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Old September 15th, 2008, 09:46 PM   #1
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Love Story Video - Comment Away!

I just finished up a love story video and thought I'd post it for comments. There are things I like and things I would do different next time, and I'd love to hear what the rest of you think of it. Here's the link:

Love Story Video - Andrew & Sabrina on Vimeo
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Old September 16th, 2008, 02:54 AM   #2
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Trav- nice production overall. i thought it was too long, perhaps could have been cut down to 4-5 min runtime max?
the switching of cam shots(i assume you scaled up) during the interviews were distracting at times. i think you could have just left the shot as is and it would have been fine or set up a 2nd cam for another angles elsewhere.
i've shot a lot of interviews like these...and many for VH1 Behind the Music and MTV, i prefer the cam just off set from the interviewer like nearly over the shoudler....so the interviewee is looking just slightly off camera. the audio sounds tingy/reverberated, did you use lavs? the audio sounds like it was captured via shot gun on camera....not bad, just reverberated. i'm sure the room you shot in had some to do with it too.

dude, I am being very critical.

your love story was really nice though, i liked it a lot. loved all the footy from the cart track and such.
nice mix with music.
i am sure your clients will love it. you're very talented....and a very good cam op with natural talent for sure.

Joe
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Old September 16th, 2008, 07:13 AM   #3
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Hey Travis,

As you asked for some feedback I watched this video with a critical eye looking for things that jumped out at me that could be improved upon for next time.

Here's a few things I noticed:

- As Joe said, something to keep in mind for next time is the angle of your interview subjects. In this video I find that the angle your subjects are on is too extreme - almost verging on profile shots at times.

- I found it hard to concentrate on what they were saying because of the music beds - i.e. the lyrics of the music were fighting for my attention over their talking. Maybe the use of an instrumental track during the interviews could help alleviate this.

- The audio is very roomy - maybe a lapel mic could help. At times I couldn't understand what they were saying because of the 'roomy' audio and the volume level of the music bed.

- The hairlight seemed to be on the wrong side of Andrew's head and as a result it was a bit distracting

- nice, vibrant colours on the outdoor fun shots at the go-kart track etc ...

If you're looking to do more interview shoots I would highly recommend getting a copy of this DVD - - How to Setup, Light, & Shoot Great Looking Interviews - I purchased it a few months ago and it was worth every cent.

Hope that helps.

Cheers,

Matthew.
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Old September 16th, 2008, 08:42 AM   #4
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Hey Travis,

I really like the video. You're already gotten some really good feedback, so I'm not going to repeat what's already been said.

One thing I would have done, is seat the couple closer together. That would have cut down on the angle problem mentioned above, and it might have lead to some nice interaction with the couple. Also, I would have cut some broll over the talking heads. Those shots seemed to linger just a little too long.

I like the amusement park theme, it really created some fun broll and you could feed the couple's sense of humor.

Will
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Old September 16th, 2008, 01:05 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Allen Rosenberger View Post
Trav- nice production overall. i thought it was too long, perhaps could have been cut down to 4-5 min runtime max?
the switching of cam shots(i assume you scaled up) during the interviews were distracting at times. i think you could have just left the shot as is and it would have been fine or set up a 2nd cam for another angles elsewhere.
i've shot a lot of interviews like these...and many for VH1 Behind the Music and MTV, i prefer the cam just off set from the interviewer like nearly over the shoudler....so the interviewee is looking just slightly off camera. the audio sounds tingy/reverberated, did you use lavs? the audio sounds like it was captured via shot gun on camera....not bad, just reverberated. i'm sure the room you shot in had some to do with it too.

dude, I am being very critical.

your love story was really nice though, i liked it a lot. loved all the footy from the cart track and such.
nice mix with music.
i am sure your clients will love it. you're very talented....and a very good cam op with natural talent for sure.

Joe
Thanks a bunch, Joe. You are spot on with the audio, as it is my biggest issue with the video. I was shooting in a 15x15 room that had a bad echo, and I used a shotgun mic on camera because I didn't want lav's visible. I originally had planned to have the shotgun closer to the interviewee, but didn't want to make them uncomfortable. Next time I'll be using lav's and probably won't shoot in my wife's photog studio.

As for length, I tried to keep it shorter, but sometimes you have to work with the story as the couple tells it. Part of that is probably my fault, as I'm totally new to interviewing people and don't really know yet how to get them to say the right stuff. I suppose I could have left out one of the stories, but the couple wouldn't have been happy with that.

Also, I was using 2 cameras, and the couple was interviewed separately, so there was no scaling on the shots. Thanks for commenting on it being distracting. I was wondering that myself, had my wife watch it, and she thought it was fine so I left it as it was, lol. I was also wondering about the angle of the shots. I wanted a somewhat more "head on" shot but the room was just too small to really set up for that.

Thanks again for the great feedback, and please don't ever feel bad for being critical of any of MY posted videos. It's what I'm looking for the most. d;-)
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Old September 16th, 2008, 01:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Ebenezer View Post
Hey Travis,

As you asked for some feedback I watched this video with a critical eye looking for things that jumped out at me that could be improved upon for next time.

Here's a few things I noticed:

- As Joe said, something to keep in mind for next time is the angle of your interview subjects. In this video I find that the angle your subjects are on is too extreme - almost verging on profile shots at times.

- I found it hard to concentrate on what they were saying because of the music beds - i.e. the lyrics of the music were fighting for my attention over their talking. Maybe the use of an instrumental track during the interviews could help alleviate this.

- The audio is very roomy - maybe a lapel mic could help. At times I couldn't understand what they were saying because of the 'roomy' audio and the volume level of the music bed.

- The hairlight seemed to be on the wrong side of Andrew's head and as a result it was a bit distracting

- nice, vibrant colours on the outdoor fun shots at the go-kart track etc ...

If you're looking to do more interview shoots I would highly recommend getting a copy of this DVD - - How to Setup, Light, & Shoot Great Looking Interviews - I purchased it a few months ago and it was worth every cent.

Hope that helps.

Cheers,

Matthew.
Matthew, thanks for the comments. I totally agree with you regarding the audio. I'm quite disappointed with how it turned out. The morning of the interview they were doing construction on the road out front too, so that made some segments unusable (doh!). I was trying to get away with not mic'ing them (didn't want the lav's showing in the shot) but next time I probably will.

Interesting comment on the hairlight, as I mirrored the setup for both of them. I'll have to look at it again.

Seriously, though, thanks for the comments!
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Old September 16th, 2008, 01:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William Smyth View Post
Hey Travis,

I really like the video. You're already gotten some really good feedback, so I'm not going to repeat what's already been said.

One thing I would have done, is seat the couple closer together. That would have cut down on the angle problem mentioned above, and it might have lead to some nice interaction with the couple. Also, I would have cut some broll over the talking heads. Those shots seemed to linger just a little too long.

I like the amusement park theme, it really created some fun broll and you could feed the couple's sense of humor.

Will
FYI, the couple was interviewed separately .. as in only one of them was in the room answering questions at a time. This was especially important with this couple as the bride is VERY controlling of the groom, and had I interviewed them together I would only have the story from her side. Also, the room I shot in was in no way big enough to interview them both at the same time.

I totally agree with the comment about b-roll over the talking heads. I initially planned to edit the entire video with this approach, cutting in and out. The problem was that my b-roll footage was all from them playing games together, and it ended up not really fitting as a cutaway when they were telling their stories. For example, when she's talking about them driving down to the beach, it would have looked funny to cut away to a shot of them playing golf together I think. So I scrapped the original idea and came up with this format instead. Not my favorite, but I think it was the best way to use the footage I had.

My next love story video will probably use the other format. Unfortunately I shot it in the same room (didn't have a chance to see this footage before I shot it), so the audio is going to be "bleh", but at least I'll do better next time.

Thanks again for the comments!
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Old September 21st, 2008, 09:10 PM   #8
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Would someone please enlighten me...what in the world does walking through parks and playing mini golf and playing kissie face around trees have to do with anyones love story? I have noticed these shots are used a lot in these videos. I usually do the interview first and then go shoot the footage that matches what they are talking about.
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Old September 21st, 2008, 10:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Sessions View Post
Would someone please enlighten me...what in the world does walking through parks and playing mini golf and playing kissie face around trees have to do with anyones love story? I have noticed these shots are used a lot in these videos. I usually do the interview first and then go shoot the footage that matches what they are talking about.
Because they are in love?

It's not what they are doing that really matters but that they're doing it together.

We find on these types of shoots that our couples really enjoy the opportunity to connect with each other and in amongst the busy-ness of life to take time out to just focus on each other. Sometimes that involves doing some sort of activity that they enjoy, other times it's just to hang out and chill ...

This is how we do a love story - Ryan and Cass - Love Story - Full on Vimeo - doesn't mean it's the best or only way it can be done, it's just one interpretation of the whole 'love story' thing.
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Old September 21st, 2008, 10:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Sessions View Post
Would someone please enlighten me...what in the world does walking through parks and playing mini golf and playing kissie face around trees have to do with anyones love story? I have noticed these shots are used a lot in these videos. I usually do the interview first and then go shoot the footage that matches what they are talking about.
How about simply put, symbolic representation of what love is, fun, happy, together, joy, emotion..etc.. I think if you can interpret this other ways then its great and as we are all individual there is always another way of showing this.

Shooting love story as a story is great if you can shoot it literally and the couple is willing to do it but this form is subjective so even that can be represented by any way you like.
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Old September 21st, 2008, 10:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Sessions View Post
Would someone please enlighten me...what in the world does walking through parks and playing mini golf and playing kissie face around trees have to do with anyones love story? I have noticed these shots are used a lot in these videos. I usually do the interview first and then go shoot the footage that matches what they are talking about.
I agree with you AND Mathew.

I've already decided that for future love stories I will shoot the interview and the "interaction" on two different days. I expect the material to match up with the interview much better that way.

However, Mathew has a very good point. The goal is to showcase the relationship of the couple, and that doesn't mean it has to match what is being said in the interview exactly.

And finally, there is the issue of making a profit from these. Sure, you can put more work into it and shoot the interaction on another day and tailor to the interview more closely, but you should also be charging more for the extra time and planning, etc. It's already hard to sell a couple on a love story video in the first place, so raising the price even more seems like a bad idea even if the product becomes better. It's a challenge.
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Old September 22nd, 2008, 06:16 AM   #12
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Well said Peter.

Good point about making a profit as well Travis. Whenever we do a love story it's usually in conjunction with an engagement shoot. I'll tag along with Katie on the engagement shoot and then use that footage in the love story. We'll then shoot the interviews a couple of days if not weeks later and only spend about an hour with the couple - about 30 minutes for each interview.

We ask about 20 interview questions all up but only use 4 or 5 in the love story. The extra questions are really only to get a conversation going and to help the interview subject to loosen up and switch into 'story-telling' mode.

I find that sticking to a similar template and focusing on those 4 or 5 key questions gives good results. Any other funny stories or responses they give are a bonus - as long as we nail those 4 or 5 key questions I know it will work.
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