DVC22 - Shattered - Dick Mays & Roxzane Mims at DVinfo.net

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Old September 7th, 2012, 11:43 AM   #1
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DVC22 - Shattered - Dick Mays & Roxzane Mims

As usual, Rox helps me direct almost all my films. Actors like to be talked to in a certain way, like they are more than a light stand, and Rox is good at that touchy-feely stuff. Had an idea for this film several years ago, when a young man was killed racing his motorcycle near my house. About twenty kids turned out and constructed a cross, with four by four pieces of wood, each written with individual memories. An old stuffed bear appeared one day at the cross and I could only imagine it was left there by his mother. So that was the genesis of the story idea.

But its difficult to get 20 kids to show up on a beautiful Saturday, so I was grateful for the turnout of the featured extras that we did get to show. The road in front of the house was really busy, so we had to go to a remote location without electricity to shoot the scene in the road. We lit that one with only headlights. My ARRI 300 made a nice headlight through the bushes on the other footage. A couple of years ago we shot a children's movie in nearby Auburn, and that went well enough for the mayor to send out an officer for a cameo. I thought he did a great job.

The owner of the property got cold feet half way through the shoot. Lot's of drama on this one. Had to sweet talk her into letting us finish the film. Liability concerns were racing through her mind, and of course we were not insured and having kids running around on her property with cars whizzing by. A lot of the drivers apparently thought the cross was real, and I had no idea but apparently you honk out of respect when passing a roadside cross, which of course plays hell with the sound.

All in all, we had fun doing this one.

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Old September 7th, 2012, 01:43 PM   #2
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Re: DVC22 - Shattered - Dick Mays & Roxzane Mims

Great lighting in the bushes.
Great leg wound effects- very realistic.
That policeman was a really good actor!
Nice work!
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Old September 7th, 2012, 09:47 PM   #3
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Re: DVC22 - Shattered - Dick Mays & Roxzane Mims

It sounds like you had to overcome quite a few obstacles while you were shooting, but you made were able to overcome them well! Oh, the challenges of filmmaking.

I was curious about cars driving by thinking it was real. I'm sure the honks made editing a bit more fun. I worked on a shoot a year or so ago where I heard four people called 911 because they thought what we were shooting was real. I guess it indicates that we're creating authentic looking scenes!

You had some pretty nice lighting for all the night scenes, well done! Was the windshield actually cracked (0:47) or did you fake it somehow? And if so, how?

Two compositions comments
First, at 1:51 and then again at 2:28 you have a couple shots of the kids which cut them off at the knees/just below the knees. This causes them to appear stubby and give an amputated look. (Cutting them at the ankles also does this). If you instead pull back to include their feet or push in and cut them mid-thigh you will likely have a more pleasing composition.
Second, and this might be a result of your limited lighting you had while shooting... at the ending when you have the main male character meeting the woman and asking her if she'd like some coffee... I feel that the camera makes him especially come off as being kind of creepy. Being so tight on him and the handheld movement give an uneasy vibe to his character... and I'd want to get away from him, not grab a drink. I wider camera, even if just for the first few lines and/or not having the camera jerk around might fix that.

Otherwise, great job!

PS - kids like pizza, though getting enough to feed 20 would probably be a bit pricy ;-)
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Old September 8th, 2012, 01:53 AM   #4
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Re: DVC22 - Shattered - Dick Mays & Roxzane Mims

Nice job Mr. Mays!

I was kind of expecting a comedy piece from you so I took me a while to realize that this was deadly serious.

As others have mentioned the lighting and the special effects were all handled professionally. The story worked for me on most levels (though the one thing that didn't work for me, personally, was the choice of modern music that was playing in the middle - however the actual song with lyrics did work for me).

I'm glad you held it all together and got through it; theres nothing worse than a location canceling at the last moment!
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Old September 8th, 2012, 04:27 AM   #5
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Re: DVC22 - Shattered - Dick Mays & Roxzane Mims

Mr. Mays

I enjoyed your film but expected no less. I was impressed by the wound effect looked great! The story was good and the twist on the would be DUI being Texting instead was nice. Lighting looked good overall but I have to agree with the other comment about the guy at the end kinda looking creepy but then him telling the story about his loss allowed me to warm up to him.

Again very nice work! Thank you
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Old September 8th, 2012, 04:28 AM   #6
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Re: DVC22 - Shattered - Dick Mays & Roxzane Mims

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Snow View Post

You had some pretty nice lighting for all the night scenes, well done! Was the windshield actually cracked (0:47) or did you fake it somehow? And if so, how?

Two compositions comments
First, at 1:51 and then again at 2:28 you have a couple shots of the kids which cut them off at the knees/just below the knees. This causes them to appear stubby and give an amputated look. (Cutting them at the ankles also does this). If you instead pull back to include their feet or push in and cut them mid-thigh you will likely have a more pleasing composition.
Second, and this might be a result of your limited lighting you had while shooting... at the ending when you have the main male character meeting the woman and asking her if she'd like some coffee... I feel that the camera makes him especially come off as being kind of creepy. Being so tight on him and the handheld movement give an uneasy vibe to his character... and I'd want to get away from him, not grab a drink. I wider camera, even if just for the first few lines and/or not having the camera jerk around might fix that.

Otherwise, great job!

PS - kids like pizza, though getting enough to feed 20 would probably be a bit pricy ;-)
Adam,

Excellent points. You have a good eye. I did want the guy to seem a little unsafe because I have a longer version of the script in which they have a dialog on the porch, but ending the film where I did, it doesn't make sense to create the tension in this final moment. There are two more scenes in the eight minute version, (the girl he saved returns to thank him).

I filmed the wrecked car at a salvage yard and composited the bushes in front of the fender in after effects.

Last edited by Dick Mays; September 8th, 2012 at 04:31 AM. Reason: added sentence
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Old September 8th, 2012, 04:30 AM   #7
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Re: DVC22 - Shattered - Dick Mays & Roxzane Mims

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Wood View Post
Nice job Mr. Mays!

(though the one thing that didn't work for me, personally, was the choice of modern music that was playing in the middle - however the actual song with lyrics did work for me).
moment!
Simon,

Yeah, I don't like that song there either, lol. I will fix it in a longer reedited version! Thanks for your feedback!
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Old September 8th, 2012, 07:37 AM   #8
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Re: DVC22 - Shattered - Dick Mays & Roxzane Mims

very nice, had to watch again and I enjoy this. The make-up and blood was cool on the leg. You got the police involved - Cool, That would never happen here, you need to be a top production company, then it takes time to organize. The only thing I wasn't sure on was the smile from the guy at the end when he ask the woman for a coffee. Your film could easily go in a different direction and become a slash film. Big thumbs up
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Old September 8th, 2012, 09:44 AM   #9
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Re: DVC22 - Shattered - Dick Mays & Roxzane Mims

I really liked the lighting on this, especially the night scenes. The story was very effective, though as others have said the guy at the end tended more toward the creepy, but given the circumstances being off kilter emotionally was okay. All the actors seemed really good and very natural.
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Old September 8th, 2012, 04:25 PM   #10
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Re: DVC22 - Shattered - Dick Mays & Roxzane Mims

Dick:

Good story line. Good camera work and nice scene selection. I think color grading feel kind of jumps all over though, and might distract from the message. Indoor lighting seemed a bit overlit.

Noticed that when he dumped his booze, it didn't all get dumped. Not sure if that was intentional, but it made me wonder if he wasn't totally committed.

What camera was used ? I noticed some rolling shutter jello effect feel in the walking scene at end. That could be a transcoding issue or use of post steady shot addition.
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Old September 8th, 2012, 05:12 PM   #11
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Re: DVC22 - Shattered - Dick Mays & Roxzane Mims

Hi Dick
Well another very tough story/film to produce in 5 minutes. Some of your shots/set ups were great and the wound make up was very cool indeed. How do you guys convince the police (I'm presuming he was a real copper) to take a bit part in your films. I don't think that would ever happen in the UK without a ton of pre-organisation/bureaucracy...very cool ! Overall I think it was a nice piece and I enjoyed it. I found the choice of music a little strange in places and some more organised scene construction would have helped in some places. That said I know how quick fire you have to be to get through and you had a very complex story.

Great stuff, thanks for sharing.
Mat
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Old September 8th, 2012, 07:11 PM   #12
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Re: DVC22 - Shattered - Dick Mays & Roxzane Mims

Yeah, the music is not right, it ends too soon, and yes Chris, there is a bit of rolling shutter in the handheld stuff.

We took an eight page script, shot the whole thing, but just turned in the first five minutes for the DV Challenge. Hopefully, we can fix it up a bit and have a nice short when we are done. Thanks for the feedback everyone!

Mat, we had the cooperation of the local police after producing a children's short film that was well received. Plus, we positioned this film as a cautionary tale against texting and driving, and the police sent their most photogenic officer. He had worked dozens of accident cases with almost identical circumstances, so it was easy for him to be matter of fact and business like.

Last edited by Dick Mays; September 8th, 2012 at 07:17 PM. Reason: added details.
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Old September 9th, 2012, 10:26 AM   #13
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Re: DVC22 - Shattered - Dick Mays & Roxzane Mims

Dick,

Geez, you always set the bar when it comes to compelling storylines, and this one did not disappoint. Then you go off and find some good actors, add a real policeman, and get an actual property! I'm glad you don't hold back with these projects, and happy to hear you got through all that drama with that woman!

I enjoyed reading your insights on this piece. I definitely cringed at the bloody leg -- impressive makeup and effects there. The opening sequence is lit really well -- I can't believe you lit some of them with just headlights! And I liked the subtlety of the VFX shot. I actually didn't know that it was an AE trick until you mentioned it here. (I might have to borrow that idea at some point...)

Honestly I think the only real shortfall of this piece -- if you can consider it one -- is the challenge of telling such a complex piece in such a short amount of time. Consequently, I'd love to see the longer version of this piece. Nice job, Dick! Please keep us updated!
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Old September 9th, 2012, 06:22 PM   #14
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Re: DVC22 - Shattered - Dick Mays & Roxzane Mims

Wow your location scouting (and sweet-talking) really payed off, it was so sweet! You definitely put it to really good use.

I loved the start of this film, it was incredibly strong. I loved going back in time and replaying the window breaking, that edit is really powerful and intense, and there was a lot of serious gravitas to the opening car accident. Very well done.

I did notice there were a few audio issues with the dialogue between the girls and the man on his porch, so tracks coming in and out were audible, but with all the honking and highway noise I'm sure it was tough. I thought your main actor and the young people that turned up gave really good performances, they had very natural delivery of their lines.

I would add that the song in the middle feels really out of place. A lot of emotional cues are set by the music and I wasn't sure exactly what I was supposed to be feeling between the images and the music. Also, I know it was intended to represent time passing, but I felt there was a little too much use of cross fades, but really that is just a personal taste issue.

Anyway, really great work on the location, car accident, vfx (both real and computer-generated), and performances. It's a very powerful premise and I am so fascinated that it comes from a true story in your life!
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Old September 10th, 2012, 08:02 AM   #15
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Re: DVC22 - Shattered - Dick Mays & Roxzane Mims

Dick and Roxzane,

The opening sequence really held my attention. Upon repeat viewings I was able to appreciate the crash site, the realistic blood gash (so cool!), and the mood of the intro.

From our communication throughout the challenge, I know that you were having a few challenges with location and cast, but I think that despite those, you have an excellent film.

The lead guy was believable. Those previous comments about him being creepy are correct- however, I think that his character should be creepy. He is a sad, lonely guy who is surrounded by his cats and still grieving the loss of his daughter.

The subject matter was complex and I think it is an important topic and very relevant today.

Thanks for a great film!

Toni
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