Lesbians Staying In.
Written By: Naomi Arburton
Directed By: Naomi Arburton
"NA", in it's current form consists of three episodes, with the first being more a promotional trailer than an actual show. Revolving around partners Nikki and Ally, the show is centered on their lives together and thus far, manages to be quite diverse and often humorous; given the short run-time of the episodes. Being self labelled a "lesbian comedy" however, may end up hindering the potential of this new series. Some comedic elements do exist, mainly in the third episode but so far, the execution of the show leans more towards a dramatic series. It's important to remember that even a drama can have comedic elements, and writer/director Naomi Arbuton should take care not to box herself into the comedy genre. I feel some of the best future episodes would tilt more on the dramatic side. I am, of course, just writing this based on what I've seen so far. No matter how you slice it, the potential for some good entertainment clearly exists one way or the other.
The technical side of things is where "NA" needs some work. Mainly behind the camera. I completely understand that this is a reality-styled web series, but some care should be taken when producing, and I'll start with the shooting itself. Color and focus. Numerous cases exist where the image was so saturated it became a little tricky to watch. Especially episode three, which is a crying shame. If the viewer can't tell if a shot is simply out of focus, or saturated with so much color that it looks out of focus, you have a problem. I watch on a 34'' screen and at times I really resented the lack of control covering an indoor scene. Maybe it's not so bad on a 19'' monitor, but for me it was brutal at times. As the director, Naomi Arburton should have taken the time to check the shot before committing it to camera. Sometimes, for various reasons this may not be possible; but I don't see how this could be one of those times, considering it's so far all indoor. Even then though: There's still post production. A simple hue/saturation reduction may have really cleaned up some of these shots. In the case of episode three, it would have cleaned it up completely. For me, knowing that most editing programs come with the basic color correction tools, why was this not addressed?
Aside from that, the actual editing itself was done in a decent way, although for a few of the dialog edits, a little could have been trimmed making the conversations feel more fluid. When directing or editing a production, remember that people don't always wait for their partner to finish their lines before answering. Some overlap usually exists, or at the very least, less of a gap between dialog. You could argue that this is an acting flaw, but in reality it could be fixed in the edit.
The truth of the matter is simple: A viewer doesn't care if you're new to making videos, or if you've been doing it for 20 years. They can, and will look for reasons to down-play all your hard work. You owe it to yourself to take every precaution before thrusting your baby into the world. If it's something as simple as lowering the saturation of an image... do it! That's one less thing to worry about, especially with a series as promising as this one.
If you're a potential viewer reading this, one thing should be kept in mind. This is an entertaining series that easily passes the mediocre mark. As I wrote above, my personal favorite was episode three but even if that wasn't the case, one simple fact exists: I had no problem watching all the available episodes, back to back. There's some entertainment to be had here! To deny that due to some minor technical flaws would be ridiculous. I look forward to seeing what the future holds for "NA" and think it could be bright indeed.
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