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View Full Version : "The Melon Drama" -By HBlack



HBlack
12-15-2007, 09:27 AM
http://i30.tinypic.com/w9dyfn.jpg
JACOB HEUBECK

http://i27.tinypic.com/29w4bk5.jpg
EVAN RILEY

http://i32.tinypic.com/20faps6.jpg
VARIOUS MELONS




COMING SOON

HBlack
12-15-2007, 09:28 AM
First day of shooting: One of the lighting/dolly setups used.

http://i16.tinypic.com/6ktowhy.jpg

Robbie Comeau
12-15-2007, 09:34 AM
That's awesome!

Pretty ghetto dolly :)

Mark Johnson
12-15-2007, 09:34 AM
What camera are you using?

HBlack
12-15-2007, 10:38 AM
Canon Elura 90. Think of it as slightly worse than a standard def HV20.

Chris Messineo
12-15-2007, 12:06 PM
Liz (Shaun's wife)- Various honeydew melons (voiced by Emily Vrooman)
This might be the most intriguing entry I've read so far. :)

Luis Caffesse
12-15-2007, 02:40 PM
Best of luck with this - I'm looking forward to seeing it.

HBlack
12-15-2007, 05:16 PM
Just finished the first day of shooting. Went pretty well as far as I'm concerned.

HBlack
12-15-2007, 10:31 PM
Looking through the footage I shot today, and watching Jacob converse with a melon, I'm slowly realizing that this is probably the dumbest idea I've ever had.



But damnit, I'm sticking with it.

HBlack
12-16-2007, 07:46 AM
Some BTS footage. This shows the level of professionalism that can be expected when the cast and crew is 16 years old.

http://www.dailymotion.com/Thunderllama/video/6354323 (http://www.dailymotion.com/Thunderllama/video/x3rtzk_bts1_school)

Jack Daniel Stanley
12-16-2007, 07:57 AM
hmmm .... think we may be in a gray area here in terms of the rules.

Though you can have BTS footage, you may not "promote" in anyway on any site outside of DVXuser.

So having BTS footage up on a publicly viewable site is probably a deal breaker, as opposed to having it on a personal server.

Pretty sure it is cut and dry as I have explained it.

No biggie though you just need to take that down and host it somewhere else.

Mark Johnson
12-16-2007, 08:26 AM
Some BTS footage. This shows the level of professionalism that can be expected when the cast and crew is 16 years old.

http://www.dailymotion.com/Thunderllama/video/x3rtzk_bts1_school

Loved the clip, man. Jack knows more than me, but I wanted to throw out that I was of the impression that you could use hosting sites to host images and footage as long as it is clear that its merely a hosting basis as opposed to actually promoting the film specifically. In fact, I was pretty sure I saw a post here somewhere that specifically said this was ok. I may be wrong, though, so I'd suggest you ask Barry in the Rules thread and we all can know what is kosher and what isn't. It just seems that if I throw up my BTS on my private site it isn't much different than using a public video hosting site. I also think we should encourage people to post BTS stuff like this as it makes this a lot more fun.

HBlack
12-16-2007, 09:36 AM
Alright, I'll ask in the rules thread and take it down if necessary. Thanks for the heads up.

Jack Daniel Stanley
12-16-2007, 02:36 PM
I don't know much about hosting sites. That looked to me like something like youtube where random people could browse and see the thing, which would be promoting, as opposed to a site where strangers, i.e. no one that didn't have the link would be able to see it. Maybe I got it wrong, as I say I don't know much about hosting sites.

Not looking to bust anyone, looking to keep you out of hot water, sorry if I raised a flag uneccessarily - but yeah, best to ask at this point.

Anyway, if it is an issue, I'll host it on my server for you.

HBlack
12-16-2007, 03:12 PM
Yeah, it is like youtube. Come to think of it, I'll just take it down pending Barry's response. Thanks for the offer to host it, but really I don't think it's worth your effort to put up a video of us messing around.

Jack Daniel Stanley
12-16-2007, 03:24 PM
gotta be careful with youtube like stuff and fests ...

I was going to submit REKINDLED to Tribeca last week but somebody put it on youtube without my permission ... automatically disqualified it. :crybaby: :grin:

Luis Caffesse
12-16-2007, 03:58 PM
I was going to submit REKINDLED to Tribeca last week but somebody put it on youtube without my permission ... automatically disqualified it. :crybaby: :grin:

OUCH - sorry to hear that Jack.
That's a shame.

HBlack
12-17-2007, 12:34 PM
Looking for a composer. Anyone who's willing, please post here/PM me so I can send you a sample scene of the movie.

Luis Caffesse
12-17-2007, 12:36 PM
A few composers have offered their services in the LoveFest Personals forum (http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/forumdisplay.php?f=123)
Might want to check that out and drop them a line directly.

HBlack
12-17-2007, 12:45 PM
Yeah, I'm doing that as well. Thanks.

HBlack
12-17-2007, 07:54 PM
Currently in talks with snowleopard about scoring this. Looking good so far.

HBlack
12-23-2007, 06:25 PM
http://i17.tinypic.com/6ldpqw5.jpg

http://i19.tinypic.com/6yfl25x.jpg

http://i15.tinypic.com/7xt0ciq.jpg

That was a pretty rushed shoot, and I haven't captured anything yet. Hoping it'll turn out alright.

Robbie Comeau
12-23-2007, 08:26 PM
What camera?

That BTS video got deleted:(

HBlack
12-23-2007, 08:32 PM
http://www.dailymotion.com/relevance/search/thunderllama/video/x3s70z_bts1_school

That should work.

Already been asked, but it's an elura 90. Not good, but good enough.

Marlon Ladd
12-24-2007, 06:00 AM
I thought the dispute was pretty good. You guys kick a*# to be so young. Looking forward to this one too.

HBlack
12-24-2007, 12:59 PM
Thanks. I'm kinda dividing attention between this and a zombie short I'm writing, but I'm still shooting this whenever I can. Yesterday's footage turned out pretty well. I'll put up another BTS video soon.

HBlack
12-24-2007, 01:20 PM
http://www.dailymotion.com/Thunderllama/video/6468808

More BTS.

HBlack
12-26-2007, 07:51 PM
Just got an HV20, so the rest of it will be shot on that (but in standard def to match the rest of the footage).

HBlack
01-02-2008, 05:50 PM
Well, I'm feeling pretty stupid. Yesterday I forgot to bring a boom pole... and a tripod. To add to that, we couldn't find a boom op in the first place. So, everything was handheld (with an HV20 at that). I taped the mic to a broom pole, and the broom pole to a light stand. It was a pain and the footage is shakier than I'd like it to be, but it's not too bad.

HBlack
01-03-2008, 07:01 PM
http://www.dailymotion.com/Thunderllama/video/6624253

And more BTS.

He gave a pretty good performance considering he'd been drunk and awake for the past 24 hours.

ugafan
01-17-2008, 07:44 PM
Looking through the footage I shot today, and watching Jacob converse with a melon, I'm slowly realizing that this is probably the dumbest idea I've ever had.


this is what i like to hear. :cheesy:

HBlack
01-22-2008, 09:02 PM
Working on shaving off another 20 seconds before it can be scored. Is there any restriction on the length of the credits? It's currently 5 frames long...

Robbie Comeau
01-22-2008, 09:08 PM
All films must be no longer than 6 (six) minutes total INCLUDING CREDITS. The following format must be followed. Film Title (any format), body of film, maximum of 15 seconds of credits (which must clearly acknowledge dvxuser.com).
....

HBlack
01-23-2008, 04:54 AM
That states the maximum length of credits, but not if there's any minimum. I think I could technically do 1 frame if I wanted to, but I'm not sure if the "clearly acknowledges dvxuser" would prevent me from doing so.

Michael Anthony Horrigan
01-23-2008, 05:53 AM
Hmmm... the last fest was 15 seconds of credits minimum. Since they didn't like the final frame credits idea.

I would check.

Mike

kurtmo
01-24-2008, 03:43 AM
Working with a time deadline makes you earn your creation. I usually end up with a better product in the end...tighter and more on story. Good luck with the film splicer!

smashedburrito
01-24-2008, 07:20 AM
Working with a time deadline makes you earn your creation. I usually end up with a better product in the end...tighter and more on story. Good luck with the film splicer!

Agreed, I feel like when I am forced to trim something down to meet a limit I usually trim off a lot of the fat and just leave the good stuff.

HBlack
01-25-2008, 06:40 PM
Well, after cutting out some dialogue and piecing together conversations it's cut down to the time limit, and sent to the composer (snowleopard on the forums). Working on CC and a bit of animation at the moment.

Updated the first page.

HBlack
01-29-2008, 10:18 AM
Just got some more of the rough score from Phil (snowleopard). It's coming together nicely.

Charlie Anderson
01-29-2008, 10:57 AM
Well, I'm feeling pretty stupid. Yesterday I forgot to bring a boom pole... and a tripod. To add to that, we couldn't find a boom op in the first place. So, everything was handheld (with an HV20 at that). I taped the mic to a broom pole, and the broom pole to a light stand. It was a pain and the footage is shakier than I'd like it to be, but it's not too bad.
Hahahahaha Oh I've been there and that seriously just gave me a laugh

Ted Arabian
01-30-2008, 06:28 AM
I love you title!!! Cracks me up every time I see it.

Good luck to you. I love the resourcefulness displayed in your bts shots!

-Ted

mentatDUKE
01-31-2008, 08:25 AM
Hblack, this looks to be a fun movie. Looking forward to it.

HBlack
02-08-2008, 08:00 PM
Just finishing up. I had forgotten about the deadline, but I'm pretty close to done.

HBlack
02-09-2008, 10:45 PM
Finished, and uploading. :thumbup:

HBlack
02-11-2008, 04:02 PM
Awaiting the release. I'm confident that this film will connect with the viewer emotionally in ways few have in the past.

Marlon Ladd
02-12-2008, 06:22 AM
Glad you got uploaded!

Michael Anthony Horrigan
02-12-2008, 06:24 AM
Awaiting the release. I'm confident that this film will connect with the viewer emotionally in ways few have in the past.As long as you don't throw Melons at us I'm in. :thumbsup:

Jaime V
02-12-2008, 09:16 AM
I've got a cantaloupe all ready to be sliced up and consumed while I watch this one.

Waiting is the hardest part!

HBlack
02-12-2008, 02:13 PM
I've got a cantaloupe all ready to be sliced up and consumed while I watch this one.


Try drawing a face on it prior to eating it. I've found it enhances the flavor.

Zak Forsman
02-12-2008, 03:59 PM
I hope to see some nice melon shots in this one.

HBlack
02-12-2008, 05:49 PM
Any specific kind? Hopefully our over-the-melon shots will be satisfactory.

Ted Arabian
02-13-2008, 10:03 AM
I hope to see some nice melon shots in this one.
haha! That's what I was thinking!!!

Congrats! Looking forward to the flick~

incob123
02-13-2008, 06:12 PM
There is something uniquely magical about a slow dolly up to a perturbed melon. something magical indeed..

Michael Anthony Horrigan
02-13-2008, 07:13 PM
Funny stuff! Nice transitions as well.
I didn't love the supporting actor, the guys friend... but the main guy and the melon were superb. :)

Loved the bedroom moment as well... instant classic. Nice work.

Cheers,

HBlack
02-13-2008, 08:10 PM
Thanks Michael, glad you liked it.

The only thing I can attempt to explain away is the shake on the dollys in the living room scene, I think that was an exporting error of some sort. Clipping was my bad.
Really appreciate any criticism on this, be it positive or negative.

Ted Arabian
02-14-2008, 04:25 AM
HBlack, just saw your film!

Man, you have a crazy sense of humor! Outrageous!

I enjoyed your film. I found some very nice elements in it. Transitions from scene to scene were well done. And you had some nice shots there!

I don't know if you are aware of it but the initial scene between Shaun and his friend totally breaks the line rule when shooting reverses. It was distracting... and not in a good way. I can't imagine that breaking this rule was intentional. (I know that it can be effective when used correctly.)

I thought that your lead actor did a great job. Especially having to work off of a MELON! The friend... not so much. The Melon... well, she was a bitch! LOL!

Your lighting was pretty flat but I know how hard it is to shoot on a zero budget film. But I mention it so that perhaps in the future you may start to spend time in this department. The lighting at the dinner table was very dark in contrast to your other scenes.

I found your film amusing and enjoyable to watch for the most part.

Great job and congrats! I look forward to seeing more of your work!

Best,
Ted

HBlack
02-14-2008, 05:15 AM
Thanks Ted. I really agree with the lighting comment, that's something I need to work on. In my defense I was working with three 1ks with little to control them, but it was a fault, and it's something I'm working on fixing in my current project. Others have commented on breaking the line rule as well, and that's something I probably should have prevented. I was sitting on a table to get those which resulted in some awkward framing, I suppose it didn't occur to me to move the table... oh well, next time. Personally, I didn't like the transitions too much. I ended up using the same sound for most which I thought got repetitive, but others may have differing opinions.

Ted Arabian
02-14-2008, 05:36 AM
Hey Justin, the sound of the transitions never bothered me. I think that if you establish a sound for something, you can freely stick with it.

As for lighting, totally hard on our budget! I imagine that in time you will find some creative ways to enhance this... without even adding lights. Just adjusting the positions of them and perhaps toss a few "break-up" items in front of them to create texture.

And yeah, watch out for that line rule. It is so funny that something so simple can yank you out of a film asking yourself, "why does this feel wrong?" Seems like you only had to adjust the takes on the friend at the table. He was the one that was on the wrong side of the line. His eyes were "speaking" in the wrong direction.

Kholi
02-14-2008, 11:45 AM
How many melons did you go through?

Looked like you guys had fun doin' it!

HBlack
02-14-2008, 01:54 PM
We only had 3 throughout. For the dinner scene I only brought one, and Jacob refused to act unless I let him draw the face, so that's what we ended up with. I told him it had to convey annoyance, repressed resentment and feigned cheerfulness in once, I suppose it did that well enough.

Kind of disappointed I didn't get one of your in depth reviews though, Kholi :grin:

Kholi
02-14-2008, 02:01 PM
We only had 3 throughout. For the dinner scene I only brought one, and Jacob refused to act unless I let him draw the face, so that's what we ended up with. I told him it had to convey annoyance, repressed resentment and feigned cheerfulness in once, I suppose it did that well enough.

Kind of disappointed I didn't get one of your in depth reviews though, Kholi :grin:

You know it looked like it was all in good fun. DONE in good fun and, in the end, DONE. Which is more than I can say for myself.

I don't want to pick apart people's fun, either. I'd rather just have fun with ya. But, next time when your content is more serious, bet you'll have somethin' more in-depth from me!

I did watch from beginning to end!

Blaine
02-14-2008, 06:00 PM
I'm mostly with Kholi on this one. I know you had a lot of fun with it but quite honestly I was never really able to get in the moment due to the fact that I could never buy the kids playing adult parts. Age inappropriate. Then again, perhaps that was the beauty of it.

HBlack
02-14-2008, 06:40 PM
Thanks for the honest feedback. I completely agree with both of you. It's not my best work, but it was worth doing (the fact it was for a school project doesn't hurt either). At the moment I'm focusing all my efforts on a serious project, and I'm confident that will be enjoyable to watch.

dannycoxdidit
02-14-2008, 08:36 PM
A lot of the moving shots were done very well, but my main critique was with a lot of the framing, especially in the back and forth sessions between the lead and the friend during the office scenes. Even when something is over-the-top and silly, you can still get the audience sucked in, but it's hard to do that with quick cuts of nothing but close-ups. It might just be a personal thing, but I found that to be distracting.

The banana-melon scene was classic, and the dialog in that whole sequence was pretty stellar.

mentatDUKE
02-14-2008, 08:51 PM
Hey guys. I love the dry absurdist humor of this. The deadpan delivery of the actors and the way the situation was treated really sold this. I like that you resisted the urge to "wink" at us and remind the audience that you're just kidding. The story never "broke character" so to speak, which made that punchline all the more effective.

Likes:
Those transitions. I loved em in Shaun of the Dead and I loved em here. The swish pan to the divorce papers is my favorite.

That spaghetti, man. I was cracking up during the dinner scene. Cringing in disgust and cracking up.

Good one.

HBlack
02-15-2008, 04:39 AM
I think excessive use of close ups is something I need to work on. Thanks for reminding me of that.

Gohanto
02-15-2008, 09:49 PM
This was fun to watch. The banana scene and the transition to the divorce were both great and the best parts of the film. Honestly, I think it would've been a little better had you used a few more faces for the melon, as absurd as that sounds. I liked the music cue during the dinner table.

Just a note though, no one in an office I've worked in says "the boss". People generally refer to everyone else by name.

Mark Harris
02-15-2008, 09:58 PM
I'm sorry, i know I'm a pervert, but all I could think was: "How do they have sex?"

I dunno, I guess this could have been funny handled by comedians. Like some SNL skit, but I think you need some funny actors to pull it off. It did not really work.

But man, I did LOL at the banana scene...

HBlack
02-15-2008, 10:59 PM
The less perverted among us may question how a banana drives a red Volkswagen, but I suppose yours is a valid question as well.

KenV
02-16-2008, 03:54 AM
*Spoilers Yep*

This seemed to me like an episode of the Office, with more comical relationship overtones. I think you could have achieved the same mindset if you cast two similarly female characters, to make this more of a comedy, rather than stating the obvious, which you were going for.

Chris Messineo
02-16-2008, 07:19 AM
That last line is awesome!

This was so strange and yet compelling. I can't imagine how you came up with this idea.

It was a lot of fun to watch.

HBlack
02-16-2008, 08:38 AM
Thanks, fun to watch was all we were going for.

The back story: I found that if you burn a face into a melon it looks like natural bruising. Jacob (the main actor) suggests the idea. We discover lovefest (and I have my commtech summative), so we make the dumbest idea we've had so far. We were originally going to use a cantaloupe, but those are really ugly. We didn't want a wife with severe skin problems.

hoz
02-16-2008, 02:05 PM
nicely done!

liz the melon acted real well especially when she got caught fooling around with the ... banana.... aint this what love fest was supposed to be about? melons and drama and more melons? put in a couple of coworker jugs at their office and ...

acting was in fact quite good. i gotta think acting with produce isnt all that easy. the friend was good too, mr deadpan. he had a great reaction at dinner after the fight over eating habits. is that true dogs can't look up? sounds like a snapple fun fact.

liked the swipes from scene to scene, cool. made me laugh, thanks much!

HBlack
02-17-2008, 08:44 AM
The "dogs can't look up" line was one of the many Shaun of the Dead references within the film. I'm surprised nobody picked up on those, actually.

Robert Eldon
02-17-2008, 09:13 PM
The Melon Drama
Funny title. Wasn’t sure what to expect from this? The sound sync at the beginning seemed to be off when I viewed this. The lighting was kind of harsh in a number of shots.

I liked the camera movement (some dolly shots maybe?) and a number of the close ups.

My favorite shot was when he discovers her (melon), and the other guy (banana). I laughed out loud! I thought the editing worked well here.

Favorite line was ‘dude, that’s a watermelon’.

Congratulations on getting this done. It was a little silly for me, so I couldn’t get into it!

kurtmo
02-18-2008, 04:14 AM
Mmmmmm, melon. I thought the acting was OK for this one. The friend felt a little bit like he was reading his lines. The main did a good job reacting to a…melon. You had some nice shots in the car and some nice panning shots as your main enters the house the first time panning from him to the melon. I thought the music worked.

Maximus
02-18-2008, 07:38 AM
Truly bizarre. Went over my head, I think. Was this a comment on women, or wives in particular?

The banana thing was inspired. The only time I laughed out loud during this fest. :grin:

Look forward to more films from you.

HBlack
02-18-2008, 09:13 AM
Truly bizarre. Went over my head, I think. Was this a comment on women, or wives in particular?


lol, i think you might be looking a bit too far into it.

Thanks for the input.

Noel Evans
02-20-2008, 04:20 AM
Well, Im not even sure what to say. A laughed at Banana and "Dude, thats a waterlmelon", which is probably good because they were the moments I was meant to. I just kept thinking even though I laughed on the last line, I wonder how much more I would have if the line had have been delivered well.

Man, what a zany piece.

Luis Caffesse
02-22-2008, 09:35 AM
Justin -

This was really a nice piece at the core of it.
Funny idea, funny structure, with a great payoff at the end.
So hats off for going out on a limb and doing a crazy idea - but playing it straight and not all self consciously, that would have killed the humor.

I think the casting didn't help you much on this - I know it's tough sometimes but getting older actors would have really sold this. As it plays now I feel like I'm watching the 'idea' of a really funny short. I just couldn't believe the guys in the film because they seemed too young for the jobs/homes/situations they were in.

And, as much as you might not like hearing this, with a piece like this I honestly think it should have been about half as long as it was. That last line is really killer - and could have gotten a huge laugh out of me, but with that sort of construction I think a quick in and quick out is your best bet. Set up the world, set up the situation, reveal the affair, and then hit me with the punchline. A concept like this can't really overstay its welcome because an audience will start to question the belivability of the world once the novelty and humor of it wears off, I think. If this had been about 3 minutes long or less, "Dude, that's a watermelon" could have really killed.

But overall - nice work. You've got good shot construction going on here - I really liked the jump to the extreme close up on "Get F***ed four eyes!" That got a laugh out of me.

I hope you go the comedy route again next time - I'm looking forward to seeing another crazy idea come to life that can stand out from the pack.
:thumbsup:

HBlack
02-22-2008, 06:02 PM
Thanks Luis. To be quite honest, I didn't put nearly enough effort into this to warrant getting adult actors. I have, however, done that for the film I'm working on right now (Trapped, in sig). I'm currently focusing all the energy I have on that, so I hope it'll turn out spectacularly.

RyanT
02-24-2008, 01:38 PM
This was a super funny film. I loved the changing expressions on the melons face, the transitions (oh boy the transitions), as well as the idea overall.

Luis is sort of right of course, as older actors would have made this film a lot better, but at the same time, oh well. The acting did feel a bit stiff at times, but it wasn't anything that really took me out of the story. You had some good shot variation, but the lighting could use some work(soften it up a little?).

Basically, I can't wait to see another one of your films. This one definitely stood out and is one of my favorites in the comedy area.

Marlon Ladd
02-24-2008, 07:43 PM
Man, this was ridiculously funny! LOL. You guys are hilarious. Seeing the melon at the dinner table was funny, but then the whole thing with the affair - I don't know what else to say - really funny. You guys have done it again.

The only critique I can muster is that in the beginning the angle of the friend was a little off to me and I don't know why. I thought at first he was standing to the side of him instead of sort of in front of him. I just couldn't tell where he was when the camera was on him. I know there was a wide, establishing shot, but an over the shoulder too would have probably cemented it. Other than that, nice job. Good luck!

Norm Sanders
02-24-2008, 09:24 PM
I liked the setting in the office, though I felt there could have been more inflection in the voices, making me feel at times this was ADR (obviously it was, anytime we saw the melon - at least for it's/her voice). The thing with ADR is that it can be HARD to inflect, when not doing it for the camera, in the moment, etc.

That said, this was a DARING concept to try & pull off, as it could be a major flop. Just looking at some of the posts, however, and seeing that you've got some fans on here for your humor, I'd say you've succeeded & applaude you for that! :)

Just saw the posts above ... yep, more age appropriate talent would certainly help any production.

Brian Parker
02-24-2008, 09:36 PM
Pretty funny film. od shot variation and the audio and lighting was ok. The acting was good too but the lines went by a little fast. I know we were on a time constraint but the dialogue could have been just a little bit slower. They were still funny performances. I loved the expression on the melon's face at the dinner table. The very end got a laugh out loud. Good job.

HBlack
02-25-2008, 12:42 PM
http://img124.imageshack.us/img124/4634/oj3rdc7hk.jpg
EDIT: Photo not created by me.

Blaine
02-25-2008, 12:44 PM
I'd love to see a full "animated" short like the photos above. :thumbsup: