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Old November 13th, 2006, 02:46 PM   #1
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Short Film Shot on fx1

I was a little hesitant about posting this, since I wasn't sure if it was up to par with all the other work that has been shown here. But I am looking for criticism, so here goes.

During the summer I was inspired to try my hand at greenscreening. I had always wanted to try; however, I never got around to it. I love film noirs, and I loved the visual style of Sin City, so I decided I would try something along those lines. Plus, it would be a good excuse to use a greenscreen. I quickly whipped up a short script, made a greenscreen on my back porch, and used my brother and his girlfriend for actors.

This was more of an experiment for me, as I've never greenscreened, or used 3d software before (and it certainly shows). I sent this in to the Cinefest CTV Amateur videomakers competition, and ended up winning first 1st place in the student category (much to my surprise). Anyways, if you go to http://robarmieri.8ap.com/ and click portfolio then videography, you'll see the link to my short "Devils and Angels".
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Old November 13th, 2006, 06:54 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Armieri
I was a little hesitant about posting this, since I wasn't sure if it was up to par with all the other work that has been shown here. But I am looking for criticism, so here goes.

During the summer I was inspired to try my hand at greenscreening. I had always wanted to try; however, I never got around to it. I love film noirs, and I loved the visual style of Sin City, so I decided I would try something along those lines. Plus, it would be a good excuse to use a greenscreen. I quickly whipped up a short script, made a greenscreen on my back porch, and used my brother and his girlfriend for actors.

This was more of an experiment for me, as I've never greenscreened, or used 3d software before (and it certainly shows). I sent this in to the Cinefest CTV Amateur videomakers competition, and ended up winning first 1st place in the student category (much to my surprise). Anyways, if you go to http://robarmieri.8ap.com/ and click portfolio then videography, you'll see the link to my short "Devils and Angels".
Very Sin City-esque for sure.

Good job on that.
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Old November 13th, 2006, 08:58 PM   #3
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Looks good.

My only two comments are: narration and performances.

Since I assume you are doing the voice over, please don't take offense, but the narration didn't work for me. I would hire a professional narrator with a good "radio voice" since you really never see the main character speak. It just sounded boyish, weak and unconvincing for a detective. It should be more of a controlled, confident and powerful voice. Also the sound could have been recorded.

The acting probably could have been up'ed a notch, but that isn't something you can fix so that's about it. Otherwise you did a good job. Congratulations.
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Old November 13th, 2006, 09:10 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Brian Duke
Looks good.

My only two comments are: narration and performances.

Since I assume you are doing the voice over, please don't take offense, but the narration didn't work for me. I would hire a professional narrator with a good "radio voice" since you really never see the main character speak. It just sounded boyish, weak and unconvincing for a detective. It should be more of a controlled, confident and powerful voice. Also the sound could have been recorded.

The acting probably could have been up'ed a notch, but that isn't something you can fix so that's about it. Otherwise you did a good job. Congratulations.
Thanks for the feedback, and the congratulations. I agree with you about the narration. I would have liked to have the option to hire someone with a good "radio voice", but I just had to make due with my unconfident, boyish voice haha.

As for the acting, I thought they did a pretty good job since they don't act, and I literally just pulled them aside for an afternoon. I also agree with you about the sound. It is something that I always tend to neglect for one reason or another(even though I know sound is extremely important). However, it is something I'll be trying to work on in my future projects. Thanks again for the criticism.
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Old November 14th, 2006, 12:38 AM   #5
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i didn't mind the VO, it was very josh hartnettish
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Old November 14th, 2006, 03:04 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Rob Armieri
Thanks for the feedback, and the congratulations. I agree with you about the narration. I would have liked to have the option to hire someone with a good "radio voice", but I just had to make due with my unconfident, boyish voice haha.

As for the acting, I thought they did a pretty good job since they don't act, and I literally just pulled them aside for an afternoon. I also agree with you about the sound. It is something that I always tend to neglect for one reason or another(even though I know sound is extremely important). However, it is something I'll be trying to work on in my future projects. Thanks again for the criticism.
Then I have two more suggestions. One, do the V.O. over again. Record with more bass, closer to the mic. Be more confident, sexy (if you have to). Even if you have to do a semi Clint Eastwood impersonation. Right now, the sound isn't that good and it sounds almost comedic, and I don't think that is what you are going for.

In the future hire actors, and not just any actor, but a good one. MOST films fail at performances, and its what most people lack when they make a film. I think there is a tendency to have a good idea, without a good script executing the idea, and then think because there's a good idea that anyone can just say the lines and it will be good. This could not be further from the truth. What set most films apart from good solid movies are the performances, and the one that have bad performances usually are referred to as b-movies (usually horror flicks) and student films. AVOID either. =)

Get actors, rehearse, and the rehearse some more, as you will discover new things about the story and characters you didn't know before. Its a learning process. Scrips are like written music and the actors are the players. If they play bad notes your movie will suffer. You already have potential as a filmmaker, so don't cut corners, espcially important ones.
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Old November 14th, 2006, 10:58 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Brian Duke
Then I have two more suggestions. One, do the V.O. over again. Record with more bass, closer to the mic. Be more confident, sexy (if you have to). Even if you have to do a semi Clint Eastwood impersonation. Right now, the sound isn't that good and it sounds almost comedic, and I don't think that is what you are going for.

In the future hire actors, and not just any actor, but a good one. MOST films fail at performances, and its what most people lack when they make a film. I think there is a tendency to have a good idea, without a good script executing the idea, and then think because there's a good idea that anyone can just say the lines and it will be good. This could not be further from the truth. What set most films apart from good solid movies are the performances, and the one that have bad performances usually are referred to as b-movies (usually horror flicks) and student films. AVOID either. =)

Get actors, rehearse, and the rehearse some more, as you will discover new things about the story and characters you didn't know before. Its a learning process. Scrips are like written music and the actors are the players. If they play bad notes your movie will suffer. You already have potential as a filmmaker, so don't cut corners, espcially important ones.
Hey don't knock b-movie horror flicks, some of them are fun to watch haha. For my next project I am going to spend more time finding actors, etc. If anyone has been to Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, they'd know that much of anything is hard to come by haha. But yeah, you are certainly right about having solid performances. Now that I am living in a bigger city, it should be easier to find actors, and people to help behind the scenes. Thanks for the suggestions.

ps. if you thought the VO was comedic now, just wait until you see a sexy version
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Old November 14th, 2006, 12:56 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Rob Armieri
Now that I am living in a bigger city, it should be easier to find actors, and people to help behind the scenes. Thanks for the suggestions.

ps. if you thought the VO was comedic now, just wait until you see a sexy version
I can't wait for the seeeeexyyyee voice. LOL

In any event, all people are potentially good actors, with some help and guidance. Don't let small towns discourage you. If you can work with them and you have agood sense of getting out natural performances you should be okay regardless of where you live. Good luck, can't wait to see your other projects.
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Last edited by Brian Duke; November 14th, 2006 at 02:33 PM.
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Old November 14th, 2006, 01:18 PM   #9
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I thought that was pretty damn cool.
I know you've got the noir thing going on, but I found it just a little too dark, or maybe it was because it was displayed within a white web page that did that?
Did you do the dice and ice pick yourself?
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Old November 14th, 2006, 04:21 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Dennis Murphy
I thought that was pretty damn cool.
I know you've got the noir thing going on, but I found it just a little too dark, or maybe it was because it was displayed within a white web page that did that?
Did you do the dice and ice pick yourself?
Thanks Dennis. For some reason it is only dark with the flash version, not too sure why. Yeah I did the 3D stuff myself, but it was my first time ever actually using 3D software. Well actually the first time I used 3D software, I got motion sickness, and got turned off completely haha. But yeah, I'm not too good at it yet. It was actually suppose to be a syringe, but I don't blame ya lol.
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Old November 14th, 2006, 04:41 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Rob Armieri
Thanks Dennis. For some reason it is only dark with the flash version, not too sure why. Yeah I did the 3D stuff myself, but it was my first time ever actually using 3D software. Well actually the first time I used 3D software, I got motion sickness, and got turned off completely haha. But yeah, I'm not too good at it yet. It was actually suppose to be a syringe, but I don't blame ya lol.
Ahem, yeah I knew it was a syringe... I was just testing hehe.
Wicked man!
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Old December 3rd, 2006, 10:57 PM   #12
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Hey Rob,

I liked Devils and Angels for an experimental project. It really makes you stop and think as to what other kinds of film projects can be made using green screen. I'm not sure if you've ever seen the movie "Black Cadillac" (2003) but 85% of this film takes place in a car where three young guys begin to get mysteriously followed. All the internal car scenes were shot in a studio using either greenscreen or digitally projected backgrounds. The movie itself was shot on film, but the effect turned out real well.

Since I was on your site I also watched your opening scene for "In The Dark". Were the shots going from right to left dolly shots combined with horizontal slide wipes? What kind of dolly did you use?

Thanks,
Dennis
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Old December 3rd, 2006, 11:07 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Dennis Hingsberg
Hey Rob,

I liked Devils and Angels for an experimental project. It really makes you stop and think as to what other kinds of film projects can be made using green screen. I'm not sure if you've ever seen the movie "Black Cadillac" (2003) but 85% of this film takes place in a car where three young guys begin to get mysteriously followed. All the internal car scenes were shot in a studio using either greenscreen or digitally projected backgrounds. The movie itself was shot on film, but the effect turned out real well.

Since I was on your site I also watched your opening scene for "In The Dark". Were the shots going from right to left dolly shots combined with horizontal slide wipes? What kind of dolly did you use?

Thanks,
Dennis
Hey Dennis,

I've never heard of "Black Cadillac" but I'll certainly try and check it out. For the "In the Dark" intro, I was dollying from left to right and did a whip pan to the right at the beginning and end of each shot. The dolly is just some terrible piece of junk I made over the summer with rollerblade wheels.
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Old December 4th, 2006, 02:29 AM   #14
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I liked the sinister look, feel and sound, and the choice of music was excellent. There have been some comments on the voice, and I think it's real and suitable, but a little thin-sounding. Perhaps you could bump up some digital EQ to compensate for the microphone.

On another note, call me naive, but I always thought smoking pieces were paid sponsor shots, a time-honored tradition in Hollywood. Why would someone willingly make a scene with tobacco smoking? I'd go for a bong or opium, or something else more illegal.
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Old December 4th, 2006, 10:56 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Gints Klimanis
I liked the sinister look, feel and sound, and the choice of music was excellent. There have been some comments on the voice, and I think it's real and suitable, but a little thin-sounding. Perhaps you could bump up some digital EQ to compensate for the microphone.

On another note, call me naive, but I always thought smoking pieces were paid sponsor shots, a time-honored tradition in Hollywood. Why would someone willingly make a scene with tobacco smoking? I'd go for a bong or opium, or something else more illegal.
Come to think of it...maybe I should reshoot the entire beginning with him holding a huge opium pipe?
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