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Max Hall

A music performance by a bunch of clones - Feedback welcome!

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I just finished a music video for my band. This is an acoustic version of our latest song, Masterpiece. We tried a clone effect so we’d have enough people to play the instruments. It’s one 4 minute shot with a bunch of clones. Little bit of an experiment, so I’d love to hear how it comes across. 

 

Feel free to give me some thoughts on the video and/or the song!

 

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Very nice, although didn't like the lines on the side of frame. I am an archivist. Lots of my film is naturally distressed. I try to make it look better and not worse. But that is just me. Maybe kids like it.

Sound is very good. No expert on cloning, but looks good to me. 

Good luck!

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Completely doesn't work. If you look at the frame as a whole for then your brain just registers tiny figures doing stuff repetitively. If you try to look at any particular figure, it's too small. The impression is more of a screensaver than narrative content.

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Posted (edited)

I watched it full screen and I agree the figures look too small. I think in a music video the personality of the performers is important. I think you would have been better off doing close up shots in several takes and cut them together. The performance is good but I found myself concentrating on who were the clones, so I lost sight of the music.

Edited by Bob Speziale

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On 6/26/2019 at 3:22 PM, David Mawson said:

Completely doesn't work. If you look at the frame as a whole for then your brain just registers tiny figures doing stuff repetitively. If you try to look at any particular figure, it's too small. The impression is more of a screensaver than narrative content.

Yeah, that turned out to be a consequence of this effect. Do you think the zooming in helped to mitigate that? The hope was that, by the time the full 4 minutes are over, the viewer has had enough time to become familiar with what they’re seeing.

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On 6/26/2019 at 12:01 PM, Daniel D. Teoli Jr. said:

Very nice, although didn't like the lines on the side of frame. I am an archivist. Lots of my film is naturally distressed. I try to make it look better and not worse. But that is just me. Maybe kids like it.

Sound is very good. No expert on cloning, but looks good to me. 

Good luck!

Thanks for watching! Yeah, we chose to make the footage look worse as the video went on. That was a thematic choice we made to reflect the ideas in the song lyrics. For a film archivist, I’m sure that was tough to see!

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22 hours ago, Bob Speziale said:

I watched it full screen and I agree the figures look too small. I think in a music video the personality of the performers is important. I think you would have been better off doing close up shots in several takes and cut them together. The performance is good but I found myself concentrating on who were the clones, so I lost sight of the music.

Thanks for your thoughts! That’s good feedback.

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12 hours ago, Max Hall said:

Yeah, that turned out to be a consequence of this effect. Do you think the zooming in helped to mitigate that? The hope was that, by the time the full 4 minutes are over, the viewer has had enough time to become familiar with what they’re seeing.

No. Because it was 1 minute 42 seconds before I noticed a zoom and I'd normally have given up after 20 seconds. Also the zoom seemed completely unmotivated, which itself is a bad thing. And to be honest, even if you'd started close and then pulled out, I don't think it would have helped. People don't want to squint at dancing ants. The point of a video is that something interesting happens on screen -

 

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2 hours ago, David Mawson said:

No. Because it was 1 minute 42 seconds before I noticed a zoom and I'd normally have given up after 20 seconds. Also the zoom seemed completely unmotivated, which itself is a bad thing. And to be honest, even if you'd started close and then pulled out, I don't think it would have helped. People don't want to squint at dancing ants. The point of a video is that something interesting happens on screen -

 

I’m sorry you were as unimpressed as you were, but thanks for watching. If you download the song, I’ll promise to motivate my camera movements next time!

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13 minutes ago, Max Hall said:

I’m sorry you were as unimpressed as you were

You were experimenting and knew it. Taking risks is a good thing as long as you're smart enough to look hard at the results afterwards.

I think the bottom line here is that for every image you put on screen you have to ask "Why do people want to see this? How does it make them feel? Why are they going to keep watching?" With "Hey Boy" the director immediately opens a question in the viewer's mind: what's the connection between the group in the foreground and the protagonist? And creates a sense of threat. That's two compelling narrative points in the first 8 seconds. Those carry you through until the huge WTF at 40 seconds, then empathy and the curiosity already created - plus three excellent performances shot close-up - carry you the rest of the way. 

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On 6/28/2019 at 11:07 AM, David Mawson said:

You were experimenting and knew it. Taking risks is a good thing as long as you're smart enough to look hard at the results afterwards.

I think the bottom line here is that for every image you put on screen you have to ask "Why do people want to see this? How does it make them feel? Why are they going to keep watching?" With "Hey Boy" the director immediately opens a question in the viewer's mind: what's the connection between the group in the foreground and the protagonist? And creates a sense of threat. That's two compelling narrative points in the first 8 seconds. Those carry you through until the huge WTF at 40 seconds, then empathy and the curiosity already created - plus three excellent performances shot close-up - carry you the rest of the way. 

True that! Totally agree.

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Technically is well shot and the clone effect is neatly done. But as others have said when the figures are so small its a frustrating watch - you want to see the instruments being played in detail and see the singers face.

Personally I like to see the musicianship on a video, more traditional coverage isn't a bad thing. Maybe the concept would have worked better if you used the same basic composition but either did more extreme zooms onto the figures (even if it goes grainy) or just cut in some close ups. So keep the wide with the clones - but have some tighter shots to ground it.  The opening frame is quite good. Just needs more development. 

Maybe treat this as a camera test and rework it to include more shots or thing of other ways to develop it - once you have the idea of "clones" what other things could you do with the concept.  

Being quite aggressive with the edit I find works on music videos. This was my attempted at a "Locked off" music video:

 

sync seems a bit loose - even on the super wide shot the guy hitting the box thing seems to be a couple of frames off the beat. Some of the clones are more "on beat" then others - but at times feels a bit iffy.

 

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