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Old December 19th, 2005, 10:32 AM   #1
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Short film from Montreal Kino-Kabaret (October)

Last October, I took part in the October 2005 Kino-Kabaret in Montreal. A Kino-Kabaret is a film-making event during which participants work on short films which then get screened. Unlike other events of the sort, there is no competition, no prizes. Instead, the focus is on collaboration. The Montreal Kino-Kabaret is the biggest of its kind, lasting 10 days with 5 screenings. This year, about 120 short movies got made by over 100 participants.

I directed 2 movies during the Kabaret (in addition to doing camera, acting, sound and editing on other movies). This is my second film from the Kabaret, and it is about obsession. It is in French with English sub-titles:

http://www.archive.org/details/Cut
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Old December 19th, 2005, 10:39 AM   #2
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Some details about my movie:

After the first Kabaret film (not online yet), which involved more actors and a larger crew, I wanted to do something more intimate. Also, as I had already shot a movie, I didn't have priority access to the sound equipment and people. I decided to shoot this one with a one man crew (myself) and my actors. It was shot rather quickly, over 2 days, in-between other shoots.

Not having a crew made things more difficult, especially with the first scene. It was very windy, and there's only so much an on-camera Rode Videomic can do, so I had to shoot everything from really close. This isn't the best way to get flattering portraits, but I had no choice. I did shoot everything in zoomed long-shots (and it looks a LOT better), but I couldn't use any of it because of the sound.

I ended up symplifying the concept a lot from what was originally envisioned. While editing, I cut out even more of it, in order to retain only the heart of the story. The editing of this was one of the hardest I've had to do. All the dialog was improvised (there was no script, the movie was in my head), and the really quick shoot didn't give me enough time for proper coverage. I did manage to put in there my best use ever of a jump cut (can you spot it?)

I was lucky to have access to a very efficient composer. He created a score in single day before he had seen anything from the movie. When I was done with the editing, I gave him the movie so he could do another pass on it.

Despite all the compromises, many people tell me this is the best movie I've done. It's too early for me to decide whether I agree, but please take a look and tell me what you think!

-------------------------------
Another movie of mine (from the August 2005 Kino-Kabaret in Matane, Qc):
http://www.archive.org/details/JFRobichaudLephotographe
Thread:
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=54260

Last edited by Jean-Francois Robichaud; December 19th, 2005 at 05:52 PM.
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Old December 21st, 2005, 03:16 PM   #3
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Replying again to my own thread...

I can see that the film has been downloaded a few times... Anybody has comments on it? What did you think of the pacing, the look of the different scenes, the progression of the story, the music?
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Old December 27th, 2005, 05:21 PM   #4
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very cool...

hey J-F... I took a look at the film, and really like it.

I'm really impressed that you did this on-the-fly... and the music... scored in one day?

cool story, cool perspectives, and the acting was pretty convincing.

I watched the lower res version, so i can't say much about the sound... but for everything being on-cam, it sounds pretty good.

anyhow... I thought i'd let you know, that you've got talent, and have given me some more inspiration to continue working on my first feature.

Thanks for the show... and keep it up.
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Old January 7th, 2006, 12:33 PM   #5
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Andre, thanks for watching.

For the music, I already knew the composer from a short movie on which I had done the editing. For this movie, I called him and explained to him what I wanted. The next day, he already had a score to show me. I finished the editing the following day and gave him a copy so he could tweak the score to fit the action. He did this second pass in just a few hours.

I'm very happy with the work the actors did. I had already worked with the guy playing the editor, and I had edited a movie in which the actress had played. I did not know the other actor before doing this movie. They are all people with a lot of acting experience, which is very useful when you don't have much time.
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Old February 4th, 2006, 08:54 PM   #6
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Hey, Just watched your film... the large version. It was very nice. I listened to it with my headphones, and the sound, all things considered, was great.

How much alteration did you do to the sound in post? Did you add any foley stuff, or was it all on site sound? Also, what camera did you shoot with? Some of the shots with the shallow depth of field was great.

Anyways, thanks for the great sample with the Rode Videomic. That's how I found this post... I wanted to see the Mic actually in action, instead of just heard over sample clips. Made my order for one about an hour ago.

Great job!
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Old February 5th, 2006, 02:22 AM   #7
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Thanks for the comments Matthew.

I didn't do any alterations to the sound other than level adjustments. All the sound was directly from the shoot, with the Video Mic. At times, I did mix sound from multiple takes to get the clearest sound (it was pretty windy for the first scene).

I shot this with my GL2, in Frame mode. It breaks my heart to see the resolution loss when using Frame mode in 16:9, but there is no time to do de-interlacing in these kind of events, so Frame mode is the way to go. Anyway, the movie looked great even when projected on a big screen.
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Old February 5th, 2006, 11:16 AM   #8
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Every criticsm I was going to bring up you already answered. I like it a lot, and the fact that you were this artistic (I love the transition from movie to computer) on a run and gun style says a lot about your level of talent.

My only critcism that I would like to have seen him back home with this haunting project still before him... just a little more... maybe thirty seconds more. You may have shot it. I'd love to see stills of your long lens stuff.

Congratulations,

Daniel Riser
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Old February 5th, 2006, 01:31 PM   #9
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Thanks Daniel.

In the original concept, the "editing" scene was supposed show the editor character struggling a lot more with the "love scene". He was supposed to edit different versions of it, as he slowly becomes obsessed with the actress. I was even going to start the movie with a meeting between editor and director, discussing how that scene doesn't work. The editor would say he'd spend the night on it. I never shot this, but I did record what would have been a voice mail message from the director to the editor.

I also shot multiple versions of the "love scene", with the actors playing differently every time, in order to show the evolution of the editor's work. After working a few hours on it, I realised it wasn't working. In a way, my own situation eerily reflected my character's. In fact that felt pretty creepy at 5 in the morning. So I simplified everything.

Maybe it would have been better if that "editing" scene had been longer. But there was also a lot of pressure from the organisers of the event to keep the movies as short as possible. In other circumstances, I might have ended up with a slightly longer movie, who knows.

As for the long lens stuff from the first scene, there is some of it in the movie, mostly in the reaction shots of the actress. For the actor, I don't think I shot any long lens stuff, because he was getting backlit from the sun and I had to hold a reflector with one hand while operating the camera with the other. I'm telling you, this is the last time I go on a one-crew shoot.
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