Outdoor School (view this story)

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Rep: 50
Michael Lloyd May 30, 2010, 8:58 p.m. permalink

Well, Tony, it doesn't LOOK like you used the sloppy technique you admit to in your feedback request. The shots are very steady considering you were walking backward with kids while talking to them at one extreme and shooting in the near dark by campfire at the other.

This is a vibrant, active little story. The shooting technique reflects that. It would have been very restrictive to use a tripod for many of these shots. The shooting style has to match the story. While I use a tripod the vast majority of the time, it would ruin the energy of a story like this. No more than a monopod.

I would have used a small shotgun on camera rather than the 5D internal mics, but you got away with it because you were always close to your subjects, shooting wide, they were loud and you were outdoors and away from all the noise of the city. I was told that bad sound will ruin a piece sooner than bad visuals, so be careful using internal mics in less than these ideal situations.

The editing of this piece is very good, just about the right length, though I was getting a little weary by the time the stage show was happening. Overall, it was well-paced and shot extremely well. I would expect no less then that from you.

Mike Lloyd

Rep: 2
Gary Miller May 31, 2010, 5:28 a.m. permalink


The lack of either mic or stabilization didn’t seem to hinder the pace of the story-telling on this piece given the high energy of the children.

Picking one element that I would liked to have seen introduced would have been a few more detail/tight frames.

I like the idea of having a discussion on the “right tool for the right job” and in the right hands. Which it all came together in your work.

Michael covers these points in the second and third graphs of his comment.


Rep: 14
Tony Overman May 31, 2010, 2:02 p.m. permalink

Thank you, Michael. I'm feeling better about my skills. My goal was to not have a story distracted by technical problems. It sounds like I still got the story across. And yes, it went on a bit long. I put so much time into shooting, that I don't like to kill my babies. (That's where my co-producer Kathy Strauss comes in).
Thank you, too, Gary. You are 100% correct about me needing more detail shots. (Kathy told me the same thing when she was helping edit). We discover that I need more details every time I'm editing, yet can't get myself to remember shoot them.
Grrr....There are just so many things to think about when shooting video.

Rep: 141
Colin Mulvany June 1, 2010, 12:20 a.m. permalink

Hi Tony,

More feedback:


The general rule is stable video is good video. The problem here is that the Canon 5D Mk II does not have image stabilization like a regular video camera. So if your videos are going to improve technically, you are going to need deal with this issue. I too, hate tripods. When you look at my early videos, everything was hand-held. But after being chastised by our friends in TV news, I learned to embrace the pod. A couple of things happened after I did. I started to sequence my video more. I started to shot long telephoto shots, because I could and I shot more tight shots because I could do it rock steady from a tripod. My editing time improved—because I was sequencing more, and my video compressed better because it didn’t have all that funky movement. That is not the say I still don’t go rouge and hand hold my video camera. It’s just that I pick my shots now, knowing what will be best on a pod and what will be best hand-held. An example is your opening shot of the sign. That is one where I would have taken the time to shoot steady.

Tight shots

Yes you need more tight shots in this video. Why? Because they make great transitions between scenes. The shot of the kids walking across the bridge cried out for a tight shot of the feet (if you had been of a tripod, you could have zoomed in and had a wide and a tight by the time they all crossed.) many of your shots are edited medium-to-medium or wide-to-wide. You need the visual variety of a tight shot mix it up some. Remember when you have to wide shots edited together, the viewer sometimes sees it as a jump cut, especially if not much has changed in the scene.

Edit to the beat of your voiceover

Hit your marks when editing with a voiceover. At 18 seconds in you say, “When busloads of student arrived from….” You waited to long to show the busloads of students. You should show what you are talking about when you say it. That is when the magic of video storytelling really starts to take shape.

Finally, Lets talk about wireless mic problems. What is not working with them? That is a problem that needs to be solved. Wireless mics will give you great sound opportunities.

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