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My First Short Film... in 16mm!


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#1 Evan Samaras

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Posted 19 October 2018 - 08:13 AM

Yesterday marked the release of a project to which I dedicated many, many months. Writing, Location Scouting, Casting, Rehearsing, Directing, Filming, Editing, Scoring... One doesn't realize how much is involved in a project until they are in it!
 
My first short film was shot on 16mm Kodak film, (200T & 500T) through an Arri SR3 in Super 16, resulting in a 1.85 Aspect Ratio. Errors were made, flaws are present, but what a learning experience it all was! Everyone involved, from the actors, to the crew had never been part of film making. Perhaps it is very apparent at times, but I hope you enjoy the result. All criticism welcomed! I'll be back for more, and that's a threat!   :D
 
You can watch "Seeker" here:
 

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#2 Hunter O'Shea

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Posted 19 October 2018 - 07:16 PM

Very nice work. The super 16 was gorgeous and I applaud all the effort that went into that short film!

 

- Hunter


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#3 Evan Samaras

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Posted 22 October 2018 - 02:19 PM

Thank you Hunter!  It is the first of many more to come! I plan to stretch out as much footage in S16 as I can until I move up to 35, and not down to digital  :P

 

Now if I could just find myself a Steenbeck.... =D


Edited by Evan Samaras, 22 October 2018 - 02:20 PM.

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#4 Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

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Posted 23 October 2018 - 08:05 AM

Execution was impressive!  Not that interesting to me with subject matter, but that is just a personal thing. Nice if you give a financial rundown for costs for others thinking about their film projects.

 

Keep shooting...you got talent!


Edited by Daniel D. Teoli Jr., 23 October 2018 - 08:09 AM.

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#5 Giacomo Girolamo

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Posted 23 October 2018 - 12:31 PM

Nice cinematography work. The short fails in the editing room, besides the sound that is awful, but you do a good job on your very first 16mm work.


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#6 Evan Samaras

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Posted 23 October 2018 - 02:20 PM

Nice cinematography work. The short fails in the editing room, besides the sound that is awful, but you do a good job on your very first 16mm work.

 

Thank you for the feedback Giacomo!

 

I am familiar with the dialog recording being terrible, it was the most heartbreaking aspect of the film for me. However, could you elaborate for me on the ways you felt the short failed in the editing room?


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#7 Pavan Deep

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Posted 23 October 2018 - 02:31 PM

For your first 16mm project this is great. When working with 16mm there is a huge learning curve, I am sure you've had an interesting learning journey of working with film, please do share. I think you know where things have worked really well and what could have worked differently, personally I liked the story. But what happens to the guy in the end and was the therapist doing the killings but making her patient believe it was him?

 

Pav


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#8 Evan Samaras

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Posted 23 October 2018 - 03:26 PM

Execution was impressive!  Not that interesting to me with subject matter, but that is just a personal thing. Nice if you give a financial rundown for costs for others thinking about their film projects.

 

Keep shooting...you got talent!

 

Thank you Daniel,

 

Financial run down hmm... my situation may be different than someone else just starting. Way before I had a script I started gathering the equipment I knew I would need in order to shoot film. I spent more than a year gathering the necessary equipment at affordable prices, therefore I did not include any of that financial strain in the "budget" of this film, as it is gear that I can reuse for every shoot. This gear includes, but is not limited to:

 

Arri SR3 HS, Angenieux 17.5-70mm + Retro Adapter. Mattebox, A Set of series 7 Filters that I used in photography (hence the split dipoter), as well as 4x5.65 filters. An Arri 750W Light kit (3 lights) + stands. Reflectors, Lighting Gels, Tripods, Dana Dolly, Steadicam ProVid, Follow focus, Tascam recorder, etc. When I added everything up, I took a big gulp at the heap of money I invested just to get my projects off the ground! 

 

When it comes to this project, everyone involved worked for lunch basically. It was a collection of friends who have never worked in film of any kind, including the actors. This left me handling way too many responsibilities (my first and maybe biggest mistake). 

 

Film stock came from friends who had leftover rolls from their shoots. They provided me with a nice discounted price! This provided me a tight 4:1 Filming ratio. As for film developing and scanning, you can usually get a deal when you shoot about 3000' of 16mm film. Shop around! 

 

The budget basically went to transportation and lunch for everyone. In the end the short film cost $2,300, of which the majority was spent on film stock, processing and scanning. If I can find my documentation on it, I will break it down by category at a later time.

 

 

For your first 16mm project this is great. When working with 16mm there is a huge learning curve, I am sure you've had an interesting learning journey of working with film, please do share. I think you know where things have worked really well and what could have worked differently, personally I liked the story. But what happens to the guy in the end and was the therapist doing the killings but making her patient believe it was him?

 

Pav

 

Thank you Pav! 

 

I do have an understanding of what I felt worked well, and what failed. However, it's hard for me to see it from a perspective other than my own, being that I was so deeply immersed in it. The story was written in a manner that asks the audience to question what happened. Maybe that didn't sit as well with the viewer as I hoped it would. Although there is a point in the film that certainly clarifies and reveals a lot, but it appears to have been overlooked by many. No one has pointed it out, and I am more interested in hearing what the viewers believe happened. Is that an error?


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#9 Michael LaVoie

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Posted 23 October 2018 - 04:52 PM

When you're just starting out, if you write and direct a film, it's always a good idea to hire someone qualified to edit the film.  Mostly because having a fresh pair of eyes in the editing room is your last hope of having a coherent story.

 

You know the story as the writer.  So you can all too easily make decisions on the day and in the edit room that correspond only to your understanding of the story.  Not the audiences.

 

An editor who wasn't involved in the shoot and who only has the script and the footage to go on, has to make the film understandable to everyone else and they will keep the film from sliding into messy, incoherent and vague territory because they have to.  It has to make sense to them before it will make sense to anyone else.  And if an editor is trying to make sense of your story and they succeed, the odds are good it will make sense to the average viewer.

 

On the other hand, you can edit a movie that you wrote and all the plot points will be obvious to you and at the same time totally confusing to everyone else.  An outside editor can't get away with any shortcuts based on their own interpretation the way that the writer can.    In other words, a writer/director will always take massive liberties in the edit room because they think it's all obvious. When it isn't at all.  The writer director only think it's obvious because the story exists in their own head.    Always get an editor if you want the entire audience to really understand what you're trying to say.

 

Also, don't advertise a short you did as "shot on film".  Looks like you're trying too hard to give a better reason to watch it then just for the story.   It was pretty obvious that it was film from the beginning shot.  So you don't really need to point that out.  Makes sense to on this forum but in general, it's the same as saying your movie is "shot on an I-phone"   Every caveat and qualifier looks weak.   It's just your latest short. That should be strong enough to warrant a viewing.  That said, congrats on tackling film your first time out.  Definitely a challenge.


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#10 Samuel Berger

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Posted 23 October 2018 - 05:09 PM

I just want to say I really appreciate Michael's post above as it probably says near everything that needs to be said and it's also good advice for anyone new to making their own movies.


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