DVC14 "Further Than Distance" by Andris Krastiņš at DVinfo.net

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Old November 18th, 2008, 03:53 AM   #1
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DVC14 "Further Than Distance" by Andris Krastiņš

I made this short in 3 days, but it could have been done in 48h, so I'm happy to discover that I can make something in a relatively short time frame, it's my second try at making a short film.

On the first day by the sea the wind was big, but unlike Dennis Khaye here I even increased the wind by 10db. Many pros will probably say that it's bad style, but that wind distortion gives me the feeling of big wind, so that slightly overblown mic is there for the sake of the "wind feeling".
Our filming was disturbed by short periods of rain, but luckily enough I had taken a rain cover with me.

I did a separate recording of wind and sea, and also room ambiance on my Fostex FR2-LE using Rode NT3, on camera I had Rode NTG-2.
I shot it with Canon XH-A1, but did the "robot" shot with Canon HV20.

By the sea didn't use a tripod, because my is quite heavy and we did lots of walking that day, instead used Tiffen Steady Stick.

The "satellite" shot was done with me climbing on a tree and the camera was raised up using a rope.
The last shot was done in a nearby USSR times bunker.

I also didn't have a written script for this one, everything was in my head. I did the editing in Vegas Pro 7.

I hope you like it enough to watch to the end! For me this was a great experience and I learned a lot.

p.s. The very noticeable Eastern European accent is deliberate, I, of course, as a foreigner have an accent, but not as dire as it's there. :))


Last edited by Andris Krastins; November 18th, 2008 at 08:39 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old November 18th, 2008, 06:03 AM   #2
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Andris,

Very enjoyable little short. I love your cinematography, and felt lilke I was watching the Truman Show. Was the last scene lit with a single match? What exposure settings did you use on your camera? The effect was very nice.

Very lovely TV watcher. I was kind of expecting the lost guy to step though the TV screen. Or for her to charter a plane to go save him. But I guess just turning off the TV works more realistically. It's what I do when the world financial news comes on.
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Old November 18th, 2008, 07:07 AM   #3
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The wind noise stood out to me when I heard it, precisely because it didn't bother me. Usually that kind of thing seems out of place, but here I didn't find it objectionable.

I'd say my favorite shot is just after the robot flies away, if only because your star seems to have almost broken into laughter toward the end; I can't blame him, I thought it was pretty funny myself. This dirty, disheveled guy jumping up and down screaming at a little robot hovering just out of reach, I love it! The music used at that point only adds to the humor.

The announcer's exaggerated accent makes the whole movie, as far as I'm concerned. "Your glorious corporate masters" sounds perfect spoken that way.

My only question would be whether what I think happened at the end really did happen. Did the sun go out because she turned the TV off, or was the matchflame scene just supposed to take place later at night?
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Old November 18th, 2008, 08:35 AM   #4
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My only question would be whether what I think happened at the end really did happen. Did the sun go out because she turned the TV off, or was the matchflame scene just supposed to take place later at night?
I knew someone would ask that! Personally I don't like when people tell me these things, because I've created my own story in my head and then somebody comes along and tells, something like "no, he didn't kill him because of that and that, because in that scene there was [insert] and in the making of you hear that [insert].

There is no one right answer, any answer is good if it makes the story, and my answer can not be the one right one, but I can give you some versions:

1. Maybe later that day he wandered into an old bunker and lit a match (it was filmed in a bunker nearby).
2. Maybe that scene was a part of the girl's dream and he lit that match in her unconsciousness
3. Or maybe he was really living in the tv, and has a life even after the tv is turned off.

I'm sure there are other variants too.

Thanks for your comment and I'm glad that the wind noise didn't seem out of place for you. I did it precisely to make a wind feeling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Mays View Post
Andris,

Very enjoyable little short. I love your cinematography, and felt lilke I was watching the Truman Show. Was the last scene lit with a single match? What exposure settings did you use on your camera? The effect was very nice.

Very lovely TV watcher. I was kind of expecting the lost guy to step though the TV screen. Or for her to charter a plane to go save him. But I guess just turning off the TV works more realistically. It's what I do when the world financial news comes on.
Thanks for your comment, although I don't know what's a Truman Show. :)
I don't remember the exact exposure details, it was dark in there and I just adjusted iris and shutter speed till it was ok (we did about 5 or 6 takes with the match), I shot in 24p and used +6 gain, and the match was the only light source in there, it was completely pitch dark.
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Old November 18th, 2008, 09:41 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Andris Krastins View Post
Thanks for your comment, although I don't know what's a Truman Show. :)
I don't remember the exact exposure details, it was dark in there and I just adjusted iris and shutter speed till it was ok (we did about 5 or 6 takes with the match), I shot in 24p and used +6 gain, and the match was the only light source in there, it was completely pitch dark.
Great image for light from a single match. Nice camera.

Here is link to the Truman Show:

The Truman Show (1998)
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Old November 18th, 2008, 01:15 PM   #6
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My first thought was the Truman Show as well.

I really liked the look and fx used. The sound design was very good as well.

I wasn't as thrilled with the girl watching the TV. She didn't seem very captivated by it. Although maybe that's why she turned off the TV. Since you said there's no right answer that's what I'm going to go with :P

Nice work for only your second short. I also enjoy the production photo you posted. Looks like fun climbing in the trees.
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Old November 18th, 2008, 02:32 PM   #7
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I wasn't as thrilled with the girl watching the TV. She didn't seem very captivated by it. Although maybe that's why she turned off the TV. Since you said there's no right answer that's what I'm going to go with :P
You're actually pretty close, I told her to have a blank, disinterested look.
A thought about how we sometimes watch real tragedies on our TV, but are so distant to those problems, that there's no emotion at all.
Sitting in a comfy chair, while others are being washed away by flood or something like that, but that's life.

I'll have to watch that Truman Show!
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Old November 18th, 2008, 04:24 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Andris Krastins View Post
I knew someone would ask that! Personally I don't like when people tell me these things, because I've created my own story in my head and then somebody comes along and tells, something like "no, he didn't kill him because of that and that, because in that scene there was [insert] and in the making of you hear that [insert].
I know what you mean; I like to think a director did have some sort of definite plan in mind when putting a story together, but I also like being able to let my mind wander and explore the various possibilities.

Great work!
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Old November 18th, 2008, 05:26 PM   #9
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The cinematography outdoors was nicely done. Nice color and framing. The shaky cam was a little bit too much for me towards the end. I think it's something with long continuous shaky shots that can induce dizziness. Perhaps cutting into some closeups or wider shots gives the eye a break. I have to admit, I didn't totally get the story after a couple of viewings...but I'm sure it's just me because I don't get a lot of films :)
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Old November 18th, 2008, 05:47 PM   #10
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Thanks for the comment, I'll have to make a steady-cam one of these days...

Last edited by Andris Krastins; November 19th, 2008 at 07:44 AM. Reason: wrong word used
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Old November 18th, 2008, 11:08 PM   #11
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The beach shots were very cinematic in my mind. Opened the film with promise. When living room scene cut in, the difference in their two worlds was well defined. But the relationship, if any, was not clear to me. She also seemed a bit too staged, in relationship to him. Perhaps handheld or steadystick should have been used there to keep feel closer. On the otherhand, maybe that is exactly what you intended. And like Eric, I am not sure about the final message- as well as the match lighting out of the darkness. Seems like it was shown just to show it could be done... and it was a great shot...
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Old November 19th, 2008, 12:09 AM   #12
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You weren’t alone, Andris…I didn’t know what The Truman Show was, either.

I hope you meant for the medical examination robot to be funny, because I laughed-- particularly when it determined the guy was okay and “fled” the scene. That robot could move!

At first I thought how callous it was of the girl to act so disinterested, but then I remembered that on these reality shows people actually set themselves up for that kind of suffering. So, I stopped feeling sorry for the guy. (I don’t watch reality programs on TV, as if you couldn’t tell.)

You already mentioned the wind and the bit of rain, but it looked like it was extra cold and completely miserable on the beach. Was it?
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Old November 19th, 2008, 12:54 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos View Post
The beach shots were very cinematic in my mind. Opened the film with promise. When living room scene cut in, the difference in their two worlds was well defined. But the relationship, if any, was not clear to me. She also seemed a bit too staged, in relationship to him. Perhaps handheld or steadystick should have been used there to keep feel closer. On the otherhand, maybe that is exactly what you intended. And like Eric, I am not sure about the final message- as well as the match lighting out of the darkness. Seems like it was shown just to show it could be done... and it was a great shot...
The relationship was like any relationship, which a random bored tv viewer has with a news event or a show.
She doesn't have any real prior acting experience, so maybe it was a bit staged, if you say so.

There's actually no one final message, there are different messages throughout.
One is about the media companies, which make profit on other people's suffering, another is about the "two worlds" of a usual "coach potato" and those in real hardships, whether environment or human made (wars, etc.).
Then also by the other companies, which advertise, riding on the same wave as media companies.

About the final scene, I already answered about that and a mystery is worth nothing, when you tell it. I can only tell that I had an intention and it was one of the 3 variants I mentioned. There, I already destroyed part of the mystery. :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorinda Norton View Post
You weren’t alone, Andris…I didn’t know what The Truman Show was, either.

I hope you meant for the medical examination robot to be funny, because I laughed-- particularly when it determined the guy was okay and “fled” the scene. That robot could move!

At first I thought how callous it was of the girl to act so disinterested, but then I remembered that on these reality shows people actually set themselves up for that kind of suffering. So, I stopped feeling sorry for the guy. (I don’t watch reality programs on TV, as if you couldn’t tell.)

You already mentioned the wind and the bit of rain, but it looked like it was extra cold and completely miserable on the beach. Was it?
I really did mean the robot to be funny - life is a tragicomedy.

About the beach, well, it depends, here we are used to such weather, there were people having picknick around, as well as families walking, a man playing with his dog, etc.
The weather was bleak, but the real mood was not.
Here's an unplanned video of the beach I took handheld amid filming, it was never intended as a part of the film, so it's not cinematographically treated (the real beach that day): Two riders, a dog and people in the fog on Vimeo (of course, I still had my camera settings adjusted for the film)
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Old November 20th, 2008, 05:43 PM   #14
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Nice short.

I enjoyed your cinematography for the outside shots of the 'traveler'.

I also liked the progression/reveal of the girl watching him on television. I just thought your shot choices could have been better on the inside. It would have been cool to have a shot down low, a little below table level when you show the girl for the first time reaching for a chip.

I thought the wind noise to be a little excessive myself, but hey, art is subjective.

Great job on your second short.
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Old November 20th, 2008, 06:04 PM   #15
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I want to start off by saying that I appreciate the effort that went into your film. This is my first competition, and my eyes were opened to just what it takes to make a couple minutes of screen time happen in 2 weeks. I'd also like to say that I'm a very technical person, and that's what I look for when I'm watching a film. Actually, I can't help it. All I see is camera angles, focal length, lighting, acting, what is the camera doing, how do the shots cut together, etc. When I get caught up in a film and start forgetting to see details, then a film is 'good' for me. That would probably make me a bad 'judge' for a film, so my criticisms are offered kindly as opinions, and not as judgements :)

I get more out of watching your film after having read your intentions with it in the comments above. The first time through, at the end, I certainly didn't get it, I wasn't picking up what you were suggesting.

On the technical side, the audio on the beach was the first thing to catch my attention. I understand now you were going for a 'windy' sound, and I can't suggest a better way to do it, but the audio in the track just said 'no wind screen' or 'too windy' to me. My background is in audio so I am probably the quickest to judge in this area.

Another thing that caught my attention was the amount of camera movement. If you lock off a couple shots in a sequence, then the handheld shots look more intentional. Handheld, in my opinon, is something that is hard to do 'well', so I always keep my tripods with me. If the big one is too heavy, get a cheapie at the mall for $20 bucks, I have a little one here that's probably less than a half pound, and I can sling it over my back.

I liked the effect on the 'satellite' shot, but I would have desaturated it a bit so it wasn't so 'green'.

The first 2 shots of the table with the chips and the bottle didn't help to tell me what was going on, I would have probably just cut right to a shot of the girl in the room, and I didn't get that she was watching him on TV until the announcer came on.

I thought the exaggerated accent of the announcer was hilarious, but I would have used a couple audio filters (low pass and high pass) to narrow the audio frequencies so it sounded more like it was coming out of the TV. Without it, the voiceover sounded like narration.

At about 2:10 he looks up and yells, 'hellllp'. I thought, 'how does he know the satellite is watching him'.

I thought the robot was hilarious, the camera shaking about and all that, but I thought the survivor had too much energy at the end for being a starving fellow.

Also, (and this is just my preference), I see a lot of 'fade' transitions in some of the sequences, 'cuts' would have made it easier to watch in some cases.

Sorry to be so wordy, I want to give detailed feedback about my experience with your film. All in all, great effort, the more I watch it, the more I like it :)

All the best,
Aaron

Last edited by Aaron Fay; November 20th, 2008 at 06:46 PM. Reason: forgot something
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