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Old December 13th, 2003, 10:01 AM   #1
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Finally Completed On the FLOP short...

Well, 95% complete ;) . It was a little rushed because I had to send it off the next day for film school applications. To clear up something that people noted last time I posted the middle section: the Jeep's headlights are NOT on, it's the reflection of the VAN's headlights in them.

Short runs about 8 minutes and is in WMV 9 with an ugly compression at that.... Sorry, I don't have the space on my web space for a QT version because I lack the appropriate compressors to get it down to a reasonable size.

Budget wise: obviously Zero: I'm a broke college kid who's crossing his fingers for film grad school.

Shot on a Panasonic DV852 (single chip) with a glidecam in some scenes and on board sound (gotta love on board sound).

As always: thanks for checking my short out and any / all feedback good/bad is much appreciated! And look for my other NEW short shot on 16mm silent BW in another post ;)

http://www4.ncsu.edu/~berobert/otf small.wmv
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Old December 13th, 2003, 10:19 AM   #2
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Hi Bryan,

Will you post it when it is complete? I want to see what happens next.
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Old December 13th, 2003, 11:06 AM   #3
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It is complete - I meant cut the last scene as in edit it...... It's complete minus maybe some minor tweaks after feedback....
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Old December 13th, 2003, 12:29 PM   #4
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Hi Bryan,

When I watch the video, it stops right after the guy hears a noise behind the storage door. It seems there is supposed to be more, but I downloaded the video just to be sure something didn't happen when I was streaming it on the internet. It stopped at the same place. I am interested to know how the rest of the events unfold. I assume the video isn't complete at that point. Can you check to make sure the file you linked to is complete?
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Old December 13th, 2003, 12:36 PM   #5
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Same thing here, video kicks out after about 6 min.
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Old December 13th, 2003, 12:38 PM   #6
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it freezes for me right after the first scene...
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Old December 13th, 2003, 12:50 PM   #7
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Outside of the "what happens after the noise behind the door" question raised by others here:

Nice job Bryan! You set up the conflict well and the story has a good flow.

As far as minor tweaks, one thing jumped out at me which is an easy fix: when the main character is walking over to investigate the squealing tires sound, you have two Glidecam shots consecutively (one from behind that cuts just after he rounds the corner, and one from the front). The second shot cuts in just as the camera starts moving. My recommendation is to play around with these edits so that the camera remains in motion in both shots--it feels jerky at the moment.

I love the transition from day to night in the title sequence using the large tree as a wipe point. Very clever.

So--what IS going on behind that door!?!
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Old December 13th, 2003, 01:07 PM   #8
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Problem fixed - 16 megs was all I had left, now the entire file is on there.... sorry for the unintentional cliff hanger :)
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Old December 13th, 2003, 01:43 PM   #9
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Hey Brian! Congrats on a wonderful piece. The editing was really good - especially the transitions. Just to recall a few, I really liked the slo-mo shot of the cheater's hands. Oh and the dream sequence with that harpsicord(?) music was mesmerizing. Nicely done typography really goes a long way in making your film look that much more professional.

Although, your actors did an overall good job, in the end I was left a bit unconvinced, or un-persuaded about their dilemma. I wanted see more anguish or despair to really validate the tragic ending. The soundwork was nicely done. Isn't that Sigur Ros playing in the intro? I was looking for their name in the credits but I didn't find it. Am I mistaken??

As far as lighting goes I was satisfied to see that the night shots were so easy to watch. You did a great job of keeping all the imagery coherent and balanced. It would be nice to see indoor night shots more designed away from that orangy cast we normally get from indoor lamps. Maybe some color gels would add some uniqueness to those shots.

Well anyhow, I think you have a strong piece in your portfolio. Good concept and good execution in my opinion! I hope to see more offerings from you in the future. Good Luck... :]
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Old December 13th, 2003, 04:16 PM   #10
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Randy - thanks for your feedback. First off, I was hoping no one would notice about the Sigur Ros song that I forgot to put in the credits, I hope the film schools don't notice! I thought my actors did a great job considering they're all friends and I didn't know what to give for motivation half the time other than "you're upset, or you're not happy" but I understand what you're saying regarding the believeability etc... As for the lighting, I thought I did a good deal of color correction in post however on my DVD transfer as well as this encoding, the orange really seemed blaringly strong in some shots..... Anyways

Keep the feedback coming!
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Old December 13th, 2003, 04:23 PM   #11
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Brian, that was a really strong piece! You look like you really have a firm grasp of all the essential technical elements. I will have to second the compliments on your editing, the pace and transitions between compositions was really top notch in my opinion. I've seen quite a few videos that people have posted online before, and I've got to say, yours is really the most well rounded in my opinion. Withj that said, I find that the best way to help someone improve is to offer suggestions, not to say I know everything, but I can offer my humble opinions and see what you think.

I think the sound is probably the weakest part of the video. It is by no means bad, I just don't think it does justice to the rest of the video. The overall design was really pleasing to me as far as the mixture between music and dialogue, but the recordings themselves were a bit bothersome. The dialogue sounded to me as if it was done with the one camera mic at points, but I could be wrong. It just sounds a bit distant at times, and I think you got a bit more echo in some locations than would be optimal. BTW, what sound equipment did you use? Second, the music you chose was very fitting, but you have to take the fact that you are using stuff that may have appeared in other movies (and therefore the viewer already has a personal understanding of the music). For example, as Randy noted the "harpsicord" song, I know that song, which is a great song, but it kind of threw me off because I already have my own personal connections to it. Of course, this is a really small grip as us small time videomakers can't afford to pay for a soundtrack, but I'm just suggesting that you might want to stick with unknown tracks as much as possible.

So, I hope you don't think I'm just trying to find something to complain about, I really think the fact that you piece is so well done, and so professional looking, that the sound stood out to me. Sort of like, how its easy to spot a small mistake in a quality high budget film because the rest of the production is so precise Keep up the good work, I know I'd love to see more!

Robbie
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Old December 13th, 2003, 05:51 PM   #12
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Robbie - thanks for the feedback. Well, the sound quality of the voices "sucked ass" to me however all I have is the onboard mic so it was tough enough to keep the dialogue the same volume within scenes because changing angles etc. obviously alters the sound quality and type of sound. My sound equipment is literally just the mic on the camera. As for the music: you're very right about the harpsichord song or also known as "Golden Brown". It's well known from Snatch which I personally love, so yes, there are some connections but I just heard that song everytime I pictured the scene in my head..... oh well. Thanks for the compliments as well....

keep your comments coming!
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Old December 13th, 2003, 06:01 PM   #13
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Well, it's a shame because sound is so often overlooked in this arena of low-to-no budget filmmaking, and yet it is so important. Bryan, I'm sure you won't make another film without using a boom mike or wireless mikes, and let's put that message out there to anyone reading this who is considering making a film and "just" using the onboard mike: folks, it's a mistake you'll always regret. Doesn't matter how great the movie is: if you can't hear the dialogue, you'll frustrate your audience.
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Old December 13th, 2003, 11:28 PM   #14
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Bryan, well, I'm glad you were aware of the sound pickup. I didn't want to come off as being mean before, but I thought the live sound was really awful, but now that I know you only used an onboard mic, its clear that the lack of equipment is to blame. I'm in the same poor college student boat as you, so I know it is much easier said that done, but you need to invest in better sound equipment as soon as you can afford it.

Its odd, because in many cases, people tend to favor videos that have decent images and great sound to videos with great images and poor sound (at least that is what I have seen). In your case, its obvious you know what you're doing, but don't overlook the importance of sound. But honestly, you did a pretty good job with the levels seeing as though it was the onboard mice, but a nice shotgun will make all the difference.

And of course, I would like to add an accent to Charles' point, sound is just as important as the image!! Don't sell it short! Thats all folks....
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Old December 14th, 2003, 01:35 AM   #15
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Actually, I think it has been said many times, many ways, but sound is the most important part of the game! Being a musician, this should be easy for me to comprehend. However, my eyes tend to mute my ears sometimes. But, when I watch anything, my ears tell my eyes what to look for. And, I have come to realize that sound is everything and I should have every shot in my ear before my eye. Bryan, good luck, and here's to you coming into the money to match your sound with your video!!!!

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