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Luis Collazo

This is my first commercial as a DP. What can I do better?

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A couple of things, only since you've asked....

The color correction is a bit flat and low contrast.  I guess that helps smooth the skin, but... it certainly doesn't catch the eye of the viewer.

The sound quality is poor.  Bad echo in the room.  It would be worth rerecording the narration in a proper audio studio or just a better environment.  The audio quality gives the entire spot the impression of "amateur" filmmaking.

Lastly, the editing.  Each shot seems to be on screen just a beat or two too long.  Once we've gotten the idea, it's time to move on to the next shot.

The spot is not "bad", but I think these suggestions could make it work a bit better.

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Posted (edited)

Yeah the grade could use a little more punch and when the interview audio comes in it immediately destroys the professional vibe you opened with. Also getting more angles of coverage for the main interview would really flesh things out, maybe even have the camera handheld on that portion too.

This goes in and out between TV quality and youtube vlogger's student film. I don't believe you're clueless to this, I think the director just settled in the wrong areas.

Let me know if you need an audio guy, I'm in the area.

Edited by Max Field / Macks Fiiod
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The close-up of her feet down the stairs leads nowhere. Instead try to execute a swing movement or a fast follow pam from tripod with a light wide angle lens.

The apple purchase also leads to nothing. It can be understood that apples are something natural but that is not new. Basically in spring when trees begin to blossom all apples are a few months old. If one wants to point out freshness, apples are harvested in fall. A cultural lapse.

Maybe a little more effort with her hair that could be pinned up outdoors.

Decide on lighting, the interiors need more snap. Lots of light for cosmetics! Personally, I should not show the character straight from above lying on a bed but under two angles, sideways and in height, cuddled up to somebody (out of focus).

I watched it twice, without sound.

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Few things... 

We don't need to see her being interviewed, that's a waste of time. The shot wasn't interesting and because english is her 2nd language, it's not helping the ad to have her talk slow. The echo also makes it seem very unprofessional. In this case, I would have her do the VO work in a quiet room. Get her to amp up her presentation so it's exciting and cut together best sentences into a cohesive narrative first. Once you have that, then you can go out and shoot what she's talking about. 

In terms of the B-Roll, for commercial, I would have shot stuff that was more active. You need around 4 - 6 setup's to achieve what you're going after. Show her outside doing multiple active things, jogging, maybe helping someone with directions, running up some stairs, few shots of the sun going through the trees, you kinda get the idea. Since she's talking about skin care, sun and brightness are critical. 

In terms of the product shots, the final shot is fine, but the bathroom scene was too dark to work. It needed a lot more light to give it some pop, it needed several beauty shots of not just the container, but also her applying, with excellent bright lighting and motion. I think the one thing lacking in the entire piece is motion, the camera should always be moving. Most people just use a slider for that sorta thing because it gives such nice subtle motion to every shot. A gimbal or steadicam would also help quite a bit. 

Over-all it felt under-developed, something put together in a hurry, rather then something that was planned out in advance. With commercials, quick cuts, fast pace, clean narration and a bright/crisp image are the most important things. You want to wow your would-be customers and sadly this didn't wow me. 

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8 hours ago, Max Field / Macks Fiiod said:

Yeah the grade could use a little more punch and when the interview audio comes in it immediately destroys the professional vibe you opened with. Also getting more angles of coverage for the main interview would really flesh things out, maybe even have the camera handheld on that portion too.

This goes in and out between TV quality and youtube vlogger's student film. I don't believe you're clueless to this, I think the director just settled in the wrong areas.

Let me know if you need an audio guy, I'm in the area.

Thanks for your feedback. I'm interested in your audio guy contact. Definitely need one. 

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Thank you guys for taking the time to watch it and give great feedback, I really appreciate it. I still have a long way. 

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Not a hard and fast rule ,but generally for interviews ,its better to get your subject away from walls/ background.. as its a 2 dimensional medium.. to create some "depth" behind them.. and with a shallow DoF you concentrate ,literally, the viewers focus.. on your subject ..

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