Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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What it means to be a Chorallarie!

Comments (12)

I really enjoyed the narrative structure of this piece — we saw someone describe auditions, callbacks, and then we watched the Chorallaries practice and eventually come together to make a great performance number. There was a clear and understandable flow; we were able to see every step that makes a good a capella performance. I also enjoyed watching the audience’s reaction — you showed a good understanding of entertainment by knowing that most of it is in the audience’s head, and that we should see that the audience is enjoying it.

One thing I didn’t really enjoy is the intro. I really liked that we started with a tone, but I expected to immediately go into singing in kind of an explosive manner. Also, I really enjoyed that you actually used the Chorallaries music in the background, but sometimes it became too loud and overpowered the interviews.

Posted over 3 years by

The way the story was told, the story line, and how the picture you gave was developed was the the strongest point of the piece. You got individual accounts, a group interview, shots from practice, shots from several different performances, etc. The variety you gave definitely allowed for development of the group on multiple levels. I felt as if I had a feel for both the group dynamic on stage and off as well as a feel for the individuals that made up the group. Overall, the variety in shots you took as well as how you combined them together made for an excellent “character” development.

I think the most awkward part of the video was definitely the intro shot of the poster. It was both misleading and a weird thing to start off with after the tuner. I did like the Chorallaries music in the background, but at certain times it was a bit distracting and contradictory to the message that you were trying to get across. Maybe next time pay more attention to the audio ‘ups’ and ‘downs’ when you’re putting the piece together.

Posted over 3 years by

The structure of this piece is, I think, it’s strongest feature. It’s obvious that you really thought it out and put together a sort of story that made sense. I also really liked the latter half of the video just in that it was really strong visually with very good edits. The real attention grabber though is the switches you put in between the practice and performance, it worked really well and seemed to have a strong message, things like this helped make the piece really strong.

The tings that didn’t work as well were very few. The most noticeable were the sound issues, especially at the beginning, and it would really benefit you to spend some more time with that. Also, I feel like, while the work had great structure, the actual narrative was really unclear. A lot of the interview snippets seemed unrelated to each other and overall I wasn’t sure what they were trying to accomplish. The only other thing I can say is totally a personal preference thing, but never use a particle dissolve, I just think it looks tacky. But that could be just me.

Posted over 3 years by zacht

First off, your editing was excellent.  The juxtaposition of different scenes with the audio of others was very well done.  It’s good how you did an introduction scene, where you explained the background of the Chorallaries as well as interviewing for the student’s opinion of the Chorallaries.  The narrative structure was very logical and wasn’t confusing at all, and I liked how you ended with their conclusion song, almost as if the whole documentary was a performance itself.  I liked the way you interjected the choir music and Chorallaries throughout the entire video, going so far as to use it for your soundtrack. It helped give the film a unified theme, rather than going on confusing tangents. 
The choir music often times overpowered the interviews. I’d like to see you get the camera closer to the subjects. The whole documentary felt sort-of distant, only because it was comprised of mostly medium shots. Also, when you did insert close up shots, they were out of focus (but I guess that’s just a limitation of the camera); this was especially evident in the title sequence.  Great job!  

Posted over 3 years by

I liked the narrative structure of this piece, starting with the intro note on the harmonica? and moving through the practice up to the final performance in lobby 7. It was neat how you cut back and forth between the practice and final performance in the last part of the video. The editing was smoothly done. You also had interviews with the chorallaries that gave us some information about what they were, then the information with one of the new members gave us more insight into the process of becoming a chorallary and how much was involved.
I think that having the music continuously in the background even during the interviews was a great idea. I just think that during the interviews the singing needed to be lower. Made some things difficult to hear and pay attention to. It was a fun piece to watch though, and the interview blooper at the end was a nice touch.

Posted over 3 years by

You did a great job of telling the story of the Chorallaries. The progression from an explanation of their name to the individual story of one member auditioning and being accepted to their final performance flowed very well. In parallel with those primary elements, you also a constant track of their music in the background and various shots of their performances, the audience, and MIT. Those shots made the video much more interesting, and gave the audience a sense of what it means to be an MIT a cappella group. As many people have pointed out, juxtaposing the practice and performance sessions was very effective.

As many people have pointed out, there were some issues with sound levels, but this probably had a lot to do with the limitations of the camera recordings. Using the pitch pipe in the beginning was a great decision, but it would have been nice if you used more closeups to capture the subtleties of a cappella performance. Besides those details, I think you did a great job!

Posted over 3 years by

I really liked the narrative progression. The interview describing the selection of members with the progression of putting a show together. The jumps between interviews were really well done, and the background music was at the perfect level. With that you guided the audience into the different stages of becoming a Chorollary.
What I didn’t like was the intro. The rest of the editing was so well done, that the intro did not gage as much interest as the rest of the film. I also would have liked to have different angles on the interviews section. Other than that, I thought your film was really well done and you did a great job making a portrait of the group.

Posted over 3 years by andreagu

I enjoyed the continuity of the cholloralies singing throughout the documentary. It added to the uniformity of the piece as a whole. I was particularly drawn into watching the cholorallie performances, because your shots frames were chosen perfectly to include all the performers in the group and sometimes zoom in on the central figure of a piece. Their final performance was very entertaining as it showed the final fruit of all their work.

For me, your best cholloralie performance shot was towards the end when you transitioned from them practicing by the stairs standing in a square shape to them doing their finalized performance with the square shape of them moving around. The perfect overlap of the square shaped organization of their group was wonderful. It instantly highlighted the process of their practice up until their final piece. Then, I thought your transition back and fort between these shots was excellently done. I liked the transitions as they were not cliché but very inventive and personalized.

My favorite shots were the random ones that were neither performance nor interview shots. Particularly, I loved the blurred shot near the beginning that zooms into some sort of blur. I think the feeling of the blur matched perfectly with the sound of the cholloralies. I would have loved to seen a variety of these kinds of shots. I think they would add to the multiplicity of your video.

In particular, one other kind of shot that I very much admired was the one from the second floor of the Lobby 7 panning from behind a lady watching the performance. That shot could have been continued for longer, zooming in from above on the cholloralies performing. I would have loved to see more of these shots where the cholorralies are approached from different perspectives. It added to the multi-dimensionality of your documentary.

I would agree to the taking out of the poster at beginning because the poster serves more as an interruption. The fact that it has the name of the cholorallies is a good for an introduction, but I think it disrupts more than benefits the beginning. Instead you could continue the humming music and move on straight to the cholloralies performing. I think it would be cool to stop-motion the beginning with shots of going through the infinite and shot by shot getting closer to the cholloralies. In each shot the sound would become louder and louder until we finally meet the cholloralies. Perhaps some form of build up like that at the beginning would be energetic and absorbing.

Throughout the documentary, I felt that your style for going back and forth between chorollarie shots and interviews was repeated. This had a bit of a disengaging effect as the interviews sometimes could be shortened to just include the most important points. It would have been nice to see a bit of mixing up of visuals and audio to avoid this repetition. For example, sometimes the audio from the interviews could be dragged onto the shots of the performances as well.

For the interviews, the subtitles should just be in the left hand side overlapped on the shots themselves to not disrupt flow of film at beginning. Then, I thought the shots of the cholloralies singing at beginning were shaky and not good quality as compared to shots in middle. It would be best to begin with your best shots to draw in audience interest. Also, in terms of audio, as it was mentioned in class, the volume should be much lower during the interviews to not distract attention from the content of these interviews. In turn, the volume should be higher during the actual performance shots.

Posted over 3 years by

The intro to this documentary is great. Immediately, without even knowing the title or who the Chorallaries are, I knew this documentary was going to be about music, singing, and, most likely, acapella. I also liked how right after the pitch pipe note, the group began humming which initiates the documentary. Very nicely done. I would have liked for there to be more singing/humming before the interviews begin. I felt like right as the singing should have begun, the sound cut and the interviews started. Once the interviews started, I had difficultly hearing what was being said over the volume of the other audio tracks. I think this was partly due to the fact that the interviewee was soft spoken. I think it’s important (and I will definitely take note of this) to ask your interviewees to speak up loudly especially when they are in a big space and the camera is far away.

The overall narrative seemed to flow smoothly from the intro to the Chorallaries to the finishing touch of an individual’s story of how he became a Chorallarie. I like how you focused on one person’s story specifically and also juxtaposed that with interviews with the group. It showed the various levels of the people in Chorallaries and made it personal. Nice work splicing the various practice and performance videos!

Posted over 3 years by

Your narrative structure made good sense, introducing the history of Chorallaries, followed by intimate recount of member’s audition and callback experiences, and finished off with a heart-felt performance. I loved the layover when you chained the rehearsal session to the performance session together with the same song. I wished you had put the two side-by-side so I can see the comparison across place and time.

While you interviewed really funny and engaging people, the middle felt really long. I understand you wanted to really bring out the personal stories but the irregular fast cuts to random practice scenes in the between really detracted from the coherence of your message and left me really visually confused. The fast cuts also made me pay more attention to the actions on screen rather than the interview in the background.

I really wanted to see more visual perspectives of the Chorallaries other than singing, like walking down infinite, eating lunch together, shot of them rehearsing from outside building 4’s windows (something a passing-spectator would see).

Posted over 3 years by

This video was fun and engaging. I liked the opening with the note. your choice of shots worked well. The interview subjects were engaging and made for an enjoyable story. I liked your use of concert footage and practice footage. We got a nice image of the production of the group and the show.
Some things that I think could be improved are mostly with audio. As it is a video about a music group it is really vital to have the best possible audio you can. I would have liked cleaner sound on the performances to get more immersed in what they do. I also think some of the interview audio had a little too much echo.

Posted over 3 years by

For the most part, my issues with this piece are primarily editing issues. But I think you’ve gotten a pretty solid hold on that by this point. However, I do have to point out, I was a little disappointed with the lack of intro time. With that opening key note, I was expecting a high energy intro, but it fell flat (no pun intended). Other than that, love the narrative structure, and the live performances. I can really see where you tried to take this piece, and can appreciate that.

Posted over 3 years by

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February 29, 2012 01:56
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