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Thread: My very first nature film! AG-HVX200! And my first post on here!

  1. #1
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    Feb 2012
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    Default My very first nature film! AG-HVX200! And my first post on here!

    So my name is Zac Peetsma and I'm a young film student in the great white north! I've had some professional experience, I was a camera op for a small snowboard show and now I'm back in school!

    I'm not a huge fan of the AG-HVX200 but its the best camera at my disposal right right now!
    Editing was done on Final Cut Pro 7

    I'm looking for lots of feed back about the shots and the editing! Feel free to tell me anything you think about my video.




    I'm not totally sure how to post links on these forums yet but hopefully I'm doing this right
    Last edited by TimStannard; 02-07-2012 at 05:16 PM. Reason: Edited to display video

  2. #2
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    Hi Zac and welcome.

    The great white north of where? (Country/Continent/Planet?)

    I hope you've read the bit at the top of this section and/or have read the sort of critiques we give here. The following may sound harsh, but it is only with the intention of suggesting how you might improve. You say you're a film student so you should be open to criticism.

    Don't be too unenthusiastic about the camera - it's a fine model and from what I can see from that short clip you've got quite a way to go before you outgrow it, unless there are some specific requirements you have which the HVX200 doesn't have.

    From a content point of view, I wonder what the purpose of the film is. It's a collection of quite picturesque shots, but it doesn't really tell us what it's trying to be.

    There's no narration or captions giving us any indication of where we are or what we're looking at - so we can't say it's purpose is to educate or inform. It clearly doesn't tell a story. There's no narrative to it which means there's nothing to tempt the viewer to watch further and no reward at the end. This applies to "just" a montage as much as it does to a full blown scripted drama.

    As a wildlife film, it is lacking the necessary close-ups. As shots of wildlife within scenery it's OK (but again I get frustrated that we don't know what we're looking at)

    Filming wise, whilst I'm relieved to see lots of use made of the tripod (but not in the feather shot at the end which really needed it) I'm not convinced it was always set level.

    You need to learn to focus manually - in the shot at 0:37 as the tree moves we can see the camera searching to autofocus.

    You need to learn to edit sympathetically with the music. The film and music should end together (edit the music and/or the film to make this happen) - or at least not cut the music quite so abruptly. You also need to learn to ensure your cuts coincide with the beat.

    Just so you don't go all negative or suicidal (actually, f you want to give up, I'll happily take your camera off your hands) there are positives to take from this.

    Apart from the shots of birds through branches and the possibly unlevel tripod, the composition was quite pleasant. The chouce of music worked well, but I particularly liked the way you let som nat sound through in the mix - so many people ignore ths. Indeed the audio seemed grood quality throughout.

    I was also pleased to see it was edited together with nothing but cuts. No childish transitions or "lazy" dissolves.

    Hang around and let's see the improvements in your next outing.
    Last edited by TimStannard; 02-07-2012 at 05:47 PM.
    Tim

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by TimStannard View Post
    Hi Zac and welcome.


    .

    Just so you don't go all negative or suicidal (actually, f you want to give up, I'll happily take your camera off your hands) there are positives to take from this.

    .
    LOL !

    i mostly agree with what tim has said though im not convinced by the "natural" sounds in the mix. The running water sound doesn't change at all throughout the film.... clearly there are scenes where we see still water but we still get the running water sound. levels in the mix overall are fine but if you are going to use the same sound (FX) perhaps you could try a subtle level adjustment with each scene change ?

    Look forward to seeing more.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by enc View Post
    if you are going to use the same sound (FX) perhaps you could try a subtle level adjustment with each scene change ?
    Good point. When i made a film (not nature) with two different park scenes, I made a point of having two different ambient tracks (actually generated using a product called "Atmosphere") and swiched these back and forth as I switched back and forth between scenes.
    Tim

  5. #5

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    Nothing much to add to Tim's review. Except the tree focus thing looked like an attempted manual focus pull please let us know which of us is correct. I agree the HVX200 isn't the best camera for this type of video. I think something with a longer lens would be better to get the close ups you need. It is however, a good workhorse and general use camera (guess who
    has one) and the filmic like gammas are a great tool for indi films. The variable frame rate can also be useful. If you don't like it sell it on eBay and put the money towards a 5D mkII with a good lens and I'm sure you will be happy.

  6. #6
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    This is awesome!

    And I'm from Edmonton AB in Canada.

    I've very used to being praised for pretty pictures and I have so much to learn. Normally when I head out I don't have much direction with what I'm doing other then looking for nice shots. My number one goal right now is to keep learning and to keep everything I've learned fresh.

    So this might make you sad but I have a feeling many of the videos that I'll be posting will have a more undirected feeling. I'm going to use everything you said and try to apply it. Which isn't always easy.

    I hope you keep giving me input!
    Thanks
    Zac

  7. #7
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    It was a manual focus pull.(haha not a very good one I guess)

    And the cameras that I use all belong to my school. I don't own them, they're just the best I'm aloud take out.
    And your completely right about needing a longer lens. I got as close as I could and I couldn't get the tight shot I was looking for.

    But thanks for the feed back!

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