DVC12 - Doe She eat Grits - Dick Mays at DVinfo.net

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Old March 9th, 2008, 11:55 PM   #1
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DVC12 - Doe She eat Grits - Dick Mays

Okay. Feedbakc thread posted as I will be on a date tomorrow night and unable to view the entries. Life does go on, apparently.

Well, what can I say about my entry? I suppose I could talk a bunch of technical stuff about vignetting, and such, but I don't really know what that is...

Lots of smart people on these forums.

We met, drank a couple of bottles of wine and wrote the script for a 50 hour film competition, and I reeddited it for DVC12. I like the shorter version better although you can view the longer version on my youtube page.

I like my actor's performances. Whether you like the script or not is a matter of taste, but I like to think my entries feature some realistic acting.

Thanks for the comments, and I particularly appreciate those that point out things I can do better for the next film.

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Old March 10th, 2008, 09:10 AM   #2
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The acting was really good. The shot of entering the city was a little to shakey for my taste. The ending was anti- climatic, a lot more could have been said about society(?) or perceptions at that point.

The interaction between the girfriend and mom was very poignant, maybe a controversial piece, but I don't think so in this day and age.

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Old March 10th, 2008, 01:00 PM   #3
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As you and everyone else will state, the acting was excellent. I like the controversial subject matter. True Filmmakers don't shy away from anything!

I would say work on lighting your talent more uniformly. The shot in the car for instance. I'm aware your lighting crew was god, but the first shot looks amazing with the sun on his face..then 4 seconds later it is dark (obviously the sun went down. So other than that i liked it

Keep up the good work
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Old March 10th, 2008, 04:47 PM   #4
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I'm impressed with this film, and even more so with the fact that I've only got one problem: the smoking scene. I don't know how much space you had available on that porch, but if I were you I might have had the boyfriend's side of the conversation framed from a smidge further back, or set in a roomier space. Cutting between the two actors during the "nobody likes a quitter" conversation, I can see her face just fine, with a little bit of his shoulder thrown in for orientation, but when we go to him we get a much closer shot, and his girlfriend's nowhere to be seen. It's not a long scene, granted, but it is a mite jarring to jump back and forth between two different head sizes in the space of a few seconds. Not knowing the floorplan, of course, I can't make many suggestions. Maybe if you had them stand side by side leaning on the railing, and set the camera out in the grass?

Beyond that, I have no concerns. Yeah, maybe I'd like to have seen one of them get tossed in the pool during their stroll, but hey, it's March, it's still cold, what can you do? Good job covering a subject like this in a three minute film, and in only two days. Kudos to you, and everyone else who worked on this movie!
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Old March 10th, 2008, 09:18 PM   #5
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Yes, finely acted, and engaging storyline!

Nice reaction shots, too. It's a touchy subject, and we can see it in their eyes.

What about ending the piece with the conversation between the mother and girlfriend instead of the car? Maybe they end up realizing something they didn't before -- or maybe it's still awkward for the two of them and we are left to think what's gonna happen next.

I'm not new to the interracial dating thing, and the way you put this together, I feel for the characters. Nicely done.

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Old March 10th, 2008, 09:32 PM   #6
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Hi Dick,

Ah, this took me back to my dating days. Here I thought ďhisĒ parents would be glad to see me walk through the door (long story), yet later I found out they didnít like their son dating someone who was half-Japanese. I was floored! But I didnít have a conversation anything like the one portrayed in your film with the woman who later became my mother-in-law. ;) You and your cast handled it very well and gave us a nice resolution.

As for watching with a critical eye toward future projects, I guess the only thing I could echo is the benefit of a strong ending.

Now, Robert, the cuts between close-ups and extreme close-ups on the porch didnít bother me a bit, so Iím mentioning it as a balance. :)
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Old March 10th, 2008, 10:33 PM   #7
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I'm not sure why, but I liked the inclusion of the smoking "sub-plot." I guess I'm just impressed that you managed to insert a sub-plot at all in a piece with these time constraints. The audio throughout is nice but takes a hit in the car (cars are hard, obviously). Well acted, as has been pointed out, and well written. The subject matter keeps you interested and the interactions are all very believable. Great job.
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Old March 11th, 2008, 07:57 AM   #8
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Thanks for all the comments. I will try to watch all of these but it might take me a few days as I have a project to do tonight and my kids tomorrow night.

It is gratifying to get the nice remarks on the acting. Roxzane and I took acting class together for 10 years and we both teach the same "realistic style" in classes. Mandy was a student for a year and Del took a couple of 6 week classes.

Now if I could just learn how to write a stong story...
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Old March 11th, 2008, 11:16 PM   #9
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Hey Dick,

Great short, definitely hit home for me being a mixed race relationship. As said above, the acting was top notch. I personally would've axed the car scene or set it somewhere else, cars and low budgets never mix! other than that be a little more "cinematic" (yea i hate that word but its the only one i can think of) with your shots. Go wider with your wides and closer with your close ups.

Where was it shot? the city shot from the car was cool

- Jay
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Old March 12th, 2008, 05:49 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Jay Kavi View Post
Hey Dick,

Where was it shot? the city shot from the car was cool

- Jay


It was shot in Atlanta for the 50 hour film festival and reedited for DVC12. The film was supposed to feature something uniquely Atlanta, so we chose the interracial theme. The original edit is here.

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Old March 12th, 2008, 02:56 PM   #11
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I am glad there is a longer version, I will check it out. The one thing I was thinking as I watched it was that its a fairly meaty subject, I would have liked to see it explored in a deeper context than three minutes can give you.

The only other thing I'll mention is that I feel like the pacing wasn't consistent enough for my taste. It seemed to me to be sort of in no mans land- too fast to be "arty", too slow to be "snappy".

My 2 cents...


Last edited by Lee Stokes; March 12th, 2008 at 02:56 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old March 12th, 2008, 05:15 PM   #12
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Thank You For Tackling That Topic

Framing and focal length is a very personal matter. It's organic. When we can't explain exactly why we choose a shot it must have come from that creative part of our subconscious. Your image sizes were fine for me and right for this movie. Roxzane Mims is a natural. I interpreted the ending to ask that age old question: Will this relationship ever be reconciled?

Thanks for having the guts to do this movie. It was never uncomfortable for me, especially the part about the grits. What wonderful symbolism. Your photography, use of mood music and timing were great.
Interesting, if true. And interesting anyway.
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Old March 12th, 2008, 09:29 PM   #13
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Good subject matter and the acting was really good. I think the "Mom" was a bit shallow, just the way she was supposed to be. I think your short cut worked really well. Personally, I really liked the ending. Good work overall.
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Old March 13th, 2008, 07:35 AM   #14
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Lee, Bruce and Hugh,

Thanks for your comments. Hugh, Roxzane Mims is a great actress, but she got that way by studying acting for ten years at What Films, taught by Judson Vaughn. Natural acting is actually a lot of hard work. Like any skill, you get better with practice. Play a lot of basketball you get a good game. Roxzane has a great game because she worked so hard for so long.

It is gratifying to see that some people appreciate the same kind of work that moves me. At the 50 hour festival, the comedy skit movies do really well and my little slice of life work gets panned as boring. (the on line web voters there are not nearly as kind with their remarks as on the DVC).

This little group of fellow filmmakers runs the most encouraging and supportive competition on the Internet. Here, I feel that I am among friends.

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Old March 16th, 2008, 11:36 PM   #15
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What can I say? All these DVC12 films are so great in one way or another... and I really don't know what to say.

I really loved the story in this one... it's great to see a real story with real dialogues and a great message in a 3 minute short. Like everyone else already said... the acting was so amazing. All angles, light and technical stuff is also very good.

I guess theres really nothing I would have done different if I should have made this film. The only thing I can come up with is MAYBE experimenting a bit more with moving the camera while shooting inside the house. All those static shots from the tripod may be a bit booring after a while, but it didn't bother me at all because the story itself was so focused... so I think that those static shots fitted the story quite well in this production... so there's really nothing to complain about ;-)

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