Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 14

Thread: Nightclub opening documentary.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Newcastle.
    Posts
    5

    Default Nightclub opening documentary.

    Hi, this is my first time on here; this is a documentary I made for my second year studying film at university.
    I was limited with certain aspects e.g. characterisation; which affected the creative control I would have preferred to have, but basically it is a documentary trying to show a more intimate and sensitive side to a nightclub; contrasting the stereotype of sex, drugs and alcohol.
    It was my first stint directing as I study more film theory, so there are notable errors e.g. the sound is off (my technician didn't tell me this at any stage). It was also my first time editing and using avid and I put in way too many transitions but I cannot change this now unfortuneately.
    I would be grateful if you could watch it, and comment if you like. It is aesthetically easy to watch as the club is a million pound venue and is now one of the 'richest' places in Newcastle. I was under a lot of pressure when I made the film because I'm pretty sure the owner who was the focal point thought I was more experienced than I was and he gave me exclusive access that no other media resources got.
    My best friend who does not go to uni did the sound.
    Thanks, Nick.

    YouTube - Inside The Palace.
    Last edited by jiggajay1988; 06-08-2008 at 08:36 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Surrey, UK
    Posts
    10,851
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jiggajay1988 View Post
    this is a documentary I made for my second year studying film at university.
    When do they get around to teaching you some basics?

    I'm sorry to sound harsh and as no more than an enthusiastic amateur newcomer to making films my criticism doesn't really count for much, but in my opinion.....

    (I'll ignore the poor sound which you've already mentioned)

    1. This wasn't so much a documentary as a montage with a voice-over. The was little, if any, link between what we saw and what we heard.
    2. The opening text was off the screen a little too quickly for slower readers to read - remember as editor it seems like an age, but that's 'cos you already know what it says.
    3. "one man imparticular?" Ok, I know, you're studying film, not English. I'm sorry but film is a means of communication and spelling mistakes on title show a serious lack of attention to detail.
    4. The voice-over was very one dimensional. I kept finding I'd stopped listening. You might not be able to do much about getting the owner to liven up his voice, but you can employ other tricks - I'd have split his talk into smaller soundbites, maybe had bed music running throughout and punctuated the soundbites with the music.
    5. Apart from the first scenes we never saw the owner speaking again. This put a distance between him and the club - it made it impersonal - the exact opposite of what I thought you were trying to achieve. I'd have iked to have seen his face as he was speaking more often (Usually documentaries suffer from the opposite - too many talking head shots)
    6. I think you used a tripod for the interview and....? I know there's a place for hand held wobbly shots and you could have perhaps used some in this film to contrast with the steady ones. But unfortunately there weren't any steady ones. Many of the shots were not even level (look at the verticals like door frames) but not far enough off for it to have been intentionally "arty".
    7. There's some very "home movie" like zooming and hoseing going on in places. (As opposed to properly directed "crash" zooms and pans which can add excitement)

    That's not to say there weren't good points.
    You clearly look for interesting shots and the opening sequence could have been quite inventive if it wasn't for the serious camera shake.
    I liked the speeded up (& colour treated?) shots along the bar - here's an example of where the hand held look worked - you're trying to inject the excitement and adrenaline of the opeing night.

    I hope you're not too offended by any of these comments - you're trying to do things the right way by studying after all and I applaud that. Submitting stuff for criticism is an important part of the learning process and I think it's very brave of anyone to put work up on an open forum for criticism - I certainly won't do so until I've done something I'm really proud of or I want to show a particular example of something.

    Good luck and I look forward to seeing more examples of your work
    Tim

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Newcastle.
    Posts
    5

    Default

    Thanks for the feedback and the viewing: appreciate it.
    I study more to do with theory and aesthetics so Im well not up to par yet on technical competance, I only do one module to do with production at the moment and that is very vague. They just gave me a camera and I got together a team to make a film and that was it; very few tips so i appreciate your knowledge.
    I have taken in what you had to say and they mostly are criticisms that I have acknowledged myself, this was actually my first time ever using a video camera hence I was bound to make mistakes. I believe that pre-production the idea was fine but it was during and post production the difficulties were obvious, but thats where the learning part comes into it isn't it.
    As far as the submitting work part goes, I am very young and naive to this but I feel that some work is better than no work and as long as you got something you should show the world at least a percentage of your potential. If you hide something away pretending that its perfect and are scared to put it to public domain then that sort of defeats the art of entertainment?
    I am very proud of my work, this did not come overnight and it is at the end of the day an exclusive piece on a club that a lot of celebrities in this part of the world come to: the whole experience to this has been greater than any film can be. Beginner film is about experience of course.
    Thanks for taking time out, Nick.
    I never sleep: 'cause sleep is the cousin of death.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Bristol uk
    Posts
    8,938
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    I havent read previous comments so I may repeat stuff... ( or most of the first post...)

    Documentary is a subject close to my heart and that was not documentary.

    In was a 'document' but lacked any narrative or argument.

    It came across as something you might use to promote the club - if you want to use it for that - DONT.

    You have clearly spent gadzillions on the club so hire some pros for the promos.

    That was full of very irritating and basic errors that made it hard to watch - very poor camera work, shaky and indecisive with some rubbish arty shots (film student I would guess).

    The editing of the sound was just apalling - all sorts of sudden jarring moments.

    The master vo and shot was rubbish too - lots of irritating noise and the main shot was poorly framed in my view.

    Sorry to be so negative but with that level of access it could have been an interesting little doc or a much better promo.

    I like the club tho - looks very cool.

    edit

    Just read tims comments - I agree totally with all he says. TBH I am also a bit stunned at how rubbish some of this is - what do they teach you on these courses ? ? ?

    Wobbly camera - NO
    Zoom in shot - NO
    Twist camera randomly - NO
    Camera mics - NO
    Last edited by Mark W; 06-10-2008 at 08:13 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Newcastle.
    Posts
    5

    Default

    Mark, I agree with you that this was not a documentary...
    To say not to use this at all is a bit harsh; i know I have clearly made numerous errors in the 'video world' but not everyone in life preaches digital brilliance; subject does have a place, and I know that there are certain points in the video that do intrigue.
    I am a film student as I mentioned and was only 19 when I did this 6 months ago so I appreciate all the knowledge that you more experienced film-makers can give me. I know the next film I will make I will look out for all the errors you and Tim gave me. Being a student is hard ha I dont have a camera to practise with.
    And as you say, "that level of access", I am the only person who got that due to my networking and ability to put together a proposal and like the cliche term in film 'its not what you know it's who you know'.
    I am sorry to come back so defensive, and I do agree with about half of what you are saying; (although terms like 'rubbish' do not register as criticism to me). Thanks for the feedback. If you ever in Newcastle, pop in haha.

    P.s. we didn't use a camera mic; it's just I do film theory and so not everyone shares the same enthusiasm with practical work in the class and the sound guy was one of them; as I mentioned please don't judge by sound (I know it's hard to because it's shocking, but it's not what I intend to involve myself in in the future.)
    I never sleep: 'cause sleep is the cousin of death.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Bristol uk
    Posts
    8,938
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Sorry - I am usually blunt !

    I tend to be harsher with anyone who is a 'film student' as there is little excuse for some mistakes when you have access to advice.

    You certainly did well to get the acess. If that is intended to promote the club I dont think it cuts it - as a piece of 'learning work' it has more to commend it - but there are too many really sloppy errors for me to be more effusive - sorry my friend.

    I think it could be much improved with a new edit.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    4,192
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default

    As a former film student I feel that I am entitled to be blunt...

    That was nowhere near the standard I would expect from a film student at the end of the first semester, let alone a second-year. I had to submit a selection of work to get into film school, if I'd submitted your documentary I wouldn't have got as far as the interview.

    I see that you're doing "Film Studies" or "Film Theory". Which is more about talking about film, rather than actually making film. If that's the case then calling yourself a film student is stretching the truth a bit. Film students study the techniques and practicalities of cinematography and videography and make films, a lot of films, all the time.

    Okay, that's very blunt but if you want to work in the television, film or videomaking business then you really will have to learn the basics. As for the phrase "'its not what you know it's who you know'", only losers use that phrase as an excuse as to why they didn't succeed. When I hear someone start to whinge about "it's not what you know..." then it simply shows me that they're not up to the task and need to blame something other than their incompetance.

    "...not everyone shares the same enthusiasm with practical work in the class." Of course not. It's easy to criticise others if you don't have to do it yourself. I once worked on a feature where suddenly half the student crew disappeared. It transpired that they were doing "Film Studies" and their tutor had told them not to get involved with this project since it might influence the way they view films in the future! Which I take to mean that if they know how diffficult it is to get things right, they might be a bit reluctant, in their essays, to slag off filmmakers who are doing their best.

    Unfortunately, by selling yourself as a "film student" you're expected to come up with the goods. You didn't, which is why you were , quite rightly, slated. A case of: "He talks the talk but can't walk the walk". If you'd admitted to just studying theory and this was your attempt to have a go at the practical side, you would have got a far more balanced critique.

    Just remember, statues and monuments are built to those who go out and do it, not to those who just write about those who go out and do it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Newcastle.
    Posts
    5

    Default

    Thanks to Mark, I appreciate your unbiased and fair criticism.
    The Guru, I am a film student the hint is in the title 'film studies'. I find it absurd that you are being a snob about it. I have only decided to aspire to be a film-maker the last 6 months so I'm not bothered about that first semester comment; it might as well be my first semester and I am learning (obviously) right now.
    I believe that you cannot make films without knowing about films, you need to know film history, you need to know why an auteur has chosen that particular mise-en-scene e.g. in the 'shaky' overhead shot of Nigel in the film I got him to keep his jacket on so he stands alone as a dark character when it is important to get down to the gritty nightclub industry; this is a homage to what Brian DePalma did with Al Capone in The Untouchables.
    "to slag off filmmakers who are doing their best". A bit hypocritical there you think? I think I was mislead when I joined this forum. Is this just about technicalities? Nothing to do with film? I love feedback, and I am very happy I put the film up, and I am still very proud of it, but the very second you were bringing theory and studying into it, I did not take you serious.
    Btw that cliche I used, i knew it would strike a nerve, but what i meant was, I worked so hard getting this sorted, making appointments with dj's, nightclub owners who were very busy, security, building contractors etc. and making a proposal in front of a class, so that my lecturer, who was a director for the bbc asked for me to repeat it in front of the whole year. I did this with a crew of 3 people and on some occasions neither turned up. Director is not the camera man.
    It is who you know... why do you think they let Eli Roth make films...
    I never sleep: 'cause sleep is the cousin of death.

  9. #9

    Default

    sorry, i switched off after about 30 seconds, and didn't realise until the 'tut tut tut' at the end.


    I would just like to point out about this 'film studies thing'... Jonathan Ross knows a lot about films, but I wouldn't get him to make one!

    'Film studies' is really a course for film critics (those who want to be snobby about film structure/hidden meanings/context/history/politics/acting styles etc), not film makers, as you said you aspire to become. I would suggest switching courses if you do still want to become a film-maker.

    Also you're right that the 'director is not the camera man', but the director still needs to be able to tell the camera person how to shoot, not just 'film this, film that'. If you don't understand the techie side you still can't direct properly, and knowing about all the flaws and hidden meanings in Robin Hardy's films isn't going to help you much either.

    Well done for working hard, but just remember that the only thing you've managed to do so far is big yourself, and the production, up to the 'lecturer and club owner' without actually delivering the goods.
    Last edited by MOSH; 06-10-2008 at 06:51 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Newcastle.
    Posts
    5

    Default

    So obviously nobody found anything good about the film at all?
    why would you watch it for the whole time then if it was so horiffically bad as it is meant to be?
    I came on this forum looking for feedback and i got it and I learnt alot and Im happy.
    I did NOT come on this forum to be slated for 'studying' films.
    I understand I need to learn technicalities and that is what I have been doing...
    Why everyone has been so critical is insane to me; it has become personal which is ridiculous considering I'm just a 20 year old student who is well at the start of things. To label me as a snob and say my work is rubbish and say I haven't delivered is absurd. None of them things are true: it isn't perfect (nowhere near apparently) but it's a start.
    I don't want a response to this message.. I've got enough opinions, I've learnt alot, I appreciate all your time and believe me I have learnt ALOT about some people in this artform.
    I never sleep: 'cause sleep is the cousin of death.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Screen Test of Documentary Opening Sequence
    By worddigger in forum User Videos
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 08-12-2007, 09:29 AM
  2. Flatscreen in a Nightclub
    By cosnovitz in forum General video editing software help and advice
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 05-06-2007, 11:42 AM
  3. Steadicam Documentary
    By shiner in forum Forum Announcements and News
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 03-22-2006, 08:40 AM
  4. trailer for a documentary I'm putting together
    By chrisV in forum User Videos
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 06-14-2005, 11:30 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •