November 17, 2014 at 10:30AM

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Promo shot on 5 different <$700 cameras (shots tagged with cam & lens). Is it any good?

Hi, I've been teaching myself to shoot video for the last 18 months or so, shooting on the cheapest decent cameras and lenses I could find. I've recently decided to have a go at setting up a small, local videography business and have put together the following promo from things I've shot over the last year or so.

I'd really value your feedback on how effective you think it is (please be brutal! I need it!) so I can re-edit it if there is some consensus about it's weaknesses. I'm new here, so by way of offering something back to the community I've also tagged (with toggle-able subtitles) which camera and lens I used for each shot. You can turn them on and off with the "CC" button in the Vimeo play bar. I hope some people might find this useful.

11 Comments

I should probably post the actual video ...

https://vimeo.com/111939481

November 17, 2014 at 10:31AM

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Matt James Smith
Lintel Films
173

Yeah, The video helped alot! lol

Well I'm going to be frank with you (as you asked).

The most common thing you see with 'no film schooler' (not just on the site; but througout the web). Is the extreme preoccupation with gear. And only gear.

Your focus should be in the content, in what you're shooting and how to translate that better to a video/film/whatever.

Don't be mistaken, with my words as something in the likes of 'he can't shoot' yes you can and you've got some beautiful shots and interviews. But i can see you're not a deep skilled motion guy (and that's ok filmmaking is about collaboration, between everybody - including the talent). Example: your signature is kinda lacking that 'it'; why not used as a still image, it's ok a loto of studios and whatnot use them that way, and also, you're just a guy. Or some of the letterings are lost in the middle of the frame, I caught myself trying hard to read them - thats a definitive NO.

Also, you have to aim at a straight point and follow it, did you made any sort of treatment or script for this film? It feels a little bit lost... I couldn't say what it was trying to accomplish if there wasn't a signature. Don't be afraid of revealing what you're trying to say... You have little time to grab your audience attention and deliver your content/message. Do it right away (unless the project demand otherwise, but this is rare business).

Do not mistake my post as something like 'you suck'. There are beautiful shots and very nice montage, i hadn't noticed the different cameras if not for the CC you made (make an exception for the night shots).

Well done and good luck!

November 17, 2014 at 1:20PM

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Marco Carlucci
Director Screenwriter
133

Thanks very much Marco, this is great feedback. Exactly what I hoped for. Someone else made the same point as you (Andrew Reid on EOSHD actually) that I need to be clearer about what the film is doing. I understand this and suspected it myself, though it's hard to see the wood for the trees when you're doing everything yourself. That's why feedback online is so important for me. I will go away and think hard about how to make it more "straight to the point". Thanks for the compliments too, btw!
Could I also ask you to clarify what you meant by my focus being on gear? I added the subtitles to show the cameras to other filmmakers who had asked about it, but obviously I'll take them off when I post he film to my site. I agree with you that content should be the focus, and definitely not gear, but I want to be sure I understand what you meant.
I think the problem with making 'content' the focus of my film is that I don't have a lot of 'content' to work with (yet)!!! I haven't shot much other than scenic stuff and a few interview sessions with friends.
Anyway, thanks again. These seem like really valuable points.

Matt James Smith

November 17, 2014 at 2:00PM

Thanks very much Marco, this is great feedback. Exactly what I hoped for. Someone else made the same point as you (Andrew Reid on EOSHD actually) that I need to be clearer about what the film is doing. I understand this and suspected it myself, though it's hard to see the wood for the trees when you're doing everything yourself. That's why feedback online is so important for me. I will go away and think hard about how to make it more "straight to the point". Thanks for the compliments too, btw!

Could I also ask you to clarify what you meant by my focus being on gear? I added the subtitles to show the cameras to other filmmakers who had asked about it, but obviously I'll take them off when I post he film to my site. I agree with you that content should be the focus, and definitely not gear, but I want to be sure I understand what you meant.

I think the problem with making 'content' the focus of my film is that I don't have a lot of 'content' to work with (yet)!!! I haven't shot much other than scenic stuff and a few interview sessions with friends.

Anyway, thanks again. These seem like really valuable points.

November 17, 2014 at 2:00PM

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Matt James Smith
Lintel Films
173

Glad to help Matt, about the gear, it was exactly what you said. Maybe I misunderstood the purpose of the cc subtitles.

And you're on the right track, maybe what I saw and Andrew Reid saw too is that your video is kinda in between being a showreel and a concept piece for your company. You should either focus on one or another; instead of trying to do both. One of the most difficult things for me as a director is "letting go" of material. Meaning that I have to discard some material because although I like it lot/was hard to shoot but it has nothing to do with the movie I'm making...

Marco Carlucci

November 17, 2014 at 3:15PM

Pressed the wrong button hehe

... Anyways, you seem to be on a nice track, now what you have to do is find people who you can help/can help you so you can excel at what you're really good at!

Good Luck! (also are you in new castle?)

November 17, 2014 at 3:17PM, Edited November 17, 3:17PM

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Marco Carlucci
Director Screenwriter
133

Thanks again Marco. Very encouraging, honest feedback. Just what I need. And yes, it's hard to "kill your babies" as they say!

Yes the CC's are for some gear-nuts who asked about cameras etc after I uploaded it. I should just turn them off I think.

I'm very near Newcastle, and lived in the city until recently. Why do you ask?

Matt James Smith

November 17, 2014 at 3:52PM, Edited November 17, 3:52PM

To reinforce what Marco said, you definitely have the eye for composition etc so just aim to build on that as you're already off to a solid start!

If you were looking for a starting point to start shortening the reel or to give purpose to each group of shots, maybe consider breaking each of the points you noted into shorter individual pieces that show examples of each of the titles.

For example, "Your traditions" - Pick your best and most impactful shots/pieces to showcase that. "Your eccentricities" Again, pick the best and put them into a video that speaks to that heading.

Shortening the videos means you have less time to make an impact so, it'll drive you to pick the shots that will make the most impact right away!

Also, trimming them down helps people find examples relevant to their projects they'll want to hire you for as they wont have to sit through a much longer version and hope that you can deliver what they're looking for. It also helps for blogrolls, website, social media etc as you can deliver a stream of shorter videos instead of blowing the proverbial load with one longer edit.

Did that make sense? Hope it's not too much of a ramble!

Good luck and keep going!

December 10, 2014 at 1:09AM

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Hi! I agree with the comments above. I'am glad that you have people in your video, otherwise it would be borring shots of landscapes. I wish you used more extreme closeups on your talents along with the stuff you've done. Inserts that tell extra story won't heart either. I think the video was over color corrected, everything looks a bit dark, cold and sad. Try to use the available light at your advantage, use bounce cards, reflectors to make your talents more appealing. The composition and framing of the landscape shots look good, but I would not say the same about the shots that have people. Generally it is nice and most importantly you've done it! You concluded your 18 month way with this video and put it online asking for the frank CC, you are on the right track.

December 11, 2014 at 5:48AM

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Einar Gabbassoff
D&CD at Frame One Studio
1270

Thanks for sharing. ¡Very good photography!

February 2, 2015 at 5:26AM

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Ragüel Cremades
Film producer and director
7332

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