DVC17 - The Dead Bridegroom Takes Away the Bride - Andris Krastins at DVinfo.net

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Old October 13th, 2009, 09:17 AM   #1
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DVC17 - The Dead Bridegroom Takes Away the Bride - Andris Krastins

For some time now I have wanted to shoot a film based on a folk tale, but shot in modern times. So about a week before the theme for the DVC17 was announced I just picked a Latvian folk tale book from my bookshelf and looked through the index in search of an interesting title.

I chose "The dead bridegroom takes away the bride", which all in itself is quite a short folk tale, so I enhanced the script with a few more plot lines and adopted it for present day, hoping that I would be able to adjust it for the DVC theme.

When the theme was announced - trailer for a feature - I decided to make a short film anyway and from the material shot to make this trailer, which may be either for a feature or a short.

The scenes in the trailer are shot with XH-A1, but one other scene is with HV20. Tripod was used in most scenes, but not all. I didn't have any lightning equipment, so house lamps and two flashlights were used. The film is supposed to be quite dark and gothic, so I didn't see a problem with it at first, but the night shots came out too dark. That's why we're going to reshoot them this weekend, and I'll rent a good on-camera light from a studio.

The most fun was digging a grave in the forest. :) At the last moment I didn't get the actress I wanted, so I volunteered a friend of mine, and because of that the initial role for the bride has been played down a little.

The trailer and the film is intended with colours close to black&white, but not completely, mainly to emphasize the grim atmosphere. Edited in Sony Vegas Pro 9 (a few days ago upgraded from Vegas 7).

For the trailer soundtrack I used a song composed by the lead actor, but for the film he's very eager to record a new soundtrack.
The first lines in the trailer are from the Old Testament, Ecclesiastes 3:1-8.

So I intend to finish the whole short for the Halloween and participate in our unofficial sub-challenge.


Now I'm eagerly awaiting your questions, critique and feedback!

p.s. Please, before watching, turn up the sound a little bit. :) I finished the trailer late in the last night and only the next day at work found out that on other computers it's too quiet and a bit too dark.
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Old October 13th, 2009, 10:23 AM   #2
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Well I'm going to look forward to seeing the finished effort. The "dark" mood comes off very well but in your "reshoot" of some of the scenes I would not do those with an "on camera" light, you can do very well with a 60 watt bulb in a clamp type reflector if you can find a way to secure it to a stand or something. With a roll of black construction paper you can make a "tube" to direct the beam exactly where you want it and let a lot of the rest of the scene stay somewhat dark.

Your "voiceover" adds a lot to the "color" of the trailer, the accent relates very well to the feel of an old European folk tale and yet to me the words were clearly understood. The imagery goes well with it and the whole effort in the trailer does make me want to see the whole thing.

Folk tales can be a very fascinating thing. 48 years ago I took an old Japanese folk tale and made an 8mm film from it. Didn't turn out half bad, college students took over a lot of the detail work, costumes and swords were rented from Toho Studios in Tokyo, and we all had a ball.

So I'm going to enjoy seeing where your script leads. And I'm going to look at your other work on vimeo.
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Old October 13th, 2009, 06:09 PM   #3
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OK, Andris--how does a dead guy get to have a fast car like that?? :)

What a good idea, taking liberties with a folk tale! I love it. The images you shot that turned out the way you planned are stunning; you'll know what to do this weekend to finish the film.

I'm so glad you're planning to give us a GREAT treat this Halloween. I can hardly wait!
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Old October 13th, 2009, 07:00 PM   #4
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Forgot to mention something. As much as the grave scene was cool, my favorite shot in this trailer was the slow-motion clip of the girl running from the doorway. Beautiful. Tell your volunteered friend I appreciated her very much.
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Old October 14th, 2009, 05:20 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Foreman View Post
I would not do those with an "on camera" light, you can do very well with a 60 watt bulb in a clamp type reflector if you can find a way to secure it to a stand or something. With a roll of black construction paper you can make a "tube" to direct the beam exactly where you want it and let a lot of the rest of the scene stay somewhat dark.
Thanks for your review and advice! I'll consider it and see, what I can do. A slight problem is that there is no electricity at the location.

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Originally Posted by Lorinda Norton View Post
OK, Andris--how does a dead guy get to have a fast car like that?? :)
It was his car while being alive. ;) Thanks for your comments!

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Tell your volunteered friend I appreciated her very much.
Ok, I will.
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Old October 14th, 2009, 08:36 AM   #6
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I definitely enjoyed watching your film - the subject matter is well suited to the theme. I did have to turn up my speakers quite a bit, but your trailer was certainly worth the three-hour buffer time. :)
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Old October 14th, 2009, 08:51 AM   #7
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I'm sorry for the slow experience, Vimeo must have been exceptionally slow at that time, but it happens. Glad you liked it!
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Old October 14th, 2009, 09:14 AM   #8
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It wasn't Vimeo; it was my 0.2 KB/s Internet connection.
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Old October 14th, 2009, 02:09 PM   #9
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Great job!

I really liked the piece! it made me ask all the right questions to make me want to see more! I can't wait to see your finished film!

I wasn't clear on exactly what was happening until my 3rd viewing. Now I get it. Maybe make that a little more clear. Otherwise, good stuff!

Good Luck my friend,
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Old October 14th, 2009, 02:10 PM   #10
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p.s.

Perfect VO! it made the trailer!!!
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Old October 15th, 2009, 12:31 AM   #11
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Love the concept.
Beautiful opening shot- love the saturation and crispness of everything. The VO is great and title font is perfect.
Great camera work- only had house lamps and flashlights- I'm impressed!! Nice job - can't wait to see the whole thing!
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Old October 15th, 2009, 12:09 PM   #12
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I feel your pain about some of the shots being too dark. I'd say a good eighty-five percent of everything I've ever shot has been underexposed, so I know how depressing it can be to go through with an entire shoot only to find out I can't see half of what I wanted to. It could have been worse with just house lamps and flashlights, though, so I'd say you didn't do too badly at all.

I'm in the same boat as Jesse in that I didn't really get what I was watching until after I'd watched the trailer a few times. I guess the title of the trailer should have given me some idea, but it went right over my head the first few times. Now that I understand a little better, however, it's an intriguing premise, and I'm glad to hear you're planning to complete a full version of the film. The opening was gorgeous, both that hand clawing at the darkness (I don't know why, but I love the way the actor twisted their fingers) and the cool emerald tone of the bouquet being set down on the grave. Was that shot straight from the camera, or did you tint it that way after the fact?

Just out of curiosity, did you have any trouble shooting the car scene? I don't imagine there were many people nearby at that hour, but it sounded like a rather loud stunt, did anyone come poking their noses around to see what you were doing? And while I'm in a curious mood, does the time displayed on the grandfather clock mean anything special? Eight seventeen, if I'm reading it correctly. Is there any significance to that (beside the coincidental association with one of the films from DVC 6)?
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Old October 15th, 2009, 01:26 PM   #13
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Thank you all for your comments! I'll turn to commenting your marvellous trailers (of those I yet haven't) just when I have a little time.

Quote:
It could have been worse with just house lamps and flashlights, though, so I'd say you didn't do too badly at all.
Thanks, Robert! :]
The in house lightning is just about right, I intended it to be as dark. But the outside lightning in the graveyard really hurt - too little light power.
I've already arranged a good (1) light for tomorrow's re-shooting.

The flowers are a natural emerald colour, but the colour was enhanced a bit more in post-processing.

The streets were fairly busy when we were shooting the car scene (7.30pm), but I just got the camera and kneeled down in the middle of the street, because the place was well lit and I was visible to other drivers and hoped the crew, which was watching it all, would give me a timely warning. :]
Nobody really came watching because in our city we have many drag racers and in the evenings people do these kind of things on our streets.

The time on the clock didn't have any special significance, it was just the time at which we were shooting that scene. :))
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Old October 16th, 2009, 12:33 AM   #14
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I liked it, he V/O was great! I had to watch the piece a couple of times to the lighting was definitely dark and moody, I wouldn't go with the on camera setup for the next shoot. do something more dramatic, rent a generator if you can (its cheap and worth it).

the only shot i didn't like was the car driving away.
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Old October 16th, 2009, 08:36 AM   #15
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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 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.

This trailer was very short, but accomplished the goals of the first two acts well. The one uncertainty was the not terribly well explained relevance of the speeding car in the final act.
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