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watch Lord of the Rings Music Video

I just bought a GH3 and wanted to test drive it before filming anything serious, so I went to the mountains for an afternoon and shot a short Lord of the Rings music video.


For those who don't know, Foundations of Stone is the opening music to The Two Towers. With the filming, I tried to capture the mysterious, powerful, slow-building feeling which Foundations of Stone has always evoked in me, and then edited the shots together to follow the story I hear in the original music. I used HitFilm for the first time in order to do some coloring, stabilization, and of course editing. The sound was a challenge because 1) I've never recorded music before, 2) the piano is out of tune and 3) I don't actually play the piano.

Critiques are welcome.
being a big fan of lord of the rings, (and the reason why i got into film) i have to say you murdered lord of the rings. I see that most of these shots are handheld, you need to put it on a stabilizer to make your shots 10 times better. You had great locations, but your slowmotion at low frame rates killed it and made it look choppy. However, you said you just got your camera, so just keep shooting. Stabilize it more, and make it less choppy.
Thanks for the feedback, but you could have done without saying I "murdered lord of the rings," or at least explained how. I would have used a stabilizer if I had one. The framerate isn't the problem on the slow motion, since it's always playing at 24fps, the shutter speed is.
The problem with the slow motion is the type of timewarp too.

Honestly, I think the idea is the only problem. Why make this video? Just shoot a test if you want to shoot and learn, but comparing this to a major blockbuster is why you got the savage feedback.

Shoot, shoot shoot, stabilizer or no, you will get better.
I second pictureplanet - I get making a test video of random footage, but trying to somehow incorporate LOTR into it didn't make much sense.
pictureplanet, could you explain what you mean by type of timewarp?

I'm not comparing myself to the film, I made test footage with a theme because filming without any semblance of purpose is boring and counterproductive to the idea of narrative, which, from Beatlesfan's comment of "random footage," has unfortunately been completely lost on the audience.

Also, story aside, I wanted tips on shooting--would it be better if I tried to get feedback from the 40,000th video of a city across the water, closeups of flowers, and gently swaying trees set to stock music? I picked this theme because it was a simple piece to learn for the piano.
by murdered... i would probably mean the music. its... probably too slow. it took me a while to realize it was the lord of the rings song. With all that said aside, color was good. like we have been saying, just keep shooting and keep getting better.
Can't say I really recognized the music, if you hadn't said it was from LOTR I wouldn't have known.

But I agree with the general sentiments of everyone else, if not the tone. The handheld movement kills the 'epic' feeling, even when the subject matter has the potential. A decent fluid head tripod would make a world of difference there.

The framerate isn't the problem on the slow motion, since it's always playing at 24fps, the shutter speed is.

What frame rate did you shoot the slow motion at? It looks like you shot at 24, then slowed it down - which makes the slow motion choppy because we're actually seeing less than 24 fps (even if that's what the rendered file is at). To get proper 'epic' slow motion you need to shoot at a higher frame rate and then reduce it to 24fps. On the GH3 your maximum frame rate is 60fps, so when you shoot at that and slow to 24 you'll get motion at 40% speed. You can also shoot at 30fps and slow to 24 for stuff that you don't necessarily want to look slow, but just to have a slightly dreamy, unreal look - this can help give the whole thing a more 'epic' look.

Now if by shutter speed you mean you were shooting at a very low shutter speed (i.e 1/4 or 1/8 sec) then you have to realize that what that does is basically reduce your effective frame rate to 4 or 8 fps and just spreads the shots across multiple frames in the 24p file. This isn't the right approach if you're looking for slow motion.
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Thanks for the input, everyone. I have a tripod but this was a spur of the moment thing and I didn't have it with me, unfortunately.

rogypro: Actually mine is considerably faster than the original song. It's probably my out of tune piano that makes it odd.

I'm fairly certain everyone is talking about the shot where I tilt up the waterfall, which was shot at 60fps with a low shutter speed, and then slowed to 24. It was probably the 3rd or 4th shot I took, and I was playing around with shutter speeds at the time. In my opinion, the later shots, like the opening one of the icicles, looks much better in slow motion. I do know how slow motion works in terms of framerates, but I didn't know how shutter speed played into it so I suppose that was a lesson learned.
Got it, that makes sense - so if you shoot 60fps at say, 1/8 sec shutter speed, you're effectively only shooting at 7.5 fps. If you then slow that down to 24fps you've dropped it down to an effective 3fps. The slow shutter speed gives you the cool blur on the water's motion, but you can't escape the choppiness of the effective shutter speed. I'd say if you want that blur on the water for a shot like that you should lock off the camera on a tripod - then the water will blur, but there won't be any other movement in the shot to expose the low effective fps.