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  #1  
Old 12-21-2011, 11:24 AM
So I directed my first two (SHORT) films ever...Need Opinions!

So these were done in my class at college in an intro film course. Never touched a camera or lighting or anything before this class. I only really watched movies before taking this class.

I need opinions please!

These are both under 3 minutes long. I focused mostly on atmosphere and style rather than story with these two films


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0dMQ2pvt1I

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TiSwDenF-PY
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  #2  
Old 12-21-2011, 09:04 PM
Lol, the first one is just silly and unreal, but this is a student film and you've never touched a cam before in your life so that comes to pass. At least it's not totally amateur. Plus the ADR is too obvious and not exactly perfect. Maybe pay more attention to syncing it up, as well as maybe using some post work on the voice so it doesn't sound completely "studio" - maybe add some 'atmosphere' to your sound track, like background noise - distant horns, etc..depending on your location.

The second one, I dig the simplicity of one shot and letting the action unravel with the addition of the fosset running, sort of adding tension. I can understand since you guys shot on film you probably had limited supply of it so you had to do it all in one take, correct me if I'm wrong - cause it comes off not 'smooth' enough and noticeable with the small fuckups like the dude holding that door open for a bit so it doesn't close - and the attacker obviously not connecting his punches heh.

But overall, for a first time filmmaker it's not too bad. Props, keep it up yo!
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  #3  
Old 12-23-2011, 05:51 PM
Agree with Digi on all points.

For the first film, the audio caught me off-guard. Because there's clearly no room tones or background noise and the audio just comes in, crystal clear - obviously ADR'd, it actually surprised me when the guy spoke because I was under the impression from the lack of room tone that it was a silent film with audio played over it.

I know you said you didn't concentrate on story but I gotta say I groaned a little when I realized what kind of short it was (hitmen). As far as style goes, I thought it tried too hard for the "cool hitmen" vibe which rarely comes off well in student shorts. I did like the first shot/last shot. I was far more intrigued in the first shot when I thought it was going to be a surreal/weird horror film, and I like the way you used the foreground to your advantage at the end. The editing was a little disjointed (nothing that took me out of it though) and I think you could work a bit on matching shots together better. Still, it looked like you actually spliced the film together physically (from the jumps in the cuts) which I know can be hard to judge for timing.

Your second short is definitely far more successful - although I again groaned a bit with the hitman/assassin angle. The problem here for me is simply that I'm not seeing anything I haven't seen on that end. That said, you did say it was more about atmosphere/style for these two and as with Digi, I liked the one-shot take (which I assume was a requirement for this assignment).

Actually with both short films, your shot compositions aren't bad for the most part (though the high-angle shot in the first one was distracting) - I've seen far worse from starting filmmakers. I like that you aren't afraid to use depth. In the second one especially, the faucet running in the foreground, and the action happening in both the midground and background creates a lot of tension that works well.

So overall, still a good start for the first time. I've seen significantly worse things from first-time filmmakers and I think you'll get the hitmen/assassin focus out of your system as you go on and be better for it (trust me, I had a hitmen phase in my high school films too ).
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  #4  
Old 12-24-2011, 01:22 AM
Agree with all the points mentioned - Especially the one about creating a fuller sound palette. You won't believe how much a simple ambient track and some spot SFX improve the reality of your film - some EQ on the ADR would help too, but if you create a fuller sound design, the dialogue won't stick out so much. I'm also normally a huge fan of film music, but I think the score selection you picked here is a little over the top; the film becomes way too dependent on it, and it distracts from the story. I would have maybe picked something a bit more low key, and also, think about when you can use silence to your advantage instead of having a constant, pounding score.

Script-wise there really isn't anything fresh or new in either film; but it's hard to expect such a thing from a first-timer, so instead, allow me to give you props for some of your shot selections. Especially in the first film: the first shot, when he walks into the frame-within-a-frame in the kitchen, and then again near the middle of the film, when you use round-shaped holes in a fence to frame the characters. This is very clever, and I always like seeing good use of the environment in films.

That said, on subsequent films I'd put a little thought into the art direction! I know it's a lot to handle what with the actors, lighting, story, etc. but at the end of the day, it's what's in front of the camera that counts the most. So for example, in the second film, you set up a very interesting shot that uses depth in an interesting way, as JC mentioned, but you have that god-awful ugly charger plugged into the electrical socket in the wall which is dead-center in the frame and is quite distracting!

Digi and JC really covered everything else I would have to say, though. So instead, allow me to ask you: Do you go to NYFA or NYU? I can recognize that B&W 16mm reversal anywhere, and we're the only two schools left actually shooting on that stock! In fact, it has to be NYU; NYFA don't edit on flatbeds, and I can see your splices! I also recognize the actor from your first film; he's appeared as an assassin-type in a number of shorts produced by my classmates in my film class this past semester...

Last edited by Monotreme; 12-24-2011 at 01:31 AM..
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  #5  
Old 12-26-2011, 08:11 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by JCPhoenix View Post
Agree with Digi on all points.

For the first film, the audio caught me off-guard. Because there's clearly no room tones or background noise and the audio just comes in, crystal clear - obviously ADR'd, it actually surprised me when the guy spoke because I was under the impression from the lack of room tone that it was a silent film with audio played over it.

I know you said you didn't concentrate on story but I gotta say I groaned a little when I realized what kind of short it was (hitmen). As far as style goes, I thought it tried too hard for the "cool hitmen" vibe which rarely comes off well in student shorts. I did like the first shot/last shot. I was far more intrigued in the first shot when I thought it was going to be a surreal/weird horror film, and I like the way you used the foreground to your advantage at the end. The editing was a little disjointed (nothing that took me out of it though) and I think you could work a bit on matching shots together better. Still, it looked like you actually spliced the film together physically (from the jumps in the cuts) which I know can be hard to judge for timing.

Your second short is definitely far more successful - although I again groaned a bit with the hitman/assassin angle. The problem here for me is simply that I'm not seeing anything I haven't seen on that end. That said, you did say it was more about atmosphere/style for these two and as with Digi, I liked the one-shot take (which I assume was a requirement for this assignment).

Actually with both short films, your shot compositions aren't bad for the most part (though the high-angle shot in the first one was distracting) - I've seen far worse from starting filmmakers. I like that you aren't afraid to use depth. In the second one especially, the faucet running in the foreground, and the action happening in both the midground and background creates a lot of tension that works well.

So overall, still a good start for the first time. I've seen significantly worse things from first-time filmmakers and I think you'll get the hitmen/assassin focus out of your system as you go on and be better for it (trust me, I had a hitmen phase in my high school films too ).

Thanks a bunch for the reply, I really appreciate it. Yes,I spliced the sound together and did the entire soundtrack off a Mag.

Actually, the one shot film was not the assignment. The assignment was "lighting with movement" and I just chose to do one take, master shot for the entire film.

Thanks for noticing the use of depth, but what do you mean "not afraid"? Do you mean that directors are afraid to use depth nowadays? I dont really understand why they would be?
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  #6  
Old 12-26-2011, 08:15 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Monotreme View Post
Agree with all the points mentioned - Especially the one about creating a fuller sound palette. You won't believe how much a simple ambient track and some spot SFX improve the reality of your film - some EQ on the ADR would help too, but if you create a fuller sound design, the dialogue won't stick out so much. I'm also normally a huge fan of film music, but I think the score selection you picked here is a little over the top; the film becomes way too dependent on it, and it distracts from the story. I would have maybe picked something a bit more low key, and also, think about when you can use silence to your advantage instead of having a constant, pounding score.

Script-wise there really isn't anything fresh or new in either film; but it's hard to expect such a thing from a first-timer, so instead, allow me to give you props for some of your shot selections. Especially in the first film: the first shot, when he walks into the frame-within-a-frame in the kitchen, and then again near the middle of the film, when you use round-shaped holes in a fence to frame the characters. This is very clever, and I always like seeing good use of the environment in films.

That said, on subsequent films I'd put a little thought into the art direction! I know it's a lot to handle what with the actors, lighting, story, etc. but at the end of the day, it's what's in front of the camera that counts the most. So for example, in the second film, you set up a very interesting shot that uses depth in an interesting way, as JC mentioned, but you have that god-awful ugly charger plugged into the electrical socket in the wall which is dead-center in the frame and is quite distracting!

Digi and JC really covered everything else I would have to say, though. So instead, allow me to ask you: Do you go to NYFA or NYU? I can recognize that B&W 16mm reversal anywhere, and we're the only two schools left actually shooting on that stock! In fact, it has to be NYU; NYFA don't edit on flatbeds, and I can see your splices! I also recognize the actor from your first film; he's appeared as an assassin-type in a number of shorts produced by my classmates in my film class this past semester...


Well I did this in my NYU summer film class. I go to American University though.

I will work on sound design, that is a good point. Can I ask where do you think silence would work? And what type of score would you recommend me using?

Also, for shot selections, is it good I am using these framing techniques? Or is pretty pointless to use object and shapes to frame my characters as I did?
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  #7  
Old 12-26-2011, 01:16 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by nbhagat84 View Post
Well I did this in my NYU summer film class. I go to American University though.

I will work on sound design, that is a good point. Can I ask where do you think silence would work? And what type of score would you recommend me using?

Also, for shot selections, is it good I am using these framing techniques? Or is pretty pointless to use object and shapes to frame my characters as I did?
Pointless? On the contrary! Using your environment is an integral part of mis-en-scene. Look at movies that use that cleverly (The Searchers, Citizen Kane, Almodovar films) and compare to movies that don't use it at all because their environments are completely fake and the cinematography entirely bland and uninspired (Star Wars prequels).

I'd need to look at them again to tell you about silence.

And that's cool that you did the summer program! May I ask who your professor was? And did you take it first or second session? I know a lot of kids who took Sight & Sound over the summer as well; maybe you encountered them in your class!
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  #8  
Old 12-26-2011, 03:27 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by nbhagat84 View Post
Thanks a bunch for the reply, I really appreciate it. Yes,I spliced the sound together and did the entire soundtrack off a Mag.

Actually, the one shot film was not the assignment. The assignment was "lighting with movement" and I just chose to do one take, master shot for the entire film.

Thanks for noticing the use of depth, but what do you mean "not afraid"? Do you mean that directors are afraid to use depth nowadays? I dont really understand why they would be?
That was a bad wording choice on my end. I just meant of the student shorts I've seen, many of them don't know how to or completely don't think about the use of foreground and background as a juxtaposing technique. A lot of the student shorts I've seen tend to keep events squarely in the foreground, squandering the advantages of creating meaning and suspense through depth and so I was just impressed that you clearly have interest in and have a good handle on taking full advantage of your frame (as Monotreme has mentioned further with your framing techniques within the frame).

A lot of first-time shorts simply use the camera to "point and shoot" their story, taking the obvious/conventional staging route. I was pleasantly surprised to see that you've thought out how the framing of each shot would affect the tone of the piece.

And in the case of the second short and your choice to do it in one take, good choice. Definitely creates a more suspenseful atmosphere.

For sound on the first one, definitely build all the sounds you can. Background/atmosphere, footsteps, door creaks, punch sounds, everything - it'll make your short come alive - right now it feels like a silent film that just has a few lines of dialogue that come out of nowhere. If it's going to have sound, you need to go all the way. Unfortunately, sound always seems to get the shaft cause people generally don't think about it while watching a movie - but it's actually incredibly important to get you to buy into what is going on.

I also agree with Monotreme that the scoring on the first one is too much - it's so in-your-face and with so little contrast (just a steady upwards build), that you actually lose a lot of the tension you're trying to create. If you want to use some kind of sounds to drive things forward, I would recommend stripping it down to pulsing beats or drones rather than something with a more musical element to it.

For silences - I'd have to think a bit about how to approach the first half of the short but I can tell you that I would strongly consider eliminating all music and utilizing silence or something very minimal in the section after they've been given the orders to kill Chad, especially in the shot where the assassin has a gun trained on Chad while he's eating. This is the kind of moment that could be very tense through a silent atmosphere with all the sounds of his actions heightened (setting the fork down, wiping his face, etc) to create that build-up. Or you could simply use an increasing rumble, or a pulsing drone or something else to get that tension to build. What you want here is for us to feel the tension in the waiting, feel the expansion of time as Chad unconcernedly goes through the motions of setting his fork down and wiping his face with the gun to his head. Music, especially very melodic stuff generally does the opposite, it makes things feel like they go by faster which destroys the tension that you want to build. Repetitive droning or regularly spaced beats on the other hand are like hearing a clock tick - they make you notice the time dragging on which is what you want here.

Right now, the song goes to new heights of intensity exactly at that point, even changing keys - this actually distracts and takes the focus away from the scene itself. If you're making something big and bombastic and fast-moving, then it makes sense to use a score of the same type. But generally with shorts, which, by the predefined limit on length will rarely feel epic, that kind of scoring simply isn't earned - and the audience can feel that - the swell of that kind of music when not appropriate can actually diminish the scene itself, making it feel smaller and cheaper by contrast. You want something that will underline your scenes and your film, not take them over. I'm not saying it's a rule but I'd generally lean towards minimal scoring or no scoring at all, beats, drones, or ambient minimalist stuff when you're making something relatively small-scale.

Also, think about how you can contrast and vary the tone of your sounds in each sequence. Let's say you use the slow silence in that shot we just talked about along with the sounds of him setting his fork down and wiping his face (and maybe the gun click and a ticking clock or beat). When Chad makes his move and efficiently finishes off the guy right after, you can then really build up those punching and kicking sounds (with whoosh sounds maybe for the motions of his arms moving, etc) to create something that releases all that tension in a big kind of bang. You want this part to sound, fast, loud, efficient, and clean/clear as that's how your protagonist is portrayed.

ETA: Think about the precision, efficiency and clarity of the sound for example in this scene from Kill Bill: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKQNkcSGFes Also notice how the repetitive whirring of GoGo's ball and chain create a kind of tension and suspense, similar to the ticking clock effect I just mentioned.

If I was going further with my thought process here, my step for the next part would be to eliminate all non-diegetic sounds (so the beat that was pulsing earlier would have stopped as we got into the actual fight). After the assassin goes down, I'd take out everything except for the sounds from the scene itself (i.e. background noise, footsteps, kicking sounds). Then as the guy is walking away, it's like that moment of calm, that peace into which you can splice an ear piercingly loud gunshot sound - to create that climactic moment of violence. And then if you want, you could try adding in a sudden ominous tone or something as he grips the door and falls to create a kind of punchline to your piece as credits are about to roll. Or you could go for the droning sound to come creeping back in instead - or something else. It would depend on what you want your audience to get out of the ending. If it was an ominous violent tone for example, it would give the sense of a punchline, an implied end. But if you had a repetitive drone come back in and continue over the credits, it would probably impart the audience with the impression of "...and so the cycle of violence goes on..."

You don't have to go with any of these ideas I said, but the important thing to take out of this is to think about how everything affects the tone of what you see onscreen and what you're saying to the audience and to choose carefully to create the effect you want.

Hope that helps.

Last edited by JCPhoenix; 12-26-2011 at 04:25 PM..
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  #9  
Old 12-26-2011, 03:45 PM
Ignore this. Doubleposted.

Last edited by JCPhoenix; 12-26-2011 at 03:53 PM..
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  #10  
Old 12-26-2011, 04:26 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Monotreme View Post
Pointless? On the contrary! Using your environment is an integral part of mis-en-scene. Look at movies that use that cleverly (The Searchers, Citizen Kane, Almodovar films) and compare to movies that don't use it at all because their environments are completely fake and the cinematography entirely bland and uninspired (Star Wars prequels).

I'd need to look at them again to tell you about silence.

And that's cool that you did the summer program! May I ask who your professor was? And did you take it first or second session? I know a lot of kids who took Sight & Sound over the summer as well; maybe you encountered them in your class!
I took it with Arnie Baskin in the second session.

So using mis-en-scene is very good then? I really dont' see those angles anymore in today's film (Although "Let the Right One in" had plenty), so I dont know if its faded out in a bad way
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  #11  
Old 12-26-2011, 04:35 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by JCPhoenix View Post
That was a bad wording choice on my end. I just meant of the student shorts I've seen, many of them don't know how to or completely don't think about the use of foreground and background as a juxtaposing technique. A lot of the student shorts I've seen tend to keep events squarely in the foreground, squandering the advantages of creating meaning and suspense through depth and so I was just impressed that you clearly have interest in and have a good handle on taking full advantage of your frame (as Monotreme has mentioned further with your framing techniques within the frame).

A lot of first-time shorts simply use the camera to "point and shoot" their story, taking the obvious/conventional staging route. I was pleasantly surprised to see that you've thought out how the framing of each shot would affect the tone of the piece.

And in the case of the second short and your choice to do it in one take, good choice. Definitely creates a more suspenseful atmosphere.

For sound on the first one, definitely build all the sounds you can. Background/atmosphere, footsteps, door creaks, punch sounds, everything - it'll make your short come alive - right now it feels like a silent film that just has a few lines of dialogue that come out of nowhere. If it's going to have sound, you need to go all the way. Unfortunately, sound always seems to get the shaft cause people generally don't think about it while watching a movie - but it's actually incredibly important to get you to buy into what is going on.

I also agree with Monotreme that the scoring on the first one is too much - it's so in-your-face and with so little contrast (just a steady upwards build), that you actually lose a lot of the tension you're trying to create. If you want to use some kind of sounds to drive things forward, I would recommend stripping it down to pulsing beats or drones rather than something with a more musical element to it.

For silences - I'd have to think a bit about how to approach the first half of the short but I can tell you that I would strongly consider eliminating all music and utilizing silence or something very minimal in the section after they've been given the orders to kill Chad, especially in the shot where the assassin has a gun trained on Chad while he's eating. This is the kind of moment that could be very tense through a silent atmosphere with all the sounds of his actions heightened (setting the fork down, wiping his face, etc) to create that build-up. Or you could simply use an increasing rumble, or a pulsing drone or something else to get that tension to build. What you want here is for us to feel the tension in the waiting, feel the expansion of time as Chad unconcernedly goes through the motions of setting his fork down and wiping his face with the gun to his head. Music, especially very melodic stuff generally does the opposite, it makes things feel like they go by faster which destroys the tension that you want to build. Repetitive droning or regularly spaced beats on the other hand are like hearing a clock tick - they make you notice the time dragging on which is what you want here.

Right now, the song goes to new heights of intensity exactly at that point, even changing keys - this actually distracts and takes the focus away from the scene itself. If you're making something big and bombastic and fast-moving, then it makes sense to use a score of the same type. But generally with shorts, which, by the predefined limit on length will rarely feel epic, that kind of scoring simply isn't earned - and the audience can feel that - the swell of that kind of music when not appropriate can actually diminish the scene itself, making it feel smaller and cheaper by contrast. You want something that will underline your scenes and your film, not take them over. I'm not saying it's a rule but I'd generally lean towards minimal scoring or no scoring at all, beats, drones, or ambient minimalist stuff when you're making something relatively small-scale.

Also, think about how you can contrast and vary the tone of your sounds in each sequence. Let's say you use the slow silence in that shot we just talked about along with the sounds of him setting his fork down and wiping his face (and maybe the gun click and a ticking clock or beat). When Chad makes his move and efficiently finishes off the guy right after, you can then really build up those punching and kicking sounds (with whoosh sounds maybe for the motions of his arms moving, etc) to create something that releases all that tension in a big kind of bang. You want this part to sound, fast, loud, efficient, and clean/clear as that's how your protagonist is portrayed.

ETA: Think about the precision, efficiency and clarity of the sound for example in this scene from Kill Bill: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKQNkcSGFes Also notice how the repetitive whirring of GoGo's ball and chain create a kind of tension and suspense, similar to the ticking clock effect I just mentioned.

If I was going further with my thought process here, my step for the next part would be to eliminate all non-diegetic sounds (so the beat that was pulsing earlier would have stopped as we got into the actual fight). After the assassin goes down, I'd take out everything except for the sounds from the scene itself (i.e. background noise, footsteps, kicking sounds). Then as the guy is walking away, it's like that moment of calm, that peace into which you can splice an ear piercingly loud gunshot sound - to create that climactic moment of violence. And then if you want, you could try adding in a sudden ominous tone or something as he grips the door and falls to create a kind of punchline to your piece as credits are about to roll. Or you could go for the droning sound to come creeping back in instead - or something else. It would depend on what you want your audience to get out of the ending. If it was an ominous violent tone for example, it would give the sense of a punchline, an implied end. But if you had a repetitive drone come back in and continue over the credits, it would probably impart the audience with the impression of "...and so the cycle of violence goes on..."

You don't have to go with any of these ideas I said, but the important thing to take out of this is to think about how everything affects the tone of what you see onscreen and what you're saying to the audience and to choose carefully to create the effect you want.

Hope that helps.

Dude this was amazing advice. I've never touched sound before this course and haven't learned it all so I am doing that now.

Where would I get pulsing beats? Whats the best SFX program for those sounds?

And is it possible if i can contact you via AIM?
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  #12  
Old 12-26-2011, 04:48 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by nbhagat84 View Post
Dude this was amazing advice. I've never touched sound before this course and haven't learned it all so I am doing that now.

Where would I get pulsing beats? Whats the best SFX program for those sounds?

And is it possible if i can contact you via AIM?
Allow me to double that. I was ready to go into a big explanation as to where you could use silence and how you could fill out your sound palette, but JC basically said every single thing I was going to say. So, thanks for that! All very excellent points!

If you're already taking tracks from pre-existing soundtracks, look to The Social Network, The Bourne Ultimatum, Drive, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, or any multitude of electronic-driven film scores for plenty of slow-building, pulsating drone tracks. Honestly, the best program for all of this sound editing stuff is Pro Tools, but it's a tad on the expensive side. If you can get a hand on it, you wouldn't regret it, though.


Quote:
Originally Posted by nbhagat84 View Post
I took it with Arnie Baskin in the second session.

So using mis-en-scene is very good then? I really dont' see those angles anymore in today's film (Although "Let the Right One in" had plenty), so I dont know if its faded out in a bad way
Oh, Arnie! What a legend. I know people who took it with him first session, so I'm not sure who took it second session. But he's amazing.

Anyway, smart, creative directors still use angles and mis-en-scene to their advantage. It's mostly lacking in present-day films because most present-day films are directed by the Joseph Kosinskis and the Brett Ratners of the world. look to Paul Thomas Anderson for some INCREDIBLE use of frames-within-frames, especially in There Will Be Blood.

Anyway, keep up the good work! As you are reading, the shot selection of your films is mostly working. The stories are so-so, but you have a real opportunity to make these films even better with a more thought-through sound mix, which you can still do in post to really give your films that extra layer! Was the first film your Off-Screen sounds assignment, or your 5th assignment?
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  #13  
Old 12-26-2011, 07:03 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Monotreme View Post
Allow me to double that. I was ready to go into a big explanation as to where you could use silence and how you could fill out your sound palette, but JC basically said every single thing I was going to say. So, thanks for that! All very excellent points!

If you're already taking tracks from pre-existing soundtracks, look to The Social Network, The Bourne Ultimatum, Drive, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, or any multitude of electronic-driven film scores for plenty of slow-building, pulsating drone tracks. Honestly, the best program for all of this sound editing stuff is Pro Tools, but it's a tad on the expensive side. If you can get a hand on it, you wouldn't regret it, though.




Oh, Arnie! What a legend. I know people who took it with him first session, so I'm not sure who took it second session. But he's amazing.

Anyway, smart, creative directors still use angles and mis-en-scene to their advantage. It's mostly lacking in present-day films because most present-day films are directed by the Joseph Kosinskis and the Brett Ratners of the world. look to Paul Thomas Anderson for some INCREDIBLE use of frames-within-frames, especially in There Will Be Blood.

Anyway, keep up the good work! As you are reading, the shot selection of your films is mostly working. The stories are so-so, but you have a real opportunity to make these films even better with a more thought-through sound mix, which you can still do in post to really give your films that extra layer! Was the first film your Off-Screen sounds assignment, or your 5th assignment?
Actually maybe I did the first session, I'm not sure of the session dates. Who do you know in it?

I am actually downloading Pro Tools as we speak.

It was my fifth film, the final one. I have to get used to this sound mixing aspect, but hopefully I can. I just saw Unbreakable last night for the first time and I noticed Shamylan is ridiculous at framing and compositions as well. I just need to make sure I don't overdo the angles right?

I know this is on a separate note, but I actually like doing longer shots and takes. I like letting my shots breathe and I know its bad, but I don't worry that much on getting coverage from every angle on every shot on every scene. I much rather have a longer shot which breathes and is allowed to unravel. But I'm not sure if thats a good route to take.

And again, you are also giving me amazing information and advice as well!
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  #14  
Old 12-26-2011, 07:37 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by nbhagat84 View Post
Actually maybe I did the first session, I'm not sure of the session dates. Who do you know in it?

I am actually downloading Pro Tools as we speak.

It was my fifth film, the final one. I have to get used to this sound mixing aspect, but hopefully I can. I just saw Unbreakable last night for the first time and I noticed Shamylan is ridiculous at framing and compositions as well. I just need to make sure I don't overdo the angles right?

I know this is on a separate note, but I actually like doing longer shots and takes. I like letting my shots breathe and I know its bad, but I don't worry that much on getting coverage from every angle on every shot on every scene. I much rather have a longer shot which breathes and is allowed to unravel. But I'm not sure if thats a good route to take.

And again, you are also giving me amazing information and advice as well!
Shot length is always a difficult one. If you watch, some movies totally get away with that. On There Will Be Blood, P.T. Anderson gets away with filming entire scenes almost entirely with just a master shot, and no coverage at all. But he is a master filmmaker and he and his actors get the rhythm of the performance down to a T, and are 100% confident with it on set. The advantage of getting coverage is that you can really shape the performance in the editing room; not giving yourself that option is often times a risk, especially for beginning filmmakers without the benefit of having a legend like Daniel Day-Lewis to set the tone of the performance. Honestly, if you have the time and your actors have the patience, try to get everything in an elaborate master and then move in for coverage - by "elaborate master" I mean don't just plunk the camera down and film an entire scene in the wide shot (a traditional master); rather, you can move the camera in and choreograph a shot that makes the entire scene work as a dynamic single-take; however, you should also get coverage just in case the long take doesn't work. The last thing you want is to be stuck in the editing room without options.

And yeah, Shyamalan used to get really creative with that kind of stuff but got more and more boring and neutered as time went on. What can you do. Also an NYU alum.
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  #15  
Old 12-26-2011, 08:03 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Monotreme View Post
Shot length is always a difficult one. If you watch, some movies totally get away with that. On There Will Be Blood, P.T. Anderson gets away with filming entire scenes almost entirely with just a master shot, and no coverage at all. But he is a master filmmaker and he and his actors get the rhythm of the performance down to a T, and are 100% confident with it on set. The advantage of getting coverage is that you can really shape the performance in the editing room; not giving yourself that option is often times a risk, especially for beginning filmmakers without the benefit of having a legend like Daniel Day-Lewis to set the tone of the performance. Honestly, if you have the time and your actors have the patience, try to get everything in an elaborate master and then move in for coverage - by "elaborate master" I mean don't just plunk the camera down and film an entire scene in the wide shot (a traditional master); rather, you can move the camera in and choreograph a shot that makes the entire scene work as a dynamic single-take; however, you should also get coverage just in case the long take doesn't work. The last thing you want is to be stuck in the editing room without options.

And yeah, Shyamalan used to get really creative with that kind of stuff but got more and more boring and neutered as time went on. What can you do. Also an NYU alum.

Again great advice. Do you possibly have an email or instant messaging system I can contact you by if you don't mind? I just switched my major from molecular biology to film, so I am new to this!
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  #16  
Old 12-26-2011, 08:25 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by nbhagat84 View Post
Again great advice. Do you possibly have an email or instant messaging system I can contact you by if you don't mind? I just switched my major from molecular biology to film, so I am new to this!
Sure, I'll send you a PM.

EDIT: Nevermind, it says you have PMs disabled. Could you enable them? I'd rather not just post my e-mail address in public!
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  #17  
Old 12-26-2011, 08:44 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Monotreme View Post
Sure, I'll send you a PM.

EDIT: Nevermind, it says you have PMs disabled. Could you enable them? I'd rather not just post my e-mail address in public!
I'll do that right away.
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  #18  
Old 12-27-2011, 07:54 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by nbhagat84 View Post
Dude this was amazing advice. I've never touched sound before this course and haven't learned it all so I am doing that now.

Where would I get pulsing beats? Whats the best SFX program for those sounds?

And is it possible if i can contact you via AIM?
As Monotreme mentioned, there are some soundtracks you can get some beats off of or you can make some using a program like Pro Tools (THE definitive sound editing program). Also check if you can borrow sound effects stuff from your university - at my uni, they had some sound effects collections that we could take out and use.

I don't really use AIM and my days of using MSN/Windows Live Messenger are pretty much over as everyone I know now uses Facebook. But I'll PM you my e-mail address, you can catch me there. I'm by no means an expert but I'll try to help/give feedback where I can.
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  #19  
Old 01-04-2012, 11:25 AM

First link, really nice shot selections. Good use of space, flowed nicely. If I had any criticisms, it'd be the use of a giant hand written note in marker rather than a typed note. All in all, well choreographed, and a great use of 3 minutes

If I had any criticisms, it'd be the use of a giant hand written note in marker rather than a typed note. The other being the ADR on the conversation between the two assassins on the bench seemed unnatural for the environment.

On the 2nd short, was the intention to leave focus on the faucet? I found it distracting. It actually took away from the action that was going on in the background. Why does the character go into the front room to finish brushing his teeth? Why does the person farthest from the door - it was the door right? - or at least the person furthest from the action confront the killer first? And if not, why does the other off screen not come to his associates aid? Surely a physical scuffle would cause alarm enough to investigate or try to avoid being murdered himself - we never see the other death, and it happens so rapidly after the first, I can only assume it was easy pickings. A clear definition of why they are being murdered should have been established as well. I just know that they are with no idea of who they are and why the die.

If I had to guess, I'd say your 2nd posted was your first film, and I'd say there was notable improvement from first to 2nd.

Last edited by realkelevra; 01-04-2012 at 11:27 AM..
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  #20  
Old 01-07-2012, 01:50 PM
I thought the first one was much better. I thought the large hand written note was bad, should been smaller. As far as a hitman leaving a man lying on the floor with his own gun nearby was wrong but I felt it was great anyways.

As for the 2nd one, did not like it one bit. Like others said the faucet was distracting. Didn't like how it happened.
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  #21  
Old 08-24-2012, 11:12 AM
So this is the next film I've directed. Again its a student short we were assigned to do in one week in class. I worked on improving the sound quality as well as using live dialogue. Again, I'm not really focused on the story as I was assigned to direct a fellow students script. I was more focused on directing, pacing, and atmosphere again.

Let me know what you guys think.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aG-sqe9Zt6c
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  #22  
Old 08-24-2012, 10:34 PM
I have to agree also tha there can be a few improvement as a few members have said here

But being your first time behind the camera you did do a swell job

Take note of the advice on this thread because there are some very good posts regarding both clips

i feel that l was expecting more from both but l have seen your third clip and l have to say l am quite impressed with what you have done this time

it kept me in from start to finish
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