DVC #6 - Justin Tomchuk - Canadian Bistro Division at DVinfo.net

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Old August 22nd, 2006, 07:23 AM   #1
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DVC #6 - Justin Tomchuk - Canadian Bistro Division

Okay. Um, don't know what to say. I enjoyed making it. Also, the sound for the voices is a bit odd, that is because I don't have a windscreen and I desperately had to fix it in post.

Thanks,
Justin
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Old August 22nd, 2006, 09:37 AM   #2
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Justin, this movie is just plain old WEIRD!!! LOL!

The second time through my system adjusted to the situation and I appreciated it more. The camera work was pretty darn good, loved the location (that's weird, too!), loved the colors, and the main "victim's" hair.

And the second time through I actually chuckled at the guys' deliveries and your effects on the "victim's" eyes. Holy cow...does that make me weird, too? :)

Nice job, Justin.
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Old August 22nd, 2006, 09:48 AM   #3
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hahaha, looks like it was a blast to make. what's with the guys leg when he walks? Is that Hacky Sac leg? I liked the characters and the stupidity of it, just thought it could be tightened up. faster shots. Seemed like each shot went just a little too long. no need to mention the audio issues. Location was pretty cool, where is that? Your intro thing is off the hook. very cool. my favorite scene is when hacky sac leg runs away and hides behind a rock.
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Old August 22nd, 2006, 10:03 AM   #4
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Hey Lorinda, thanks for the comments glad you enjoyed it. :)

Hi Michael, yeah, pretty much I just wanted bizarre characters so my friend suggested he walked like that, lol. And I agree with you on the shots being a bit long, part of it was, I wanted to match the music and didn't want to bother changing the music. I have to work on my pacing.

As for the location, well, first it's Nova Scotia, so pretty much everywhere is a giant rock bed. That particular place is where there once was a forest fire near where I live. Since most of the trees were burned, all you see is shrubs, some dead trees and lots of giant rocks. It looks super creepy in the winter.

Justin
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Old August 22nd, 2006, 10:07 AM   #5
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Justin:

I have no idea what it's about but I laughed. It felt very Monty Python-ish. Stylized is what comes to mind. I can tell your actors took their roles seriously even though it was meant for laughs.
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Old August 22nd, 2006, 10:09 AM   #6
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Creepy...I heard creepy...I love creepy...

Justin, very cool. Very quirky and I love quirky. We have a local director who does shorts and a lot of yours reminded me of his stuff. Odd angles, very nice. Dialog replacement in post, a standard when shooting Super 8 and some 16mm, also interesting.

I expected melting Lego. Nice departure.

Sean
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Old August 22nd, 2006, 02:13 PM   #7
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Actually, this short reminds me of David Lynch in a few ways. Maybe David Lynch doing a dadaist comedy? I liked it.

Contrary to previous comments, I want to say that the long takes were a good choice for this film. Primarily because longer-than-necessary stretches of silence and a still camera help to create a surreal mood. When used correctly, awkward silences can also be very funny -- Andy Kaufman's brand of humor is a pretty good example. Also if you have a particularly picturesque scene, taking a break from the action and dialogue gives the viewers a good chance to soak up the atmosphere. Your choice of location was visually interesting.

Technically speaking, there's only one obvious problem I saw -- and it's one that I encountered as well. When you do the shot that tilts down from the clouds to the guy sitting on the rock, the camera constantly shifts its exposure to brighten up the scene. I couldn't solve this issue in my short either -- I'm assuming that the only way to do this is by casting much more light on the actor and just set the exposure to manual. Not a glaring problem -- but an interesting technical issue.

Of the Day 2 shorts, I think this is my pick. The music sealed the deal -- since it was mysterious and melancholy, it transformed what would normally be silly comedy into something distinctly surreal. I liked the off-axis framing and low angles -- anything to make the film seem more jarring. I'd say keep making surrealist films. Only be careful! So many directors/writers/artists fall into the trap of assuming that being surreal and mysterious is the same thing as being deep and introspective! This isn't always the case, and you sidestep the problem by making "Canadian Bistro Division" comedic.

Nice work.
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Old August 22nd, 2006, 07:42 PM   #8
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Justin,

Very professional looking credits.

I mean the logo thing at the top.

I saw that and new I would see something professional.

Fantastic setting.

The weird lighting, the woods, the rocks. A Canadian Stonehenge.

I knew it was going to be great. Surreal lighting.

Then the actors started moving.

WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?!?!?

I really thought one of the guys would grab a rock and bash the guy in the head that was screaming. Instead he ran into a rock.

I loved the setting, the lighting, and the intro, but the quicky characters, strange voices, and hackysack gait didn't make any sense to me.

I felt really, really old watching this. I must now go watch best of Johnny Carson collection.

Dick
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Old August 22nd, 2006, 07:53 PM   #9
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Hugh, it's funny you mention that about the actors. We had to do like 9 takes each because they kept cracking up!

Sean I am starting to pick up live action over animation, the transition was rough at first, mainly because when animating I have total control over everything and live action is just the opposite.

Justin I think you pinned it down the best with the timing. Some parts during the intro could have been shorter I know, but the length of some takes does contribute to the odd and strange theme.

Justin thanks for encouraging me to create more surreal films, I have been told too many times to film a standard, well written script. There is of course, nothing wrong with that. The problem lays in the fact that I really can't write good stories. I can however, visualize strange, sometimes funny occurrences and I use this to my advantage.

I would greatly like to collaborate with someone with their own script in the future though. I have tried before but I never really liked the scripts I am offered. Maybe that’s just tough luck. :(

Dick, don't worry if you didn't understand it! It's not your age! I'm not even sure if I understand it myself. :)

Thanks for the comments everyone, I really appreciate it!
Justin
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Old August 22nd, 2006, 07:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Mays
Justin,

Very professional looking credits.

I mean the logo thing at the top.

I saw that and new I would see something professional.

Fantastic setting.

The weird lighting, the woods, the rocks. A Canadian Stonehenge.

I knew it was going to be great. Surreal lighting.

Then the actors started moving.

WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?!?!?

I really thought one of the guys would grab a rock and bash the guy in the head that was screaming. Instead he ran into a rock.

I loved the setting, the lighting, and the intro, but the quicky characters, strange voices, and hackysack gait didn't make any sense to me.

I felt really, really old watching this. I must now go watch best of Johnny Carson collection.

Dick
Ditto here. Actually some interesting camera angles, but dialogues left a lot to be desired. Felt like I came into a drinking party sober as a church mouse. I'm old too, so maybe it is the problem-- the old generation gap rears its ugly head. I did love the great shots and the color effects.
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Old August 22nd, 2006, 08:57 PM   #11
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Just to counter some of the previous comments, maybe I am so old that I appreciated it, our maybe I just liked the surreal feel of the film.

I think the "jerky" feel to the movement added a lot to the overall presentation. The shot angles, the scenery and the location were excellent. The music added to the mood, good choice.

I thought the "maybe you should shutup!" comment was a little weak, probably because he was about to laugh, and the final shot of the blonde guy, he was definitely laughing (or doing his best not to). But that sort of added to the weirdness.

I second the opinion that you should keep going down this particular path, you pull it off well. For a film that doesn't have much dialog, much of a theme, or any sort of conclusion, I thought it was great!
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Old August 22nd, 2006, 10:05 PM   #12
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Justin, that was great.

Except for the crooked knee of the crooked knee guy (which I felt was a bit forced) it seemed more "stream of conciousness" to me and I liked it. One thing led to another well enough - they did a pretty good job of playing it straight. I thought the rock collision was very well done too.

The element that impressed me the most was the look of the thing. I know you're good with colour but you did a really great job with the exposure as well. I was out there shooting in some of that same weather and couldn't find the sweet spot at all.

The shut up bit makes me laugh every time. I've wound it back to that guy a few times now.

I think it's your best one yet.


-j
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Old August 23rd, 2006, 12:00 AM   #13
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I agree, that rock smash looked pretty good. Did you end up using the editor's secret and deleting the one contact frame?
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Old August 23rd, 2006, 07:43 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Jay Silver
The element that impressed me the most was the look of the thing. I know you're good with colour but you did a really great job with the exposure as well. I was out there shooting in some of that same weather and couldn't find the sweet spot at all.
Thanks Jay. I am really happy with the exposure. Every time the sun went behind the clouds, we had to stop until it came back. I wanted it to look consistent. There are some spots where the sky is blown out to white which I could of fixed though.

Hey Dennis, I tried a few methods when shooting the video so I would have some stuff to work with in the editor. One was to shoot the video in reverse, so my friend would slowly get off the ground, press his face against the rock a little faster, then jolt backwards. Then I reversed it in the editor and it looked like nonsense. So pretty much we just shot it slowly and I sped up certain parts in the editor.
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Old August 23rd, 2006, 11:13 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Justin Tomchuk
So pretty much we just shot it slowly and I sped up certain parts in the editor.
And it worked really, really well, Justin. That part was actually hard for me to watch. Good job.

I watched this again last night, and keep laughing when I think about the sound you put behind the guy's eyes combusting (I don't think that's a word, but you know what I mean). Did you just find that effect somewhere? I ask such a silly question because if I needed something like that I'd go out back and create it; would be safer to buy a program, I suppose...care to share?
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Last edited by Lorinda Norton; August 23rd, 2006 at 11:44 AM.
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