DVC17 - "It Should Have Been You." at DVinfo.net

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Old October 15th, 2009, 12:11 AM   #1
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DVC17 - "It Should Have Been You."

This video was a team effort by me, Julia Liu, and Rob Ranney. We had been wanting to work together on something for a while and this was the perfect opportunity. We all contributed on all aspects of the movie making process. It was all shot on a XH-A1 and we borrowed a friends glidecam for some of the shots. We edited on FCP and After Effects.

Before having an idea about what we wanted to shoot, we started thinking about where we had to shoot it. I thought of two friends I knew who had this beautiful place in the woods next to a pond, and then i remember that their dog "Sherman" could dig and howl on command. So we wanted to include that. Starting from there we somehow came up with a ghost story and when we couldnt find anymore actors to help we thought, "Ghost Twin!"

We shot most of it in one day at my friends place last week and then finished up with the shots of the spooky barn at my friends farm. We kept thinking of more scary shots that we wanted so we went back to the main actors' house and shot a little bit more the following day. Like always, editing took the most time.

Going to my friends cabin in the woods was really the inspiration for this whole thing because there were just so many perfect spooky props and locations there. We were actually scaring ourselves while shooting it just by being there, but by the time we finished editing we had no clue whether or not it actually came across as scary.

I hope you guys like it and please don't hold back with the criticism.

here are the links again
YouTube - It Should Have Been You - trailer DVC17
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Old October 15th, 2009, 01:04 AM   #2
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I just wanted to add- I think what helped the most was going to the locations the day before and taking stills of everything. This really helped us plan the shots and saved time when we had the actors there.
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Old October 15th, 2009, 08:27 AM   #3
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I love scary movies and I love this trailer. For me, this one and "Below" are on a level above the rest.

Excellent work. I enjoy it more with each watching. Excellent camera movement, excellent audio mixing, excellent acting, on screen graphics matching the lighting of the scenes. All round technically sound. Really, really enjoyed it.

As for things I didn't care for as much. A few of the shots seem cliche and borrowed from other trailers. In particular I dislike the shot Jackson in the forest with the circling camera it screams Jennifer Love Hewitt in "I know what you did last summer". And the hand on the shower curtain, well creepy, I believe was used as a movie poster even.

In your opening shot, was that leave falling coincidence or CG? I also really like the shot with the water dripping off the handle.

This trailer had a fantastic build up grabbing me from the start and then just picking up the intensity.

I can't say enough good things about this piece.
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Old October 15th, 2009, 09:54 AM   #4
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In your opening shot, was that leave falling coincidence or CG?
Heh, I had the same question...

Lee
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Old October 15th, 2009, 11:34 AM   #5
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Actually, Julia climbed up the back part of the tree about 50 feet up and dropped the leaf until we got it just right..... No just kidding. It was totally luck. We shot a few takes of it from the main actor's bedroom window and on the last take the leaf just fell and we luckily caught it on tape. I wish I could do CG like that. We had a lot of lucky moments like that. Like the shot of the dog digging up the doll. The dog had just previously dug a huge hole there because he just loved to dig, and so we buried the doll in the hole and filled it up again. Then we left with the dog and came back a few minutes letter and let the dog dig again, and when the dog reach the doll it actually surprised him that it was in his favorite digging place and he jumped back. Unfortunately, when it happened i couldn't help but burst out laughing so we had to cut the audio of the clip short. We also had this really eerie shot of the dog lying down by the doll and howling in the sunset for a few minutes (it was so beautiful and spooky) but when I went back and looked at the tapes I realized that I did not push record!!!!! I felt sick knowing that I had missed such a great shot.


Thanks for the great comments. We debated whether or not that "Where are you" shot was too cliche and we all agreed that it was... but we just still had to put it in there
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Old October 15th, 2009, 11:44 AM   #6
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I was just about to ask how you got the dog to jump back from the hole! Thanks for the explanation.

This trailer is so top-notch I hardly know what to say about it. You could easily slip it in amongst trailers in the theater today and patrons would be murmuring to each other, I want to see that!

Absolutely stunning images, cut just right, the story woven in with just enough unexplained images it makes us more interested without being overwhelming. Gives the impression of a very complex story, yet one that will make sense and not leave us disappointed.

Thanks for the great lesson in making a perfect trailer.
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Old October 15th, 2009, 11:55 AM   #7
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For me, this one and "Below" are on a level above the rest.
Precisely my thinking. Brilliant work Keith!
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Old October 15th, 2009, 04:14 PM   #8
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Gto

just because you have a GTO, you win.... and an amazing video as well, just amazing work.

Congrats
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Old October 15th, 2009, 05:08 PM   #9
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Craig

Yea when I saw that car we were all like, "That has to be in it." It is the actor, Jackson's, car. It's his baby and he's done all the work on it himself I think.
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Old October 15th, 2009, 11:03 PM   #10
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Loved this one as well, on par with "Below" I would say. I can see similarities with this movie I can't remember the name of right now where this couple goes off to a house that is in the middle of this beautiful lake in the mountains and he turns psycho on her. Particularly the shots in the woods and at the lake reminds me of that movie; wish I remembered the name :)

In any case, very good job!
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Old October 15th, 2009, 11:23 PM   #11
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Keith: Fantastic images, great spooky feeling. Maybe too much of the story told for a trailer, but I think most of us had that problem because we wanted to show the shots we did. In your case, all those shots are superior.
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Old October 16th, 2009, 01:45 AM   #12
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Okay Keith, Julia and Rob, you three really nailed the trailer idea down. technical sweetness aside, the pacing and mood are pretty close to pitch perfect. The only knock i have is the last shot, way too cliche!!!

great work!!
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Old October 16th, 2009, 09:26 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.

Great work! Act #1 set the premise out in a way that despite being superficially benign, we knew was bad news. Act #2 pushed this forward with lots of increasing tension. Act #3 was a wierd and subtle question that denied some of the earlier imagery leaving me wondering what was going to happen next.

In my opinion this was a completely successful trailer with all the right parts and exceptionally well photographed and acted.
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Old October 16th, 2009, 11:11 AM   #14
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I'm the same as everyone else, this is mind blowingly well produced.

From a story standpoint, it feels somewhat derivative; I could swear there have been a few horror movies over the past few years about dead siblings out for revenge. It also seems a bit expository, though I couldn't tell you which shots to get rid of as far as plot revelations are concerned.

Even so, the story you chose to tell was told very well, and I've got only two technical gripes. First is the shot at about 0:23 or 0:24, the one after they get out of the car and we see the house they're walking toward. I don't know why, but it seems less professional than the others, maybe it's too wide? I'm grasping at straws here, but I think maybe showing less of the actors' legs in frame would fit better with the rest of the trailer. I don't know, it just strikes me as a shot that stands out. The other is that the shot of the wine glass, with the couple dancing in the background, doesn't seem level. There are several vertical lines in the image that aren't plumb, and it looks odd to me.

The pros outweigh the cons, of course, and everything about this trailer looks like the real thing. The dog jumping back from the hole, the water coming down the stairs, somebody standing up in the lake, the last shot with the hooks in front of the window, I can't pick a favorite visual. Good luck with the judging, you're definitely a strong contender!
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Old October 16th, 2009, 11:58 AM   #15
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Man! Your production values on this trailer are THROUGH THE ROOF! It is very convincing that the entire film has been shot and is coming out soon. Very strong visual sense and incredibly cinematic shots (all of your camera moves and compositions). This is really awesome stuff.

People mentioned the use of cliches which you addressed and I would have to agree with them, but it certainly makes sense in the context of a trailer challenge. The other comment I would have is that I think the pacing could be tightened up, but at the start only. The beginning is a little too slow in taking us to the core of the story (over a minute) and I think you can get there faster. As soon as the lights go out and it says "based on a true story" the pacing is perfect from there on out. Just at the beginning it's not the right pace for a trailer, most trailers and especially horror movie trailers almost never slow down to show a "scene". So what I am saying is once you have established the characters, we don't need to cut back to the scene where she says "These are my birth parents". We know who is talking and what they're talking about, so we can see them walking into the cabin at the exact same time as that dialog. You could establish the music box record player thing earlier (what an amazing visual) and then use that music for some of the spookiness, and then come back to the dancing with the lights going out at the very end of the first act of the trailer. That way it won't feel slow at all, instead of him putting the music on, them getting up and starting to dance together, and then the lights coming out. You could almost cut out him putting it on, and them standing up to dance.

I hope you understand this is just minor, minor stuff and your trailer is absolutely fantastic and truly Hollywood caliber. It must have been so much work thinking out all the excellent visuals and story beats that you did. And last but not least, awesome work on the titles/credits/effects. Those all blended perfectly. Congrats!
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