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A short scene from my documentary


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#1 Shobhit Dixit

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Posted 24 June 2007 - 10:55 PM

Still Havent finished making the film but this is a small part of it. I had a pretty rubbish camera when I shot this. I have no experience in editing sound mixing or anything of the sort. Let me know where I can improve. Some tips or pointers will be encouraged.

Youtube

Obviously the quality of the image is somewhat decresed!

Any feedback is much appreciated :)

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#2 Shobhit Dixit

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Posted 26 June 2007 - 08:08 PM

no response? :(
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#3 Chris Keth

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Posted 26 June 2007 - 08:32 PM

It's a forum, you ahev to give people time to reply.

First off, this forum requires your display name to be a full first and last name. We like to kow each other.

About the scene, my biggest beef is that I don't give a rats ass if someone catches a train or not. It's a boring subject. The camerawork is fairly standard doc fare except that your handheld operating is extra wobbly and there is a lot of running time that is just following the guy around. The scene could be much, MUCH shorter and still get the point across. If this is a scene from a longer doc, this really should be a 15 or 20 second bridge rather than a six and a half minute epic. I will say it's not half bad if it's your first foray into filmmaking, though.
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#4 David Sweetman

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Posted 27 June 2007 - 12:23 AM

I disagree Chris, it's a much more interesting premise than the vast majority of today's cinema. Everybody tries to be so sensational and high-concept that they end up churning out nothingness. Catching a train, it's simple, it's good, and I like the fact that there aren't many obtrusive plot points; we don't really know where he's coming from or where he's going, or why he has to get to where he's going.

I also disagree that it should be shorter, but then again I like just looking at things. The main character is underexposed much of the time so your eye is drawn to the surroundings, and in that regard the visuals and settings are varied enough that I didn't get bored.
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#5 Chris Keth

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Posted 27 June 2007 - 10:00 PM

You're obviously welcome to disagree but I hold fast. Why do I care whether or not he catches the train? He can always ride the next one.

I have to care about some aspect of a plot or I won't put any stock in what happens and probably won't even finish the movie. If we knew where he was going and that he MUST get there on time and we knew the weight of the action, then I would like it much more.
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#6 David Sweetman

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Posted 28 June 2007 - 02:04 AM

I see what you're saying, and dramatic development definitely has its place, but from where I'm coming from I've recently been trying to get away from traditional dramatic development, because to me it all starts to feel the same. So this short was like a breath of hopeful air; that is, it could be better, sure, but in essence it was very good; stripped of all but the simplest of plot points. My only critique would be that you still have to add something, because if you don't, as you've recognized Chris, you still have emptiness, but at least a more obvious and therefore more genuine, even 'self-conscious' emptiness than the elaborately disguised type found in contemporary cinema.

(That might make sense, or it might not. It makes sense to me anyway...)

Edited by David Sweetman, 28 June 2007 - 02:07 AM.

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#7 Shobhit Dixit

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Posted 28 June 2007 - 01:16 PM

Thanks for the kind words. I am making a documentary about Indians (from India) living in the United states, the theme of the documentary being that there is no need to come to the US and whatever u get here, you can get back home and much more.

Secondly, as far as catching the next train is concerned, I believe the character mentions it right at the outset that if we miss it, we might need to ask the person for a favor (and that we might not get the car at all.)

And why do we need the car? We need the car because we are doing a cross country road trip from NY to California, we are under 25 thus renting a car is a VERY EXPENSIVE OPTION, and this car we got for free.

I'm sorry I didnt mention these pointers before. Its my first attempt to make a film and on the forum. I'll take better care next time.

Thirdly, the point of posting the piece here was to get some feedback on the editing, sound and camerawork of the piece. I got some pointers already, and thanks a lot for them :) Any feedback means a lot!!!!

Edited by ssdd, 28 June 2007 - 01:20 PM.

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#8 David Sweetman

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Posted 29 June 2007 - 02:36 AM

Okay, that puts it into perspective, I liked it better when it was ambiguous (smiley face.) Good job though, but if you were trying to get across all that information, it really didn't come through. I got something about a car at a shop, but thought it was unrelated to why they had to get to the train - I thought the 'favor' he spoke of was necessary for catching the second train, which didn't make sense to me. So either that's an editing thing, where the set-up for this particular scene is not included in this excerpt, or just a content thing if you didn't get the shots and lines necessary to establish the set-up. I liked the camerawork, though some people might be jarred by the shakiness. If you think this will be a problem, you can try making a stabalizer for the camera with some pvc and some weights, but this makes it much more bulky and visible.

Edited by David Sweetman, 29 June 2007 - 02:36 AM.

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#9 Daniel Smith

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Posted 29 June 2007 - 04:03 PM

I would personally switch over after the first few minutes. The making of it isn't too bad, the cameras view could be a little tighter perhaps, it seems to sway off a lot of the time, and the sound could do with some mixing, to make the vocals clearer. Have you considered a radio mic?

But my biggest dis-like would probably be similar to Chris's. 6 and a half minutes of watching someone run through an underground station worrying that he won't make the train on time?

I think it needs to cut to the chase a little more. Shorten it down a bit.
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