DAY:11 Short Film at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > And Now, For Something Completely Different... > Show Your Work

Show Your Work
Let's see what you're doing!


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old October 20th, 2005, 02:58 PM   #1
Starway Pictures
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Studio City
Posts: 581
DAY:11 Short Film

Hello. I just completed a short film about a soldier fighting during Operation Iraqi Freedom called DAY:11. This is the first time I used the Canon XL2 camera. I was very impressed with the camera system and the picture quality.

The true progressive 16x9 aspect ratio and 24P frame rate really provided the kind of cinematic quality this project needed. While I would've preferred a little control over the depth of field, I think the overall image quality is quite exceptional.

Here is a link to a mini-site for the film project where you can watch the entire 14-minute film and a behind-the-scenes vignette in either Quicktime 6 (Sorensen 3) or Quicktime 7 (H.264 - preferred).

"DAY:11" Movie Downloads
Robert Sanders is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 22nd, 2005, 12:19 PM   #2
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Plano, TX
Posts: 120
*Warning: Spoilers*

Whoa, I can't believe no one has commented on this yet! I watched it and I was impressed! The filming was great and the audio was superb. I liked how you tried to create the intensity and chaos of a battle by doing some shaky shots, but not too shaky to the point where it takes away from the action. The special effects were good, but just a little unrealistic. The choppers (I'm assuming that was VFX) looked convincing but the blood looks more like puffs of red clouds.

The image overall looks really, really clean, but it also looks really flat and video-ish. I agree with you that if you had greater control over the DOF, then your shots might have had more depth. One thing that bugged me was the flow of the shots. For example, after Sergeant Ordaz pulls out his handgun and checks around him for enemies (all those shots were handheld and moving) and when he radios Sergeant Mobley, the camera seems as if it got planted on the tripod. Personally I thought the handheld shots gave a bit more of the tension to the scene, like the uncertainty of what's around him. I also liked how you did a few cuts around him, that really created that "Oh no I hope no one sneaks up on him" feeling for me. But when the camera just stopped moving, it felt really odd. Just my .02.

Overall, this film was AWESOME. The cinematography, choice of music, and the acting was great. I thought the acting was VERY convincing, especially from Sergeant Ordaz. I have a close friend who's in the marines, so maybe that's why I can feel for him. But anyways, I enjoyed every second of this, good work guys!!

BTW, Is there a way to save this to my HDD? (I don't have QT Pro)

Last edited by Kin Kwan; October 22nd, 2005 at 02:59 PM.
Kin Kwan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 22nd, 2005, 12:23 PM   #3
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Everett, WA
Posts: 178
Wow, Phenominal!!!! And so engrossing, I was on the edge of my seat!!! Also great to see the quality the XL2 is capable of. Of course, in the right hands as yourself, you can't lose. Even though I own a XL2, sometimes i wonder how capable I am in capturing such pristine cinematic footage. I just can't seem to be consistently good with the camera. But I'm trying.

Wish I could find a good teacher familiar with the XL2 here in Seattle.
Joseph Andolina is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 22nd, 2005, 10:25 PM   #4
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 183
I agree with what others said before, the combat stuff was great. The only thing that really bothered me about the film was the way you shot and staged the scene with the commander at camp. You had those great CG shots where see all the tents, and then you cut to a shot of this guy, in a tiny tent, all alone, staring out into space. It really ruined the reality of the film for me because it was exceptionally unrealistic.

Everything else was pretty good though.
Josh Caldwell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 23rd, 2005, 06:07 PM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Seattle
Posts: 427
<The image overall looks really, really clean, but it also looks really flat and video-ish.>

Sometimes it's better to film later or earlier in day because mid day light is just plain boring when left unmanipulated.
Unfortunately, "magic hour" light is fleeting and you have to get in your shots awful quick.

Still, I didn't think it looked too bad. It held my interest for the entire piece which is good. It was, however, plagued by some less than optimal shot choices and fairly cheesy effects.

The scene at the end where he gets on his knees with the smoke and chopper in the BG was held way too long. You should try as much as possible to get insert shots.

And because this was an emotional moment for the main actor, when he realized he was going to see his family again, a solid CU of his expression would have been good so you're making the moment more personal (i.e. sharing with the audience) rather than going for a wide money shot with the chopper and smoke. Money shots are okay, but in terms of narrative, it seemed misplaced.

Keep shooting though because this looked fairly ambitious and its good to see people completing projects.
Eric Brown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 24th, 2005, 12:45 AM   #6
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: San Marcos, CALIFORNIA
Posts: 103
Yeah i agree something emotional your money shot is the CU so something to keep in mind....also to make sure you have that shot in your bag of tricks when your editing is when you shoot just shoot "WS,MS,CU" then you know that you have it.
It was good, yeah it almost would of been better if you didnt even show the guy back at the base...so it would have been more of a feeling of the soldiers POV instead of both of them....Your action was amazing nothing seemed over done it was very subtle which made it seem more realistic..
Kevin Calumpit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 24th, 2005, 04:01 AM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Toronto, ON, Canada
Posts: 479
Very impressive work. Interesting "making of" video, as well.
__________________
Mark Utley
Mark Utley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 24th, 2005, 12:59 PM   #8
Starway Pictures
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Studio City
Posts: 581
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kin Kwan
*Warning: Spoilers*

Whoa, I can't believe no one has commented on this yet! I watched it and I was impressed! The filming was great and the audio was superb. I liked how you tried to create the intensity and chaos of a battle by doing some shaky shots, but not too shaky to the point where it takes away from the action. The special effects were good, but just a little unrealistic. The choppers (I'm assuming that was VFX) looked convincing but the blood looks more like puffs of red clouds.

The image overall looks really, really clean, but it also looks really flat and video-ish. I agree with you that if you had greater control over the DOF, then your shots might have had more depth. One thing that bugged me was the flow of the shots. For example, after Sergeant Ordaz pulls out his handgun and checks around him for enemies (all those shots were handheld and moving) and when he radios Sergeant Mobley, the camera seems as if it got planted on the tripod. Personally I thought the handheld shots gave a bit more of the tension to the scene, like the uncertainty of what's around him. I also liked how you did a few cuts around him, that really created that "Oh no I hope no one sneaks up on him" feeling for me. But when the camera just stopped moving, it felt really odd. Just my .02.

Overall, this film was AWESOME. The cinematography, choice of music, and the acting was great. I thought the acting was VERY convincing, especially from Sergeant Ordaz. I have a close friend who's in the marines, so maybe that's why I can feel for him. But anyways, I enjoyed every second of this, good work guys!!

BTW, Is there a way to save this to my HDD? (I don't have QT Pro)
Thank you for the great compliments. They are truly appreciated.

I'm usually not a big fan of shaky cam or handheld camera work. I loathed that look used on NYPD Blue. But I really wanted this film to look like the cameraman was also in the middle of the situation and having trouble keeping up with the soldier. I think it gave it a sense of immediacy.

My intention when shooting the soldier dictating the letter to his wife was to create a real emotional moment. And because the action had settled down (and theoretically the cameraman following him would have settled too) I didn't want the camera work to distract from the soldier's moment. At that particular point in the film it needed to stop being about the camera and all about the actor. Those were my motivations as a director. For better or worse.

When I have some extra time (I'm prepping my next project) I think I will add a download feature for the Quicktime movies. I'll probably add WMV versions as well.
Robert Sanders is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 24th, 2005, 01:02 PM   #9
Starway Pictures
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Studio City
Posts: 581
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joseph Andolina
Wow, Phenominal!!!! And so engrossing, I was on the edge of my seat!!! Also great to see the quality the XL2 is capable of. Of course, in the right hands as yourself, you can't lose. Even though I own a XL2, sometimes i wonder how capable I am in capturing such pristine cinematic footage. I just can't seem to be consistently good with the camera. But I'm trying.

Wish I could find a good teacher familiar with the XL2 here in Seattle.
Here are the setting I used on the XL2:

Black stretch turned "on"
Knee set to "low"
Manual mode with zebras
Cine Gamma
2:3:3:2 pulldown

Hope that helps.
Robert Sanders is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 24th, 2005, 01:06 PM   #10
Starway Pictures
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Studio City
Posts: 581
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Caldwell
I agree with what others said before, the combat stuff was great. The only thing that really bothered me about the film was the way you shot and staged the scene with the commander at camp. You had those great CG shots where see all the tents, and then you cut to a shot of this guy, in a tiny tent, all alone, staring out into space. It really ruined the reality of the film for me because it was exceptionally unrealistic.

Everything else was pretty good though.
I agree that's a major flaw with the film. We only had one small popup tent and one actor. We only had the location for a small window of time and we had to gear up the film in two weeks. It was a challenge just getting two full battle-rattle uniforms for the two soldiers for the shoot. So we had to make due with our limitations and we chose our battles based on how much we had to spend. So no extras and no additional costumes for the cut away shots.

But I do agree that's one of the weakest elements of the movie.

Then again, a filmmaker always has to balance the movie that was in his/her head and the film that's sitting on your hard drive.
Robert Sanders is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 24th, 2005, 01:14 PM   #11
Starway Pictures
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Studio City
Posts: 581
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Brown
<The image overall looks really, really clean, but it also looks really flat and video-ish.>

Sometimes it's better to film later or earlier in day because mid day light is just plain boring when left unmanipulated.
Unfortunately, "magic hour" light is fleeting and you have to get in your shots awful quick.

Still, I didn't think it looked too bad. It held my interest for the entire piece which is good. It was, however, plagued by some less than optimal shot choices and fairly cheesy effects.

The scene at the end where he gets on his knees with the smoke and chopper in the BG was held way too long. You should try as much as possible to get insert shots.

And because this was an emotional moment for the main actor, when he realized he was going to see his family again, a solid CU of his expression would have been good so you're making the moment more personal (i.e. sharing with the audience) rather than going for a wide money shot with the chopper and smoke. Money shots are okay, but in terms of narrative, it seemed misplaced.

Keep shooting though because this looked fairly ambitious and its good to see people completing projects.
Because we only had access to the location for two days, we had to get the entire film done within that period of time. It was tough. But we squeeked through. I agree that golden hour is ideal for exterior daytime work.

I appreciate your critiques of the final "money shot". It was a stylistic choice I made on location. It was the end of the last day and the cast and crew was exhausted (we had been shooting at a break neck pace and the heat and sun exposure was taking it's toll), myself included. The actor was so emotionally drained that I felt I had gotten the moment in the master shot.

In retrospect, I wish I did have that close up when I was cutting the picture.

Oddly, I have as many compliments about holding the moment as I've had complaints.
Robert Sanders is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 24th, 2005, 01:35 PM   #12
Air China Pilot
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Vancouver, B.C.
Posts: 2,389
1. Very Admirable.
2. The action, pacing is good. TV-quality.
3. Everyone has already mentioned how cheap it is when cut away to the guy back in the tent. Another thing about that guy is he doesn't even seem like he is military because he is not totally in uniform. I know they have black shirts but I almost assumed he was some contractor or operator (CIA). So, very jarring if unexplained. And I don't really know what his purpose was except to provide more dialogue.
4. Even if that tent guy had been better, I think we care a lot more for the two grunts anyway. I wish the two guys had stuck together until nearer to the end. Obviously the guy's partner is wounded early on but it would have been better if it was at the end. The obvious crisis is whether the hero should leave his friend behind for the mission but that point passes too early.
5. Main character a bit fat for military? Not a REMF but is on a mission? Not very believable. But you work with what you got I guess. He wasn't terrible in the role.
6. Talking a bit too much I thought.
7. Prologue text too much. Do people need to know exactly where they are and their situation? Two screens of prologue text are enough. Minimal is needed. Recall how little was up on the screen for "Master and Commander." One screen I remember. "South Atlantic. Napoleon is at war with England. The frigate SOMETHING pursues the SOMETHING." I think it was even less than that.
8. I liked the integration of the CG with liveaction. Pretty good but not really up to standards. The helicopter was better than the blood effects. The burning in the background doesn't match the atmosphere. We have all seen enough news footage to know what looks real and what doesn't. And of course many have actually served and come back from the field already.
9. Music during the action sequences a bit too bouncy, TV-ish. But better near the end when it becomes more consequential, like when he is about to be shot.
10. Action composition could have been tighter. A bit disjointed between CU - WIDE - Enemy focus.
11. Overall, slick! I enjoyed it.
__________________
--
Visit http://www.KeithLoh.com | stuff about living in Vancouver | My Flickr photo gallery
Keith Loh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 24th, 2005, 11:00 PM   #13
New Boot
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 23
I liked it a lot! Although I agree, I didn't like the techno bouncy music but the score transforms into histrionic melodies, and rightly so near the end...

The "tell my wife she was the best thing that ever happened to me" weeping sequence looks like it was lifted off Die Hard whole-sale when McClane attempts to resolve his inner struggles with Sgt. Al Powell...

But other than that, good job! Congratulations on a great effort in DAY 11!
Paolo Macachor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 25th, 2005, 12:34 AM   #14
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 237
Personally i think that anytime one is able to film something that intergrates a good storyline, good acting, decent props *this one had better than decent*, strong directing and strong editing, it becomes a huge success as getting all these things together is one of the hardest things for a filmmaker to do

That being said i do agree with the above comments- both the positives and negatives- the actor did an excellent job and was definitely not amateurish, it's too bad that one of the strongest scenes in the film was filmed wide where some CU inserts would've made the moment that much more stronger

Editing wise, i think i would've spent a bit more time ensure that the pace of the film doesn't get compromised with ineffective CG shots- the helicopter was kinda believable as well as the gun shots/puffs of smoke - the blood however was one of those 'b movie style' blood shots- very transparent and quite apparent, and no i didn't mean that to rhyme

I'm sure you've thought over and over about all the stuff you wish you could've done- the one thing i've learned in my limited experience in shooting/editing is never compromise with yourself- if you're not happy with a shot don't think to yourself 'that's good enough i guess' - and personally i think that some of the scenes in the film had that sorta feeling which doesn't translate well in the end

Overall though, i thought you did a fantastic job with the amount of time and resources you had - i hope nothing of what i said has discouraged you and i certainly applaud your desire in getting this done with a strong message- I certainly look forward to more of your films

cheers
Vish
__________________
2ndshooter.blogspot.com
Vishal Gurung is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 25th, 2005, 09:26 PM   #15
New Boot
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Bay Area, CA
Posts: 12
Great pyro/armory

Loved the real casings popping out, the pyro., whether it was real or CG! I thought it looked amazing. The XL2 delivers an amazing picture as far as I have seen...Acting was great...
John C Cha is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > And Now, For Something Completely Different... > Show Your Work

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:23 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network