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I made a thing


DayRaven
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Hi guys,

I've lurked on this site for some time, building up the courage to grab a camera and make something, well I finally did it! I would really appreciate it if you would give it a quick look, it's less than a minute long, and let me know what you think - I'm especially interested in constructive criticism!

 

I was out for a walk and I thought there was a house fire, in the distance I could see this billowing white, what appeared to be smoke. I got to the coast and this stuff was just rolling in off the sea, I assume it was mist or fog. It only penetrated about 20m onto land so those of us on the beach were in this weird twilight zone.

I grabbed my camera and just started shooting, no plan, no gear - I was using a Blackmagic Pocket, the screen was unusable so I was framing and focussing completely blind. I think I did quite well in the circumstances.

When I got my footage home, I made this out of what I had, I wanted to portray the eeriness of the event, and I wanted it to build slowly, hence the transition to black and white from colour, which I am quite pleased with. Let me know what you think, how I could have done better, what you liked etc, but be kind, it's my first video that isn't a family home video!

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I liked it. You had some nice shots and a good command of the camera. If anything, I may have liked to hear some ambient sound of the ocean or the breeze, just to add a little more of a haunting feel to the piece, but all in all good stuff.

If if you're interested in narrative filmmaking, how could you use that footage and turn it into a story? 

You have about a minute. What if I told you, it had to be 3 minutes long? What could you add to it, what story could you tell within the parameters you have already created?

But as is, it is good. 

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Okay, I forgot to add one critique, it really isn't something you did wrong, because there is no wrong in these types of pieces. But in the middle, there was one or two cuts where you cut from one shot of the ocean to a similar angle of the ocean. I prefer it when you cut and show a completely different angle or a completely different image. 

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I liked it. You had some nice shots and a good command of the camera. If anything, I may have liked to hear some ambient sound of the ocean or the breeze, just to add a little more of a haunting feel to the piece, but all in all good stuff.

If if you're interested in narrative filmmaking, how could you use that footage and turn it into a story? 

You have about a minute. What if I told you, it had to be 3 minutes long? What could you add to it, what story could you tell within the parameters you have already created?

But as is, it is good. 

Okay, I forgot to add one critique, it really isn't something you did wrong, because there is no wrong in these types of pieces. But in the middle, there was one or two cuts where you cut from one shot of the ocean to a similar angle of the ocean. I prefer it when you cut and show a completely different angle or a completely different image. 

​Thanks so much, really appreciate the feedback!

I agree about the ambient sound, I agonised about putting it in - spent a good hour carefully crafting the audio I got into the piece but it was in camera only and it detracted from the ambience too much. What I would have given to have my zoom with me!!!

There were two stories that I saw - there was the lone guy meditating on the path at the start and end, but he got crowded out by dog walkers and people throwing stones so he left. That was the story I was focusing on during shooting. Then there was a story I only picked up on after, when I was reviewing my footage. Out of the mist came the rowing boat and the guy rowing it hauled it onto the beach, turned it over and started repairing a hole in the bottom. In my mind I can imagine he got into trouble in the mist, aimed towards the shore and prayed, perhaps being guided by the voices of the people playing on the beach. I definitely am mostly interested in narrative work, and I do need to write a story and shoot it next, something simple and easy to build my skillset!

I do take your critique on board too, watching it back with that in mind, it's really obvious!

Thanks again! I do appreciate your help!

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Hey no problem, man. Good stuff Keep at it. What lens did you use on your pocket cam? I almost bought a pocket camera last year when the sale was on but I flinched, thinking they were just dumping inventory, for a newer model... Instead they released a firmware update that fixed a lot of the negatives for me. Oh well, my Canon eos-m still works. 

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Good lens and good friend. You should look into some old c mount lenses... They pair nicely with the pocket. How do you like the pocket camera?

​He's OK I suppose! (He's the best but he posts here so shhhh) I've been looking into the c mount lenses, it's a new world for me though, I've only ever had a fixed lens camera before this and I still have a little heart attack every time I take it off - exposed glass in one hand, exposed sensor in the other! I will probably start with a lens like this one, just for familiarity and consumer ease and get braver later. I'm going to borrow some olympus and panasonic lenses next which don't need the adapter and are smaller to see how I like them.

The camera is really strange - to me, from a background in casual amateur photography, I thought there would be... I don't know, I guess I thought I could ease my way into the technicalities, but I was very unimpressed with all my efforts until I took the leap and went fully manual all in one go. It is frustrating to find a days shooting wrecked because I didn't understand shutter angle or something properly, and I have never before appreciated how awful a video looks if the camera is all shaking around, which is probably where I will spend some money to get a tripod. I wish the batteries lasted longer, I have 2 and I don't get much time with them. I'm enjoying learning about Da Vinci Resolve - though I am sticking to the controls I understand from correcting pictures in lightroom. LUTS seem to be black arts to me, and they scare me. I'm amazed at how much colour and detail you can pull out of what seems like a drab grey image - I wonder how long before we start seeing this style of raw in stills cameras. The on-board microphone is terrible, but I have a zoom recorder which is really good. The screen is difficult to use and I have been given a hot mirror with the lens which I don't understand at all but if I don't use it, all I can record is white outside, even on the gloomiest of days.

All of the problems aside - if I'm honest, I could probably get better video on my phone right now, because it does all the hard work for me - but this little camera, it is difficult to use, but it seems to just love being used. It makes shooting fun, even if trying to get to grips with everything is a pain. If I make a video on my phone, I don't take any pleasure from the process and I feel no pride at the end result, but this camera, it sits on the shelf pleading with me to be taken out and even if I return with nothing worth editing, I've still had a great day, and I always learn something new every time I use it.

I think this is really pretty - you cpatured a really gentle mood. I love mist in the morning.

Keep it up - glad you had the courage to share!

​That was the weird thing, this wasn't in the morning, this was at 2 in the afternoon! Thanks for the comment, my friend is a huge fan of your work, he has sat me in front of a number of your videos when he's trying to explain something to me! I'm so glad I did build up that courage, and I'm glad I choose here to post, it has a really unique vibe (if you ignore certain drama's) and a friendliness which is rare on the internet these days. I can only imagine the tearing down I would have got on some certain other sites!

Which is a good thing. ;)

Not sure, but this might've worked better in full black & white I was thinking...

​Thanks! I tried the black and white first, I don't know, it didn't appeal to me in quite the same way, but then maybe the slow transition is a bit gimmicky and it's just me playing with a new thing I learned to do in resolve! In my head I was Tarantino, in reality, perhaps I was novelty crossfade guy :). I will try another go at a full black and white though, I'll post it up here when it's done!

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Hey! Great to see you here!

Glad you're enjoying that lens, I mean it, keep it as long as you need!

Great work, as well, this is awesome, I know you had trouble seeing the screen, but think about what you include and leave out of a scene, as well as where you are focussing, this would be my only advice for this.

Can I just mention, my favourite part, on the rowing boat in the fog scene, look at the beach, that child makes me smile every time!

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