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All my footage looks like cheap video...
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  • In order of preference for some changes

    Lighting--not well lit--what king of lighting did you use?

    Background--be careful with clutter. Clutter can be artistic or distracting. This clutter is distracting and creates the wrong atmosphere.

    Color grading--too muddy for my taste, part of that is the lighting.

    Some of the camera angles don't seem ideal for the scenes, framing is something I always need to work on.

    Sound--didn't like the sound, it distracted me from the scene.

    Makeup--not even, use nonreflective makeup

    Don't worry too much about the comments, just take what you can use and throw the rest on the scrap heap of history.

  • This was basically to be used as a concept video to test a couple things we wanted to incorporate in the longer version.

    We used a couple soft boxes on the first scene with an overhead shaded lamp. The problem was kitchen size. There was no space for us to light the scene from the angle we wanted with out them being seen.

    The choking scene involved an umbrella light 5500K Fluorescent being handheld to get light into the scene. We also used a couple soft boxes in there, but it was once again too cramped to get what we needed. Eventually settled for the hand held.

    The location was a mess. The guy (DP) knew we were shooting and didn't clean. We cleaned up as much as we could move into other places, but this is a very small space.

    Some color correction. No grading. The lighting was a huge issue.

    The music was borrowed from a friend. Not written for the scene itself.

    No Makeup.

  • For what it's worth I'd say lighting aside your v first shot has huge head room, which I don't personally like, to go wide without it you could have had the camera lower, then the actress is shifting her eyes either side of the camera, then seemed to me to look straight down the lens - oops - then you jump the line between set ups, he walks out left to right, then comes in right to left, which doesn't always work. In the next scene the OTS shots have too much of the shoulder/head we're looking over and the eyelines don't match, we're looking down on the other guy and level on investigator, then you stay too long on the investigator maybe to avoid going back to the other shot? The look to her on the creak is confusing cos they then look the other way to the observer - I hadn't noticed her in the establishing shot so that was two shocks for me! - presumably there was some action where she pointed in the other direction that we didn't see maybe? Don't know if you storyboarded first but it always works a treat for me.

  • Sticking to the line and matching eyelines and all that kind of stuff I know is old hat but it just stops things distracting the viewer, obviously it's become fashionable to jump the lines at times and because we're more film literate and some scenes have a lot more cuts than the old days we can get away with it, but just a matter of judging when to go by the tried and tested and when you can break the rules, whatever works works.

  • @belfryman I went back and watched the footage. I totally see what you mean about the eye line. The right to left. Left to right scene I was more or less okay with.

    I stayed too long on the investigator bc all the footage from the other angle was not useable. I did what I could in post, but I ended up having to use some scratch footage to cut away the one time I did.

    I was the camera op for the first scene only. From creepy look - to kiss - to choke - to credits.

    The walk to the kitchen was shot at a later time than the kitchen confrontation.

  • @Mckinise There are some great books on camerawork, Shot By Shot by Steven D. Katz I loved when I was setting out and Grammar Of The Film Language I haven't got round to reading yet but looks great and there are plenty out there explaining lighting principles, saves a lot of trial and error. Editing is also a brilliant way to learn what shots you need because you find half the time you haven't got them, or conversely, these days, you have shed loads of drivel you have to sift through and it would have been better if the directors had known what they needed. Once you've played safe a few times shooting to the principles then you can start to have fun!

  • @producer Now no longer have the GH2. Can't get in contact with the buyer to see the origin. I do have a g6, made in China. I know apples to oranges. What was the significance of the camera's manufacturing location?

  • @Mckinise

    AFAIK manufacturing location has no practical significance as long as camera works...

  • I suggest with this much fan base and support you've built up to find a better.camera.

  • Gosh, @vicharris at this point it is a better everything. That video was not supposed to bring in any fanfare. The next video we are producing will actually feature a narrative. Hoping to incorporate as much of the knowledge shared here as possible.

    Once we can put out good work with the equipment we have, we will address upgrades.

  • Think you missed point. I went to you're YouTube page and saw all the views and great comments towards your project it's amazing how much interest you've generated and wish I could do that!! Taking that into consideration, I would try and shoot with a proven camera that has a decent amount of room in post to play with the image. That's all. There's so much lost in translation on the internet :)

  • @vicharris My reply was meant to mean we need to do a better job with many different aspects of production. I agree with you about using the best camera possible. We have access to several Canon cameras. I personally own the G6. My initial reply was in relation to all of the advice I have gotten so far.

    We will do a better job framing, lighting, and composing using the knowledge we have gained here. We will go into post with a better idea of the style we want to convey. Hopefully the footage will be able to hold up well enough for online.

    Now, offline is a different matter altogether. I would love a G6 hack. It will probably while before that is ready so I am keeping my eyes peeled for a camera that will allow us to take a major step up.

  • Is there ever a point where you just decide to shirk the conventional and just do things your way; the way you want?

    In my media lecturing experience, I'd class 80% of students in that category. I can't really remember anyone (amongst those, who continued to teflon their way out of learning basic skills) go on to become geniuses. However, there are cinematographers who get the idea really fast and are soon using technique at its limits.

    For example, once in a while our planet gets an Orson Welles:

    I didn’t know what you couldn’t do. I didn’t deliberately set out to invent anything. It just seemed to me, why not? And there is a great gift that ignorance has to bring to anything. That was the gift I brought to Kane, ignorance.

    from Openculture.com

    Welles' first, properly directed film was made after the DP noticed he didn't know a thing about films - and took him aside for an early lunch and a good talking-to. Welles returned to the set, having listened intently, as a film director. (Welles' words, in an audience Q and A session broadcast on French TV, circa 1982).

  • Welles' first film, (before the lunchtime talk)

  • When I say shirk the conventional I don't mean discard fundamentals. I mean to strip them down to their core, hack away the inessentials to create something more pure. Think Nirvana versus the 80's hair bands. In a time when guitarists were trying to play faster and more complex solos, Curt Cobain took his basic guitar riffs and strained vocals to the masses; ushering a new era of popular music.

    Now, he still used he same formula as those before him, verse chorus verse. It was how he used his limited tool set within the framework of that structure.

    I truly long to create something powerful and compelling, but perhaps without all of the glossy finish. My issue is now learning the skills needed to recognize the frame upon which I wish to build.

  • You can write poetry. But it should still use a language people understand.

    The moving image also has a language - with several genres, but still a language. That's what I mean by basic skills: taking us on a journey but observing the minimal conventions which will convey such things as the passage of time, in whose time a shot is or how a character feels, all with cuts which follow editing rules and seamlessly engage with the viewer. We mess with these at our peril.

  • I think even Picasso learned to paint with a certain amount of realism before going his own way.

    It's hard to know what you want to say if you can't really speak the language.