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Thread: My first short, happy to hear critiques...

  1. #1

    Default My first short, happy to hear critiques...

    Password cb1300

    Since shooting and editing, I would change three elements, cutting it down considerably, editing it all completely differently to start with. I don't think it is necessarily festival worthy but think it's OK and one of the talent is vaguely recognisable (this person went on to do a few bits and pieces in Doctors etc...)

    This is my first short ever, so fire away. Happy to take both barrels as I can see the issues myself and would make a lot of changes.

    For the technically-minded:

    Sony VG10 with stock lens, 5D Mk2 with a couple of primes (don't ask me which as I can't remember and it's not mine...), Tascam DR100 for sound with an NTG-2 on the end.

  2. #2


    I liked the narrative and the way it went from one person to the next and the way you changed what seemed like a negative into a positive. I like the casting, each of the talent had a different distinctive look.

    A few technical issue mostly the audio. The worst was the opening line is out of sync with the picture.

    Over all I think you did a good job.

  3. #3


    Thanks for the comment! I'd change about 1001 things, especially the editing. The opening line is in perfect sync so it must be just a Vimeo thing.

  4. #4


    Is there something stopping you from changing the 1001 things ?

  5. #5


    Quote Originally Posted by Midnight Blue View Post
    Is there something stopping you from changing the 1001 things ?
    About 1002 things...

    My first little short is good enough (but not good enough) that a multiple-award winning film maker (a professinoal film maker) came round one evening to give me a critique. He made three suggestions, (sound), plus 2 others. One of these suggestions is brilliant and I spent the evening slapping my forehead because it was so simple, yet so obviously good. However, my editor, against my will, decided to edit in Avid. Unfortunately, I have FCP 7 which is incompatible so have no way to edit the footage.

    My editor just takes too long to do edit if I want him to do anything. Anyhow, lesson learned... do it myself or at least have all the footage so I can do it myself.

    I also shot a music vid and he gave me two critiques, both of which were brilliant and I will take with me into all my shorts going forward. Again, it was forehead slapping time.

    So it is what it is. However, I am shooting my next short in March plus a couple of music vids.

  6. #6


    One of these suggestions is brilliant and I spent the evening slapping my forehead because it was so simple
    and your not going to pass on this pearl of wisdom ?

    I guess we learn by are mistakes and move on to better things.

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


    My immediate reaction was that this was really a radio play - the video added nothing - but as I watched I decided I was wrong. The cutaways did little more than add a splash of variety, but the actors facial expressions gave so much more than just their voices would have. Yes, the audio had a few issues - where you'd tried a bit too hard to edit a sentence together. And there was a horrible edited dissolve in the dancer's monologue. And who wouldn't look to see the cameraman reflected in all those mirrors (and we weren't to be disappointed).

    Overall I found the actors - the first two especially - demanding my attention. Absolutely spot on.

    I did wonder what the payoff was going to be, but I was sadly disappointed by this. Not necessarily the theme (though this was rather weak) but the final shots you decided to show just seemed to be rather random. I thought it should have ended when you revealed the four players together, enjoying each others company. Then you let the camera pan towards two people who had nothing to do with the story (this was a totally unmotivated pan, so it leads us to believe the motivation is to introduce the new characters), then you introduce a 4 way split - something out of keeping with the style of the rest of the video, and then you show just the dancer alone in full screen again. Mayne I missed some significance, but it just felt like an untiody ending to me. Which is a shame as I think it let down the rest of the film.

    Looking forward to your next production. And to the pearls of wisdon

    PS Don't blame your editor, or anyone you work with publicly. You never know when you might need them in the future or indeed whetrher they might be able to offer you a great gig.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    London, England


    I liked it, although well away from my comfort/interest-zone, I thought it flowed OK- although speech was a bit quiet to start with.
    Remember that each viewer sees it only once . . . first impressions count - and if (when) you Edit it yourself you will see it far too often . . . .

    + Agree with #7 PS....

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Smalltown, Queensland


    I guess the bits of faces slipping out of focus were done on the VG10, I have the VG20, and manual focus is the only way to go, critical focus is my secret weapon, (and I don't mind sharing that knowledge), although this time it's out of spite. I won't bother commenting on any more of your work.

  10. #10


    It was the opposite. We had a 5D Mk2 and a VG10 - the slipping out of focus was mainly on the 5D and it was manual. It was an artistic decision to shoot with a little docu-style to give it a little more realism. The 5D had a follow-focus and shoulder mount so it was generally easier to do it this way. Steadicam was all VG, though, as it's an easier combo. Slider was all 5D and tripod stuff was a mixture.

    No-one can tell the difference between the VG and the 5D footage. Everyone makes stabs at guessing which is which but most people get it wrong as it's all perfectly interchangeable. As long as the shots are all set up in the same way, we found that sometimes we didn't know! We can shoot flat on both and although I'm shooting at 30 and the 5D at 25, after the usual post treatment, it's all good.
    Last edited by gorillaonabike; 01-16-2013 at 05:56 AM.

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