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Old January 12th, 2011, 08:29 AM   #1
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The Night Before the Deadline

Here' my last minute hack job:


Yes, it truly was a last-minute procrastinator's effort and obviously suffers for it so I've put on my thick skin in preparation for the scathing reviews certain to follow! I was really just planning to hang on the Wall of Shame but while enjoying a late morning coffee on Saturday (the Day before the Deadline) I idly started kicking some ideas around and before you know it sucked myself into a weekend project.

Technical info: Shot with Canon 5D Mark II with 24-70L using the neutral profile and edited in Adobe CS5. Indoor scenes were lit with a cheapo incandescent kit. The outdoor street scenes were quick-n-dirty day for night on a day with an overcast. I underexposed about 2 stops, adjusted the brightness and contrast, then keyed a PhotoShop gradient to darken the top half of the frame.

Too bad the idea didn't come to me even a few days sooner, in which case it might have even been a worthy effort. Really enjoying the other films, though! And the best part is that this Challenge finally pushed me off the dime...it has been so very long since I've shot a "just for fun" short film and now I'm fired up to create again!
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Old January 12th, 2011, 09:17 AM   #2
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An excellent wedding of poetry and image,
that recalled to mind stories vintage,
yet modern enough to include your dogs
who served as your plot's cogs.

A little long maybe,
but it could be just me.
It was certainly original
with its take on the theme permissable.

The bonus of narration is we hear what you think
(a common device for DVC skaters in this rink)
inscribed in the bits of video's invisible ink....
All done with the humour of a postman's wink.
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Old January 12th, 2011, 11:30 AM   #3
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Spoiler ahead...

Pete, I laugh at something new every time I watch your film!! Because of that it's a winner in my mind. I think it's more intricate than you make it sound, particularly because of the writing. Your reworking of The Night Before Christmas was masterful!

Day for night, eh? You fooled me on that one. Well done.

"Victory, and prizes...and butt loads of cash." Hahaha!!! You are a genius, my friend. Thanks so much for entering this little treasure. Please, please stay fired up and join us next round!

p.s. LOVE the herd of rein-dogs! :)
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Old January 12th, 2011, 01:01 PM   #4
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Absolutely fooled me too on the day for night. I just thought you'd lit your foreground rather expertly. Never occurred to me that it was sunlight.

The whole piece was enjoyably whimsical and very visually inventive - and did I spy a wii-mote in your hand? good to know we've got some gamers on the forum!
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Old January 12th, 2011, 01:12 PM   #5
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I'm gonna echo everyone else here on the subject of Day for night. You pulled that off brilliantly.

Fun idea. Turn your lack of inspiration and procrastination into your inspiration and work ethic. That's how the Coen Brothers created Barton Fink.

Good work rewriting "The Night Before Christmas" and I particularly enjoyed the skeezy UPS guy standing in for Santa Claus.

I liked your first image of the globe, but I felt it went too long, there was a moment I was questioning if it would change at all. I wouldn't have minded a couple inserts of you looking pensive, or a camera laying unused on the floor...etc.

Overall, I thought it was well done, and a nice way of turning the theme on it's head.
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Old January 12th, 2011, 03:11 PM   #6
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Hello Pete,

I agree about what has been said here already.
Didn't know it wasn't real dark until I read your thread after watching the film.
Well done!

One detail: The titles and credit in the end are a bit difficult to read, especially if viewed on a small screen.
I suggest you use a more easy readable font for future films.

Thank you for sharing!
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Old January 12th, 2011, 10:02 PM   #7
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Hi Pete:

What fun and how creative is this?! You did this the night before the deadline? I'm am very impressed. Great narrative. Fun story. A creative twist to our "Night Before Christmas" classic. I'm bracing for when you enter something you had time to work on.

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Old January 13th, 2011, 04:05 AM   #8
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Hi!

Fooled me with the day for night too, very good! Really liked the poem - a very stylish video!
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Old January 13th, 2011, 08:17 AM   #9
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Hi Pete,

My, you do have a wonderful twist here. Day for night, UPS delivery guy for Santa, deadline for Christmas, the globe for a blank sheet, all in the game! Your transmogrification of "The Night Before Christmas" was great.The technical ability to make the day/night mixup was impressive.

Well done.

Alan

Last edited by Alan Emery; January 13th, 2011 at 09:38 AM. Reason: Typo
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Old January 13th, 2011, 08:34 AM   #10
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What was in the box, Pete? What was in the box?

Ha, quite well done! Really enjoyed it -- congrats,
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Old January 13th, 2011, 03:49 PM   #11
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Pete,
I am impressed of what you have been able to do in the last minute.
The poetry is outstanding.
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Old January 13th, 2011, 08:05 PM   #12
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Well thank you all for the surprsingly kind words. Even allowing that for the most part we are are own worst critics, I'm still befuddled that this bit was well received.

Glad the day for night came across well. Myself, I wasn't all that happy with it but figured it was enough to avoid breaking the "suspension of disbelief" a bad scene can cause.

Marc: Given your poetic response, perhaps we should collaborate on the sequel?

Henry: Yes, it was a Wii remote, but not mine. It belongs to our high schooler. The only gaming that really interests me is flight simulators and I don't even take the time for that these days.

Cole: Agree about breaking up the first scene of the globe. In fact, what we'd planned to do and just ran out of time and energy was to lay my head dejectly on our breakfast table while idly twirling the camera on the lazy susan in the center of the table with slow cross disolves to/from the globe to indicate the passage of time. Another shot I couldn't get (in time) because it was the weekend was the UPS truck making his daily rounds; the first shot of the front stoop was just a filler because I didn't have the UPS truck scene. Tried to animate a downloaded still image of a delivery truck onto a clip of the street using AE but the initial effort at that looked pretty bad. It was going to be a time sucker so skipped it.

Trond: Yep, if I were to re-edit this, I'd definitely put more work into the credits. I kind of did minimal effort on those since I was running out of time and I figured -- foolishly for this crowd I'm sure -- that, hey, nobody reads credits anyway. The time crunch was acute, as I really didn't even start working on the verses until late morning on Saturday and most of Sunday afternoon and evening I was at the hockey rink.

Alan, please don't tell Santa that his story, I transmogrified. He'd be horrified!

Obstreperous Rex: Hmmm, how should I answer this...? (1) I'll tell YOU when Tarantino tells ME what was in Marsellus Wallace's briefcase. (2) You'll just have to wait for the sequel. (3) I can be bribed. (4) The dogs are generally even easier to bribe, but I don't know if you can make them talk on this one.
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Old January 14th, 2011, 01:38 PM   #13
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I forgot last evening to add my comment to Lorinda: oh, those aren't reindogs! They're more properly known as either Hell Hounds or Devil Dogs, or just "Will you please just STOP BARKING FOR EVEN JUST ONE MOMENT!".
;-)
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Old January 14th, 2011, 02:25 PM   #14
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Ha ha! Boy, do I relate to that! Maybe they just need a job. You've got enough there for a little team; hook 'em to a flying sleigh, grow that scruffy beard back that the guy in the brown truck was wearing in your film and help deliver late-purchased gifts to *other* procrastinators. :)
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Old January 14th, 2011, 10:49 PM   #15
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Hahah, beautiful Pete!
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