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-The wipe at :21 interacts with the letterbox matte. This is a little disconcerting. (Upon watching further, I guess all the wipes do. It's always disconcerting).
-That cut at 1:44 is obvious enough that I think it would be less distracting to go with a cross-dissolve or another obvious transition -- it kinda comes off as a clumsy attempt to hide a cut for effects reasons, which of course it isn't.
-At 2:11, right before you cut to the title animation, it looks like young actor extraordinaire Tyler Higgins might break character a bit with his smile. I might be wrong, of course...that's just what I thought the first time viewing. I'd get rid of a couple seconds here if you could.
-3:35 -- the coverage here breaks the line (Dan looks left in the previous shot, right in this new one).
-The performances are really enjoyable in this!
-4:58 -- Line cross again.
Aside from the technical issues that I mentioned above, you have yourself a reasonably tight package here. The scenes were well covered, the editing was for the most part seamless, and the sound was clean and high quality. In today's world where good equipment is incredibly cheap, looking professional is important and you have certainly succeeded there. The one exception I would note would be the wipes -- aside from the problem mentioned above, they just look like overly flashy stock wipes, and are distracting. Then again, they fit into the water motif.
I really liked the characters. I thought the performances were strong, and you especially did a great job, Higgs. A very funny situation your character is put in and you pulled off his reactions to it nicely. All three characters, however, were quite clearly established with some depth.
Although the story took a while to get going, I thought that it was a fun, enjoyable view overall.
Shoot I've gotta run all of a sudden but I have more to say! I'll add it when I can.
I'm a little new to filming, and am not quite sure what you mean about breaking the line. I remember my film professor briefly going over something that may be what you're talking about, something like cutting from one side of two characters to the other creating an awkward visual? Is that what you mean?
I was worried about the "ripple" cuts looking amatureish, but thought I'd try them for the sort of water theme, as you guessed. I think if I use them sparingly, they'll be more acceptable than they were in this first episode.
Unfortunately, as of right now, I only have iMovie, and there's no way for me to keep the swipes from crossing over into the letterbox. My budget for Squirt, which was this summers project, went to buying the new video camera mostly, and I'm saving up to get Final Cut, as well as a boom and some lighting equipment.
I'm glad you thought it looked professional (for the most part), I tried pretty hard, but unfortunately some scenes were pretty rushed, so there's going to be some variation in the quality of professionalism throughout the series.
One thing I can say, however, is that I am very proud of all the actors who did very well in just about every scene. So there's that to look forward to.
And thanks for the compliments on my acting. As with most people, I'mpretty critical of myself when I see me on screen, and it's nice to be reassured.
Thanks again, and I'm looking forward to hearing whatver else you have to say, Tyler
Preserving the line is pretty simple. Basically, take your two characters and imagine a line drawn through them. Always keep your camera on the same side of this line. That's it. This will mean that the characters always look the same direction, which allows the audience to be grounded in terms of their perspective.
Although the concept itself is simple, this can get really complicated, especially with more than two people in a scene. However, it is one of those cardinal rules of filmmaking which if broken will instantly alert "film people" to an amateur production, and, perhaps more importantly, will confuse the audience.
This was a pretty good second installment, but I thought Daniel kind of went along with the whole superhero idea a little too easily. Shouldn't someone mention to Rufus that the idea of Daniel being a superhero is totally insane? All he can do is shoot a mild stream of water out of his finger, since when does that qualify as a superpower? Maybe if it shot outta there with the force of a fire hose, that might be something, but as it stands I don't think he'd make a good superhero and I really feel like there needs to be a character who is the voice of the audience, to point out ridiculous the whole idea is. Maybe you're going to do something with that in future episodes, but as it stands it just kinda bugged me.
Having said that, I thought this was also a lot funnier than the first one. I liked the little touches of Daniel drinking from his finger squirt and the whole run of what his superhero name could be was amusing. I'll be interested to see where you take the reporter character as well, and where the whole story goes in general. I hope episode three isn't too far away.
Thanks for the link Chris. I definitely broke that rule a few times while shooting, but I may be able to edit it so that it doesn't show up in the final cuts for future episodes.
Matt, Thanks for watching. It's a little late for me to add or change lines, but thanks for the feedback anyaway. All I can say is that it's supposed to be a bit humorous, how Dan's super-power isn't really that "super", and yet he's still going to try to be a super-hero.
It gets a little hard to hear at some points. This episode is mostly improvisation, as there was supposed to be a third judge (rufus' little sister) but when we were filming this scene the actress was in Wisconsin. I think it turned out to be a pretty funny episode though. Looking forward to hearing any thoughts.