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    What do you think of this mock commercial we did?
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    I and a couple of other filmmakers decided to do a mock commercial for fun. We shot it at night which made lighting tough of course, and need to work on that of course. What do you think?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfyk...ature=youtu.be


     

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    Senior Member ahalpert's Avatar
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    I like the concept. Pretty funny - nice button at the end. As far as I can tell, the basic concept matters an awful lot in spec and real commercials as far as pitching yourself as a director. Bit of a red bull gives you wings type concept here.

    Nice job with the zombie appearance without an Effects budget.

    Some of the shots are dark or not stylishly lit. There may be more shots here than you need too. A lot of commercials are like 5 shots. There were some nice shots by the convenience store though, some better lighting on him there

    But as a director, people will be judging you for your concept and how you string together a montage and a scene and direct the actors more than they judge your lighting


     

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    Oh okay thanks. The concept was one of the other filmmaker's concepts, but I chose some of the camera shots, along with him deciding some, and I did the editing, sound effects, and color grading.


     

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    Moderator Alex H.'s Avatar
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    So... who was the director?
    Knoxville-based location sound mixer.

    Instagram @sonolocus


     

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    #5
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    All three of us directing parts of it. Some were my decisions, some were the others.


     

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    #6
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    Ryan, thanks for posting one of your videos.

    Good:

    • The music sounded good, matched the genre, followed the action.
    • I can tell a good amount of effort went into foley --- which is noteworthy because it is rare in low-budget films
    • I agree with ahalpert that the hand bursting out of the ground looked good
    • Good locations

    Could use some work:

    • The lighting was better than a lot of low-budget films but could be better if it was usually not frontal. Put it to the side or even have the key slightly behind the subject
    • The editing was a little choppy sometimes. For example, in shot 1 I want to read the sign, but I can't (People just naturally want to start reading text anywhere they see it. So either don't show text, or show it long enough to be read). Shot 2 was too short and too similar to shot 3. I think it might have been better to have used just one shot for that part. When I first started editing, sometimes I cut too quick too, because I knew the movie so well. For a first-time viewer, the shots are new, and the right length might feel too long to you. A good example of good editing (I think) is The Hunt for Red October. Turn off the audio on that movie and watch how long some of the shots are. But also there should be a musicality to the shots. That is, even when there is no music, there should be a proportion to them. This is hard to do at first. Some editors put down a music track temporarily and then remove it for the final film.
    • The acting could use more . . . motivation. I know this was a comical film, but: (1) why does the zombie emerge and then look unsure of himself before commencing the chase? Also, why is the hero running so slow? I would be sprinting. Instead it's obvious that he's letting the zombie keep up. I know that zombies don't sprint. So if the hero sprinted, he would get away. But there are ways. Let the hero trip and fall. Then the zombie can catch up. Something like that.
    • What's up with the guy's pants? There are chalky white splotches on the backs of his jeans. I suppose it is stylish among some age group, but. . . . when in doubt, costumes should be undistracting. Also, the zombie's shirt was not grungy enough. It looks like he shops at the Gap.

    That's all I got. Thanks
    Last edited by combatentropy; 07-24-2020 at 07:15 PM.


     

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    Moderator Alex H.'s Avatar
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    I mostly agree with combatentropy, though the hand through the dirt came across to me as obvious CG. The sound effects/Foley in the mix were all over the place, either too much or too little, and never really sat naturally.

    The grading washed out detail in the highlights and shadows, and enhanced the noise. The camera work was sometimes shaky, not in a good way.

    “We’re all directors” just continues the conversation from your other User Films post that shows you don’t really understand directing. You also might want to revisit your reel... it has no identity. Some of it is your acting, some of it is your “directing”, some of it is ???. None of it really focuses on one aspect. Acting reel, directing reel, editing reel... these are all separate things.
    Knoxville-based location sound mixer.

    Instagram @sonolocus


     

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    #8
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    Oh okay thanks. I couldn't bury a whole arm in the dirt, without it looking like it was obviously just buried but I can try to things like that in mind, next time. Thanks.

    Was it a bad idea to co-direct with others, since it was not my idea, and the others wanted to direct a little too?

    As for the audio being too big on sound effects and foley, is a large part of that maybe I concentrated on the footsteps too much and they sound too loud maybe Or how is it all over the place, so I know for next time ?

    And yes for next time I do a chase, I will just have the actor in the back try to run faster, and keep an eye on that.
    Last edited by JimS2; 07-24-2020 at 08:44 PM.


     

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    Moderator Alex H.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimS2 View Post
    Was it a bad idea to co-direct with others, since it was not my idea, and the others wanted to direct a little too?
    On a for-fun project like this, not at all. But this is just more for the argument that you are nowhere near ready to try and pull off a feature. You need more experience. Lots more. You don’t really know how to direct, so there’s no way you should spend any of your own (or worse, someone else’s) money on a feature film.

    Quote Originally Posted by JimS2 View Post
    As for the audio being too big on sound effects and foley, is a large part of that maybe I concentrated on the footsteps too much and they sound too loud maybe Or how is it all over the place, so I know for next time ?
    It’s a lot of stuff, Ryan. The can popping open could be pulled back just a touch; it was a little too hot in the mix. The can being thrown on the ground as well, and there is a strange and out-of-place sound that immediately follows that and is also too loud.

    Foot steps are important. The issue is that they mostly get lost in the mix. They shouldn’t be loud, but they need to be just noticeable enough. In this skit, they’re mostly almost inaudible. Clothing movement is another important part of lending credibility to actor movement.

    The sounds of the zombie crawling out of the grave are also just a little too hot for my taste, but the more glaring issue is that they abruptly stop, rather than trickle out with a few little dirt clods still falling off toward the end. It’s all, then nothing. There needs to be transition.

    And again, this isn’t pain-by-numbers, so if you’re looking for “bring X down by -5dB and bring Y up by +4dB”, you aren’t going to find it.

    Quote Originally Posted by JimS2 View Post
    And yes for next time I do a chase, I will just have the actor in the back try to run faster, and keep an eye on that.
    Zombies don’t run fast. People do. This is why it’s not convincing; it looked like you were intentionally trying to slow your pace for the camera. Jogging, almost, but with an awkward gate.
    Knoxville-based location sound mixer.

    Instagram @sonolocus


     

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    #10
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    Oh okay thanks for the input. Since I am not spending any money on the project, is not going to come up off as for fun, or is it possible to do a project for no money and have it still come off as just as good as feature film material to see if I'm ready?


     

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