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Thread: Thoughts on JFK and Magna Carta Memorial Runnymede - HiDef

  1. #1

    Default Thoughts on JFK and Magna Carta Memorial Runnymede - HiDef

    Thoughts on JFK and Magna Carta Memorial Runnymede - HiDef

    The following documentary-short was shot on a Canon FS200, Kodak Zi8 with stills from a Fujifilm JX530

    Post Production editing was via Kdenlive on Linux. Post-Production sound with Gnome Sound Recorder for Linux.

    Additional sound devices - Philips LFH 0622, Hama 46108

    Thoughts upon the John F Kennedy Memorial and the Magna Carta Memorial at Runnymede, Surrey, England. This was the place where the Magna Carta was sealed by King John and the barons which enforced it upon him.

    The Runnymede and its three memorials are not only interesting from an historical, social, political and scientific perspective. They are also significant from an artistic, cultural and social viewpoint.

    Peaceful surroundings with strange spiritual and political symbolism built into the geometric and astrological monuments and temple.

    JFK memorial designed by Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe

    Magna Carta memorial designed by Sir Edward Maufe

    The Fairhaven Memorial Lodges (which stand either side of the road on entry to the road parallel to Runnymede meadow) were designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens. Commissioned by Lady Fairhaven, dedicated to here husband, Sir Urban Broughton MP, who bought Runnymede in 1928 to safeguard its future.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Surrey, UK
    Blog Entries


    Firstly, credit to you for appering in the video and presenting "live". Otherwise we'd have just had a still shot of the memorial for a rather long while! It's always good to get some movement in with inanimate objects - this is why we have the likes of David Dimbleby "showing" us great works of art and achitecture (for detailed, self paced, study, still photographs are much better than video in my opinion).
    Anyway, the live sound is not so bad on this one, although the mic output is still too much for the recorder, resulting in lots of nasty clipping.

    It is a shame you didn't reframe and show yourself in closeup for a few cutaways - it would be nice to see who's talking rather than this rather distant faceless man.

    Like your other film about inspiration etc, your voiceover recording is suffering from lots of "P"s popping. You are speaking too close to the mic and directly into it. Try speaking across the mic. You know how you often see tie clip mics facing downwards? This is to avoid specifically this problem. Tie clips (lavalier's or "lavs") are omnidirectional so it doesn't matter which way they point - they have a spherical pick up pattern, but point the goods end away from your mouth to avoid those nasty percussive sounds causing problems.

    I was trying to figure who you sounded like for a good deal of the JFK Memorial scene - it's Derren Brown. It's partly your delivery - the fact you're basically making it up you go along. By that I mean the words - you clearly know what you're going to say, but haven't scripted it. This is very difficult to do and may well come with practice. but to be honest here it had too many pauses. This was worse for the voiceover, where listening to the narrator thinking of what he's going to say next is less excusable. Even worse was you left in coughs. Rerecord. Edit out the coughs. No excuse not to. Surely the Open Source software you are using allows that? (If not, plenty do).

    I hoe this is not coming across as too negative. What I'm trying to point out is that for only a little extra effort you could make the film a great deal better.

    I'm assuming you're local to Runnymede. If you are planning to make more films and fancy meeting some other like minded people consider popping along to Staine Ciné & Video Society (or Staines Video Makers come September). We meet weekly at Laleham Village Hall on Fridays. It's just about the end of our season now, but please drop in to out Annual Show on Friday May 6th to see a selection of films made by local amateurs. Take a look at our programme of events and consider coming along to a club night next year. We could do with someone else under 60 I'm not kidding - at 50 I'm the youngest - and this is in common with most clubs, but don't let that put you off. The key thing is a club provides a means for you to show your film on a big screen to an audience bigger than you are likely to fit into your living room.

    Details are on our website:

    And some of the films that I have been involved in (plus some other rubbish) are on my YouTube channel: YouTube - stanmanjam's Channel

    We'd love to see you.

  3. #3


    Thanks again Mr Stannard for making the effort to watch and give critical commentary. As soon as I saw you are from Surrey, I thought funny how my shoot was in Surrey.

    Your criticism is not being taken by me negatively at all, I'm pleased you have put the effort to comment and am happy you are sharing your knowledge, experience and point of view. This again vindicates my putting up an inferior video, as I'm gaining several things already.

    Your criticism is motivating me even more to be a filmmaker, as you are making me think about my processes, method, philosophy and objectives. If a person discusses their film with someone it has an effect of putting you in a directors chair to answer your critics.

    As soon as I have finished editing these small vids, I am knowing that with an hour more effort or so, and hour more prep, they would be twice as good, twice as watchable. But everything I am doing at the moment is rushed (and it shows). I could edit out the coughs but, I lose patience (or endurance) with the tedious editing process. It seems all too much effort for the relatively small audience at the moment, and small aims of these early vids. But I will gradually improve the quality at shoot time, with planning and learning from past mistakes. At the moment I have several cheap consumer cameras and I don't know the controls of any of them that well, am gradually learning...and it can be confusing, remembering the different controls of capabilities of about five cameras. I am also not sticking to one video editor as Linux has several quite good ones, they all have pros and cons.

    On this vid, I actually do have some close-up footage and was originally going to include it. But I am going to make a second vid within the next few days, God Willing, (I bet your are riveted with anticipation and excitement)

    Yes dumb mistake of me on the mic, but I guess its because I am not monitoring it as I'm doing it, nor after (in order to re-record). But I will try to consciously not speak into mic or keep it too close in the future, God Willing.

    Sound like Derren Brown! I just discovered something about him the other day and I hope that association does not gain ground! (and I don't think I sound like him either!)

    In terms of the verbal delivery, I am capable of much better, either with preparation or without it. I am actually used to public speaking (although I am always nervous before it without fail), have delivered hundreds of lectures, from notes and without, some of them quite lengthy (1-3hrs...good for insomniacs, have a talent for putting people to sleep even in short periods of time...maybe they think they are being hypnotized by Derren Brown, considering your words above). Because though, these vids are so rushed....there has been ZERO PREPARATION into the words and almost ZERO thought about what I was going to say before, along with a feeling of being pressed for time (partly due to battery life, other engagements etc) So that is one issue, the other issue, is I am finding myself inordinately uncomfortable and nervous in front of the camera...even though its not live TV and even though I can just simply re-shoot. It is happening also even with just audio recording....its like I'm anticipating going blank, fluffing my words and so it is happening. A psychological stage fright in front of the camera and mic.

    You can see there are quite a few minor mistakes....that I couldn't be bothered to re-shoot for....For instance, I start the Jubilee River inspiration vid with "we are in the river"!!! rather than at the riverside or on the banks of the river etc! Also I am saying things like "is" instead of "are" and other blatant illiterate sounding mistakes, and I can't be bothered to re-shoot a whole thing for one word. If I was getting paid or wanting to push it as a great piece of work, then I would correct such things...The key for me at the moment is that I need to relax and also try and not rush so much as to kill my planning time.

    On the JFK Runnymede vid. There is some awful voice overs at the end where I am simply cramming info in to a closing 15 minute Window (youtube induced)...and not making any attempt to disguise I am reading a couple of extracts, and reading badly, mono-toned, automaton, hyper-robot like as well. But again, my endurance had worn out...and couldn't be bothered to make it sound right. I left it in partially because I thought it was so messed up and and up and down, I thought it was funny (but I guess people will think I thought it was great and am too dumb to realize how it sounds). My writing is also a bit like this, I can't be bothered to read over my rushed words as they flow from my brain and so they carry zero punctuation and hideous grammar.

    Thankyou for inviting me to your film club, that sounds very exciting. Not at all put off by the age, I feel almost 60 myself, and I'd rather have the wisdom and experience of elders than the naivety and arrogance of youth! I would indeed like to come along for the experience and contacts with the possibility of some collaboration on something one day maybe.

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