DVC18- Solitaire - By Chris Barcellos at DVinfo.net

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Old June 15th, 2010, 07:29 PM   #1
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DVC18- Solitaire - By Chris Barcellos

Well despite Chris Swanberg's protests registered below, I couldn't pry him away from this role. I actually had written this for a woman abandoned at home, but, alas, my wife refused to play it. And, well Chris just was the obvious victim... He will do anything

This was shot with the Canon 5D Mark II. Sound came directly into the camera, using a mixer (ENG44), and my recently won Rode NTG3 mic. I have not upgraded to 2.07, so I also ran Magic Lantern with my 2.04 firmware ( a Beta testing version by Trammel Hudson) Edited with Vegas..with footage converted to Cineform.

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Last edited by Chris Barcellos; June 15th, 2010 at 09:10 PM.
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Old June 15th, 2010, 08:39 PM   #2
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A word of warning

To all you would be aspiring young newbie actors and actresses: Hear my advice and heed my sad tale.

Like you surely are, I was lured into the sordid business of acting by fables of riches and fame. It wasn't long after I heard that siren call that I was contacted by a film maker who told me that if only I would act in one of his films, I would achieve the pinnacle of fame and respect, and dare I say all the riches, that I sorely deserved.

Being of good moral character, I insisted that any film NOT involve: a) anything of questionable moral character besmirching my unsullied reputation; b) No skimpy or revealing outfits; c) No profanity and, d) NO nudity.

When I arrived for the shoot after a day of work and an afternoon golf tournament, (time spent readying myself for my moment of glory) I was disheartened and shocked to find that, in the end, ALL of the above promises were broken.

I discovered that in spite of the promise of NO revealing outfits, I was expected to wear a pair of "pajama" bottoms and a t shirt! NOT something I had bargained for. In spite of the promise that there would be no morally compromising events, I was forced to smoke a cigarette - AND I AM NOT A SMOKER! It was awful, disgusting and degrading! (And it smelled bad! - Took me days to wash the smell out of my hair.) It was also very humiliating to be forced to also have to say that vile, vulgar and profane "b" word. He said it was IN the script and that meant I HAD to say it.

Finally, and in probably the cruelest twist of them all, in spite of the promise of NO nudity, I was forced to take off my socks and brazenly exhibit my NAKED feet - something I had been saving for that "right" woman when she came along.

Well, as a result (and you may already have heard this in one of those tabloid TV shows by now), my career is in ruins. Famous Hollywood producers and film makers no longer call - (Quentin - did you lose my phone number? Why don't you call?) My hope for that elusive "gold ring" of riches and fame lies in ruin.

So to you aspiring actors and actresses, take it from someone who has been to the top of the craft and fallen to the depths - BEWARE who you work for.

ps. Also he promised "flattering soft lighting which would make me look youthful and vibrant" - ANOTHER LIE !

Last edited by Chris Swanberg; June 15th, 2010 at 09:14 PM.
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Old June 15th, 2010, 11:24 PM   #3
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LOL!!! Chris S, your sad tale is even funnier than the last line in the movie! Thanks for the laugh.

Kudos to both of you on a job very well done. GREAT acting--so very natural. That b-word came out as if you've uttered it many times, CS.

Chris B, we all know how hard it is to get a nice image in low light; I'd say you've darn near perfected it. The only thing I would like to have seen is a cheat from somewhere as a subtle fill. Loved the slight focus fall-off in the side-shot of the cards and case on the table. Very, very nice. I'm already tired of the too-shallow DoF I've been seeing these days.

Audio was perfect.
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Old June 15th, 2010, 11:34 PM   #4
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This is some depressing stuff sir, but very well done.
The shot of the cigarette in the ash-tray is so particularly gorgeous I wish I could set it as my computer's desktop image.

I really liked what you did with lighting here, and the 5d is looking as gorgeous as always. There's very little I can say as far as critique goes, other than I was sort of distracted by the sounds of the squeaky table, which actually adds to the mood, I just wish it wasn't right at the key point where we discover the gun.

Great job with this one.
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Old June 16th, 2010, 10:49 AM   #5
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Beautiful Images

Chris,

Broke collarbone and havr to type with left hand so sherter than normal. You really show off the low light and shallow DOF with your Mark II on this one. Love the natural light from the cigarette lighrt. Love the title floating away like smoke.v But what a role reversal for us! You have the dark film and I have the light one!

Mr. Swanberg,

Nobody likes a whiny actor. Man up! I expect full frontal nudity in your next one. VERY convincing performace in this one. Almost saw a moment of joy, a bigger chuckle would be even more terrifying!
Good work.
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Old June 16th, 2010, 11:06 AM   #6
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Dick: Thanks, Dick. It is a bit of a role reversal.... What happened with the collar bone, man ? Yeah I hate those whining actors too...

Cole: Thank you for the comments. That rickety table has been our dinner table for 40 years, now, and I guess I don't even hear it anymore. I did see the table motion in a couple of shots.... real world is all I can say....

Lorinda: Thank you for your comments. A dirty little secret: I actually had a bit more light on Chris Swanbergs right ear, and the phone was plainly visible. Problem was (details !!) the phone read 9:30, which didn't fit the rest of the story. So I had to darken the phone display and hide the whole thing in the shadows.
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Old June 16th, 2010, 11:26 AM   #7
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Heh. You're right; we sure couldn't have that phone showing 9:30! Hard lighting is not a bad thing, and in a story like this it adds to the sinister feel. What I was thinking is that I'd have like to see some of the coldness in his eyes while he sat at the table. Softy though he is, I'm sure he was well into the part by then. ;)
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Old June 16th, 2010, 11:35 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos View Post
Dick: Thanks, Dick. It is a bit of a role reversal.... What happened with the collar bone, man ? Yeah I hate those whining actors too...
.
My acting teacher used to say, actors are dogs an ponies. It's a show, egos are for real people. Mr. Swanberg is very good. Keep flogging him.

Took a tumble yesterday. Motorcycles a rain don't play well together. But no major damage.
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Old June 16th, 2010, 11:41 AM   #9
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Took a tumble yesterday. Motorcycles a rain don't play well together. But no major damage.
Ouch! You downplay but I've heard that can be pretty uncomfortable. Like father like son--didn't one of your boys break his collarbone earlier this year?
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Old June 16th, 2010, 11:51 AM   #10
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Heh. You're right; we sure couldn't have that phone showing 9:30! Hard lighting is not a bad thing, and in a story like this it adds to the sinister feel. What I was thinking is that I'd have like to see some of the coldness in his eyes while he sat at the table. Softy though he is, I'm sure he was well into the part by then. ;)
Ahh. I wrestled with levels in this one. I am getting more picky about things like that, and as I do, I begin to see what happens more in the various stages of encoding. The original Cineform master had more shadow detail than the Vimeo or YouTube reencodes. Despite that, I agree, better fill technique might have helped. We did bounce from a reflector.
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Old June 16th, 2010, 12:00 PM   #11
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As the [now] old saying goes, I feel your pain! Any time I've included a dark scene I'm always irritated with the way it darkens on YouTube and Vimeo. Seems YouTube is worse, but I can't remember now. It causes me to bring up levels more than I normally would in post and is a bit of a guessing game. I bet if I could see this film on your computer screen I would be thoroughly wowed!
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Old June 16th, 2010, 02:16 PM   #12
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Dark, ominous, foreboding.
The music, the lighting, the character's mood all foretelling impending doom.
Like an Edgar Allan Poe story there's a sense early on that this will not end well.
I knew there was a gun in that case the minute you opened it.
It ran a little long during the card scenes, to get to the ending. Overall it was very
unnerving to watch, which I'm sure was your intention, so you did a great job.
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Old June 16th, 2010, 04:01 PM   #13
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Ouch! You downplay but I've heard that can be pretty uncomfortable. Like father like son--didn't one of your boys break his collarbone earlier this year?
Good memory Lorinda!
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Old June 22nd, 2010, 03:52 PM   #14
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This was the most enjoyable film this time. I have taken note to your lighting and will try to mimic it in my future projects.
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