Why is it that everyone who insists gear doesn't matter always has $$$ invested in their own gear? It's like: all others need is an iPhone, but I need an Alexa. Funny short though.
Great job. Good acting, visuals, narration, music...solid piece overall! I thought it was a bit on the frivolous side however.
I was in the LA class (May 31), so I can share my thoughts. Josh, first I totally agree with you that it was NOT cool at all for MZed to mislead us by making it look like it was Frank who was presenting. It seems unethical and may also be illegal, and they need to fix it right away.
Having said that, I disagree that Mark's class wasn't worth the 300 bucks we paid. Like you, I knew a lot of the stuff technically speaking, but you can pick up the technical stuff anywhere. That's not the point. What Mark gave went beyond technical, stuff you can't easily get elsewhere. For example, every single movie and show I watch now after the class, I find myself listening keenly to each sound and trying to understand why it was chosen while others were left out. There's nothing technical about it, but the fact is I wasn't doing it before, but I'm doing it now, and I'm better for it - thanks directly to Mark.
About the product demos, I agree they were coming off as sales pitches, which is really sad. Because what Mark covered are among the leading products, he wasn't peddling sub-par stuff. Mark: a suggestion for your future talks, if you care. It'd help if you could also at least mention other leading products when you cover a functionality (e.g., similar stuff from Audio Technica, Shure, or whatever you consider to be competition when you mention Rode's). If your sponsorship agreement doesn't allow it, perhaps you can make it clear up-front that you're covering sponsor products but that you use them anyway at work. May be you did, I came in a bit late.
In the interest of turning this into a discussion on the creative aspects, here are my thoughts on the video. I watched it a few times.
First, what I liked. I thought the overall look was really pleasing/soft and fit the narrative quite well. Opening with the poem that talked of how life experiences help shape you and then repeating it at the end after we learn what experiences she went through was smart...made the point really well IMO. And some of the CU shots were beautiful and interesting.
However, I didn't quite get the overall message. If it was that XLP can help you get back on track (which I presume was the intent, given this was done for them), it didn't quite come across to me (what was that about XLP not forgetting her?). And in spite of seeing the devastating experiences (being forgotten to be picked up, asked to leave home, being homeless), strangely I didn't find myself rooting for the her. Perhaps it's the narration (it took me some time to figure out who was in the hospital), perhaps it was that she had full make-up on; or perhaps it was the music.
And some of the decisions seemed quite odd too. E.g., the shot of her walking at 02:03 was NOT flattering, quite a strange composition; the music change at 02:12 when XLP was introduced was way too subtle; not sure why she was out of focus in the OTS shot at 03:12 (hope it wasn't to focus on the XLP tea-shirt back); and the composition at 03:18 with the two way at the bottom seemed weird.
People would stop talking about cameras and lenses if NFS stops talking about cameras and lenses. Much of this article, including the title, was technical - what would you expect in the discussions?
Besides, for all the bashing of the tech talk here, not a single poster (other than the filmmaker) said a single thing about any creative aspect. This is a common pattern on most forums: someone mentions tech (most popular is blown highlights), others pounce and say it's the story, you can shoot with iPhone, whatever (but they always seem to want Alexa for themselves). Nobody ends up discussing anything creative.
Want to promote meaningful, creative discussion? Then we need to stop bashing tech talk and start making creative talk.
Well, he said he personally doesn't like blown skies...no arguing with that. It must look distracting to him and take him out of the story. Besides, this article is technical, from the title talking of RED to lenses and filters to grading. I'm not a fan of always obsessing about crushed blacks and blown highlights, but in this case it seems like a fair observation.