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Old May 24th, 2004, 11:53 AM   #1
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The End of the Line (7 min Short)

Hey all, last weekend we shot a short film for the following competition: http://www.christophers.org/vidcon2k.html. We just uploaded our long cut of this film and would appreciate any and all feedback. It can be found here:

> http://www.par-t-com.net/eotl.mov (16mb QT5, right click and save as)

The music is a temp track until we get it scored - it's Thomas Newman's score from "American Beauty." Once again, any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for taking the time to check out our short!
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Old May 24th, 2004, 03:08 PM   #2
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Excellent work. I love the first shot and opening credits. Also, great job with the car scenes. I was impressed by how steady the shots were. Did you mount the camera to the car? Drive the car, or use a trailer?

One thing that might be worth looking into next time is using a polarizer for the car shots when you're looking through the windshield at the characters. In the first driving scene in particular, the tree reflections made it hard to see the character. The reflections were an important part of the scene, but a polarizer could help make the character a little more visible, while still seeing the reflections. Even with the dominant reflections, that was a great shot.

Great job, and good luck with the contest. Keep us updated on your winnings.
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Old May 24th, 2004, 04:57 PM   #3
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Devin,

Good job on the short. Many of the shots are very nice.... I particularly liked the opening shot, the exterior truck shots, and the shot when the guy stops the first time and you see his feet getting out of the truck. The framing was nice throughout.

My biggest critique is that story-wise it just didn't make sense to me. I watched it twice and know that it is about someone planning something nefarious but who gives it up when inspired by a stranger... but I know little else for a seven minute investment. I am actually fond of the boldness of telling so little, but I think that we needed a couple more nuggets.

Included in that were some "mechanical" problems in the storytelling... why did he say he was going to the big city, and end up at a bridge... if he made a transition, it would help the audience to see that.... How did the guy who stopped know he was sleeping and not dead (which I thought he was, and assume others might).... Why did the guy come back in the end? Did he have a revelation? Could we see that? Did he have to turn around to do it? (that wasn't even clear to me).... Why did the stranger have to make himself late for this? Was our protagonist heading the other direction, and the stranger decided to take him anyway? Can we see that discusion then? (In the diner?)... It just seems like many of the key story elements happened off-screen and weren't even really alluded to. Moviemaking is definitely visual storytelling, and so even if I don't hear a guy explain why he has done something, I'd like to see the look on his face when he does it.

The pacing was nice, and worked because the shots were really well done. The music helps also, so that new score will be really important. The only pacing issue I had was the conversation in the beginning. It is a subtle point, the pacing of the intro credits and of the rest of the piece are very slow (take, when the stranger gets out of the truck), and the pacing of that first conversation is a click or two faster. It stands out, and because it is the first thing we see after the credits it sets the wrong tone.

I know that seems like alot, but please understand I will only offer this type of detailed feedback on something that I think represents potential. Right now I feel the photography basically carries it.

Keep up the good work and keep up posted. Good luck in the competition.
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Old May 25th, 2004, 04:01 AM   #4
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The story wasn't too clear for me either. I thought the lines they
spoke when they meet again where also a bit "weird". I would've
expected something like "what's up" or so.

It looked brilliant. You guys are really loving the dolly shots and
titles eh! The only critique I have picture wise is that in the darker
shots I thought there wasn't enough contrast to the picture.
Overall contrast was okay but could've been a notch better as
well I think. Perhaps some S-curve post-production work might
help here?
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Old May 25th, 2004, 10:36 AM   #5
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Barry + Rob, thanks a ton for your feedback. We're working right now on putting together some VO work to help better explain the script. You saw the 7 minute cut, the 5 minute cut that we're submitting moves a bit faster as far as pacing is concerned, and thats the one we're really concerned with.

It gets tough when you're so embroiled in a production to remain objective. We greatly appreciate your in-depth feedback and will be working on a revised edit soon. Thanks!

PS - Barry, I really dig your DoF navigation on your website, that's a really sweet idea.
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Old May 25th, 2004, 01:39 PM   #6
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Totally awesome. I was definitely impressed. One recommendation would be to not put movies for web download with the black bars on top and bottom. It is fairly easy to just crop it all out with Final Cut Pro or whatever you are using. It just saves file size.
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Old May 25th, 2004, 02:14 PM   #7
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Thanks guys

Hey, I'm another one of the par-t-comer's with Spencer and Devin and knew they came here alot but never actually stopped by and stayed for more than a few minutes. I just mainly wanted to say thanks to everyone for taking the time to give constructive criticism on stuff others are working on, it really helps a lot and I can already tell the next cut of End of the Line will be that much better. I have a feeling I'm gonna start hanging around myself now to, as I do love me a good message board and already spend way too much time talking about the Cavs and Browns. Thanks again and I look forward to helping you all out in the future.

Jeff.
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Old May 25th, 2004, 04:13 PM   #8
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hmmm

Technically the film was sound, I especially liked the opening dolly through the bowling alley.

But what was the story? I was expecting some pay off with all that set up, but nadda. Maybe I missed something.

Anyway, keep up the good work, hopefully I'll have something to show of my own in the near future as I'm preparing for a film shoot two weeks from now.

Ciao for now

Trevor
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Old May 25th, 2004, 04:14 PM   #9
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Very nice work. If taken in the context of the competition (per the link provided) the story makes more sense and may be fine as is. Without that context, the story is a little TOO subtle. Some conflict between the 'conflicted' character and the good Samaritan would enhance the dramatic effect. Maybe the good Samaritan needs some more 'character' as well...some flaw(s). BUT, what you have is very good. The technical skill is obvious. Camera angles, composition are very good. Opening shot was a nice start and immediately lets the audience know they are in good hands. Love the bridge shot as well...was that your 'extra' walking in the bg? If not you got lucky. This looks like a "real movie" and I hope it does well in the Christopher competition. Nice work.
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Old May 26th, 2004, 07:58 AM   #10
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Devin, Jeff,

Glad you found it helpful. I'd love to see the final 5 min cut when it's done. Good luck.

PS thanks re: the web site... we had fun with it
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Old May 26th, 2004, 01:24 PM   #11
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Devin, it is hard to read and maybe that is part of it. Does the license plate on the pickup at the end say "I AM"?
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Old May 28th, 2004, 12:04 AM   #12
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Devin...

Awesome film! Too bad the music is a temp track... it goes so well with the mood of the film! Lovely cinematography too!

I get the basic gist of the storyline. It has spiritual significance. Just curious as to what the "ne'er-do-well" eating the apple was supposed to represent.

I am very curious about the license plate... what does it say, and what, if anything, does it have to do with the film?

Please show us the final cut and maybe a little bit on the storyline!

Linda
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Old May 28th, 2004, 11:54 PM   #13
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Hey Linda and George,

Devin isn't around right now, but the license reads "1 JKK" hope that helps.

Jeff.
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Old June 20th, 2004, 01:56 PM   #14
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The Competition Version

Hey everybody, Devin has been pretty busy lately so I figured I would stop by and post the final competition piece that we actually submitted (http://www.christophers.org/vidcon2k.html). Just a quick reminder for those not following the link, this was made for a student christian filmmaking competition. Using a lot of the advice we recieved on this forum, we've added VO, put the real score in and believe the story is a little easier to follow. Hopefully you all agree. Thanks for the feedback and we look forward to hearing what you think.

The End of the Line (5 min) - http://www.par-t-com.net/eotl.mov

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Old June 21st, 2004, 03:19 PM   #15
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Jeff, Devin,

Good job on the final version. The story is much more clear and compelling. The voice overs are nice. People over-use them to tell a story that they could be showing, but your story is about the inner processes of the protagonist and so it is nice to be privy to what is going on there. I particularly like that you get that he is fighting his sense of obligation to his path, and in a sense ignorance of other paths.

The pacing is more consistent, which is nice. Iím sure you hated to lose shots like the stranger getting out of the car (which was really nice) but I think that the piece as a whole is better served without it.

Anyway, great job. Let us know how it does in the competition.
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