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Old March 18th, 2007, 09:09 PM   #1
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First indie EVER!

Hey Guys
Back in August 06, i entered into a filmmaking competiton with a good friend of mine Jono - we didn't place but we did receive a lot of positive feedback so i thought i'd share it on the board and welcome any feedback (negative/lukewarm or otherwise)

http://one.revver.com/watch/207163

A couple things i do know about the film which needs an improvement (yes i know never shoot yourself down as others tend to be more than willing but i'm realistic)

1) it's too dark - it's my fault as the director as my dop convinced me it would be fine even though i had my doubts - (i'm not blaming him too much either as it was his first real shoot)
2) too complicated - we included the 'ghost' even though we had second thoughts about it but now i see it just confused matters.
3) Framing - couple shots were framed weird and i'll take it as a learning process

I can think of a few more but i'd love to hear from you guys.

Below is a little intro on it and about us.

Are You Sleeping, a short horror film by Jono Lee and Vishal Gurung, was their first foray into true independent filmmaking and was entered into a local filmmaking competition 'Mighty Asian Movie Making Marathon'.

Participants were given a week to write and film a movie with 3 different elements - ours was A map/A parkade/ and the phrase "Children will play an important role in your life- needless to say, horror was the first thought that popped into our minds!

With the help of a terrific crew and a whole lot of volunteers, we completed the film in 3 days and spent 4 days (with many a coke bottle/coffee and approx 2hrs of sleep per night) in post production doing film and sound editing.

While we didn't win, we received lots of positive feedback which has encouraged us to move forward in our dreams of becoming successful filmmakers. We hope you enjoy the movie! (and don't forget to rate it and click on the advert after the movie ends!)
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Old March 18th, 2007, 10:02 PM   #2
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Vishal,

Well you were right... it's dark, and not just the exposure. There's a fine line in the film's subject matter I think where the depiction of impending sexual violence would offend a lot of viewers.

But congratulations for doing it. It's all about progression. There were some strong points in the film... Jono has the makings of a good bad guy.

Keep at it.
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Old March 18th, 2007, 10:41 PM   #3
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indeed

you're right ken, i've gotten a few comments with regards to the 'sexual violence' aspect.

While this film was in preproduction, we talked about these scenes a lot - it wasn't our intention to glorify any type of sexual violence but in the same breath i really wanted to show the realism of the situation..

Either way, i appreciate you viewing the film! and Jono has definitely improved greatly as an actor and i'll pass your comments on to him.

Cheers
Vishal
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Old March 18th, 2007, 11:42 PM   #4
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Vishal,

Regarding the violence and reality. Film is a powerful art form and art imitates life. So depicting violence and sexual violence in film is fairly common. It's how you chose to depict it. In this case, I think you could have implied the tension and fear more instead of nearly showing it.

Obviously in the case of your film, you only had a day or two to write your script, so it's tough to write a great one on short notice. The premise of the escaped killer, who kidnaps a woman is kind of formulaic, and the child ghost angle was good. I especially like the use of the nursery rhyme.

I look forward to your future work.
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Old March 19th, 2007, 12:53 AM   #5
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wow i really do appreciate your critique Ken - thanks a lot!

Would love to hear what others have to say as well, good or bad :)

Vish
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Old March 19th, 2007, 03:52 PM   #6
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Just wanted to say this was my first real experience as a director on an actual set and honestly, it beats learning from any film school (altho having that as a credential certainly helps with your credibility)

That being said, i would really appreciate any input/advice from you folks out here on dvinfo as i truly believe you never stop learning as a filmmaker.

Cheers
Vishal
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Old March 19th, 2007, 06:02 PM   #7
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Hi Vishal,

Just checked out the film, not bad for a first try! I have some feedback for ya.

1) on the technical side, I didnt mind the dim look of the film too much, although you could have gone for more stylized lighting. The shot selection was great, i liked it. as was the sound. I wasn't a fan of the dialog or the female charater's acting, she seemed to be obviously playing the screaming woman in trouble bit.

2) on the content side, I wasn't a fan of the violence against the female character, and i think the script lacked the background needed to allow a proper setup for the violence in the film. Maybe if there were more of a setup and buildup of suspense (or dread), i would have seen a reason for it. What I'm trying to say is that its odd that you showed the violent acts against the female character without really explaining why the male would want or need to do such acts. Also, i think it could have been half as long and still had the same impact.

Keep making movies!
Sanjay

Last edited by Jay Kavi; March 20th, 2007 at 05:20 PM.
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Old March 19th, 2007, 09:46 PM   #8
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Hey Vishal,

Check out a 27-minute film called 'Tomorrows Memoir', it's different subject matter than yours, but it's a good example of relatively low budget film noir. It was filmed in BC. The script is intelligent and the plot is subtle. The cinematography is very good. Filmed in Vancouver/Kelowna I think. One of the members here (Jiri Bakala) was DOP. I watched the full show on a site somewhere, though I just tried to find it again and couldn't.
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Old March 20th, 2007, 01:28 AM   #9
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Sanjay, thanks so much for taking the time to watch it and give your thoughts - i know 10 mins isn't much but to watch something and actually give feedback means a lot to me and i certainly do appreciate everyone's critique.

You mentioned stylized lighting - you're absolutely right, that's what we were initially going for.. however, with my limited experience as a director and us having to set up 16 shots per day, i'm afraid we fell short in that aspect.

Dialoguewise, there were some good lines but overall, me not being a writer and having co written it with Jono, i think next time we'll actually have a real writer come on board hehe

Candice (the female lead) actually had to put up with a lot to be honest.. she was a good sport about it though, as we had her do her own stunts and on average 6-7 takes for all the emotional scenes - on some she came up dry so i'm not disappointed in her acting - she actually required very little direction and most of my work was directing Jono, who i feel did the best job of his acting career

the violence against the female character well.. maybe we overdid it a little, i think maybe i was going for realism a tad much w/out explaining the storyline too well so it's a learning experience for me

Ken- thanks for the heads up for that movie - i'm watching it as i type this (it's on ifilm and the first few moments are already very eyecatching - for those who are interested, this is the link http://www.ifilm.com/ifilmdetail/2654192 )

I'm definitely encouraged to continue in this and i can't wait to get back on set!!
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