Disclaimer: After having written all the critiques, I feellike maybe I’ll come across as a dick. I feel as though I was pretty critical,however I’m only this critical because I see a ton of potential and so many ofthese videos are so close to being truly amazing to watch. I was extra nitpicky so as to make everyone more conscious of things that perhaps theywouldn’t always think of. I’m not trying to insinuate that I’m flawless, oreven very good at that rate, but these are the kind of comments I’d like tohear if I were looking to improve my work (which I always am). I may haverambled a lot on some of these but I hope everyone can take at least somethingaway from what I have to say.
Video #1 – Abek
First I’m just going to start off with things that stuck outto me; good or bad, and then I’ll expand from there.
Overall enjoyable vibe
Some confusing, and some good composition
Camera shake, unwanted (presumably?) pan
Horizon. Perhaps you rushed setting up the shot due to thetime limit involved in getting a sunset shot, but that sunset shot with thetrees in the foreground and horizon not level really didn’t feel right to me.To me this is the major point that brings this video down, and it’s unfortunatebecause I feel as though you probably could’ve gone without it. I reallyenjoyed the second to last shot and wish that perhaps you had taken out theunlevel horizon shot and used more stuff like that in the end.
To break down that shot further (of course you must know Imean no offense in any of this, simply constructive criticism), I feel asthough the composition of that shot came off as being really harsh. Much of theother shots are very simple with few lines and a lot of space for the eye tomove in, good composition for the most part, however I find the foreground ofthis image to be distracting and that it really breaks up the shot in anunpleasant way. It’s a very hectic shape and dissects the image in a hectic wayfor a piece that other than this I felt has a very easygoing, smooth vibe.
To continue with composition, I really almost liked the shot at 0:43 with the dock. It’s a rather clichéimage, but typically an engaging one none the less. However, I feel like youjust missed with this one, something about the angle and placement of the dockin the frame doesn’t work. The dock is placed smack dap in the center, bothhorizontally and extending halfway up vertically. Had there been poles on theother side as well (which would make no sense?), I think this framing would’vecreated some beautiful symmetry, however right now it just creates a veryunbalanced image for the eye. I would’ve loved to have seen this shot with thecamera placed more towards the right to help create more dynamic spacingbetween the poles (instead of 1 large space, 1 significantly smaller, and thenhaving them merge into one form).
Overall however, your composition was pretty pleasing, andthe shots in alaska (presumably from a boat?) created some very nice movement.However, to go along with this movement came some camera (boat?) shake and afew slips of the tripod as it appeared. Not sure how much footage you areworking with from there but that slip of the tripod at 0:41 I found to be verydistracting. Also, the horizon appeared to be a bit crooked in these shots aswell. It can be hard to remember to consider leveling in situations like youwere in where you’re seeing things maybe you’ve never seen before, and to youthe focus is probably entirely on those cute little critters who’s soul youwere capturing, however try to always take a step back and analyze your framein it’s entirety before pressing that record button.
Again, however, bravo on your composition for the most part.The piece overall was impressive and I’m just being picky with this criticism.
Which leads me to my next point, the vibe. Well done, sir. PerhapsI’m a sucker for Ellie Goulding remixes, but I felt like the song choice wasvery fitting and definitely worked in your advantage in creating this smoothvibe.
One last thing, color grading. Your colors seemed a bit warmfor the Alaska part, not sure if that was intentional or not but I felt likewhat with Alaska being a cold, rugged place the warm colors weren’t toofitting.
Last note. Good work! I thoroughly enjoyed watching thispiece!
Back for more. Having critiqued a few more pieces now I canappreciate that you were able to tell a story with your piece. You maintained acoherent, however loose, narrative that I was able to follow. You showed thatduring your summer you traveled a bit, and I liked that. All of the shotsseemed to flow well into the next and I didn’t ever feel jarred in this loosenarrative I felt I was in. Again, good work.
Video #2 – Kyle
I’ll do the same format asbefore, list some standouts and expand from there. And begin:
Neat title work
Good ambient sound… why does itcut out so harsh?
Love the shot at 0:22, I wouldlook at that for a while
Fade to black?
Confusing cuts toward the end,lost the flow?
Title. Not that the title workwas anything wild, but it was a nice touch and I appreciated it.
Really enjoyed the ambient soundyou had in parts, but I found it really harsh how it stopped on a hard cuttowards the beginning. I wasn’t really even aware of the audio (in a good way)until then, and from that point on I was more conscious of it. Fade out thataudio gently, or just leave it in, and I think your audio for this piece isvery enjoyable.
Fade to black? I don’t get thatuse of that. Typically a fade to black signifies a passing of time or change oflocation or both. In this case I sense none of those, but certainly expectedit. I felt very jarred, in a narrative sense, from that fade to black. Fromthat point on I felt a bit lost in what I was I was seeing and where it fit in.You come back from the fade into the same place, same time, and it takes me amoment to figure out why there wasn’t a change, then you go right into anotherfade to black and this time I don’t know what to expect on the other side. Fromthat second fade I emerge into a tight shot of a rocky beach, right intoanother tight shot, now I’m confused. There I change in color phase, so I feelas though perhaps there was a change in time, later in the evening now; anestablishing shot might help to clear that up. I’ve lost my sense of place andnow you cut back to a wide shot, presumably from the same location, however atthis point I’ve lost my grip on the narrative and lost my sense of location.That last sequence arranged backwards from how you had it would’ve been moreeffective.
Now that I’d said all of thatthough, time for some positive words. I really, really enjoyed the compositionin several of your shots. Like I mentioned up above, the shot at 0:22 wasbeautiful, great shapes created by some bold lines. The shot at 0:10 is simple,but quite nice. The curve of the light pole leads beautifully into the boldedge of the bridge. I really enjoy the shape created between the light pole andthe bottom of the frame. The shot at 0:19 was pretty cool as well, although Ifelt as though the lighthouse could’ve used a little more room on the right,and less on the left. I like the softness of the gate/fence in the foregroundthough. I feel like I want to like the shot at 0:26, but I think the slightcrookedness really takes away from the shot for me.
Overall though, you obviouslyhave a pretty good eye for composition and it shows. I really enjoy the shotsin the piece, and the beginning really grabbed me but as I explained earlier Ifeel as though the last bit really threw me for a bit of a loop.
Video #3 – Christophe
Same thing, I’ll say what standsout overall first, and then expand.
Really enjoy the opening shots,but don’t see how they fit in with the rest of the piece being night
Great movement, although perhapsa little repetitive
Framing; cut off the subjectsometimes
Overall I enjoyed watching thispiece, but I wasn’t in love with it. I found your use of the slider shots to bea tad on the repetitive side and many of them I felt didn’t really have muchmore of a purpose than just to use the slider. I personally feel as thoughslider shots without purpose (purpose for me being revealing the subject/objector creating interesting foreground movement. That’s just my opinion of purposehowever) take away from a piece.
I did enjoy the slider shots youused that I felt had a purpose, the shot at 0:15 used a slider to createenjoyable foreground movement with the fence that aided to the overall appealof the shot. I really liked the use of the slider in the shot at 0:29, as itrevealed an essential part of the shot, and the reveal was timed well with theaction. The shot at 0:43 bothered me as it was a bit crooked, and the movementdidn’t seem necessary as all it did was move the camera behind a person whothen abruptly moved against the motion of the shot. The secondskateboard/longboard shot seemed a bit off for me as well as your framing lefta bunch of empty space in the bottom of the frame while the head of theskateboarder ended up getting cut off the top of the frame at one point. Overall with the slider use I’d say ifyou’re intent on shooting with it a ton, at least try to mix up where you placeyour angles in the piece. Seeing the same shot twice in a row, with the exactsame movement and framing really turns me away from what I’m watching.
While you expressed good use ofthe slider and often good composition I felt as though the repetitiveness andshot selection really took away from this piece for me.
Also, with slider/dolly movement,try to edit out any parts where the movement happens to stop for no real reasonother than maybe the fact you ran out of track. That shot through the fence isa great example, as I said before I really enjoyed that shot, however what Ididn’t say before was that I stopped liking that shot during the last 3 framesor so where movement basically stopped for no apparent reason.
However, like I’d said witheveryone else, please know I’m not knocking your piece at all. I’m just sharingmy opinion on matters and trying to give some constructive criticism. The pieceoverall was quite enjoyable to watch and I really liked the movement you werecreating. Ooh, also, good song choice. I felt it worked really well and youedited well to it.
Video #4 – Mike
Same thing, I’ll state somethings that stick out at me then expand.
Looked like you had a fun timeand it felt like you captured a lot of what you did in this piece
First off, looked like you had afun time! Seemed like you got out a lot and captured a lot of what you did andmanaged to put it all together in this piece… perhaps to a song that reflectstowards your summer? Personally that song choice doesn’t relate to summer forme, and doesn’t fit this footage, but perhaps it strikes home more with you?Seemed like a nice reflection of your summer.
Meow, editing. Those black spacesreally threw me off, not really sure what their significance was. The effect at0:40 with the two frames was kind of neat, although I don’t know if it reallyfit it. Seemed like you kind of just did it because you could. Continuity wise,it seemed as though you told several little stories of things you did, and thiswas cool and all until the abrupt ending when you started to ‘tell anotherstory’, if you will… and then it just stopped.
In conclusion I feel like youcaptured a great summer you had in this piece, and it probably is a goodreflection of you but you didn’t really set me up much to see this through yourlens, so I feel rather left out of the loop in viewing this.
Video #5 – Charles
Yar, same format.
Liked the artificial focus pullon the text.
Cool opening shots
Riving surfing? Awesome.
Real fun vibe, song works well
Little abrupt of an ending
Artificial focus pull of the textwas a nice touch, a little off but I like the idea. Doing some motion trackingto keep the text in the same location in the frame would really help. Like whatyou were going for though, cool stuff. To roll from the beginning, I enjoyedseveral of those intro shots, close shot of the guy grabbing his towel waspretty neat with some crazy distortion, doesn’t really look like authentic,clean bokeh but it’s appealing none the less. I also really like the shotduring 0:36, very pleasing to my eye.
Setting is neat as well. Riversurfing seems like a pretty awesome way to spend a nice summer day and youcaptured that well. Pretty cool concept in general as well.
Song works quite well and youedited to it nicely, up until the end where it doesn’t really seem to wrap uptoo well. Although it’s not the most abrupt ending I’ve ever seen, it alsoisn’t the nicest. I perhaps could’ve gone with a few less surfing shots, andmaybe some end of the day, packing up and leaving shots to finish telling thestory.