DVC 7 - Dennis Khaye's "last Christmas" at DVinfo.net

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Old December 27th, 2006, 12:05 PM   #1
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DVC 7 - Dennis Khaye's "last Christmas"

One man, one camera, one day.

Sorry about the video quality. Had to use a Hi8 camera. Let's just pretend I wanted that early 80's video look.

All comments, critiques, questions will be cheerfully acknowledged so please feel free. Win, lose or draw this is a wonderful idea to raise money.

Good luck everyone!
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Old December 29th, 2006, 10:46 PM   #2
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Just watched it... very good stuff! I wish I had more shots/angles to look at thoough. Maybe have the guy turning the dial on the safe, cut back to the guy in the bed... "wait for it", cut back to the last turn of the dial... *click*

You know the rest.

I guess I just wanted to see a tad more variety in the scenes.

It really held my interest though. Very well put together.

Mike
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Old December 29th, 2006, 10:51 PM   #3
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yeaaahhhyyy, that big guy makes a return. hahahaha. I love that guy. Anyway, at first watch the angles seemed a bit odd to me. but second watch and I liked the angles. Simple yet effective. I got hooked on the eye shots, and grew to love them. nicely done.
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Old December 29th, 2006, 11:12 PM   #4
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The shots of Ike standing by the bed (Mike and Ike, very cute; where are Good and Plenty?) were a little tight for my liking, I'd pull back a touch.

I'd remembered someone mentioning having to shoot Hi8 for this contest, but until I read your post, I didn't know it was you. It has its fair share of grain, yeah, but it doesn't look bad at all.

Unexpected laughs are the best kind, and "wait for it" had me rolling. "BOOM!" was the first thought to enter my mind after you said that, but the blast was satisfying nonetheless.

I do think the "Memories" theme was a little weak, however. We meet Ike in what I take to be a bar in the beginning, but never find out how this job led from a guy with a cool, calm demeanor in a nice, clean suit with slicked-back hair to a jaded, kinda-sorta depressed hathead dude in a wifebeater, hanging out getting drunk by himself. He didn't seem too affected at the thought of killing his own brother at first, I'd like to find out more about how it all happened. Did the reality of what he'd done hit him later? Did he never get the money, and fall on hard times? Was somebody in charge a little irritated that he lost his partner? That kind of thing.
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Old December 30th, 2006, 12:59 AM   #5
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Hi Dennis

Nice job on your short. The 80's look? Yeah! Now if we could just get a "chunka...chunka...twang...chunka...chunka...twang" Man, it must be past my bedtime.

I liked your sound on this and the voices were very bold and clear. Seemed to lend itself well to feel of your film. Noted a black frame or two in the middle of the film. No biggie, just wanted to see if it was a compression issue.

Interesting choice of shots with the extreme close ups.

Jay Barlow was great too! With the combination being 12-25-6 and the title being Last Christmas, I was wondering if that was specifically for us? :)

Best wishes~
Bradley
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Old December 30th, 2006, 01:01 AM   #6
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Dennis:

This film held my attention. But "Bar" scene, as I thought you were trying to convey, with binball in background, looked like a kitchen to me... Need to be darkened down I think and accent lights placed. That kind of disturbed the illusion. But as the rest of it went on, I think it came off real well. And for this format, Hi8 does just fine, and no apologies needed...
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Old December 30th, 2006, 10:40 AM   #7
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Are you a Michael Madsen fan? Because Jay pulled it off nicely. If I closed my eyes I would have thought Michael Madsen starred in your movie. Great use of close ups to create tension.
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Old December 30th, 2006, 11:23 AM   #8
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Thank you very much for the comments. I really appreciate them.

@ Hugh
A quote from Jay: "Michael Madsen, really? Sweet! I've been told the late Chris Penn ala 'Reservoir Dogs'. My diet must be working!"
He's a wonderful guy to work with. A bit like Frank Sinatra, hates to do more than two takes, but at least he doesn't send some big goon with brass knuckles to your house if you ask for more.

@ Chris
Ah I know, I'm sorry, the sound effect said "Casino". It was supposed to be a casino but we didn't have much time to set it up. That's actually the bar in my basement.

@ Bradley
I agree, 80's porn music, I have to get some, it's just too funny not to. A black frame in the MOV or WMV version? The combination was specific to the contest yes. When I test screened it with my wife and a bunch of friends, only one other person caught that little detail. ;)

@ Robert
I agree with you, very good critque of the story. Yes the theme was weak and it seems really tacked on but, I went with it. Had to cut a lot for just a three minute super short and much of what I had in there ended up in the recycle bin. I was more worried about pacing than theme this go around. Using a Hi8 camera, I didn't worry too much about winning this one.

@ Michael
Thank you! I was going to flip the room around and place the camera outside shooting in through the window but it was too cold out.

@ Mike H.
You've hit the nail on the head; it would have been much better. Thanks for the honest critique. It seems to be a running a thing with me I think. I have to move the camera more.

Thank all very much. I really appreciate your honesty and feel free to comment on anything else. It's one of the best ways to learn.
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Old December 30th, 2006, 05:53 PM   #9
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Dennis -

For some reason I've always liked mobster themed movies...Some girls like fast cars, I like mobsters...what can I say? Anyway, the actor you had playing the guy with the gun pulled it off perfectly...I totally thought he WAS a mob boss...

The only thing that bothered me a bit was that the closeups seemed just a smidge too close...at times they seemed a bit out of focus...I really liked the approach of just showing his eyes, his hands, his mouth though it made it really dramatic...I would've just come out a little tiny bit more...

Other than that...great fun flick!

-Jamey-
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Old December 30th, 2006, 08:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Khaye
Thank you very much for the comments. I really appreciate them.

@ Bradley
I agree, 80's porn music, I have to get some, it's just too funny not to. A black frame in the MOV or WMV version? The combination was specific to the contest yes. When I test screened it with my wife and a bunch of friends, only one other person caught that little detail. ;)
lol Dennis- exactly (on the music) ;)

As for the movie, I have the .MOV version. It is 14MB, 320x240 size and the black frame comes in at the 00:01:42 mark. Am guessing it is a compression deal. Hope that helps.

Best wishes~
Bradley
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Old December 30th, 2006, 10:55 PM   #11
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Thanks for the heads up Bradley I'll fix it as soon as I can.

@ Jamey
Thanks for the critique, I really appreciate it. Usually I do take isolation shots (hand movments, feet tapping, some kind of fidgiting) but this was so short and we shot it in one day. I sat down to edit it and realized I'd totally forgotten to do some of those. Would have helped a lot.

Thanks again for taking the time to help me out you guys!
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Old January 1st, 2007, 02:19 AM   #12
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I wish I had more BTS stuff for this one to set to that porn soundtrack. LOL
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Old January 1st, 2007, 02:13 PM   #13
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lol Dennis!

"chunka...chunka...twang...chunka...chunka...twang"

Git 'er done!

Best wishes~
Bradley
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Old January 1st, 2007, 02:29 PM   #14
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Hi8, huh?

Well I got so caught up in the story I could care less what it was shot with.

Jay Barlow is something else. Do I see right that he actually has 3 roles? Ike, Mike, and the guy in the suit wanting to use the pistol? His voice is amazing and in this short has an absolutely chilling quality.

I feel all the things you did with the camera were appropriate to the story and the way the flow went. I was spellbound from the moment he said "No. I don't" after turning away and draining the drink.

Music: Heh heh. I recognize the "Evil Intent" track from the SmartSound "Dramatic Undertones" disk. I tried to picture in my mind as I listened to it when I first ordered a couple of disks just how I might use it.

It works very well with your material here.

Bruce
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Old January 1st, 2007, 03:28 PM   #15
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Hey Dennis, I could have sworn I commented on this movie! I'm such a doofus sometimes (dufus, deufous..not sure on that spelling :).

That voice is so darn sinister it makes my blood run cold. He did an excellent job with his eyes and mouth, too. What pressure, knowing someone is doing extreme closeups like that! But he did a great job.

Your story was really interesting. I had to grin when Michael [sort of] smiled after "wait for it." Part of me was wishing all the other guys had been at the safe when it blew, and that it would have ended with Michael's half-smile, but then the memory would have to have been his!

Nice job, as usual. So different from the caveman movie. It's fun when you guys don't get stuck in a genre.
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