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Thread: Gold

  1. #1
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    Smile Gold



    Gold



    Here's my latest film, a five minute doc about a couple celebrating their 50th Anniversary. For my first BA (Hons) Film and Video course assignment. I'm not particularly happy with many parts of this film, but I'd LOVE feedback from you guys. I was the editor and wrote the music here. But any comments/criticisms about any part of the film, do tell.


  2. #2

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    The Big Guys will post soon, I'm sure, but for now I hope you don't mind a beginner's comments.

    I loved it. It was cool how their stories were so close that they could be interwoven like that in the editing. The cutaways were interesting in their own right, rather than just looking like B-roll. And although I can't point to it, there seemed to be a satisfying narrative arc (talking about the past led to talking about the present, then to talking about the future?). I didn't really notice the music; I guess that could be good or bad depending on what you were going for. (I think it was good in that I wasn't distracted.)

    Would you mind telling me 1) how you did light and sound in the interviews? and 2) what the things are that you said you weren't "particularly happy about?"

    Cheers

  3. #3
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    Nicely done. A few things I would have done differently I think would be not use hand held when looking over their old photos... the style grates against everything else to such a degree that it would irritate me... I think some close ups of the people too here and there... for instance a close profile shot of Ron when he drifts of whistfully would have been nice. Only other major bug bear for me is the reflection of daylight in his specs... Would have been nice to be able to see the expression in his eyes...

    All minor stuff really. The overall feel of it I think is warm and cosy.

    I'm intruiged as to what you would have changed....

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the comments so far.

    Some of the things I'm not fond of are all of the things I had little control over.
    Still, framing is one of them. I would have liked to put Ron and Joan off to one side of each shot. Especially with Ron, as we see him sitting in a double-seater couch. The fact that one chair is empty could symbolise that the person he is talking about has passed away. It would also look a bit more cosy if the camera was closer in, although I notice the importance of showing both their hands and face.

    We used a boom mic (not sure what model no.) for sound, and it was all naturally lit with just house lights providing light. We all learnt about how to light subjects properly, but it was annoying that this was not done by those on set when filming was underway. My job was to put it all together in editing to make the best of what we had.

    I agree about the shine on the glasses. It would have been nicer to see the eyes as it would've given more emotion.

  5. #5
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    Well edited.

    If this was an amateur vid, a family vid or a just-for-mum-and-dad vid I'd say "nice effort". But it isn't. It's for a "BA (Hons) Film and Video course assignment" and you are right not to be happy with it.

    Now brace yourself because, for a degree level video, the camerawork was sloppy, poor and lazily executed.

    For me it really fell down on the camerawork. The composition is well off. On the actual film (as opposed to the still shown above) there is way, way too much headroom. The framing is far too loose, get the camera operator to learn about the rule of thirds and the basics of composing a picture. Both the subjects were framed in a way which suggests Uncle Fred who's just unpacked his first camcorder.

    The man has reflections in his glasses which completely obliterate his eyes. Awful. Shouldn't happen.

    The lady has no light in her eyes at all, making them look dull and lifeless.

    There's no point (allegedly) having a cameraman who knows about lighting if he can't put it into practice.

    Hand-held shots of the photos? Too lazy to use a tripod? Camera shadow going over photos, particularly noticeable at the end of one movement. Not good. If you don't get it right... go again. Also the hand-held doesn't fit at all with the style of the interview.

    This may seem a bit harsh but this is supposedly degree level, ie almost professional and I'm looking at it with that in mind. I'm surprised at you Robert, not at all up to your usual standard... aaah, I've just seen in the credits that you weren't the cameraman. Ditch the noob and get someone who can see what's happening in the viewfinder.

    Cinematographer? He's having a laugh.

    Brutal, I'm afraid, but honest criticism for a degree level film.

  6. #6

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    Hi Rob, Nice sound, I listened for the music and thought it was just right. Very simple as it should be for a piece like this. Gaffer has said about the camera work but what he didn't say is you as the editor could have re framed some of the shots in editing. The Director has to take the blame for not seeing the project though to the end.

    It's not a bad piece at all I would have been happy to have done it, I liked the subject and the way they come across so the Director can take a pat on the back for that.

    I'm not a pro so take or leave my opinion as that is all it is.

    Good luck with your course, I hope you do well.

  7. #7
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    Much appreciated for all the feedback.

    I really do agree with you, Gaffer. As much as it pained me, the group as a whole was poorly put together, with originally three of us who had only just met. One held a radio silence, and the other (after a long story cut short) filmed the production.

    If I were to be picking out a new group for a new documentary, I'd make sure I knew their skills first, and at least put in what I could to encourage better framing. The picture I use above is kind of how I would have liked it.
    I'm not sure how easy it would be to reframe the shots in editing, or if that would even be possible without experiencing massive quality loss.

    I'm also miffed that this was filmed in 4:3.
    This was the thing. I commonly dance around many aspects of the film production, but here I was focussing mainly on the editing. That was how the group had to work for the assignment.

  8. #8

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    Way above your peers I suspect. I really enjoyed that.

    Knives out as you said film course.

    Dont let the talent look at camera.
    Work on composition maybe.

    Editing ints is dead hard and you did a great job.

    Maybe crop in on some shots. Not in post - that looks rubbish.

  9. #9
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    I'm glad Gaffer has said everything I was going to say. He knows what he's talking about whereas I just like to think I do. He also spotted the lifeless eyes which I'd missed - thanks for the tip Gaffer.

    You know what's wrong with it. It's all down to camera work. Credit where credit's due though - the live sound was crystal clear (to my ears, anyway).

    You've done a good job of editing it together. A good narrative from good content (if we leave aside the appalling capturing of that content). Paced very well - nice and relaxed but without ever feeling it was going a bit slow.

    One thing I'd disagree with: whilst I've always filmed 16:9 I actually think 4:3 is a far better aspect ratio for talking heads in interviews (at least when framed correctly). The subject actually fills most of the screen. With all these 16:9 interviews, the director has to fill 2/3 of the screen with appropriate graphics or background. Whilst this gives the director some scope to be artistic - if he is so then it can be distracting, if he isn't it's just wasted screen real estate.

    On the other hand 16:9 interviews can work well if there's the opportunity to show in the "other" half of the screen something related to what the interviewee is talking about or which compliments the interview (in your film it might be the photos). The problem with that approach though is that it seems less natural to go to a cutaway (we're already seeing cutaway material on the "other" side of the screen, why cut away noow?) and so you can';t get from one interview clip to another.
    Tim

  10. #10

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    Controversial Tim, about the 16:9. I don't agree.

    You said your self you always film in 16:9. If you ask your self why that is then that is why this should have been shot in 16:9. You gave a good argument as to why 4:3 is better for talking heads but I disagree on this. We see in wide screen not square screen, it's just more natural to the eye in wide screen.

    Plus most TV's are made that shape or wider, so there is a commercial aspect to think about. I know this was not necessarily made for TV but I'm running out of counter argument so I'm clutching at straws.

    Just me playing devils advocate on this issue.

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