Critique That [Web Series] Frame! April 18th, 2018

It’s time to Critique That Frame again! We hit “surprise me” in and picked screenshots from the first three shows that came up!

Shot 1: Wine About It

17 AM

Shot 2: IKEA Heights

37 AM
Note: the highest quality you can set this series is 240p- it’s from 2009

Shot 3: Sugarboy

34 PM

It doesn’t matter if you’re a cinematographer or simply a fan of film: how would you change or improve the above web series shots? Consider:

  • Production Design
  • Framing
  • Lighting
  • Wardrobe
  • Etc!

If you like a frame, how would you change these shots to fit your own preferred style? It may not be better or worse, but it would be YOURS. Let’s see what people come up with!


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The first shot could really use a faster lens to create more depth.

The second just needs to be in HD… not their fault really.

The third is a little tougher, I can’t quite put my finger on it, perhaps someone with more experience could tell me whats wrong…

The highlights in the background are too strong, everything is sharp and in focus, and the dude looks out of place. I would probably move the key light back and open up the lens more, then dirty up the frame a bit in post production.

Of course they very well might be going for this look. If this is a comedy the look makes some sense and this scene might be a parody of the drama it appears to be on the surface.


Shot 1 I agree with @SnobbyRobot- shallower depth of field would be great.

Shot 2 I would definitely adjust the white balance on because everything white in frame looks yellowed in an old-newspaper way. The walls are also way too bare and there’s a real lack of color that bugs me.

Shot 3 is from a detective parody show to Erik’s point, but also the set dressing seems random and nonspecific. What’s the purple thing behind her? Is there just water in the beakers in the foreground? And what’s on top of the laptop? Lab scenes are so central to the detective genre that they could have done a lot more with the parody as added Easter eggs to the scene.

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Shot 1 - Don’t really have a problem with it. Shallower depth of field would be nice, but the vibe of that show is pretty simple so I don’t fault it.

Shot 2 - I’ve seen IKEA Heights presented on the big screen here in LA so I’ve seen a better quality version of the image. The handheld, hurried style works for the spoof and the framing did a good job of feeling very daytime soap.

Shot 3 - This could be a scene from any show featuring a plucky scientist character with a federal agent looking shifty. If I could fix it I would subvert where I could and just frame this thing differently. Maybe from the POV of the desk looking up at the two with sharp lighting casting long shadows or something. I’d probably tilt the angle too. Anything to just engage the eyeballs.

  1. A little drop off with the light to separate the background, and then maybe some edge lighting to further separate him from the background. I don’t know the context. If it is comedy, I might leave the lens, but my personal taste would also be to use a longer lens and move the camera back - again to isolate the figure from the background a little bit.
  2. I kind of like this one, but again context might make me change my mind. It has the feel of a security camera with the high angle wide lens. If that is not what they are going for, then I would want to read the script and production design the wall and the comforter.
  3. I’d start by recasting. They may be fine actors, but they both look too young to make the wardrobe work. Again, the background is competing a bit too much with the foreground, so - edge lighting, drop off, longer lens - any or all… And then maybe some foreground production design so it doesn’t look like a cooking show.

Shot 1- I think I would change the color palette to highlight the character with his glass of wine and make a new background since the elements are in disharmony. Create an orderly mess that does not distract. In the Christmas decorations, that the red color it would only in the character and back in some very small place (The shirt).

Shot 2- It is of low quality and that can be a plus: it would intensify the air of vintage TV to the early 80’s (Style Magnum P. I, for example).

Shot 3 - I would choose a more absurd take (if it is a comedy): It would increase the shadow of both characters, making the detective more threatening about the female character. The female character would put the smock closed with a credential in the breast. Not that color of the blouse, white directly.
I would focus the light to make everything exaggeratedly mysterious.

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I think the shot was too close if it was me I would zoom out the shot to shows the table or whatever the bottle is on.

Second, is the quality which is kind of a downer.

Third, is the light that focusing behind of them two, if they had managed to focus the light above their heads I think it would have looked more natural.

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