3 minute short at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > And Now, For Something Completely Different... > Show Your Work

Show Your Work
Let's see what you're doing!


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old August 15th, 2007, 05:12 PM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Posts: 423
3 minute short

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2nPRD8s9Sc4

If it is poor manners to post a link to my DVC9 entry, then please remove this thread, moderators.

Everybody else, please offer some feedback... constructive criticism is always welcome...

Thanks,
Kevin
__________________
"... the drama is on your doorstep..." - John Grierson
www.grvideo.net
Kevin Randolph is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 15th, 2007, 10:07 PM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Hollywood, California
Posts: 883
I really refrain from giving feedback usually because it ends up in an argument and the filmmaker being defensive. In any event, here are my thoughts, and please don't take it too harshly.

The initial premise when the flick opens is we have seen it before, a million times, lone person is some room or warehouse, so that alone is a turn off. Then the dialogue doesn't make sense to the situation. You wouldn't be asking to be given lines etc if you are gagged and tied up in some strange place. Just didn't buy it. Third, I'm not sure what the intention of the film, i.e. the genre that were trying to be created, comedy, horror etc. Although it played like a comedy since it just seemed silly and it wasn't scary so it didn't work as a horror. The acting wasn't very good which contributed to the comedic aspect that I took away from it. If you are going for a horror, which you may have been, then get a real good dramatic character. Take the time to cast. Don't cast friends or a friend's actor friend. It never works out.

The pay off just seemed rushed and silly. No real conflict, no real character development and no real suspense. You could perhaps used more tight hand held camera movement. Had the actress panic more, trying to get out of the chair. Overall we have seen this too many times and with the Saw trilogy it doesn't set you apart as a filmmaker to make that type of premise.

Hopefully you take these comments and make a better and more compelling and original story next time.
__________________
Visit me and my work at www.artofduke.com
Brian Duke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 15th, 2007, 10:47 PM   #3
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Posts: 423
Brian, thank you for taking the time to provide some feedback. I'm sorry that you think that feedback and constructive criticism will always generate conflict.

As to the content of “Meating Melody” yes, you are right. This is a premise has been done probably a thousand times, including the Saw trilogy. I wasn't trying to break new ground as a filmmaker, I was trying to skillfully execute an established format. Thank you for your feedback that you found the piece ambiguous (comedy vs. horror). I can see where I straddled that line, and did not successfully end up on either side of it. I intended for this to be a horror/thriller, but your not the first to mention that it did not delve deeply enough into the horror genre, and played too much to comedy.

Beyond the story concept, any feedback on the technical aspects of the piece (other than handheld camera work)? My primary body of work is documentary rather than narrative, so I am open to further discussion on my foray into this area.

Thank you,
Kevin
__________________
"... the drama is on your doorstep..." - John Grierson
www.grvideo.net
Kevin Randolph is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 16th, 2007, 12:12 AM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Hollywood, California
Posts: 883
Kevin, the foremost goal in filmmaking is story/entertainment. People generally couldn't care less if you show using a phone camera as long as what they are watching is entertaining and it moves along. Point being the new JJ Abrams film is all handheld cheap camera. So is Borat, Blair Witch project, Open Water etc. In other words, your main concern shouldn't be technical if your film is suffering in the story/entertainment arena. It should be foremost to clean up the ladder. I am not sure why that would be that important to you anyway. Either way, the lighting, colors seemed okay, but trust me, that isn't an area that should be of great concern, although a lot of people think it is. I just think it is misguided to focus so much on lighting and other technical areas if the story, pacing, acting, etc lacks.

As to your acknowledgment that the premise has been seen a million times before, why do it? Isn't the point to make something creative to stand out and not copy?

Not to say you can’t make a movie about dinosaurs, but you wouldn’t want to make a movie about dinosaurs on a Island created from DNA out of mosquitoes where they get lose, would you?
__________________
Visit me and my work at www.artofduke.com
Brian Duke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 16th, 2007, 10:41 AM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Posts: 423
[QUOTE=Brian Duke;729736]

As to your acknowledgment that the premise has been seen a million times before, why do it? Isn't the point to make something creative to stand out and not copy?

QUOTE]

To answer your question... to see if I can. Just because there are plenty of people that can run a 4 minute mile, doesn't mean that I wouldn't have to train to run one myself. Not everything is about standing out, sometimes it's about personal growth.

Thanks for your input and opinion.
__________________
"... the drama is on your doorstep..." - John Grierson
www.grvideo.net
Kevin Randolph is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 20th, 2007, 10:11 PM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Posts: 423
Anybody else have some feedback?

bump...bump...
__________________
"... the drama is on your doorstep..." - John Grierson
www.grvideo.net
Kevin Randolph is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 21st, 2007, 11:57 AM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Posts: 423
What could I have done, in your opinion, to make her performance better?
What were her weaknesses? What were her strengths?
__________________
"... the drama is on your doorstep..." - John Grierson
www.grvideo.net

Last edited by Kevin Randolph; August 21st, 2007 at 04:01 PM. Reason: I was rude, and I shouldn't have been...
Kevin Randolph is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 21st, 2007, 12:38 PM   #8
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Belgium
Posts: 9,068
Hi Kevin, My verball skills are not that good because my native language is not English but I will try not to waist my time :)
I'm not a "film"maker (I film weddings but that's a different story) but I do like to watch movies, Then I don't look at all the technical stuff like sound, lights and so but I just absorb the movie. If I reach the end of the film and have a good feeling then I consider the movie as good and that is what movies are all about, how it feels, if the story "felt" right, if the acting performances felt right. On both parts I felt something was not good here, the story was quite strange as I found it hard to believe that she woke up and found it normal that she was tide up and that no one answered her.
Some time ago I saw a movie about a guy who woke up in a coffin which was burried under ground, it looked so real and especially his reaction gave me a very unpleasant claustrofobic feeling. Same as a german movie I saw about the last days of Hitler were you see that some small children need to be poissoned but first they have to take a pill to sleep, the children knew they were going to be killed, here the director managed to capture it in such a way that it allmost made me sick watching it. It is that kind of feeling that was completely missing from your film, it just didn't feel right.
Noa Put is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 21st, 2007, 01:14 PM   #9
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Posts: 423
First, Noa, let me apologize for my ignorant language. Apparently, I'm so self centered that I forgot about the "world" in "world wide web." I completely missed the implications in what I had typed. Please accept my apology.

So you felt that there wasn't enough backstory on her character? It wasn't obvious that she was there to audition for a role in a horror movie? That's a good note. I thought that I had fully covered that. That is definitely an area for improvement for the future. I can't think of a way to tell a story if the audience doesn't know the players and their motivations. Thank you.

You don't happen to know right off the title of the coffin movie you mentioned? Or anything that would give me a clue about where to find it? I'd be very interested in seeing it.

Thank you again for your input, Noa. You certainly did not waste my time with your review. I can only hope that I didn't waste 3 minutes of your time with the short.
__________________
"... the drama is on your doorstep..." - John Grierson
www.grvideo.net
Kevin Randolph is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 21st, 2007, 02:35 PM   #10
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Belgium
Posts: 9,068
No need to appoligize Kevin, regarding the story; I think it's like you said that it's not very clear why she is tied up, considering that she acts normal one should think that she had been tied up before, been knocked out by someone and then woke up again. It is clear that it is for an audition of some kind, but not that it's for a horrormovie. Maybe what what missing was a actual scene setup with a camera and studio lights that would have given the viewer a better understanding that she was on a movie scene?
If I understand right the story is that a actor reacted on an audition for a horrormovie, gets tied up and blindfolded for the scene, knocked unconsious, wakes up, gets murdered and then the murderer starts all over again.
What I think is missing here is a surprising ending.

I saw a short on the internet about a girl being kidnapped, if I remember right it went like this:
The short starts with a close up of somebodies head inside the trunk of a driving car. Her hands are strapped and here mouth covered with tape. The whole movie you only saw her thinking about what went wrong, something similar to your movie. You saw flashes of what she remembered being kidnapped, being trown in the trunk and seeing her kidnapper just before he closes the trunk. All the time you saw her fear and heared her thinking about what would happen. 2/3th of the movie was shot inside the trunk with short flashes of the car outside when it was driving. Then the car stopped, the driver gets out, drags her out of the trunk and to an old house in the middle of nowere. It was dark. Then the camera only showed the house from a distance and you saw the light turn on inside and next thing you heared was a lot of people shouting "Happy birthday!!"

Now it seemed that everything was a setup by the girl's closest friends as to suprise her for her birthday. Next shot is inside the house, you see here completely paralised on a chair with her friends (think all male) were laughing and cheering. Then a close up of her face looking up and then a close up of an axe (or could been a shotgun) which was attached to the wall and the movie ends.

The setup of this movie is more or less the same as yours, only the time she was in the trunk was used to give the audience a better understanding about what happened and the ending was something you never would expect, if that had not been there it would have been just another horror movie.

About the coffin movie, I don't recall the title, it was a french movie of which an english remake has been made. Its about a couple stopping at a gasstation and the woman goes to the gasstations store, then she dissapeares. The whole movie is about the guy being obsessed in finding her, even managing to come on tv trying to find his girlfriend. It appeares that she was kidnapped and murdered and that the murderer saw the cry for help on tv and contacted the dead girls husband giving him a choice to experience what his wife experienced or he will never tell. Because he was so obsessed with it he finally agrees with it but he has to drink something which makes him sleep. When he wakes up he finds himself in a coffin several feet below the ground. He uses a lighter to see were he is, panics completely and ends in histerical laughter. The camera then goes up (simulated through the ground) and you can see a "fresh" dirt covering the grave, then some kind of garden, playing children and then the murderer having a picknick on a table with his wife and children (Who ofcourse are not aware about this) a few feet away from were he burried his victim. Just thinking about it this still gives me the creeps. :D

The french version was much, much better then the english one and again here the ending was surpising and shocking.

The German movie I refered to is called "der untergang", don't know if it has english subtitles but it is a briljant film which got an oscar for best foreign movie. Most part of the film is played inside a bunker with Bruno Ganz who sets an amazing performance acting as hitler.
Noa Put is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 21st, 2007, 03:22 PM   #11
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Hollywood, California
Posts: 883
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Randolph View Post
But if all you have to say is "That Sucked." And you don't have enough time, experience, thoughtfulness, wisdom, or inclination to explain what you did or did not like and why, then don't waste my time or yours.
Kevin, that is really unfair to say. None of us said it sucked and left it at that. In fact, I tried to be very thoughtful and specify the weaknesses. In fact, I believe we spent substantial time to give our feedback; so to dismiss our comments just seems unfair. This is THE exact reason why I do not give comments. If you can't take constructive criticism or even just plain negative feedback, then you may consider not posting your films for feedback. Not everyone will like your work. Hey, I even had people say my work sucked without explanation, and yes it doesn't help in any way, but that is what is what you sometimes get on these boards.

Some things cannot be explained. I'm sure you saw movies when you were really young that you loved, but now looking back at them they suck for whatever reason. No one could probably explain to you back then why it sucked and you may not have understood it anyway. It would take you time to grow to get "the eye" to see what others saw. It’s the same here. From your comments it seems to me that you are just not seeing what most of us are seeing. That may come with time; it may not come at all.

I thoroughly explained why I thought it didn’t work for me so to say I wasted your time so I am sadden to see you say it was a waste of your time.
__________________
Visit me and my work at www.artofduke.com
Brian Duke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 21st, 2007, 03:40 PM   #12
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Hollywood, California
Posts: 883
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
About the coffin movie, I don't recall the title, it was a french movie of which an english remake has been made.
Its called the Vanishing with Jeff Bridges, Kiefer Sutherland and Sandra Bullock. I actually really like the movie. Never saw the Dutch movie (Not French) called Spoorloos so I can't compare, but the English is good, at least really entertaining.

To me the point is to try to make something that has not been done before, or at least in a different way. That doesn't mean you always succeed, but trying should get you an A.
__________________
Visit me and my work at www.artofduke.com
Brian Duke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 21st, 2007, 04:01 PM   #13
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Posts: 423
Thanks for the info on the movies Brian and Noa. I'll have to check them out. Hopefully the Dutch version will be subtitled.

Noa - the twist ending... how could I have missed it? I should have done more research about the genre before making the movie. Maybe watched some of the archetypes. I completely forgot about the twist ending...

Brian - I did take your comments to heart. I thought that you were spot on about the piece not being clear if it was a comedy or a horror. I didn't think at all that your comments were a waste of anyone's time. I really didn't think that I was confrontational with you at all Brian. Please forgive me if I came across that way. Especially because of your opening comments about feedback and confrontation I tried in every way that I could think of, not to be confrontational at all.

I see now that the real reason that this piece was not successful is that I don't watch horror movies on a regular basis. I'm not familiar with the standard "tricks of the trade" or storytelling techniques. If I try to do something this far outside of my usual (doc style work) then I really need to bone up on the existing material and not just take a concept that I've seen a trailer for and run with it.

Sincerely, Thank you all for your thoughts...
__________________
"... the drama is on your doorstep..." - John Grierson
www.grvideo.net
Kevin Randolph is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 21st, 2007, 04:17 PM   #14
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Hollywood, California
Posts: 883
Kevin,

It actually not that hard to tell a story, but it is hard to execute it if that makes any sense. Like telling a joke. Most people can tell it, but not all can make it sound funny.

1. Introduce a character(s). SHOW (not tell) them doing something we can relate to, such as trying to achieve a goal.

2. Create a conflict for the character preventing them from the goal.

3. Create a battle of the conflict.

4. Create a pay off, either good or bad.

You have a movie.

Your film lacked basically all of the above. No introduction of character. No goal. No conflict and the pay off, like I said, was rushed and not really a pay off since there was no character development or conflict.
__________________
Visit me and my work at www.artofduke.com
Brian Duke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 21st, 2007, 05:44 PM   #15
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Belgium
Posts: 9,068
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Duke View Post
Never saw the Dutch movie (Not French) called Spoorloos so I can't compare, but the English is good, at least really entertaining.
It was french spoken so it must have been a dutch/french cooperation. The biggest difference between the english and french/dutch version was that the last one was hardly entertaining but left you with a very unpleasant feeling. following comment from an imdb reviewer says it all:

"Had I not seen the original Dutch film "Spoorloos" I might have given "The Vanishing" more credit. But it's a weak remake which gives American audiences all the gore that the original lacked and a reasonably happy ending which was nowhere to be found in the original."
Noa Put 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 > And Now, For Something Completely Different... > Show Your Work

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:01 PM.


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