DVC6 Feedback - Colton Davie "Striving After Wind" at DVinfo.net

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Old August 25th, 2006, 01:51 PM   #1
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DVC6 Feedback - Colton Davie "Striving After Wind"

Well, this was my first DV Challenge and I had a good time. I'd be willing to join the next one.

The story of how this story came about is basically the story itself. I was out of town the weekend that the theme was announced. Whenever I got the chance to use the internet or get cell phone service, I communicated with my partner in this project, Mitchell Vaughan. At first, when "the sun" was announced as the topic, we were like "okay... so what kind of movie can you make about the sun." By Monday or so, after much brainstorming, I was back in town, we had settled on what we felt was a pretty good story and we had scheduled shooting for Wednesday and Thursday. However, the story was a bit ambitious, and necessitated shooting in what would come across as a prison cell. We were not able to find a location that fit our need, so we decided build one. I was not able to find plans for flats on the internet, so I designed my own. Tuesday, we met at the Home Depot to buy the wood and materials. In order to save money, we abandoned my plans and came up with something less expensive, and less sturdy. Wednesday morning, we started construction on the set. It wasn't working quite as good as I had hoped, but it was sufficient. Just as we were about to take a break and wait for the actor to arrive, one wall started to fall, triggering a similar response from the others.

It was a dissappointment, as it seemed all our hard work had been for naught. But, alas, we weren't giving up. We went straight to work brainstorming another, simpler idea. As we searched for inspiration, the words of the wise king Solomon stood out to me:

"Thus I considered all my activities which my hands had done and the labor which I had exerted, and behold all was vanity and striving after wind and there was no profit under the sun." (Ecclesiastes 1:14, NASB)

That sounded alot like our experience. So, instead of being all for nothing, we were able to use our first attempt as a basis for our story. As you may now be able to see, our entry is basically a retelling of the story of our first attempt at making a movie about the sun.

Anyway, I would love to read any feedback or comments you have after watching this video. Any helpful suggestions are welcome as well. I was striving for technical excellence with this piece, so don't hesitate to point out any problems that I could avoid next time.
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Old August 25th, 2006, 02:08 PM   #2
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I was striving for technical excellence with this piece,
Colton, that you totally nailed down. I was struck by how well each scene was lit. I guess you used a 35mm adapter as well? Way to draw inspiration for the story from real life. I'm really enjoying all of today's entries.
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Old August 25th, 2006, 02:17 PM   #3
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Fantastically shot and lit. WOW. looked really really good. Did I say it looked really really good? Audio was great. Looked Really really good.
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Old August 25th, 2006, 02:17 PM   #4
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That was a brave move, Colton, using the biblical reference. I figured from the title where it must be going, but when I got to the little girl's "Vanity of vanities" line, even though I got it I thought, "Now, how many people are going to get that?" :) Your explanation here is what brings it all together, but then, I'm sure you knew that.

I loved it that the boy used the book for a coaster while he played the video game. He was so typically boy...

Lighting was a tad dark for my monitor in a spot or two, the red tones when he's working on the project made me think you shoot with a Canon (ha!), but it was absolutely beautiful overall. I LOVED the hair light on the little girl when she was standing in the doorway.

Sorry to be so ignorant about cameras, but could you tell me what I'm seeing in yours and some of these other movies concerning the dark corners? Has this something to do with using 35mm adaptors?

*edit* I watched it again, and rather than say the lighting was a little dark in a spot or two--which it wasn't--I need to just refer to those "dark corners" in certain shots. Sorry, Colton!
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Last edited by Lorinda Norton; August 25th, 2006 at 02:49 PM.
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Old August 25th, 2006, 02:39 PM   #5
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Aside from the cheesy "early 90s arcade" sound of the videogame the boy is playing, everything in this film is spot on. The mother's face seems out of focus when she asks, "Well, do you have any ideas?", but I may just be tired. Hard to tell.

I knew I was out of the running the moment I saw the first shot. Dolly in on the door, nice and steady, with a 35mm adapter, no less. Technically superb, and a nice little story to boot. That line about frying your CCDs was cute, nice touch.
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Old August 25th, 2006, 04:52 PM   #6
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Thanks for the comments.

Yes, I did use an adapter, a Redrock M2, to be specific. This was my first serious project to use it on, and I was extremely pleased with it.

Yes, Lorinda, the "dark corners" were related to my use of an adapter. However, I think it had more to do with the lens on those particular shots. I have noticed significantly more vignetting on my wide (28mm) lens than the others. That's something I should work on. And, yes, I was using a Canon XL2. :)

I'm glad you liked the audio, Michael. Mitchell Vaughan was actually the sound guy on this. I too was impressed with the quality; much better than when I have done it on my own.

I was going for a cheesy sound on the videogame, do you think I overdid it and made it too cheesy? It is very possible her face was a bit out of focus on the shot you mentioned. The depth of field was pretty shallow and I have had next to no experience pulling focus so.... That is something I'm defineately going to need to get better at if I every plan on doing more complex shots.

Last edited by Colton Davie; August 25th, 2006 at 05:30 PM.
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Old August 25th, 2006, 11:04 PM   #7
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That's a good looking movie. When it first started up I said, "Whooo boy..." and watched with rapt attention. The moves are well done, the lighting excellent and the adapter really gives it that extra something. And it didn't stop there! The kids are really very natural, especially the little girl.

I think for a backup idea it played pretty well. Good one!


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Old August 26th, 2006, 12:11 AM   #8
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OK, do they make Redrock adapters for the Sony PDX-10? Those are looking good and I could do with some real depth of field one of these days.

Looked good, the kids were good, and seemingly naturals at it. The title effect was nice. The dolly shot was smooth enough to make the computer motion of the title look just about perfect.

Overall, really nice.

A few folks went with a similar theme on this topic. That's fine.

Good work to the cast and crew.

Sean
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Old August 26th, 2006, 06:38 AM   #9
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Colton,

When I saw the Toccoa Falls T-shirt I thought you were my Georgia neighbor but I see you're one state over in Alabama. Didn't quite sound the way we talk here in Georgia.

First, ditto the previous comments. I'm not experienced enougth to tell you're using an adaptor, or Canon, but I can say the lighting was GREAT. I did understand the boy grabbng one of the girls peanuts (or candys). Typical boy. You kids were good actors. My favorite shot was the tracking down the counter, showing "the project" materials, ending on the boy with the ball. When I see shots like that my water waters. I really need to get a dolly!

Great work. Unfortunately, with such strong work from a new entrant, my odds of ever winning one of these are increasingly diminished.

Dick
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Old August 26th, 2006, 09:32 AM   #10
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Thanks again for the comments. I'm glad to hear that you thought the acting came across okay.

I had fun with the lighting on this, I'm glad it turned out well.

The dolly I used was the Indie Dolly ( http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search ). I am always pleased with how smooth it is, as long as it is on flat ground. I still have a little trouble setting it up on uneven surfaces.

Sean, as long as the camera has a filter thread on the front of the lens, the M2 should work. You may need to purchase some stepping rings to get to 55 or 72mm, and perhaps the Redrock shim kit, but I would expect that it would work. You could probably have any questions answered at the Redrock forums ( http://www.redrockmicro.com/forum ).

Actually, the "peanuts" were sunflower seeds. Most people probably didn't notice, but the kids are drinking Sunkist and eating sunflower seeds. Kind of a little extra touch to go along with the sun theme. I think my mother actually suggested that idea.

Last edited by Colton Davie; August 26th, 2006 at 05:27 PM.
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Old August 26th, 2006, 09:49 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Colton Davie
Actually, the "peanuts" were sunflower seeds. Most people probably didn't notice, but the kids are drinking Sunkist and eating sunflower seeds. Kind of a little extra touch to go along with the sun theme. I think mother actually suggested that idea.

Ok, now that's going too far. hahaha
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