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#1 Jesse Frank

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Posted 13 May 2016 - 09:56 PM

THIS IS AN EXPERIMENTAL FILM.

 

Please do not judge this film for it's story.  But I would definitely appreciate as many people as possible critiquing this film for the production value.  Any suggestions about audio, video, or special effect are much needed.  I know that the story is terrible, as there really isn't one.

 

 


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#2 Macks Fiiod

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Posted 13 May 2016 - 11:08 PM

 

Off the top of my head, the number one thing that stood out as needing improvement was your management with non-actors (or bad actors, depending on what experience they have). If an actor can't quite reach an emotion, I put that on them. If they're all over the place or not even close, I put that on the director. The scene at 3:08 is what I'm primarily referring to.

 

Secondarily, the composition on the walking scenes in the night time street came a bit awkward with the lack of steadiness and subject placement. I understand that handheld can have a cool effect, but it was maybe a bit too much.

 

As for sound, your ADR lines at 13:40 need a total overhaul. Look into mic placement and EQ when it comes to mixing in loop lines. For that particular shot, get almost 3 feet of distance from the mic to the talent and pass out those bass frequencies. The timing could be tightened up as well. The alley scene at 3:08 could've also benefited from ADR (or a more refined process if you did ADR).

I could show you a couple processes for ADR on Skype if you had the time.

 

I'd recommend you make a street-racing movie cause for some reason the quality of your cinematography and sfx skyrockets with any shot involving a car.


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#3 Landon D. Parks

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Posted 13 May 2016 - 11:58 PM

I agree with much everything Macks said. The ADR was most shocking to me in the scene at 13:42 when she's getting into the car. Not only did the audio appear out of sync with her lips (slightly, but it's there on my screen), but it just sounds fake. As Macks said, it would help to study up on ADR. ADR is one of the hardest post processes to do convincingly. Many people assume you just record someone saying the line into the mic - but there is so much more too it, like microphone placement (if they are far away from the camera in the shoot, it helps to keep back from the mic when recording), and well as adding some post effects that could better help sell the ADR.

 

The acting needs major work. I really hate to blame acting on the filmmakers, but I almost always do. One of the most important jobs of the director is to find good actors.


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#4 Macks Fiiod

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Posted 14 May 2016 - 12:29 AM

 

 

One of the most important jobs of the director is to find good actors.

I wouldn't necessarily say "find", because you can only do so much with a given budget (but yes if given a budget, that's a serious skill). Just know how to work with what you have. In voice direction for example, you can make someone sound like an entirely different actor with the same vocal tamber if you talk it into them enough.

 

I'm a stickler with the points I brought up because they're free to fix.


Edited by Macks Fiiod, 14 May 2016 - 12:30 AM.

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#5 Landon D. Parks

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Posted 14 May 2016 - 01:03 AM

Sorry Macks, I just don't buy the acting thing. Having directed six different plays and musicals over a number of years, I have sat in on my share of casting calls. I never had a shortage of actors to choose from, and that was in theatre. Everyone want's to be a in movie, so the turnout could only be better. I never settled until I found the perfect actors for the roles. It didn't cost me anything more - other than a couple extra days of casting.

 

For Narnia, I spent nearly six months casting - saw over 1200 kids for the 4 roles. Guess what? My time and effort succeeded because I got amazing actors who played their parts great, and didn't require I accommodate them to change their acting to meet my goals. 

 

I'm a firm believer in that 90% of the directors job is casting the right actors. Get that right, and your movie / play / musical will direct itself. Settle for bad actors (or just actors not right for the roles), and you'll spend forever working with the actors, pushing your production into overtime and making you sweaty wondering if you'll get everything done you need to get done. 


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#6 Macks Fiiod

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Posted 14 May 2016 - 01:51 AM

 

 

Everyone want's to be a in movie, so the turnout could only be better.

 

Not everyone with dedication or a brain for the craft. It is rare (not impossible) you find a good actor for the screen that isn't already out of the price range for a bare bones indie project, which to some extent we are all dealing with. That's one of the reasons to reinforce the concept of making sure your vision/talent is contagious, especially if your vision is a unique one. Not everyone is capable of that, but you won't know until you try a few times.

 

As for your casting of 1200 kids, you had to have had some kind of platform/budget/extended time to pull that off, I word this to someone who might not have that so they can work to that level. Also meeting one's "acting goals" is a very subjective point of reference that's, again, based on vision. I don't doubt that you had the right kids who played to the back row and all that, but there are certain factors with acting for the screen which are much more specific than stage.

The frame of sarcasm/insincerity (and not the "haha I'm British, look at me" sarcasm) is something that I always have to teach, even if the actor I'm working with is considered accomplished in stage/voice over/etc.

 

Now that's just something that speaks to my style. This guy with the really good car shots could have some other kind of emotion he likes riding which is very specific in his network as well. In that case, encouraging him to turn nothing into something could be beneficial.

 

Nearly everything I've done involving other actors up until this point has been with what you would consider the "wrong actors" (and you're 100% right about that). However I have never has a bad read or fell behind deadline because I have the ability to quickly convince people that they want to be on the same wavelength as me. That's a major chunk of what being a film director is all about. A lot of those actors I mentioned were working for free for their own portfolio, and another chunk of those actors weren't even actors. If I was doing stage my advice would not apply, but this guy's asking for screen advice.

 

End of the day takeaway; plan around your resources, then you can plan on having resources.


Edited by Macks Fiiod, 14 May 2016 - 01:54 AM.

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#7 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 14 May 2016 - 02:13 AM

Auditions are key, casting the right actor for a role is so important that's it's time well spent. I don't know about the US but in the UK there are minimuim rates for professional actors, which are surprisingly low and sometimes pretty big actors will work for them for a project they like.


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#8 Macks Fiiod

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Posted 14 May 2016 - 02:26 AM

 

 

Auditions are key, casting the right actor for a role is so important that's it's time well spent. I don't know about the US but in the UK there are minimuim rates for professional actors, which are surprisingly low and sometimes pretty big actors will work for them for a project they like.

How low are we talking here?


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#9 Jesse Frank

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Posted 14 May 2016 - 08:12 AM

Thank you Mack and Landon for giving me your feedback.

 

I would greatly appreciate it if ya'll could hash it out somewhere else.


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#10 Mark Dunn

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Posted 14 May 2016 - 08:12 AM

It may not be helpful, but it's 3 or £400/week for theatre.


Edited by Mark Dunn, 14 May 2016 - 08:13 AM.

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#11 Freya Black

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Posted 14 May 2016 - 03:03 PM

Sorry Macks, I just don't buy the acting thing. Having directed six different plays and musicals over a number of years, I have sat in on my share of casting calls. I never had a shortage of actors to choose from, and that was in theatre. Everyone want's to be a in movie, so the turnout could only be better. I never settled until I found the perfect actors for the roles. It didn't cost me anything more - other than a couple extra days of casting.

 

We just had a project completely fall apart because of casting. We just couldn't get the right actors in time and lost the location.

Now we are rethinking how we are going to go about everything and it's changing the stuff we can make. Here in the UK actors are much more excited about theatre as you can have a proper career in that and if you want to be a star then there is youtube for that now as well, which mostly just leaves the people who are really committed and interested in screen acting.

 

Having good connections in theatre will definitely help I'm sure and I keep getting really big US actors contacting me about being in films, the most recent was a lead in one of my fave movies ever but I rarely hear from UK actors.

 

I think it's especially going to be a problem getting younger actors who are less and less excited about movies and cinema.


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#12 Freya Black

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Posted 14 May 2016 - 03:04 PM

Auditions are key, casting the right actor for a role is so important that's it's time well spent. I don't know about the US but in the UK there are minimuim rates for professional actors, which are surprisingly low and sometimes pretty big actors will work for them for a project they like.

 

 

In my experience the actors are really excited but their agents not so much.


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#13 Landon D. Parks

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Posted 14 May 2016 - 05:09 PM

That is really odd... Around here in the states most actors do theatre for the fun of it, knowing they can only really make any money if they land on Broadway in one of the 20 or so shows running at any time, so around here I think most people view film as the end-all-be-all and theatre as a hobby. I'm currently working on a short fan film I'm shooting over a weekend next month. I made the mistake of holding an open casting call like I had done so many times in theatre... Had 350 local actors show up for the 3 roles in the show.

 

Maybe it could be that not being in one of the major film markets like LA or NY, that being cast in a film around here (Ohio) would send people from all walks of life to audition for a shot at it. I feel that it might actually be harder in LA and NY, where there is actually a fair amount of paying gigs going around, and non-paid stuff tends to be looked at as suspect or not worth the time. most of the actors that came out for my short audition were local community theatre actors, even a few Equity actors showed up. Don't know rather I can cast Equity actors in a film or not... I guess you could.

 

I have also began the process of casting for The Rune Chronicle, my fantasy project. I have decided to start a different approach this time, approaching local arts schools, community theatres, etc about the audition for the childrens' roles. As nice as it was seeing over 1,000 kids at one time, I think I'd much prefer that some of the pre-work be done for me this time around. I could hire a casting director, but I'm much too hands on for that approach, and don't really have the money in the budget - I'd rather put the money on screen than in large crews. 

 

May also have to do with not working with SAG level actors... I feel that more people will turn out for a chance to be a movie, especially kids, if you are willing to see non-professional actors. I cannot imagine trying to cast a SAG feature here in Cincinnati... I don't even think we have 10 SAG actors living here.


Edited by Landon D. Parks, 14 May 2016 - 05:18 PM.

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