Weslar

The greatest film blog of 'morrowland

Month: December, 2014

Feedback (Factual – 3 Minute Documentary) 24th December 2014 [Blog 10/10]

Criticism is gold.

It helps improve, it helps point out something that me as the creator had missed.

On the topic of my documentary, I’ve had positive feedback. Nothing apparent to point out flaw.

My favourite response “Feedback…. It looks sexy.” (Josh Ward). A sure way to win over my heart, A comment that means a lot. I can see the point of view I’ve tried my best to film it as cinematic as possible, I think I have done just that. At least someone agrees.

“I thought that the sound is edited together really good. The in and the outs fit perfectly with what’s on screen. I also like the close-up shots and how the shots fit with what he’s saying. It has a nice pace to it and I really like the intro. Overall I enjoyed the doc.” (Paige Cawthorne). A kind paragraph of specific details that she liked, it played up to the quality of my doc’ that I hoped would come across like it has. The sound mix with the visuals for me was the big pull for the doc’ to be a success. For instance it’s a balance between what the song makes you feel, and the visual is how it can be represented to the audience, something I think Page points out, no matter how brief.

“Very nice camera movements, shots and cuts, it all flows together very well with the music shifting between the interview and the singing. I think it could be improved by adding more locations as he is singing, like a music video.” (Joe O’Connor). Joe points out that to improve would be to show more locations when Anthony is singing. I completely agree, this was my plan from the beginning, I did film a few gigs but when I edited them together in the 3 minutes the audience would’t understand the reason behind random cuts to other locations unless set up in more time. Thanks for the compliments on the shots, editing and music.

“I agree with Josh. Nicely shot and I like the sort of warm colours and pull focuses n stuff l. Good choice of interview snippets as they really showed how passionate he is about his music.” (Charis Kurpiel). Very short but to the point, I definitely can see the enjoyment of the warm colours of the edit and that I’d assume they made Charis feel comfort in that it makes Anthony the kind and warm person that he is just by the colours in the shots.

“I like it dude! love the cafe bit at the start think that works really well, really well edited, the sound quality is spot on, the right mix of speaking and playing music, struggling for find any criticism to be honest.” (Samuel Summers). As have many others said the whole documentary is well shot, edited and sounds great I appreciate all the positive comments and the improvements that could be done.
If I could ask for something to add to feedback would be for comments to include a bit more detail, specific reasons why they liked or disliked something. Something that can help me identify what could be changed/improved and what specifically they like so that I can even improve on that too.
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Production Reflection (Factual – 3 Minute Documentary) 24th December 2014 [Blog 9/10]

Looking back at my time making the documentary “I Guess That’s Life’ puts me in a state of joy and appreciation. Just like any project I’ve worked on and will ever work on, it’s a trip. A journey. A joyous culmination of passion and love for what I’ve been doing and what I want to do for the rest of my life. I’ve approached this way for the documentary as I have for everything else.

From the beginning I remember thinking about who I would like to make the documentary on, because it’s not as simple as picking at random, it’s more of a feeling. At one point in August I as have plenty others in Yorkshire have access to the Peak District (beautiful place, you should go there) and it was there where my mom of all people told me about this musician named Anthony Smith, who goes by the name of ‘Parasol’. So I thought yeah, I’d meet up with him, listen to his stuff. You know, get an  idea of who he is.

We talk and just get to know each other, he’s a cool dude who loves making music and appreciates it. Not that any other musician does;t appreciate the craft, it’s just Anthony had a certain affinity to performance. He knew his instrument like it was attached at the hip. Can sing, and has a knack for song writing. So I hit the jack pot because he was different, he’s more about the music and the audience’s reaction and interaction to it.

So there’s the start.

It’s always a challenge to think of what you’d like to include in 3 minutes, and let me tell you it’s much harder trying to stick to a specific timeline. So there was a lot of unused footage/audio etc. Not that it would go to waste (Currently editing a longer edit & recording more footage in the New Year).

In the process of filming I stuck to a specific set of filming shoots. The first which I planned in the beginning involved a setup where it showed Anthony in his daily life, you know, working just like anyone else. Progressing to interests and sound bites of an hour long interview session, which was as successful as it could get. All of the interview had brilliant stories and anecdotes that Anthony provided me.

And in that interview I ran into a problem, so it didn’t run 100% smoothly. I mentioned in in a previous post, talking about recording the audio and forgetting to set the channels properly. I made a mistake, but thats production on a solo basis. Something falls through the cracks and unfortunately that was the audio. Lucky I planned a back up audio recording to cover myself from something like this. Clever me.

Filming the setup gig at ‘Rec and Play’ I remember thinking, what could I get done in 2 hours. This was my thinking process before going in, to be honest I didn’t check the time at any point during the filming there. Which actually helped my concentration because I’m not notified to rush. It was a pleasant filming session, mostly for me since I wasn’t playing the same song over and over again.

Due to having a brief moment of inspiration, I thought it would be great to have the final minute be about the performance at ‘Rec and Play’ montaged together with footage of other gigs, sort of showing progression from studio to playing live, which was a good idea in theory. Not so much in the edit.

In the edit I had my time line set. Intro sorted. Interview added. Music performance closes the edit nicely. Lots of additions left to add. Not surprising to me, I stuck to my planned time line. But one thing was bugging me about the first edit of the documentary, it was structured a bit too basic for what I wanted. You know the intro, the main event and the finale. It would be too straight forward.

I had in mind to change around the finale and move it to being the main event. The music performance played along side some audio that I took from the interview and after hours of trying to think of what audio to use I found a gem, two gems! Audio soundbites that reflect the type of musician Anthony is. Playing over portions of the music performance, in that moment I knew I had something special.

It’s always nice when an edit turns out better that you had imagined it could be. It’s always the start of an edit that gives you a horrible view on your own work, I had that. I felt that it wasn’t good enough. Then you realise that you’ve hit the jackpot because you can turn it into something special, something you can be proud of, and I love that feeling. I definitely felt like that with the final result.

Reliving the memory (Scarborough Mini Documentary) 10th December 2014

Scarborough my home away from home. Words can not be written to describe the feeling that this piece of paradise brings me. So I wanted to create something in my own way a short appreciation, a short documentary.

So with the footage I made sure to get plenty on a recent holiday there, most of it isn’t used, but that’s how it is. I don’t want to over use clips, and don’t want to create something that doesn’t represent the feel of joy that Scarborough emulates.

I’ve started adding clips and ordering them in a progressive manner, throughout the video it starts of day time, to night to show a cycle of the experience.

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Editing (Factual – 3 Minute Documentary) 19th Nov – 8th Dec 2014 [Blog 8/10]

19th November 

The beginning of the end… too dramatic I guess. Started to edit the interview which meant looking through 1 hour and 30 minutes of footage. Notebook on hand I took notes throughout the footage, jotting down the different talking points of the interview so that I know what could go where in the edit.

I marked and cut the parts, which left 15 clips of interesting footage, to use which I have to cut down even further to fit them into the documentary.

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21st November

Down to 5 different parts of the interview, I have chosen the segments of the interview that I want to use, listening to them a dozen times to arrange and re-arrange the positioning of them.

The music section I had recorded was a mixture of 3 different cameras, all synced together. Roughly about 7 to 9 different multi cam clips to go through, it took at least 2 hours to go through the song and piece together the different clips and have them synced with the music.

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23rd November 2014

I started to edit the ‘Rec and Play’ Gig footage. This is a recording studio that I filmed in and the edit that took the longest to put together, because of the challenge of syncing a lot of clips to the music.

Had to tweak positioning of audio so that it wouldn’t look out of sync, which for the most part it did. But a lot of the time I’d move footage around and some other shot would be out of sync.

The Rec & Play edit.

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The edit so far..

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26th November 2014

Had a breakout moment of how to link his quote on understanding “I Guess That’s Life” with having audio of that song in the beginning (explains the interview after) and it’s his “Life”. At first I thought I’d need some obvious explanation as voice over to understand the line about I Guess That’s Life and Star Wars.

27th November 2014

Today I tweaked the position of the ‘I Think’ gig (the giant Labyrinth of clips)

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This one.

To not make the ‘I Think’ music performance become just little music video I added voice over onto the footage. Which fitted incredibly well, the lyrics about the melancholy of the songs and the humour involving his explanation of lyrics vs the guitar.

Inserted more from the interview to flesh out the substance of the interview, now it has a back bone of information about Anthony and the kinds of things he represents.

Now with the re-arranged edit the flow seems fluid, it now ends with Anthony’s description of the music he creates and what he ultimately thinks listening to his music feels like.

7th December 2014

Finished the edit with just finishing touches to go (Sound and Colour Grading). I managed to move around the cutaways of the EP to overlay a jump cut in the beginning, and listened through the interview to choose what sound bite would go over the last segment of the performance, that was left open and needed to have something to change the flow of the footage instead of being a gap of music without context to the documentary.

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8th December 2014

The final hurdle, the colour grading and tweaking the sound. Not music to tweak, things to perfect.

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The final edit.

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Gig at Victoria Hotel & Inserts or the lack of (Factual – 3 Minute Documentary) 24th November 2014 [Blog 7/10]

Gig at Victoria Hotel

A grand venue. A grand entrance. A nice location to shoot a gig. A classy joint. The production value rises. A quick set-up and walk through between myself and Will Foulds talking about the shots I would like him to get. It wasn’t a controlled shooting environment because of the restrictions, telling the artist to play the same song a few more times at a venue isn’t something that I could do, so it was just whatever we shot was what we could get.

Not that I’m complaining, it was pretty cool to get into the building. The set up was to have a camera at the back of the room getting the wide coverage of Anthony, as well as having the Zoom h4n sat on top of it for the audio. Then myself and Will on either side of the room for maximum coverage.

The gig was great, Anthony warned us of a sore throughout, but it didn’t intrude on his performance.

In the end the footage from the back cam was slightly out of focus, maybe someone knocked it I don’t know, but either way the camera stopped recording just before the song I was there to record was played. Talk about bad luck.

Filming inserts or the lack of needing to..

As a measure of security for filming, I filmed some inserts when I took the time to film him in the interview. That I didn’t include in my edit until I new that I had to include anymore shots. Looking through all the footage I recorded I managed to find footage that fit to what Anthony was saying.

The edit was complete without the need to film anymore footage.