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Old March 15th, 2004, 10:53 PM   #1
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5 1/2min short film

Hello all, this is my first ever post of some of my video work.

Here is a link to my short films page. In it are several things that ive done.

http://www.rich-lee.com/shortfilms.htm

Precursor is a short film i made last summer, it was my first shooting experience. its a bit rough, its not an action film, so if you have some patients and 5min it might be worth a look. maybe...

I also did a small film festival trailer last november which is also on the page. Anyway, would like to know what you guys think.

thanks!

Rich
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Old March 15th, 2004, 11:15 PM   #2
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Rich - hey first off, nice short, I liked the building of suspense - I wasn't sure what was going to happen until it happened - I thought what really shines for you on this short is your framing and composition - very nice on all your shots and obviously - your skill in post production effects work. You image really looked superb - I must ask - What camera did you shoot this on and how much post work was done for color correction etc. (magic bullet?). These were your real strong points - I thought the weak points were that at times - it drug a little - don't get me wrong, I love long takes but I think I began getting bored when she put the clothes out on the line - however your fast frantic part of the alarm ringing had akward editing flow to me. I felt as if there was no rhythm other than that you wanted to simply have some quick cuts there. The pacing was a bit off as it seemed each cut was the exact length in that quick cutting sequence. I think what you were trying to hit with a frantic jarring sense was there, just not quite executed in the editing process. Well that being said, everything else was done very well and I really really loved the framing of your subject through the bunny ears, I laughed out loud when I first saw it because it's just a fun shot - it seems to take the control out of the woman and put the emphasis on the TV, like a machine was the main subject. Anyways, awesome look, great special effects, AMAZING color rendition and filmic feel(I'd guess 24p but I could be way off) - Thanks for sharing and best of luck in the future!
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Old March 16th, 2004, 06:39 AM   #3
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It was a nice short. Definitely worth the 5 minutes. It looked
fantastic indeed which probably comes from your experience
in the real film world (nice bio!). The payoff with the TV and
what finally happened was nicely done. I especially liked the
last bit when she bows down to get another piece of clothing.

Can you tell us a bit more about how it was made?

Thanks for sharing!
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Old March 16th, 2004, 12:33 PM   #4
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Thanks Bryan and Rob for your comments and your time!

I shot it in a day out near joshua tree last summer. I shot it with my xl1s and a 3x lens in frame mode. I used a polarizer and some nd grads for the exterior stuff, and straight up 3x for the interiors. I edited in premiere, composite/color correct in after effects, and did the cg elements in softimage xsi. did a bunch of stuff to the image in ae, including removing a house that was 15' from the trailer. the effects at the end were a combination of animating some archive images of clouds that i found online and a kinda cheesy partial system in xsi, particals definitly arent my game. oh and the clock in the shot where it falls into camera is cg, just couldnt get it to fall just right, so i just shot the plate and put it in later.

I agree with you bryan, it drags for me at times too, some people say otherwise. I just didnt grab enough shots to cut to or anything and at the time i definitly didnt pay enough attention to how long things took to happin. although, i did shoot a million ways for her to go in and out of the trailer door! ha, lesson learned. the fast bit around the clock could definitly lose a shot or 2.

Thanks for the comments so far guys.
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Old March 16th, 2004, 12:49 PM   #5
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Hello Rich,

Great to see "Precursor". Beautiful composition, mood and bizar plot. I'm not thinking it's dragging. The movie transfers a pulsating tension, also thanks to the sound track.

Please share more of your work, looking forward to see it.

Peter Sieben
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Old March 16th, 2004, 06:39 PM   #6
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Fantastic work, Rich! I didn't feel it dragged at all. It just added to the tension. The visuals were beautiful and haunting. I can't wait to see more of your work. Great job!
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Old March 16th, 2004, 10:55 PM   #7
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Great!

I liked very very much the short. Great plot and AWESOME look!

Did you make the 60i to 30p or 24p transfer?

The use of overexposed areas was excellent.
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Old March 16th, 2004, 11:48 PM   #8
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MOST excellent! So simple, yet so creepy...love it.

I have to say that the shot toward the end, where she's putting the clothes on the line, is good just the way it is--nice and long. Sitting there, watching the movie, you think "that progress bar's gettin' near the end...when's something gonna happen?!", and then all of a sudden, without a sound, it does.

I certainly didn't see it coming, but man, was that powerful.

The premise of the film was good enough on its own, but the presentation was absolutely superb; one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen, hands down.

Keep it up!
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Old March 16th, 2004, 11:58 PM   #9
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Thanks guys! very encouraging to hear all your kind words!

Peter there is a little 1min intro movie i made for a festival on my site. it was for a little film festival that a friend had, her company is called fuss factory and the show was called "the fuss factory pre-rejection film festival", it kinda started as being a festival that would showcase films that have been entered into sundance, but havnt been rejected/accepted yet. meant to be a bit tounge in cheek. they ended up just showing anyones film weather it was sent to sundance or not and was a very fun night...will shall see what happines this year.

Gustavo, i shot in the frame mode that the xl1s has. so its faux 30p, it might be a bit soft, but i love it. The over exposed parts inside the trailer was done in camera.

now that u mention the 60i thing, i just read some posts about shooting in 60i then converting each field to whole frames and being able to do some slow motion that way. sounds like i'll be busy this weekend muckin about with some slow motion tests!
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Old March 24th, 2004, 01:08 AM   #10
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Those jibing clotheslines must have been a pain and a half to mask.

I loved this movie and look forward to your next one.
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Old March 24th, 2004, 06:18 PM   #11
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Thanks Robert.

The jibing clothsline was a pain in a half. I tried running the shot through boujou, to get a nice track of it so that the cg elements would stick to the image and not slip. but boujou just couldnt deal, it didnt have enough areas to track to. So i had to track in after effects, which was such a pain. the end result was ok, if i had more patients it would be better.I could only get certain parts of the image to track at a time, before it failed, so i had this crazy hiarchy of null objects parented to each other, each one holding a bit of tracking data, then once it gives out, another null picks up the torch. i think 16 nulls total. Then i had to animate a mask for the woman and for the cloths, then used that as a track matte for the cg elements. i also animated the varying amount of flare that would happin as cloths covered up the clouds.

Next time, i hire tracking and roto monkeys.
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Old March 24th, 2004, 11:32 PM   #12
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I liked the overall feel of the film. But the special effects jumped around and the last effect just didn't feel real at all. In fact the plumes of smoke, then the last explosion [which looked like it came from about 20 feet away as opposed to really far away], then the blast wave... it just looked cheesy to me.

But I still liked the overall feel. And don't get me wrong... I know how much hard work it took to do that and I couldn't do it personally. So I'm not bashing you. But if it looked more realistic, the film would be awesome. A bit slow for my taste, but still awesome.
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Old March 25th, 2004, 12:36 AM   #13
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I hear ya, Marty. I get that alot from friends of mine that do vfx for a living. But I dont have the ambition or patients anymore to do final visual effects. So, after getting really tired of working on those shots and wanting to move on to something else, i just threw in the towel. I figure, whats in now gets the point across.

Glad you liked the feeling of it overall!
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Old March 25th, 2004, 12:59 AM   #14
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"Next time, i hire tracking and roto monkeys."

I actually get sometimes pleasure out of tracking and roto work; I can't explain why. It's modeling and rendering I've less patience for.
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Old March 25th, 2004, 01:07 AM   #15
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Yeah, i'm the opposite, i love modeling.

"Next time, i hire tracking and roto monkeys."
I didnt mean for that to be derogatory, hope no offence was taken.
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