July 13, 2015 at 2:13PM

26

Sony a7s film critique

This short film was shot entirely on a Sony a7s, at times using a dji Ronin. I just want as much feedback as possible. Go ahead and comment below if there is anything you feel that should be addressed. Thank you very much.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OfF9CMhKC-g

3 Comments

Hey Jesse! Really liked it. Any feedback I might have is really based in opinion and personal differences, nothing I can really say you did "wrong." It had me the whole time, compositions and lighting were really nice, incredibly fitting music...good stuff! Wonderful look you got out of that a7s, as well.
I think really my ONLY thing would be him going up the escalator...the shot of the steps looked nice but it was gone so fast! Just quite a quick cut, but again, personal preference.

Thanks for sharing!

July 15, 2015 at 8:48PM

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Ben Meredith
Cinematographer/Filmmaker
950

How about a trade: we critique, and you talk about light setups and your experience with the A7S? :)
Good:
-The craft in general was very good. Gyro stabilized footage has an extremely fluid feel to it. Wish I'd had one in film school :)
-The score was nice. Definitely set the mood.
- The sound design was very competent. I think maybe the footstep sounds in the parking lot could have been different, but it wasn't noticeably off.
- The shot framing was in general very nice, as well as the lighting setups. Your DP should be commended. Some shots that stuck out to me: your talent putting his head in the empty frame to to introduce us to the subway, the center framing and lighting of the kitchen sequence, and the first shot of the bathroom sequence. In that one, I thought it very nice that the talent's entrance to the bathroom coincided with the camera move. Very nice.

Things to improve:
-Talent performance. Your talent has a well kept appearance, but I thought his voiceover delivery was a bit mumbly. Maybe giving him a few more takes and some time to enunciate would have cleared it up. His performance struck me as a bit flat, but I can see where some would be quite flat in their final vlog entry.
- Not sure why some bits were handheld versus on the rig. I suspect that the motivation was mostly practical (ie the rig might arouse suspicion on a subway train, but not in your house). Maybe in the future try to distinguish the two looks more clearly (i.e. Seven had locked off scenes for Morgan Freeman, handheld for Brad Pitt).

The rest are story/direction choices I found odd. I'm approaching this from a more commercial, less art house perspective, so ymmv.
- The projector sequence, where he looks at photos of himself was a bit odd. It doesn't seem to me to fit the rest of the sequences, which appear to be rooted in reality. I thought maybe it was a dream sequence of some sort, but wasn't sure.
- That final shot, with your talent on oxygen and asleep really confused me. This leads to my overall confusion about the context of the whole film. Was all of it a final comatose dream? Was this the climax of his own personal hopes before he died? The voiceover was good for mood, but having a sense of what the character wanted, maybe what the context was, would have helped me to enjoy the film more. If it is a dream as I began to think, then why not allude to it? Why not mention he'd always wanted to see the San Fran skyline at night? Or that he'd always loved to go to the sea? If that was his greatest wish, then when we that the whole sequence was actually a final comatose dream, you'd be paying off the expectation for the audience. I'm not trying to put out your fire, but I think more story could have helped. Your short isn't a traditional narrative, but having some emotional purpose for the character would have made it a more enjoyable experience for me overall. It can be lyrical and obscure while still giving the character a purpose. As JJ Abrams says, movies are all about setup and payoff. At least for me, my expectation was thrown off by the conclusion.
Now, I'd LOVE to hear all about your lighting package and experience lighting for the a7s.

July 21, 2015 at 9:34PM

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Josh H
Writer/Director
13

Awesome work. It's cool to see you live in the Bay Area as well. Can never mistake that for a BART Station haha

December 18, 2015 at 4:11AM

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Jason Hall
Student Filmmaker, Editor, VFX Artist
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