Water Security - Short

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by matteusclement, Mar 24, 2012.

  1. matteusclement macrumors 65816

    matteusclement

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    victoria
    #1
  2. cgbier macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2011
    #2
    Nicely shot and cut.

    I'm not so sure, though, if it really has the needed impact. Where are the starving African babies, the nuclear mushrooms? Even though your actress was very attractive, she wouldn't stop me from zapping to the next channel (it's not meant as brutal as written).
     
  3. matteusclement thread starter macrumors 65816

    matteusclement

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    victoria
    #3
    bwahahahaha.
    It seems that some people are wanting guns and guards in this one, but with a two person crew, one had to act and the other shoot.

    It's the first video I have shot for myself in quite some time... it was fun. Took 8 hours.
     
  4. cgbier macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2011
    #4
    As I said, it is very well done. Great job!

    As a PSA, it doesn't keep you interested for the whole minute (on a tree hugger channel maybe yes). Problem is that it could sell the common viewer everything, from female hygiene products to insurances. That's why he'll lose interest after a bunch of seconds.

    I'm only jealous though - when I produce PSA, I have to use starving African babies and mushroom clouds. Never get a chance to produce something as tasteful and intelligent as you did.
     
  5. floh macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2011
    Location:
    Stuttgart, Germany
    #5
    I agree that the shots are amazing. You can see some rolling shutter (I guess it's a DSLR) with the handheld, for example at 0:45, but overall I am very jealous (not only of the beautiful nature you live in). I especially liked the Michael-Bay-like shots around your actress (was that all hand-hold? impressive!) and the closeup of the breaking sneakers. Very cool.

    I am also not sure about the "script" though. The first time I watched it, I wasn't pulled in at all. The second time was way better already. In detail, I think two things bothered me:
    1. The ending is very, very abrupt. You should give the viewer some more time to absorb the last, most important words of the voiceover. I don't know where you got the music, but it should definitely have some finish (a few drum hits or something) instead of fading out.
    2. I am struggling with the spoken text. Not sure why (it might be the language barrier, I'm not a native speaker), but I get the feeling that some things are revealed to early ("they started giving out rations") and some things bother me grammatically ("Someone once asked me..." [...] "Water. Protect the water.", which is not an answer to the question but rather a statement.)

    Again, this is critique on a very high level, but I guess you didn't just come here for the compliments. ;) I think the short would already gain a lot from my viewpoint if you just adapt the ending slightly. Don't fade out the music but use its already present "ba-dam"-rhythms as an ending. Fade to black a little slower, let the viewer settle in with the message.

    Technically (shooting and editing), your film is at a very high standard. I can't stress that enough. :)
     
  6. cgbier macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2011
    #6
    Floh, how about a nuclear mushroom to your musical ba-damm at the end to bring it home? (j/k).

    A statement is the most important thing in a PSA. You have to send a strong message.

    I don't know if you remember the "AKW - nee" - a very important statement in my youth. Simple and strong, independent of your opinion (coming from a Mutlangen, Wackersdorf, Gorleben, Startbahn West veteran).
     
  7. floh macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2011
    Location:
    Stuttgart, Germany
    #7
    Of course. And of course I remember the "AKW-nee" statements (boy, we are old...). As a correction for the wording, I was thinking more about something like "It's water. Protect the water." Those two words in the beginning make it a grammatically more pleasing structure (at least to me) while remaining the strong statement character.

    Anyways, I think that the ending of the movie is its weakest part. (I say weakest, but I mean something like "least strongest", don't be offended.) The voiceover over all was actually quite good, that's just miniature flaws. Did you have the same actress do the voiceover? Hold on to her, she was very strong in her performance and her speaking.

    So, cgbier you actually speak German? Some time in June, I might show you the movie I'm working on right now, for your enjoyment (?). Just to make clear that it is easy to find flaws in other people's work while my own is nowhere near as good. :)
     
  8. cgbier macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2011
    #8
    I would keep it at simply "Water". The "it's" weakens it already.

    Think "water" and imagine a mushroom cloud in the background, then think "it's water" and imagine someone from Finanzamt Stuttgart II...

    I am Germa by birth (better don't ask how I ended up in the middle of the Pacific - a woman played a role in that story).
     
  9. floh macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2011
    Location:
    Stuttgart, Germany
    #9
    Okay, you have me convinced now. The mushroom (maybe with an audio "boom" in addition) will make for an awesome ending, no matter what.

    What pacific island are you on to be thinking about nuclear explosions so much? The bikini atoll? ;)
     
  10. cgbier macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2011
    #10
    Saipan. About 3km north of Tinian, where Enola Gay (carrier of the Hiroshima bomb) was stationed.

    That's the runway:
     

    Attached Files:

  11. matteusclement thread starter macrumors 65816

    matteusclement

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    victoria
    #11
    Wirelessly posted

    Thanks for the feedback folks.
    Shot with canon t2i except macro shots were with canon hv30.
    Editted on premiere.

    The wobble at 0:45 is after effects "warp stabilizer" at work. I was hand held the whole time, so I had some cleaning up to do with it as well as the shot of her around the tree.

    If you would like to vote for it, you can do so here:
    http://promoshq.wildfireapp.com/website/6/contests/189404/voteable_entries/47341779
     
  12. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #12
    The piece has good production value but some aspects did jump out at me (some production wise and some conceptually).

    I get the "no trespassing" sign but I don't get the "danger" sign.

    Does water really come in deposits? Every time I think of water deposits I think of residue that's left behind after water evaporates. 'Supplies' seems like a better word to me.

    I think the shot of her running behind the tree at 0:18 could be cut, just go straight from gravel slide into arcing around the tree. The running behind the tree shot feels like something you'd see in Scooby-Doo where the whole gang piles up behind a lamppost or something. And your actress runs like a girl which is kind of comical but antithesis to the vibe you are trying to set.

    Speaking of running, she seems to be doing a lot of running but not a lot of sweating. Misting her w/a small spray bottle of water would be a good, easy way to apply fake sweat.

    I think your actress does a good job but in a seemingly dystopian future where one has to break into a high security area to grab a drink why does our heroine look like she just walked out of a shoot for the spring clothing collection? I'm not saying she has to be dressed up like a ninja but, for example, if I'm going to break into some place in the woods I'm not gonna wear a white shirt.

    The empty backpack was also distracting. Toss in a couple of phone books to keep it from bouncing around it will add more weight to her movements as well (no pun intended).

    I felt the ending was anticlimactic because after that melodramatic build up the pay off is... her filling up one water bottle and taking a drink? I guess I expected her to either bust out a number of water bottles/bladders to fill up or drop something in the lake to poison it. Why take such apparent risk but only have one water bottle on you?

    I was also left wanting at least some clue of what was chasing her. Is it the government? A rival faction? What? Something as basic as a CU of someone wearing combat boots and walking menacingly through the woods would suffice.

    Color grading to give it a bleaker look would help sell the mood too.

    I guess, basically, for me the piece doesn't look or feel nearly dramatic enough to fit the premise. Watching it I don't *feel* like the world has descended into violence and chaos.


    Lethal
     
  13. matteusclement thread starter macrumors 65816

    matteusclement

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    victoria
    #13
    So right!

    Lethal, so many of these things were ones that I thought about myself. I'll break a few things down.

    1. Danger sign was next to the trespassing sign. Added it for good measure of this being a locked down facility.

    2. Running. I kept directing that she needed to Hollywood run, not girly run.

    3. Backpack. My god. Good idea with the books. I will do that next time. Thanks.

    4. Pretty girl that doesn't sweat. I totally forgot the mister at home and splashing her with water looked horrible. In hind site, I would have smeared her face with some dirt and DEFINATELY gone with dirtier clothes. When she said white shirt, I didn't know it was going to be new. White helped the hero pop from the background, but it should have been off white.

    5. The ending.
    Oh goodness. This has been the biggest weakness and it needs to be known that the video contest I entered required this. "what does peace and security mean to you?" was the theme.
    Admittedly, a quick action sequence of my hero putting down a couple guards coming at her would have been a nice end.

    6. One minute video.
    Keep in mind, it was limited to one minute. Trying to have a deep, complex concept like post apocalyptic water starved world was hard.
    BUT feedback from people leads me to believe that there will be a follow up video, Water Wars.

    I do really appreciate the feedback though! I am writing this response to give other people the directors regrets/experience.
     
  14. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #14
    I think you got really close which is one reason for so many comments. It's like it was so close that the points where it missed really jumped out to me. Kinda like how people said the human faces in Polar Express were creepy because they were close enough to human that they registered as people, as opposed to animations, yet there was enough not quite right that they came off as really creepy people.


    I hope you don't mind but I did a quick and dirty color grade on it just to see what it would look like. I did this on my laptop real quick so take it more as conceptual than anything else. I wanted to cut in a couple quick CU's of a soldier's booted feet patrolling the woods but I couldn't find what I was looking for. YouTube


    Lethal
     
  15. diamond3 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    #15
    I really like the change done to the color. It really enhances the video to go with the tone of the story. I'd maybe not go quite as drastic, but when you compare the two it's great to see the difference. I'm always amazed to see what changing the color tones does to a video.
     
  16. matteusclement thread starter macrumors 65816

    matteusclement

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    victoria
    #16
    That's why it's creative commons! For remixing!
    I think that you crushed it too much. There is no contrast in the footage. For example, at the shot of the rusted bolt, you can't tell it's rusted in your shot.
    BUT I will admit, the darkened barbwire had way more punch. So I can see the effects of color grading have a big difference.

    Ha! I have even had my friends calling me to give feedback, so I think you're right, I am really close.

    The actress and I are going to be working on a 10-15 minute short this summer. Can't wait!
     
  17. LethalWolfe, Mar 30, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2012

    LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #17
    Hey, I downloaded it, converted it, colored it, exported it and then re-uploaded in like 15min at 12am on my laptop cut me some slack. ;) I didn't do any balancing between shots so some shots go too far and others not quite far enough. Again, more of just an example of how a little color grading can go a long way in terms of selling the vibe.

    The first time I fully grasped the 'power' of grading was when I went to an post discussion panel years ago and one of the people talking worked on the Spawn live action film. He was showing some before and after shots and one of them was an exterior of Spawn sneaking around the outside of a house during the day and the 'before' shot almost looked like a home video in how normal it appeared. Then he showed the graded shot and my jaw just about hit the floor. The colorist took what was a normal looking shot and transformed it into something cinematic that belonged in the Spawn universe. It was pretty amazing. I'd seen behind-the-scenes featurettes before but for some reason this one really stuck with me.

    It wasn't until years later that I started grading and I still have my 'this is so dam cool' moments when I take something that looks run of the mill or bland and turn it into something exciting or otherworldly. Even though I know how it all works the creative process is still magical to me. I think the day it stops feeling that way is the day I need to look for another line of work.


    Lethal
     
  18. matteusclement thread starter macrumors 65816

    matteusclement

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    victoria
    #18
    (slack) okay, I will give you that (/slack)

    what are you using to color grade?
     
  19. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #19
    I usually use Color but since Apple killed that I'm going to start getting familiar with DaVinci since the lite version is free and pretty dang powerful. I've also started using the Magic Bullet Looks Suite (I used a combo of a tweaked MB Looks pre-set plus Colorista II to quickly do the grade on your short). A long time ago I'd grade using the default filters in FCP and while I was able to pull of some surprisingly good results it's very cumbersome. I grabbed the MB Looks Suite so I could have a good grading experience in the timeline itself for situations where round tripping to another app isn't viable.


    Lethal
     
  20. matteusclement thread starter macrumors 65816

    matteusclement

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    victoria
    #20
    Color 2 was a big step by red giant but it doesn't like time remapping and it seems to bug out way more than color1, so I use both. Color2 will outright crash premiere.
     
  21. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #21
    Do you know if exhibits the same behavior in FCP7? I've only use the MB products in FCP6/7 and AE.


    Lethal
     
  22. ppc_michael Guest

    ppc_michael

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #22
    DaVinci Resolve is some good stuff. I've been using it as well. I've come to like it much more than Color.
     
  23. matteusclement thread starter macrumors 65816

    matteusclement

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    victoria
    #23
    I won!!!!
    Thank you everyone for your help and feedback! It will make my new pieces even better!
     
  24. floh macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2011
    Location:
    Stuttgart, Germany
  25. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles

Share This Page