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Thread: Created a film to show off our charity calendar for seniors

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009

    Default Created a film to show off our charity calendar for seniors

    Hi everyone,

    To better show off our charity calendar for seniors, we have created a 55 minute film that explains the reasons behind the calendar's creation, as well as a personal insight into our (my) life. I'm the bloke in the movie, and also put the film together under direction and performed the voiceover.

    We are looking for literary agents to sell the calendar now.
    What do you think about the film? Also - Are there additional special tips or do you have any advice on how to draw the right type of viewers to the film?

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Cumbria, Near the Lake district


    Production is very amateurish. Shots held for far too long with limited angles. The intro shot, an unsteady pan across screen followed by a back pan and some hosing would have been better broken up into a short pan with (using a tripod) followed by several still shots which could have been achieved in less than quarter of the time. Why did you use (in my opinion) an unnecessary circular wipe at (50secs)?

    Still shots of you working on computers were fine. It might have been better if you had continued this style when displaying your calendar and magazine instead of several unsteady one angle slow zoom in and outs from the same camera angle. The slightly directionless camerawork quickly becomes tedious and slows everything to a standstill.

    I do wish you success with your extremely ambitious project however I was unable to watch more than 2 of the 7 parts. It lacks basic film production techniques. The script/filming and sound are poor... It jumps around from subject to subject in an aimless manner and is extremely boring.

    I really would like to offer some positive input, but cannot. You need to associate yourself with someone in video production who knows what they are doing ...Sorry!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Surrey, UK
    Blog Entries


    I started to write something similar to what Solway said last night but got called away and didn't want to leave a too abrupt comment!

    I watched the first 3.5 mins - only because it seemed like a "worthy" cause.

    The film opens with a reasonable wide angle establishing shot, then pans, reverse pans and hoses as Shrimpy says. We have to wait 46 seconds (of the same shot) before anything (in this case a voiceover) occurs.

    You get 10 secs MAXIMUM to grab your audience on YouTube. You absoluetly HAVE to hook them in that first 10 secs either with a punchline or with the promise of that to come.

    In your opening monologue you go on to say you've only got about 50 minutes to talk about the main subject so you'd better get on with it - this itself would put any remaining viewres off - but within another minute you jump to some totally unreated shots of dogs. This is not only confusing but also insulting the intelligence of your viewers whom you are expecting to give up 55 mins of their time.

    You ask for tips on drawing the "right type of viewer".

    Well, I'm not sure what you mean by the right type of viewer and I'm not entirely sure what you want the video to do but I would find it extremely surprising if ANYONE would consider sitting down and watching a film this long on this subject (whether it was made by you or the best prodution team in the world).

    This is not a piece of art or drama where sometimes long, lingering shots can add to the piece - it's an "infomercial" or possibly "documentary".

    Focus on what you want the film to do.
    Draft a script. Check that every bit of the script works towards the aim of the film. Redraft.
    Check and redraft again. Read it aloud. Tape it. Try it out on others.

    Then make the film to fit the script.

    Aim for 3 minutes max. This is nothing to do with your ability as a film-maker but much to do with the likely attention span of your audience.

    This should be easy to achieve. Cut the opening shot from 1 long pan lasting 46 seconds to one wide angle cut to one mid shot lasting a total of 3 seconds (And only this long because it IS opening and the audience need to orientate themselves) the immediately get the voiceover going. I've saved you 43 seconds out of 46 already!

    The shot of you scanning throgh the calendar did nothing - we can't really see the calendar and if your voiceover had captured our interest we'd be frustrated at this. If you want to do this sort of thing. By all means start with you holding the calendar up, but immediately cut to close-ups showing the calendar in detail.

    I'm truly sorry if this comes across as harsh, none of us likes to put a lot of work into something only to have it rubbished, but do try to realise our comments aren't personal attacks but intended as gudance on how you can make improvements in your next projects. So, don't look at it as wasted time on THIS project, look at it as time spent learning for your next one (which may simply be a revised version of this).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Haywards Heath, West Sussex, UK


    All sound advice being offered. Back to the drawing board for a snappier production next time I think. Good luck though.

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