Honestly, my biggest tip for you is to just keep on making videos! Based on the rest of your channel, it looks like you’re pretty new to this- and that’s perfectly fine! We all started somewhere, and for many of us, it looked something like this. (If you need proof of this, go to the Uploads section of your favorite non-“corporate” YouTube channel and sort by oldest upload date. Enjoy some of their early work and look how far they’ve come).
Filmmaking is an art. It takes time (often years) to establish your style and “get good”. Absolutely learn as much as you can from resources such as Film Riot, these forums, and others. Watch movies, TV shows, or other well-produced videos and ask yourself “What makes this so good?” “How did they get that shot?” “What does this actor do to sell their character?” “How did they make these VFX?”. Break it down in your head and try to imagine how you can make something similar with the resources you have... then go and try it for yourself! You don’t need to have the best camera, the best lighting, or the best microphone (you already have the best VFX software though 😉) to learn and improve.
Don’t make videos just to make them. Do them to have fun, but also try to learn at least one thing on every video you make. Try to improve in at least one aspect for every video. Don’t be afraid of failure either... you learn the most when things go wrong. Just remember to learn from those shortcomings. If you go through and rewatch the video you just shared after not seeing it for a while, you’ll start to see the things you don’t like about it... ask yourself: “How can I fix that for next time?” and try to implement it.
Hopefully this helps! If you have a question about a specific aspect of your video that you’re having a hard time breaking down yourself, feel free to let us know and we can walk you through it!
@Curtis I like it!
I have to say, the point tracks for the Lightning Effects are absolutely outstanding... perfect really. I couldn't see any errant motion in them.
Also, at 1:20 minutes, that is a sweet roll over the couch by the older boy and a really nice break fall by the younger boy. Great job!
That was a fun video! I liked the lightning charged swords. A nice style choice over the more cliche' lightsaber (although I love me some lightsabers!)
As for tips. I think some blur on the effects would help integrate them better.
Javert did an awesome tutorial on lightsaber clashes. Some of those techniques would really make the lightning swords pop.
Thank you very much! (It took me about 5 days to edit but it was well worth it). Turned out way better than I expected, way better! (Especially the audio).
I think everybody here enjoys seeing these films. It's how I started with my kids: Having a lot of fun with them, then fun myself playing with VFX and then more fun seeing their reaction.
Others have commented on the effects (which are fantastic) but I want to shout out the acting as well. Both did a super job not just delivering the dialog but also with their expressions.
Yes they did an amazing job.
@Curtis @DafterThings I was going to say that as well. Having worked with lots of kids on short films in the past, I can say that it is easy for kids to look at the camera, mumble lines, do things that you are not suppose to, etc.... They did great! You can tell they really had a good time. My one question is, was there really a bug on the floor? 😂
No, there was no bug on the floor. That was acted out. lol
So, yeah, that was all kinds of awesome. Fun family films always put a smile on my face.
Triforcefx had a great comment. I'll just agree with what he said.
FilmSensei is right - you got really solid tracking for all the lightning and clash VFX. The couch roll and break fall around 1:20 are really nice. Especially the fall, which is hard enough to sell the impact, but just in control enough where I wasn't worried your brother might have hurt himself.
I also enjoyed the ending - how the fight good naturedly ended with the winner helping the loser up, and a "no hard feelings" vibe.
First tip for future films - change up camera angles. Right now everything was shot at about your shoulder/eye height, correct? Switch it up sometimes. You could stand on a stepstool or get up on a bunk bed to get some high angle shots, and you can squat/kneel/lay down for low angle shots.
This image is someone's quick little demo of how camera angle can change the feeling of the shot.
The image is from this article, which gives a little more discussion on the topic, and takes a few examples from films.
Like in your Lightning War film, when your brother crawls behind the drums for cover, that would have been a good time to get low to the ground... Maybe even put the camera on the floor and have him crawl directly over it while we see the other brother off in the background aiming...
I'm going to link to a short that some friends and I really quickly shot one day with no real script - to discuss camera angle a bit more...
So... The first shot, I've got the camera a little over my head, looking down at phone screen, then dropped to eye level as I step back. The camera stays at eye level for the banter to keep everything at a natural/neutral level. Let's the dialog take focus. As soon as the proton beam starts the camera drops about a foot and a half to the middle of my chest. The lower angle gives a bit more of an "epic" feel and lets the proton beam fly "over" the camera - if I'd stayed at eye level the beam would fly "under" the camera, which isn't as cool... The camera keeps dropping. When David runs off to set the trap it's about waist level. Down to knee level for the close ups of David bending over and tapping his phone. Then the camera goes right to ground level for David getting zapped and trapped. The more intense the action, the lower the camera goes, because looking up towards people feels more "dangerous." The camera stays low as Jon walks up to David's phone, then rises back to eye level as Jon picks it up. Back to an overhead as Jon sees his score on the phone, and eye level again for the last line.
So the whole film moves from a "normal" angle at the beginning and gets lower and lower the more ridiculous the action gets, then returns to eye level as everything dies down. We're back to a "normal angle at the end to signify everything is "ok." If I'd stayed low angle on the last line the whole "death" would feel creepier, but by returning to the "conversation" level we (hopefully) get the feeling at the end "it's all good."
Great job! Keep going! Make more movies!