project. The actual content is harsh, as well as the fact that it is a documentary makes me feel like some of that video harshness makes it work even better. I mean, here you have guys swearing at each other in a freestyle rap session, and the effects over it make me feel kinda like the tape was mistaken for a Snow White documentary in editing (the blur makes it too soft for my taste). Dont be afraid of video, embrace it!!


I think that instead of going the extra mile for a film look, you should make the gritty style of video work to your advantage, especially since the content (rapping, hip hop culture, all of the underlying ideals, etc) is really raw and gritty in nature. I'm not at all trying to tell you what to do here, just my personal opinions (meant to be constructive), so I hope it helps.


Also, I know you have a lot of restrictions due to the conditions you're shooting under, but hey, for media exposure these guys should be willing to allow you to be a bit more intrusive, I'm sure if you asked and told them how good additional light, etc would make them look they'd consider it! Overall, I think you did a real nice job (I especially liked the lead in with the camera at the beginning), so keep on shooting and keep up the good work!

Robbie
Robbie Smolinsky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 21st, 2003, 05:19 PM   #6
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Posts: 138
Thanks, Robbie.

Perhaps you make a good point regarding the "harshness" of video... and how that is more appropriate for this clip. I hadn't really thought of that angle.

I agree, improving the lighting would definitely help... as well as getting a second camera in there. There's only so much you can do with one camera.

Once again, thanks for your input!
__________________
If you're not the lead dog...
the scenery never changes
Doug Quance is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 21st, 2003, 05:31 PM   #7
Air China Pilot
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Vancouver, B.C.
Posts: 2,389
Robbie, do my tired eyes a favour and space out your screed into more than one big block of text.
__________________
--
Visit http://www.KeithLoh.com | stuff about living in Vancouver | My Flickr photo gallery
Keith Loh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 22nd, 2003, 08:28 AM   #8
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Posts: 138
<<<-- Originally posted by Keith Loh : Robbie, do my tired eyes a favour and space out your screed into more than one big block of text. -->>>

You know Keith... you have a mysterious way of getting things done...
__________________
If you're not the lead dog...
the scenery never changes
Doug Quance is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 25th, 2003, 07:54 AM   #9
RED Code Chef
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Holland
Posts: 12,514
I think the movie contradicts the music because the music tries to
be/is energetic and the camera is just stationary (more or less,
just some small movement).

There should be lots of moves and cutting in there in my opinion.
This would only be possible with either more then one take (not
possible freestylin') or shooting with multiple camera's. Also loose
the zooms, that doesn't look professional.

The brownish sepia look was fine with me. Strobing was too
much but that might be due to web encoding?
__________________

Rob Lohman, visuar@iname.com
DV Info Wrangler & RED Code Chef

Join the DV Challenge | Lady X

Search DVinfo.net for quick answers | Buy from the best: DVinfo.net sponsors
Rob Lohman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 25th, 2003, 10:33 AM   #10
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Posts: 138
Thanks Rob!

You make good points... next time I will lock down my B camera, and work around with my A camera. I didn't even have my second cam with me that day.

My big goal of the day was to get some footage to see how the lighting and sound would be in that room... and now I know. (after all... I'm still a newb)

The web encoding did change the look of the video... and the concensus seems to be to get the "strobe-ness" down.

If I can ever use any of this piece (which is doubtful, just based on the audio) I am sure I will have many cuts with other footage.

Thanks again for checking it out and giving me your advice!
__________________
If you're not the lead dog...
the scenery never changes
Doug Quance is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Techniques for Independent Production

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:56 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network