DVC 5 Feedback - The Road Taken at DVinfo.net

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Old April 18th, 2006, 12:56 PM   #1
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DVC 5 Feedback - The Road Taken

Okay, I was waiting for Dylan to tell me for sure that, yes, my submission IS included; just hasn't been posted, yet. <phew!> It's hell waiting.

Anyway, given the quality of some great films already on here, I humbly submit my first DV Challenge video, "The Road Taken."

Without giving too much away, there are no spoken lines (and damn little acting - if you ask me), only the voice in the music. If you're familiar with Robert Frost.....

Footage was shot with Sony HDR-FX1 and DCR-TRV38 cameras using Bogen sticks, although some scenes were handheld and that will be evident. Editing was done with PPro 2.0 and some work with Photoshop and Particle Illusion 3.

Oh, I wanted to give props to my stepson, Ryan Castley, who did the music. He's a helluva talented musician and I thank him, immensely, for use of his extensive library of music.



the beatings will now begin.....
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Old April 19th, 2006, 12:09 PM   #2
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I ell-oh-vee-ee love that music, it ties the whole movie together.

Some of the shots seemed to have their subjects too centered (when your character comes back home, for instance), and I think a little more space would have been nice (when the door actually opens, you're looking off to your right, but there isn't much empty space in that direction for you to look to), but everything otherwise was great, and needed no dialogue.

I'm guessing that either this person has been away from home/his wife for some time, or he just went out for a walk after an argument; on the one hand, the coin comes out of nowhere, implying that it took a miracle for him to get back in touch, and therefore that it's been a long time, but on the other hand, the nature of this contest's parameters, namely the time limit, doesn't give his sense of longing a very old, ingrained, long-fermenting feel, which in turn implies that his separation has only occurred recently.

Were you aiming for either of those, or have I completely misread the film?
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Old April 19th, 2006, 12:29 PM   #3
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Nice silence. Told the story with no dialog. Some edits seemed a little off, but got the job done. I liked the story that goes on in the windows. tells you where his head is at. Nice job
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Old April 19th, 2006, 12:30 PM   #4
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Naration was virtually inaudible on my computer. Could hear background naration but it wasn't clear. Still got the gist of story, a man with a lot of pressure, including apparent separation from his wife, received a gift from someone or something-- a quarter to make that phone call. Nice concept and nice filming.
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Old April 19th, 2006, 12:36 PM   #5
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Hey, Robert. Thanks for the nice comments on the music. Ryan's quite talented. Some of his newer stuff is published and I'm trying to get him a good manager.

Anyway, thanks also for the critique. Yeah, I noticed the "centering" too.

note to self: wife is a good STILL photographer....but....

Next DVC entry, I'll be BEHIND the camera and stay out of the front of it. And, yes, you had the story well figured out. It was more or less a guy who'd had his fill and just needed some "soul searching" time alone. As the music goes, he turns to one solution that he could find possible answers and, in turn, gets answered. (hope I didn't give too much away there for the rest of y'all..)
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Old April 19th, 2006, 12:44 PM   #6
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Thanks, all. The music was just shy of 3 minutes so it was tough telling the story in that short of time. It made sense to me but, duh!, I wrote it. I can see how it might be a little confusing in a couple of places; like a good segue between walking outside and being inside the bar.

All helpful. Thanks.
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Old April 19th, 2006, 01:08 PM   #7
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Edward, I've been waiting rather impatiently for your movie to get posted. Finally!!! (Submit it earlier next time! lol)

This movie is beautiful. And it made perfect sense to me. Your expressions perfectly capture what "the guy" is going through, and you did a wonderful job of eliciting empathy....okay, sympathy.

I loved the scenes reflected from the huge windows; loved the way the quarter showed up in the water. Very cool.

Think I'll go watch it again. This, too, is one of my favorites!!
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Old April 19th, 2006, 01:48 PM   #8
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Hi Edward!

From Hell's 6 Acres comes a great short film! I enjoyed this. Quite simple really and comes complete with a sweet ending.

I'm not bothered by whether or not he was gone for a long period of time or just out for a walk. To me, that didn't matter. What came through - him contemplating his situation and working on a decision. Which path to take.

The quarter from the sky was cool. May I ask how you did that? Nice reflections superimposed on the windows.

I did find it difficult to follow Robert Frosts' words however. Struggling to understand him took a bit away from the overall-but your imagery did more to tell the story.

The music was great and you certainly have one talented son! Perhaps someday I could inquire into having him score a piece of music for a short film? (Hey, it never hurts to ask, right?)

Best Wishes~
Bradley
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Old April 19th, 2006, 02:40 PM   #9
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Thanks, folks! Coming from some well respected people on here, I'm truly flattered.

Lorinda: Yeah, the big windows was my favorite. I've learned so much about matting. Can't wait to do my next one. :)

Brad: The quarter was an animation I had and just alpha'd the background out and put it against some sky footage. The "light burst" was from Particle Illusion 3. I also used PI3 for some sewer steam in the street intersection scene, although you can barely see it. Hmmm...guess it works, huh??

Funny thing is, as is the case with S. Texas, it was 40 when I shot that intersection scene so I needed the coat. BUT, when I went to shoot the rest of the downtown and by-the-water stuff a few days later, it was 80 but I need the coat for continuity. It got bloody HOT in that thing, not to mention the strange looks from passersby. Oh well....all fun.
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Old April 19th, 2006, 03:00 PM   #10
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Thanks Edward-

Like I have posted in a few other threads, am always fascinated by the creation of special effects. I have no skills or knowledge in that arena and am wanting to learn.

I watched your film again and DID see the sewer steam. Yes-it works. Very nice!

Your coat story is great! Love the behind the scenes info and how you were thinking about continuity. Immediately reminded me of shooting outside in 25 degree weather...without a coat. Standing on a lonely highway wearing a mask while waiting for a black truck to pass by. Probably burned up 15 minutes of tape on that deal.

These memories are priceless!

Best Wishes~
Bradley
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Old April 19th, 2006, 03:51 PM   #11
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Nice Pictures. I too, liked the music.

I was a little hard on Sean, who posted an "art piece." This shared some of the dreamlike stuff Sean featured in his short. Beautiful pictures tied together with mood music, and open to interpretation. However, as an actor, my preference is for more character driven pieces with strong relatoinships, and an easy to understand plot.

It's kind of like trying to give my opinion on white wine. I will drink a Savignon Blanc, but don't care for Chardonney, no matter how good the bottle. On the other hand, I like almost all reds. Given a cheap red or a great Chardonney, I'd probably pick the former. Shorts like yours are making me start to question my cultural sophistication. I suspect your film is better than my taste buds.

The neat thing about this competition is seeing the different interpretations of the same theme.
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Old April 19th, 2006, 04:28 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Mays
Shorts like yours are making me start to question my cultural sophistication. I suspect your film is better than my taste buds.
LOL! Thanks, Dick. I'll take that as a compliment. Don't get me started on the wine analogy, though. I make wines and I definitely can understand what you're talking about. Too funny.

Appreciate the feedback.

Ed.
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Old April 20th, 2006, 11:09 AM   #13
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i like contemplative pieces, as a rule. i like things that are suggestive and imagistic, and i liked this piece as well. i'm not sure how you did the V/O or who did it, but that's the only thing i would change...it seems a bit warbly and a bit muffled at the same time. difficult audio always takes away from my ability to concentrate on the images, which are so strong otherwise. the poem is okay, but rather than read a poem, even a few pithy original haiku-like lines, with more space between, might have worked. i really want to get better at working with space and silence, myself. it seems like some more space in the V/O would have more accurately reflected the spaciousness of the images.

wouldn't it be great to have a musician in the family who could write suitable original music?? i'm jealous. i better kick that five year old of mine into gear!
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Old April 20th, 2006, 11:39 AM   #14
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Thanks, Meryem for the constructive feedback. Yeah, the VO was a bit lost in some places in the music, but I didn't have control of that part. Ryan composed/recorded that back in.....'96 (crap! TEN years ago??? I think he was about 18 then!). I've always liked it and danged if it didn't suit the idea I had for the video.

Next film I'll actually try "talkies". We'll see....
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Old April 20th, 2006, 12:55 PM   #15
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Strange, now I have to go re-read what Dick said about mine. And I used to like him too : )

I liked this one too. In fact, so far I have found something good if not great in all the entries. You did a good job for the first time out. I had the same issues with the audio but my system here at work has a lot of midrange so I could follow along fairly well. Sounded like Burroghs almost. It would have been a bit better with the levels ironed out a bit but it still worked for me. I would have used dissolves a bit more for that slow contemplative pacing to allow me to ease from one image to the next. Sort of like melting from one thing to another I suppose.

It had a nice moody quality which I like. Introspective. Meryem and I think a lot alike on films I believe. I too love not telling the whole story so openly. Give the audience some things to wonder about and they will fill in the blanks as they see fit. Sometimes it makes the presentation stronger, when you hold back the right information.

Good job. Do more. DVC6 is around the corner.

Sean McHenry
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