As part of keeping on top of new ideas and looking at existing material that is available to us, Annie set us the task to look at 20 different videos of 90 seconds and 3 minutes and to talk about what we did and didn’t like about them. Below are some videos I have watched of varying nature, looking at how they are put together, whether they hold my attention, what types of video techniques have been used amongst other things we have discussed so far in class. I am hoping looking at videos will give me an idea of how I want to shoot mine and what directions I want to take to produce my own 90 second and 3 minutes videos.

Video 1.

This is the first video I’ve watched and is 3 minutes long. It appears to tell of a story of a girl and the things she wants to do whilst showing moving images of what we are led to believe must be people she knows and is talking about or her friends. I found pros and cons in this video. The things I liked about the video were varied. The first thing I noticed once the speaker actually started talking was that the words being spoken were more like poetry than straight talking narrative, with phrases being repeated. It makes it an interesting piece visually because you have to try to link what you are hearing with what you are seeing because it’s not given to you in such a way you can just understand it. There were no talking heads in this piece, it is instead all just recorded audio that plays over the top of the moving images. There is a variety of different camera angles and shots which I also thought were good because it seems to create a different sense of style and culture within the piece, as well as identify with an area and a way of life because of what the video could show us. Some cons of this piece were that I didn’t like the fact it had such a long introduction and the opening images seemed random and therefore didn’t know what I was watching. It was also a con because I didn’t know what the subject was and it seems very random to me. The no words until this point made it hard to decipher what was going on and even the later addition of the poem being added, still provided confusion because it wasn’t the easiest to understand from that perspective. But overall the visual imagery was fairly good, although I feel it could have been more direct in order to help someone understand what the meaning is of the piece.


Video 2.

This is a 3:10 minute video (so a bit over what we would need to produce) that interviews Tim Burton and talks about some of his work over the years and his exhibition. I actually really like this video and didn’t really find anything I didn’t like. I found the subject matter interesting and liked the way it combined the use of visual pieces of his work alongside a ‘talking head’ interview and a video over his work in his exhibition as well as drawings and other material. The video was varied and used different types of shots in the interview, such as a master shot and medium shots to vary how we see the interview. There’s also good use of movement and panning over his exhibition works and provides you with various elements and insights into this work. Also included are snippets from films that Burton is involved in at the beginning which really sets off the whole interview and topic. The interview is brilliant and holds your attention so it doesn’t feel like three minutes and there is music playing over the top at times which also is quite an interesting medium used to help set the atmosphere in my opinion. I found it a really good interview and didn’t really find anything I didn’t like about the way it was done. It is a more standard interview piece compared to the pervious video I’ve looked at, which could be a con because it’s all one person talking and it’s set all around that, but actually, I think this enhances it because this is what it’s all about and that’s the focus. So it’s a different type of short video but works very well for me.


Video 3.

This video is 1:28 which is about 90 seconds long, so the equivalent to the video I need to produce. It doesn’t cover loads of points in this piece and majority of information conveyed is done through text on the screen which you have to read. I originally thought that it was quite good to be able to read, but as it went on it was harder to keep reading as well as looking at the video and the images from the telescope, so I think I would have liked some speech to have been included. But I did like the fact that the visuals were from the telescope itself which is what the topic of the video. The whole piece was also backed by music which had a starry feel about it which I think was also needed as there was no speech. But I feel there was a lot of movement and changing of screen in this video which meant it moved very quickly and I felt it could have been slower. Also it did feel all graphic and there was no actually real-time video or anything like that to analyse, but I was interested to look at a different style of video and what they did with the time length.


Video 4.

This video is almost three minutes long, but not quite the length I need to achieve. However the visuals and video used within this piece is so varied that I thought it was such a good example of how to create a captivating video using so many different techniques. On top of all the different video pieces, there’s also an interview going on which in some cases is played over the top of the video being shown. There’s also a ‘talking head’ interview going on, as well as different sounds that are very key and important to the whole narrative being constructed. As the piece is about a vegetable orchestra it shows the picking of the vegetables and the creation of them from start finish and right up to the performance at the end. I love this chronological style and set out of the video as it takes you through the whole story from start to finish. There’s also a comical side to the video which I love because although it’s serious, it’s still made the piece feel fun and has fitted in sounds the orchestra are making with well know pieces of music. It makes it a great, bright piece which is different to the often depressing or slightly less happy pieces we are so used to seeing in documentary. There’s such a variety of camera angles used and so many different locations that it holds your attention the entire way through. Although we only hear one person speak the whole way through other than the sounds and the music it still holds the piece together well. I really love the piece and think it is brilliant. It could maybe be slowed down a little so we could enjoy the visuals more, but overall I think it’s a great video and has some great style and techniques used.


Video 5.

The spoken and written elements of this video are beautifully pieced together to tackle what is quite a hard topic for some people. Whilst not only informing others of the issues those with anxiety face, it also helps those with to understand they aren’t alone. The girl used in the video, doesn’t speak until the very end but at that point you realise it was her speaking throughout the entire video. When she has a voice at the end, she becomes an entirely new person, all because of the way the video has been pieced together and has used her only as a talking head at the last-minute. Not only that, but although there are few alterations in the video and different locations, the ones that are used are used well. They match in with what she is speaking about and provide a visual aide for what she is thinking and feeling. I also really enjoyed how the speaking was sped up when it came to explaining how the anxiety feels like it can overcome you. By piling each word on top of each other, it created this sense of being overwhelmed and worked very well as a visual representation of a feeling.


Video 6.

At just over three minutes long, this video covers quite a lot of view points. It interviews lots of different people out in America, from all sorts of different background and it feel very unbiased towards any particular type of opinion. It answers most of the question it set out to answer, getting opinions from different people as well as incorporating statistics and facts. The videographer has made it appear that there is a clear connection to the subject and has made them feel at ease in front of the camera. It also combines archive footage which keeps you engaged because there’s so much going on and so many different opinions. This also helps to form your own opinions of the subject, thus engaging you further. There is a wide variety of shots used in the piece such as talking head shots and wide shots and more medium shots, as well as panning and blur in some cases. The piece works together really well. The only thing I didn’t like was the fact there was music in the background and I did begin to find this quite distracting at some points within the video.


Video 7.

This video focuses on the creation of a photograph by a photographer and how he combines all his images to produce one final outcome. It is about three and a half minutes long (longer than I need mine to be).Things I like about the video are the fact that there is a variety of angled shots that clearly show that the video has ben made by someone who also has a very photographic eye because they are set up to be aesthetically pleasing as well as to convey the video itself. There is audio that goes over the top of the piece but there are gaps that allow the watcher to enjoy what they are seeing and not have to constantly listen. Furthermore the use of different focal lengths and panning within the video provides a different viewpoint and engages the viewer as well as creating a beautiful video highlighting the beauty of the subject which I really like. There are also some extreme close-ups which are different and I hadn’t yet seen in any videos, but I feel they fitted in very well with this piece due the nature of the subject. The story is also told through the video narrative and doesn’t just rely on the words to explain what is going on. Overall the video is visually beautiful but I found that I thought it would tell more of a major story, given it’s title. And I thought it would be about more than one person and a significant story from all of these people but it turned out it wasn’t. It is still a well put together video, but I felt there was only quite a loose story surrounding it.


Video 8.

The video is in between the lengths that I need to achieve for both of mine, but I wanted to take a look at the visual techniques used for video inspiration. I found several things that I liked about the video, as well as some things I didn’t like as much. The narrative is spoken and is played over the top of the visual images that we see. There are no ‘talking heads’ or direct interviews in this piece which I feel could have been nice to have but in actuality the subject is quite busy and constantly moving so it could have been out-of-place to do this so I can see why it may not have been included. There are beautiful visual pieces through the video, including different angles and shots from low down or moving and panning around the cyclist. However after a while, although they are in different locations, the shot angles begin to look a bit repetitive and similar and I think this is probably the only thing I found I disliked about the video. But I did like the fact there were some shots of the sky or things that were being passed as well as videos of the cyclist and I feel this broke up the narrative quite well and added to the whole setting.


Video 9.

This video provides some beautiful visual imagery through the videos, as well as what looks like photographs, but because of the still nature of the place, it is mostly video but you just can’t tell at points because of the lack of movement. There is little panning, but this works well because it conveys the stillness of the place and the environment they are in. the visual imagery is good and clearly shows the sense of abandonment 30 years on. I really love this, and I find the subject matter very interesting and is probably one of the reasons I wanted to watch the entire video, despite the fact there was no words or narrative being spoken over the top. Instead there was music played over the top but it began to get very distracting and I feel that it could have been improved overall if there had been some details about what we were seeing in the video.


Video 10.

This was a well made video. I really liked it and the story it was telling. I felt it could have maybe been longer and given us a chance to get to know the two people more, but all the same, I still think it was a really nice video and is different from what you can usually expect from a video looking at this topic. The use of ‘talking heads’ within some part of the video was really nice, as well as when the audio was just played over the top of the video displaying the actions they were talking about. I found it all tied in really nicely together and you knew exactly what was going on which I really liked. The different camera angles helped and created a great viewpoint of all the things they were doing and I found the piece to actually have some parts that were a bit comical which I thought was a lovely addition and kept the piece lighthearted and engaging.


Video 11.

I loved this video because the style was so different from other sports videos I’ve come across. For a start there were ‘talking heads’ but when it came to the interview, the two main subjects talked about each other in the introduction instead of introducing themselves which I found I really loved because it showed how close they were and a strong father/son unit. I also really loved how the video was from different sources, such as the go pro we see them wearing in the video as well as another camera. There’s a mix of close-ups and wide-angle shots, as well as video of them doing the activities together. It gives you a great feel for the sport and what they do together and I thought it was a great video and was well put together.