DVC5 "Jeremy's Letters" - Feedback at DVinfo.net

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Old April 14th, 2006, 10:04 AM   #1
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DVC5 "Jeremy's Letters" - Feedback

I'm new to this filmmaker business. I took up acting as a hobby years ago, for relief from the pressures of software development. But I'm liking making movies because it combines the creative and the technical.

My shorts tend to feature actors and dialog due to my background, and watching these other shorts, I am learning so much about how one can tell a story with just pictures.

Anyway, my favorite part of this group is getting the honest feedback and critique from peers. We all love the strokes, but I learn more when you suggest areas for improvement. So fire away.

What can I say about the movie, other than I hope you like it? I thought there would be a lot of mirrors in most shorts, so I elected to have reflections more as a theme for thinking back on past decisions. Threw in a couple of relections. My house is featured in the background of the lake scene. I also have a cameo in this one, as the guy drinking coffee outside.

You guys and gals are a great group of folks and watching these shorts I can see us all growing as filmmakers. Thanks in advance!
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Old April 14th, 2006, 10:44 AM   #2
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First off I have to apologize for wasting bandwidth; I got the WMV in a hurry while downloading all four films, then realized I wanted to see how your Quicktime file turned out, and got that as well. Looks great from where I'm standing, but I think you might shave a few megabytes off the filesize if you used something beside the "Apple Lossless" codec. Maybe I'm wrong, though, I'm not familiar with that one.

The movie was great all around, especially the writing and acting. Can't say there's anything bad about the visuals, though, you did fantastically. There's consistency between shots, too, something I can rarely say for myself! I've had trouble with that in the past, namely outdoors, but you pulled it off. And a happy ending, to boot. I liked it very much, keep it up!

"He's out back, by the pahnd." I love that accent. :)
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Old April 14th, 2006, 10:58 AM   #3
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Dick:

Love the whole feel of the film. You can tell you put a lot of work setting this whole production up. There were many great shots. Loved the bike scene.

How did you shoot and process the footage in the FX1 ? Down rez out of camera at capture, or edit in HD then dow rez ? Looks like you have used used some "filmic" filters too. Visually, whole thing was fantastic, I thought. As far as story line, I may have lost it a bit in looking at how you were shooting things-- but this was great.
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Old April 14th, 2006, 11:00 AM   #4
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Great acting!

Your actors were amazing, and I really felt the text.

The scene where they meet and resolve is very good.

As a fellow software-developer-turned-amateur-moviemaker, you have my two thumbs up.

Best,

Hugo
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Old April 14th, 2006, 11:01 AM   #5
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Very nice! I also particularly liked the bike scenes over the initial credits: the shots and the cutting was done very professionally. Nice, simple story too.

Technically, the only small thing that caught my eye was that the color didn't seem to match when you were intercutting between the guy and the girl at the pond. Don't know if this was just a difference in the time of day, or different processing, or what...???

Good job!
Bill
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Old April 14th, 2006, 11:13 AM   #6
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your stuff just keeps getting better and better.

as a fellow fx-1 owner, i'm also interested in hearing more of the post-production details. how'd you get that look?
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Old April 14th, 2006, 11:37 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meryem Ersoz
as a fellow fx-1 owner, i'm also interested in hearing more of the post-production details. how'd you get that look?
Ditto. I keep my FX1 on "DV" because I haven't gotten the gumption to work with HD, yet. But, we're fixing to leave for two weeks to Canada and I'm DEFINITELY going to capture in HD and work it out later.

Liked this film as well. Good acting. The transition from cafe to "grandma's" was nice. There were a couple of spots where it was just a bit too 'filmic'....may have been the lighting. Not sure. Overall, though, good stuff.
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Old April 14th, 2006, 12:40 PM   #8
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Acting was great. I really liked the pace of this short. I enjoyed it.
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Old April 14th, 2006, 12:54 PM   #9
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Thanks for the kind remarks. Don't worry about the bandwith. I have a site with Gigs of bandwidth thanks to the recommendation of Aanarav Sareen. I wish I had uploaded a high rez image after seeing some of the really pretty shorts.

The lighting was part by plan, part by mistake. I had testing the location, before 9:30 am, with the sunlight behind the trees, and the bounce off the lake, and got a really great look. However both my actors work night jobs, so making an early morning call time for no pay was tough to pull off. I had to continue to shoot with direct sunlight, and had to wait for clouds to keep the light from blowing out the highlights. By the time we finished, the "his lighting" was substantially different from the "her" lighting, and I had to play with gamma, contrast, and color hue to get it to match the best I could. That's why it looks like it was shot with a filter.

One thing about the FX1, is exporting DV gives black borders in a 4:3 frame. I think the Z1U allows 16:9 DV export. Since it's faster to edit and cut the DV video than the HDV video, I did this project in DV. I did an edit for DVD output with a 4:3 project. Then imported this sequence into a 16:9 project. I had to stretch the video to get it to full frame on the timeline. This loses resolution, but it didn't make a difference for the web. I used Robert Marten's suggestion of doubling up on the vertical resolution for the QuickTime version, to keep the file reasonably sized.

I had the luxury of having worked with my two leads for over two months. They had the lead roles in Barefoot in the Park, which I directed for our local comunity theatre. I think they're both pretty darn good.
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Old April 14th, 2006, 01:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Mays
One thing about the FX1, is exporting DV gives black borders in a 4:3 frame. I think the Z1U allows 16:9 DV export. Since it's faster to edit and cut the DV video than the HDV video, I did this project in DV. I did an edit for DVD output with a 4:3 project. Then imported this sequence into a 16:9 project. I had to stretch the video to get it to full frame on the timeline. This loses resolution, but it didn't make a difference for the web. I used Robert Marten's suggestion of doubling up on the vertical resolution for the QuickTime version, to keep the file reasonably sized.
Dick:

Because of lowlight issues, I shot both the FX1 and VX2000 and used them on same time 4:3 line in Premiere Pro 2.0. With the 4:3 VX2000 stuff, I just overlayed a matte. I did not go through the process of trying to force it back to 16:9, and didn't see a reason to-- especially for Quicktime or .wmv production. And it works just fine to DVD to. I am curious why you wanted to do that.
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Old April 14th, 2006, 01:35 PM   #11
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Chris,

I didn't force it back to 16x9 for DVD. I left it 4:3 with the black bands. I forced it back into the 16:9 frame so the QuickTime version would not have banding, and no bandwidth would be used to encode the black video.

Dick
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Old April 14th, 2006, 01:45 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Mays
Chris,

I didn't force it back to 16x9 for DVD. I left it 4:3 with the black bands. I forced it back into the 16:9 frame so the QuickTime version would not have banding, and no bandwidth would be used to encode the black video.

Dick
Okay, I understand now. Thanks.
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Old April 14th, 2006, 01:47 PM   #13
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Wow!!!

Dick, that was beautiful! I'll echo what others said about the bicycle segment--I loved it.

You did an excellent job with all your shot choices, framing, etc. The color and feel of this movie was just right! Bravo!!!!
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Old April 14th, 2006, 02:23 PM   #14
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Wonderful job Dick!

You had some great cinematography going on. Did you use a car mount of some sort for the bike scenes? Well done.

I'm especially fond of the end sequence and found it to be quite touching. Thought the actors did a great job and your decision to use reflections for thinking back on past decisions was great - strikes a chord with me.

Best wishes~
Bradley
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Old April 14th, 2006, 04:26 PM   #15
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I really thought the acting was strong, so was not surprised to hear that they are actually actors -- I was very impressed with that. I like the fact that it was so simple of an idea. I felt like it really worked well with the time limit and gave you time to develop the moment rather than crunching to get all the story elements in so that nothing was missed. The script was good -- nice touch at the end with the letters.
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