A Head In The Clouds (view this story)

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Rep: 444
Eric Seals July 31, 2010, 7:21 p.m. permalink

Hi Melissa,

I thought you shot and exposed this well. A good variety of tight, wide, medium and details. It was all very steady especially in the plane.  I thought when I started watching this it was going to be one of those bumpy ride kind of videos but it was well done.

Also loved the natural sound you had especially the ground control audio, nice!!!  Audio all around was perfect.

I understand it was a "One of Us" but I felt it should of had at least another person in it.  When he talks about taking his dad up for the 1st time I would of love to have heard from his dad about what that experience was like having your life if your son's hands kind of thing. I bet you could of had fun with that.  Or perhaps if he takes his girlfriend up, etc. Would have even been nice to hear from his flight instructor or whoever is in charge of him.

One thing you did have to much of was face time.  I really only needed to see him two or three times during the interview setting especially when he was making a strong point.  Other than that I just wanted to see him working, flying etc.

As far as pacing it was good but I felt I was starting to see the same thing over and over again after the 3 minute mark which I think means you could have editing this piece down more and have it under 2:30.

Except for a few of the points I mentioned I thought you did good.

If you do more of the "One of Us" I'd encourage you to think about including more people around your subject, relationships etc. Think about the length of your piece.

Sorry your video just sat around the story pool.  Don't give up on us, we'll be sure to be quicker with feedback in the future for you :-)


Rep: 21
Peg Achterman Aug. 2, 2010, 2:52 p.m. permalink

Hi Melissa - I'll add to the sorry for the tardiness on responses.
I'm going to do a bit of rolling commentary here - it's a little easier to have some timecode to refer to.
One thing right off the bat - @ about :15 a hand reaches in and the exposure changes pretty radically. This is due to auto-iris. Sometimes you can't get around that with certain equipment - but if you can - turn it off. You won't get this adjustment seen in the frame.
Love the title page with the nice blue sky - way to think ahead on choosing a shot for this.
@1:07 there is a little bump at the end of the map shot -- if you can edit those out it's a good idea. It's probably just a few frames, but the movement is distracting.
In this same sequence - watch your "axis" with his hands/face/etc. You crossed over a few times and it's a bit disconcerting to the viewer when this happens. A bit like the camera switching sides during a football game. I usually try to draw an imaginary line off the front of someone's nose and then I don't cross over it. This link has a pretty good explanation for a scene with two people, but it applies to a single person too.
This is just a nuance, but I'm a fan of seeing the interviewee in the setting - or at least in the same clothes - for the sit-down interview.
@1:48 - nice work that he is at the propeller in the wide shot and then even though you go to black - he's there at the prop in the next shot.
@1:56 - watch you match here -- in one shot he has something in his hands and in the next he does not. If you can try to match - or cut away to his face first or something else tight.

Good job on simple beginning/middle/end. I really like the fact that he listens to radio traffic on the web - might have put this higher in the piece -- just makes him that much more passionate and geeky.

Overall nice job. Just keep up a mantra -- tighter, tighter, tighter - those extreme closeups will get you out of a lot of jams.

Rep: 1
Melissa Tait Aug. 4, 2010, 3:14 p.m. permalink

Hi Eric and Peg,

Thanks so much for the detailed suggestions! 

Having another voice in the story is something I've thought about, and I'll certainly be considering for future stories.  Mostly, I'm trying to balance, and not stray too far from keeping it simple.  Once I have some more experience shaping the narrative I'll feel more confident using additional characters, so that it doesn't look like I dropped someone in for the sake of doing it.

Peg, I really love the specific details you've given, thank you!.  I'll look for those edit shapes.  I noticed the auto-iris problem IN the plane, and I thought it was due to my Mk ii just arriving back from the shop (firm ware?).  It's updated now, and i don't really remember how I solved that to be honest....

Thanks again for such great comments.  I'm not even close to giving up on you Eric, I just got here!  I'll have another piece up in the near future.

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