How would you improve these shots from To The Max webseries?


(Kyla) #1

hello friends!! I am here to sacrifice some gifs from my webseries because I would very much like to improve!! please critique these and I will also critique myself!! I included an older shot, a recent shot, and a shot in between-- kudos to you if you can tell which is which!! also we are still in production so we have not done colour-balancing and such yikes lmao

Shot #1

Shot #2

Shot #3


What are your creative goals for April?
(Herman Wang) #2

These are pretty good!

For 1, I would have tripod-mounted the camera. With the edge of the map being so close to the edge of the frame, the camera movement is distracting. Alternatively, applying a stabilize process in post would have done the trick too.

For 3, that’s a nice focus roll, and I imagine the purpose is to draw attention to the girl while the foreground actor is speaking - but their heads aren’t quite close enough together. The viewer can easily see he’s going out of focus, but it’s not obvious that she’s coming into focus. I would either have changed the angle a bit to put their heads closer together, or incorporated a push along with the focus roll to highlight the girl more strongly (especially if the push took the foreground actor out of frame).


(Kyla) #3

okay I’m gonna roast myself here goes:

Shot #1

  • I need a tripod part one
  • the lighting is… less than ideal
  • the clothing in this was super intentional bc it was a clothing swap as part of a bucket list type of thing but I wish I’d put them in something a little more colourful
  • that back wall NEEDS STUFF ON IT

Shot #2

  • I need a tripod part two
  • I should have centred jackie with the door more
  • dear god what am I WEARING

Shot #3

  • I need a tripod part three
  • there’s so much negative space on the right side
  • I wish I could have done something with that flag but alas I could not

(Herman Wang) #4

I purposely don’t tripod every single scene I do. Handheld, especially for closeups, gives scenes a more intimate feel sometimes. I honestly don’t think 3 needed tripod.


(Meg Carroway) #5

Shot 1:

  • I agree there should be a tripod, or at least a more consistent camera hand. Handheld shots are fine, but this feels like a tripod shot UNTIL it shakes, which is weird. If it’s constantly more fluid/obvious it’s being held, maybe it’ll be ok.
  • The colors are very red- I’d try dropping the red color in whatever your editing software is and maybe adding a bit of cyan to stabilize/replace?
  • Could have put some kind of face light underneath them to light their faces better, or at least had light just off camera and pointed towards them

Shot 2:

  • Definitely tripod
  • Actually I really love this shot so no other comments! Boy that yellow wall is an ugly color though- luckily there’s that pretty blue trim and some posters!

Shot 3:

  • Maybe hold the camera a bit higher so the foreground actor’s forehead isn’t so cut off? Not all the way up, but a little more.
  • Maybe also move the whole shot back a bit so there’s less of the ugly white cinder block wall and more of just the nice black curtain.

Overall, though, these look great! What’s your show about?


(Meg Carroway) #6

I didn’t mind the flag, actually! It was texture and color. But I think the frame could have ended at the flag or just beyond, honestly.


(Bri Castellini) #7

@JustinMMorrison @JustinHarris @mdec24 @gmcalpin @cagesafe @RobbieRuviews @alwaysafilmgeek @barbaramcthomas @Sandwich_Fam @OddLantern @Aquariarts @ShayFuller1 @WickedEnigmatv

(about to go do a secret Stareable project but will comment afterwards myself!)


(Gordon McAlpin) #8

I think Kyla and everyone else already covered all of the things I’d have said about 1 and 3. I’m a big tripod-lover.

But with 2, I think that could have been split into two shots. One tight on the woman in the foreground with the door or hall where “Ashley” comes from in frame, so that she walks into frame and we notice her before the foreground woman does. She would perk up and turn her face away from the camera toward Ashley as Ashley walks off frame to the right, then you cut to a second shot of the foreground woman getting up to follow her. This would (I think) lead the eye around in a more dynamic way and get you more inside the head of the foreground character.


(Kyla) #9

thanks so much! To The Max is about a bunch of small town teens in the late 80s, determined to shake up the status quo as they navigate their teen drama. (I soooooo need to work on how to explain it/pitching)


(Bri Castellini) #10

Everyone else took most of my comments already, but here are a few more! Overall, though, these look awesome! Can’t wait to see the show!!

Shot #1

  • I’m not sure what precedes this shot, but it takes a little more time than I’d want for her to pick up the thumbtack, especially since neither character is speaking. The motion just seems like it good be smoother and with more purpose (I know this is crazy nit-picky, but everyone else took the other comments!)
  • Also, I’d embrace the handheld camera more, maybe moving slightly with her arm as it approaches the map. Very slightly, but enough to make it clear the subject of the shot (since there are two characters not talking)

Shot #2

  • Hard to tell from the GIF, but does the girl at the table leave frame? Right now it looks like she’s doing the thing where an actor doesn’t know where frame ends and so does a weird stopping motion. She should leave the frame at the same speed as she stands so it isn’t obvious there’s, for instance, a light or two in her way. Fake it.
  • I dunno if this was an accident, but I love that her shirt matches the trim on the door. This isn’t a critique, I just liked the shirt. Def should have had a tripod though.

Shot #3

  • There’s way too much unused space, agree agree, and I also agree with Meg that you could have had them both step back a bit so the negative space that IS there isn’t that ugly white wall.
  • RACK FOCUS!! You did a really good job with it (agree with Herman about how small she is in frame but still IT LOOKS SO GOOD!)
  • Maybe I’d like less profile, more angled at the guy in the foreground, but I dunno where the 180 is in this scene so it’s hard to say. I really do like the framing overall so now I’m just reaching. But maybe taking like on step further around the guy would A. lose some of the extra negative space, B. lose some of the ugly wall, and C. give us a better look at both characters.

(Kyla) #11

nice guess with ashley! you were so close, it’s actually angie! :grin:

I love your point! there’s actually a scene just before it where angie argues with someone on the other side of the room and we see her start to walk over to the side that’s shown in the shot! and we do have a different shot of jackie getting up to follow angie, so thank you so much for the advice to cut to the second shot! I’ll put it in my notes!


(Kyla) #12

thanks!!! the girl in shot 1 had just finished saying a line that essentially ended a conversation that was bordering on a fight, and was just kind of like “ok whatever” and was pinning another location in hopes of distracting the guy from that conversation… spoiler alert it did not work. also in shot two, she did leave frame, I just cut the gif veeeeeery badly. also the shirt was very much an accident and now I’m delighted. and RACK FOCUS!!! !!! !!! !!! !!! !!! !!! !!!