Sword Swallowing

DafterThings Posts: 984 Enthusiast

Another video posted on my son's channel.

Just in case... there is some theatrical blood but nothing too gory.

What sort of warning, if any, would be appropriate?

Things to get better : Lighting,  audio and cuts between shots.
Anything else?
What options are there in Hitfilm to correct the lighting in post?



  • CleverTagline
    CleverTagline Posts: 3,316 Ambassador

    I think the warning in the thumbnail is sufficient.

    I like this!  Well scripted, well-shot, fun concept, and executed pretty well.

    For fixing lighting in post, Levels Histogram and Curves will probably cover most of your basic needs.  If you have Pro, you've also got Exposure, though I'm not sure how much it would help in this situation.  I'd say start with Curves and go from there.

    Aside from what you've already listed, the one thing that sticks out to me (pun fully intended) is the angle of the final shot: it's straight on to the character, which kills all sense of perspective and scale on the protruding blade.  (Get it?  Blade...sticks out?  Yeah...I'll be here all week...)

  • DafterThings
    DafterThings Posts: 984 Enthusiast


    Thanks for the feedback. Much appreciated.
    Levels Histogram and Curves are something we need to look at more often... it's too easy to concentrate on the flares, fire and lightsabres :-)

    As for that final shot.... now you've pointed it out I can't believe how obvious it is.  We must have looked at this video a 100 times. and never noticed. 

    Anybody have suggestions on books, tutorials etc on establishing shots.
    Having said that I have a few books on creating comics  and storyboarding so really should have known better :-)

  • CleverTagline
    CleverTagline Posts: 3,316 Ambassador

    Your storyboarding books should be good reference.  Aside from that, just study a lot of film.  I did take some specific classes on this back in my school daze, but for me, studying work from current pros and just experimenting a ton are my best teachers.

  • StormyKnight
    StormyKnight Posts: 2,722 Ambassador
    edited July 2017

    @tonyg - I agree with a lot of what @jsbarrett pointed out. Before you start your projects, check the lighting. You're dealing with a lot of back lighting from the (dining room?) window. To start with, just some lighting from the camera's side - or - in front of the characters would go a long way. I don't know if you have clamp lights (construction or shop type) at your hardware stores but you should be able to find them on eBay and they're not that expensive. AND you can use them to light a green screen. Here's an example of the clamp light I use.


    I think the weakest part of this vid is the sound. It's not consistent. The room you're in doesn't have a lot in it to help dampen the sound so there's a reverb that muddles things up a bit. You might want to consider a condensing microphone to plug into the camera if your camera has a mic plugin. Or you can go with a digital recorder and sync the audio and video in post. It's not real hard to do. OR you can do voice overs and replace the dialog on the video altogether. You just have to match the mouth movement when overdubbing.

    I watched your Summer skits too. The lighting was very good on that one. Nice job on white skin vs. hot sun.....I can totally relate. lol The sound was also much better than on Sword Swallowing.

    *subscribed. :^)

  • DafterThings
    DafterThings Posts: 984 Enthusiast


    Thanks for the feedback. Much appreciated.

    Yep. A  lot of natural light in the Summer skits. We do have some soft lights but get caught between going the whole shebang vs 'Just Do It' when filming. The stupid thing is a) I knew the light from the window was a no-no and b) the light changed as time passed. Simply turning the overhead light on would have sorted it all out :-)

    We used the same external (but on-camera) mic for both but had a deadcat and lowcut on the summer skits one. Didn't think they would do anything for the sword swallowing skit as it was indoors.
    It's a Sony ECMXYST1M where you can vary the direction. We had it pointing forward all the time when probably should have changed to 120degree as some dialog was coming from the side.

    Improving the pacing and clarity of dialog si also on the to-do list.

    So much to remember and consider but we'll learn.
    The good news is his book of ideas hasn't yet run dry.

    TBH : I thought this would be a passing phase but he's still enthusiastic mainly due to the views, feedback and encouragement he's been getting. Thanks to everybody for that.




  • Hudson982
    Hudson982 Posts: 19

    Good camera tricks. Not bad though.

  • Andy001z
    Andy001z Posts: 3,150 Ambassador

    Hi, nicely pulled off and like the others have said good script. I might have been tempted to lower the main camera angle a tad, it did feel rather like Dad filming from up high. Bringing it down a tad might have connected us to the pair a bit more. The front shot as said above is the weakness, but still kinda worked.

    I also liked the fact that our sword swallower remained calm the whole time and just did it, like it was something he did everyday. That really helped sell the gag.

    Overall, its a done video and that earns credit. Good job.

  • DafterThings
    DafterThings Posts: 984 Enthusiast

    Thanks all 

    Will try and remember camera height for the future.
    Again.... obvious once it's pointed out. 

    They're still getting comfortable in front of a camera but are playing characters so he'll be chuffed you commented on it. One is smart but gullible. The other is 'less smart' but  persuasive. The idea is that one knows the dangers but is convinced to do it anyay. They're hoping to use the same characters in future skits.

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,069 Ambassador

    "Because you're taller!" Classic! 

    Looking forward to the next one.