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Old July 15th, 2004, 10:31 PM   #1
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I am submitting my new short film to YOU, so helpful community!

Ok guys, I am really nervous at this moment. I have learned so much these last months from you, on all aspects of filmaking production, it is now time to show you my first real short movie. My goal by making this film was not necessarily to diffuse it, but to learn as much as possible. It is not perfect, it has several defects, sometimes related to inexperience, other times because of the technical constraints which a production without budget imposes to us.

But damn, I am really proud of it.

I would really like to have your comments on it. Unfortunatelly, the film is in french, my native language, so most of you may not catch the whole story, but comments on the technical side would be really welcome.

Please feel free to ask any questions about the production, equipement used, or anything you wnat to know, it will be a pleasure to answer to it.

And if some of you have some clues to give to me on how to achieve a good compression for web diffusion, go for it, I am more or less happy with what I obtained.

Watch the movie here: http://sunens.uqac.ca/~jparchib/AVAWide.wmv

Pics from the production are also available here: http://sunens.uqac.ca/~jparchib/AlbumAVA/ (I am the guy who always have a camera in hands :-) )

Enjoy!
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Old July 15th, 2004, 10:56 PM   #2
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You have some nice camera moves in there. Well-executed and not overdone.

I was bothered by some of the cuts - or rather your use of fades/dissolves. The one that sticks out the most is about 6 minutes in, at the end of the office scene, when the guy comes in and hands him a bunch of papers. It just fades off while he's talking. I'm assuming you did that intentionally since what he says is probably just filler to create an office environment, but it feels weird. You should try changing that around. Maybe hold on him for longer, then fade his dialogue out over the next image?

During the scene when he arrives home, you have a dissolve shortly after he walks into the door to later in the same location while he's getting his kids ready to play in the snow. The dissolve itself was probably fine, but since you're dissolving into the same location and relatively same shot, it doesn't work. I would use a cutaway here; hold the scene of him coming in the door for a tiny bit longer, then dissolve to an exterior shot of the house, then cut to them putting on their snow gear.

Overall, well done!
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Old July 15th, 2004, 11:36 PM   #3
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Thank you Alex for your kind words. I am really happy you liked the camera work.

Quote:
I was bothered by some of the cuts - or rather your use of fades/dissolves. The one that sticks out the most is about 6 minutes in, at the end of the office scene, when the guy comes in and hands him a bunch of papers. It just fades off while he's talking. I'm assuming you did that intentionally since what he says is probably just filler to create an office environment, but it feels weird.
In fact, this shot was supposed to be a little bit longer, but in the five takes I had, the light stand came into the frame toward the end. I had not realized it on the set. During the editing, I had two choices, put a trimmed down version of the shot, what I have do, or completly cut away this shot. Perhaps I chose the bad one.

Quote:
During the scene when he arrives home, you have a dissolve shortly after he walks into the door to later in the same location while he's getting his kids ready to play in the snow. The dissolve itself was probably fine, but since you're dissolving into the same location and relatively same shot, it doesn't work. I would use a cutaway here; hold the scene of him coming in the door for a tiny bit longer, then dissolve to an exterior shot of the house, then cut to them putting on their snow gear.
This scene was really saved at editing. When we shot it, it was late in the evening, we had shot the traffic jam scene in the afternoon, and the kids were not very co-operative. I was thus not able to do all the shot envisaged. I don't really like the dissolve too, but I can't cut straight, since I don't have any exterior shot to use, and since the camera is at the excatly same location on the two shots, the cut don't work.

Thank you again to have taken time to watch the film and for your invaluable comments!
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Old July 16th, 2004, 06:35 AM   #4
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I could only watch with no sound (at work) but what I saw looked very well done, and had a very professional look to it. Only minor criticism is that you partly decapitated people on a few occasions. Still, if I ever produce something that looks that good I'll be happy.
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Old July 16th, 2004, 08:09 AM   #5
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Bon travail. C'est excellent, surtout pour un premier film.
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Old July 16th, 2004, 10:33 AM   #6
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Thank you so much Pat and Frederic!

Your comments encourage me to continue.
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Old July 17th, 2004, 05:55 PM   #7
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Hello Jean-Phillippe

I watched your film and althought I had no idea what it was about, I'll compliment you on the production value. You did a lot of work to setup the traffic jam scene, the dolly tracks, the lighting.

Could I ask how long it took you to assemble all the crew, all the extras and generally what the experience was like?

Great job on your first effort, look forward to seeing some more. Next time, you should add some subtitles too!

Young
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Old July 18th, 2004, 06:32 AM   #8
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Hi J-P,

I watched your movie 2 times, it looks very good. The camera movements, it's scale, etc. it all gives it a bigger production value.

You wrote that this project has been a good learning experience. Some remarks I could make have been made in the other comments. I tried to understand what was going on, my French is terrible so I had to guess most of it (it's about an overloaded divorced man). I think that the kind of movie you like to tell with the sad ending asks for a different approach during the daytime scenes. The music you use (to sweet/possitive melody), the length of the scenes (too long, like the restaurant), etc could have been better/tighter integrated to the plot. Edit your movie back to 5 or 6 minutes, make the daytime shots more documentary like to show his full agenda more better and try some other music that works better with the plot.

Just my 2 cents.... you've made a fine movie!

Peter
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Old July 18th, 2004, 08:40 AM   #9
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I like your light stand.

And great job. Very nicely done.
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Old July 18th, 2004, 05:47 PM   #10
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<<<-- Originally posted by Young-H. Lee :
Could I ask how long it took you to assemble all the crew, all the extras and generally what the experience was like? -->>>

It took about two month to my co-director and me to get the main casting, some technical helpers and the locations . The figurating poeple were found a few days before each shot. The experience was really great. The shooting took 10 non continuous half-days. That was very demanding, but nothing is more rewarding than to finish its own film.

<<<-- Originally posted by Peter Sieben:
I watched your movie 2 times, it looks very good. The camera movements, it's scale, etc. it all gives it a bigger production value.

You wrote that this project has been a good learning experience. Some remarks I could make have been made in the other comments. I tried to understand what was going on, my French is terrible so I had to guess most of it (it's about an overloaded divorced man). I think that the kind of movie you like to tell with the sad ending asks for a different approach during the daytime scenes. The music you use (to sweet/possitive melody), the length of the scenes (too long, like the restaurant), etc could have been better/tighter integrated to the plot. Edit your movie back to 5 or 6 minutes, make the daytime shots more documentary like to show his full agenda more better and try some other music that works better with the plot. -->>>

Thank you Peter for your constructives comments. You guessed the story pretty well!
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Old July 20th, 2004, 05:12 AM   #11
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Jean-Phillippe, je n'ai pas pu à montrer ton film, parce que mon WebTV a une limite de 20 Mb de RAM mémoire. Mais, ta
galerie de tableaux me plâit beaucoup.
Combien de peuple as-tu dans ta bande?
Qui es tu? L'on qui porte la chemise rouge, avec l'XL1? Ou l'homme portant
le complet avec la femme blonde? Quel sorte de moniteur as-tu utilisé sur l'XL1? Bientôt, je ferai une visite chez un ami qui a un contact broadband avec le Web, et à ce temps, je pourrai à montrer le film. Bonne chance.

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Old July 20th, 2004, 06:52 AM   #12
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For the benefit of all, here is the translation of Steve's comments:
---------
JP, I couldn't see your movie since my WebTV (or ISP? ) limit me to 20 Mb of RAM memory. But I liked your gallery of pictures. How many people have you in this movie?
Who are you? The man with the red shirt, with the XL1? or the one wearing the suit with the blond woman? Which kind of monitor have you used on the XL1? Soon, I will come to visit a friend with a broadband connection, and then, I will be able to see the whole movie. Good luck.

Steve McDonald
----------

Hi Steve, Thanks a lot to have taken the time to watch my pictures. Yes, I am the man with the XL1 (I don't let anybody beside me to touch to my baby :) ). The whole production involved about 40 persons. If you are talking about the LCD monitor, it is a Varizoom 5.6" . Work pretty well!

Thanks again,
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Old July 25th, 2004, 07:33 PM   #13
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Jean-Phillippe, - a very excellent film visually. I say visually because I do not understand French, although I did understand the basic story line.

The camera moves, acting, lighting, sound, everything was very good and I after watching the film I can only criticize the cutting and use of fade to blacks. I'm am not a fan of fade to blacks in films in general (not just yours) so perhaps it's just me and being picky. I did however like some of the transitions and rolling transistions used.

I don't know if you edited the film - but it I find when making films of my own someone else cutting it (editing) always brings a nice polish to the film. Or at least to have someone else do a 2nd cut after you've made the first one. Just a suggestion.

Where did you get the wheelchair and was it used for many of the shots with motion? Amazing!

Anyway - outstanding work and hope your film is well received at festivals if you enter.

Great stuff!
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Old July 26th, 2004, 06:55 PM   #14
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Thank you Denis,

Your comments on the editing are really constructives. Good idea to have a second person to re-cut.

Quote:
Where did you get the wheelchair and was it used for many of the shots with motion? Amazing!
The wheelchair was used each time that it was impossible to put the dolly's rails and that there were too many complex movements involved to do it handheld. In fact, I had written "steadycam" on the script, but since it cost 5$ / day to rent a wheelchair in any drugstore, the wheelchair replaced the steadycam. The poor man's solution, and this works pretty well when you have a fairly even floor! :)
Quote:
Anyway - outstanding work and hope your film is well received at festivals if you enter.
I will send it to some film festivals and contests soon and I will inform you about the developpements. Wish me good luck!
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Old July 26th, 2004, 07:53 PM   #15
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I also saw from some of your production stills what looked like you were using a tripod as a steadicam? Is this correct?
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