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Old September 21st, 2005, 09:58 AM   #1
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DV3 Sweet Talker - Feedback

Hi all,

Looks like our film is posted today so would really appreciate any feedback you all have to give.

This was the first attempt by Lisa and I. We have done behind the scenes for Stephen in the past (DV2, 48hours film festival etc), but this was our first attempt at writing, directing and editing.

Writing was fun, worked out very early that we wanted a simple plot and little dialogue, thought the cat was a risk, but we had plenty of film to burn trying to get him to do what we wanted.

Directing was kind of scary (people wanted direction!!) but the learning curve was huge in 'just going for it' and we learn a lot in the evening we did the shoot.

Luckily we had great actors in Tim Matson who was game for anything and Marie van Vuuren who debuted in this and does a very good stern voice!

Editing was probably the biggest thing to learn, we only installed Vegas the day after shooting, everything was completely new and the deadline was approaching quickly.

Tech bit: Shot on DVX100a, Edited on Vegas, Music by Acid.

Thanks to Stephen Van Vuuren for all his help, giving us advice when needed, but also keeping quiet in places so we could learn the hard way. And also to all others who helped out (mentioned in the credits).

Have I gone on too long? Sorry. Please let us know what you think...!

Thanks
Andrew and Lisa
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Old September 21st, 2005, 10:07 AM   #2
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I liked it. Good use for B&W. I have been looking for a reason to shoot in B&W for a while now. Good editing pace. I liked it. Camera angles were nice, lighting good, etc. The only thing that I even hate to mention is, the one loop runs a bit too much perhaps. It does add a nice light feel to it. Keeps it from being overly "sinister" I think but it sort of goes on a bit.

The only suggestion I might have on something like that is, in Acid, you can change the pitch of a loop. You might try running it up and down the scales a bit to match the action? Something to try anyway. Other than that, I loved it. I thought initially he was going to shoot her but this way was good.

Did you ever see the short by, rats, the guy who plays Riff-Raff in Rocky Horror, Richard O'Brian I think, did a short where he was downstairs in his basement tinkering away and all the while his wife was yelling at him from the top of the stairs. Finally the camera pulls out wide while he leans his head sideways - he was building a huge mousetrap, and put his own head in it. Nothing gross, no shooting blood or anything. Just the loud "SNAP" as the bar came down. Shot off camera. Love that short.

Good job.

Sean McHenry
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Old September 21st, 2005, 10:17 AM   #3
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I was so shure that he's gonna take his wife out of the picture.. loved it when I got tricked... "oh normie" :-D Exactly my kind of humour. The music set the mood great. Wery well done.
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Old September 21st, 2005, 10:28 AM   #4
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The film I mentioned above was Richard O'Brian. It's called "The Contraption" and is reported on here:
http://www.robcrusade.com/movies/contrap/index.htm

I have yet to find it online anywhere.

Sean
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Old September 21st, 2005, 10:46 AM   #5
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i loved this! i loved the opening camera angle/shot composition with the deco wall-hanging and the lava lamp and the goofy soundtrack. very minimalist. reminded me of the "cabinet of dr. caligari," especially with the soundtrack, which is reminiscent of the weird stuff that they used in restoration of old silent films. i love retro and minimalist stuff, so i loved this aesthetic.

where did you get that camera? what is it?
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Old September 21st, 2005, 10:56 AM   #6
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Andrew and Lisa-Summer of Love!

Well done! I thought the black and white approach was perfect for this film. The main actor was very convincing and believable. Even the little conflicts...like the bit with the tape sticking were great.

Yes---you had me thinking the wife was going to get snapped, so the end was even better. Great job!
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Old September 21st, 2005, 11:48 AM   #7
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Some really nice touches here. Loved the sticky tape bit, that happens to me all the time. Music was a bit repetitive for my liking but didn`t spoil the enjoyment of the short. Like most watchers, I thought the wife was going in with the cat, nice see see originality.
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Old September 21st, 2005, 12:39 PM   #8
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I started smiling at the first frame and never stopped. This movie is excellent!!! In every way!!

It's so hard picking a favorite in all these great entries, but for me, "Sweet Talker" moved right up there in contention. I would hate to be one of the judges.

Great job, Andrew and Lisa!!!
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Old September 21st, 2005, 01:21 PM   #9
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Andrew and Lisa,

This was a very refreshing approach to the sucked-into-camera concept - light, fun, and very very entertaining. I was hooked to the character's small details and expressions, and the humour is just too good.

If reality is so bad, you might just want to be out of the picture.. :)

EDIT: Forgot to say: very good!

Hugo
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Old September 21st, 2005, 01:55 PM   #10
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Color Correction Before and After frames

I did the color correction for the Black & White effect for Andrew & Lisa:

I did it quick and dirty in Vegas but did not use the B&W filter. I used boosted the contrast, used Saturation filter to remove it, used levels to tweak the contrast and Mask Generator which I discovered added some nice "noise" to the levels which appromixated a reversal film stock.

Before & After frames are now up here:

http://www.stephenv2.com/sweet/sweet-talker.htm
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Old September 21st, 2005, 02:09 PM   #11
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Great job Andrew and Lisa. I too thought the guy was going to take out his wife. Great little twist with him getting away clean like that. If you are done with that camera I could put it to some good use. Also, good job on editing and music. For just loading the software right before you started editing I thought you did a great job. Well done!
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Old September 21st, 2005, 03:23 PM   #12
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Thanks everyone for your feedback.

Sound was a hurry at the end: we originally wanted it to run without music, to only have crashing of pots & pans in the background, along with the wife grumbling.. but as the deadline got closer realised that it needed some more sound to move the pace along...
It is much better with the music (added to the comedy) so perhaps we should have thought about that sooner.

Black & White does add atmosphere and grainyness.

People have often accused me of oversaying 'sweet' in any situation in the past so that is where the idea of that (simple) dialogue came from.

Note that it is Lisa's giggle and voice at the end - just wanted to point it out to make her that little bit more famous!

Andrew
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Old September 21st, 2005, 05:35 PM   #13
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This has to be one of the better "magic camera" entries. I first thought he would make the garbage disappear, then I thought the wife was sure to go, but I didn't see him shooting himself to join the magazine babe!

I bet the cat really did disappear if you hit him with a real flash. Was the flash real or a special effect? I couldn't tell. It looked great to me.

Nice job.
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Old September 21st, 2005, 10:00 PM   #14
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Buzz the cat was interesting to set up. Originally we were trying to get him to jump on the stool (using the bribe of dried shrimp cat treats, I think..!), but he wasn't too keen on that so we had to get him picked up.

No problem with that, especially using the flash which was originally just a normal 35mm camera flash in the background which we set off, that wasn't enough to scare him too much (flash enhanced in editing).

We only got 2 takes with him, this one you see he was helpful enough to look directly in the end of the camera on cue.

Then we did a take of the trash bag being thrown noisily out the doorway - that sent him scooting for cover and we didn't see him again.
In the 2nd 'bag take' we had the bag being dropped so we could see a bit more of Marie 'wife', but still Buzz was done for the day.

Someone asked about the camera, I will find out what it is, cool camera with with parts that clicked satisfyingly into place.

Thanks for comments everyone!
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Old September 21st, 2005, 10:33 PM   #15
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Wow!

This is another one I had to watch a few times. This one was really great. Very laid back, but the simplicity of the set and then the black & white really played out well to demonstrate this guy's dead end life. I am sure I am like everyone else in having thought that he click's the wife away, but not only was the twist unexpected, it drew together the element of the mag girl from the beginning and worked great. I especially liked the expression on his face as he figured out what he was going to do, and then he straightens his tie and flattens his hair out a little. Then that huge grin as he snaps followed by the girl's chuckle. (sorry if I am giving it away to anyone who is reading this but hasn't viewed the movie. go view it then come back an post) but man, it was just so very well done. Congrats to you. I loved this one.
-Jon
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