The People's Cut | Google Plus Hangout on Air

PhilWesson Posts: 241 Enthusiast
Hey everyone, 
A while back, there was talk about google+ hangouts talking about fil, visual effects and more. So, in an effort to be proactive, I started my own, The People's Cut. I just 'filmed' my first episode where I speak to an actor, and editor and an all around film maker about starting out in film making, how we define success, what hurdles we face and what to say to new film makers.
The next episode (next month) is going to focus on Actors, the differences between acting for web series and short films, and the role of the actor in the creative process. 
Soon afterwards, I'll be talking about Visual Effects, and I'd love your input before and after the show. 
I hope you enjoy it, and let me know what I can do to make it better! It's a work in progress (I'm already going to work out some better lighting for my video, as it was filmed in my bedroom. 


  • Darren
    Darren Maui, HawaiiPosts: 164 Enthusiast
  • PhilWesson
    PhilWesson Posts: 241 Enthusiast
    Thanks Darren!
  • SimonKJones
    SimonKJones Posts: 4,370 Enthusiast
    edited June 2013
    Hey Phil, only had time to watch a little bit of this so far.
    One thing that strikes me about Google Hangouts is the framing, which always feels quite....aggressive. This isn't specific to yours, but to Hangouts in general. The centre-of-frame, down-the-lens, super-close-up style is very full-on, especially as all participants have the same framing and it cuts from one to another. Feels quite disjointed, and for me makes the viewing a little uncomfortable - regardless of how good the content is.
    Again, to emphasise, this isn't a criticism of The People's Cut, but of the Hangout format itself. It's something that's bothered me from the start, but I've only just put my finger on what it is.
    The format makes perfect sense for a private conversation between multiple people. But for a Hangout on Air - where you can assume the primary point is for outside viewers to observe the broadcast conversation - I wonder whether it would work better if presented more like a round-table discussion, or how an interview would normally be shot and cut in a studio or live debate.
    What this practically would mean is angling each participant at 20 degrees or so away from the camera/webcam. Each participant facing a different direction - left-to-right or right-to-left - so that it creates the illusion of continuity through the cuts and conversations, and be less aggressive and intense from a passive viewer's point of view.
    With only 2 participants this should work brilliantly - it would look like a traditionally shot interview, with 2 people in the same room facing each other. With more than 2 people it gets more complicated. Maybe some people would need to adjust their angle further, or even remain face-on.
    If you wanted to get super-clever, you could even print out cards with participants names on and position them either side and on top of your computer monitor, so that you can 'look at' each participant when addressing them directly. If they have an appropriate setup their end as well, when they respond it would auto-cut in a way that mimicked continuity editing.
    Basically, it's about faking a physical space within the virtual Hangout space, to aid viewer comprehension of the flow of conversation.
    I have absolutely no idea whether this would work, or how it would affect things. In my head it seems like it should work. What do you think?
    Am I rambling? I'm definitely rambling.
  • PhilWesson
    PhilWesson Posts: 241 Enthusiast
    Jeez, that Simon guy is rambling...
    Kidding! I think that's a great point. I can agree with how the framing can impact the emotional effect it can have on the viewer. To your point, in a one-on-one scenario, it may make sense to have the two people 'facing' each other', but that can cause issue when there are more than two people participating. I'll have to think about how to combat that for the next installment (which is a month away).