View Full Version : THE BOATSHED - Edited & Presented By Matt Harris

Matt Harris
07-07-2011, 07:10 PM
The Boatshed is a docu-drama exploring the last moments of the life of Mike Mannis
as he attempted to face his worst fears while making peace with the death of his twin brother.



Anthony Todaro
07-07-2011, 07:20 PM
Now that looks fuqing creepy. Wicked concept.
Can't wait to see it. You're posters are always sick, BTW.

Hawk Teflon
07-07-2011, 07:27 PM
Looks great, Matt!

Michael Anthony Horrigan
07-07-2011, 07:29 PM
Awesome poster! Looking really good, Matt. Best of luck.

Matt Harris
07-07-2011, 07:31 PM
Aw thanks fellas, it feels good to be back.

07-07-2011, 07:39 PM
sneaky...creepy...can't wait to peeky!

Chris Messineo
07-07-2011, 08:18 PM
Awesome poster and intriguing BTS. I'm a fan of your previous films and can't wait to check out your latest.

Congrats on ten Fests - that's a serious accomplishment!

07-08-2011, 06:27 AM
Hey Matt... in the BTS video you said you didn't shoot this?
When was it shot, what camera was used...can you tell us more about the process?

Marlon Ladd
07-08-2011, 06:45 AM
Matt, WTF???!! LOL!! How you just gonna' sneak in? Can't wait to see what you did! This work CPU won't pull up the poster, but I'll check it out on my phone. I'm sure it's sweeeet.

Michael Anthony Horrigan
07-08-2011, 07:03 AM
Sweet studio in the background!
Makes my little iMac and external drive look like a joke.

Which it kind of is.... : /

Marlon Ladd
07-08-2011, 07:57 AM
Sweet studio in the background!
Makes my little iMac and external drive look like a joke.

Which it kind of is.... : /

What about my little macbook pro (13')? You have no room to talk, sir!!! Freakin' rich guys. :Drogar-BigGrin(DBG)

Poster looks nice, Matt! Is that the same place you filmed that short with your dad?

Michael Anthony Horrigan
07-08-2011, 08:11 AM
What about my little macbook pro (13')? You have no room to talk, sir!!! Freakin' rich guys. :Drogar-BigGrin(DBG)If you said Airbook I would have agreed with you. :)

Marlon Ladd
07-08-2011, 08:36 AM
Those things are sweet!

Ryan P. Kelly
07-08-2011, 12:37 PM
Can't wait to see this...really looking forward to learning from all you guys

Matt Harris
07-08-2011, 01:41 PM
Zaza, some of the footage was shot 2 months ago, some of it was shot in 2007. It's a documentary that explores the death of twin brothers who were friends of my family.

Marlon, what up! This is a different lodge in New Hampshire, than the one we shot at last year. Good memory though!

Ryan, you won't learn much from me, except how to pull a last minute entry out your _ss.

Mike, my man cave is 15 x 15 and has 3 workstations like the one you see in the BTS. One for FCP, one for Logic Pro, and one for Photoshop. I am rich and that is why i have all the time in the world to enter dvxfests.

Marlon Ladd
07-08-2011, 02:13 PM
Marlon, what up! This is a different lodge in New Hampshire, than the one we shot at last year. Good memory though!

Mike, my man cave is 15 x 15 and has 3 workstations like the one you see in the BTS. One for FCP, one for Logic Pro, and one for Photoshop. I am rich and that is why i have all the time in the world to enter dvxfests.

Okay, cool! I was just thinking about it. I can't remember anyone ever having entered a fest with a documentary. Can anybody else? So this should be really interesting. And hey, Matt, make a promise right here right now that when you do get rich you won't forget where you came from and will still enter dvxfests! :Drogar-BigGrin(DBG)

Matt Harris
07-08-2011, 02:16 PM
I think Rod did a docu-drama thing from Betrayal fest last year?

07-08-2011, 02:36 PM
I think Rod did a docu-drama thing from Betrayal fest last year?

Yes.. he did.

Michael Anthony Horrigan
07-08-2011, 05:42 PM
I am rich and that is why i have all the time in the world to enter dvxfests.
Dude! Want to back my feature? :D

Dustin R. Rogan
07-09-2011, 06:41 AM
10 is a nice amount of fest there Matt, 13 films myself....been around myself for a healthy amount of filmage :D good luck buddy


Hawk Teflon
07-09-2011, 06:20 PM

I'm just going to go ahead and call you out right now. You, sir, are a buttface. This one scared the crap out of me. I can't watch scary movies. At all. Here's basically a play by play of me watching:

La la la, oh neat. This is pretty cool. I like this one. It's interesting how ... wait what? No. No don't go in there. DON'T GO IN THERE. Phew ... it's just the li- OHMYGAWDGETOUTGETOUTGETOUT! :::heart racing::: Phew ... That was a close ca-AAHH!! :::has to go change pants:::

I do not do well at ALL on scary movies, so kudos for getting me to watch this. I think you pulled it off well. It had a very blair witch effect to it, but much more cinematic than BW. Very good job.

Marlon Ladd
07-09-2011, 07:10 PM
WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! Matt, gotdang man, you did your thing!! This was a great, great idea and you had us going for sure. This was very engaging, creepy and scary and you pulled it off by yourself. This was TV worthy and I agree with Hawk, like "Blair Witch," but much more cinematic. Do your thing, man!! Do your thing!!!

Matthew B
07-09-2011, 07:57 PM
A really suspenseful entry. This one had my heart racing. Good job.

I really enjoyed this up until the reveal of the ghost (or vision) to me this felt a little weak. Once i saw it the suspense seemed to die for me. I concur on the like "Blair Witch" comment, up until we see the ghost. What might have made it a little more powerful would have been to not show the ghost, but show evidence of him, which is what made "Blair Witch" as successful as it was. Less is more and it would have remained a lot scarier (in my opinion).

Overall, a really nice entry and i really enjoyed it.

07-10-2011, 02:07 AM
Nicely presented story. Good suspense build and nice use of self filming narrative.
The only thing that I think was less convincing was the
ghost face right at the end.
You did a great job, well done.

07-10-2011, 07:32 PM
Wow, this and "The Water's Edge" have to be the two best looking films in the fest. Really great photography and locations. Everything just clicked to set the right "creepy" mood. I loved the look of this from start to finish. The "actors" were also spot on.

Funny, the terrific photography gave away the fact that this wasn't really a documentary! When Mike comments that he's not really a cameraman right when we are watching this beautiful slider shot on the front porch it kind of ruins the effect. Everything was just too good looking to pass as an ordinary guy with a camera. But everything looked so good I probably would have bitched if it HAD looked more realistic - crummy, in other words. Loved the shot walking down to the boatshed, the evening shade, the flashlight - really cool. And the interior of the boathouse really had me creeped, very effective.
Two complaints - I knew what was coming, but it's not a real bitch since part of the satisfaction of these things is knowing the asshole is going to get his in the end. The other has already been mentioned. That super over his shoulder at the end. Everything else was so real, so dead on, that that came off as a little hokey. The way the shot was set up I figured we'd actually see the dark form of his brother walk into the shot behind him. In my humble opinion it would have worked better.

Just a great film, one of my top three. Terrific job all around.

Dustin R. Rogan
07-10-2011, 07:46 PM
Great Job Matthew!

I'm guessing the ghost is the "villain"? no real complaints just the ghost at the end...

I don't scare easy so my pants are still dry unlike Hawks over there BWHAHA (jk Hawk)

Great stuff mang


Hawk Teflon
07-10-2011, 08:00 PM
I don't scare easy so my pants are still dry unlike Hawks over there BWHAHA (jk Hawk)

I haven't turned the lights off since.

Dustin R. Rogan
07-10-2011, 08:02 PM
i haven't turned the lights off since.

Matt Harris
07-10-2011, 09:13 PM
I totally agree fellas, I will axe the "end" ghost after this fest ends, for future viewings. I was down to the wire on this one and was afraid that if i left the end empty, it would have been a missed opportunity. In hindsight, leaving the end without a ghost should work fine. I was alone at the cabin when i shot this, if i had anyone else there i would have had them walk through the door at the end as a "real" ghost, which would have worked better. but it was just me. by myself. scaring the crap out of myself as i shot this.

Luckily I had a bottle of Beam.

Michael Anthony Horrigan
07-11-2011, 12:36 PM
Loved the opening on this. It came off completely believable to me. The editing and sound design was great. Especially during the interviews, I really loved that part.

The comment about not being a filmmaker and then showing those beautiful shots didn't quite go together but that's a super easy edit fix.

You had me on the edge of my seat once you went into the boatshed. What a simple but effective location!
More great sound design there.

As another guy who just takes his camera and does what he can I really admire you for all of your fest entries. No actors and you still pull it off! Your style always comes through and this is no exception.

Great job.

07-11-2011, 01:19 PM
This was really well done Matt! As a rule I loath these types of shows that pollute TV these days...they make me crazy.
Have you seen the best new comedy on Animal Planet yet? It's called "Finding Bigfoot" and it's just a hoot! (and those people get paid...:huh:)

...but I digress

I always love your editing style and this one fit the mold perfectly. Nice shots all around and thank God the handheld style of shooting wasn't
as crazy as Cloverfield (I actually had to leave the theatre before I got sick). Beautiful location that makes for very pleasent images. Sound design
worked well too!

I make you dig for it... Ha, Ha!As mentioned, I didn't need to see the ghost at the end, that little 'nerve-shocker' in the boathouse was all that was needed, but it by no means ruined the film. I felt the opening text might have been a little on the 'wordy' side and could have been tightened-up a bit. These are just my personal opinions (and you know what they say about opinions)...I just didn't want to say, "Great film!" and not offer you a critique of some kind.

That said... Great film! :thumbsup:

07-11-2011, 05:29 PM
Right this is a tricky one! There is so much thrown into this film - Banging text graphics, morpheous voices and pixelated faces and then whoosh we're thrust into the cabin for our breakneck ghost search. All in all it almost works - the most genuine sense of suspense experienced is during the search in the boathouse - this is where the film is most effective.

To clarify - its not when the most sophisticated motion graphics are in use - grading / over production or bombastic soundtrack. These elements detracted from the film - creating a weird kind of michael bay style blair witch. It smacks of an insecurity on the part of the filmmaker to let the story speak for itself. I say this (as an impression i had personally from it.)

I can't imagine such over-production if utilised in Blair Witch, paranormal activity, (or even better films such as Home Movie or Noroi the Curse) that it would have made them better... in this case it makes the film worse. While that criticism might seem harsh - i don't want my emphasis on it to suggest i didn't enjoy this film. I did and my viewing party too generally enjoyed it too!

It is a slick and accomplished film - but as a director i think you should consider removing yourself from these AE effects! Its a lot of noise - static noise that kinda covers real talent underneath.

Back to the film - the suspense (with the torch) was simple and effective, (i was going oooh yikes) the flash of the face (and the arrival of the new york philharmonic just wiped out the suspense. Less is more sometimes especially when you want to place us in the situation.

This 'lost video is found' film could really benefit from an experimental cut - without the interviews and bombastic graphics - I reckon that is the version that would delight horror fans more (incidentally.)

So a good bit of feedback - technically great but unnecessary and detractive, but full of promise imo.

Chris Messineo
07-11-2011, 08:37 PM
This was really cool.

What a fantastic example of how to build tension and fear with little more than sound, lighting, and performance. Actually, now that I think about it, that's not so little. It's hard to do and you pull it off masterfully.

This felt really professional and polished. Excellent performance. I was with you the whole time and it made me feel uneasy. The camera work was great - smooth when it needed to be and rapid handheld for the climax.

Still, there were two things that didn't quite work for me:

- The dramatic reenactments felt unnecessary.

- The ending felt rushed and I'm not sure this should be a ghost story. I think you setup something much deeper and much cooler here. A story about truth, guilt, and revenge. I want to explore that more. I want to be in doubt about what has happened and what is really happening now. I hope that makes sense.

You have a truly awesome opening here and I really hope you continue to explore this. I think it could be phenomenal.

07-11-2011, 09:28 PM
This type of film always really gets me so I really enjoyed this one. Fantastic job.

AJ Brooks
07-12-2011, 01:53 PM
Well done suspense.

As other's and yourself have commented about cutting the "you know what" at the end, I think you should show some evidence of it, without seeing directly. Might be something to play around with rather than just cutting.

Another in my top picks.

07-12-2011, 06:22 PM
Opening..effective use of music. How very 20/20 of you turned Blair Witch. Playing to the voyeur in all of us, very very effective!

Man I was intrigued, you had me with you hook, line and sinker until the 1st and 2nd scare. For some reason I didn't jump. I really wanted to, I sat and anticipated but no. I felt they both were not subtle enough. Not sure how to fix those. Maybe the second one, instead of fading in the back ground and coming forward. Your twin stands up straight behind you.

Overall, I really applaud your originality with this one! I've always wanted to do a found footage short myself.

07-13-2011, 09:11 AM
Definitely one of my favorites for this fest. Really bought the acting, especially throughout the intro to why he was making this video. The entire thing felt polished and professional, obviously finding that great balance that this kind of film requires because its meant to be found raw footage. Location was great too. I really enjoyed this after watching some of the others because - although it may not be an entirely original genre - seemed to completely break the mold of what most others entered with. Congrats

Nemesis TS
07-13-2011, 05:49 PM
Dude, I watched this at 11:30 in the morning, my room all nice and bright..... Yet I still got the damn creeps. Wish I would have watched this one in a dark room late at night.
The only part of the story I didn't understand is why the Mom and Dad had blocked faces and voices? I dunno, it doesn't really matter, cause this was cool anyway. The last bit maybe could have been fainter? Is that a word? Maybe turn the opacity down so I'm not sure if I even saw something or not.
Good job Matt.

07-13-2011, 09:26 PM
Haha this was great. I have to admit that I laughed right at the beginning because you had these people's faces pixelated and voices masked, but you put their names up. Well there goes their anonymity. Most found footage films just bore the living flesh off me, I didn't find a dull moment in the whole piece. I was really hoping he would peek under the toilet lid and find some abomination in it.

The only bad thing is that I wasn't sure why he was so scared at the beginning or I didn't feel that he should be dreading the boat house so much.

Not quit sure what got him, but whatever it was he was a goner. Overall great job!

On a side note, can anyone read Lawrie's comments without hearing his accent in your head?

Matt Harris
07-13-2011, 09:49 PM
lol. I just wrote on another thread, "keaton what are you eating in your avatar?" - some sort of a fried squirrel?

07-14-2011, 05:38 AM
Haha, no that was my 'best produced screenplay' award at a horror film fest. Mmmm awards.

Marlon Ladd
07-14-2011, 05:39 AM
On a side note, can anyone read Lawrie's comments without hearing his accent in your head?

NO!!!! LOL!! I was thinking the same thing! WTH?!!!

lol. I just wrote on another thread, "keaton what are you eating in your avatar?" - some sort of a fried squirrel?


Hawk Teflon
07-14-2011, 06:03 AM
lol. I just wrote on another thread, "keaton what are you eating in your avatar?" - some sort of a fried squirrel?

Ha! I thought it was a huge sausage dog this whole time. Then again, Matt, at first glance I always think you have the hilt of a sword to your face. Much like one of the "Return of the King" posters.

David Jimerson
07-16-2011, 09:18 AM
Best I've watched so far, on every level. Great job!

To nitpick, but only because I think you could take this somewhere and you should get the details right -- "hung juries" don't acquit or convict; they're hung. (And there's a C in "acquit." :) )

07-16-2011, 11:38 AM
I just watched this... and I hate to pile on praise from Jimerson, but this was the most entertaining entry I've watched yet. For me that's a key word... because I was iffy on some of the story elements (I guess I can post spoilers, but I don't really have to.) For example... I saw a lot of potential on your lead character... and I particularly liked the moment where he clears his mind... and has a sinister look for a second... you know what I'm talking about... it's an awesome little shot in just a couple seconds... where it gave me chills because the previous premise was so effectively sold to me in that instant.

Overall... I would have enjoyed a more detached relationship for your main character... because it all seems really personal for the way he presents his "investigation" in less personal (school?) terms.

The style of this is really good... I like that there's a definite feel. I turned my sound down in a couple separate clicks... figuring that I was going to get a suddenly blaring sound, that thankfully wasn't handled that way. Speaking of sound... this whole film sounded really good. I could hear a couple abrupt cuts in the woman's voice, but that's nit-picking... overall the sound is absolutely great. I think the sound track, combined with your actor's personality and voice... really went well together.

There's really nothing else I want to dissect in your film... because again, it was so entertaining. I'll probably watch this one several more times... a couple times to analyze it further... and at least once more strictly for the entertainment. I hope a few more of the remaining entries I haven't seen yet will surprise me the way this one did... but then again, the Harris name is a good one to have around here... so I honestly expected this to be good... and... it is.

07-17-2011, 11:37 AM
Nice poster work. I think you should turn up the vibrance and/or saturation a bit in the poster to make the colors pop. That boatshed font is great. . Haven't seen the film yet. Will do so soon.

07-17-2011, 06:54 PM
"Blair Witch" revisited, you knew it when you filmed it, edited it, and uploaded it. I am not a fan of single person flicks. The actor has no one to bounce dialogue off of...

Was it really scary? No, because I knew the ending before it began. You really gave us no place to go. The opening sequence of supers to explain the story put me off. I'd rather you had just filmed all of that with the guy talking into the camera.

When he lifted the toilet tank top with both hands, how was he able to hold the camera and the flashlight and the tank cover? I do agree the scene shots were very beautifully shot which in turn hurt the fact that the guy was not a very good camera man. So you should have stuck to his abilities to move the camera and not your own, that would have made it more plausible.

This is a horror fest entry in every sense. It's not original. It's what I would expect from a horror flick. The dialogue was believable in that it didn't seem scripted but more off the cuff. His heaving breathing before he got to the shed was a bit much, come on now. That was over dramatic.

It was an okay film. I didn't fall in love with this piece. Your camera movement, yeah, I'd hire you.

07-20-2011, 01:17 AM
Nice job Matt…..it just works.

07-20-2011, 07:15 AM
I just plain loved it.

AJ Brooks
07-20-2011, 10:42 AM
Finalist! Congrats bro.

Matt Harris
07-20-2011, 11:04 AM
Right back atcha AJ, thanks voters and fellow filmmakers!

Hawk Teflon
07-20-2011, 11:09 AM
Congrats! This one still puts me on edge too much to sit through comfortably!

Marlon Ladd
07-20-2011, 03:24 PM
I knew you were in, Matt! Great job.

Matthew B
07-20-2011, 04:45 PM
Well done Matt.

Anthony Todaro
07-21-2011, 09:41 PM
Clean. Top notch cutting and scoring as usual. A familiar setup but who gives a fuqk, I would have bought a ticket for BOATSHED the movie. The ghost at the could have been scarier but I still don't care. The vocoder on the voices sold me, but why show the names and hide the faces? Lol Still don't care, I'm just busting balls. The production is pretty and I jumped. You win.

Noel Evans
07-25-2011, 12:57 AM
Congrats on making the finals... again.

I dont think Ive much to add on what has been already said. I guess knowing the type of film it was there was bound to be a moment of ahhhh. But even so I still think it timed in nicely and still gave a jolt. The final attack however wasnt quite there, there were a few elements pulling me back on that one. Another good effort Matt. Well done.

07-28-2011, 09:59 AM
Congrats on top 5.