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Thread: Video practice

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Smalltown, Queensland

    Default Video practice

    Hi all, I've been locked away learning editing, intensively, working on a music video for a band that has taken me about 250 hours so far, and is only 66% done.

    You can imagine that gets pretty boring, but I hate to move on without completing projects, else they never get finished.

    But my creative health was suffering, and I decided to get the camera out for a small break project, which will involve a 2m20 music video of my own, quick n simple.

    Before I took that on, I thought a bit of practice was required, so I did this. My partners friends wanted her recipe for spring rolls, so I turned it into a mini film. A days filming and a days edit.

    You all have permission to smash me to pieces here, because anything you say will be used in evidence and put to good use for the real thing later this week, (same location)


    Spring Rolls - YouTube
    Last edited by Stripe; 04-16-2013 at 05:27 AM.

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


    I suppose if you're gioing to make one spring roll you might as well make a couple of hundred! Why did your friends ask for the recipe when you clearly have plenty to spare?

    This clearly isn't a "how to make spring rolls" film as it doesn't list the ingredients or tell us what's going on, how long to cook etc. But then neither is it a study of your partner where the cooking is almost incidental (You may remember a sequence of Midnight Blue's wife preparing Oxtail soup, which was used to perfectly illustrate Midnights feelings for her which was agood example of the latter). I'm not really sure what it was.

    The shots panned back and forth rather too much for me. There was one sequence (from 1:53) where we panned between two frying pans, right to left, crossfaded to another shot of the right hand pan then panned back again - but nothing had noticeably changed in the frying pans - the edit had suggested compression of time, but the "story" had not moved on.

    This sequence is immediately followed by a shot of your partner sprinkling something from a jar, but the contents of the pan have magically got a dark liquid (soy sauce?) on top of them which we didn't see added.

    And then the shot at 2:24 - pan right to left then (almost) whip pan back right folowed by the camera autofocusing on the new subject. I understand what you're trying to do with this shot, but it requires rehearsal and the whip pan must finish bang on target and in perfect focus to pull it off otherwise (as here) it just looks like hosing.

    l'm afraid I found the first pice of music annoyingly repetitive.

    The video picked up when we started to see the faces (unsurprisingly). If you're not making a cookery film, but a film of someone cooking, I think I'd like to see much more of your partner concentrating on what she's doing. Like watching any craftsman at work this then tells a story and there's always the anticipation - will it turn out successfully?

    Despite all my apparent criticism, it kept me watching to the end so you must be doing something right!

    For a personal piece I'd seriously consider cutting it by 50%. For a cookery piece it needs captions and commentary.

  3. #3


    I liked the premise of the video. I have to agree with Tim about the camera movement being hosey etc. I'll try and cover a point which Tim hasn't (which doesn't leave me much room).

    When you are using a lens witch is capable of a shallow depth of field, you have to learn how to use the depth of field in the right way. Example if you freeze the video at 59 secs you can see the bowl your wife is working with is out of focus but the bowl next to it is in focus. This should obviously be the other way round BUT you could have closed the iris down so the D of F wasn't so small which might have been better for a shot like that. 1. It's easier to get focus and 2. having a both bowls in focus would look better for that shot.

    From looking at your video, I'm thinking you just open your iris as much as you can and shoot all your shots like that. This might be ok to do in the right circumstances but not all the time. It takes a lot of practise get the right thing in focus especially when you have a lot of movement. If you do a focus pull you have to nail each point ie the first object has to be in perfect focus and then the second has to be in perfect focus without it going in and out until you nail it. This technique should only be used to move the attention of the viewer from one thing to another within the frame for a purpose or it just becomes tedious after a while.

    So to sum up don't leave the iris fully open for all your shots. If you really want a shallow D of F you have to zoom in to the object so the background will really go out of focus and not just look soft. It's all about the relative distance between the lens, the object and the background. If you don't set up the shots right, you will end up with everything just looking soft.

    I hope this helps you for future shoots.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Smalltown, Queensland


    Thanks guys, yes I tried to cover my lousy focus DoF in editing. I still don't have the skill to work quickly, which was kinda my challenge here, I had to shoot whilst partner was zooming all over the place. Nothing was planned. Still learning DoF really, this was a 50mm lens, no zoom, so I was doing it hard.

    For the music video, every shot will be fine detailed, so I hope you will see an improvement. But yes, I won't be trying any run and gun documentaries just yet.

    Lol Tim, yes we do the spring roll session twice a year, fried rice is popular in our house.

    You didn't pick me up on the lighting, I'm wondering if I should use lights for the real thing, or work with what I have, 70% of the shots seemed ok without needing lights.

  5. #5


    As you say 70% of the lighting was ok for this situation. BUT lighting is not just about having enough light to see things. You should use lighting to create the right mood for the piece. (I really shouldn't start sentences with BUT) BUT when starting out lighting can become just another complexity which you have to get around.

    So I would, if I was you, try to use natural light for your video if that is appropriate for the mood of your on coming shoot. Not knowing what the shoot is it's hard to say if you should use it or not so this is just a general statement about lighting that I feel might help.

    As for the focusing I'm sure every time you pick up the camera you will get better and better so you need to pick up the camera a lot.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008


    I enjoyed the video -- it moved well from shot to shot -- subtle transitions -- good job

    The music sounded like someone banging an old bone on a piece of tin

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