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Thread: Alright, bring on the fingerpointing!

  1. #1

    Default Alright, bring on the fingerpointing!

    Well, I know, as I teach my son, that making mistakes is how we learn. So far it worked for me.
    I've been meaning to start filming for quite some time now (maybe more than 10 years) and in the meanwhile I got started on photography, thinking it would help me understanding how a pictures is built/composed.

    Last week I got the opportunity to buy a camcorder, so I simply got started.

    I know these vids are what they are, probably full of "wrongs", and I'm not really able to see them.

    Anyway, here's what I know is wrong about em, and what I plan to work on in the next ones

    - no storyboards
    - lighting/exposure issues
    - probably bad transitions too
    - definitely something wrong with the rythm

    so I'd like to know what else is wrong and also what (if anything) is good, which are my strengths and weaknesses.

    Enough blah, here are both videos.

    alright, bring it on, try and be nice tho

    thank you

  2. #2


    is it that bad that no one wants to help?

    I wish I could go out and criticize other vids but my knowledge is next to none here

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Surrey, UK
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    I fear the probem is that yo-yoing is much more of a participant's sport than a spectator sport. It is difficult to see how one could make a video that captures the interest of a wder audience.
    but we can certainly improve on this. Virtually all the shots are mid-shots in an effort to get the whole trick in. This is essential if you're making a technical video of your prowess with a yo-yo either to be judged by other yo-yoiists(?) or as how-to video. However, for a genreal purpose entertainment video, you need to sacrifice this "technical accuracy" for art.
    I think you sort of know this already, as you have included a number of shots of scenery/locality. you simply haven't gone far enogh.
    Firstly, the shots of the yo-yoing. Get some shots from diifferent angles: in profile, from below or above. Get shots of different lengths - some which show only one hand or kust the yo-yo low sown spinning (walking the dog? seems to ring a bell). you do not (and should not) have to show the whole "arena" area in every shot.
    Next, get some shots of you which do not show the yo-yo at all. In particular, let's see some close-ups of your face as you concentrate, laugh or otherwise react to what you're doing with the yo-yo.

    I quite like the idea of you doing this in public places full of people, butv to really make this come alive you should try to get the reations of the people who are watching. Not necessarily easy, but with a friend filming, you should be able to get a few people t agree to be filmed.

    Finally, you really need to try to get some sort of narrative going. Give your audience a hint at the beginning that te video is going to take the on a journey, to lead somewhere. Give them a reason to want to watch the whole film, and make sure you give them rewards along the way in terms of new shots, new locations etc..

    Apart from establishing you can do them, the yo-yo tricks themselves are perhaps the least important part of the video: but they are the excuse for it and the glue whicjh holds it together.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by hadoq View Post
    I wish I could go out and criticize other vids but my knowledge is next to none here
    So you haven't watched any films, videos or TV?
    You've got a lifetimes experience as a viewer and it's viewers filmakers aim their films at (apart from "indie" filmmakers who just aim them at each other and like to whinge about how poor the latest Hollywood blockbuster is). What works and what doesn't work is what's important. If you're unsure as to the technical reasons don't worry about it - others will speculate on that.

    So, please, criticize away.

  5. #5


    I looked at the videos, I don't like the fish eye lens look but that is a personal thing. I couldn't see where you could take this next. Unless you do some dangerous stunts (which I'm not recommending) like yoyoing on the top of a tall building or in the middle of a lions den, Hang on thats it. Green screen could be your saviour. Shoot yourself doing the yo-yo tricks with a green screen background. Then add totally wild backgrounds but do it in a way which is real an not sill. Or you could try the comedy route and be the first man to yo-yo on the moon etc.

    I think you could try shooting from the fixed long shot which you did throughout the second video (Friday vid) but then do the tricks again with a close up shot. Then again from a different angle. You will then have lots of shots to choose from during editing. Make the vids about one min long rather than 4 or 5 mins. Shoot with a high shutter speed as the yo-yo moves quickly and you will be able to get a Nicer slow motion shot if needed.

  6. #6


    Hi, first, thank you guys for the extensive replies. As some have noted, yoyoing to me is not about the tricks (I barely have 6 months of practice, these tricks are basic beginner/advanced tricks) but more the visual aspect.

    Tim -> if you watch, on my youtube channel, the EYYC video (european yoyo championship) you'll see that I follow some of your advices, filming the face, close up on the hands etc... this is because I actually hold the cam. I have yet to find a practical way to get this done when I'm alone with my tripod, but yes, this is what I'm going for in the future. On the second vid, a friend of mine is holding the cam for some shots, but I tend to be "directive" as I have an idea about how I want the shot to look like, the problem is, my friends have usually no or very little photography/composition background so they're not very familiar with general composition "concepts" .

    About the "narrative" I sense you're pointing me towards working based on a storyboard, the problem is: I'm lazy. I've been thinking about doing storyboards and I'll do that in the future, but right now I'm pretty much focusing on getting a hold of my cam, progressively going for a full manual setup. But also I'm learning how to use the software (I went for Premiere, but I feel while it seems fairly powerful, the learning curve looks relatively steep, but as I see things; "difficult" equals "possible, with the appropriate amount of work and dedication". But once I'm comfortable enough with my tools, I'll focus more on the artistic and narrative aspects. Of course, I'm still trying to create something, even tho, for now, I take some shortcuts that "harm" the end product's quality some way or another. But I'm glad to see that the next points I plan to work on seem to be the right ones as they're suggested here.

    Actually I was also hoping for more "technical" advice of some sort, coming from photography, I already knew about shutter speed and I think I set it relatively fast on the friday vid. Let's say I'm familiar shutter speed, aperture and stuff like that, just I didn't really got the time to play with em that much, I got the cam one week ago and I have a full time job as well as a home to take care of, leaving little time for leisure, unfortunately, but I'm working on that too ^^.

    So to sum up, here are the next points I plan to "experiment" on and learn to use.

    - Multiple POV (with one cam) scenes
    - Slow shutter speeds, shutter speed experiment overall (I know about photo but I suspect it doesn't play exactly the same role in video)
    - Proper slow motion
    - Close up and precise scene composition setting (when I'm by myself)
    - Scenario - storyboard
    - Sound sync (probably later on as I first need to gain more speed while yoyoing, in order to be able to keep up with some music/rythm)
    - Lighting experimentation (got to buy some stuff first)
    - Basic SFX (green/blue screen and some other stuff)

    Anyway, thanks for the advice, I plan to film maybe next week end if the weather's nice and I'll post the vids here.

    I'm also gonna watch the other's vids and see if I can say anything about em

  7. #7
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    It sounds like you've got a good sense of where you're going and enough sense to understand it takes time. Good luck.

  8. #8


    Well even tho I did my research in the past, it's always useful to confront what I think against the knowledge of more experienced people. But I picked up enough activities in my life to know that I won't become Georges Lucas overnight (if ever)

    Picking up video/filming is probably the most thought out decision I took, I've been thinking about it for at least 10 years, I went on and studied a bit of cinema related stuff at college (didn't keep at it as it was leading basically nowhere) and I kept the interest throughout the years. I actually picked up photography with filming in mind for later on, as a "prelude", in order to get a hold on how to build images and work with em, the colors etc...

    Anyway, I'm enjoying myself pretty much but I'll need to create some time if I really want to go for it, that seems to be the major issue compared to photography (not that photography doesn't take time, but filming seems to take a whole lot more, bringing the definition of "time consuming" to a new level), that, and of course the price of good equipment.

    it's so exciting, I feel like a baby with tons of things I'm about to learn doing this. it's also a relief to see that this community (on this forum at least) is not as "butt tight" as most photography communities (tho there are some brilliant people in photography too, don't get me wrong here)

    anyway, thanks for your help, I'm looking forward to your next advice ^^

  9. #9


    Just 10 years thinking about it.

    I think if you have only been doing yo-yoing for 6 months you should be pleased with your progress. To me to tricks looked very well executed. I would have liked to have seen walking the dog, I thought of another avenue for you later on you could do yo-yo tutorials on how to do some of the tricks for beginners.

    Taking up videography is more of a vocation than just a hobby. For me it was like an inner calling, mixing all the things I've done in the past into one definable single unit. We can be very anal in the video world, just wait till we get going.

    Don't forget to comment on other peoples videos, it's part of the fun of the forum. We are all at different levels of ability but looking at a video is also about aesthetics and not just technical stuff so we all have opinions on aesthetics at least.

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