Trailer for "Livelihood" - Shot on VX1000 at DVinfo.net

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Old November 4th, 2004, 09:55 AM   #1
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Trailer for "Livelihood" - Shot on VX1000

Hi All,

This is a short trailer for a feature-length film we shot on a Sony VX1000. The film has finished shooting, and will be released in the Baltimore area in late January/early February.

Let me know what you think about the storyline. Did you have any idea what was going on? Did it matter if you didn't? In other words, is the general idea of the film clear, but if not, did the trailer make you want to see it anyway?

Any comments or constructive criticism about the actual look of the trailer would be helpful, too.

http://www.37point5.com/trailer.htm

Thanks!
Ryan Graham
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Old November 4th, 2004, 10:40 PM   #2
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WACKEY! CRAZY! It held my attention. Edit it correctly and you will have a winner Ryan.

Lee Evans
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Old November 5th, 2004, 05:24 AM   #3
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I thought it was very funny, and interesting.
Keep up the good work!
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Old November 5th, 2004, 08:21 AM   #4
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Stephen and Mathieu,

Thanks to both of you for your kind remarks. I'll be sure to post here when the movie is finished.

Ryan Graham
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Old November 5th, 2004, 05:42 PM   #5
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nice title. I expected rough scenes in this one. SOmething about magnuns and gangs and stuff. lol.

The trailer looks so much like those english comedy series from the BBC. Itf the jokes are good, the rest is not very important. The scenes are plain normal and funny, so I will check them out in fulllenght one day. Thans for the footage.
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Old November 8th, 2004, 08:53 AM   #6
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Jose,

Thanks for the feedback. That's actually a very big compliment to compare the film to the BBC comedies. I love those shows! In fact, one of our big influences as far as humor goes is "Red Dwarf", a sci-fi comedy BBC show.

Thanks again,
Ryan Graham
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Old November 8th, 2004, 10:34 PM   #7
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I'm not completely clear on what story the movie will tell from the trailer--I sure didn't follow any sort of plot--but I was clear on the *sort* of story you'd tell; the trailer was random in an engaging way, especially the latter half.

The look was kind of video-y, which I think comes from some of the lighting choices, but I liked the composition of most of the shots all right. In some parts of the trailer I felt like the lines were disconnected--like the moment when some guy yells "You're fired!", but things moved along briskly and there was almost always something interesting to look at. The music choices were fun.

I'm intrigued, if confused. I'm not sure I'd see it on the strength of the trailer alone, but for some reason the zombie-guitarist thing has me kind of curious.

Good luck with the project!

Michael
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Old November 9th, 2004, 08:49 AM   #8
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Hi Michael,

Thanks for the constructive comments, and also for the compliments.

I also get the feeling that the plot of the film is not expressed in the trailer. The film is actually three separate stories that all have a common thread, so cramming in the actual plot of all three seemed impossible. I was hoping to make the overarching theme apparent, which is that these people die, and then come back to life and try to pick up where they left off, to comedic results. Whether that is at all clear from the trailer, I don't know....

What about the lighting made it look video-y? Was it a general flatness, or just not well lit in general? Any suggestions on how it could be made better in post (i.e., bringing the contrast up, making the blacks blacker, reducing the saturation, etc)?

Glad you like the Rock Zombie. There's some great stuff with him that I'm very happy with, and that I think people will get a big kick out of.

Thanks again,
Ryan Graham
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Old November 9th, 2004, 11:49 AM   #9
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In general I think the video-y look came from people not having enough separation from their backgrounds, e.g. lighting at different intensities, or controlling color in the background.

Michael
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Old November 9th, 2004, 11:59 AM   #10
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Ah, okay, I get you now, Michael, and you're right. It is a bit flat in places. I wish we'd had a professional lighting person on set, but it ended up being me and the set designer doing the lights. So, I ended up just lighting everything evenly, trying to get soft shadows and making sure it was bright enough so I wouldn't have to use any gain on the camera.

Hopefully I can make everything "pop" a little more in post. I have a lot of color correction experience, and might even end up using some mattes to make the separation even greater (so that I can blur or darken/lighten the background and not the person in the foreground).

Thanks,
Ryan Graham
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Old November 9th, 2004, 01:01 PM   #11
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Some sections on my screen also looked over-exposed (clipped)
and low contrasty. You might want to play a bit with the color
curves (in a type of "flat" S pattern).

It was a wicked little trailer!
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Old November 10th, 2004, 11:05 PM   #12
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Nice trailer, a little slow to play out to start with, but you certainly do pick it up towards the end.

I can GUESS a little of what the movie is about, but I am not real clear. I am wondering it a little extra text, or a voice over, or something might help get the point across. It does look like interesting material, the sky is the limit! :-)

Alex
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Old November 11th, 2004, 08:39 AM   #13
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Rob and Alex,

Thanks for watching the trailer. Glad you both enjoyed it.

Rob: I'm definitely going to have to play with those curves! My deadline for the trailer was pretty tight (had to have it done for a premiere at a Halloween party that most of the cast was at), so I basically ended up correcting each shot so that the color and levels looked acceptable, and then just slapping a film-look plugin over the entire thing. In the feature, each of the three stories will have its own distinct look, color-wise, and much more attention will be paid to each shot.

Alex: I think more text might be a good idea, too. Regular voice-overs in low-budget trailers always bug me because it's so hard to get that deep "trailer voice", but I do like the idea of taking snippets of dialogue from the film and using those to tell the story. I'll be cutting another, longer trailer a few months from now, so I think of this as sort of the "teaser" trailer. The next one will probably start off with our news footage, which explains the whole zombie aspect a little better. Plus, it'll be longer, so hopefully I can setup each of the stories a little better.

Thanks again,
Ryan Graham
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