DVC #6 Feedback: Bill Gardner (Sun Burns) - Page 2 at DVinfo.net

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Old August 21st, 2006, 02:41 PM   #16
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Oh, I get it now, thanks Eric! I've never heard noise like that in any kind of radio, that's why it didn't click for me. It's so sudden, loud and sharp in the film, it just didn't seem to fit. And it sounds exactly (and I do mean exactly) like the kind of noise I hear when some kind of electronic equipment isn't plugged in correctly, or when I rotate the mini plug on a pair of headphones. That sound effect says "weak electrical connection" or "encoding error" to me, I'm sorry to say.
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Old August 21st, 2006, 02:51 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Martens
First is the scene when the salesman shows up--both characters smile and stick their heads forward the same way, and it looks kind of funny (I know the whole thing was supposed to be funny, but this seemed unintentionally so). I think a smile by itself would suffice, and though I imagine I'd think different if I were wearing the teeth, I don't think the smiles needed to be as big as they were. Kind of makes them look like dim-witted hillbilly vampires posing for school pictures, to be honest.
Yeah, my thinking was Jay was trying to scare him away if he wasn't a vampire. Also, I needed to make sure the audience had time to see the fangs. But your point is certainly well taken. :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Martens
Second is the framing of the conversation they have once inside; Mr. Funnyaccent (I like the way it sounds, where's that guy from?)
Iceland. And he thinks the rest of us have funny accents. :) He actually has a voiceover in the upcoming 20th Century Fox Viking movie Pathfinder.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Martens
...has more nose room than our protagonist, and I feel like I should be able to see the side of the vampire's head in those shots. A tighter shot of the salesman, or a wider shot of the vampire, might have made things feel more balanced in my mind.
Really good feedback! Thanks much!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Martens
One technical note, I have the latest Quicktime 7 installed, but encountered some oddities during playback of the "Good Quality" Quicktime version of the film (http://www.wrgardner.com/film/SunBurns/SB.640x360.mov); the file starts just after the "o" in "okay" at the beginning of the teacher's line.
Hmm. On my computer it starts right before the "o" in "okay" but perhaps different computers have slightly different issues with initial syncing of video and audio? Just a guess... I will grant you that it starts a little abruptly. I would have liked to have started that scene a bit more gradually (perhaps with a fade in from black), but I took the 3 minute rule strictly. Perhaps I should have made mine 3 seconds longer and started with a fade in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Martens
Then, at the end, there's some sort of noise in the radio announcers' voices. I've reviewed the film a couple of times, it's in the same spot every time. Is it me?
Yes, as Eric says, it was intended to be the sound of the radio tuning from station to station... If only there was more time to refine this! :)

Thanks again, guys. This is exactly the kind of detailed criticism that I appreciate and find helpful.
Bill
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Old August 21st, 2006, 04:49 PM   #18
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Bill, on the QT issues. When I kick files out of my Avid to be encoded, I always add at least 15 frames of black and leave at least 15 frames of black at the tail due to this and any encoding scheme. They should lay down an initial "I" frame but I think sometimes the encoders can go a full 15 (or more) frames before locking in. It's a safe way to make sure you get all the real bits.

Sean
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Old August 21st, 2006, 07:50 PM   #19
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My thought process as I watched was
1) bill you're killing me. 2) we can't let him win twice in a row. 3) but that was really good.

I haven't watched Love Bites recently, but did know immediately who the kid was. Well, as soon as he showed his fangs anyway. Another good story well executed.

Smile,
Kris
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Old August 21st, 2006, 11:07 PM   #20
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I remember liking the first installment well enough but this is definitely a more evolved piece. The look is better, the angles, the tight story. Very nicely done. I'm impressed you were able to shoot the kid in front of what was essentially a huge mirror without seeing any reflections!


-j
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Old August 22nd, 2006, 12:19 AM   #21
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Very clever indeed. I must say I enjoyed viewing your first 'vampire' film as well. Great work on the 'sequel', it was most enjoyable.

Jim
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Old August 22nd, 2006, 08:06 AM   #22
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cute!

but does this mean that the series is now officially over?? or will you find a way to bring him back to life? what happens when the undead are slain? i'm "dying" to find out. heh.
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Old August 22nd, 2006, 01:50 PM   #23
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Great job Bill, loved it! How do you do your encoding, it is great! Send me the settings you use, or the dolly will self-destruct! :)

Look very much forward to the next!

Mike
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Old August 22nd, 2006, 03:12 PM   #24
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What can I say? This is very well-executed. I especially appreciate how well you composed the first scene -- the editing is excellent -- a montage of images that are on screen just long enough for people to see the details of what's going on without even noticing that you're cutting. Your use of cutaway shots is great -- definitely something that I horribly neglected in my short, for instance.

The story is short and sweet. Three minutes isn't much time to work with. However, I think that the most talented filmmakers find a way to trim away all the fat to create a lean and effective short. Sometimes it works to their advantage, and I think this happened with your sequel -- it trumps "Love Bites" in my opinion.

I do have two questions, if you don't mind! The walls in the living room and bathroom scenes are very light. I've never really done any lighting before -- but from what little I've tried, I noticed that it's difficult to properly light the subjects without blowing out the background. Did you use natural light?

Also, for the shot where the guy in the cap looks down at the heap of clothes, I'm assuming you artificially blurred the footage when the camera tilted?

Nicely done! I'd have to say this is the most professional short I've yet seen for DVC (past and present).
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Old August 22nd, 2006, 06:03 PM   #25
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Bill,

You sure can tell a story. Love Bites was GREAT and as many have noted, your D.P. skills seem to have improved with this one. I, for one, don't have a problem with you winning twice in a row. However, if you win three in a row, you will have to stop making these amateur films and start work immediately on a feature.

On second thought, if you win two in a row, you should go make a feature.

Strike that -- strike that-- you should withdraw now. Yeah, that's right. Withdraw now and turn PRO immediately and leave the prize package to the rest of us amateurs.

Am I wrong in assuming that you are working on your feature length script?

Dick
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Old August 22nd, 2006, 09:38 PM   #26
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Thanks again everybody for the responses!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Gan
I didn't see any music credits. Did you compose that as well?
It's essentially the same music as in the first film. I pulled it together using various loops from Adobe Audition's Loopology that came with Adobe Video Collection. I also time-stretched some of the stuff to match with the length of the video sections I wanted to fill in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Meryem Ersoz
cute!
but does this mean that the series is now officially over??
Gosh, I hope so. Though see my response to Dick below...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Teutsch
How do you do your encoding, it is great! Send me the settings you use, or the dolly will self-destruct! :)
When the dolly started beeping, I figured I needed to respond to this. :)
For QuickTime, I'm using QuicktimePro (yeah, I shelled out the $25) and I go from an HD version to the smaller versions using Export option with the H.264 codec set to the 85 quality setting (I think).
For WMVs, I take my HD Cineform AVI into After Effects and then render out using Windows Media with a bitrate around 2Mbps (for 640x360) or 1 Mbps (for 480x270) with square pixels, keyframe every 2 seconds and image quality set to high. Send me an email if you want more info or if any of this is confusing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin Jesselli
I do have two questions, if you don't mind! The walls in the living room and bathroom scenes are very light. I've never really done any lighting before -- but from what little I've tried, I noticed that it's difficult to properly light the subjects without blowing out the background. Did you use natural light?
The living room scene was next to a large set of sliding glass doors on the left providing primary key light, with some fill provided from the right with a few blue-gelled Lowel lights. The wall itself is tan, which helps it not blow out as much as a white wall would.

The bathroom scene was natural lights over the mirror (which are pretty bright) plus a light right behind the camera providing some fill on the back of the actor's head. It was tricky to place the camera and light in the scene without them showing up in the mirrors! You'll notice that the mirrored wall cabinet is opened slightly, which created a small spot where the camera and light could sit. Again, the walls themselves are yellow which helps them not blow out as much as a white wall would. Also, I hung a towel outside the small window in the bathroom to prevent the window from blowing out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin Jesselli
Also, for the shot where the guy in the cap looks down at the heap of clothes, I'm assuming you artificially blurred the footage when the camera tilted?
:) Two things here: First, I accelerated the frame rate of the camera moving down. The original was much slower. With the accelerated rate in Premiere Pro, I let it blend the frames which creates a blurred effect. Second, when we exposed for the actor's head, the sidewalk blew out. But when we exposed for the sidewalk, the actor was too dark. So I used the actor from one take panning down to the sidewalk with his legs in another take. The transition occurs during the tilt down: if you look closely you can see that his body doesn't quite line up perfectly... :)

One other small note: In the initial scene where the Teacher is putting the sunglasses on the boy vampire, she puts the sunglasses inside the skimask from one angle, but when we switched to the other angle she put the sunglasses on outside the skimask. To prevent a major continuity problem, I had to go into After Effects and modify it with some careful masking to make it look like the glasses are inside the skimask in both takes! :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Mays
Withdraw now and turn PRO immediately and leave the prize package to the rest of us amateurs.

Am I wrong in assuming that you are working on your feature length script?
Dick, you're too kind. Remember, these are the first two films I've ever made! But yes, the thought of a feature length version of this series has crossed my mind... :) We can all dream, right?

Thanks again, everybody!
Bill
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Old August 30th, 2006, 02:22 PM   #27
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This one was really funny and well done. Simple, yet smart.

How did you do the effect at the end when he is exposed to the sunlight?

Very well done, I'll have to go take a look at the original now. :)
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Old August 30th, 2006, 10:24 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Horrigan
How did you do the effect at the end when he is exposed to the sunlight?
I started by masking off his exposed skin areas in After Effects (and his hat in a separate mask). Then, first cranked up the red color only in the skin areas to simulate the initial subburn. Third, as the actor fell to the ground, I duplicated the exposed skin masks and blurred one while applying a particle explosion effect to the other, resulting in both particles of flesh (the particles) with a melting effect (the blur) combined. Fourth, I needed to generate a fake "back of the shirt by the collar" since that wasn't in the original video, so I had to copy other parts of the shirt and paste them into place appropriately. Finally, to make it look a bit more realistic and not just like an actor falling down, I changed the position trajectory of the hat to make it fall more rapidly and off to the side a bit, to look like his head really melted out from under it.

And yes, it was a lot of work for a few seconds of screen time. :) Thanks for asking.

Bill
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Old August 30th, 2006, 10:32 PM   #29
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Very cool! I really need to start using AE more. I have no idea how to mask and alter parts of a clip. Sounds like fun... :)

Mike
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Old August 31st, 2006, 04:37 AM   #30
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holy cow that sounds like a lot of bloody work. hahaha.

looked good.
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