Late Submission : Liberatus at DVinfo.net

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Old May 28th, 2006, 07:54 AM   #1
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Late Submission : Liberatus

Hi All,

First of all congratulations to everyone who took part and especially managed to get theirs in on time! Very impressed as always. I hope it's ok to post this here. I had planned to shoot this in time for submission for DVC5 but things got a little slack and we didn't get round to shooting last week. It's still a work in progress, but it would be nice to get some feedback.

Right click / save as:
http://www.anthonybristol.com/projec..._high_h264.mov
[27mb h.264]

Some info:

Shot on Sony HVR-Z1U @ 1080i50 No Cineframe or 35mm adapter used.

Three and a half days to shoot, 3 days to edit.

Edited on FCP5 on an older 1.5ghz macbook, using Apple Intermediary Codec.

The concept: The work Liberatus is a metaphor for the moment in life an infant gains self consciousness (6 months) and begins to understand the concept of self, thus questioning surroundings and latching onto memories and experiences to create identity. Jacques Lacan's mirror theory is a big player in the concept. There is more but it sounds pretentious enough already :P

There is a little ode to Scorcese in there too :)

Any and all critical feedback welcome. There are a few shots in there which will be removed or shortened, as well as some to be added. The hand through mirror has been reshot and compositing of mirrors in the white space has yet to be completed. Fire away!

Regards,

Anthony
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Old May 28th, 2006, 09:19 AM   #2
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looks great. did you use a bleach bypass plugin for the blown out whites? Awesome sound design too. Creates a good mood. Tell us more about how you shot everything. Very AI looking.
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Old May 28th, 2006, 10:01 AM   #3
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Hi Michael, thankyou for the feedback, much appreciated :)

The white space scenes were shot in a small studio at college, it was simply 6 poly boards stood up against two walls and taped together to stop them falling over. To hide the cracks we hunt toilet paper (!) between them. The floor was simply a roll of white paper. Then we overexposed in camera until the background and paper dissappeared. There were a few shots where it was present, but they were quite simple to matt out in FCP. Magic Bullet was used to give it that look, Berlin I believe. The whites were already blown out from the camera. The rest of the video we applied Punchy and played with the colours. I'll get up some before and after screengrabs to show the difference in colour.

The tracking shots in the opening sequence were done with a skateboard. We removed a screw from each of the trucks so they could be angled to achieve that look of the P+S Technic Skater, not as versatile (or expensive) but did the job. The still shots in white space can have a post zoom applied. Usually this looks cheesy (IMHO) but as there is no background object the eye falls for it as there is no change (or lack of) in perspective to be noticed.

In the white space we pinned up cutouts in green paper the shape of the mirrors in the toilet scene, they were to be keyed with the real world scene. The inherent problem in this is that they appear to be floating, which when keyed looked very "Sesame Street". So we have removed them for now until we find a solution.

The soundtrack is 100% post. Editor Ben created it as he worked in FCP. I agree it works very well. I hope that answers some questions, if you have anymore feel free to ask!

Regards.

p.s. here are higher quality versions of:

The opening Sequence (10mb) :

http://www.anthonybristol.com/projec..._custom001.mov

Toilet Scene (6.5mb):

http://www.anthonybristol.com/projec...stom_me001.mov
[not quite the same as in the main link to video]
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Old May 28th, 2006, 05:13 PM   #4
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Very pretty cinemetography! Nice tracking shots, focus pulls, and shot framing selections! It all looked so pretty. Thanks for letting us know the techniques, too: I'll put your tricks in my back pocket for future work. :)

A side note: the version I downloaded had a minute of black screen at the end that could probably be deleted (or else there's something wrong with my QT player).

Nice job! Enter DVC6 please!

Bill
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Old May 29th, 2006, 06:51 AM   #5
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Hi Bill, congratulations on your success! Thanks for the feedback, we put a lot of effort into the cinematography, particularily framing. The lighting in the 'toilet' scene was all natural, and worked brilliantly. We did have a giant reflector to bounce a little light onto the actor though. In the 'real world' shaving scene we used a workmans light and the reflector to get an even tone on his skin. Worked well, especially in such a cramped space. I haven't a clue what lights we used in the white space, they were all flourescants designed for lighting greenscreen.

Always glad to share techniques with fellow film (video) makers :)

The black footage at the end is there because I got lazy in After Effects. Will Fix when I export a higher quality version.

Looking forward to DVC6 :)
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Old May 29th, 2006, 10:04 PM   #6
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The higher rez is so much better. it would be great if you posted the whole thing in the high rez. i'm very impressed by the skateboard shots. looks great. Blowing out the whites in my camera doesn't look like that. The magic bullet must play a big part in your look. The only thing that I thought didn't work was the hand coming through the mirror but you already said that you changed that. I also love the flickering florescent light effect. how did you do that?

if you don't enter DVC6, i'll have you killed.

On another note, I just watched Soy Cuba on the sundance channel. Some of the shots in this forgotten movie are incredible. I highly recommend it. I saw the making of before which gave me about 10000 ideas and inspiration.

but you have a really great looking short. love it.
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Old May 30th, 2006, 09:18 AM   #7
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Excellent work, man. Truly great looking. Did you happen to convert it to 25p or anything?

Thanks for sharing your methods -- I'm still learning the craft, and it's nice to hear how possible things are on my level of filmmaking. Especially since I use the Z1 and the FX1. Please keep us informed about the final version, after you've made your changes.
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Old May 30th, 2006, 07:29 PM   #8
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HI Michael, the whites were bumped up a bit in post also to get that extra blown out look, which is softer than the more harsh overexposure we shot with in cam. That in addition to magic bullet gives us THAT look :)

The flickering light; we shot all of those bits (for every change of scene beginning and end, but didnt use them) by turning the lights on and off in the studio. The problem with this is the white walls suddenly became uderexposed and it was possible to see the cracks between the poly boards. So what Ben [editor] did, is take a frame from the floor when a light was 1/2 on and use that repeatedly, whilst matting out the upper half above the actor, then he cut round the actor and made him completely black to complete the look, then just repeat a few times. I hope that makes sense? The buzzing of the audio also helps with the effect. We'll have a complted hand through mirror whot for you to see by the end of the week :) I checked out some Soy Cuba clips on youtube, looks stunning. WIll have to find the DVD from somewhere ASAP, thanks for the recommendation :)

Robert, many thanks for your words :) We did convert to 25p for the 720p and PAL SD versions as well as the lower rez ones for web use. The 1080 original is shot at 50i. When we edited everythiing looked great on the monitor, but when we displayed it on a TV it looked $*!& (in 50i). The motion really looks horrible. Good luck with your video education, I dont think we ever stop!

And here is a higher quality version for those who would like to see it: (43mb h.264)

http://www.anthonybristol.com/projec...beratus_hq.mov

Regards

Last edited by Anthony Bristol; May 31st, 2006 at 06:31 AM.
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Old June 18th, 2006, 04:41 PM   #9
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Okay, so I'm a little late replying, sue me.

Anthony, I'm sorry I haven't said anything about your film. I downloaded it the day it was first posted, and somehow neglected to watch until today. In short: amazing. You'd have been at the top of my list had your schedule allowed you to enter. I didn't figure out what was going on until about halfway through the film, but once it hit me, I was smiling. Just what does my reflection do all day when I'm not near a mirror? Brilliantly executed, and great production value on top of it all. Especially the focus changes, I'm impressed you were able to do those shots in the--I presume fairly small--bathroom with this camera. Well done!

As for that stretch of black at the end of the film, I initially thought there'd be some sort of secret scene after the credits. While waiting for something to happen, however, I found myself staring at my monitor, directly into my own reflection. My opinion? Say you did that on purpose; given the subject matter, I think people might buy it.
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Old June 18th, 2006, 05:39 PM   #10
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Wow, ditto all the above. Excellent job Anthony. SFX needs some help though. The blood didn't look real on the face but the shot of the drips in the sink did. And the little flame in the arm through the mirror looked cheesy to me. The gun shot (or what ever it is) in the opening might be too loud.

But very nicely done otherwise. Some really good shots there. Love the concept and the execution both.

And again, thanks for sharing your how to's.
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Old June 20th, 2006, 04:33 AM   #11
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Robert and Dennis, thankyou for your feedback, great to hear you enjoyed the piece!

Robert, your explaination for the black at the end of the piece is pure genius. I wish I could say it was intentional, but I will definitely be keeping that idea for our theory work :) Cheers! The 1st "real world" scene was a public toilet at university, 10 x 10 feet, and the second shaving scene was in a small bathroom at my friends house, maybe 4 x 8 feet, very tight fit for an actor, tripod, cameraman, light grip/reflector!

Dennis, not much we can do about the blood now, It was "real" fake blood, but it came out of the tube like rasperry jam :/ The hand through mirror shot will be redone, it was just there for reference. Hopefully we will have a finalised version for your viewing pretty soon :)
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Old June 21st, 2006, 02:12 PM   #12
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Hey Anthony, if you get a chance, could you tell me where you got that flame please. I was looking at buying a DVD full of explosions and muzzle flares, just wondering if that's what they look like.

No hurry and thanks bud.
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Old July 7th, 2006, 06:11 PM   #13
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i want a sony z1 more than ever.
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Old July 9th, 2006, 05:06 AM   #14
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Hi Dennis, sorry for the late reply, I believe the flame is from Artbeats.

Owen, can't say I have any regrets, go for it! :)
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