The Last Son of Celeste *Online Debut* at DVinfo.net

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Old May 11th, 2007, 02:09 PM   #1
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The Last Son of Celeste *Online Debut*

Okay... here we go, moment of truth. After 4 months of blood, sweet, and tears... my movie is ready for the public. I know I've been teasing you guys the past several months with screenshots and clips so I'm sure many of you want to see the final product. Overall, I'm fairly happy with the movie and as a filmstudent, it was a great learning experience. I did the best I could with student actors and a budget under $1,000. I will be first to admit that the movie is far from perfect but like I said, overall... I'm happy with it. Again, thanks to those of you who purchased the DVD and everyone here for their support! Anyway, enough chit-chat and enjoy!

http://www.marlontorres.com/films/celeste.mov
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Old May 11th, 2007, 02:34 PM   #2
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I want to say a big thanks for doing this. I have enjoyed all your shots, especially the one where you did the moon/sun FX where it was a normal hill with street lights and the blue sky, i truly thought that was amazing how you took an ordinary every day shot and could turn it into what you would consider "sci-fi/fantasy" ish.

I will comment on the video shortly after it is downloaded and watched!

TAKE EVERYTHING BELOW VERY VERY MINIMALLY ... I have NO EXPERIENCE in any of this and it is purely OPINIONATED with no professional expertise background.
EDIT: LOVED IT! Captured emotion very well. Saw one little hiccup in editing where you had Cassey talking, and the switched to a head shot and she was finishing a word but her mouth was completely closed. It was very minor, and the only reason why i saw it was i had paused the movie and rewinded it and saw that part twice knowing what she was saying. Other than that i loved the dreamy effect, the blue cast, the forward and backward story line, though having you put up bits and pieces of the story gave away the coolest part of the ring! I think as per character development, you developed Frank well, but Cassey wasnt. I dont know if this was your purpose. Over all, as i do like watching the IFC and Sundance channels, i could definitely see this making one of their "shorts" that they have every so often.

Last edited by Eric Sipe; May 11th, 2007 at 03:05 PM.
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Old May 11th, 2007, 05:31 PM   #3
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Hey Marlon,

Great job. You really know how to put together a good package. Your cuts are clean and timely, the score suited the film nicely, sound was good and the acting was believable. Frankly, I'm not much a fan of fantasy-type movies, but I guess what kept me interested in yours was that it wasn't really fantasy at all, apart from the initial introduction and his costume in the future.

When you first released the opening 6 minutes some people commented that they didn't get what was happening. Maybe they didn't understand that the film was meant to run longer. Nevertheless, from a writing perspective, it's OK to keep the audience wondering, as long as A) you keep it fresh and interesting so they are intrigued about where it's going and B) pay it off (unless you're David Lynch). You did both of these things and in my opinion, did them well.

From an acting perspective I really liked the male lead. He's very natural in front of the camera and he has a good look. I felt like he was being himself (I mean that in a good way). There were only a couple occasions that I felt like his actions didn't match the dialogue - possibly a consequence of him being himself.

All in all, I'd say it was a success. I know many directors don't like to talk about what they perceive as shortcomings, especially if it involves the work of a cast or crew member. However, I'm always interested in hearing an honest assessment from the director. It's one thing for an audience member to say "this worked for me but that didn't" but it's another for the director to come right out and talk about some of the things that he/she was going for that just didn't work out. If you care to elaborate, I'd love to hear it. If not, I understand.

Eric
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Old May 11th, 2007, 05:56 PM   #4
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I have no problem discussing the movie's shortcomings. First off, I should probably tell you guys that this cut isn't the "director's cut"... I'm still happy with the cut but a lot of dialog has been cut out due to the time restriction of my school's film festival. The director's cut would probably be 2-3 minutes longer.

I believe the biggest shortcoming in my movie is my actress, I think she did a fine job considering shes just a friend and not really an actress, but I should of really put talent before physical appearance. I was naive and felt like I could direct her to a decent performance. The other think that irks me about the movie is that I only completed about 70% of the shots I planned. There are several places where I wanted to some insert shots that could of improved the scene but due to time constraints I just wasn't able to do them. Also, I felt like the ADR could of been better.

Anyway, I'm glad you liked the movie!
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Old May 12th, 2007, 01:50 PM   #5
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Marlon, that was brilliant. I really enjoyed watching the completed work.

I thought your actress was fine. She put in a good performance, not that I know anything about acting, but nothing seemed out of place for her character. If anything, the only thing I noticed was the lip sync Eric mentioned, but I can handle that.

Loved the cinematography and music too.

Last edited by Glenn Thomas; May 12th, 2007 at 01:50 PM. Reason: typo
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Old May 12th, 2007, 02:06 PM   #6
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I have to say, that was pretty amazing. It was very professional looking, and you definitely showed the true potential this camera can have. I will say though, the acting was a little bit...eh. It sounded a bit too scripted. Other than that it was great. Top notch.
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Old May 12th, 2007, 02:07 PM   #7
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Marlon,

Overall I think it was a very good short that showed a lot of time and effort was put into it. The thing I like about it, was that besides the occasional oddity it was a very complete work. The thing that stood out as the worst part of your film was the actress. She wasn't bad per-say, but she was not on the level of your male character, I think with a better lead actress you could have made the chemistry between the two better than it was. But once again, it wasn't that she was bad, it was just that with a better actress, your film would have been EVEN BETTER.

I really enjoyed your visual effects in the sky and also your sound/music. Both were very professional, besides the audio/voiceover glitch that others mentioned, but that was a very brief glitch and was soon forgotten.

As far as the story aspect goes, it kept you asking questions at the beginning and tied everything neatly together at the end. It was well thought out and executed.

Great work Marlon, keep filming!
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Old May 12th, 2007, 02:27 PM   #8
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Thanks guys, I guess the consensus is: Great visuals, professional, below average female lead, a few technical sound glitches. Hopefully I will improve these things in the feature film version!
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Old May 12th, 2007, 03:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marlon Torres View Post
Thanks guys, I guess the consensus is: Great visuals, professional, below average female lead, a few technical sound glitches. Hopefully I will improve these things in the feature film version!
Great visuals = check
Professional = check
Below average female lead = NO! It wasn't that, it was that your male actor was BETTER (at least thats what i think and am getting out of this) and "drowned" her out.
Technical sound glitches = NO! one minor one? Ive seen Hollywood make bigger mistakes than this one.

...just my 2cents....

loved the sky effects too as well, as i hadn't mentioned that before. Again, Great job, and i CANNOT wait till i get my A1!
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Old May 12th, 2007, 09:21 PM   #10
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thumbs up

Marlon,

I thought the actress was very convincing and natural probaly more than the male actor just my opinion although he was very good as well.
The movie is very unpredictable which is a good thing.
The movie is very poetic in nature. I loved the visuals.
As a musician I enjoyed the music it supported the movie very well.
I had a very melancholic feeling while watching this movie
which believe it or not I actually enjoyed. Excellent work from friend!

-k
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Old May 13th, 2007, 07:09 PM   #11
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Marlon, as you must know, this film is a visual knockout. It's just beautifully shot, with great grading and effects that help punch up the storytelling. Music and sound design were awesome, as well. There's only so far you can go with ADR, but you managed to do a decent job of it.

For the negatives (which is sounds like what you're truly asking for), I agree with you about your actress. She kept a very flat emotional response through almost all of her lines, and had very little affect to her performance. She's plenty fetching enough, and the camera surely likes her, but she really needed more help with delivery and emotional breadth. Some folks here liked her performance, and to each his own, but I think the heightened sense of drama present in the storyline should demand the same in the actors. And she didn't "sell" me.

Pablo, OTOH, knocked me out with his performance. Wow, he's got chops! And I like that he doesn't look like every other actor out there. I can't wait to see him in something again.

From the credits, it's readily apparent that you were likely "wearing too many hats" during production to focus too much on Cassie's performances. Personally, I find it impossible to direct talent when behind a camera, or even focused on a script, continuity, sound... whatever. I hope that the success of this film will get you a bigger crew in the future to do just that.

I also felt like it just ran too long. I know you said you'd like to add more to the film, but to keep it a true short, I think less is better. And it's really, really hard at this point to "kill your children", so to speak. The scene on the bench could have been cut tighter, without question, and some of the walk through the forest pieces, as beautiful as they are, could stand to go for pacing's sake.

You have a great piece of work here, nonetheless. And I look forward to seeing you do more shorts or even get a feature deal someday. You clearly have the passion and eye for film making.

Cheers,
Brian Brown
BrownCow Productions
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Old May 13th, 2007, 07:19 PM   #12
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Thanks Brian for the feedback and suggestions. I will also tell Pablo the flattering compliments you had for him, I'm sure he'll love it!
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Old May 14th, 2007, 04:16 PM   #13
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I loved the acting of Cassandra Michel... It felt more natural. She did never overacted any emotion. I think she isn't that worse all say. But Pablo Soriano did also a great job. I love the story very much.
But I think the slow digital zooms into the shots are to often. I think less could have been more. ;)

Hope to see more of your work soon :D
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Old May 27th, 2007, 10:57 AM   #14
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Thanks. Maybe she isn't so bad afterall.
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Old May 27th, 2007, 03:45 PM   #15
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Marlon,

Great Flick!!

YOu had me at the trailer weeks ok. Nice to see it finally all wrapped up. Keep up the great work and take that puppy to festivals you will clean house.

What else is new on the horizon..?

-Rick
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