Secret Recipe - DV Challenge #2 at DVinfo.net

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Old July 18th, 2005, 10:49 PM   #1
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Secret Recipe - DV Challenge #2

I understand that Dylan will be posting the judges decisions tomorrow morning. I'm sure, that like myself, many folks are eager for the results...but I just want to throw in that I found a very respectable and entertaining body of work submitted by all, and I am so happy that I had the opportunity to compete in this challenge. I very much enjoyed watching the submissions, and I suspect the judges had a really difficult challenge ahead of themselves in reviewing the craftsmanship, originality, hard work, and just plain entertaining value of so many submissions.

For my part, we were quite happy with our short. We gathered the day the theme was announced and joking around with beer and pizza, only one of us could think of something to work with based on a simple joking line. "HA..Secrets! I got it! Hey Mom, what's for dinner?....I'M NOT TELLING"...so we thought about it and said, let's roll with it." Then someone said, yeah! My girlfriend's brother would be perfect for the roll, he just looks the part!"

All in all, I would say that about 75 to 80 percent of our shoot turned out pretty much as we planned, and we were quite happy with that - as opposed to our submission to the first challenge which mostly involved seeing what we could fix to make it work.

The ending didn't have the punch I hoped, but we shot all the way up to our time limit with Stewart ( the kid) trying to get the right emotion.

After posting, I spent the next two days thinking of what I would do differently if I had another hour including reworking the music beds during the final minute, and reworking the tension in the closing frames - but it was not to be and I have left posted exactly what I was able to submit for the challenge. We were pretty happy with it, and in a big way, we wanted to finish something that we thought was pretty good for the sake of Stewart, who was quite excited that he got to be in our movie. Especially since he was the victim of a near injury incident during the shoot. As he was first approaching the telephone pole with the hammer in hand to help me frame the shot, he stepped right into a sink hole in the grass that went right up to his thigh. Luckily he did not twist anything, but it took three of us to get him out because his shoe was stuck.

(Cute notation here: We shot the street scene with the telephone pole in a little neighborhood in Santa Rosa where I knew we would get the shots I needed. As we set everything up on the sidewalk by our target telephone pole, a bunch of kids from the closest house scrambled out and sat on their porch rail to watch us film- they were so excited to see a 'film making crew' making a movie scene RIGHT OUTSIDE THEIR OWN HOUSE! We thought it was kinda cool that they thought that... and it made us feel a little important for a few minutes.

As with before, I can certainly state that we learned alot with this project. Although I am very much NOT on par with a number of other posters and submissions, I highly value these challenges for the skills that I am developing and I already can't wait for the next go'round. After a few more of these, perhaps I will be brave enough to venture into the 48 hour competition arena.

Thanks again Dylan.....Great job gang.....Good luck eveyrone.
-Jon
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Old July 18th, 2005, 11:45 PM   #2
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Jon, since you went into detail about your film, I'm just going to rename your thread after it, and it can be your feedback thread. How's that?

Jon's film can be found here for those who haven't seen it yet:
http://homepage.mac.com/lunarparcel/...heater107.html
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Old July 19th, 2005, 08:43 AM   #3
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I only had time to view some of the submissions of the DV Challenge #2 today and I must say, some of you guys have nasty ideas.

Yes, meaning you, Jonathan.

I had a good laugh!
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Old July 20th, 2005, 05:11 PM   #4
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Jon, this was in my top three choices, great cinematography as well.
I think the only reason it didn't finish in the top two is just because the story wasn't as complete as the others. It was a good concept for a story, but could have used some fleshing out. What happened to the dog, why was the mother cooking it, etc?
And once the meat was chopped down to that size, would the boy really have recognized it?
Still, really, really good. I look forward to your next one.
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Old July 20th, 2005, 09:11 PM   #5
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If you wanted to be gruesome about it, for the last shot, I might have had the boy sitting down eating dinner and pulling the dogs license tag out of his mouth.

Ever seen "Eating Raoul" or that movie with Dennis Quaid where they are always eating leftovers? Forgot the name but it creeped out my younger daughter when I showed it to her.

Sean
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Old July 23rd, 2005, 02:41 PM   #6
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Thank you Dylan and Sean. Great tips. I think the judging on this round was right on the mark, although I didn't expect to place as a finalist - I have so much yet to learn. I realize there is much more I could have done with the 3 minutes to forward the story along - but the ideas just weren't coming in time and we were under significant time crunch with our main talent. I got several ideas after all was said and done, but I think we all agree that hind-sight is 20/20. I liked Dylan's suggestion about adding some detail about the motivation - perhaps I could have panned across a vacant dog house surrounded by a few half chewed and mangled womens' dress shoes - some chewed up morning papers - dog poop on the rug,etc. We also shot some footage and dialogue indicating that the father was missing also, but ended up cutting it out because it was already we felt that it began to confuse the viewer and shifted away from the primary element introduced at the beginning with the kid hammering up the lost dog poster.
You can still the father's brief case sitting on the counter behind the boy when the voice tells him to clean up the workshop. As he leaves the frame he was to take note of the brief case and wonder why it was there. Additional dialogue was to indicate that he was several days late returning from a business trip......yada yada yada - we cut it all out.

I am going to probably make one or two small corrections to the audio at the end of the piece (maybe) but otherwise call it a wrap on this one, learn from it and apply what I am learning to the next challenge. It is a great deal of fun, and as I am actually making a little bit of money doing video work, the skills I am developing in these challenges are helping by viable business skills immensely. Thanks so much.

Sean, regarding the dogtags - I laughed my ass off when I read your comment. That would have been a hoot. It actually wasn't my intention to make a 'gruesome' short, but as we were doing the food prep shots, we ended up making chili to feed our starving cast and crew. My wife added the hotdogs to the works, and we figured we would try to work it into the footage. My daughter (2 years old) is developing an interesting OCD, and will only eat a hotdog if it is skinned, so after my wife removed the skin, it looked pretty disgusting, and we added a closeup of it for the sake of appropriate imagery. I hope it worked.

I hope folks enjoyed watching it. We enjoyed making it - and can't wait for the next round.
-Jon
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