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SNEAK PEEK at new Movie in Production

Posted: Mon, 15th May 2006, 9:39pm

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JUIDAR

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Hello all it's me again. Well I'm ready for it! The critisism that is! LOL

Actually I just would like to get some thoughts on the movie I'm making so far and if people think it looks like something they are going to want to see.

Were half way through shooting we had to stop for a month due to schedules but were back in action.

Note the music playing over this short scene is not what will actually be playing during the scene in the movie. I just added it in because it didn't seem live enough with out some sort of music in the scene but it is some of our own work.

http://www.vsocial.com/video/?l=28999

Before you comment read below:

I am very open to ideas and suggestions. I've had a few respones from
a couple of you a lot of them the almost same question so I just
wanted to kind of comment on those and see if it at all changes
anybodies opinions or if they still think otherwise.

COMMENT: The music sounds all wrong, way to fast.

REPLY: Again this isn't the actual music for the scene.

COMMENT: I thought I saw one of the characters smile while being
attacked that doesn't make any sense for him to be smiling.

REPLY: Yes, Jubei(Brad) is smiling in the scene but it's very hard to
understand why with out understanding the character. This guy loves
fighting and enjoys every minute of it even if he's losing.

COMMENT: Why are you in someone's backyard?

REPLY: The scene takes place behind two characters house so it's
suppose to be behind someone's house.

COMMENT: The guy doing the side flip/cartwheel looks like he's moving
in slow motion?

REPLY: lol He's move much faster in the orginal video, the music put
with the scene when it's all finished will fit better with what's
going on. I tried several times playing the scene in regular speed
and it just didn't look as smooth as it does in slow mo. smile

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Again just replying to everybody at once since there were so many
similiar comments I just replyed to the ones that came up the most.

Thanks again!

Last edited Tue, 16th May 2006, 7:16pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Mon, 15th May 2006, 9:40pm

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NickD

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Hey, I just looked at that this morning. It looks nice. I don't really know what to make of it, because I don't know where it is in the story, but the shot in itself looks nice.

BTW: I would donate to your project bro, but unfortunately, I'm making my own and don't have money to spare, but I wanted you to know so that you understand what I think of what you are doing


Good Luck smile
NickD
Posted: Mon, 15th May 2006, 9:44pm

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JUIDAR

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NickD wrote:

Hey, I just looked at that this morning. It looks nice. I don't really know what to make of it, because I don't know where it is in the story, but the shot in itself looks nice.

BTW: I would donate to your project bro, but unfortunately, I'm making my own and don't have money to spare, but I wanted you to know so that you understand what I think of what you are doing


Good Luck smile
NickD
Thanks appreciate it!

Good luck to you on your project as well I know it's not much to look at in the sense that it's just in the middle of a battle somewhere. But the movie is about "KI" and "MANA" and this is a battle between two "KI" users where of course if your an anime fan of any type you'll probably know what "KI" is and of course "MANA" is magic.
Posted: Mon, 15th May 2006, 9:50pm

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NickD

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Yeah. No problem. Keep me updated (or maybe I'll just go to the site. What a novelty wink)
Posted: Tue, 16th May 2006, 9:48am

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Sollthar

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Hm, I wouldn't be interested to see this honestly. It just had nothing that would make me go "Oh, that could be interesting."

It appears it has all the incredients of the usual "teens in their backyard" movie, which I've seen plenty of.

I can't see camerawork that appears completely thought through (more just held in the direction of what's hapening, the light on the shots is normal daylight and could be completely different), I can't see editing that appears completely thought through (why do I need to see three shots of this guy lying on the ground?), I can't see acting that seems believable (What I see is two youngsters wearing pretty much their normal clothes having superpowers for some reason, one appears to be somewhat smiling in a moment) and I can't feel a tension from that scene (What I see is two guys in some backyard)
There was just nothing there that seemed appealing or made me think "Oh, they seemed to have put a lot of thought and effort into it", like an awesome location, a fantastic costume, great lighting, stylish camerawork etc.

Sorry to sound that harsh, but these were my initial thoughts when I saw the clip. And you asked. smile
Posted: Tue, 16th May 2006, 3:00pm

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JUIDAR

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Sollthar wrote:

Hm, I wouldn't be interested to see this honestly. It just had nothing that would make me go "Oh, that could be interesting."

It appears it has all the incredients of the usual "teens in their backyard" movie, which I've seen plenty of.

I can't see camerawork that appears completely thought through (more just held in the direction of what's hapening, the light on the shots is normal daylight and could be completely different), I can't see editing that appears completely thought through (why do I need to see three shots of this guy lying on the ground?), I can't see acting that seems believable (What I see is two youngsters wearing pretty much their normal clothes having superpowers for some reason, one appears to be somewhat smiling in a moment) and I can't feel a tension from that scene (What I see is two guys in some backyard)
There was just nothing there that seemed appealing or made me think "Oh, they seemed to have put a lot of thought and effort into it", like an awesome location, a fantastic costume, great lighting, stylish camerawork etc.

Sorry to sound that harsh, but these were my initial thoughts when I saw the clip. And you asked. smile
Well Mr. Careful eye! (and I'm be sarcastic here of course) First off it's not two guys one of them is a young girl. AND the girl is wearing a NINJA uniform but the hood has been pulled off. The reason why you see three shots of the guy is because it's like "OH MY GOSH SHE JUST KNOCKED HIM OUT" and he's a really powerful character so for him to get taken down so easily is like "WOW" but of course you wouldn't know that from just watching this little clip. I thought I did really well on the panning upward of his carcus lying on the ground and panning up to the girl walking.

The lighting is really different from what it was it was actually a lot brighter outside and the original footage is very bright. The location is suppose to be behind this guy's house because he was just getting up in the morning to exercise when this Ninja attacks. Anyway thanks for letting me know what you think.
Posted: Tue, 16th May 2006, 3:02pm

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Simon K Jones

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Rating: +1

JUIDAR wrote:

The location is suppose to be behind this guy's house because he was just getting up in the morning to exercise when this Ninja attacks.
I hate it when that happens.
Posted: Tue, 16th May 2006, 3:12pm

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Sollthar

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That's a girl? Ah yeah, now I see it. Hehe, whoops. Ah well, you can't always win.


I hate it when that happens
Yeah, usually, Ninjas don't attack before sunset. :I
Posted: Tue, 16th May 2006, 3:16pm

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JUIDAR

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Sollthar wrote:

That's a girl? Ah yeah, now I see it. Hehe, whoops. Ah well, you can't always win.


I hate it when that happens
Yeah, usually, Ninjas don't attack before sunset. :I
You guys are funny!

So seriously what can I do to improve things. You said the camera work didn't seem really thought out.

What would look better! I'm really wanting to know.

Tanks!
Posted: Tue, 16th May 2006, 3:21pm

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Simon K Jones

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The main problems are in the second half.

The pacing goes way off, with shot lasting far longer than they should - after the guy hits the ground, it lingers on him for too long.

Then you have the odd repeat shots of him lying there. I see what you're trying to do, but you need to make them faster, and use sound effects to amplify the effect. Fading slowly from one to the next feels like nothing is happening, rather than emphasising for the force of the blow.

The pan from his body to the girl is a little jerky - it isn't as smooth as it could be.

The cut from the pan to the side shot of the girl approaching is bad - you cut away from the pan before it fully reveals the girl, which makes it feel disjointed. Plus the side-on shot has no movement to complement the pan, which is also jarring.

When editing, shots need to flow from one to another for a reason - every cut should have some rationale behind it. It would be far more effective, for example, to let the pan up reveal the girl in full, then cut to a shot over her shoulder, looking down at the body as she continues to approach. That way you retain the editing line and continuity and keep the viewer in the action, rather than disorienting them.
Posted: Tue, 16th May 2006, 3:23pm

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Sollthar

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I have to go to uni now, but I'll post an extensive review and detailed suggestions once I'm back if you want.

Will be in about 4 or 5 hours.
Posted: Tue, 16th May 2006, 3:27pm

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JUIDAR

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Tarn wrote:

The main problems are in the second half.

The pacing goes way off, with shot lasting far longer than they should - after the guy hits the ground, it lingers on him for too long.

Then you have the odd repeat shots of him lying there. I see what you're trying to do, but you need to make them faster, and use sound effects to amplify the effect. Fading slowly from one to the next feels like nothing is happening, rather than emphasising for the force of the blow.

The pan from his body to the girl is a little jerky - it isn't as smooth as it could be.

The cut from the pan to the side shot of the girl approaching is bad - you cut away from the pan before it fully reveals the girl, which makes it feel disjointed. Plus the side-on shot has no movement to complement the pan, which is also jarring.

When editing, shots need to flow from one to another for a reason - every cut should have some rationale behind it. It would be far more effective, for example, to let the pan up reveal the girl in full, then cut to a shot over her shoulder, looking down at the body as she continues to approach. That way you retain the editing line and continuity and keep the viewer in the action, rather than disorienting them.
Alright so let me make sure I understand this.

It would look better if I:

Have him hit the ground and then cut straight to the pan of her walking up to him only let it pan all the way up to her face. Don't show the second shot of his body lying on the ground.

Then cut to a shot of her from behind? She comes to a stop so quickley and the reason I cut so soon was to get her at another angle walking towards the body.

And what type of sound effects are you talking about?
Posted: Tue, 16th May 2006, 4:04pm

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JUIDAR

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Sollthar wrote:

I have to go to uni now, but I'll post an extensive review and detailed suggestions once I'm back if you want.

Will be in about 4 or 5 hours.
Yes please do I'm really wanting to make this film good.

On another note don't know if either of you read the little posties around the video but this isn't the actual music for the scene so let me ask would the scene still work the way it is just with a different theme playing?

I know that with the music playing at that moment it seemed like the scene should have been faster paced.
Posted: Tue, 16th May 2006, 8:08pm

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xperiment

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Cool, I'll watch it when it comes out.
Posted: Tue, 16th May 2006, 9:33pm

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Sollthar

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Rating: +7

Alright, back. Okay, so first of all, a more general input to "sollthars filmmaking guide" smile

Every aspect of filmmaking is a language - camera, light, costumes, acting, pacing, music, locations - similar to our spoken or written languages. It follows certain rules and it gets meaning through a certain combination of elements, and changes it's meaning if these elements are switched or changed.
So as a filmmaker/director, you need to be very aware of all the details (and I mean DETAILS) you want to communicate to your audience and you need to use the languages film offers to do just that. The audience won't see what you "intended", they will see what you communicate. And like with the english language, if you use the wrong words, you'll be misunderstood. It all depends on what you want to tell, what you want the audience to feel, what you want them to know...

As with every language, you need to be aware that there is subtext and a certain matter of interpretation. So these are general guidelines and not 100% truth written in stone. But as with everything else, you need to know the rules to break them.

I'll try to summarize a few very very basic rules here which I hope will help you plan your future shoots.

Camerawork

Framing
The simplest language is the distance of your shot. There's a few archetypical ones, such as:

- WIDE : A wide shot shows a very wide angle, where actors are usually small dots. These shots are commonly used to introduce a location. The viewer is able to get an overview of where he is, what is where. Emotionally, the viewer is distant. He's a spectator. Just watching what happens.

- TOTAL: The angle is wide, your actor is full in frame, from his feet to his head. And there's a great deal of background visible, but not as much. These shots are commonly used to introduce an actor/object, but still leave details aside. The viewer sees more of the actors/objects and has an overview of them. The location becomes less important, the actor becomes more important. Emotionally, this is a bit closer, but the viewer is still a spectator that gets an overview.

- CLOSE: The close shot shows your actors from waist or chest upwards. This is commonly used for all kind of character situations. It's the most used type of shot. You get closer to the actor/object, and the viewer gets more and more drawn into the action/emotion of what's happening. Emotionally, you get more attached.

- SUPERCLOSE: The focuses on a detail, a face, an object. This is commonly used to draw the attention to something very important. The one ring, the fist of the angry boy, the eyes of the loving woman, the wound of the hurt soldier etc. Emotionally, this is the closest you can get. This can be both pleasant or unpleasant, but as a viewer, you're forced to watch a specific detail.

- EYELINE / LOW / HIGH: Depending on where your angle is, you can change perceiption and therefore communicate something specific, or just subtle. If you film your actor from below for example, he will look taller, more menacing/heroic. If you film him from above, the opposite is the case. Use these elements consciously to support your desired effect.


Camera Movement
The main thing to get certain feelings across. There's a few standard types, depending on your movement.

- PANNING: Obviously, you pan from A to B in one shot. Which is your basic tool to show your viewer something, then give him another information later on, by panning to something else/additional. This is different to having both A and B be visible from the beginning. It's a more dosed information control. Control your viewer!

- ZOOMING: If you change your zoom throughout a shot, you want your viewer to change his focus. For example, you start in a SUPERCLOSE of an eye, then zoom back up to a CLOSE. You want to start with full emotion, then giving a bit of distance to see what's happening (Could be a shock effect, or whatever). Or the other way round, you start in a TOTAL, then zoom into a CLOSE or even a SUPERCLOSE, you want your viewer to get an overview, then suddenly focus on the eye. (Could be used for a silence before the storm kind of moment). Both movement give completely different emotions.

- ROLLING: If you move your camera while filming. This gives a different result to just pan or zoom to something else. You force your viewer to change his position. For example in a horror movie, if you move your cam slowly towards the evil creature, you communicate to your viewer, then he can't escape, he's in fact coming closer! Always good in actionsequences too, as it enhances the feeling of "energy".

- FOCUS: Another way, that might not be possible with any cam. Changing focus. Famous example: The gun pointed at the cam, first is the barrel, then the face in Focus.


Other rules

There's rules about what is a good angle and what isn't. "Good" in the sense of, most pleasant to view / easy to decode. (Because think of it that way, all the languages in every frame of film need to be decoded by the viewer, just like he needs to hear every word you're saying. Make this as easy as possible)

- "rule of thirds": Just one rule amongst many. This tells you where to put your actors/object relative to the frame. Basically divide your image into thirds, then see that you can creatively fill a specific number of these thirds (search in the forums for more detailed info, this has been covered)

- Foreground, Background : Ideally, your image has a Foreground and a Background and it's easy to tell what is what. You can divide that with many different tricks. For example, look that your BG is out of focus, or darker then your FG, or in another color, or different in structre/vectors etc. The easier it will be for someone to see what's happenign and the more pleasant your image will look.


Editing

As tarn has mentioned, narrative editing really means one thing: Every cut has to be there for a reason. You have to chop your whole story into little pieces of information. I like to call it "a collection of moments". Now in the editing, it's your job to decide, WHAT moment comes at WHICH place in WHAT order and for HOW long. And you always need to know WHY!

Narration
As said, every cut happens for a reason. There can't be any other way this cut could be, it's there because it needs to be there, at that very frame. Simply put: You cut to another shot when thos shot contains a NEW information/moment, the other should couldn't deliver as well. That's the only reason to cut to another shot. (well, practically, some shots just stop being usable after a few seconds for whatever reason, that's a good reason too). But you need to get a new information after every cut as a viewer, even if it just changes the framing, because the film wants me to feel different about the same thing (cutting from a TOTAL to a SUPERCLOSE for example).

Continuity
Hell for every editor. Yes, the shots actually need to have a good flow and need to match. If your actor is walking to a chair, and then suddenly you cut to a shot where he's sitting, it'll look wrong (except of course, you deliberately want this moment to feel awkward, but this has to be very very thought through). Or if he runs, where is the weight of his legs? Where is the glass on the table? Is it full? Empty? All this needs to be taken into consideration.

Pacing
The editing room is where you give your pacing. What moment is how important? If your main character dies, you'll want to spend more time on that then when Footsoldier 1723 gets shot, where no one cares. But beware of having a moment for too long! You don't want to bore your audience. You want to keep them interested and feed them a new bit of info every now and then so they keep coming back for more. This is a very difficult thing and is the most open to interpretation.


Light

Light is crucial, as Joey Lawrence knows. smile
Light defines the mood of your scene. Use it wisely, then you'll get there with no problems. There's many different light setups if you work with a lighting-kit, which you SHOULD! even if it's just a bunch of 10 $ do it yourself spotlights. But even if you have to work with Daylight, USE it, don't just accept it.

Mood
Think about the mood of your scene. That defines the light. Dramatic sequences should commonly be in the early morning light or the sunset, when the colors have this dramatic/cheesy feel to them. Film your scene in the "golden hour". Maybe the bright midday sun with it's specific vertical shadows fits your scene, or the darkness of the night? If the light of the scene doesn't reflect the mood your going for, then good night.

Daylight
Many Lowbudget filmmakers have to work with daylight. And daylight is almost (!) uncontrollable. But still, there's lots of things you can do with it, if you know what you're doing. Chose the time of the day you film your shot wisely. The sun travels the whole day, giving you a completely different lighting setup to work with, different shadows etc. Check the time you have the light you want, then film your scene at THAT time. You don't want the sun to be behind your actors so you can only see a silhouette (unless of course, that's precicesly your plan) or all darkened faces.

Shadows
Yes! The lights counterpart is just as important as the light itself. Use shadows to your convenience! Have you ever noticed how certain object just look a lot more 3D when the shadows are all over them? Shadows lets us determine the surface / structure of an object. Suddenly, an uninteresting looking object can look fantastic, just because you can make out structure. The whole image will suddenly look much more "real" and "3D".
Play around with lighter and darker parts. Best example is an actors face. It'll get MUCH more interesting, if you have a brighter and a darkes side of the face. Or if you have little shadows that'll make your face more interesting too look at. Notice how almost every film does that. But not only do it with faces, do it with everything else too.

Outlines
Ideally, your actors/objects have an outline (a white line defining it's silhoutte, achieved through a strong light from behind - Easy to do with sunlight!), for much the same reasons like they should have shadows. It's easier to make out a structure. And it looks much more "high glossy quality" that way too. And if your foreground object has an outline, it's also easier to separate from the background.


Locations

Locations are the key to make your story believable. And, what most people don't understand, they also tell their own stories. And you want to make sure, their story matches yours! For example, your script says "living room". You can't just take any living room, but the one that fits best for your story.

realism
A general note to locations. The locations need to feel "real" to the audience, that's not necessarily the case just because they ARE real. You have to work with prejudices. I used a real police station one time, and people didn't believe it. They had a completely different idea of what a police station looked like. Or if your scene actually plays in a backyard, don't be surprised if people don't like it, even though it IS a backyard. Locations have many criterias to fulfill.

social context
Your location needs to fit the social context of your characters. It needs to fit the person owning it - A poor Junkie will most likely not have expensive Art on his designer table, a lawyer will hardly have a cheap desktop PC in garage. A big mobster will hardly have his meeting in a forest and your jedi will not have his training in your backyard.

mood
This is the most important, the one many amateurs fail at. The location needs to fit your mood - If your scene is thrilling, the pink flower curtains will most likely not leave the best impression. If you have a shootout between an Alien commander and a Marine, your backyard won't be the best place. Why? Because it doesn't feel right. So many aspects need to be considered to get a right feel - And your location needs to satisfy ALL of them. Sometimes it's really mad what can destroy a scene. A streetfight, exciting, tense, on a street. But believe it or not, there is better and worse street corners for that. If you have a pink house on your street, the whole scene will suffer, even though that house has nothing to do with it. Even if it's just in the background.


So, I could go on and on, but these seemed to be the most important. So it all leads to one thing you need to be aware of as a filmmaker. You need to CONTROL IT ALL! Every pixel of your frame will define what gets across through your film. Stuff you can put there, and stuff you didn't put there, but decided to film anyways but having it in your frame. Try to make this all as conscious as possible. In the end, it's a matter of three things: The knowledge of these rules, the practice you have on these rules, and your simple talent in using these rules.


So, I hope these things help you. Sometimes you can just make a large step by asking the right question. If you seriously ask yourself "Is showing three different shots of that dead guy actually the best way to get the OMG BUT HES SO STRONG feeling across?" I'm sure you can't say "Yes" and be 100% sure about it. At least I hope so for you. wink

Last edited Tue, 16th May 2006, 10:07pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Tue, 16th May 2006, 9:43pm

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Sollthar

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Rating: +1

And I've seen you've edited your post and put a "reply" to everything... I wouldn't recommend doing that. You can't explain the film to everyone. Films need to be selfexplanatory, if they aren't, they failed. Unfortunately, that's as hard as it is. smile

COMMENT: I thought I saw one of the characters smile while being
attacked that doesn't make any sense for him to be smiling.

REPLY: Yes, Jubei(Brad) is smiling in the scene but it's very hard to
understand why with out understanding the character. This guy loves
fighting and enjoys every minute of it even if he's losing.
Obviously, that was badly acted then. That feeling "hehe, I smile because I like fighting so much", if that's actually what you wanted, needs to come across, WITH or WITHOUT knowing the character. To get that across clearly and unmisunderstandably, that is an actors job.

I could put some acting rules in my tutorial too... hmmm. smile

COMMENT: Why are you in someone's backyard?

REPLY: The scene takes place behind two characters house so it's
suppose to be behind someone's house.
"Someone's backyard" just isn't enough. It doesn't fit the mood. That isn't the ideal location, nor is it the ideal daytime, nor the ideal lighting for such a scene. That's what I meant. It just appears as "a" backyard, when it should be "the" backyard.

I mean, this guy seems to be important! smile

Last edited Tue, 16th May 2006, 10:04pm; edited 2 times in total.

Posted: Tue, 16th May 2006, 9:44pm

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er-no

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Rating: +3

Sollthar 1.
Everest 0.


Posted: Tue, 16th May 2006, 9:47pm

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NickD

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Wow smile Nice post Sollthar +1. Great comparison as well, er-no wink

NickD
Posted: Tue, 16th May 2006, 10:00pm

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Sollthar

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Oh, and on a side-note, these languages are so ultimately complex, you're bound to make mistakes. Mistakes are a good thing though! They're what's necessary to improve.
And the sad thing is, the more you know, the more you'll do wrong - Or at least, the more you realise you're doing wrong.

I mean, I've made mistakes while shooting NightCast I didn't even know existed before I made them. (And this bloody don't-cross-the-line thing... I hate it, makes life very complicated) wink


I feel a bit bad for posting all this in your thread, I hope you'll take it the way I meant it. To help.
And I actually always wanted to write such a sum up and this just seemed like the occasion I was waiting for to spend 2 hours writing this. biggrin


I wish you all the best with your film and hope you have loads of fun shooting it! wink
Posted: Tue, 16th May 2006, 10:15pm

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Oeyvind

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Sollthar, that was a great article! I actually just read something similar in a book at school. Great stuff! And yeah, I must agree, the more you know the more difficult it is, you know, being able to focus on absolutely every aspect of the different shots.. We actually shot the very first scene for our upcoming "Fasaira" this weekend, and I thought the shooting would take something like an hour at most. But as it's gone a long time since we did some serious shooting, we've now learned alot and spent approxemeatly about three to four hours... But at the same time I think it's very good to be able to take the time and plan the whole shot through, from lightning to framing and acting of course... Anyway, awsome stuff Sollthar! +1

Oeyvind
Posted: Wed, 17th May 2006, 12:05am

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xperiment

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I saw the thread and went into it. Looks fantastic.
Posted: Wed, 17th May 2006, 3:37am

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JUIDAR

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Well Sollthar I really appreciate all the advice and I'm really going to try and take as much into account as I can. I've been shooting this movie since March of this year and we have 3 weeks left of shooting so I hope I can apply most of these aspects to what I have left to shoot. Which actually isn't a whole lot were just setting aside the next 3 weekends so that we can take our time with all the shots. I wish I could post some other clips from the film.

Believe it or not and I know this is a bad thing funny thing is that most people do the opposite I spend more time working on the scenes with conversation and such then the actual fighting scenes.

When finished this is going to be ruffly a 45 minute feature which is why I don't think there is anyway even a clip from a film off the internet that you can download and fully understand the scene and to be honest this movie has such a twist to it that it would be impossible to see any scene of the movie and completely understand it.

For instance, the guy that got shot down. In earlier scenes of the film demonstrates how powerful he is and his unusual nature for enjoying battle. He gives her a smirk because he just got done running and dodging a bunch of blast that she had shot at him so she get's frustrated and fires a few more that catch him by surprise. I thought everything flowed pretty well, he dodges the shots you can tell she's a bit aggravated after firing them as she comes to a standing, Jubei(the guy) smirks at her then she quickley fires several more blast at him (which I thought looked cool because I did a "Shots coming at you" camera shot and then cut to them hitting him and even changed angles just before he hit the ground. So I thought the whole thing flowed pretty well together but one other thing that I have learned in making movies is that NO MATTER what your not going to be able to make everybody happy.

But again I do appreciate you taking the time to give me that summary and I can tell you know your stuff. Hopefully I can get your hopes up for the project a little bit more when I'm able to make a trailor that will make more sense to watch then a short clip.

Thanks again everyone!

Oh and keep the feedback coming I do enjoy it. smile

Plus 1 for the article too!
Posted: Wed, 17th May 2006, 9:26am

Post 23 of 31

Sollthar

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I believe you that this smile is what you wanted. Okay, I'll take that as an example of how to correctly apply film language:

You have your fighter, he dodges a shot and now smiles back because he kind of enjoys it. A smile is a DETAIL and an emotional reaction. Let's see what shots you used: Your actor is visible from knee upwards, which is actually still a TOTAL. TOTALS aren't meant to show details, they're meant show an overview. So your filmlanguage doesn't tell what you explain here.

If you for example have him dodge the shot in the TOTAL, then quickly cut to a CLOSE or even a SUPERCLOSE of his face with that smile, THEN your filmlanguage communicates, that the smile actually is intended and has it's purpuse and you want the audience to see it.

If you had done it that way, I bet no one would have said anything about the smile, because then your film communicated exactly what you want it to - and the audience doesn't need to know the rest of your film to be able to tell what that smile means, because you told them already using filmlanguage. The way it is now, it simply doesn't. And you can explain all you want what you originally intended, your film language doesn't say the same.

Using time for dialogue instead of all action is a good thing! wink
Posted: Wed, 17th May 2006, 2:28pm

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JUIDAR

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So that's all I need to do is get a close up shot on the face when he does the smile and the scene will make sense.

What about the fact that he's changing his stance slightley I kind of wanted to show that to and not just a grin which is why the shot is done from the knees up.

Any more suggestions luckily I take pretty much 3 different angles of every shot so that I always have plenty of material to work with.

THIS IS GOOD I LIKE THIS I THINK I'M GETTING A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF THIS!

smile
Posted: Thu, 18th May 2006, 1:06am

Post 25 of 31

Sollthar

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So that's all I need to do is get a close up shot on the face when he does the smile and the scene will make sense.
Well, not the entire scene, no. But that "smiling" problem will be out of the way. smile

What about the fact that he's changing his stance slightley I kind of wanted to show that to and not just a grin which is why the shot is done from the knees up.
Well, the same. Get closer with your camera. My general advice would be: Get closer! Pretty much every single one of your shot is a Total. Don't expect much emotional attachment from your audience there, you're only giving the overviews. Get closer!

I take pretty much 3 different angles of every shot so that I always have plenty of material to work with.
YES! This is a MUST in fact. Yeah. Take 10 times more shots then you plan on using. That way, you have all the liberties in post.



More suggestions? Alright, let's see...

The first shot calls for a closer framing and some editing to give it a bit more "action feeling". Then I'd redo every shot where something weird happens, like the bit where the headpice of his pullover gets slapped in his face (which is why I think he's laughing when I look at the scene).

The next shot is a good example of a bad lighting decision. Her robe has absolutely no structure. You can basically only see a silhouette. And the fact the robe is black doesn't help, so you NEED to have some highlights and shadows. I'm sure another time of the day would have more convenient light where you'd see some highlights and shadows on her robe, therefore give her some structure.
Also, the framing is too far away. Go closer. I'd even say have a little face-to-face moment between these two. The "silencebefore the storm".

The "I'm striking a pose" shot calls for a close AND some movement with the camera. If possible try to pan towards his chest. Makes him look more "prepared".

The moving shot following the blast is cool! Action needs movement! That's one of the few actually moving shots. So it's great!

The cut between the "hit" and the "falling to the ground" seems a bit off. If you reduce a few frames of both, I bet it'll look more vicious (It's as if you can see that he's not really falling. Too slow, make it faster). The continuity doesn't add up perfectly.

The moment where he tries to get up, then falls down again SHOUTS for a superclose of his face, where you can see the agony and the surprise he's been beaten. Then he falls down unconscious.

Leave all the "guy lies on floor" shots. They violate the most basic editing rule: They don't give any new information (they are all TOTALS too, so I can't even assume you want me to feel different about it). He's still lying... he's still lying... oh hey, he's still lying.
And the FADE between the shots is totally misplaced. As mentioned, FADE in this context means, that time has passed. So I'm wondering what our Ninja does in that time. And why I'd even have to look at that body for three times, with time passed...

The shot panning upwards is the best shot of this whole scene imo. It's the only one that seems to make use of actual camerawork, simply because it's panning. But your cutting away before her face is in the frame, which makes the whole shot look all wrong. Let the pan end on her. THEN cut to the other shot.

The last shot kind of makes no sense the way it's framed. Why is it a TOTAL? If you had the body visible in the same shot, it would be cool. But just showing her walk, in a shot that is meant to "introduce" is pretty empty in meaning. The shot contains no information or emotional value really.
My tip would be to have a shot where you see her approach the body. So have her and the body in the same shot.

Now would also be a good time to frame her slightly from below, because she WON. Make her look strong (if that's what you want, of course.)


Also, the music, as mentioned, doesn't fit at all. It doesn't connect with the "moments" in your scene. Ideally, it should match to your all changing moods! And you have a lot of possibilities to adapt your music to:

He dodges a shot - the music can be dramatic, having a feel of "that was close" - he stands up, smiles at her - the music should assist that feeling of "hehe, alright, I'll get ya!" - she powers up for her shot - The music says "Ohh, there's something coming" - he strikes a pose - the music goes to "hopeloss fighting back" - she fires - the music has is building up tension "OMG, WILL SHE HIT????" - he gets hit - The music reached it's main climax, she hit him! - He falls down, tries to get up again - the music can add to the "Will he make it? Will he get up again?" - he falls down, he's beaten - The music has reached a low point, "all hope is lost, he's gone" - She walks to him... etc

This thing above would be my quick breakdown of "moments" in that short scene. You see, there are quite many. smile
Ideally, you're aware of all of those and think for each and everyone "What is the best way to make this feel like the moment it should be".
Posted: Thu, 18th May 2006, 2:45am

Post 26 of 31

JUIDAR

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Rating: +1

Alright well despite the feed back I decided to try something different. I uploaded the same scene only did a few different camera angles to adjust the feel. I would love to again hear some feedback tell me how it compares to "TEST 1" and if you like it better or is it worse?


http://www.vsocial.com/video/?l=29446

Sollthar I love your post, it has a lot of great ideas! I'm kind of stuck with what I have already so I'm hoping that the shots I picked instead of the others add more feel to it. I feel the scene is a bit more dramatic the scene right after the flip and you see her away a bit and him to the left I thought was a great shot and really can't remember why i didn't use it before.

Anyway can't wait to hear what you think.

Big thanks!
Posted: Thu, 18th May 2006, 10:04am

Post 27 of 31

Sollthar

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Oh yes! That is mmuuuuuchoooo better! These are already worlds between these two versions!
That double shot of them is much better then just having them alone in every shot.

Yes, now the editing and camerawork appears MUCH more thought through already! And good you got rid of the music, somehow it already feels better auditive too. smile


If you could, I'd make his closeup a tad longer, when he strikes a pose, it's a bit too fast.

And shorten the shot where she fires the blast a bit (eg, cut to the next shot earlier. There's a few too many frames where her blast has already left the image)

And don't use the blend there, use a hard cut. There's no legitimitation for a frameblend when he lies on the ground.

And the last cut has a major continuity error. She's already reached the piece of wood and has stopped walking, then you cut to a shot where we see the same movement again. Make the second shot shorter, so the contuinity is right.



It's seriously already amazingly better. Everything seems to be on a higher level now. The editing, the camerwork, even the acting (cause you got rid of the little "not so spot on" moments).

Great!
Posted: Thu, 18th May 2006, 10:07am

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Simon K Jones

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That's a massive improvement! Great to see someone taking on board constructive criticism so positively.

A few comments based on the new version:

The first cut is really good now. Going to the shot from behind the guy, looking at the girl firing in the distance is excellent.

However, I'd then cut to the reverse on the man smiling, before cutting to the close up on the girl. The flow would be better - you'd see him get his balance, then see him smile, then cut to her reaction.

That highlights another important part of editing. Generally, you want each cut to go to a very differently framed shot. If a cut goes to a shot that is of similar framing, it can seem disjointed. Hence cutting from behind the guy, then doing a reverse on his smile, works nicely, and keeps the viewer knowing where everything is. Cutting from facing the girl to a close shot facing the girl doesn't work quite so well.

Also, the shot of the guy smiling needs to be longer. It's so short you can almost miss it currently. You can afford to have a slight pause there to take in his smile and arrogance, before moving on. Pacing is very important.

The fade between the second shot of him lying on the ground and the pan is unnecessary. Dissolves should be used sparingly, usually to indicate the passing of time. Make it a straight cut - or even remove the second shot of him lying on the ground, and cut straight to the upward tilt.

You can trim a little bit off the start of the pan, I think. It lingers on the ground a little too long before starting the tilt.

If possible, I'd also hold the end of the tilt pan a bit longer on her face. Currently it gets to her face then cuts immediately, before we get a chance to see her properly.
Posted: Thu, 18th May 2006, 10:26am

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xperiment

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Much better. I am definatly going to see this movie when it comes out. The one thing I didn't like about the first version is that when he fell he put his head back up for a little and then he dropped it down again. But in the second version the shots were put together better, you could here him when he got hit and that that one shot of him puttin his head back up was cut so it looked like he didn't.
Posted: Thu, 18th May 2006, 12:37pm

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JUIDAR

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Thanks all I really appreciate the compliments and again the ideas that follow. I like your idea Sollthar about cutting a few frames between the getting hit and falling down to make it more powerful looking I didn't do that in the clip I uploaded above but did it at home and already it looks more like a "BAM" ouch that hurt, then the oh he fell down. LOL

I'm going to try and take a few more things into account and upload another shot probably later on tonight.

Gotta go to work now!

I really appreciate everybody's help and I'm even more glad that I was able to make the scene look better with out having to reshoot anything, (though there still are parts that could be improved) just needed to learn how to use the material I had along with the tools better.

wink
Posted: Mon, 22nd May 2006, 3:28pm

Post 31 of 31

JUIDAR

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Well I'm hard at work on this project and I decided not to upload any more clips but will have a trailor up hopefully by the end of next month thanks again guys!