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Thread: Beard - A Short Film

  1. #1

    Default Beard - A Short Film

    I just finished up my short film, Beard. Created by me, and a buddy of mine for a class project.
    I would love any constructive feed back you guys have to offer. Also, on a side note, I realize that it is grainy, due to the fact that we did not use studio lights, and I am well aware of the obnoxious hum at certain points in the video. Feel free to call me out for it!

    Don't be scared to like, comment and subscribe!


  2. #2

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    It has a kind of appeal. I liked the basic idea and the narrative was mostly well executed. You seem to know the technical issues already.

    For your next movie will you be addressing these issues or just putting up with it like you did in this one. If you have no budget for lighting you could try using a reflector to help put some light on the subject. It's up to you as the movie producer to work out how to solve the problems you come across.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Midnight Blue View Post
    It has a kind of appeal. I liked the basic idea and the narrative was mostly well executed. You seem to know the technical issues already.

    For your next movie will you be addressing these issues or just putting up with it like you did in this one. If you have no budget for lighting you could try using a reflector to help put some light on the subject. It's up to you as the movie producer to work out how to solve the problems you come across.
    Well, the main reason we didn't address those issues in this video is because we were on a major time crunch. It wouldn't have been such a big deal to just reshoot if this wasn't going to count for half of our semester grades. For my next film I'm going to get a very early start, so that reshooting won't be such a problem.

  4. #4

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    What do you think about it from an editor's stand point? Are there any cuts I should have changed? Or audio overlapping that would have went well? What could I have done better, as far as editing goes?

  5. #5
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    My first thought was that it is far too long for the subject matter. Obviously not everone will like the joke, but thse who do (like me) will simply be put off by the fact it just sits there as an amusing idea and then just peters out.

    So, point one, from an editors viewpoint. make it snappier. Much snappier. Just 'cos you like a shot, even if it;s a great shot, it doesn't mean it belongs in teh movie.

    The sound was pretty lousy - especially at the beginning. It was muddy and this was not helped by the voice over being gabbled. After three listens I still don't know what "my name is ...." Andrew something, (confirmed later) on fourth listen, I'm guessing it's Sawyer. I know it doesn't really matter what the name is, but it becomes a distraction if the viewer can't tell.

    Ignoring the quality of the shots which you've already identified, the composition and sequencing of them was pretty good. There were some basic flaws (was that the cameraman's arm shadow we see at 0.26?), but generally I saw no major issues. There were no continuity or crossing the line issues that jumped out at me which is my normal gripe.

    After seeing Androew and brother sitting side by side eating breakfast, the split down the middle in the following shot looked a bit dd. Perhaps a border would have made it clear you weren't trying to make it look like it's a continuation of teh previous shot.

    The voiceover acting was better than the live action acting. I think your voice is well suited to this style of v/o, but either your mic or your treatment in post has totally klle dthe life out of it. There's no presence to it - it's all as if yo're speaking through cotton wall.

    I didn't understand why the external shots at the end looked so poor. They looked very different from the rest of the film, and lighting clearly wasn't an issue.

    And another issue wih editing: it's fine to start with a quote at the beginning, but why did you start each line with a capital. The second, third and fourth lines were continuations of the sentence - and they weren't new lines in a sonnet. I checked , so don't try that on me!

    Yeah OK only maybe one in four will find that final thing an issue, but it immediately puts me (and presumably others like me) of the film and it's so easy for you to get right.

    I hope you an make some use of this, if not, feel free to ignore.

    Looking forward to yoru next film. I see potential.
    Tim

  6. #6

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    made me smile

    needs a little nip and tuck here and there i think. sound was pretty lousy ...sorry :-(

    and what happened at the end did you run out of tape ?

    having said that i still rather enjoyed it.

  7. #7

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    Tim,

    Can you explain what exactly you mean by making it snappier? Do you mean I should have faster cuts? More entertaining shots? Please explain.

    The poor sound is mainly due to me being overly confident. I didn't have head phones on hand, so I went by the audio levels on the camera's display. That is one mistake I won't make again. The voice over being gabbled is because Andrew likes to slur his words. There isn't much you can do about poor acting. And you were right, his last name is Sawyer.

    I have no idea what that shadow is at 0:26, maybe a ghost!?

    The border down the middle during the breakfast shot is a great idea! I'm definitely going to try that before entering the video into any contests or festivals.

    As for the voice overs, I know the audio was muffled, and I can't quite remember the reason for that. I think Andrew just had the mic too far from his face. We used a wired Lav mic, a shot gun may have been more suitable for the voice overs.

    When you say external shots, I assume you mean the outside shots at the end? We used a different camera for the outside shots. We actually shot the outside shots before we shot anything else. Those were shot with a Cannon XL2, which would have been ideal for the entire film, but we just weren't able to check out the XL2 from school after that day, because others had already taken it. We were forced to shoot the rest of the film with a Panasonic DVX camera, which is nice, but not as nice as an XL2. I think the poor quality of the outside shots must have been some issue with the gain? I'm still not quite sure.

    In the quote at the beginning, I started the lines with capitals because it would have looked weird otherwise.

    Thanks for taking the time to watch and critique the video! I really appreciate it!
    Last edited by LvL-Ups; 02-03-2011 at 07:04 PM.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by enc View Post
    made me smile

    needs a little nip and tuck here and there i think. sound was pretty lousy ...sorry :-(

    and what happened at the end did you run out of tape ?

    having said that i still rather enjoyed it.
    Ha, no we didn't run out of tape. That was a real fall, so he said "OH FUCK" and we all started laughing. This was a class project, so I had to loop some audio to make it sound like he just said "OH!" And I had to cut it before the other actor started laughing. That is why the ending is so abrupt. Glad you liked it!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by LvL-Ups View Post
    Can you explain what exactly you mean by making it snappier? Do you mean I should have faster cuts? More entertaining shots? Please explain.
    You're right to call me on that one. I just thought it needed to be snappier without giving much thought to in what way.

    I think the length and variety of length of shots is generally fine (actually very good, much better than my own efforts, when I look back after six months). The problem is that there are too many of them to get the message across.

    The first minute is excellent (ifnoring the quality of teh images and the sound), then it dies as soon as the v/o mentions facial hair. The pause from1.05-1.09 is just unnecessary and kills the rythm (in my opinion). I'd get straight to the "Now," (even leaving a slight, but not, 3 second, pause after the "now"could work as it builds anticipation).

    Now e start on the joke about the "benefits of having facial hair". He has more friends - we only need three shots to get the joke and the sub-text that they're all facebook friends, seven shots feels like you're milking it. It's a bit like explaining the punchline, credit your audience with more intelligence than needing it spelled out. The video games joke may have been better if (a) we could understand what the line was, but would definitely have been better if we has three quick shots of the two playing and a massive score fr one plater and a poor one for another. The birthday gag was killed by the silly "I got a car and you didn't" bit - surely the beard gag works better if the bearded bro is not an asshole. I'd lose that shot and the one before. The "five dollars, sweet. That's gas money" is good, but I'm not sure it needs the for my new car (rubbing it in). Also it doesn't travel the Atlantic well as 5 dollars would get the average European no further than the end of their road!

    It sort of picks up a bit after that, though the second attempt to shave the beard is a very long shot. Plus it didnt help that the actor is laughing which totally kills the story. And the long walk after the "tonight , I'm going to take his beard..." is two seconds too long.

    etc...

    Do you see what I'm getting at? Is that any help at all or am I just talking crap?
    Tim

  10. #10

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    No no, everything you have to say is being duly noted. The only way to get better is to know your mistakes!

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