Critique please?

Hi all.
I’ve just put out a little video about a project we’re involved in but, being a drone fan, I always wonder whether I overdo the drone shots and it’s too"in yer face".
If you have 4 minutes spare, please could you have a look and tell me if there’s too much droning and how the shots could be improved. I still can’t get smooth pans so I try and avoid that. Be as harsh as you like!


I think the amount of drone content is spot on. You only get a sense of the location and environs from the drone shots that add emphasis to the whole piece.

Can’t see why anywhere so tranquil needs to be polluted.

Good luck with the battle.

As to smooth pans - you can adjust the yaw sensitivity and the way it eases in/out.
Also, frame rates and shutter speeds can be important, and ensuring all footage and rendering is at the same fps. There’s a bit of non-drone panning in the trees @ 1:53 with a bit of stutter to it …. which looks a little like the effect of different frame rates somewhere in the work-flow can create.

Thank you Dave. I did try playing about with the yaw on the previous one, but I found there was a lot of overshoot and it was difficult to stop on a position. I need some calm downtime just to have a general play around with settings.

The juddering in the trees was where I reduced the speed by 50% in FCP but I don’t think at 30fps it can give you a smooth slomo. As it happens I think it gives a bit of dramatic effect which I don’t mind, but purely accidental!

It’s all a learning curve, but so much to learn.

I don’t think it’ll have much effect on the planning department, but we have to do whatever we can.

Thanks again for the comments.

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If you’re rendering @ 30fps … then footage being slowed down to 50% is best shot @ 60fps …. for a smooth render.

But, yes, sometimes that stutter can add a certain je ne sais quoi.

Really good, if people don’t try to make a difference, a difference won’t be made.

I think you were very underdone :grinning::grinning:could have taken more in my opinion but generally feels really good.

What were you using for the walking vid as a little bumpy but I only notice that as one of the things we spend quite a bit of time on, for this looks fine?

pans just take practice, I’m finding!

good job keep it up

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Thank you very much Lee. I’d rather be underdone, than overdone :grinning: Also, I’m trying to keep the general feeling a bit low key, because we have to live amongst these people. The production manager lives 3 doors up from us!
I went on the spur of the moment and didn’t take my Osmo with me so the walking stuff was just holding the phone, unfortunately. I was going to go back, but we haven’t had such good weather since. I did find that the exposure in and out of the trees was a nightmare. To get a nice shot across the loch meant the trees were black, or vice versa with the scenery blown out. Difficult one that.
You’re right, I just need more practice.


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That’s a very powerful video Andrew, and absolutely heartbreaking. I know a few people involved in sustainable development and conservation around that way… Do you mind if I share this or is it still under wraps?

As Dave says, the drone footage gives a great sense of the natural environment and just what’s at stake. And I also wouldn’t worry about the handheld footage being from your phone. To my mind, it actually adds something to the video that wouldn’t be there if the ground footage was all perfectly smooth… I like it a lot.

My only comment would be that the bird song and the sound of the water and wind in the trees is great on the ground and it seems a little jarring when it suddenly vanishes from the drone footage. I noticed in the first overhead shot (0:12) that it’s been included and it sounds pretty natural. I’d be tempted to try and get some of the sounds from the ground footage over onto the aerial footage too, just for continuity.

Genuinely pretty emotional still and I’ve already had to go get a cup of tea since watching this. You should be proud.

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BTW - front page of the website, you’ve an embedded Vimeo video that’s marked private so isn’t playing.

Also… this is some next-level Michael Bay lens-flare!


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Sorry, couldn’t resist… :wink:



Joe, thank you very much for those comments. Please do share as much as poss.

I agree, the hand held makes it a little edgy, but, as I say, more by luck than judgement! I pondered about the birdsong. Logically, I thought as the view ascended the birds should be attenuated but by how much I wasn’t sure. TBH, I didn’t record it at the time. It was an ambient track (from over your way, actually) that I overlaid, but I agree, the volume change isn’t subtle enough. I was rushing to get it out at the time, and it was midnight, (not that that is a valid excuse). Then I was up at 6 to build the website. Thank you for pointing out the private setting on the embedded video, I had completely overlooked that, its great that you noticed it.
I do appreciate your comments so much. It is very helpful.

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Haha! Love it!

It is from this anamorphic lens: It is really cool for the money.

I shot quite a lot with it, but, of course there was a lot of non-anamorphic stuff from the Mavic so, rather than crop the drone shots top & bottom to make them widescreen and lose resolution, I decided to crop the widescreen edges off and make it fit the normal stuff. I would love to have done the whole thing in widescreen but I am saving up for the Moment Anamorphic lens for the Mavic zoom, which comes out at the end of the year. I just missed the Kickstarter campaign by 2 days so it will cost £299, but I think it’ll be worth it.


I have just watched this and my immediate reaction is why does anyone think that building a plastics factory in a remote area is economically sensible, let alone environmentally sound?

But that’s not what I was asked to do and I’m also speculating without knowing the facts, maybe I should become a politician?

Criticism of the video - nice length, the story flowed and kept my interest, if I were local I would be attending the consultation mentioned at the end. Paint marks on doomed trees got the message across very simply and effectively. Drone shots were good for showing the site in contaxt with the landscape and were used to illustarate the story, not for the sake of being “hey I’ve got a drone” shots.

Not sure about the music. I would have kept the volume lower and the birdsong volume higher. For the doomed trees matbe little sound apart from ambient chill wind noise?

Overall a powerful film which I sincerely hope has the impact you are aiming for, good luck with keeping the area plastic factory free.

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… chainsaw sounds? :wink:

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Chainsaw sounds …. with a quick cut to a Canadian lumber forest … trees being felled …. trees floating down massive rivers …. lumber being processed through massive saw mills …. cuts to Sahara desert with “OMG … all the trees have GONE!” caption … cuts back to tranquil Scotland.

… kind of thing. :wink:

OK you can stop now!

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One can get bored when you’re imprisoned in your home for the length of a Hermes “Between 10am and 9pm” delivery slot. :crazy_face: