Just finished a short film shot on hacked GH2, feedback appreciated!

Started Jan 17, 2013 | Discussions thread
Keith Lommel
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Re: Just finished a short film shot on hacked GH2, feedback appreciated!
In reply to nelsonal, Jan 18, 2013

nelsonal wrote:

The chase through the factory was the strongest part of the film. The story was good, and sound was great.

The biggest thing I noticed was shakey cam combined with no intentional motion throughout most of the first half of the film. By not giving a reason to handhold the camera, it called extra attention to the shaking. Some pans between the man and mysterious woman or some sort of camera movement would have been nice.

The other big thing is during face to face conversations if you start cutting to the speaker in a conversation, not doing it really highlights the listener, so unless you want to catch an important change in emotion, keep cutting to the speaker.

From a script standpoint, the indecision about returning the camera seemed contrived, unless you wanted to set the male up as a potential thief, and at least by my standards the rickshaw driver wasn't far enough away to not stop when hailed. Some means that has him notice the camera a little longer after she's left would make more sense to me.

Thanks for the kind feedback. I'm also most satisfied with the factory chase scene (as that's where I had lots of time and was really able to just focus on the camera work, rather than also directing multiple actors, doing the sound, etc. under severe time constraints in the other scenes). I'm glad the sound worked for you... I know it's frequently an afterthought for inexperienced filmmakers to the detriment of their films, so I tried to give it the attention it deserved, although I'm afraid I wasn't 100% successful in that regard, as a one-man-crew... so it actually needed quite a bit of doctoring done in post.

Anyway, I totally agree about the shakey-cam in the first half of the film... as I said in another reply, I'm no fan of that look, and would have preferred to set things up on tripods and/or sliders for the entire film, but unfortunately, some scenes were rushed (due to actors having other appointments) and some locations required discretion because we didn't have permission. Next time I'm going to try even harder to find locations that will let me set up shots properly.

Good point about the cuts on face-to-face conversations. Ideally, I would have had good takes from each angle, so that editorial decisions could be made with an eye to conveying emotion, etc. But unfortunately, many of the cuts and edits that made it into the final film were dictated by the need to use the one and only good delivery of a given line that I had on tape. Lesson learned: allow much more time for shooting each scene, and get actors who don't have tight schedules ("I need to be at my friend's birthday party in 45 minutes, that's enough time to do these two scenes, right?")

Thanks again for the insightful and constructive feedback!

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