DVC9 - Dead-on - Benjamin Durin at DVinfo.net

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Old August 22nd, 2007, 10:10 AM   #1
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DVC9 - Dead-on - Benjamin Durin

See it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K3hqhc-IIbw

For this film, I used:
- A Panasonic GS400 camera
- A Rode Videomic
- A steady stick
- and that's all folks
Since the last DVC I bought the mic.
For the next one, I should buy a real tripod.
And in ten years, I write a real good story and win the DVC37!

I had another idea which was a little more complicated. It needed two actors instead of one and it was in a restaurant. I knew I couldn't do it in time so I chose my second idea. Which happens to be the same as Stacy Dudley's. Never mind, it is still interesting to see how the same idea is shot by different persons.

I called my friend Nicolas Saturday to ask him some help. He is not an actor at all but he accepted. One problem was he had time on Sunday morning only. He told me he would arrive at 9:30 and I thought: "Mmmh, it's Nicolas so he will arrive about 10:00." I was wrong... he arrived at 11:00. After he played with my son for 30 minutes (yes, he is so cute), we had only 2 hours to shoot.
I asked him if he had the pictures I asked him to bring and he said: "No, I am sorry. I don't have printed pictures, everything is in the computer." I thought: "If I don't have the pictures, how do you think I can shoot?" but I said: "But I can print photos with my printer." So he managed to find a picture of him and his wife in his email account. I printed it and showed him, very proud of me. He said: "Hey wait a minute. Are you gonna put Grace's picture on a tumb? No I can not let you do that." I thought: "Why are you doing this to me now?" but I said "Ok, I will change her face. Now let's begin please."
After that he was very cooperative and did his best. Except for one thing which should have been the funny moment in the film. I wanted him to spray some perfume on him then in his mouth. Of course the perfume was only water with some rose essence. Apparently he didn't like it because he couldn't concentrate on his text and on the perfume at the same time. I had to cut this part alas.
Seeing the time running out and panicking, I made some mistakes while shooting, sometimes forgetting to tell him his text. Thus some struggling while editing.
For the tumb, I found a very small stair starting from the sidewalk, just after a bus stop. And this stair leads to an isolated tumb. That was perfect I must say. But Nicolas was heavily impressed and told me: "What, I have to go up there?" I thought: "Didn't you read the script?" but I said: "Don't worry, we will be quick. Just go up there, put the flower on the tumb and that's all." He did it but once the flower touched the tumb, he ran downstairs. Well, as quick as he could. The sound was not very good and he was kind enough to do it again even if he was terrified. Actually, he didn't even put the flower on the tumb and he never went close to the tumb. But that you can not see it from where it was shot.
Later I found a photo of my wife's friend and replaced Grace with it so Nicolas and Grace could sleep in peace. Then I shot the missing pieces. So when you see hands near the pictures, it is my hands.

It really is an international film because I am French, Nicolas is Swiss-Serb-American, and 阿廣 is Taiwanese.

Last edited by Benjamin Durin; August 22nd, 2007 at 10:23 PM. Reason: Added link to the film
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Old August 22nd, 2007, 11:17 AM   #2
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Hi Benjamin.

I think it is quite amazing to see how a very clever spin on the concept of the theme was interpreted twice in this competition, and each one standing on its own merit, and very well done.

I read the great background info on your challenges producing this piece, and it very much to your credit that the frustrations don't show in the final presentation as I think it came through very smoothly and looked really really good.

I have to say that I actually didn't really see the end coming, and it was a little heartwrenching in the way it led into the final shots. I think the very appropriate music helped alot to add to that touching mood.

Hanging on that final shot the way you did was excellent as it was a beautiful shot and very well framed.

I described this piece to my wife and she was almost in tears. Especially when having the end follow the line about how the character loves the Sunday meetings. Very touching.

Great job.

-Jon
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Old August 22nd, 2007, 04:12 PM   #3
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Aren't actors a pain? ;-)

I loves the scenery in some of the shots there. I hadnt noticed that you had modified the picture, I think that means it was done well. A good short, I hope the process works out smoother for you next time though.
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Old August 22nd, 2007, 04:36 PM   #4
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I liked the music a lot. It was nice, and it set a good tone for the piece. I would have like to hear it a bit better, especially during the closing credits. Once the credits start you could bring the ambient down, or even out and just let that nice music carry out the mood.

Smile,
Kris
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Old August 22nd, 2007, 08:22 PM   #5
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Quote:
Which happens to be the same as Stacy Dudley's...

Yes, but I like your's better. It's more professionally done. Nice job.

Stacy
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Old August 22nd, 2007, 09:15 PM   #6
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I was stationed twice on Taiwan. 2 years each time. A Chinese photographer I ran around with had me go with him to visit family tombs on one of those special "remembrance" days, so the final shot in your entry brought back some memories for me.

As one other had pointed out, you and Stacy both did essentially the same idea but each with a distinctly different visual taste.

I like what both of you have done, presenting a very poignant moment perhaps reminding many of us to cherish what we have.

Both of you have done this in a very strong way.

Well done.
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Old August 22nd, 2007, 10:07 PM   #7
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Deja Vu all over again.

You and Stacy, not only the same general theme, but both with an opening shower scene. Very, very weird conincidence.

Liked the story over all, nice photos, nice ambience. But again, you have enough time to establish some "history in the relationship" before he visits the cemetary. Something that ties us closer to the sense of loss. Add that.

Dick
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Old August 22nd, 2007, 10:51 PM   #8
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Thanks everybody for your kind words. It is much more than I expected.

I just noticed I forgot to talk about the music. Everyone seems to appreciate it and it was quite an adventure to get it.

There is an university just behind my home, "Taipei University of the Arts". A lot of families go there on the weekend. There are two cafés and two restaurants, a book store, two water buffaloes, a pond with golden fishes, a lot of birds, etc. Sometimes there are performances made by students.
I often go there with my son and one day I heard music coming from somewhere upstairs. I thought it was a concert but no, it was a third café, hidden from view. The boss was a woman with two children and they quickly played with my son. I noticed a small stage inside the café. Every Saturday and Sunday, a group plays here.
One week later the DVC9 started and I remembered this café and thought: "They must know a lot of musicians in there, I should ask them."
Sunday evening I went there and ask the boss if she could help me finding someone. She was very nice and called a student she knew. I let my email address and waited impatiently for the email. But no email. The following Saturday I went there and told the boss about that. We called the student again. She said she sent the email. She had not time to take care of this now but she would call a friend. Then the boss told me I could ask her husband (I later found he is a music producer). The husband was here and he said all right, he would make the music for Sunday (yes, the deadline!). On Sunday I went again to the café and he said he didn't have time to make the music so he asked a friend of him (a student). We waited a long time for the friend to come and finally he arrived about 22:00 with the CD. I thanked everyone in the café and rushed home to insert the music and mix all together. I didn't go to bed early, that's for sure.
They were all very kind with me and I know where to find the music for the next DVC, and maybe some actors also. Oh yes, they know a lot of interesting people up there.
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Old August 22nd, 2007, 10:52 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Stacy Dudley View Post
Yes, but I like your's better. It's more professionally done. Nice job.

Stacy
I was going to say the same thing about yours...
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Old August 22nd, 2007, 11:14 PM   #10
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Hi Benjamin,

Too bad it wasn’t a different theme; you could have just shot all the stuff that happened behind-the-scenes and had a hit comedy on your hands! :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjamin Durin View Post
Except for one thing which should have been the funny moment in the film. I wanted him to spray some perfume on him then in his mouth. Of course the perfume was only water with some rose essence. Apparently he didn't like it because he couldn't concentrate on his text and on the perfume at the same time. I had to cut this part alas.
Leave it to you to want to inject some subtle humor in an otherwise sad piece. I remember how you had to enlighten me about the humor in your DVC4 movie, and how I laughed my head off once I finally understood.

Thanks for giving us this movie, thanks for the smiles I've had reading here, and...“Welcome back!” :)
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Old August 23rd, 2007, 09:55 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Lorinda Norton View Post
Thanks for giving us this movie, thanks for the smiles I've had reading here, and...“Welcome back!” :)
Lorinda, you just won a picture of my son. Check your email!

And I'll send another one (more recent) if you vote for me. Did I say that out loud?
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Old August 23rd, 2007, 10:00 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kris Holodak View Post
I liked the music a lot. It was nice, and it set a good tone for the piece. I would have like to hear it a bit better, especially during the closing credits. Once the credits start you could bring the ambient down, or even out and just let that nice music carry out the mood.

Smile,
Kris
I think you're right. I realised that after seeing the film in Youtube.
Ah, sound mixing, I have a lot to learn.
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Old August 23rd, 2007, 11:43 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Benjamin Durin View Post
Lorinda, you just won a picture of my son. Check your email!

And I'll send another one (more recent) if you vote for me. Did I say that out loud?
I won something in DVC9??? Yea! Thanks, Benjamin; with such a cute face and [obviously] great personality, that little guy “oughta be in pictures!” (hint)

You got a deal-- I’ll vote for yours if you vote for mine. (Hahaha! Don't frown, Dylan--it'll give ya wrinkles.) ;)
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Old August 24th, 2007, 08:59 PM   #14
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Great video Benjamin. You had some great scenes in there.

Thanks

Randy
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Old August 24th, 2007, 10:10 PM   #15
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Simple and effective. I liked the colors and softness. Great video!
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