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Yang Wen July 3rd, 2009 09:27 AM

Engagment video critique
Recently finished e-video.. No storyline, just a bunch of shots of the couple intertwined with shots of the city. Shot run n' gun style with HV30 + HMC150 + 5D mk2 with a Hague MMC stabilizer for the HV30. I'd love to hear you guys' take on it.

Video link on Vimeo

Joel Peregrine July 3rd, 2009 11:12 AM

Loved it. Nice mix of shots. I felt that the coloring was a bit motley at first but after watching it through seeing the effects repeatedly pulled it together. The only thing I'm guilty of myself is the dust spots on the lens. Hate that. I'm not a fan of the fast-shutter-speed look so I picked up a good quality neutral density filter that allows me to shoot with the aperture wide open even in bright sunlight. Larger apertures eliminate the the dirty lens problems. I'm curious if after using so many cameras and with different configurations what and when do you grab a certain camera and for what reasons?


Originally Posted by Yang Wen (Post 1166654)
Recently finished e-video.. No storyline, just a bunch of shots of the couple intertwined with shots of the city. Shot run n' gun style with HV30 + HMC150 + 5D mk2 with a Hague MMC stabilizer for the HV30. I'd love to hear you guys' take on it.

Video link on Vimeo

Travis Cossel July 3rd, 2009 11:40 AM

First off, what a great couple. You could really see that they care for each other, and that's really important in a piece like this. If a couple is more reserved with displaying their feelings, it can be harder to pull these off.

The coloring felt off to me because it just changed so much and for no apparent reason. For me, the fact that you continued the trend through the video only helped somewhat .. and it was more because I was watching the couple and less because the various color styles were actually adding to the piece. In the end, for me, the coloring switches were more of a distraction in the video than an enhancement.

Also, you really need to watch your lenses and make sure they are clean. You had quite a few shots in there with dust on the lens, and in my opinion those shots should have been immediately dumped in the edit.

Which brings me to length. I know I harp on length a lot, but that's because I think too many of us feel we need to create 4-5 minute pieces in order to give the couple value. We don't. Edit your piece to the length that works for holding attention and getting your story (if any) across. With pieces like this, where there is no obvious story, shorter is definitely better. Otherwise you run the risk of viewers losing interest because of the lack of story. This was a 4min video that I think would have worked much better at 2:30 or 3 minutes.

At 2:28 you're filming the "W" on the building and then for a split second there is an out-of-place shot before the bridge scene. That should be edited out.

Lastly, many of the 'motion' shots were not smooth at all, and it really took the focus away from the couple. I saw you used a stabilizer of some sort, so I don't know if it's just not a good stabilizer or if you just need more practice. Either way, I would take a look at that.

All that said, there were some really strong moments in this video. I absolutely loved the stop-motion-esque shot at the very end (5d I'm assuming?) and I was kind of disappointed that you didn't end the video on that shot. It was the perfect ending shot. I know the man singing to the woman was cute, but it felt totally out of place to me at the end, and wasn't nearly as strong a shot to end on I don't think. Still, you know the couple better than I do so maybe it was important to include the singing part at the end.

Anyways, I hope that helps. Thanks for sharing!!

Yang Wen July 3rd, 2009 12:13 PM

Hey guys thanks for the critique..

Yeah the length is longer than I would like but they wanted these various scenes in the video and wanted to incorporate the various outfits.. Originally, I suggested to them something casual, "a day out on the town" type of video but they wanted it more "epic". :)

The dust were from WA lens on my HV30... yeah I learned by lesson this time!

The W hotel was symbolic to them.. they insisted that we get a shot of the "W" in it.. I totally agree though, the shot of the W makes no sense to the viewers who do not understand the meaning of it.

Interesting about the motion shots.. I agree they are not smooth like a vest mounted rig smooth, but I thought they were adequately smooth to the point of not being distracting. Thanks for the alternative viewpoint!

Yes I have used many color schemes.. I've tried using the same color scheme throughout but it didn't look good to me.. I think a more structured, or more concise piece would lend itself to a more limited color scheme.. That being said, I do think there's still some room for me to reduce the color schemes a little bit..

Joel: HV30 used for the steady shots with the WA adapter.. 5D2 for everything else static.. The jewelry shots were done with the HMC.. I wasn't to keen on the jewelry shots but they insisted. This was my first outing with the 5D2(pre-wedding) and I went out sans ND filters in broad daylight :) I also ruined a bunch of shots because the picture style it was set to had a healthy dose of sharpening applied which resulted in ugly halos...

I guess my take aways from this session are:

1) Set limit to the # of outfits.
2) start shooting down poor ideas clients suggest rather than obliging and implementing them.
3) hire an assistant to haul the gear. :)

Travis Cossel July 3rd, 2009 12:54 PM

Let me clarify two things.

The shot of the "W" didn't bother me at all. However, if you watch closely you'll see that at the end of that shot there is a cut to another shot for a few frames before the cut to the shot of the bridge. It's a mistake as far as I can tell. The shot of the "W" doesn't bother me.

Also, regarding the motion shots, I don't use a vest/arm either. That's why I was saying I don't know if it's your equipment or your experience.

One other thing, I think it's important that your client understands that YOU are the professional. They need to trust you to include the footage necessary to make a good video. It's dangerous to let your client dictate to you how the edit will look. I know some clients will insist, but most will follow your lead if you just take it.

Anyways, glad the critique will help and glad you learned some things on your own. That's what it's all about.

Yang Wen July 3rd, 2009 01:35 PM

aha yeah i saw that bug.. was going to fix it before i burn it to disc..

Kevin Duffey July 10th, 2009 05:44 PM

I agree with Travis regarding the couple.. good looking couple..she's stunning. I too liked the ending bridge shot and thought you should have ended on that. The part where they are playing in the alley, while cute, also seemed a little out of place much like the ending part. I think something like that could be good for an outtakes clip or something to put on the DVD or something similar.

Great job tho. I liked the music and the scenery.

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