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Short Film Critique - from a writer/director


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#1 Dan Hasson

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 10:57 AM

Hi,

 

Here's my first proper short that I wrote/directed. Everything before that had been me and friends with minidv cameras or dslrs and no sound equipment.

 

It cost around £300 ($382) and played at a festival in the UK earlier this year. The shoot was at the end of last year and I finished cutting it beginning of this year.

 

Watch here.

 

I'd be keen to hear what you think. Critique away!

 

Thanks,

Dan

 

 


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#2 Brenton Lee

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 12:52 PM

Looks pretty good, amusing story concept (i definitely wondered 'oh poop, what happens next?')

 

What did you shoot it on and what color temp settings (if you recall)? I'm wondering about the color temp through out it as the exterior scenes are so warm, and the interior is very cool in a white/blue way, yet I'm assuming that was all natural sunlight? Just bouncing off the white walls? 


Edited by Brenton Lee, 27 November 2018 - 12:58 PM.

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#3 Dan Hasson

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 02:15 PM

Looks pretty good, amusing story concept (i definitely wondered 'oh poop, what happens next?')

 

What did you shoot it on and what color temp settings (if you recall)? I'm wondering about the color temp through out it as the exterior scenes are so warm, and the interior is very cool in a white/blue way, yet I'm assuming that was all natural sunlight? Just bouncing off the white walls? 

Thanks Brenton.

We shot on an Alexa Mini, LogC, 2K, Prores 4444. 

Colour temperature was kept at 5600k. It was natural sunlight throughout except for the CU of the note. The interiors was a lot of bounce off white walls, you're right. The grader also helped to give the Int and Ext different looks. But a lot of it was down to it being a sunny day and the house being very white.


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#4 Bob Speziale

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 02:52 PM

Looks interesting but was too unsteady handheld. Couldn't finish watching it.


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#5 Dan Hasson

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Posted 27 November 2018 - 03:39 PM

Looks interesting but was too unsteady handheld. Couldn't finish watching it.

That's a shame! But I understand. Thanks for taking a little bit of time.

Dan


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#6 Giacomo Girolamo

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Posted 30 December 2018 - 10:44 PM

Really good job, especially with the cinematography. Good sound too. The editing has some problem with the pace (as usually, and luckily) because is to fat. You need to cut it up a little bit, and be aware with some shoots too long.

 

Hope to watch more of your work, bye!


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#7 Phil Connolly

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Posted 31 December 2018 - 12:44 PM

It looks quite nice and the handheld worked ok  for me.

 

I like the concept but and the stealing of the bag was fun. 

 

But some issues storywise and pace.

 

e.g the first int shot with the fur in the foreground kind of gives it away. It then takes the person a long time to read the not and spot the dogs dead.

 

Normally in a dog household you'd know within 5 seconds that something is wrong with the dog because its not barking at you. I think the oh dear moment has to happen quicker to be realistic. You could have set up the dog sitting using the walk and talk phone call "I'm on my way to check on Lucky..."

 

Her reaction was a bit dead pan.

 

 

Still its a good first film and the production values are decent. I just think the slow discovery of the body wasn't credible, especially as we know its coming from seeing the fur in the foreground. 

 

From a character POV its way more satisfying if the incident is either the characters fault or she covers it up and makes it worse.  Its not clear why she takes the dog so we don't really know if she is in trouble for loosing it. You need to think about what the jeopardy for the character in the situation is. Or its a bit flat. The more agency you give your characters the better. 

 

 

On the theme of Dog sitting Chris Morrises short is worth a watch

My Wrongs 8245-8349 &117

Is also great because the protagonist is very much the architect of the problems and the film is surprising. You don't want the audience to guess the end. 


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#8 Dan Hasson

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Posted 02 January 2019 - 09:33 AM

Really good job, especially with the cinematography. Good sound too. The editing has some problem with the pace (as usually, and luckily) because is to fat. You need to cut it up a little bit, and be aware with some shoots too long.

 

Hope to watch more of your work, bye!

Thanks Giacomo. I had a great dp and camera department for the film. Same for the sound (on set and in post). I appreciate your feedback.

 

 

It looks quite nice and the handheld worked ok  for me.

 

I like the concept but and the stealing of the bag was fun. 

 

But some issues storywise and pace.

 

e.g the first int shot with the fur in the foreground kind of gives it away. It then takes the person a long time to read the not and spot the dogs dead.

 

Normally in a dog household you'd know within 5 seconds that something is wrong with the dog because its not barking at you. I think the oh dear moment has to happen quicker to be realistic. You could have set up the dog sitting using the walk and talk phone call "I'm on my way to check on Lucky..."

 

Her reaction was a bit dead pan.

 

 

Still its a good first film and the production values are decent. I just think the slow discovery of the body wasn't credible, especially as we know its coming from seeing the fur in the foreground. 

 

From a character POV its way more satisfying if the incident is either the characters fault or she covers it up and makes it worse.  Its not clear why she takes the dog so we don't really know if she is in trouble for loosing it. You need to think about what the jeopardy for the character in the situation is. Or its a bit flat. The more agency you give your characters the better. 

 

 

On the theme of Dog sitting Chris Morrises short is worth a watch

My Wrongs 8245-8349 &117

Is also great because the protagonist is very much the architect of the problems and the film is surprising. You don't want the audience to guess the end. 

Phil your detailed response is great! Thanks for taking your time.

I hadn't thought about that much but your points on the timing of the discovery are interesting and a good response. 

 

The 'My Wrongs' short is great. An interesting watch.

Thanks again Phil.


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#9 Reggie A Brown

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Posted 05 January 2019 - 08:17 PM

The aesthetics of this looks really good.
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#10 Dan Hasson

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 08:56 AM

The aesthetics of this looks really good.

Thank you Reggie!

 

Dan


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#11 Ricardo Garza

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Posted 20 January 2019 - 03:16 PM

i stopped watching because you broke the 180 degree rule.


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#12 Phil Connolly

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Posted 20 January 2019 - 05:32 PM

i stopped watching because you broke the 180 degree rule.

Thats not a reason not to watch - plenty of good films have 180 line breaks in them. nothing wrong with an intentional 180 line break even Kubrick did it from time to time


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#13 Dan Hasson

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Posted 21 January 2019 - 02:35 PM

i stopped watching because you broke the 180 degree rule.

Thats a shame Ricardo. I do appreciate the feedback though.

 

This short is only 5 minutes long. The Shining breaks the rule, its well over 2 hours long and has a scene where the line is broken, famously. Of course I'm not trying to compare myself to filmmakers like Kubrick or others who have broken the rule.

 

Thank you for pointing it out Phil.

Thats not a reason not to watch - plenty of good films have 180 line breaks in them. nothing wrong with an intentional 180 line break even Kubrick did it from time to time

 

 

Dan


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#14 Giacomo Girolamo

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Posted 21 January 2019 - 03:25 PM

Thats a shame Ricardo. I do appreciate the feedback though.

 

This short is only 5 minutes long. The Shining breaks the rule, its well over 2 hours long and has a scene where the line is broken, famously. Of course I'm not trying to compare myself to filmmakers like Kubrick or others who have broken the rule.

 

Thank you for pointing it out Phil.

 

 

Dan

 

Don't worry, do you know how many incredible films makes Ricky Garza from Mejico Cabron?

 

Zero

 

 

So never mind what he said, keep filming and keep experimenting. The rules are guides from a common knowledge pool that people with similar culture have. Bending that rules as you please and even broken it if you want to, just keep filming.

 

 

Thanks for sharing Dan, hope to watch more of your work in the future.


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#15 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 21 January 2019 - 07:40 PM

Liked it ..good simple idea.. and the best thing about it.. you are actually out there shooting stuff..  not sitting in a coffee shop waffling on about the seven samurai .. .


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#16 Uli Meyer

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Posted 22 January 2019 - 12:42 AM

You set out to make a film and finished it. Well done. I am curious how you were able to keep the budget at £300?


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#17 Dan Hasson

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Posted 22 January 2019 - 04:39 PM

Thanks for sharing Dan, hope to watch more of your work in the future.

 

Liked it ..good simple idea.. and the best thing about it.. you are actually out there shooting stuff..  not sitting in a coffee shop waffling on about the seven samurai .. .

 

Amazing to read your support guys! Thank you for the encouragement.  

I wrapped on shooting my next short last weekend. I'm in the edit and hope to have it out within the next few months!

 

 

You set out to make a film and finished it. Well done. I am curious how you were able to keep the budget at £300?

Thank you Uli.

 

It went on food/drink for the cast and crew, the shoot was 1 day and cost of renting the dog. I already had hard drives.

To pay the bills and fund my films I work in the AD department in commercials & features. I had connections for cast and crew who were very kind enough to come on my first short. The DP used his own gear.

 

I hired pretty much the same crew for the short I have just wrapped on. But now I was able to repay their kindness and pay them for their excellent work on the new short.

 

 

All the best guys and thanks again,
Dan


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#18 Jon O'Brien

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Posted 22 January 2019 - 05:07 PM

It kept my attention throughout. Well done. You could have turned it into a big question mark at the end there ... the guy in the street knew full well what was in the bag ..... because he did it... and now he's there. A short scary film in other words. That's just me and my overactive imagination. I liked the look of it too. Beautiful location as well.


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#19 Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

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Posted 23 January 2019 - 12:45 PM

It was OK. It was kind boring, so I skimmed through the last half. Nice, smooth technical work. I gave you a 'like' on YT for the effort. As was said, you are doing something and not just sitting on your butt. 

 

I didn't think the film was realistic with the pack, but then saw why the pack was needed for the story. I heard England is going to ban all single-use plastic. Will that shut down the plastic garbage bags too? If so, maybe people will have cloth bags to carry the trash out and dump things in the cans. So carrying a dog out in a cloth bag may be how it goes someday. In the USA we use black plastic trash bags.

 

Your film was too toned down and bland. Would have liked it better with some sex or if there was some fighting and deadly force was used to save the girl. That is what we like in America.  I was thinking guns and a nice contact shot to inject the hot gas into the perp, but I see you are in London, so guns are out. A contact shot will give your make-up artists something to work with.

 

This is what happens from one .38 special contact shot into a folded cloth...the hot gas really can do some damage along with the lead.

 

contact shot from 1 .38 SP through folded cloth  D.D. Teoli Jr..jpg

 

I like hearing about costs, so thanks for supplying that. I would like it if people submitting movies would give a detailed breakdown of cost. 


Edited by Daniel D. Teoli Jr., 23 January 2019 - 12:51 PM.

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