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Thread: Broken Rules

  1. #1
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    Red face Broken Rules

    I am a newbie, I had very basic instruction in film making in the 1960s. I have been shooting video since Video eight/VHSC came in.
    I have read and accept that I have broken every single one of the "ten comandments" sticky.
    Now I am retrospectively seeking ANY helpful advice on how to use the material.

    The opportunity arose to shoot a unique situation. There was no script it was shot strictly fly on the wall. The camera, only one was a straight eight mill, sound was on camera mic, footage, about three hours, maybe more, was both tripod and hand held.

    No commentary, no interviews, no personalities.

    An outline is this. On the UK M4, a bridge, 2000indivisible tons was lifted off its plinths, turned into line with the road and carried off the motorway for demolition.
    I have the special units being constructed, the units being moved into place, the bridge being lifted and lowered to ground level, and being driven away, being controlled from a consol.

    Then the units being dis assembled and trucked away.

    I should have scripted, I should have had an assistant and a seperate mic, I should have interviewed Etc.etc.etc.

    I now have transferred the tapes to DVD, as I don't have a capture card and I have fairly basic editing software.

    When the derision subsides, help ful advice will be wecome.
    Thanks for reading.

  2. #2
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    Without seeing the footage it's hard to visualise. However, it does sound that a "timelapse" video would fit the bill here. Not very insightful or creative, I know!

  3. #3

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    I agree that some of it could be time lapsed. You could also try some retrospective interviews interspersed with the footage you have. That would mean tracking down the people involved with the project, if thats possible.

  4. #4
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    Thanks, Marc and Midnight,
    possibly some time lapse could be a way forward,but not I think, in an overall approach. I don't think that the retrospective interviews are on, the main director of the event is probably dead, he came out of retirement to supervise this as it was so unusual, and I have doubts that the unit operator/driver would be available or have useful input, if he had actual recall, of this particular task. it was just one of a number of moves that he was involved with, it may however be worth some enquiries. My thoughts were along the lines of the big move tele programs which come from the US. Unconventional trucks (units) were involved which are rarely seen outside of very heavy industrial locations. Being ruthless, probably the footage could give a twenty minute program (I might even be being generous at twenty minutes!).
    Thanks for your interests.

  5. #5
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    A decent narration sounds to be the best way to create an interesting presentation.

    If you can find someone who can get a decent text together and record a decent voice-over with lots of facts, personal touches and history, it should come together nicely.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the input Rob,
    I have done quite a bit of homework on this and you may well be right, I will look again at my written text and aditional material, I may even try to record a voice over myself. I don't have the type of voice I think I want I can generally write reasonably, so maybe I can give it a try. The live sound is very monotonous like a rumbling droning sound.
    but as I said ANY help or suggestions appreciated.

  7. #7
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    I'd agree with Rob's suggestion of making it a straightforward documentary with a v/o. It is often far from obvious with civil engineering achievemants such as this exactly what is going on and/or what makes the event(s) special or significant.

    A decent narration can add a sense of drama or excitement.

    I'd be tempted to write the script initially with little regard for the footage you have available. Tell the story you want to tell then use the footage to illustrate it. I find this produces a much more fluid film than trying to fit words to a set of clips you've already decided on. (I know plenty who much prefer to work the other way round - this is just what works for me)

    Consider your audience and choose the language/level of detail accordingly. From my few years in amateur video club circles, I would have thought 10min would be more than enough to hold people's interest. By way of comparison, one of our members won a silver medal at BIAFF (and the audience favourite) for a documentary covering the rebuilding of Sunbury Weir. It included the obvious before/after shots, live and voiceover narration, interviews, shots of welders/frogmen, barges, cement mixers, detailed descriptions of the cement being mixed, tested, tranported etc and interviews. There was loads in it - it lasted 8 minutes and kept the audience interest (about a pretty dry subject) throughout.
    Tim

  8. #8
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    Thank you Tim for your input.Your suggestion sounds sense. My own interest in the project and indeed the audience anticipated at shooting was soley heavy transort enthusiasts. I was heavily involved with freelance photography in the field of vintage road transport at the time this event took place. The main reason for shooting was the extreme rarity of the equipment used and its appearance in public areas, I didn't even know the kit existed let alone seen it. the target audience would want to see the kit in detail. The raw footage was shown to a packed clubhouse (transport Club) shortly after the event. Hacked, I can't say edited, down to about 45minutes. the discussion lasted over two hours and a number of parts of the tape were gone over time and again just looking at the detail.
    The preamble, the location, the kit, the method of handling, and even a few cutaways are all available, but I like the suggestion and will be giving it more thought.

  9. #9
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    It sounds like you've got to decide upon your audience - or make two films: one for a general audience such as you might find here and one which is more detailed and possibly jargon packed so as not to insult the enthusiasts.

    I often find it's difficult not to lose sight of the objective or the target audience - especially if you are particularly interested in the subject.

    Whilst I have no particular interest in the subject matter I'm currently facing precicely that "target audience" problem. I filmed a whole bunch of people abseiling down a local church tower in aid of a bell restoration fund. I also manged to get a couple of surprisingly good interviews with the Tower Secretary (about the project, fundraising and a bit of history) and the Tower Captain (head bellringer - about the bells, the work to be done, the bellringers).

    The long term aim is to put together a general audience documentary about the whole project, which will involve a number of visits to film the bells being removed, the frame dismantled, new frame being installed etc etc you get the picture.

    The objective for now though is to get a quick film with as many people abseiling (and their brief interviews) as possible so everyone can have their memory of doing it on film (I will be making it available for the project to sell copies if they find it adequate).

    However, as I put these clips together I keep finding myself adding footage of the main interviews - the meatier stuff - which to me is far more interesting than repetitive shots of people dangling on a rope. In other words part of me keeps trying to turn it into a more serious documentary (even though I know I only have very limited footage and will be obtaining far better stuff in the future)

    I think, snapper, they key thing is constantly to be aware of these things and you clearly are or you wouldn't have asked for suggestions/input here. It's those who just think good shots or a subject which interests them is enough and don't try to look at things from other people's perspectives who will ultimately make the poorer films.
    Tim

  10. #10
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    I think Tim that you have it in one. I have never considered a general audience, other than having seen the big lift tele programmes fro the states and there is of course the two possibilities. Though any market for a general video is likely to be minute while the one to heavy haulage enthusiasts may be a little bigger. I intend to watch this thread for a while, during which time I can formulate a suitable(?) script for a narrative. I expect to be working away over the next week so will not be on line but will catch up on my return. The tape was shot in spring 1992, and recently transfered to DVD, it hasn't gone away, and my theory is that I may be a bit more realistic at this distance than I was at the time.

    I do still dream of making my fortune, but no longer hold my breath!

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