BitterSweet - award winning short movie online at DVinfo.net

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Old July 9th, 2004, 07:43 PM   #1
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BitterSweet - award winning short movie online

BitterSweet has been our submission to the Gershwin Showcase project of the Vail Film Festival 2004. This project allowed filmmakers to shoot and submit a short movie using one of the selected music compositions originally composed by George and Ira Gershwin. Our submission won the grand prize of the project, a very big surprise for us.

Synopsis of BitterSweet:
"An old man, suffering from a heart disease, decides to make his late wife’s wishes come true. During a tiresome ride on his bike on to the beach his memories keep coming back… two people and the one decision that changed their lives."

A new website for Orphic Film and BitterSweet will be created the coming months. But if you like you can watch the movie online at:
http://www.orphic.nl/odm/html/bs.html
(click at Media; length 7:51, size 34 MB, Quicktime 6 format)

Peter Sieben
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Old July 10th, 2004, 05:10 AM   #2
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Very nice movie Peter. Camera angles, colors and the music you've selected are great. It really impressed me.

Can you tell us about your equipment please? And what are you using for color correction?
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Old July 10th, 2004, 05:24 AM   #3
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Thanks Ozan.

I've shot BitterSweet with a Panasonic DVX100 (PAL), using a Vinten PRO-5 tripod system. All editing and color correcting have been done with Vegas 4 straight from the box.

Peter
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Old July 10th, 2004, 05:43 AM   #4
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A lovely, lovely film Peter, which perfectly epitomizes the meaning of "Bittersweet" which I think is one of the most beatuful of human emotions. I related to your film very much - Dank U! Returning to the more mundane - was it shot 4:3 and cropped, or is it full-height anamorphic?

Robin
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Old July 10th, 2004, 05:57 AM   #5
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Hi Robin,

The title of the movie had been a major struggle for a long time, then suddenly one of us walked into the room and just said "let's call it BitterSweet" and it felt right immediately.

It was shot with the onboard 16:9 letterboxing mode. Inside Vegas I changed the letterboxing to the Academy (1:1.85) format. The PAL version has a higher vertical resolution, the 25P footage looks good at the big screen so I avoid the anamorphic route as long as I can (due to the investment, deformed info in the viewfinder and hassle with zooming in/out).

Dank U too!

Peter
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Old July 10th, 2004, 06:59 AM   #6
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Good to see you have it online Peter! It has a nice place on my
DVD shelf here. <g>
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Old July 11th, 2004, 02:30 AM   #7
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Hi Peter

In the first 30 seconds, I was slightly put off by the apparent content thinking that this was going to be another depressing story about old age and all, but you proved me wrong. It was very well done and I especially liked the end. The music piece suited the scene very well, and it added a lot of depth to the story.

The visuals were great too, hope to see more!
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Old July 11th, 2004, 10:33 AM   #8
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Hi Peter

I loved the film...It was beautiful...really!

And congratulations with the prize...
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Old July 11th, 2004, 01:25 PM   #9
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That was wonderful Peter. Congratulations on a fine film! Very much on par with the great shorts I see on IFC, Sundance and sometimes Showtime.
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Old July 11th, 2004, 04:05 PM   #10
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I liked it very much, really. The timing is just exactly right from shot to shot, as if you had composed the whole thing musically! Not sure if it was on purpose but it looked somewhat dark and perhaps a little too desaturated for my taste, but then again it might be the monitor's fault, I viewed it on a PC. Underexposing is great because it keeps you from the video-ish limiting in the highlights, but I would have applied some curves to bring up the upper mid tones and enhance contrast. I love the way the credits are presented split screen in the end. Awesome work!
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Old July 11th, 2004, 04:24 PM   #11
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Thanks for all reply's.
I am not sure about the darkness (I am not very experienced with QT compression), but the color desaturing has been done on purpose. We did three types of color correction:
1. flash back scenes: almost washed out and grainy, to give the shots an old feeling, like recordings found on the attic waiting there covered with dust.
2. shots of present life: a bit desaturated to support the feeling of the man that his life lost a bit of color after his wife had died.
3. afterlife shots (dancing): the warm yellow color was added to give the afterlife a dreamy and warm love feeling, after the rejoining of the two people in their younger versions. BTW: it's up to the viewer what kind of interpretation you give to this last part of the movie.

Rob Lohman (if you're reading this): you've got the dvd. Any thoughts from you regarding the colors and darkness?

Peter
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Old July 12th, 2004, 02:26 AM   #12
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Peter: first the DVD was done very well and the quality is very
high on that. The colors are spot on as you describe them and
look absolutely brilliant on my TV here (which ain't the best).

Ofcourse whether someone would like the "choices" made here
is a personal matter. But I can vouch that the 3 sections have
the kind of colors Peter describes. I haven't downloaded the
web version yet. I'll see if I can compare the two (web version
and DVD) on my laptop tonight.
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Old July 12th, 2004, 02:11 PM   #13
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I watched the film a few more times, I had two technical questions:

1. did you do anything special for the sound? it sounded very clear and nice, was it just the on-board mic?

2. a few shots had nice DOF - were you just zoomed in?

thanks
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Old July 12th, 2004, 02:20 PM   #14
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Hi Young,

1. No special sound editing has been done. I used most of the onboard microphone recordings, and added some roomtone, citynoise and beach/wind/sea sounds from a sound library. The only obvious sound effect that was added was the barking dog in the park. The build in microphone of the DVX100 isn't very popular, but I do get reasonable results with it so far. I have this big couchen(?) like things wrapped over the microphone to minimize wind noise.

2. A couple of shots have been used in zoom mode, to play around with the DOF. The standard lens of the DVX100 is wide-angle orientated with only 10x optical zoom, but it works to certain level. No way it comes close to my old Nikon photocamera/lenses.

Peter
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Old July 12th, 2004, 11:39 PM   #15
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thanks for the replies Peter, that was helpful. I was really impressed with the color and look of the shot of the old man walking on the sidewalk near the beginning, the one with the shallow DOF.

and I noticed the sound was really clear as well. I am about to make a purchase of the DVX100a, if Canon does not come out with its XL2 anytime soon (oog, Im getting tired of waiting)

btw, I just gotta tell you how much I loved the ending of your film, I think it totally 'makes' it
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