DVC14 -"Interrogated" - Jeremy Doyle at DVinfo.net

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Old November 18th, 2008, 07:43 AM   #1
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DVC14 -"Interrogated" - Jeremy Doyle

This is my third time entering the DV challenge and as I said in an earlier post this was by far the most ambitious. The main reason for that is Phil Holbrook. He had a good script and was able to wrangler together the people necessary for this to happen. Although it wouldn't have happened if it hadn't been for the extra week! We shot on Saturday the 8th and Sunday the 9th. Probably 10-11 hours total shooting. Then spent a couple hours each night of the week editing, adding sound and FX. I had it done and uploaded Saturday around noon.

Our actors were troopers. Especially our main character and kids in the alley scene. It was 25 degrees out that day and Jared was in a T-shirt and no shoes! Needless to say we rushed through the scene pretty quick, going with 1 take in several cases.

I forgot to mention in the credits that all the music was from Digital Juice. Gotta love the stack traxx. The only full mix we used was the opening song.

Hope you enjoyed it and I look forward to the dialogue ahead.
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Old November 18th, 2008, 03:50 PM   #2
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Jeremy, very nice technical work. The lighting was excellent, the sound and soundtrack were nicely recorded and placed and overall the film had a very professional look to it.

Critical comments are that at one point during the resturaunt scene you "crossed the line" and reversed the shoulder over which the camera was filming the actress. Maybe it doesn't bother non film-makers but it stood out to my eye. I never really did get the story line. Lots of beautiful work, but in the end I wasn't sure what was going on exactly.

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Old November 18th, 2008, 03:52 PM   #3
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1. I really liked the start titles, nice graphic. [+]
2. Good psychological problem - I agree with the actress, what you want and what you have to do are not necessary two different things.
In the words of the crusader in Indiana Jones - He chose poorly. [+]
3. Sometimes you jumped the 180 angle line, so it was a bit disorienting there. [-]
4. Great acting, my compliments to the actors! [+]
5. Zooming too sharp and too frequent in the interrogation room, and losing focus. [-]
Did you use auto focus? If so, I suggest you disable it: first zoom in, focus it, then zoom out, then shoot with the zoom. But the less zoom, the better, I think.
6. I'm a martial artist and think that that leg grab wouldn't have worked in real life, it coudln't have suffocated the guy, so the realism moment was lost for me in that sequence. [-]
7. The cigarette sequence is excellent though. [+]
8. Very noticeable fake gunshot and wounds, but we use what we have at our disposal.
9. The skater dudes were really funny! :) [+]
10. I liked the soundtrack throughout. [+]
11. Nice props. [+]
12. Very good mono/dialogue for characters. [+]

Overall it's very good and again compliments to the actors! And thank you for this film! :)
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Old November 18th, 2008, 04:12 PM   #4
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3. Sometimes you jumped the 180 angle line, so it was a bit disorienting there. [-]
Jumping the 180 was done very much on purpose. In the resturant scene it was used with visual cuts such as the hand on the martini glass or to close ups for creating unrest for two reasons, the uncomfortableness of the converstion and because it was dream sequence while he was being interrogated. During the interrogtion there's hand held, jumping the line, jump cuts, snap zooms and missed focus to help create tension. A bit of a Bourne approach, good or bad.

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6. I'm a martial artist and think that that leg grab wouldn't have worked in real life, it coudln't have suffocated the guy, so the realism moment was lost for me in that sequence. [-]
It's called a triangle choke. The guy who performed it is a black belt in Jujutsu. The actor who received it actually tapped for submission when he was starting to pass out during the takes. To learn more about the triangle choke Triangle choke - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old November 18th, 2008, 04:15 PM   #5
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It's called a triangle choke. The guy who performed it is a black belt in Jujutsu. The actor who received it actually tapped for submission when he was starting to pass out during the takes. To learn more about the triangle choke Triangle choke - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Oh, ok, then I truly apologize. It seemed to me that he had enough space left below his chin for not to suffocate.
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Old November 18th, 2008, 04:36 PM   #6
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I didn't see the line jump until people pointed it out; the snap zooms were maybe a bit much for my taste, and I think the highlights in the restaurant are a little bloomy, but beyond that I wasn't distracted.

All the acting was top notch, my personal favorites being the interrogator (Fyodor? I'm not up on my Eastern European spelling) and the skaters. They all cracked me up, pass along my compliments!
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Old November 18th, 2008, 04:54 PM   #7
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I didn't see the line jump until people pointed it out; the snap zooms were maybe a bit much for my taste, and I think the highlights in the restaurant are a little bloomy, but beyond that I wasn't distracted.

All the acting was top notch, my personal favorites being the interrogator (Fyodor? I'm not up on my Eastern European spelling) and the skaters. They all cracked me up, pass along my compliments!
I'm with Robert. I loved the skaterboader dudes and Fyodor too. I thought it had a very professional look to it, and the CSI style zoom action seemed to be a director's choice.
I noticed the crossing the line, but given that it was a memory sequence, I buy that as director's choice too.

I thought the lighting, credits, and general look were all outstanding.

But I needed something there to make me care more about the guy being interrogated. Same thing with the girl. Ultimately, if we don't get a real reason to connect and care about the actors, then the protagonist is just another guy getting his head beat in.

Personally, I liked Fyodor more, he seemed to care about his work...
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Old November 18th, 2008, 10:15 PM   #8
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Oh, ok, then I truly apologize. It seemed to me that he had enough space left below his chin for not to suffocate.
Actually it would have been very nice to have enough space as we could only get 4 or 5 seconds a take before the tap of submission.

At first we didn't even know if we'd be able to pull it off as the physical size of the actors came into play. Ross (who played Fedor) was so much bigger than Jarod (the main character) that to even get him in the triangle choke was tight! It's much easier to do takes when one of your characters isn't getting choked out each take.
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Old November 18th, 2008, 10:31 PM   #9
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But I needed something there to make me care more about the guy being interrogated. Same thing with the girl. Ultimately, if we don't get a real reason to connect and care about the actors, then the protagonist is just another guy getting his head beat in.
We didn't do a good enough job of establishing the connection. When he flashes back to being hit by the rifle butt, it is actually the girl that hits him. I think that is easily missed. We were going to have her say his name right before she hit him, but obviously we didn't. I think that would have helped with the connection. Maybe not enough to make someone care however.

This short feels more like part of something bigger that was extracted. Or you can just take it upon yourself to draw conclusions.


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Personally, I liked Fyodor more, he seemed to care about his work...
Yes, Ross Farro who played Fedor most definitely stole the show. He rocked. He was actually my personal favorite part of this short. Followed by the cigarette dropping sequence (over-cranked in camera, the second shot had additional slow mo added in post, then color treated using the basic color corrector and color corrector 3-way in FCP) and the opening track shot(a wheelchair in combination with the smoothcam filter in FCP).
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Old November 19th, 2008, 12:28 AM   #10
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When he flashes back to being hit by the rifle butt, it is actually the girl that hits him. I think that is easily missed.
Oh….so the girl ratted him out to the bad guys? Huh. I liked her until I read that. Does that mean she’s the one on the other end of the phone at the end? I thought maybe he was talking to his boss.

Your establishing shot was great--nice and smooth. So that's what a wheelchair can do with a little help in FCP. Nice.

I agree with Dick about not caring much about what happened to the guy getting the tar beat out of him. But I hate bullies and bad guys so much that I was happy to see whats-his-name get it right in the carotids.

This was a pretty professionally shot film, Jeremy. Nice job.
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Old November 19th, 2008, 01:18 AM   #11
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Jeremy:

Thought this was well done, and generally well acted. You had a nice ensemble of actors to work with. I wasn't sure what to make of the beautiful lady at the beginning, and whether his call at end was to her. They didn't sell a "hot in love" relationship at the restaurant scene. It came across as a strictly business relationship, though the script seemed to be about a personal relationship. I suspected she was the informer, but couldn't be sure within confines of film, and perhaps that is by intention.
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Old November 19th, 2008, 07:29 AM   #12
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Jeremy:
They didn't sell a "hot in love" relationship at the restaurant scene. It came across as a strictly business relationship, though the script seemed to be about a personal relationship. I suspected she was the informer, but couldn't be sure within confines of film, and perhaps that is by intention.
More of a beginning of Mr and Mrs. Smith type thing.
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Old November 19th, 2008, 11:35 AM   #13
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When I watched the film the first time, I had no idea what was going on. I also had to think about it a bit to figure out the 'Travel' connection. Maybe I'm dumb...

It wasn't clear to me the restaurant scene was a 'dream' sequence, until I watched it a few times.

If you had showed us more clearly WHO (as in the girl) had ratted on him, it would have been much clearer.

When the girl hits him with the rifle, you can't tell who it is. What could have helped tie it together was a piece of clothing or jewelry that she wears at the restaurant. Show that to the viewer at the rifle butt scene, and we'll put it together. I think that was your weakest link in the story.

But hey, I'm always trying to make clever films and not 'spoon feed' the audience. The difficulty with short films (of this length) is that you don't have much time to do it. And if you don't make it clear enough, people won't get it.

The dolly shot was great. I just thought you held it too long once the move finished. I was wanting a reverse to see their faces as he sat her down in the chair.

I liked the interrogation part (cinematic wise) the best. Great tight shots, the interrogator was good too. You took on a BIG job choreographing a fight sequence.

I loved how Fedor rolls toward the camera and cuts out the shot. Very nice!

The blood shots looked pretty good except the knife hit. the blood was too red/bright for the amount of light in the shot.

Your characters had 'character' which was great. Fedor was the best.

The audio of Fedor's 'handler/boss' was poor. It sounded like you just recorded the audio from Fedor's mic. I don't know how you recorded or what mic you used, but it would have been better to mic Fedor for his lines first, then inter-cut with his boss with his lines recorded separately. Or, ADR the few times we see his mouth move if he's 'WAY' over on the other side. Or, maybe he's just a silhouette or something in the corner. Just an idea.

All in all, a great job. As a fellow filmmaker, I know how much work goes into these things. It's also difficult finding people to work with you. I've had actors complain all evening wanting to know when we'll be done shooting.
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Old November 19th, 2008, 12:05 PM   #14
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When I watched the film the first time, I had no idea what was going on. I also had to think about it a bit to figure out the 'Travel' connection.
What did you come up with?

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The audio of Fedor's 'handler/boss' was poor. It sounded like you just recorded the audio from Fedor's mic.
I was actually waiting for someone to comment on that. We had 2 lav mics and a shotgun. Unfortunately one of the lav mics had a bad cord and there was no way of replacing it during the shoot. We could have shot it all again micing the boss, but we hadn't alloted the time for that. So his audio is from the shotgun mic.

Same with the Skaterkid on the line "I've got an Iphone". Of course we were in a hurry as it was 25 degrees out so I just used what audio we had.

We could have gone ADR, but that would have meant getting the people back again and that just wasn't option with how much time I had to dedicate to this project.
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Old November 19th, 2008, 02:08 PM   #15
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The cigarette shot was very cool - very nicely shot film. I'm the most terrible audience though....I don't get it. I saw a dream sequence while the guy is getting beat up, then he escapes. I liked all the action except for one shot, when one of the guys points a gun at the back of the main character's head, and holds it there for a split second before getting the gun wrestled away. I would do it much faster - like how Bourne takes out his enemies before they even have time to react. Always an ambitious task to shoot action in a low budget film though...bravo for taking on the challenge.
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