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My first ever short


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#1 Justin Oakley

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Posted 18 July 2018 - 11:22 AM

I actually made this around January time frame. I always wanted to make movies but never really bothered trying. I bought this cheap DSLR years earlier, took maybe two dozen photos, and it sat in my closet. Because...well, photography is boring, in my opinion.

I only recently revisited this short I made and jacked around with the color, removed some other nonsense, added a couple inserts, mixed up some additional music and misc sounds, etc.

Filmed 100% solo, with a Canon rebel T5 and the kit lenses. Recorded audio with my iPhone wrapped in a sweatshirt. No money, no crew, no clue.

Check it out if you have a few


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#2 Justin Oakley

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Posted 18 July 2018 - 11:24 AM

Oh, and because I like to complicate my life, it was shot outside after we just had some rain. The clouds were floating in and out...as you can see. What a great day.
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#3 Giacomo Girolamo

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Posted 19 July 2018 - 01:15 PM

Great work man.

Congratulations for what you pulled off with your gear.

 

Everything looks great, and you generated an interesting atmosphere with the first shots, kinda a hitchcockian feels. The talent is good except the moment when he is about to die, but I understand that you worked with what you had.

 

If you are interested in improve it a little bit more, let me tell you that the sound still need a little more of work. Don't get me wrong, is better than lots of shorts I watched, but there's some little things that take you away from the story. That's always a bad thing.

First, I wished that you play a little bit with the pans, because all the sound is panning at center (or pan so little that means nothing), for example in the shot inside the car, when the talent is on the left, you could pan the radio on the right. The levels, not all, but some levels need more mixing, because are too soft or so loud that distract you and take you away from the story. The best foley is the foley you don't notice. It's like a bass in a rock band, people (not musician or bassist) general notice the bass when they can't hear it.

You didn't use foley with the steps on the road (only in a close up), and miss the opportunity of use a really muddy, sticky sound that immerse you even more in the mood of the story. You miss the knocking on the glass, that take me away too, and the shooting firearm was kinda metallic to me. There's a lot samples of shoots on the internet, you can find something better.

 

Also, some shoots are kinda long, to me you can have the same short in 3:30 minutes and then, the shot is going to be much more stronger and effective. You need to think that you are not doing anything new, we all knew what is going to happen from the first frame (and it's ok, I understand that you make it to practice and learn) so, is really not necessary delay the final result that your audience already know from the started.

 

 

 

Great work man! If you want, you can fix that little things and the short is going to be even better than now.

 

 

Bye!


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#4 Justin Oakley

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Posted 22 July 2018 - 05:22 PM

Thanks for the input. This helps because I am literally just...going with it and learning along the way. In just the short time between shooting and first edit I learned all kinds of stuff and just kind of smacked myself wishing I could go back knowing what I know.

By pan, you mean play with the audio so that it is kind of focused on one side or another? Ill consider this another tool in the toolbox because I honestly didnt even know how to do that then.

So is it wise to isolate certain sounds (not the score) to one side? How do I know which side? Is it dependent on the framing?

When I first cut it, there was no music...only those long droning sounds. So by the time I was on round two, and three, the original sounds (ext. wind, inside cab, radio, etc.) was already cooked into the film. Again, this sucks looking back.

And I definitely notice spots where the music kind of drowns out any other sounds. I think you can just barely hear the wind in some parts.

The gun shots (so I thought) were about as real as they get. I wrapped the phone in my shirt, plugged one ear, and fired about 4 shots from about 5 feet away.

The knocking on the window...another glaring piece of detail that I completely overlooked. First time.

I think one thing I have taken away is save the project!

I went all crazy, stoked about my first short film, cut it, saved it, and deleted the project. Haha, lesson learned.

Thanks again
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#5 Giacomo Girolamo

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Posted 23 July 2018 - 10:36 AM

By pan, you mean play with the audio so that it is kind of focused on one side or another? Ill consider this another tool in the toolbox because I honestly didnt even know how to do that then.

So is it wise to isolate certain sounds (not the score) to one side? How do I know which side? Is it dependent on the framing?


The gun shots (so I thought) were about as real as they get. I wrapped the phone in my shirt, plugged one ear, and fired about 4 shots from about 5 feet away.

The knocking on the window...another glaring piece of detail that I completely overlooked. First time.



Thanks again

 

Yeah, with panning I mean that you can take a sound and throw it to one side of the stereo spectrum. When you listen a rock band with headphones, you could notice that maybe the kick of the drum and the snare are in the "middle", but if the band has lots of guitars (like for example foo fighters), is very common that you "open" the guitars to the side. This is useful, not only as aesthetic choice, but (and this is important to filmmaking) because some frequencies "compete" between each other and is difficult to hear it. The sounds "sticks" together, but if you panning, you can separate sound a little bit.

About how much, and if is important to respect the framing, well, there's no rule about that. To me the answer is, whatever don't take the audience away from the story. Kinda with the 180 rule, is not important because you have to respect it, is important as a way to don't distract to audience. But if you have a good reason to break it, just do it. Same with panning, just experiment with it, and now you know about it, try to pay attention in series, movies, etc.

 

About the gunshot, I don't understand you. You actually fire a gun and record it? Because if you do that, is not guarantee that you have a good Foley. It's like cinematography. You could try a realistic aesthetic, but you don't pay as DP to film real things, but to film beautiful (or meaningful) things. When you work with a talent in her 50s, 60s, you aren't trying to capture how she really is on a Saturday morning, you're trying that she looks great on camera. Same with Foley, sometimes the best sound for a broken bone is not a bone breaking but a vegetable being kick, you know what I mean? There's lot of cinematography channels on youtube in which you can see how to make your own foley. And don't worry if you miss the knock on the windows. When I made a list of sounds, before I start to work with Foley, usually end with 2 or 3 pages of sounds, because there's a lot of things go in on on the camera, and to me audio is 51% of a film. The extra per cent is because people usually  can bare a bad cinematography (insufficient lighting, bad composition) if you have a professional audio, but nobody is going to watch your short (even if Janus Kaminski is your dp) if the audio sound like crap.

 

 

 

Keep making and sharing your films, you did a great job with the first one!


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#6 Justin Oakley

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Posted 23 July 2018 - 11:29 AM

Right on.

Yeah, I was aware of the importance of audio, along with a couple other fundamentals...rule of thirds, etc. but only on a very basic level.

And yes, I actually fired the gun. I wanted the sound of a gunshot fired outside in the distance. I didnt really know about how or where to acquire pre-recorded foley at the time. I guess I picture those cheesy 70s tv gun sounds...you know, the really echoey flashy sounds...where every bullet seems to ricochet off something.
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#7 Giacomo Girolamo

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Posted 23 July 2018 - 11:54 AM

The problem with that (shooting a real gun) is how you record it, because a microphone records things because has thin membrane that vibrates with air waves, and that movement generates an electrical voltage, and that in form of a electrical signal, is audio.

 

So, a gun is so violent because generate a sound so loud and fast, that is impossible that the signal not clip (thats when you record something that is out of range, like when you blow up whites in camera), and therefor you get a crappy sound, all distorted. There's a lot of foley data base, and programs like soundly helps you to get all that sound organize.

 

 

Bye!


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#8 charles pappas

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Posted 23 July 2018 - 01:00 PM

I'm not sure in the logic of the film that the actions of the presumed doppleganger would generate any sounds. The gunshots (which in the film logic were made by the driver) sounded excellent to me. 

 

I am a pretty forgiving film watcher, as I suspect most are. Sound is rated on a 0-1 scale, where 0 is unwatchable and 1 is fine. Not to say that super good sound effects or super good mixing on a California Split Altman dialogue style would be unappreciated, but still ...

 

Whereas I would rate cinematography on, to pick some numbers, a 0 - 5 scale.

 

I could be all wet, though. 


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