compressing large ideas into shorts at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Open DV Discussion

Open DV Discussion
For topics which don't fit into any of the other categories.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old October 22nd, 2006, 12:16 AM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: New Orleans, La
Posts: 47
compressing large ideas into shorts

Hey everyone, in this past semester in school Im taking some screenwriting classes and some film production. Well for film production my final project is being shot on 16mm using a CP-16, with audio using a DAR, and we have lighting setups. It is costing me around 200 or so dollars for the color film, developement, and digitizing with timecode windowburns. Im planning on my finished cut project to be around 3 or 4 minutes. Well my biggest problem is being able to come up with a short that will fit into that timeframe. I have an idea already planned out for the film but I really dont want to do it on 16mm, I would like something better. But everything else I come up with is a little longer than 3 minutes. Or what would be a good time to shoot for, keep in mind slates and inexperience actors, I will be rehearsing everything but I cannot have a 8 minute cut film with only 11 minutes of raw footage. What do you guys do to strip an idea down or whatnot. In all honesty Im not really sure what im asking but I know im beating myself up trying to come up with something else, It could be Im too critical of myself. I visit this forum fairly often and there are alot of knowledgeable members, so maybe someone has some tips.

Thanks.
Mike
Michael Gilbert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 22nd, 2006, 05:31 PM   #2
Trustee
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Honolulu, HI
Posts: 1,961
From your post, I believe you have 11 total minutes of film to use? It would be hard to make even a 4-minute movie with only 11 minutes of film. You will need to rehearse like crazy to get less than 3 takes per shot not including any pre-roll. I think I would use this as an exercise in working with film and plan and rehearse like fiends just to fit a short movie into 11 minutes. I don't think I would take one of my best ideas and cram it into 4 minutes. On the other hand, make sure you still challenge yourself by doing the best 4-minute movie possible. You only have 1/30th the amount of time of a feature to get your idea across, so make it one fairly simple idea and do it right. Pretend you are making one beautiful painting and not a whole museum.

On the other hand, I think most works have some fluff and can be cut down. Personally, I am striving to have better visual quality at this point in my movie-making hobby and I would probably make what I feel is one or two scenes of a big-budget feature. Sometimes, the smallest actions or expressions deliver the greatest emotional content. I have noticed that less-than-epic films often focus on the little or simple aspects of human nature and can convey more emotion than an entire $100,000,000 epic feature.

Maybe you should do the most amazing 1-minute movie ever shot on 16mm and have 11 takes per shot? If you are stuck, think of your situation from a completely different angle. Don't cram a horse into a box when that box could instead be a beautiful habitat for a couple of canaries.
Marcus Marchesseault is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 23rd, 2006, 02:29 AM   #3
Trustee
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Berkshire, UK
Posts: 1,562
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Gilbert
only 11 minutes of raw footage. What do you guys do to strip an idea down or whatnot. In all honesty Im not really sure what im asking but I know im beating myself up trying to come up with something else,
Plus ca change. Twenty years ago I was on the Fuji Film Scholarship - 1600' of neg stock, etc. for 10-15 mins finished movie. In further iterations, I think the stock went up a bit. :)

So, you've got my brain fishing around for all those filmic devices to employ to ensure as many one-take wonders as possible, and to stretch screen time without using more neg stock:

- Undercranked shots (e.g. character remains virtually motionless amongst busy scene)
- Animation (stop motion)
- Use sound and off-screen action (exposition over black or title card)
- Fade-down, Fade-up to transition time.
- Action freezes to voice-over (c.f. Snatch), unfreezes to finish the shot
- Focus pulls etc (though nothing too 'clever' that can go wrong)

But the bottom line, as you say, is your story. I'd probably think along the lines of a 60 second commercial or trailer. A single story with a good punch line.

Check out Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels - the filmmakers storyboarded every last cut and transition because they didn't have enough film stock. Every shot had to count. So a Fade down, Fade up involved shooting something going into a safe from within the safe, door closes to black, then we're 'inside' a cooking pot (black) as the lid's taken off (trick shot). Lots of little devices that don't need lines or luck to get right on the first take. Even though such things take a LOT of setting up! :)
Matt Davis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 23rd, 2006, 09:17 AM   #4
Trustee
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Brookline, MA
Posts: 1,447
Instead of beating myself over the head for such things I would shoot HD.
Emre Safak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 23rd, 2006, 12:48 PM   #5
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 4,750
Be resourceful and think outside the box. Because you only have so much film, you can't shoot this like a typical movie with lots of coverage. Ideally, you'd come up with something that needs less film and tells the story better.

2- Idea-wise, you may be able to condense your other ideas are find the strongest idea in your stories and work with that. Many stories benefit from editing anyways.

- If you're really really pressed, you may not necessarily need to use a slate.
Glenn Chan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 23rd, 2006, 05:01 PM   #6
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: New Orleans, La
Posts: 47
thanks for all the replies. Still havent come up with anything besides my original. Let me run my original by you guys.

Basically woman goes about daily life seeing things that would cause a normal person some form of reaction, insert of her without reaction or emotion. Another thing to cause reaction, again no reaction(happy or sad) just a lack of all emotion.

Int: Bedroom

Guy is yelling at girl. Girl with no emotion picks up book. Guy still cursing and yelling....girl just reading book....guy yelling comes into the door way....woman jumps up smacks him in the face and slams the door...insert of her face after (no emotion).....see womans knuckles bloody she walks to wash her hands....she bandages her hands (still no emotion in face)...she moves back to the bed picks up the book looks at it for awhile and turns the page...closeup of book(pages take whole screen) sit there for around 10 to 20 seconds or so then you hear her begin to cry and continues crying....then on the closeup of the book you see teardrops hit the pages. the only time you see her have some emotion, you never actually see it in her face.


thats my idea now. It will work if i dont think of anything else. Two actors only 1 real location...the shots in the begining setting up her emotional status i havent thought of yet....I think it kinda plays on the (kulshov?) experiment. Russian guy kinda did the same thing...put crazy stuff cut with a man without reaction....experiment in guiding audience response to a situation by how the actors react.

lemme know what you think.
Michael Gilbert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 23rd, 2006, 05:04 PM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 385
Okay, you've described what you want to see. It would help to hear what it's about. What theme or idea are you trying to explore?
Tony Tibbetts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 23rd, 2006, 05:22 PM   #8
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: New Orleans, La
Posts: 47
exactly why i dont want to do it. It would be a neat little thing but overall i dont think has any real point. Ive been trying to figure out something else that will throw that scene in context and actually give some overall idea. bleh...I dunno. Gotta go sound op for a film will check back on the board once we wrap for the night.

Mike
Michael Gilbert is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Open DV Discussion

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:44 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network