UlfLaursen wrote on 1/22/2012, 11:14 PM
Hi Allen

I love it. Good job... :)

Where was it used and in which connection?

Duncan H wrote on 1/22/2012, 11:55 PM
Good approach and certainly song and images are well matched, particularly for your audience. A couple of thoughts:

1. Be careful about format - looks like you've included 16:9 clips with 4:3 format, without cropping, so a couple of the clips have "squeezed" people in them, maybe revisit and adjust just the couple of offending clips (or lose them) as I really noticed the 2 or 3 affected clips.

2. You've asked for comments, so this one is minor but again noticeable (to me). You appear to have a couple of transitions at 2.21 and around 2.24 that appear to flick (I think there are some other extraneous frames). If you zoom in on the timeline, I think you'll see these could be tidied.

3. I found the inclusion of the rock band footage (particularly with green overlays) a bit unanticipated. Perhaps it was an intentional part of the message, but I think these couple of clips with overlays looked (again to me) strangely inconsistent with the project.

4. Clearly you needed to find images of a businessman in a red tie (if I remember the lyrics correctly), hence the inclusion of the stills of the individual with black vignette surround. For consistency (and perhaps a bit more variation in visual content in the project generally) I would experiment in including more stills (even staying with teh eye theme, lots of opportunities to explore closeups, expression etc) , perhaps with a touch of panning/cropping throughout your project, as you had me understanding the format (cuts & video) and all of a sudden I'm looking at 3 still images, then back to video. just my thoughts.

4. Ending might have been more emotional/ powerful. I can understand the choice of the image of the child, but I'm wondering if the ending could perhaps be strengthened by trying out another clip or perhaps a slower fade to black etc.

Please do not misconstrue comments, I think it's a project that conveys a clear message with appropriate audio and video. It's a highly emotive area and the above are simply some of my thoughts on watching it on one viewing. Best of luck and trust it is well received.


Grazie wrote on 1/23/2012, 12:57 AM
You want comments? O....K.....

1] To raise this above the banaal you need to cut more on the beat. Show you've thought about the cuts.

2] Work the colour ways to your advantage and bang home the message.

3] Ditto the ratio.

4] Consider going black and white for dramatic effect

5] Use the street band at crucial points to assist the telling of the story.

6] Consider compositing images together, again for making the narrative urgent and effective.

I understand where your head and heart lays. I got it. Now do the real hard part: Dig deep and make MORE from what OTHERS have laid on a plate for you. Otherwise ......

Good start, but you've got at least another month's editing to consider.

Editing is a craft. Let me see you working it and pushing home your message.

All my comments are meant to be constructive. And truly, thanks for sharing.



wetrock wrote on 1/23/2012, 3:02 AM
Work with the music more not only putting transitions on beats or sounds, but the clip should move with the music between transitions.
Some of the japan footage has too much fire hosing (panning) for me and becomes confusing.

That is just my 2 cents
It's actually pretty good as it is, keep at it.
farss wrote on 1/23/2012, 4:10 AM
Good effort, I know what it's like to start with a blank canvas.

A couple of tips.

Images should have their own rhythm. Turn off the music to assist getting the rhythm.
Avoid being too literal.
Quite a few shots were too long, a few frames can make a big difference between it going with the flow and blocking the flow Some could have been trimmed by second. ,Avoid milking a shot,leave it too long and it curdles.
"Give me your eyes". Shots that could have worked with that message were off the lyrics.. Here's a thought, you've got a lot of shots from places with a different religious ethic, use their "third eye" concept. I've found when working with religious content it's OK to confront.
Something that really bugged me. The shots starting at 4:13 came out of nowhere. Obviously you're using a lot of stock footage shot by people with serious budgets. That's OK if it was being juxtaposed with the more grungie low rent shots of the band the whole way through but it isn't. I was anticipating something that'd leave me breathless, instead I just had the wind knocked out of me. You've set a visual standard and need to keep it going to the end.

paul_w wrote on 1/23/2012, 5:23 AM
Good video! Just some thoughts although i'm not a pro, the guys have already made some great comments.

To me, and this is open to interpretation, its a message about fixing human nature and dealing with dramatic events. What about leading us through a journey from all the bad stuff, then clearing into a positive message towards the end. Leaving us with some great images of sunshine, kids faces, nature etc.. Basically a bad to good story. Without going to the point of making it mushy.
And i would loose the pillarboxes at the sides of the video, 4:3 black bars.
Music cuts, for sure. Cutting to rhythm gives more impact and drives the images along, but throw in the odd desolve between cuts so its not always just cuts. Its doesnt have to be on the beat at every cut, just go with it.
Lastly, 5 minutes is pretty long for a music video. So unless the track was cut to say 3:30, you have to keep the attention of the view for longer and thats harder work.

But, hey, i liked the message and it does work as is.

John_Cline wrote on 1/23/2012, 5:27 AM
Good job. Just some things I noticed and take them with a grain of salt...

Right off the top, I thought the 34 second intro needs more than three shots, the video kind of got off to a slow start. There are twelve measures in the song during the intro and up to twelve opportunities to do something. The clip of the rotating earth was a bit too long as was the following clip with the trails flying between continents. It wasn't until the aerial shot of the city at night that I finally saw something that captured my attention.

During the man with the red tie segment, maybe put a little motion tot the clips. Perhaps a subtle slow push in on each clip, into his lips, his hands and his eyes.

I thought that the clip of the musicians sitting on the sidewalk didn't particularly fit the theme. Maybe you could leave it in if you adjusted the speed of the clip so that the person playing guitar was strumming more closely to the tempo of the song, although he isn't strumming at a constant rhythm.

You could probably lose both of the shots between 4:12 and 4:22. There doesn't seem to be any good reason for either of those shots.

Maybe don't put all the tsunami clips together, intersperse a few of the more dramatic tsunami shots through the end of the song for more emotional impact.

Otherwise, it worked quite well for me and I'm probably just nitpicking. There are a lot of great shots in the video but I particularly liked the shot at 3:52 of the guy staring at the camera raising his eyebrows. It made me smile.
i am erikd wrote on 1/23/2012, 6:14 AM
It's a start, and if you are a complete beginner, it is a good start. But I agree with others that you are going to have to work much harder than you already have to get a truly effective video.

The best thing about the video is the music track selection. It is a good choice that communicates heartfelt emotion which is a must for this genre to be effective.

Having said that, your cuts and pacing aren't close to keeping sync with the energy the track is giving. Pacing is huge. You need many, many more images, cuts, transitions, possibly even some effects; anything that will come closer to matching that emotion the music is giving you.

You have to take what you have and massage it much, much further. I now that's tough to do when you are making something from nothing but the music is saying, faster, more intensity, more emotion. I just completed a :60 spot myself where all I had was a brief on-camera bit and the rest had to come from the blank canvas. I spent 62 hours completing the spot!! Even now I can still pick it apart and there plenty of things I would like to have done better but it will broadcast nationally on more than one cable news network. I'm also sure that this forum wouldn't have any trouble pointing out those flaws as well so don't worry about criticism as it is a big part of getting better.

I feel another key factor is what I would term cohesion. Giving your video a cohesive feel is even more critical when working with lots of different images from all over the place. How can I make these images all feel like they belong in the same video? What treatments or looks can I create that will not only give the video a cohesive feel but will reinforce and help tell the story.

Best to you and and keep editing.


Soniclight wrote on 1/23/2012, 7:08 AM
So much good, thoughtful feedback, hard not to be redundant.
So here goes my small 2 cents - and as with others, this is just an IMO.

First, is this music by you or friends of yours? If so, hey, I really liked it (I dig the "can't we just get along..." type stuff. Call me mushy.

But the other part is that if you are using original content by you, you can then edit it a bit too -- I'd suggest some more sonic space or glides, i.e. in the bridge cut the beat in half to give it a sense of slow-down, suspension... then start back up ending with the chorus again. Slow build-up of weight of instrumentation during first verse to second would also help.

If not music by you or you have not been granted permission to use it, you've got a copyright violation issue and hopefully it's totally moot :o)

As to overall visuals, I liked the whole-of-humanity thing and there are some great shots in there, but what my freakin' critical eye notices is the uneven gamma/contrast type stuff. Some clips are more washed out then others.

They should be consistent somehow. Even the low-rez tsunami and other news broadcast scenes can be color curves corrected to match the ethos of the better shots. If fact, you could go real dramatic with those and add noise or other effect to drown out the pixelation of the shots, bring up the contrast.

You said you used Digital Juice clips -- but are they all that, or have you mixed some others, i.e. the new stuff? My guess is that one needs permission to use those if not part of the royalty-free stuff you have gotten/paid for for technically speaking this is a music video, not academic work or other situation where fair use applies. (Again, hopefully another moot point :)

I agree with others' suggestions to give more punch, more drama and the cuts-to-beats (or bars) would help. Can be a bit tedious unless you have something like VASST Ultimate S or S-Lite or similar. Or you could set up markers and match-cut that way.

Matching lyrics to images... unless one has the Getty collection, that's going to be tough but you have enough clips that point toward the general ethos of the song that you could make a couple of adjustments.

I felt the guy-with-red-tie was an attempt to do that, but IMO, it doesn't fit for two reasons: one, the black fade-matting/masking or frame around it is distracting, doesn't fit with anything else; second, it's too stock-photo like, static and has little emotional weight. Looks too posed, almost like some Valentine pretty boy shot -- unlike all the other great segments you have. Ask yourself if you really need that shot at all--isn't there something else or even a cropped part of something that you could use to replace it?

There is another shot somewhere that has a similar kind of fuzzy/fade or picture-frame thing around it. Again, doesn't fit the more flowing, documentary look and feel of the majority of the clips. It also looks out of place.

Last, back to the make it dramatic point brought up by others.

If you decide to consider what they have said -- modern day attention spans balk at songs over 3 or so minutes -- this would mean having to compress things in. Part of this can be a relief -- get rid of clips you know are just a bit so-so, keep the very best. Keep the ones with the real punch and emotional aura.

The other part is that if you find you have more clips than timeline time, start experimenting with different track modes and/or horizontal or diagonal wipes or masking whereby two clips are being shown at once or fading gracefully from one to the other through Add, Screen, Overlay, whatever works for you. (But don't get too psychedelic :)

Oh, and last, yup, 4:3 is so 20th century, my man. You've got to at least go 16:9. Do a Save-As of your project and play around with different resolutions.

One thing I've found is that less-is-more and more dramatic when as a wider, more cinematic screen area. Yes, parts of the clips will get cropped out, but the effect is still there. And if there is a need to focus on a face or element, there is always Pan-Crop to help out.

I feel like a putz being so nitty picky too for I really do feel the heart and soul of what you're trying to get across. There is so much vapid to crude, rude and vulgar crap out there. We nee more stuff like this :)

In short, my critical eye took over here, and I don't like critiquing, really.

But let me tell you something as someone who has been here a while (2005-ish) among people that are far ahead of me in terms of professional editing aptitudes and experience:

I remember having a couple of my first music video things honestly critiqued here and at the time--ouch. It bummed me out a bit.

But they were absolutely right about a lot of stuff.
And it's stayed with me ever since.

I learned, I've gotten tighter, better at it all.

Short version: As others have said, we get the spirit of your work and what you've done so far is a good start. But with a little self-compassion/patience, some elbow grease, fine-tuning and creativity, you could polish this into something beyond good.

You could make it stunning.

~ Philip
video777 wrote on 1/27/2012, 11:38 PM
Thank you all so much! I truly appreciate constructive criticism and especially given in the spirit that you have all given it.

A few things and this is in no way to make an excuse for my video:

1) I was given three days to make this. It was played last Easter at our church. For some reason our music minister thought someone else was taking care of it. I didn't have a lot of time to give it the kind of attention that all of you have written about. I WILL be reading and re-reading your comments for future projects. I might even make a new version of it and edit it down to three minutes and incorporate the ideas you have all given me. If I did it would just be for fun and to improve my skills.

2) I was required to use this song exactly as it was. The choir actually sang along with it and I created a Click Track that only the drummer heard. The music director watched him so he could correctly sync the choir and orchestra to what I created.

3) This was mostly Royalty Free and I am not concerned about copyright laws for this particular project. Our church pays fees to use the music in various ways. BTW - I do take copyright laws seriously.

4) I am not a beginner and have been doing digital video editing since 2001 (and actually prior to that on analog). I was heavily involved with Pinnacle Studio, starting with DV but had used other versions prior to that. I ended up doing beta testing for many subsequent versions of Studio and then Liquid. In fact, Pinnacle flew me to their headquarters in Mountain View. Jim Thill and I did a live webcast and he introduced me as their "Liquid Expert." They even had me wear a shirt that said that and they gave me the shirt. They liked it so much that they asked if I would record one to be shown the next week. They are still up on the Avid/Pinnacle site. I've actually done hundreds and hundreds of projects. Everything from the usual concerts, plays, magic shows, weddings and funerals to going into prisons, homeless shelter promos, community center and other charity promos and others.

One thing I am thankful for, the people watching it don't analyze it like you and I do. I had a lot of very positive comments. So at least it got the point across. In fact there are a couple spots that still cause me to tear up a little.

Again, I very much appreciate all the thought you put into your comments. I promise that I take them very seriously and upon reflection agree with virtually everything that was written here. If anyone wants to add anything that would be fine. Thank you! :-)
video777 wrote on 1/27/2012, 11:49 PM
I wish I could acknowledge each of your posts but one thing that stood out is regarding switching from 4:3 to 16:9. I just got a new HD camera and now all three of my cameras can do wide screen so I edited my first all wide screen project in October. I had two camera operators and one static camera that I used mostly for ambient audio. It was for a magic show that I was actually in. I did two Houdini escapes: Siberian Shackle Escape and escape from a Regulation Straitjacket. I used humor as well. I came out with "Magic Man" by Heart playing. I was wearing sunglasses, jeans and a leather jacket. Smoke was rising up around me. Lots of fun!