Torture Scene[Rough Cut](Shot w/GH2+Sigma19mm)

Discussion in 'Video to Share' started by Artorius, May 2, 2013.

  1. Artorius

    Artorius Mu-43 Regular

  2. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    Initial thoughts are

    1) the shots are too long - average shot length is surprisingly low in modern film making - you can look up your favorite movie here Cinemetrics - Database

    2) you should have used a tripod or if you are going for the hand held look, have the camera stabilised more
    3) the lighting is inconsistent - which means some shots are grainier than others
    4) Framing could be tighter in some shots.

    just my opinion


  3. Artorius

    Artorius Mu-43 Regular

    Thanks! As for shot length, I'm trying to get away from the quick cut craze. I like the long takes of Aaron Sorkin and other television directors. And next time I'll tell my operator to be more steady with the cam. He was using a counterbalance shoulder mount but still had some shake (which I wanted) but I agree it was a bit much.

    As for the uneven lighting. It was shot with a spotlight, which is what I wanted to get on the kidnapped guy. I'm still in the process of learning lighting, so I suppose I should have used a softer light for the rest of the chamber? I wanted it to still be somewhat dark, should I have just underexposed?
  4. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    First get a tripod! If you are going to do scenes where the camera is not moving it is best that it be locked down. I personally like the camera not moving around unless it is needed. An old rule of cinema is if you notice the camera then it is not being done right!
    Secondly, the light level in the second angle was much lower than the first and all those after. The third angle where the torturer turns around should have more light on the guy's face and less spilled light into the camera. I figure you were trying to show that there was just this one light but you can move it around a little bit without confusing the audience, bounce boards{or smaller fill lights} can also be used.
    Lastly, the angle of the victim's knee and floor was a bit confusing, and you went to it twice. When the blood spurts onto the plastic, then and only then does that angle work. Several times there is dialog but nobody in frame to explain where it is coming from. Another rule is either the speaker or the spoken to should be in frame when dialog is being spoken{at least for any length of time}.

    Lastly, lasty - and I hope these guys were not your buddies but their acting was not very good. Especially the victim, he is way too calm.
  5. ApGfoo

    ApGfoo Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 10, 2012
    Bay Area
    Good job. I liked the acting and dialogue. I also liked the music score as well.

    The framing of the opening shot was nice but looks a bit over exposed. That shot could have worked better locked down on a tripod.

    The 2nd shot looks a bit underexposed. Hand held still works here but just reduce some of the unsteadiness.

    With the shot with both actors in frame, I'd frame the shot a bit wider so it would cut off below the kidnapped person's chest than at the shoulders.

    Also to convey the kidnapped person's emotions, I'd add a close up or super close up of his reactions maybe of his eyes or a close up the bad guy gripping his hair harder so that the person kidnapped has to tilt his head up to show how menacing he is on top of cutting the guy's toes. maybe add a sound effect of stretching leather to add to the effect as he grips his hair lol.

    Spray tiny sprinkles of water on the kidnapped person's face. It looks good on camera as if he's sweating.

    I liked the close up of the toes about to get cut off. I like the pacing of it but you can have the actor wiggle his toes more in despair to add to the suspense.

    Also for the dialogue it may sound like you are using in camera mic but the sound is okay. It's hard to get good sound in a small room.

    The last shot was great.

    Another cool shot is that since the opening shot was of the bad guy placing his torture weapons on the table you can add some close up shots later of those items as he grabs them so the audience gets a good glimpse of what is about to happen and to add more to the suspense. You had the shot with the bad guy grabbing the cutters but it was abrupt.

    All in all good stuff and looks like a lot of fun. Can't wait to see more!
  6. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    Hope you don't mind, but I got your video from YouTube and threw it into FCPX and had a little play. I trimmed a lot of the shots, added some stabilisation, cropped a few shots, reversed one, and slowed a couple of others..and did a wee bit of grading... maybe 45 minutes work in total. Of course I lost some of the dialog, but hopefully this gives you an insight on an alternative way of cutting this footage Project 1 -


  7. Iansky

    Iansky Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 26, 2009
    The Cotswolds, UK
    I agree with many of the comments above, the opening scene was too long and laboured with too much "dark / shadow " work in it and the stabilisation was bad causing frustration when viewing a wobbly image.
  8. voltcontrol

    voltcontrol Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 26, 2013
    Cool to see a video shoot results here!
    I agree with kevinparis, although stabilising is #1 to me.
    A simple steadicam is easily DIY'ed too. ;) 
    (just an example, mine is based on the gimbal you find on a HiFi-turntable arm for instance.)
    [ame=]$15 DIY DSLR Steadicam "The Silver Flyer" Stabilizer - YouTube[/ame]

  9. Artorius

    Artorius Mu-43 Regular

    Thanks for all the feedback.

    @KevinParis- My editor is using FCP7, is there a stabilizing effect without installing any plug-ins?

    @speedandstyle- I got a tripod last weekend! Really nice manfrotto fluid head tripod. I'll definitely start using it now that I have it. One is my brother, the other a friend. They're both my classmates in my digital filmmaking class. I can't exactly hire actors, and our drama department isn't very good. But I found their acting to be acceptable and I think we're going to end up with a good movie and great grade! As far as out of frame dialog, I've already discussed this with my editor. He was trying to hide a jump cut but the shot carried on far too long. He's in the process of finalizing this scene.

    @APGFoo- Definitely DID NOT use in camera sound! I was forced to use a beachtek dslr box w/ boom mic so it should be better than in-camera. For my shoot tomorrow I'll be using a zoom h4n with boom mic.
  10. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium

    As far as I can recall there is stabilisation in FCP 7 - its called Smoothcam.

  11. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Good a fluid head will allow you to pan and tilt smoothly. As a former film student I know how hard it can be to find good actors. Several projects in my class were lowered due to poor acting. Your brother and friend are far from the worst, just that they could have been a bit better. ApGfoo added some suggestions for helping there. Great start and keep with it.
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