DVC7 - Bill Gardner - Tanks for the Memories at DVinfo.net

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Old December 23rd, 2006, 04:25 PM   #1
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DVC7 - Bill Gardner - Tanks for the Memories

Here's the feedback thread for my film "Tanks for the Memories". I'll add a lot more details regarding the production issues once the film gets released, but I don't want to spoil anything for anybody before they get a chance to watch the film.

As always, constructive criticism and unconstructive praise are very welcome. There are many things I'd like to fix in this one, but I only had 6 hours to take the tapes and get it on the web, so it'll have to do.

Cheers,
Bill
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Old December 27th, 2006, 11:20 AM   #2
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I have to know the story behind the tank!!
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Old December 27th, 2006, 11:25 AM   #3
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OK. My film's been posted. Please watch the film first before you read anything below. :)

Did you watch it? Really? Come on, tell the truth... You did? Good.

So, unlike my other DVC entries, for this one I had to shoot a friend's film the first weekend of the DVC7 competition, so I had no time for a proper shoot, script, actors, crew, etc.

But I did have my final project for my lighting and art direction classes, which was to film a war scene based on a tank the art direction class had built. So, I'm constrained to come up with something based on "Memories" with war/tank footage. Luckily, my 8 year old son plays with toy soldiers and a tank anyway, so that's what I went with.

We also filmed the tank footage late Thursday night and my wife made it clear to me that we had family plans on the weekend. So I only had Friday to pull the whole thing together. The "muzzle flashes" are from Andrew Kramer's "Action Movie Essentials" package. Given the time in the morning to capture the footage and the time in the afternoon to get it ready for the web, I only had about 2 hours in the middle of the day to edit the whole thing together and get the visual effects in. So, yes, there are a bunch of gun movements that don't have muzzle flashes and a few that don't have the right sound effects in them. If I'd had another day to clean it all up, it would have looked a lot more polished.

Anyways, that's it from me. Happy Holidays everybody!

Bill
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Old December 27th, 2006, 11:31 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dylan Couper
I have to know the story behind the tank!!
More details on the tank.

My Art Direction/Staging class of 5 folks built that over 4 class periods. The top of the main body is a flat from the back of a stage wall. We sawed and glued a bunch of luon (sp?) pieces on the sides and for the turret on the top. Those are some hubcaps for the lids that the folks come in and out of. That's a leg from an end-table sticking out the front. The treads are made of large bubble bubble-wrap painted brown (and they don't move, in case you didn't notice :). The turret sits on a pole inside another pole mounted to the main body so it can rotate. We only built the front and the left side, so nothing is shot from the right or behind. The whole thing rests on a stage cart/dolly which is pushed from behind. If you look closely you can see the head of the "pusher" popping up now and then behind the tank to see where he's going. Finally, the top lid on the turret accidentally fell off during the shoot. To use that clip, I added an effect of blood shooting through the guys hand and a bullet ricochet off the top to make it look like it was shot off: something to look for in the second viewing.

Any other questions? :)

Bill
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Old December 27th, 2006, 11:54 AM   #5
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Bill:

Man, that was like Private Ryan in a day.... Actually, the illusion was pretty good, until tank was moving without tread turning... a little more smoke or fog, and that would have been hidden.

How did you do all that in that short time ???
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Old December 27th, 2006, 12:07 PM   #6
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That looked great. I think it would have been better if the tank wasn't moved though. Once it started moving it looked kind of wobbly, hahaha. The lighting was great and I really liked the view from the bunker. I thought the SFX were good too. really good job. putting in the muzzle flashes was a nice (probably time consuming) touch.
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Old December 27th, 2006, 12:25 PM   #7
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[QUOTE=Chris Barcellos]Bill:

Man, that was like Private Ryan in a day.... Actually, the illusion was pretty good, until tank was moving without tread turning... QUOTE]


Agreed. That was the only thing that broke the illusion for me. Which still made it pretty darn good.
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Old December 27th, 2006, 12:44 PM   #8
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Hi William

Very nice. I thought the lighting was very well done and can see you and your student friends put much effort into the project. See what you mean by "best prop". Would echo similar thoughts already mentioned about the tank movement.

You had some great visual effects and I enjoyed the sound design too. Can you let me know the name of the SFX CD you have? Oh, and you can certainly play a mean Greensleeves on the guitar. :)

For the story- thought that perhaps if there were just two additional shots it would have given more empathy/sympathy for the main character- Grandpa. That would be, a close up of Grandpa's face just before he drifts off into the memory and one close up of his face at the end.

Best wishes~
Bradley
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Old December 27th, 2006, 12:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradley L Marlow
For the story- thought that perhaps if there were just two additional shots it would have given more empathy/sympathy for the main character- Grandpa. That would be, a close up of Grandpa's face just before he drifts off into the memory and one close up of his face at the end.
I totally agree with you that some shots of Grampa would have substantially improved the effort. However, if you notice the credits, we had no Grampa (!). Grampa's legs were my wife's and Grampa's voice was my lame impression of an 80 year old man. :)

Bill
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Old December 27th, 2006, 12:48 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos
Actually, the illusion was pretty good, until tank was moving without tread turning...
I guess you all have forgotton the WWII "Hover-Tanks" that the US army used... :)

Bill
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Old December 27th, 2006, 12:49 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradley L Marlow
Can you let me know the name of the SFX CD you have?
I usually use sounddogs.com for sound effects. You can download the effects immediately and they're usually only a few bucks per effect.

Bill
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Old December 27th, 2006, 02:12 PM   #12
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I kept expecting the one guy to get downed by friendly fire…

The tank seems to be emerging as the star of this show (lol) but your present-day sequences are pretty. A slow-moving crane shot across, down, and back across ain’t that easy, is it? Nice job. :)
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Old December 27th, 2006, 02:15 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William Gardner
I usually use sounddogs.com for sound effects. You can download the effects immediately and they're usually only a few bucks per effect.

Bill
Thanks Bill! I hadn't heard of sounddogs.com yet so thank you for the pointer.

Best wishes~
Bradley
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Old December 27th, 2006, 02:39 PM   #14
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The quality of the image was top notch!
I liked the idea behind the "memories" theme as well.

Having a real grandpa (and tank) would have been ideal, but we all had to make sacrifices I'm sure.

Well done.

Mike
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Old December 27th, 2006, 02:41 PM   #15
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Kudos to all of the production design and staging. Lighting, sound effects and (I believe) After Effects for the machine gun muzzle blast were all well done. I know it's tough to simulate a real tank but a jolly good effort.
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