Thanks to all of the visitors, We have some lovely stats to show for the past year. We hope to make 2013 even better, with much more to show for it. If you care to take a look at the data from our historical first year, please follow this link: 2012 Website Stats
What do you get when you take 3 people who are out of their minds and half taken with exhaustion? You get an iPhone 4s on the end of a jib arm doing sweeps across a mock town from the Civil War period for the Jackson Civil War Muster, that’s what.
I was asked today about why I was giving a person a certain amount of room for their head while the person in question was giving a presentation to a room. While it was something that I had thought about before, it was never something that I was inclined to explain to another person before. In this case I was being asked why I chose to crop the top of the subjects head out of the frame. He asked because earlier during the conference, this gentleman and his table had been watching me while I shot, and could see my flipped out EVF. Before I go into my shot composition, I would like to state clearly so that there can be no confusion on this matter: It is not OK to watch over peoples shoulders, and this includes the camera operator. Technically they weren’t over my shoulder, they were simply at a table behind me. Never the less, the very thought of someone hovering and watching just sets me on edge and makes me want to slap them. It is creepy and unnecessary, stop it.
“… I was being asked why I chose to crop the top of the subjects head …”
With that out of the way I will share with you the same thing that I shared with this man. The reason for cropping out the top of the subjects head was so that I could zoom in closer and thus show more of the subjects face as they spoke, as well as to still bring the shot low enough to capture the subjects physical reactions and motions as they spoke. He only half seemed to accept this answer and so I continued by saying that, in my experience, viewers tend to like to be able to not only see the speaker, but watch them talk. This means it is better to get in close and try to see their face. This serves to capture not only the mouth as it jabbers away, but the entire face as it makes expressions during speech. The second part, to be able to see the body gestures of the hands from time to time was another thing that viewers tended to appreciate. They seem to like that they feel as though the speaker is more directly engaging with them to some personal degree. While I cannot say as to how much this really changes peoples opinions of a speaker or of the footage as a whole, I can say that of the people I have asked, they prefer the shots that are closer and allow for a direct “face to face” experience.
“… viewers tend to like to be able to not only see the speaker, but watch them talk.”
This rational was for a mostly single camera operation, if there was to be multiple cameras being operated on the same subject then the presumed shots are able to change. In the case of multiple cameras each one can focus on a different aspect of the frame. Giving each camera a letter value puts each camera in the following positions and frames:
- The “A” camera a a shot that shows the subject from ever so slightly above the head down to just about the waist if not slightly higher. Keeping the subject off center while in most cases having the subject facing the direction with more empty space in the frame. This allows for the capture of hand gestures in most cases.
- The “B” camera is then a closer shot, clipping off the top of the head and only going as low as the center of the chest if not slightly higher. Again following the came centering guidelines as camera “A”.
- If you have a “C” camera great, this is your wide shot camera. This camera can show the entire body of the subject and the bigger areas around them. This may include a stage, podium, or crowd depending on the situation. This camera becomes the “backup” angle in case that both camera A and B are either moving around or do not have a goo view of the subject.
- Lucky enough to have a 4th “D” camera? Amazing! Now you have the opportunity to have a roaming, “b-roll” camera angle. This camera can catch shots of the crowd, angles that are difficult to shoot with a tripod, perspective from the view of the audience, and more. This camera will provide the flashy shots that can take a production past the normal and help you to outshine your competition.
Obviously you can have even more cameras than that at which point some end up having the same roles just with different angles. The way I see it, the more angles you can have the better off you are. Having more provides the opportunity to make a much more engaging visual experience and almost always gets a better reaction from the viewer and client.
While not officially the first post for the blog, this is the first post of any real substance. To start, welcome to the Dark Side of the Moon Blog! We at Silver Moon Films are glad that you’ve decided to take a peek into our edge of the web. I know people always say that it is their “corner” of the internet, but I see the internet as a whole as never ending. If it never ends, then it must be a circle, and if it is a circle, then it can’t have corners, only edges.
“… something is needed to jump start the creative process.”
Well, with the initial blahrg out of the way, I’d like to delve into something that has become a realization just in the last few days for me. During times of little to no incoming work as far as video editing, I notice that I am less inclined to actually want to edit. While during times of multiple projects, the urge to edit seems to increase dramatically. I am not sure as to what to attribute this to, and I can only surmise that my mind goes into what I call “editing mode” and actually thinks and functions slightly different. I also think that in order for my mind to start to be actively in this mode, actually going out and shooting something is needed to jump start the creative process. Up until a little more than a few weeks ago there had been a lull in our shooting schedule. This seems to have coincided with my desire to edit. There is a project that I am doing for my cousin that involves the process of editing her wedding footage into something that is presentable. I have been sloth in getting this done as other things seemed to take priority. While this has been ongoing for a while, once we started shooting again for our most recent project, St. Vincent de Paul: Jackson, the desire to edit came back at once. While waiting to get more footage and edit the new project, I found myself really wanting to jump back into editing the wedding.
Since I was now much further removed from the wedding footage since I had last worked on it, and I was also in a creative mindset while working on the St. Vincent de Paul project, I became aware that I i made different choices while editing the footage. I was able to make the edits with much less effort, the points and rhythm of the sequence just seemed to flow all on its own without my help whatsoever. It was very nice. Along with that decidedly nice benefit, I also made editing choices that I may not have otherwise made. Without going into specifics, I think that overall the piece will benefit from my partial lapse from continued work on it and be a much better and more appealing to the client. Well, in this case the client is my cousin, but the logic remains the same.
“… I need to keep active.”
This has been a great outlet for me to be able to retrospectively look at my own actions and thoughts and to be able to piece together a simple conclusion: I need to keep active. Both in shooting and in editing. This does not mean that I should start burning straight through projects one right after another however. I feel as though I should start working on a few more projects simultaneously and bounce back and fourth between them so as not to get myself into too much of a rut in any single project.
Thank you for enjoying this first post, and hopefully just the start, of what I imagine will be a load of fun both to write and think about. Hopefully in the future I will be able to process and present some of my techniques and be able to possibly help others in their quests to become better along with me. And remember, never forget to howl at the moon if you would like to work together in the future.
This is just a simple example of what the normal routine is for editing a piece. This happens to be shot while editing a short look at the St. Vincent de Paul organization of Jackson Michigan.
This is our first post! Many more wil be sure to follow, just hold on.