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Finshed short, A Hard Day's Knight.


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#1 Ashley Wing

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Posted 11 October 2007 - 09:34 AM

Hey peeps,

I finished ths short a few months ago, didn't get anywhere on the festival circuit so I put it online. I'd like to get some feedback please and try to understand where it fell flat. It's kinda dry humour and that could be a reason why people didn't take to it.



Cheers
Ash
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#2 Ashley Wing

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Posted 15 October 2007 - 06:26 PM

Anyone?
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#3 ross e lea

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Posted 15 October 2007 - 11:16 PM

you're probably not getting any responses here because cinematography.com
is on the upper end of forums...so it doesn't reply very well to non-film projects such as
DVX100, etc...unless its good to exceptional work!

you might try DVXuser.com...you'll get better play with people regarding your short.


But anywho, I viewed your short...and to me I guess there wasn't enough anecdotes
to keep me interested. the dry humor didnt really bother me because I dont mind
that stuff...but the humor seemed to drag just about the whole idea and not a constant
occurance of things to laugh at... in today's world of shorts...you've gotta keep the viewer going!

we've been trying to shoot this one short for over a year now...but the script just isnt
where we know it needs to be in order to keep people driven with entertainment. because
shorts are usually done with DV quality due to budget, terrible lighting, poor acting,
not so great directing, and usually no makeup or quality sets..at all; statistics show that its hard
to keep a person watching a short for longer than 15-20 seconds. Thus...you've gotta make
up the difference by presenting a KILLER story that always keeps the viewer wanting more! And
I thought your idea wasn't bad....but you lacked funny happenings within that idea as a whole.
Next short you have...just sit down for a couple hours at a coffee shop with 2 other buddies
every saturday for a month and brainstorm anecdotes within a story idea and jot them down...then
piece them all out to keep the story driving.

keep it up
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#4 Jian Cyrus Farhoumand

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Posted 16 October 2007 - 12:21 AM

Hey Ashley,

Well, I just watched your film.

Firstly, let me say I did like it. Well done. The premise is funny. And the main actor is good, as are even the supporting actors generally, like his father, and the couple at the pub.

I liked the camera work on the whole, in that it did FEEL like a documentary. So i think u pulled that off.

I also liked the editing, in that it was crisp and u didn't linger on a gag too long. So technically it clean.

Maybe some of the interiors could have been a little more/better lit?

What I will say though is that there seems to have been a LOT of mockumentaries in this kind of style kicking around lately. I made something quite similar as a graduation film from film school but like over two years ago now, which brings me onto the topic of TIMING. Plus, from the loaction of the film I presume ur English. And as you and i no doubt know, The Office was a HUUUUGE hit when it first came onto our screen like 4 or 5 years ago now. (Or was it even longer???) And i must say that your lead actor really reminded me a lot of Mackenzie Crook. And even Ricky Gervais in a couple of scenes. So it's not that he wasn't funny, it's just that (for me) he was funny in a style that I have already seen a LOT of in the past four or five years. If u had brought this film out five years ago i think it might have gone down a storm. The fact tha it is DV rather than film is ok in this case because it is meant to look like a BBC documentary (or something similar), and I think u pulled that off fine. It's just that the accent and mannerisms of ur lead were just sssoooo Mackenzie Crook for me (whether naturally or from direction), which for me kind of therefore made it hard for me to appreciate any of the originality in ur film.

There were some great little moments tho. Like when the old neighbour berates the knight for putting another flyer through his letter box, and the camera operator pans back to the knight, then back to the slammed door, then back to the knight, totally deadpan. Stuff like that is def funny in the traditional sense. It's just that as i watched it i got the feeling that u had watched a LOT of The Office (and i'm talking about the original English version here, for any of our Amercian brothers reading this). So sadly that kind of detracted from my enjoyment of it... So it's really a question of timing with a film like this. Had u brought it out five years ago when this kind of style of mockumentary was new and just coming into vogue i really feel it might have gone down a storm. Right now tho i feel ur just a few years too late, employing a genre and a stye of acting that had sadly become a little over-used and tired of late (certainly on British TV anyway).

Finally, the premise of him actually being a real Knight In Shining Armour in the modred day, was cool. But you could have made his old-fashioned fairy tale self even more of a contrast with the moderd age by making his setting more urban. I.e. some shots of him kitted out in his full armour standing in front of the London Eye/Millenium Wheel, or on the escalator in the morning rush hour going down into a tube in the London Undergrouns surrounded by busy cimmuters in suits. Stuff like that. Maybe him on a horse pulling up at atraffic light next to a Porsche or something. Etc. But by putting him in this rural-looking area it kind of made him less anamolus and didnt make the most of what the contrast could have been.

I was also hoping to see what his FRIENDS made of him. Not just his folks and the locals at the pub. But maybe an old school-mate who is now and investment banker or a software engineer. Someting more modern than him. I thought u were gonna cut to an interview like that after showing the dad saying "Well, i wish he would just get a proper trade." (I like "trade" by the way, i thought that was funny.)

Anyway, feel free to ignore all this. Just my own personal musings on it. I did like it though, and it reminded me of that one I had made t so I felt i should offer my thoughts on the subject as you asked.

But in general, yeah, I think the world of mockumentaries has been mined a tad too heavily in England of late. Brass Eye and The Office were great as they were fresh. But now, it's like, "Oh, another one? Let's change the channel." Like you couldn't bring out Poseidon Adventure straight after Titanic and then complain that people weren't so receptive, u know?
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#5 Ashley Wing

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 01:46 AM

I didn't realise that this site was more for film than digital. :S I'll move on, message recieved.

But thanks for the feedback. I really appreciate it. :)

All the Best
Ash
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#6 Tim Tyler

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 08:16 AM

This site is not more about film than video. It's about cinematography.

Why did you choose to not light the main interview?

I think your short would be more enjoyable if you cut it down to 5 minutes. Get rid of all the knight's "Ummmm... Yeah, ummmm... you know..." parts and remove the spacing between his sentences. Add some music hits between segments.
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#7 Timothy Wallace

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 12:22 PM

I liked it, but I have to second Ross's "there wasn't enough anecdotes" and Tim's "Get rid of all the knight's 'Ummmm... Yeah, ummmm... you know...' parts ... Add music"

Generally, I came away from it without a strong sense of how to respond. I didn't find it compellingly humorous (dry or otherwise), perhaps in part because it came across (to me) as approaching pathetic (the story or subject, not the production), but not quite enough to appear absurd or comically over-the-top.

I think it would have been helped by more scenes of dynamic interaction between characters (like the angry resident), and/or more creativity (even irony) in the dialog, which otherwise just seemed a bit flat, and some music.

(I hope my comments don't come across as too harsh. They're meant only as constructive criticism.)

Regards,
Tim

Edited by Timothy Wallace, 17 October 2007 - 12:25 PM.

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Glidecam

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Willys Widgets

Visual Products

Aerial Filmworks

Wooden Camera

Rig Wheels Passport

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

CineTape

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Abel Cine

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

FJS International, LLC

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