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My tribute video to the now-closed melt shop (the steel mill where I worked)

Discussion in 'Street and Documentary' started by entropic remnants, Nov 17, 2013.

  1. entropic remnants

    entropic remnants SC All-Pro

    Mar 3, 2013
    John Griggs
    My tribute video to the melt shop is finished and you can see it on YouTube. I recommend you stream it in HD if you can -- it's an HD hybrid video.


    [video=youtube;BUOMmQIfnJA]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUOMmQIfnJA[/video]
     
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  2. TraamisVOS

    TraamisVOS SC Hall of Famer

    Nov 29, 2010
    Melboune, Australia
    I would've loved to linger on the photos you took for much longer than the quick cuts! It's your photos that tell the story of the mill and draws viewers in. I have seen the photos that you posted on this forum, they're great photos and deserve more time in the clip.
     
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  3. Briar

    Briar SC All-Pro

    Oct 27, 2010
    Scotland
    Karen
    I agree with James. I found the flickering effect caused by the very, very quick change of the stills and the video transitions annoying, a bit like strobe lighting. You have fantastic still pictures and the video footage is good too. Just needs to slow down a bit to make the overall package fantastic too.
     
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  4. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    That was TOTALLY different to what I was expecting. Nice material, but the music and editing meant that I didn't feel that I was watching a video about a place that was closing down. Don't know if that was intentional?
     
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  5. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Very well done John, but I have to echo the comments above. There were just a few times during the video where you just sort of lingered on a human face who was dealing with the shutdown in his own way. But there were a lot of those interspersed with the quick quick quick cuts between shots of the mill itself and we didn't really get to SEE those except for a quick flicker of a moment. I think it would have been even more powerful to flick through some of the industrial scenes but then every time you get to a human face, particularly those you engaged so directly, let it linger for several seconds before going back to the rapid pace. Longer shots of the steel-making process is something that only you and your co-workers will REALLY appreciate, but we can ALL relate to the pain, doubt, gratitude, humanity in the faces of those affected. So I'd personally have given them a lot more time. Because the ones you do linger on are very powerful and I know from your portrait thread that you have a lot more of those to include...

    Just my opinion. I liked it as is and respect the effort totally, but I think it could have been even more powerful with more human focus...

    -Ray
     
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  6. Been enjoying your shots. I would echo the thoughts though, the series of quick shots was distracting.

    This seems more a "life in the day of . . . " video rather than a "end of an era" video.
     
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  7. snkenai

    snkenai SC All-Pro

    Oct 5, 2010
    kenai, AK
    Stephen Noel
    I am a fan of your photography. I appreciate the work that you put into this, but I just could not give my total attention to it for the enjoyment it deserves. The disco effect and the music, is a complete failure with me. Sure would like to see an old man version. One, that we who've worked in the industrial scene, would identify with.

    Thanks,
     
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  8. entropic remnants

    entropic remnants SC All-Pro

    Mar 3, 2013
    John Griggs
    Well, that's obviously a disappointing response, lol -- but you guys aren't my audience. At the expense of looking like I'm justifying what I did, let me articulate what this is and isn't. It won't change your perceptions but that's okay.

    • The melt shop folks are edgy people to begin with and this was a roller coaster ride through our world. It is not an ordinary place.
    • All of those photos are in other sets which my target audience has already seen and have links to. If one wants to "see" the photos rather than get hit in the head with them, there's a place for that, lol.
    • I was not going for a heart-string tugging video. Just something fun.
    Apparently it can't stand on it's own since it seems everybody here doesn't like it -- I'll have to wait and see what comments I get back from the people it was intended for. Thanks for taking the time to detail what you saw from your perspective though.

    Specifically though for Ray: if I lingered on those human faces I would have been putting way too much emotion in the video and that was simply not a goal at all. I have the steel mill portraits set for that. I didn't want a "powerful human story" to be the theme -- just wanted the lightest touch of that. Again, just a roller coaster ride down memory lane for head bangers, not an introspective art piece for thinkers.
     
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  9. grebeman

    grebeman Old Codgers Group

    Jul 13, 2010
    South Brent, south Devon (UK)
    Barrie
    John,

    Sorry but I'm going to have to echo the comments of most posters above, the transistions were far too quick. There was a presentation at my local camera club recently about putting together a video of this nature, I seem to recall a total running time of about 5 minutes with some 40-50 shots in that time was judged to be a good length for the viewers attention, so that would give say 6 seconds per shot and transitions. I think you've tried to include too many individual shots in the time and a more severe editing process is called for, you've got material enough for three or four videos and might consider splitting them up into say production or hot, post production or cold, people, whatever.

    It will be interesting to see what comments you get from the intended audience. Criticsm is a difficult process, people might feel obliged to say nice things where as hopefully the comments made here by various responders are constructive. The individual photographs are excellent, as a former engineer in heavy industry they appeal to me greatly, they are of a genre rarely seen and deserve the time to pay them more attention.

    Barrie
     
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  10. entropic remnants

    entropic remnants SC All-Pro

    Mar 3, 2013
    John Griggs
    Okay, you should probably know I'm not the first one to do this, nor the most extreme. A fellow named Dan McLaughlin did a film in the early 1960's called "God is Dog Spelled Backwards" that was in this vein showing the sweep of art through human history -- 3000 years of it -- in 3 minutes. Did those images deserve more time? In another film for another purpose perhaps -- but not for the filmmakers purposes.

    Fast foward to 1968 and young John Griggs sees a piece on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour that he has never forgotten where musician and comedy writer Mason Williams went to McLaughlin and asked him to redo that film with his musical piece "Classical Gas". McLaughlin did and here's a recreation of what I think is a now more or less lost piece from the show: My memory of that work, which I'd not seen again until just a few minutes ago, was my inspiration for that blistering pace.

    http://vimeo.com/612081

    So then, this type of thing was the inspiration for the quick sweep through so much time there. I just think you are all being way too serious about this but I'm sorry you didn't enjoy it. A lot of people hated McLaughlin's and William's work as well, lol. Many thought it was "disrespectful" of the art that was in the film. Oh well.

    Again, sorry you didn't like it, but it's exactly what I intended so the fault is in my vision not in your perception.
     
  11. Don't get offended, we all have different tastes.

    We all have enjoyed your shots, just giving some thoughts on your video.

    If your happy, that's all that matters.

    On a separate note, are there other shops in the area, or will you and your coworkers have to relocate if you remain in the industry?
     
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  12. Ripleysbaby

    Ripleysbaby supernatural anesthetist

    Sep 9, 2011
    Cumbria UK
    Garry
    The first time the transitions broke the sound barrier I though meh. But Got into it all the same. The next lot of transitions, not quite such a shock. I liked it. And the music.
    Steel is big slow and heavy but the workplace is dynamic, so it all seemed ok to me in the end. I enjoyed it.:bravo-009:
     
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  13. entropic remnants

    entropic remnants SC All-Pro

    Mar 3, 2013
    John Griggs
    Actually I was not offended until you pompously told me NOT to get offended... and now I am. But if you're happy with your comment that's all that matters, lol.
     
  14. Isoterica

    Isoterica SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 6, 2011
    Alright well I have to sound in a little differently here. While I agree that your photographs invite the desire to linger on each one for more than a retinal flash-- and we have been treated with seeing you post them on these forums-- I could not only see what you were trying to accomplish in this video but FEEL it.

    Your video overall was timed pretty well with the music. You drew the viewer in through your video clips and stills.. building through each musical/visual verse.. until you hit the chorus and then the imagery flashed and it was much like one's memory might recall things.. No one's memory plays out like a movie (ie: "my life flashed before my eyes"), it's instead comprised of glimpses that have impacted the mind enough for the brain to retain the information. Your photos do have that kind of visual impact and while the photos themselves were collected more recently, the flood of images does give the impression of a decades passing due to the volume of them shared in the video. Further, the distortion between image or video changes did two things, firstly adding to the feel of memory recall and secondly adding to that an instability like.. 'this can only last so long'.. which is what ultimately came to pass, it all ended. Often, but not always, these 'distortions' synced with the wavering of the music. Finishing off with the men and at the very end a tease of their voices added that final human element. A book is for stills and your photos do merit that but I think this is definitely your best video yet and while I can't fully know your mind during the process of making it, it would seem that you accomplished, IMHO, what you set out to. Might be a little touching up to be done yet on timing but otherwise---- Well done John. :)

    ADDED reviewing it again:

    1. Intro you show the cables or whatever they are-- the crash into the music should be more of a fade into, a faster paced fade because you don't want to lose the edginess but at the moment the two parts, being the cables and then the rest of the video, seem to be sitting in the same room but not holding hands. At the very least if you do want the crash, make it immediate, as soon as you flicker off the cable segment, crash, and use a brighter (maybe one of your flaming hot) photos for that first shot. I used to mix music and this part feels just a bit off. (ex: 17-19 seconds)

    2. At the beginning it seems like you are trying to hold a photo for each line of verse but then sometimes you cram two photos in and it loses visual rhythm.. you could, if you are inclined, pace that a little better. Pacing helps to guide the viewer through the journey assuring they are pulled onto the ride you want to give them rather than standing off on the side not sure when to step on. I was pulled in but I am more prone to dive in, you want to pull in the people that are prone to stand back. (ex: 30-36 seconds)

    3. Sometimes you have the distortion of images, where one image merges into the next, on the echo of the singers voice or the tremble of the music and sometimes you don't and I think there would, again, be better rhythm if you kept that type of fade synced with the music. It's a really great touch when her voice echoes or trembles to make the video do the same.. almost breathtaking. (ex: 39-41 seconds)

    4. The chorus, lay it down lay it down... and the flickering of images is great. When her voice slows lay it down at His feet lay your burden down, your images turned to a video, slowing, again a nice touch. Not consistent throughout the entire movie but a good layout idea. (ex: 54-1:00 & 1:01-1:04)

    5. Nice that you got your name on the door in that one video clip :D (1:23- 1:25)

    4. I like when the guitar whines and you do the (not sure of the name) zoom in-zoom out fade-- keep that up as the song allows

    5. Nice visual pause in the chorus when you flicker and then give one extra pause on the chair (+1:50 --2:01) and then again shortly after the mossy gear.

    6. Distortion of music and voice + your image distortion at 2:11-- Nice. And I like the shuddering of the video as her voice trembles-- you carry that nicely through several images to the end of the steel being mixed(?) and that final vibration of sound

    7. Moving from solely machinery to men towards the end of the film, good integration, and from stills to movie, nice.

    8. Musical fade to voices-- well done.

    9. Goodbye written on the wall still, well done.

    10. Fade to black and then your quirky entropic remnants visual signature, again nice. It would be nice as an end for all your videos.

    So THAT is my more formal critique and I will repeat that this IS the BEST video I've seen from you so far, not that the others were bad, but this carries the viewer more emotionally. I see a musical documentary video, not photos set to music. Kudos.. verrry nice. And please if you feel my critique is too strong, remember I am not trying to insult you, I think this video is awesome. I just think you need to tweak to bring awesome to perfect is all and I know you are quite capable.
     
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  15. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    John, if it works for your intended audience, that's all that matters. I wouldn't say it didn't work for me, just that I felt it would have had more powerul (again, from my singular perspective) if it had lingered on the human element of this shutdown, both the negatives (obvious sadness and fear for the future) and the positives (gratitude for so many good years, plenty of resilience in these folks). You showed it here and got OUR input, but only you can decide what that's worth to you for any individual project. I'm personally moved by human faces and humans interacting with their environments more than just about anything else in pretty much any form of visual art. This video left me wanting more of that, particularly since I know what great portrait work you have available. But that's my bias, not your problem or, in this case, your intended audience...

    -Ray
     
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  16. Yeats

    Yeats SC All-Pro

    Jul 31, 2012
    New Jersey, USA
    Chris
    I'll give it an 85, John - it's got a good beat and you can dance to it. :thumbup:
     
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  17. Isoterica

    Isoterica SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 6, 2011
    Requesting a video of you dancing to his video!
     
  18. entropic remnants

    entropic remnants SC All-Pro

    Mar 3, 2013
    John Griggs
    Curiously, that 85 is also my IQ -- and I don't mean "image quality", lol. Thanks.
     
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  19. Yeats

    Yeats SC All-Pro

    Jul 31, 2012
    New Jersey, USA
    Chris
    I'll give it an 85, John - it's got a good beat and you can dance to it. :thumbup:



    Anyway, beyond that quick quip... I watched the video before reading the comments here. I'm one of those people who is generally content to take what the artist has to offer, and my impressions kinda from within those boundaries. I enjoyed watching the video - twice,as a matter of fact - and my right leg bounced to the beat of the music. The music, your images and my leg all enjoyed some sort of synchronicity, so imo it's a successful and enjoyable video.

    Edit: eh, sorry, John, I added more to my post while you were replying, lol. My mother was on American Bandstand in the 60's. :smile:
     
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  20. Isoterica

    Isoterica SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 6, 2011
    Daughter is digging on it now too, just fyi :D
     
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