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Old December 23rd, 2004, 08:03 PM   #1
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The Rule of the Sword

This is my first short film and was put together for a final project in my film class this past semester. I was not alone in the making of this film; my buddy who stars in the short, John Eberhart, and I work as a team and both wrote, directed, produced, edited, etc...all that mumbo jumbo, but I say that stuff just to sound more professional.

We understand that it is a very basic short film with an almost nonexistent storyline...we were mainly working to develop our style and just our general composition/framing/editing skills. Also, let it be known that some elements of the film, such as the Tohoscope logo and the drums/flutes, were taken from Akira Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress and were used only because our professor allowed us to use copyrighted material. We have not received any income whatsoever as a result of making this film, and will never do so. We are currently in the process of contacting a local Japanese percussion group that might be able to help us make some original music for this short, and if that's the case then we will most likely create our own production logo to replace the Tohoscope one. I just wanted to show you guys what we have so far and get some feedback. Any feedback at all would be greatly appreciated.

http://home.comcast.net/~yukon8e2/Th...ftheSword2.mov
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Old December 23rd, 2004, 08:21 PM   #2
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What an awesome homage. I am a big fan of Kurosawa's composition and you nailed it. The only thing I think you miss is an extreme CU of the face as one of the very early shots. You have them later but Kurosawa in my memory liked putting one very close to the establishing shot.
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Old December 24th, 2004, 01:49 AM   #3
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Agreed!
The only shot that seemed out of place to me was the killing shot with the guy on the ground.

Thanks for posting that. I particularily liked the Toshiro Mifune character.
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Old December 24th, 2004, 09:43 AM   #4
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Nice piece. I agree that the killing shot was a bit, well, lamish... you could have possibly split it into two shots (sword down, facial reaction closeup) or something similar. It was VERY obvious from the angle that the swordsman missed the mark by a good foot or so.

Nice piece. Have you considered make a "homage" logo of a similar but not exact nature? That would be a good touch.

Alex
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Old December 24th, 2004, 01:54 PM   #5
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Thanks a ton for the feedback guys. The more feedback the better...

About the final shot, how might I be able to make it better? Should I perhaps cut to black a split second before he brings the sword down completely? Maybe cut that last shot altogether?

It's funny that you say it's so obvious that he misses his mark by a foot or so, cause we did two takes for that shot, and on the second take he actually stabbed into the side of the other guy's shirt, barely scraping his skin. Had it been an inch or so to the left he would have stabbed right into his chest. As scary as it was, it could have made for a much more realistic stabbing scene had the spurting blood not sprayed in the wrong direction. Oh well.
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Old December 27th, 2004, 05:35 AM   #6
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That was very cool! Can I ask what you shot it on?
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Old December 27th, 2004, 09:38 AM   #7
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Frank, the camera angle and DOF you are using really makes the sword look further away. You might want to have filmed it from further back with more zoom, to shorten the DOF and to flatten out the image somewhat.

I am not fluent in this move gendre, so I would have to say I am not sure what you could truly get away with. I felt that maybe a looking up from the ground, looking down them the swordsman type arrangement might add some drama to the shots, sword through the air, etc.

It's a really nice job overall, very enjoyable.

Alex
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Old December 28th, 2004, 02:31 AM   #8
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as a fan of kurosawa, I loved it. Where did you get the tohoscope header by the way?
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Old December 30th, 2004, 02:46 PM   #9
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<<<-- That was very cool! Can I ask what you shot it on? -->>>

We shot it on a Sony VX2100 and a Canon GL2.


<<<-- as a fan of kurosawa, I loved it. Where did you get the tohoscope header by the way? -->>

Got it off of The Hidden Fortress DVD. I had no idea how to capture a short little section off of the DVD, so what I ended up doing was taking around 300 screen captures of every single frame that was necessary, then stuck them all together one after the other with my editing software. Luckily it came out nicely.
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