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Thread: ASD-Confused?

  1. #1

    Question ASD-Confused?

    Hi Folks,

    I wonder if you could give some critique about this vid. It is totally out of my comfort zone, but something my daughter has wanted me to get involved for some time.
    I'm thick skinned, so please be honest, and if you know of anyone that the subject might interest, please let them know.


  2. #2
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    Hi thanks for posting this film for comment.

    I liked the opening sequence and titles. I don't like the microphone your using due to the echo which is a shame as your narration is quite good. Good shot when Lorraine is walking direct to camera and her kids come into the shot, matches well with the narration.

    The timing gets out a little on the roll in sections to be covered as your narration get's behind the text. The human brain can read the next line in a nanosecond so not sure it works with you reading them as well.

    At 1'43 the text is a bit overwhelming and there is too much to read in the time allowed. I liked the background you used for the lady talking to camera and she is well lit. It could be better still if you make her occupy more of the screen and set her further to the left. When it cuts to her sitting to the left of the group then again she should be much bigger in the frame, even if this shows fewer people in the group. Nice idea and effect though to use the cartoon people.

    Its a little too slow when the yes and no's are being given to the items and I wouldn't show the answers to the questions the lady has already verbally given as text again.

    You have some good chroma key effects going on but they need to be much closer to camera. Compare how yours looks with the evening news and aim for similar sizing.

    Your talent wants so much to talk with her hands as you can see with her left hand moving in the frame by her side. Set her free and let her move around, it will help the video and her to relax a little more.

    Last but not least I thought the music and closing credits fitted perfectly.

    Best of luck with this project.

    Shrimpy

  3. #3

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    Many thanks Shrimpy, I'll take all your comments on board for the next bit.

  4. #4

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    I think most of what Shrimpy said was about right. It's not the microphone it's the room sound. You need to put up some sound dampening on the walls. This could just be some old sheets. Maybe speak closer to the mic as well. That will help with the sound of the narration. Was the NHS documents printed n Yellow paper or did you forget to white balance?

    At the first to camera piece at 1:30mins there is a long pause before the lady starts to speak, around 3 seconds there seems to be an increasing illumination just before she starts to speak as though that was her cue to start.

    At 3:40 the lady seems to be lit with tungsten light then at 3:41 jumps to whiter light. keeping these consistences will help to make your production more professional.

    Over all a well put together piece.
    Last edited by Midnight Blue; 10-26-2009 at 01:56 PM.

  5. #5

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    Thanks for taking the time to look and comment Midnight. Appreciated.
    The document was printed on yellow paper, but I take your point about watching the colour balance with the lighting!
    I have to admit to the audio being a weird world to me, but I'll pay more attention to it in future.

    Thanks again for your helpful replies.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by IanA View Post
    I'm thick skinned, so please be honest,
    I'm taking this at face value and I'm going to be harsh. I'm going to be harsh because I know you want the next part to be better, I want it to be better and I know that with very little additional effort you can make it a whole lot better.

    Comments by MB and Shrimpy are all true, but I'd go much further on the sound and say it's absolutely terrible! This film is about imparting a LOT of information and MOST of that information is aural, backed up by vsual cues & reminders. It is imperrative that you make the sound as good as possible.

    You have worked hard on your script (or maybe it was a doddle and you're just naturally good at it) so don't let it down by poor sound. You need to get a good clear sound of the speakers voice and as little background sound and echo/reverberation as possible. I found some of yours was almost inaudible (not helped by being too low down in the mix at times).

    As MB says - get as CLOSE as you can to the mic without it distorting and record in a room with as few hard surfaces as possible to minimise echo. The proximity is the key thing though - I record in a normal bedroom (so there are curtains and a duvet absorbing sound) with painted plaster walls - so there's still reflection, but I find close proxinity is enough that I often ADD a bit of reverb in post to liven up the sound.

    This is EASY for the voice over, not so easy for the talent talking. You'll need either a boom or a tie clip mic (lavalier) for this - or possibly a separate digital recorder (eg Zoom H2). As she is green screened, you can get really close to her and garbage matte it out.

    Aside from this there was background noise (I could hear a siren at one point) and there were mistakes. Digital media is disposable, there's absolutely NO EXCUSE for not re-recording. Of course you've got to have noticed the noise/mistake in the first place, which may well mean playing back on set - through headphones, of course.

    It seemed to me you tried to use a bit of bed music at times to hide background noise, so maybe you discovered this when editing.

    The film managed to achieve what ought to be impossible - I was struggling to keep up with the information it was trying to put over, yet at the same time getting distracted by lengthy pauses. OK some of the "struggling" was down to poor sound, and it's essential that you allow time for information to sink in, but I suggest do this at the END of sections - let shots run on a bit, rather than start the next section with a pause. I'm not suggesting all the film suffers from this, some of the links are very slick and well thought out.

    It has already mentioned that the voice over and titles get out of step in the listing of the sections, but I'd suggest that whole section is just plain wrong. All you are doing is reading what's o the screen - a big NO NO in any presentation. There are other options:

    Rather than use the words on the screen, paraphrase each title.

    If you want just to give an overview, place the title son the screen and just comment on two or three of them ("Sections such as x, y and z") again , maybe using paraphrases.

    Or elaborate on each title - a couple of sentences about each.

    Actually, there are far too many titles for anyone to take in. I lost track after four. By all means stick them all up there as there may be "key" words that a particular viewer will home in on - which of course is very helpful - but I don't believe you should mention more than three. I'm not sure about the flying in titles in this section either. Maybe just a fade in of each line. And leave them on the screen for a touch longer.

    Watch your lighting a bit for the external shots, there were a few shadows on the faces of the two women at the playground. (OK so you don't have reflectors or anyone to hold them, so just move around until the cast are in an accptable place with regard to the sun and objects casting shadows)

    On a grammatical point "a parent's perspective" requires an apostrophe.

    There is much to like about this film. I really like your opening titles (what did you do them in?) and the titles generally throughout (with the exception above). Most importantly they were legible and relevant and the movement drew attemntion to them without being a distraction.

    I loved your approach of placing Lorraine in a room with a cartoon crowd. I thought the "studio" setting didn't work quite so well and would have liked to have seen a background "studio" drawn in the same style as the crowd. The chroma keying was "adequate" but the beauty of your approach meant that "adequate" was all that was required (no-one actually believe she's in cartoon land so it doesn't have to look real).

    I also liked the fact that you used a mix of locations as well as a mix of internal and external shots. As previously mentioned the shot of the two kids joining their mum was superb. Maybe a couple of shots of smiling kids faces?

    I liked the fact that you varied the angles giving us straight on and to the side shots of Lorraine, but as has been said before, apart from maybe establishing shots, use mid-close up and close up.

    I agree again with Shrimpy that you should try to let Lorraine move a bit. As a rule people do not talk with their hands a their sides!

    I hope you don't think I'm being too harsh. I've only gone into such detail as it's clear that there are many more films to be made in this series, I can see things which you can do EASILY which will improve the films markedly and you asked for it!

    I only hope you find the above helpful (even if you disagree with some or all of it).
    Tim

  7. #7

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    Thank you Tim. That is what I asked for and I appreciate the time that you have taken to reply.
    The camera I have doesn't have a seperate mic socket, but a seperate recorder had not occured to me, I'll look into that.
    I will work a lot harder on the sound. (After I've done my 100 lines!)
    I will also take more care with the lighting, both indoors and out.

    The titles were all done in Adobe Aftereffects, a programme I found easy to get on with due to it's similarity to Photoshop. The cartoon characters were done my my son and daughter-in-law with no idea why they were doing them! I'll see what they can come up with for a set.

    The reason for the long list is, as you observed, it is a complicated subject and different folks will have different triggers. This is an intro to the series and as such we were trying to get a lot of information in. I'll try to avoid the same mistake in future.
    As for the titles and voiceover, the anticipated audience often needs both for something to register, although I appreciate that this was possibly a little too much.
    It was not until you Guys pointed it out that I noticed the hands trying to keep still. We'll look at that too.

    So yes, your posts have all been extremely helpful. As I said, this whole thing is well out of my comfort zone and I really do appreciate the time taken.

    I'll let you know how the next one goes....

  8. #8
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    Ian

    Its always good to see a video posted by someone who has talent, ideas and a desire to obtain feedback so that they can improve. Post's like these often receive the most feedback. In your case there is icing on the cake because you are working on a subject that will help others.

    No matter what experience level we may have it is a delight when we know we have produced something that is an improvement on our last work. There is more pleasure in realising that we are capable of bigger and better creations thanks to the feedback we receive.

    Feedback is the oxygen of film making. Positive feedback brings such pleasure that we are often compelled to produce more to gain more. Independent critical feedback however is the holy grail, for then you are being watched by people who understand the sheer amount of effort that goes into making a great film.

    I have learnt more in my short time here than in the months I have spent frequenting another site that purport (and charges) to help you with your movie making. I had no idea of the relationship of microphones, rooms and soft furnishings and the effect they have on sound quality.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IanA View Post
    I'll let you know how the next one goes....
    ... and I trust you'll post a link here for us to see it.
    Tim

  10. #10

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    It would be rude not to, after all the help you guys have given me. Again, many thanks for the time taken and advice given.

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