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Thread: Request for critique

  1. #1

    Default Request for critique

    Hi all, even though I've been trying to make video for years, I still consider myself an immature... nonetheless, I would really appreciate any feedback on one of my latest small "works" here: Amazing Machu Picchu, Peru - YouTube (there is a "second part" here: Misty Machu Picchu, Peru - YouTube).

    Love shooting video, editing, showing it to others... but haven't had a chance to find a right audience to discuss it with.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008


    I enjoyed both these videos.

    The dialogue was very clear in the first video but not so clear in the second, although I preferred the second video because of the mood.

  3. #3


    Quote Originally Posted by zamiotana View Post
    I enjoyed both these videos.

    The dialogue was very clear in the first video but not so clear in the second, although I preferred the second video because of the mood.
    Thank you, zamiotana. The second video intentionally doesn't have much dialogue. I had some good footage of Machu Picchu in mist/clouds, which I wanted to make to look even more "mist" (-erious)... I hope I conveyed that feeling in this clip.

    I would also appreciate any comments on what could have been done better.

  4. #4


    Very enjoyable mr zee. The first one is just the right length, offering plenty of information without getting boring. Clear, concise information from your tour guide and well recorded. a little too much use of the zoom button for my likeing and i would have liked a few close ups maybe.

    second one was more like a trailer with the fast cuts and absence of voice over. not keen on the ripple effect transition which is a little cheesy.

    good stuff

  5. #5


    I still consider myself an immature...

    Huh! I Totally disagree with you. The first video very enjoyable to watch and informative due to top quality camera work, editing, and Niration, which made it for me. The second one would have been great if it had Niration. Bravo Great job. Keep up the good work! Thumbs up from me!

  6. #6


    Well, it makes me want to go there so it hits the mark.

  7. #7


    Thank you so much, guys for your feedback.

    Question to "Caption World": in your opinion, do you think it would be best to always add a voice over? What if it's just a not-to-much-involving video overview of a particular topic? Like this overview of an authentic Peruvian market: Cusco's Colorful San Pedro Market, Peru - YouTube Perhaps, it would have been better with an audio story, but is there way one would not need an audio talent to tell a story?

    To enc, what in your opinion would be a better choice of transition between the two "water" shots? No transition at all? Btw, totally agree - I needed more close ups. It was only at the editing desk when I noticed I don't have enough of those... but it was too late...

  8. #8


    Quote Originally Posted by mrzee View Post

    To enc, what in your opinion would be a better choice of transition between the two "water" shots? No transition at all? e...
    possibly. hard to say without experimenting.

  9. #9


    Question to "Caption World": in your opinion, do you think it would be best to always add a voice over?

    YES MOST DEFINITELY! Sorry for shouting.

    Just for a minute go back to the days when there was no Video. and the early days of TV you had only spoken audio to and keep the audience interested. (OK showing my age) When you heard a play on the radio you build your own picture of the scene because the Audio content sets it. Its no good just filming something (which anyone can do with a camera) these days and think its a blockbuster.

    Your first video made it for me with the voice over, otherwise I would have left after 30 seconds. And even though the video quality was excellent.

    GET CREATIVE TELL THE STORY! Which is exactly what you did in your first video. All to often just because someone posts a video on Youtube they think there going to get millions of hits, most are rubbish only of interest to the poster. Then they come to this forum and ask for critiques.

    Think of Video like a car, you have the tools, the car needs fixing and you have the expertize to fix it yourself. Video Cameras are tools, same as editing software they will not do all the job for you. DON'T ASSUME EVERYONE IS GOING TO SEE YOUR PRODUCTION IN THE SAME WAY AS YOU THINK! SPELL IT OUT!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Surrey, UK
    Blog Entries


    A few of my own thoughts and extentions to what others have said. These are great little films and deserve attention. I'm afraid I've rather gone from the specifics (these films) to the general (documentaries/travelogues in general) but I hope you'll find some of my comments thought provoking, even if you disagree.

    Firstly, on the negative, as enc has said, avoid leaving in shots where you are zooming. Unless there's good reason, I'd be inclined to avoid any camera movement unless you've got a dolly or a slider or a really good steadycam. One sign of an amateur whenever we come across a scenery shot is to do a big pan - the idea being to get the whole vastness of the landscape in. We all do it. It "feels" expected. But there's a reason for it which is no longer relevant - aspect ratio. When all film was shot on 4:3 it was ver difficult to get a decent looking landscape shot, so we panned teh camera to make up for it. Nowadays the 16:9 frames a landscape rather nicely so it's unnecessary.
    If you do want to pan, make sure you are panning from somethine which clearly has the viewers attention to something else which clearly grabs the viewers attention. The shot at the beginning of film 2, when you pan from the loco to the guy walking towards the camera is a perfect example of that. Also, if at all possible, follow something (a walker, an animal, a car) when panning - this all makes it more natural.

    Secondly, simply avoid transitions unless they really need to serve a purpose (which may even be comedic effect). Natural transitions are always better in my opinion (for example you film out of a train window as it goes into a tunnel, you use the blacking of teh screen as a wipe into the next shot, similarly someone walks across the camera and you use that). But most of the time you'll use straight cuts. Watch documentaries on the TV if you don't believe me.

    Consequently for me what worked best here were the shots where the camera was rock steady - this allows the viewer to really see what's going on on the screen - and the close ups of the guide. The latter, combined with his speech really helped get his personality and knowledge across. Incidentally it was good that you showed him as he began to speak. this helped prepare us for the accent. If you'd initially used his voice over scenic pictures, it probably would have taken us longer to home in on his accent and start understanding what he was saying.

    With regard to voice-over - most definitely yes - but wherever possible make this in the form of interviewing someone on camera as you have done here. A "voice of god" narration is bettr than no explanation, but if you have people who are actually in the film (not just presenters, people who live in the locations/are involved in whatever you are doumenting) it adds a lot of life. It's even better if you can get two or three people to speak as this adds a little variety, although in a film of this length one person is fine.

    An example of why some sort of commentary is necessary is teh second film. there were a couple of instances where I thought "that looks interesting, I wonder what it is/what's going on" and because no-one told me I felt a bit cheated.

    A general comment on voiceovers - don't tell us what we see on the screen, tell us about it. We've all seen holiday videos with attempted voiceovers "This is the hotel we stayed at". Pointless - we can see that. "King George 5th stayed at this hotel in xxxx" tells us something we can't see. Again by using interviews, you are less likely to fall into the trap of simply saying what we see.

    Having bleated on about some sort of voice-over, that's not to say there isn't room to let the film breath and give the viewer time to take in what they are seeing. Often there's scope for a one minute montage, perhaps as an introduction to scenes we are about to see or as a summary of what we've already seen.

    Great titles BTW.

    One other thing I must mention. When you show places, they come much more alive if we see people in them (as we do here). All too often we see documentaries about buildings and we just see shots of the buildings - no people. Personally, if I want to see architectural detail, I'd rather look at still photos so I can do it at my own time, not at the pace dictated by the editor. If I see a film about a place I want to see how that place works with people. So if I see a doorway, I want to see people pass through it, if I see a stairway, i want to see feet climbing. Buildings are for living in. And if it's countryside, I want to see wildlife or farming, or just the flora growing and livingin it. If it's Mars - OK it's naturally barren so no life probably works for that shot!

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