DVCV 14 - "Candi" - by Dick Mays & Roxzane Mims - Page 2 at DVinfo.net

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Old November 19th, 2008, 02:10 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos View Post
As to message, my guess is that a lot of women's rights and battered women advocates would cringe at the message that a woman's only choice is to rely on two other men, one a complete stranger, for protection.... but that is a whole other discussion....
Now that is an interesting thought....
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Old November 19th, 2008, 04:38 PM   #17
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When I read your initial critique, it took me so long to compose a response that there were several other messages exchanged between you and Lorinda by the time I posted my reply.

I admit I was a little stunned at your initial critique. I've been sick today, so maybe it came at a time when I was feeling very puny, because normally I'm not a real defensive type. But it seemed that everything you had to say about my short was negative.

I try to find what I like about someone's work, and then maybe suggest an "add" or two as a critique to make it better as I believe there is little benefit in negative feedback.

But here are some acknowledgements.

The initial scene did have difficult audio. My battery died during the rehearsal, and all I had was one rehearsal take with camera audio. Comes from working with a camera you are not familar with and mistaken end-of-tape indicator with battery life.

I could have dubbed the actors dialog, and did dub the wife's dialog, but wanted to leave Tom's Morton's voice in if I could so when we screened the film he would hear himself. I thought I had salvaged it, but it appears I didn't.

In answer to what was said, she asks him if he can leave his new mistress, he says she has a lot of miles on her, and she asks if he has named her yet. He then says her name is Candi.

This scene is there so you know something of his character before his daughter arrives at the end. He stills remembers his little girl, and named his car after her. As someone pointed out, the car restoration is suppose to establish him as someone who helps rebuild things, so you feel she is in safe hands at the end. It also foreshadows the trip with the "lot's of miles" remark.

As far as intentional gratuitous nature of the short, I did not include Ashley's panties in the cropped shot. You do see her in a bra, and you might feel this was gratuitous. In the original script, we didn't have this shot. The camera was running between takes when Ashley was turning to talk to the director. In the edit, I try to find the best scenes to affect the audience, and when I came across this clip, I stuck it in.

Ashley is a beautiful young woman, and I think the scene starting with this shot of her instead of the back of Chris, is a better opening. We dubbed dialog to use this clip as the director agreed it was a stronger initial image. I wouldn't use this shot without the actress approval.

Ashley will this short as she tries to get roles in the future. She had a callback for the Young and the Restless and I think she is a fabulous little actress. She will get cast because she is a beautiful young woman, and I think not only is it a more effective film because of this shot included in the opening, it better represents her to the industry.

The toliet scene ties the bathroom to the bedroom in a way that sells the place as a motel. It is my apartment. The toliet refill noise underlies the whole scene and this continuity adds to the realism. That's what I think, and you immediately place them in a motel when you hear the sound even before seeing Chris in the apartment.

The movie on the TV was basic instinct, but we did not want to show anything graphic or sufficient in length for it to be even be identifiable. Unfortunately when we broke the screen it was not at the ideal spot, but as an editor I could include the cut or delete it, and I think it has a more powerful impact in. I dubbed the line "you look like Michael Douglas" as an acknowledgement.

I knew before my short came out there could be an issue with that shot. I am not an expert in copyright law, and do not know what constitutes a derived work, and what is legitimate use (as in a quote from a book). I would be surprised if there were to be any objections from a legal standpoint from this brief scene, but I withdraw myself from the dvchallenge competition to remove any complaints that might arise.

All the edits in the short were screened by Ashley and the director, and they were not in the short except to make it a more compelling story.

As to any political correctness of a battered women depending on men for their safety, the reality of many women's situation is a good deal uglier than depicted in this short.

In answer to one other question:

The shot by the roadside was lit with a bright sign that was beside the road. We drove around looking for one and got lost, driving nearly an hour to find our way back. I loved the simplicity of this shot.

As far as what types of films should be in the challenge, I will go with the opinion of the whole of the community. If we want family oriented films, then I completely understand that. However I can recall some pretty graphic entries in the past, and never heard that we should be making shorts for children.

BTW, although I don't let my kids watch my short either, my four year old daugher loved Lorinda's short with the hobo dag.
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Old November 19th, 2008, 06:11 PM   #18
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I guess watching these movies with a good set of headphones helps. I was able to hear the dialog at the start. It was a little hard to put the pieces together because I really couldn't tell if it was the same guy at the end. I assumed it was, but never saw the guys face at the start and it was a VERY wide shot too.

I enjoyed the story. You see so many women just staying, thinking it's their fault or that they can fix the problem. Great message.

It's hard shooting anything in a moving car, let a long dialog. The director of Michael Clayton said he'd never do it again.

I liked the 'montage' of driving to Georgia, but thought it could have used some different shots of inside the truck. Rear view mirror, hands on the steering wheel, etc. But, since you were hand held in a moving vehicle, going tight would have only made the moves worse, so it might not have worked, although you could have shot those without the truck moving at all.

All I can say is few people will ever know how difficult it is to make a short film. To come up with an idea based on a word, and then execute that idea takes a lot of creativity and effort.

Keep it up.
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Old November 19th, 2008, 07:58 PM   #19
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I like the idea with the car, though I did miss the dialogue; I'd thought the car would turn out to be Candi one way or another, and I like the plan you had.

I'm not at all bothered by any of the film's content. I'm not one to enjoy watching people relieve themselves, but we couldn't actually see any ... you know, fluids. I'd say that would be my limit, if I had one. And the domestic violence might be shocking if it weren't a film about domestic violence. Shocking is the point, and I think it worked well.

I worried about reactions to my film as well, and added a warning title card just to be safe. It's only a couple of F-bombs, but I thought it'd be better to get it out up front. I don't think anyone would be too concerned about content like this in the future if there were advance notice of anything too off the beaten DVC path. Not that I want us to have our own mini ratings board, but a little heads up might help. Maybe I'm overreacting. Or underreacting. I don't know.

Anyway, my only real complaint would be the initial run in with the kindly driver. Seemed a bit weird to see her just up and climb in the guy's truck, I feel like there should have been a short "help!" in there somewhere. I know you looked back, and I imagine the character could see the girl was in trouble, but it still seemed unusual. I guess I'm not really sure why.

The buildup of color over the course of the driving sequence was gorgeous! Now that I've heard the opening explained, I'm a little disappointed not to see the movie end with the two hugging in front of the car (that interior shining in the sun would fit with the trees we saw quite well), but it was still satisfying. I say good show! Not bad at all.
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Old November 19th, 2008, 09:22 PM   #20
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A very very ambitious subject to tackle and I think you handled it quite well. I also expected a bit more a twist at the end to underscore the grim nature of things, but I'm the type that doesn't mind a happy ending. In that sense, Candi's story arc was very straightforward, which is kinda refreshing, to be honest. I'm not sure if it was YouTube or not, but it looked a bit fuzzy to me, and I also had a bit of trouble hearing the dialogue in a few places. However, I'm sure you've had that point driven home by now. I was glad to read your explanation of the first scene. Truthfully, I had forgotten about it by the time I finished viewing and I think it was because the slap was so powerfully done and unexpected. That shot was edited masterfully. The travel montage also got a bit long for my sensibilities, but at the same time, I didn't feel like it had too much "fluff," so it could be argued that it needed to be long to emphasize what a great kindness the driver was actually doing for Candi. I actually thought her running and jumping in the truck was quite believable and that the glances between her and the driver were all the justification that was needed for her actions. Well done!
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Old November 19th, 2008, 10:03 PM   #21
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Dick... forgive me for being a little late to the party, but I just got my high-speed connection for my home PC tonight, and at work I cannot view YouTube or Vimeo....(g). (I know can you believe I survived on dial up for so long?)

Great piece. I have to admit it really grabbed me, and the acting was excellent. Has anyone else noticed how with each contest the bar just keeps getting raised a little higher? Better acting, better lighting, better sound, better technique cinemagraphically as well?

I pretty much can echo what others have said. Well written, lit, and acted. I liked the hand held stuff too. I agree that the drive sequence seemed to get a little long, but I am sure maybe that was to underscore how far it really was.The ending left me a little unsure of what was next for this hapless young girl... I had a little trouble connecting her arrival home to her dad to the opening sequence.

Overall though... well done. I enjoyed it. Thanks.

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Old November 20th, 2008, 11:21 AM   #22
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At 2:15 TRT..is that a Softbox showing on the right side of screen???
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Old November 20th, 2008, 11:35 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Charlie Gillespie View Post
At 2:15 TRT..is that a Softbox showing on the right side of screen???
It's a big bright sign in front of a building. You can see it, albiet out of focus, at 1:44. This was the only light source used for the scene.

I appreciate the other encouraging responses, and ask to be pardoned for my long winded ramblings which I attribute to a low grade fever and sinus headache.

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Old November 20th, 2008, 02:57 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Dick Mays View Post
I appreciate the other encouraging responses, and ask to be pardoned for my long winded ramblings which I attribute to a low grade fever and sinus headache.
Fevers can make people delirious all right... ;)

I’ve been pondering this film rather than getting my work done, so I’m going to put a few thoughts in writing in an effort to get on with my day.

If Dick chooses to withdraw this piece from competition that is his business and we will honor it, though I think I speak for Dylan in wishing he would have left it in. It doesn’t matter, though, because I know Dick well enough to understand that for him (and for pretty much everyone who enters the DV Challenge) it’s not about winning--it’s about producing a good film.

…And as I said earlier, this is a good film.

I’ll admit again that I was shocked at one image in particular, but again, the importance of this work outweighed my discomfort.

Later in the film, did I cringe when the girl got in a stranger’s pickup? Yes. I feared she was jumping from the proverbial frying pan into the fire. But what a wonderful surprise when the stranger turned out to be a good person! And it could happen that way. Now, I don’t think anyone would advocate a woman getting in a stranger's vehicle in the real world, but it did promote the overriding positive idea of getting out of an abusive relationship…and staying out. It also facilitates the notion that there are good and trustworthy men out there--and in my opinion, lots of them. I found it refreshing and hopeful. Before I move on, sheltered as I am I have known a couple battered men who could use the same advice about getting out and staying out…

Two other technical points I’ve been meaning to post: I agree with the Alex that the editing in the motel scene, particularly with the slap and then the beer bottle smashing the television, was excellent. It made the scene quite powerful. Shot selections for the drive montage were great, as well.

Dick, you, the director, and the actors can and should feel all kinds of pride about this film. I wish everyone the best.

Alrighty then…maybe now I can get some work done before the sun goes down. :)

Last edited by Lorinda Norton; November 20th, 2008 at 05:56 PM.
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Old November 20th, 2008, 03:40 PM   #25
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Hold on just a darn minute, Dick... I didn't realize you were withdrawing the film.

I have now reread your post and realize that what I took as a possibility was really stated as a reality. And I don't support that decision. My criticism was only intended as that, a statement that in my belief as to what we should be including in these films because of our viewing public and because I thought there were better ways of accomplishing your story telling goals. I raised the issues I brought up with legitimate concerns. I did not intend to pontificate. Reasonable minds will disagree. And I frankly don't think there is a copyright issue, in terms of the law, or in terms of the spirit of this competition, and that should not preclude your film from the competition.

I ask and plead with you to reconsider your apparent withdrawal....
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Old November 20th, 2008, 11:20 PM   #26
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I had to reread the threads to understand it correctly, but I do not agree with Dick's choice of withdrawing out of the competition either.

Many good films are good because they spark controversy and discussion. I believe this is one of those films -- not only because Dick tackled a very important, touchy subject; but it also got us to talk about that subject. Lorinda said, herself, that she was sheltered from these images. Well, here they are, making us uncomfortable, yet creating discussion.

As to the film itself, ok, the audio we got out of the way. I think the montage of traveling could've been a bit shorter or tighter. Maybe. I'd have to go back again. I'd also like to have seen what happens to the driver (the hero). Does she thank him? Does the father thank him? Or does he just "drive off into the sunset"?

Overall, a wonderful piece that deals with a very difficult, yet very prominent subject.
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Old November 20th, 2008, 11:27 PM   #27
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In my experience.... how I "like a film" at the end has little to do with what that film does to me in the longer term. Oddly, films I don;t walk out of the theatre thinking I liked all that much on first viewing....are the really good films ... the ones I later think about, and I often find myself talking about them days later, examining plots, scenes and aspects, thinking trying to figure things out. In the final analysis THAT is what makes a great film to me (most of the time - I AM prone to happy/sappy Hollywood method endings now and then).

THIS was one of those rare films. It sparked "controversy" but then, that's bad because?

A really interesting film that I still think about days after seeing it. Some gut grabber scenes I still think about. As the film-maker, obviously the choice is yours, but I echo the plaintive suggestion you leave it in.

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