DVC14- "Double Time" by Aaron Fay at DVinfo.net

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Old November 20th, 2008, 10:45 AM   #1
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DVC14- "Double Time" by Aaron Fay

I am opening this thread because I did not see one open, and I wanted to comment on the film.

This film was perhaps the most cinematically filmed of all the films of this competition. While the story line was a bit sparse and might even be considered a bit boring, you could tell that that shots were set up with great care. Each shot was extremely well composed, and well thought out, making it a pleasure just to watch because of the artistic endeavor involved.
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Old November 20th, 2008, 11:05 AM   #2
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Chris,

I completely agree with the beautiful cinematography. I hope Aaron gets on because I want to know what that long cable thing was? Some kind of chair lift to cross the river? The shot down the cable was very interesting.

The deep blue in the skys makes me jealous. Does that come from a polarizing filter? Gotta get one of those.

My favorite is the railroad tracks at dusk. Just beautiful.

I don't recognize the name on the building. I'm assuming it is a fast food joint.

Loved the truck too.
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Old November 20th, 2008, 11:18 AM   #3
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I'm around fellows! Just in a mad rush this morning. I'll post the details today :)
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Old November 20th, 2008, 03:21 PM   #4
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The grits on Double Time

First I think I owe a bit of background on the 'little shop' at the end. I'll paste my comments from the youtube page as they pretty well sum it up:

"It's really a Canadian joke. People will drive *miles* out of their way for a Tim Hortons coffee. In fact, it's an acceptable excuse to be late for work in the morning, "there was a line-up at Tim's".

When company comes over, "did you bring Tim's?". If a long trip is taken somewhere, the route taken will be determined on what towns have a Tim Hortons.

And, the title is a bit of a play on words: a 'double double' is a coffee with 2 cream and 2 sugar at Tim's :) "

The only thing I have to add is, think 'Starbucks' (if you have one in your country). People go mad over coffee for some reason.

Filming details:
Shot in about 4 hours, over 2 days on 1 camera, the XL2. Most shots used the native 20x auto, some use the 3x wide (which we just got). The is my/our first short film, and we really used the competition as motivation to just get something done, so thank all of you for putting it on :)

We didn't have a script or any storyboards, just an idea. I should mention that I'm a very technical person, my background being in sound. I fell in love with film the first time I put music to a motion picture. I like technical details like aperature and camera angle, but otherwise struggle with things of a creative nature (I don't understand things like poetry, and can't write a story to save my life), so I approached a local stage-play group to help me with this short.

We have lots of cool gear (stabilizer, crane, etc) but didn't get to use _any_ of it because of shortening days in the fall. Each scene was just about shot in the order you see it, the river scene being the last shot on day 1, the following shot being the first shot of day 2. Just about everything was 1 take, we just didn't have time for 2 (we started a week late).

I'd also like to comment that it was freezing out (or near enough). Mike was a true sport, he really rolled in the river for that shot, and it was about 4C (roughly 40F?). The next day, the shot where he approaches the tracks, my hands were so cold I couldn't feel them. And Mike was wearing wet coveralls :P

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos View Post
Each shot was extremely well composed, and well thought out, making it a pleasure just to watch because of the artistic endeavor involved.
Thank you for the kind feedback. The whole thing was really an experiment that turned out far better than I thought it would.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Mays View Post
The deep blue in the skys makes me jealous. Does that come from a polarizing filter?
That's a super top-secret filter called visual effects :) I used a transparent blue layer with a really soft edge and a 'color burn' blending mode on that first couple shots with the blue sky. It was really an afterthought, and I wanted to see if anyone would notice. On the shot where he starts running down the highway, I used orange with a mask so the trees didn't change color halfway up (although you can still see a dark fringe where they meet the sky), and the same with the 2 field shots. Where he meets the tracks, I used a lighter blue I think with a multiply blend. 2 more shots at the end, I used reddish pink, but I forget the blend mode.

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Originally Posted by Dick Mays View Post
Loved the truck too.
Mike says to me, "I have this old truck on propane that will be perfect for this. When the truck breaks down, there's actually a lady in the back turning the propane on and off to make the truck jerk around! It was quite fun.

Sorry to be so long winded, I'm really enjoying this whole process :)

Cheers,
Aaron
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Old November 20th, 2008, 03:50 PM   #5
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My first thought after watching this was....uh oh, Americans and those abroad aren't gonna get this! All those hours shooting out in the cold...that's crazy. Canadians are supposed to just hide out in our igloos during the winter months!

Oh yeah, and nice subtle use of the filters in post. Mmm....I'm gonna go get me some Timbits.
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Old November 20th, 2008, 05:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Gan View Post
...uh oh, Americans and those abroad aren't gonna get this!
We were aware of that before we even started shooting :) We didn't really enter the competition to win, just for motivation to get a film done, and now that everything's done, the bonus to me seems like the feedback process. The camera sat all green summer without shooting a lick, and so I just had to do something. For those that get the joke, I guess that's just gravy :)

Thanks for the feedback.
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Old November 20th, 2008, 05:33 PM   #7
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I didn't need to be Canadian to get the idea that Tim Hortons is something recognizable. Big, wide angle hero shot right after we see the guy collapse at the door, I get the idea just fine--though the tagline in your Youtube description helped--and it's as funny to me as Starbucks would be. Funnier, I'd say, just because it's Canadian. You guys in your furry hats, puffy coats and mittens, riding moose to work, "eh" this and "eh" that. You're a funny bunch. How could anyone not laugh at your wintry antics?

And that truck! THAT is a vehicle that gets things done. A work truck if ever I saw one. I was enthralled the moment I saw--and heard--it, it was a perfect fit for the character (at least, the character as I imagine him). Mike had the right idea.

I'd say the running dragged on just a little too long, but the premise is appealing, so I didn't mind sitting through the full five minutes. The pictures were a big help, too, particularly the orange backdrop starting around 2:10 and the sky behind him when he first arrives at the railroad tracks, say 3:38 to 3:40.

Glad you're happy to have participated. My camera's also been sitting around forever unused, it's a good feeling to get out and shoot after a long absence. Good going!
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Old November 20th, 2008, 05:38 PM   #8
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That's a super top-secret filter called visual effects :) I used a transparent blue layer with a really soft edge and a 'color burn' blending mode on that first couple shots with the blue sky. It was really an afterthought, and I wanted to see if anyone would notice. [/QUOTE]

Ah, hah! Cheating! (Don't know why I didn't think of that.) Just mix some blue into that sky. Great look and I totally bought that it was all natural.
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Old November 20th, 2008, 08:05 PM   #9
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Nice cinematography. I liked the editing as well. A fun story of a man driven...Enjoyable to watch. Well done.
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Old November 20th, 2008, 08:15 PM   #10
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Hey Aaron,

What an interesting film! Funny, yet relaxing at the same time.

I have to say I was surprised at how many times I thought, “This could have been shot in Idaho!” Man, besides the scenery that dude was about as Idaho redneck as they come.

Are you trying to tell me he kicked his hat like he did in one take? C’mon! :) I laughed out loud at that. And the near-sobbing at the end had me cracking up with a healthy dose of genuine sympathy. His body language was perfect.

As everyone else will note, the cinematography is beeeautiful. Speaking of….if any of you haven’t seen this from Aaron’s high res link, you need to go there. It’s worth it.

My compliments to the Bluegrass band. Nice‘n tight!

Great job, Aaron. Thanks for all the hard work behind-the-scenes, too! ;)
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Old November 21st, 2008, 12:32 AM   #11
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Hey Aaron,

Fun story. Nice locations and beautiful pictures.

The only thing I have to say is for me, it went a little long. Especially the wide shot of the truck when he finally jerks to a stop.

We barely see the guy jerking back and forth as he stops, it would have been great to cut to a closeup so we could really see that. Tighter edits and shots would have made this film/story really snap.

Great effort. Trying to put a film together is not an easy task. Your talent was a real trooper!
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Old November 21st, 2008, 01:54 AM   #12
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Thanks for your film, Aaron, I enjoyed it much, even more after you in youtube explained, what TH is - to me it just looked like a store that sells something. But even without knowing that the film is funny.
All the shots looked to me quite professional, but, as some others have said, that running dragged on for a little too long. A shorter version might have been as much as enjoyable, maybe even more.

Oh, and congrats for getting your actor in almost ice cold water, it's fun. :)) I happen to share the experience when I with two actors, a camera and a tripod once went into a sea to shoot a test video scene in November.
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Old November 21st, 2008, 02:30 AM   #13
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All I can say is "thank you all". Great feedback. I'm not scared of criticism, so don't hold back if you are, seems like a lot of praise at this point...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Martens View Post
You guys in your furry hats, puffy coats and mittens, riding moose to work, "eh" this and "eh" that. You're a funny bunch. How could anyone not laugh at your wintry antics?
Well, it's good to know being Canadian is good for something :) Actually, we do say 'eh' a lot, but around this area it's 'hey', the 'h' is very audible.

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Originally Posted by Robert Martens View Post
And that truck! THAT is a vehicle that gets things done. A work truck if ever I saw one.
I couldn't agree more. I laughed when I saw it, laughed when I heard it the first time. I laughed every time he stepped on the gas. She's a beaut :) When we tested the manoeuvre we call the 'herky jerky' the first time (shut the fuel off), we laughed and laughed. The whole process was hilarious. When I get a blooper reel together, I'll be sure to share.

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Originally Posted by Robert Martens View Post
I'd say the running dragged on just a little too long...
Actually I agree. When we finished shooting I (and we all) thought we had about a minute to a minute and a half of final product tops. I said to the group, "It's ok, I'd rather have a good minute of film than 5 minutes of filler." And we all agreed that noone would sit through 5 minutes of pratfalls. After I cut it all together the way I wanted it, I couldn't believe I was at 6 minutes, and I still had a credit roll to fit in there. I really couldn't believe it. In the end I didn't have the heart to cut any of the scenes out, (actually, there are a couple shots we didn't use) and it did run a little long, but for me it was worth it. I'm glad you guys didn't have too much trouble sitting to the end ;)

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Huenergardt View Post
We barely see the guy jerking back and forth as he stops [in the truck], it would have been great to cut to a closeup so we could really see that.
Honestly, I disagree with the closeup. That was actually the first take, and I'd thought I had ruined it because I'm standing right beside the camera trying not to laugh. Mike's wife is beside me with her coat in her mouth and I finally burst out when he slammed the door on the truck. If you put on some good headphones and turn it up a little, you can hear it echo for miles. We had two sticks on the road as markers for where I wanted Mike to stop, and if I were to change anything, I would have had him get out of the truck a little faster (right around where he pops the hood it does drag for a second). Other than that, the shot was exactly what I intended. I agree you can 'barely see the guy jerking back and forth' and a lot of people probably miss it the first time, but the over-exaggeration Mike puts into that little move makes me laugh every time, and I felt like if I were a cut to close-up, it might not have the same humor for me. Secondary factors are, I don't know if Mike could top the performance, and, just as everyone else, we were really short on time.

On that note: I want to say (somewhere) that a large part of this process that I found very interesting is how different people like different things about different shows/shots/scenes. We watched all of the films the other night as a group (sorry, they weren't hard to find) and some of the shorts I had trouble with or didn't really like were other people's favorites. It just goes to show me there's no 'right answer', I guess it all comes down to preference. With that, James, thank you for your feedback :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorinda Norton View Post
“This could have been shot in Idaho!”
I guess I'll have to visit Idaho some time. Alberta is beautiful :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorinda Norton View Post
Are you trying to tell me he kicked his hat like he did in one take? C’mon! :) I laughed out loud at that.
That was the first and only take of that shot. The only shot we took twice was the truck rolling to a stop, we used the first (it was waaay better). We shot the field twice, once close, once wide, used both. Same with Tims at the end (obviously). Everything else was first take. I think it turned out as good as it did by one part intention, two parts magic :)

As far as the hat, I really didn't direct Mike much, so he deserves the credit. I'd just say, "Mike, you're going to roll to a stop, and you're livid. Then you're going to head off down the highway and find the old abandoned railroad track." I'd tell him what I wanted the sequence to feel or look like, and the rest was him, on the fly, undirected :)

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Originally Posted by Lorinda Norton View Post
My compliments to the Bluegrass band.
Found them on soundclick.com Reflections of Bluegrass There's a ton of CC music on there. Also, the song 'on the radio' at the beginning is the same band, the song is 'Cry, Cry, Cry'.

Again, sorry if I'm getting wordy, I really appreciate your time and feedback.

Cheers,
Aaron

PS: some comparison shots of the heavy visual effects used in the making of this film (for the curious)
Sky effects

Last edited by Aaron Fay; November 21st, 2008 at 02:36 AM. Reason: for fun
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Old November 21st, 2008, 04:16 PM   #14
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Man, this one has a hat, I could use that :)

While I didn't got it the first time, after reading your explanation, things got clear! As for the shots, very nicely done. The actor did a very good job at being pissed off :) Who doesn't enjoy watching someone getting annoyed like that, LOL :P
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Old November 23rd, 2008, 09:26 PM   #15
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I love the long shots with the colored skies. Very nice touch up work in post. This was a visual pleasure.

At the end I really felt sorry for the guy. Especially since I've had Tim Hortons on several occasions.
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