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Thread: Wildlife Documentary Trailer

  1. #1
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    Default Wildlife Documentary Trailer

    This is my first ever edit of a video, so don't be too harsh!
    But any comments/crits are appreciated.
    It's just a short "trailer" to go on my portfolio/YouTube account while I am producing the full version.


  2. #2

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    Well, you've asked for it....

    Disappointed to see domestic farm animals at the beginning of a 'wildlife' trailer, although that is not a crit of the footage at all.

    The stills are plenty big enough to fill the frame, so why the vertical letterboxing? Get them into PS or the like and crop to the correct size for the frame, that way you avoid the problem.
    Apart from that, I enjoyed it and look forward to more. Music nice and relaxing to go along with the images.

    Ian
    I have six honest, serving men. They taught me all I knew.
    Their names are What and Why and When. And How and Where and Who! (Rudyard Kipling)
    http://www.sharpmedia.org.uk

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the tips!
    Yes the domestic animals, hadn't thought of that, although that footage is going to be a "setting the scene" not a documentary piece.
    The images letterboxing, it just did that itself but I will edit for the final cut piece. Thank you!

  4. #4

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    Nice first effort, Because the shot of the sheep walking over the bridge was so nice I think we can forgive the cross over of farm and wild life. Looked like a really cold day. Nice to see red squirrles for a change. I thought the titles and the music were very good. The one thing I would advise you to work on is the difference between the stills and the video. Edius has good colour correction tools, so I'm sure with a bit of practise you could do this. That is unless you want to make more of a feature of the photos like I did in my Holy Island video. I just put in a camera noise and kept them the origional size so they would stand out as stills from the video.

    Well done.
    Last edited by Midnight Blue; 02-25-2011 at 07:11 PM.

  5. #5
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    I've watched that before yes. I'd rather not the camera shutter noise though.
    What do you mean change the difference? Dull down the colour?
    I saw another photographer who did some work, he'd show the subject he was filming then put in a photograph of it he had taken and it worked well. Maybe it's taste I guess...

  6. #6
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    Very nice.

    Great video. Great-great photos!I Makes me want to go to Northumbria.

    However, I'm not sure that the combination of still and moving image meet successfully as far as animal-documentary is concerned. If we consider the purpose of each - photography is rather...expressive, if you will. I think. Capturing animals at their anthropomorphic best - and expressing their essence. Documentary on the other hand is observational. We're watching (observing) animals in their habitat, in the hopes we might see behaviour otherwise unseen, or identify with them when they show human characteristics. (Oh what a self obsessed species we are :P). But anywho, when combined together in this case, the photos make it feel like a fan video, expressing how fantastic 'squiralls' are, opposed to be a documentary-based observation grounded in learning, or self reflective learning.

    Sorry for that blabber-rant.
    Last edited by Spiral Dementia; 02-25-2011 at 03:39 PM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spiral Dementia View Post
    Very nice.

    Great video. Great-great photos!I want to go to Northumbria.

    However, I'm not sure that the combination of still and moving image meet successfully as far as animal-documentary is concerned. If we consider the purpose of each - photography is rather...expressive, if you will. I think. Capturing animals at their anthropomorphic best - and expressing their essence. Documentary on the other hand is observational. We're watching (observing) animals in their habitat, in the hopes we might see behaviour otherwise unseen, or identify with them when they show human characteristics. (Oh what a self obsessed species we are :P). But anywho, when combined together in this case, the photos make it feel like a fan video, expressing how fantastic 'squiralls' are, opposed to be a documentary-based observation grounded in learning, or self reflective learning.

    Sorry for that blabber-rant.
    Ah that's some good advice thank you. I wasn't sure whether to use the stills or not, like you said they look out of place for a documentary. For the full video when it's created I definitely won't be using them.

    Thanks!

  8. #8
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    Addtional note however: - if the photo is in fact a still image or freeze frame from the footage...that will allow your audience to study the moment for a few seconds...without it feeling oddly out of context. Especially if like it's a recap of let's say a moment that went by really quickly (such as a slow-mo take of a snake striking a mouse, and what not.)

  9. #9

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    Watched it again on youtube at higher defininition, and Midnight is right about the saturation being a little OTT in the stills. A little dumbing down of the saturation would improve them immensely.

    Stills, as opposed to grabbed frames as suggested above, are so much higher quality than video footage and therefore you can do a lot more with them. Panning and zooming are two things that spring to mind, and panning can work exceptionally well by using keyframes to move across a still image extremely smoothly. Even HD footage is only around 2 megapixels, so if you are using a 10 megapixel stills camera, it doesn't take a genius to work out that you can crop in to a fifth of the image without loss of quality!

    I also find that grouping stills together, as opposed to dropping them in randomly, can work better in many cases. Midnight's example in his short on Lindisfarne works for that scenario, but a number of shots of the same subject (like the Red Squirrel) may be better grouped.
    Look forward to the full item.

    Ian
    I have six honest, serving men. They taught me all I knew.
    Their names are What and Why and When. And How and Where and Who! (Rudyard Kipling)
    http://www.sharpmedia.org.uk

  10. #10
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    This discussion ablout use of stills is all rather thought provoking. Personally I go with Spiral's take. The purpose of stills is different.
    As an advert for you as a photgrapher, this works quite well. As a windlife documentary - less so. However, if you'r egoing to include stills, i think you should make a feature of the fact they are stills: don't crop them and try to match the video, maybe even put a white border. In Midnight's film the film is about a photographer, so again the use of stills is entirely appropriate.

    There's actually no reason why you shouldn't take the same approach here, if you really want to include stills. It might also give you the basis of a narative - we follow the photographer through the Northumbrian countryside in his search fo animals to photograph. Using the photographer moving from point A to point B (perhaps in search of animal X, Y or Z) gives a great opportunity to describe the terrain and a convenient way of getting from footage of and narration about one animal to the next. Potentially much better flowing than. "Here's a red squirrel" & lost of shots/info about a red squirrel, followed by "Here's a Natterjack Toad" + info, followed by "Here's a Tyrannosaurus Rex" whcih can get a bit "listy". Of course you may have planned this totally differently, such that the script naturally leads from one animal to another, but the photographer is just an idea.
    Tim

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