"Smile Pretty" feature shot on XLH1 now on DVD. at DVinfo.net

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Canon XL H Series HDV Camcorders
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Old August 29th, 2009, 11:54 PM   #1
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"Smile Pretty" feature shot on XLH1 now on DVD.

Hi All,

A film I directed about three and a half years ago, and which I had to wait 9 months to edit because there was no compatible software with Canon's "24F", has finally surfaced on DVD.

It took a couple of years to get distribution because it tells the true story of an Eastern European child who was adopted by an American man who brought her to the USA with the express intention of putting her in to child pornography. This was very much in the news about 5 years ago. The girl was on Oprah and whatnot. It got a lot of coverage.

But not exactly the type of theme which gets the turnstiles clicking.

In any case, it was probably the first feature film to be shot on the XLH1 (it was shot in January 2006) and it's called "Smile Pretty". It was filmed under the title "Nasty", but the distributors asked me for a more "audience friendly" title(!).

Amazingly it got into Blockbuster, Netflix, Amazon, BestBuy and WalMart online ... plus many other stores, but those are the biggest.

It was shot by Scott Ikegami, a DP who has since photographed two other features for me and the film is something of a labor of love.

I do hope that some of you might put it on your Netflix list since I want the film to actually be seen. And the picture is OK. It stars Scout Taylor-Compton in her best role to date, I think.

And, by the way, I don't get residual payments for Netflix rentals. Like all of us, I would like a few people to see my work.

It's not a film for the faint hearted, by the way. And definitely not to be seen by young children.

Thank you

Harry.

Harry Bromley-Davenport.

PS. You can see the trailer at:
YouTube - "Smile Pretty" Trailer v2 2
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Old August 31st, 2009, 06:21 PM   #2
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Congrats, Harry. As hard as it is just to get a film in the can, it's even harder to get it sold and distributed. Well done.

Rob
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Old August 31st, 2009, 06:38 PM   #3
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Rob,

Thanks so much for the kind message.

Unless I am mistaken, I believe that you and I were pretty much the first to shoot a feature on the Canon 24f. Since then I've done two others on the camera, Haunted Echoes and Frozen Kiss.

In case you are curious, since you used that systemyourself, the trailers are at:

Frozen Kiss:
YouTube - frozen kiss NTSC Full Rez10bit H 264

and at

Haunted Echoes:
YouTube - HAUNTED ECHOES Trailer

All the best,

Harry
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Old September 4th, 2009, 05:20 PM   #4
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Yeah, we're prepping our next feature right now. "The Blackout" is finally getting on to store shelves too (internationally). We're negotiating our US deal right now too.

Something people need to keep in mind is that showbiz is 90% business and 10% creative. I often wonder if I shouldn't have gotten an MBA instead of mastering in cinema? LOL!

As of right now we're demoting the XLH1 to EPK duties on this next feature. We'll most likely shoot on the RED camera. Unless, of course, Canon surprises me with a killer XLH2 with an APS-C sized sensor and a data workflow!!!!!
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Old September 4th, 2009, 05:40 PM   #5
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Dear Rob,

Glad to hear that "The Blackout" has some international sales happening. I read really good reviews about it all over the place, but I've only seen the trailer and the artwork which look pretty impressive to me.

I don't know if you are committed to your domestic deal yet. You probably are. But, if not, I have a pretty good arrangement with an outfit here which has sold domestic and foreign on four films for me.

They have firm pre-booked slots for Video-On-Demand and are showing two of my latest efforts during November and December. Also they will be putting these two films on their own DVD label next summer.

They're a very aggressive sales outfit which has been around for 15 years and I've always done quite respectably with them. The head of acquisitions is a personal friend.

If you want more details, please send me a private message at

harry323@pacbell.net

And, by the way, about your migration to the fabulous Red camera, I've now done three films on the XLH1 and I intend to run it into the ground like an old beater car, so no Red stuff for me!

All the best with your planned next picture,

Harry.
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Old February 13th, 2010, 03:48 AM   #6
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Harry,

I have a ? about the quality of the DVD transfer. I watched "Smile Pretty" and it looked a little soft, but every now and then it looked quite sharp.

I realize the H1 is 1/3" and HDV, but I thought it would look a tad sharper. Which has me wondering if that's just the way the footage looks when downconverted to SD, or if perhaps the DVD encoding could have been a little better optimized?

Not sound too critical. What you accomplished is obviously very impressive.

BTW, I'd love to hear any comments about the sound recording and how you made the choices. It sounds like you used a combination of lavs and boom mics.

Thanks much!
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Old February 13th, 2010, 01:48 PM   #7
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I must admit that I thought the clips seemed to be of very low quality in terms of resolution and colours etc, especially considering what the H1 is capable of. Maybe it is just the down-conversion or viewing via the net that has caused it and the original files look far better.
Which type of wide lenses were you using for the internal shots? The window frames and doors looked very bowed and distorted in many scenes.
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