@Phil Production: Dance Sequence Editing Progress 01

Hey Phil! :)
So this is our edit on the dance so far. There are three main dances taking place in the whole dance sequence which we tried to combine with edits. We are pleased with it till  0:23, but there is something about the shots and the combination of music which doesn't work after that point. We'll try and get the editing done this weekend so we can set up the render at the beginning of next week.


  1. I'm not Phil, but here's my feedback anyway! :)

    There's something slightly wrong with the framing of your character, throughout. For example, the hands move out of frame quite often and it's giving a slight impression of sloppiness in regards to camera control and composition. Same with the feet (though I understand this might be conscious decision?) I think you may be cutting off too much, as we only see just below her knees a lot of the time. Another example would be when the top of the head get's slightly cut off. I think you just need to pull back a tiny bit, or decrease your focal length.

  2. Thanks for the comment Tom :) Yeah I can see what you mean there. When we had a tutorial on editing we were told that it's ok for the character to be off-screen. Basically, the shots started with the character being framed to the scene but because most of the shots are static and the character moves around, it is inevitable for Kinnaree to be off-screen in some points. There are some leg animations that we are not very pleased with which explains why we don't show them through the edit and stick to mid-shots instead. We'll be re-editing the dance sequence this weekend so watch this space :)

  3. Hi guys... firstly, I'm hoping you've both had an experience of excitement as you began to cut between your various shots - this is the most dynamic bit of screen craft we've seen from Mango Mercury - but yes, Tom's right - I think he's picking up on your relative inexperience in terms of composition and framing - there are some odd choices of emphasis here, and I'm going to do my best to highlight them. Remember what I said, you're actually coming to this process quite late (as arguably your first pre-viz could and should have explored alternate shots), but I'm very encouraged to see you freeing up a bit in terms of your action sequences. This needs refinement and polish, but you're beginning to think much more like film-makers now, so I'm very pleased - but you've got a steep learning curve and you've got to move quickly, confidently and with authority.

    However, I know I said to relax about keeping all of her in shot all of the time (hence avoiding parented camera sea sicknesses) but you must show more sensitivity to framing and composition; for example, when she concludes a movement or finishes a line or gesture - yes, that final position should be crafted carefully so she makes sense on screen.

    I think it's odd that you've abandoned your master shot completely now - because surely you need to keep cutting back to the 'full figure in space' shot to ensure your audience understands her spatial relations and her full appearance. You should certainly consider beginning with that master shot, as right now we seem to begin by focusing on her chest! Also - you've got a number of scenes when she's facing away from us without any real reason as to why that might be - so from 0.23 secs approx - I don't know why we're only looking at her from behind. Remember - all your camera shots need to be motivated by something - an emphasis, a continuation of line - don't just cut to pov because you've got the choice; only cut to a new camera purposefully to convey more information (or conceal a problem).

    I don't think the top view of her spinning works; this moment might indeed be an opportunity for a parented camera - a camera that spins around with her in a smooth way, so we 'feel' that spin, and then you can cut this with a top body shot and blend the motion.

    More generally, I don't think you're actually using the 'instructions' in the music - just listening to it there seems to be obvious emphases in the music that you're not using - this is REALLY hard to explain via a blog post, because it's something you have to feel. Try counting; I was using a count of 4 as in 1,2,3,4,1,2,3,4 - with '1' on the beginning of each new muscial phrase; finding the rhythm - and cutting to it - is another way to construct this dance more musically.

  4. Listen - in terms of coverage - I think you need to think about creating more shots. It doesn't take long, and I think you're beginning to understand this process much more, but I think you still need to think much more about the purpose of the shots you're taking. I also think, as discussed on Thursday, there is an opportunity to mix static camera shots, with tracking camera shots (which are not parented, but rather move to keep the dancer in frame). The speed of the tracking shots should be measured, graceful and consistent to all cameras - you're not creating urgency, you're underwriting elegance and poise. You can use a tracking shot to keep her central, or to keep us equidistant from her as she moves backwards and forwards - and you can combine these cameras with static cameras. (Personally, I still think you're missing some close-up head shots). You can use tracking shots to travel up and down her body - so we can begin low and end up high - this isn't parenting cameras so they follow every movement, but these are moving cameras, tracking independently, to keep her nicely in shot or to create strong compositions.

    Put more simply - create a series of gentle, controlled tracking shots DESIGNED to keep her central or 'in frame' where possible. Create a series of up/down tracking shots - front view, back view, 3 quarter view. Create a new static master shot so we can see the whole of her and where she starts and where she finishes. Finally - re-edit this sequence again - but with more UNDERSTANDING of what you're trying to achieve. I know this is painful and it must feel like you're slowing down, but in truth, you have always struggled to know how to turn you world and assets into an engaging filmic experience - but you're getting it figured now - and the techniques you're learning here (albeit in an accelerated way) are going to make everything else you need to do for this go a bit quicker - so onwards, and get a new version on here asap - and please pay particular attention to the relationship between the music and the cut! :)

    Good luck - and keep going!