DVC 6 Feedback - Robert Martens "That Wouldn't Happen" at DVinfo.net

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Old August 25th, 2006, 01:56 PM   #1
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DVC 6 Feedback - Robert Martens "That Wouldn't Happen"

Finally! I've been out of commission for the past few hours, some sort of problem with my ISP. Back in business, time to see what everyone thinks of my movie.

Well, what do you say? I could disclaim myself 'til the cows come home, but I don't want to taint anyone's perceptions, so I'll just let you find the flaws on your own. Think of it as "Where's Waldo?", only less satisfying.

Fire away!
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Old August 25th, 2006, 02:12 PM   #2
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I loved the little shack on the moon. I'm guessing the guy is piloting the moon to the sun? I liked the look of the whole thing. I thought the animation and the video fit pretty well together. I was a little lost durning the whole thing but I never got bored. Pretty good looking short that I think would make a great longer short with more time.
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Old August 25th, 2006, 03:02 PM   #3
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I remember the last Challenge you were bothered by your lighting skills. Well, Robert....you sure figured out that business, didn't you?!?!!

When the light was burning, I appreciated the lighting just fine. When it went out--WOW. Very nice.

The only thing that bothered me was your decision to keep the camera in one place when he went to bed, because my eye wanted to follow him. But that's an artistic choice--not necessarily a "flaw."

Your dad's second appearance, and another really good one. That is so cool. :)
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Old August 25th, 2006, 03:24 PM   #4
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Michael: Yes, I'm still working on developing the ability to judge what kind of story I'll be able to tell in a given time frame. I think I'm getting closer, but I'm still squeezing too much into too little. Ten pounds of...oh, what is it they say?

In any event, that's not quite the story I was going for, but I think it'd be best if I keep my mouth shut for the time being, see how everyone reacts to it. I'll spill the beans eventually, don't worry.

Lorinda: That's actually a space constraint. That set was built in the back of a cube van my dad got for his business about a month ago (from the Terrapin Trader at the University of Maryland, in case anyone asks). It needs some work before he starts driving it regularly, and was just sitting in the driveway, unused. He offered it as a location, and I jumped at the chance. Even wrote the scene with the room shaking for that very reason--I've got a room that bounces, I'm damn well going to use it!

Thanks to the dimensions of the cube (seven feet high, eight wide, and twelve long), I couldn't do much moving. We had to remove one of the wheel wells as it was to get the camera where you see it (and this is WITH the Canon WD-58 wide angle attached), and I couldn't really do anything with the camera without hitting the wall. Not to mention the fact that we didn't dress the opposite wall with anything (the plywood you see in the back is up against the wall in the visible corner, but was too difficult to fit exactly in the truck, and as a result doesn't reach all the way to the wall the bed is against), so it would have looked out of place in my opinion. I was smooshed up against the door of the truck, behind the camera, and let me tell you, a good tripod is worth the money if only for the adjustable pan bar.

The lighting was the biggest accomplishment, thanks all to my dad and grandfather. He died in 1987, but one of his transformers--from the fifties or sixties, still works like a charm--helped immensely, and my father is of the opinion that he was looking down, laughing to see us having a good time. I don't disagree. The transformer let me turn on and off, and dim the practical bulb (wired by hand by who else?) and worklight at the same time. Another worklight provided the "night" illumination, and was on all the time.

One thing's for sure, I couldn't have done any of it without the acting, electrical, set design/construction, and "all around good guy" skills of my father.

I'm amazed he puts up with me.
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Old August 25th, 2006, 06:04 PM   #5
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This was different, as well as interesting. I liked the feel of it, although I don't know how to explain it. However, I would have liked a bigger climax. Perhaps that was because I wasn't sure what exactly was going on, and I thought that he was going to fly into the sun, or something. From the horizontal movement of the moon at the end, I concluded that he was just piloting the moon back into orbit. Am I close? I am tempted to think that the story is too ambiguous, but assuming you do have a point, it does make one think, which is actually kind of fun.

Most of the shots were pretty well done, I particularly liked the inserts. You did a good job making a difference between the light being on and off, while still allowing us to see in the "dark." However, when the light was turned back on near the end, it seemed a bit overexposed to me. Another thing was when he looks out the window and there is bright light shining on his face, I expected light to continue shining through the window when it cuts back to inside.

Overall, the technical aspects were pretty good, and the story really made me think.
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Old August 25th, 2006, 06:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Martens
let me tell you, a good tripod is worth the money if only for the adjustable pan bar.
LOL! So, that shot I mentioned had nothing to do with an "artistic" choice, huh? That's pretty funny! Thanks for the explanation.

This forum has been quiet today; lots of folks bugging out for the weekend or something. Hope they all come back soon; I am excited to see all you Friday gents get the accolades you deserve! :)
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Old August 25th, 2006, 07:27 PM   #7
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I really like the music that you used. It kind of feels like going on a very long trip music. I think I finally get the movie. Let me watch it a few more times just to make sure.
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Old August 25th, 2006, 10:42 PM   #8
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I thought the lighting was great. The animations well done. The constraints of the small set really interesting. But I have to admit, I didn't quite get the story. Maybe it's just because it's late and it's been an active week. I should watch again tomorrow when I'm more awake.
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Old August 25th, 2006, 10:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kris Holodak
Maybe it's just because it's late...
I appreciate the sentiment, but it's probably not. A bit much story for three minutes, I guess. I'll write up a little explanation in the morning, right now I'm with you: it's been a long week, it's late, and I'm tired. Thanks for your comments!
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Old August 25th, 2006, 10:57 PM   #10
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This one has a quirky storybook feel to it. I can almost see the illustrations of the man travelling in a shack on the moon. Although, I have to admit I didn't get it either (I can't make out the labels on the gauges and I suspect they're a big clue). If you had more time, where would the story go?

On a technical note: nice work on the set! At first I thought you actually slapped together a few walls just for the movie but the real story was so much more interesting. It explains the camera angle too and I had wondered about that.

Congratulations - I can't imagine getting my handyman dad to "act"!


-j
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Old August 26th, 2006, 12:59 AM   #11
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I agree with Jay. I think it might make a nice illustrated story book. I too liked it and the choice of the music was interesting, as in it was odd but I really liked it.

I too can't follow the story exactly but, the sun went out or away, the moon begaun drifting away or was being piloted away. The guages told whether you were in the sun or shade?

Something like that?

I liked it. Doesn't have to have a blow-by-blow explaination for me.

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Old August 26th, 2006, 07:01 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean McHenry
The guages told whether you were in the sun or shade?

Something like that?

I liked it. Doesn't have to have a blow-by-blow explaination for me.

Sean
I didn't have to understand it either to like it, but when I saw the close up of the guage going past 100, I thought bad things were going to happen.

Gauges shouldn't go past their last number, everybody know that.

Kind of like one of those Galaxy Quest moments:

"Thanks a bad sound."

or

"There's a red thingy going towards a green thingy, and I think we're the green thingy."


I liked the whole shack on the moon premise. But you could do more with it.
Pretty lonely out in space all by yourself. Perhaps you could've added Sigourney Weaver in a tight suit. Although her SAG contract might have been a problem.
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Old August 26th, 2006, 07:46 AM   #13
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Colton, the nature of the set dictated that I couldn't do the "light through the window" effect at all, let alone well. It was in the script, and I'd planned to spray a little water or dust in the air to catch it coming in, but the piece of plywood with the porthole in it was screwed right up on the front wall of the cube; couldn't get a light behind it, unfortunately.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Mays
Gauges shouldn't go past their last number, everybody know that.
If I'd had the time, I wanted to add a bright bluish-white flash, to indicate the bulb popping. Here's the story as I originally intended:

The Sun vanishes. Why, I don't know (I make a note of this in the newspaper article--kind of hard to read at this resolution, but try pausing it, see what you can make out fullscreen), it just does. The Moon leaves its orbit of Earth, shortly thereafter, for no apparent reason, hence the title of the film. Our hero, a lonely space prospector with a home base on the Moon (or one who just works on the Moon, I never decided), is flung off into the depths of space.

He has a fairly robust battery system installed, but no solar power to charge it anymore. When the movie begins, he's got practically no charge left in the batteries--I said three percent, but it doesn't really matter--and the lightbulb dims to that effect. He's been passing the time reading, but it's too dark for that now, so he puts the book ("Fluorescent Minerals of Franklin, New Jersey", an old book my dad had laying around) down and reminisces, reading over the paper from that fateful day so many months or years ago. Never decided how long it should have been, so make up your own mind there.

Afterward, he resigns himself to his fate, and decides to get some sleep, turning off the light to do so. He quickly notices, however, that there's a strange light off in the distance, and goes to take a look. Turns out, it's a nearby star (nearby in the cosmic sense, anyway)! Excited, he checks the computer to see how long it'll take to get there, and upon realizing it'll only be a few hours, forces himself to get some sleep.

Then we see the Moon floating through space some more, and I'd intended to have dissolves going into and out of that shot to indicate the passage of more time. Let that be a lesson to other aspiring effects junkies: always render more of the shot than you need! You need heads and tails that overlap the surrounding shots, otherwise the crossfade/dissolve looks stupid.

He is woken up by a mild shaking of the shack, meant to indicate the grasp of the Moon by this new star's gravitational field (also wouldn't happen, as far as I know, but as I say I had the van, and it bounced). Temporarily disoriented, he gets up to see what's going on. Turning the light on--it's now at full power again, which is why it's brighter--he goes to the window to find that he's finally arrived at his new star.

Excited, he gets himself all ready to go back to reading his book (positioning his chair, cleaning his glasses), sits down and begins, only to have the "Solar Strength" go overboard--the charger/battery system wasn't designed for other stars--blowing out the light, leaving him in the dark. The last shot is intended to give the impression that the Moon is now orbiting the star in such a way that his shack is always on the dark side, and will never get any light.

All of this, it should be noted, developed in my mind on its own while listening to artists at http://www.unsignedbandweb.com/ (many, many thanks to Sean McHenry for that site). Found one artist, Aamu, and this music. Three and a half minutes long, give or take, it created the story, not vice versa. Find more of his stuff at http://www.pakkasherra.com/pages/en/music/aamu
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Old August 26th, 2006, 10:00 AM   #14
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Ahhh man, I had a totally different story.

The sun left, He was hired to go find the sun. The paper looks really old so it would seem like he's been looking for it a long time. I thought the gauges represented how close or far away he was to the sun. Then when he did find light, He sent an email back to earth to let them know he found it. The he picked up a book to find out how he was going to rope the sun and bring it back.

I like your story better.
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Old August 26th, 2006, 01:29 PM   #15
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I followed Dick Mays theory on this one. I really thought the gauges were great. Low tech high teck, down to turning of the light by unscrewing the bulb. When I was a kid, I lived in an attic with my three brother. We had a bare bulb with a porcelein fixture and change pull to switch it on and off. eventually, one of us would break the change, and then for about a year we would resort to screwing and unscrewing the bulb to turn it off an on....Using our dirty socks for insulation at turn of time.
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