Freelancer's Video Quality

Discussion in 'Professional Video Production' started by Jack Perry, Sep 9, 2008.

  1. Jack Perry

    Jack Perry Guest

    Here's the deal

    Someone referred a guy to one of my clients to shoot

    a red carpet event out in the hamptons a few weeks ago.

    Sent out by the client with a Sony PD150, He came back with this:

    Here are a few questions that if answered, would be very helpful to this

    self-styled "Video Ographer"

    What is your opinion of the technical quality of this video footage?

    Would you be happy if you were the paying client and this footage was
    brought back to you to use on your Television Show?

    Do you think this Video ographer is of a professional skill level?

    What suggestions do you have for this video guy for future paying job?

    The "video ographer" swears that his zebras were 70% on the subjects
    face and that he did everything he could to expose correctly

    Thank you for any comments

    ------ Jack Perry
    Jack Perry, Sep 9, 2008
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  2. Jack Perry

    mkujbida Guest

    My guess is that he had the backlight button on.
    I've had students shoot better footage with the exact same camera -
    and that's not saying much because they're rank amateurs :-(
    I wouldn't pay him for that footage.
    No way.
    There's no way he set exposure properly.
    See my "backlight" comment above.
    The hair and dress on the blonde in the very first shot is burned out
    beyond recognition.
    It goes downhill from there.

    mkujbida, Sep 9, 2008
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  3. "Jack Perry" wrote ...
    Creative writing might not be a promising career, either.
    Home movies by someone who doesn't even know how to
    properly use the camera.
    Not even close.
    No. (Or maybe "video ographer" means some lower-
    expectation than we would have of a "videographer" :)
    1) Learn how to use the camera under all kinds of lighting
    situations, bright cloudless noon, to rainy midnight.

    2) Learn how to use creative camera angles. The camera
    is not a fire hose nozzle. Recommended instructional video:

    3) The difference between amateurs and professionals is that
    amateurs show you ALL their pictures (ALL their footage)
    while professionals show you their best work.
    It should be easy enough to check the camera under similar
    lighting conditions to confirm or deny his claim. If the zebra
    settings are really that far off, then get the camera fixed and
    apologize to the "ographer". Else it sounds like excuses by
    someone less than professional.

    In any case, wouldn't hurt to spend several hours shooting
    test footage under extreme lighting conditions to get a feel for
    how the video *really looks* vs. what the viewfinder (even the
    zebra) is reporting.

    Even for "news" (limited access) shooting vs. "production"
    shooting, this just seems like amateur quality, even without
    the exposure problems. Pan, tilt, zoom were pretty rough
    and lacking in artistry. Exposure (and/or YouTube compression)
    was too bad to be able to judge focus ability.

    I'm not making any claims to be network news-level
    performance myself, but most of us recognize decent
    camera work when we see it.
    Richard Crowley, Sep 9, 2008
  4. Jack Perry

    Jack Perry Guest

    Thanks Guys

    appreciate the feedback

    and the learning of a new expression

    RTFM !!!!

    I'm reserving my own comments on this footage until a few more come in

    Jack Perry, Sep 10, 2008
  5. Jack Perry

    Veggie Dave Guest

    Utter shit. Just calling it absolutely dreadful doesn't come close to
    how bad that is. There isn't a single, solitary thing right about it.
    If I ever produced anything that bad I'd expect to never work again. If
    someone came to me with footage that bad I'd make damn sure I never
    worked with them ever again.

    Quite honestly, if I'd commissioned that shoot and been given that
    footage, I'd find it very difficult to stop myself physically throwing
    the idiot out of my office.
    That person isn't even at the level of proficient amateur.
    Learn the phrase 'would you like fries with that?'

    Seriously, I don't even know where to start answering that question.
    That person has no technical understanding of what he/she's doing. They
    have no concept of composition.

    Under no circumstances should that person even try and sell him/herself
    as a professional. Perhaps with a couple of years of hard practise they
    may attain a professional level of proficiency. But, then again, perhaps
    Veggie Dave, Sep 10, 2008
  6. Jack Perry

    Bill Fright Guest

    I agree this is just awful. If he walked in to my office with that tape
    I'd walk him down to the machine room so he could see what his "70%"
    looks like on the waveform monitor. Even though I've been shooting for
    air for over 25 years, I'd likely never be hired again for turning in
    stuff like that. The better bet for the client would be to make a deal
    for footage with the news shooter with the wide lens in the front of the
    press gaggle.

    Good luck Jack
    Bill Fright, Sep 10, 2008
  7. Jack Perry

    Bob A Guest

    The opening was tough for anyone - shooting from bright sun into the
    shade. The exposure was not too bad considering that set of
    conditions. The cam steadiness and panning was not too good but
    considering the randomness of the subject matter it was a tough
    situation. Another shooter might try to do a better job with a couple
    of subjects rather than to firehose the whole spread out group.
    The CB photo session looked like numerous attempts to get exposure
    under control but kept going back to overexposed. I can see where he
    lost framing while looking at the controls on the cam trying to figure
    them out.
    Not unusual offering for an entry level cam operator. I would use his
    footage with him to do a training session on all the basics of good
    cam work including all operational controls, framing, what to shoot
    that is actually interesting to keep during the edit.
    Bob A, Sep 10, 2008
  8. Also, yes! It is amazing the things that some people consider important
    enough to make a big deal of. I agree with you that this looks like a rather
    stupid "event" to bother covering - and I'd rather see good footage of tree
    David Ruether, Sep 10, 2008
  9. Jack Perry

    Jack Perry Guest

    and I'd rather see good footage of tree

    and if your client paid good money to a freelancer ---

    you as the referrer, would want that "tree bark" to be in focus and
    exposed correctly I'll bet....

    Jack Perry, Sep 10, 2008
  10. Jack Perry

    gpsman Guest

    I've seen worse, a lot worse. From shooters using their own cameras.
    It depends.
    It's hard to say. Location shoots where the shooter has little
    control over the environment can be very challenging. One thing is
    sure, the lighting guy sucks.

    The framing isn't atrocious, the guy does generally seems to know what
    he was doing. I'd need to see more raw footage of the shoot.
    Ehh... that seems like a stretch.
    Generally, I think, when you end up with crappy footage you tend to
    get what you've paid for.

    If a guy was wholly unfamiliar with shooting a parade of celebrities
    and the provided camera I'd cut him some slack, especially if he was
    alone and also in charge of audio (if any).
    gpsman, Sep 11, 2008
  11. Jack Perry

    Bill Fright Guest

    So there was this conversation...

    Dear lord, what's with the 789,003,093K spot? Where the hell is the
    diffusion (clouds)? Your killing me over here.

    The lord says... Hey boy, didn't I endow you with a +1/64ND and manual
    iris control?

    Please tell me you were joking with the lighting guy bit.
    Bill Fright, Sep 11, 2008
  12. Jack Perry

    Veggie Dave Guest

    And joking about the bit where he's 'seen worse, a lot worse.'

    And the bit about 'The framing isn't atrocious'.

    Oh, and the bit about 'If a guy was wholly unfamiliar with shooting a
    parade of celebrities and the provided camera I'd cut him some slack,
    especially if he was alone and also in charge of audio (if any).'

    It was a very simple shoot. The conditions were not remotely tricky.
    Monitoring audio in that sort of situation couldn't be easier.

    If this was an amateur looking for advice then I wouldn't be this
    critical, but this was a supposedly professional camera op. It was
    unforgivably bad and there isn't a single, solitary legitimate excuse
    for supplying a TV company footage that appalling.
    Veggie Dave, Sep 11, 2008
  13. Of course! (I did specify "good footage"...;-)
    David Ruether, Sep 11, 2008
  14. Jack Perry

    gpsman Guest

    Nope. I'm a kickass editor (or, rather, *was*) because I mostly got
    crap to work with.
    OK, it's bad. But it looks like he was trying, and knew how to divide
    a frame. And he did lay down some bars...
    If you were there, why didn't you just shoot it yourself?
    What makes "monitoring" it hard?
    Have you checked the camera?

    I'm not making excuses for the guy, I'm just sayin', white dress,
    white bg, direct sunlight... hot as the exposure is, her face is still
    indistinct when it falls into shadow. It looked to me like he was
    desperately trying to adjust exposure.
    gpsman, Sep 11, 2008
  15. Jack Perry

    Bill Fright Guest

    It's pretty simple really. He took a toy to a shoot and had no idea how
    to use it.
    Bill Fright, Sep 11, 2008
  16. Jack Perry

    Larry in AZ Guest

    You got hosed. That material is dreadful.

    Tell him to go back to flipping burgers.
    Larry in AZ, Sep 12, 2008
  17. Jack Perry

    Bill Fright Guest

    Wow name calling from a prosumer!!!! Those same pulitzers could have
    been won with video from a cell phone. It was content not picture quality.

    Perhaps you should consider my light kit cost more than that camera new
    and you'd have to buy three of them to get close to what my lens cost.

    They are the Tonka of professional video. It's what I gave my 7 year old
    kid after I used it for pov in a car crash.
    Bill Fright, Sep 12, 2008
  18. Jack Perry

    David McCall Guest

    I must say that your 7 year old is lucky to have you as a daddy,
    You wanna be my daddy? :)

    A lot of profesionals do use this camera and make picturesthat satisfy
    their clients every day. The network news folks use them a lot. Especially
    overseas. They pretty much think of them as disposable cameras.
    They would rather loose one of them to the dust or a snipper round than they
    would a camera like yours.

    Is it just as good as a high end camera? Of course not, but they do a
    remarkable job compared to what you could buy a not that long ago
    for that kind of price.

    So, toy? not really. Cheap? sure, I'll give you that. Although a lot of
    probably don't really think of it as cheap.

    David McCall, Sep 12, 2008
  19. Jack Perry

    Bill Fright Guest

    Hehe okay spex. At this point I expect you to try to salvage something
    by accusing anyone to be inferior to yourself.

    Wedding photographer? Who? Try statewide video feed and you'd be a
    little closer.

    Cheap lens? I paid $10,350 for it two years ago.

    HDCAM SR? You do realize that is tape stock and not a camera. Put nice
    glass in front and more lines at the rear and we can talk about maybe
    you shooting some b-roll.

    It's funny that you kick out and scream like this. You have no idea who
    you are talking to - or were talking to.. Plonk!
    Bill Fright, Sep 13, 2008
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