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Old 02-01-2017, 01:33 PM   #1
harmonica44
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How is this promotional video I did for someone?

I was hired to a video of a company's building expanding, construction wise. It's just a rough draft so far, with some subtitled text, cause I was waiting to here back from the client, on what he wants for a final product. What do you think so far? Is there anything I could better?

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Old 02-01-2017, 02:30 PM   #2
AcousticAl
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Well, your transformation montage from 1:11-1:29 is the most effective part of this piece.

The pacing is slow and uninteresting, which is a stark contrast to a higher-energy, driving music track. Why do cross-dissolves take soooooo long here? It's painful to watch. Your transformation montage needs to move faster with transitions that are a bit more tech-savvy than just a cross-dissolve.

The choice of transitions is inconsistent. Weird white-flashes in the beginning, some dissolves, a couple of out-of-place vertical wipes. None of this congeals in an overall "look".

Your subtitled "before" and "after" shots are a little confusing. Are they the same structure from the same angle? In the "before", at the end of the pan, there's an open street with passing traffic in the background. If I am to assume that the after is an identical shot from the same perspective, what happened to the street? It doesn't look like the same place.

Do you have any closeups? Any shots from down low, or up high? All of this is a string of wides and mediums (medium wide, really), and no closeups. Do you have anything that shows the big drill going into the ground? Closeups of the welding sparks flying? The whole thing is very flat and mundane, with most of the shots seeming to be from standing eye level (the least interesting perspective for a camera).

When you're shooting coverage for a piece like this, you have to take the viewer in close once in a while. Faces, hands, tools, sparks flying, dirt and asphalt crumbling. Where is any of this? If you have the shots, use them. If you don't... you'd better keep that in mind on the next job.

And the ending? What's up with that? It just abruptly
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Old 02-01-2017, 02:52 PM   #3
harmonica44
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Okay thanks. Mainly the cross dissolves are longer cause I thought it would more effectively, show the changes as it fades from one to the other. But I could quicken them if that is better. The client also wanted the video to be around 3 minutes long, but I feel there is not enough for three minutes to keep it interesting, since it's pretty straightforward, and doesn't really need that long I don't think.

As for the choices of transitions, being inconsistent, do I have to use the same transition every time? Isn't okay to have a different one if you feel that a different transition would work more appropriately for the given scene change? Why do you they all have to the same, and therefore could get repetitive, or so I thought?

And yes, the before and after sequence, is all the same place, it just looks really different after they poured concrete over it and moved everything around. The reason why it doesn't look the same, is cause it was changed around so much. Even when I was called back to get other shots that day, I too was surprised at how much the place had changed. Is there anything I can to make it look the same since it's so different, that it's hard to tell?

Unfortunately I do not have any shots from up high, cause I was only allowed to be on the ground when doing this. I wanted to get up on the scissor lift to get some, but they were to busy for that, which was understandable.

As for shots from down low, what do you mean exactly? I took them all from the ground, pointing at the changes made, so I couldn't get any lower, at least not that I could think of.

I do have more close ups of what is going on, but I thought that the close ups would not be interesting, cause this video is going to be shown to people in the company, and it's not like they are very tech savvy in how all these machinery works. I thought they would be more interested in seeing the construction changes, rather than getting that much into the machinery. Which is why I only showed a few shots of the machines.

Do you think I should show more close ups of the machines, even though they are probably more interested in the building changes? Although I don't have close ups of tools or sparks flying, cause I was not allowed to get in that close, and get in their way. So if I do another job like this, and I am restricted to not getting as many close ups, what could I do instead?

And yes, I do have more close ups of the big drill going into the ground, but the drill takes so long to go in and out, that I thought it would kill the pacing. For example, there is the one shots of the drill beginning to go in. What do I need to more establish that a drill is going into the ground? I don't want to show the slow process of it, if it means hitting the viewer over the head with it either, so what more do I need to show exactly? Thanks for the input .

As for the ending, ending abruptly, it didn't do that before. I think something happened when I uploaded it to youtube that caused the sound to get cut off. I will check out that out. Thanks .

Last edited by harmonica44; 02-01-2017 at 03:10 PM.
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Old 02-01-2017, 02:53 PM   #4
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Glad you are out there doing it...
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Old 02-01-2017, 03:17 PM   #5
AcousticAl
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Originally Posted by harmonica44 View Post
As for the choices of transitions, being inconsistent, do I have to use the same transition every time? Isn't okay to have a different one if you feel that a different transition would work more appropriately for the given scene change? Why do you they all have to the same, and therefore could get repetitive, or so I thought?
It doesn't mean you have to use the exact, same transition every time. Yes, that could get boring. Cuts and dissolves should work the majority of the time, but if you're going to use wipes and white flashes, use them intentionally. Take the white flash, for instance: you used it just a couple times, back-to-back, and never used it again. Why?

Solidifying an overall look in editing means choosing certain transitions for certain purposes, and sticking with that pattern. Each purpose may come back around a few times throughout the whole piece, but that's actually a good thing. It just seems in this video like you chose them just for the sake of doing something different there so that the viewer doesn't get bored by dissolves. If you're choosing a transition effect just because it seems like you need to shake things up, then the choice has no motivation and that will come across in the finished edit.

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As for shots from down low, what do you mean exactly? I took them all from the ground, pointing at the changes made, so I couldn't get any lower, at least not that I could think of.
Human eye-level is often the least interesting perspective in photography. Why? Becuase that's the way we see the world every day. It may look good to us in real life, but once that's translated to film/video/photography it can become flat and dull. It is your job as the videographer to give the viewer a perspective that is different, interesting.

"From the ground", as you say, looks in this video an awful lot like just standing there holding the camera to your face. You have the ability to kneel down to the ground. You have the ability to put the camera on the ground and point it up at the subject. You have the ability to hold the camera down at sternum-level or waist level and shoot. Anything but holding it to your face for b-roll like this.

Using a tripod? Set it at sternum-level. Or waist level. Or spread it out to near-ground-level.

Of course choice of camera height and perspective has to be intentional, based on which aspect of the frame you're wanting to emphasize the most. Big machinery like that needs to look big and impressive, so shooting at or below shoulder level, looking up, helps to magnify that.

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I do have more close ups of what is going on, but I thought that the close ups would not be interesting, cause this video is going to be shown to people in the company, and it's not like they are very tech savvy in how all these machinery works. I thought they would be more interested in seeing the construction changes, rather than getting that much into the machinery. Which is why I only showed a few shots of the machines.

Do you think I should show more close ups of the machines, even though they are probably more interested in the building changes?
The changes in the buildings are the end product. You are telling a story here, and the story is the process of getting to the end result. YES, the viewers will be interested in seeing a few close-ups of the crew and machinery at work. So what if it's an internal, corporate audience? They still want to be entertained while they watch the process. If none of that mattered to them at all, why have a video? They could just print a large poster of a before still, and an after still, and call it a day.

But they didn't do that. They hired a videographer to tell their story.

So, tell their story.

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Although I don't have close ups of tools or sparks flying, cause I was not allowed to get in that close, and get in their way. So if I do another job like this, and I am restricted to not getting as many close ups, what could I do instead?
Long lens. 150mm or 200mm can get you in pretty close.

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And yes, I do have more close ups of the big drill going into the ground, but the drill takes so long to go in and out, that I thought it would kill the pacing. For example, there is the one shots of the drill beginning to go in. What do I need to more establish that a drill is going into the ground? I don't want to show the slow process of it, if it means hitting the viewer over the head with it either, so what more do I need to show exactly?
Again, you are telling a story here. The story is the process. ALL of the process.

Time compression is essential for showing a process like the drilling. The entire process is way too long, so you compress the time frame with editing to cut out the bulk of the middle. Start with a wide to establish what's going on. Move in closer, then show a CU of the drill breaking through the asphalt. Back to a wider cutaway, a couple other CU shots of the workers and other parts of the machine, then back to the drill at the end of the process.

EDIT: Also, why is there no sound from the B-roll? We have all these magnificent machines at work and no sound design to include them. That's a big omission.

Last edited by AcousticAl; 02-01-2017 at 03:23 PM.
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Old 02-01-2017, 03:23 PM   #6
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The edit is off beat.

Ask your client for the font they use for their logo/communications. The will make the titles look less generic.
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Old 02-01-2017, 03:47 PM   #7
harmonica44
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Okay thanks. I think the wipes look better for the particular transitions that they are in. As for the fades to white, I could use additive disolves instead, since I already have at least on additive dissolve, and just have all additives intead of fade to whites, if that's better.

I shot it a lot from chest/stomach level, but next time I can right down on the ground. Some of the shots I remember getting on the ground for, but I could do more for next time. Thanks.

As for using a 150-200 mm lens, I only had a 18-55, and a 50 mm prime, so I tried to make the most out of what I had.

As for close ups, the only two I think I have are the drill, as well as some of the concrete pouring since that was as close as I can get without getting in people's way, or getting in the way of danger. So I can use those, if that is better.

I am waiting to hear back on the font and the exact text he wants. The font of the actual company logo, however, is kind of bold and exaggerated and it might look too over the top, for subtitled text. It might look cheesy if I use that font.

As for having sound effects of the machines, I thought maybe it would be better to just tell the story visually with music and that might be more effective.

Sometimes music over images, especially in a montage like sequence, works better without sound, I figure. But if sound is better, I can download some stock sounds of machines working, if that is better. I wanted to record the sound as well but could not operate my field recorder and mic, as well as operate the camera at the same time, so I got as much footage as I could, but couldn't get enough sound, before they finished doing what they were doing. So it's better told with sound, then I could download some stock sounds.

I tried looking at stock sounds before, though, and a lot of that machinery, just doesn't really sound that good. I mean in professional movies, the sound effects are all manufactured to sound they best they can be, so maybe I just need to manufacture the sounds to sound better. Cause realistically these machines, just sound very plain and generic in the real world, so I would have to do something more. But the client may want an end product soon, and I don't know if I am time to do all that with the time he has given of me. I will see.

Last edited by harmonica44; 02-01-2017 at 04:02 PM.
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Old 02-01-2017, 04:19 PM   #8
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As for using a 150-200 mm lens, I only had a 18-55, and a 50 mm prime, so I tried to make the most out of what I had.
Yes, but the question you asked was, "So if I do another job like this, and I am restricted to not getting as many close ups, what could I do instead?" So... get a longer lens.

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As for close ups, the only two I think I have are the drill, as well as some of the concrete pouring since that was as close as I can get without getting in people's way, or getting in the way of danger. So I can use those, if that is better.
If you have 'em, and they're usable, use 'em.

And on the next job, get more of 'em.

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As for having sound effects of the machines, I thought maybe it would be better to just tell the story visually with music and that might be more effective.

Sometimes music over images, especially in a montage like sequence, works better without sound, I figure. But if sound is better, I can download some stock sounds of machines working, if that is better. I wanted to record the sound as well but could not operate my field recorder and mic, as well as operate the camera at the same time, so I got as much footage as I could, but couldn't get enough sound, before they finished doing what they were doing.
What sound did your camera record? Unless it's all wind-blown and distorted, a little bit of it mixed in here and there is what I'm talking about. No need to buy SFX here. Just use nat sound if you have it.

And another "for future jobs" item would be a RØDE VideoMic Pro to increase the quality of nat sound.
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Old 02-01-2017, 07:08 PM   #9
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What do you think so far?
It's about ******* time is what I think.

Quote:
Is there anything I could better?
Heaps of stuff. There were very few places where there wasn't some sort of error or mistake, but that's very much common for an inexperienced filmmaker on their second project. This is exactly why you need to make more films. You're making inexperienced errors. Both technical errors and poor decision making based errors. Why you're making these bone headed errors 6 years in is worrying. You have less experience than most first semester students.

It's less important to what we think could be improved. The important question is: What do you think could be improved? What is yours missing from your project that is included in professional projects?
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Old 02-02-2017, 03:31 AM   #10
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Okay thanks. I am not sure what errors there are besides the ones I already decided not to use, so that is why I asked. One thing I noticed that is in more professional projects, is that they used more cameras and were able to cover more.

As for using the NAT sound, the camera quality isn't good at all, it's just regular camera sound, and is not good sounding at all. When I conceived this project with the client, it was originally going to be done with no sound and just music as a stylistic choice.

But even if I did use the NAT sound, it's bad! Mainly cause the camera has hissing in the background. But I feel it would look more professional to not use any sound at all, over camera sound. Is it really that bad, that it needs the nat sound to improve it? There is also a sound FX and foley artist I know who is looking for projects to do for experience, so maybe it would be better to see if he wants a crack at it...

As for using a road videomic next time, it still needs to be plugged into a field recorder to power it, doesn't it? Or at least it doesn't seem like it comes with its own phantom power, unless I am wrong.

What about the color grading, is their anything there, I should do different?

Last edited by harmonica44; 02-02-2017 at 04:22 AM.
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Old 02-02-2017, 04:31 AM   #11
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Hi and congratulations on the gig! I'm not a filmmaker, but as a composer I can tell you that your musical choice is not optimal. Not saying it is totally off, you want something modern and dynamic, but also something that is uplifting, makes the listener feel confident that these are nice guys and that they know what they are doing. I'd start there and edit the film to the music.
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Old 02-02-2017, 04:48 AM   #12
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Okay thanks. The musical track is just a rough track, and waiting to hear from the client if he likes it first. I was forced to use music that was already composed, since the client didn't want to hire a composer of course.

As for editing the video to the music, I feel it might compromise the logical flow of the video's narrative. I get what you mean, but it might not be the best for the video narrative itself. I could try...
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Old 02-02-2017, 07:22 AM   #13
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Okay thanks. The musical track is just a rough track, and waiting to hear from the client if he likes it first. I was forced to use music that was already composed, since the client didn't want to hire a composer of course.

As for editing the video to the music, I feel it might compromise the logical flow of the video's narrative. I get what you mean, but it might not be the best for the video narrative itself. I could try...
I was more thinking timing - editing to music will (probably) add a natural flow and rhythm to the cut. Not so changing anything about the order of the images.

Good luck!
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Old 02-02-2017, 07:48 AM   #14
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I was more thinking timing - editing to music will (probably) add a natural flow and rhythm to the cut. Not so changing anything about the order of the images.

Good luck!
I already told him this last week.

I would make the video shorter and indeed edit to the music.

In it's current state music and images don't really match: it's like a bad dancer: off beat.
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Old 02-02-2017, 09:14 AM   #15
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As for using the NAT sound, the camera quality isn't good at all, it's just regular camera sound, and is not good sounding at all. When I conceived this project with the client, it was originally going to be done with no sound and just music as a stylistic choice.
Nat sound doesn't have to be great on a construction site. These are loud noises that, as long as they aren't distorted, will be mixed in under the misic just enough that we hear them but don't get much of the background elements that surround them in the recording.

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As for using a road videomic next time, it still needs to be plugged into a field recorder to power it, doesn't it? Or at least it doesn't seem like it comes with its own phantom power, unless I am wrong.
The RØDE VideoMic Pro takes a 9v battery. It also has a +20dB boost to help overcome your camera's crappy pre-amps.
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