Updated: Dec 19, 2018
We live in a generation where the possibilities are endless for video effects, but just because you can do it, doesn't mean you should do it.
If Michael Bay has taught me anything, it's that you can overuse optical flares and slow motion action sequences. It's almost as if he was told, "Ok, we have to make this movie last at least 1hr 52min so do your best to fill up the time with what you got." and then he replied with something like, "Hold my flashlight.....". Don't get me wrong, Michael Bay has an eye to get the right cinematic shot for the scene, but it's overshadowed by lens flares and slow motion action sequences.
Michael Bay isn't the only guilty party in this blog post. I would say every D.O.P. who ever worked for the tv show "Heroes" is just as guilty. This show was really well done and could have went way longer than originally lasted, but sometimes the depth of field shots are too much. I remember there was one scene where they had a close up on one of the characters face and the only thing that was in focus was about 2 cm of his nose, everything else was out of focus. That was some extreme depth of field and complete overkill for the scene.
There's tons of things that I want to do for my videos like have all my stage lights and laser effects, but if I'm filming something small like a how to video, obviously stage lights will be overkill. It may work in an interview type video, but not a how to video. I have the equipment to pull stuff like that off, but I know that some video's shouldn't have it in there.
So if you are wanting to add this kind of stuff to your video, ask yourself, "Should it really be in there?" If it takes you longer than 3 seconds to answer, then the answer is probably the correct one. If you answer right away, then more than likely it doesn't need to be in there. There are some exceptions, but remember to take a step back and look at the scene as a whole and if it adds to the story or takes away from it. In other words, ask yourself, "Does my video look like Michael Bay directed it". And no, I don't mean in a good way....
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