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Thread: Total newbie - first attempt

  1. Default Total newbie - first attempt

    My friend lent me a Canon XM2 and I trotted off to shoot a trike being collected at a local engineering firm who make equipment for kids with physical disabilities. The firm bought it off me and have asked me to do some more bits and bobs so I'd really appreciate assistance to improve (I've already bought a wired mic) Cheers!

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


    Overall I'm very impressed - incredibly impressed if this is a first attempt.

    Perfect length. You've got the right idea: edit the audio so it flows nicely, then match the video to it.
    You're aware that there's really too much background noise and presume you bought the mic after recording this. That should make a great difference.

    Possible areas for improvement (not that it reallly needs it):
    I'd have liked to have seen the interview from more angles or perhaps just cutting in closer and closer as the interview progresses (I appreciate though that this might interrupt the "flow" of speaker which is more important).
    There was one jump cut which you attempted to cover with a dissolve - this never looks good - a cutaway would have been preferable.

    Similarly it migt have been nice to have had a few close up shots of Mia - we never really get that lose to her face - and close ups of trike parts (feet on pedals, hands on handlebars, wheels) etc add variety and are useful as cutaways.

    You could also have maybe have had an opening establishing wide shot and/or a closing shot showing Dan watching Mum pushing Mia: all in frame.

    But these are pretty minor.

    Getting even pickier, when you're shooting an interview, try to make the background interesting or relevant but not a distraction. It wasn't here but the buildings behind Dad and the blown out white sky did not really look that great.

    The only other thing I'd suggest is you shoot in 16:9 unless you've specifically been asked for 4x3 and 4x3 looks distinctly "old hat" nowadays.

    Looking forward to seeing your next.

    The timing of Mia coming into the frame towards the end of the interview and Dad turning to watch was absolutely perfect. It looked too good to have been planned - but plan to do more like that!

  3. #3


    Great post Tim. The only thing I can add to this is, think of the camera as being fixed and let it record the motion thats happening in front of it. Which means don't follow the bike so much. Shots of riding toward the camera or the bike riding into or out of frame, like you did at around 0:45 secs. I think that sort of shot looks more professional. I'm not saying don't follow the action some times.

    The only other point I can think of to help for the future is that this piece is shot in the style of a "news item" which is right for this BUT if they wanted "promo" stuff you may need to change the style to suit.

  4. Default

    Thanks guys, I picked up your comments and took them on board before the second session this weekend. I got lucky with the weather, nice bright overcast day and the rain held off. The Dylan shoot was really tough - he has OCD and really didn't want to be filmed so I was stood miles away. Also his mum was really nice but didn't give the most expansive answers, I had to splice a lot of the audio and cover it with cutaways. On the whole though, I'm really pleased. Thanks for your comments and please feel free to wade in with more...

  5. Default

    In both films the case history part is longer than I'd like but this is a request of the client.

  6. #6


    Nice one. Short and sweet. We seem to loose the first word as though the fade in is a bit late the rest of it seems nice and clear. I would have tried for a shallow depth of field with that type of back ground on the mother shots but it's not a big issue.

    The second video has some issue in that it won't play for me.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Surrey, UK
    Blog Entries


    In both the new films the shots of the interviewees are much more appealing although ideally you'd manage to find a location where not only is there a pleasing background but also room for the trikes to pass by (not asking much, am I!)

    The composition was a little off. In both shots the eye line is too high. In the first the interviewee is a little too far to the right (unless you're showing something/superinposing something in the "leading space") and tin the second the interviewee was a little too central. Google "Rule of thirds" for far better explanations than I can give.

    I didn't like the questions being shown as captions - especially ones where the answers are "Brilliant, absolutely brilliant" - she could have been answering any question and you chose the question after the event! You probably left the interviewers question off because of poor voice/sound whatever, and it might not add anything. But these people are happy to help. Stop them. Ask them to repeat the question back to you as a statement before they answer: eg
    Interviewer "How were the Tomcat staff"
    Inteviewee "The Tomcat staff were brilliant, absolutely brilliant ...etc"

    They won't mind stopping and repeating it if necessary - they might even prefer it because many interviewees are a bit worried about how they come across, so the chance to do it again might well appeal.

    Well captured audio. You realise this is absolutely critical and you've made sure you've done it well.

    I don't think there's too much case history and I do think the films are exactly the right length.

    Well done.

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