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 silyn, Jan 20, 2013

Serge, thanks for your well considered and generous comments. I'll address just a couple of points that haven't come up before.

First, I would mention somewhat contrived nature of some turns of events as they unfold. One of the examples: the second guy in pizzeria - who is he, and why he suddenly volunteers to provide information?

I have to agree that, as filmed, the guy in the pizzeria appears to be a very contrived way to move along the plot. It wasn't meant to be that way in the original script, where it's clearer he's a regular customer minding his own business who can't help but notice how the hero is accosting all the waitstaff to ask them about something on his camera. Only at that point does he motion the hero over to ask him what the fuss is all about... Unfortunately, in what was the story of my life over the course of shooting this, the original actor and original venue fell through at the last minute, and we scrambled to find replacements, ending up at this place with less than 30 minutes to roughly teach the chef (our new actor) his lines and film the scene. We got basically two ad-libbed takes and then he had to go back to the kitchen, so some of the nuances of the script don't make it through... But excuses are irrelevant to viewers, so the lesson learned is that I need to do a better job in the future of ensuring that my actors don't cancel on me at the last minute. Volunteers and acquaintances are great, but there's definite wisdom in paying at least a nominal amount to make them much less likely to flake on you in favor of a last minute party invitation or whatever...

Second - uneven or not consistent nature of footage. Most unpleasant to my viewer's taste would be significant shifts in color without any relationship to what happens on the screen.

The color balance seems to have bothered a lot of people, and it's obvious that I need to learn to do a better job of getting proper white balance even in a rushed shoot. I tried fixing things in post (the raw footage was worse, believe it or not), but it's clear I'm really not good at color correction. Lesson learned: always get a shot of a white card in each angle and lighting setup. I'll also look into some more color-correction tutorials online...

Finally, not all actors are up to their roles so to say. For example, that bartender (speaks with Russian ascent) just makes me smile. However, I should mention that the main character is quite good actually. His timing, style and many other things required from an actor are good.

Yeah, I can't agree more how happy I was with his performance, and can't believe it was his first time acting.

Now, having said all this, I want to reiterate that your effort and courage as well as many of your director's decisions in doing all this deserve praises. Good luck in your future endeavors.

Serge

Thanks again for your encouragement and helpful advice!

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