Our short film "Breaking Val" at DVinfo.net

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Old December 21st, 2007, 01:34 PM   #1
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Our short film "Breaking Val"

Hey guys (and girls), Great forum! I thought I'd throw our newest short film out there for a little critique. My partner and I shot this in about 28-1/2 total hours (3 days) of production, and about a month of editing. It was shot with the original DVX100 (no lens adapter, etc.). It is only our second film together, and I'm just looking for some honest comments from those "in the know".

It's about 15 minutes long, and should not be viewed around children (contains blood & violence).

http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fu...oid=2079994994

Thanks for taking the time!

Mike
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Old December 21st, 2007, 02:07 PM   #2
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I watched the first minute and a half with the sound off... well because I'm at work jacking around on the Internet. lol
However, from the little that I saw I can tell you that the opening credits are pretty awesome! The Color looked great! I'm curious though, I really like the scene in the opening credits that showed a puddle of blood, and in the left side of the screen there was a flickering overexposed effect. Did you do that in AE?
I'll check again when I get home so I can see the whole thing. Again, without having heard any dialogue or sound design.. I can say it looks pretty awesome! Can't wait to get the full effect tonight.
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Old December 21st, 2007, 04:37 PM   #3
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Hi Justin, thanks for commenting on our film. Every part of the film (titles, CC, effects, etc.) was done solely in Sony Vegas 7. It's really an awesome program if you get into and really experiment (I have no ties with Sony...LOL).

The overexposed flickering that you asked about was also done in Vegas. It was some type of lighting map, that was inserted through the left side of the screen. Just something to give the frame a little flare.

Thanks again for sharing your thoughts!
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Old December 21st, 2007, 09:07 PM   #4
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well dude! I just watched the whole thing and it totally rocked! I loved that you didn't puss out and tone down the violence. Most film makers are afraid of graphic violence because it's not the "norm"

However, it's a bit unfortunate that your not going to get a whole lot of feedback... because it's so violent. Some people are sooo use to the watered down crap, that they find films like this to be garbage. I think it's beautiful art. You know what else is funny? The same people that can only tolerate the watered down crappy horror films are the same ones that complain that horror movies aren't scary enough... or too predictable. They're the ones that made it that way!!

Sorry man, I kinda went off lol

The sound was awesome! But, the score wouldn't hurt to be toned down a bit. I felt that the synth sound effects While the lady was getting hit was a bit too much at times. But that's just my opinion.

My favorite shot was when the lady said something to the effect of "there's only so many excuses I can give for a black eye" and there was this shot of her with different bruises on her face... like a mug shot or something. I thought that was pretty creative.

I love your style.... Don't change a thing! It WASN'T mindless violence. It was violence with a story and emotional realism. I hope others on this forum can see that too and give you valuable feedback!
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 11:58 AM   #5
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Is there any way to download this film man! Because i want it. Great movie i really loved the credits on the opening man! Great Job! The acting was good and the script i shall say was very well written. As a fellow script writer myself i commend you on the script. Thats half the battle when doing shorts. Storyline was great! Overall i think this is a great movie and would love to get a copy of it if i can.
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 03:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin Mosley View Post
well dude! I just watched the whole thing and it totally rocked! I loved that you didn't puss out and tone down the violence. Most film makers are afraid of graphic violence because it's not the "norm"

However, it's a bit unfortunate that your not going to get a whole lot of feedback... because it's so violent. Some people are sooo use to the watered down crap, that they find films like this to be garbage. I think it's beautiful art. You know what else is funny? The same people that can only tolerate the watered down crappy horror films are the same ones that complain that horror movies aren't scary enough... or too predictable. They're the ones that made it that way!!

Sorry man, I kinda went off lol

The sound was awesome! But, the score wouldn't hurt to be toned down a bit. I felt that the synth sound effects While the lady was getting hit was a bit too much at times. But that's just my opinion.

My favorite shot was when the lady said something to the effect of "there's only so many excuses I can give for a black eye" and there was this shot of her with different bruises on her face... like a mug shot or something. I thought that was pretty creative.

I love your style.... Don't change a thing! It WASN'T mindless violence. It was violence with a story and emotional realism. I hope others on this forum can see that too and give you valuable feedback!
Thanks again Justin for the review! This is the kind of stuff we're looking for in order to grow as filmmakers.

We were a little concerned at first about the amount of violence, and what some might think. It didn't, however take long for us to realize that we wanted to make the film it needed to be.

We have an awesome audio guy (Tony Ionno) that really understands the importance of quality "on location" sound. We actually had a great time recording all of the foley effects after the film was shot. It's amazing what everyday household items can do for your sound effects (ie. my metal money clip is the sound of the knife hitting the concrete floor). As far as the synth effects, we really wanted to emphasize the strength of the punches, but you may be right, there may need to be a touch of level adjustments.

It's funny you mention the scene where we show Val's head with the misc. bruising on her face. This was my partner's idea, and I kinda resisted him on it (on even shooting it). In the end, I'm with you...it became one of the scenes that I think worked best in the film. Lesson learned!

I really want to thank you again for taking the time to remark on our film, it's greatly appreciated!

-Mike
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 04:27 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Derrick A.Jones View Post
Is there any way to download this film man! Because i want it. Great movie i really loved the credits on the opening man! Great Job! The acting was good and the script i shall say was very well written. As a fellow script writer myself i commend you on the script. Thats half the battle when doing shorts. Storyline was great! Overall i think this is a great movie and would love to get a copy of it if i can.
Hi Derrick, thanks for the comments. As of right now we only have the film uploaded on myspace. We're hoping to have it available for people to download within a couple of weeks. I'll be sure and update you when/if it becomes available. Thanks again!

-Mike
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Old December 24th, 2007, 02:51 AM   #8
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Here are my thoughts. First the good. The cinematography looks great and you got some production value for sure for this type of film. Acting and music is pretty good too so you are way ahead of most people.

Here are my issues.

1. Its too long for a short film. Generally try to keep it under 10 minutes for several reasons. Most film festivals want 10 minutes or less, youtube usually keep things under 10 minutes, and the general public don't have a very long attention span. Less is more.

2. Its a bit too dreamy for me, i.e. the dreamy parts may work better if they were only on specific elements of the film. It seems to go on for too long.

3. The over all premise has been done to death. Person captured in a room/torture chamber. We have seen it a million times and there wasn't anything new to this like we may have seen with Saw.

4. The dialogue didn't really stick out for me and it was hard to follow, except it appeared to be a love story gone bad. It seemed to be the same lines over and over again, thus reason for a tighter edit. It was hard for me to keep entertained after 3-4 minutes. I just lost interest, mainly for the reasons stated above.

5. The main problem I see with a lot of indie films, as with this, is that 20-30% of the film is spent on credits, front and back. I hate to say it, but no one cares, especially with no names in it, and even with that. In other words, just get to the point. You may not even need beginning credits, and if you do, make them 5-10 seconds and get to the movie. Unless you are a filmmaker and you have special interest in who did what or you were part of the movie, no one really sits and watches credits. Think about the last film you saw in the theater. How many people stayed to watch the end credits?

Having said that, I have been guilty of a lot of my criticism, but that is why I try to point it out because I think we all should learn to improve our work. Obviously it is just my opinion, so you can take or leave what you want.


Good luck with it.
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Old December 24th, 2007, 01:42 PM   #9
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Thank you very much for your honest, detailed review Brian, I appreciate it!

While this film certainly doesn't fit everyone's taste, it's been very well received thus far. I take every comment to heart, and improve with them.

As far as the premise being overdone, this is probably true in some respects, however I don't believe so with this one.

We decided to go with the lengthy credits, as we felt this was a vital part of the learning process. I couldn't imagine having a film sans the credits, we will always give the due credit. Most (probably better than 90%) low-budget short films, will be seen primarily by filmmakers, or those wanting to be filmmakers, and all aspects of the film will be critiqued. Had we left out the credits, that too would have been criticized negatively.

Thank you again for your critique!

-Mike
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Old December 26th, 2007, 09:43 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Duke View Post
The over all premise has been done to death. Person captured in a room/torture chamber. We have seen it a million times.

LOL! Dude, you are soooooo right! My first short film called "Chasing Ghosts" kinda revolved around some guy bound to a chair and getting beat. (shameless plug.. lol.. link to my film: http://myspacetv.com/index.cfm?fusea...deoid=16218204 )


Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Duke View Post
The main problem I see with a lot of indie films, as with this, is that 20-30% of the film is spent on credits, front and back. I hate to say it, but no one cares.
Right on! But, if you make the credits interesting then it shouldn't be a big problem. For instance, in this film I thought the credits were great, but I'm viewing it as a filmmaker, NOT a random viewer. I was really interested in the different effects and compositing. Normal viewers wouldn't give two shits about compositing.. lol.[/QUOTE]
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Old December 27th, 2007, 02:42 AM   #11
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Had we left out the credits, that too would have been criticized negatively.
I'm not suggesting NO credits, but for a short film like 10 minutes, you don''t need 3 1/2 minutes of credits. And even if you do, put them at the end. if you are just doing it for yourself and people involved with the film then who cares, make credits as long, but if you are trying to advance a career in the film biz, you ay want to leave them at the end.

Again, the credits looked great and professional, but were too long for short, and really not the major issue for me. The premise was. Good luck with it.
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Old December 27th, 2007, 08:31 AM   #12
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I am a rookie, so consider my comments to be from a viewer/audience point of view.

Overall I thought it was a very good effort. Lighting , production seemed very strong. Music and foley (sound affects) seemed very good as well. I really liked the camera angles and thought editing was tight.
Definitely amazing given the time it was done in.

As suggested, the opening credits while looking great where way to long and I skipped them.
If someone of importance views your film and likes what they see, they will wait to the end to find contact details. Don't get rid of the opening credits just the absolute minimum.

I did not for a second believe that the main female character was capable of being in a relationship with the male abuser/boyfriend. Her character was way to strong for the kind of continued abuse suggested.

I was struggling to stay interested, the whole film felt like it was stretched out. I am guilty like most others. I have a very poor attention span.

Edit out 5+ minutes and I think you have strong film here.

Lou
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Old January 5th, 2008, 10:05 PM   #13
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Thank you for the honest reviews, we'll work off them!
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