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Old October 27th, 2010, 10:40 PM   #1
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Dead?Wait! Feedback DVC19

This thread is for any comments or questions involving my entry to DVC19, "Dead?Wait!", which is also the name of the DJ duo featured.

Here is their site: dead?wait!

and if you guys want to check out anything else I've done here's my website: Alessio Summerfield - Filmmaker And DJ

Also... a production company I'm starting: 214 Productions

Sorry... anyway, fire away, I'm here to learn and criticism is the first step to growing, especially as a film maker.
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Old October 27th, 2010, 11:36 PM   #2
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Hi Alessio,

More later; right now I just wanted you to know I moved your thread "upstairs" to the Feedback sub-forum. :)
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Old October 28th, 2010, 12:11 AM   #3
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Films like yours make me feel so old and out of touch! It's spooky and strange, but I didn't do very well trying to find a story.

Creepiest part for me is the car tires screeching before the scene changes (which I really liked) and the scene that follows. But I'm still hung up on the beginning, so help me out with that?
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Old October 28th, 2010, 04:04 AM   #4
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@Alessio: From your short, I mostly liked the grading, rusty looks. Story wise, didn't really understood it beyond the fact that somehow the one masked man would merge with the orders or something alone these lines.
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Old October 28th, 2010, 11:17 AM   #5
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Thank you both for the compliments, and sorry to make you feel old Lorinda.

You guys might be trying to read too much into the plot, in essence it might be simpler than it seems.

1. Two men are making masks
2. One of the men is calm and collected while the other is a bit crazier and is drinking and taking medication.
3. There is a car crash.
4. Both men ascend from the accident individually.
5. After the crazy one is being chased by this "film negative" paranoid vision, the two encounter.
6. The two are actually one.

Now, with that being said, there is a depth to the symbolism. Why the masks, what're they hiding? Could this be about the duality of man? Now that they're revealed to be one man, do the shadow visions still linger? Is the shadow person another facet of the same person?

We wanted to go for a different approach to the narrative structure, one that could be interpreted a lot of different ways, since we could only make it 3 minutes long.

So... did any of these things ring true? Did you guys pick up on any of these ideas? Was I too subtle? I want to know so that I can work on honing my skills. There is a fine line between spoon feeding a plot and it being too subtle to pick up.
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Old October 28th, 2010, 11:25 AM   #6
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I hope that you guys don't mind the double post, but it was shot with a Canon T2i and an assortment of lenses. Song was recorded using Logic, FL Studio, and assorted midi controllers and such.
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Old October 28th, 2010, 11:50 AM   #7
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Alessio,

This was a very imaginative piece of work. You took some unusual concepts and did them very well, I think. Your choice of the T2i for this one was in itself a "creative" decision, since like several of us you chose the "night environment" to tell your story.

I actually did catch some of the symbolism portrayed and you "wrapped it up" nicely with the two blending into one at the end.

Now...I'd like to know more about the "assortment" of lenses used and the ISO settings you used. That might be of value to others as I feel too many "obsess" about not using high ISO's.

I have both the 7D and the T2i. The latter is much appreciated for it's lighter weight.
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Old October 28th, 2010, 12:00 PM   #8
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We used a 50mm 1.8 and the kit lens, which is an 18-55 4.6

I think we had the ISO at 6400. We didn't have any outlets for lighting and such.
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Old October 28th, 2010, 07:08 PM   #9
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Thanks for spelling out the whole thing, Alessio. Now the film makes sense to me. It's still a bit too esoteric for this old farm gal, but I'm sure others can answer your questions. I do like the "duality of man" explanation, although, I never would have considered it without your help.

By the way, I forgot to mention how much I like the opening scene--looking through the window (?) at a young man sewing in a most interesting room. Set up intrigue right away.
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Old October 28th, 2010, 09:32 PM   #10
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Alessio I thought this film was very cool and stylistically very strong. You have a great sense of rhythm and music (no surprises you are a DJ) but also have strong visual skills. I loved the energy and atmosphere. I felt like I understood the "story" and symbolism, but it wasn't as clear as it could be or maybe even should be. For starters, the scenes with the sewing machines read as one person in one location, not two. There is nothing distinct enough about either scene or character for us to understand. I know the energy was different and one was self-medicating, but it felt more like jump cuts and frenzied time than moving back and forth between two locations, so that is something to consider. I can appreciate your tendency toward subtlety but in this case we need something firm to grasp too, whether it is a face, clothing, or something distinct about the spaces.

Since I personally never realized there was two people making masks simultaneously, cutting to the crash (which I understand logistically) didn't help with any details. Seeing two very similar masks at this point led me to think about a ghost looking at his own dead body. But I think this confusion was just a product of the initial confusion, but worth considering maybe having added an earlier scene of the two of them together, getting into the car or whatever. It is still a very strong visual to cut to that crashed car.

I really loved the last shot where the one masked person disappears, I love physical camera tricks, and it had me wondering how you did it until I noticed the shadow of the actor now standing behind the camera and taking his mask off!

Like I said, you definitely have the style and rhythm down, so with just a few story details added here and there you are solid gold. Awesome stuff!
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Old October 29th, 2010, 01:38 AM   #11
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I watched it twice to try to figure out what the heck happened. Great action shots, excellent pacing, and the music was fitting and really cool. I thought that the guy was dead and his soul wandered off, then the soft talking grim reaper showed up to to gather up the goods, and the guy ran off to join up with the rest of himself with the reaper always right behind him. I watched it again after reading your post with the plot. I still saw it the way I initially thought and am probably hard headed or just like the way I first saw it. I got a different interpretation than your explanation, so in essence your approach worked if that was the goal. Great entertainment.
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Old October 29th, 2010, 11:01 AM   #12
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I really enjoyed this one. And I am with bill on what I thought was going on. I defenitly took it as death following the second guy. In my opinion, you could have even taken out the "mask making" opening even though it looked good. I felt that had no impact on the story. Image the story starting with the guy jumping out the back with the mask on.

Loved the camera movement!

Did you do any color correcting or was that all natural?

And on the last shot I saw your shadows...
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Old October 29th, 2010, 02:28 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alessio Summerfield View Post
We used a 50mm 1.8 and the kit lens, which is an 18-55 4.6

I think we had the ISO at 6400. We didn't have any outlets for lighting and such.
AHA!

I didn't see any digital noise, my own night tests run at f4 to see if I could live with a couple of f4L lenses showed "clean as a whistle" at 1600, no really noticeable noise at 3200, and very minimal, if any, noise at 6400 (12800 got "interesting").

Nonetheless, I've been a bit "timid" about using higher ISOs, maybe been paying too much attention to others opinions on that issue. I'll have to get over that.

One thing that does impact on our perception of digital noise is how our monitor is set. I found one of mine had way too much contrast and brightness (in the monitor settings out of the box). Once I cut those back to a reasonable level, low light video on that one quit looking too noisy and it matches my TV and other monitor.

What you did for exposure worked very well under those lighting conditions. The 50mm f1.8 is a "no brainer" bargain at it's low price, and that much maligned "kit" lens actually does a far better job than most give it credit for.

Good job.
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Old October 29th, 2010, 03:24 PM   #14
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Thanks everyone, I seriously thought I was doing something very wrong when I noticed that no one seemed to have any big critiques. Now, I am a happy man and have room to work and grow.

I really like the other interpretation of the plot, Bill. To be honest, I never thought of it like that, and yes, I too noticed the shadows after the video exported on the night it was due, so apologies for that.

Thanks about the music compliments, and yes, we did color correct a bit, but all I did was desaturate the highs and the lows leaving the mids where they were when we shot.

Since we were out from 9 pm to 3 am three nights in a row, we had the "crazy" one literally holding a tripod with the T2i on it and running around. In one of the shots he hands it off to our camera man, John, who then aimed it up to catch the "negative/death/shadow" on the bridge.

I will say, it is a tad uncomfortable wearing solid black and a face mask on a busy bridge at two in the morning.

Also, we had numerous people stop and try to help when shooting the "accident" shots at that lamp post.

Lorinda, much appreciated, and yes, it was shot through a window in the beginning. I'm sorry, we sort of rushed this one out because we were finishing another film project at the same time, which just got posted up yesterday. Three man crews are intimate, but really hard to do multiple projects with.

Here's the video we also just finished, sorry if it's unrelated:
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Old October 29th, 2010, 03:33 PM   #15
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I really enjoyed the song and video from your music video "How To Start Again" :) Hope we will see you on DVC20 as well!
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