DVC23 - Alexis Vidrio: Pohihihi Island - Toni Dolce at DVinfo.net

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Old October 5th, 2013, 10:39 AM   #1
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DVC23 - Alexis Vidrio: Pohihihi Island - Toni Dolce


I've been travelling, and will type up more info later!
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Old October 5th, 2013, 12:12 PM   #2
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Re: DVC23 - Alexis Vidrio: Pohihihi Island - Toni Dolce

Wow! Very well shot. Needless to say, amazing location! Awesome, old wise "native" scene, it's important to have an Obi Wan in these type of epics :)

A couple things on the narrative (possible nitpicking): It's not clear to me who the Pohihihi is. Is it the dark creature or the idol? If the dark creature was a normal person corrupted by the idol, I would have liked to have seen an unmasking just for some closure. What is the evil's intent, does it try to attack people that only have the amulet, or does it haunt everyone on the island? I would have liked Vidrio's motive to be more nobler like she wanted to save the people of the island from this evil rather than wanting to solve just another case.

Good work all around, Toni!

Last edited by Derwin Dalida; October 5th, 2013 at 01:05 PM.
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Old October 5th, 2013, 02:06 PM   #3
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Re: DVC23 - Alexis Vidrio: Pohihihi Island - Toni Dolce

Pohi hihi Island = Mystery Island. Very good.

Continuing your Lara Croft, action spy theme there. A good project to fit around your diving in one of the world's paradises; not bad.

An entertaining entry, and it looks like you had fun with the figure in the woods and the electricity fight -- all very Xena, Warrior Princess or whatever that show was.

Good titles and music, as always. Well done.
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Old October 5th, 2013, 07:21 PM   #4
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Re: DVC23 - Alexis Vidrio: Pohihihi Island - Toni Dolce

Really well done! Good pace and use of the amulet and tiki to drive the action. Locations! - excellent.
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Old October 5th, 2013, 08:21 PM   #5
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Re: DVC23 - Alexis Vidrio: Pohihihi Island - Toni Dolce

You certainly don't lack any ambition for your pieces Toni. Great job. Once again I am envious of your breathtaking location. As usual the camera work was marvelous.

I got a little James Bond night scuba vibe at the beginning (wasn't quite sure why the diver went back into the water though); a video game-esk vibe with the the agency mission brief, felt very Call of Duty; and then into a more cinematic piece afterwards.

I really liked what you did with the water come out of the wise man's mouth. I thought that was unexpected and felt you visually explained it very well. Although your dialog sets up where to find Pohihihi it would have been nice to see a few quick journey shots before she found [him]. It came across as if she didn't really have to search at all.

Because of your ambitious narrative undertaking, you were telling a lot within a short time, I felt that you were forced to sacrifice character development for story content. Point being, I think that if I understood who the lead character is as a person a bit more then I'd be more invested in her "winning" in the end. While keeping her at a distance - character wise - she became more of the video game-esk character who can just restart if we fail the beat the boss.

That being said, I was impressed once again by your work and enjoyed the ride you took us on!
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Old October 6th, 2013, 03:45 AM   #6
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Re: DVC23 - Alexis Vidrio: Pohihihi Island - Toni Dolce

Wow, what a budget that must have been. On location in Hawaii ? Wow, wow, wow..

Cool opening surf shot. Did not quite follow followingshots, and wondered from a technical standpoint about yellowish look of those scenes. End scene was very cinematic. All in all, a very interesting film.
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Old October 6th, 2013, 10:12 AM   #7
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Re: DVC23 - Alexis Vidrio: Pohihihi Island - Toni Dolce

Toni will elaborate in her writeup of course, but her budget was actually fairly tiny! A free place to stay and a couple of standby tickets was going to make for a much needed, relaxing vacation and then the DVC23 was scheduled... And we all know what happens then to relaxation...

The opening scene was shot in a harbor which was lit by (what I believe to be) low pressure sodium lights. These have a CRI of "less than not much", but are very energy efficient so are often used in public projects. In any case, they put out a narrow frequency band of yellow light. They look somewhat similar to the Paris streetlights (which I think might be high pressure sodium) which opened Toni's film last year, so the decision was made to use this area for those shots.

A bit of trivia: this little patch of sand is the start point for the Ironman Triathlon World Championship.
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Old October 6th, 2013, 04:31 PM   #8
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Re: DVC23 - Alexis Vidrio: Pohihihi Island - Toni Dolce

Wonderful looking short! Super-jealous of some of the great locations. That closing shot of her walking away is beautiful!

I was a little thrown off by there being no other sounds when she is talking to the old man. I'm guessing that the location audio was unuseable due to all of the wind, but it felt weird to me.

Was a fun one to rewatch a few times!
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Old October 6th, 2013, 09:47 PM   #9
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Re: DVC23 - Alexis Vidrio: Pohihihi Island - Toni Dolce

Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Smith View Post
That closing shot of her walking away is beautiful!
Wasn't it? It seemed like the final shot of a Jurassic Park movie. Breathtaking!
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Old October 7th, 2013, 07:42 AM   #10
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Re: DVC23 - Alexis Vidrio: Pohihihi Island - Toni Dolce

Great locations and some really nice sfx work. Well done!
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Old October 7th, 2013, 09:48 AM   #11
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Re: DVC23 - Alexis Vidrio: Pohihihi Island - Toni Dolce

Hello everyone! Thanks for watching the movie and for commenting!

Wanting to continue the Alexis Vidrio series, I decided to make a prequel to last year's entry. (Take a look at DV Challenge 22 Alexis Vidrio to watch the next chapter or on Youtube right here
). It was by coincidence that once again I was away from home and on location – this time in Hawaii.

The mystery, spirituality and history of Hawaii, and the mystery surrounding Alexis all played a role in the construction of the film.

Of course, this film had its challenges. First and foremost, I didn't have the luxury of a cast, so finding native Hawaiian Ron Barbosa to play the role of Haku was a blessing. When eating at the Kona Coffeehouse, I met the owner and asked if he knew anyone that fit the description I had in mind. That is how I got Ron to be in the movie! He couldn't have fit the role more perfectly! The second challenge was while filming the scene in the area of the Sacred Stones (where Alexis confronts the evil spirit), we ran out of light. It took a 1.5 hour drive to get to the destination for the epic battle/closing shots, plus a 30 minute hike down to Polulu Valley. Although we recognized we would have to work quickly, we ran out of time as the sun set behind the mountain. At the tail-end the camera was pushing 20,000 ISO. We were in total darkness packing up our gear and thankfully our cellphone lights provided enough light to guide us back up the cliff. (The cliff had "Falling Rocks" signs and in this case, they actually fell!) Not able to capture all of the shots, we filmed the close-ups in our backyard when we returned home.

A couple of fun facts:

1. The use of the amulet is an homage to Simon Wood. Last year, his entry,"Loop" highlighted the cycle of recycled glass in Uganda. My husband contacted him to buy a necklace similar to the one that was featured at the end of the movie. Chance would have it that his friends would be coming to NYC, so they hand-delivered this gorgeous necklace and presented it to us as a gift. Thanks Simon!

2. Alexis Vidrio means "Defender of the Glass" @marcburleigh am glad you caught the etymology of Pohihihi Island. Everyone of my film's characters has a purposeful name given to them. This goes for all of the characters in the original Alexis Vidrio, and for Haku and Nuqqas.

3. The opening shot was filmed in Kailua Bay at around 11pm at night. As you can imagine, it was quite a site for the passers-by when they saw Andy emerging from the water time and time again as I called, “action!” The surf was incredibly loud, and he was wearing a hood, so it was very difficult to communicate. I also had to deal with a crowd of about 20 students who came for a late-night swim. Thankfully, they agreed to move to another beach. There was a couple swimming close to Andy, but I was able to direct the action away from them and finish the shots.

4. The composer for the film, Jay Lifton is amazing (his music has appeared in films directed by or starring Lucy Liu, James Rebhorn, Anna Faris, Ron Livingston, Kyra Sedgwick, and Michael K. Williams- just to name a few!) and I was extremely fortunate to have him say yes to being a part of this project. Check out his work at jay lifton

5. Arriving in Hawaii, my main idea was to relax and spend time with the family and learn how to freedive. With the instruction of Carlos Eyles , I was able learn how to freedive and really feel somewhat comfortable underneath the water at depths outside my comfort zone. Although the amulet doesn't look that deep, it was about 15-20 feet down.

6. As an homage to Indiana Jones and a ton of other films, I used the Wilhelm scream at 2:20 for a little additional flavor for the scream of the villain. The additional foley was filmed late night in Central Park, the grunts, the knife sounds, the velcro, etc...

7. Total budget for this movie (let's include gas for that 3 hour commute to get to Polulu Lookout and lunches at Kona Coffeehouse) was $164
Pohihihi Idol $4
Black Clothing (sheets, gloves, scarves) $40
Black Dive Knife $30
Rope and Twine $10
Gas $30
2 Lunches $50

Thanks again for watching!
Toni
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Old October 9th, 2013, 12:12 AM   #12
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Re: DVC23 - Alexis Vidrio: Pohihihi Island - Toni Dolce

Hi Toni,

I'm sorry your relaxing vacation turned into work for this entry, but not sorry enough. It was great entertainment, as usual!

After watching it several times, most, if not all, of the questions I had were answered. Three minutes wasn't enough time to flesh out characters, but you did a good job of packing a lot into the time, and the story works. The only thing that brought me out of the story was the quick thought that you throw like a girl, and that's why the evil thing didn't get further into the surf. ;) But that's okay; we needed a tease for next time.

Thanks so much for giving us this prequel. We all look forward to the next one. And thanks for the very interesting back stories in your comments!
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Old October 9th, 2013, 12:16 AM   #13
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Re: DVC23 - Alexis Vidrio: Pohihihi Island - Toni Dolce

Also, it goes without saying that the cinematography was first-rate, but I'll chime in with the others and say it! Well done, Andrew!
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