1. You're making a film, not a slideshow: these are entirely different things! All week we've been building up to the idea of making a film, using a simple range of shots (fixed, scrolling, etc..) and attention to sound. In the final effort, many abandoned these simple techniques in favor of compressing huge segments of the trip into 90 seconds- not the best strategy. Further, the juxtaposition of still and moving images is technically hard to accomplish and extremely unusual. The next time you see a documentary by Ken Burns, notice how he animates historical footage by moving the camera over the still images.
2. What is the theme behind the film? The danger with slideshows is that they try to cover too much of what we've seen. 90 seconds is not a long time to compress Shuxiao's 2,000 images (400 good ones)! Look for a theme which might help you be more selective about which sites or landscape aspects you want to show, and the type of visual techniques used in documenting these sites. Among the most thematically focused here are Christian and Vincent's exploration of graffiti, Rebecca's exploration of seating, and Vartan's focus on the Freedom Tower. I'm enclosing an example from Amy (landscape) and Nathan (architecture), who similarly chose to focus their film on a single topic, namely the presence of restrictive signage in all the landscapes visited. This means that all week these guys were focused on getting similar kinds of footage, rather than approaching every site from a different perspective.
3. Do more with less: Pam and Sarah's beautiful film about the Noguchi Museum courtyard is a great example of creative restraint: notice how the camera is always still in every shot, always zoomed in on details of Noguchi's sculptures, which helps take attention away from form and towards textures. In addition, the entire film is shot at a single location, which makes for tight theme and much more consistent lighting. One of the best films last year, Anni and Jeremy's (both architecture) also chose to focus on a single site, Bryant Park:
4. Focus on technique: Kate did a good job exploring landscape scrolls throughout, and Kamila's strongest scenes are simple, still shots of water surfaces, is another good example: that turtle swimming in the water of the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens may be the single best shot this past week. Here's a way that the earliest technique we discussed, the image grid, can be turned into cinematically animated (by Meghan and Yannick):
5. Shot framing: I have never seen a film in my life that alternates between vertically framed views and horizontally framed views: this is simply a product of only relying on your photos being put into a slideshow: again, this is not a film. The entire film should be framed in the same direction: this could be vertically-framed or even upside down for all that I care, but it's got to be consistent. Again, I would commend Pam/Sarah , Derek and Kamila (chasing the same tutrle), Vartan (centering the Freedom Tower in the frame each time) and others for realy thinking about how a scene is framed by the camera. Just because something is "in the frame" someplace mean that the resulting image will be effective.
6. Pacing: you're telling a story; where do you begin? where do you end? How does it unfold? Another argument against the slideshows is the lack of pace, since every image is usually given the exact same amount of time on the screen. Work more carefully to establish cadence throughout.
7. Be more careful with the use of sound: Be careful with using outside source materials like music against overpowering the images themselves. Music tracks allow you to bridge over different shots, but they threaten to turn your film into a music video. Sarah's brother did a great job in scoring the piece, Kate does great work in pacing the film to the music, and Kamila does rely on some sound clips as well throughout her film. In all, this suggests that people were generally far more visually focused than they were sonically focused on their environment.