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Old May 19th, 2011, 01:55 PM  
OK, critique my Save The Date
Lisa Maxwell Lisa Maxwell is offline May 19th, 2011, 01:55 PM

I'm holding my breath and ready to receive the blows. Aside from my focusing issues please help me get better by telling me what you might do differently, and lo and behold if there's anything that is likable, let me know that too! : )

Note: everyone was about an hour late so the sun was much lower than I would have preferred, and I forgot I had an ND filter on my Glidecam. I'm ordering a loupe today, if only I can decide which one will work best for weddings...I don't want to glue anything to my cam, and I don't want to spend as much as the Zacuto runs for.

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Old May 19th, 2011, 09:51 PM   #31
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Re: OK, critique my Save The Date

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Do you do weddings full time? I do. It can be brutal.
Try making movies. Not only are they brutally honest, In a lot of cases, people are trying to deflate your ego to thin out the herd.

Everyone has a different way to say what they have to say so I never take things personally. Also, I agree that you guys are in a very difficult business and you definitely want to make sure that if someone is calling themselves a professional that they represent the industry well.

just my buck fifty's worth.

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Old May 19th, 2011, 10:34 PM   #32
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Re: OK, critique my Save The Date

Garrett, your post is thoughtful and well written.

BTW, I am all over the book you recommend, my library has it and I'm picking up tomorrow, if I can get over there. I do love the concept tht the title is based on, of cutting when you blink, really cool, cant wait to read it.

Anyway, my statement regarding "Do you do weddings full time?" etc was actually trying to ascertain if Chris realized what the original poster faces as a wedding videographer. In retrospect, I did come across in that comment as sounding a bit arrogant, which was not what I was trying to convey. I think I'll go back and rephrase that. This whole deal just got exasperating for a minute.

Wedding videography is not particularly hard, unless things go wrong. It is a fun business, with some really great folks, and our working conditions are excellent.

My god, at my wedding Saturday I was offered a meal of filet mignon and salmon, all I wanted to drink, and was encouraged to have a good time. Of course I did not eat or drink, and I was working non-stop running four cameras, but it is a nice enviornment to be in. I've often wondered how I got so lucky to be paid for what I do. On the other hand I'm a lower end vendor, and I'm not well off, but I do like what I do, at least on a good day. But I digress.

Garrett, I probably know 10% of what you do about the variety of ways to frame a shot. Great storytelling is certainly more involved than just blindly following the rule of thirds and composing shots to fit that spec.

But for general weddinig videography, a beginner obviously needs a grasp of these things. I remember the Eureka! moment when I read my first book about how to shoot video, when I learned there even was such a thing as the rule of thirds! I was ecstatic! Now I knew what to do to make things look somewhat decent when I aimed at a subject, and how to follow them!

It is when these basic concepts come together we can then start to produce work that looks somewhat professional, as has been pointed out in better ways than I have phrased it.
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Old May 19th, 2011, 11:00 PM   #33
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Re: OK, critique my Save The Date

Jeff, I completely agree that you have to first master the basics. I don't shoot weddings but I do admire how good some of the projects I have seen are. I should have also mentioned, from my observations, that another essential skill in making a good wedding video seems to be an ability to follow and anticipate what is going to happen in an unscripted situation. One of the things I truly admire with your industry is the ability of the really good people in it to be part sports camera op. I'm sure a lot of it comes from experience in knowing what to look for but it's a skill I still admire.

You'll really like Murch's book. There's some really good concepts in there. If you haven't already read it, the 5 C's of Cinematography is another good read for camera techniques. I'd be interested to hear how much you find either or both of those books applicable to the work you do. It would be really interesting to see if you could shoot an unscripted event like a wedding and create a movie from it. You'd need a lot of cameras and the poor camera ops would be killing themselves to keep out of each others shots, heck, we have a hard enough time doing that when we control everything. It would be interesting to see how a project like that would turn out. I feel another experimental project coming up. If I can find a bride and groom who would be willing to let me do it.. LOL

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Old May 19th, 2011, 11:04 PM   #34
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Re: OK, critique my Save The Date

That would be cool, Garrett. The possiblities would be interesting!
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Old May 20th, 2011, 11:18 AM   #35
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Re: OK, critique my Save The Date

Garrett, the 5 C's title looks excellent, but my library only has it as a reference title :( which means of course that it cant' be checked out!

I'll have to order it from amazon, but what a great recommendation, thanks a million.
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Old May 20th, 2011, 11:24 PM   #36
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Re: OK, critique my Save The Date

Of course it's right to observe the niceties of politeness on forums, but we owe it to the poster and ourselves to be honest also.

Observe, this work, which lacks so much in so many ways, isn't presented by a rank amateur but by someone who boasts on their website that they sell "stunning video you can be proud to share".

If only for the sake of the good folk of Menomonie, WI, we should have the courage and honesty to say, sorry but this isn't good enough to sell under any description.

Lisa asked for criticism; I'm afraid mine is until you learn your craft you are doing yourself and the the whole industry a disservice.
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Old May 21st, 2011, 01:10 AM   #37
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Re: OK, critique my Save The Date

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I'm afraid mine is until you learn your craft you are doing yourself and the the whole industry a disservice.

Ouch ! that's a tad harsh..i think she gets the drift and admits that she needs to work a lot on her shooting technique and skill... we were all there at one point...When people say they want critical feedback im pretty sure they are looking for technical tips and not putdowns like this one..

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Old May 21st, 2011, 02:09 AM   #38
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Re: OK, critique my Save The Date

Phillip, you did jump in a bit late, and it would appear that the poster has been given plenty to think about already.

She has been beaten up pretty badly already, and to continue on at this point is just rubbing salt.

It is doubtful that she is following this thread any longer. nevertheless, Garrett, Noa, and others have offered some very sound solutions/advice, and at this point it is important we back off and allow the poster to take it in and build from this point.

In other words, we need to back off and allow her to find her footing again.

I am not judging your post one way or the other, but instead I'm suggesting we move on and let her alone. Just my two cents.
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Old May 21st, 2011, 02:17 AM   #39
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Re: OK, critique my Save The Date

It would be great if we could leave this post to rest, i have had harsh comments 4/5 years ago from another site, it kills your confidence and dampens your spirit so..................Lisa knows her story she will bounce good in the future, thats what happens you always perfect and get it right, as i said to move forward you need a step back so good luck Lisa
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Old May 21st, 2011, 02:39 AM   #40
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Re: OK, critique my Save The Date

Jeff and Kren, I accept what you've both said and I think you're right that Lisa's been given a lot of positive guidance, not just in this thread but in others which have asked very basic questions. If those had been posted by an amateur who was just finding their way around new equipment or thinking about coming into this as career, I would have done as indeed I have until now and written nothing.

But that isn't the case. According to her website this is someone who's been taking clients' money since 2009. If that's so what we have here are all the elements for one of those press stories we all abhor when a client refuses to pay for the job. And she doesn't appear to be budget either - $1000 for a single angle profile talking head and 20 cutaways to stills.

I make no comment about the level of questions helpful colleagues here are prepared to answer; I do think it's unfair to the clients if someone's taking money when they're still learning. If anyone thinks this is harsh, may I suggest you'd not think so if the next service to your car was done by someone at the same stage of their career in motor mechanics and who still charged you full whack.
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Old May 21st, 2011, 10:04 AM   #41
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Re: OK, critique my Save The Date

Phillip, I feel you have gone a bit off topic. This thread has nothing to do with the OPs website, IMO.

The topic is her original video posting, which you have not commented on. Her website is absolutely irrelevent here, again just my 2 cents.
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Old May 21st, 2011, 11:37 AM   #42
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Re: OK, critique my Save The Date

It's not off-topic; it has evolved, as most threads do, from the specific to the general and continues, I hope, to be of some use to other readers. Philip is absolutely right and his analogy is completely valid; it is exactly the same one I was about to use. The reference to her website is appropriate too, as it is linked in her profile and she is, however indirectly, using this forum to promote it. I generally follow Philip's policy of never, ever, commenting on requests for "criticism" like these because they always end badly; I only jumped in this time because Jeff was being unfairly attacked for very appropriately suggesting that the OP get some basic training in her craft.

This whole pattern is oft-repeated, and it seems to be unique to our business. Just a few months ago we had the jaw dropping assertion that "I know what brides want because I was one." It therefore seems to follow that you know how to make TV because you saw a show once. Doctors and mechanics proudly display their diplomas and training certifications on their workplace walls yet those aspiring to be in the video business get all hurt and offended if someone suggests they read a book, which the effort of doing so apparently requires super hero powers.

With all due respect, Jeff, you were the one who opened the door by suggesting she keep her prices low and head to the library. Both very good and appropriate suggestions, but not right to now chastise Philip. What's more helpful in the long run, making you feel good in the moment or getting genuine advice? Would you rather have feedback from Paula or Simon? We are under no obligation to encourage the lazy or incompetent; I'm not saying the OP was either, but someone who is not only not willing to read a book but is offended at the suggestion and at the same time purports to be a professional in a field where they have not had a modicum of training and possess not much knowledge of the basics, and asks for criticism but is not willing to receive it... boggles the mind.
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Old May 21st, 2011, 12:41 PM   #43
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Re: OK, critique my Save The Date

Adam, I've softened my wording of my criticism of Phillip's post to reflect that I'm offering an opinion, and nothing more.

I still feel that to discuss her website here is off topic, but you may feel differently, and I respect your opinion, and I will respect Phillip's.

On the other hand, I have no problem with her website, and I'll tell you why. She has videos posted that are her own, and likely represent her product accurately, and that is all she can do.

Is her work stunning? Do I like what I see posted on her site? It would be easy to lambast her videos all day long, of course.

But in the end, she asked for a critique of her video, which we have done, and I agree with Steve this has gone on long enough. You may feel differently, and so might Phillip, but I think the thread is devolving, not evolving, by going down this road. Where does it end, anyway? Do we keep digging even further? Beyond the website, we can run background checks, and more, because she has offered her name, so wouldn't it all be fair game? No I think not.

The scenario of going even further may seem ridiculous, but it would be in line with the concept that it's all fair game.
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Old May 21st, 2011, 01:03 PM   #44
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Re: OK, critique my Save The Date

Jeff, thank you for your courteous agreement to disagree, though you are incorrect in your assertion that I didn't comment on her posted work; I did in #36.

And it was Lisa who invited criticism of that work. That's why the evaluation she got, good, bad and indifferent was valid. She did not invite us to critique her other work, and quite properly, no-one did. The website was only relevant because what wasn't originally clear was that we were being asked to comment on a professional's work for which the client had evidently paid money. That was what made it different.

I agree that this thread has probably run its course but equally I hope it won't deter people, amateur or professional, from seeking criticism if they wish. Unless the same circumstances apply regarding the poster's standing, I will, as usual, refrain from comment.
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Old May 21st, 2011, 01:42 PM   #45
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Re: OK, critique my Save The Date

I stand corrected, I did not remember or see your post about her video, sorry.

Don't misunderstand, I absolutely understand how you can think the website is relevant, from a big picture point of view. But as Adam points out, the thread "evolved". Evolved means change, of course. And my issue was with the change of focus.

As Adam points out, I opened a door by discussing her skill level and her need for study, which technically had nothing to do with the topic either. To have stayed perfectly on topic I would have pointed out specifics regarding the video, and left it at that. I did not, I strayed off into a discussion about other matters. I felt they were relevant, but in the context of her request for a crtique of her single video, were my comments relevant? Not really.

On the other hand, she did ask how to frame a shot, and at that point I became exasperated and recommended further study, which opened a whole other can of worms.

So for me to criticize your post, might be a bit of the the pot calling the kettle black, I suppose.

I actually do have a wedding today, so I better be off. I love the late starting ones, so much easier on my old body.
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