View Full Version : Walk Away Films presents SOMATIC DEATH

Jazz Dog
08-27-2007, 03:50 PM
Inside of death the darkness comes to light
The darkness is you

Somatic Death
a short film by Greg Johnson

HVX200 / 720 24PN / FCP

Jazz Dog
08-27-2007, 03:50 PM
September 13:
-Outline of script is written and locations scouted.
-Props purchased at The Salvation Army on 25% off day. I found a sort of device that looks like it could chop off a hand (not sure what it is really for) and the lady at the check out said "what is this for?" and I said I collected old kitchen utencils. I didn't want to freak her out because I was with my one year old daughter. "Yes, that's right, the dolls are for her, my sweet daughter, oh and the bible...yes, I am finding god again...oh, please dont ask about the mask or the broken tricycle or the torn wig." I raced out of there. Got everything I needed for $32 dollars. Salvation army is the best prop shop there is.
-Test shots tonight after kid and wife are asleep.
September 16:
-Started shooting non dialogue shots. creepy fun.
September 17:
-Cut title sequence, more shots, need to go to the drugstore for bandages and gauze.

08-27-2007, 04:22 PM
looking forward to your film, Greg.

Tom Marshall
08-28-2007, 05:36 PM
Hey Greg, sounds interesting. Looking forward to hearing more about this one... :beer:

Jazz Dog
09-16-2007, 02:11 PM
Just cut together my title sequence which I always do during shooting because it sets then tone and gets me pumped up.
I am officially creeped out by my film so far and what I am doing is just not right.
My wife is officially banned from my basement for now...

09-20-2007, 02:52 AM
I am officially creeped out by my film so far and what I am doing is just not right.
My wife is officially banned from my basement for now...

Nothing illegal I hope?:huh:

Simon Höfer
09-20-2007, 03:05 AM
Sounds promising!

How about a poster?

Sid Barnhoorn
09-21-2007, 02:38 AM
Indeed, sounds promising.

Jazz Dog
09-21-2007, 02:12 PM
Oh, it is all legal...at least in the state of Washington.

10-09-2007, 12:11 PM
. . . updates . . . ?

10-09-2007, 02:04 PM
Salvation army is the best prop shop there is.

This is the Low-Budget Filmmaker's one stop shop!

Good Luck with it!

Jazz Dog
10-09-2007, 10:43 PM
Took a little break to work on another film for a big contest here in Seattle. Almost done then it is back to finish up Somatic Death.
Need to find a large vice, some gauze and a priest costume.
Life is good.

10-20-2007, 03:11 PM
Hey any pictures yet? Hope it goes well !

Good luck,
The Major

Michael Anthony Horrigan
10-21-2007, 12:06 PM
Any updates?

Jazz Dog
10-25-2007, 12:39 AM
Man....I am not going to make it. Bummer. Got caught up in another short for another contest that will help get me noticed here in Seattle. Plus trying to start my own restaurant. I know...excuses. At least I have a really cool start on a really creepy short that I will finish...and had a very cool way to use the glass of wine...this was my same pattern with spyfest and I got a cool short out of that too so at least these contests get me creating...even if it is never on time...
Looking forward to watching.

Jazz Dog
10-27-2007, 12:11 AM
Decided not to wimp out tonight and make something out of the footage I had already shot. Get creative with what you got instead of making excuses. So I got something uploaded right at midnight. Hope it makes it in. Then I will add more scenes in the future to make a longer short.
Hope everyone enjoys my flick....

10-30-2007, 01:58 PM
good to hear you made it . . .

Marlon Ladd
10-30-2007, 05:05 PM
Sounds like you're really working hard at it. Best of luck to you.

Michael Anthony Horrigan
10-30-2007, 11:04 PM
So glad you entered! I've watched well over half of the entries now and I really like this one. Great voice-over, great feel, and one of the best looking yet.

I'll comment in more detail later after another viewing. Just about time for me to hit the sac..



Brandon Rice
10-30-2007, 11:34 PM
Alrighty... it looked nice... but I didn't quite get it.. was the guy's problem just that he messed dolls up? The music became kind of repetitive too... the film did give me an uneasy feeling throughout...

Jazz Dog
10-31-2007, 07:52 PM
I am curious on how this one will go.
Brandon-this is actually only one part of the three parts I had planned for this. I added the VO just to give it some sort of story. It is basically going to be about a guy who does not have the guts to actually torture kids and only tortures dolls. The most pathetic of the most pathetic. He looks to a priest for solace in his post suicide halucinations who turns out to be himself. I will finish this one soon but I had to turn something in because I love being a part of these things.

11-01-2007, 07:22 AM
visceral and haunting. seriously, let me know when you've finished - don't wait till Creepy Fest to share the rest.

review coming sooner or later; I wanna watch them all first . . . but for now - thanks for entering.


11-01-2007, 09:05 AM
In a fest that featured a lot of weak entries, yours stands above almost all the other qualifying entries. I wished you could find something better than voice over as it cheapens the images which were very good. GREAT music. It might have been better for the character to actually do the talking instead of VO, which is my only real problem with this. Good job. This is probably going to be in my top 3.

Mark Johnson
11-01-2007, 01:26 PM
I absolutely love this one. I actually think this would have worked completely without any VO. This is a winner.

11-01-2007, 01:43 PM
Loved the visuals in this, almost poetry on screen. I too thought the VO took away a bit and wondered how this would of played with no VO and have a final shot of him watching children play in a schoolyard. I am interested to see where you take it. Really impressive. Good stuff.

11-01-2007, 02:27 PM
Greg Johnson, you rule, man! One of my favorites so far. I knew from the opening credits that I was going to like it. I don't know how, I could just tell. Visually stunning, nice comp on the shots. Really fine work. Great job! :thumbsup::thumbsup:

Really liked this one, buddy. I chime in with the others, please let us know when you finish this thing. And yes, I agree that the VO KILLS IT! This one could definitely stand on its own if you worked it. How about putting a Sunday morning sermon blasting from the television in the background, something revolving around the theme?

BTW - A paper-mache mask made from pages of The Bible. F*CKING BRILLIANT! (I might have to steal that one. :evil:)

Tres cool! Great work!

Billy Pilgrim
11-01-2007, 02:29 PM
I agree with what most people here say. Stunning visuals, but the voice-over kind of ruins it. After the fest, you should definitely expand it into a longer film, because it's definitely a very unique, original idea.

Jazz Dog
11-01-2007, 02:44 PM
Wow, thanks everybody. I threw in that VO right on the last night because I felt in needed some story. I must admit I didn't much like it either but thought it might be too artsy weird for the crowd here. Should have stuck with my guns. Live and learn.
Funny because I have that shot over a guys shoulder with a playground in the background in my original script.
Thanks for the reviews

11-01-2007, 06:22 PM
Didn't buy the VO. Sounded more like a college kid.

I admit that I laughed at the hockey goalie mask in the mirror. There was something about that shot - maybe the angle of his head, or the peering into the shot - but it just struck me wrong. Sorry.

BUT. I loved this short. The images of the dolls combined with the biblical references combined with the story as told by the narrator were very disturbing. Couple all of that with the cello running throughout and I thought it really hit home.

The images were crisp and I thought the color pallette was perfect for this - like the worn parchment of the pages of the bible.

Very, very nice and only one of two that I've seen so far that I will watch again after this fest is over.

Thank you.

11-01-2007, 07:03 PM
Definitely visually interesting. Can't say I dug the paper mache mask (Rob Zombie just did the same thing in Halloween). The VO was a drag as stated by others. But the coloring, imagery and music were on target.

Jazz Dog
11-01-2007, 07:38 PM
I will take full credit for coming up with the bible paper mache mask. I came up with this when the fest was first announced because I am always looking for ways so I can play multiple characters myself. I thought the bible would be a perfect way to take it as far as I could. If Rob Zombie did the same thing then it is purely coincidence.
I agree and am thankful for everything else that has been said.

Ben Sliker
11-02-2007, 10:35 AM
this film was very poignant for me and stuck in my mind for a while after I watched it. I would shorten the VO to a certain few phrases that have more effect, and get a different voice actor, I think that would make this film even more disturbing. Very creative use of the wine glass, some of the images are just haunting. Nice work! (especially for a 1 man show)

Luis Caffesse
11-02-2007, 01:13 PM
Nicely done - and by far the best use of a glass of wine that I've seen.

Marlon Ladd
11-03-2007, 11:31 AM
I thought this was a very good and creepy film. Although the VO wasn't great (just because it didn't seem sincere in sections), but to me it told the story about this man and why he was doing what he was doing. I don't know how else you would have done that, unless you showed newspaper clippings or something like what somebody else suggested showing some kids at the end. But, this film was very haunting and real. Good story, direction and sound.

Matt Harris
11-03-2007, 03:07 PM
jazz dog you have some of the best, most professional cinematography in this fest.
I actually agree with Mark, you almost didnt need the VO, or maybe a little less VO, but it was certainly well written. Overall it's the images that really grabbed me, Well done!

Cool Lights
11-03-2007, 09:36 PM
Very pro cinematography. Very well thought out and edited too.

Brandon Rice
11-03-2007, 09:38 PM
I am curious on how this one will go.
Brandon-this is actually only one part of the three parts I had planned for this. I added the VO just to give it some sort of story. It is basically going to be about a guy who does not have the guts to actually torture kids and only tortures dolls. The most pathetic of the most pathetic. He looks to a priest for solace in his post suicide halucinations who turns out to be himself. I will finish this one soon but I had to turn something in because I love being a part of these things.

INTERESTING! Ok... I get it now! That has a lot of potential if fleshed out a little longer... cool... keep us posted on more parts of this!

11-04-2007, 07:03 AM
Good film. Some real nice imagery. Good imaginative use of those creepy little dolls! :)

I loved the mask - very iconic image. You have a real visual flair. Didn't like your choice of music - seemed to work against the visuals. Agree that VO unecessary.

Look forward to your next film... hopefully with more actors, and fewer dolls! :grin:

david jerome
11-04-2007, 05:38 PM
I really liked it Jazz Dog. Very creepy and very interesting character. You drew me into the mind of the character more than any other film in the fest and left me thinking about him. In my final three.


J.R. Hudson
11-05-2007, 07:27 AM
I found this interesting

You have some really interesting comps in this short. I wish you would have pulled back more and strayed from so many close ups, but overall, I found that most of them had some thought put into them.

The weakest point for me is the Voiceover. I think it hurts the short more than serves it. I'd consider rendering it minus that audi otrack and seeing how it plays out.

The color correction also did not work for me; too balnd of a pallette. Seeing more creativity in that area with desat on certain colors or oversat on ones would make a more pleasing visual piece I think

Overall; I enjoyed it and I think you did a nice job.

11-05-2007, 08:27 AM
One of the most intersting films in the fest. I loved the visuals. The old barn decked out with dolls provided a creepy juxtapotision. The mask from the bible was great, a literal matephor but it worked really well. I agree with the comments on the VO. However I dont think you'd need to trash it completely. It was just maybe too much, too expository. One line here or there could have said all you needed to. If the VO was made to ehance the mood rather than give backstory, perhaps it would have had a different feel.

At the end of the day you have to go with your gut, and a lot of it was spot on. In a sea of genre predictable shorts it was very refreshing.

Bill Clar
11-06-2007, 01:37 PM
I love the score. Did you create it in Soundtrack?

Jazz Dog
11-06-2007, 03:40 PM
Love all the comments.
Wish I was better at critique.....

Soundtrack loop was from revostock.com same with the film strips at the beginning and end.

Marlon Ladd
11-08-2007, 05:51 AM
Jazz, I went back and watched some of the films over and yours was one that I liked, so I checked it out again to look at some of the cinematography. There were some really good, creative, real storytelling shots in here. After watching it a second time I realized that you did everything! I know how hard that is, because I've done it before and always do alot on my productions as well. It's hard to find good help sometimes. So, I just want to say that I think what you did (doing it all) was amazing and my hat goes off to your for your creativity and skill. Keep up the good work, man!

11-08-2007, 07:37 PM
Hey Jazz Dog,

One of the best shot films in this short. It's was mesmerizing.

I actually went back and watched it without sound and I enjoyed it quite a bit more without the voiceover. The voiceover isn't performed very well, but I think that it's more so that it just isnt' really needed. The images speak for themselves.

I know you lose any semblance of a story without the voice over, but I guess I liked how it was shot that much.

The bible paper mache mask was awesome.

I guess the biggest problem is the voiceover but without it then there isn't a story. It is an interesting idea though of a release killer that shouldn't have been release. That is intriguing. You got the story to work with though and that's one of the hardest parts.

Again, beautiful imagery. Spooky dolls and saws and axes and masks. Great production value and the music was very good too. Simple and fitting.


11-10-2007, 06:18 PM
I really enjoyed your film. You had really nice cinematography mixed in with great editing/pacing. It felt both narrative and experimental at the same time, which is one of the reasons it held my interest.

The paper mache mask was a nice touch to an already well 'production designed' film. I think overall, a lot of elements came together here and resulted in a well rounded film. The 'vision' itself was well executed in my opinion. I could feel the presence of a director with a story to tell. Good job and I look forward to your next project.

Jack Daniel Stanley
11-12-2007, 01:47 AM
Hey congrats on the Special Selection!

I think the art direction really stands out in this piece.


Jazz Dog
11-12-2007, 05:50 PM
Wow, thanks to everyone who voted for my film. I am truly honored to be in the top 6 or so. I have new found confidence to finish this one with my full idea.
Looking forward to the next one....