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Thread: 4 min Charity Abseil film

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    Default 4 min Charity Abseil film

    I'm hoping to make a documentary about the bells being restored in a local church. Part of the fund-raising was a sponsored abseil. I went along and filmed it. As I wanted to capture an interview with all the participants (there may be a very long boring video coming out of this for distribution to the abseilers only in return for a donation to the fund) I was not able to do the do the abseil myself (that's my excuse anyway). For the same reason, I couldn't be up top getting shots of the abseilers decending, which is a bit of a shame.

    There's a bit of handling noise on the mic at times. This version was also forced into a 4 minute format for a comp. There's much more interview material with the tower secretary and the tower captain (chief bellringer) which I will use in a longer (or at least a different) version.

    So please criticise away. Whilst I cannot re-film, I will be re-editing so all comments are most welcome.

    Tim

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    The titles dropping down like that is perhaps a bit cliché but it is a fun piece so I'm in two minds about that. Nice to camera piece at the beginning and a great idea to look up to the tower at the end so you can then cut to a view of the tower, this shows good forward thinking. I think you made it look easier than it actually is to do. I would have got Hilary Brooks to do her bit again or repaired it in editing, after she made a little fluff with the "need to be come out" line. Just cut the unnecessary "be" while on a cut away of the bells. Nice cut aways through out the piece.

    The split screen idea doesn't work for me. I would start with the person being interviewed, then just go to a full shot of them coming down the tower. If that becomes boring then back to the interview shot. Unusual angle on the final to camera piece. So how come you didn't get up the tower for the obvious pointing down shot ?

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    Thanks for taking the time to watch and trouble to comment.
    Quote Originally Posted by Midnight Blue View Post
    The titles dropping down like that is perhaps a bit cliché but it is a fun piece
    All done in ProType Titler. I'm not sure if you picked up on it but I was trying to allude to the bell ropes being pulled down which seemed an appropriate way of introducing the title. I have to admit I haven't been totally happy with it and your comment has made me less happy.
    Anyone care to suggest alternatives? (I did think of having the titles swinging like a blee, but thought that would be much worse)
    Quote Originally Posted by Midnight Blue View Post
    Nice to camera piece at the beginning and a great idea to look up to the tower at the end so you can then cut to a view of the tower, this shows good forward thinking. I think you made it look easier than it actually is to do.
    Thanks. You're right: it's all in the planning. The execution was surprisingly simple. I recommend you try it sometime. There's a longer version which also works well. This shows a wide shot of the church path. I enter the shot walking towards the church, pause and look up at the tower then turn towards the camera. Cut to close up of me turning towards te camera and continue as you see here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Midnight Blue View Post
    I would have got Hilary Brooks to do her bit again or repaired it in editing, after she made a little fluff.
    I actually did this at one stage, but then returned to the "fluffed" line for the simple reason it gave me a bit more time to get the cutaways in. They had to go in at particular points to cover another cut in the interview, and when I looked at the completed section it all seemed rather rushed. However, now I look at it again, I've clearly re-worked this section and it would be quite possible to lose the "be" without any detriment.

    Quote Originally Posted by Midnight Blue View Post
    The split screen idea doesn't work for me. I would start with the person being interviewed, then just go to a full shot of them coming down the tower. If that becomes boring then back to the interview shot.
    There are a couple of reasons I didn't do this. Firstly the problem is that the interviewees don't say enough - or at least enough that is vaguely interesting enough to be included in the film (and bear in mind that the 50 or so I inteviewed all say basically the same thing). You have to leave the head shot on screen long enough for the viewer to get a decent look at them. If I then cut to shots of them abseiling, it will be on-screen for a very short period of time. I could leave shots of abseiling on the screen without any interview, but this leads to the second problem: the shots of people abseiling are basically boring and would have made the film unnecessarily long (See later comment) I thought the shots of people's faces as they expressed emotion etc ere actually far more interesting, which is why I left them on-screen for most of the duration.

    Quote Originally Posted by Midnight Blue View Post
    Unusual angle on the final to camera piece.
    Polite way of putting it. I was knackered - I'd been filming from 8-4.30 and knew the end shot I'd wanted. It was meant to mirror the opening, but I discovered couldn't position myself in front of the tower because the sun had moved round and was pointing directly at the camera. So I was a bit tired searching for a location and didn't take as much care as I should have in setting up.

    Quote Originally Posted by Midnight Blue View Post
    So how come you didn't get up the tower for the obvious pointing down shot ?

    I did. Before the abseil began. That shot was not particularly good and was part of a longer intro which I cut to keep the length of this one down.

    The shots I'd like to have had were from the top showing the abseiler's going over the edge and then looking down on them. The reason I couldn't was this was a one man shoot and I couldn't be in two places at once. I needed to be at the bottom to catch each abseiler as the finished their descent. I never knew which one would give a great interview/quote.

    The other shot I would really have like to do would have been a piece to camera of me descending! Not a shot from above, but taken by a cameraman on a rope next to me (actually I guess a long zoom could work nearly as well)

    So, my advice to anyone who has the opportunity to do this: take a second camera person.

    Thanks again for your great comments Midnight.
    Tim

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    If you ever want to dangle off a church tower on a rope, just let me know and I'll come and film it. Just make sure the church is in Yorkshire.

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    I liked that, I once knew a bell ringer at school.

    Tim it's tricky making the slow abseilers seem interesting and you have done well to use a split screen there, possibly a cut away to people looking at the action or even a over the shoulder shot to break up the very samish footage, possible I am being a little tough here as the video did hold my very short attention span. Have to say your last few videos have been quite polished, well done.
    I know nothing about youtube, even less about video
    http://www.youtube.com/user/leokimvideo

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    Quote Originally Posted by Midnight Blue View Post
    ...The split screen idea doesn't work for me.
    It doesn't for me either - but I think it's because of the feathering in - If the screens were boxed a'la '24' style, I think it'd work much better.
    Still stuck without sound here but otherwise I thought it looked very nice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rollingstock View Post
    Tim it's tricky making the slow abseilers seem interesting and you have done well to use a split screen there,
    Thanks for watching and you comments, Digger. Over the shoulder would have been good, as you say, but very tricky to line up as a one man effort: I can't really expect the interviewees to repeat if I get it wrong in this scenario. I definitely need more shots of the observers, but again the limitation was being alone. When I'm filming the observers, I'm not capturing the abseilers and whilst I realise I'm never going to use the hours of abseiling footage that I've got, you can bet that the second Itook the camera off them, something exciting would happen.

    Glad you liked the split screen. You've seen my reasons for it above. However two others who posted don't - so I'm still wondering about that....
    Tim

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Lockwood View Post
    It doesn't for me either - but I think it's because of the feathering in - If the screens were boxed a'la '24' style, I think it'd work much better.
    Still stuck without sound here but otherwise I thought it looked very nice.
    Jeez, you watched a video of interviews without sound? Many thanks for suffering that, Andy! And many thanks for your comments.

    Obviously I gave quite a bit of consideration about how best to condense the interview & abseil footage and, having decided on split screen, how best to do that. I considered PIP with an insert of the abseiling on the interview and the reverse (insert of interview into abseil footage) though the reverse I rejected immediately as the faces are much more interesting than a slightly closer mid-shot of the abseiling.

    I rather liked the feathering in but this is clearly proving to be an unpopular move so I'll consider the alternatives again.....

    I hadn't really considered "24" style for three reasons: 1. It was a bit reminiscent of my "Race for Life" one minute film from last year (been there, done that) 2. It will be thought of as jumping on the bandwagon of "24" style video. 3. I'm reluctant (for no other reason than I have a phobia of it) to "waste" screen real estate.

    Actually there's a fourth reason, which is one of my very first attempts at video had that sort of effect and I'm forever reminded of Pinnacle!

    But maybe you have a point. I'm not that familiar with "24" never having see it, but I know the sort of thing. Question: If I give it a go, should I keep cutting about, moving the "windows" from one position to another within an interview, or should I keep the voiews static for the duration of each interview? Discuss & explain your answers!
    Tim

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    I like it but agree with the titles looking corny. I like a black large font title, stationary. I think it looks more professional. But the film made me want to watch it, was quite interesting Tim.

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    I liked the piece very much. I'm in agreement with that first title seeming more like something you'd see in a kid's show. It didn't really work here, but the other titles were fine. The title makers in virtually all NLEs are pretty basic. I use the lettering effects in SwishMax for anything other than standard fades. I liked the split screen thing myself. You didn't do too much of it, so I thought it added a little spice in that regard. I would have liked to have seen a few different angle of the people coming down the wall. Most everything was shot from the left. Some shots from above and the right would have helped, but it looked fine as is, and I realize that you had to do it this way. Anything else I say would just be nitpicking. Overall it was great.

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