People On Trains - A short video about loneliness and mobile addiction in Singapore

olmaster

New member
Hey guys,
Here in Singapore - just like in the States - people stare at their phones 24/7. I took a few clips of people staring at their phones on the local subway and dubbed them with a few words about loneliness I wrote.

I was wondering if any of you could give me some feedback (of any sort). From how to improve the shooting, to whether you thought the topic was too shallow or even worth being discussed.

 

tavisnortham

New member
Hey man, I liked this short a lot. I thought the concept was great, the shots and style were all good. It fits that "not super formal camera work" kind of documentary well and the shots of the people were superb. It gives you a feeling of disconnection from these people as they look at their phones. My only gripe is that the narration didn't seem very insightful. It was more superficial as if you had something to say but you said it and then ran out of things to say but you still had to fill up the time. That's not to say that it was important or that I hated what you were saying, I just think it can be said in a more insightful way. For example, delve into that idea of self isolation. Don't tell the audience that phones are causing us to isolate ourselves, rather say what the bigger picture of this is. What are the consequences and effects? How has this changed us? It doesn't have to be extensive, but I think it would provide for a more interesting discussion of the topic even if you are just setting it up as a platform or food for thought. Other than that I thought it was pretty good!
 

olmaster

New member
I 100% agree with you. The depth of the dialogue is what I'm most self conscious about. I do think that I bring up some decent points, but then again, I could've maybe left some things unsaid (especially about phones since they're all around the video) and focused more on the bigger picture.

I'm glad you liked the shots and the "poverty", so to speak. I was debating whether to get a better camera for future works like these, but then I thought that part of the beauty of these shots is that they look so basic and non-professional.
 

tavisnortham

New member
I totally agree. The camera work lends itself to the story of your film, but I think the caveat is that style won't always be conducive to your future projects. What kind of camera are yoh using? I'm sure with research and practice you could pull a more cinematic look out of it.
 

olmaster

New member
I totally agree. The camera work lends itself to the story of your film, but I think the caveat is that style won't always be conducive to your future projects. What kind of camera are yoh using? I'm sure with research and practice you could pull a more cinematic look out of it.
I'm using a Sony Handycam cx405. It's tiny and probably one of the cheapest cameras out there. I tried to work with color correction a bit to make the image better, but I'm sure there are other ways to get better looking shots. This is basically the first thing I've ever shot myself.

Any quick tips on how to get the most from a cheap camera like mine?
 

tavisnortham

New member
From what I've learned shooting 24 fps, using stabilizers like steadicam and shoulder rigs, and checking your lighting and paying attention to mise en scene are the big factors for a cinematic look. I would look up videos on how lighting and set design can work in your favor. Of course the dynamic range of your camera as well as other factors like that dealing with the tech youre working with matter, but we all have to learn to do the most with what you have.
One of the best cinematographers I've ever met once told me it's not the tech. You can make a fantastic movie on an iPhone. It's how much you're willing to do and how far you're willing to go that make your film what it is.
 

olmaster

New member
That's what most talented cinematographers say, and I truly believe that the story is what matters. I have no background on aesthetics, but I'll work on it. I'm planning on doing most of my shooting in environments that I can't really manipulate. My videos are meant to be short movies, but they're really just documenting reality. All of this to say that the lighting might be a little hard to adjust. I got myself a tripod and a clamp to fixate the camera basically anywhere.

I started writing another one of these videos, hopefully this style won't bore people too fast :)
 

tavisnortham

New member
That's what most talented cinematographers say, and I truly believe that the story is what matters. I have no background on aesthetics, but I'll work on it. I'm planning on doing most of my shooting in environments that I can't really manipulate. My videos are meant to be short movies, but they're really just documenting reality. All of this to say that the lighting might be a little hard to adjust. I got myself a tripod and a clamp to fixate the camera basically anywhere.

I started writing another one of these videos, hopefully this style won't bore people too fast :)
Have you seen "The Revenant". It is probably the most ideal example of an amazing visual experience and it was done with all (mostly?) natural lighting which makes a lot of sense considering it is a movie that deals so heavily with nature. So yes you can get amazing results by not really using lighting. At the same time if you are using available light, bounce cards and flags will be your best friend in order to retain some level of creative control.

Also I love the idea of having short little videos like this one. It is an interesting concept because it acts a quick little statement like "Hey stop and think about this for a quick second." for an idea or concept most people don't consider normally. I think story more than anything lends itself to that and like I said in one my earlier posts if you can really hone in on your script and narration then these shorts could be something special.
 
N

Nosferatu

Guest
Thats it, im ditching my big screen phone and going back to basic 5 line 2 color display! :D
I like what you did there and for this type of work you dont need a more "professional" looking shots. The quality is fine and fits this style very well. The part where you could improve is the narrated story itself, the sound quality in general (hissing from your microphone gain?) and music (that did not fit very well and I found it too loud but that could be just me).
Very well and i hope to see more from you!
 

Kim Welch

Senior Member
Staff member
I think it's fine. It's a judgement. When we say something is good or bad it is good or bad. It's like the nakedness in the garden of Eden. We carry super computers around in our hands with cameras, video editing and video conferencing capabilities. And, so yes we can communicate and connect with people all around the world we love instead of that smelly person next to us. Or, show the world the smelly sleeping person sitting next to us! Wonderful! So, I just disagree with the angle and tone but otherwise. Good work.
 
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