DVC5 Feedback - Wrong Turn at DVinfo.net

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Old April 16th, 2006, 08:37 AM   #1
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DVC5 Feedback - Wrong Turn

Looks like i'm one of the ones up today. First DVC and first movie. Shot on a DVC30, built my own dolly, rode ntg-2 shotgun, small light kit, and edited on finalcut. Basically shot half the short, then re-wrote everything and shot the other half. Let me have all your comments. Don't feel like you'll hurt my feelings. I'm in the music industry, I see rejection everyday. Thanks to Dylan for putting this together and thanks to everyone here. It's been a great learning experience.
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Old April 16th, 2006, 09:19 AM   #2
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Nice lighting, nice mood, the music and the look all combined well to provide a consistent "feel" to the film. The visuals and audio looked very professional.

I'm a sucker for nice dolly shots, especially in this competition where so few (including mine) don't have any. They add that extra something and were nicely done. Do you have any info on how you made your dolly?

There's one shot where he throws his keys and mail on the table, and the mail is reflected (text upside down, etc.). I was thinking that this was going to have some additional significance (especially given our Reflections theme), but then I didn't notice this effect in further shots. Was this intentional? Did I miss some intended meaning?

I like the effect of the receding face in the darkness when he's remembering.

Cool work!
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Old April 16th, 2006, 11:24 AM   #3
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Thanks, I made the dolly by taking the wheels off my rollerblades. I mounted them onto a metal angle, short on one side and long on the other. I then took two metal strips used to hang shelves and bolted them to the metal angled pieces with wheels. basically it looked like a triangle with wheels. I then went to home depot and found aluminum tubes about 1/2" in diameter. these are 4 feet long. I made inserts so I could put as many together that I wanted and make it longer. the wheels where aligned so that they pinched and rolled on top of the rails. cost me about $30 and I think is worked great. I just bungy corded the tripod to the triangle to hold it on there.

The image on his face where he was remembering. I took my old 8mm projector and focused it on his face and ran some home movies. turned off all the lights. I thought it worked pretty well.

keys and mail. I hoped no one would catch that. this is where I was piecing stuff together and found out I was way over time. So I chopped out a bunch of stuff. in the process I realized that when he walked in the door and was moving towards the table, the keys and mail were coming from the wrong direction, so I flipped in post so it would look natural. as a result, all of the text on the mail is backwards. No deep intention was ment.

While he was watching TV I had a real hard time getting enough light to come off the tv. So I blasted a 500w light into his face and waved a piece of paper in front of the light. turned it blue with color correction. I thought it worked pretty well.

The night shot where he's walking was shot 5 min after the one right before. I just made it darker and added a bit of blue color.

When He walked in the door, I couldn't rig up my lighting kit to kick on when he flicked the switch, so I just did an edit and darkened the entry into the door to the point where he flicked the switch. So it would seem like a light was being turned on even though there was about 1500watts blasting the whole time.
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Old April 16th, 2006, 01:14 PM   #4
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The total package! Lighting, camera movement, story, acting, it's all incredible. The dolly moves were subtle, and very well executed, I love the cut from rubbing on the shaving cream to his wife touching his face, and I second the kudos for the "disembodied face in the darkness" effect, it was gorgeous. I, for one, didn't notice either the backwards lettering on the mail or the light switch trick you used. It all flowed together for me.

The whole film looked great even when viewed fullscreen, which is a rare thing with any video I watch (though I usually don't mind even the bad looking ones--compression artifacts are functionally equivalent to film grain or analog TV noise in my view). Any compression tips for us?
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Old April 16th, 2006, 03:02 PM   #5
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Hi Michael!

Just beautiful! Loved the cinematography, the dolly shots were brilliant and the lighting all around contributed to a gorgeous film. Way to go!

Your story was very clear and of course I was caught initially thinking that he might have been directly responsible for her death because he was a black out drunk or something. So, the end was nice for me as I saw that he "felt responsible" for the "wrong turn" he forced her to take.

Yes- I was wondering about the significance of the backward letters on the mail, but see that you explained it.

I liked your choice/decision of editing his hand on his face while shaving-cut to: her hand on his face while he thought of her. Very touching. Now as I carefully read the other comments I see this has already been mentioned. lol Worth mentioning again.

Very impressive!

Best Wishes~
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Old April 16th, 2006, 05:16 PM   #6
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brilliant editing

There are a lot of great things about this one, but I think it's the editing that I like best. Really well paced and nicely done. Depressing and sad, but well done. ;-)

Thinking about it, quite a few of the pieces in this challenge have been sad, but I think yours has the best story. You know something bad happened from the tone of it, but I didn't figure it out exactly (as opposed to a few others where a minute in I'm thinking oh, he's dead.) I prefer the stories where I don't see it coming.

It was a good story, well told.
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Old April 16th, 2006, 06:28 PM   #7
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I like the mood of your movie, too. As Bill wrote: "A consistent feel". In German I would say: Der Film hat eine gefühlsmäßige Dichte, die ihn sehr glaubwürdig macht ;) --> credible!
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Old April 16th, 2006, 06:34 PM   #8
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Well done, very professional, and certainly tugs at the heart. Guilt seems to be the undercurrent of at least a couple of the films this challenge. Made me want to see more.
Chris J. Barcellos
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Old April 16th, 2006, 07:27 PM   #9
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Outstanding piece of work. This really demonstrates how much a quality post production process can do for a film. One thing that I really liked was the slow motion effect during the wrong turn conversation. It was very dramatic.

Very creative solutions to your lighting problems. You obviously knew what you were after. Kudos on the dolly, I have had to come up with a few "makeshift" camera solutions in the past. Your hard work and attention to detial has paid off.
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Old April 16th, 2006, 09:12 PM   #10
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wow. an amazing bit of work. the way in which you work silence to dramatic effect is truly artful and something i really admire. i thought the dolly shots were perfectly chosen and placed. great mood, great twist on turning the tables on the viewer by making what appears to be initially an unsympathetic character, who reads as drunk, in a sympathetic character. the whole thing seems so tightly and carefully woven, and what makes that even better is your sort of improvisational backstory that you tell here. the whole thing, the story, the technical and artistic backstory--is so satisfying. everything the DV challenge should be (and so often is!!)
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Old April 17th, 2006, 12:00 AM   #11
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Michael, even though everyone else has said it so well, I just have to add to the chorus of praise for your movie! It's the most big screen-worthy short film I have ever seen--here or anywhere. Absolutely beautiful....I'm almost at a loss for words. Thank you so much for sharing this with us!!!!
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Old April 17th, 2006, 12:55 AM   #12
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I agree with Lorinda. You could get this in to a few film festivals easy enough. Flip the titles or reshoot the magazine bit to fix that and you have a pretty good piece there. The version I watched had a nice "filmic" quality to it as well.

Good job.

Sean McHenry
‘I don’t know what I’m doing, and I’m shooting on D.V.’
- my hero - David Lynch

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Old April 17th, 2006, 03:27 AM   #13
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Pretty much what I wanted to say, has been already laid out, so congrats! Thanks for joining so we could see this :)
Lost signature, if you find it, please return it to me, thank you.
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Old April 17th, 2006, 07:22 AM   #14
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Crap, Michael! I thought I was watching a real movie! Incredible. I wanted it to keep going. Five minutes didn't seem long enough. Really good work. Had a film quality to it. I'm going to try making my own dolly, too (got roller blades around here somewhere - cause, when you look at my film, you'll know I ain't using them for anything else).
Edward Slonaker
El Pilon Productions
San Patricio, Texas
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Old April 17th, 2006, 09:29 AM   #15
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wow, thanks for all of the very kind feedback.

Yes, my intention was to mislead the viewer right from the beginning. I came up with the title while I was setting up the shot of him crossing the street. I thought it would be clever to open the short with cars making a turn and using the title wrong turn. This way it would lead the viewer into a certain direction. I didn't want the viewer to know what it was about until the end. But I didn't want it to seem forced either. The end really wasn't the end, I just ran out of time. I was going to throw in another twist that my dad thought of where early on you see him put a gun in his pocket. then at the end of the short, you see him standing at her grave, pulling the gun out of his pocket and stairing at it. Not saying anything you wouldn't know if he was going to kill himself, or kill the killer, or was the killer. Either way it was another wrong turn.

Another intention was to not have any dialog. I was trying to see if I was capable of telling the story with just the visual, and use only the audio to support that. You know the saying " don't say it if you can show it". In the end, I felt that I needed to have that dialog between them to not only setup the end, but also deliver it. Sometimes just sitting in the silence tells more.

The pace was very important to me. I wanted it to seem slow. That's hard to do in 5 min, at least it was for me, without it becoming boring.

As far as compression settings, I honestly can't remember. I know I did about 8 different ones and picked the one that was a small size and didn't look like crud. But I did use compressor to do it if that helps.
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