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Thread: My first real DIY film - A SW Fan Film

  1. #1

    Default My first real DIY film - A SW Fan Film

    Hello everybody. Well, I have decided to put my neck on the block and ask for your thoughts on my first real story based film. It is my second actual attempt at making a film, but my first go was,.. well, disastrous. I didn't do enough planning or prep work the first time, and really flew by the seat of my pants, and it showed. In the end, my first film didn't even make sense because of a lot of mistakes I made in my haste to make something. However, it was an incredible and valuable learning experience, and what I learned, I applied to making this one.

    It was also my first experience with HD. I used a Canon XH-A1,.. and learned that auto-focus is less than ideal for every situation. Sometimes I had no choice though due to my limited equipment, for the shots I wanted. But overall I am pleased.

    Yes, it is a Star Wars fan film. The actors are my kids and their friends (who are avid SW fans), and they are absolutely thrilled with it. I have been dabbling in After Effects (thanks to Andrew Kramer at videocopilot), so this was a chance to have some fun, while getting into some FX. I uploaded it to youtube, but for whatever reason when youtube encoded it, it made the first few seconds greyish and weird, but after a few seconds it clears up fine and is normal. It's not like that in my copy of the film,.. but hey, that's youtube for you.

    Anyhow, give it a watch, and let me know your thoughts. Any constructive feedback would be greatly appreciated! It was a lot of fun to make! Enjoy!


  2. #2

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    Coming from the position of not being a big fan of Star Wars, I thought this was top notch. Hard to fault. I see a lot of work has gone into it and you have certainly made a great short movie.

    One tip I'll give you is to speed up the fights scenes just a little 10 or 15% just to help the action. The kids did great but that would have helped.

    Very well done to you and all involved.

  3. #3
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    Fantastic effort. The hard work must have put into the effects has paid off as these were far more realistic than most we get to see. And it's clear that you've studied more than just AE.

    I thought some of the scenes were a little slow paced - these whiche were supposed to build tension, didn't quite and could have been cut (though I'm guesing you couldn't be too flexible as you had to fit it to the music).

    I had difficulty hearing the younger lad at the beginning.

    The story was uninteresting, or perhaps that's just because I'm no SW fan and so it meant nothing to me, but that doesn't matter in this case - it was a vehicle for the effects and the fight scenes.

    Overall it was well shot, with a good variety of angle and mix of wide/mid/close-ups. And congratulations on finding the right locations for each shot.

    For a first (OK second) film you should be very proud indeed.
    Tim

  4. #4

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    Thanks so much for the comments Midnight and Tim! I really greatly appreciate the input and suggestions!

    Midnight, I hadn't considered speeding up the fight scenes before, but now that you mention it I wish I had. That is a great suggestion and something I will try,.. and something I will keep in mind for the future. Thanks for that.

    Tim, yes, the more time that goes by, the more I see that it is slower than I had hoped, and the pacing is off. The funny thing that I find happens with me, is that because I filmed it, I feel compelled to put it all in,.. after all I shot it for a reason right? But generally it is several months later when I look back at my edit, I am able to see it clearer and find that there are things I should have omitted. But yes, I think you are absolutely right about that, and hopefully, the more I do this, the better I'll get at being able to do that from the beginning. But thanks for that.

    I built a DIY steadicam (which is less than ideal, but better than nothing) but I found that I had to mount my microphone onto the camera and couldn't use an external set up, because it really made balancing difficult with it plugged in but not mounted, so unfortunately, with that restriction it had a hard time picking up my youngest son's dialogue at the beginning. I boosted it as much as I could in Premiere, but that was all I could get from it. It really gives you an appreciation for how they are able to get such good, clean dialogue and sound in the movies.

    But thanks so much for taking the time to watch it, and for the input and encouragement!

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2dart View Post
    Tim, yes, the more time that goes by, the more I see that it is slower than I had hoped, and the pacing is off. The funny thing that I find happens with me, is that because I filmed it, I feel compelled to put it all in,.. after all I shot it for a reason right? But generally it is several months later when I look back at my edit, I am able to see it clearer and find that there are things I should have omitted.
    This is one of the most difficult things with film making. I'll swear lind that I could not possibly cut something any tighter at all, then months later realise I should have cut it tighter.

    It's really useful to have someone who's close enough to you to be honest and not to take offence when you shout and scream, who has not been involved in your project, to view & critique the "almost complete" film.
    Unfortunately, I see your's was already involved

    We all take shots which are absolutely essential to the film. But sometimes it's even more essential (and not always obvious) to leave them out when we're nearing the final product.
    Tim

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