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Student short, cinematography improvements


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#1 Philip Shaw

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 11:11 AM

Hello everyone!

I'm a student at Staffordshire University, studying Film and TV Technology and Production Management.

I've been interested in Cinematography for a while now, and me and a friend have just made are first real short film. I'd really appreciate it if you guys could have a watch, give me some direction/tips on improving my cinematography and also any other area's of improvement relevant to filmmaking. Bare in mind I'm only in my second year at university, and I'm still learning.

Thanks in advanced, looking forward to hearing some response.

Philip


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#2 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 12:39 PM

Hello everyone!

I'm a student at Staffordshire University, studying Film and TV Technology and Production Management.

I've been interested in Cinematography for a while now, and me and a friend have just made are first real short film. I'd really appreciate it if you guys could have a watch, give me some direction/tips on improving my cinematography and also any other area's of improvement relevant to filmmaking. Bare in mind I'm only in my second year at university, and I'm still learning.

Thanks in advanced, looking forward to hearing some response.

Philip



Wow. I haven't been this impressed by a short film in ages.

What made an initial impact was how you were telling the story VISUALLY and utilizing the dialogue only as a supplement which is what makes for good filmmaking. Too often these days, students rely on the dialogue and interaction between the actors and pay no attention to the visuals (when they are working with a visual medium.) Maybe it's an American thing.

I liked how you played with the visual elements (particularly, the shapes) at the start of the film. The shot of the shadows on the wall during the fight was an excellent choice. I saw very judicious visual editing choices - you jumped to the close-up only when it fit the emotion of the scene (another thing that students hardly ever grasp.) Loved the slow-moving dolly shots to set the mindsets of the characters.

The fact that you had excellent actors helped too. I'm going to take a guess and say you shot this on a Canon 5D or 7D?

Anyway, VERY nicely done. Tell us more about the production and how everything was shot/edited.
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#3 Deji Joseph

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 12:59 PM

Wow. I haven't been this impressed by a short film in ages.

What made an initial impact was how you were telling the story VISUALLY and utilizing the dialogue only as a supplement which is what makes for good filmmaking. Too often these days, students rely on the dialogue and interaction between the actors and pay no attention to the visuals (when they are working with a visual medium.) Maybe it's an American thing.


Interesting, in the UK i've heard we use too much dialogue and very little visual. GREAT short thought.

Dj
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#4 Philip Shaw

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 01:45 PM

The fact that you had excellent actors helped too. I'm going to take a guess and say you shot this on a Canon 5D or 7D?

Anyway, VERY nicely done. Tell us more about the production and how everything was shot/edited.


Hey!

Thanks for taking the time to have a watch and reply. Usually the site of a student short film isn't taken very seriously at first, so thank you!

We shot this on a 550D, and used a 50mm lens, and also 70-300mm macro lens. We only had basic equipment, tracking was made out of PVC pipes, and a shoulder rig which actually broke during shooting! It was all shot in 4 days, and edited together in about a month (from script to final edit, about 3 months). We spent a long time working on the edit, and also it was hard to find time over the Christmas period.

Me and Rich both really wanted to shoot this with care, and make visual storytelling a strong element. We've seen a lot of beautifully shot shorts on Vimeo but it's rare to find one which actual purpose to the shots and it's main focus being storytelling! So we're really pleased to hear that it's worked, because we're really passionate about it.

Sorry if I haven't answered all your questions, feel free to ask more! Thanks again for the response!

Philip
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#5 John Byrne

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 08:34 PM

Nice work Philip. A little off topic but how did you do the sound if you don't mind me asking?
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#6 Philip Shaw

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 06:45 AM

Nice work Philip. A little off topic but how did you do the sound if you don't mind me asking?


Hey, not off topic at all, great question!

We used a Zoom H4n sound recorder with a Rode NTG-2 shotgun microphone on a boom pole. It was a real pain in previous productions using this set up because post become a nightmare, so we developed a technique to make it easier. I suppose it's a standard thing to do, but we called the scene and take number out, and clapped it. There's a new feature in FCX to automatically sync your audio and visual, so this saved up so much time!

Thanks for getting in touch, glad you enjoyed the short!

Philip
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#7 Marcus Joseph

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 09:48 AM

The fact you weren't calling it out is absolute craziness, Phillip. I think that should be one of the first things you learn as a student. How did you think they sync up the audio shooting film? And imagine if you were shooting a feature film!

I liked it though, it was a real nice effort. I liked how a lot of the shots were tight, it made me feel uncomfortable, but it seemed like that really lent itself to the story. I would have liked sharper focus, but you must have been doing that yourself and with those wide apertures and focal lengths, it would have been pretty tricky.

Did you guys get in any festivals with it? Best of luck with it.
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#8 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 04:06 PM

Philip, this film belongs in a festival. Get whatever clearances you need to and start submitting.
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#9 jkumar

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 01:18 AM

My name is Praveen iam new to making of short film and documentaries

to put my requirement in simple terms I need a camera system which is like this /http://gopro.com/hd-hero2-cameras/

but it should record higher video resolutions Than FULL HD

Can any one provide solution for my requirement.

Regards

Edited by jkumar, 27 January 2012 - 01:22 AM.

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#10 Philip Shaw

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 08:37 AM

Can any one provide solution for my requirement.


As it happens, I'm making a documentary at the moment about mountain biking. Honest opinion? Stay away from head cameras. There great for riders but not for storytellers. I think you'd throw your audience out of the illusion of watching a mountain biker if you gave them a P.O.V. This is just my personal opinion. (and even with a full 1080HD resolution, there probably single CCD chips, or small seniors, plastic lens)

Philip
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Willys Widgets

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Aerial Filmworks

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Ritter Battery

Wooden Camera

Visual Products

Glidecam

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

CineTape