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View Full Version : Zero Tolerance for poor framing/composition



Matthew Bennett
11-20-2012, 07:29 PM
Lately I've noticed my vimeo/youtube viewing habits have become as such:

1. Notice a nice poster frame. Intrigued enough to want to click.

2. Let the vid load slightly, and (with the sound off) jog ahead about 5 seconds, then 15 seconds, only enough time to catch a sample of the general framing and composition.

3. If I'm not 100 percent satisfied by the framing and composition I see, very briefly, within those first few jogs, it's over.

4. If I am satisfied, (More based off instinct than anything i guess) I'll continue very spottingly through the piece.

5. Sometimes I can just tap a random spot and get sucked in right then and there. Still only visual. Cuts have to be very good. Still on a hair trigger for poor framing and composition. Don't even seem to be that concerned with lighting for some reason, just framing.

6. If I do indeed have a mid-point seduction into the piece, I'll take a breath, turn up the volume, and actually watch the piece as God and the creator intended. Now on a hair trigger for any bad acting or directing of course, but at least I'm in at this point!




The reverse is, any piece shot on the BMC I will instantly, lovingly devote time for every single frame, DL the source file, watch again, etc. :)

nickjbedford
11-20-2012, 07:36 PM
As far as editing goes, so many music videos I see have such annoying editing. The cuts give you no time to absorb what's happening and you can't enjoy it. It's just a mismatch of shake shots and 500ms cuts.

Just because it's a music video doesn't mean should just ignore narrative blocking and editing techniques. They exist for a reason.

Some cents.

Matthew Bennett
11-20-2012, 07:46 PM
Yeah, usually I'll know by the first edit point whether I'm into to or not, what image cuts into what image, if it's motivated and progresses story or if it's just a cut for cut's sake.
Editing is hard but we have to hold ourselves to a pretty high standard these days, we've got every tool in existence. We're basically bionic filmmakers these days. We should be at least twice as good as the previous generation.

nickjbedford
11-20-2012, 07:59 PM
Yeah, usually I'll know by the first edit point whether I'm into to or not, what image cuts into what image, if it's motivated and progresses story or if it's just a cut for cut's sake.
Editing is hard but we have to hold ourselves to a pretty high standard these days, we've got every tool in existence. We're basically bionic filmmakers these days. We should be at least twice as good as the previous generation.

Yeah, I'm not an editor by any professional standard, but I don't want that to show in my portfolio pieces. Editing is as important as the photography itself.

Matthew Bennett
11-20-2012, 08:53 PM
Hey I just realized you were in Australia Nick - don't you get the urge to go and literally rattle on the BMD doors??!
Or is it too far away, sorry, it's the other side of the world to poor ol' me.. :)

nickjbedford
11-20-2012, 08:59 PM
Hey I just realized you were in Australia Nick - don't you get the urge to go and literally rattle on the BMD doors??!
Or is it too far away, sorry, it's the other side of the world to poor ol' me.. :)

And to think I was just in Melbourne where the HQ is supposed to be... Or Sydney. I forget.

Liam
11-20-2012, 10:13 PM
My media teacher back in high school said one thing to me that I've never forgotten...

"You'll never watch a movie the same way again"

And I haven't, I'm over-critical, think to much when watching a movie, when something I don't understand or agree on comes up, it baffles me to the point of no return and if I see a shot I don't like it bugs me to death.

One thing that really grinds my gear about framing/composition is head space, if I see an interview and the top of the persons head is below the top third of the frame, I'm done, haha.

Matthew Bennett
11-20-2012, 11:47 PM
My media teacher back in high school said one thing to me that I've never forgotten...

"You'll never watch a movie the same way again"

And I haven't, I'm over-critical, think to much when watching a movie, when something I don't understand or agree on comes up, it baffles me to the point of no return and if I see a shot I don't like it bugs me to death.

One thing that really grinds my gear about framing/composition is head space, if I see an interview and the top of the persons head is below the top third of the frame, I'm done, haha.

Ha, then's there's the other one too, where someone cuts a head right at the top of the hairline, making people look like they're lobotomized. I once saw a whole movie framed like that, couldn't believe it, even on head to toe wides, they'd still slice the top of the head.

CaptainHook
11-21-2012, 12:22 AM
I'm glad i've developed (for the most part) the ability to "turn it off" when it comes to scrutinizing production. If it's something so strong that it distracts me from the content, then i have an issue. Sometimes a really great looking image has the same effect though, and i will actually rewind it to look at again and to study it. So then on the other hand i have to think maybe they failed in a way since i got distracted from the content because i noticed the production.

I can generally deal with most things as long as they make me feel a way that seems appropriate for what i'm watching.. but i'm also just as impatient when watching something on vimeo/youtube because i know from experience the signal to noise ratio is pretty bad. But so much can be attributed to 'style' and preference that i try not to think "that's wrong" too often just because it may not fit my aesthetic. Plus, who hasn't shot something and been happy with every take except one but that's the take that was chosen for performance reasons? ;) Or who hasn't edited a piece and been happy with the pacing only to have the client request changes you don't agree with, but you make them work anyway cause this is a service industry and an industry of collaboration? When grading music videos etc i don't get to choose the direction for the 'look', although i can make suggestions and use my judgement the person paying the bill generally has veto power.

For personal projects, sure the only person to blame is you but we all make mistakes at times right? And i like to think i'll be learning until the day i die and "mistakes" are one of the best ways to learn if you can limit the particular error to once (or as low as possible). :)

"If I'm not 100 percent satisfied by the framing and composition I see, very briefly, within those first few jogs, it's over." - I don't think i've ever seen any movie/tv show/anything where i was 100 percent satisfied with the whole thing. So i have to wonder, have you ever made it all the way through anything on vimeo/youtube? :D

Fluoro
11-21-2012, 12:37 AM
Sometimes a really great looking image has the same effect though, and i will actually rewind it to look at again and to study it.
At the cinema I often have this sensation of wanting to stop the film and rewind. I often do that while watching a dvd to check out a scene again or catch dialogue I may have missed. When I can't do it at the cinema it takes me a second to relax and get back in to the film. Strange feeling.

CaptainHook
11-21-2012, 12:57 AM
Yeah, i annoy my GF constantly by rewinding TV episodes to catch dialogue or to take screen grabs for my reference folder collection. Sometimes i wish i didn't notice though, and now it's rubbed off onto her where she'll mention how a shot looks at times while we watch. :D

nickjbedford
11-21-2012, 01:15 AM
I've been grabbing every nth frame from some killer movies (Star Trek 2009 is one I've done) of about 700 frames across the video and studying them.

I found Snow White and The Huntsman to be fantastically shot. Loved the cinematography in that. Did it for that one too. Need to do more.

Frank Glencairn
11-21-2012, 02:04 AM
At the cinema I often have this sensation of wanting to stop the film and rewind. I often do that while watching a dvd to check out a scene again or catch dialogue I may have missed. When I can't do it at the cinema it takes me a second to relax and get back in to the film. Strange feeling.

Ha! Just wanted to say the same thing - we are all nuts.

I grab a ton of movie frames for reference and put them in a folder.
I have a program that shows them all at once but sorts them by color - like a huge virtual endless mood-board.
When you start they are only a few pixels each grab - but you can see the colors of course.
So if I need inspiration or a look ore something I literally dive into this huge cloud of color and zoom in until I find something.

CaptainHook
11-21-2012, 03:33 AM
What's the app Frank? Sounds cool!

Frank Glencairn
11-21-2012, 03:41 AM
http://www.pixolution.de/index.php?id=5

nickjbedford
11-21-2012, 04:24 AM
If we're being critical, there's one thing that makes me switch off immediately.

Poorly executed lighting that makes the image instantly feel like a set with lights just out of frame.

If I'm making sense...

CaptainHook
11-21-2012, 04:30 AM
http://www.pixolution.de/index.php?id=5Thanks!!

Frank Glencairn
11-21-2012, 05:23 AM
sorry, wrong link - mine is called "Image Sorter 4" - looks like it's from the same company, but was an older free version that is a standalone program and doesn't need a server or anything.


... found it: http://www.computerbild.de/download/ImageSorter-1808337.html?dl=1

Fluoro
11-21-2012, 07:14 AM
I just uploaded a live music video with the worst framing and out of focus mayhem. I went to see a friend's band and ended up shooting some footage with my 85mm mostly at f/1.4 due to very low lighting. I was really just trying to grab some shots to add to my reel so the image jumps around as I search for interesting shots. I made the mistake of showing it to the band and they liked it so now it's on youtube. If it wasn't mine and I started watching it I would turn it off! I hate paper thin DOF! I suck!

Brad Ferrell
11-21-2012, 09:14 AM
I love to immerse myself in visuals but what takes me "out" of a movie quickly is poor story-telling and I think that comes down to the script, the acting, and the camera-work. Of course music is instrumental, haha pun, in completing the image, but it seems we're image-makers first here, so I thought I'd focus on what we see.

blahey
11-21-2012, 02:51 PM
What are you guys using to grab frames?

Frank Glencairn
11-21-2012, 03:31 PM
Snapshot function of VLC player - shift-s

blahey
11-21-2012, 10:25 PM
Thanks, VLC gets better and better.