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-   -   Show Your Work 2006 (http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/show-your-work/54679-show-your-work-2006-a.html)

Cole McDonald September 14th, 2006 04:20 AM

The music and slowmo makes it almost sad. Some of the rack focuses at the beginning almost seemed to be fishing for focus rather than intended...unmotivated. The whole piece, however, was well put together and I liked the music. Nothing felt out of place. I could feel the apprehension of those teens.

David Liu September 14th, 2006 06:34 AM

Thanks cole, I must agree I left too much "unfocused-blur" shots in..

Dylan Pank September 14th, 2006 07:54 AM

Hi Louis,

It's good to be confident in your ideas, but I'd rather hear your defences. Trust me I'm not out to demolish you, (and I'm not THAT anonymous - google me).

I'm sorry if you were offended by my comments. If this was your FIRST film then it is impressive, it's more accomplished than my first film. However if it's the only film you've made before embarking on a feature, then I stand by my comment. I'd aklso say you're going to need to grow a slightly thicker hide. After all, once you get your feature listed and listed on IMDB, where comments are REALLY anonymous. I wasn't trying to be patronising, just give a straight honest opinion - which is what you asked for, right?

But I'm plenty open to different ideas and would be very interested in the rationale behind the choices you made. Trust me, I'm not going to came back and nit pick them, I've given my views on the film and would happily have you change them.

Dylan Pank September 14th, 2006 07:58 AM

Emre, just thoguht I should follow up since I seem to have offended people eslewhere - as first film it IS a very good piece of work, especially the performances of your two male lead characters. Good acting is something that does make films like this stand out.

Emre Safak September 14th, 2006 08:32 AM

You did not offend me; on the contrary, I appreciate your substantial input. I was merely waiting for other people to comment before diving in. Anyway, to address some of your concerns:

Some OK camerawork, but some of the scenes seemed underexposed, it wasn't consistent.
That's what you get for giving your camera to someone else. I am just thankful I managed to salvage the last scene. I am going to do my own photography the next time.

The two male actors were good, better than you usually see in this level of production. The weak link was the actress, you need to get more angles of her in any given scene so in the edit you can "cut" a performance together (ie tighten up timing, use a close up for emphasis when her line readings are a little flat)
I get more coverage now, but I think it wears out the actors. There is a trade-off. I assume the blame for the actress' flat performance; I am sure a lot more could have been wrung out of her.

When you think that TV sit comes in teh US are usually 23 minutes long, excluding ads, they can put a lot of story into those 23 minutes. I'm not saying all stories need to move at that sort of clip, but you're not offering a lot of story in 18 minutes...With shorts, especially those on the web, you need to hold peoples attention a bit stronger.
'Tis a fair cop. I think we could have offered a lot more, but it would have involved more work, and we had already stretched ourselves to breaking point. Let us hope my next work (about to begin production) will be more dense. It is unfortunate that most people are probably going to view this on the computer. This is not how it is supposed to be. On reflection, I realize I composed for the "small screen", but I am not working on the assumption that all my films will be viewed this way.

Sound - I can sound like a stuck record on this but it was really uneven.
Let's just say we were not shooting in a studio. The restaurant, for example, had a loud HVAC that we were not at liberty to turn off. The kitchen was right next to a construction yard. The beach was close to the airport, plus we had to contend with teenage bystanders who raised their voices just to ruin the production. It is a miracle we got any sound on location at all. I should also note that I applied heavy dynamic range compression for the Web soundtrack as is generally recommended. The DVD sounds more subtle, but I concede I still have a lot to learn about mastering.

...as a first film it IS a very good piece of work, especially the performances of your two male lead characters.
We did audition a lot of people... A good cast a day keeps bad acting away.

James Huenergardt September 14th, 2006 08:57 AM

ACA (Atlantic Coast Airlines) used to fly for Delta and United. After 9/11, United went bankrupt and wanted to re-negotiate all flying.

ACA didn't want to bend to United's control, so they started their own company called Indpendence Air based in Washington Dulles.

Because of that, Delta cancelled the Dornier contract as we would be direct competitors to them. Thus, the Dornier's went away.

I didn't explain that in the DVD because the DVD's audience was the pilots who flew the Dornier. Therefore, everyone knew why they were going away.


Vu Nguyen September 14th, 2006 05:36 PM

Watch my short Insanity
Please take your precious time and watch it


Comments and constructive criticisms are welcome.

Thank you.

Cal Johnson September 14th, 2006 06:31 PM

The story was really basic and simple, but still pretty good. I liked your opening credit theme, the music worked really well with the piece and your audio sounded good to (you covered your audio really well). For me the intial chase scene was maybe just a touch long, and sometimes the hand held camera seemed a little on the fence between a normal or dutch angle. Overall a nice job though. I would recommend cutting the opening credits down a little bit, its over a minute before the actual film starts, but again, that's just me. Oh, and good effects with the blood!

Shaughan Flynn September 14th, 2006 11:40 PM

I can basically parrot Cal's comments. Very basic story. But great sound and visuals overall. Again, the opening credits...If you are going to have them run for 1:20, give me something more interesting to look at than a curtan in the wind.

The acting was great - very well done. The only other thing I would mention is the breathing in the beginning when the girl has her mouth gagged. The breathing sounds like she is panting through her mouth and not her nose - Just a minor point.

Congrats on a movie! Many say they will - Few do. You did. Stand proud!

Dylan Pank September 15th, 2006 06:56 AM

Emre, I would urge you to keep giving the camera work to someone else, but it's always good to use the best DoP you can find, someone with a good showreel and a bit of a track record. One thing that can be a bit unfair is that I'm watching this on my LCD in a day-lit, which requires a rather contrasty bright image, which the camera person may specifically have been trying to avoid.

As for coverage, you're right that it can wear actors down, especially inexperienced ones, or those whose background is theatre. Sometime you can get away with just shooting little insert type shots, just a couple of lines rather than the whole scene. As you shoot more you'll probably get a feel of when to do it and with which actors. AS I said, your two males had quite a nice flow and could hold their scenes quite well. I especially liked the "someone mailed me a joke" scene. I should also say that the staging was quite interesting in a lot if scenes, you used space in the locations quite well, having actors interact in the foreground and background, in separate planes. I admire you for assuming resposnibility for the actress' performance. It's certainly a sign of directorial maturity. Knowing how to get the best from different actors is one of the things you'll get through experience, unfortunately they're often very different in how you need to get the best performance out of them.

Sound is always a hard one. The problem is it's hard to get around once it's on the track. It's usually a case of compromising - if you have ambient sound, then you'll have to shoot more dialogue in close up and get the mic really close. It might mean abandoning some of the more interesting staging or camera work one has planned, but in my opinion, sound is that important.

I know what you mean about composing for the small screen. It's a bit of a pity but it's a trade off - after all now short filmmakers have such a great opportunity to show their work to a large audience. Certainly wasn't there when I was starting making short films.

I know it probably doubles the workload but In future I'm considering making a festival version of future films and online versions (the online versions would be pacier, edited to assume viewing at low resolutions/bandwidth and colour corrected to allow for less that optimal viewing conditions.)

Anway, well done and I look forward to seeing your next film.

Cole McDonald September 15th, 2006 07:26 AM

Have to watch it a little later, but on getting more coverage. In the feature I just finished shooting and am currently posting, I had mostly non/inexperienced-actors. I shot through the master, then in the singles, you can really dial in a performance by giving the actors some freedom if they/you don't like the delivery of a line to stop, take a beat and redo that line...it's easy to cut it together if you have the master (watch out for continuity!) and you get some really good performances out of it...you can have them give you a variety of deliveries and emotional levels that way.

Andrew Olson September 15th, 2006 10:33 AM

I actually liked the opening credits, yea, maybe something better than a curtain would have been nice, but it kind of worked for me, especially with the music and the font. Music and sounds was good. The story, although simple, was great and well done with great acting. Overall, good job. BTW, how do you think it turned out?

Andrew Olson September 15th, 2006 10:37 AM

Not bad, I really liked the music. The blur did get to me a little, but no big deal. Like cole said, the movment made it almost sad. Good Job.

Vu Nguyen September 15th, 2006 10:57 AM

thank you
Thanks all for taking your time to watch it. Your comments are very helpful.

The night before the principle photography, our boom microphone stopped working so we decided to use the on board mic of the XL-1... it was a scary decision but we didn't have much choice. So I tried to keep the sound as clean as possible and then hopefully clean up in post (if needed); I did run into few issues but thank god, it was only minor issues... the only major issue was when she screamed ;-) i had lowered the level but still too loud in some shots... but i was grateful how the sounds turned out.

I agreed the title sequence is a little long. I did slow it down so the effects of the fonts be more effective.... but you're right.. it's a little long and boring.

Overall, we're also happy with the end result and there are also a few things I wish I could have done differently but we know we couldn't get it perfectly and that's why i'm here to see if other audiences see what I couldn't see ;-)

Again, thank you... and I'm looking forward to see more comments.

Noah Hayes September 15th, 2006 10:24 PM

On the artist side: I agree with the others...horrible song...that guy should give up and try something else...

On the production side: Considering it was your first and a one camera operation...GOOD JOB!! My only issue with it was that the audio seemed VERY compressed, I don't know if that was the CD he gave you that was that compressed or if it was you, for web delivery, but with a musician (term used loosely here) I would put audio quality over the video size/bitrate.

Also in the future, with a rap/hip-hop artist I would try out some more interesting angles with possible some fisheye shots, overheads, ect.

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