View Full Version : One Way Out by John LaBonney

John LaBonney
10-26-2007, 06:51 AM

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Uploading as I type.

First of all I'd like to say thanks to Damion and Danielle who worked very hard and did really well. They never complained, were very helpful, and I would recommend them to anybody.

We had a lot of fun shooting this film, although there were plenty of problems. No better way to get acquainted with the HVX than to get out there and use it on a real shoot. I found out that by getting out there on a set instead of just toying around with the camera in the backyard, the information in Barry's book and the manual make much more sense, although I still haven't worked out all the kinks. Of course that goes for the other tools I used such as Avid, After Effects, etc. etc., so all-in-all it was a great learning experience.

I didn't want to post an official thread until I was closer to completing the film just in case disaster occurred and I wasn't able to finish. Perhaps the best accomplishment is that I set out to make an entry, and I made it to the finish line!

Thanks to dvxuser for hosting these festivals, as they're a great opportunity to get out there and make a short film.

We had three shooting days, and I spent quite a bit of time in preproduction testing out the special effects.

Please be sure to check out another film I wrote for All Hallow's Fest: Buzz's Last Halloween (http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?t=113777) made by Carleton Torpin.

Best of luck to everyone in the fest! :cheesy:

Michael Anthony Horrigan
10-26-2007, 07:28 AM
Nice work!

Love the poster...

Congratulations on getting this in.

Good luck, John!


10-26-2007, 09:59 AM
I'll look for it. Congrats on getting it done.

10-26-2007, 03:23 PM
Welcome to the fest! Looking forward to it!

Kirk Attard
10-26-2007, 06:43 PM
Congrats for the accomplishment. screen grab looks really crisp clear too.

Can't wait till I start viewing the films.

10-27-2007, 03:47 PM
Good work John! I got to read the script a while back and it's a very original story.

Michael Anthony Horrigan
10-31-2007, 06:19 AM
I wanted this script but John stole it from me! How dare he! :)

I liked it! You have improved tremendously as a director from your Adfest entry.
The main actor was pretty good as well.

Well done!

Dustin R. Rogan
10-31-2007, 09:50 AM

Right on, Liked it, though I'da killed the main off by drinking some of the poison too, therefore he didn't look like he killed her, cuz it was an accident, plus i'm a wuss, and would never cut myself like that...i'd get drunk doing it!!! :beer:

And do you know where I can get one of those Magic 9 Balls?


(ps i'm associated with Retribution) (http://www.dvxfest.com/allhallowsfest/loader.php?id=11264)

11-01-2007, 07:17 PM
This was enjoyable. My favorite part was the segment where he kept questioning the ball. Funny stuff.

Brandon Rice
11-01-2007, 07:20 PM
Yeah, I liked elements of this too... I thought when the guy was asking the ball all the questions it was pretty funny...

But why did he kill himself? I mean, the ball should have instructed him to do something with the body... I don't know.. just a thought...

Good concept though!

John LaBonney
11-02-2007, 11:51 AM
Thanks for the comments everybody. I just wanted to update this thread briefly to say that I'll be unable to go online from now until when the festival closes. However, my good friend Carleton Torpin (DVXUser = Karl151k) will be keeping an eye on this thread and posting responses when possible. Thanks for the responses everybody! This is a great community and I'm lucky to be a part of it.

11-03-2007, 12:35 AM
Thanks for the intro John. Yes, I'll be happy to answer any questions DVXusers may have... Just let me know. =)

Marlon Ladd
11-03-2007, 08:36 AM
I thought the story was quite original and funny in parts. I really didn't see the ending coming either. The delivery of the actors could have been a little better in parts and I was confused as to where the poison came from, but I thought it was still entertaining. Good job.

11-04-2007, 07:47 AM

I like this film alot. It was original, and the use of the magic 8 ball was a great idea. I had no idea where this was going, and that's a good thing. When the girl came into his hotel room to discuss business, I felt an instant tension. Sexual tension, oh yeah. Especially, when he casually asks if she would like some wine, and she immediately says yes. It was getting hot in there! I don't know if this aspect was intentional or just my dirty imagination, but I liked that subtext. Perhaps that could have been explored a bit more. For example, if we knew that their office affair recently ended, that might have complicated the poisoning surprise. Anyway, good twist ending.

Look forward to your next film. :thumbsup:

Ben Sliker
11-04-2007, 03:39 PM
this was a really neat concept, the sequence of questions got pretty funny!

I think you could have eliminated the first line altogether, he picks up the ball, looks around confused, it's pretty obvious he has no idea where it came from, which totally sold the concept.

Keep working on your framing and composition, your conversations had very jarring transitions sometimes, but i understand, shooting in hotel rooms is a big pain in the butt.

I look forward to seeing more in the future, i see some potential for some great comedy from you guys!

J.R. Hudson
11-05-2007, 08:03 AM
Storywise I loved this.

Your mix of comical elements (Asking all of the questions about Elivis or Bonds or Area 51) had me laughing and the 8 Ball, er 9 Ball, was great. Seeing the Kinetica Logo was a nice touch and showed your creativty.

The drawbacks to this piece were the actors and the elementry cinemaphotography and lighting. I'd would love to this played out with those two elements secured.

I think you may need to calibrate your monitor as the imagery suffered bad from this. An example is a a simple contrast adjustement. Look how the colors pop out.


But, at the end of the day. I was entertained until the end despite these set-backs and that is what I looking for with any film; too be satisfied.

Great concept and well done. I'd like to see you sorround yourself with the right talent next time. Film is a collaborative medium and when any part suffers, the film as a whole suffers.

I look forward to your next film !

11-06-2007, 01:55 PM
Very clever concept. The technical issues aside, I thought you had a nice selection fo shots and paced it together well. Good job, I look forward to your next film.

This is an interesting one for me because I was really thinking about that omniscient 9-ball. It's one of those philosophical things in that you are asking the question: does this guy have a choice? On one hand the 9-ball is telling him that he will be be found guilty of killing the woman. But on the other hand, it is telling him that he can change the future (by killing himself). A bit of a paradox, but intriguing. The only thing that kind of bugged me, and it could have been an actor thing and not the writing, was his reaction to the 9-ball. I think most people would have been freaked out by it at first, unless this guy was supposed to be a meathead goof who figured that a magic 9-ball that can answer all your questions is just something of a novelty.

Anyways, you got me thinking. Nice concept.

Michael Anthony Horrigan
11-07-2007, 08:44 AM
I think you may need to calibrate your monitor as the imagery suffered bad from this. An example is a a simple contrast adjustement. Look how the colors pop out.


I think John had some issues exporting with H.264 on his PC. From what I gather, it washed out what he saw in the original footage.
Your examples look great btw...


John LaBonney
11-07-2007, 05:54 PM
Thanks to everyone for their comments. I'm back from a much needed vacation.

A friend asked me how I was doing with my camera, and I said, "it's complicated," commenting on how there are a plethora of settings and features that need to be set. He said, "it's not complicated, it's sophisticated!"

The HVX is sophisticated, and for some reason, when set to full auto, my image is muddy and dark. Some of the problems are related to camera settings, some to compression issues, and some to color correction issues. When I say "issues", I don't mean that it's broken, I mean it's me not doing it right.

One thing I can say is that went I tried to adjust the contrast in post, I ended up with an unacceptable amount of video noise.

Also, due to last minute cancellations/no shows , I was out one actress and my PA, which meant I was basically shooting everything by myself plus I had to cut the absent actress's part out of the film. But to paraphrase a dvxuser member (sorry, I can't remember who has this as their tagline): I made a movie, not excuses!

Check some of my new test footage here (http://vimeo.com/358688), in which I'm simply trying to get a nice clear image. I still have a touch of video noise though. Anyway I'm making progress understanding the workings of the camera, so look out for me in the next fest!

Also see a little mini-short on fixing a boom in the shot (http://vimeo.com/358427) from this film. I call it The Cover Up.

Thanks very much for your comments, I do appreciate them all.

11-07-2007, 08:24 PM
Hey Johnlabonney,

I really like the overall story idea for this one. The magic nine ball had me laughing from the start.

Some of the technical problems mainly the sound were distracting but those can be fixed.

I think the ending kinda came out of nowhere. You probably could have had the 9ball do or say something a little bit evil early on to maybe hint that this was maybe a bad device. Or since we never knew if the 9ball was really telling the truth about things...except for the calculations...maybe you could have done it where the 9ball was lying...even about the calculations. And play it where the audience knows but not the character.

It may have been more effective to see the girl pass out. I didn't get the sense the character would really commit suicide. Maybe if he had some motives to see her gone like a promotion etc.

It was a good idea and shot well, but the ending fell a little flat even though I think it was a good direction you took it.