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Alan
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« on: April 12, 2007, 04:22:23 PM »

Well, as the topic of the last DVD is going, and you guys are working on getting a next one out...so I think I would toss my suggestions out there.

#1 - Do not turn the camera sideways....never ever do this as it makes people at home sick.

#2 - Place a clip-on mic on anyone who is going to be speaking to the camera.

#3 - pen the dogs....

#4 - When one person is speaking, the other people cant ever take their eyes off of the speaker.

#5 - turn off the mic thats on the camera

#6 - Have que-cards behind the camera or off the the sides so that everyone has a very clear understanding whats going to be talked about, and in what order will topics be talked about.
You dont need a word-for-word script, but when we watch the video later it's nice to see that each conversation had someone behind the wheel.

#7 - Go over in advance what camera movements you will want done, so that you never have to tell the person behind the camera, "Hey over here!"

#8 - when one person is talking, the others on the screen cant move, they cant pick up anything, drop something heavy, or pet the dog..because the moment they do the speaker is forgotten....

#9 - when doing drawings on a white marker board,,,One  pen is all thats needed...because the video camera quality more than likely is going to only show a dark line for everything anyway.  I would also suggest that the pen lay down a wider strip of ink,,,,like 1/2 " wide

#10 - Although it would be nice to just sit down and " talk knives" with a friend on camera, the problem is that because of the editing cuts later the conversation is all over the board with no flow because of the cut-aways every few moments.   One short conversation that has within it 4 or more different cut-aways can make the viewer dizzy.

#11 - how about something a little funny?....toss a ball to the dog....get scratched by the old mean cat,,,,catch the wife on a smoke break....

#12 - do something new.  We have seen the forge burning, the power hammer banging, the quench tank quenching. ,.,We have watched enough bending a blade, we have seen the handle...
But we have never seen a sheep walk by...We have never seen the leather sheath made...we have never seen a knife used for real (testing on rope cuts does not count) We have never seen the sheath stitched.
and what about damascus?

#13...no number 13, it's bad luck

#14 - no screaming at the camera over the noise of the forge..

#15 - if you can, hire a camera guy from the local TV news station to do all the filming.


more later...

   

« Last Edit: April 15, 2007, 10:32:43 AM by Alan » Logged
mgugliotta
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« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2007, 04:46:52 PM »

Maybe they can learn from your videos  Huh

Saludos

Mariano
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Alan
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« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2007, 10:54:17 AM »

I have been watching a lot of video clips on YouTube this weekend about knifemaking.
I have seen some ideas that work, and some that dont.

#16 - Voice-over.
It makes a video a lot more fun to watch if there is a "voice-over" rather than listening to a guy try to shout over the sound of a gas forge and hammers.
The "voice over" is a recording of comments that is made after the final video edit are finished.  The voice-over makes the watching a lot more fun.  The voice-over brings all the different video clips into a single unit.  Everything seems more well done , more finished.

The voice-over also gets rid of sound problems that often pop up while shooting a video clip...


#17 Lighting.
many of the biggest problems when shooting video of a forge is that most forge work is done in the dark.
However shooting video in the dark is only going to result in video thats hard to see and understand.
Lighting of the action is the basic starting point to shooting an action clip.
I think that you dont want to use normal direct lightbulbs that we all know of, rather I think for video they use a reflected light thats more general and does not produce shadows....
From what I have noticed, dark shadows are bad.

#18  constant flow.
I have seen a few clips where to save time the knife maker will switch knives to others that are more finished.
While this trick makes it more easy to film the "way" a knife is made, it also causes the viewer concern as to what he is watching is real.
Starting to heat and forge a knife, and then in the next video clip we see the knife with a handle on it already can cause people to think someone cheated.

I think the best clips show the same knife from first heats to final form.

#19, Camera follows the action.
The person running the video camera should know where the action is going to move to.  What we don't want is for the camera guy to get lost and end up shooting video where the action is just off the screen.

#20 Seeing it.
Many problems I see in videos is because of the auto-focas setting on modern cameras that tends to change the moment something new gets in front of the camera.
This tends to happen right during important things like a Heat-treatment quench where just as the guy dunks the blade into the water there will be something that gets infront of the auto-focas and all we see if the feather stuck in a guys hat.
It would be nice if the auto-focas could be turned off so that no matter what jumps infront of the camera we will still be able to see whats really going on.

#21  Questions.
The only questions asked on a video should be scripted and are part of the show.
When two guys ask each other questions for real on a video it always looks like the guy answering is caught like a deer in the headlights....He just does not know what way he dares answer.

Also, the person running the camera always needs to know ahead of time whats going on so that you dont end up with a back-and-forth conversation about where to point the camera.

#22 Directions to the camera.
It's always poor form to need to talk to the guy running the camera where you want him to move to or where to step.
The camera should be firmly connected to a base, not held.
Holding a camera will always result in video that jumps around too much to watch.
Holding a camera also then is a temptation to move around on the fly.
All such movements are far to fast to watch without getting car sick watching.
The best thing to do is use a camera stand and have the camera unable to move.
I have  even seen a lot of open anger between some guy in front of the camera calling for one type of shot, while the guy behind the camera wanting a different type iof shot.  Telling the camera person where to point the camera tends to always make the other person look 'bossy" as well as shows that there was some poor planning for the shot if such changes are happening unexpected.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2007, 11:28:36 AM by Alan » Logged
Harold Locke
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« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2007, 12:29:14 PM »

I hope the next video, delves deeper into and clarifies grain size reduction, and exactly what is happening in the mass and the dynamics of strength and flexibility and maybe see clear examples of what is good grain flow and structure compared to what is bad as shown by differing failures. I think content as to the process of completeing the forged High Endurance High Performance is what I expect from the next video.

Like Alan pointed out, it would be nice to see some action testing of the blades being used in survival types of scenerios. Cut through the roof of and old vehicle as to prove that it can be used to escape an extreme situation. How about putting a dummies arm under a boulder an useing the blade to chisel out the rock to extricate the arm.

As for the camera going sideways in the KnifeTalk Video, The camera angle didn't make me sick and didn't distract me from the presentation.

I enjoyed the overall down home folksy feeling in Ed's first two presentations I would be cautious at trying to overdirect and loosing that feeling of spontenaity that made me want to meet the Mastersmith Ed Fowler and want to learn more of what he is offering to teach the world if they would travel with him for awhile down the knifemaking path.

I have watched the KnifeTalk DVD now 3 times. I pick up something new evertime I watch it. The quality of the video is way more than I ever expected coming from the knifemaking community. The other video and publications I have seen from Krause and others do not come close to what Ed, Jeremy and Tenna have produced. I am sure that they learned alot on KnifeTalk and are preparing well in advance to fix what they feel that needs to fixed for the next DVD.


Thanks

Harold
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« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2007, 02:10:42 PM »

   I suggest that anyone who doesn't like the Knifetalk productions NOT buy another one. I for one have no complaints and am looking forward to a simple unrehearsed  and honest  presentation where the participants aren't trying to impress us with long winded dissertations of meaningless crap.
   Harold you had some good suggestions and courteous comments. Your participation is of value as always.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2007, 04:19:02 PM by radicat » Logged
Alan
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« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2007, 09:53:15 AM »

#1 - Do not turn the camera sideways....never ever do this as it makes people at home sick.

(People who dont know much about shooting with a video camera tend to do this mistake.  I know cuz i still catch myself doing this from time to time.   We get mixed up, and start to treat a video camera as if it were a normal "photo camera"  With a normal film camera that takes a photo you can take a shot of tall things by turning the camera on it's side.  The end result is a photo that when you look at it you just turn that one photo sideways to view.
The problem is that what works so well with a photo camera does NOT WORK AT ALL FOR VIDEO!
You cant just turn your TV or computer on it's side to see whatever is on the screen better.
Turning the video camera on it's side to catch action that cant be seen in the normal direction only shows the person behind the camera is mixed up.
And the result of turning a video camera on it's side is that it makes the point of the shot lost.  It also makes watching the clip later likely to make you car sick)
------------------------------------------
#2 - Place a clip-on mic on anyone who is going to be speaking to the camera.

(Any time you wish to talk to the camera outside you should wear a clip-on mic.  Without such a mic your words will be overcome by the wind or other backgroiund noise.  Even the normal breathing of the person behind the camera can overcome the person being filmed because it's happends so close to the lone camera mic)
---------------------------------

#3 - pen the dogs....

(I know it's a temptation to have the dogs running around, to be able to show what normal life is like for a person being filmed, But the truth is that the breathing, barking, and movement of a dog is more than enough to take attention off of watever is the topic of a video.
Just the normal breathing of a dog overcomes the sound of others attempting to speak to the camera.
The actions of a dog to the strange people, to the object of the camera and trypod, and the odd ways people are standing and acting will cause a dog to be interested and want to study.  The viewer at home is going to totally forget what the subject of a DVD was at the start if a dog runs by sniffing stuff.)
-----------------------------------------------

#4 - When one person is speaking, the other people cant ever take their eyes off of the speaker.

(The person speaking on a video is the point of interest.  The moment the viewer at home sees someother person in the shot take their eyes off the speaker for even a short second, the idea that gets across is, "The speaker is no longer important to us ".
This means that if you pick up a heavy bar of steel and ask the expert about it, you have to hang onto that bar and keep your eyes on the other person all during the shot. 
No matter how heavy the bar is, you hold it, and you dont put it down during the expert's answer to pick up something else to ask about next. 
You wait for the expert to fully finish his answer.
Only when the expert is done talking can you then move to get a different bar of steel to pick up and ask the expert about.

EXAMPLE:  Watch the people reading the news on TV.  If there are two people behind the TV news desk , one will be looking at the camera reading the news to us and the other will always be looking at the other person. 
You never see one guy reading the news while the other is looking off-camera somewhere or checking his watch, because that would be seen as him being rude to the other guy)
---------------------------

#5 - turn off the mic thats on the camera

(The truth is that most camera's have poor quality mics that can pick out sound from all around the camera. 
 But when filming a shot you really only want to hear the sound of the person in front of the camera.  Not the sound of the wind, or the sound of the hammers, or the dor, or a car going by, or anything else except for the guy talking to the camera.  Thats your lone point of interest and should be the lone thing you can hear)
------------------------

#6 - Have que-cards

(While it would be nice to just sit down on the steps with a friend, turn on the camera and just talk about knives, the truth is that later in the editing you may have to cut so much stuff out that the final conversation  is an unconnceted mess.

You got to have a road map to get to where you want to go. 
If you just try to have a friendly conversation in front of the camera you will end up looking like you were lost without any clue where you were headed. 
This is because in normal conversations we tend to say things that might need to be changed later. 
We can accidentally say things that turn out to be wrong. 
We can get mixed up with numbers and dates.
And we can quote people who dont want to be quoted in a video.
Or we can mess up a quote of another person to the point we dare not let what we said be shown to others.

  All such things will need to be edited out of the final video, and thats where you end up with a videotaped conversation with so many cuts made to it that watching it now hard to do.)
----------------------------------------

#7 - Go over in advance what camera movements you will want done.

(This is where too many guys on youTube mess up when they turn the camera work over to a person who has little or none experience behind a camera.
If you are about to film a video to show , on YouTube or to be sold, you always have to go over every shot so that you NEVER have to say anything to the person behind the camera.  This will allow the flow of the shot to not get interrupted with comments like , "Hey film over here, now up a bit, hey backup I want you to show this. etc" When the viewer at home hears people calling out directions it always makes one person look way too bossy and the other person to look like they done know what they are doing.  The truth is that if you work out the shots a head of time with the cameraman the person at home will not give the person behind the camera a single thought. As it should be.

Charlton Heston on the set of the Ten Commandments never turned to the camera guy after the parting of the Red Sea and asked; "Did you get that?")
--------------------------------

#8 - when one person is talking, the others on the screen cant move,

(Any movement will cause a loss of attention by the viewer.  Any movement becomes the new center of attention, it does not matter how important a speach is being made, the moment a guy in the front row stands up or even scratches himself  he becomes what everyone watching the DVD later will notice)
-------------------------------


#9 - when doing drawings on a white marker board,,,One  pen is all thats needed

(A better idea than turning the camera onto a poor guy attempting to draw on a marker board is to do the drawing later on computer and cut it into the video with a voice-over added on top later.  This makes a much more professional look to the final drawing and is way more clear to the viewer at home )
---------------------------------

#10 - Although it would be nice to just sit down and " talk knives" with a friend on camera, the problem is that because of the editing cuts later the conversation is all over the board with no flow because of the cut-aways every few moments.
   
(A well scripted voice-over is a far better idea for a teaching DVD.)
------------------------------------------

#11 - how about something a little funny

(Most DVDs that are worth getting have something about them thats fun to watch.  They have to have a "Good Spot" that can be watched over and over.  Something thats very funny or interesting or shows something new.  There is little point to spending time dealing with things that cant be shown in an interesting manner)
--------------------------------------

#12 - do something new. 

(Before you make a DVD you have to ask, "Why would anyone want to watch it?"  There has to be something that the DVD wiull bring thats new or worth the effort to watch and to make in the first place. 
----------------

#13...no number 13, it's bad luck
-----------------------------------

#14 - no screaming at the camera over the noise of the forge..

(This is something I do myself because I dont have a clue yet how to do a voice-over  later when I do an edit.  Infact i dont even edit my YouTube clips yet.  But it is something I aim to learn how to do.  Shouting over the sound of a forge or a hammer is pointless, as you cant really get across your point this way on video. Also a recorded voice-over shows that you put extra care into the finish video to help people understand what you wanted to share with them,  It's shows the viewer a lot of respect.)
-------------------------

#15 - if you can, hire a camera guy from the local TV news station to do all the filming.

(Best advice I have yet given to anyone who is thinking about turning out a DVD thats to be sold.  Get someone who has done this many times before!  get an expert that will help you with his experience and will save you from the critics later.
Many a film has been saved from being ripped appart by critics in the future because the people who made the film took the time to seek advice from people who know this craft.  A real camera guy already knows how to avoid many of the issues that came up in BLADE...)


« Last Edit: November 11, 2007, 06:20:10 PM by Alan » Logged
PhilL
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« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2007, 05:19:05 PM »

I think Alan has made some intelligent suggestions. Although none of the points mentioned distracted my viewing of the first DVD. I know I learned a lot from watching the DVD, I'm sure Ed, Tena and Jeremy learned a lot from making the first DVD. I look forward to viewing the next Willow Bow Production.
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« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2007, 07:25:19 PM »

Thanks Phil and Alan:
I know we did not do the DVD to absolute perfection. We were at a point where we had an opportunity to put a lot of the information we had learned over the past 8 years  in one place. I had talked to a man who makes DVD's for a living and he offered to do it for $6,000. There is no way I could have afforded that kind of expense.  Still I did not want to lose the opportunity to capture the information. Then Jeremy came into the picture, he was going to come and video it for us, he is a professional and could have done it up right, then he could not make it. He offered to send us a camera and to edit what we shot. I immediately decided to take him up on the offer. It was either that or lose the opportunity,

The DVD was not intended to amuse folks, we wanted to record the information. For those who forge blades the informatin cannot be found elsewhere. We have it recorded.

Tena had never done this kind of work before, she did a great job.
Looking at it I can see a lot we could have done better, and the DVD's that follow will be better. I was brought up when textbooks were designed to teach, not entertian. That is the way to watch this DVD, I could care less if the average viewer is intertained, it is intended to satisfy a thirst for knowledge about the forged blade.

I believe we succeeded and I thank you all for your comments.
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« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2007, 09:12:45 PM »

there were sooooooo many little things i picked up from that DVD ....one inpaticular when you had your magnet in a vise on a spring and watched for the exact point of deflection in the spring.....i have been beating on steel for 23 years and i never fail to learn something new when i watch another smith work....

thanks again friend for documenting your prossess
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« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2007, 09:32:15 PM »

I too thought that magnet on a spring was genius. I also thought that maybe the needle on a compass would also be a good indicator. I have some large boat compasses that the needle will swing on when you pass a screwdriver close. Or is that getting too fancy? I haven't taken the DVD out of my portable player since I received it from Ed. I can just reach here in front of me and get into forging anytime I want. Great stuff.
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K Salonek
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« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2007, 09:57:47 AM »

Regarding the 'partial' magnet attraction, I placed a rather large magnet on an old 'C' clamp frame. Dragging the heated blade-blank accrossed it there is a feel for 'no' magnetizem , and another for 'partial' attraction,,,,,,, and cold , the magnet/'C' clamp will pick up or tilt.

Having the same idea about the compass, I like the 'ball' types when I'm in the woods. You know the type that looks like a clear fishing bobber filled with fluid and the compass, the type you can pin to your coat. Problem I had, the N-S would react to the ViceGrips , and it seemed that the heat would effect the plastic in time held that close.
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« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2007, 10:57:28 AM »

Some of the older compasses, such as mine, have metal housings and glass domes. I keep them around because every once in a while I lose my sense of direction. (and purpose)

Many sailors have lost there way (and probably their lives) due to carelessly having some metal object close to their compass. The possible scenarios are endless. If you pin one on your vest in the woods, make sure that your whiskey flask is in your back pocket. You don't want to be lost when it gets empty.
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« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2007, 08:02:12 AM »

Some of the older compasses, such as mine, have metal housings and glass domes. I keep them around because every once in a while I lose my sense of direction. (and purpose)

Many sailors have lost there way (and probably their lives) due to carelessly having some metal object close to their compass. The possible scenarios are endless. If you pin one on your vest in the woods, make sure that your whiskey flask is in your back pocket. You don't want to be lost when it gets empty.

You know my motto?

Always carry a little something in case of snake-bite,,,,,, oh, and always carry a small snake.
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« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2008, 01:18:56 PM »

Well I make my living as a professional videographer -editer .
Been in this buisness for 26yrs.

I enjoyed the video's just as they were .
I was looking for information not a full blown production.

Thanks again Ed .
I was watching Knifetalk one last night before I turned in .
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Alan
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« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2008, 05:37:31 AM »


I was looking for information not a full blown production.

I dont believe every knife video out there in the market needs to have background music and actors and a word-for-word script as would a full blown movie production.

However what I have suggested for anyone attempting to make their own knife video for sale is what I think is important have in such a video.
My suggestions are mostly just normal simple ideas we might overlook if we are doing a video ourselves.

Simple ideas like:
Not turing the camera on it's side . 
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Too many people that dont have a clue about how a video camera works are always tempted to turn a camera on it's side to get a wider shot of the action. 
The reason they do this mistake is that they remember that this tricks works well with a still camera.
Cameras that take photos that you can pass around dont need to always be held right side up because when a person holds the resulting photos they will turn the photo the right way around themselves.
The is NOT TRUE for a video camera....

Turning the camera on it's side to get a wide shot only makes the later video watchers at home become car sick, and it shows a basic lack of understanding of how to shoot video by the video camera crew.

The same is true for other camera tricks like the use of Zooms.
People that are new to working a video camera love to push the zoom in and out.
The zoom buttons are so handy, right there under the fingers thast they believe that zooms are expected.

The truth is that zooms are only handy for camera makers to slap on their cameras..they add little to the look of a video later.

Another error we see a lot of is when the people behind the camera or infront of it start to talk to each other about getting the shot.
No matter how you try to do this type of conversation it always comes across on film as a arguement with one of the people looking like a jerk and the other looking like a fool.

If you work out ahead of time what you want in a shot, and what movements need to be caught on film, then there is no need for the person infront of the camera to say anything to the person behind the camera.


« Last Edit: August 05, 2008, 02:16:51 AM by Alan » Logged
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