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#1 Guy Meachin

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Posted 20 June 2006 - 10:12 AM

Please take a look at my graduation film and see what you think! Still need to re-cut a few things but nearly finished!

Choose 'Destination UK' from the side panel!

http://www.media-art....ac.uk/cfv2006/

Thanks!

Guy
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#2 Guy Meachin

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Posted 21 June 2006 - 08:52 AM

Please take a look at my graduation film and see what you think! Still need to re-cut a few things but nearly finished!

Choose FILMS from the top, then 'Destination UK' from the side panel!

http://www.media-art....ac.uk/cfv2006/

Thanks!

Guy


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#3 Morgan Peline

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Posted 21 June 2006 - 05:33 PM

Hi,

I quite liked it. Some nicely moody shots in there! Nice camera movement as well.

However, the story wasn't very clear in places. I didn't at first understand that the security guard had lost a daughter when he first appeared in the office to talk to his workmate and also I felt that when the illegal immigrant showed him a picture of his own dead daughter, and the guard realised that they had something in common, it was a bit unbelievable - too much of a coincidence. But then I suppose the script wasn't your domain.

In terms of framing I felt you could have used a little bit more headroom. The tops of the heads of your actors were getting cut off quite often.

You should shoot more! Camera assisting will show you a few things but you only really learn operating and lighting by doing yourself...not necessarily watching others do it.
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#4 Guy Meachin

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Posted 23 June 2006 - 07:42 AM

Hi Morgan, thanks for your reply.

In response to the questions you raised re the daughter. The script doesn't reveal that Mike has lost his daughter until he says it at the end. Though we get a hint of it when Ste says near the beginning "you've got to move on, you can't bring her back". It is part of the eliptical narrative in the film, which is why the film should be viewed several times for it to be understood properly. Nevertheless maybe it still isn't clear enough.

The reason for the such a coincedence as you mentioned, was because the message the film is trying to communicate is that the immigrant has lost his daughter through war (something completely out of his control) Mike lost his daughter through different circumstances but again out of his control. Mike empathises with the imigrant and helps him escape the other security guard who represents the ignorant and fascist sector of society. All this could be argued all day but that was the intention of the origonal script. Maybe it isn't clear enough!

You raised an interesting point with the headspace, we've actually cropped the film heavily in post so that is jusyt a case of changinf the offset in FCP. It's something I will look at changing.

Thanks for the feedback.

Anyone else got any thoughts?
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#5 LondonFilmMan

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Posted 25 June 2006 - 01:36 PM

I watched your short film and thought in general two things;-

1. It was quite good.
2. It was dark.

I liked the second half better than the first because there was some convincing dialogue whereas in the first half some shots were dark and I thought, especially in the beginning, that you should of shown some cloes-ups of the faces as a way of introducing them. You should of quickly gone from wide to close. There were perhaps some inappropriate shots.

But, fairly good story...quite good indeed.

Edited by LondonFilmMan, 25 June 2006 - 01:38 PM.

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#6 Guy Meachin

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 09:00 AM

The whole piece was meant to be fairly dark apart from the beginning sequence obviously. The building we shot in is very dark anyway! (Pushed a stop for the steadicam even on Zeiss 1.3's!), it is 200 years old and we wanted to try to capture the sinister element of the fantastic location.

Out of interest which shots do you think are inappropriate? Maybe they might need changing?

Thanks

Guy
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#7 LondonFilmMan

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Posted 27 June 2006 - 10:44 AM

Here's my 10c worth...I haven't analysed this in great detail but this is what immediately comes to my mind...

In the opening shot we get sound and darkness for quite a long time. How about credits on there to 'justify the darkness' for that length of time?

The guy driving the fork-lift...might we of been closer to see his face? Why so wide? Why not wide for a second followed by close? ...because the scenery isn't that exciting anyway...

The man in a high-vis vest who opened the container...might we of had a POV shot as he approached the door in order to create expectation and thus enhance the moment when the illegal immigrant bursts out?

Yes, I thought you should have followed the man in a high-vis vest to the door then allowing the illegal immigrant to run to the left so we could track him as he fled.

Why didn't you cut back to the man in a high-vis vest who opened the container door, watching him get up and a work mate console him over his fall? And then cut back to the illegal immigrant continuing his flight? Because aren't there are TWO mini stories at this fleeting moment? 1) The immigrant fleeing 2) The worker getting up from the floor. Don't you want to know what happened to the man he pushed over? Did he hurt himself etc?

Then we cut to blackness with the sound of a window being broken for...a tad too long?

The tracking shot through the concrete pilars is nice but I want to know how he feels...couldn't we be closer to see his face? Watching his eyes dart defensively from left to right? Your tracking shot also makes me feel as if someone is watching him from a vantage point. E.g. soldiers on horseback passing through a dense forest just before they are ambushed.... the lion stalking the antelope...

Then he sits back down against the wall, in darkness. Face need better lighting? At least lets see the twinkle in his eye.

HERE'S WHAT I WOULD DO AS HE HAS HIS BACK AGAINST THE WALL (A GOOD METAPHORE IN ITSELF);-
I would of ditied his face a little, sprayed a little water on his brow to give him a sweaty look after all he had been running. Then perhaps some eye drops to relate sadness and strain. Then a flashback to the b+w of Sarajevo as he stares out into the darkness, followed by a 'tear' (eyedrops) cutting its way down through his ditied face like a new stream following a recent rainfall... cutting its way through the desert. After all, what is he doing by sitting down? He's taking a moment to console himself... a moment when he'll think...think about what? see what I mean?

Also the illegal Immigrant sitting against wall looks very fresh-faced considering what he's been through. (running away, hiding in containers, sitting on floors). Dirty him up a bit? He also looked quite well-nourished...more convincing perhaps if he were hollow-faced and hungry.

Then darkness again...hmmm...I think darkness is ok as long as we can clearly see his eyes and how he feels.

Then the 2 guys in the office talking: The first close-up of the man's face on the left might have been followed up with a close-up of the other man's to match, and who says "look, I'm not being funny..." We might of had a close-up of his face to see with what sentiment he was actually saying that with...I don't think we had one close-up of the man with high-viz vest.

Then he walks off and its dark. I don't know if I'd use darkness as a transition sooooo much. Hmmmm....

By the way, as Eastern Europe has opened up now... isn't this somewhat dated? Shouldn't he be from somewhere else? This feels kinda mid-90's... hmmm...

I liked it where the man let him go. How nice :)

Although I think the man with the stick chasing him is a bit over-angry. No sympathy for him!

Camera shake on the last shot? It wasn't a POV so why?

This is just me, my opinion, and so forth...

Can I wish you the best with your film :)
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#8 Guy Meachin

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Posted 28 June 2006 - 10:26 AM

Thanks for your reply, it's interesting to hear what you think.

Here' SOME justification for the questions you raised!

I think adding credits to the beginning is a good idea and something we did consider doing.

I didn't want to concentrate too much on any of the workers at the dock because they themselves are not important to the film, it is more about the dock environment. The sounds at the beginning are to arouse a sense of curiosity. They are inriguing and were intended to give a feeling of claustrophobia and disorientation (like that of someone hidden in a container).

I wanted to establish the docks as being somewhere bleak, they aren't beautiful to look at and it's cold, damp and windy. I think maybe a clos-up of the docker falling over would have been a good idea and a POV like you said. You have to remember though that this was the first time we'd worked with 16mm and I only had 4 rolls for the whole film. So we had to be economical! Though I would have liked to shot more! Plus I think the fact that we don't come back to him after the Imigrant has fled is good, we don't know what the docker is going to do, is he giving chase or not? Like the immigrant, we the viewer don't know. The main intention for the film wasn't to spoon feed the audience but let them fill in the gaps themselves. The message of the film was more important.

Like you I don't think the breaking in on a black screen worked that well, we were a bit restricted by the location to find somewhere he could actually break in.

The tracking shot you mention is actually a steadicam move. For this I chose a wide lens to illustrate the vastness of the building and to establish the interior. As he moves deeper into the building the lens gets tighter.

I agree I should have had a light for his close-up after he sits down, I think the 575 outside would have been nice to give the shot more contrast. I wanted an eyelight for this shot like you mentioned but because it was another steadicam move it wasn't possible after the camera had settled in it's final position. At this point we start to understand how he feels. In terms of make-up it was something we didn't look at enough, it would have made a big difference and we'll invest more time into in the future.

For the office scene we wanted to shoot both clos-ups but at this point we were desperately close to running out of stock with a days shoot left. I had to make a decision to scrap Ste's close-up and the scene does suffer as a result. 1 more roll would have been nice.

In terms of darkness as a transition, the building is very dark indeed, it's ghostly inside, if anyone ever gets the chance to visit, I'd highly reccomend taking a look!

The message of the film isn't dated at all in fact it couldn't be more relevant. It's actually Kosovo the immigrant has fled during the Crisis in 1999. Hundreds of thousands of 'forced migrants' left the region for fear of losing their lives some having already lost family in horrific circumstances. The point of the film is that, this only happened 7 years ago and clearly we still haven't learnt the lessons from two world wars. Look at the situation in Iraq at the moment. Milosovic' suspicous death recently is a small reminder of the horrors that took place.

Also the film looks at societies attitudes towards immigration. Immigration problems in the UK is big news at the moment!!

Though the man with the stick does appear a little over angry, you don't have to look far for people like him - fascists and bigots!

"Camera shake on the last shot? It wasn't a POV so why?" Not sure what you mean by this, it was hand-held.

Thanks again, I'm not disagreeing with what you've said just trying explain our intentions - some of which maybe aren't as clear as they could be - so thanks for your feedback!
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#9 LondonFilmMan

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 05:54 PM

Hi there, normally I don't give a 2nd critique, but I just wanted to say...

YOU: "They are inriguing and were intended to give a feeling of claustrophobia and disorientation (like that of someone hidden in a container)"

ME: It didn't click. Maybe you could of given us a shot of his anxious eyes inside the container. Then it might of clicked. Maybe he was shivering cold too?

YOU: "I think the fact that we don't come back to him after the Imigrant has fled is good, we don't know what the docker is going to do, is he giving chase or not?"

ME: From an outside point of view, at least from me, I'd say, if you don't cut back, we might forget about the guy he knocked over.

YOU: "The message of the film was more important."

ME: Hmmmm...but you are story telling.

YOU: "The tracking shot you mention is actually a steadicam move. For this I chose a wide lens to illustrate the vastness of the building and to establish the interior. As he moves deeper into the building the lens gets tighter."

ME: I think you should of cut from wide to very close in just a couple of seconds. I'd rather be right there with him. Think about how anxious he must feel in a foreign country after jumping out of a container...'and on the run'

YOU: "I agree I should have had a light for his close-up after he sits down"

ME: The eyes are *very* important. I think you might of stopped to smell the roses a bit more.

YOU: "In terms of make-up it was something we didn't look at enough, it would have made a big difference and we'll invest more time into in the future."

ME: I might of gotten him to sit, lie down and roll over in the container to get a bit dirty. Mess his hair up, some dirt on his face? Maybe spray the face with some water for a shine...?

YOU: "Though the man with the stick does appear a little over angry, you don't have to look far for people like him - fascists and bigots!"

Me: yes ok, but if he was the man who got knocked over in the beginning as the immigrant fled the container then it might of been completely justified and we might of seen him quickly turn bigot? You see, if you had cut back to him getting up after being knocked over, we might of seen a bruise or blood on his face and then we'd know and understand why he was chasing the immigrant. Might he then of had a good reason and clearly demonstrated?

YOU: "Camera shake on the last shot? It wasn't a POV so why?" Not sure what you mean by this, it was hand-held."

ME: yes, but why handheld? Tripod? I guess and elevated aerial shot would of been out of the question? You might of panned out, zoomed out as we watch the two characters make their final exit moves, to closing credits.. all best :) rob
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