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Old June 10th, 2010, 01:37 AM   #1
T2i Noir Teaser
Gabriel Florit Gabriel Florit is offline June 10th, 2010, 01:37 AM

I finally got my hands on a T2i. Lots to learn, but I'm enjoying it so far:


Comments/feedback welcome.

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Old June 10th, 2010, 10:20 AM   #2
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Love it!

The Perry Mason music kind of pulled me out of it, though. It's such a recognizable piece, I wonder if some other period music would work?

But visually it was beautiful.
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Old June 10th, 2010, 11:17 AM   #3
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Huh, I do wonder if I underestimated how popular that show was. I guess I should have done my homework! :) Thanks for the feedback!
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Old June 10th, 2010, 01:05 PM   #4
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I've never actually watched the show, but for some reason I know the theme music!
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Old June 10th, 2010, 01:05 PM   #5
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I'm with Brian. I recognized the theme before the 2nd note had finished.

For your film, you should really find a composer to work with. Not only can they develop an original theme, but they will able to match the flow of the visuals. For instance, the Perry Mason theme starts with suspense tone followed by a shock, does it again, then builds into a lyrical piece. The visuals don't imply those "hits" or rhythms. In addition, the particular recording has low fidelity, which doesn't match the cleanliness of the images. You might add some film grain. The "John Gray" title is especially over clean for the genre and the music.

You could check with music composition teachers from local colleges. They might have some talented students would would take on the project for free.

There are also developing composers on forums such as...
v.i. control forum • Board Index [ Guest ]
Music Software / Virtual Instruments community: Northernsounds.com

Keep in mind that sound is half of the film.

As to the images, they look great. The use of shadow is especially thematic. The slow move across the clock is nice. (A tick-tock sound or theme could add to the suspense and imply that the "missing wife" has little time.)

But be warned. Noir is tough. We did a fifteen minute film noir comedy last year. It was a real challenge!

With serious noir, it can get cheesy and people will laugh. Trying to do a noir comedy, the dark mood made it tough to make people laugh. And, if you string together cliches, people get bored, so avoid that.

The best advice I can give for the full version is "show, don't tell." It's easy to get caught in the Sam Spade dialog trap, or have dull scenes with endless exposition where the actors tell the audience all about the plot and the action that is never shown. Yawn.

The best noir builds the tension without dialog - a man pulls out a switchblade and walks down an alley towards a walking couple. Or a man runs from a bank as sirens and whistles blare and guns fire.

The best dialog is done with emotional intensity - the tough guy hits the stoolie and tells him to shutup or die. Or the victim pleads for her life - or to be killed and put out of her misery. Or the tough woman tells her worm of a man what she really thinks of him.

With those scenes in hand, you can cut a heck of a trailer that hints at the plot and shows the audience the drama to come.

On the other hand, if you have lots of exposition and no action, it's tough to cut a trailer that tells the audience why this is a must-see film.

But even with great music, suspense, action, and emotional sizzle, noir is a tough sell today. Well, so is anything that doesn't have a big name actor and/or world-class CGI...

Best of luck with your project!
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Old June 10th, 2010, 02:14 PM   #6
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Thanks for your detailed feedback!!! I shot all this footage the night I got the camera, because I was itching to test it out. And of course during the editing it only seemed appropriate to make it into a noir trailer. Now I realize that my choice of shots wasn't completely coincidental - noir is my one true love, so surely subconsciously I wanted to do a noir thing.

You've got some great ideas there - a switchblade glinting in a dark alley is so cinematic. I can SEE it already.

You know this was just me fooling around - but I might have to give it some serious thought. I'm currently reading James Ellroy's American Tabloid. It reminds me how fun noir is. And netflix just delivered Chinatown.

Hmmm... I think the stars are trying to tell me something! :)
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Old June 10th, 2010, 04:18 PM   #7
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Given that this was just some first night shots with the camera, color me impressed: first, that you were able to get such iconic shots, and second, because you put them into a finished package.

Clearly, you have an eye for shadows, so leverage that no matter the genre.

BTW, lighting for noir is really critical, but it doesn't have to be that expensive. You can get deep fixtures from Lowes/Home Depot and use a bare, glass bulb with a small filament. Put it on a stand and you can cast nice, hard shadows.

You might see if the local library has Film Noir Killer Classics. http://www.amazon.com/Killer-Classics-Detour-Stranger-Scarlet/dp/B0001MMGRW In the special features, there is a collection of 38 trailers. Watching those really shows the importance of mood, suspense, action, and high emotion - as well as big aggressive fonts that hit the audience over the head. In essence, the big fonts flipping onto the screen were the big budget special effects of the day.

For passion and high emotion, check out The Killers, with Burt Lancaster. http://www.amazon.com/Killers-Criterion-Collection-Burt-Lancaster/dp/B00007ELDG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1276204121&sr=1-1 If you see the trailer in the collection above, you'll see what I mean.

It's odd that film noir is remembered for the dry detective voice with the witty quips. "She walked into bar with more diamonds than a deck of cards..." The genre is really about messed up, emotionally driven characters living dangerously in an urban world of deception, mistrust, and ultimately tragedy.
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