View Full Version : New doc! Check it out

11-15-2005, 11:00 AM
If anyone has a spare 20 minutes, I would love some feedback on a short documentary I shot while out in the Persian Gulf last year. Thanks!


Joe Kras
11-15-2005, 01:00 PM
I liked it!

Certainly there could be improvements technically-better audio, lighting, etc.

But considering that this was shot on borrowed cams in the middle of the ocean without much in the way of support services, I think you did fine. Not too many interviews, which is good.

The story is good. I might have focused more on 1 or 2 people to tell the story thru, but thought it worked the way you did it. You had access and trust of your subjects, and thus could show the behind the scenes stuff that news crews out there can't really do.

If you do another one, I would add an external microphone (preferably with a soundman), use a tripod more, and get a couple of lights.

Keep it up!

11-19-2005, 10:34 AM
Thanks for the comments. As you can tell, I had literally nothing besides those little handheld sony cameras. I ended up taping a piece of foam over the microphone to lessen the effect of the wind on the flight deck. And I was on shift the whole time I filmed. There's actually a scene where my boss is telling me to cut the camera in the background. He later told me I was the only thing that pissed him off the entire time we were out there :)

Thanks again.

11-19-2005, 10:49 AM
I would love some feedback on a short documentary I shot while out in the Persian Gulf last year. Thanks!

Here is a sort of 'off the wall' suggestion...

You have unique access and unique visuals which is important. Becuase of your _understandable_ camera and audio limitations it makes it seem like a home movie rather than any sort of produced piece. I would play to your strenghts - your access and your visuals. Then tell a story.

You could do a piece like 'This American Life' (http://www.thislife.org/). Use mostly your own scripted voice over and well placed music. Then pepper in natural sound once in a while from your shipmates. It will obiously make it shorter since you will have less to work with but I think you will have a strong 10minute piece, versus a 20 minute piece that shows so many of your limitations. It will feel more 'produced' because it will be. This is just the sort of material they (NPR) would use for a piece. You have the (obvious) added benefit of video to tell your story.

If you use the format from This American Life you have a good guide for pacing. A good balance of musical transistions to spoken word.

Like I said, off the wall, but you wanted feedback. Good luck.