HOW TO MAKE BETTER HOLIDAY FILMS

A forum for sharing views on the art of film, video and AV sequence making as well as on competitions, judging and festivals.
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Dave Watterson
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HOW TO MAKE BETTER HOLIDAY FILMS

Post by Dave Watterson » Thu Nov 26, 2015 3:00 pm

As it is competition season again, we see the usual mix of work from bland to amazing.

A constant factor are the holiday films. These make up the backbone of many club contests. Often they are lacklustre, so what tips and ideas can you give to all of us ... we who make such films for ourselves and occasionally want to show them to others?

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TimStannard
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Re: HOW TO MAKE BETTER HOLIDAY FILMS

Post by TimStannard » Fri Nov 27, 2015 7:06 pm

1. The old chestnut - "Faces, not places". Show people, ideally people interacting with the thing being filmed. This can be anything from a local going about some artisan craft to a member of the travelling party commenting on an aspect of the scenery. No matter how beautiful the scenery/architecture might be - great shots of that alone do not an interesting film make.
2. Let us know who "we" are. You don't even have to show yourselves on camera, but it's infuriating when the voiceover talks about "We did this, we did that" when we don't know who "we" is.
3. Now you have established who "we" are, you can liven up your facts with personal impressions and opinion. No-one ever said travelogues had to be impartial and opinions make films more interesting.
4. Capture movement. I know I've said it before, but lots of static shots of buildings are boring. They'd be better in a book, where the viewer can study them and take as much/as little time as he wants. In a film the editor dictates the amount of time. If you see a staircase, cut in shots of feet walking up/down. Don't show a doorway without someone walking through it. Don't show a picture hanging without someone looking at it.
5. Don't try to tell us everything about a place. Professional TV has already done that. Pick on a few specific aspects and deal with them in a bit more depth.
6. Don't cram it with facts (a common fault of mine).
7. Vary the pace.
8. If you're adding a voiceover, include some emotion!
Tim
Proud to be an amateur film maker - I do it for the love of it

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TimStannard
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Re: HOW TO MAKE BETTER HOLIDAY FILMS

Post by TimStannard » Mon Nov 30, 2015 11:38 pm

Sorry, Dave, I seem to have killed your thread dead in it's tracks with my over-opinionated waffle.

Surely someone else has something less basic to add?
Tim
Proud to be an amateur film maker - I do it for the love of it

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Dave Watterson
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Re: HOW TO MAKE BETTER HOLIDAY FILMS

Post by Dave Watterson » Tue Dec 01, 2015 12:03 am

Yup! Stannard the postings killer! :lol:

Your points are all very good and well made. The holiday film, sometimes disguised as a travelogue or reportage or eve documentary is such a staple of our world, that I expected plenty of people to weigh in.

The problems suffered by our web hosts have not made it easy for people to get here for a time, so that may be part of the issue.

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John Roberts
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Re: HOW TO MAKE BETTER HOLIDAY FILMS

Post by John Roberts » Tue Dec 01, 2015 12:53 am

...Or maybe it's just not possible to follow Tim "the postings killer" Stannard's post :lol:

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