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Old October 22nd, 2004, 02:09 PM   #1
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Roadside Attractions (Short Film)

Hi everyone,

First time poster, long time reader. I thought I'd present my latest short film 'Roadside Attractions' to you. The film was shot on a low budget using two Panasonic 24p DVX100 cameras and edited in Apple’s Final Cut Pro.

The film has been traveling the country at festivals and since its release 3 months ago, it's been doing very well, getting 10 Official Selections and winning 7 awards including 4 Best Short Film (of its category), 2 Audience Awards and 1 cinematography award.

http://www.arkhamfilms.com/roadsideattractions.html

Hope you enjoy. Let me know what you think. Thanks!

-CJ Roy
www.arkhamfilms.com
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Old October 22nd, 2004, 03:21 PM   #2
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CJ,

That was awfully good. Before I pick let me say that I was really impressed and hope some day to have that kind of skill. The storytelling was very clear without being too obvious, the pictures were pretty, and the characters believable, in a goth comic sort of a way.

I spent most of my time just enjoying it, wondering what would happen next.

Now, my picky complaints:

The original must have been pretty good, but the transfer to Quicktime had some problems in the blacks. I could see bits of noise, and that annoying "pools of gray" effect that happens when you have flat washes of similar tones right next to each other. The pictures were pretty enough that I didn't much mind.

The swipe-pan from the Mullet Boys to Walter: did you really need to put in a sound there? The rest of the sound design was excellent, and that one sound took me out of the movie for a second.

Other than that, go you! No surprise that you're winning awards. I especially liked two things: (1) the look (framing, movement, coloration, cutting) and (2) in particular, the extended scene with the sugar, both in acting and in structural terms (perfect counterpoint!).

One technical question, however: did you shoot anamorphic, or did you crop?

Michael
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Old October 22nd, 2004, 08:05 PM   #3
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Loved it all except the circle fade at the end. It just seems like it needs to end like you've made your statement. Plus going stright to your credits in the film would draw more attention to yourself. And then the scene in the bathroom where he does the karate crap, it just seemed way out of place. Other wish excellent. I mean just just great stuff.
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Old October 23rd, 2004, 01:49 PM   #4
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Hey Michael & Lathe,

Thanks for checking out the film. I'm really glad you enjoyed it.

Michael - 1. The whip-pan sound effect from the Mullets to Walter was my choice. Without a sound there, something felt missing. This is the first time anyone has mentioned it, so I'm assuming it works for most people.
2. We shot it 4:3, then letterboxed it. I'm not a big fan of the anamorphic lens on the DVX, even if we could have afforded it at the time of shooting. Everything was just straight out of the box, DVX100, not DVX100a.

Lathe - Yeah, I can see that the iris wipe at the end might bug some people. It's kind of an old serial technique. But, it kind of helps the film take itself less seriously, similar to the fight scene.
Also, in my experience, if you haven't hired trained fight choreographers or actors who want to be actions stars, make the fight funny. Just my opinion, I think it added to the overall humor of the piece.

Thanks again for checking it out.

Let me know if you have any further questions.

-CJ
www.arkhamfilms.com
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Old October 24th, 2004, 06:57 AM   #5
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Wow, that was excellent. Well scripted and acted, great camera work and brilliant editing.
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Old October 24th, 2004, 07:04 AM   #6
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CJ,
Lovely, lovely, lovely!
Well observed performances; really good camerawork/lighting.
Those dawn colours.........

Robin
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Old October 24th, 2004, 02:39 PM   #7
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C.J., I thought the piece was great. The production was superb, in my opinion, and the acting was top notch. I hope to create quality work like that some day.
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Old October 25th, 2004, 12:15 AM   #8
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I love it, Good job. Theres a few things that stood out to me. I like the shot in the bathroom, with the above pan from the mullet dude to walter. The acting was awesome as well. I relly enjoyed the ending, where it shows the ball, then like 6, etc. It was a good way of ending it. My reactions where "Woh...Oh man...Whaaaaaaaaat the?" Yeah, all in all, i can see why its winning all those awards. Isaw some other films on your site that I enjoyed. KEEP IT GOIN'!!!
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Old October 25th, 2004, 01:12 AM   #9
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Very good film CJ!! You should think about submitting it to our film festival that we're organizing!! The Central Nebraska Film Festival, January 28th & 29th, 2005 in Kearney, Nebraska. It's a small festival, but the best short film prize is $300. We would love to show it!

www.sdientertainment.com/acnff/thefestival.htm

Sean
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Old October 25th, 2004, 07:27 AM   #10
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Excellent work! Very enjoyable. Some previous things mentioned
bothered me as well a bit: QuickTime encoding was doing some
weird things in the blacks; kung-fu kind of fight (didn't seem to
fit that particular character) and the closing circle. Other than
that, top notch work!
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Old October 25th, 2004, 09:12 AM   #11
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Very good piece. I enjoyed it and loved the ending.

Now, since you shared the piece with us, how 'bout sharin' some of that other stuff.

Like -
What did you shoot with? This is the DV for the masses forum, so did you shoot it on DV? What lens/adapeters/etc?

I noticed in the credits said 3D modeling and animation - where was that? In the end with all the balls?

Good Job!

Cheers
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Old October 25th, 2004, 09:19 AM   #12
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Stephen, quote from the first post on this thread:
Quote:
The film was shot on a low budget using two Panasonic 24p DVX100 cameras and edited in Apple’s Final Cut Pro.
So yeah, DV.

If you follow the link and then go to behind the scenes you can
check out 5 days of shooting pictures (see the links on the top
for the various days) which shows all kind of equipment from
simple to more advanced dollies and some lighting gear.

My guess for the 3D work would be the balls as well, they looked
realistic from the small web version though!
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Old October 25th, 2004, 09:36 AM   #13
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Ah never mind... I need to read things more carefully... Going through the site now. Very interesting :)

Still doesn't answer the 3D modeling question though :)

Cheers
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Old October 25th, 2004, 01:51 PM   #14
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Hi everyone,

Wow, thank you guys so much for checking out the film. I'm really glad you're enjoying it.

Jett- That's an awesome reaction! We played in Atlanta and the crowd was very similar. At the last reveal shot, someone yelled out "Holy shit!" It was great.

Sean - We'd love to submit to your festival! Thanks for the invite! Do you have an email address so I can ask a few questions, etc?

Rob - Unfortunately the web compression isn't the greatest, but that's about as good as I can get it until the new codecs arrive.

Stephen - The 3D modelling & animation were for one moving shot at the end with all the "objects" in the field. We had to have a Maya modeller, model the environment and the objects themselves. We also had to hire a match-move artist to match the camera move, in 3D space.

The rest of the shots I did, myself, with After Effects.

Just a bit more info on the production, everything was done with the bare minimum and only the sound designer was paid for the film, to fit the $7,000 (USD) budget.

From a DV fan, it's truly been fantastic to watch a miniDV film compete and win against 35mm films. I'm just blown away with this technology.

Thanks again, everyone! Let me know if you have any questions at all.

-CJ
cj@arkhamfilms.com
www.arkhamfilms.com
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Old October 25th, 2004, 02:53 PM   #15
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Very beautifull movie, CJ!
The acting is superb, and your story is very thrilling allthough in the beginning actually not much happens. But it's so well performed by the actors and it has such a good cinematography that it's very thrilling to watch.
Your ending is just beautifull. Very funny moments in the movie also.

Every price you win, you deserve it :-) Congratulations to you and your actors and actrice!
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