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#1 Doug Zajaczkowski

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Posted 08 December 2007 - 08:01 AM

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This was a project for my Directing I class shot on a DVX100b. We were given a terrible script (on purpose) to work with as part of an exercise to make something out of very little. The movie had to be between 3-5 minutes and use the dialogue provided (except for one line you could add at the very end).

I've uploaded the project to Vimeo, but something they do during the encoding process makes the footage look interlaced. If anyone has suggestions for better places to upload please let me know.



View on Vimeo


The project is being turned in on Tuesday, so any and all feedback from you guys is extremely welcome.




Here's the script:

FADE IN:
INT./EXT/ LOCATION – SOMETIME
Descriptive lines…
CHARACTER A
What was that?
CHARACTER B
I think it came from over there.
CHARACTER A
Come on.
CHARACTER B
Check it out.
CHARACTER A
What the…?
CHARACTER B
Do something.
CHARACTER A
I don’t know…
CHARACTER B
Uh, oh…
CHARACTER A
(INSERT ONE LINE OF DIALOGUE HERE)
FADE OUT

Edited by Doug Zajaczkowski, 08 December 2007 - 08:02 AM.

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#2 Walter Graff

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Posted 08 December 2007 - 09:17 AM

I loved it!! Nice work.
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#3 Doug Zajaczkowski

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Posted 08 December 2007 - 06:22 PM

This version is hosted at a better quality: http://www.stage6.co.../video/1929752/
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#4 Alex Ellerman

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Posted 08 December 2007 - 08:34 PM

Thought it was awesome! I think if anybody saw that they would ask you to write up an outline for their next music video! the lighting stuff you did was really cool, but i was mostly intrigued by the vision you were able to create from that script.. when the mind is forced to work in strict confines, we are able to be the most creative, TS Eliot said something to that effect. congrats. I would cut the funny bit at the end; totally undermines a great piece.
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#5 Doug Zajaczkowski

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Posted 08 December 2007 - 11:12 PM

Alex, thank you for your feedback! I try to make things that I'd enjoy watching myself, but knowing that someone else enjoyed my work gives me a great feeling of validation. I'm glad you liked it.

The funny bit at the end will not be shown in class on Tuesday but was put in there to show to my friends back home. Still, if I'm going to be putting it up on the web and asking people for a critique of the piece I should probably edit it out.

Thanks again.
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#6 Walter Graff

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Posted 09 December 2007 - 07:16 AM

I say leave it in. If you take it out, you've got a classic cliche, end of the world scenario, that I've seen a thousand times. If you leave it in you've got a well made sci fi suspense that ends with an inside joke and makes it completely original, while still sticking in your mind.
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#7 Lars Zemskih

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Posted 09 December 2007 - 09:23 PM

Looks awesome! Great work! You don't even need to explain that you were given a bad script, I think it stands well on it's own. Great light and sound design.

Was it really DVX100b? How did you get the stills in higher resolution? Did you shoot it anamorphic?
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#8 Doug Zajaczkowski

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Posted 09 December 2007 - 10:10 PM

Looks awesome! Great work! You don't even need to explain that you were given a bad script, I think it stands well on it's own. Great light and sound design.

Was it really DVX100b? How did you get the stills in higher resolution? Did you shoot it anamorphic?


Thanks Emile! Yes it was all on a DVX100b. I believe this camera is capable of much much more beautiful things and I hope exploit all of its potential. I got the stills by using Print Scrn with the editor open and pasting them into MS Paint then saving them as JPEGS. I shot everything in Squeeze mode and cropped it further 12.5% on top and bottom.
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#9 Lars Zemskih

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 07:12 PM

Thanks Emile! Yes it was all on a DVX100b. I believe this camera is capable of much much more beautiful things and I hope exploit all of its potential. I got the stills by using Print Scrn with the editor open and pasting them into MS Paint then saving them as JPEGS. I shot everything in Squeeze mode and cropped it further 12.5% on top and bottom.


Well, you certainly pulled a lot from the camera, I've been using it for a long time and I wouldn't guess very easily that it was shot on that, as usually there is this distinguishing noise when shooting with it, again good cinematography.

In the scene where the main guy is making the other two talk, is he backlit with the same sort of florescent?
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#10 Doug Zajaczkowski

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 10:43 PM

Yeah, the three fluorescents in the room were the only things I was using for lighting (with the help of a white foam board for fill where needed).
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#11 Jimmie Armentrout

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 01:30 AM

That was awesome - keep up the good work!!
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#12 ross e lea

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 05:55 PM

I LOVED IT!

dark and differnt. cinematography was about the best you can create with DVX....however, it looks like your
post-work was done well to bring that out as well.....at any rate...well done.
could have been more vindication with explaining the "all you need is love", even though I get it...not sure if
typical viewers would...and you have to balance for that.

the shot that shows the man's eye looking out of the mask at the two men is a VERY haunting shot! good stuff!

keep it up!
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#13 Doug Zajaczkowski

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 07:00 PM

thanks a lot guys!
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#14 Greg Johnson

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Posted 20 December 2007 - 01:49 AM

Awesome. I love your style! I would have done the classic cliche` two guys talking on a park bench or something lame like that. Very cool images, sound and use of the dialog.

I showed it to my writer/director friend who hates everything, and he loved it!! (except the guy wearing glasses, but still he loved it) Then he talked about it for about 10 minutes in the car when we where going to some event thing.

Can't wait to see more of your work Doug!

- Greg
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#15 Doug Zajaczkowski

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Posted 26 December 2007 - 11:03 PM

much appreciated feedback Greg!

and yes, the glasses... the guys on the tables were a little pretty for animated corpses... i'm just gonna have to chalk that one up to the rejuvenating properties of fallout radiation.

i'm searching ebay right now for a lens to go on my new letus and hope to post something interesting in the not-so-distant future for everyone to enjoy/critique (hooray xmas money!).

-doug

Edited by Doug Zajaczkowski, 26 December 2007 - 11:05 PM.

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#16 Jason Reimer

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Posted 28 December 2007 - 01:35 AM

Doug, that was great! I liked they way it looked and it kept my attention the whole time. Any chance you might want to share some things like lighting setups, camera settings, etc?
Anyway, keep up the good work, bro.

Jay Reimer
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#17 Doug Zajaczkowski

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Posted 29 December 2007 - 02:25 AM

Sure thing Jason. The piece was shot on the DVX100B with the following scene file settings:

Detail = -7
V. Detail = -7
Detail Coring = -7
Chroma Level = 0
Chroma Phase = 0
Color Temp = 0
Master Ped = -7
A. Iris Level = -3
Gamma = Cinelike
Knee = Auto
Matrix = Cinelike
Skin Tone Dtl = Off
V Detail Freq = Thin
Progressive = 24P(ADV)

The lights used were 3 standard 4ft fluorescents, which were either hung by their extension cords or leaned up against the wall. A piece of white foam board was used as a bounce for a few things.

That's about it, other than the costume which is a Russian gas mask I got on ebay for about $6 and a British flight suit I found in the basement of a local army navy store for $30.

Thanks for the comments!
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#18 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 29 December 2007 - 03:02 AM

Just saw this, really nice work Doug! The images have a lot of texture and soul and you really were able to apply that rough handheld aesthetic without it being gimmicky at all. Nice job finding locations, excellent compositions, bold choice in the lighting to go so dark and backlit with the flickering fluoros. I really like the color palette and the post sound is awesome. Just goes to show what can be done on a low budget with a little ingenuity, a good concept, and strong technique.

I'd be very proud to have something like that on my reel. Keep up the good work!
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#19 Doug Zajaczkowski

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Posted 29 December 2007 - 10:49 PM

Thanks Satsuki!
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#20 Jason Reimer

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Posted 31 December 2007 - 09:49 PM

Hey Doug,
What was your approach to grading this in post? Your camera settings would seem to yield a pretty neutral image as far as the colors go (unless you white-balanced in a certain direction), and the blacks seem far darker than a -7 master pedestal would normally yield. I've gotten blacks that dark in-camera, but that was using the B. Press gamma curve and with the master pedestal dropped all the way to -15. Anyway, just wondering how you approached that side of things.

Happy New Year!
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