DVC22 - Through the Looking Glass - Ruth Happel - Page 2 at DVinfo.net
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Old September 11th, 2012, 12:16 PM   #16
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Black Mountain, NC
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Re: DVC22 - Through the Looking Glass - Ruth Happel

Simon- I'm glad you liked the chessboard. I used one of those travel chessboards that could be upside down, since I thought that would make an immediate transition to the artificial looking glass world. The slowing down of the music to be just right took a really long time, but I'm glad you appreciated the effect.

Mark- Some of the voice actors were created by altering voices, so they probably sounded a bit funky. I didn't have enough people to do all the parts, since there were so many.

Mitchell- There were a few scenes where I did do the classic over-the-shoulder shots and other takes, but they looked bad since given the narrow depth of field (millimeters) the foreground actor ended up just looking like a blob, or vice versa, depending on focus. Seeing their face was the only way to even remotely humanize them, and unless they were virtually in the same plane, it looked odd. Since the dolls were only a couple inches tall, with often only an inch or less showing, this ended up being a macro shoot almost entirely. I did put a few scenes from a greater distance like the entrance of the Red Queen, but thought that was relatively weak other than providing more feeling of her odd walking from not really being able to see her. I think my takeaway from the absurd difficulty of shooting and editing this is I will work with people next time!

As for the music, as I mentioned, I was pushing the effect since each character had a musical theme. The goal was to create a surreal feel since the dolls weren't really people, where they expressed themselves musically and through "dialogue". A few times I probably did push it too much, but such is art :)

Toni, Thanks so much for your kind comments. It did take way longer than I thought. I spent a few days doing some filming, then realized in editing I needed to reshoot almost all of it since the depth of field was so narrow, and most of the framing didn't work unless you could see the actors, since they weren't "real". I did have an amusing experience during one of the shoots in a park near me. I did one scene right off a main hiking trail, and one man walking by said hi and then almost tripped and laughed when he looked closely at what I was doing. My original plan was to shoot a nearby glass shop/studio and that would have been way easier for me to film, but I am glad I chose this since it really pushed me technique wise and creatively. That for me is the goal of these challenges.

Joseph, No, I didn't make the dolls. They are too well made for my craft abilities! I designed the sets a few times indoors, setting the camera in dozens of places before seeing the look I wanted for the indoor scenes. Outdoors, I created or found bonsai type scenes. For the brook scenes, I let a hose create brooks in a few different parts of my yard and filmed as the right size/reflectivity emerged. In the woods and nearby parks, I searched for interesting looking micro habitats that were scaled to the size of the dolls.

Frank, This is a short film based on a long and complex book. The major feeling of the book is a surreal world, so if that is what you came away with, I succeeded!

Andris, Sorry you had so much trouble with the dialogue. I will make another version with the music lower if you want. Let me know and I could send you a link. As noted, I aggressively matched the music and dialogue since these were dolls from a surreal looking glass world, and I was trying to express their personalities in a non-ordinary way. But I am happy to try a different mix if you want to watch it again.
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