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Thread: Please rate

  1. #1

    Default Please rate

    Hello to all! I here recently edited a video about my trip, but there’s really no one to ask who would point out the mistakes. Please look and evaluate, what do you think? Would it be okay to show for a portfolio or is the camera shaking too much? Although I tried to focus more on the music and the overall positive vibe ) I'm training video editing skills at the mo.
    Thanks in advance for the answers!

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


    Thanks for posting. You will get honest opinion here, some of which you may not like, but most people will back up their opinion with their reasoning, which you may or may not agree with. It sounds like you're for that sort of critique.

    This video shows me you know how to use video editing software, but have some way to go before you know how to edit.

    One of the difficulties with critiquing a video is that the good stuff always seems to be vastly oughtweighed by the comments about stuff which can be improved. But that is only natural. If I say "x" is good, you know that, and you probably know why so there's little to say about it. If, on the other hand, I say there is room for improvement in "y" I have to justify that by saying what I think is wrong with it and suggest ways in which I think it may be improved.

    So, lets get started.
    Good things (and where you have avoided rookie mistakes)
    Shots are generally well exposed
    Shots are varied
    Shots are grouped together logically
    Once composed, your shots are generally level (no sloping sea!)
    You use a mixture of voyeuristic documentary (snapshots) and humour
    You avoid distracting fancy transitions.
    You vary the length of the shots
    You cut on the beat of the music
    It is colourful and lively

    It lacks any real structure, narrative or journey. The benefit of having such is that it makes the viewer want to see more, to see what happens next. With this video, I could drop in at any random point for two minutes and I'd have no idea what has alreday happened or what might happen next - and I would't really care. Indeed, you could take just about any two minutes and it would stand just as well as a two minute film (better than this 20+ minute film as it wouldn't feel too long). A film/video, certainly one of this length, needs to be a story of sorts, where the viewer can get involved.

    Just sticking music over pictures takes one out of the moment. I'd advise more use of ambient sound. This is where the "on location" audio draws us in more.

    This tells us nothing at all about how you feel about the place: your experiences, your emotions. Shots of places are all well and good, but they are no more than the environment in which you are haveing an experience - share that with us.

    The opening 30 seconds is amazingly vibrantly edited, although the words chosen seem somewhat strange (perhaps less so in your mother tongue - I'm assuming English is not your first language). It really shows of your competence with the editor, but it goes on for at least twice as long as it should. In particular online, you have a few seconds to grab your viewer's attention. this grabbed mine, but, had I not been watching specifically to review it, I'd have clicked away after 10 seconds, assuming it's all the same.

    After this very hectic intro (and the rewind, which I rather liked) we get shots of your feet and luggage as you get off the plane. This is good! It feels like the start of the adventure, the start of the narrative which is what you intend. But we really do not want to see a minute of you walking off the plane and looking around. My approach would be. Shot of feet/luggage walking along plane to set the scene (2-4secs), cut to scene from top of steps (perhaps a pan) 6 secs max, cut to scene from tarmac - perhaps a walking shot. 2-4 secs.

    Your long shot is made all the worse by the fact it's going in all directions without any real points of focus (hosing) and accompanied by wind noise. This is not helped by the fact the camera movement (like all the camera movement in the film) is jittery - and I'm not talking about the shakiness of the shot - something has not translated well - were you shooting at a low frame rate or something?

    The shakiness of the shots, though, is something else. Sorry to sound harsh, but these are really poor. Most shots seem to meander without any focus whatsoever.

    This is video so you need movement. If you shoot something which moves, movement is already there. Support the camera and hold it steady (you can often put a camera on something - a wall, a branch or similar so it is rock solid. You might consuider a bean bag or gorilla pod for mounting in more difficult places). You may prefer the handheld look - a bit of movement can give a feeling of more intimacy. If so, that's fine (although you should still attempt to hold the camera steady) but focus on a subject, rather than wave it around aimlessly.

    If you want to create a shot with camera movement, a pan, tilt or combination, make sure your opeing shot and ending shot (especially the ending shot) are properly composed, as if you were shooting a static shot.

    Never reverse direction within a shot (unless following action)! If you pan left to right do not pause then pan right to left. This creates a feeling for the viewer of going backwards. Of course you cans shoot it that way, but when you edit it, cut it in half - indeed if you use a left to right pan to open a section about happenings in one area you might even end the section with the right to left pan.

    Edit out all your zooms. They are a mark of an amateur film maker. There are exceptions but they are few and far between (for example showing someone in full zoom climbing a rockface cand be zoomed out to show the enormity of the rockface - here the zoom has a real purpose). If you want to show something zoomed in close and in the context of a wider area is is (nearly) always best to show close and cut to wide (or vice versa).

    Whilst I'm delighted you didn't use fancy transitions, your use of the fades through black seemed rather random. Usually anything other than a straight cut indicates a change in time, location or both, yet yours didn't always. Eg 4:12 you fade out on a night time scene of the streets and then fade back into more night time scenes of the streets. Why?

    You appear to have zoomed in in editing on several occasions and the quality drops noticably.

    You have a few stills, which stick out like a sore thumb. In my opinion, you should only use stills in video (a) where there is no option (you want to use historical photos, it is physically impossible to get to what you want to film) or (b) for a particular effect (ie showing someone taking photos and cutting to those photos). Water in photos (like the background to one of the signs you showed) looks particularly weird in a video. There was one particular poor quality photo of what looked like a bus shelter - I could see no reason for it (If there was a reason, you need to explain that - this is what draws the viewer in).

    In fact the choice of shots is what really lets this video down.

    Be utterly ruthless. Only select your very best shots.Then only include those shots which serve a purpose, those which add something to the video - to the narrative, the emotion or even just context.

    I'm sure this sounds harsh but, I'm equally sure that you'll take these suggestions in the helpful manner in which they are intended, and, after a few more videos you'll look back at this and be far harsher than I ever would (we're always most critical of our own work)

    For an indication of what you could be doing in a similar style, look at adventure campitelli's video's on this forum. I'm not suggesting you want to make a video like his or that you should, but I'm sure you'll find some inspiration there for your travel videos.

    Keep at it and please post your next video so we can see what you've changed.

  3. #3


    OMG thx for such a big post! going to read it soon very carefully! you rock!

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