DVX100 Short Film: "Brie" now online... - Page 2 at DVinfo.net

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Old October 4th, 2004, 09:33 PM   #16
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Brooklyn, NY
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I regret that my editor crashed and the deathless prose I had crafted to critique the film has been lost. Herewith follows a raggedly-recalled precis:

1. Music was lovely. I hope your final choices have a similar tone.

2. To look at, a delight. One cut didn't make visual sense to me: the first cut to the flowers after she drives out to the country. I didn't understand the connection between what had come before, and the pretty flowers, until after I saw the sketchbooks; by that time, I had been out of the narrative for twenty or thirty seconds. Annoying.

3. Acting flat, but that's not bad. However...

4. ...I wouldn't mind seeing more instances of Brie's daily life. One or two. Just a tiny bit. Something to anchor the lack-of-plot.

5. The "inspired by our friends" bit is a little obvious. I'd cut it. (It sounds kind of high school. In a bad way.)

6. The first time we see her eyes (credits), that's yummy. I actually got a chill. Maybe I'm just a cheap date, but there you are.

7. I would like to see some more consequences of her choices, or lack thereof. I don't need a moral, just a clearer sense of her desires, her choices, or even the specific texture of her passivity, if that's what she's all about.

Overall you seem to be swimming in the same visual school as "Lost in Translation" and "Garden State." (I'm sure there are other references that would make sense as well.) Y'know, that slowly-unfolding, visually stunning thing. I like that. I'm a big sucker for it. So there.

Good work.

Michael Bernstein, actor & film maker.
10 films in 10 weeks: www.amplecatnap.com
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Old October 5th, 2004, 07:35 AM   #17
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
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Michael - too bad your program crashed - I'm glad you enjoyed the piece. I think I pretty much agree with every one of your points. I would like to have shown her reacting in just a few more ways myself, just a few extra shots, however our lead lives 6 hours away so it's just not very realistic for a short film. I always thought the "inspired by" thing was not fitting. We just wanted to have something at the end saying it was based on a true story, but it was based on 2 true stories, so if we say based on true stories, then it sounds like we just read about the stuff and made a movie. We were trying to bring some authenticity to our motivations behind making the film. I actually liked the flower shots coming right after she's driving - I thought it came with some light symbology of her as a young woman and the energy of a college student.

I'm glad you liked the eyes with the music at the opening. I personally loved this and it took a long time seeing it over and over while editing for that effect to finally wear off.

Well, strangely enough, we were heavily inspired by "Lost in Translation" and "Garden State". "Garden State" was one of the best movies I had seen in the theatre in quite some time, maybe since Lost in Translation (eh, 21 Grams was in the theatre after Lost so I take that back). In fact, for the outside scene, our actors just weren't getting the tone down right, they sounded overly fake sad so we all sat down and watched the scene in "Lost in Translation" where Bill Murray and Scarlet are on the bed laying next to each other, where at the end he touches her foot. That was the emotional tone we were trying to hit. This scene definintely helped steer them out of the overly sad thing but I still think the two friends talking didn't ever get where wanted it to be and was the weakest part of the film, also because of bad writing I think. ;)

I swear righ now though, that using Air's song for the final scene was NOT intentional. I was having a very tough time finding temp music to fit the mood while staying in the overall style as the rest of the temp music. I was searching around the depths of iTunes and came across the song. As a joke, I edited a "Lost in Translation" ending (remember Wayne's World with Scooby Doo ending etc.) one late night to make Kari (the co-director and GF) laugh but instead she said that's it, and when I looked at it, it really worked well with the shots and pacing we wanted for the conclusion. The rest is temp music history.

Well thanks for the feedback, I'd love to hear any more thoughts any one out there might have for the piece.
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Old October 5th, 2004, 10:35 AM   #18
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Location: Fairfax, Virginia
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Ok, I liked it. It could be a lot better, obviously.

The pacing of the film was okay, but overall, the movie is very subtle. At one point, it felt like a long movie preview, or just random footage put together.

To be honest, I did not quite understand the message the first time. With your explanation, I see what you were trying to do, and I think it's somewhat of a success. The movie was missing a good scene of dialogue, I think. Looking at "Lost In Translation", we can see many scenes of dialogue that give us feeling, and lets us connect with the characters extremely well. That's not the case with your film. It was missing that one key scene that makes us care about the film, and not to mention, Brie.

The shaky shooting style, I'm not a big fan of at all, except in some scenes. This goes for all movies. Some movies use it well, some don't. I like dead center, rock solid shots, and smooth (steadicam) shots during movement. This is just an opinion.

Overall, I really like the meaning of the film. I really understand it now, and appreciate it. It's a nice piece of work.

The thing is, when films like this are shown to large audiences, chances are, most will walk out of the theater thinking, "What the hell did I just watch?" But that was also the case during the very first screening of "2001: A Space Odyssey."

- Robert
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