CX3 already shot some arrows at things I was trying to get at, so I won't, but here's my Bible-long post anyway:
First off, I commend you, Jazzmanian, for bringing up needs for justification. It's a nice thing for someone to do, who didnt even make the movie, to request justification in a sea of mirky reviews. (Not only on mine or Ben's part, might I add) Okay, well here we go:
crappy, inconsistent angles, sloppy editing, and horrid titles The grading......well, it seemed like a haze over the whole thing, much like early 70s sitcoms... As to the comments about the grading, cinematography and editing, again... could you provide a few specific scenes and what was wrong?
Sure, I would gladly do so.
It's hard to make a mark on the grading and give you specific timecode, because as I said, it's one way throughout all the shots (the low levels of contrast), and inconsistent in other regards. (the glow ammount, hue/saturation of shots is very random). 00:27 in, theres an overexposed shot of men throwing the lead into the river. The shot is almost completely lacking any color, which would be fine, but it's a harsh contrast to that of the shots before, which display vivid, vibrant reds. This causes an inconsistancy in the trailer's color. In addition to this, the shot does
lack a necessary level of contrast. A good example of the right
way this could have been graded is the NightCast trailer, 00:06 in, there's a very b&w-esque, glowy shot of Harry's arm. Even though the shot has little color and lots of glow, it retains a necessary contrast, keeping a still very fine, dark, black. 00:40 in, there are the necessary adjustments to keep the blacks black
, but then, in another moment of inconsistency, 00:42 in, there is almost zero contrast, and a heavily obvious difference in color and tone of the grading. This is a rookie thing to do. One thing I, again, commended NightCast for was keeping consistency for shots color, saturation, glow, and contrast. (Hehe...contrast
I'm sure that they were hardly all perfect, but for the various scenes included (e.g. indoor dark and bright, outdoor daylight, night, etc.) they seemed to hint at a film where the look and feel of the film shifted with the scenes being portrayed. Some of the more intimate scenes had the soft, blurry angelic look you'd expect for that type of shot, while much of the gore, violence and action was graded harshly with a dark urgent feel.
Read part above.
Then again, this is a trailer (more on that below) so it's hard to pull the trigger on criticizing that too harshly for me.
Exactly, and that's why I feel it's necessary to critique so harshly. The trailer should be a representation of the film, and include a variety of shots, etc. from the full movie. While I expect the movie to be considerably better than the trailer (hopefully
), I've grown to accept and even like JC's stuff's edge, and for me to see things that scream 'amateur' and lack that 'edge', it's
And the framing? Again, can you point to a few examples for us? I did see one that stood out for me which left me scratching my head. The shot where the motorcylcle is pulling out of the alley was at an odd angle with the bike starting dead center in frame and then heading out like it's going to crash into the upper left corner. But aside from that, the majority of the shots were either ones with multiple actors who had to be fitted into frame, or (the majority) closeups which tend to be near center anyway to draw the audience into an impact moment.
Framing-(Note, I'm not referring to camera settings or movement/cinematics here, only framing)
I don't want to get too into this, but I'll gladly point out a few.
-00:35 is framed oddly, the lead in the center-left of the screen, with either too much headroom or too little foot-room, whichever way you would want to frame the shot, it's just not right the way it is.
-00:46 had poor handheld movement, and is at an odd angle for looking downward. It feels very amateur.
-00:47, there's a ridiculous ammount of space above the seated characters head, and he's center-screen! Again, an amateur thing to do.
-00:54 looks like 'point-n-shoot', and feels thrown-in.
-00:57, all three characters are lined up, and the middle one is centered. Centering someone in that fashion, at that certain angle, like I said, is a rookie move.
-1:02 Again, bad baaaaad handheld. I can't tell what's going on.
-1:06. WTF? Poor handheld, blurry image, no understanding of what's going on.
-1:43, Aside from the laughable acting in this shot, it's a strange angle that seems like it's trying to show the whole character's body for some reason, and it looks very awkward.
There are a handful more, but I thought I'd point out the glaringly obvious ones I immediately spotted without pausing on the frame.-
There were an awful lot of closeups in the trailer, but I didn't assign negative marks for that because I got the impression that John was trying to show the intense, violent, "in your face" nature of the subject matter to the audience. Trailers are tricky to evaluate in any case. You're only getting a smattering of frames out of what is presumably a much larger product. I doubt the entire film was shot in closeups.
This is true, but then why show such closeups in
the trailer if they look bad when incorporated, and aren't understandable? Let's also not forget camera settings such as white balance and exposure, which seem to have been forgotten in the majority of the shots. There's no real need to point out the timecode for these, because they occur throughout the entire thing.
As to the editing, pacing and choice of segments shown, again I do not see the grounds for such virulent criticism. The trailer took us from an initial scene of horrid violence setting the stage for a revenge binge, flashing back to happier times of the protagonist with his "true love", (ugh...sorry, John, but I make myself barf just typing that phrase ) and on into the vendetta which presumably follows. Seemed to flow quite well to me, portraying the story line the film will follow, if I'm understanding the plot at all.
This post is getting so ridiculously long, that I won't begin to address the editing, as I'm sure CX3 has by now.
Edit: Yep, this is just taking me so long to write, he had time to do so also.
The grading lacks general contrastHehe, this starts to become almost funny.
Why? Someone can be a fan of higher contrast, but that doesn't mean they require it to an extreme for anything they watch. Contrast is something that goes hand-in-hand with color correction
. If there is a lack of contrast, that's not a matter of taste as far as grading, it's a matter of not correcting
the footage as it should be. You having your color correcting tutorials yourself, I assume you would understand what I'm saying. There's a difference between contrast for style and preference (e.g. grading), and contrast to give the image the necessary correction to make the image look as good as possible. (e.g. color correction)
Grading something for Internet use or DVD/Cinema market are two entirely different things.
This is somewhat true, but still a rather lame excuse for a lack of attention to something that should be an obvious and easy fix. And, why should you grade something differently for internet or DVD/Cinema use? The grading, in any medium, should reflect the direction of the film and the style wanted by the director, DP, and/or editor. Now, I understand that their are differences in need
for grading in the different formats, but that is no reason to use it as an excuse for something IMO missed on the trailers, and easy to fix.
But, you're right, I haven't been through enough in filmmaking to get a full view of different styles/techniques in grading.
Again, these are just my opinions on the thing, but I believe they do have some basis, as I am somewhat knowledgable of camera framing and grading.