Trailer for my first FILM project! - check it out! at DVinfo.net

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Old October 30th, 2007, 09:33 PM   #1
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Trailer for my first FILM project! - check it out!

we(lee thorburn and i) shot it for school. we were given certain guidelines(2 mins time limit, among other things) and weren't allowed to use audio with the exception of non-copyrighted music(luckily my starring actor and i are both musical and were able to write all the music for the film). this is just a 30 sec teaser, the whole film will be up sometime in november. i'll let you know when, but until then, just enjoy this clip and try and guess what the story is. hah.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRrK8Lui2I8

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Old October 31st, 2007, 10:00 AM   #2
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Nice job. A few problems I see...

In the shot of the actor and the church his nose is touching the steeple. This is a basic compostion no-no in all 2D art. Either give it some space or overlap. Don't have objects just touch each other or the edge of the frame unless an unsettling effect is what you are going for, but even then if you are going to break a rule, you'd better know what you are doing.

The blackouts might be more powerful if they were accompanied with a sound of some kind. See just about EVERY modern trailer around these days!

Most important problem I see is...I have no idea what it's about! A trailer needs to tease the story. This one is too obscure.

An an example, here's trailer from my recent documentary. Using only voices from the doc, with no voice over I attempted to draw the viewer into the story. See if you think I did the job well...

http://youtube.com/watch?v=r-tRhKKoIFQ
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Old October 31st, 2007, 10:05 AM   #3
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Agreed , the trailer needs to tease the STORY I have no idea what it's about?

The composition also needs some work on some of the shots.

I think you're on the right track though...Keep at it.
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Old November 1st, 2007, 12:16 AM   #4
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.....wow.....body building is digusting.....

..i just threw up in my mouth a little.


all i hear in every film class i've ever had are "the basic rules are... and you should never do..blah blah." but when i look at some of the most recognized filmmakers and movies out there, the ones that get the most praise, attention and reaction are the ones that break the rules! so not to undermine your attention to detail, but once you're aware of "the rules", i believe the best thing you can do is challenge them!

...though, the steeple was unintentional, that was just due to the fact that seeing through the view finder of the Bolex is near impossible,...not to mention that moving subjects tend to, well, move,..AND that 50$ gets you 2 mins and 45seconds of film! so no chance for retakes and and any errors, we had to live with!

and sorry mark, i wont say what it's about, and with only 2 mins of silent footy to cut, i couldnt put any more in the teaser without giving away the whole story.

thanks for the feedback!
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Old November 1st, 2007, 02:29 AM   #5
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.all i hear in every film class i've ever had are "the basic rules are... and you should never do..blah blah."
Well, they are just "basic rules." It just means they are basic, not restrictive. Robert McKee said it best: “they are not rules, they are principles that have worked for centuries.”

No one is asking you to copy what others have done, but there is a fundamental difference here you may not acknowledge. The basic structure of story telling is limited. The execution thereof is not. You can execute a murder mystery story a million ways, but the basic fundamental story line will remain the same, as in “whodunnit.”

There is also something to having “A” story, rather, what you have here, which is “NO” story in a trailer. I happened to agree with the others, it just seem to be random obscure images without any indication of what they are related to. Is that going to attract anyone? I doubt it, for maybe your friends and family and if that is what you are seeking (limited exposure) then who is to argue with you?

There is such thing as a basic structure, which you can as an individual choose to execute whichever way you want, but to throw out such structure will do yourself a disservice as a filmmaker. A 3-act story, beginning, middle, and end is just there to guide you through you telling your story. You can start with the end if you want, or the middle, BUT without a story you really have nothing but obscurity, which obviously there is a audience for, however, small.

Its like a joke without a punch line. It just feels unfulfilled. Can it be done? Of course, but will it succeed? Probably not. You wouldn’t just tell jokes with no punch lines just to be rebellious, would you? At least I wouldn’t see the point in that.

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.but when i look at some of the most recognized filmmakers and movies out there, the ones that get the most praise, attention and reaction are the ones that break the rules! so not to undermine your attention to detail, but once you're aware of "the rules", i believe the best thing you can do is challenge them!
I’m not sure I agree with you. The filmmakers that break rules, don’t break the rules everyone here is talking about. Quentin Tarrentino may break rules, but they are rules in the way he tells the STORY, not story telling as a whole. Spike Jonez may break the rules in the WAY he is telling the story, but there is still a 3-act story there. Just to have random images would not be very entertaining.

A side note: Spike and Charlie kinda of made fun of this whole rebelious argument "not to follow the rules" in Adaptation, but realized that you would have nothing without it. Watch that movie if you haven't already seen it.

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and sorry mark, i wont say what it's about, and with only 2 mins of silent footy to cut, i couldnt put any more in the teaser without giving away the whole story.
“The whole story”. Your trailer had no story. Even a hint would have been nice. Like they said, a teaser, something, to give us an idea of what is coming. I’m not sure why you are making a trailer for a 2 minute short. Just seems strange, but maybe it was part of your project. Anyway, good luck with it.
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Last edited by Brian Duke; November 1st, 2007 at 05:32 AM.
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Old November 1st, 2007, 11:11 AM   #6
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.....wow.....body building is digusting.....

..i just threw up in my mouth a little.
Maybe so, but can you tell what the story is about? I guarantee I did not give it away...not by a long shot.


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...but once you're aware of "the rules", i believe the best thing you can do is challenge them!
Brian why did you post here? To get a pat on the back or constructive criticism? Do you realize that you rejected all the advice that Mark and I gave you? You've basically said "I'm going to do what I want to do" and "The cropping wasn't my fault".

Ahhh...youth! I remember when I was young and in my first band. Our band was going to be DIFFERENT! "F**K the 'rules', man! We're going to make music OUR way!" And we did. When I listen back to it now find that it has the same enthusiastic yet disjointed quality that your trailer has.

What you must come to realize is that what we call the "rules" aren't rules at all. They are tried and true methods of doing things that have proven to work time and time again. All of the filmmakers you admire don't break the rules, they master them and then bend them in one way or another. By stringing together somewhat unrelated images with no attempt at telling a story you will not produce something new...you'll produce boredom. The viewer won't care what happens next. That's just a fact of human nature that we as storytellers must learn to manipulate to our advantage.

You need to study the art of montage...how one image affects the perception of the image that follows. You need to look at more 2D art to refine your compostional skills. You need to watch a lot more trailers with the concept of teasing a story in mind. Teasing a story without giving it away...that's your challenge.


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Old November 1st, 2007, 11:29 AM   #7
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wow, umm..sorry? i didnt mean to reject your criticism, i've been stressed from midterms and papers so i apologize if my previous message came off negatively. i appreciate the comments even if i argue them, thats just my lack of sleep talking! haha

there was no real point to making a trailer, it was made as an inside joke amongst my friends, i just wanted to share it with you guys cause i was stoked about having shot my first 16mm project and since everyone here is always raving about achieving the "film look", i just wanted to post some actual FILM.

in regards to the whole basic rules thing and those mentioned directors, it deserves to be another thread entirely. anyone down for starting it??
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Old November 1st, 2007, 11:51 AM   #8
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It's cool. I know the effects of sleep deprivation, believe me! I also know how tone can be misconstrued on the internet.

Most of us on the forum are striving to push things to the next level so if you post something you'd better be prepared to have some very talented and knowledgable people dissect it! I've been doing this for a few years now and every time I put up one of my vids for scrutiny I learn something new.

On the plus side your "actual film look" does look good! I applaud you for taking the more difficult road. Still, one of the things that really makes any image come alive is good composition. Take a look at this excerpt I discovered from Brian Duke's feature film. Even though it's only four people talking in a room, each shot is expertly composed within the frame.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjKTgOSY9Ls
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Old November 1st, 2007, 12:28 PM   #9
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yeah, i agree, it's really easy to mis read msgs online, i'm in class right now and youtube doesnt load very fast so i'll watch it when i get home.

oh and i forgot to mention it earlier but your trailer is cut really well, how long is the whole video? if i had to guess i'd say half an hour? 40 mins?
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Old November 1st, 2007, 01:28 PM   #10
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oh and i forgot to mention it earlier but your trailer is cut really well, how long is the whole video? if i had to guess i'd say half an hour? 40 mins?
Thanks, I appreciate that. It took a lot of time and I watched a lot of trailers.

RAISING THE BAR 2 is 1 hour and 41 minutes, with 10 minutes of deleted scenes. It's a feature length documentary, the second in a series of three that I have been shooting since early 2004.

More clips can be found here...

http://youtube.com/profile?user=gatomjp

...and it can be purchased here...

http://www.mesomorphosis.com/store/v...the-bar-2.html


Any time you want to discuss your work let me know...but be ready to really get into it, ya know what I mean? I love this s**t and I'm serious about it! :-)
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Old November 1st, 2007, 02:17 PM   #11
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I JUST got the body building comment from Bryan above. Yeah I can see how that would come off personal. Didn't realize that was work of Michael.

The bottom line is that most filmmakers, at least when they start out, suffer from tunnel vision. What they have in their mind will never end up onscreen, but they don't know that yet until they are humbled by the tedious experience of making a film. I was guilty of that myself and still is to some extend. I.e. you think you are "just going to do this and you'll have something great." Boy, are you in for a surprise. I have gotten much better and continue to do, but that only comes from being able to step back and take an objective point of view of my work AND also listen to what others have to say.

Lessons learned:

1. Exhaust every potential maximum idea and character writing the script.
2. Take your time to cast the right people.
3. Rehearse, rehearse, and rehearse. Study the characters and explore the material and discover new things and potential problems before you get on set.
4. Don’t be married to every detail. Learn to let go of the minor to archive the major.
5. Don’t sacrifice your art. Film is forever.
6. Don’t make excuses. Audiences don’t care about them.
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Last edited by Brian Duke; November 1st, 2007 at 07:02 PM.
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Old November 1st, 2007, 02:46 PM   #12
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I JUST got the body building comment from Bryan above. Yeah I can see how that would come off personal. Didn't realize that was work of Michael.

The bottom line is that most filmmaker, at least when they start out, suffer from tunnel vision. What they have in their mind will never end up onscreen, but they don't know that yet until they are humbled by the tedious experience of making a film. I was guilty of that myself and still is to some extend. I.e. you think you are "just going to do this and you'll have something great." Boy, are you in for a surprise. I have gotten much better and continue to do, but that only comes from being able to step back and take an objective point of view of my work AND also listen to what others have to say.

Lessons learned:

1. Exhaust every potential maximum idea and character writing the script.
2. Take your time to cast the right people.
3. Rehearse, rehearse, and rehearse. Study the characters and explore the material and discover new things and potential problems before you get on set.
4. Donít be married to every detail. Learn to let go of the minor to archive the major.
5. Donít sacrifice your art. Film is forever.
6. Donít make excuses. Audiences donít care about them.
Great advice.

There's also an excitement at seeing your first work on the screen that can blind you to how good or bad it is. It's a thrill finally putting it all together and seeing it come to life. But it sometimes takes many many attempts until that same exctement is sparked in a viewer who had nothing to do with the creation of the piece. The few times it all comes together in just the right way are so satisfying that we as artists will chase that high forever.
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Old November 1st, 2007, 07:05 PM   #13
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There's also an excitement at seeing your first work on the screen that can blind you to how good or bad it is.
Its kinda like seeing a your baby born for the first time, even though it may be ugly as hell, you don't see it. =) Reminds me of that Seinfeld episode with the Baaaaeeebieee...
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Old November 1st, 2007, 07:30 PM   #14
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Its kinda like seeing a your baby born for the first time, even though it may be ugly as hell, you don't see it. =) Reminds me of that Seinfeld episode with the Baaaaeeebieee...
LOL! "Have you SEEN the baby? You gotta SEE the baby!"
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Old November 2nd, 2007, 01:14 AM   #15
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michael, i watched that clip you posted, the first thing i noticed was that the lighting was really nice, and the framing was generic (not necessarily in a bad way) but what i did notice was that ive been trained into cutting so that the subjects move from shot to shot, back and forth amongst the thirds of the frame, and in the clip it often cuts and your focus is left in the center of the frame, it wasnt a big deal really, but it was one of the only things that i could pick on! heh.

and out of curiosity i'd like to know what you think of these two trailers:

http://www.liberatedfilms.com/film-6...%20-%20Trailer
and
http://www.cinemovies.fr/fiche_multi...hp?IDfilm=1982

i dont know if you've seen that movie, if you havent, dont worry, most people didnt like it(lol). but i happen to be a fan of his and remember when the trailers came out that i watched them over and over, and i was totally fixated on the fact that i couldnt figure out what the hell it was about! i guess thats sort of how i'm justifying my trailer with the lack of story embedded in it! :)
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