Endless attention to detail

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tom hardwick
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Film making is endless attention to a myriad of details. That's all I wanted to say folks.

tvrboy
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If you could list them all and put them in FAQ we will be eternally grateful.

That's good bye from me and good bye from him

Alan Roberts
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Tom's point, surely, was that the list is endless, and therefore he can't put them all in a list. If that wasn't his point, then a list would be a good idea, but I believe that it truly is endless. For example, I just did a 16 hour night shoot as a specialist advisor in case the new high-tech kit went wrong, but my major contribution to the shoot was in working out how to silence the fire alarm every time they over-did the smoke.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

tom hardwick
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Joined: Apr 8 1999

Thankyou Alan. Proves the point that it's an infinitely long list. Even so it's worth keeping a short checklist with your camera kit. I once went out to do a shoot and took everything

except

the camera quick shoe. I had to gaffer tape the camera to the top of the Manfrotto. Oh the embarassment.

tom.

Jim Bird
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Hi,

Gaffer tape was invented to cover up bullet holes in American Phantom jets, to keep them airborne during the Vietnam War.

Jim Bird.

DVillan
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tvrboy was being sarcastic, tom and robbo.

DVillan
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Filmmaking is an art- you describe it as if there is a formula to make a good film, when in actual fact, being art, it is an expression of the self, so if inticate tweaking is your thing, then it will forever be a a myriad of details demanding your attention.

there are filmmakers out there that do not need such detail to convey what they are trying to say.

also, this provides us with a good get out clause should we mess up the continuity!

DV

Jim Bird
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Joined: Sep 15 2000

Hi,

Response.

------------------------------------------
there are filmmakers out there that do not need such detail to convey what they are trying to say
------------------------------------------

There are filmmakers out there who do not pay any attention to detail and convey nothing but c**p!

Jim Bird (And I have seen a lot of c**p in my time).

Alan Roberts at work
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The irony didn't escape me, which is why I reported as I did, maybe I should have added a smilie. But it's attention to detail that stops things going wrong.

tvrboy
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Me sarcastic ? I wouldn't stoop so low.

Tongue in cheek perhaps .....

tom hardwick
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I'm so pleased when a thread I start get's ever longer. I know what you mean DV (good initials!) when you talk of art and the film's message. All I meant was that to get to the message giving phase requires attention to hundreds of details in tens of disciplines.

Only then will the art that conceals art be triumphant.

tom.

Dave Currie
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Joined: Mar 4 2001

Dvillan,

Film making, I believe, is NOT an art it's a craft.

A great deal of technical competence - and attention to detail - is required IF the medium is to be used to maximum effect (i.e. to enable clear communication between director and audience).

Addendum

Given that video-making - as apposed to filming - has never been easier. And given that art is such a subjective thing...then it's hardly suprising that SOME artists - with limited skills - are using the medium...and declaring the end product: 'A Work of Art'.

Well, as dead cows and stained bed sheets now constitute works of art...maybe they are...time will tell.

Dave C

ps Anyone remember The House of Usher? (I think that was the title)? It was THEE film to see at University Film Societies in the 60s... but I can't remember much about it - except the grainy black & white images...

[This message has been edited by Dave Currie (edited 06 June 2001).]

pcwells
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Joined: Jun 10 1999

Tom,

"get's"?!

You're obviously not paying atention to detail!

Pete

quote:Originally posted by tom hardwick:
I'm so pleased when a thread I start get's ever longer. I know what you mean DV (good initials!) when you talk of art and the film's message. All I meant was that to get to the message giving phase requires attention to hundreds of details in tens of disciplines.

Only then will the art that conceals art be triumphant.

tom.

simonphw
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Joined: Oct 19 2000
Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Currie:
[B]Dvillan,

Filmmaking, I believe, is NOT an art it's a craft.

i think fimmaking is many different things and you cant really put it in a box and describe it as any one thing...

Alan Roberts at work
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My 2 pen'orth.

Film/video making is a craft that is used as an art form. You need craft skills to do it well, and the result is a work of art.

Go on, argue with that

Dave Currie
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Alan,
Me thinks thou art a man of considerable skills in the crafty department!

Martin B
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Whatever it is, it ain't easy to get a really good result!!

Unless you're easily satisfied that is.

Martin

Martin

simonphw
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i think it depend on what feild you work in,if you work in wedding videos you would need different skills than if you were working in short film. also insitinct plays a big part in making anything creative and there is'nt a place to go and learn that.

tom hardwick
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Pete, I'm going to scan every single alpha numeric of every single post you submit from now on. Oh the pain. And you go and reprint my original blunder in heavy type! GROAN.

Ah, but it does raise an interesting point, and that is that it's easy to become punch drunk with your own work. You've reviewed it tens of times and it's as damn near perfect as you're ever going to make it.

If only you'd asked for just one second opinion. Even viewed your video in a mirror to see it anew. There's really no substitute for a fresh-eyes approach to checking.

tom.

Dave Currie
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Yep Tom...the Devil's in the detail.

As a young reporter, working in the Lake District, I covered a story on the poet Wordsworth...

My copy passed through the subs OK but an eagle-eyed compositor pulled me to one side and asked me to scan my copy again.

About five pars in I'd switched names...from William Wordsworth to William Shakespeare!

So I'd certainly endorse the idea of getting someone to check over things...

For instance: My wife's stopped me going out with my trouser zip undone on several occasions! That's the problem with getting older...you can't always REMEMBER if you've checked things out!

Dave

Alan Roberts at work
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All the examples and folk memories being reported here just reinforce Tom's original point. You can't learn instinct, but you shouldn't need to if you learn the crafts first. The instinct here is to use the craft skills to their full, only then can the art come to the surface in what appears to be a natural way, which is, surely, what we are all striving to do. Bludgeoning the viewer with a message is rarely successful; the crafty, sneaky approach is often more memorable and pleasurable to watch.

pcwells
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quote:Originally posted by tom hardwick:
Pete, I'm going to scan every single alpha numeric of every single post you submit from now on.

4 a young 1, im not doin 2 bad, thank u!

simonphw
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i still think that just because you know your craft that it equals quality.we've all seen things made by people who know what there doing and the results are awfull.
filmaking in any shape or form shoudnt be about skills it should be about enjoying it even if no one ever see's your work or the whole world does.

Alan Roberts
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No-one's saying that knowing just the craft skills will produce works of art. What I'm saying is that works of art look best when the craft skills are so well understood and applied that the viewer doesn't appreciate or realise how it was done. Attention to detail gets you there quickest and with the least pain.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

simonphw
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this could go on for ever.... but i think taste plays a part in this ,something that maybe isnt filmed very well may give you more enjoyment than something that was made by experts. the very nature of art or being creative is about expression, now if you know your stuff it will make it easy to get your ideas across but if you dont it may make it more diffucult.i'm not saying not to learn skills but these take time and sometimes money and not everybody has got these things .many different skills and talents can make a dud or a classic.

Jim Bird
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Hi,

Chaos an art from? Perhaps, but not on TV.

Just check out any live broadcast which losses direction and becomes chaotic.

It does not become art, it becomes comedy.

And finds it's way on to some show call "all right on the night".

Jim Bird (CHEAP joke).

Dave Currie
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Well said Jim...

simonphw
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like i said it depends in what feild your in, if you work in television you would expect a certain quality,and i dont think you should set out to make something badly,and learning more about the subject your intrested in is a positive thing but i still cant buy into the idea that just bacause something is made well that it means it will be any good.

Alan Roberts
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No-one's even hinting that a programme made using craft skills to their limits will automatically be a good programme. But it surely is inevitable that if craft skills are learned and well used, then the creation of the work of art is more likely to be successful, and painlessly done, than otherwise.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

simonphw
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No I will just have to keep on disagreeing... why will it be more successful, because its made well, I watched judge dread on TV last night a very well made film and a lot of skill had gone into it and it was rubbish and it wasn’t very successful, Bad taste was a low budget film and was very successful I also watched the untouchables last night a very well made film and a lot of skill had gone into it and I thought it was ace and if I remember it did quite well, I know we could all give lots of examples ,as we can also appreciate the skill involved in the making of anything be it on TV or film or art, but does it make it any good?
In today’s world there’s chances for lots of people to be involved in filmmaking/video with different skills and talents and places like the internet have opened it up so people can see there work. To say all there work would be good would be silly as in the same sense to think it would all be bad would be stupid. The content of there work should be the important thing, and yes a good story might be ruined because its been filmed bad but the good story would still come out. Technical skill is important but so is a strong idea and no amount of training will give you them.

Alan Roberts
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I really don't want this to be an argument, but, apart from the part up to the string of dots, nothing you said actually disagrees with what I said. Skills make it possible to do it at all, the result is more successful (i.e. done cheaper, done faster, done safer, done with less aggravation, mpore saleable etc). The skills don't create the art, they make it easier to get it right.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

simonphw
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i always said that having skills was a good thing to have but sometimes no amount of skill will make something work, of course having skills will help but like the saying goes... you can’t polish a turd.
Theres a film called gummo you may like it you may not thats a question of taste but its a great film and it's what in some peoples eyes would be called badly made but i still think its a great film becuse its good story .
I just think that Sometimes things work well and the quality or the way it was made isn’t important the content is.

Alan Roberts at work
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I couldn't agree more. The impression you give to the viewer is one of the total package, he may like it or not, that's subjective. I may hate what you rave about and vice versa, but that's only a subjective judgement. What I've been trying to say is that expert use of craft skills can let you make the programme more efficiently, with less bother, more control, on a lower budget, more safely, with less hair tearing etc. All those are objective assessments, you can write them down and they're repeatable.

DVillan
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Uh oh.

Didn't mean to start of a 'what is art' argument, but simon thwaked the nail square on the noggin with the Judge Dread/ Bad Taste malarkey.

Although you cant classify every film as art, the fact remains that there are films that have been made with minimal attention to detail that far excel in quality those which are ridiculously intricate in their design, choosing style over content.

I just dont think that attention to detail is always that important.

DVillan

simonphw
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no go on start it...only jokin or am i.

simonphw
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i,m glad we all agree/disagree on this because i think thats what makes life, filmaking, whatevere your chosen feild so interesting.

Dave Currie
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Simon,

Words - like images - can be classed as art.

I appreciate that attention to detail, when posting on this site, may not turn a comment into poetry...and thus a work of art.

Nevertheless, I believe, it's worth using capital letters and correct punctuation - in appropriate places - to ensure thoughts and opinions are communicated to maximum effect.

I would be interested, Simon, to gain an insight into your opinions on this subject.

Dave C

[This message has been edited by Dave Currie (edited 15 June 2001).]

simonphw
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I’m slightly dyslexic, my reading is fine but spelling and grammar isn’t strong, so I sometimes find it difficult and have to rely on the spell checker in word and sometimes I use them and sometimes I don’t but then I thought this was a forum for opinions on film and video,not an English exam.

Dave Currie
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Simon,

Given that you appear to have taken my comments as a personal attack on you - I can only assume that you are a youngster?

I wanted YOUR OPINION on the value of paying attention to detail when writing...

YES your postings prompted the question... given that you appear to consider attention to detail of limited importance - in film-making.

So, do you think attention to detail when writing is important in achieving effective communications?

My thoughts, in particular, relate to the craft of script writing... where the writer is anxious to ensure a third party (i.e. performer/ actor) delivers lines as intended - rather than as imagined.

Dave C

Alan Roberts at work
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Dave, you seem to be making my points for me. Attention to detail covers script writing, set design, costume, makeup, casting, lighting, direction, location, and I haven't even started on the kit list or editing. It all matters. Certainly, you can go out with a camcorder and point it at things and make a programme from it (I do just that for holidy stuff), but I wouldn't claim it to be a work of art. And I don't believe for a second that a film such as Blair Witch ended up that way by accident, it was planned to look like that, wavy camera etc.

Attention to detail gets you away from the accidents that are inevitable otherwise.

Jim Bird
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Hi,

I thought the Blair Witch movie, was all about the sound track?

It could have been shown, on the radio! If you catch my drift.

The video pictures were just making up the numbers.

Jim Bird.

Alan Roberts at work
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I only ever saw the clips that Film 99 (or was it 98, or 2000?) showed. Once I heard that it was supposed to look like a shaky home video, I lost interest and never bothered to find it. Maybe I missed something goiod, but life's too short to go out hunting down films to watch, it's easier to let tham come to me (via TV or my wife's choice from the hire shop).

tom hardwick
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That's a good one Alan. Attention to minute and magnificent detail keeps you away from the accidents that are going to happen. The accidents that do happen lie beyond the limits of the details and the time you devoted to these details.

Some things are seen as accidents whereas in fact they are simply changes made without your knowledge or consent. The tangent path they lead you on can open doors you never even knew existed.

tom.

Alan Roberts at work
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Spot on, Tom. The serendipitous* ones are good, the others aren't. The trick is to plan well enough to eliminate the bad ones and let the others through. I've never managed to do it, but there ought to be a way.

* Did you know that "serendipity", the word, was coined by Horace Walpole?

Dave Currie
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Alan, A touch of plagiarism by H.W. "pinched" from the Persian fairytale: 'The Three Princes of Serendip'

No big deal, I know. However, the meaning of one word,in particular, DOES really interest me...and that's ACCIDENT.

The word's supposed to describe:
"An unforseen event or one without apparent cause. Anything that occurs unintentionally or by chance..."

However, I believe its use has become distorted - thanks to the advent of comprehensive insurance policies and SOME peoples' willingness to "tell porkies"...

In the world of video, genuine "accidents" do happen. However, often valuable equipment etc is abused - and scant regard given to health and safety issues...

I would urge ANYONE involved in this business to ALWAYS carry out a Risk Assessment Check. And ensure electrical equipment is PAT tested.

ONLY after such sensible precautions have been undertaken is it fair to claim that an ACCIDENT was not, in fact, an INCIDENT.

Prevention of accidents is - in my mind - a far better practice than relying on insurance policies or "weasel words".

And where the public's involved it's more important than ever to carry out safety checks! (e.g. could that light be knocked over by a kiddy?)

This is a subject, I believe, which is worth airing on a regular basis...

[This message has been edited by Dave Currie (edited 22 June 2001).]

Alan Roberts at work
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Dave, The Three Princes of Serendip is also an opera, but I still think H.W. first used the word. Almost certainly, he knew of the legend and the opera, so it's but a small step but one that still has to be taken.

Your comment about accidents and incidents is a classic example of what I meant all through this thread. Taking care of such details keeps you out of trouble and allows the art form to come from the work with the least risk of problems.

simonphw
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You all seem to be getting the wrong idea. Attention to detail is very important
Having skills is important being safe is very important (I would say safety is a obvious one), I always said these things are important how many more times to I need to say it. My point is as I said before you cant polish a turd.Attention to detail in all the parts that make up filmmaking are important from presenting a good well written script to making sure the cast and crew are well fed, but will they save it from being a bad idea? That has always been my point.
Also thanks Dave it’s been a good few years since i've been called a youngster.

Alan Roberts at work
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Simon, I don't think any of us are disagreeing with you, at all. Attention to detail will stop things going wrong and let you concentrate on getting the art right. There's lots of well and safely made rubbish about, as well as some badly made art. But it's always easier and safer to get the detail right and let the art blossom through it. I've never disagreed with you on that.