Lady X stays put in Taipei...for Episode 05 at DVinfo.net

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Old July 1st, 2003, 10:23 AM   #1
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Lady X stays put in Taipei...for Episode 05

Lady X extends her stay in Taipei one more week--waiting for her rendezvous with Graham Fagan to pick up the mysterious statue!

Will Graham be able to get the statue back from Song and Tang? Watch the action rev up as he speeds headlong into danger.

Go to http://www.ladyxfilms.com and click the "Current Episode" link.

The Lady X Crew

================
Episode 05 Details:

Directed by: T.C. Lin
Camera Operator: T.C. Lin
Edited by: T.C. Lin
Produced by: T.C. Lin and Dean Karalekas
Written by: Chris Jones, Dean Karalekas, and T.C. Lin
Based on a story by: Chris Jones
Lighting: Da Shan
Special Effects: Dean Karalekas

Cast: Ling Wei (Lady X); Dean Karalekas (Graham Fagan); Dolly Deng (Song Mei-hui); Maurice Harrington (Raoul Bunt), Lee Yi-ping (Old Guo); Tony Lee (Tang); Vincent Hsiao (Driver Goon); Yang Qing-feng (Nerdy Goon); Azuma (Goon with Uzi)


Music: Composed and performed by Darrell Gallant

Fight Choreographer: Shirzi
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Old July 1st, 2003, 10:51 AM   #2
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Hey John. I've been following these since I downloaded all of the past episodes a few weeks ago. I've enjoyed a good selection of them, though this one I think could have used a little tweaking. Mainly, the chase sequence. First, there wasn't enough emphasis on the motorcyle sounds etc. when we see the driving shots. The background score, which by the way needed a faster pace during the machine gun shooting parts, almost drowned out what should have been a roaring crotch rocket sound. The bike sound resembled a little dirt bike IMO. Next, when there is a cut to one of the henchmen who gets the larger machine gun out of the car, I thought there should have been a cut to Graham dodging the bullets alot sooner than we saw. There is almost a lull period when I thought, ok, so this henchmen is shooting alot of bullets and I'm getting tired of seeing him just shoot these bullets. I personally wanted a few quicker cuts between the man shooting and the dodging and back again. These faster cuts would probobaly up the pace of the action and provide a little more suspense.

Then, after the driver has been shot and the top guy pulls out Lady X, I felt like there were a few problems as well. There is an obvious window that Graham had when the top guy gets out of the car, that he could have easily shot the top guy. Also, after he hands over Lady X, he shoots in close range right at Graham, and gets back in the car. A reverse shot shows that Graham is fine, and somehow that bullet just never hit him, or startled him or anything. Finally, the car speeds off, but who is driving? The top guy jumped back in the back seat. The driver was shot dead just a few moments ago and is still buckled in the front seat. The passenger is alive but how did he ever make it into the front seat? This is ignoring the fact that when the top guy gets out of the car with Lady X, we clearly see, there is no one up front now, not a dead body, not a startled passenger. So there were some flaws with the chase sequence.

Overall, everything else was done nicely, nice locations, and I loved the last shot of Lady X with her reflection in the broken mirror. A chase sequence is a tough task to undertake, and I think that maybe the planning required was underestimated with this scene or perhaps just not enough time spent smoothing out some of the editing. Nonetheless, I enjoy following the Lady X series and seeing what each crew of individuals can produce.

-Bryan.
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Old July 1st, 2003, 12:02 PM   #3
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This was quite an undertaking by DV standards--great work. My only complaint is the continuity error in the enemy car being able to make such a speedy getaway with a corpse at the wheel!
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Old July 1st, 2003, 04:50 PM   #4
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When I try to download the fil I get an error:
TOP SECRET - ACCESS DENIED
Agent: 217.xxx.xxx.xx

The file you are requesting is off limits: /theater/qe05/LX_epi_05.mov

ERROR CODE: 404

The streaming videofile works fine.

//EDIT
Saw that someone had already posted a similiar topic in the lady x forum.
EDIT//
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Old July 1st, 2003, 05:33 PM   #5
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access denied

I also got an access denied when trying to download the latest ep.
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Old July 1st, 2003, 06:00 PM   #6
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I wasn't able to download the file either.
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Old July 1st, 2003, 06:43 PM   #7
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Yeah, I couldn't download it either, but I just let it stream to my computer......
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Old July 1st, 2003, 07:09 PM   #8
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The download problem is fixed now. Sorry for the inconvenience. I thought all was kosher with the page before hitting the sack (my night is morning for most of you).

Please check back and download it...it's worth it!
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Old July 1st, 2003, 09:11 PM   #9
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Best yet

Good direction, the best episode yet. Loved lots of the shots. I know it's not a big thing but the establishing shots and the transitions were very nice. Good panning and shot decisions.

I think for the final version the CG elements should either be dramatically improved or done away with. The gunfire, okay, but the explosion by the side of the road is not needed, neither are the ricochets which people will just get from the sound FX.

Not much you can do about the delivery of the lines from the actors. I was amused by it. The look of the actors was right on, though.

The fight scene in episode four could be sped up but I doubt there's much you can do to improve that except by redoing it.

The story was just the kind of fanciful that I expected from these episodes. Nice caper-ish story.
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Old July 2nd, 2003, 12:37 AM   #10
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Quote:
but the explosion by the side of the road is not needed, neither are the ricochets which people will just get from the sound FX.
Dean did a lot of great work on the effects side, especially considering he never even looked at a NLE program before all this. The ricochet comment I totally agree with, btw. On the other hand, I like the explosion. That was something Dean came up with cuz some people and their car were in the background there and they kept eyeballing the camera. Really pissed Dean off. So, he blew them to smithereens. That's why it was needed: to sate our innate sadistic urge to hurt camera eyeballers :)

Chris
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Old July 2nd, 2003, 02:25 AM   #11
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Ah, is that what blew up. I supposed there were canisters of gasoline line up on the side of the road as a convenience for those who ran out of fuel.
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Old July 2nd, 2003, 06:39 AM   #12
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I got a good slo-mo look at them... I can guarantee that they're officially toast.

What did you use to add the explosions and gunfire?

(Another thing that I thought was really cool was how the spent clips are shown flying out of the gun. When you look at it frame per frame you can tell it's a special effect, but in the film itself it looks great)
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Old July 2nd, 2003, 07:45 AM   #13
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I believe Dean used Alam DV, which is a community-based, fully scriptable FX program. He said most of the community written plug-ins are light saber effects and it took him a while to wade through those before he found the gun/explosion effects he wanted. He'll probably jump in and comment further, since the FX were really his baby. I just gave him my unsolicited opinion :) (I used to work at Ulead Systems, so I tend to get quite annoying with all my know-it-all "Well, actually..." comments vis-a-vis the FX or editing; eventually, he just kicked me out of the house, the bastard....)

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Old July 2nd, 2003, 07:48 AM   #14
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When we planned the gunfight I promised TC I would handle the muzzle flashes. I figured I would just export a frame or two into pshop and put a little white triangle of white over the gun. But once we got started on the project and everyone worked so hard on it, I didnít want to drag it down with a half assed attempt at special effects. So I started trying to figure out AfterEffects.

After several hours of pulling my hair out and putting a contract out on the guy who writes Adobe help files, I did a little searching around the Web and discovered Alam DV. Iím sure you oldtimers know about it, but I had never seen this kind of thing before and was really impressed with the demo. I decided to buy it, since itís really affordable and idiot-proof compared to the high-end, indecipherable stuff and we were on a deadline.

So I really canít take credit for the effects, since it was the guys at Alam DV who created all the plugins. I just did the grunt work.

Chris isnít lying when he said the explosion wasnít planned. During the shoot, more and more people started showing up at this supposedly deserted road. (We shot that in a single day, by the way, to keep the rental costs down) Suddenly, you have a car chase/shootout taking place between spies and gangsters amid families on bikes, having picnics and playing basketballóIncluding that guy getting out of his annoying little cutesy car. I spent hours tying to erase his damn car until I got fed up and blew him up. I think I smoked a cigarette afterwards-- very satisfying.

I did it as a joke, but it looked kinda good. I thought it would be a hard sell getting TC to go for an unplanned explosion, but he got into the spirit of things and even suggested I make the flames start at the car and gradually engulf the man walking in front of it.

I smoked another cigarette after that one, too.

So, the explosion might have been an afterthought, but it was all in fun, and thatís why we signed up for this in the first place. Now itís my favourite part of the scene!

BTW, thanks to all for your kind words. Iím glad you guys enjoyed it.

Cheers,

- Dean
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