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Thread: Shepperton Raft Race

  1. #1
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    Default Shepperton Raft Race

    Another one of my "local colour" movies.
    Shepperton holds an annual raft race on the Thames. My daughter, Kait (it's spelt "Katharine" on her birth certificate), and some of her colleagues from work at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, Old Windsor branch, built a raft and entered this year. She asked me to record their efforts.

    Comments, suggestions (especially for any cuts if you think it's too long) please.

    (I'm fully expecting a wry grin from Midnight at the final shot)



    NOTE: This is a revised version posted after I read comments in posts 2-6
    Last edited by TimStannard; 07-23-2011 at 08:49 PM.
    Tim

  2. #2

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    Nice one Tim. Wry smile on the last shot as expected. I loved the way you mixed the interview and the action. On first viewing I thought the shots of the different rafts between around 2:10 and 2:30 where too fast but on second viewing I thought they where about right but would have like to see them more in time with the music. All in all it's a great piece. I hope Kait appreciates her dads efforts. They did really well to raise that much money to build a raft that floated and you did well to captured well the flavour of the day well.

    Well done Tim.

  3. #3
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    Thanks Midnight. I'm pleased to report Kait is pleased with it. This is only the second time she's been pleased with a video I made. normally she's as dismissive as daughters (at least, post adolescent daughters) tend to be.

    I'm surprised (and concerned) about your comment about the cuts not being in time with the music - they're spot on on my system (using the YT stream as well as the source). Unimaginitively cut maybe - nearly always on the downbeat and beat 3 (with a couple of 2's & 4's,thrown in for good measure) but on the beat no less. I wouldn't mind you looking again and telling me where the beat is falling on what you're seeing. This is useful stuff. You were happy with the cutting to the beat in the race, yeah? (4:32-4:55)

    Prior to a week or so ago, I only had the footage of building the raft and the race footage. i began to compile this and it was looking good. It told a story, worked with the music and i was beginning to think I didn't need to bother with the interview (Kait and her friends were being elusive).

    But I realised it was just a montage (and I'm under no illusions that my camerawork is artistic enough to get away with that, even if I wanted to). I'm glad I stuck with the interview as I think it makes it much more involving for the viewer. And I thought the girls gave a great interview. I'm just a bit disappointed Kait's eyes were so black - not much in the way of a glint there, whereas the other two came out OK.

    I have to admit, the dog shot was dead cute and as it was appropriate, I simply had to include it. I'll never live it down....
    Tim

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    I love it! This could be used as a tutorial on how to make a short documentary.
    The sound is top notch, well balanced, understandable and well mixed.
    I am so glad to see such stable shots.No wobble-cam. Thank you! On the day, that must have been difficult as the temptation is to relax and enjoy the occasion rather than concentrate on filming.
    Personally, I would have posed the girls somewhere else, with a more interesting background, only because they were in shot so long. Or maybe positioned them a bit further forward from the wall. This is just nit-picking though and the shots worked and are not awful at all.
    You are right about the interview, it makes the video. It draws the viewer in and we now become interested in the story. The first lesson any journalist learns is a quote from Tacitas "Don't tell me about the thousands, tell me the story of one man". Okay, in this case it's the story of one team but the principle is the same.

    Like Midnight I also had the feeling that the montage wasn't perfectly cut to the music. It may be the you-tube lag (although the voices seemed in sync) but something feels not-quite-right on the timing. I've looked again and the cuts are more-or-less on the beat but... maybe the wrong beats? Dunno.

    All in all a superb effort, certainly a "Day out" video I would be chuffed to have made.

  5. #5

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    The cuts are as Rob says are near enough on the beat but not what I would call to the music. What throws it, in my opinion is, there is to much mixing of which beat you cut on. This gives it a lack of natural rhythm which is what drew my attention to it. I like to through in the odd beats but only now and again just to prevent monotony. I would have kept this on the 2's and 4's more. This is just a little point compared to the over all quality of the video. I think the cuts later on (4:32-4:55) work better because the music is stronger. So we are not really talking about technical correctness, more artistic interpretation.

    Hope that helps.

  6. #6

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    enjoyed that tim. these type of productions can very easily end up being too long. this is just right. plenty of cut aways to keep the interest and excellent sound. what did you use to record the audio on on the interview ?

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    Thanks all for the comments - especially the "this could be used as a tutorial" from Rob. I'f flattered but i know exactly what you mean - it's not rocket science to make an acceptable piece, just follow a few simple rules.

    I'm not sure about these cuts. Some, whilst falling on the beat, are not necessarily emphasised by a kick drum on the same beat, and this may be where it feels a bit wrong. As usual with editing, this section was originally a bit longer and so the music (though not the beat) has shifted in relation to the visuals. I think the first cut where it causes a problem is the whort cut to the broomstick sticking out of teh witches bum. Originally (I believe) this worked because it coincided with a kick drum. ... I'm rambling. I'll revisit that section, but not untill I've had a coupe of days rest from it - I'm a bit too close at the moment.

    I agree with you entirely about the location, Rob. When I arrived there, there seeemed to be many good looking locations that I had access to, but for one reason or another (usually shadow or wind) I had to eliminate them. I realised halfway throuygh the edit that I should have done exactly as you've suggested, Rob, and moved the bench forward to get some sort of separation. In a strange way, i'm rather pleased because at least I'm beginning to pick up on these things myself, before having them pointed out. The next step is to remember them before pressing record.

    Enc, this owes more than a little to your approach with "Me and my ..." I always though the interviewee chatting away about their subjects without any audible questions was a good approach, but your series was what convinced me. So thanks for that.

    As to how the sound was recorded. I don't have the facility to have three lav's connected so I had to go with a shotgun. (This is why wind was a problem in many locations, it was not very strong but still noticable through my Rycote softie).

    I simply placed my Senheisser ME66 on a mini tripod on the floor in front of the girls, pointing up towards them. The distance was a bit further than I'd have liked, I'm guessing about 4-5 feet mic to mouth, which meant a bit more background noise than I'd have liked, but on the other hand this meant I wasn't giving particular prominance to Kait in the centre. The mic ran via XLR cable to a JuicedLink CX211 preamp into the mini jack in my cam.

    Live sound on the race day was from the same arrangement but with the mic mounted on my cam. It's just all ambient and with one or two exceptions (Kait shouting "Give us yer money" - I think she shink's she's Bob Geldof) wasn't really anythig to do with what we see.

    Thanks again for watching and commenting.
    Last edited by TimStannard; 07-23-2011 at 02:24 PM.
    Tim

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    OK. As my daughter asked me to make a minor change (apparently shouting "give us your money" a la Geldof is basically on the wrong side of legal and Battersea might not take too kindly to it, so I removed a second or so) so I took the opportunity to revisit the cust Midnight & Rob commented upon. Any better?

    It definitely works better if you can hear the kick drum - I tried it with my subwoofer off and I agree it didn't work so well. I'm only talking about a 70 Logitech 5.1 PC speaker system.
    Tim

  9. #9

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    Luckily I've got a sub on my cheapo 2.1 PC speakers and I see how you cut to the complicated kick drum beat. It's a very good peace Tim. You even managed to get in a man with a beard.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Midnight Blue View Post
    You even managed to get in a man with a beard.

    Well spotted!

    Sadly that was as far as I could go towards making this an art piece, as I'm only capable of making these home movies.

    However I do have loads of out of focus and wobbly shots, possibly including a bridge, on the metaphorical cutting room floor which I could forward to anyone who'd care to make some art. My only stipulation is they must be in a rush to finish it.
    Tim

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