New SG35 short at DVinfo.net

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Old August 19th, 2006, 10:49 AM   #1
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New SG35 short

Hello all,

After more than six months as a lurker here on DVinfo I'd like to offer up my first short film.

I've got a lot to learn, but this site has already given me an immense amount of help and ideas. I've been inspired by people's work and guided by their experience and wisdom.

I'd really appreciate it if as many of you as possible can visit the film's website and view it. If you can offer any feedback or impressions please do so (ideally here on this thread, rather than by the email via the site).

www.gameovershort.com

(go to the 'download' section and right click to save to desktop - you can also left click and it will take up to 2 minutes to load fully)

All the best,

Marco
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Old August 19th, 2006, 11:00 PM   #2
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beautifully shot.

Very relevant short to kids these days... just not kids actually, to anyone addicted to video games.
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Old August 20th, 2006, 03:12 PM   #3
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Nice job

Very impressed with both the production values and the storytelling. I too have an SG35 an was wondering which camera and lens you used. Actors were great too.

My only other comment is that I would have left out the "Great shot. great shot." at the end. Wasn't necessary, more dramatic without it.
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Old August 21st, 2006, 03:24 AM   #4
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Thanks

Thanks for watching the film and for your comments Lloyd / Paul,

Paul, to answer your question re: camera etc. We borrowed a Z1 and I bought a selection of Nikon fit lenses from ebay. The budget was very tight so the glass wasn't the best. We had a 50mm prime, a 40-85mm zoom, but my favourite shots were actually on an M42 135 prime that cost me UKú15. (I bought a cheap adaptor to attach the threaded M42 fit to the Nikon mount on the SG35)

I've thought about you point re: the 'good shot' thing at the end. To be honest, that was something i concieved early on and never really assessed again. I just did it as part of the overall assembly of the soundtrack. I'll watch it again a few times and see if it jars for me with hindsight.

More views please!

Marco
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Old August 21st, 2006, 01:17 PM   #5
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Marco, this is very impressive. It's hitting on all cylinders: lighting, camera work, editing, sound, music, acting, pacing...

Actually, the thing I like the most is the way the sound interweaves and comes in and out appropriately, effectively expressing his POV. And the visual move into the gun barrel/out his eye. Cool.

Oh and I left out the most important part: storytelling. It echoes with a social commentary of today's video game influences on young minds.

But I agree with the "good shot" comment above. It would be a much more dramatic ending with a moment of silence, then the soundtrack/credits kicking in.
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Old August 21st, 2006, 09:13 PM   #6
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Marco,

Looks amazing. I'm really blown away with what you were able to accomplish with the SG35 lens and all the set-up's are very interesting yet logical . . . it didn't come across like you were just trying to throw a bunch of "money shots" together. It had a great cohesiveness.

Two spots I'd offer some constructive feedback on though.
1. For such a beautifully shot film, the titles/credits really don't do it justice. And I'm not talking about the font, but what titler in FCP did you use? Did you use Boris? I think the font style makes sense for your subject matter, but it came through pretty fuzzy and jaggy. Usually, Boris is pretty good about this so I'd be curious if that's what you used. Give any thought to using LiveType?

2. What sort of compression did you use on your QT file? Since this isn't a really long video I was kind of surprised to see what looked like some interlacing artifacts.

All in all, though, loved it. Looks great. Lit and shot beautifully.

Jason
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Old August 22nd, 2006, 02:25 AM   #7
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Titles and artifacts

Jeff / Jason,

Thanks very much for your feedback guys, its much appreciated.

Jeff - I'm glad you like the storytelling (so easy to overlook when you're striving to make things look high-end - I was worried I might have) and the audio mix.

Jason - I'm relieved your criticism is restricted to the titles and the encoding! But titles are very important, and to be honest when it came to getting things done in the timeframe we had I was forced to de-prioritise them. So I did them myself with FCP's generic text function. The encoding was done by my colleague using Sorenson. It's not my field I'm afraid, but after several seamless tests it is this version of the encoding that is exhibiting some of the artifacting you're seeing for the first time. He's away but I'll get him to look into it next week.

Cheers,
Marco
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Old August 22nd, 2006, 08:42 AM   #8
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Good work. I think the lighting deserves special mention. Whether the lighting you did was based on available light on set (very little of the latter I'll guess, knowing the Z1/FX1) it worked really well, motivated, yet adding mood and texture. It gave a sense of darkness (literally and metophorically), yet was clear not underexposed.

I don't Know that I saw the film as attacking video game addiction, more commenting on a lack of communication between generations, and how childred relate more to virtual reality fantasies rather than the real world (I guess I'm speaking as a teacher and a new father, but one who has played A LOT of videogames in his time) and I thought the final "Great Shot" worked well, rather chilling as it's the voice that the child WILL listen to.

I agree about the titles. It's worth finding a talented graphic designer to come up with a nice opening sequence to hook people in.
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Old August 22nd, 2006, 10:25 PM   #9
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Very well done.

I'm a video newbie, but it looked and 'felt' very professional to me.

I hope to be where you're at in a year or two.
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Old August 26th, 2006, 09:23 AM   #10
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This had me captivated from start to end. The whole production is excellent and I cannot fault any aspect of it. The lighting, sound, plot, acting etc etc was absolutely superb. I don't really pay attention to the technical side of it and I know a good film when I see it.

I am gutted........I have a HDV-FX1 and some idea's.....I can now see that I have a long way to go. The bar has been raised!

Make sure that you use this production to the full. Make sure that you go to Atom films and the BBC short film website with this film. Your talent should not be squandered!

I get the feeling that you are being a little self-effacing in your description of your experience as a film maker. Nobody makes a film of this quality straight off!

Way to go mate and the best of luck!

Howard Bull
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Old August 26th, 2006, 01:51 PM   #11
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Irish!

Hey Howard,

Great to see a post from Ireland. Despite my Dutch sounding name, I'm actually a Dubliner with some funny ancestry (although based in the UK now).

You're far too flattering though. Thanks very much for the ego boost.

I'm really, really pleased you enjoyed the film. It's great to hear from someone who just 'enjoyed the ride' so to speak. As regards my experience, this really was a directorial debut as regards anything fictional. My day job is as a Video Journalist for a major British broadcasting corporation, so I do shoot and edit news stories on a daily basis. I'm sure this has given me several advantages.

Believe me, you can attain everything I did and more. Just use every thread of this forum for all its worth and then go for it no holds barred.

Any links to your work? Let me know what the scene in NI is like.

Marco
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Old August 27th, 2006, 04:44 AM   #12
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Lighting

Also - Dylan / Greg,

Thanks very much for your feedback aswell.

Dylan - the lighting does indeed deserve singling out. I imagined it, but had absolutely nothing to do with realising it on set. That was all down to my very talented lighting designer who was working with a very limited kit. A big old 2k (it was a very warm set) and a trio of redheads. The shoot was a day and a half - and it wasn't an 18 hour day either because we adhered to all the guidelines for working with children - so he really did pull out all the stops.
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Old August 29th, 2006, 10:33 PM   #13
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Stunning work, Marco. Just stunning.
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Old August 30th, 2006, 06:17 AM   #14
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Re: SG35

Hi Marco,

Would you mind describing the steps you took to setup the SG35? How did you determing how much to zoom in on the ground glass. I have one too and was curious.

Thanks
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Old August 30th, 2006, 04:34 PM   #15
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SG35 setup

Shaughan - thanks very much for watching the film, and for your extremely kind comments. I've been trying to watch Aquarium here at home but my confounded new internet security software won't let me. I'll try at work tomorrow.

Paul - my setup for the SG35 is pretty bog-standard. After screwing in the macro I mate it to the SG and then point the cam at something bright or a light surface and focus on the pitted surface of the disk. I've found i can do this on the onboard lcd (Z1) but having a monitor is better. Then the lens goes on, the SG powers up, and off I go. Sorry, I've only really stated the obvious here. I'm not entirely sure what you were hoping to hear.

Marco
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