DVC22- The Friend Zone by Chris Barcellos at DVinfo.net

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Old September 6th, 2012, 11:42 AM   #1
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DVC22- The Friend Zone by Chris Barcellos

This was an interesting and fun project for me, in that I relinquished control of the film in terms of story line and genre completely to my 18 year old grand daughter, Kassie Ferguson. She was getting ready for her big day of moving to Colorado for college, and I had bugged her for a script for some time over the last year. She is very creative and a good story writer, and I thought it would be a fun way to end these years and to let her run with it.

This is a teenage angst film. Story is about a boy and a girl who grew up together as friends, and how that interferes and blocks a growing romantic feeling as they get older. Window glass was used as a symbol of a line that couldn't be passed. “The Friend Zone” is a phenomenon which inhibits development of relationship beyond friendship. Certainly would be nice to have more time for more character development-- but I am sure we all faced that challenge in this project.

Incidentally, the song lyrics in the background were written and sung by Kassie. I asked her one day to listen to music I was planning to use in background. It was from Digital Juice. She thought she could make a song of it, and she came back a couple of hours later with a full song she sang into ma mini recorder, and that we later recorded in my walkin closet/recording studio. The song has the the words “The Glass Beneath Our Feet” in it, and that is my unofficial title for the song. I could upload the song if anyone wants to hear it independently.

The film was shot almost entirely with the VG20- with exception of wide pool scene, and the sidewalk scene at end. Those were shot with the NX 70U I had trialed and returned.

Here are links:

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Old September 6th, 2012, 07:13 PM   #2
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Re: DVC22- The Friend Zone by Chris Barcellos

Chris,

The friend zone is a horrible, horrible place. That glass door, so close, and yet so far. But enough about my social problems, on to your film. Lot's of nice moments.

Good repulsion on "I'm fine."
Nice squirrelly dialog on "she hasn't been social lately"
Nice thunk on the couch. When do girls learn it's okay to hit guys?

I was a little unclear about the bruises on her arm. Are they cigarette burns?
Are they self inflicted? The boy could have had a stronger discover there.

Was she trying to kill herself at the end? She seemed to wake up and be fine.

Love using your kids in the piece. I'm sure they had fun.
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Old September 6th, 2012, 08:08 PM   #3
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Re: DVC22- The Friend Zone by Chris Barcellos

Dick-- Apparently cutting oneself is the thing a lot of young girls do when they are in distress about life....Thats what scarring on arms were from.

Thanks for looking at our film.
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Old September 7th, 2012, 03:12 AM   #4
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Re: DVC22- The Friend Zone by Chris Barcellos

This touched a nerve from my college days. So many girls do this around the world. I think you needed an extra 30 seconds, just explain in more detail and educate the viewer some how what to look out for and how to help. Nice work.
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Old September 7th, 2012, 08:08 AM   #5
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Re: DVC22- The Friend Zone by Chris Barcellos

Hi Chris
Well done for finishing, this was quite an undertaking and I think the result is great. Slightly stronger scene construction in some places to make them more digestible might have helped the overall flow. It's a difficult story to tell, especially in only 5 minutes. Great work, thanks for sharing.
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Old September 7th, 2012, 09:21 AM   #6
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Re: DVC22- The Friend Zone by Chris Barcellos

Really nice flow between scenes, and I think you brought up some important issues. The character development couldn't be as fully realized in 5 minutes, but it was still very powerful. My only suggestion may have been to have fewer scenes with slightly longer sections of dialogue and action in each. My daughter and I have fooled around some with her singing to Digital Juice music, so it was nice to see someone else trying that too, it was a very nice soundtrack to the piece.
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Old September 7th, 2012, 09:45 AM   #7
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Re: DVC22- The Friend Zone by Chris Barcellos

The story is important and relevant, but it felt a bit rushed. Not in the pacing, which was good for a 5 minute film, but in the reactions and actions of the actors. Their appeared to know everything in advance, which was evident for the viewer and spoiled the experience a bit. I think it would have helped if there had been less scenes, but more development and interaction in them, if this makes any sense.

But, I feel, here the experience in shooting it for you and your relatives was of the biggest importance, and in that it, as usually, is very touching.

I don't really have comments on the technical side, nothing jumped out, so everything must be good in that part. :)

Thank you.
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Old September 7th, 2012, 10:14 AM   #8
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Re: DVC22- The Friend Zone by Chris Barcellos

Chris,

I really appreciate how you integrated the family and friends into your piece of work. Having your granddaughter sing a bit of the soundtrack was genius. The hook of the song stayed with me after I finished viewing.

I agree with Ruth and Andris about wanting a little bit more time for the scenes, but I totally understand wanting to move the story forward!

Because you were last year's winner, I am interested to know if you utilized your prize in this film. Were you able to use the crane for any shots?

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Old September 7th, 2012, 10:58 AM   #9
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Re: DVC22- The Friend Zone by Chris Barcellos

I think it's pretty awesome you shot your granddaughter's script. She did a great job writing it, and having someone like you put this together must have been a big thrill for her! (I actually hope I can do this someday!) The two of you, and everyone else involved, have this forever- that's the best part of making films with friends and family- the lasting memories. Very cool.
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Old September 7th, 2012, 09:20 PM   #10
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Re: DVC22- The Friend Zone by Chris Barcellos

Relinquishing control over to a younger person! That's crazy talk.
On a serious note, I think we learn a lot ourselves when we aren't the ones in control over everything and it's awesome to give your granddaughter a chance to flex her creative muscles... and let her spend quality time with her grandfather. Hopefully Colorado treats her well -- it has treated me well.

As Dick said, she did wake up pretty quickly at the end and it might have been more impactful it had come across a bit more scary, because it's a scary subject. I've defiantly known girls when I was younger who have unfortunately used cutting as a way for release when they were unhappy with their lives. Luckily none were serious to the extent that were in your film.

That being said, I thought Sam's line near the end where was pretty funny despite the context. His dialog built a great tension leading right to "and I love you" and instead he went with "and I broke your door". Loved it!
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Old September 7th, 2012, 10:40 PM   #11
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Re: DVC22- The Friend Zone by Chris Barcellos

Well done on a great family project. Like Andris, I think perhaps less scenes and more development in the performances might have served well. The story was very solid, though -- I hope your granddaughter keeps on writing.

I really liked the lighting in the pool scene. Was that all just from the environment, or did you enhance it? Looked great, either way. I was also impressed by the glass smashing. It was so well done I had to go back and rewatch it, to try and figure out how you did it.

Nice job!
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Old September 8th, 2012, 04:54 AM   #12
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Re: DVC22- The Friend Zone by Chris Barcellos

I enjoyed your film it is nice to hear how your family helped out in writing and song.

Lighting, sound, composition all good. Overall a pleasure to watch I wish you had been able to show how much this effects the young folks in our world today, but I understand how hard it is to get everything in a five minute window.

Nice work thank you!
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Old September 8th, 2012, 09:13 AM   #13
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Re: DVC22- The Friend Zone by Chris Barcellos

Enjoyable flick, Chris.

I reckon you managed to fit a lot in there, given the short amount of time allocated.

Solid story, and the little bit of humor at the end (the broken door) helped lift it up. I was going to say that it would have worked better if the girl had woken up in the hospital, but the punchline could only work directly after he broke in (in which case she had to wake up early).
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Old September 8th, 2012, 12:57 PM   #14
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Re: DVC22- The Friend Zone by Chris Barcellos

Responding to all and additional comments.

Thank you all for your constructive comments.

Yes, The waking up at scene bugged me a bit. And I wondered why my writer would not have him call 911. I guess point was that she was not really in danger physically, just mentally distressed. Cutter apparently do that. They don't go all the way, but tend to scare others.

This story was originally a 10 page script. I figure a minute for page, so we had some condensing to do for sure. I was trying to keep as close to story line as writer had it this time, and wanted to keep it close to her original intent. I think we both learned a bit about the process from this project.

My wife is mad as heck at me for having her prominent in the kitchen scene. She was expecting to be a hand model cutting up stuff. Fooled her.

We were rushed in shooting this, as I reported in the Tale of Wonder and Woe thread, because she left for school in mid August. Really only had two weeks.

As many know, I have been doing a lot of these challenges with my grand daughters, and after several years of it, they are looking back at it as fond memories. Just yesterday, Kassie texted me from college asking where one of our really early films was posted. I assume she was sharing a lot of the posted ones with friends. I know she went to college with the idea of working with people to make more films. In fact she told me "if you win a camera, you got to give me one of your old ones" . Already getting the hang of the business !!
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Old September 8th, 2012, 01:31 PM   #15
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Re: DVC22- The Friend Zone by Chris Barcellos

Hey Chris!

Every film I've seen so far is great and very entertaining -- yours included! However, your film is the first one I've seen so far that has a non-doc, narrative based storyline, characters, etc. I always think that a piece becomes more difficult when you have to start dealing with actors, personalities, creating stories that make sense, and despite your concerns posted on Tales of Wonder and Woe, I'm glad you took the challenge!

Here's a suggestion: I actually filmed some sequences with similar outdoor lighting conditions as yours, and I found that having someone hold a bounce board or reflector during the close-ups really helps leaps and bounds (it saved my project on more than one occasion)! Oh, and superb work on the glass shattering sequence at the end. I'm thinking you had to do it in post, but I'd love to get your insights on it.

Aside from what everyone else has already mentioned, I also like that we learn at the end that the narrator is really the friend. Please tell your granddaughter that she wrote a wonderful piece. Cheers!
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