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Old October 1st, 2006, 04:06 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Dick Mays
But what if, what if we decided to have NO special effects.
(Some of us don't know how to use the competer that well and don't have after effects).
If we do that, then "no special effects" must not simply mean "no visual effects", it must actually, honestly, genuinely mean no special effects. Of any kind.

Effects can go one way or the other: practical or computer generated. I used CG stuff in my last movie because in the time given I could not pull off practical effects that looked any good. I would love to have built a papier-mache moon and my own little christmas-lights-poked-through-construction-paper starfield, but I'm not good with the practical stuff. Done well, I like real, physical effects best, but if it's a choice between poorly built, cheesy, low budget practical models that look laughably bad, and images of the Moon and stars manipulated via computer that actually give me something approximating the look I'm going for, well, I'd go with the CG option, as I did. My ultimate point is that if we exclude one technique on the grounds that some people aren't good at it, we should also exclude the competing technique for the same reason. All or nothing is the only fair way to handle that, as far as I'm concerned.

And I think it should be "all", frankly. If we prohibit effects, where does it stop? Do we ban lighting, as well, because some of us don't own expensive light kits? Or dolly and steadicam shots? Or even just pans and tilts, for those that don't have smooth heads on their tripods?

And as for this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Mays
I mean, if you have really good acting, do you need a strong story?
Do you really need good lighting and audio if the actors are the BOMB.
No, you don't, if you want to write a play. Yes, you do, if you're interested in making movies. The picture and sound are the unique properties of our chosen medium. If we're not going to take advantage of them, if we're not going to base our judgment of others' work on the very criteria that define motion pictures, well, why even bother?

There's nothing wrong with short stories, novels, theater, radio plays, songs, poems, or any other form of expression known to man, but I'm here because I'm interested in cinema. A medium defined by its use of moving images and sound. It's not about telling good stories. It's about telling good stories with moving images. You care about the writing more than anything? Then stop spending all this money on equipment and just write a damned book. You care about the acting? Write a play.

It's all important, I know. We should be paying close attention to all aspects of our work, from the picture and sound to the writing and acting, but of all the different aspects of filmmaking we could eliminate to make a contest like this more interesting, it strikes me as a very bad idea to choose the ones that make it what it is.

And really, let's face it: if the contest were about acting, there wouldn't BE a winner among us.
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Old October 1st, 2006, 07:43 PM   #17
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How about a New Jersey Theme! How's this for horror: Newark Mayor uses Homeland Security grants to buy garbage trucks!

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! HALLLLLLLP!
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Old October 1st, 2006, 09:30 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Hugh DiMauro
How about a New Jersey Theme! How's this for horror: Newark Mayor uses Homeland Security grants to buy garbage trucks!

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! HALLLLLLLP!
New Jeresy has garbage? :)
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Old October 1st, 2006, 10:20 PM   #19
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New Jeresy has garbage? :)
No, that's where they store the East Coast Garbage. Haven't you seen the new License plates "New Jersey, The Garbage State".
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Old October 2nd, 2006, 06:33 AM   #20
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Geez... It's a good thing we have a sense of humor here in New Jersey lest I need to make you guys an offer you can't refuse.
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Old October 2nd, 2006, 10:54 AM   #21
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Ha ha! You tell 'em, Rocco! The worst trash I saw on my trip last summer was piled ten feet high on the sidewalks in both Philadelphia and NYC. Cape May, NJ, by pleasant contrast, was picture perfect...

Now, back to this idea of a New Jersey theme for Halloween....could we possibly enlist the help of some of those ghosts from (S.U.N) your movie, Hugh? ;)

I couldn't help but notice how interested people are in ghosts back east. In Gettysburg there were "haunted tours" all over the place. Halloween must be a major holiday over there. Out west it's simply a time for kids to overdose on candy and get lost in corn mazes. :)
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Old October 2nd, 2006, 02:04 PM   #22
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The corn mazes in the Pa. and NJ suburbs have become increasingly sophisticated, complete with "Hollywood" style monsters and bloody make-up, weird music, live actors jumping out at you... from behind piles of garbage.
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Last edited by Hugh DiMauro; October 2nd, 2006 at 02:46 PM.
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Old October 3rd, 2006, 12:00 PM   #23
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so when is the next challenge?
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Old October 3rd, 2006, 09:41 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Martens
There's nothing wrong with short stories, novels, theater, radio plays, songs, poems, or any other form of expression known to man, but I'm here because I'm interested in cinema. A medium defined by its use of moving images and sound. It's not about telling good stories. It's about telling good stories with moving images. You care about the writing more than anything? Then stop spending all this money on equipment and just write a damned book. You care about the acting? Write a play.
I think I was joking, about eliminating the areas of my own work from judgment, that I recognise as weaknesses. This is my backhanded way of complementing the winners for doing these well.

But write a play? Now that's an idea...
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Old October 3rd, 2006, 10:41 PM   #25
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I figured it was more tongue in cheek than anything, but you mentioned that your comments were some of your "current lucid thinking", which I thought indicated that you'd been seriously considering the questions you posed (in a stream-of-consciousness, existential sort of way). Having honestly pondered those very questions myself, I thought I might throw my opinion in, to offer a different point of view.

Didn't want to sound confrontational, just making conversation.
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Old October 4th, 2006, 07:37 AM   #26
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Robert,

That WAS my lucid thinking! It was almost complete sentences too!

These challenges are fun because it is a chance to see what others do, and learn from them. Here is what I have noticed in the work of others.

1) Attention to Framing and Shot selection. (Specifically closeup inserts)

2) More attention to lighting and atmosphere (e.g. DVC6 fortune teller)

3) Interesting camera angles and movement

4) Stories with strong plots

5) Visuals that create Suspense

6) Interested Special Effects

7) Good Audio

Looking at this list, I'll try to add some of these elements to my next project. The one thing I do like about my shorts, is the acting. Being an actor, I work a lot with the actors and tend to get performances pleasing to me. If I could have Bill Gardner's script skills, Lorinda's dialog, and Sean's Cinematography, I could win one of these challenges.
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Old October 4th, 2006, 08:59 AM   #27
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So... when/what is the next challenge? :)
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Old October 4th, 2006, 06:41 PM   #28
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So... when/what is the next challenge? :)
Novemberish? :)
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Old October 5th, 2006, 09:06 AM   #29
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Give the new guy some more information! ;)
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Old October 5th, 2006, 10:26 AM   #30
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Give the new guy some more information! ;)
No problem.
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Novemberish 2006.
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