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Afternoon Delight

Posted: Fri, 1st Dec 2006, 11:01am

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Atom

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Did you wake up this morning feeling so polite? We did.

So what's the deal with all the, shall we say, flamboyancy?
Well, as with some ill-fated student in Texas during some semester of their highschool career, a 'Speech' class is mandatory. And with that, music video project arises! So, basically every year someone I'm fairly good friends with has, at some point, had to do a music video-and turned to us for help.

The past 2 years, I'ved worked on 3-4 of them, including my cinema submission "Eye of the Tiger"- and they've come out as solid, albeit bland, productions.

Well this year it was MY turn to step up to plate, along with 3 of my friends taking the class also. We knew we had to do something special with this project, so we set off to work, and almost immediately we all knew what was necessary....

The product was "Afternoon Delight".

The rules:
-Must be over 2 minutes but under 5
-Must include 4 members of the class
-All members must lip sync thoroughly and visibly
-No suggestive actions or language allowed
-5 school days timeframe to finish the entire video
-Video must coincide with lyrics of the song

Another note to take into consideration is that during the time in which all of us could film together, it began to rain heavily and therefore all of the outdoor shots/scenes faced a few complications:

-We had to sing a cappella
-Some lines were lost during filming

Despite stretching the parameters of "suggestive", we are overall happy with how it came out.

Enjoy!


More Info
Posted: Fri, 1st Dec 2006, 6:29pm

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Jazzmanian

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First and foremost, I just have to say that I was squirming from embarassment for you through that entire experience. wink

As usual, your camera work and final film look were all very solid. The editing, which required you to synch up to a song you didn't record yourselves, was impressively done. We experimented with something similar earlier this year doing a video for our dart league to Chumbawumba's Tubthumper, and I found out how exasperatingly hard that can be. Even on two passes I only found two or possibly three spots where the lip synching was off by a tiny bit, so that's pretty damned impressive.

As to the subject matter, I refer to my opening statement. Particularly in a high school environment, that's a risky move when pretty much everyone has a computer and internet access and that video will be following you around forever. That makes me reflect on the amount of maturity and social confidence is required to be able to make fun of yourself on such a grand and overly lampooned scale and how such maturity will eventually lead to the self confidence required for a bold move like that.

Oh, and I should point out that, even while squirming, I was laughing out loud a number of times throughout.

I give you a four out of five for all technical aspects of the film, and am reluctantly forced to top that off with one additional point simply for the ginormous set of sold brass cojones required to decide on that project and put it out before the viewing public.

5 out of 5
Posted: Fri, 1st Dec 2006, 10:36pm

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ben3308

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Ah, this is online, finally! After about two weeks, I was wondering if there was something wrong with it.

Jazz, you mention having "brass cojones" to do this, well let me add insult to injury here:

While I was filming the park scenes, it started to rain, and quite heavily so. We're talking torrential downpours here. Wanting to protect the camera, I took off my shirt and placed it in a turban over my head, so that it covered the camera (the viewfinder of which I had closely up to my eye).

Meanwhile, with me shirtless, my bro and his friends are dancing around in the rain while the other people at the park look on, bewildered and somewhat frightened. And keep in mind this is in the heart of Texas, the Bible-belt of conservatism.

Yeah, it got pretty crazy. You should see our relatives' expressions when they see this thing. Priceless.
Posted: Sat, 2nd Dec 2006, 11:07am

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Sollthar

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Heh, for slight comedy value, framing and grading, this is worth watching.
However, the handcamera shakey elements put me off giving it 5 stars for technical value and so did the sheer randomness of it all. wink

Never the less, it was heartwarming to see atom dance and sing... biggrin
Posted: Sat, 2nd Dec 2006, 1:39pm

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Bryce007

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I'm going to second the remark about the Mindblowingly gargantuan balls on display for making this..."Tribute?"


Anyways, Pretty entertaining due to it's bizarre and surrealistic portrayal of 1980's Yale frat Dandy's gleefully prancing about in an extraordinarily foppish and seriously hilarious way.

4/5
Posted: Sun, 3rd Dec 2006, 6:36am

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Ouellette

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That was great.

The glow really made everything look that much better.
You did the entire thing in 5 days? The editing is great if thats the case, even if thats not the case its still great. What camera did you
use to shoot it with?

4/5

Adam
Posted: Sun, 3rd Dec 2006, 6:49am

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ben3308

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The whole movie was shot on a Canon GL2. The handheld dollying-esque shots (the pan out/in with the racquetball player and the seated guitarist at the line "but ya got some bait a'waitin', and I think I might...") were done with a WD-58 wide angle lens attached to the camera. This is because the wider the frame, the less apparent camera shake is.

As with all our productions, pretty much everything is handheld, and it's all done in a short amount of time. In fact, I don't think we've ever really done anything (besides one or two large projects) that has taken more than a day or two to complete, whether the time constriction is by choice or otherwise.
Posted: Sun, 3rd Dec 2006, 7:06am

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Ouellette

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well, thats pretty awesome.

Something like that would have taken me at least 1 week even if i went fast. It's great you guys can get together and make things
like this. I'm pretty much doing all my work by myself around here. Nobody is ever interested in helping out. Looks like you guys had fun making it. There's nothing quite like filming in the rain.

Looked like GL2. Great camera.
Posted: Sun, 3rd Dec 2006, 7:23am

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B3N

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Strange, very strange, but still, very funny. i woudl've felt better if you zoomed in on peoples reaction every now and again. still good though.
3/5
Posted: Mon, 4th Dec 2006, 5:43am

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MC Turtl3n3ck

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One word: Homosexual.

haha jk, this video makes me laugh everytime I watch it, well done boys.

Highlights: Roland's banana eating and Rob's straight face while playing guitar/smiling in the rain.

Sheer genius.

5/5

I agree with the guy who posted above, use a tripod more often (I know this isn't "Atomics" style, but the shakiness is unnecessary and could easily be fixed)
Posted: Mon, 4th Dec 2006, 5:49am

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SGB

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i thought it was great. the kid playing guitar was freakin brilliant, i couldn't stop laughing.
Posted: Mon, 4th Dec 2006, 6:09am

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Atom

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Thanks for all the wonderful comments, guys.

Yes, handicam is decidedly our weapon of choice in the cinematography department (Ben) just as much as high-contrast, while not really evident in this feature, is in our editing department. (Myself) As many have figured out, it is purposefully "happy", so I'm overjoyed that no one thus far has felt it either distasteful or not funny.

WhiteShark- We love our GL2s, man. Love 'em. I don't even shoot the majority of the stuff, but I know that the versatility of the camera is amazing and the image and motion is the quality an editor dreams of.

B3n- Yes, it is indeed strange.....and hopefully funny. smile Could you elaborate more on the "peoples reactions"? Do you mean, like mid-video cut to someone disgusted by us, or what? If that's what you mean-judging by the banana part-let me say that it wasn't really allowed. The focal point throughout the entire thing had to be the song, as part of the critique from our Speech teacher-who also happens to be a retired film teacher. We barely got away with showing the banana, which we felt odd about having in there anyway. My opinion, cutting to faces, while funny for-maybe-one time like we had, wouldve been distracting and cheapened the whole thing.

Mc Turts-It is a fact. Robs charismatic face in the rain is undoubtebly hilarious almost as much as his calves are ginormous. And the handicam-you just be quiet about that. smile

SGB- Thanks, man. We thought the guitar turned out well too- especially since we only pulled it out when we found we were one umbrella short and didnt want Rob (The guitarist) not holding something. Its actually a very rewarding fluke, if you ask me.

Whew-lotsa writing. Hope more people now get a chance to see Afternoon Delight!
Posted: Mon, 4th Dec 2006, 9:08pm

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KevJay

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Gotta say man, downright impressed. I could not keep a straight face through this, it was so rediculously funny that I think it almost tops the anchorman afternoon delight.

A few spots the lip synchrinization (sp) was a little off, but thats gotta be so frustrating to edit all that so no points lost for that.

As mentioned before the camera was a little to shakey in spots that could have been easily fixed with a tripod, not to big of a problem but still.

overall, id say a 4.5/5 but ill round up to a 5/5 for sheer hilarity. Great job man!
Posted: Mon, 4th Dec 2006, 9:26pm

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b4uask30male

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Hi,

Ben, atom and I have had our differences in the past, so I thought i'd watch this so I can say some nasty things about their film.

I liked it, some scenes were out of sync and it was a shame as it ruined the fun part.

You guys should do a MONKEYS song, if your old enough to know who i mean, you'd pull it off really well.

well done.
Posted: Mon, 4th Dec 2006, 10:35pm

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Atom

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b4uask30male wrote:

You guys should do a MONKEYS song, if your old enough to know who i mean, you'd pull it off really well
Are you kidding? Of course I know the Monkeys.

"Hey! Hey! We're the Monkeys!"

You say some scenes are completely off. Could you point out which ones? I'm aware that 3 shots are off, but that is because they arent saying things either with the right inflection or were saying the wrong words, and I couldn't find an exact enough shot to go there.
Posted: Mon, 4th Dec 2006, 11:06pm

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ben3308

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It's actually spelled "Monkees", with two e's.
Posted: Mon, 4th Dec 2006, 11:15pm

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Jazzmanian

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You want the Monkees???

YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE MONKEES!
Posted: Tue, 5th Dec 2006, 12:30am

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Fill

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Atom IMed me the link to this movie. I clicked it, and when I saw the poster I closed the window. I felt like I stumbled upon porn. I saw it with my friend. I haven't had such an awkward five minutes in a while.

A few shots were a bit to bright and contrast-y but I was laughing the whole way through. 5/5 for me. Great job. smile
Posted: Tue, 5th Dec 2006, 2:28am

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Art Video

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Saw it. Good work. I remember when everyone was on your case when you released the eye of the tiger. I remember it like I had seen it yesterday I tried the link on fxhome to download it and could not get it to work. I think this was somewhat like that one. Just not with as much tongue in cheek as this one was. Both were good and fun to watch.
Posted: Tue, 5th Dec 2006, 10:54am

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ashman

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Well I have to say this is pretty good, there's not much I can say or mention as it has been covered throughout the thread already. Great job guys.
Posted: Tue, 5th Dec 2006, 1:54pm

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Artifex

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This was pretty darn good. Reminded me of some of the stuff me and my friends used to do whenever we got our hands on a camera. Looks like you guys had a good time making it, and that made it even more enjoyable for me to watch. Good use of color and glow. Had that real "bubble gum daydream" feel to it. Nice work!
Posted: Sat, 9th Dec 2006, 10:52pm

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ben3308

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Thanks ashman, Jagger, Art Video, and SWG (Kyal? C'mon, man!) for the comments; they're greatly, greatly appreciated.

I also wanna thank bamsukka especially for giving this a 5 at a time where rating otherwise would've put his movie in the first place position when it wasn't. Not alot of people rate such close competition (when it comes to the Top Ten, at least) highly, so I highly revere him for that.
Posted: Sun, 10th Dec 2006, 6:00am

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KevJay

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Hey man, the vid is downright good. For me when a video is good, competition doesn't matter. Can't wait to see what you guys come up with next! biggrin

by the way i watched that footage of what looks like the preview to ur next movie, showed a kid answering a door with that guy from Cover's story and he kidnaps him. Gotta say, looks downright amazing.
Posted: Sun, 10th Dec 2006, 6:23am

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ben3308

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The link for the Splinter Cell teaser was broken, so we replaced it with an actual scene instead of the trailer. You're the first one to notice that. Want more? Because, oh, there's more....

How the kidnapping ended

What happened in between

Screen test for the main character of the movie

The story is extremely fragmented. It starts with the kidnapping scene you saw, then the screen test scene where the guy wakes up from remembering the kidnapping, then a phone call and debriefing scene that is flashback-laden (how it ended). It's all from an almost completely done movie that I never finished. Too many people quit on it.
Posted: Sun, 10th Dec 2006, 7:41am

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KevJay

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Man, those clips were really cool. You said the project will be left unfinished? Cause thats a huge bummer, i wanna see the completed thing.
Posted: Sun, 10th Dec 2006, 11:17pm

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Atom

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Wait for '07, and you just might. With a different lead, of course.
Posted: Mon, 11th Dec 2006, 12:17am

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Arktic

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A finished version of Splinter Cell?! Ahahah! That's something I'll believe when I see it wink

As for this video, I rated it a solid three - the camerawork is generally good, but there are some shots that really could benefit from a tripod (no, using a tripod does not mean you've been put in a box by 'the man', or you're somehow less hip/cool/creative - it just means you can shoot a steady shot, and your audience is less likely to vomit from motion sickness; unless steady/handi cam will ADD something to the scene, it's a very pointless addition and nine times out of ten will just look amateurish). There also seem to be a couple of shots where you've used auto-focus and it's gone soft midway through a pan - again, something that's easily fixed but if left in, something that makes the whole thing look a lot more amateurish than it should.

Also, though it's reasonably funny to see some guys dressed up and singing an old song, it's basically a one-trick-pony. There was no real development from an idea that had a decent ammount of potential. I would have liked to see you guys pushing to see exactly what you could get away with in terms of the homoerotic innuendo - it was all maybe a bit tame to be really funny to me.

The grading is great in some places, but fairly standard in others; the soft focus is nice, but maybe overused a little - especially on some shots where the image has become overexposed, and the whiter areas of the shots are clipping.

I also felt that some shots (such as the ones where you're all playing football) were just 'filler' because you hadn't thought of something that was really interesting to fill those musical sections.

The edit was competant, but there was at least one jump cut that didn't sit quite right with me. The lipsynch was very good, with only one or two noticably out of time lines.

Overall, a reasonably funny piece that fits the brief. So, for that, well done.

Cheers,
Arktic.
Posted: Mon, 11th Dec 2006, 1:33am

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ben3308

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Arktic wrote:

As for this video, I rated it a solid three - the camerawork is generally good, but there are some shots that really could benefit from a tripod (no, using a tripod does not mean you've been put in a box by 'the man', or you're somehow less hip/cool/creative - it just means you can shoot a steady shot, and your audience is less likely to vomit from motion sickness; unless steady/handi cam will ADD something to the scene, it's a very pointless addition and nine times out of ten will just look amateurish).
I will never use a tripod unless I'm doing something that I know is going to absolutely static, or unless I purchase a fluid head. Why? Because as obvious as handycam footage seems to you, tripod shot footage is even more obvious to me, and the American Idiots series is a good example. A rough start to a pan, smooth pan, and rough end are hallmark of tripod-work, which, with me at least, looks worse than the slight jitter every now and then. From my own experience, even though a tripod is steady, I can pull off many more creative shots that I want without one. I know this sounds like a stupid defense, but just look at Warning Sign, something close to home for you. If I'm not mistaken, a great portion- or all of it, maybe- was filmed freehand, creating shots that would've otherwise suffered with a tripod.

I also shoot handycam because- and this is debatable- I think it makes the video seem a little less stagnant, if you know what I mean. Am I completely awesome and steady at handycam: no, and that I'm aware of; but I'm sure with more practice I can get better. Look at some of my older stuff and you'll see I've improved significantly. Most of the time, I'm actually barely moving the camera, the shake is just amplified because of the fact that I am almost always telephoto'ed in by about 4x (at least) to add depth.

I also want you to keep in mind that we shot this furiously at a number of different locations (one in a downpour of rain), and there was neither the time nor the real necessity to drag a tripod out, screw on the plate, set the legs, and mount the camera. Until I get a fluid head, my tripod days are over; because it's less of a help and more of a hindrance when I use it.


Arktic wrote:

There also seem to be a couple of shots where you've used auto-focus and it's gone soft midway through a pan - again, something that's easily fixed but if left in, something that makes the whole thing look a lot more amateurish than it should.
Here you're mistaken. It was raining horribly, and the actors were staggered on bleachers- fair distances away from eachother. Because one actor right after another is further away, I'm pulling the focus ring slowly to keep each singer sharp; however, near the end I pull too fast and have to quickly roll back the focus.

I would NEVER use auto-focus, EVER. If any of this video were auto-focused, it'd be considerably worse. Again, focusing is something I'm okay at, but need to get better. Just for consideration, I'm going to throw out there that I'm left-handed, and operating any camera correctly is a chore. (All controls are right-oriented)

I'm not trying to completely defend myself to all ends, and I do realize that I need improving; I just felt the need to respond after you spoke about autofocus.
Posted: Mon, 11th Dec 2006, 11:49am

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Jazzmanian

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While I'm nowhere near Ben's level of filmmaking skill yet, I have to chime in and agree about the tripod discussion. When I bought my tripod (which I got when I was still using the webcam because it had a compatible mount) I spent ten bucks on it at Amazon. You get what you pay for. It behaves just as Ben says... if you try to pan, you get a jerky stop and a jerky finish, and even with a lot of practice, you can still get an uneven pan. You can also only pan in one dimension. Loosening up all three mounting screws to allow you to pan up and down as well as side to side turns it into a carnival ride. Also, for those of us using the built in mic on the camera, you can hear very distinctive clicks and grinds from the cheap tripod as it moves. I've picked that out on some movies I've reviewed here in the cinema from time to time.

I got to play with a friend's fluid head tripod once and the difference is amazing. It cost some ungodly amount of money, though, and I'm not expecting to have one any time soon. So for our current movie, I've been doing a lot of hand held shots, simply because I have scenes where the actors are passing across the room as they speak, pacing back and forth, etc. Also, I tried for some more creative shots to edit in, like getting up close, down below the actor as he walks and following him toward and away from the camera. My handycam work is still too shakey, and I'm sure I'll be dinged for it in review, but the optical image stabilizing helps and I think some of it came out ok. Until such time as I can manage a fluid head tripod, it's the best I can do in some situations. I do use my tripod for all the shots I can where the camera will be catching all of the action in that scene without needing to follow anyone, and for the longer, outdoor shots (as described below) I use it as well. You have to when you're zooming or it's beyond shakey... it's a nightmare.

I will aslo confess to using autofocus far too often. I still need a lot more practice in that area, but my camera doesn't have an actual focus ring on the front like I wish it did. Instead, in manual focus mode it has a digital joystick (and it's a TINY sucker) that you have to work with your thumb while shooting to change the focus. So for almost all of the handycam shots I'm forced to use the admitedly amateurish looking auto-focus. For some of the outside shots where there's no dialogue, I'm still setting up far enough away (at least 5x zoom for my camera) to zoom in and manual focus to get that nice depth of field, but for the close in, indoor stuff, it's all autofocus. Yes, it's amateur. (Hey! Wait a minute here... I *AM* an amateur! biggrin ) But for the time being I'm doing what works to at least complete a project or two and learn some things in the process.
Posted: Mon, 11th Dec 2006, 12:24pm

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Arktic

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ben3308 wrote:

I can pull off many more creative shots that I want without one. I know this sounds like a stupid defense, but just look at Warning Sign, something close to home for you. If I'm not mistaken, a great portion- or all of it, maybe- was filmed freehand, creating shots that would've otherwise suffered with a tripod.
I think you're mistaken - yes, unless you have a decent tripod, some shots are better done handheld, and some shots are done best handheld fullstop, but to use your example, look at Warning Sign. Less than 20% of the footage in Warning Sign is handheld - and even then, it's only on shots that are tracking or moving in ways that would have been impossible to do on a tripod.

So, there's not a great portion of handheld footage - it might appear that way, but remember: a camera on a tripod is only as flexible and creative as YOU are.

A tripod is a means to an end, i.e. smooth shots that don't jitter. You can still get great movement and interesting shots (look at many of the dutch angle pans in Warning Sign, for example), they just won't shake - and for me, and many others, that makes the whole thing look a lot more polished and presentable.

I do understand the "I have no fluid head tripod so I can't do smooth tripod shots" argument, and I am very lucky in that ls:tv owns a number of very, very old ex-professional tripods that work very well. But, it's also just as true that you could say "I have no steadycam, so I can't do smooth handheld shots". Yes, there are times when a handheld shot might be neccesary to get a smooth movement if you don't have a decent tripod - but as I say, nine times out of ten, a handheld shot really isn't neccesary, and is often the product of laziness, rather than being creative... which is really reflected in this comment:

ben3308 wrote:

there was neither the time nor the real necessity to drag a tripod out
I'd disagree there, and I know a lot of other people would too.

ben3308 wrote:

Here you're mistaken. It was raining horribly, and the actors were staggered on bleachers- fair distances away from eachother. Because one actor right after another is further away, I'm pulling the focus ring slowly to keep each singer sharp; however, near the end I pull too fast and have to quickly roll back the focus.
In which case, my mistake sorry. However, I still think that those shots should have been re-taken. It's always good practice to do duplicate takes of every shot, so that in the edit, if you haven't got it on one, you'll have it on another. And if you were finding it too difficult to get that focus pull, I suggest that you should have also taken a 'safety' static pan, to cover all eventualities.

Jazzmanian wrote:

Until such time as I can manage a fluid head tripod, it's the best I can do in some situations.
And there I sympathise with you, Jazz. I think we've all been in the situation where our creativity has been stiffled by our technical limitations.

However, I think that in Ben's case, the fact that they've been willing to shell out on a GL2 means that they should also seriously consider buying something that will greatly improve their filmmaking.

I'd also suggest that if you're looking for second-hand kit, phoning local TV stations and such is a great way of hunting out some bargains. Yes, it'll take you some time, but if you do eventually bag yourself a deal, you'll realise it's totally worth it. ls:tv wouldn't have been able to afford a single fluid-head tripod, let alone the five or six we have, if we'd have bought them new. I think you'd be suprised at how cheap you can buy very functional gear.

Cheers,
Arktic.
Posted: Tue, 12th Dec 2006, 12:30am

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ben3308

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Arktic wrote:

It's always good practice to do duplicate takes of every shot, so that in the edit, if you haven't got it on one, you'll have it on another. And if you were finding it too difficult to get that focus pull, I suggest that you should have also taken a 'safety' static pan, to cover all eventualities.
I actually did do a double take on the pan and a static, wider shot of the group; but in editing flow the first pan was worse and the static shot didn't work: a static medium>static medium>static wide doesn't work as well editing-wise. It's funny, sometimes it's the editor that uses a bad shot because he has to in able to keep the flow, and it appears to be the cameraman's fault; when really the movie in general is just a victim of circumstance.

Arktic wrote:

However, I think that in Ben's case, the fact that they've been willing to shell out on a GL2 means that they should also seriously consider buying something that will greatly improve their filmmaking.
Not to be rude or anything (honestly, here), but I'm a bit offended by that. I'm a middle class citizen who doesn't have too many luxuries, and I think you've got it a bit backwards when it comes to purchases. The fact that I own an expensive GL2 should make it even more evident that I'm at even stricter financial limitations; which means I subsequently have less money to spend on accessories an such. Rather than have dispersed purchases, alot of money was spent decisively on one purchase, and that was the GL2. IMHO, I think it was wiser to buy the camera rather than a substandard cam with alot of accessories.
Posted: Tue, 12th Dec 2006, 10:34am

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Arktic

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The fact that I own an expensive GL2 should make it even more evident that I'm at even stricter financial limitations; which means I subsequently have less money to spend on accessories an such.
Last time I checked, didn't you own a camera crane? And aren't you asking for a Mini35 adaptor for Christmas?

I'm not trying to offend you, I just think you need to prioritise what you do and do not need in terms of filmmaking kit - and imho, a tripod isn't an 'accessory', it's a neccesity (as is evidenced by your shakey camera work).

It's funny, sometimes it's the editor that uses a bad shot because he has to in able to keep the flow, and it appears to be the cameraman's fault; when really the movie in general is just a victim of circumstance.
I think it's funny that a very able film-maker has to retort to every single piece of constructive criticism they hear, rather than taking any of it on board.

Arktic.
Posted: Tue, 12th Dec 2006, 2:42pm

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ben3308

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I want to say that I'm not really trying to refute everything you say to all ends, rather I'm elaborating my end of the argument in an effort to make it clearer what you really found wrong.

From this discussion I've learned that I am in dire need of a tripod, and that steadycam has the same or greater negatives than cheap tripod does.

My crane was built with roughly 70 dollars worth of materials and borrowed tools. Nothing to balance out of the budget there, just a little bengenuity workin' for ya. wink

Other things, however, are costly- in the hundreds of dollars- so I was wondering if you could help me figure out which of these I should save up for first:

-a Rode NTG-2 shotgun mic (269 bucks)
-Bogen Fluid Head tripod (380 bucks)
-Glidecam 3000 w/ armbrace (340 bucks) <<<<<<

From the movie Suburban Plight by Colin Levy, I saw that a Glidecam and a GL2 can make some amazing shots together, so I'm considering buying this. Tell me what you think.
Posted: Tue, 12th Dec 2006, 3:03pm

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Redhawksrymmer

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ben3308 wrote:

From the movie Suburban Plight by Colin Levy, I saw that a Glidecam and a GL2 can make some amazing shots together, so I'm considering buying this. Tell me what you think.
I've got a Glidecam for my FX1 and it works beautifully, you can get really professional looking shots once you've mastered how to use it properly. smile
Posted: Tue, 12th Dec 2006, 4:00pm

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Sollthar

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Interesting debate here.

During my time I've learnt a couple of things about camerawork, both practically and theoretically - and using tripods or not using them is a hot topic.

I've used a Tripod in 80% of NightCast, even though it's an action film. I've switched to handheld in a couple of action shots, but mostly it's tripods. It has been an issue to me too, feeling that tripod shots would take away some vibrant "energy" and feel boring, if you know what I mean.

The thing is this - an GOOD technical film is always aware of what it uses, and uses it for an intended purpuse.
For example:
My main character has an inner struggle. If I move the cam slowly towards his face during that shot, I reinforce the feeling of tension, maybe a conclusion "coming to him". Do I move the camera out, I put the stress on the fact his struggle is lost, and he gets drawn away from his solution. Is it a static tripod shot, I don't reinforce anything I visually communicate the struggle doesn't really come to a conclusion but is, as the camera, static. A wobbly handheld shot can communicate a feel of unease, tension or even slight delirium in that shot. and so on and so forth.


Now, what I mean to say is: A film that is well planned and thought through will feature ALL of the above camera movements to support each shot in the right moment.

So having a tripod doesn't force you into constantly using it - in fact, that would be entirely the wrong thing to do. But using handheld, or tripod, or panning etc ALL THE TIME does merely communicated one thing: I didn't think it through - because theres the same basic language in each and every story.
Being wobbly during a cheesy happy hyppo singing contest is a language mismatch between content and style (Unless, you subconsciously want to communicate how these people, beneath their happy face singing efforts, are in fact longing for violence or something in that direction) smile
Handheld without a random wobble is a different thing of course, but then again, practically, a normal human hand just IS wobbly.

Same goes with everything by the way: Using high-contrast grading ALL THE TIME shows that the decision is not made based on an aware choice of style fitting to the content, but a mere choice of personal preference no matter the content. (Not to say it didn't fit or look good here, just came to my mind as another example - and seeing we had this discussion several times too)


So that'd be my 2 cents for the whole pro or contra tripod thing. Never forget that filmmaking is a language that should eventually make use of ALL it's words to really function as a more elaborate product.
Posted: Tue, 12th Dec 2006, 4:03pm

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Arktic

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Ben - I think your best option would be to definatley go for the Glidecam as you're so fond of handheld camerawork.

BUT, I also suggest that you get hold of (at the very least) a cheap tripod. Because using a steadycam is not easy, nor is it that much fun. There will come times when you need a steady, static shot, but you don't want the hassle of rigging up a steadycam brace and setting the ballance right for the shot you want. In those situations, it's so much easier just to stick the camera on a tripod - then you've got more options available to you.

Cheers,
Arktic.
Posted: Tue, 12th Dec 2006, 7:44pm

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ben3308

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Sollthar wrote:

Same goes with everything by the way: Using high-contrast grading ALL THE TIME shows that the decision is not made based on an aware choice of style fitting to the content, but a mere choice of personal preference no matter the content. (Not to say it didn't fit or look good here, just came to my mind as another example - and seeing we had this discussion several times too)
Sollthar:
Well stated. My bro and I were actually glad that some people pointed out that we used a glow and brightness to effect- something I normally would never consider using because I'm normally a fan of sharp, dark images. As Arktic said, some shots ended up having sections of small overexposure (as a result of the brightness and glow), but for the most part I think tailoring the grading to the movie rather than to personal style (or perhaps we mixed the two?) was a wise decision.

When Atom first showed me how glowy and vibrant the color and brightness was going to be, I almost threw up. You'll notice on Tarn's latest works that I've disparaged heavily the use of oversaturation and glow, so it was a big decision on Afternoon Delight to make the whole movie the antithesis of what I like.

Arktic:

It's ironic that you speak of it taking so long to setup a Glidecam (a process in which I don't doubt there's much difficulty), because that's the exact way I feel about a tripod. I own an 80 dollar tripod (funny, that's how much I spent on the crane as well), and I use it intermitently, but to me it's alot of hassle to set it up, and mainly to scrounge for one of those damned quick-release plates.

Because I use a tripod seldom (and I do use one, jsut so you know wink ) I almost never keep the plate screwed on the bottom of my camera; it has a tendency to scratch up the finish on the bottom. Hence, the plate is never where I need it when I need it.

And I don't want to sound biased, because I'm not sure on this one, but for both you (ls:tv) and Sollthar (NCC), you're making films in large groups of people. Most of the time, with Atomic's stuff, it's just me, with my midsize Kata camera bag, tape, batteries, and GL2. I also had to lug out all the wardrobe for everyone (matching polos, khaki shorts, and corresponding blazers, a [smallish] production value I'm surprised nobody mentioned) as well as all those damned umbrellas.

The question I pose to you guys is this: what decision do I make? Do I sacrifice time to bring everything with me, inclusive of tripod, glidecam, or crane? Or do I sacrifice production values like location (playground, gym) or wardrobe so that it's easier to shoot with more equipment? I'm at a bit of a crossroads here.
Posted: Tue, 12th Dec 2006, 8:50pm

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Arktic

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I'd suggest that it's not a binary decision.

One thing you learn as you start to make more professional productions is that EVERYTHING has to be planned to the last, tiny detail. With enough preperation, you should be able to organise yourself and your cast/crew, so that you have sufficient time to prep your gear, travel to the location, rig, film, de-rig, then move on to the next location. It doesn't matter if you're a crew of two or a crew of two hundred: it's all about proper co-ordination, not how many people you have helping out.

It might well mean that you have to get up at 6am to pack the gear, and start shooting at 6:45. But if you only have a limited timeframe in which to shoot something, that's the way it's gotta be. And with the right level of planning, you'll be able to organise yourself and your crew so that you get everything shot and edited to the deadline.

For example on a recent (non ls:tv) project I did, our production file must have contained more than one hundred sheets of paper. One hundred sheets of planning and preperation....

for a two day shoot. With one actor and one extra, in one location.

A hundred sheets!

It might seem excessive, but when you plan everything as much as possible, you can get so much more out of your shooting time.

So, get into the habbit of drawing up call sheets, schedules and production files - especially if you plan on working in the media industry professionally.

Hope this helps smile

Cheers,
Arktic.
Posted: Tue, 12th Dec 2006, 9:03pm

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Jazzmanian

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ben3308 wrote:

Most of the time, with Atomic's stuff, it's just me, with my midsize Kata camera bag, tape, batteries, and GL2. I also had to lug out all the wardrobe for everyone (matching polos, khaki shorts, and corresponding blazers, a [smallish] production value I'm surprised nobody mentioned) as well as all those damned umbrellas.

The question I pose to you guys is this: what decision do I make? Do I sacrifice time to bring everything with me, inclusive of tripod, glidecam, or crane? Or do I sacrifice production values like location (playground, gym) or wardrobe so that it's easier to shoot with more equipment? I'm at a bit of a crossroads here.
The question you're wrestling with, if I may, is one that I and a lot of other people face all the time in business decisions. (I'm talking about other, professional business matters besides film here, but it all applies.) There's a really good book you might consider picking up called "Who Moved My Cheese?" It offers a ton of insights into managing risk, change, time, and relationships in accomplishing goals and applies to anyone working hard at any project oriented goal. Time is a huge factor in project decisions and it shows a remarkable amount of maturity that you're taking that into consideration so seriously on your film project decisions. Time means different things to different people depending on their situation.

I have a friend who started his own business around here a couple of years ago and the guy works like a dog. Usually six days a week and many of those days run to 14 or 16 hours. His house and yard aren't big, but he pays a guy to mow his lawn. Pays him too much in my opinion. (Like 45 bucks a crack) But when asked, he'll tell you that the 45 bucks he spends on that is a lot less than he'd lose by not tending to his business for that time, and it's worth more than the 45 bucks not to cut into the little time he has for his wife and kids. These decisions are never easy or simple. If he was somebody that would have been spending that couple of hours just sitting on his arse watching TV rather than mowing his lawn, it would be stupid, but for him it's the practical, economical choice.

Back to your situation... what are your time investments in getting the shot for the movie and what are your limitations? For the shots you specifically talked about, could you have left earlier to make two trips and still get the shot? Could you have been more aggressive or persuasive and gotten some of your cohorts on the film to help you move everything and set up? Would running later either lose the light or the opportunity to get the best possible shot at the desired facility? If all of those calls go against you, then I guess you either made the correct choice or you had to balance the decision to scrub it and try again on a different date when more time was available? Of course, if you're filming on a tight deadline schedule for an assignment due date or contest deadline, then it seems the choice you made was the only one you had available, barring a sudden infusion of enough cash to hire roadies to come lug all your crap, do your shopping and setup / prep work. wink (No.. I don't have that kind of cash for extravegant film budget needs either.)

Then you just need to examine what you are sacrificing by coming up short on the available pool of time and money. You mention basically having to leave things behind and not have all the resources available to achieve the best possible shot for the film. Did you make the right choices in what to bring and what to leave behind to achieve your goal in the time allowed?

If you can answer yes to all of the key questions there, then I'd say you made the right call and made the best film you could with the critical resources allowed. If you can't say yes to all of them, then maybe you have some opportunties for improvement on your next project after you examine it all.

Cheers.
Posted: Wed, 13th Dec 2006, 10:21am

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Sollthar

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You'll notice on Tarn's latest works that I've disparaged heavily the use of oversaturation and glow, so it was a big decision on Afternoon Delight to make the whole movie the antithesis of what I like.
Yeah, I noticed the occasional ben "this has too little contrast" post. wink

That's what I meant. As your experience increases and your knowledge about technical meaning improves, you'll quickly find there's way more schemes to evaluate a product - be it ones own or someone elses - then simple personal taste.

Which goes for every aspect of filmmaking.

Do I sacrifice time to bring everything with me, inclusive of tripod, glidecam, or crane? Or do I sacrifice production values like location (playground, gym) or wardrobe so that it's easier to shoot with more equipment? I'm at a bit of a crossroads here.
I'm a bit surprised you're actually pondering about that. The obvious answer is, you sacrifice time.
Films don't HAVE to be made in 24 hours or in one afternoon you know. smile
Posted: Wed, 13th Dec 2006, 1:52pm

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ben3308

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Sollthar wrote:

Films don't HAVE to be made in 24 hours or in one afternoon you know. smile
It's never a time constriction by choice, usually, it's by consequence.

But I know what you're getting at.
Posted: Wed, 13th Dec 2006, 2:10pm

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Sollthar

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It's never a time constriction by choice, usually, it's by consequence.
Actually, it's the other way round. wink

Except if you're making a film for school/uni (in which case I'd doubt the actual "filmmaker" should that be the only environment a film gets made) or as a job in which you have a restricting timetable from your employer,
YOU alone decide how much time you put into making a film, YOU alone decide when a film has to be ready, YOU alone decide how much time you spend into looking for the people you need.

Because the famous "it's difficult to find people willing to spend time on my movies" excuse is really just that, an excuse. There's ALWAYS people willing and able to help you, it's again a question of how much time YOU are willing to put into finding them and how clever you do it (It took us over a year to find 80 people to work on NightCast for free, some of which for 4 weeks in a row)

The second famous "I have school/uni/work next to film" is the same excuse... Even so, you can spend as much as 15 minutes a day for 3 years - or sacrifice another hobby or part of your private life to get it done. (I worked for 14 months uni from 8 to 5, then film from 6 to 12 - so I know it can be done, and yes, you have to sacrifice, you can't have everything)

Actually, especially as an independent filmmaker, your nr*1 ability you need to have is finding solutions to supposed "consequences", because there's always something that could get in the way if YOU let it.


There's always a choice. The question is only if you're willing to make it or not. If you say "filmmaking doesn't mean enough to me to sacrifice more for it" then fair enough, then that's your choice. But at the end of the day, it's a choice.
Posted: Wed, 13th Dec 2006, 7:52pm

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ben3308

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Wow.

Well put, man.
Posted: Wed, 13th Dec 2006, 7:58pm

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Sollthar

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Hehehe.
If this was movie. That post would have been the moment where a classic John Williams style heroic and melodramatic cue fades in and the american flag waves somewhere in the distance. wink


Well anyways. It's cool to see different styles from you guys and I'm still hoping to one day see a proper serious (and finished!) shortfilm by atomic productions!
Posted: Sat, 16th Dec 2006, 7:13am

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Lior

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I like the movie i wanted to give it an 8 but my pc was loading and I think it hit a zero and i answered yes on the rating. I got an email from the guy who made it saying i gave him a zero. Please let me know if you can change this thank u.
Posted: Sat, 16th Dec 2006, 11:40am

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Jazzmanian

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Lior wrote:

I like the movie i wanted to give it an 8 but my pc was loading and I think it hit a zero
You must have *really* liked it, since the highest rating you can give it is a five. cool
Posted: Sat, 16th Dec 2006, 7:07pm

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Lior

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o no sorry i meant 4 my mistake i just don't remebr according to the stars. The movie was good.
Posted: Tue, 19th Dec 2006, 4:13pm

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Mumblefilms

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I loved it! Props to the ponies.
wink
Posted: Sat, 23rd Dec 2006, 5:09pm

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davlin

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What can I say.....its get 5 stars from me right off for sheer and
absolute self "battering" you guys gave yourselves.......this so reminds me of some Monty Python sketches from many moons ago.
Tech aspirations don't even figure in this because its content is the main attraction........just don't go out alone at night lads.....lol.

Well done had great fun watching it.

Davlin
Posted: Sat, 23rd Dec 2006, 6:14pm

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Atom

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Thanks all for the wonderful comments. We all really appreciate it. We our all so happy with how Afternoon Delight came out that I'm reakky considering doing a boy-band 80s song (not really in the 'parody' sense, but more like Afternoon Delight) just for the fun of it.

Again, thanks all. And, Lior, if it's not too much trouble, talk to a mod about that vote. I wouldn't normally care, but there is a sheer difference between a 4 and a 0, and it drastically affects the overall rating of the movie.

Thanks yall.
Posted: Sat, 3rd Feb 2007, 5:03am

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the new godfather

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i live in California... this was nothing new. bay yarea yeee

i liked the gay guy





cheers, haha oink
Posted: Sat, 3rd Feb 2007, 5:31pm

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jmax

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Loved the movie. I thought it was technically pretty well done, although the glow was obnoxious at times. My favorite moments:
The shots of the big guy in the gym with the scarf, that was great.
And near the starting during that one series of guitar strums where you have the series of fast, overexposed cuts...that was out of place, but still really cool and it must have taken a lot of effort to time correctly.
Overall, a well-made movie with no real point besides being funny. I also liked the fact that it was made for school, because I have made a number of bizzarre movies as school projects myself and always like to see how people can take a passion of their's into the school system, even if it is in the name of acting blatantly homosexual.
Posted: Fri, 16th Feb 2007, 4:25am

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Atom

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jmax wrote:

The shots of the big guy in the gym with the scarf, that was great.
That'd be yours truly, bro.
Posted: Sat, 17th Feb 2007, 4:02pm

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jmax

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So didn't it hurt your facial area a little when you colided with that wall in the squash court?
Posted: Sat, 17th Feb 2007, 5:26pm

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ben3308

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Oh, I've got about a tapes worth of outtakes that look violent, like, say, slipping in the rain or getting hit in the face by a returning punching bag.
Posted: Sat, 17th Feb 2007, 10:57pm

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jmax

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Unfortunate that only a few of them made it into the final cut... biggrin
Posted: Mon, 19th Feb 2007, 5:27am

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Atom

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Thank god they didn't. That's why I always edit. wink
Posted: Sat, 17th Mar 2007, 7:53pm

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ASTempleton

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Watching it with no sound was interesting. At the 25 second point I was beyond ready for it to end, but for me that's a problem with all music videos.

If I came across anybody acting in public like those boys do, I'd call the guys in white coats. See, children, the lasting effects of Ritalin?
Posted: Sat, 17th Mar 2007, 7:57pm

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Atom

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Haha. Thanks.

That's so true, too.