DVC 14- "Light Rider" by Chris Barcellos at DVinfo.net

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Old November 18th, 2008, 09:42 AM   #1
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DVC 14- "Light Rider" by Chris Barcellos

While this film is entered under my name, it is the product a joint effort by many people, as can be seen by the credits.

We gathered around a table on the evening the theme was announced. I had earlier mentioned a time travel film as a possibility, and 12 year old Sabian Lawlor came up with the idea for the film, a dish washer who wins a time travel vacation.

Kitchen and back alley scenes shot with Z1. "Ether" time travel scenes shot with HV20 with background actually shot down interior of a long black plastic sewer pipe with a light at other end. Interior of car was shot in my garage with windows green screened, using an SD Sony 58mm wide attachment. Exterior of car was shot on location on a local rural road. We also shot plates for rear window of car, and passenger side window there, also. We drove 20 miles to an old dirt road so our "possee" could brandish their weapons without scaring cops or neighbors. I then use that shot as a plate, too, for the shot behind Clyde. If you look close, you will note the same people are redressed on opposite sides of the screen.

Bly scene was shot at a friends home, the bomb being made from two plastic flower pots and a chimney topper. For those that don't know the story, during WWII the Japanese launched balloons from Japan with bombs attached, and in Bly Oregon, a group of six people came across one in the forest and were killed by it. There was concern that people would know the balloon bombing story, but we wanted to use the kids in a shot, and nobody could come up with another historical event that would work, so it remained in the film.

Final scene was shot in a box we constucted to look like a coffin, and lining was made of regular bed sheeting. It had a removable side for that angle shot.

It was once again a pleasure to work with a dedicated group of actors led by our hero Dave Lawlor. Lloyd Powers was drafted last minute to play Clyde, and he was great, Amanda was, as usual, great, and our regular Melissa did another great scene. Johnny Murillo played a great mean boss. The children, all related to crew and cast, also were fantastic. Chris Swanberg handled camera on some scenes, along with sound, which is greatly enhancing our product. Also pitching in were my sister Ellen, and my daughter Katie as ADs, and my wife keeps us all straight. My son Brian helped a PA, and as an extra in the Sheriff's possee scene.


Vimeo: Gives best video and sound.. Light Rider on Vimeo

YouTube: lower rez, but doing better with their choice of playing at a higher quaility.

YouTube link: YouTube - Light Rider
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Old November 18th, 2008, 11:58 AM   #2
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Nice job. I laughed every time the guy went flying through time. Excellent job of green screen as well. Very seamless. Good costumes and props. It looks like you put a good amount of time into this.

I am one of the people who didn't know the balloon bomb story, so thanks for filling me in during your description.

After reading your description again it looks like you had to do a lot of preplanning to make sure you covered all the necessary shots for the green screen. Did you create storyboards before shooting?

Again nice job. I was entertained.
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Old November 18th, 2008, 12:47 PM   #3
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Ambitious, to say the least, Chris! Really entertaining, too--I am looking forward to seeing the next episode.

I kept getting caught in the “how’d he do that?” trap, so had to watch it several times. The following thoughts are as random as the travel… :)

“Instructions…I don’t need those.” Crucial to the story yet almost a throwaway line! I loved it.

How’d you do the unit with Vince (I think that’s his name)?

The way our hero landed in B&C’s car worked flawlessly. Great job with that. Now that I know the shot of the posse from inside the car was green screened, I’m doubly impressed.

The Bly scene was interesting; like Jeremy, I didn’t know about this part of history, so thanks for the further explanation in your post. Costuming for the kids really worked—and they were convincing in their roles. I can’t help but wonder what kind of a guy could leave those kids, even if they were brats, there to die in the explosion? But it sort of adds to the wry humor in a way--him being so self-absorbed.

All right, you went too far with the coffin thing! I am soooo claustrophobic it’s not even funny, so even though your scene IS funny, it was pretty hard on me. ;)

Overall, this is a very well-written story with great lines by the “unit” to fill in the holes. For me, the music didn’t quite fit; it seemed a bit too sentimental…or something, but it sure wasn’t overpowering so it worked okay. You tried some different techniques and did a great job with them, as well as putting the whole film together with such a nice flow. Please tell all the folks involved with this film that they succeeded in making a highly entertaining episode. You’ll let us know when the next one is ready?
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Old November 18th, 2008, 01:05 PM   #4
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That unit "John" wore on his wrist was my Iphone, playing back a scene I had up loaded to YouTube... I got the wrist band at a sports store, and with a liberal use of velcro with my IPhone case, we were able to make a convincing unit.

Music created a big discussion. We had a pretty good rocker song, but it didn't seem to work well because it needed to be loud, and it wouldn't work with dialogue. I went with the front end music cause I was trying to give a "big feel", similar to Stargate. I felt like opening music was similar to that. Originally, I carried theme throughout. Music was from Digital Juice track. The piano in the Bonnie and Clyde scene was a layer from same track. Chris Swanberg was thinking either no music was needed, and we could add natural sound. I did actually add natural sound to Bonnie and Clyde and the Bly scene, but kept background music low. I had previewed the film with and without music to close friends, and they said the music was needed, and I ultimately kept it. For the last scene, though, I changed from more of same music, to drums, per discussions with Chris and others. I tend to like melodic and epic feeling sound tracks, and since this has pretense of being the first episode of a series, thought that it would be something needed.
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Old November 18th, 2008, 01:48 PM   #5
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Congrats, great film and wonderful story - shows what's it like when a hero starts an adventure he's not ready for.

Lots of technical tricks used and lots or preparation to shoot it, good that we had two weeks, eh. My favourite was the Bony and Clide scene.

So, where did you put the body of Abraham Lincoln? :)
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Old November 18th, 2008, 03:11 PM   #6
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Hey Chris,

I was hoping someone would do a time travel piece. Clever story! It was fun.

A lot of work went into your film. Multiple cast members, locations, etc.
I enjoyed the Bonnie & Clyde scene and the Abe casket the best. The other one I had no idea what was going on. However, the prop was great. Looked like some crazy military device with smoke coming out of it, nice work!

Cool use of an iPhone too. I actually thought you tracked it and put in the video later. What you did with playing the video worked great! Always easier/faster/better to get the real thing if you can.

That video/voice effect for Vince was well executed too. Nice job.

The car interior was good. Having our guy show up inside the car was well executed. However, Clyde seemed too red on the right side. Maybe a sunburn?

Some suggestions:
When the guy is tapping the iPhone travel device, I wanted to hear some sort of electronic beep each time he hits the interface.

At 1:07 into the film, where Vince says he's set for random travel, the audio becomes totally silent. May have been better to have 'room tone' there so we at least hear the same noise we heard when he was talking. It's always a good idea to get a minute or two of 'room tone' at each location so you can fill the blank spots between the dialog.

On the time travel sequences (with the pink background) I really wanted to see the background spin around. Some sort of movement that shows him 'flying' through time, or maybe have him spin or something. I know the background did move a little, but it wasn't enough for me anyway. I did like the 'wind' blowing his apron.

I loved the casket ending. I can't think about it either Lorinda. I would be going nuts in there!

Great effort.
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Old November 18th, 2008, 03:56 PM   #7
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Getting people together to shoot these things has to be one of the best parts of the whole experience, especially when you have so much time to produce things like this. Chroma keys, period cars, props, costumes, guns, an old-timey posse; how can you go wrong?

The matte looks a little sharp on the car's rear window during the interior shots, but I only saw that when I read that it was a key. I was wrapped up in the adventure the first time through, didn't notice a thing.

Speaking of the car, is that yours? I'm no collector, and couldn't tell you a Model T from a Model A, but that looks to be one very nice vehicle.

As for this "to be continued" business, will we all have to wait until the next challenge to see more, or is this an ongoing project? I'm excited to see where JT heads next.
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Old November 18th, 2008, 04:09 PM   #8
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I might be the only one here that actually knew the history about the kids and the "weather ballon" when I saw it on your short. Very interesting story about how Japan set these off into the jet stream and how the only casualties were five kids and a woman on a church outing. You can read the Wikipedia article under "Fire Balloons."

Great locations. Loved the opening dishwashing picture. Great looking time travel device. I loved the transportation scenes the way they looked. I need to play with special effects someday.

My favorite was the Bonnie and Clyde scene in the car. Where did you get that car? Overall, very ambitious and nice lighting and wardrobe. But any time I get to work with beautiful young women, I'd heat the screen up a bit. Like to see Clyde put his hand on her knee and lean in for a kiss just before the interruption of the time traveller. Lorinda probably thinks I'm such a pig...

Very fun to watch. Hope to see the other segments soon.

Note to self: Never time travel on a "beta" time travel device.
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Old November 18th, 2008, 04:13 PM   #9
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What I really appreciate about this film is the amount of work that I KNOW went into organizing and producing it. It's hard enough to get a couple of free actors and shoot something with very short notice - you had a huge cast, a period set, props, and wardrobe to boot. Very impressive feat to pull off within 2 weeks.

Time travel is my favorite film genre, and it's difficult to do well. You stuck to a simple plot and didn't get bogged down with complicated paradox issues (although that could be part of the fun in time travel stories). Green screen stuff in the car looked great. Look forward to seeing another episode...
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Old November 18th, 2008, 11:42 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Dick Mays View Post
...any time I get to work with beautiful young women, I'd heat the screen up a bit. Like to see Clyde put his hand on her knee and lean in for a kiss just before the interruption of the time traveller. Lorinda probably thinks I'm such a pig...
Ha ha! You're not a pig, my dear friend...incorrigible, perhaps, but not a pig... :)

Chris, I should have gone through the film yet again and paid better attention to the music. The scenes I questioned were the ones at the beginning (outside the restaurant) and at Bly. After reading what you said I certainly see where you were going with it, though, so that's cool.
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Old November 18th, 2008, 11:54 PM   #11
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Thanks for all comments and the suggestions.


1. the car came with the David Lawlor or time traveler. As I recall, its a 31 Plymoth. Bonnie and Clyde were actually dispatched in 34 in a 34 Ford... Couldn't find an actor with one of those :)

2. As I recall, in the 1968 Bonnie and Clyde, Bonnie had a hard time getting Clyde interested :)

3. Re: Beta We figure in the future, the Vacations In Time company will have to adjust it coordinates to be no so exact
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Old November 19th, 2008, 04:06 AM   #12
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Chris, this is quite complex and seem you've been using the 2 weeks wisely, very good job. I like in particular how you've lit the car's interior.

The ending is excellent, a bit like in those Outer Limits series!
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Old November 19th, 2008, 09:44 PM   #13
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Agreed. You've obviously invested yourself heavily in this one. Well done with the wrist device and the green-screening! I enjoyed this piece and thought the cinematography in particular was excellent. Lighting, coloring, pacing, all good. Great job!
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Old November 20th, 2008, 10:49 PM   #14
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I agree with everyone's comments about how much work went into this piece. And what a huge undertaking! Lots of cast, multiple locations, greenscreen, AND it's a period piece?

Wow, Chris, wow. Congrats -- your hard work really shows.
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Old November 20th, 2008, 11:08 PM   #15
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I'm not sure how kosher it is for me to comment on a film I had a minor part in making, but what the heck, I will.

To start what you all are saying is very true. Chris really put his heart and soul into this effort. He is self effacing to a fault, and quick to offer credit beyond what is due. I cannot imagine the time to record the voice for VITTS, digitize it, synch it, upload it and have it ready for use - but it was when I arrived to help in the filming on the first day of principal photography. I guess it shoud not have been surprising....every time something was needed behind the scenes it "magically" appeared in time for use - like the bomb in Bly. All because of his late night machinations.

Chris has been a great mentor, and I am sure at times the idea of two strong minds working together has been frustrating for us both - word to the wise - park your hubris at the door when you share responsibilities for a film. (Although that statement makes it sound like I had a significant hand in this one - I didn't. But collaborated nonetheless.)

We had some friendly disagreements on aspects of this film, and... as per usual... Chris was probably right where he stood his ground, but was more than willing to accomodate me on occasion. (After spending hours editing all alone he suffered my nit picking and made the changes I wanted - every one.)

I wish we could later add a "making of" so the Bonnie and Clyde scene could be better understood. Chris's editing made that entire scene believeable - no better than believeable..... trust me, just the outakes of that car parked INSIDE his garage during the shoot would be a hoot, all by themselves. But the process by which we drove all over hells half acre to get the plate shots would in itself make a small featurette.

I have a lot to learn. I wish others could enjoy the knowledge transfer benefit I have by working alongside Chris Barcellos.

The other Chris of "Chris and Chris"
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