DVC14 - "Pointless" - Mugurel Dragusin at DVinfo.net

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Old November 17th, 2008, 09:33 PM   #1
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DVC14 - "Pointless" - Mugurel Dragusin

Hi,

Well, don't ask me to give you back the time you spent to watch this one :) Be open and honest with your feedback, I don't mind criticism, actually it would be suspicious to get too much praise for this, hehe.

On the technical side:
- Canon HF10 camera
- Samson Gtrack microphone
- Couple of CFL's for the light

Thanks for the time!
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Old November 18th, 2008, 01:08 PM   #2
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What I liked was the title graphic.
I liked the concept of the pop up thought bubbles.
I liked the ending with him not being able to find his hat.

Overall I was pretty bored with it. It moved too slow. The title graphic was on screen too long before getting into the story. The dialogue and facial expressions weren't engaging enough to maintain one long shot. Add in more camera angles. Possibly some shots of who was on the other end of the phone. Make the pop up bubbles more visually appealing and definitely add more to help break up the continuous shot.
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Old November 18th, 2008, 01:44 PM   #3
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Mugeral-

Having seen your other shorts, this one adds to our understanding of the character you are. I chuckled at your comments throughout, and I thought the graphic and title were great. Did you find your hat ?
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Old November 18th, 2008, 02:56 PM   #4
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I too was a bit bored by it, the telephone conversation I think was too long for one joke, the starting sequence was a bit too long too, though pleasant to the eye.

I agree with Jeremy, but I don't think more camera angles could save it, more plot probably could, maybe developing the conversation, like - You can take as much luggage as you like, but it will be destroyed upon arrival. What, why?! Etc..
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Old November 18th, 2008, 03:40 PM   #5
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The title graphics were nice, but too long. I wanted the dotted line to animate or something. more movement.

I liked the fact that you were so worried about traveling with your hat, but in the end, you
couldn't remember where your hat was. That was fun.

Doing an engaging monologue is a challenge.

What would have helped:
A shorter conversation.
Tight shots of the phone while you're talking, your hand, the handset, your mouth, etc. to give it more visual interest.
If you're working with a tripod and a one-camera show, just shoot it multiple takes with the camera aimed at different things, then edit together.

Maybe you have the conversation on a cordless phone while you're packing in your room to go on the trip. We see you putting clothes in a suitcase, etc. Something other than just sitting in a chair.

Hey, you put a film together with a story. That's more than most who signed up can say.

Keep it up!
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Old November 18th, 2008, 07:28 PM   #6
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The main strength in this piece is definitely the acting. Sure, it's not exactly a "normal" production in terms of camera setups and such, but you know what, it's not easy to hold an audience attention for 3 minutes, especially on a locked off camera - and I did watch the whole thing!

Is there a significance to what was on the computer screen? Or were you just monitoring the levels on it?
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Old November 19th, 2008, 04:05 AM   #7
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Thank you for your feedback so far, I really appreciate it, especially that I agree with the points made.

Chris: I am still looking for my hat :)
Eric: The computer screen; I was actually recording the sound in there.
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Old November 19th, 2008, 10:43 PM   #8
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Mugurel, was that N-Track Studio on the screen?

At the risk of sounding suspicious, I actually thought this was one of the funnier entries. The demeanor of the protagonist (especially with regard to his hat) was just hilarious. I too felt that the opening title was up too long, to the point that I wondered if the whole film was going to be the title just to produce a "pointless" joke. However, I was rewarded for my patience with some laughs. Elements of this are quite ambitious (I.E. pulling off the "one man show," which is always difficult) while other parts don't shoot terribly high (the editing must have been fairly easy. . .), which, in a way, seems to reflect the dual-nature of the protagonist. I might be shoveling it out here, but I can relate to being infuriated with a company and still understanding that they lackey to whom I am speaking has no fault in my being mistreated by said company. Enjoyable and funny!
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Old November 19th, 2008, 10:48 PM   #9
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Second time around, my wife and I watched together, and I have to say, I laughed harder for this watch.... and again, the classic last line.... even hit me harder second time around.
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Old November 20th, 2008, 06:58 AM   #10
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Finally, a film I can relate to! I never go time travelling without my hat, either.

So maybe it's not Citizen Kane, and a different angle or two could have let you cut back and forth to tighten up the timing, but like Chris, I chuckled. I like chuckling. Cackling, too, but that's another discussion altogether.

The goofy face pop-up was the best one, am I to take it you were poking fun at yourself there? Maybe I'm misreading the intent of that bubble, but that's how it strikes me right now.

All in all, you got something finished in time as a one man band. I have a hard enough time doing it with other people's help, let alone by myself.
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Old November 20th, 2008, 09:27 AM   #11
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Murgurel,

Funny opening discussing the luggage policy with a time travel agency, but as others have pointed out, it seems to stick on this point a bit long without changing enough to keep us fully engaged. You have a very open and direct demeanour, and I find your acting very believable. I also liked the opening credits, and thought the hat was a logo for your production company. If not, you should consider making it your logo. Very nice.

When are we going to see your wife/girlfriend in another short? my favorite
Murgurel was the one sitting at the table conversing with her. I'd love to see her come in and interrupt you while you are on the phone.
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Old November 20th, 2008, 12:04 PM   #12
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I loved it! If part of the reason I liked it so well is because I feel like I know you from past films, so be it, but I really, really enjoyed this one.

The way you handled the interruptions on the other end of the line, the timing on your responses, etc. seemed so real. I haven’t seen anyone do this as well as you.

Briefs….hat…..I laughed out loud when your drawing of the briefs popped up. And your acting on that last bit with the hat? Flawless.

This just goes to show the diversity of tastes--what strikes one person’s funny bone is going to leave another cold. We may strive for universal appeal or pretty much stick with who we are and see what happens. Thanks for sticking with who you are, Mugurel. :)
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Old November 20th, 2008, 08:16 PM   #13
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A very enjoyable film. If I was teaching an acting class on how to carry on a single sided phone conversation and make it realistic and even compelling, this film would be required watching. Your sense of timing, as Lorinda commented, was excellent.

Yes the title credits were a little long but I suspect were also a chance for you to learn a few new tricks, and overall I didn't mind that. There were some little "hidden" gems too... like the hat logo on the phone.... wonder how many noticed that.

A very fun film. Thanks !

Chris
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Old November 20th, 2008, 09:15 PM   #14
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Okay, time to reply:

Alex: Yes, it is in fact n-Track studio application :)

Robert: Glad you liked it, I always admire your entries.

Lorinda: Very encouraging words, especially coming form someone who actually won this competition before :) I wouldn't even try to satisfy everyone, that would be a failure and probably end up in satisfying none.

Chris: Nice, you actually noticed the hat on the phone :)

Appreciate all of your feedback, it's what makes this competition worth more than the prize itself and I am saying this with all due respect to Mr. Guy who puts in his generous prize nonetheless.

For me the feedback I receive it's very valuable because it helps me understand how did my thinking and approach been understood by others which is critical in developing the storytelling skills.
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