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Old October 27th, 2003, 04:38 PM   #1
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Latest Instant Films up for viewing

Hi folks,

The most recent crop of Instant Films from our tenth festival are up in--finally--Quicktime format. This was our best festival yet, every film is worth watching and I look forward to hearing feedback.

Check 'em out...

The IF #010 Open is a short piece that was used to open the screening (which was sold out this time, close to 400 attendees!). I made it on a whim a few days before the screening as a spoof piece a la the MTV Movie Awards. In keeping with the 48 hour theme, even this was made in a mad rush!

www.instantfilms.tv
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Old October 27th, 2003, 07:58 PM   #2
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Charles,
Another great series. Congratulations to everyone at Instant Films! Wow. So many of these shorts are so damn good. This is the best ongoing series of shorts certainly on the Web.

What's the secret to producing such good material? Certainly the writing is the core value. And acting talent is core, too. (Probably no shortage of either out there.) But are most of your camera operators off-duty pro's? They must be. Lighting and shot selection certainly suggest that they're not amatuers.
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Old October 27th, 2003, 09:16 PM   #3
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Thanks Ken!

Nearly three years ago I came up with the idea of Instant Films based on a theatrical version that I was familiar with. Simultaneously, the group based in DC (The 48-Hour Film Festival) and other variations started doing the same thing. Now the idea of weekend movies in competition is pretty widespread.

What has emerged to set Instant Films apart is, I think, the quality of filmmaking. We are extremely selective about the writers, directors and actors we invite (as opposed to most festivals where anyone who wants in can pay a fee and do the thing. We don't charge our participants, incidentally). I screened some 20 submissions for the last festival to select the two new directors, for instance. Each festival we challenge the participants to make better films than the past one; the bar keeps raising and folks are knocking themselves out trying to outdo each other and, more importantly, their own previous efforts.

Some of the participants are working industry folk, and others are more on the indie fringes. The advantage of doing this in Hollywood means there's a pretty good pool of resources available.

Yet, when each new director I have to hit them pretty hard with what is expected of them, technically and artistically. The guidlines are comprehensive: 3-chip cameras, boom mikes mandatory, at least a 3-light package, avoid handheld unless specifically required as a choice rather than laziness, just for starters. In other words, do the exact opposite of what people think when you tell them that you are making a movie in two days!

Anyway, onwards and upwards. Thanks again for the kind words.
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Old October 27th, 2003, 11:32 PM   #4
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This is where I curse the hell of dialup. Grrrr. It's going to take three days to watch these movies! Congratulations Charles. This looks like a really impressive lineup.
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Old October 27th, 2003, 11:54 PM   #5
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And sorry, Windows viewers...the wmv's will be up in a few days.
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Old October 28th, 2003, 08:03 AM   #6
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I don't think Windows viewers will worry too much about the player. Quicktime is very available on PCs so nothing lost there.

This all looks like great stuff. Congratulations on a great event!
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Old October 29th, 2003, 08:00 AM   #7
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Witch Session was genious, I thought. Good acting, great quality, very well put together. I'll definatly keep tabs on this series if there are more like that.
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Old October 29th, 2003, 03:38 PM   #8
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Wow Charles, excellent submissions. Those file sizes are pretty small for the quality presented. I'd really like to know what Quicktime codec and compression settings were used?
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Old October 29th, 2003, 04:31 PM   #9
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Andrew,
They seem to be MPEG-4 files encoded at 15fps. I agree, they are compact and look very good for their relatively diminutive size.
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Old October 29th, 2003, 04:50 PM   #10
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They were exported from FCP4 using the following path:
Export
Using Quicktime Conversion
Quicktime movie
DSL/Cable--medium

I'm not entirely thrilled about the 15 fps thing, but considering we have 76 films to store with more on the way, it's a compromise we had to make.
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