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who wants to be an american


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#1 Drew Bienemann

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Posted 26 March 2007 - 06:18 AM

it's been a few months since this film was completed, and it has racked up over 500k views on youtube, so i thought i'd see was everyone here thought. i was dp. it was shot on an arri srii. i used 7217 200t for exteriors and all of the apartment stuff, and 7218 500t for all of the gameshow. the youtube version looks awful, but i hope you'll get the idea.

thanks for taking the time.


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#2 Drew Bienemann

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Posted 28 March 2007 - 09:24 PM

no? nobody?
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#3 david west

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Posted 28 March 2007 - 11:54 PM

no? nobody?

http://www.cinematog...n...c=21358&hl=
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#4 Ram Shani

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Posted 28 March 2007 - 11:58 PM

very good like the cinematography very much it tell the story

like the use of light color and composition

very good art design

powerful story

it doesnt look like a student film
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#5 seth christian

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Posted 04 April 2007 - 05:39 PM

haven't seen a "good watch" in a while. I liked it very much. :)

The shot of him sitting down with the smoke stacks behind him is an
extroadinary shot!

Good story. Acting could've been stronger, but is decent...and doesn't bother me at all.

Keep it up!
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#6 Chayse Irvin

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Posted 05 April 2007 - 12:58 PM

Great short! Loved it!
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#7 Robert G Andrews

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Posted 07 April 2007 - 09:34 AM

Drew... 'Who wants to be an Amerikan' was a peculiar and unique short film where the story was interesting, well shot and edited. I might have thought that it would be a better as a longer film. By the way, the acting was really good.
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#8 Jan Weis

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Posted 07 April 2007 - 06:14 PM

I liked it; you did a great job with the cinematography but never the less there is a lot more room for improvement (I didnt get a pro-vibe on all the shots). Youre on track though and I wish you the best of luck.

/Jan
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#9 Pojoni Liviu jr.

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Posted 08 April 2007 - 04:28 PM

Good job.Nice short!
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#10 Adam Butterworth

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Posted 09 April 2007 - 01:45 PM

fantastic. Great story, good cinematography. Nice job.
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#11 Martin Yernazian

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Posted 09 April 2007 - 06:54 PM

I agree with Jan
The short had some quality, it was a good student film, but that's it
I like the story but it felt kind of cliche to some point I knew that one of the contestants was going to die
for the photography....

The exposure and light was right, some shots I was impress, some other ones I was dissapointed, they where to flat..... where I think It could off been stronger

overall= good job you are on the way!..... feel free to take more risks, to go outside the box.... for a short that was set in Russia I felt that some German expressionism or some Einsestien shots where make some right justice to the story
also.... what i will suggest is to do some research on the era and try to break some boundaries with that

good job
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#12 Drew Bienemann

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Posted 10 April 2007 - 02:57 AM

thanks for all the replies. i love ideas that can improve my work in the future.
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#13 Andrew White

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Posted 10 April 2007 - 10:16 AM

Drew.

Great work! If it didn't explicitly say that it was a student film, I wouldn't have guessed. The story was well thought out and it worked with the few locations. The acting was on point and the editing kept my interest throughout. As for the cinematography, I was wishing I had shot it because it was exactly right for the material. Someone mentioned it being flat, but I thought the living room scene was intentionally flat, and if so, a great choice! My favorite shot was the handheld/dolly of him running free, great energy and execution technically. You should be very proud of your work.

Great message in the end, we should all remember that.

-Andrew
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#14 Daniel Smith

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Posted 11 April 2007 - 08:18 AM

I thought the cinematography was really nice.

Editing was a bit off in a few instances but overall it wasn't too bad.
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#15 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 11 April 2007 - 12:56 PM

Excellent work Drew! The scenes in the mother & son's place looked particularly good. Except just one shot when they close the door after the messenger came...look a bit flat.

But still, excellent work. Did it receive any awards?

Also, editorially, I felt the music at the end didn't fit at all. It was at that moment that all of a sudden I wasn't in Russia anymore, and I was in the middle of some "Garden State"-esque coming of age film.
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#16 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 02:37 AM

I really liked the way you used the 2.40 frame, with centered, wide-angle compositions -- I can see the Wes Anderson/Robert Yeoman influence, especially in the opening shot of the flag, great low-budget idea. Did you shoot Super16 and crop? It worked well with the story. Nice production design too.

I think the writing was very strong structurally (setup, building tension, payoff) and thematically - that's probably the weakest part of most student shorts, and it definitely helps when you're working with a writer/director who has that kind of talent. The film also managed to give a lot of exposition visually, and the use of the TV was a nice touch. I could see that you planned the coverage to really tell the story instead of having a million different setups that didn't mean anything. I wished you had used that wide shot facing the door more often - it looks great.

One shot that could have been better was the OTS of the guy at the door. Lighting-wise, he blends into the door a bit, so some separation from a kino above the door would have given him a bit of a rim light. Also, it would have been nice to have staged Nikolai in the background by the desk, so that when his mother opens the door to reveal him, he would have been very small in the frame. Great idea, I just think the execution could have been better.

I noticed in the first wide shot facing the door that the TV had a scan bar - it's too bad you couldn't get rid of it, as it was a bit distracting and didn't appear in the later shots of the TV. Anyway, nice work! I wish my stuff looked that good.

*Major pet peeve: It would really have been nice to have Russian actors speaking Russian, with subtitles, and have the game show in English. The actors' accents fall apart at times, ruining the mood. Maybe Nikolai speaks English to his mom, and she replies in Russian back... something like that? Oh well, it's not like you were the director. :P
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#17 Drew Bienemann

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Posted 21 April 2007 - 11:29 PM

Did you shoot Super16 and crop?


Yeah we shot it on an SRII with a S16 gate. The actualy aspect ratio is 1.85, though it got stretched when it went on youtube. The scan bar we tried to get rid of, but we couldnt. i guess it's better than having it move up and down though.
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#18 Drew Bienemann

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Posted 24 November 2008 - 11:26 PM

But still, excellent work. Did it receive any awards?


not for cinematography, but it received a lot of recognition and praise overall.
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