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Thread: The Importance of Being Earnest - Acts 2 and 3

  1. Default The Importance of Being Earnest - Acts 2 and 3

    I feel a little silly making this post. When I made that other thread, I was expecting more traffic than what happened. Otherwise, I would have simply merged the two threads but since I've already labelled the other one Act 1, this will be the remaining acts...

    Also, because my project file (somehow) got corrupted and it took a while to recover them, there was a long period of time between my working on the first and second acts. I could easily have been a different editor when I made the second and third acts and I'm curious to see if I am.

    So here's the rest of the play, strung together as video responses:



    Thank you and I hope you enjoy!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gunboat Diplomat View Post
    I feel a little silly making this post. When I made that other thread, I was expecting more traffic than what happened.
    You only posted it three days ago and you've actually received a lot of feedback for this forum. This is a fairly low volume forum, but what you do receive in the way of criticism is, I hope you'll agree, of a pretty high standard.

    To be honest, if you'd previously spent some time commenting on other people's films and generally chatting here before posting your first video, you might have got an even higher response.

    Look at it from our our point of view: someone who has never contributed before asks us to spend 10 mins watching his film then a further five minutes commenting on it and that's 15 mins out of the time we could be spening working on our own projects.

    The other thing I'd suggest is that very few of us have much experience of recording in a theatre anyway, so that in itself reduces the number of people who might feel they can comment.

    I'm not criticising you for posting your vids, just explaining why you may not have received as much feedback as you might have expected.

    If you continue to interact and, importantly, comment on others' works you'll find the feedback you receive will generally increase proportionally.

    Thanks for posting. I'm finding the discussion very useful.
    Tim

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    Quote Originally Posted by TimStannard View Post
    You only posted it three days ago and you've actually received a lot of feedback for this forum. This is a fairly low volume forum, but what you do receive in the way of criticism is, I hope you'll agree, of a pretty high standard.

    To be honest, if you'd previously spent some time commenting on other people's films and generally chatting here before posting your first video, you might have got an even higher response.

    Look at it from our our point of view: someone who has never contributed before asks us to spend 10 mins watching his film then a further five minutes commenting on it and that's 15 mins out of the time we could be spening working on our own projects.

    The other thing I'd suggest is that very few of us have much experience of recording in a theatre anyway, so that in itself reduces the number of people who might feel they can comment.

    I'm not criticising you for posting your vids, just explaining why you may not have received as much feedback as you might have expected.

    If you continue to interact and, importantly, comment on others' works you'll find the feedback you receive will generally increase proportionally.

    Thanks for posting. I'm finding the discussion very useful.
    Thank you for your kind response...

    I did find the posts very helpful and I'm considering some big changes to my cuts, most notably some post-processing of the audio. I've installed Audacity and found that its noise removal filter (written by Dominic Mazzoni) works quite well! I'd have to listen to the entire play again to check for any errors since it makes extensive use of some very sensitive audio cuts and transitions but it may be worth it...

    To be honest, I was hoping the play would, in and of itself, be fun to watch but I understand if people don't actually enjoy watching it, for which there may be an myriad of reasons...

    Just to be sure there's mutual understanding, here's my point of view. I've made a video and I'd like some criticism of it. I don't know any editors who are willing to critique my work so I decide to seek some web forum on the subject. I've been on several forums and, in my experience, they're filled with people just dying to give you their opinion. I know 'cause I'm one of them (albeit, in other subjects). I do a Google search, pick the first link and here I am!

    I'd certainly be happy to critique other people's films but I do wonder what my opinion is worth seeing as I'm new to this hobby... and that it is merely a hobby for me...

    Thank you...

  4. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by paulears View Post
    You know what, sometimes when you spend a fair bit of your time on a forum trying to give useful advice, and you read something like this, it does make you wonder if the effort was really worth it.
    Why do you say that?

    You could have been a different editor???? Patience, my friend. Editing skill does not improve in days, it takes much, much longer and a to get better, you need to have been editing consistently. You wreck your project files and there was a long time between act 1 and act 2? How much editing other work did you do in the interim? This is where your skills get honed. However - you've already told us that much of the footage was compromised by camera movements, or poor framing etc, so a large part of your editing was error concealment - not making editing decisions on artistic grounds, just familiarity with the kit and basic editing. With theatrical stuff, which is what I do, you never really get a chance to develop aesthetic skills, you're locked to an audio track, so you're cutting for best image. My editing skills are often based around which moment to do the cut, and I'm always improving my timing, but like you - many edits are made in certain ways because the plan A, B and even C get used up. Let's face it, with this play, your options are limited. It's very twee and dated by today's standards. On top of this you have amateur actors with pretty average diction and projection. They're acting for the audience, not the camera, so it's always going to sound very odd, and I'm not talking about technical quality. Stage plays are rarely shot like this, as they make the transition to the small screen badly.
    Well, I've done two plays, a wedding, a trailer and some small tests. However, my favourite so far is still Earnest, which is why I asked for an opinion on that. Again, I also thought it may be enjoyable for you to watch but I'm sensing that that's not the case.

    More importantly to me, it has been two years between cutting the first act and the rest of the play and my attitude and approach towards editing has changed significantly. I've spoken to professional editors and I've watched the editing of movies and TV shows (which is very different from actually watching said movies and shows). I notice so much more now than I ever did back then and I was wondering if any of that comes out in my work...

    I agree that there's less freedom with shooting stage play but there are still aesthetic decisions to be made and technique matters. I try to shoot from three different angles and at least two different zoom levels. Because I have limited takes (for stage plays, those would be shows), I need to decide who to frame when and at what zoom level. When cutting, sometimes someone's reaction to what's being said is more important than the person speaking and so you'll cut to them but for how long? Even with error concealment (of which there was far too much in Earnest, unfortunately), you need to decide how to conceal it. As you can see, sometimes I chose not to. It's more limiting than a self directed shoot but it's still editing!

    At best, you're going to simply get a record of the production. The technical problems will be kept to a minimum, soundtrack intact and clear enough - but that is about it. A long time ago, I worked on a play - Sleuth with

    Act 2 looks pretty similar to Act 1 - I can't really see a difference, sorry.
    This is valuable information to me, thank you...

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    Quote Originally Posted by paulears View Post
    You know what, sometimes when you spend a fair bit of your time on a forum trying to give useful advice, and you read something like this, it does make you wonder if the effort was really worth it.
    You don't have to give advice and if you do, people are not obliged to accept it. You're relatively new to this forum, after a while you'll realise that the way to go is write your piece and then let it go, if you expect grovelling thanks and hero worship you'll just get frustrated.

  6. #6

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    I shall ramble...

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunboat Diplomat View Post
    I've installed Audacity and found that its noise removal filter (written by Dominic Mazzoni) works quite well!
    I took the opportunity to extract the audio (Act 1) and looked at at closely using Cubase (another audio editing program).

    It was interesting (depending on your interests!) to see.

    Instead of a basic noise filter; I used an effect called a "de-esser". I believe this can be done using Audacity. Here is a possible guide
    When you hear the current clips, hear how the "s" sound comes across rather loud - everytime. After a few mins, it becomes wearing on the ear.

    In an earlier post, I suggested using an EQ to remove low frequencies. As it happens, this recording did not much bass; so it was not so helpful - but it might help reduce some of the bangings from the stage. (Be aware that most human voices don't go much below 100Htz).

    The hum and noise from the cameras/positions were very different. The idea of editing the final 'edited' version would be very time consuming. I might suggest fiddling with each cam's audio separately; then re-editing the results back into the video.

    I had also suggested using some compression. This was not as successful as I had hoped; but it did help alot to reduce the different levels (loudness) of the speech. However, it also raised the level of the background noise. I also tried using a noise gate; to remove the sound between the speeches.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunboat Diplomat View Post
    To be honest, I was hoping the play would, in and of itself, be fun to watch but I understand if people don't actually enjoy watching it, for which there may be an myriad of reasons...
    I suspect there is more 'fun' to be had from the participants and their friends.

    However, it does contain many interesting aspects of the theatre and filming. Useful for anyone interested in acting or filming, whether those aspects were well or badly done.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunboat Diplomat View Post
    I'd certainly be happy to critique other people's films but I do wonder what my opinion is worth seeing as I'm new to this hobby... and that it is merely a hobby for me...
    I am amateur. I commonly review posted clips. If I post nonsense; a more learned reader will correct me. It is a huge credit to this forum that critiques are generally offered in the most encouraging manners. Everyone wants everyone else to get better. I look forward to Gunboat's inputs; and hearing of any plans (or results) to do another theatrical film. I suspect we all want to see and hear what improvements might have been tried.

  7. #7

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    Yes. Paul is correct. My reference to Cubase to help prevent the original poster thinking Audigy included the effects I was going to ramble on about. Yes, I should have mentioned Wavelab; but I don't own a copy. However, I have owned copies of Cubase since the 1980's because of interests in MIDI.

    I agree, Cubase is of little use for videotographers. Steinberg prefer we bought their even more expensive version "Nuendo"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gunboat Diplomat View Post
    I've been on several forums and, in my experience, they're filled with people just dying to give you their opinion. I know 'cause I'm one of them (albeit, in other subjects). I do a Google search, pick the first link and here I am!
    That's very interesting as many people who wind up comment that they cannot find useful criticism elsewhere. (I'm assuming that by people dying to give you their opinion you don't mean the people who litter YouTube with "Awsome" and "That really sucks"). It's great if there are other sites which are genuinely being constructive but I hesitate to ask where they are in case this forum sees an exodus

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunboat Diplomat View Post
    I'd certainly be happy to critique other people's films but I do wonder what my opinion is worth seeing as I'm new to this hobby... and that it is merely a hobby for me...
    It's merely a hobby for most of us here. We're very lucky to have a few tolerant pros as well.
    It doesn't really matter how long you've been making films. You have a lifetimes experience of watching them and TV.
    Furthermore, most of us aren't making films for other filmmakers; we're making films for ordinary people to watch.

    So, you see, your opinions are as valid as anyone else's.
    Tim

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    Quote Originally Posted by TimStannard View Post
    That's very interesting as many people who wind up comment that they cannot find useful criticism elsewhere. (I'm assuming that by people dying to give you their opinion you don't mean the people who litter YouTube with "Awsome" and "That really sucks"). It's great if there are other sites which are genuinely being constructive but I hesitate to ask where they are in case this forum sees an exodus
    You needn't fear an exodus. When I mentioned that people are dying to give you their opinion, I was distinctly saying those opinions were on other topics. That is to say, they weren't about video editing. That's why I'm here!

    It's merely a hobby for most of us here. We're very lucky to have a few tolerant pros as well.
    It doesn't really matter how long you've been making films. You have a lifetimes experience of watching them and TV.
    Furthermore, most of us aren't making films for other filmmakers; we're making films for ordinary people to watch.

    So, you see, your opinions are as valid as anyone else's.
    Thank you, I'll keep this in mind as I critique more videos!

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    Quote Originally Posted by TimAndrews View Post
    When you hear the current clips, hear how the "s" sound comes across rather loud - everytime. After a few mins, it becomes wearing on the ear.
    Really? I find that I quickly forget the hiss. My motive for removing it is that it's different from each shot so the contrast between cuts makes the hiss obvious...

    The hum and noise from the cameras/positions were very different. The idea of editing the final 'edited' version would be very time consuming. I might suggest fiddling with each cam's audio separately; then re-editing the results back into the video.
    Don't worry. My plan was to replace the audio source with a new filtered version, preserving all the cuts with the new audio. There's no way I'm re-editing this play!

    I am amateur. I commonly review posted clips. If I post nonsense; a more learned reader will correct me. It is a huge credit to this forum that critiques are generally offered in the most encouraging manners. Everyone wants everyone else to get better. I look forward to Gunboat's inputs; and hearing of any plans (or results) to do another theatrical film. I suspect we all want to see and hear what improvements might have been tried.
    Thank you. I have some projects in the works: both another theatrical play and my first directed fan-fic series! ...if I ever manage to get it produced. Unfortunately, it'll be a while before either of these comes out...

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