DVC10 Ronn Kilby "Cutter's Revenge" at DVinfo.net

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Old October 27th, 2007, 05:34 PM   #1
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DVC10 Ronn Kilby "Cutter's Revenge"

Phew. This was a tough one. Not the subject matter. Just the execution. There's nothing scarier than a firestorm ripping through your area while you're trying to make art. Here's the scenario:

Thursday - theme announced. Friday - write script. Saturday - shoot. Sunday - start edit. Firestorms begin. Evacuate. Monday - Thursday: evacuated, glued to TV for news of fires. Thursday night - return to find home/studio still standing. Friday - unpack and reinstall all equipment. Saturday - resume edit, encode and upload.

As fellow San Diego County resident Bill Gardner will attest, this has been a really scary week for us. Putting this little piece together was the only fun I had all week, and it was a welcome distraction. I hope you enjoy. BTW Brian's wife was about to deliver their 2nd son as we shot this. Little Dylan is now expected Monday - and the film is dedicated to him. Life is good.
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Old October 28th, 2007, 06:49 AM   #2
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Sweet!

Hi Ron,

So glad to hear you and yours are doing well. Bravo on finishing the film in the midst of such a tragic affair. Wow!

Really looking forward to seeing your film too.
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Old October 29th, 2007, 12:14 PM   #3
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that's a heroic tale. i probably would have opted for the Wall....

well worth it, though. a nice compact little video. great production values. i suppose this film represents what Hitchcock called the "macguffin" in its most classic sense, where the objects shown in it don't matter except to set a story in motion that resolves itself in the last image. it's an interesting idea, to make a macguffin-driven short film. you executed it well. (although the fake hands did look fake, guess you can't stab real hands....)
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Old October 29th, 2007, 12:28 PM   #4
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Hi Ronn!

This was great.

I really liked the whole feel of your film and thought you were very effective at creating the atmosphere. Very visually appealing. The FBI evidence bag, the freaky dead looking hand dated 11/8/2001 (any significance to that date?) May I ask where you acquired those things? The end cracked me up big time!

Fantastic sound effects! What language was being spoken around 1:51? I must know what the creepy bug sound effect was that you used in the beginning credits at the time of the drops. Care to share?

Downloaded the wmv version and it was well worth it.

Most impressed that you were able to get this done in the midst of such a difficult time.

Well done!
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Old October 29th, 2007, 01:26 PM   #5
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I believe somebody in a previous challenge said it best...


I Give Up. You win.
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Interesting, if true. And interesting anyway.
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Old October 29th, 2007, 05:38 PM   #6
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Interesting premise. I like the timing of the edits, and the shot with the door handle is especially nice.
Almost all of the shots in the film are very well framed and the colors are great. Nice location. Maybe just your house, but, hey, worked great. The hues fit very well.
I didn't really like the content of the flashes; some screamed random image web search (not that I'm accusing you of stealing them; they just seemed a bit... well... random, though perhaps that is the intent). Some of the imagery was quite nice, though.
The ending was a bit of a let down for me-- the guy just seemed way too nice. Having a flash to his eye with a glint of evil, or some sort of sound at the end, perhaps, or simply making him a bit less kind from the start, would really help. He's clearly just a nice guy and wasn't really scary in the part. I'd feel like it would be stronger if he almost convinced us of that, not that he does it totally.

Some dark music at the end would not have hurt, either.

There were a few great shots (and most of them were nice), but the pace lifted slowly then leveled off in the room, and ended a bit lower than it could have been. I'd think the sound of the gun should make people jump. Instead, for me, it was just a [strong] reminder that it's a horror film.

Recut it with an evil grin from the editor, and I think I'd see the whole thing differently. And some music, as I said, perhaps.
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Old October 29th, 2007, 05:56 PM   #7
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Ronn,

What I like most about this competition is the friendly critique you get after making a short. Unlike some other online competitions where people bash each others films, there is so much good stuff in many of these entries and I feel like a learn a ton each time I do one of these challenges.

Particularly from experienced people like you. I loved the short cuts, images create such a mood, and pictures, pictures, pictures tell a short. I'm going to add more of these to my work. I love the close-ups, the hand on the door, and the dolly shot of the feet walking. I keep reminding myself that Spielberg shoots the feet in all his movies, but rarely do I remember to use get these shots.

Well done audio and effects. The ghost image that goes by in front of the fireplace had me wondering how you create those effects. Plus you have this really cool Titles and Credits page. Makes it seem much more polished.

I liked the ending too. I liked Brian not being all that concerned about the creepy noises, and the reveal of the editing studio. The last bit with the gun kind of threw me, though. Endings are a b****.
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Old October 29th, 2007, 07:36 PM   #8
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Update

A star is born. Little Dylan Gregory Minter arrived this morning at 11:34. Brian is exhausted (not as much as his wife Ilien) and stoked. Another crew member!
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Old October 29th, 2007, 10:40 PM   #9
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First off, like others have said, I'm glad you and William Gardner both had a home to come back to. And you accomplished the near impossible by getting a DVC 10 entry in.

And what a work. visually stunning, I was captivated and fascinated by the flow resulting from your tight editing and montage of images. Brian showed his versatility by the way he portrayed this role in a very serious vein as contrasted by his comic performance in "Brian Takes A Meeting".

Now I know what you look like! Your acting was excellent also.

Now this is kind of "tongue in cheek", Ruger doesn't make a very "scary" looking handgun. Next time see if you can borrow a Glock, while both shoot and hit much the same, Glock just looks and "drips" scary.

Wouldn't surprise me at all if this turns out to be a winner.
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Old October 29th, 2007, 11:11 PM   #10
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This morning when I watched this I thought either Id been drugged or you had. Turns out there was another YouTube page with your movie playing behind the one, and it was offset just enough to create a sound delay that made the movie freaky as all get out.

Everyone else has said stuff I would have, so Ill just echo the sentiments of congratulations on three levels: still having your house, getting the movie made, and the birth of your new cast member. :)
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Old October 30th, 2007, 12:03 AM   #11
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To Bruce Foreman et al

Thanks for the comments Bruce (and Lorinda and Dick).

Actually, Bruce, I could have used one of my Glocks (17, 40) - but the P89 (that was a grandfathered 15 round mag by the way - this is California) is my personal favorite that I always keep next to the Avid keyboard for unruly clients :)

My son-in-law the San Diego cop has an AR-15 I had planned to feature as well but he was busy with the firestorms. I knew someone would make a gun comment - not surprised it's you, Mr. Ranch Rifle. Good on ya for your entry too. Looking forward to seeing the rest.

PS I look a "little" better than shown - I usually shave and wear real clothes :)
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Old October 30th, 2007, 09:43 PM   #12
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Way to play off the contest itself. I liked the effects and the ghost. The flashbacks were nicely done. THe end was funny too, :-)
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Old November 1st, 2007, 11:22 AM   #13
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Ronn....glad to hear your house was spared and that a new crew member has arrived safely.

I really liked your film. I thought some of the quick cuts were a little too quick, especially the first one, but that may just be my mind slowing down.

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Old November 1st, 2007, 12:50 PM   #14
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Thanks, Randy - and I did make those cuts "too quick" intentionally, to keep you wondering what you just saw, and build anticipation. The first (rifles) is actually only 2 frames. I was going for the "persistence of vision" after-image effect.
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Old November 3rd, 2007, 06:49 AM   #15
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Hi Ronn,

I'm coming in real late with comments. But here are a few for what they are worth.

You are clearly a trained professional (craftsman) so I don't know what I can offer you in the way of wisdom. I learned by watching your film. Technically flawless. I found the starting titles to be the most suspenseful part of the film. All of those premonitions of what is to come. I like the idea that Brian is in a parallel universe completely unaware of what his roommate is doing or why he is hearing strange things. I had the feeling that you were relying on a combination of the Eisensteinien style of juxtaposing images into a scene and flickerfilm techniques to influince the veiwer on a subconscious level. That worked for me for about the first third of the film. After a while I could see that the flash images had nothing to do with the protagonist - especially when some of them repeated.

I like (and got) the idea, but didn't really get the "feeling" that Cutter was editing the things that Brian was experiencing in the end. Maybe some inserts of hands on a demonized keyboard or the voodoo mouse moving in such a way as to give the feeling that Brian was being manipulated by it mixed in, would have helped (just an idea - and maybe too obvious).

My hat is off to you for having accomplished such a polished work especially under the circumstances, but then again you are obviously no novice.

I think Dylan should impose a handicap on all participants exhibiting such prowess. From now on Ronn has to evacuate his home and be threatened by some natural disaster at least once during all future DVCs, just to level the playing field. ;')

Just another note. When I load your Youtube link; the film automatically goes full screen. Even though the presentation is slicker, being bigger on (my) screen doesn't help the film. It was much nicer to watch it as the smaller .wmv
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