March 2, 2016 at 11:22AM, Edited March 2, 11:25AM

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Feedback on my short documentary

Looking for creative feedback on a short documentary I shot! Anything positive or negative would be of great help so I know the areas which are stronger in my work and the areas that need more work and focus for next time. Thanks!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3kFDrwg_a8
(Listen with headphones if possible)

I Directed/shot/edited myself
Shot on Nikon D7100
with nikkor primes

14 Comments

Looks great! Good colorization, variation of shots. The only thing is that you either need to bring the speaker's volume up or the music down on the parts where he's talking. The two sounds seem to be competing with each other at times and we should be able to hear the speaker's voice clearly the whole time since the story is about him. Other than that, really good.

March 3, 2016 at 12:28AM

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Brittany Nisco
Director/Producer
276

Really cool little doc! Interviews and broll all looked great and I liked how you used the ambient sound. But I agree with Brittany about mixing the interview and the music. The music is great and fits the story well, but leaving it as more of an undertone during the interviews would be more effective. Some parts were hard to hear so I missed out on some information that I was looking forward to hearing. There were also a few parts where I could tell you chopped up his interview because of some audible noise. Something I do to help that is to use room tone that I will record from the interview and just tweak with fading that in with the interview clips, I'll even add small gaps of space as if he is taking his time to speak. Otherwise very cool film! Great job!

March 3, 2016 at 11:58AM

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Tyler McDonald
Videographer/Editor
81

The sound is a problem, and unfortunately, when sound is a problem, it is a big problem. While watching, I was constantly thinking about the sound and straining to hear. It was hard to focus on the video, and, as is typical, it is hard to watch a video with bad sound. Viewers will tolerate a bad image much better than bad sound. And it is not just a volume problem. There is not enough treble or dynamic range in his voice. Maybe it was compressed or equalized wrong in post? And, I might have directed him to speak a little more forcefully when being interviewed.

March 4, 2016 at 12:27AM

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The sound quality is fine, you just have to work on the mix a bit. By far the strongest element is the cinematography. Some really nice shots in there. Great job color correcting as well.

I agree with letting the edit breathe a bit in between dialogue. And yeah, I would bring the music down when he's speaking. It also sounds like you didn't place any audio transitions on the edit points, causing those subtle clicking noises. I could be wrong though...

I think you're gonna make some great docs in the future!

March 4, 2016 at 12:37AM, Edited March 4, 12:37AM

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Jon du Toit
Writer / Director
200

If I may suggest - you need to concentrate a lot more on your sound production.
The interview dialogue was poorly recorded and this was exacerbated by poor final sound track mixing.
These aspects of the production let down what was otherwise a well photographed and tightly edited piece of work.

March 4, 2016 at 8:21AM, Edited March 4, 8:21AM

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Fred Dorsett
Filmmaker
95

Really nice vignette. You've got tonnes of talent, the technical stuff will come with time. I agree with much of what's already been said above. If you strip down the VO, you will allow the audience to take in more of what the character is saying. I was interested in knowing more about what happened to the character when he said 'life just got crazy'. I love docs where the filmmaker provides an intimate glimpse into a character's life... maybe next time you can go a little deeper with your character?

March 4, 2016 at 8:47AM

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First off, I think your shots are beautiful! It looks very professional. The only glaring issue I saw was that you seemingly spelled "Portrait" wrong in the beginning and ending titles of the film. I believe you spelled it as "Portrit". Unless I missed some artistic reason why you spelled it like that. Be very anal about your spelling. Also, I would have liked to know the persons' name who was speaking. A lower-thirds title of who he is and what he does would have been nice. Anything to help connect us with him a little more.
One last thing I would have liked to hear and see are the reasons why this man does photography (Something beyond "he likes how the flowers look". Something personal).

Great Job!

March 4, 2016 at 11:48AM

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I think it's very good. The sound needs work in the mix and in the cuts, but that's been covered by the comments above. Besides that (and the "Portrit" thing), the only one thing I thought could be better was that the shot starting at 1:02 ignores the subject of the documentary. It's a good looking shot, but it just goes by the photographer and doesn't care about him. To me, it felt like it was a shot trying to draw attention to itself, instead of drawing attention to its subject - which is fine in some cases, but here I felt it was out of place.
But that's a little thing, and maybe it was just me who felt this way. Otherwise, very good job!

March 6, 2016 at 7:57AM, Edited March 6, 7:57AM

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José Pedro Pinto
Wannabe
752

I agree completely looking at it from that perspective now! The shot does seem out of place so when I re-edit it I'm going to replace it with another one.

March 7, 2016 at 10:18AM

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Ryan Moynihan
Director
189

I loved it. Great job! I especially loved your color grade. The colors were gorgeous! The only improvements I would suggest would be mixing your audio and picking B-Roll that contributes more to the story. There were some times where his voice would get lost because the music was too loud. At the part where he says it's hard to expand your portfolio, maybe show just one camera or a small amount of his pictures. Besides that I thought it was great! Well done!

March 6, 2016 at 6:24PM, Edited March 6, 6:24PM

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Jerald Roberts II
Filmmaker
349

Thank you I focused on the color grade to try and give it an overall feel for the video! I almost wish I had more b-roll shots from a single day of shooting that contribute more to the story like you were saying. My biggest area that I need to improve on would definitely be my post production sound mixing with audio. Thanks for the feedback!

March 7, 2016 at 10:21AM, Edited March 7, 10:22AM

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Ryan Moynihan
Director
189

I guess I agree with everyone above heh. It was shot nice but the mix was a little distracting. Also agree with Jose with regard to the shot that went by the subject. Especially since he was looking at and shooting a different part of the horizon, it seemed to be very out of place. It's a nice smooth movement but not one that's needed. Good stuff!

March 6, 2016 at 6:30PM, Edited March 6, 6:30PM

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Agree with the above I guess. I really liked it :)

March 9, 2016 at 9:57AM, Edited March 9, 9:57AM

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Paul Wright
Director / VFX artist
81

I liked it! I agree with the general consensus though, sound mixing wasn't great, at some points the background music made it hard to understand what the subject was saying. Other than that it was beautifully shot.

March 9, 2016 at 3:57PM

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