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#1 thepaul

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Posted 07 October 2005 - 06:59 PM

Hey everyone,

I just figured out how to make my website. johnpaulmeyer.com Is there anything about it that I need to improve on? Technical or otherwise? Also take a look at my demo reel and give me some feed back. It was shot using the SDX900, DVX100, and 16mm film.
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#2 Robert Hughes

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Posted 07 October 2005 - 07:31 PM

How about some still shots from your demo reel to give us Linux guys a taste of your stuff?
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#3 Rolfe Klement

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Posted 08 October 2005 - 03:47 AM

Some nice shots, I would work on improving the compression of the demo reel. Presentation is key. There were a couple of shots that looked like you had hair ~ dust in the gate ~ lens

But otherwise some nice shots

thanks

Rolfe
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#4 Jeremy

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Posted 08 October 2005 - 04:01 PM

I like the website. Simple is good! Demo reel looks good too.
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#5 Mike Lary

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Posted 08 October 2005 - 06:27 PM

Hey everyone,

I just figured out how to make my website. johnpaulmeyer.com Is there anything about it that I need to improve on? Technical or otherwise? Also take a look at my demo reel and give me some feed back. It was shot using the SDX900, DVX100, and 16mm film.

In the spirit of honest critique I'm going to blunt, so please don't take offense. I think your demo reel looks professional but your website doesn't. It looks hommade, like you used a real basic web building tool. The outlined buttons look very 80's. Also, the graphic on the front page is too big and distracting. I would use a different image because close-ups of a human eye are cliche in filmmaking and photography. You might consider hiring a designer to build the site, or even find a student that would do it for free as a porfolio project. Prospective clients don't expect a cinematographer to be able to design web sites, but they'll be turned off if the site doesn't reflect your level of professionalism.

As far as the demo reel goes, the photography looks great, the pacing is good, and the music is perfect (upbeat with good rhythm). The shot of the girl running to the door is a little dark in the beginning, and the effect is a bit jarring going to that from the previous shot. Maybe if you trimmed the beginning and just showed her at the door, looking around, it would look smoother. Also, compression artifacts are visible in many areas, so the quality of your work is not really being seen. I'd render it at a higher quality, even if it means reducing the physical dimensions a little. The still image on your resume page is also way too compressed.
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#6 Sam Javor

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Posted 08 October 2005 - 09:48 PM

...and more bluntness from me :) ...you have a fairly basic layout... however when I viewed the source I about died... everything you do can be done in CSS with a lot less overhead... I'm a fan of simple pages...mainly because I host mine myself on a home server which is really old.
http://asg.hopto.org

The big problems:

1. you have no actual text or even discription and keyword meta tags... these are necessary for search engines to index your page...and though not really necessary I suppose for cinematography... for blind people to have the page read by software.

2. because it is image based it is not resizable...so people with the still very common 800x600 graphics have a hard time reading as they have to scroll horizontally...ie the page edge cuts off at John.
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#7 thepaul

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Posted 11 October 2005 - 01:53 AM

What size should it be for the smaller resolution monitors? Any suggestions for which codec I should use instead, I used Sorenson 3? Also what kinds of aspects can I add to my site to make it more "professional," animated type buttons or what? It is my first one and I have NO CLUE how to make it more eleborate. Help! Keep the bluntness coming!

Edited by thepaul, 11 October 2005 - 01:59 AM.

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#8 Laurent Andrieux

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Posted 15 October 2005 - 12:24 PM

I think your site is great, myself but I'm defenetly not a pro about websites.

Just wanted to say about your reel, that I had pleasure to look at, it's true that the ladys' shots in the beginning look very blur like if you used a too strong Low Con filter on the camera. Might have good for this movie itself, but the shots don't cut too well with what they're edited with. Another shot I must confess I disliked is the steadycam pan shot where the horizontal line has goe straight to hell !

And one thing... The site doesn't say where you are in US...

Regards,
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#9 Eric Steelberg ASC

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Posted 15 October 2005 - 08:36 PM

What size should it be for the smaller resolution monitors? Any suggestions for which codec I should use instead, I used Sorenson 3? Also what kinds of aspects can I add to my site to make it more "professional," animated type buttons or what? It is my first one and I have NO CLUE how to make it more eleborate. Help! Keep the bluntness coming!


The size is good, compression not so good. If you want the best use H.264...better quality with smaller file size. It will require Quicktime 7 to view though. The site is not terrible, but not great either. You're not advertising yourself as a web designer. Maybe have someone at your school help you.

The reel is ok. The problem I have with it is there are many quick shots thrown together. I have never understood why people do this. I think it is far more effective to show a short part of a scene so others can see the context of the look you've created and, more importantly, that your shots cut together well. Otherwise you just end up using "cool" shots which comes across as gratuitous, a BIG no no.

Just my opinion.
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#10 Laurent Andrieux

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Posted 16 October 2005 - 07:06 AM

I second that
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#11 Charlie Seper

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Posted 18 October 2005 - 10:24 AM

I think simple is generally better appreciated by most people. If you can stick to simple facts, keep the pages uncluttered, and stay away from non-stop moving images people will stay with the site longer. I don't think your site is bad. Its efficient. Some good suggestions have been made though. Also, take a look at the site Sam gave a link for and click on his "contact" link. Using a contact form like that will keep spammers from getting at your email addy.

I see from your source code that you're using Dreamweaver and Fireworks already. Do you have Flash by any chance also? One thing that I do in Flash sometimes is to use the "trace bitmap " function. This traces a photo image and converts it to vector graphics. If you play with the settings you can manage to get a very small file size with it that can look terrific on any size monitor. The tradeoff is that it makes the image kind of cartoon-like at smaller sizes with fewer pixels, and fewer curves and corners. However, depending on the graphic, that can look very cool. Then you can have an image take up an entire web page if you want and it'll still load quick and look good. Normally I wouldn't advise anyone to have an image that's really big like that but sometimes it fits the bill. Here's one I did like that.

Bill Seper?Guitarist

The huge image of the guitarist is a result of bitmap tracing. Actually, its superimposed over the graphic of the cathedral that was also bitmap traced. Here's how the cathedral looked before I traced it:

Cathedral

There's also a small jpg of a monk on the top right. Given it's small size there wouldn't have been much point in converting it to a vector graphic. Also, if you can use machine fonts, the pages will load much quicker as well. So I really like all-Flash sites if they're done right. But its easy to throw up a quick old-fashioned HTML page so I have several like that too that are mainly just informational.
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#12 LondonFilmMan

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Posted 14 November 2005 - 05:18 AM

It's ok. But what does it mean? Maybe I didn't study this closely enough but I didn't feel a story here. Just a switch back and forth of music band and animal shots....nice music....
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#13 thepaul

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Posted 18 November 2005 - 09:30 PM

Ummm... wow... I guess you've never heard of a demo reel before...
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#14 LondonFilmMan

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Posted 19 November 2005 - 11:47 AM

Paul: I assumed that you were posting the link to your demo reel in the "please critique my work" section because you were inviting viewer's critiques. FYI, my critique was composed with wholly good intentions... ..the general public won't be so nice you know..
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#15 thepaul

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Posted 20 November 2005 - 12:34 AM

I meant, it's a demo reel it's supposed to be just a bunch of pretty shots, show you can light a scene and can light it consistantly. It's not supposed to tell a story, the "wow" was a reaction to me thinking you not understanding what a demo reel is supposed to show, good shots. No offense was taken.

Edited by thepaul, 20 November 2005 - 12:35 AM.

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#16 seth christian

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Posted 15 December 2005 - 12:47 AM

pretty good overall, but I do agree that some of the really dark shots should just be
cut out because they show nothing but "I dont know how to properly use the effects
of low-level lighting in a dark shot", ...or it means..."I dont know how to compress
my footage where its losing my light"...which can happen depending on what compression
format you've used, and what codec too.
Other than those things, not bad at all, keep up the good footage!
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#17 Landon D. Parks

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Posted 24 December 2005 - 04:51 PM

To improve your site: #1: Make it look professional. #2: Give your demo reel options, aka: give the public the option to download it in quiktime (small, medium, large) and H.264 Quicktime @ 480p 720p and maybe even 1080p if you wanna get that outragious.

To make it look professional: To me, basic sites are OK, however, to todays public, when they go to a basic site, they see it as being created by an amature or being really old. Most sites now days, professional ones moreso, are created using Flash, XML, DHTML, Java, etc. Interactivity is the thing, make the site interactive. Add some flash to it, give the public something to hold there attention.

Although, you really have to think about THIS: Is the site for: The Public OR do you want to be a professional resume site? If your want it professional, then AVOID flash because when John Q from New Line Cinema is looking on your site, he wants the facts, not anmation and flashy stuff.

So you have to ask yourself: Is this my professional site where I want industry professionals looking at it, or is this gonna be a site more for the public and to showcase my work.

And trust me, Industry professionals DO reply on websites to give an impression of you, at least sometimes, so don't chance it.

If you wan't, I can help you improve your site. I have done web design in many areas, and I might be able to spice it up for you a bit, at no charge since your a fellow filmmaker, lol.

Edited by Landon D. Parks, 24 December 2005 - 04:54 PM.

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