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My thesis film only 2 minutes


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#1 Andy Yeomans

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Posted 28 December 2005 - 11:28 PM

Please critique my work. I shot this movie in July for my thesis film. I directed it and was responsible for the lighting and "look" of the film. I shot it on Kodak 7218(500) standard 16mm with an Arri-BL. Almost the entire shoot was accomplished with a 5.9mm lens, mostly due to time constraints. Some of the shots are muddy and I edited this myself which I am strongly against, at least for me. I only had 7 hours to shoot this so I had to sacrifice shots...a second day was out of the question unfortunately. I added green in post transfer.

Thanks

Andy Yeomans

Here is the link...it's only 2 minutes long.

http://video.google....354425514&q=yom
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#2 LondonFilmMan

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Posted 06 January 2006 - 01:33 PM

I think everything was great....it would make great TV.....but it is a shame for the gaping hole........dialogue.....that was your downfall......it was awful..........and I mean awful............everything else was great.
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#3 Timay

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Posted 15 January 2006 - 07:41 AM

I liked the lighting very much, good cold underground feel. The scene where the girl gets up and smiles is a great comical shot but as londonfilmman says the dialouge was, lets just say not great. Nevertheless don't drown out the dialouge with the music, I was continually putting the volume up and down such that i could hear the dialouge and not disturb the neighbours with the music bass (and i turned the bass off on my speakers)

Good luck though, i know i'm new but thats just my view
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#4 Andy Yeomans

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Posted 26 January 2006 - 05:01 AM

What do you guys from Enlgand know anyways...Joking! I appreciate the feedback. Although as much as I would like to write, I suck at it.

Thanks

Yeomans

Edited by andyyeomans, 26 January 2006 - 05:02 AM.

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#5 LondonFilmMan

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Posted 26 January 2006 - 10:54 AM

Engaging angles complimented with appropriate music and fine editing. If you find a really good writer it could be an absolute sensation eclipsing Reservoir Dogs of which it echoes.
Do you think you would have got a significantly better result with a 35BL than a 16BL or not? The dialogue had (maybe) a tad too much echo - 9.5/10
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#6 Bill Totolo

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Posted 26 January 2006 - 12:58 PM

I'm impressed, if that means anything. I think you did the right thing, you embraced the limitations of no budget filmmaking and made a fun little piece.

You didn't try to shoot a mini-movie. You didn't reach beyond your grasp and most importantly it was painless to watch.

Of course we could nit pick but why? What you have is a pleasant 2 minute film. Let's see what you can do with something longer now.

Best of luck.
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#7 Jamie Metzger

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Posted 26 January 2006 - 02:01 PM

Hey, When you show your work and critique the hell out of it, before anyone has even seen it, do you think that we are going to want to watch it?

Show the project, and the the questions be asked!
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#8 Evan Luchkow

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Posted 26 January 2006 - 02:12 PM

the sound didnt seem too great.. maybe thats because it wasnt that high quality of a stream....i thought it was pretty good.. better than most.. but the dialogue was weak as said before... all in all, good job.
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#9 Andy Yeomans

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Posted 28 January 2006 - 02:18 AM

Regarding the question about the 35BL...unfortunately I did not have access to the 35 camera, I was required to shoot on 16mm, which I was happy with considering I wanted the grain.

I did make this movie for less than $400 toal including processing and transfer, so I can't complain. yes the script was pretty raw, but I was actually going for an odd type of dialogue and I had to tell as much story in as little amount of time due to time constraints. There are things I would have done differently, but that's for my next project.

Thanks again for all the comments, I appreciate it.

Oh, and I was unhappy with the upload quality, the sound from the orginal turned out great, everything is clear. The echoing is what I wanted, it's a warehouse, and it's natural. I love natural.

My movie has been seen before, I had to play it in a theater for judging.

Thanks
Yeomans

Edited by andyyeomans, 28 January 2006 - 02:23 AM.

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#10 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 29 January 2006 - 03:48 AM

I want to be brutally honest with you. Please take nothing I say as an attack. It is meant to give you an unfiltered critque of your work so that you can take whatever you feel is valid from it and use this information to make your next film better. It is just my opinion, but here it is. This script made absolutely no sense, especially after reading the description next to the screen. It looked to me like it was a scene taken from a larger film. I think the overall style was an atempt to go Terrintino-eque that simply did not work and that honestly just looked like a watered down version of some else's vision. The pacing left a lot to be desired and the acting was, well bad. The quick cuts at the beginning seemed to have no purpose. It's like you didn't trust yourself enough to simply stay on the actors for any length of time. Maybe you had to cut it like that because these were the best line readings they gave but it distracted from the action rather than enhansing it. The shot with the gun pointed at the camera was especially out of place. I think if you had continued with the slow dolly shot in the opening seconds when the gun and bad guy comes into frame from their hidden postion behind the prisoner and had them pick up the pace in their line reading, it would have been much more effective. The guy who was about to get shot didn't seem to care that he was about to get shot. When being dragged to the car he didn't struggle or look for a way out or even look particularly bothered or annoyed. Some direction giving him more specific subtext for his characture would have channeled his preformance into some more consistant and believable with a stonger impact. The lighting was inconsistant as well, at times so dark, that what little emotion there was in the actor's faces, was obsured and lost. A bit more of a Key light inn this situation would have helped. The first shot from inside the trunk was just plain disorienting, screwed up the pace of the scene during those few moments and was completely unnessesary. I can't figure out why you put it in. The light in the truck was distracting even when the truck opened. It should have been totally dark, held for a 1/2 beat or so, then the light should come on as the trunk opens, lighting the faces of the 2 guys for a reaction shot, (a small focused Key doing the actually lighting on the actor's faces) or lose the interior light completely and the trunk opens to reveal the scene outside, again for the reaction shot. There were moments where you lose camera focus walking to the car. The musical bangs when the guys got out of the car were interesting but probably belonged in a misic video more so than this piece. They just seemed contrived and again, distracted fron to menace that should have been created by the men geting out of the car. The girl turning out not to be dead was predictable and seemed like just some sort of cheesy "hook" to end the piece instead of making the effort to find something interesting and original to say. I would have felt much more fulfilled if the bad guy had simply slammed the trunk closed as a cheshindo to his vigillanty justice or had turned to the girl and gently caressed the dead woman's face while he softly sobbed or better yet tried to hold back his tears as the screen slowly faded to black then right as the screen went dark a deafing gunshot rings out and we know the prisoner is dead. The dialoge didn't come off as odd, just incomplete, and somewhat lacking it truth. There was no relationship established between the charactures other than they knew each other. In the beginning had you added a line or 2 to the effct of..."She was my wife." "Yeah but she was my mother (or girlfriend from the girl's age)" or something like that, the relationships whould have been defined. Had her characture really been dead from a beating, the audiance would have understood why the bad guy did what he did and possibly even sympathize with him, after all He did somethinng we all might have done under those circumstanses, in addition you make a statement about a topical subject that the audence can relate to. The color pallet was nice but the black most of the charatures wore, tended to make their body definition dissappear and give them more of a genaric quality. They became less indevidual and more caricartures. The next film you do, remember the old adage "STORY, STORY, STORY" . The girl looked attractive but the way you dressed her, made her look frumpy and the white seemed out of place and distracing, A pretty dead girl gains instant sympathy and attention from an audeance so you lost that oportunity. If you wanted blood to show up use light colors within you pallet not white. Adding a tight med shot of her and maybe a C.U. or 2 from the prisoner's P.O.V. might have helped people care about her. Also directing the bad guy to be more menacing would have help the audiance fear and/or hate him. I never believed the bad guy had any intention of shooting the prisoner and he nor the prisoner didn't really believe it either. I couldn't tell if that was blood or a pattern on yhr girl's t-shirt. Again, the tighter shot I mentioned before would have helped. There should have been no question, if your going to emulate Terrintino, for godssake SHOW THE BLOOD. Some brusing on the girls face from the beating and maybe a fewon the prisoner may have made the lines and her death more belevable to us and the brutality of the bad guy more evident. You could have augmented the sound from the doors banging in order to enphysize the finality of the prisoner's plight. Having the bad guy get more physical might have added to the tension-like a med 2 shot from behind of the bad guy shoving the other guy to his knees when they get to the car before he opens the trunk or having him yank to prisoner more, maybe slap him, shove the gun up under his chin while looking him directly in the eye. Anything would have emphysized who was domiate in the scene and added my visual tention and excitement. More closeups during some of the key lines and moments like when the prisoner first sees the girl or when he tells the bad guy he didn't kill her would have brought more emotional impact into the story. Remenber in film the story is told in the closeups. This piece suffered from an almost complete lack of closeups. Again I don't want to hurt your feelings and hope you will take the thing I said and suggested in the spirit with wwhich they were written. I hope the things I said will help you. If you find no value in them, ignore them or tell me I'm full of s''t. I won't be offended. It's just my opinion.
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#11 Jason Maeda

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Posted 29 January 2006 - 04:17 PM

never listen to people who don't spell correctly. do listen to people who don't capitalize, however.

jk
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#12 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 29 January 2006 - 05:38 PM

never listen to people who don't spell correctly. do listen to people who don't capitalize, however.

jk

Spelling was never my strong point, but I have been directing, writing and teaching acting for a while. I've had several plays produced although I never show them to anyone without running them thpugh spellcheck first., 'smid_3')
:)
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#13 Andy Yeomans

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Posted 29 January 2006 - 11:53 PM

Believe me, I am always open to criticism and opinions. What I have found is, the movie works for some and not for others. This was my first movie, and although I have been focused on being a DP, I want to direct. Again, I hate writing and would have rather directed something else, but I was required to write it.

I appreciate the honest feedback...now I'm off to my next project.

Yeomans

Edited by andyyeomans, 29 January 2006 - 11:53 PM.

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#14 Morgan Peline

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Posted 17 February 2006 - 02:49 PM

Hi,

In my humble opinion, (you should see some of stuff I shoot!) I think there were two big problems with your short (amongst other smaller problems).

First of all your script was pretty bad. Cinema as far as I am starting to learn is a visual medium. There is far too much verbal exposition in your script, it comes across as bad TV - everything is explained and therefore there is no intrigue and so the audience's interest is never piqued. If you had left more of the story a mystery in terms of what was said, or more importantly what was not said and also what was shown or more importantly what was not shown, it would have been far far more interesting. There is no drama in your story.

Second of all - your actors were terrible! Why do inexperienced actors shout all the time? Sometimes I think that silence and quietness is much more powerful as a cinematic mood enhancer than shouting. One of the things I am also learning more and more is that great actors can make a bad script believable. They might not turn a bad script in to a masterpiece but at least they can make it less terrible. Great actors can really save you! Though of course a great script and great actors is a joy!

Also, as far as I can remember I felt there weren't enough POV shots in your coverage - we never seem to get into the heads of the characters - evrything seems very objective in viewpoint; which might have worked for a different type of story but for yours I would have made it much more subjective and used more CUs or ECUs.

Just an opinion!

I liked your lighting very modern noir!

Regards
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#15 Greg Gross

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Posted 25 February 2006 - 05:35 PM

Three things make for a good film,

A good script...A good script...A good script.
Greg Gross's quote,no but rather that of Alfred Hitchcock.
I have a suggestion,before you shoot your next action film,
Watch Law and Order,24 Hours for insight on Close-Ups.

Greg Gross
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#16 Craig Knowles

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Posted 25 February 2006 - 10:22 PM

Spelling was never my strong point, but I have been directing, writing and teaching acting for a while. I've had several plays produced although I never show them to anyone without running them thpugh spellcheck first., 'smid_3')
:)


For having written and taught so much, you must realize the pressing the "enter" key every once in awhile helps get your point across a little better.

Nice detailed comments, though.
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#17 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 26 February 2006 - 01:06 AM

For having written and taught so much, you must realize the pressing the "enter" key every once in awhile helps get your point across a little better.

Nice detailed comments, though.


Ya, your right. I have begun to put the Enter key to more pronounced use in these posts lately. Thanks for the advice and observsations.
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#18 rbg

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Posted 26 February 2006 - 02:27 AM

Hey,

Not bad for 400 bucks! There's some good stuff in there and I'm sure you learned a lot. That's the most important thing, right? The look of it was pretty good, you got the whole "cool, blue, urban thing" going. There are definitely adjustments in the lighting that you could have made, but there always are. Some of the framing and movement could have been more creative, but I don't know how much was based on the actor's blocking or vice/versa??? The writing was OnTheNose and melodramatic and the actors played it that way and then some. The script will always be the blueprint. I personally have lit and shot the hell out of a few sub-par scripts with bad actors, that I wrote and I've become a better film-maker and writer for it. Keep shooting and writing!

Ryan Barton-Grimley
RBG
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Gamma Ray Digital Inc

FJS International, LLC

Visual Products

Technodolly

CineLab

Aerial Filmworks

The Slider

Opal

CineTape

Metropolis Post

Rig Wheels Passport

Tai Audio

Willys Widgets

Wooden Camera

Paralinx LLC

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Abel Cine

Glidecam

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

rebotnix Technologies

Ritter Battery