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Short Film I shot


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#1 Chris Pritzlaff

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Posted 07 May 2006 - 08:22 PM

here is a link to a student film that I shot. 16mm 7205 for daytime interior - had a small tungsten lighting kit which I used and left un corrected to give a warm edge light to the actors. Goal was to emulate the look and feel of older kung-fu films. I was pretty happy with the work and wanted to get some critiques and feedback on it. Thanks



http://www.youtube.c.....ighting death
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#2 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 04:29 AM

The film lacked any style, swagger and magical quality which the old kung fu movies had in abundence and which I feel is absolutely nessesary when one is intent upon fighting Death. The plot was thin to the point of anarexia. The choice of location and costuming was bland an unimaginative. I might as well have been watching a karate tornament. The frashback of his life sequence could have been interesting if it had been dione differently the frashback went too fast and didn't look like someone's life flashing befor them and even if it had, one time was enough. The one interesting thing I liked was Death putting hs finger in the center if the rising sun to bring in the life flashing befire him sequence. The I'm going to life for my daughter realization the charature comes to was pure smaltz and just plain cheezy.

Martial Arts movies, like westerns, have been done to (if you'll forgive the pun) Death and in order to make them interesting you have to do something new even if they're ment to look old. These charatures weren't even 2 demensional, they were barely one dementional. The cinemtorgraphy, camera angles and coriagraphy of the single continuos fight sequence was adequite bit it has like trying to hang a heavy metal shelve on soap bubbles, there was nothing there to support it. I wish I could have given you more a positive critic. I really wanted to like this movie because I like old Martial arts films but unfortunately this is the way I see it. Take it for what it's worth and try again.
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#3 freddie bonfanti

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 07:28 AM

i agree with captain video...

the main thing that i didnt like was that death doesnt look as frightening as i imagine death to be. i would expect someone with a scarier or older look and also didnt lake the "morpheus move". cinematography wise, i am not quite sure about the uncorrected color temperature, it looks a bit too orangish. and yes, the location wasnt that great. maybe you wouldve got a better result shooting the fighting scene in the nature, like in the middle of a forest, as often you see in martial arts movies.

anyway some shots are very cool!

regards

freddy
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#4 LondonFilmMan

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 01:19 PM

I wonder, might it have been better to see 'more convincing' facial expressions, snarls?

Some of the fighting and flipping was *really good* whereas some non-fighting choreography might improve.

Would an outside location, perhaps a wood of been better? A place where you could have played off your environment more and create mood? E.g. a haunting moonlight, bare trees, snow and ice. Mud, sweat and ice flying around.... On the other hand, I wonder if it might of made a better 'street fight' in an urban setting, wearing normal clothes. What do you think? Like Kung Fu.

The lighting seemed fine to me, was unsure about 1 or 2 compositions.

I liked some of the angles and thought some of the fighting was great!!

The bruise appeared very real. I might of preferred to of seen less 'fresh-looking' faces.

Would a great dialogue along with the fighting of allowed us to become more immersed in the story.

I agree, with the Capt. about flashbacks. One might have been enough. Plus, could the content of the flashback of been more coherent? E.g. to see him 'regress' through a series of mini-events rather than a flick of pics.

Costumes were fine for what you did, but again, I think an external setting would have given more character to this film.

The music, don't know if I would have used the strong build-up of music at the beginning. After a strong build, where do you go? I'd have left that for the fight's finale.

Having said all of the above, I was surprised at just how good some of the fighting and camera work was and I am sure you did well enough for what was expected from you in this project. Congratulations!
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#5 Chris Pritzlaff

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 05:02 PM

Thank you all for your comments. Keep em comming.

Perhaps I should have addressed some of the requirements of the project. This was a non-sync 16mm class project for an Intermediate Production. I was the DP and a friend of mine wrote and directed it. He also acted as the character "death." When reviewing the look of some of the older martial arts films he referenced, we noticed that a lot of them were done in very plain and silmple locations, some with just bare walls and very little accent. They also tended to have a warm tone to them which we tried to emulate.
While I appreciate the coments on story, characters and direction, and will foreward them on to the director, I am mostly interested in comments on the cinematography, though any coments in general are welcome too. Thanks again for the feedback so far.


Some of the fighting and flipping was *really good* whereas some non-fighting choreography might improve......

The lighting seemed fine to me, was unsure about 1 or 2 compositions.
....



Any shots in particular that you noticed? The one where he opens his eyes near the begining in an ECU is not exactly how I wanted it to turn out, but it was the best take we had. Any others?
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#6 Jordan Roettele

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 05:50 PM

Thank you all for your comments. Keep em comming.

Perhaps I should have addressed some of the requirements of the project. This was a non-sync 16mm class project for an Intermediate Production. I was the DP and a friend of mine wrote and directed it. He also acted as the character "death." When reviewing the look of some of the older martial arts films he referenced, we noticed that a lot of them were done in very plain and silmple locations, some with just bare walls and very little accent. They also tended to have a warm tone to them which we tried to emulate.
While I appreciate the coments on story, characters and direction, and will foreward them on to the director, I am mostly interested in comments on the cinematography, though any coments in general are welcome too. Thanks again for the feedback so far.
Any shots in particular that you noticed? The one where he opens his eyes near the begining in an ECU is not exactly how I wanted it to turn out, but it was the best take we had. Any others?


I thought there were some great shots. The only thing that got on my nerves a little was the lack of backlight on the main fighter but mostly on "death" when using black clothes and black hair, I've been taught to backlight the hell out of them to punch then out of the background. Also thought you could of worked the background alit more. Maybe a little more stylized

nice job though
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#7 Morgan Peline

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Posted 09 May 2006 - 06:32 PM

Hi,

I'm going to have to add my 2 pence worth I'm afraid. I used to do martial arts for quite a few years and I have to say that I was very impressed with your actors' abilities. Some of those moves were really quite beautiful. I think essentially the problem is that you guys choreographed some great moves but you didn't actually tell a story...

I have to admit (sorry if I sound pretentious...) that more and more I feel that good cinematography always stems from a good understanding of the story you want to convey. The production team needs to understand the story like the back of their hands in terms of what they want to convey to the audience. You have to have a theme.

Put it this way, have you ever seen 'Jacob's Ladder'?

What if you'd intercut the fight with death footage of your protagonist falling into a coma after a competition fight? In other words, you start the film in a competition fight, the protagonist gets knocked out by a stronger opponent and as he falls into a coma because he has been severely injured, he has to fight death to survive and regain consciousness...Like the final fight in the original Matrix. Neo is getting pummeled by agent Smith within the Matrix whilst in the 'real' world he starts to die - Trinity forces him to fight back. When he finally beats agent Smith, he comes back to life.

So if you had intercut the reality of your main character slowly dieing in a crowd filled arena with his fight with death in some strange darkened cave in the 'netherworld' (remember Orpheus in the underworld?) that would have created more of a narrative between the 'real' world and the 'netherworld' of Hades or something like that.

Just a thought - as always it's easy to criticise and extremely hard to create...

I get to the point these days where if I feel the script is not right I try to get the writer or director to make changes because regardless of how technically good the lighting is, I feel that you can only truly create visual poetry if a well scripted fully formed story is in place.
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#8 Benji Bakshi

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Posted 09 May 2006 - 10:49 PM

I'd like to encourage you in your shooting!


I think it was a great little project! Obviously you had limited time and resources. But overall, it was engaging.

Great martial arts.


Keep shooting! And you'll learn how to make things more and more effective.

:ph34r:
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