DVC 7 - Mike Horrigan - "THE GIFT" at DVinfo.net

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Old December 26th, 2006, 07:17 AM   #1
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DVC 7 - Mike Horrigan - "THE GIFT"

This is my second attempt at filming anything, I shot it with a little old camcorder so the quality isn't the greatest. The only help I had was having my wife show up in a scene for me. Otherwise... it was shot, acted (if you can call it that), and edited by yours truly.

Hope you like it.

Happy holidays!


Mike
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Old December 29th, 2006, 10:57 PM   #2
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Mike it looked good. I liked the story but the end left me hanging a bit too much. I'm assuming that he is wishing for his family back but I would have liked to have seen a little more. Maybe a knock at the door after he wrote down his wish or something.

On an unrelated note seeing some of good old Ottawa was nice, even if it was a suburban street (I'm guessing).
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Old December 29th, 2006, 10:58 PM   #3
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It was a little grainy, sure, but I can live with that. What seemed strange to me was the aspect ratio, it's as if the video is stretched vertically. Did you shoot and/or encode this in some unique way that may have caused that?

Really wonderful work, I didn't expect an ending like that. I think it happened a bit fast, though. Most of the movie sets a certain pace, up to and including the slow shot of the man opening the box, but immediately afterward, everything picks up, and the film's over in a flash. Only three minutes, I know, but I would have cut out some of the earlier stuff (maybe one or two of the first-person driving sequences) in favor of somehow extending the last scene which, I believe, seems almost comical with the sped up clip. Your hand moves so fast, it looks a little out of place. If perhaps we saw a close up of your character's face as he hesitated, unsure if he should attempt what he's about to, I think it might be a more appropriate fit for the mood, and bring the end sequence in line with the rest of the film as far as pace is concerned at the same time.

One last question, where is the music coming from? You (I'm assuming that's you, am I correct?) hear it, and it's what leads you to the box, but upon closer inspection it doesn't appear to be an actual music box. Is this just a supernatural beacon of some sort, or am I simply having trouble noticing the musical properties of this particular enclosure?
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Old December 29th, 2006, 11:01 PM   #4
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Try not to give away the ending to everyone else. ;)

Seriously though, I really wanted to leave it up to the viewer.

Yup, shot in Ottawa... just around the neighbourhood. A nice little suburban crescent. :)

Thanks for the comments!

mike
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Old December 29th, 2006, 11:07 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Martens
It was a little grainy, sure, but I can live with that. What seemed strange to me was the aspect ratio, it's as if the video is stretched vertically. Did you shoot and/or encode this in some unique way that may have caused that?

One last question, where is the music coming from? You (I'm assuming that's you, am I correct?) hear it, and it's what leads you to the box, but upon closer inspection it doesn't appear to be an actual music box. Is this just a supernatural beacon of some sort, or am I simply having trouble noticing the musical properties of this particular enclosure?
It's a really old crappy camera.
I could probably pull off a better image if I knew the first thing about lighting a scene. Not sure about the aspect ratio issue?

The music is coming from the bunnies under the bed. That's why I hold up the one I'm looking at to my head. It's not coming from that one so I look for the sound and find that it's coming from under the bed.

You pull the tail and it plays music. A flashback of that would have been useful but my 3 year old is no actress. ;)
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Old December 29th, 2006, 11:10 PM   #6
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I liked a lot of the shots in this. It did leave a little too much to the imagination but got the story across. The aspect ratio is off, looks like it was an export issue. I thought it was a good story and to get the crying scene must have taken some work. Good Work.
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Old December 29th, 2006, 11:18 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Michael Fossenkemper
I liked a lot of the shots in this. It did leave a little too much to the imagination but got the story across. The aspect ratio is off, looks like it was an export issue. I thought it was a good story and to get the crying scene must have taken some work. Good Work.
Thanks for the nice comments... I'll start a thread in "Attend the World Premiere" to figure out the aspect ratio problem later.
The crying scene was tough to pull off... first time for me in front of the camera. I'm no actor...

Thanks again,

Mike
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Old December 30th, 2006, 12:35 AM   #8
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Hi Mike H

I thought your crying scene was extremely believable! Very well done. Doing an entire film by yourself is no easy task, I know. My hat is off to you on this effort.

There is one edit that really stands out in my mind. The CU of the dead woman and open eye with the bobbing head of the deer decoration. As though she is looking at it. Quite a powerful juxtaposition.

Like a few other posts here, I am very curious about the ending. I see you posted "to leave it up to the viewer." Let's say you are the viewer for a moment. What would you take away?

Best wishes~
Bradley
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Old December 30th, 2006, 12:50 AM   #9
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Hey Mike, I thought that turned out pretty good. I remember you had a screen grab up and a couple of us looked at it to help bring up the the scene. Great job !
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Old December 30th, 2006, 06:04 AM   #10
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Good heavens, Mike; that beginning up through the murder was one of the most chilling sequences I've ever seen! That thing with the deer lights is still freakin' me out! (May not help that I've been up all night. :) Horror flicks might be in your future...

For using "an old crappy camera," I'd say you did an excellent job. I really appreciated the look throughout. You have a good eye (with the possible exception of the framing on that ringing phone--but that just may be me :). Framing yourself can be quite the frustration; you sure pulled it off nicely.

Please do yourself a favor and don't criticize your acting anymore, okay? You did a fabulous job. :)
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Old December 30th, 2006, 07:31 AM   #11
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Bradley,

Thanks for the nice comments. As for the ending... I think his wish would be for "that night" never to have happened. Or something to that effect...

I would have to word it very carefully.

Chris,

Thanks a ton! You really helped me out with that. Thanks to you and the others I was able to bring out some lost detail in a very dark scene.

Lorinda,

Excellent! I wanted it to bring a very real/creepy tone to the beginning. I do love horror flicks. My only other finished short (my first) is a 3 minute horror. :)

I'm glad that the deer scene worked. I was hoping that it would play out just as you described. Disturbing was my intent...

As for the acting... thanks for all the kudos. I won't go on about it anymore. ;)

Thanks for all the comments,

Mike
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Old December 30th, 2006, 10:51 AM   #12
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Great lighting. Great title design. The electric lawn deer - eerie segue between its normalcy and the dead body. Oh and the melding of the wind up Christmas tune and eerie bass string mix to bring in the moment, fantastic. Excellent use of music to stir my emotions.
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Old December 30th, 2006, 06:05 PM   #13
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Mike -

Great movie! I'm with Lorinda, you sure have a knack for horror! The way the beginning was shot and edited made it really creepy and the pace was perfect!

I think the ending works...I mean I definately got that he was about to wish for his family back or for the murders not to have happened. I think its good to leave it up in the air as to whether his wish works or not. Either it seems like his last desperate attempt to bring them back or it takes a supernatural twist and they never died...As long as you intend for the viewer to wonder, then it works. If, however, you have a specific outcome in mind I'd go a step further and give a hint of what's to come...

-Jamey-
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Old December 30th, 2006, 10:26 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hugh DiMauro
Great lighting. Great title design. The electric lawn deer - eerie segue between its normalcy and the dead body. Oh and the melding of the wind up Christmas tune and eerie bass string mix to bring in the moment, fantastic. Excellent use of music to stir my emotions.
Awesome! I'm glad that you liked it. I wanted the wind up music to come across exactly like that.

Thanks,

Mike
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Old December 30th, 2006, 10:32 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamey Hastings
Mike -

Great movie! I'm with Lorinda, you sure have a knack for horror! The way the beginning was shot and edited made it really creepy and the pace was perfect!
Thanks, I definitely love the horror genre. I just had to squeeze it in... :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamey Hastings
I think the ending works...I mean I definately got that he was about to wish for his family back or for the murders not to have happened. I think its good to leave it up in the air as to whether his wish works or not. Either it seems like his last desperate attempt to bring them back or it takes a supernatural twist and they never died...As long as you intend for the viewer to wonder, then it works. If, however, you have a specific outcome in mind I'd go a step further and give a hint of what's to come...

-Jamey-
Yes, it's exactly what I intended. I'm tired of movies that spell everything out for you, and I purposely left the ending in the mind of the viewer. We can all pretty much guess what he wrote down... but I can think of at least 3 ways that it could play out. All of them differently.

Thanks for all the kind words.


Mike
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