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Old November 21st, 2006, 10:08 PM   #1051
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Seattle, WA
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Thanksgiving Unstuffed. News Parody Video.

Man explodes after Thanksgiving dinner.

Thanksgiving Unstuffed. News Parody by Indie League

Here's the short story behind this video. Back in September, I started a film club in the Seattle area called Indie League. It's sort of a free-form group that gets together to brainstorm, write, and film short projects. The idea is to accelerate the learning cycle and get everyone involved in all aspects of the film from start to finish. This is our first complete short.

Comments welcome.

1 Canon XL1s
3 1960s era "Sun Guns"
2 Radio Shack Omni Mics
2 Jars of Spaghetti Sauce + Strawberry Daquiri Mix
1 Man in Drag
Edited in Final Cut Pro on a MacBook (not pro)

For info on the club is at

E.J. Coughlin is offline  
Old November 22nd, 2006, 05:46 AM   #1052
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I was just sitting here at my computer, doing my own writing, when an idea for your short popped in my head. Take it or leave it as you wish, but I thought I'd at least share it.

First, what exactly is this short for? Are you guys killing time, or is this a true interest of yours? If you are doing this for a purpose, you might consider taking the time to fix it.

I agree with the other criticisms, btw, that the sound needs to be cleaner, and, for me, the momentum comes to a screeching halt at the cereal part. As I said, I would lop off everything from there on out.

When the main character copes with the loss of Roy by breaking out a guitar, you could add two more quick parts there, maybe him painting, or at a piano, or writing a poem...something along those lines.

Then for an ending to wrap it up, what about having the main character unable to sleep at night, or mumbling in his dream about Roy, then you show a sunrise, and the doorbell rings. When he answers it, it's Roy, business as usual, picking him up for school.

Last scene, at a bus stop or something, is just them staring ahead. Roy asks how his night was. He says: good, good. You know...the usual. Then Roy asks if they are gonna work out later. And you close with a couple quick shots of them working out again (as if the whole thing happens everyday).

Anyway, I have no idea why this popped in my head, but I think it fits the great tone you got going on there. Later.

Last edited by Jeff Cottrone; November 22nd, 2006 at 11:28 AM.
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Old November 22nd, 2006, 10:31 PM   #1053
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a new beginning

Hello everyone ----

a new beginning |
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Old November 23rd, 2006, 12:15 PM   #1054
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Location: Seattle, WA
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comments... anyone??

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Old November 25th, 2006, 04:04 PM   #1055
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Location: Hampshire, UK
Posts: 2,205
Independent music video forum

I hope it's OK to post this. I don't think it competes with the DVi forums or any of its sponsors but if the moderators think it does, then I'll understand if the post is removed! is a brand new (and I mean brand new - at this point it's waiting for your input!) forum dedicated SOLELY to the business, technique, art and critiquing of independently produced music videos. There doesn't seem to be any other similar resource out there at the moment so I decided to start one. Please let me know if I'm wasting my time!

Anyone who has created a music video is invited to post a link in the Showcase forum, tell us something about the making of the video, and critique other peoples work. If my hosting company agrees (in negotiation) then I may be able to host videos at the site as well.

Hope to see you there.

Ian . . .
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Old November 25th, 2006, 10:59 PM   #1056
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my demo reel

I'm just looking for some opinions on my reel. It's the first one I've made. I was thinking of sending it to production companies (the ones working on low budget corporate / event / music video productions).

I've been doing camera / DP / editing work for a little less than 2 years now. Only been doing it part time, both as a video production owner and freelance worker.

I'm starting to get some more calls and I've arrived to a point where I think I can take most low budget jobs out there and do something that will please the producer / director.

So here goes.


BTW, I am already aware of the quality level I am operating at, I am not trying to get a DP job on the next big multi-million feature production with this reel, I have realistic expectations and am fully aware of my strengths and limitations, so I'm mostly looking for opinions on reel structure (pacing, shot order, arrangement, etc), shot selection (is one clearly sub-par compared to the rest) and even choice of music for that matter.

For example, there is a shot in there where we see light reflections on a girl's glasses (second shot). This reflection was motivated in the story, but I've gotten comments from people on how unprofessional it looked to them. I liked the shot, didn't bother me, but this is the kind of feedback I'm after.

Fire away.
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Old November 26th, 2006, 12:08 AM   #1057
Join Date: Aug 2005
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'The Same Old Line' A Short Film set in a Doll Factory

This film was made at the end of 2006 as yet another film school assignment. We were each given 3 hours in a studio, a crew of about 20 people and two actors to create a short three minute scene. 'The Same Old Line' was my attempt.

Penny, an assembly line worker in a doll factory, announces to her colleague Andrea that today will be last working before she embarks on her new, more exciting, life.

Any feedback would be much appreciated!

Watch film Here:
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Old November 26th, 2006, 01:48 AM   #1058
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any other opinions would be great, thanks.
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Old November 26th, 2006, 03:26 AM   #1059
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Hi David:

I think it's a strong first reel. I like your choice of music and the pacing scheme with the fadeouts and hard cut ins on the beat.

The shots that work the least for me are:

--the redhead with her hair in a bun; not much visual interest in this shot. I mean, she's cute and all, but photographically it doesn't have much going on.
--the black and white shot where the person is walking away from the guy in the "p" cap--looks a bit muddy, especially compared to the nice tones you had in the earlier b&w shot.

The shot with the reflections in the glasses doesn't bother me that much on a small web image. Possibly it would be more of a deal on a full-screen, full-res image. But I think the camera move makes up for it, although it would have been nice to have seen the exposure of the screen behind the two been less washed out. Overall, the shot works well within the opening sequence and I think you should keep it. Reflections in glasses happen all the time even in the biggest movies.

Corporate and event clients might not be all that interested in the first half of the reel since it's got that "indie film" vibe that may even raise a red flag with that group, so it's good that you have the second half. I do feel like there is a fair amount of repetition within this, probably it could be half as long. Quick cutting does actually make sense for this sort of thing because it lets people know that you HAVE done this kind of work and they can see that it is good technically, and the fast pace of the cuts gives it a bit more interest than if the shots were longer (and thus more banal!)

Overall, a clean job and you should do well with it. Once you get some more material you'll be on your way. The real joy is when you get to the stage that you no longer have any of the material from your first reel on your current reel--that's a milestone!
Charles Papert
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Old November 26th, 2006, 07:46 AM   #1060
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Thanks for your comments Charles. Yes I had already decided to get rid of the 2nd B&W shot. I first chose it because I liked the choreography in the movement of the actors in it (it was longer than what is in there) but I think in this reel it is rather dull visually and doesn't really work.

I agree about the fast cutting of the second half, this is exactly what I had in mind, those are pretty generic shots of events and interviews, not much going on visually and a few frames per shot are IMO sufficient to get a good idea about their technical qualities (exposure and framing mainly).

Might be right about making it shorter and I thought about it (btw when you talk about repetition you are talking about the first or second half?), I just didn't want it to be too short, don't know if a reel of say a minute would be deemed insufficient by producers. I've been doing this on an occasional basis so I don't have a lot of material to work with and some of those shots I recognize are a bit weaker as a result. Also, lots of the footage I shot as a freelancer is not in my possession so I no longer have access to it.

I also deliberatelly chose to avoid product shots or shots where there were no people in it, as it felt a bit awkward in the second half of the reel when I was trying to edit quick shots of people with quick shots of objects I shot commercially (faucets, machinery, etc.). Maybe I could divide the second half in people / object segments.

I am at the point where I can finally start moving on to productions where budget and time will allow for more diversity and hopefully better results (they are still low budget, which is a notch above my previous ridiculously low/no budget productions). I'm really hoping I can develop much more in the next 2 years than I did in these first 2 struggling to get interesting work (most of it was event coverage, not much creativity involved). This reel is my first step.
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Old November 26th, 2006, 11:34 AM   #1061
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I have modified a few things based on Charles' recommendations. The time lapse shots I've put in the middle part are temporary. I don't think I'm going to leave them in, at least not for so long and not as many. The city shot I might keep. But for now it'll have to do until I go through all my tapes and find something better.

I hope it doesn't feel too short, but I myself don't think it does.

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Old November 26th, 2006, 11:41 AM   #1062
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As far as repitition in the second half, by the halfway mark I felt like I was seeing similar (not necessarily identical) images. In other words, I'm thinking "OK, I get it" but it keeps going.

Not really a problem as most producers make their decision within the first minute of watching a reel anyway.

As you start to get work and gathering material, you can begin tailoring reels for specific purposes, i.e. an event reel, a corporate reel and a narrative film reel. Probably the first two could be combined though. Keep a short but uber-sexy montage of your absolute best shots at the beginning, no more than 45 seconds or so and from there it can continue on to longer form clips that are specific to the genre. This is the formula I follow on my DP reel and it seems to work well.
Charles Papert
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Old November 26th, 2006, 11:54 AM   #1063
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Actually I tried at first making 2 different reels, one for narrative / documentary work and one for corporate / event videography but I didn't have nearly enough material and they both ended up looking awful. So I decided to condense and combine. But once I get enough quality work under my belt I'll definitelly go for this option, I'm not all that comfortable as is sending reels to corporate / event video production companies with a reel starting with narrative work, but those shots probably look better, so I guess they are the closest thing I have to sexy shots.

I've already gotten one gig from this reel, which was to recreate one show of Trump's The Apprentice as a spoof for a Montreal firm and their employees. It went well, producer was happy, more work to come, it's a start.
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Old November 26th, 2006, 03:48 PM   #1064
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Here are my thoughts, please accept it with a grain of salt.

I watched it, but I don't know what the story is. Just seemed like two talking heads. No conflict, no drama, no punchline. Sound wasn't that good. It lacked fullness in the beginning and maybe some music. There should have been a punchline somewhere, thus no pay off. Do ADR next time if you can't get better sound and add more background noise. Make the sound fuller. It also lacked camera angles, movement, direction. IT pretty much seemed like one shot of two women just chatting. But is that a movie? I'm not sure. Otherwise it was find. Keep going at it. Its not easy to make movies.

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Old November 26th, 2006, 08:31 PM   #1065
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Even though I am a bit new to this, I'll throw in my 2 cents... Can you incorporate a bit of quick live audio/video clips without the background music either between the fist and second cuts or at the end? The different aspects of video quality look really good, but audio quality can make a difference as well. Also the hotlink mail account looks cheap, (OK, I'm being picky) I sent you a gmail account invite.
Canon XL1s, Canon Digital Rebel, Misc. lenses and other toys... : )
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