DVC19 - "Before the Party" by Mitchell Stookey at DVinfo.net

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Old October 27th, 2010, 11:36 AM   #1
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DVC19 - "Before the Party" by Mitchell Stookey

I had took the liberty to open the feedback thread for you as I must comment on this right now!

This gave me the creeps! The mask is absolutely fantastic in terms of creepiness, it screams rapist and what not! Great camera work and use of focus and sound, it all blended in together perfectly to create a very creepy entry!

Thanks for the creeps Mitchell, my heart went pounding with this, excellent, you could develop this into getting the party going then one by one disappears as a result of the mask being worn by different party goers etc, man, creepy sack! Who had the idea? Especially the mouth part being sewed truly makes it shine, so to speak!

Thank you!
Lost signature, if you find it, please return it to me, thank you.

Last edited by Mugurel Dragusin; October 27th, 2010 at 12:47 PM. Reason: spelling correction
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Old October 27th, 2010, 11:48 AM   #2
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Yeah Mitchell, nice stuff. The mask that looks like the Scarecrow's in Batman Begins, very nice. And with music to match. The stand-out for me were the actors -- pros there. I'm guessing the girl was just able to scream convincingly on cue? You didn't have to spring the mask on her unexpectedly to get that reaction?

Cut out the washing machine at the beginning, because it didn't come back into play (her folding clothes on the bed was enough), and then show us the rest of the movie.... I want to know whether the mask had homicidal properties, or whether the guy was unbalanced and felt his hidden psycho come out when he had the mask on (his nicely calibrated grin and eyes when he took it off the first time suggested that). Want to know whether this is turning into a Friday the 13th style slasher, or a psycho drama.

Also love the titles you did on this (and your previous films). After Effects?

Last edited by Marc Burleigh; October 27th, 2010 at 02:02 PM.
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Old October 27th, 2010, 12:18 PM   #3
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The mask smells.
There is some kind of evil lurking in it.

I had a bad feeling that something terrible was about to happen.
And it may still, there is a sense of foreboding that this is not over yet....

Great handheld shots, the music and the flow of editing, the actress has amazing expression, her fear looked real. She has star potential.
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Old October 27th, 2010, 12:28 PM   #4
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Darn it, Mitchell, you had my heart pounding, too! You definitely had us going there and, like Bill said, we really want to see more.

We should have had a prize for best mask. Yours would win HANDS DOWN. That's one of the scariest things I've seen in a long time.
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Old October 27th, 2010, 01:23 PM   #5
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Agree with Lorinda. Best mask award goes to you! That was genuinely a very unsettling short film, although it was such a good middle section and build that the ending didn't feel quite as satisfying as the rest- I wanted to know what was making him behave that way, whether he was just acting out or whether the mask really was changing him and what the end result was... Really great production values and performances. And just to reiterate, great mask. The initial appearance over the girls shoulder really made me jump!
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Old October 27th, 2010, 01:54 PM   #6
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I agree with everything the others have said, so no need to say it all over again. The quality of acting was outstanding.

However I think I understand the way you ended it, with only a few minutes you had to do something and leaving that big "question mark" of "where did this really go?" hanging there would be a valid way to go.
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Old October 28th, 2010, 11:11 AM   #7
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Mitchell, I just want you to know that I really enjoyed yours, and I loved the expectations that your film set of what might happen next but how you didn't go through with any of those. Not sure if you did it intentionally or not, but the lack of closure makes this short linger in my mind.

Good stuff.
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Old October 28th, 2010, 09:00 PM   #8
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Firstly I must apologize for my lack of participation in these feedback threads until now, I have been swamped with work and even out of town, and I did not have time to properly sit down, watch the entries and assemble my thoughts until now.

Secondly, thank you so much for all the positive comments and helpful critiques!

Mugurel: Thank you for beginning the thread for me, I am glad to not have missed out on these comments! I am also happy to hear you were genuinely creeped out and it even had your heart pounding! That is awesome to hear!

Marc: Great comment about the dryer! We originally were going to start with it because my friend's dryer has the most SCARY and loud buzz when it is done, that we thought it would be such a great sound to start with. It doesn't really have any way to control the buzz and we didn't have time to wait around so we just scrapped it, but still kept the shot without remembering the entire point of beginning with it! Duly noted. As for the credits, I do make them in after effects. These ones were pretty straightforward, just a photo of burlap with the text fading on and a bit of wiggle to the camera.

Bill: I know the actress is so glad to hear such nice feedback for her performance! She hilariously enough kept apologizing for her performance and we had to keep reassuring her she was doing such a good job, so I know she appreciates your comment!

Lorinda: Glad you loved the mask so much! It was funny how much time we spent standing around in the store debating which mask to buy (we liked none of them) before it finally dawned on us that we should just make exactly what we want! And in the end it lent so much more credibility that it was a disgusting mask from a garage sale and not some rubber face of a panda or something else not very scary.

Henry: I understand your desire to "know" more about the mask and it was certainly talked about, but we wanted to tap into that realistic sensation when wearing a mask that you don't quite have to be yourself. We also wanted to explore the mood when things turn from funny to unfunny, or light-hearted to scary, and in that it was more about his behavior than the actual properties of the mask. We just didn't have time to get through it all with the attention we wanted to spend on the mood between the two of them.

Bruce and Alessio: Again, very glad to hear you enjoyed it and that the ending worked for both of you. We did want to keep it quite grounded in reality because we thought that might thwart people's expectations.

Thanks for all the great feedback everyone! We really appreciate it! We had a very fun time making this short and completing a DV Challenge always feels so good! We're happy to be back off the wall of shame!
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Old October 28th, 2010, 09:05 PM   #9
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Mitchell, this has nothing to do with your film; I just want to speak for everyone here and tell you how much we appreciate your comments and suggestions. They are so thoughtful and constructive, I feel like we've got a film professor in our midst. You have a flair for making people feel good about their films while offering valuable advice. I, for one, am paying close attention to all your comments in hopes that I can apply them to my own projects later if applicable. Thanks so much for taking the time to help!
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