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Please critique me...a lot!


jasonmillard81
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So my first run-through with the c100 II was not so great.  Admittedly I did not take the time needed to think through my settings (I even forgot to charge my battery).  We were indoors at a track in NYC.

 

The basic settings/equipment:

 

Camera: c100II

Lens: 25-105 (f4) @ f4 the whole time) 

ISO: 800 the whole time

WB: AWB for the most part

CP: CP9, which i believe is C-Log

FPS: 23.98 FPS

Shutter:  1/48

 

I ingested everything into FCPX and only graded a few clips and the rest were left.  I was mostly disappointed with how "blurry" and flat the people looked and am not sure if that is because I tried to capture motion at 23.98 vs. 60fps (although the static shots looks slightly better but not nearly as good as I've seen c100II look) or if it is how I am capturing the image (settings) vs. transcoding/exporting the footage to YouTube (h.264 - though if I wanted Apple ProRess 422 it would be 4x the size file)

 

Please critique the heck out of me and the offer any experience/suggestions as I'd like to take a stab at this again next Thursday!

 

 

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I'm going to critic this by being very honest - Be aware, it might be an hard pill to swallow. I'm quite difficult to please when it come to video edit but... you've ask for it. 

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The first shot look very amateur or bad, try to cut it out. Or at least cut it in 2 different angles. After 10sec, I didn't even wanted to watch the video any further...

Second shot should be out of the edit, nothing is in focus and it goes everywhere / nowhere,

Third is ok but cut the first few blurry frames and then at the girl at 0:18 ...skip to 0:21sec. Try to stabilise the shot until 0:23 then cut again to the smile boy at 0:25 - Make those to shot match with the smile, it's going to be a smooth cut. Trim a bit the shaky end too of this. 

Stabilise the shot #4 or remove it 

#5 ... no need to go past 0:39, the action is done, the few last second are not getting anything positive for the story. 

#6 is ok but try to get it a bit more stable of a pan, try wrap stabiliser 

#7 follow the same as the shot numero 6 

#8 would be ok if you had the girl landing on the mat - now it's kind of pointless for the edit, teasing

#9 stabilize the pan a bit and cut around 0:52

#10 keep only the middle where it's stable 

#11 could be cut out of the edit - it's way to blue for now and clash with the rest

12 - 13 are good, they fit in 

#14 should be cut, pointless for the edit

The streching is ok but cut the last part or let the shot breath a bit with more frame in at the end

#16 - 17 are ok but could be trim a bit 

#18 should be cut off the edit ...or get the 17 out....or insert a different angle inbetween... it's kinda jumpcut 

19-20-21 is ok ... could be trim a bit maybe

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So i've survive until 1:33 so far....and I don't believe I need to keep going for 6min .... try to re-edit all of this in 2min maximum, then repost here. I will be happy to critic further after that...keep only your best shots for the final cut except if you need to include every single athletes in the edit, then you could think about sacrifice quality to please the "client" 

You're shots seems to get a bit better after that. But I far as I can see you don't have enough good material for a 6min edit. It certainly doesn't add up to your story to stretch it that long, it's just painful for the viewer...

Your color correct ...if any was even done look like a log profile. It's getting quite accepted by the general public to digest a log these days ..it's have a vintage/hipster feeling to it....I still think you should do something about it. Push saturation and contrast a bit, Overall you shots are underexpose too

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Hey Jason I think you've addressed most of the shortcomings in your discription of the video.

I'd recut it up to the music with short sharp grabs from everywhere, and take all the panning out. At 1.32 you could go superquick with the music.

For motivation just pretend its for a Sports Show on television, and this vision is being used as they go out to a break.

Bigfoots suggestion of a log/Lut look, and pushing the saturation would give that look that's become standard with Television Station promos these days and helps to cover up as well. Try get the 6 minutes down to about 1.30 and you might surprise yourself.

Good luck next Thursday.

 

 

 

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Agree with above critiques. There is enough material certainly for a one minute edit. Short, sharp cuts will reflect the intensity one would associate with your subject matter - and look for matching shots for the purpose of occasional invisible wipes (see Brandon Li or Watchtower of Turkey for examples of this). Audio enhancements through sound effects - not overdone - will also make the world of difference.

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Higher shutter speed for crisp frames is almost always best used for sports coverage...otherwise fast action can appear 'blurry' if using the more filmic 1/48 or 1/50 shutter speed settings. Higher shutter speeds that yield crisper frames are also easier to post stabilise or re-time if needed. If your edit is to be a 'flavor of the day' montage cut to music - it may look nice if you included 90% slow motion shots, with the crowd shots/reactions/ portraits as real-time inserts (or just mix and match to add variety). If shooting high speed, shoot a test clip and play it back - to make sure that your shutter setting is not out of sync with your lights at the venue (causing image flicker or phase issues).

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Cut out any footage where the camera movement doesn't make sense, such as when you are trying to frame your shots.

You need to colorgrade so that your shots have the same white balance, but more importantly grade for skin color and lightness.  Majority of the shots are underexposed.  I'd elevate the exposure, then push the blacks back down to brighten up the image.  Add a little warmth as the lighting there is very cold.

Try to develop a message.  People gather, then prepare/warmup, then race, cool down, go home.  fade to black on empty stadium.

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I would hope you're aware that the reasons why your video isn't good has almost nothing to do with the camera or the settings. 

Based on your OP, I'm not sure you're the type of person that understands that. 

Is that honest enough for you?

Basically, you have no shooting or editing chops. Luckily, learning how to have a foundation of shooting and editing skills is easy. 

Who the hell cares about skin tone, color, or slightly underexposed footage when there's no watchable content to begin with?

Would you rather hear a novice play "chopsticks" on a Stienway grand piano or hear Franz Liszt do something with a Casio?

First, don't give a damn about the nuances of what your camera can do. Put it on one setting and forget about it. You need to concentrate on composition and montage shooting. 

Heres the shortcut to learn how to do that:

Basically, find a video of the exact same subject matter that you like. 

Now, watch it shot by shot. 

Storyboard what you see on a bunch of paper.

Take these pieces of paper to your next shoot.

Get the shots you've drawn on those pages. Think about what the original shooter had to do to get the shots in the first place.  Where he had to be, why he got low, or high, or close to capture those shots.  Try to think like he did.  Emulate that.

Once you've captured all the shots on the paper, start over and shoot all the shots again.  

Once you've captured all the shots on the paper, start over and shoot all the shots yet again. 

Okay.

Now go into your editor. 

Lay down the example video you liked on your timeline.

Put your "copy" shots right above the shots from that video.

There you go.

After you do that (and probably fail at it) you might start to see what's actually required to craft a watchable video.

Learn.  Enjoy the process of shooting interesting frames and building an edit.

Once you know that, start worrying about the other stuff. 

Cameras are just a damn tool.  It's like a hammer. If you're not skilled enough to drive a nail, it doesn't matter a bit what kind of hammer  you're using.

 

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11 minutes ago, Happy Daze said:

COPYRIGHT!!

You will regret using music tracks to which you do not have a licence to broadcast. Youtube will close you down.

Not really, most rights holders now simply monetize any video that has their content, but there are exceptions. 

In fact YouTube now lists the copyright policies of many songs:

https://www.youtube.com/music_policies

 

 

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Just now, Cary Knoop said:

Not really, most rights holders now simply monetize any video that has their content, but there are exceptions.

 

 

In my experience, not true in a lot of cases.

 Also, monetisation only applies to youtube, if a video were to become popular then it would not find airtime on any other platform as it would break copyright, so best to do it right in the first place. I would not encourage any budding film-maker to use copyright material without permission in the hope of success, it could be a very expensive lesson that is easily avoided.

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Well I must admit that it got somewhat better the further it went but WAY to much camera movement. Try a Monopod at the least. Just Slow down a Lot on camera movements. But I like how you have come on here and hung it out as they say LoL!

You picked one of the hardest types of content to shoot, sports. It Ain't easy as you can tell. But some of it you did was not that bad. It is very hard not to get excited at those type of events, especially if they are friends of yours! I think you could edit this down to about a 90 second video and it might come off pretty good if you really think it out.

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1 hour ago, webrunner5 said:

You picked one of the hardest types of content to shoot, sports. It Ain't easy as you can tell.

Couldn't agree more, I still reckon the lateral ball follow in golf is one of the hardest shots in television to pull off properly. Top notch freelance cameramen in sport are always in high demand.

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Wow!  I am really thankful for the feedback.  No need to preface it with apologies.

 

I see there are two main arguments:

1. Composition/Movement

2. Editing/Stylistic Choices

 

And yet I have been focusing on the trees instead of the forest (settings, etc.)

I will look to do the following the next sports edit:

A. Be purposeful in the composition and choose clips that accentuate the storyline (6 min to 2 min)

B. Use a storyboard that has a beginning, middle (crescendo), end

C. Expose properly prior to shooting or at least grade for proper exposure + higher shutter speed/FPS

 

I'll give a second go at it and report back.  Thanks for being helpful and look forward to more improvements.

I still, however, am concerned that I'm not getting the best detail/sharpness or color from my current video/settings and any advice on that front would be greatly appreciated.

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11 minutes ago, jasonmillard81 said:

A. Be purposeful in the composition and choose clips that accentuate the storyline (6 min to 2 min)

B. Use a storyboard that has a beginning, middle (crescendo), end

C. Expose properly prior to shooting or at least grade for proper exposure + higher shutter speed/FPS

When you do that, you'll be so far ahead of other content creators, you'll be amazed.  Get into the nitty gritty of crafting the stuff, enjoy that aspect of it.  That's where the magic happens.  Honestly, when done right, it really is like a magic trick.  It's the illusion of effortlessness.

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44 minutes ago, jasonmillard81 said:

Wow!  I am really thankful for the feedback.  No need to preface it with apologies.

 

I see there are two main arguments:

1. Composition/Movement

2. Editing/Stylistic Choices

 

And yet I have been focusing on the trees instead of the forest (settings, etc.)

I will look to do the following the next sports edit:

A. Be purposeful in the composition and choose clips that accentuate the storyline (6 min to 2 min)

B. Use a storyboard that has a beginning, middle (crescendo), end

C. Expose properly prior to shooting or at least grade for proper exposure + higher shutter speed/FPS

 

I'll give a second go at it and report back.  Thanks for being helpful and look forward to more improvements.

I still, however, am concerned that I'm not getting the best detail/sharpness or color from my current video/settings and any advice on that front would be greatly appreciated.

With an attitude like yours you are already miles ahead of many an online expert (particularly YouTube). The amount of critical people who do so from a position under a bridge far outweighs those who actually want to help - when you go and look for their work, it simply doesn't exist or is abysmal. On the other hand there are people who cannot even take constructive criticism and think that everybody is out to get them. They then go onto your channel and go on a dislike rampage lol. 

Then you have the fanboys, which is a whole different level of nastiness.

Once the flow of a finished project becomes foremost in your mind when you actually begin to shoot, everything will merge into one and become an absolute joy. You will be anticipating shots before they happen and have an idea of your cuts, music and the whole story before you even get to the venue. After a while you will have a base template for every genre of shooting you can think of, affording you time to be more adventurous once you have all the bare bones on your memory card.

 

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