"Winter witches" by Andris Krastiņ (DVC15) at DVinfo.net

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Old January 5th, 2009, 10:37 AM   #1
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"Winter witches" by Andris Krastiņ (DVC15)

Due to end exams and lots of stuff to do at work (haven't slept for 40h) I was unable to find the time that would reasonably be needed for a worthy DVC/UWOL entry.
I was visiting friends, as always had my bcam with me, and I proposed to make a quick film for DVC! In my book, something made is better than nothing done.

So I quickly invented the script, then we went and shot for about 10 minutes in local wood (6 minutes tape used), then later went home and edited it all.
No special costumes used, the tallest girl had that indian ornament on forehead, and the other girl was really wearing that pre 70s USSR dress. Jūlija though howled at me, when I took away her coat, because it was quite cold outside, so we shot quick.

Time total spent on this is less than 2 hours, so I think it's not that bad considering that. :)

Shot with Canon HV20 and a small led flashlight.

Story: a girl is walking home after dark, but a winter witch by magic leads her true self (soul) away from the safe path (as witches in folklore do), while a shadow shell of the girl continues to walk as if nothing had happened. Realms change and the girl is walking deep in the dark forest of her own psyche, and the witch is leading her deeper and deeper into the dark, where she finally meets the winter witch eye to eye.

Music by Sniegavīru Rūpnīca, my friend is in the band and I've got the permission to use the song in this film. The song is called "Raganu karaspēks" or "Army of witches", which is attacking with fire amid a storm and everybody is screaming for help. The version of the song in this video is edited to suit the story rhythm.
Sorry about the sound quality, didn't have a better recording.
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Old January 5th, 2009, 11:15 AM   #2
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Andris

What an interesting experimental movie! I loved your post filtration color use, varied lighting techniques and frame rates. Also, great way to showcase your band. You definitely show a sense of personal style. Its sort of like Blair Witch meets an old British Rock music video! Nicely done!
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Old January 5th, 2009, 05:54 PM   #3
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The story didn't exactly jump out at me the first time I watched, but I've had that problem on my own movies where I was given days or weeks to shoot. Getting this done start to finish in two hours is quite a feat, and your explanation cleared everything up, so congratulations! As nerve wracking as it is to do this stuff so fast, it's a hell of a lot of fun.

Am I correct in taking the last shot to mean the girl has now taken over the witch's role of leading people's souls off into the dark?
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Old January 5th, 2009, 06:51 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Martens View Post
Am I correct in taking the last shot to mean the girl has now taken over the witch's role of leading people's souls off into the dark?
That's the impression I got, too.

Interesting concept, Andris. As for the cold aspect, yeah, I felt for the gal walking around with no coat, but what about the one with the snow all over her! Brrrrrr!!!
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Old January 5th, 2009, 07:38 PM   #5
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Hi Andris:

I seem to be telling everyone on their thread that this is my first time in DVC-land and I'm quite taken by all this creativity, theme interpretation and filming techniques. To pull this off in a few hours is no small feat, well done on that.

I was fascinated by the way you used your spot lights and time-lapses to create such an erie and surreal effect.

I'm sure this will come to mind the next time I'm walking home alone on a dark street.

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Old January 6th, 2009, 01:30 AM   #6
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Hi Andris,
well done due to the fact that you did this in 2 hours...!!!

Lots of creativity and joy here, even though the soundtrack was not my "style" of music (but I'm passing 50 pretty soon), I had a good time watching this.

Good work!
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Old January 6th, 2009, 05:19 AM   #7
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Thanks y'all for your comments!

Quote:
Am I correct in taking the last shot to mean the girl has now taken over the witch's role of leading people's souls off into the dark?
Yes, she's become a witch herself. As the song is about an army of witches to native speakers this video suggests that witches by this method are gathering an army.

Last edited by Andris Krastins; January 6th, 2009 at 08:15 AM.
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Old January 6th, 2009, 02:04 PM   #8
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I've been personally frustrated about not being able to gather the wits to produce a video like this. I am a bit in awe of the ability you have to take a fast camera movement, speed it up even more at the right moment, and introduce shake, and use it to visual advantage, and time it with heavy rock beat. It shows imagination, and probably a bit of the youth culture that I have already passed by.

This video definitely conveys the theme, and has a very eerie quality to boot. Nice job !
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Old January 6th, 2009, 04:41 PM   #9
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Yeah, this movie is kinda freaky -- but freaky in a good way! I think you've stumbled upon a very good idea here, and I'd like to see you elaborate more on it in the near future. Keep it going!
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Old January 6th, 2009, 08:19 PM   #10
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I must admit that without your explanation post I wouldn't have been able to guess what was really going on in "Winter Witches" but I thought the shooting style was well complimented by the choice of music and I'm always impressed by someone who can manage to tell any kind of story just by grabbing a camera and starting to shoot.


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Old January 7th, 2009, 10:35 AM   #11
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Hi Andris,

I think you made a cool video.
Great choice of fast/slow shots, the use of lighting...
And you did all this (including editing?) in only 2 hours? I'm impressed.

Well done!
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Old January 7th, 2009, 10:48 AM   #12
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Hi!

Thanks, Chris, Joseph, Jay and Trond for your comments, compliments and critique. I agree that the story is not so clear, even more so for those, all of you, really, who don't understand the lyrics. My apologies for that, but I felt this song best suited the script.

As some of you observed I tried to use the limitations of "production" to my advantage.
Since I did all handheld (right) with a flashlight in my other hand (left), I didn't even try to make the shots more even, instead I tried to create a style for which these limitations would seem natural.

Quote:
And you did all this (including editing?) in only 2 hours? I'm impressed.
Thanks. Yes, including editing. Even now I've just jumped in for a few moments to reply, end exams at uni have taken all my time and liberty away for a few weeks.

Quote:
I think you've stumbled upon a very good idea here, and I'd like to see you elaborate more on it in the near future. Keep it going!
Maybe I will, thanks, Joseph! :) Not in immediate future though, because right after exams I'm taken for 3 music videos and some other projects. Maybe next DVC.
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Old January 7th, 2009, 12:48 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Andris Krastins View Post
... this video suggests that witches by this method are gathering an army.
Ah, there's my problem. You mentioned the song was about a witch attack, but I didn't know they were actually recruiting. I like the ending even more now!
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Old January 7th, 2009, 01:17 PM   #14
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an intriguing video, very creative. I thought some of the filming was brilliantly done.

Can't improve on the prior remarks, Ditto.

Lacking creativity myself I now get it after reading a few of the posts!!! I will go back and watch it again!!
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Old January 7th, 2009, 05:22 PM   #15
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Cool movie. Has a low-budget horror movie vibe. Very erie. The song was perfect. Since I didn't understand the movie it was perfect that I didn't understand the lyrics. Felt like I was really experiencing something different. Sound quality seemed to fit too.

Its been said, but the flash light was a really cool lighting technique.
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