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Thread: Sunbury Regatta 2009

  1. #1
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    Default Sunbury Regatta 2009

    Head above the parapet time again.

    Last summer, members of my video club descended upon Sunbury-on-Thames regatta with a view to seeing if we could make a film. Four of us came up with movies and this is my contribution.

    It's a perfect example of how not to make a film (but how we amateurs often do): turn up without any idea of what you're going to film and see if you can make anything out of it afterwards.

    I made this with the regatta attendees as the intended audience: hence the length - at 14 mins plus it's much longer than I would make for a more general audience (ie people who'll watch without any expectation of catching a glimpse of themselves). Having said that, I've tried to make it lots of very short episodes in an effort to hold interest.

    Most of the footage was shot by me though some (in particular the Tug-of-War) was shot by two other members who were happy to film, but didn't want to do anything more so they donated their footage to me.

    I'm not after any medals and I'm not going to "improve" on it based on comments here, but I'd gladly take all criticism on board as it'll no doubt help me with future films. Thanks in anticipation.

    It's in two parts (hence the two links in this one thread). And part two doesn't particularly rely on having watched part one.



    Tim

  2. #2

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    I thought the narration and the music were very good. (Where does one find that kind of music to use? Royalty-free websites offer music by genre, but how would you find, say, "silly piano tune" or "somber cello," i.e., how does one find music sorted by mood?)

    One thing I would have liked to see was more on-camera mini-interviews, short clips of people saying how excited they were, or how they felt after winning/losing, or why this event was important to them, etc.

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    Thanks for watching and taking the trouble to feed back, Dave. Your comments about interviews are spot on. That helps to involve the viewer rather than leave him/her as no more than an observer. I often criticise others for the same omission!

    This is something I really need to practice and become confident in. I think I probably need to work with someone else (at least at first) as I find I've enough on my plate worrying about the camera/composition/sound without also having to try to ask sensible "open" questions.

    The music is all Smartsound (www.smartsound.com) The music (which works only with their own software) can be customised in a number of ways - (eg length so you can always have a piece the correct length, but there's much more to it than that especially with their "layered" music). They have a good library - with lots of orchestral stuff which I tend to prefer - so much royalty free stuff is electronic/synth. And their search facility will allow you to search using terms such as you suggest (you can try this on the website, I believe). You can also add your own descriptive terms to the music library.

    It's quite pricey, but becomes more reasonable if you buy in quantity. They often have offers - I tend to wait for those then buy a few CD downloads at once.
    Tim

  4. #4

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    Double thumbs up from me on this one Tim. Great scrip and VO commentary, interesting and funny. Good music choices. I see there where 3 cameras used so it wouldn't be fair to comment to much on the camera work. It was over all very good.

    One editing point, at times I was getting overwhelmed by the number of shots being fired at the viewer. Apart from that I have to take my hat off to you simply for wading through such a huge project.

    If I was in a critical mood I would say the shot at 4:38 (part2) was held to long. But That would be very critical what is an outstanding piece.

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    Thanks Midnight, though "outstanding" is somewhat over the top for what is basically a reasonable home movie. But I'm certainly pleased you like the vo. All I need now is to develop a Shrimpy or a Digger voice and I'll be happy with that side of the business. (And while I'm at it, get my wife baking and belly dancing)

    Quote Originally Posted by Midnight Blue View Post
    I see there where 3 cameras used so it wouldn't be fair to comment to much on the camera work.
    All my shots were tripod, the other two were handheld so feel free to point out any flaws in the tripod shots. (OK. lets limit that a bit. When you get to, say, 20 I'll have got the message)

    Quote Originally Posted by Midnight Blue View Post
    One editing point, at times I was getting overwhelmed by the number of shots being fired at the viewer.
    You're not the first to say this. It's the old problem of not being able to see it with fresh eyes. I guess I have a tendency to err on the side of making it tighter rather than looser when I'm not sure how long to hold a shot. However, my club was split between the edits being too quick and "that's the modern style" so I'm at a bit of a loss. I can see I'm going to have to make a real effort to cut back on the cutting with my next film and see how that goes down.

    Quote Originally Posted by Midnight Blue View Post
    If I was in a critical mood I would say the shot at 4:38 (part2) was held to long.
    I've had another look and I think you're right. I loved the look on the lads face and had ths been the end of a film I'd have held it for a fade. When I originally cut this to the music that shot started a beat or two earlier (it got moved when I lengthened anothe shot, I think) and I wonder if it worked better over the dying notes of the music rather than over the fade and silence.

    Good constructive comments, Midnight. All taken on board. Thanks.
    Tim

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    Quote Originally Posted by TimStannard View Post
    Thanks Midnight, though "outstanding" is somewhat over the top for what is basically a reasonable home movie. But I'm certainly pleased you like the vo. All I need now is to develop a Shrimpy or a Digger voice and I'll be happy with that side of the business. (And while I'm at it, get my wife baking and belly dancing)
    Or get her to be a lady of the night like mine.

    I wouldn't call it a home movie, it's to good. I found it entertaining and informative so I'd call it more of a documentry.

    When it comes to the number of cuts sometimes "less is more". It was a great job. I'm currently on item number 37 on the camera work so I'll get back to you later in the week with the full list. Only joking it was good stuff. Lots of angles, good framing etc.

    Oh, and I think you have just the right tone of voice for this piece.

    If you really want me to be critical, I wouldn't have gone for orange text.
    Last edited by Midnight Blue; 01-27-2010 at 09:04 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Midnight Blue View Post
    If you really want me to be critical, I wouldn't have gone for orange text.
    It reflected the cover of the officiall programme. But as I didn't show the official programme that's rather irrelevant, so I have to agree with you again!
    Tim

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    I'm sure Tim would like others to comment about his movie.

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    Its always difficult to film off the cuff, unscripted/unplanned projects and create a successful video in post production, especially when there is more than one camera being used, after saying that (the boy did good) the vids are well worth a watch.

    I found the ambient noise levels from shot to shot in reel one a little jarring and thought they could have been smoothed out or reduced. Again some of the narration music mixing was a little unsteady.

    Most of the music was well chosen but much of it was wall to wall which I found a little wearing. ( The stuff you always seem to get with holiday films.)

    Thought it might have benefitted by including interspercing some close up reaction/interviews to add some pace and add a little break from the music and narration for time to time.

    There's a great variety of interesting and well composed visuals and it has a decent script but think the project would have benefitted greatly being shortened by at least 50%. I realize that when politics are involved its always difficult.
    Nice Job all the same...

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    Thanks for your comments Alan and for taking the time to watch.
    I'm interested in your comments about the ambient - in many cases (though not all) I've set the level for each clip individually and in many others I've used just one bit of ambient sound behind a number of clips, so it's obviously something I need to pay even more attention to.
    I was also surprised you commented on the mix between the narration and music - again I spent quite a bit of time ensuring (or so I thought ) that the backing & ambient dipped enough for the narrration to cut through clearly, and yet maintain an overall level. I even revisited it after the first screening.
    I try to mix with both speakers and cans to get "some" idea of what it sounds like with different setups and then review on my TV. Has to be said none of this is hi-fi and maybe it suffers a lot more on a decent system.

    Music? Well probably most holiday films used the same source I take your point about wall to wall though. Guilty as charged. Totally agree about the interviews as mentioned in previous posts.

    As for the length - I make no apology for that. The intended audience is the people who organise and attend the regatta. They'll want to see as much as they can in the hope of seeing themselves. A shorter version would have to focus on three or four aspects only andthis was just a blatant attempt to cover as much as possible.

    Many thanks for taking the trouble to watch it all - I appreciate it's a bit of an ordeal and I value your comments.
    Tim

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