Friday, September 17, 2010

Lukas Niklaus -New York - Critique

Shot3: Looks good, but I would position the guy a bit more screen left. Right now everything is concentrated within the screen right half, which is crowding that area a bit. He could stand where the pole is, maybe a tiny bit to the right of it. Then just cheat the pole around.

Shot2: It's much better with the toned down emotion and I can see your point about the gear change at that point. All I would do is break up that change a bit then. Her pause is not just a pause, it's kind of a hidden swallow because of her emotions. So instead of having her just look down after New York, I would have multiple little eye darts. She is basically remembering the good times there (like you said), but as she remembers L.A. it would be interesting to see how her mind works. By having little eye darts you would show how hear brain is processing and remembering that information and after that it triggers that swallow/reaction and change of mood. So hold her look after New York, but then lower her eyes a bit earlier than what you have now, and don't go lower then her eye pose on x137 (just move it more screen right/left, so she doesn't look into the camera). Hold that pose for a beat and then go to x138, hold that for only a few frames and then go to x139 at that lowest position, but have more of a left or right translation from x138 to 139.

His last look and that smile: if you're going for sympathy, then I would bring up his top eye lids a bit more and if you have control over their rotation, then have them less pointed down towards the nose. His expression on x359 feels "Yeah baby" and almost creepy, given the sad and somber tone of the voices. You can have a smile that says "I understand what you mean." but just dial down that 'Hey baby, want a drink?" look. :)
What doesn't help either is the speed of the head turn. Again, given the mood, it's a bit too fast.

The rest looks pretty good. There's one moment with her on x227, how she has that one eyebrow up, which is a bit too far away from her disappointed/somber mood. Just dial down those eyebrows and keep the sadness. Even the pose on x283 feels more sad. That one is a good combination of feeling puzzled and sad. Plus I wouldn't have first the screen right eyebrow up and the moments later the screen left one, it's a bit too "first this side... aaaand now this side".

I agree that the hand stopping around x223 is a bit too fast, you could soften that part. Also watch out that fingers are not going through her leg, like on x198.
What I would add in terms of hand mechanics is during the moment when she takes her left hand off the other hand. Right now that hand doesn't react to it, the leg doesn't react to it either. Once the hand slides off, bring in some wrist changes and finger changes (for her right one). And since only her right hand is on the leg, it would pull that knee a bit screen left, now that the stabilizing left hand is gone. So add a little leg move during that moment.
You could almost go as far as fully rotating her right wrist towards her a bit more. Looking at the silhouette and shape around x280 for instance, we don't see her right elbow and her lower part of the wrist kinda sticks out to the left. So that wrist and arm feel a bit disconnected. I would rotate the wrist out towards us, so that we see more of the finger tips once the other hands gets off of it. If by that we bring her arm a bit back, so that you can see her elbow than even better.

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