‘Splitscreen: A Love Story’ and things to learn from it

Splitscreen: A Love Story was the winner of the Nokia Shorts competition 2011.  Watch it.  Notice firstly – it is a brilliant, simple idea.  It takes the style of camera and uses it to suit the concept.  Interestingly, if you watch the ‘making of’ videos (see below), the footage quality is much better when you look at it, but do you see how the sound quality breaks it (but that’s ok cause it’s a ‘making of’, and kind of what we’re expecting).

This brings us to the second thing to notice – the audio in the film is really nice, and helps you engage with the story, rather than distract you from it.  It helps somehow helps you believe the two similar shots in different countries are the same.

Third, notice how Griffiths has achieved beautiful continuity between the two shots.  This must have taken a lot of waiting to get those shots (for a train/pedestrian/cyclist to go past at the same point in the shot).  It’s a good tip for editing – look for the actions in a shot that you can match with the next shot and make your cut on that.  It can be as simple as a blink.  This will help the cut to be less distracting.  The other thing that has really helped Griffiths’ continuity is the steadiness of his shots.  If one side were wobbling while the other side wasn’t, it would have ruined the illusion.  If you watch the ‘making of’, you’ll notice a small steadicam contraption he used.  A makeshift version that you could use without buying one is a tripod.  Just attache it to the camera, but keep it compact without releasing the legs, and then hold it by one of the legs.  This will help with stability.

So do you get the picture?  The idea, audio and filming techniques were all more important than the actual video capture quality.  So make sure this is reflected in the way you approach your next video.

Thanks for a cool vid JW, and for a great example of creative filming.

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