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zucked
08-06-2013, 12:14 AM
The Monkey's Paw
Be careful what you wish for.

http://i.imgur.com/ASAy3wt.jpg

Director: Ben Edelman
Assistant Director: John Sataloff
Story based on “The Monkey’s Paw” by W.W. Jacobs, adapted by Ben Edelman
Produced by: David Zucker, John Sataloff, Ben Edelman

Cast:
Dan Berkey
Carol Jacobanis
Ben Edelman
Montgomery Sutton
Peter Johnston

Director of Photography: David Zucker
Camera Operator: Paul DuVilla
Assistant Camera: Matt Malis
Gaffer: Mike Holst
Grip: Dan Harris

Production Manager: David Zucker
Script Supervisors: Aliza Berger and Lauren Lewis
Craft Services: Karen Zucker

Production Design and Costumes: Hannah Alpert
Location Sound: Paul Brian Osorio
Hair and Makeup Artist: Sheil Caldwell

Picture Editor: Paul Hartel
Sound Re-Recording Mixer & Sound FX Editor: Ryan Frias
Dialogue Editor: Anthony De Francesco
Color Correction: Matt Harris
Composer: Elizabeth Phillipson Weiner
Poster: Matt Harris

lets gooooooooo

Brandon Rice
08-06-2013, 10:50 AM
Welcome!

zucked
08-08-2013, 12:19 PM
SUPER excited to announce that we'll be shooting our film on the RED ONE thanks to the generosity of owner/operator Paul DuVilla
** If anyone in the PA/NJ/MD area is interested in being a part of this project (especially in make-up, art/production design!!), PLEASE get in touch! We'd love to have you.

Cast and Crew slowly assembling.

Chris_Keaton
08-08-2013, 02:55 PM
Is this going to be as serious adaptation or a comedy? Inquiring minds want to know. Or at least this guy.

zucked
08-08-2013, 03:00 PM
A serious adaptation! Until its horribly misconstrued...

Brandon Rice
08-08-2013, 03:14 PM
Great updates! Looking forward to seeing this film!

ZazaCast
08-08-2013, 05:01 PM
Sounds like fun...best of luck!

bluemanrocks
08-14-2013, 11:34 PM
Thanks everybody for the support!

I too am returning to work with zucked on this one and so far it's coming along great - a bit nervous about time, but everything else (production design, camera equipment we have available, potential actors, location, etc.) is doing really awesomely!!

Elton
08-14-2013, 11:39 PM
Fantastic! Hope the progress continues smoothly

zucked
08-15-2013, 01:05 AM
Camera tests tonight! Shoot's approaching and lots to do!

75030

Brandon Rice
08-15-2013, 08:54 AM
Thanks everybody for the support!

I too am returning to work with zucked on this one and so far it's coming along great - a bit nervous about time, but everything else (production design, camera equipment we have available, potential actors, location, etc.) is doing really awesomely!!

Good to hear, wishing you luck!

Matt Harris
08-15-2013, 08:45 PM
Awesome, RED ONE is sick! Post screengrabs for us as soon as you can. Looking forward.

Richard J. Johnson
08-15-2013, 09:32 PM
Looking forward to it!

zucked
08-23-2013, 01:12 AM
Wrapped shooting yesterday morning around 5am, after two absurd 20 hour days. The amazing cast and crew pushed through, and we're feeling good. Maybe some screen grabs up in the foreseeable future??

If anyone (especially in the Philadelphia or St. Louis areas) is interested in collaborating as an editor or post-sound mixer, get in touch! This project's got potential.

75367

Elton
08-23-2013, 01:42 AM
Congrats! Looks cool!

Brandon Rice
08-23-2013, 08:43 AM
Great BTS! Congrats on wrapping! First one I think!

ZazaCast
08-23-2013, 11:04 AM
Looks GREAT! ...and damn... I have to get shooting...tic, tic...

Brandon Rice
08-23-2013, 02:21 PM
Looks GREAT! ...and damn... I have to get shooting...tic, tic...

:thumbsup: I was thinking the same thing. My shoot is still two weeks away.

Charli
08-27-2013, 07:27 AM
Good luck on production!

zucked
09-02-2013, 05:41 PM
As I'm now in a different city, I've been getting our footage from our Camera Op/DIT piece by piece. I finally managed to download some more this morning, and here's one of my favorite grabs (ungraded) -- a shot of one of our two leads, played by actor Dan Berkey. Everyone on set was calling this our "Godfather shot."

75849

Brandon Rice
09-03-2013, 04:18 PM
Great shot! :thumbsup:

ZazaCast
09-03-2013, 04:25 PM
looking GOOD!

Chris_Keaton
09-03-2013, 06:03 PM
Looking good!

Elton
09-03-2013, 07:17 PM
Very nice!

Brandon Rice
09-09-2013, 04:34 PM
How is this going?

zucked
09-09-2013, 07:42 PM
Going well, thanks! Lots of good momentum. Biggest hurdle right now is finding an editor...

If anyone has any names they can throw our way, it would be super appreciated!!

Kyle Stebbins
09-09-2013, 08:16 PM
Looks like a good time, man. Excited to see more grabs/samples!

zucked
09-20-2013, 02:25 PM
The footage is in the mail to our editor! Excited to see where this goes. More screengrabs to come!

Brandon Rice
09-20-2013, 03:57 PM
Awesome that you found an editor!

Matt Harris
09-24-2013, 10:57 AM
lookin' good, show us some grabs when you can.

ZazaCast
09-25-2013, 09:14 AM
Please chime in!
http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?311453-HorrorFest-II-Official-Rules-amp-Prize-List/page7

zucked
10-01-2013, 09:27 PM
Pooped a little bit with excitement and fear when I came home tonight to see a download link from our editor of a rough cut of the first six minutes of our film!! Overwhelming experience to see the hard work of our cast and crew come together in this first cut. There's much to do!

zucked
10-01-2013, 09:28 PM
And definitely some more grabs coming soon! Can't keep them all to myself.

Elton
10-01-2013, 11:57 PM
Bring on the grabbage!

ZazaCast
10-02-2013, 09:09 AM
Bring on the grabbage!

...but hold the poop! :dankk2:

zucked
10-16-2013, 02:18 PM
Grabs!

http://i.imgur.com/hVLS3UQ.jpg

zucked
10-16-2013, 02:19 PM
http://i.imgur.com/6qZurm3.jpg

zucked
10-16-2013, 02:19 PM
http://i.imgur.com/tKrku1g.jpg

Hawk Teflon
10-16-2013, 02:37 PM
Really good looking stuff.

bluemanrocks
10-16-2013, 04:58 PM
And we have picture locked and sent to our composer, sound editor, and color correction... starting to get really excited to see our final product!!

zucked
10-20-2013, 07:40 PM
Updated with poster, thanks to Matt Harris!

NICK ASH
10-21-2013, 10:27 AM
As I'm now in a different city, I've been getting our footage from our Camera Op/DIT piece by piece. I finally managed to download some more this morning, and here's one of my favorite grabs (ungraded) -- a shot of one of our two leads, played by actor Dan Berkey. Everyone on set was calling this our "Godfather shot."

75849

The image looks great but your set is what really grabs me in

zucked
10-21-2013, 12:47 PM
The image looks great but your set is what really grabs me in

Thanks Nick! Yeah, we really lucked out with the location, making a few changes to the story to make it work for us because it was available. Definitely made shooting a nice image a lot easier! As long as we avoided damaging crazy expensive paintings and sculptures...

zucked
10-22-2013, 10:40 AM
heard the first cut of our score this morning! Things are slowly piecing together

Marlon Ladd
10-22-2013, 11:33 AM
That's a great grab! You guys are moving right along.

ryanjf
10-27-2013, 02:43 PM
Rough 5.1 mix and stereo downmix delivered! Hoping to get the printmaster done by tomorrow.

Brandon Rice
10-27-2013, 03:21 PM
Awesome! I bet you did great work as always Ryan!

Matt Harris
10-27-2013, 03:30 PM
Nice ryan, congrats. can't wait to hear it!

zucked
10-27-2013, 07:24 PM
I was on set all day and finally got a chance to listen to Ryan's mix. Such a fantastic job -- technically and creatively-speaking. Sincerely grateful to have him on the team, and excited to put this film out there.

Alan H. Chang
10-27-2013, 10:46 PM
Awesome, Ryan! Can't wait to watch this.

bluemanrocks
10-29-2013, 11:38 AM
Got our final sound mix w/ score, color correction on its way, etc... HERE WE GO SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!

Matt Harris
10-30-2013, 01:14 AM
I'm very excited to see this one completed, you guys made a helluva film...

bluemanrocks
10-31-2013, 09:31 PM
Thanks Matt! Super proud of all the films in this fest - and to have ours be one among them :)

Zak Forsman
10-31-2013, 09:35 PM
well done! very much enjoyed the writing, direction, production design, and acting in this one.

Brandon Rice
10-31-2013, 10:22 PM
Quick review (going to try to do this for each film)

Writing: I had never heard any of the "Monkey's Paw" folk lore before, so all the background stuff was pretty good. I liked hearing the exposition of it. The dialog for the most part seemed natural, and one real strength was writing it for period, and not modern. So often I see period films with modern dialog... throws me off. Nice work on that. The story was good too, but really wanted more closure at the end.

Acting: Overall I was pretty happy with the performances. I think some of the editing choices actually hurt some of the performances (more on that later). I think the best actor of the bunch was the guy who originally had the paw.

Cinematography: You had some nice compositions, but sadly a lot of the lighting and color grading didn't match. Not sure if it was intentional or not (as I know sometimes it is) but it threw me off.

Editing: For the first scene the editing was excellent, but I felt in the longer dialog scenes it wasn't well paced. This, I felt, led to some strange beats in the performances that either could have been hidden, or were created in the edit that didn't work. It's really hard to quantify what I mean through text on a screen, but some stuff just felt "off". Like I said though, the first scene was really well cut!

Overall: I really enjoyed the film, and bought into the world and characters. I also really liked the folk lore of the monkey's paw. Good work!

bluemanrocks
11-01-2013, 10:29 AM
Brandon: glad you enjoyed - yeah it's a great classic tale that I'd not heard of before so it was fun to adapt the lore for the screen!

Yes! Our Morris was great - a great attitude and a great guy and a great performance :) As for the editing (and combining this with color correction/cinematography) that was definitely a point of contention that we had hoped to smooth over but didn't end up having the time. Not sure what exactly happened as I was rather uninvolved in the dealings of post (something I'm learning about more as we go), but the three of us on the production team all had similar qualms about how these parts turned out. C'est la vie, it seems, for now - after this fest we plan on reassessing the aesthetic as we were rather confident we could get consistent lighting/color/etc. (though we were unfortunately not able to this time around).

Though you described it as hard to explain, I'd love to hear more on the editing if possible, as we're always trying to learn and improve.

Thanks to you and Zak for your feedback! Much appreciated to hear from others as it's easy to become absorbed in one's own work and lose sight of outside perspectives.

Hawk Teflon
11-01-2013, 08:20 PM
SPOILERS. PLEASE STOP READING IF YOU HAVEN'T WATCHED THIS SHORT.

What I liked: Location, location, location. The setting sold this for me. The pacing early on felt solid to me. I also liked that you just explained that the paw moved instead of having some effect in there that might now have solid it as well. Smart move. Small things like that throughout really worked well. I also really really liked the concept and story of the whole piece.

What didn't work as well for me (please take with a grain of salt): I didn't like that the son tipped the king over on the chess set. To my understanding that's reserved strictly for that player. Later on, the pacing seemed to change and parts felt very rushed while others felt a little too long. I don't know if that was due to the 10 minute limit or not. There were a few strange color vignettes that darkened areas of importance. The ending. I feel it was maybe a few shots too short. I understand what she was probably seeing at the door, but it still felt incomplete to me. But not in the "it's a horror story, it's supposed to be open to a sequel" kind of ending. It was more of a "2 more minutes would have summed this up nicely. I also felt like the king being tipped over at the beginning should have played some role in foreshadowing, unless I just missed that.

Very good entry, nonetheless. Period pieces always amaze me, and you really found quite the location / wardrobe, etc. Very nice!

bluemanrocks
11-01-2013, 09:33 PM
So glad you liked the location/period feel :)

The son tipping the father's king was intended to display the (hopefully endearing) mischievousness of the son (and followed by a knowing/bemused glance w/ the mother). Obviously if this didn't read, and if it put you off, it's well worth considering... noted and thanks for the input!

Definitely understood about the color stuff - as mentioned above was a clear point of issue for us.

If you have any further specifying about timing stuff it would be incredibly valuable to us - we agreed that there were some pacing issues as it went on but wanted to know what specifically people got (or didn't) to compare opinions around and maybe come to a consensus about certain things that definitely need changing.

Thanks again for your input and kind (and constructive!) words!

NICK ASH
11-03-2013, 12:36 AM
I remember reading the Monkey's Paw in High School and I always enjoyed this story....it's right up there with the Tall Tale Heart. I mentioned it before but I love your location. I loved the performance from the Sergeant Major although he seemed a little too young to be one....but then again, in the Civil War people would get promoted at earlier ages than what they do today.

The monkey hand was a cool prop. How did you come about acquiring it? If I could borrow it I would ask for more than $200!

I would say that I was expecting a little bit more with the image/coloring....I guess I was expecting to see more of a "pop" of colors but it seemed a little on the de-saturated side. (but that is just my 2 cents).

The other thing I thought was during the scene where it broke for dinner....then the soldier was walking out the door. I thought that perhaps it would have played smoother if it starts right after dinner, maybe sipping on a after dinner wine (port) and then when it is time for the soldier to leave, he simply excuses himself and is seen out. That way it is one continuous scene rather than two without the assumption of a dinner scene.

Overall, excellent film and it follows closely to the originally story. Thanks for letting me critique and its films like yours that I aspire to get to.

Matthew B
11-05-2013, 02:41 AM
Brandon and Hawk pretty commented on everything I would have. I will definitely note that the location and art department was nice, but the cinematography definitely detracted from it. An interesting take on an old legend. I couldn't help but feel as though this film had more to tell though. We seemed to finish on only two wishes. I kept waiting for the son to come back as an undead, kill the mother and then the father would wish for death, like the original story the soldier told.
Overall all a nice little story.

bluemanrocks
11-08-2013, 11:28 AM
Brandon and Hawk pretty commented on everything I would have. I will definitely note that the location and art department was nice, but the cinematography definitely detracted from it. An interesting take on an old legend. I couldn't help but feel as though this film had more to tell though. We seemed to finish on only two wishes. I kept waiting for the son to come back as an undead, kill the mother and then the father would wish for death, like the original story the soldier told.
Overall all a nice little story.

The idea (though unclear, obviously!) was that he whispers/breathes his last wish, though we don't hear exactly what it is, and she opens the door to see: nothing at all. A flickering streetlamp perhaps, on an empty, desolate road.

Appreciate the feedback!!

Chris_Keaton
11-08-2013, 04:32 PM
Wow, congrats. This looked good and you did a fine job of cutting it to length. One of the only films that didn't feel too long. Great job!

bluemanrocks
11-08-2013, 05:31 PM
Thanks so much Chris! So glad you enjoyed our cutting/telling of the classic - it sure was amazing (albeit chaotic) to work on!!

Paul F
11-09-2013, 09:17 AM
Wow. I really like it. It looked great. I wouldn't change a thing......ok, the ending did leave me wanting.

If I had heard him say something to resolve the third wish (as you mentioned) that would have done it.

JaceDaniel
11-09-2013, 12:59 PM
Very nice! The biggest applaud about this is the fantastic art direction; the sets, the costumes, all that was great. Plus you got some very realistic performances from your actors, which helped tremendously!
Also, the story was interesting because I remember hearing the exact same story long time ago, and I wondered if this based on an urban myth? I'm interested in it’s origins.

I think the only part it lacked was it seemed to drag a bit in areas, the reveal at the end wasn’t as big of an impact as I had expected it to be.... and lastly (a nitpicky detail) the color was as little wonky.

Overall I say this was in my top 6!

Jack Daniel Stanley
11-11-2013, 11:25 PM
Great costumes, art directing, casting, location.
Your actors were well cast and vert good too.
Nice staging and some really nicely framed shots that told the story well.


There’s so much good, credible work here I hope you’re quite proud.
The art direction, acting, angles are just so competent and not easy to do. The beats all make sense.
There’s so much good work I feel bad saying anything bad about it, but despite all of the above it doesn’t jump off the screen for me.


I think the only things keeping this from having real impact, memorability are:

Lack of a unique perspective on the material and familiarity with the tail where some other fest films may benefit by an indie-auteur by-the-seat-of-their pants risky energy, even though they may not be as competently executed as yours.. Soderbergh has this definition of Cinema lately that goes basically like this - if anyone else could have made it it’s not Cinema, it’s a movie. For better or worse. There’s lot of crappy cinema and some good movies. This was a faithful adaptation and everything made sense - the camera angles, the performances, all of it. But maybe it lacked a personal perspective to engage us and draw us in. That feeling that this couldn’t have been made by anyone else vs. several very competent filmmakers. I think maybe it lacks zing and synergy for that reason. Maybe. Just a hunch / opinion.
Some lighting and sound issues. Lighting is credible but with the familiar territory of the story maybe it has to be over the top great and more innovative with movement and angles. Some of the sound is off access and just doesn’t feel like a movie. With such solid period art direction, technical imperfections stand out.
Ending - I feel like there was an opportunity to draw out the suspense when the...


SPOILERS...

...son comes to the door. Also the end, after he comes, seemed a bit abrupt.




I don't necessarily feel like it all translated to camera or a final, impactful cut and mix, but there's no question what was happening on set in front of the camera was very polished and put together and there's boat load of craft and talent here.