Getting Some Feedback…

Posted: January 26, 2011 in Media

After making a ‘rough cut’ of what my trailer can be expected to look like I figured it would be a good idea to get some feedback on what people did or didn’t like about the trailer (asking questions like what needs improvement, what’s good and why etc). This way I will be able to get ideas about what could be improved in my trailer and what audiences thought of it in general.

So here’s the first and initial ‘rough cut’ of my trailer…

And here’s a sample of the questions I asked and various answers and feedback I received ( as well as my reactions and thoughts to what they’ve said)…

Q:What did you think of the music in the background of the trailer? Did you  like it?

‘I thought it was fine. It is loud at times but that doesn’t affect it too much’

‘I think it suits the trailer well- it’s dark and mysterious’

‘The music was fine- it is put in the right places in the trailer to achieve the best effect possible’

My thoughts

So the music department of trailer sounds fine. According to most of the audience feedback I got (which all told a similar tale that you can read above) the music in the background of my trailer was good- changing tone and volume when it was required to for effect and generally having a dark and mysterious undertone. Though I can always alter the music just to get the trailer perfect and see if a different track could work better with it, I don’t think, looking at feedback, it really needs to be changed (though I can experiment with this aspect later if I feel it’s required).

Q:What about the titles? Any change in font of colour you’d advise?

‘The titles over the top of the shot are too blury and hard to read’

‘I can’t make out what some of them said’

‘The red looks good, it stands out against the black and looks like blood’

My thoughts

Well this annoyed me a lot. When on Adobe, editing my trailer, the titles over the top of the film looked clear and was very easy to read. But when I then turned it into an actual video file the titles were somehow affected. So I totally agree with the audience’s criticism here and know that now I will definitely have to alter these titles so they are on a black background somehow, or get rid of them altogether (those this may not be a wise move as it appears to be a convention of trailers to include these little ‘critical reviews’, so I think I’ll just edit them).

Q:Were there any camera shots that stood out in your mind? Any that looked good/bad for any specific reason? 

‘The one with the two hands holding each other is a bit static and plain’

‘I liked the ones where you are very close to objects like the lock and the syringe-thing’

‘The holding hands shot seems a bit strange- it doesn’t flow with the rest of the trailer’

My thoughts

Some of my camera work in the trailer I really do think needs improving, and I have to agree with about 99% of the shots that the audience spotted or thought something was wrong with. For example, I really didn’t think the shot of Ray and Jack holding hands worked at all. But I had storyboarded it and filmed it, so at the time I thought I might aswell put it in to see what it looked like. I have to say it really doesn’t work or appear to make much sense– mostly because the shot is, like audience members said too ‘static’ (i.e nothing’s happening). So I will re-shoot and perhaps get another shot of him grabbing Ray’s hand or something like that to get some movement and action within the shot (as well as this I’ll re-shoot the other shots that didn’t really seem to work or could be improved in mine and/or the audience’s opinion).

Q:What about the dialogue? Which parts did or didn’t you like?

‘Some bits were a bit strained- they didn’t sound very convincing’

‘The dialogue is good- it links well to the video itself’

‘I like the dialogue, it’s very tension building’

My thoughts

I’m pretty two-sided on this aspect, and I think the audience members I asked were too. While some dialogue I personally think linked well and were atmospheric, other pieces seemed a little ‘forced’. Whether it’s to do with the volume I used for it in the editing process or due to how the actors’ actually said it I’m not entirely sure at this point. Anyway, due to my audience’s reactions I’ll certainly look over which dialogue pieces could possibly be re-done or perhaps re-arranged to help improve the trailer’s quality.

Q:In general is there something you feel needs improving or changing?

‘Some of the locations look like a school, is it set in a school?’

‘Holding hands shot definitely needs to be replaced with another or something else’

‘Maybe the dialogue needs to be altered to work better with the video itself or just sound a little more convincing’

My thoughts

Most vital points of improvement I have already discussed. Though the top answer above is really something that bothered me, as I secretly hoped the audience would not notice it! Due to how fast we had to get the filming done and what prop was needed (a shelf, cupboard or in this case, bookcase) the shot where Alice takes the books from the bookcase clearly reveals to the audience a school-like location. This I felt was very annoying as it makes my trailer look unprofessional and extremely amateur. This was also noted on the shot with the hand on the shoulder, the flashback into Jack’s past (where a border around some notices and a teacher’s desk makes it a bit obvious the location is a classroom). Irritating as it is I must agree to their thoughts and will go and re-film parts in either a different location to the school or within the school without making it look blindingly obvious to be a school

Q:If you liked the trailer, what did you like about it?

‘I did-I like the music the most- it’s good and tense’

‘Yes- the shots were some messages appear and disappear- makes it very creepy and strange’

‘ I did like it, and the black and white effect- looks very dark and creepy’

My thoughts

Well, I like to hear the idea that at least some people enjoyed it. And I thought some of the points that they mentioned  they liked were things I thought worked well in my trailer personally (I thought straight away that it didn’t look good in colour for example and therefore chose to have it entirely in black and white). But I mustn’t dwell on the so-called ‘good’ parts and feel I must focus rather on the critical comments and keep them in mind so I can change and improve the ‘bad’ parts that the audience has brought to light so as to improve my trailer’s overall quality.

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