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Thread: The beginning of something Big! Edinburgh - new to forums.

  1. #1

    Default The beginning of something Big! Edinburgh - new to forums.

    Hello there

    My name is Costas, im 20, and have been making and editing films since i was about 14, ranging from drama to World of Warcraft Gaming footage (ending in 200 Ive now moved on to Motorsports and modified cars these past 2 years.
    In total ive released over 14 films, and received the better part of 20,000 views.

    Im self taught, had no education in filming or photography at all. I like most of you, started off small, windows movie maker, rubbish camera but slowly and surely ive worked my way up. I can realisticly see my film making improve aswell with every film. Critism has helped alot aswell.

    This forum is a godsend to me, it never even crossed my mind to look for film editing forums, even though im quite active on car forums (im a car enthusiast myself) Its been really hard to learn and adapt in relation to editing... Equipment etc. Ive tried learning as much as i can by other successfull film editers, and going through as many free tutorials as possible, as i crave knowledge and the ability to get better.

    Ive never known in person any film editors, so this forum is like a library to me. I anticipate ill be very active here.

    My Goals?
    To be the best i possibly can be at editing/shooting/directing (ive not settled on a specific field yet)
    I want next year to be the biggest improvement so far for my filming skills.
    I want to buy 2-3 HD Hero portable cameras (to attach to cars for action shots), im after but not quite sure which camera to go for (best value for money) but i want a new main camera, a HD camera, budget is around 800. But dont have a clue which to go for.
    New tripod, with a fluid head.
    New PC to make rendering etc faster. Or might just upgrade my current one, Unsure wether to stick with XP or go windows 7.

    I have a VERY vivid imagination, i can create clips in my head, pan, rotate, edit them as i will in my head like im watching in a real film. Its great i can do this... but it usually only happens when a song comes on the ipod that just screams at to have a clip added on, then the imagination kicks in.
    So for the past 3 months ive been planning 3 projects for next year, one of them VERY big. I intend to get lothian helicopters involved to get some cracking footage. Ive started jotting down script scenario's and remixing some songs currently. To have other people in on this (filming side of things) would be amazing.

    Now heres a preview of one of my films, excuse the first 3 minutes, i bought a new tripod which turned out to be guff as ull see the shakiness is ridiculous. However the action does pick up throughout... so patience!


    I use Sony Vegas 9.0C as my editing program.
    Camera isnt amazing either, its a JVC Evario, cost about 280.

    only films ive released this year are showing on my channel (rest are private) however each film brings something slightly different.

    Now there is one inspiration i do have, its called Wagenworks. This guy is just simply amazing at editing... My aim is to get as good as him by next year. When ull see this clip you'll know why.


    Sorry for boring you guys, i really appreciate anyone thats taken the time to read this post and watch the clips. Theres alot i probably havent covered.
    Any help/advice would be appreciated.
    Last edited by Airwolf; 12-22-2010 at 09:02 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Hi Costas and welcome.
    Looks like you've got a bit of work to do to get as good as Wagenwerks by next year - especially as it's only eitght days away. Quite apart from honig your camera and editing skills you'll need a track dolly and track and a crane ane goodness knows what else, but there's nothig wrong with ambition.

    As for your requirements: camera - you may just be able to pick up a Panasonic TM700 for your budget. If ypu'd consider sticking with Standard Def, you can pick up Canon XM2s for 500-700 on ebay. These are superb cameras, having large CCDs, great lenses and loads of manual adjustments accessible by buttons (this is important - cheaper cameras may have the facilities but they're accessible via software via menus) ALso you won't need to spend so much (if anything) on your PC.

    Looking at your film, a few comments:

    I don't think your problem with the stuttering is your tripod. It looks to me like you've filmes slow pans with Image Stabilization swtched on on your camera. This is counterproductive. The camera will try to hold the image you are shooting as you pan (whereas you want the image to move), eventually you will have moved too much and it will give up and re-align on a new image. This is happeneing several times per second and giving you your stuttering. So: do not use Image Stabilization when you're moving the camera.

    As for the content, I can see your imagination coming through, but I think you need to be more ruthless about what works and what doesn't. Think about what you are trying to convey with each shot. Think about what your audience might want to see, what will capture their interest.

    Firstly, simply sticking music over a montage of shots immediately distances the audience. If you're not adding a narration/voiceover/interviews at least think about including some live action sounds. (I'm not saying do away with the music, you can use both)

    Don't include shots just because you like them or they're particularly good. Only include them if they add something to the film.

    Many of the shots seemed to last for the wrong amount of time: for example you spend as much time on your shot of people coming through the entrabce gates as you do on the dancing. The former, whilst a perfectly reasonable documentary shot, does not progreass, whereas with the dancers, you're showing skills/a routine so it can afford to last longer (also simply 'cos it's girls dancing)

    Try to mix your shots more. We see a lot of similar shots of different cars, one after another. Better to have a wide angle of one particular car, then follow it with a number of close-ups detailed shots of the same car.

    Many of your car shots were rather a strange length in my opinion. You'd pan across a line of cars, or make a montage of stills shots of cars and the sequence would be too slow for the shot to give just an "idea" of the range of vehicles, yet too fast to allow the viewer to study any individual vehicle - it was a bit "betwixt & between".

    I hope you find the above comments helpful and look forward to seeing your next film.

    Good luck.
    Tim

  3. #3

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    I think Tim has covered most points. The only thing I can add is watch lots of Top Gear. These guys really know how to film cars. Notice that they will fine good angles of the car to shoot and have a good variety of shots, especially close ups ie find an interesting detail to shoot. I think this is a must for this type of video to stay interesting for anyone who isn't a real petrol head and improve the viewing pleasure for those who are.

    Good luck.

  4. #4

    Default

    Hey tim and Midnight, thanks for the superb feedback. Yeah i noticed about the image stabilisation in another topic, ill turn that off sharpish. Although what scenarios would you use it in?
    I agree about ur comments with the shots in my content Tim, However i havent added every shot i took, Im only using about 50% of total footage ive taken. To what i think the audience would enjoy.
    About the live action sounds im sure on every clip ive made aswell as music (overpowering as it may be on some clips) all the sound from the vehicles are easily audible i reckon.
    Im usually trying to rush my film and fit the footage to the song, to create that atmosphere. Although up until the last clip i made, ive been getting song choices very very wrong. Ive sinced improved that, and listened to about 9,000 out of 10,000 songs on my ipod and rated each one. (potential filming songs get a different rating)
    So i have a very very strong feeling come next year, ill be showing a vast improvement in my first clip, and even more so in the 2nd. By the end of next year im hoping to be up to par with Woganworks. I do agree with u there Midnight, Topgear shots are ace, especially with that helicopter of theirs. I have stolen a few ideas that ive seen off topgear (slow motion of said car's wheel going through a puddle)

    one thing i am curious over, Is there any major difference between HD and standard? As i dont want to upgrade my camera and find out im still behind on quality compared to woganworks for example.

    Cheers for the help =)

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Airwolf View Post
    one thing i am curious over, Is there any major difference between HD and standard? As i dont want to upgrade my camera and find out im still behind on quality compared to woganworks for example.

    Cheers for the help =)
    This is one area where you will have to make up your own mind. I have changed mine from SD is fine to HD is better. Although content is king and you could shoot something on an iphone thats brilliant, if you have fabulous content. A really good SD camera will give you the manual settings you need to get a good image but I have found the HD resolution is just better. Before I got my new computer I shot everything in HD and then down graded it into SD for editing. Then when I got my new computer I re-did all my videos in HD. They are better than the old ones in SD. I am fortunate in that I have a good camera. It's not quite a pro camera but it shoots in HD and I have good manual control.

    I would say that the most important part of any camera is the lens, then the sensor (CCD, CMOS etc.), then the ease of use for manual controls controls. The automatic controls of new cameras has improved leaps and bounds but manual control is so important when using a camera if you can't adjust the iris easily during shooting you will have a hard time during editing to get the shots to look good. eg. You are shooting a car doing a Tokyo drift round the bend of a road, the sun is behind you at the start of the shot everything looks great then the car turns and your light has changed, now the car looks dark because the auto iris has adjusted it's self because you are shooting more into the sun. There goes your shot.

    I can honestly say that since I got my camera I have never had it in auto mode, any slight change in lighting and I just dab the iris wheel a little to adjust.

    I'll stop waffling now. The long and the short of it is. You have to make the decision about what you want and what you are prepared to compromise on. The image resolution of HD is better than SD but having manual control is very important.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Location
    Surrey, UK
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    Quote Originally Posted by Airwolf View Post
    Im only using about 50% of total footage ive taken.
    As you improve you'll find that's a very high percentage. Even on a shot where everything is staged (ie it's scripted and storyboarded so every shot is planned) you'll find you only use a small percentage (maybe 10-20%) of what you shoot. If you only shoot each shot with two takes - that's 50%! In a situation where you're turning up and deciding pretty much on the fly what to shoot, you should shoot everything that might be of interest then only use what's needed.

    But percentages aren't really the point. You have to decide shot by shot. "is this shot needed?", "Does it add anything to the film?", "Does it need all 5 seconds or is the message got across just as well, or even better, if I cut it to three?". However there is a caveat. Give your film time to breath and your audience time to digest what they've just seen. One of my problems is I'm so intent on packing information into every second that I have a tendency to bombard my audience with information!

    As for SD vs HD, Midnight has pretty much covered it, but you'll see that he's made the point about better/larger CCDs, lots of manual buttons etc, which you aren't going to get on a 800 HD camera. I'm afraid it will be a compromise - control & learning camera techniques vs HD images. Whilst Middy hasn't looked back, you should bea in mind that his camera cost three or four times what you are looking to pay. Nevertheless, I have seeen some very good results from a couple of fellow film club members who hae the Panasonic I mentioned.
    Tim

  7. #7

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    I am fortunate in that I have a good camera.
    What are you using these days? I remember you mentioning it once, but I don't recall what model it was now.

  8. #8

  9. #9

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    Ooh, nice. I dunno if I could afford the P2 cards though.

  10. #10

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    Looks nice Midnight, how much did that cost?
    Thanks Tim that really is alot of usefull information. Watching how other editors work in the same field i intend to go to like wogenworks and EH3 FIlms, Especially Wogen works, I know he does it on foot, but how the h*** does he get it so smooth, its ridiculous.. The way he swoops around the cars so smoothly. What camera do you think he has and how does he acheive the whole smoth motion affects?
    cheers.

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