Jump to content


Photo

The First 200'


  • Please log in to reply
19 replies to this topic

#1 Douglas Wilkinson

Douglas Wilkinson
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 30 posts
  • Other
  • Ottawa

Posted 23 April 2007 - 08:32 PM

This coming Saturday, I will finally settle down to filmmaking, something I've been wanting to do since I was 16. I have 200' of colour neg. 16mm film in my fridge, a rented non-reflex Bolex and a meter. Plus two actors, a metropolis and the sun.

With such limited (and aged) resources, I thought I'd appeal to the forum for any cardinal advice on how to avoid a disaster. Specifically, in terms of exposure - can I be "safe" and "creative" simultaneously?

Thank-you.
  • 0

#2 Chris Keth

Chris Keth
  • Sustaining Members
  • 4427 posts
  • 1st Assistant Camera
  • Los Angeles

Posted 23 April 2007 - 10:57 PM

This coming Saturday, I will finally settle down to filmmaking, something I've been wanting to do since I was 16. I have 200' of colour neg. 16mm film in my fridge, a rented non-reflex Bolex and a meter. Plus two actors, a metropolis and the sun.

With such limited (and aged) resources, I thought I'd appeal to the forum for any cardinal advice on how to avoid a disaster. Specifically, in terms of exposure - can I be "safe" and "creative" simultaneously?

Thank-you.


Absolutely. Think about what kind of look you want in terms of where you want the action lit from. A 3/4 back light is a nice look in the city since bounce from buildings will often provide adequate fill. This, combined with the knowledge of the sun's path through the sky will let you choose a location with the characteristics you want. It's a bit trickier leaving everything up to the sun but you'll get a good learning experience out of it.

Also, rehearse plenty before a take and your 200' will last a good while.
  • 0

#3 Douglas Wilkinson

Douglas Wilkinson
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 30 posts
  • Other
  • Ottawa

Posted 24 April 2007 - 06:11 AM

Thanks.
I've scheduled the shoot for dawn, so the angle of light will be relatively severe.
It's good to hear that 200' can still be used for something worthwhile, if used judiciously. I realize I've penned myself in with such a small shooting ratio, but I think I can still get something out of it, if only a minute or two.
  • 0

#4 Brian Dzyak

Brian Dzyak
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1517 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Encino, California USA

Posted 24 April 2007 - 07:55 AM

It was George Lucas who said that, "if you have 16 feet of film, make a 16 foot long movie."
  • 0

#5 Douglas Wilkinson

Douglas Wilkinson
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 30 posts
  • Other
  • Ottawa

Posted 24 April 2007 - 06:56 PM

It was George Lucas who said that, "if you have 16 feet of film, make a 16 foot long movie."


That's a terrific quote. I hadn't heard that.
Thanks for the boost.
  • 0

#6 Algis Kemezys

Algis Kemezys
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 85 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Montreal

Posted 26 April 2007 - 10:11 PM

Yes indeed plenty of rehersals. A really good location scout. Story board the sequences for accurate renditions. Make sure the film gate is clean of hairs. Find a way to incorporate video so that you gain some more time. Keep your actors inspired. Thats all that I can think of.
  • 0

#7 James Steven Beverly

James Steven Beverly
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 4199 posts
  • Director
  • El Paso, Texas

Posted 27 April 2007 - 12:28 AM

It's been said that theater is 3 boards and 2 actors, I'd say film is 2 actors and a camera. Give 'em Hell and post your results, I'd love to see it. (BTW If you're worried that 33 might be too old, I'd be in REAL trouble if I let that sort of thing worry me, besides who gave 20 somethings a monopoly on having something to say?) B)
  • 0

#8 Tim O'Connor

Tim O'Connor
  • Sustaining Members
  • 860 posts
  • Other
  • Boston, Massachusetts

Posted 27 April 2007 - 10:27 AM

This coming Saturday, I will finally settle down to filmmaking, something I've been wanting to do since I was 16. I have 200' of colour neg. 16mm film in my fridge, a rented non-reflex Bolex and a meter. Plus two actors, a metropolis and the sun.

With such limited (and aged) resources, I thought I'd appeal to the forum for any cardinal advice on how to avoid a disaster. Specifically, in terms of exposure - can I be "safe" and "creative" simultaneously?

Thank-you.


"Is 33 too old...?"

Somebody wrote to newspaper advice columnist Dear Abby and said that he wanted to go to
medical school but he was getting a late start and he was concerned because he'd be 36 by
the time he was a doctor.

She replied by asking him how old he would be if he didn't go!

Have fun and good luck!
  • 0

#9 Douglas Wilkinson

Douglas Wilkinson
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 30 posts
  • Other
  • Ottawa

Posted 27 April 2007 - 08:51 PM

Thanks for all the encouragement. I just had a quick beer with my two actors, night before a 7:30 am call. The skies are grey, but what can you do.
If the end result is basically presentable, I'll post.
Great depth of knowledge and goodwill on this board.
Thanks again.
  • 0

#10 Douglas Wilkinson

Douglas Wilkinson
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 30 posts
  • Other
  • Ottawa

Posted 09 August 2007 - 09:28 PM

Here's what I managed with my first 200' feet of 16mm (plus 50' of 8mm for good measure).

View on Vimeo

Thanks again for all the encouragement this spring.
  • 0

#11 Robert Hughes

Robert Hughes
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 873 posts
  • Sound Department
  • Minneapolis

Posted 12 August 2007 - 09:41 PM

33 may be too old to be making druggie movies. :rolleyes:

I think I reused the first 200' of film I shot as a Halloween costume, wrapping it around myself like a mummy.

Edited by Robert Hughes, 12 August 2007 - 09:44 PM.

  • 0

#12 Michael Waite

Michael Waite
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 71 posts
  • Other
  • Sydney, Australia

Posted 13 August 2007 - 09:05 AM

I think you did well Doug. I was going to complain about the shakey Super 8 shots but then I watched it again & realised that was meant to be the guy remembering home movie footage, so it made sense then. Some of the framing I thought was very nice esp near the end with the guy in the porkpie hat. I also liked that there wasn't too much camera movement & also that there isn't a lot of fast cutting. Perhaps that was a result of not having enough stock, but I'd like to think it was deliberate.
  • 0

#13 Douglas Wilkinson

Douglas Wilkinson
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 30 posts
  • Other
  • Ottawa

Posted 18 August 2007 - 04:16 PM

33 may be too old to be making druggie movies.

It was meant to be a bookie movie. :(


I think you did well Doug. I was going to complain about the shakey Super 8 shots but then I watched it again & realised that was meant to be the guy remembering home movie footage, so it made sense then. Some of the framing I thought was very nice esp near the end with the guy in the porkpie hat. I also liked that there wasn't too much camera movement & also that there isn't a lot of fast cutting. Perhaps that was a result of not having enough stock, but I'd like to think it was deliberate.


Thank-you Michael.
The framing was deliberate, PARTICULARLY the shot of Porkpie Hat looking out over the river. In fact, the whole notion for the film stemmed from this image, which kicked around in my mind's eye for several months.
My favourite films have very steady, set frames and sequences. This is my goal, visually, no doubt.
Thanks fo watching it through.
  • 0

#14 Jonathan Bowerbank

Jonathan Bowerbank
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2815 posts
  • 1st Assistant Camera
  • San Francisco, CA

Posted 18 August 2007 - 05:52 PM

A good first effort in working with film. I think you could definitely do a bit more color grading to balance things out, perhaps to bump up the contrast in their faces. Just the one handheld shot of the guy walking along the shore is the only poorly framed shot. Your wide shots, compositions and symmetry was good (I liked the shot from behind the dealer with the lake in the background) until the scene by the lake where you kinda broke suit and went for the low angles. Some nicely composed and symmetrical head-ons and two-shots would have been nice for the exchange.

Not bad for putting only 200' to use. Look forward to seeing more stuff :)
  • 0

#15 James Steven Beverly

James Steven Beverly
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 4199 posts
  • Director
  • El Paso, Texas

Posted 19 August 2007 - 02:33 AM

33 may be too old to be making druggie movies. :rolleyes:


Oh really? I wasn't aware of the subject matter time limit. Exactly what IS the cut-off age for making a druggie movie and how old do you have to be before you can legally make a serious adult film? Does the Writer's Guild have those signs that say "You must be this tall for your script to include divorce" ? I'm just curious. How about a raunchy comedy or introspective religious picture? What if it's a raunchy comedy about a guy who's having a religious crisis and is very introspective about it while he and his buddies set up an elaborate scheme to nail the cheer-leading squad? Are there any fines involved? What IF I make a teen sex comedy with druggies in it BUT set the movie way back in the 70's just after the last ice age when I was a teenager and we held classes in a cave, instead of setting it in '07 because OBVIOUSLY I could never have anything relevant to say and couldn't POSSIBLY remember what it was like to actually BE a teen, do I still have to see the judge or can my lawyer plead it out if I agree to make restitution to the guy who wrote Napoleon Dynamite? Please let me know what the rules are, I'd hate to have to go to prison for aggravated film making, felonious story content and writing over the age limit. <_<
  • 0

#16 Douglas Wilkinson

Douglas Wilkinson
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 30 posts
  • Other
  • Ottawa

Posted 19 August 2007 - 08:09 AM

A good first effort in working with film. I think you could definitely do a bit more color grading to balance things out, perhaps to bump up the contrast in their faces. Just the one handheld shot of the guy walking along the shore is the only poorly framed shot. Your wide shots, compositions and symmetry was good (I liked the shot from behind the dealer with the lake in the background) until the scene by the lake where you kinda broke suit and went for the low angles. Some nicely composed and symmetrical head-ons and two-shots would have been nice for the exchange.

Not bad for putting only 200' to use. Look forward to seeing more stuff :)


Thanks Jonathan, very kind.
I had requested a dolly kit for that shot along the shore - I wanted to roll in toward the actor at the same pace as his walking, slowing and pausing with him, ending with a close shot of his face. The dolly kit from my local film co-op was unavailable, so I tried simply walking toward him. He ended far too low in the frame. Bummer, but I used anyway.
It's actually quite gratifying to see people on the board validate my mistakes as well as those things I got right.
Thanks again.

dw
PS: Following a course in using the Eclair NPR, I'm planning a fall/winter project with sound and dialogue. Without a doubt I'll post the results here. The feedback has been professional, encouraging, specific, generous. I've had a great experience with this board.
  • 0

#17 James Steven Beverly

James Steven Beverly
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 4199 posts
  • Director
  • El Paso, Texas

Posted 20 August 2007 - 05:02 AM

I honestly think the biggest problem with this film is editing (and quite frankly the music but that's easily fixable) This is definitely a "less could be SOOO much more" situation. If I had a AVI of the film, I could show you what I mean. I would go ahead and list the cuts I would recommend but there are so many that it would take a while to do that. Basically it's cutting some extraneous shots and moving a few others around. The cinematography, acting, story idea and feel of the piece is nice so technically everything is fine but the editing is where it could be improved. Overall though, it's very good for a first time effort, excellent as a matter of fact....for what it's worth B)

(PS it really does look like a drug deal. If you wanted it to be understood as a bookie and a gambler, the one cut-away you actually needed was a close up of the betting slips. ON the positive side, it works just fine as a drug deal, maybe better.)
  • 0

#18 Douglas Wilkinson

Douglas Wilkinson
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 30 posts
  • Other
  • Ottawa

Posted 20 August 2007 - 08:14 AM

I honestly think the biggest problem with this film is editing (and quite frankly the music but that's easily fixable) This is definitely a "less could be SOOO much more" situation. If I had a AVI of the film, I could show you what I mean. I would go ahead and list the cuts I would recommend but there are so many that it would take a while to do that. Basically it's cutting some extraneous shots and moving a few others around. The cinematography, acting, story idea and feel of the piece is nice so technically everything is fine but the editing is where it could be improved. Overall though, it's very good for a first time effort, excellent as a matter of fact....for what it's worth B)

(PS it really does look like a drug deal. If you wanted it to be understood as a bookie and a gambler, the one cut-away you actually needed was a close up of the betting slips. ON the positive side, it works just fine as a drug deal, maybe better.)


Thanks James.
If I had that AVI, I would definitely send it along; I'd love an editing demo. This is 16mm, transferred to MiniDV, edited in iMovie, compressed to Quicktime, converted to third-party Flash (Vimeo). Bit of a journey. I could send you the original 7-minute .dv file but it's over a Gigabyte. Not exactly email-able. Thanks for the offer though. I need as much schooling as I can get.
By the way, when I said 'bookie,' I meant 'book-y.' A film about a drug dealer who forgoes payment and instead takes his buyer's novel because of an old memory of having his dad reading to him (8mm footage "bookending" the film). I can see the confusion though.
Thanks again.
PS: The music is me :(

Edited by Douglas Wilkinson, 20 August 2007 - 08:15 AM.

  • 0

#19 James Steven Beverly

James Steven Beverly
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 4199 posts
  • Director
  • El Paso, Texas

Posted 25 August 2007 - 04:41 AM

Yeah, too much exposition for a silent short I think BUT you can still make something nice out of it, as for the music, it wasn't that the music was particularly bad just inappropriate for the piece and again this is just MY opinion so take it for what it's worth. If you want to, go to my profile and mail a DVD to the studio address there and I'll take a stab at re-editing it and then mail you back a DVD of the edited material and you can see if you think it works better and what I was talking about. (I've even got some canned music I could put in to give you an idea of what style might work better for the piece.
  • 0

#20 Robert Hughes

Robert Hughes
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 873 posts
  • Sound Department
  • Minneapolis

Posted 05 September 2007 - 01:39 PM

Please let me know what the rules are, I'd hate to have to go to prison for aggravated film making, felonious story content and writing over the age limit. <_<

LOL!
  • 0


Willys Widgets

FJS International, LLC

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Technodolly

Visual Products

Rig Wheels Passport

Paralinx LLC

Abel Cine

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Opal

Metropolis Post

CineLab

Tai Audio

CineTape

Glidecam

Ritter Battery

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

The Slider

Wooden Camera

Aerial Filmworks

rebotnix Technologies

Rig Wheels Passport

Paralinx LLC

Opal

CineLab

Aerial Filmworks

Willys Widgets

Glidecam

Technodolly

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Broadcast Solutions Inc

The Slider

Visual Products

FJS International, LLC

Tai Audio

Metropolis Post

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Wooden Camera

CineTape

Abel Cine

rebotnix Technologies

Ritter Battery