take a look at this
This is another video that I was asked to produce. What I am really concerned about is the montage that takes place at the end of the video. I don't think it looks good with the video at all, but my boss thinks it looks great. Any thoughts?
The selection of shots is ok, but the pace feels too fast compared to all your previous cuts. Maybe less shots or slower cuts would help.
The voiceover could be better, I thought it was a little dry and flat, particularly right at the beginning. Very much news style cutting and writing. I didn't like the music. Some injections of live sound from the events here and there could add energy.
The montage is okay, but would seem smoother if you ramped up the rate of shot change rather than abruptly jumped to the faster pace. Would be nicer if the cutting went better with the music. Some of the stuff in the fast montage looks like it is not part of RISE but just high-tech eye candy because it changes from video to still shots. Am I wrong about that?
Beyond all that though, I think the script needs tweaking; it doesn't have a strong call to a specific action at the end, IMO. The opening line is kind of cliche'. It needs a stronger overall narrative direction so we know what the point is. Use some CG supers and titles in combination with the narration and shots to reinforce the message. Decide what the message IS: are you just defining RISE, or asking people to sign up for it, or for somebody to fund it? I don't know, until tha last 2 seconds, then the you-tube screen fades away.
RISE sounds like a great program, and hints at who is eligible to attend, but the video doesn't tell me where to go or what to do, once I've been motivated to be interested.
Yeah, the pics were of the actual engineering program itself and not of RISE whatsoever. I felt like the montage wasn't a good idea at all because it doesn't really do anything to move the piece along. It was just put there for effect. Unfortunately this is what my bosses asked of me and they fell in love with it. Nor did they even allow for planning of the shoot. They didn't figure out what they wanted to do with it until after the footage was shot, making it hard for me since I didn't know what to shoot and how to shoot it.
This also goes for the message that they want to convey. They all of a sudden wanted to make it into an ad for RISE. But as you said, there was no call to action. I guess it's the consequences of your bosses not having any experience in TV.
Don't get discouraged. You can fix this,or at least improve it, now that you know what it's supposed to do. First thing I'd think about doing is to run a URL keyed along the bottom of the frame for the duration of the piece. Perhaps format everything in a letterbox and then put phone numbers and URL's in the black space: "Now registering, call 555-5555 or url.com to sign up and RISE with us!"
Even if you don't change anything else about it, that's going to help steer a viewer towards a decision to make a call or use a link to get the registration info or at least learn more.
I would also think about re-cutting the narration and music/fx track to goose those up a little.
Even if they said to leave this one as-is, you should take some spare time for yourself to play around with alternate revisions of this and see how far you can take it, for your own satisfaction and personal development. What you learn from that, you can apply to future work, and that helps everyone.
I agree with Mark
I also looked at the Rowan 2008 clip that doesn't have the narration and it's better. I'd try to use a more impressive (but readable) typeface. I know you want the viewer to read the graphic but they held just a tick too long. The music is mildly annoying but that may be all you had to work with. Pay attention to cutting to the beat - being slightly off is distracting. If you have to use the multi-slide ending, perhaps doubling the shot count would have more impact because they are just quick impressions you want to convey. Just a few tweaks would sharpen the impact and pacing without losing the message (which as Mark said needs to be emphasized more throughout).
fire*, smoke*, photoshopCS3
Charlotte Public Television
del underscore edits at wtvi dot org
If you like the concept of the quick cuts, you might be able to fix them a couple different ways:
- Reuse shots people have already seen earlier in the video. Especial close-up, unique, memory-catching shots. It won't be as jarring if they've already seen them before -- their eyes won't be taking in new visual information, it'll just be reminding them of what they've seen.
- Use shots that are very similar visually. For instance, CU's of students faces who participated in RISE. Put a slight cross fade on each cut.
- Create a color scheme for each of the areas you highlight in the video -- either in the graphics, or a color tint for the video section. Then flip through each area in the quick montage, with the colors to help quickly, visually, remind the viewer of what they're seeing.
- Use graphics on the screen that stay constant for the whole montage, e.g., a big RISE logo, or "This is Rowan engineering." Make sure the text has a big of a background, so it's not too busy for their eyes to easily isolate from the quickly moving background.
- Use some quick cuts like that elsewhere in the video, to establish that as a convention, so it's not so unexpected. Begin each section with a few quick cuts, to punctuate it.
- Add some motion to the photos -- a slight zoom in can add some depth to it.
- Add a vignette, to draw the viewers' eyes to the focal point of the frame.
Really quick cuts and fast motion can be hypnotic and jarring, and they can be effective depending on what you're trying to do. It can pull their attention back, like a gong crash in a symphony, or draw their attention to something very specific on the screen by making everything else visual noise. Or it can reinforce a consistent visual concept -- people's faces, a logo, a motion (like running, or typing, etc).
the quick cuts come out of nowhere, don't last long enough to justify em and the music does not sting it enough.
If your paid by the hour, fix it and your boss will love it even more.
If your on salary and he's already happy, I think your done, man.
If your boss pulls up to your drive thru window and orders a burger, don't make him wait 30 minutes for a plate of steak and potatoes. Give him a burger.
If however he asks for a cheap steak and you give him a butterfly-cut filet mignon for the same price, he'll come back to you forever!
Right now the video sits on the fence. Either kill the montage or trickle it into the piece more. Perhaps a few images quick-cut between sections?
A picture says 1000 words. Editors give them meaning.