May 10, 2015 at 1:32PM

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I made my first short narrative documentary piece with some friends. I think it turned out well, what are your thoughts?

I've been making short promotional and informational videos for a while now, but never thought I had it in me to make some sort of narrative and creative piece. Despite yearning for some more engaging projects it took a really long time to finally find something to sink my teeth into. This is it.
Please let me know if you have any thoughts, comments or criticisms.
Thanks!

https://vimeo.com/127380821

9 Comments

Like the style. Very clean and simple.

Really like the sound design of the water pouring into the glass at 1:30 and throughout the film.

Suggestions:
- Cut to the interview earlier. There seems to be an excessive amounts of walking shots. It gets repetitive around 00:23.
- Also at 00:23. You violate the 180 line which through me off for a second. Shooting from the other side of the greenery would have been helpful.

Other than those 2 minor things its a beautiful film.

Question: How did you rig up the A7s that you were using and how did you split up the roles of everyone involved while shooting?

May 11, 2015 at 4:18PM, Edited May 11, 4:21PM

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Thanks for the feedback Tim.
The A7s was for the most part unrigged - Interview was shot on a tripod, while the rest was on the monopod or slider.

The roles were pretty set over the shoot. Interview was shot in a dual camera setup with a person on each camera, one person was on sound and one interviewed Sofie. I shot the b-roll almost exclusively.

May 15, 2015 at 5:38AM

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Luc Szczepanski
Filmmaker / Photographer / Designer
132

I think the interview looks very good,I like the pop of colors in contrast with her skin tone.

If I were to try to be critical I'd say perhaps rework the storyline. The most intriguing part is when she talks about losing her hair. If you start with that, you appeal to emotions off the bat, and you help set her a part of other designers. Before I film an interview, I like to sit down with the person and ask them as many questions as possible. Then I think of the video as a timeline and what story would I like to tell? Say there are 3 topics I'd like to cover: Her hair loss > what she does > where she will be , then I figure out how they actually flow together, and from that, you can pull intriguing interview questions. For example: Her Hair Loss > (How has that shaped her as a designer?) > What she does now > (What is her end goal as a designer?) > Where She will be / What is she doing now to get there

Just an idea! I may be way off the mark or maybe this method only works for me. But maybe it will spark an idea as well!

Great video though!

May 12, 2015 at 12:01AM

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Sawyer Thurston
Fashion Filmmaker
92

Thanks for the detailed suggestions Sawyer.

We initially plotted the story arc in two different ways during the first draft cut. One with the way you suggested, with the hair loss first and another with the hair loss as a complication later on. It was decided (in consultation with Sofie) that her hair loss wasn't the defining event that shaped her as a designer but rather a complication during the progression through her degree. This ultimately led us to the current cut. Perhaps it would have been more emotionally dramatic to focus on the hair loss, but I think it might have misconstrued the truth a little bit.

May 15, 2015 at 6:17AM

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Luc Szczepanski
Filmmaker / Photographer / Designer
132

I really like it. Thanks for sharing it here.

May 12, 2015 at 3:59AM

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Einar Gabbassoff
D&CD at Frame One Studio
1060

Thanks for watching Einar! Glad you enjoyed it.

May 15, 2015 at 5:41AM

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Luc Szczepanski
Filmmaker / Photographer / Designer
132

Cool, I like it! Nice images.

May 12, 2015 at 1:06PM, Edited May 12, 1:06PM

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AvdS
1148

Cheers!

May 15, 2015 at 6:17AM

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Luc Szczepanski
Filmmaker / Photographer / Designer
132

Hey Luc, first of all great piece!

Some minor things could be improved in my opinion.
First of all i am with Sawyer concerning the storyline, I understand the argument that her hairloss didn´t shape her as a designer, and it´s a good thing to respect that.
On the other hand, having watched the film i think, that her personal connection to that topics makes her stand out, and thats a really good way to catch the viewer attention. When I watch such a short narrative piece I always ask myself why is this person interesting, why is she/he worth portraying? To be honest the first minutes i thought "oh another fashion designer portrait" (I hope this does´t sound too condecending!), but when the hairloss part came up I was engaged and understood why this person is so interesting! What I learned from doing those kind of films, is that you have to bring that content across as fast as possible to keep the viewer watching, because there is so much other distraction on the Internet...

On the technical side:

Yes the walking sequence is very long and you don't really vary in the shot size. Its longshot, medium longshot, longshot ... and i think that makes it feel so long, so maybe pop some closer shots in to make it visually more interesting.
Also the direction of movement isn't constant. In one shot she walks from right to left, in the other one from left to right, if that was intentional, okay, but if not, thats sth. to consider next time.

In some shots you repull focus during the shot, i don't know if that´s an artistic choice. If so I would make it more obvious, to me it looked unintentional at times ( i don't know how much control you had over those shots to redo them, if it was run and gun great job, if you could do multiple takes, take the time)
And another technical thing, I always forget to do that as well, be meticulous, leveling your tripod, in some pans the horizon isn't correct (for example 2.07)

But again those are little things, maybe they give you some ideas for the next project.

Great work and i really enjoyed watching it!

June 2, 2015 at 5:06AM, Edited June 2, 5:06AM

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Joshua Zonnekein
I just like movies and stuff
93

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