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Old October 15th, 2009, 10:39 AM   #1
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DVC17 - Free Association

Mine seems to be the only video left without a feedback thread, so I figure that I may as well start one.

As it was my first narrative piece (technically I'm not sure it could be called narrative, but you get the idea), and made under some tight time limitations, there was quite a learning curve involved. I only had one weekend in which to do any filming, and uncertainties over actors meant that I couldn't really commit to much of anything in terms of what we were going to create. There was also the rapid realisation that filming a scene takes much longer that you'd initially think.

Unsurprisingly, at the end of the weekend it became apparent that we had managed to do almost none of the scenes which were actually going to tell the story that I had in mind (basic gist was that the protagonist is a criminal with short-term amnesia problems, that being something which often causes trouble). In the end I think I managed to edit together something that looked reasonably interesting with what we had, even if it is completely devoid of plot.

Audio was a massive disappointment. Due to moving into university I had no time left to get the dubbing done the way I wanted, so the dialogue samples are all placeholders. Not best pleased with that.

The music was probably the highlight. I had originally put in a song as a placeholder while working on the editing, but I fell completely in love with it. As I couldn't leave it in there due to copyright, I instead just recorded a new track. One which sounds suspiciously similar. :)
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Old October 15th, 2009, 02:24 PM   #2
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I really like the chase scene shots- especially the one by the stream. What did you shoot on? Was it the color correction or camera - it looks like film!
Also- even tho the amnesia aspect didn't come across- i think you DO still have a plot. In fact you make the plot quite clear- bumbling, funny criminals with no hope of success. Sounds fun to me! The acting was great, the music was a good match, and it overall it had good pacing. I like the scene where they hit a dead-end in the car. I appreciate those kind of character details more if you had time to shoot a scene that somehow describes his amnesia.
Funny stuff- nice work!
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Old October 15th, 2009, 11:17 PM   #3
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I want to see this movie!!! It reminds me a bit of one of my all-time favorites with Bruce Willis and Billy Bob Thornton, "Bandits."

What a shame the audio portions didn't work out. How about if...for the little film festival we're having at the end of the month you go back and simply turn down the music so we can hear the dialog?

Loved the last line about the sunglasses at night. A teenage relative of mine came to visit last summer and wanted to shoot a mini-movie. While we were shooting, my sister, who was holding the mic on a boom, kept muttering, "I don't understand the sunglasses at night." My answer? "Because it looks cool!"

Please tell me you'll give us another look at this at the end of the month with either replaced audio or what I mentioned earlier? :)
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Old October 16th, 2009, 12:57 AM   #4
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Craig, i absolutely love British gangster flicks, so I'm bummed the film didn't quite match your vision. You do have some nice shots and a great concept. but again, with out the key elements you mentioned it's kinda confusing. It's also a bit long.

Not a fan of the song, it's a little to "happy". it sounds like something from a romantic comedy.
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Old October 16th, 2009, 08:36 AM   #5
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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.

A nutsy and clever idea of two incompetent gangsters. Act #1 sets it up well. Then there is what I understand to be a "cast run". Act #2 is a collection of wild scenes suggesting a fun show. But I wasn't sure I saw an Act #3 to wrap it up in a dramatic fashion.

In any case, it certainly looks like it would be fun to watch and also fun to make.
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Old October 16th, 2009, 11:36 AM   #6
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Isn't it obvious? He wears his sunglasses at night so he can, so he can keep track of the visions in his eyes.

I can't be the only one who wanted to say that.

I think you did manage something "reasonably interesting", to use your words. I have a soft spot for bumbling criminal movies, however, so perhaps I'm more forgiving than I'd normally be.

I do prefer the first piece of music, but I actually like the second, too. Upbeat doesn't seem like a bad way to go for a pair of goofy thieves. It's an especially perfect fit for the dead-end scene, the way you cut it to the music worked out, I think. It's on the verge of being too stretched, but to me it achieves the "uncomfortably extended awkward silence" feeling you get from certain scenes in something like "The Office", and I thought it was pretty funny. It may have been funnier if you'd been able to set the camera on a tripod, at some distance from the action, and hold on the shot for as long as possible to emphasize how long it's taking them to get turned around. Too long a gimmick for most trailers, I guess, but for this I think it'd help solidify in the audience's minds the type of story you're trying to set up.

The shot up from inside the wastebasket was a good idea, what kind of camera were you using that would fit in there?

You came closer to accomplishing what you were after on your first narrative than I did on mine (it really is shocking to find out how long it takes to shoot something that seems so simple), and you seem well aware of the problems you've run into, so I have to call this a success. If you can find the time to get everyone back together, and pull off the audio the way you want to, I'd love to see you tackle an actual short film with these characters for our little festival at the end of the month.
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Old October 17th, 2009, 07:50 AM   #7
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Thanks for the kind words everybody!

Julia, the whole thing is colour-graded pretty heavily. It was all shot on an old Panasonic DS29 DV camera that I borrowed, and, well... I know there's the phrase about bad workmen blaming their tools, but in this instance I'm convinced that it's an awful camera and doubt it was any good even when it was new. In the end I decided to push the colour and contrast quite far in an attempt to distract from the aliasing, blurriness, and general craptitude of the picture. :D

Lorinda, I'll see if I can find the time to meet up with Simon sometime and get the dialogue done properly. Although there are plenty of things that I'd love to change about the trailer (like, all of it!), the dialogue is certainly what's dragging it down the most at the moment.

Thanks Jay. Indeed the length is probably an issue given the lack of plot scenes. I had actually set out with the intention of hitting 2:30, but I guess I should've given more thought to making the length suit the content available.

Alan, rules are made to be broken. ;)

Robert, "uncomfortably extended awkward silence" was exactly what I was going for with the dead-end scene, so I'm very much relieved it came off that way. I had intended for it to be a single, continuous shot, but filmed it twice from different angles just to give me room to maneuver when it came to editing. It's fortunate that I did, as neither really seemed to work as a continuous shot, so I edited them together.

The wastebasket shot was filmed with the DS29. For all its many, many faults, the compact nature of it was useful for those shots. In fact, I had several others along similar lines, including one where I opened up an oven and looked inside at the camera. It was part of the amnesiac plot in fact, the idea was that I had hidden a body somewhere, but forgotten where. Cue frantic scurrying around looking in/under/around stuff. :)

Also about the music, you can see an earlier work-in-progress here, with the original copyrighted placeholder music. I wasn't too fussed about cutting out AC/DC, but She Sells Sanctuary just seemed to work so perfectly, I loved it. Of course, it's entirely coincidental that the replacement I recorded is in the same time, has the same chord structure, etc... _

I doubt I'll find the time to record any new video for the festival. As much as the idea of doing a few whole scenes with the characters does appeal, since moving to uni I now have no idea of where any good spots to film are, plus there's the need to find somebody to borrow equipment from. I'll definitely try to get the audio improved though. :)
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Old October 18th, 2009, 02:55 AM   #8
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That will be a treat, Craig! Not long after the winner is announced there will be a notice about our little festival.
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