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-   -   DVC 13 - You Only Get Lucky on Valentine's - Joseph Tran (http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/dvc-feedback/125044-dvc-13-you-only-get-lucky-valentines-joseph-tran.html)

Joseph Tran June 30th, 2008 04:06 PM

DVC 13 - You Only Get Lucky on Valentine's - Joseph Tran
The project is in the can. New equipment and new workflows = new problems to be had; but by golly we got a film done!

As always, I thank you, fellow DVC members. I humbly submit, for your consideration and enjoyment, "You Only Get Lucky on Valentine's".

Mugurel Dragusin July 3rd, 2008 03:27 AM

Lovely, very cool ending :) Unexpected but was always wondering why they don't go out together in the first place lol, seems I've got my answer.

Great job Joseph!

Josh Chesarek July 3rd, 2008 07:21 AM

I don't know why you were unhappy with your DP (I think I read that in another thread), overall I thought it was well shot and had a nice flow. The professional, that made me laugh! Especially when "she" picked you up and threw you over the shoulder! Overall you had a great story and nice flow. Well done.

Hugh DiMauro July 3rd, 2008 07:36 AM

Great Job, Joseph!
What a depature from your last serious entry! So lighthearted and funny. Pacing, writing and casting were very good. Camera work and editing also very good. You do well poking fun at yourself. I can easily see you as your own sitcom star trying to get a date. I liked this one alot.

Chris Barcellos July 3rd, 2008 10:37 AM

I kept expecting a gag at the end, but when it happened, it was totally unexpected. Very funny and entertaining film.

Lorinda Norton July 3rd, 2008 02:05 PM

Cracked....me....up! From the first scene with the “victim” carving a potato (nice touch, smelling it) :) I knew I was in for some laughs. Great attention to detail throughout the movie.

“...Cat Stevens...” LOL! I know people kind of like this, and as a cat and dog lover I always cringe, too.

By the way, along with the cat lady there are far too many “professionals” out there. Yuck!

Everyone in your film worked so well, but you and the main gal really did wonderful jobs of acting. Timing and chemistry was there which totally made the whole thing work.

And the last scene: BRAVO!!!

Dick Mays July 3rd, 2008 03:27 PM


Very professional looking short. The dates from hell thing has been done before, but you did it really well. I loved the first guy answering the door and realizing his wife/girlfriend is internet dating and slamming the door. Priceless.

Loved copping a little feel at the end, and "getting lucky" line.

You are very honest in your work and very likable. Makes me feel bad to know you will burn for two millinium in purgatory for making fun of the Catholic church and cat women.

Leonardo D'Capri!!! LOL Great writing.

Kris Holodak July 3rd, 2008 04:33 PM

Many congratulations to your actors. Even the bit players made their parts shine. And in terms of the look and the production, whatever new workflows = new problems you might have had, they didn't show through. Very well done.


Lorinda Norton July 3rd, 2008 05:19 PM


Originally Posted by Dick Mays (Post 902820)
You are very honest in your work and very likable. Makes me feel bad to know you will burn for two millinium in purgatory for making fun of the Catholic church and cat women.

Ha ha! I may have to take back what I said in another post about the funniest line in DVC history. This one might be it! :)

Bruce Foreman July 3rd, 2008 06:00 PM

You come very close to coming across as a modern Charlie Chaplin in this one. One comical disaster after another kept me chuckling right up to the end.

Acting talent was super overall, not one less than great performance, in my book.

Camera, lighting, editing all paced just right.

Joseph Tran July 4th, 2008 02:34 AM

Hello Everyone!
Just getting back into town from a show, and am getting a late start! Thanks for all your comments! Before I read them, I'm gonna go grab a beer, watch some films, and do some commenting myself.

See you in a bit.

Mike Horrigan July 4th, 2008 09:03 AM

I really enjoyed this one! Kept me engaged throughout.

Great wrap up as well. My favourite date was the one with the holy water. Too funny!!
Nice work.


Joseph Tran July 6th, 2008 07:00 AM

Many thanks, everyone, for watching and for your wonderful comments! I will certainly relay your feeback to my fellow cast and crew members. My apologies for replying so late this week, as my other job [see DVC12 - Metamorphosis], has kept me quite busy throughout. Regardless, I've had a lot of fun watching ALL of DVC13's movies, and thank you for making them! Now, I'm gonna try to respond to your comments in one big post.

Yes, "You Only Get Lucky on Valentine's" is a very, very different piece from "Metamorphosis", both in its genre and its approach. "Metamorphosis" had a very 'heavy' storyline, and I knew I wanted to lean towards a comedic piece this time around.

I penned the entire script last time. This time, I threw a BBQ and invited a bunch of friends, all with theatre backgrounds, to sit down and write a script together. About half of the members are people I worked with before and/or people in my current touring crew. The other half were people I recently met in the past few months or so whom I wanted to work with further. This was a very interesting approach, to say the least; and after about six hours of brainstorming, lots of ideas, lots of laughs, and a bit of frustration at times, we came up with a storyline. We all voted on who was to play whom, and were off to get some rest for the next day.

The next morning, we converted a friend's house into a restaurant. We improvised a lot of the lines between takes and during shooting, making sure to hit key points in the plot for story and editing purposes. The result is what you see, combined with a lot of camraderie, and simply a lot of fun.

Yes, I did grumble a bit about my two cameramen -- they talked me into using their "newer" camera, and assured me they were familiar with it. During shooting, it was apparent they were not. They were making very silly mistakes, almost rendering the entire footage useless. Sometimes, they even changed the direction I had already given, without discussing it with me, and thereby confusing the team. That was not the big problem, however -- most of those mistakes could be (and were) fixed in post. The biggest problem was they had created a rift in the team's camraderie. They were quick to criticize, yet very slow to offer anything constructive in return. By the evening, the two had formed this "it's us against them" mentality, and became rather lazy with their camera work and hostile towards the team. That was my biggest grumble.

Still, they did their part, and the behind the scenes stuff is secondary to the final product. And what you see on the screen is where I feel the piece shines: in the actors I had the pleasure of working with, and the crew that never stopped working 'til the film's wrap.

It makes me very happy to know that the viewers each have their own favorite characters. The actors brought a lot of life into these characters, even before the characters were fully conceived. Laura made this face during brainstorming, and we knew we had our crazy cat lady. We were talking about holy water and Laurette (the other Laura) yelled something about Jesus' tears, and she instantly got the part. Halie is just simply Amazonian tall, and brought some quirkness and insecurities to her character being that tall. Everyone really pulled together to see this story come to life, and I think that's why even the "bit parts" had life to them.

For my own part, I learned quite a lot from this production. I learned that very bold choices must sometimes be made to allow everyone to showcase what they can do... how important it is to maintain the camraderie for any production... how to trust my own instincts more... how much of a pain it is to be both in front of as well as behind the camera. Most importantly, I am reminded of why I keep tinkering with this filmmaking stuff: for the inspiration and enjoyment of the whole process, and to watch all of these different minds working towards a singular goal.

And the icing on the cake is your enjoyment of the film. I thank you again for watching.

Now, some trivia, because I can't sleep:
-- Everyone was a writer, everyone was a gaffer, grip, etc. Each actor naturally fell into their respective part during the writing process, except for my role. When I returned from a bathroom run, I learned I was voted into my role, largely due to my height difference with Halie, the tall girl.
-- One of the gags was to have every date somehow say, "I'm a professional." That idea was cut for time.
-- The potato carving was introduced to make the lead character nerdier (even nerdier than I already am!). It was also because one of our guys could actually carve potatoes!
-- There was a fourth date that was supposed to drive up with kids in the car and a guy in the back seat. That turned into, "Bitch, wut I tell you?!"
-- The prostitute and transexual were originally two roles. James is so hairy and has so little shame, that he managed to combine them into one. He also played the Emcee in Metamorphosis.
-- Our production company name, 4 Doors from a Strip Club, is aptly named that way because James and Bill (production manager) live literally four doors from a strip club.

Lorinda Norton July 6th, 2008 11:45 AM

Isn't it nice that the behind-the-scenes tension didn't show up at all in the final film? Sounds like a nightmare at times, but one you handled very well.

Originally Posted by Joseph Tran (Post 903624)
This time, I threw a BBQ and invited a bunch of friends, all with theatre backgrounds, to sit down and write a script together.

The time I brought several friends together to brainstorm we ended up with four stories, unable to agree on just one, and one of my best friends with hurt feelings to this day (because I didn't use one of his). I've been gun-shy of that process ever since, but you and your team knit the story together very well.

I agree with your statement about bold choices being made at times to "allow everyone to showcase what they can do," though, I'm curious about the specifics (in your case) of "bold." Potentially controversial characters and lines? Handing over the camera to someone else?

Matt McLain July 6th, 2008 08:34 PM

Great Job!
Good work Joseph,

This was really pretty funny. I particularly liked the "Check please" line and the "Jesus's tears" had me laughing. This was well a well-written and funny piece, and surprisingly well acted. It really seemed like everyone had a good time making it. Nice job.

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