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Old January 12th, 2010, 12:55 PM   #1
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The red side

Okay. Watch the movie first as a plot spoiler follows:

YouTube - The Red Side

This short was written by one of my acting students, Kathryn Kyker, and featured another acting student Manda McKay. It is so much easier to do one of these challenges when all you have to do is shoot and edit and the production, casting and script is provided for you. Maybe this will disqualify me as a contest participant since I had so little to do with the creative concept.

Several of my guy friends didn't get this one at all. Two of them didn't even get that it was a dream, the stuff in the woods. What can I say? Maybe I should have put some vignette or soft focus around it, but I tried to make it like the dreams I experience, with things looking realistic but unexplainable inconsistencies happening until you wake up and realize you were dreaming.

I had a small hand in the script. I wanted some "Little Red Riding Hood" motif, because as a D.P. I wanted to test my new camera in various situations. I had a homemade dolly, a recently acquired jib, and a DIY steady cam. I also wanted to do a rack focus somewhere to see how hard it is to get right without a follow focus. I had read much of the rolling shutter problem and wanted to see just how bad it is, so I wanted a chase in the woods.

I had another camera on hand with a CCD sensor, and planned to shoot the chase with both cameras and make a comparison in post. But we were running out of light and time, the wobble that is apparent in the 7D footage gave it kind of a dream like quality, so I said the comparison can wait for another day.

Kathryn scounted the locations, provided food and coffee, and served as my A.D. She is super fantastically wonderful, and is playing the lead role in another short I am working on called 401 acres. You can see a rough cut clip of that here if you are interested.

YouTube - 401 Acres

I was surprised to discover a big rock in the stream, and knew I had to work it into the shot. My brother Tom carried the dolly and track into the woods so we could get teh shot, which really doesn't have any purpose other than to test the dolly and give me honorary membership as a UWOL filmmaker.

Why is the music so loud? Normally, I put music soft as a background thing, but since it was a dream, I liked the jarring effect the music had on the scene, when it was turned up a bit. As Chris Barcellos can tell you, I don't mind distrubing the audience a little, and hey, like there are enough people out there making films that feel good. I like to touch a little rawer emotion when I do things.

Kathryn came up with the script and main plot idea. A young woman is getting married, and feels like she is closing the door on a part of her dreams. The "red side," the passionate, dangerous, adventure of meeting the new, the romance of the unknown. She can no longer give this gift of herself to another man and the dream is some reflection of this line of thinking.

I know. I was clueless as this was explained to me too. My two friends who didn't even get that it was a dream are also divorced so I have company in my lack of sensitivity to the draw of the red side. BTW, the title is a tongue in cheek take off of the Blind side, in which my ex plays one of Sandra Bullock's prejudice friends. Life imitates art, is all I'm saying...
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Old January 12th, 2010, 01:46 PM   #2
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Dick- Funny how you got the big rock in there. It was UWOLesque. The story dragged me in, wondering where in the heck it was going. Great running camera scenes. The ending left me hanging, and made me think about what it meant, so in other words was a great ending.
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Old January 12th, 2010, 02:15 PM   #3
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Dick:

Nice job on this film. Pretty lady, though I disagree with your "screen" opinion.... something about a pretty lady in white.

Interesting story line, and nice camera work ! Still contemplating the hidden meanings.
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Old January 12th, 2010, 02:26 PM   #4
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Dick,

I agree with what has been said. Nice film you made.
Interesting story and camera work.

Nice how you got the rock into the film. :)
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Old January 12th, 2010, 02:41 PM   #5
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This was a strange story! I didn't get that it was a dream sequence until the lady woke up, but I noticed the inconsistencies. They made a lot of sense, when I realized it had been a dream.
Until you explained I didn't understand that it was about getting married, I wondered all the time what that dialogue with that other man behind the door was about (waiting for what?),
but I got the sexual undertones.

I loved the rock scene! :)

edit: Some ideas: I noticed that the chase and follow scenes were a bit jittery, but then the tripod scenes were totally still/static. It created a contrast that emphasised the jittery parts, so I think that it would have been better for the static shots to be not absolutely static, so that the flow is more even. Just a thought.
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Old January 12th, 2010, 05:45 PM   #6
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I really liked the video work, every scene felt as though some real thought was put in it.
As for the dream, I didn't get completely what was going on until she woke up.

The sound to me seemed mismatched (not in terms of the background music, but in terms of when people are speaking, they sound worlds apart, like one is being heard through a phone). Not sure if that was the effect you were going for, but it really irked me at the start.
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Old January 12th, 2010, 06:23 PM   #7
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Really enjoyed the surreal feel of the project. It definitely took me somewhere other than reality.

And a couple others said this as well, the jittery camera transition into static seems just a little off...but then again, you said you were going for jarring, so it's probably somewhat intentional.

Loved the concept and story, great work.
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Old January 12th, 2010, 08:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graeme Hay View Post

The sound to me seemed mismatched (not in terms of the background music, but in terms of when people are speaking, they sound worlds apart, like one is being heard through a phone). Not sure if that was the effect you were going for, but it really irked me at the start.
Graeme,

There are places where I did this intentionally. The most obvious is when he is looking at the rock and you hear a knocking and she says "what is it?" It is the voice from the room in which she is sleeping, with a little filtering to make it sound distant and remote. She is responding to the knocking in her sleep, and it intrudes into the dream as a question. Seemed like a good idea when I was editing, but I have heard enough negative feedback to make me realize it probably didn't come off the way I intended.
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Old January 12th, 2010, 11:56 PM   #9
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Well…if the marriage isn’t what she hoped she’s always got the man of her dreams to fall back on--so to speak. :)

Very nicely done, Dick, and in no way should this be disqualified! For crying out loud, you directed, edited, co-starred, contributed to the script--how much more would you need to do?

I totally got the story--must be a gal thing. Of course, watching it several times helps cement the concept and bring out more nuances, but that’s hardly an undesirable thing.

Your new toys worked great; you did a wonderful job in your role. Editing was much to my liking….I think you’ve got a great film here.

The only thing I’d have done differently is get that girl some sexier shoes to wear! Gotta be a hiking line with four-inch heels somewhere. ;)
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Old January 13th, 2010, 11:11 AM   #10
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Good Morning,


Lorinda, did she have shoes on? never noticed her feet I reckon, must be a guy thing!!

dick, I really liked the feel of this as several others have mentioned. the rock scene was definitely my favorite!!! You all did a real fine job here. Nice to have a group of people to work with!!! This is one of my favorites!

I really do not have anything critical to say about it. thank all the others for taking the time so we could enjoy it!!
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Old January 13th, 2010, 12:07 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Lorinda Norton View Post
The only thing Id have done differently is get that girl some sexier shoes to wear! Gotta be a hiking line with four-inch heels somewhere. ;)
Hard to have her run in heels or walk on wet rocks. But yes, sexier anything is always something I would love to add.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale Guthormsen View Post
Lorinda, did she have shoes on? never noticed her feet I reckon, must be a guy thing!!
LOL. Shoes, it's a woman thing. Thanks Lorinda and Dale for the kind remarks.
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Old January 13th, 2010, 12:40 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Dale Guthormsen View Post
Good Morning,


Lorinda, did she have shoes on? never noticed her feet I reckon, must be a guy thing!!

dick, I really liked the feel of this as several others have mentioned. the rock scene was definitely my favorite!!! You all did a real fine job here. Nice to have a group of people to work with!!! This is one of my favorites!

I really do not have anything critical to say about it. thank all the others for taking the time so we could enjoy it!!
Whoa! I also didn't notice shoes... must watch again...
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Old January 13th, 2010, 01:39 PM   #13
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Hahaha! You guys!!

That leaves me with only one thing to say...

Touche. :)
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Old January 13th, 2010, 02:11 PM   #14
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Actually I did notice the unmatching footwear //notices guys looking strangely and slowly backs away
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Old January 14th, 2010, 12:05 AM   #15
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Hi there. This is my first post, but I've been lurking around for a while.
I really liked your nice little short here. You did a very good job establishing a dream-like quality to the scenes in the woods. Not really David Lynch in your face, but more of a classy surrealism, reminiscent of "Synechdoche, New York."
I also loved the folk song that was playing. When the harmonica kicks in as she's running was one of those glorious film moments you get to see every so often.
My only gripe is the musical transitions felt a little awkward, but overall this was pleasure to watch.
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