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Old October 29th, 2006, 11:25 AM   #1
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Short for 13 day horror competition

We at Y.A.F.I. have submittted a horror short to a 13 day horror competition in London http://www.film-club.co.uk .

We are proud to present it to you http://intensitymedia.org/deathbed/DeathBed.mov . Tear it apart ;) I was the director and cinematographer on this piece. Shot on an XL1s in a defunct hospital which we were given full access to :)
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Old October 29th, 2006, 12:19 PM   #2
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Hi Cole,

I know how much hard work goes into the making of these things but it didn't really work for me. The opening dolly shot tracking the wheelchair showed great promise for the rest of the piece and some of the lighting was very evocative. Unfortunately it was let down by poor scripting and even worse acting. Some of the scenes were poorly staged and the recorded sound was echoey and lacked depth. There was no real menace or horror. Having stated that, it's no worse than a lot of the independent horror out there. But get better actors next time and work on the script for livelier dialogue and interesting, original plotting. Sorry for the negative comments. The best of luck in the competition.
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Old October 29th, 2006, 12:39 PM   #3
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I agree with everything Mark said. I was hoping for something that grabbed my attention after the first shot...and I kept wanting to close the page. Work on the framing of your shots. Most of your shots had a ton of dead space in them (no pun intended) also the whole consistant pumping blood from the left in the first death was ridiculous, I actually laughed thinking it was going to turn into a comedy. It was unclear what happened in the begining, it looked like the old guy killed the doctor, but then the doctor was wiping blood off himself, it just didn't make any sense. The audio and acting really killed it... sorry, but I hope these comments help you on future shorts.
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Old October 29th, 2006, 03:05 PM   #4
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I'm hoping they do too...this was our first piece with blood effects (other than just painting it on...and the delivery methods we had come up with didn't work as we had planned.

The acting wasn't the actor's fault, they were good, it was my fault as the director. Being on a tight schedule didn't afford me the time to get the performances out of them they were capable of. There were some on set dynamics that were being worked on as we worked out the behind the camera kinks organizationally as well.

Thanks for the comments...keep them coming and honest.
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Old October 29th, 2006, 03:57 PM   #5
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Hi Cole,

I concur with the other two posts unfortunately. The beginning looked like it was old man killing the doctor. Then it goes from one scene to another without any real connection or real narrative sense. The problem with most horror films is that they always on the line of becoming comical, and yours is no exception. It becomes very B movie where you find yourself laughing when you are supposed to be scared or tense. As with the other posts the framing was poorly composed, and the actors were hard to hear, which may be good because the performances were less than watchable.

My real criticism, or perhaps my own envy, would be that you had access to this great location where you could practically shoot anything but chose to shoot what unfortunately is a B movie. I live in Los Angeles and its very difficult to get good locations on a no to low budget so having that kind of space would have gotten me real excited.

Having said that I KNOW how difficult it is to make movies and you only learn from DOING it, so I say keep doing it, BUT get better stories with more compelling plots and characters. Work on your lighting and scene composition. You can either let the camera drive the action or the actors do the same. Making films can be done in so many ways and again it is not easy, but who really succeeds on their first or second try. Good luck with your next project.
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Old October 29th, 2006, 04:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cole McDonald
I'm hoping they do too...this was our first piece with blood effects (other than just painting it on...and the delivery methods we had come up with didn't work as we had planned.

The acting wasn't the actor's fault, they were good, it was my fault as the director. Being on a tight schedule didn't afford me the time to get the performances out of them they were capable of. There were some on set dynamics that were being worked on as we worked out the behind the camera kinks organizationally as well.

Thanks for the comments...keep them coming and honest.
Cole,

I would have to add soemthing about that. Picking actors is hard because there are not many good actors. Next time rehearse before you shoot. You can do it at a $5 per hour studio or your own apartment etc. Personally I dont think directing had anything to do with their performances. They just came across as inexperienced actors, or not actors at all. I know from myself that if you get an actor that CAN act then you have won most of the battle, even if you dont get a chance to direct them that much on set. A good actor will come across good on screen even if not directed well. May not be the best performance but it won't be a bad one. Key is good script, good actors, good direction. Then you have something.
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Old October 29th, 2006, 07:50 PM   #7
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I would have loved to have rehearsed the actors, but we had 13 days, 6 days on the script and getting everyone/everything together. 2 days shooting on a crew of 4 people, 5 days of post work. Certainly not as intense as a 48 hour, but still plenty short for what we were trying to achieve.

Thanks for the honest criticisms, keep 'em coming. Can't improve unless we know what to fix.
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Old October 29th, 2006, 09:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cole McDonald
I would have loved to have rehearsed the actors, but we had 13 days, 6 days on the script and getting everyone/everything together. 2 days shooting on a crew of 4 people, 5 days of post work. Certainly not as intense as a 48 hour, but still plenty short for what we were trying to achieve.

Thanks for the honest criticisms, keep 'em coming. Can't improve unless we know what to fix.
Itís always a problem making films when they are rushed. Perhaps find someone with more experience in script writing or someone who already has a good script and focus on the directing. Rushing and cutting corners sadly, but eventually, hurt the finished project. I have written script in less than 2 hours that came out okay, but I have some background in writing. Take a class and just learn the basic structure of story telling. There are many different techniques, but if you find your comfort zone you might do better. The acting is vital, and perhaps get a casting agent who is willing to help getting the right cast. Then focus on a DP and TAKE YOUR TIME. Don't rush. If you have a deadline and you are not done, FINISH, rather than submitting something half-ass.

I was shooting a short that I wanted to submit to Sundance but the day before the deadline we realized it just wasn't going to be done to my standards so I didn't submit. What people will judge you by are not what goes on before and all the excuses that go along with it, but what ends up on screen, so make the effect to get the best work you can do. Don't rush it.
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Old October 29th, 2006, 11:32 PM   #9
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The submission deadlines drive us to complete projects in the best way possible given the time constraints...no excuses needed. This is currently the best of our ability...the previous one was worse, the next will be better. The writers we have are refining their chops as well. this script was better than our last, the next will be better.

I appreciate your perfectionism, but I've learned that perfect is impossible and will slowly drive you insane...it's too late for me ;) I will continue to submit as we improve. As we get better we can get into larger festivals. Not competing at this level for us would be like telling a 6th grade soccer team they're not competing at the professional level, so thay may as well not try.

My work has flaws and I will learn from them. Thank you for your honest critique of my work, I will learn from it and improve.

<edit>Using an existing script is cheating...and all the teams were under the same time constraint</edit>
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Old October 30th, 2006, 01:40 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cole McDonald
The submission deadlines drive us to complete projects in the best way possible given the time constraints...no excuses needed. This is currently the best of our ability...the previous one was worse, the next will be better. The writers we have are refining their chops as well. this script was better than our last, the next will be better.

I appreciate your perfectionism, but I've learned that perfect is impossible and will slowly drive you insane...it's too late for me ;) I will continue to submit as we improve. As we get better we can get into larger festivals. Not competing at this level for us would be like telling a 6th grade soccer team they're not competing at the professional level, so thay may as well not try.

My work has flaws and I will learn from them. Thank you for your honest critique of my work, I will learn from it and improve.

<edit>Using an existing script is cheating...and all the teams were under the same time constraint</edit>
I didn't realize you were in a competition that required time constraints. I thought you were just making movie to submit to festivals, which under those circumstances, I will take back some of what I wrote. Just keep doing what you are doing. I am in the same boat as you so I am learning too.
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Last edited by Brian Duke; October 30th, 2006 at 02:29 PM.
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Old October 30th, 2006, 08:12 AM   #11
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Don't take it back, they are valid viewpoints. Here is the competition:

http://www.film-club.co.uk

We hopped in at the last second (friday 13th) and hit the ground running. The last piece we did was the 48 hour project in which we drew horror...which we had never done before (I don't like horror all that much personally...but it's really fun to shoot). This time we were happy to have much more time to plan and produce the shoot.
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Old October 30th, 2006, 11:59 AM   #12
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We're definitely planning to do something other than horror.. and without the time constraints next. That ought to be a nice change.. :)
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Old October 30th, 2006, 01:53 PM   #13
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Cole, while I agree with the criticisms that others have posted, I just wanted to say good for you for being open to suggestions and being able to keep it real. Keep in mind that so many projects fail where yours did not. You did develop a script, bring cast and crew together, and shot a complete project within a required time frame. Your film wasn't the best to be posted here, but it wasn't the worst either. As you develop a feel for the logistics, I think your creativity and directing prowness will improve. Congrats on getting the project done, and good for you for wanting to hear some honest critiques. As you might notice from a couple of the other posts in this category, not all film makers are so open minded. Look forward to seeing your next effort.
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Old October 30th, 2006, 08:42 PM   #14
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We just got the news, we've made the top 10! We'll be screening in London at:

Bar Kick
127 Shoreditch High Street,
London.
E1 6JE

Doors open at 7pm the programme starts 7.30pm.
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