DVC 6 Feedback - "Bent Rays" at DVinfo.net

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Old August 13th, 2006, 10:00 PM   #1
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DVC 6 Feedback - "Bent Rays"

OK folks. Let me have it.

My comments on "Bent Rays":
I can't give much away just yet as the contest is actually still running with a few hours to go. I can say I was looking for a twist on an old theme with this one. Yes, it is in keeping with my darker side. I will be interested in seeing how many folks came up with a similar theme.

I will discuss details as people make comments and add to my comments section. I can say I once again borrowed some music to help set the mood from a friend in France. Please look for the name KDream at Unsignedbandweb.com. He's quite talented.

I have 2 favorite musicians for my scores, KDream and the fabulous Ronni Raygun who inspired Cat Fight at OK and Corral. Links to Cat Fight are found on my web site.

Enjoy.

Sean
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Old August 23rd, 2006, 07:05 AM   #2
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Soon to be on Google

Now that my entry link has been published, I will be putting it up on Google later today. I want to re-render the version I will put there. Same exact piece but the titles came out a bit pixelated in the wmv file and I want Google to have a pristine copy this time. I'll post the link here when it's up.

Sean McHenry
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Old August 23rd, 2006, 09:05 AM   #3
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You are dark and twisted. I liked the little twist of her frying the globe. Nice score on the video stage setup. It was nicely lit and put together. I thought it was a little wordy the first watch as I had trouble following. Maybe it was just her delivery. The audio was nice and clean. Music was cool too. Great job.
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Old August 23rd, 2006, 09:56 AM   #4
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Dark and twisted, I don't think so, well not compared to some others I've seen out there in Internet land. There was a twist and it did have a dark element. It was shot really well. When you cut to the girl holding the magnifying glass I thought for sure we were going to get a dust speck on a flower a la Horton Hears a Who. Nicely done Sean.
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Old August 23rd, 2006, 10:20 AM   #5
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A different take on voodoo, hmm? What a demented little girl! (just kidding, of course!)

The first time through, I had trouble staying with the narration--found my mind wandering a bit. Could you (since you're putting it up in other places) maybe bring that music in sooner to get the mood going earlier? Make us feel more of the doom?

Your work is always solid, Sean, and this one is no exception. Nice job.

And I've been dying to ask people here: How are you guys putting up these videos to where there's little wait time and no saving to a drive? I'm still doing the "save target as" thing, which must frustrate the daylights out of the rest of you.
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Old August 23rd, 2006, 10:40 AM   #6
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Ladies first;

Lorinda, just hit the "video" button on the Google home page. You have to go through some details but there is a button allowing you to upload your own videos. It used to be you had to download an uploader application from Google but you don't have to anymore. Just render it out to a really clean wmv file (they accept several formats but the wmvs seem to convert really clean). It used to take from 2 hours to 2 days to show up on Google but the last short, Cat Fight was up and running as soon as it uploaded.

The wmv or whatever you send is converted on the fly to Flash 8 whish is what Google uses. From there, you can embed the video in your own web page. See my Portfolio page for examples of how it looks. This is a great thing they offer.

The rest of you, yes... muhhh haa haa... I am a bit twisted. If you have ever seen that Master Card (or whatever it was) commercial with M. Night Shymalan in it, where he sees the odd creepy things in a dinner, yep, been that way most of my life. I think I got that way playing WAY too many hours of Quake.

I didn't want the music too powerful but if you turn up the volume a bit, it's actually running under the whole piece.

More music from KDream. See my site for more info on him as well. Great musicians I have to work with these days.

Yes, Horton Hears a Who has always fascinated me. There was a great scene in Animal House where the kids are getting stoned with Elliot Gould and talking about how our solar system could be one molecule in the thumbnail of a giant. Love that idea. Sort of ties into the whole Matrix theory as well. We are not in control and are not who we think we are.

I can't take too much credit for the news stage setup, it is a news stage setup. We do lots of live shots from my day job at the production studio here in Columbus, Ohio. I did do a lot of set dressing, adjusted some lighting and monitor placements, the prompter she is using is my laptop with prompter software, etc.

I keep failing to mention the gear I used in these. This was all standard 3-point studio lighting in a 22' tall grid except the outside stuff which was all uncle Sol. The camera, despite seeing the nice Thompson cameras in the shots, was my little Sony PDX-10 in 16:9. Bogen tripod, Azden 100LT wireless and that was about it.

Glad you like it.

Sean
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Old August 23rd, 2006, 10:52 AM   #7
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Sort of reminds me of the end of 'Men in Black' when the camera moves 'outside' our universe to reveal it's just a marble in some aliens pouch...

Nice job. I liked how you shot it and the story.

I felt like the dialog could have been shortened to 'move' the piece along (it sort of rambled) and some of your camera shots/angles became a bit repetative.

But what do I know? I'm just a newbie in this arena.

Thanks for entertaining me!

Jim
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Old August 23rd, 2006, 10:58 AM   #8
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But that's why we do this, to get peoples opinions. That and prizes, but mostly it's for the feedback - yeah, the feedback.

You are probably correct. I had a lot of dialog and it could get tedious. I shot the same dialog all the way through at least 3 times - Natalie is a trooper - and cut the best parts together. SOP on smaller shoots. I could have done with a nice overhead shot but the ladder wasn't handy.

All in all, and it might look like it, the whole piece took one hour in the studio total and about 20 minutes at home with the young lady at the end.

The longest part was me sitting in the sun for about an hour and a half pre-burning all those spots on the $14 globe. Still haven't tossed it out.

Overall, I see small dialog flaws that were all mine as the writer that I would fix if re-shooting it. I would also try to make it about 30 seconds lighter at the front. I was looking for it to be a cross of the Original War of the Worlds with the reporter and a monologue and a Twilight Zone thing.

Thanks for the input,

Sean
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Old August 23rd, 2006, 12:24 PM   #9
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Excellent!

Didn't see THAT one coming, Sean! Very slick. Very pro. Nice studio setup. These entries are really good!
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Old August 23rd, 2006, 12:35 PM   #10
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Woohoo, looks like Canada was spared!

Nice studio setup Sean. We've had several "news reporting" entries and I think this one looks really good because of the set decoration. Did you use a multiple-camera setup in the studio scene?

Also, nice job on the video compression. It looked really good for a 3-minute piece compressed down to less than 5MB.

Cheers,

Eric
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Old August 23rd, 2006, 12:38 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean McHenry
I didn't want the music too powerful but if you turn up the volume a bit, it's actually running under the whole piece.
Oops! Please forgive me. I watched this with the audio pretty low so as not to disturb anyone else in the house. I'm such an idiot!
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Old August 23rd, 2006, 12:43 PM   #12
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It is kind of low but I have heard lots of videos in my life where the music is overpowering. I am very cautious of using music to set the mood but not get in the way.

Sean
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Old August 23rd, 2006, 01:07 PM   #13
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The ending reminds me of something out of the twilight zone. Now, was it supposed to be obvious she was looking at the teleprompter or was it just the angle? That's the only thing that kind of bugged me. Other than that cool twist and good story.
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Old August 23rd, 2006, 04:50 PM   #14
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Yes. Yes. Now that's a film I like, great Twilight Zone vibe you've got going!

Hardly what I'd call dark, but it's got a great twist that made me smile. I'm not so sure I like the anchor's delivery, though; beside not seeming terribly bothered by what has happened, it just seems to come out far too slowly. I think this ending would have worked better if the dialogue weren't quite as...I don't know, "wordy", I guess. There was a big reveal at the end, yes, but up until that point it didn't feel like a build up of tension to me, just a long speech.

Still a great, great entry, with incredible quality in a tiny file on top of everything.
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Old August 23rd, 2006, 06:41 PM   #15
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OK. Yep, it was perhaps wordy but you all know me by now, that's me. I like my soapbox.

I look at Natalies delivery as, well, like a news person. In Wells War of the Worlds, the reporter was pretty cool and collected for a guy dodging beams from an alien spacecraft. (The original version) She kept her cool, that's her job, no matter what the situation.

On the prompter issue, I actually shot through my camera a little too close to the studio camera. It's supposed to be obvious she is looking at yet another camera, not into mine. We are an omnipotent presence, not a member of the viewing audience. That would have been a long monologue looking at only one camera shot, even with a slow zoom.

I suppose it may have been a bit wordy. Like I said, I would rework some of that and perhaps kill 30 seconds or so. At the time, I thought I had a lot to say about it through the reporter. Not about greenhouse gasses or global warming but about how, where and that nobodys knows what's happening.

Sean
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