Home Videos - Filming Tips Good vs Bad Movies

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agemoz

Home Videos - Filming Tips Good vs Bad Movies

Post by agemoz »

Note from Forum Moderator Steve J (SJJ1805)
Many posts in the Forums contain information which is of a tutorial nature.
When I see any that I consider would be of interest to this Tutorial forum I shall either arrange to have the topic moved into this section or shall extract parts from it and create a new post here.
Please find the following moved post


Good vs Bad movies

Here's a subject I am very interested in and would seem to have widespread interest, but I searched these forums and don't see any discussion. Perhaps this isn't the appropriate place--feel free to tell me.

I've made several movies on various themes, and have had successes and flops. I have quite a few books on making "good" movies, and have learned mostly that there are things to do while filming that will make a movie bad, such as wanton application of most effects, but I would be interested in people's experiences and tips, both at a high level or script level, and at a technique or low level filming detail.

Obviously, a definition of good and bad (and a clarification, in my case, of who the audience is and what the purpose of the movie is), but I'm curious if people want to discuss this subject here on the Ulead site or whether I should take this somewhere else?
Thanks, Bob
Radioman62
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Post by Radioman62 »

Hello agemoz
There are many "schools" on how to make movies which most people like to watch.
I'm a real amateur myself but are beginning to get compliments on my short homevideos from family members.
(of course they are nice so that I feel good :) )
Anyway, I have some recomendations for the amateur which mostly shoot family stuff.

Shooting
If you shoot the daugters school theater it can be a bit boring if you only have one camera, beacause you have to have a looong clip without cutting, preferable on a tripod. Thats hard to come around.
But if it's not a long storytellin' you should change position between the clips(more then 30 degrees) and have a lot of shorter clips to tell the story. You can of course shoot longer but the edited result should have clips between 5 or 10 sec. Look with your "film eye" when you watch TV and find out what you think is good shooting & clipping techniques.

When the "actors" get used to you, always try to have som closeups on faces or half the bodies. It's always interresting to see the actors face and what they say. Ask a question or something before. Even if your voice gets recodred it sheers things up if you get the people who are in the movie to say something on what they are doing. You can maybe also tell them before the sceen to tell something and then start the recording. It's a lot more easy when you been around shooting for sometime with people who know you. They get a bit more relaxed. My favorite actors are children :) They soon forget about the camera when they play.

* Hold the camera still or use a tripod when you can.
* Do not pan to quick.
* Let the subjects move on the film more then you follow it with the camera. If they dissapear out of sight, do pause, reposition and shoot again.
* Do not zoom in and out to much when filming, if your not after some special effekt or a dramatical happening.

Editing
* When you edit, be hard on yourself and throw away clips which not tells anything to the story or gets boring.
* Use 1sec. crossfading or no effect at all between clips. If it's between two different times between shooting or if you would like to tell the watcher that there has gone some time between clips, use fade to black.
* If it's some action or a presentation of "higligts" from the movie you may use some spectacular effects between the clips. Be careful though.
* Very important, use music in the backround on the right places. Where theres not much dialog and where the micked sound doesn't bring anything to the story or there was to windy so the sound isn't that good.

OK, You got my thoughts. Maybe this forum isn't the right place for this kind of threads ? Prove me I'm wrong please. :)

Edit by SJJ1805 - Tutorials Moderator.
Yes this is the right place for this thread and I arranged for it to be moved here into the Tutorials. Thank you.
Regards // Ove Tegnér
agemoz

Post by agemoz »

Hi Radioman62,
Thank you, these are good tips. I think I follow many of these now, but one I definitely don't--I only have one camera. I've created the effect of several views, but I think I now have justification to get another camera! However, I have found that multiple cameras is a lot more intimidating to the people in the film (a friend of mine also does filming and uses two cameras just like you describe).

I definitely agree with the editing--I have typically taken 10-15 hours of clips to produce a 5-8 minute video. A lot gets thrown away--but I have always kept the original tapes (I use that mini DV tape format). Since I'm working on a music degree in school, I agree also with careful use of music to dramatize and enhance the video.

The thing that consistently amazes me is how, after putting in a huge amount of effort and editing into a film, I finish and put it on a DVD. While filming, I think it's going to be the most beautiful thing since the Sistine Chapel was painted--and then I sit down and watch it with a jaundiced eye, and realize what crud I just produced. I have to either start all over or try to clean it up. That's why I'm interested in determining better what makes a good movie. Your idea of film school would probably be a good one for me.

Thanks!
David G

Post by David G »

Good tips Radioman62 .... Im always interested in other peps techniques to try and build my own style.

Thanks,

DG

:-)
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Post by sjj1805 »

Radioman, excellent write up plenty of good pointers there and just the sort of thing that should be in these forums ie. hints and tips rather than the usual moans and groans.
agemoz wrote:
The thing that consistently amazes me is how, after putting in a huge amount of effort and editing into a film, I finish and put it on a DVD. While filming, I think it's going to be the most beautiful thing since the Sistine Chapel was painted--and then I sit down and watch it with a jaundiced eye, and realize what crud I just produced. I have to either start all over or try to clean it up.

Thanks!
Agemoz, I have spent a couple of months cutting away at a video chopping chunks out, then at a later date wishing I had cut out a few bits more. It is because WE produced the video that WE notice the faults.
I am sure you will find your audience will be suitably impressed with your efforts.

I have found that I am having to turn lots of friends and relatives away who try to get me to edit/produce their home videos simply because there are so many!
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Post by Radioman62 »

Thanks :oops:

@agemoz
Wow , you are very hard on yourself. 15hour vs. 8 minute film and then your still not satisfied ?
Im usually think I'm doing pretty OK when I'm done. Offcourse I see things I would like to have in another way but mostly I'm satisfied.

The thing is I'm still more satisfied when there has gone some time so that I forgot about all the editing and just look at the movie 2 years later. Strange, because I'm ususally very picky and rarely fully satisfied with my work in other hobbies, watever it would be :) .

Another tip:
I have another hobby, genealogy. If you have a videocamera it's just perfect to do some documentary of the older members of your family.

My grandmother died a couple of years ago, 94 years old. About 4 years earlier, when she lived in her own little house, I did some casetterecording and video8 shooting in there. We spoked about the old time and things she bringed up herself. As always, with a lot of coffé (we dring alooot of coffé in sweden :D )and some chocolate or bisquits, but this time I had the camera and the tape recorder. I filmed outside and inside the house, when she stood by the old wood-stove fixing the coffé and spoked about old family members, passed away since long, and storys of that kind.

It took some years before I edited the clips and did a VHS video. I gave my mothers sister a copy when she got 70 and she was a bit shocked but very happy about the movie. She didn't know this film existed. Even the people who bought and restored the old house after my grandmother died, liked it because it was a document on how the house looked before the restoration.

Very often you only have photos and videos of large events. Partys, celebration days, weddings and so on. Could often be a bit boring don't you think ? Food and drink on the table every time. Everything is the same exept the seasons.

My "religion" is to capture the ordinary day and the stuff you see everyday and doesn't even notice. I can promise you that you will appreciate it in some years.
My best movies are the one with my grandmother and her thoughts, when my children did a day of crabfishing (we live close to the sea) or when they showed me their homebuilt timemachine. They travelled back to 1964 when hour house wasn't yet built. There is another building site near which can be a substitute for that time so we did some shooting outside as well. They didn't have any socks on so that the "transportation" would look real 8) It was cold and wet for sure :lol:
Some "special effects" upon that and you have something your friends doesn't have. Please don't ask for a clip. I'm really isn't finished yet with this timemachine film.

My next project will be a short movie with all our guinea-pigs. We have 9 of them :shock: I will have the camera low leveled and trying to catch it in a kind of "guinea-pig sight level" shooting.

Please share, what are you filming ?
Regards // Ove Tegnér
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Post by sjj1805 »

Following on from what Radioman has said about having a filming project to persue, similar in many respects to what he is doing take a look at my posts at the following link

http://forum.corel.com/EN/viewtopic.php?t=8348

Here I converted my old Super 8 cine films and as you can see from my posts, converting them to digital was simply the first step. You can then get a lot of enjoyment in bringing these old films "up to date" with transitions, picture in picture effects and background sounds.

You end up with lots of memories to cherish and to share with friends and family who either "star" in these films, or bring back happy and emotional memories of departed ones.

This is what home movies are all about.
agemoz

Post by agemoz »

agemoz
Wow , you are very hard on yourself. 15hour vs. 8 minute film and then your still not satisfied ?
Im usually think I'm doing pretty OK when I'm done. Offcourse I see things I would like to have in another way but mostly I'm satisfied.

The thing is I'm still more satisfied when there has gone some time so that I forgot about all the editing and just look at the movie 2 years later. Strange, because I'm ususally very picky and rarely fully satisfied with my work in other hobbies, watever it would be.
Hmm, yes, this latest movie was probably pretty extreme in terms of ratio of footage to movie length. Earlier movies I have made were more "efficient", but this one was getting exposure I haven't had before so I was much more demanding. If I were to have the chutzpah to give tips for successful movie making, they would be:

a: first and foremost, I *never* want to bore my audience anywhere in the movie. Imagining that the audience has a clicker to turn off the movie at every moment of filming does wonders for keeping the film focused on its theme. For me, this has two parts--strip out everything that doesn't belong, and, something interesting has to happen every x seconds, where x is from 10 to 30 (depending on the theme of the movie). Any part of the film that violates this is a candidate for stripping out.

b: anytime the camera(s) intrudes on the movie is deadly. Special effects are the worst, of course. Pans and zooms are almost as bad. I've noticed how tripod mounting is absolutely essential, but even there, panning and zooming have to be smooth or there is a very noticeable interruption of flow.

And--yes, thanks to help from this group, this movie was a success--unexpected applause and some tears.. :-)
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Post by sjj1805 »

The following is an extract from this post:
http://forum.corel.com/EN/viewtopic.php?t=14057
nutsnbolts wrote:I have 6 tapes (6 days) that overlaps with each other or so which I need to compile to one DVD. 2 hours of vacation video.

Should I do one day project at a time limiting it by 30 minutes each and then at the end, do one big project, importing all the videos and putting it together to make one big video?

Or.

Just use timeline linking in one project?

Which is more efficient?

I'm using MSP 8.
No two projects will be the same but we can adopt a structured workflow.
In your situation I would create in the media bin seperate folders for each item that can be treated as a seperate item.
You mention Pisa - that would be one.
Rome would be another etc.

Now treat the sets of clips for those locations as a seperate project when editing and make up a video dealing with just that location.

Less is best. By this I mean that several short clips are more interesting to the audience.
I was fortunate that I began my Video Hobby in the old days of a cine camera where you had 3 minute cassettes that were also expensive. You had to keep things short.

Now that we have Camcorders with tapes that can last a hour or more, it is too easy to just keep filming and filming and filming. On playback your audience (and even you yourself) will soon get bored. It is sometimes a bit heartbreaking to throw away things that have been filmed but essential in order to maintain interest.

Lets consider how we would deal with a wedding ceremony (Then use this sort of practice for your 6 holiday tapes). Perhaps a friend has asked you to video it for them.

Here you would split this up into
Project 1.
Arrival at Church. - Just include the arrival of the important players
Bride, Groom, Best Man, Bridesmaids, Page Boys, Parents of the couple. don't include all of the guests - it will get boring.
Ceremony. Bride coming down the aisle and then the wedding vows is enough.
After the ceremony Perhaps a pan across the congregation of visitors just so they can see themselves in your video. Throw in a slideshow of Still Pictures.

Project 2.
The Reception.
Similar to Project 1, arrival of the important participants of the event.
The Bride and Groom taking their places at the table.

A short clip mid meal of the guests (from a distance) eating - keep it short 10 seconds is more than enough.

After the dinner
Perhaps the speeches by the Bestman, Bride and Groom - depends upon how long the speeches last!

Perhaps this can then be rounded off with the compulsory "Come Dancing" competition that seems to follow these events.

O almost forget - the bride and groom leaving for their honeymoon.

What we have done here is to draw up a script and then matched our video footage to the script. You need to do the same with your holiday video.

Otherwise you will end up with something that made me laugh to myself at home last night.
My wife is a fan of that reality TV show Big Brother. She left the living room to make a cup of tea. One of my sons shouted out "Quick mom you're missing somehting he's just scratched his ear"

I popped my head round the door to see what he was referring to, there was this shot of a housemate sitting in the pool and yes - definate movement he was scratching his ear!
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