Portland Spectacular

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Portland42
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:15 pm

Portland Spectacular

Post by Portland42 » Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:36 pm

This is my short film which came runner-up in the British Coast Guide competition 2011. Constructive comments welcome!


"Portland is a unique island tethered to the mainland by the famous Chesil Beach. It's the source of Portland Stone which has made some of the world's finest buildings. It is the home of the 2012 Olympics Sailing.
This ancient Royal Manor has a long and rich history. It is one of the nation's most important bird migration points, and notable for its rare flora and fauna. The island is famous for challenging cliff climbing.
The surrounding sea is spectacular in storms, but utterly tranquil in a sunset over West Bay.
There is always more to find out and to explore."

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TimStannard
Posts: 969
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 5:20 pm
Location: Surrey

Re: Portland Spectacular

Post by TimStannard » Sat Jun 02, 2012 1:40 pm

Congratulations on coming runner up in the competition. A lot of time and effort clearly went into making this film.

I got the impression you used several cameras on this. The quality of the images differed quite significantly and I also found the difference in the colour balance between some shots mildly distracting. this is presumably one of the side-effects of shooting over a number of different days. Some of the shots are also much better composed than others. I'm pleaseed to note that the shot of the flags has all the flagpoles dead vertical as they are in the following shot, yet there was at least one shot where the horizion was clearly sloping!

In editing, unless the shot serves a very specific purpose, I recommend you leave out any zooms. Similarly there are one or two shots where the camera is "hosing" (the camera searching around for something to point at - eg the shot beginning at 0:37). Also avoid cutting from mid pan to a still shot - or indeed any moving shot to a still shot such as the cut at 2:59. Safest is to wait for the camera movement to finish before the cut, although I understand that cutting from moving shot to moving shot also works and is more dynamic. finally on the editing side, avoid "jummp cuts" where you cut between two very similar shots - eg: 0:32,

It was great to see you include shots of people and wildlife - this really adds life to any "on location" video. Perhaps a few close-ups of people would have added a little more vibrancy.

Overall, for me the shots where the camera was held rock steady, whether taken on clear days with blue skys or in silhouette against a sunset-lit sea were much more pleasurable to watch than the more shakey stuff - indeed the fact that some shots were so much better rather showed the others in a poorer light than they perhaps deserved.

My only disappointment was the in our intro you say "Discover [Portland's] phenomenal history", which led me to believe the film was going to tell us some of the history, whereas I guess what you were implying was "Come to Portland and discover ....."

Overall though I thought this gave a good selection of shots of the location in a nicely put together film.
Tim
Proud to be an amateur film maker - I do it for the love of it

Peter Copestake
Posts: 325
Joined: Sun Feb 11, 2007 2:23 am
Location: Colne, Lancashire

Re: Portland Spectacular

Post by Peter Copestake » Fri Jun 08, 2012 5:55 pm

I'm going to put in my two-penn'orth here too.
Tim has dealt with the technical bits and I agree.
Again, this is a film that succeeds in making the site interesting and attractive. The artistry of many of the shots is evident and I feel quite envious. I make films that give a lot more information and it sometimes puts judges off. You make films that are attractive to almost anybody, I should think. Keep going!
Peter.
Peter Copestake

Portland42
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:15 pm

Re: Portland Spectacular

Post by Portland42 » Thu Jun 14, 2012 8:41 pm

TimStannard wrote:Congratulations on coming runner up in the competition. A lot of time and effort clearly went into making this film.

I got the impression you used several cameras on this. The quality of the images differed quite significantly and I also found the difference in the colour balance between some shots mildly distracting. this is presumably one of the side-effects of shooting over a number of different days. Some of the shots are also much better composed than others. I'm pleaseed to note that the shot of the flags has all the flagpoles dead vertical as they are in the following shot, yet there was at least one shot where the horizion was clearly sloping!

In editing, unless the shot serves a very specific purpose, I recommend you leave out any zooms. Similarly there are one or two shots where the camera is "hosing" (the camera searching around for something to point at - eg the shot beginning at 0:37). Also avoid cutting from mid pan to a still shot - or indeed any moving shot to a still shot such as the cut at 2:59. Safest is to wait for the camera movement to finish before the cut, although I understand that cutting from moving shot to moving shot also works and is more dynamic. finally on the editing side, avoid "jummp cuts" where you cut between two very similar shots - eg: 0:32,

It was great to see you include shots of people and wildlife - this really adds life to any "on location" video. Perhaps a few close-ups of people would have added a little more vibrancy.

Overall, for me the shots where the camera was held rock steady, whether taken on clear days with blue skys or in silhouette against a sunset-lit sea were much more pleasurable to watch than the more shakey stuff - indeed the fact that some shots were so much better rather showed the others in a poorer light than they perhaps deserved.

My only disappointment was the in our intro you say "Discover [Portland's] phenomenal history", which led me to believe the film was going to tell us some of the history, whereas I guess what you were implying was "Come to Portland and discover ....."

Overall though I thought this gave a good selection of shots of the location in a nicely put together film.
Your comments gratefully noted. I will take time to digest your advice.
You may not believe it but I compiled this in just 3 evenings from an assortment of videos which I have taken over a year or two. As you will see some were hand-held, all were literally thrown together!

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