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Old Jan 9, 2013, 03:43 PM   #1
Harry Cross
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The Waters Echo - A short film based on time travel

This is a short film which I have created for a school course, please give feedback as it helps me to improve in the future.

Youtube link
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PS1ET43kF0


Film poster
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Old Jan 9, 2013, 04:55 PM   #2
matteusclement
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I'll watch the rest later but the first thing I would change is DONT USE ZOOM unless it's for a given, dramatic effect.
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try this:
take an empty pop can, place it on the floor, smash it flat, now try to pull it back to how it was.
see how it looks like crap? that's called compression
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Old Jan 9, 2013, 05:13 PM   #3
Harry Cross
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Originally Posted by matteusclement View Post
I'll watch the rest later but the first thing I would change is DONT USE ZOOM unless it's for a given, dramatic effect.
Which shot are you actually referring to?
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 08:26 AM   #4
daybreak
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A very ambitious project. Full marks for use of sound and special effects. The rest needs a deeper look. The editing with the dog is clumsy and some of your sky shoots are spoiled by the exposure. The music is more of a Roman Saga epic. Far to overpowering for its contents.
In general you got the making off future film makers. But try and contain the grand o images specially with poster.
The story was well execute but became boring.
Should you decide to do any more time travel formats. Try going back in time?
What about a hiking video with friends and things go wrong etc.
Anyway i bet you hate my input but i have been working on movies a long time and i enjoy talent of your age group thinking big with limited resources.
What editing software did you use?.
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 01:02 PM   #5
matteusclement
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Overall, good go of things. I am just about to start short films myself.
I watched this 3 times and here is what I came up with for feedback.

THE GOOD
•Good job on the masking.
•Color grading gave a good mood but see other comments.

DIRECTING
•The way he picked up the device in the beginning looked weird, who would grab something off the ground like that?
•When the two of them wear the device, they have it around their necks. I could have had them just hold it in their hands.

OTHER
•Dog shot at 1:22 with the zooming has to go. Doesn’t give an effect.
•Continuity error at 5:57 with the chewing gum
•Audio with the wind would need cleaning
•Music levels need to be lower at parts, it detracts from the vocals
•The travel back in time part needs to have flickering light on your actors to mimic their surroundings.
•The zoom at 11:12 is bad
•Did you compress the vocals audio? The after vocals (ADR) you did spiked quite a few times. You need to stop the sound from clipping and then compress it in post.
•The color grade was good but should have been different for the different “TIME” they were in, maybe a cool grade like you have for the past but a slightly warmer grade for the present?
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try this:
take an empty pop can, place it on the floor, smash it flat, now try to pull it back to how it was.
see how it looks like crap? that's called compression
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Old Jan 10, 2013, 02:19 PM   #6
daybreak
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Good healthy feedbacks makes all the difference.
One thing one can learn and a must in any video profession and that includes amateur.
No matter how much money you spend or time on any project. Editing can make or break your video or film
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Old Jan 13, 2013, 01:40 PM   #7
Harry Cross
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Thanks for the feedback so far
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Old Jan 13, 2013, 04:39 PM   #8
12dylan34
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Just a few things that strike me in the VFX department:

Really just subtle things, but subtle things are extremely important in VFX. If our suspension of disbelief is broken because something looks fake, we think about it, and it distracts us from getting out of the film what the director wants.


The "Visual Cross" logo in the beginning is tacky looking to me. If you're not a professional motion designer, there's no shame in just using white text in a nice font. Since I'm assuming that it's a logo, though, maybe just have it static and fade on. I don't care for the movement. I like the clouds behind it, though.


When the timelapse is happening behind the two boys at around the 9 minute mark, the lighting doesn't change on them like you would expect it to. You could reshoot in front of the greenscreen, flashing a soft light on and off of them, or, and this would be the inferior choice, add the "exposure" effect the layer with the boys in After Effects, adding the expression wiggle(8,.1) to the "exposure" property. This would loosely simulate quickly changing light conditions.

You might argue that you wanted them to look entirely independent from the rest of the world, so you made the choice not to have the light changes affect them, but IMO, it draws attention to the fact that they're just flat planes composited in front of the timelapse.


It's noticeable that all of the VFX shots are locked off, when most others are in motion, even if only slightly. I realize that this was to avoid motion tracking (which can be hard, admitted), but here's what you can do to add some life to those shots and better help them match. This is all assuming you're using After Effects. If not, perhaps that you can adapt it.

Make a new null object with the completed shots in the timeline and add the expression wiggle(x,y) to the position property of the null, where x is the number of wiggles per second, and y is the intensity. You want it to be very subtle and slow. Perhaps less than 1 per second, with a pretty low intensity. You're trying to simulate what the movement would be like if it was handheld, but the operator was trying to hold the camera as still as possible. Anything more will look fake with this method. Parent the video layer to the null object.

Now add the "motion tile" effect to the video layer and check "mirror edges, then just crank the output width and output height to something high. Since your video is now moving, you'll be able to see black on the edges. The motion tile effect just mirrors the edges, which is sufficient for most shots.


I'm not really an authority to speak on the cinematography and editing that much, but it doesn't look bad overall. I agree that the dog scene could use some work, though. I like the color grading, and the film is overall a good idea.

If you choose to take any of my advice, let me know if you've got any questions on how to do it.
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Old Jan 19, 2013, 09:39 AM   #9
Harry Cross
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Thanks for the feedback so far, I am taking it all on-board.
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Old Jan 19, 2013, 12:30 PM   #10
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I second that. Any help or advice let us know.
I always say any project you do "Think Big" and then work out what you can do and what you cant do with :Thinking Big" worked for me every time.
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Old Feb 8, 2013, 09:10 AM   #11
acearchie
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Watch your exposure. A lot of blown highlights near the beginning

Be careful when stabilising. It's a slightly nauseating effect when you can see motion blur without any motion.

The grade is too strong for me. There is miss-match between shots which I assume is down to exposure issues with the camera and it just looks like you have thrown a lot of blue into it rather than giving it a style.

Not sure what camera you were using but see if you can keep it on manual. The shot tilting up on the bridge has an exposure change.

Did you ADR at the top of the hill?

Also isn't some of the soundtrack from SpyGame?
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Old Feb 19, 2013, 11:42 AM   #12
Harry Cross
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Originally Posted by acearchie View Post
Watch your exposure. A lot of blown highlights near the beginning

Be careful when stabilising. It's a slightly nauseating effect when you can see motion blur without any motion.

The grade is too strong for me. There is miss-match between shots which I assume is down to exposure issues with the camera and it just looks like you have thrown a lot of blue into it rather than giving it a style.

Not sure what camera you were using but see if you can keep it on manual. The shot tilting up on the bridge has an exposure change.

Did you ADR at the top of the hill?

Also isn't some of the soundtrack from SpyGame?
Yes some parts of the soundtrack are from SpyGame.

Was filmed with a camcorder supplied by my school, we weren't allowed to edit any of the settings.

The entire dialogue throughout the entire film is ADR
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Old Feb 20, 2013, 06:31 PM   #13
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Yes some parts of the soundtrack are from SpyGame.

Was filmed with a camcorder supplied by my school, we weren't allowed to edit any of the settings.
I would just be careful as you credit freesound.org for the music.

What do you mean you weren't allowed to change any of the settings? Seems quite counter productive for that to be one of your stipulations.
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 08:25 AM   #14
Harry Cross
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I would just be careful as you credit freesound.org for the music.
We were told by my teacher to just make up the beginning titles (some names were fake names also). You get the marks for simply showing that you can add titles, whether the titles/credits are valid or not doesn't matter.

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What do you mean you weren't allowed to change any of the settings? Seems quite counter productive for that to be one of your stipulations.
True but this is only a school production. You can only borrow the cameras for a day at a time, and the teachers don't have time to go through the settings every time a camera is returned to make sure the settings are at their defaults.

99% of the students do not know how to adjust the camera settings, so if the previous user has been tampering with the settings,the next user will most likely be stuck with those settings.
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 01:46 PM   #15
acearchie
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We were told by my teacher to just make up the beginning titles (some names were fake names also). You get the marks for simply showing that you can add titles, whether the titles/credits are valid or not doesn't matter.
Wow, seems like a silly system where by you can randomise your credits especially since you could have put in the real names.

Quote:
True but this is only a school production. You can only borrow the cameras for a day at a time, and the teachers don't have time to go through the settings every time a camera is returned to make sure the settings are at their defaults.
In that case I suggest setting the settings to what would best aid your creative vision and then switch them back to the defaults when you are finished. You'll find everywhere you go you have less time than you want with the camera and it's something that you just have to deal with.

Quote:
99% of the students do not know how to adjust the camera settings, so if the previous user has been tampering with the settings,the next user will most likely be stuck with those settings.
I still have this at university although I would say it's more like 75%. It's sometimes quite worrying when you question a setting and they haven't got a clue how changing that variable alters the image.
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