DVC17 - TIME Matters - Bruce Foreman at DVinfo.net

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Old October 12th, 2009, 09:53 PM   #1
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DVC17 - TIME Matters - Bruce Foreman

My first time back behind the camera for one of these things after being "sidelined" for a bit over a year due to leg and back muscle problems.

Felt good...Once cast came together. For awhile looked like it wasn't gonna happen.

The idea behind the film is kind of a "spin off" on the "Highlander" theme, but without the "taking of heads". Rick Lara is back as a Spaniard we see in civil war era Texas in "flashback" and in the present. Val Rodriguez is a surprising find as an actor as you will see, and my oldest grandson fills the third role.

I already know what this needs, strong voiceover and more titles. Shot with a brand new Canon 7D with 24mm and 50mm primes and a bit of a learning curve. All of the scenes used were shot with the camera on a SpiderBrace 2 Combo and the biggest problem was editing. My primary NLE, Pinnacle Studio 12.1, does not support Canon's 1920x1080 .MOV files, Cyberlink PowerDirector 8 Ultra does but then will not play smooth on the timeline. PD8 will, however, render smoothly to other formats including 1920x1080 AVC H.264 which it will then import and edit OK.

I had a lot of fun with this one and I hope you folks enjoy the portrayals my actors gave. If this deserves any kudos, these guys are the ones who earned it.

Now showing on vimeo:

Last edited by Bruce Foreman; October 13th, 2009 at 10:03 AM.
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Old October 13th, 2009, 11:34 AM   #2
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From your trailer I am certainly able to see the appeal of the 7D! Very nice.

I was going to ask if you or your actor had a thing about the ultimate down under but you answered that. ;)

The flashback scene reminded me so much of an old Western! Because it was a flashback it probably would have helped transport me back in time if the look changed. Not with film grain and all that; maybe bleached or something—whatever it took to help the viewer know it was a different era.

Because of where you live and what you did here I'm thinking I'd like to see a Western from you one of these days. That would be fun.

Great job with that new camera, Bruce. Sure can’t tell it was brand new—you handle it like it’s been your friend for a long time. Glad you're feeling better, too.
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Old October 13th, 2009, 11:51 AM   #3
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Hey Bruce:

Nice job trying to make sense of the new camera. As you get into it, I think will begin to love it ! Images here show the promise of the camera in various shooting situations. I like you opening shot.... how did you shoot it and stabilize the camera.

Would certainly be interested in see a full film with these characters.

By the way, on a personal note, thanks for the call offering well wishes a few months back. I had fully intended to call you back, but an impending death in my wife's family, also got in the middle of things, and I eventually lost the return number on my list of calls...
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Old October 13th, 2009, 02:40 PM   #4
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Very nice, Bruce!
The first time watching I didn't get that "another time/era". I agree with Lorinda that some change in the ummm... "film texture" would have helped that.
Also the first time I thought that maybe the lead man wasn't even stabbed, or the knife missed him. A stab in the neck and some tomato sauce would have made things clearer.
And as Christ pointed out - great opening shot! Really good job there!

I liked your trailer very much and would like to see a film based on it, or even better - a real western! I think you should try for your pleasure and ours. :)
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Old October 14th, 2009, 12:57 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorinda Norton View Post
The flashback scene reminded me so much of an old Western! Because it was a flashback it probably would have helped transport me back in time if the look changed. Not with film grain and all that; maybe bleached or something—whatever it took to help the viewer know it was a different era.
As an afterthought, in a revised version, I'm putting in a subtitle: "Bexar Tejas 1868" similar to how they used to identify a past era in Highlander, The Series.

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Originally Posted by Lorinda Norton View Post
Because of where you live and what you did here I'm thinking I'd like to see a Western from you one of these days. That would be fun.
I may. The main problem is not enough "open" country here to get away from civilization. Oh, there's lots of undeveloped area but it's all fenced in. If I do try it I may be able to get permission to use some of old Ft Chadbourne grounds and buildings. I'm thinking on it.

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Originally Posted by Lorinda Norton View Post
Great job with that new camera, Bruce. Sure can’t tell it was brand new—you handle it like it’s been your friend for a long time. Glad you're feeling better, too.
That SpiderBrace made it easy to stay mobile and go handheld. I know better than to try the gliding "duckwalk" tho, the left leg won't do it. Thanks for the kind comments.

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Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos View Post
Hey Bruce:

Nice job trying to make sense of the new camera. As you get into it, I think will begin to love it ! Images here show the promise of the camera in various shooting situations. I like you opening shot.... how did you shoot it and stabilize the camera.
They can have it when they pry it from my cold dead hands! I love it already. And I kept the T1i also, I can get pretty much the same quality video with it too.

For the opening shot, I leaned out the back seat passenger side of a crew cab pickup with elbows tucked in, left hand gripping the Manfrotto quick release plate bolted to the bottom of the CAVISION viewfinder mounting plate while the right gripped the "grip" on the right side of the camera. The quick release plate provides a front to rear "handle" that can be gripped securely with both hands pulling the camera back so the eyepiece is firm against my eyeglasses. Provides 3 points of contact for stabilization.

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Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos View Post
Would certainly be interested in see a full film with these characters.
We're gonna try. (Yoda's voice echoing from behind mesquite, "Do or do not. There is no try").

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Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos View Post
By the way, on a personal note, thanks for the call offering well wishes a few months back. I had fully intended to call you back, but an impending death in my wife's family, also got in the middle of things, and I eventually lost the return number on my list of calls...
You sure had your plate "full". I'll send you the phone # again in an email.
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Old October 14th, 2009, 01:37 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andris Krastins View Post
Very nice, Bruce!
The first time watching I didn't get that "another time/era". I agree with Lorinda that some change in the ummm... "film texture" would have helped that.
If there's a way you can find, borrow, rent, or hit someone over the head to see some DVD's or videotape of the "Highlander" series starring Adrian Paul and see the way they handled it, I think you'll see that is the better way and I screwed up by not doing it as I described to Lorinda. Film texture would have been misleading since I was not trying to relate to "old film". A "watery" transition and a title overlay would have been perfect.

2nd I think you would enjoy a few episodes as many of the flashbacks were set in various European locations. This guy got around from the mid 1500's to the present. Or even the movies, the first, third, and fourth were the best.

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Originally Posted by Andris Krastins View Post
Also the first time I thought that maybe the lead man wasn't even stabbed, or the knife missed him. A stab in the neck and some tomato sauce would have made things clearer.
The knife was real, I had no idea we were going to have Val so had no "prop" knife available. He brought it when he met us at a burger place just before heading out on location for that sequence. For safety reasons I had Rick (black shirt and hat) roll away when he went down then Val stabbed at empty space. So no stab in the neck, and tomato sauce (or ketchup) with a rented costume (old spanish shirt) was out.

I had both of them drop down out of the frame to build suspense, who was going to rise back up?

The location was an unused section of our gun club range property out of town. Showing even a "prop" firearm in public (park, recreation area, woods behind someone's house, by the side of the road, etc. ) can cause an alarmed citizen to panic and the police know only one way to respond to a "man with a gun" call. So we used some of the "wild" mesquite away from the shooting bays where no one would give a second thought to a gun being displayed.

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Originally Posted by Andris Krastins View Post
And as Chris pointed out - great opening shot! Really good job there!
Actually that is a shot of Rick I've had in mind ever since we did the first project together. He is a musician and we have talked about doing a music video of one of his numbers he wrote. I've had that shot visualized for over a year now and finally got to do it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andris Krastins View Post
I liked your trailer very much and would like to see a film based on it, or even better - a real western! I think you should try for your pleasure and ours. :)
Could be a lot of fun, and I may try something like that. Thanks for taking the time to comment, that's what makes this like "free film school".

And by the way, your trailer shows you have a lot of imagination and talent. I watched your "Having Fun" short on vimeo and got a chuckle out of it.
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Old October 14th, 2009, 08:41 AM   #7
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I sort of got the time jump but sort of didn't - your Highlander technique would help things immensely there, I believe.

I'm still waiting to see the entire trailer; three attempts and nearly ten hours have gotten me up to where Rick takes the handgun back from Val. Three cheers for satellite internet!
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Old October 14th, 2009, 10:22 AM   #8
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Great ambition with the trailer to include the huge story arc. I love the "cool guys don't look at explosions" ending! I must admit I was quite confused with the time factor which I realize for the actual film could be an interesting angle (the audience is as disoriented as the character) but for the purposes of the trailer it would be helpful to understand. I realize you've already addressed that but that was my main comment! To continue to be redundant, the 7D footage looked AWESOME!
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Old October 14th, 2009, 01:54 PM   #9
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There can be only one....

Bruce from day 1 that I stumbled onto this little competition I have loved your work! This was no exception. Plus wow that looked good!!! Very cool idea and i love the motorcycle scene!

It was hard to tell that the Spaniard scene was a cut back to previous times.

Otherwise I really liked it all. Very interesting actor as the lead.

Good to have you back!

Good luck buddy,
Jesse
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Old October 15th, 2009, 12:37 AM   #10
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Love the motorcycle shot. Also fantastic job on the costumes and locations. I think locations is pretty much how I decide what story I'm going to tell.
Beautiful footage- love the lighting and crispness of the Spaniard scene. Also I love the fact that he doesn't kill the Indian and just points...very classy and a good character detail.
Nice work.
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Old October 15th, 2009, 03:49 PM   #11
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I'm afraid most of my comments will be of a technical nature, as most of the character and story concerns have been addressed already. The only real character comment I'd have is that our hero seems a bit too casual in the opening, with one hand in his lap on the bike. I could imagine that as part of his personality, that even facing the danger he does day to day he's able to remain calm, but in this case, with that down-to-brass-tacks, taking-care-of-business score, I picture him with both hands on the handlebars.

The flashback, as has been noted, would benefit from the title you've mentioned, but I also get the impression that Rick's beard is perhaps too neatly trimmed. I don't know anything about nineteenth century shaving techniques, but in my imagination his facial hair would be a little wilder than it is here. Maybe it's me, I don't know, but something about that portion of the trailer seems too modern, and I can't figure out what else it could be.

You might also help clear up the story by moving the scene with your grandson up farther, ahead of the flashback. He's got the guy in the kitchen, at gun point, says "that's harder to do than you think" and show the knife scene immediately afterward, underscoring just what kind of abuse he can take. You could then come back to the present day, in the kitchen again, or just end the trailer there. But I'm no expert editor, I'm just brainstorming here.

The only other issues I can see are fairly minor, one being that with your grandson's height Rick's staring into his chest during his close up, the other that during the last shot Rick's movement suggests a perspective that makes the fireball too low on screen. If you moved it up toward his neck, or even head level it might look more natural.

I don't mean to sound too negative, though, I think you pulled off the project very well. Both of your cameras produced exceptional pictures, I'm extremely jealous of your equipment and skill level. And you're right about Val, he did a superb job here, that victory cry was a nice touch. I take it you'll look to tackle further films featuring his talents in the future?

It's great to see (or, technically, not see) you back behind the camera again after being out of commission for so long. Welcome back!
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Old October 16th, 2009, 12:56 AM   #12
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Hey Bruce, that camera looks great. not much more to suggest other than mix up your shots, way too many MS/CU shots. a nice wide shot with a quick text at the bottom woud've set off the flashback sequence pretty nice.

you've definitely made me contemplate a 7D
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Old October 16th, 2009, 08:52 AM   #13
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Being new to fiction on films (my background is science documentaries), I had to look up the definition of a modern fiction trailer: 2 minutes 30 seconds max, 3 acts - #1 sets premise, #2 moves story forward dramatically, #3 wraps with dramatic scenes and music to recap and entice.

I took the premise to be a story in two time periods, each a reflection of a similar storyline. The trailer was not strictly in the defined "format", but I believe that would have hampered what was essentially a complex idea portrayed very well. I believe the idea of a non-killable lead character needed some kind of supporting hint early on. Otherwise I thought it was great.
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