View Full Version : Leap Of Faith - Larry R
06-05-2006, 08:06 AM
THE LEAP OF FAITH WEBSITE IS NOW AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC
Visit http://leapoffaith.day7studios.com for BTS pics, updates and more!!!
TO WATCH THE FILM, PLEASE DOWNLOAD BY RIGHT CLICKING THE IMAGE
LEAP OF FAITH
Visit the Film's Website!! (http://leapoffaith.nrestudios.com)
What would it take to make more of your life? Could you change your future simply by deciding to be someone, or something, different? Mark Twain said, "Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society." - is it possible to change who, or what, we are simply by deciding to be different?
Such a change in oneself requires a tremendous amount of faith in your own abilities or the abilities of those things which you "put on". To step out in such a way requires a Leap of Faith.
Shot on Panasonic's DVX-100a with the Anamorphic Adapter and edited on Sony Vegas Video 5. The sketches were created from photos in Adobe Photoshop. Vegas was used for cutting, vfx, audio mixing and CC.
Let me get the "excuses" out of the way :) This is only the second film I have ever shot in my life, and it was the first time I ever laid my hands on a DVX. That said, I am very proud of the product we turned out and I learned a TON, which is the reason I entered to begin with.
Superhero . . . . . . . James McClelland
Quentin . . . . . . . . . Jason Fong
Dominic . . . . . . . . . Luis Romero
Gunman #1 . . . . . . Ryan Nelson
Gunman #2 . . . . . . Charles Wallace
Police Officer . . . . . Brian Rutledge
Walking Couple . . . . . Geoff Felver
Hostages . . . . . . . Travis Flanders
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Luis Romero, Jr.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Julie Rutledge
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Stephen Rutledge
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Brooke Wallace
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jackson Wallace
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Joyce Wallace
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Tony Wallace
Additional Crowd . . . . . . Anil Malhotra
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Maureen Thielen
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Tru Yang
Man Washing Hands . . . . Larry J. Rutledge
Writer / Director . . . . . . . . . . . . Larry J. Rutledge
Composer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Leandro Gardini
First Assistant Director . . . . . . . Jeff Fong
Script Supervisor . . . . . . . . . . . . Maureen Thielen
Boom Operator . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ryan Nelson
Grips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Travis Flanders
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Tony Wallace
Fight Choreographer . . . . . . . . . Raymond Dussault
Post Production Audio . . . . . . . . Matthew Grunau (Rapier_100a)
Costume Supervisor . . . . . . . . . Julie Rutledge
Graphic Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Henry Schneider (g0ldenb0y55)
Catering / Craft Services . . . . . . Julie Rutledge
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Joyce Wallace
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Tony Wallace
Still Photographers . . . . . . . . . . . David Hall
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mark Hall
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Tony Wallace
Behind the Scenes Video . . . . . . Ryan Smart
BTS Video Assistants . . . . . . . . . David Hall
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mark Hall
Provided: Camera, Lights, Audio, Props
Provided: Dolly, Audio
Jeffrey R. Hawley (script review)
Alveraz Ricardez (script review)
I'm looking forward to hearing what you think about my film and to hear constructive comments as I hope to grow with each film I produce.
Thanks for taking the time to look at my film and to comment on it.
06-05-2006, 08:21 AM
Larry, enjoyed your film a lot. I thought the underlying message was good, and enjoyed the actors. Some of the CC was inconsistant, but I liked the overall look. The music was amazing, and this film was well written. Overall I give you a thumbs up! :):thumbsup:
06-05-2006, 08:36 AM
I pretty much echo what briceman said. I enjoyed watching this film. I felt it had a good structure and was telling a solid story. Thanks for sharing Larry.
06-05-2006, 09:39 AM
This was a good, simple wholesome story. Execution was good - some more work with the iris would have kept the feeling going.
06-05-2006, 09:46 AM
Thanks, I'm glad you guys liked it.
I definitely agree that the CC was not consistent...that was lack of experience, time, and sleep :) It is a lot better than it was, but I know it needs a lot more work.
You are dead on with the Iris. As I mentioned in my "excuses" above, I have never used a DVX prior to this shoot. I got the camera on a Friday and we shot on Saturday. By the following week when I shot pickups I was starting to learn more about the iris, and other features, and I think next time I will be that much better. But again, that is why I got involved with this fest...it was a catalyst to get me filming so I could learn.
06-05-2006, 09:56 AM
Larry, I can't get it to play. I see the first opening credits and then it just keeps jumping back to the start. I have watched the others fine. Is it just me? I want to see it?
06-05-2006, 10:12 AM
snodart, I'm sorry it's not working...I'm not sure why not. Others are able to watch it ok....do you have the latest quicktime 7 installed? I think the film is h.264 which requires that...as most of them should be.
06-05-2006, 10:18 AM
yes, QT 7. Maybe I just need to delete my cookies and try again. The bandwidth is maxed out on the site now. I won't miss it
06-05-2006, 10:19 AM
Yea, I just noticed the bandwidth issue....maybe the full file didn't get downloaded before the bandwidth ran out.
Hopefully Jarred will be online soon with additional mirrors and the ZIP file.
06-05-2006, 10:21 AM
Very cinematic. Especially the first 3 minutes! I would try fading him in and out in the bathroom - that seemed abrupt. From the bathroom on - it dragged a bit for me - but liked the ending and theme.
I liked the pencil sketch - how did you do that?
Good use of effects! They were a PART of the story and footage and really worked!
06-05-2006, 10:25 AM
Yeah, I agree about the pencil sketch, that was awesome!
06-05-2006, 10:30 AM
Cool, glad you liked it!
I wanted to do a much better fade type effect in the bathroom, but I had some problems with my background plate (and my skill and the quickly diminishing time to work on the project) and I was lucky to get what I did :) I understand what you mean about abrupt...it needs to be fixed.
I thought the beginning, after the "opening" was the part that dragged...but I guess that's the cool part about artistic endeavors, everyone sees something different. :)
The pencil sketch is one of my "hidden" effects. The sketch was not actually on the pad while we were filming. I just filmed the blank sketchpad, then I took photos of the "sketch" I wanted and applied a photoshop action I created to turn the photo into a pencil sketch. Then I did a chroma-key on the sketchpad selecting one of the middle colors (there are shadows across the page and I wanted them to show as well). Then I adjusted the settings in the chroma key filter (in Vegas Video) until the sketch appeared to be on the page and the shadows still fell naturally across the whole thing.
The funny thing about the sketch is when we were filming, my 1st AD was concerned about the shadows falling across the notepad. He kept asking if I wanted to reset the shot so the page would be in full sunlight and I said no it would be fine. He kept saying, "How are you going to get the sketch on there and keep those shadows?" I would say, "It's no problem, I can mask everything out and get the sketch there." He finally shrugged his shoulders and said, "OK". Well, the funny part of all that is I had NO IDEA how I was going to do it, but didn't want to look unprepared in front of my crew, so I kept saying, "Yep, it's no problem...that sketch will be a breeze to incorporate". Fortunately, it was...I was sweating it when I got to the computer to start editing, but it fell in nicely. So then I took a screengrab of the comp'd sketch and sent it to the 1st AD. He replied that it looked like I had everything under control.... I just laughed! :grin:
Glad you thought the effects worked in as a part of the story, and not as something thrown on top just to have effects. I tried to really focus on telling a story and using whatever devices told that story. I didn't want to incorporate things just to incorporate them.
06-05-2006, 03:01 PM
great film larry loved , did he make the flight and take off??? great film i enjoyed i heard vegas did u use vegas for your editing and CC ??????
peace n luv
06-05-2006, 03:05 PM
Glad you liked it!!
did he make the flight and take off???
That's the question, isn't it :Drogar-BigGrin(DBG) I really liked the idea of leaving the question of whether he really was able to fly or not. With the story building from some guy who is just a regular guy, then gaining this power, but how much power did he really get? :)
Yes, I used Vegas Video 5 100% for everything except for the two sketches which I converted from photos to sketches in Photoshop.
06-05-2006, 06:27 PM
Cool movie. I think the dolly shot should have started a little later. It looks like it was still when it started. I wanted to see that guy as a kung fu monk for some reason, he was beggin to have 9 white dots on his forehead. How did you get to run around outside in a park with guns?
06-05-2006, 07:49 PM
Aram - good catch on the dolly shot, I noticed that after I submitted my files the last time. I think I changed a cut time somewhere along the way and now it starts before he is walking. Lesson learned.
Kung-fu Martial Arts were on the original order of the day (but not for the guy in the black suit). But my original fight choreographer didn't work out (he was a martial arts instructor). So we went with the fight we have....and I think it works well. Though I am a huge fan of the Saturday Afternoon Kung-Fu Theatre that used to come on TV back when we only had like 10 channels :)
Regarding the park and guns. We didn't ask permission....we just went out there and hoped nothing bad happened. Fortunately the cop in the film is a real police officer (and he is my cousin). He works in the area where we were and is good friends with the chief of police, so if there had been a problem he could have averted it. Fortunately, there wasn't any problems.
One thing that I think helped is that we were out there all day shooting and I kept the guns under lock and key until the scenes where they were needed. Then we brought them out and by then the people in the area had seen us filming all day and many of them came by to ask what we were doing.
However, earlier in the week, we went out to the park to rehearse the fighting. We went to a large soccer field behind the location you see in the film and went through the routine on the grass, so no one got hurt. Not long into it a police helicopter flew over, but that's not unusual in that area...except that it circled around again, then again, then again...it circled about 10 times and I knew why. Then I looked across the park and saw a police cruiser parked nearby and two officers talking to people in the park. So I walked over and told them what was going on...apparently someone saw us out there fighting and saw some other teenagers in the vicinity and called the police and told them we were getting ready to riot in the park :grin:
The thing is we were doing the moves SO S - L - O - W, in order to get the sequence right...then we would go through it over and over, the same moves. And it was obvious no one was getting hurt. Plus they would say their lines ("drop the weapon", "look it's superman...", etc, etc). The cops just had a good laugh and went on their merry way. (Wish I'd gotten it on camera for the BTS).
Anyway, glad you liked the movie! I'm looking forward to really watching everyone's this evening. I gave a cursory look during the day while I was working. I'll be sure to give each one a detailed review.
06-05-2006, 08:14 PM
LOL, thats a great story. Lucky they didnt charge you for the gas for making them bust out the heli. I love kung fu movies too, I wanted to put in a homage to mad monkey kung fu but didnt have the time to work out the sequence. I was shooting a test on my steps and had a gun that was hidden and I was still scared we were going to get pinched.
06-05-2006, 09:35 PM
Screenplay: Great old style superhero movie! Also I loved the underlying theme of faith and making a change.
Acting: Decent acting overall, none great, but none horrible.
Cinematography: This is the weakest aspect of your film, some of the CC was mismatched and the sky was a bit blown out on some shots. Some of your editing choices were a bit strange as well. But overall your framing choices were good.
Score: AWESOME! Best score Iíve heard so far. Loved the true superhero feel to it. Good stuff!
Overall: Enjoyed the good olí superhero movie here, cape and all! Good job for your second film and I am sure you will keep improving. The writing was the strongest part of this film.
06-05-2006, 09:43 PM
Hey B-Dawg...I forgot to tell everyone, I'm only accepting positive and good comments. So you'll have to delete the "constructive criticism" comments from your post!
j/k :grin: Thanks for the honest and thorough feedback. It is good to hear what worked and what didn't work. Now I know what areas I need to concentrate more on next time.
06-05-2006, 09:46 PM
Just trying to be helpful dude :) Can't wait to see your next film, I am sure it'll be great!
06-06-2006, 01:17 AM
At first I was like... HOly Smokes!! You got Dustin HOffman in your movie?!!
Opening.. superb. Music. Brilliant. Very nice setting of the mood. I dug the voice over and left you at a cliff hanger.
I caught the CG with the pad and paper right away. Nice trick. just needed some motion tracking on the plate and you would have been solid in those respects.
It was really great and I fell for it until the guy with the bag walked in. He seemed like he was waiting for his cue and action! Everyone had cues. A little awkard IMO. I think you could have shaved a little from the beginning to get around a set up a additional 'cued extras' actions.
THe main actor's performance was great.
The man in black... I guess he served his purpose, but could have been better direction with his lines.
The fx shots were OK.. Was the BG plate looping?
The "Flex" made me chuckle. Nice performance.
The heist in the courtyard really made no sense. Why the public place?
The thug holding the gun was pretty bad. His 'knock out' was worse.
The FX of the hero could have been better. Instead of just "cutting him out", he should have dissolved, or perhaps blurred out with some SFX. Plus the instructions to hide seemed too early as he dissappeared.
The hero coming to save the day.. again, made me laugh. he's funny.
Shew.. I know they were probably friends, but the people sitting down just didn't look frightened enough. One boy is just 'chillin'. Someone should have been in charge of extras and their performances while you looked over everything else. (next time)
The tackle scene. shew. This is where It lost my interest and could have been excuted better. MUSIC was the key to this part for sure.
What was on that park bench to cover it with a mask? It grabbed my attention away from the cop holding the gun.
This was again, funny and awkward for the character. I liked it.
However; I would have liked to see him run more. seems like there wasn't a sense of urgency for him to climb up a roof top and then jump back down onto the ground to run away like a sissy. (he's still exploring his faith I assume? :))
Lastly, again, I can't say enough about the score. I enjoyed the sounds and had some superb super hero feeling to it. Congrats Leo!
All in all it was a good little film. I thought it had some great elements and some that just needed a little more attention. I hope this helps.
cheers and congrats on the submission.
06-06-2006, 01:21 AM
Hey Larry, GREAT job ... ESPECIALLY for how short of a time frame you had to shoot & edit this all together ... and with all the road blocks you ran into. What a film maker!
I also noticed the CG drawing right away, as it just stood perfectly still while everything else moved around it. After Effects has got a great motion tracking feature, though I don't know how to use it.
I would have had the disappearing act in the bathroom be a little more subtle, like with a QUICK fade or something.
I really liked, for the most part, your hero's acting. Especially his initial responses to the guy walking up with the bag, etc.
Solid script, and Leo did a fantastic job with the score! Good job, my friend.
Oh, other small critiques would be the title/font could use some improvement, as well as framing (i.e. when the guy's sitting on the bench he's smack dab in the middle of the screen vs. having the eyes at 2/3 level, etc.).
06-06-2006, 07:03 AM
Nice short. I enjoyed it.
As someone else noted you were trying for that heroic archetype where self is put aside for the greater good.
Others have touched on some of the more technical issues like cc, sfx and exposure. I thought the audio was good. The score was very good. Full and heroic.
I'm wondering if maybe there could have been more incredulity from the hero. Especially when he pulls out the mask. Just me.
There was one shot at about 52 seconds where the bg is sharp but he's soft.
I like the anti-phone booth use of the bathroom stall as a change room.
When he gets changed he just has to look at himself. To see how the suit fits. Nice.
I thought the fight scenes could have used more flow to them, perhaps with more coverage of the scene? But then again perhaps you were under time constraints.
Still. A decent effort. Your second you say?
Keep it up, up & away!
Everybody sing it with me...
"Believe it or not, I'm walkin on air, I never thought I could feel so free-ee-ee..."
My first thoughts when I saw the costume. :Drogar-BigGrin(DBG)
Congrats on a job well done.
06-06-2006, 08:08 AM
Ive just discovered these topics:) ...congrats Larry, it seems that people really liked your work as me!!!
Thanks everyone for the compliments about the score...Larry has updated it and it still not in the sinc I worked, but it is fine, no problem!!!
It was a rewarding experience working with you Larry, and I did my best:dankk2: !!!
06-06-2006, 08:09 AM
Yeah, great great job on the score!
06-06-2006, 09:11 AM
Edgen - Thanks for taking the time to watch the film and give a nice detailed response.
When I decided to join in on this fest I had four goals in mind, 1) Try things I'd never done before (not hard since it's only my second film), 2) Tell a good story, 3) grow as a filmmaker and 4) have fun. I know I tried many new things (audio, multi-character interaction, fighting, using a DVX, working with extras and VFX), some I think I did better than others, but in all of these areas I learned things that will make me better next time (I hope). We also had a great time making this film and I'm looking forward to the next one...I gained a lot of confidence that I didn't have before and that can only help. I hope I satisfied the other goal, telling a good story...I think I did, but you all are the judge of that. Just going through the experience plus all the great feedback I'm getting here are already helping me grow.
Here's a response to each of your comments/questions:
Glad you liked the opening, it was the original image I had when I started writing. I was concerned about the V.O. because I know a lot of people don't like voiceover, but I felt it added to the story rather than try to fill in holes.
The CG with the pad and paper was a miracle I got it as good as I did. You're right, I need to track the image with the movement of the pad, but I don't know how...yet :) I knew there was still something wrong with it, but I wasn't sure until you pointed out the "lack of tracking"...now I see it (so see, I I was thinking I need to spend some more time learning all these VFX trick, but actually I think it would be best if I hook up with a great VFX guy/team that can make my visions reality.
You're right about the cut with the guy with the bag walking in...I intended for the cut to start a little later when everyone is already in motion, so it looked more natural.
Glad you liked James' performance (the superhero). He, the "guy with the bag" and the main villian (guy in grey suit) are all excellent actors. Where they may have fallen short here is my lack of direction. They gave what I asked of them and even went beyond that, but I still need to learn to direct actors.
I can't remember now, but if you are referring the bg plate of the water then yes I think it is looping. I had to use the shots I got and work around problems.
The "flex" was his idea and I let him try it...I think it was a nice touch. I told him to "preen" for the mirror because I wanted to give the sense that this guy, though he was reluctant to get involved is starting to warm to the idea once he sees himself.
The heist is not as clear as I would like...the idea was supposed to be that this was like a "lakeside vacation resort" area. Then the bad guy (guy in gray suit) would look out of place, which is why the superhero starts sketching him. Because of the shortness of time I couldn't really develop the superhero and a plausible villian so I tried to stick to a stereotypical "hostage situation" so just seeing it people would understand, "Hey, he's a bad man....get him super-guy" :)
I think all the actors suffered because I am still learning how to direct them, especially the "thug holding the gun" (I assume you mean the one who gets beat up by the invisible superhero). He is fairly new to acting and still trying to learn. I tried my best to convey what I wanted and I think he gave me that. I just had so much going on that I couldn't focus on whether I needed more from him (or the others for that matter).
The FX of the hero vanishing/reappearing was supposed to be "cooler". I was going to make him fade out, or vaporize, or something cool...but a combination of lack of time, experience and skill prevented it. There was actually a problem with the bg plate and I had to do some fancy footwork just to get him to disappear at all. And the "instruction to hide" timing is off because of working around those problems with the effect.
The "hostages" probably didn't look frightened enough because I left them sitting there so long they were cooking in the sun and their legs had gone to sleep. When I came up with the idea of having them "run away" they had a difficult time getting up :)
One of the big challenges I faced was that the 30 extras that told me they were coming, didn't. I had 1 (yes, that is a one) extra out of 30 show up. This caused a problem in framing (couldn't show the area too wide or you'd see there was no one there), it caused a problem with a plausible hostage situation, and it caused a problem with the "guy with the bag". In the original script I have him walk in through the crowd and they subconciously part to allow him through. Then when he leaves he was going to exit through the crowd, again they would part to allow him to pass, then part way through the crowd he disappears but the crowd continues to part as if he is still passing through. So I had to come up with new ideas for all those parts, on the fly, while we were already cramming 2 days worth of shots into a single day.
The mask on the park bench was to cover up where two kids walked over, sat down and were watching what was going on (they were the two boys from the hostage scene). Their action didn't fit so I tried to mask them out. For the most part I was successful, but there is that point there were it shows up and EVERYONE comments on it. I was hoping the action with the cop running in would distract people from it, but they seem to be drawn to it. I just ran out of time to fix it any more.
The fight between the superhero and the villian was not as good as I wanted. I just don't know how, yet, to film a fight sequence. And at one point the superhero throws the villian to the ground, then they punch and roll around a bit. Well we were on concrete so I put sleeping bags down for padding and then threw a green screen over it (hoping I could key it out later). But I forgot to get a BG plate, though it doesn't matter as the green screen bunched up so much during the struggle that I couldn't key it out. So I had to reframe everything in the NLE to keep the screen from showing. They were not used to fighting and I wasn't sure how to direct them so they ended up fighting at the wrong speed and their punches didn't land close enough to be believable. I went back and shot some of the closeups to try and cover it up, but I couldn't cover them all.
The idea wasn't that he was running to a rooftop to jump to the ground and run more. It was supposed to be that we've seen this guy become this "superhero" and do things he "supposedly" couldn't before. And all along he has been instructed by the hologram version of the guy with the bag. So when he gets to the roof, this hologram tells him to "Fly!" and it blacks out with him jumping to fly.....but can he? Is that really a power he has, or has been given? That ties into the "leap of faith" title....will his attempt to fly be successful. Does he have the faith to trust this new found power he has acquired.
Yes, the score is FANTASTIC! I'm sorry to see in leo's post that it is still out of sync. I don't think anyone knows but Leo, but I totally understand creating something to be a certain way and then having it not be that way. Hopefully the last minute correction I made is better than what it was.
I hope there is a "prize category" for composer this time, because I'm sure Leo will win. He is a fantastic composer and look forward to working more with him. And, he didn't have much more than a week to create this work, so imagine if I'd given him a more fair amount of time :)
Glad you liked the film overall, and again, thanks for the feedback on the parts that didn't work or needed more attention.
06-06-2006, 09:18 AM
Envision - I'm glad you liked it!! And, you're right, with the short time frame and the myriad of difficulties I ran into, I'm very proud of the finished film. Yes, I see things in every shot that I would like to fix or do differently, but overall I'm proud of what I accomplished.
The best part of those guys acting are parts I barely directed. I was setting up the camera and then I turned to the 1st AD and said, "Grab a couple scripts so they can start working on the lines"....he looked at me and said, "They just did the whole sequence" (this is the part when he brings the bag and they converse). So, I had them run the lines again and sure enough they already had them memorized and had a good intercourse going on. So we shot it. I just gave small direction to tweak some of their responses/reactions. In particular, having the main actor wait, looking incredulous before saying, "What?" and then having the guy in the black suit turn and walk away immediately after the superhero takes the bag.
Thanks for the comments, it's great to have things to think about while I watch the film. I am learning so much from this project.
06-06-2006, 09:22 AM
Ive just discovered these topics:) ...congrats Larry, it seems that people really liked your work as me!!! Yes, I'm so glad they do...more than anything I wanted to make something that people would enjoy. It appears I succeeded with that, now I just need to tighten up my skills.
Thanks everyone for the compliments about the score... I've already said it earlier, but I'll say it again...I hope there is a "composer" prize because I think you will win! The music you created is fantastic and fits the movie perfectly. It is that old-school, epic, superhero music and is exactly what I wanted. I'm can't imagine how much better it would have been if you had the whole month of May to work on it, which was the original plan.
Larry has updated it and it still not in the sinc I worked, but it is fine, no problem!!! Sorry I didn't get it right...but it should be pretty close, I think...right? I honestly believe that if you hadn't said anything you would be the only one that knew it was out of sync....but I totally understand you're wanting it to be right.
It was a rewarding experience working with you Larry, and I did my best:dankk2: !!! Thanks, I'm glad you feel that way. I really enjoyed working with you and hope to work together on some future projects.
Glad you liked the film and we'll be talking more soon about the DVD version :Drogar-BigGrin(DBG)
06-06-2006, 11:48 AM
Ian - Thanks for the comments, I'm glad you enjoyed the film (that was the first priority...make a film people will enjoy watching!)
Yes, I love the classic superhero and wanted to follow that path. It was tough deciding whether to pursue a old-school, comic style piece like Spiderman or a more dramatic piece like Batman Begins. I think I fell somewhere in the middle and am pretty happy with the result.
When the "hero" pulls the mask out of the bag he actually says, "This is crazy!" but I had trouble with the audio and I couldn't get that line in loud enough without sounding funny, especially because the music swells at that point.
I had a huge problem in that about 30 feet from the park bench where the majority of the action occurred there was a huge fountain. I did my best to keep the mic pointed away from the fountain and when the shots were tight enough we had grips hold blankets up to try and block the noise. Rapier_100a did an EXCELLENT job removing the noise from most of the audio and giving it a nice round mix so the overall audio was clear and easy to hear.
Glad you liked the choice of the bathroom, never even considered it an "anti-phone booth", but I guess it was. One "easter egg", if you will, in the bathroom scene calls back to my first film, INVITATION. For those that have seen it you know that several people crumple paper invitations and toss them away, but you only see their hands. One set of hands was mine and some people said, jokingly, that I should use that as my "hitchcock"...that in every film I should have a shot of my hands crumpling paper. So that is why you see a set of hands crumple the paper towel in the bathroom...it fits since it would be natural to walk in on someone washing their hands and lets us see the hero pass behind, giving a little more distance/size to the bathroom...and it gives me my "cameo" :Drogar-BigGrin(DBG)
The fight sequence needs more work, but I'm still learning how to film a fight. I need to experiment more with different angles, shutter speeds, moving the camera around the fight, etc, etc. I just need to watch a lot of movies with fight sequences in them to see how they do it.
I don't know if you saw it or not, but early on in the announcement of this fest I put up a picture with Ralph (Greatest American Hero) and Superman together. When I was a kid I loved that show....now, like MacGyver and A-Team, I cringe when I watch. When did these shows get so cornball...did someone modify them while I was growing up?? :grin:
Anyway, glad you enjoyed it...and thanks for the comments.
06-06-2006, 02:14 PM
Good job, you made an entertaining movie. Nothing much I can add in way of constructive criticism that you haven't already seen. I liked the "hero theme" when he was changing in the men's room. Very inspirational.
The chorus from a Guy Clark song (The Cape) kind of sums up how your movie made me feel:
"'Cause heís one of those who knows his life
Is just a leap of faith
Gotta' spread your arms and hold your breath
And always trust your cape"
06-06-2006, 09:01 PM
Cool Blaine, glad you liked the film...and I agree, the music when he is changing is my favorite also.
That's a cool song, it does SO fit the movie. I read the rest of the lyrics and it actually also ties in with an alternate opening we talked about. We talked about having a small boy, 3 or 4 years old, with a towel tied around his neck like a cape and have him playing with his superman action figure. Then we would fade to the main actor in the same location...perhaps wearing the same color clothes. Thought it would be a neat look with the small child fantasizing about superheros and then he grows up and becomes one.
Anyway, thanks for posting the song...glad you liked the film.
06-06-2006, 10:53 PM
Very nice story Larry and well made. I enjoyed it a lot. :) The only thing that jumped out at me was, at exactly 1:00 minute into it, the man in black is stopped and then he starts walking and the camera starts dollying. It looks like you said "action" and the scene begins. You need to cut a second or two off and just have it cut to him walking. Also, at 4:45 there's all kinds of strange masking going on the left-hand side. People probably already mentioned all these but I haven't had time to read everyone's review. Sorry. But overall I thought the story and acting was great. Nice work!
06-07-2006, 08:30 AM
Sweet...glad you enjoyed it! I appreciate getting your monk's-eye view on the project :)
Yea, when the man in black (no not Johnny Cash) starts walking I originally had it start a few seconds later so he was already in motion when you see him. I have heard from a few people now about it starting too early where he isn't moving yet...so I went back into the project files to figure out what happened. I finally remembered that the other end of that shot had a problem also....the dolly ran off the track and so the camera jostles around...when I fixed that I must have altered the beginning of the shot. I'll have to cut it down a little to fix it.
That strange masking is because two kids (extras) walked over and sat on the park bench to "watch the action"....they didn't fit into the mood of the film at that time so I had to cover them up. I ran out of time and didn't get to finish fixing the mask...I hoped the action with the cop would draw people's attention away, but unfortunately the hero looks that direction right about that time...so it is quite noticeable.
Thanks for taking the time to watch and comment....glad you enjoyed it.
06-07-2006, 08:37 AM
hehe, I remember those children in the movie...I thought they were making part of the movie and actually they were nice there!!!
Yes Larry, the music is close to the sinc, but now we have time to improve and fix everything!!!
06-07-2006, 08:43 AM
Oh yes, we will definitely improve everything! The feedback I'm receiving here is invaluable as I head back into the editing room.
06-08-2006, 12:15 AM
Larry, nice work. I wish I had more to add to the comments, but most everything that I noted while watching it has been addressed.
I think the most important thing is the fact that you placed so much emphasis on the story. The wording of the VO felt very passionate and full of weight. It gave the story a very real feeling.
I know you ran into several bumps along the way, so major kudos to sticking to your guns and finishing a quality short.
I'm looking forward to the next one!
Jack Daniel Stanley
06-08-2006, 12:12 PM
Hey man nice work.
And kudos for making a real superhero movie that wasn't totally gay somehow -- that's why I leaned into the goth curve for mine -- avoid spandex
I thought the story was layed out nicely and the actors were good.
Only technical ding -- howcome we can only hear the asian dude's footsteps when there's like five people walking on screen? lol
I'd find a nice ambient bed of a fair or an outdoor crowd and leave it at that -- maybe keep the footsteps and don't worry about higltinn them too much.
But nicely done.
06-08-2006, 01:02 PM
snodart - I'm glad you finally got to watch this, and I'm even more glad you enjoyed it. I had a lot of discussion with the that reviewed my script about that voiceover...the wording changed several times, though the meaning never did.
There was actually an additional piece of voiceover that I had to cut at the last minute because I couldn't fix the recording enough. It was when our hero was on the rooftop at the end and he says, "When you reach the edge of everything and are about to step into the unknown...faith is knowing you will learn to fly!". I really liked that line and hated to cut it...but it needs to be re-recorded.
There were a couple times when I ran into one problem or another and I really thought about bowing out. In fact three days before the contest deadline my video card died. At the time I thought it was the whole computer dying and I was convinced it was over...I sat, glumily, on the couch and told my wife, "That's it, I'm out of the contest...everything's lost". Fortunately she wouldn't let me give up and I discovered it was just the video card and I got it fixed that evening, so I only lost one night.
But there were a lot of struggles and on top of that I work a full time job out of town which requires a four hours of driving each day (two hours each way)...so it is like working a full time and part time job.
But I decided early on I was entering and short of something catastrophic I would finish the film and enter it!! :)
So, thanks for the comments, and I'm glad I was able to entertain you for a few moments.
06-08-2006, 01:07 PM
Jack - glad you liked it, that means a lot especially after seeing the work you produce.
Yea, I just couldn't bring myself to hand a pair of spandex over to some guy and say put this on and then come run around in the park here :grin: I wanted an classic, old-school superhero, but I wanted it to be a little more serious like batman begins.
I put an ambience track down, that's what all the background talking, etc is...but there isn't any footsteps in the track. I found the footstep sound effect I used and dropped it on the time line to see if it was usable and it lined up perfectly with the man in black's footsteps....so I used it. In hindisght, you're right, I need to tone it down a LOT....blend it in more with the ambience.
Anyway, thanks for taking the time to watch it and I'm glad it was entertaining.
06-08-2006, 08:38 PM
Larry - good job. You had a straightforward, coherent and cohesive story, a rarity among short films.
A few beefs -
I question your choices in framing throughout. It felt like a lot of it left too much headroom over the actors, or not enough going on in the frame.
Also, you really should watch to make sure you aren't letting the sky and various highlights blow out.
06-09-2006, 10:31 AM
conrad - thanks for the comments. When I started out I wanted to make sure I had a complete story or else I wasn't going to proceed. I spent about a month, getting input from a couple of outstanding writers, fine tuning the script to make sure the story was clear and complete. I'm glad you, and others, feel I have accomplished that.
Thanks for the "beefs", along with hearing what was done right it is helpful to hear what wasn't so good. Especially since I am still pretty new to all of this (this being only my second film ever and my first time handling the DVX).
I'm still trying to get a handle on framing, Thanks for pointing it out as it helps remind me to be more conscious of it while watching others (to see how they accomplish it) and while filming my next project.
The sky thing was a major beef with me...I saw it while I was filming, but I was so overwhelmed with everything that had to be accomplished I couldn't find the time to fix it. A week later I was able to borrow the DvX again and shoot some pick-ups, I finally had a little breathing room to figure out the iris and was able to improve my shots, I then shot some better exposed sky with clouds to try and cut in to the original shots, but keying out the old blown out sky was proving very difficult, especially with the detail around the trees. Live and Learn...at least I know better how to expose the camera for next time.
I hope, technical gaffes aside, that it was an enjoyable experience. Thanks for watching and commenting.
After trying to keep up with Jack's thread, I have decided that it's simply not plausible to read every page of every thread and then leave comments. With this in mind, please forgive repeat comments.
The begining is phenominal, I was on the verge of goosebumps. The music, the vo, the titles, awesome.
Hands down, best score in the fest.
Overall, good shot selection. decent composition, good mise-en-scene, good camera movement.
Using the music as the punch hits (when he's invisible in the bathroom) worked really well. I would have loved to have seen them all like that, and not use the cheesy punch sound.
Cool story, the script could have used a bit of dialog doctoring, but other than that I was diggin' it.
You have already addressed the problems that you had with the sky, so there's no need to go into it.
Someone (briceman?) suggested a he fade away when in the bathroom instead of just dissappear. Good call.
Some of the shots seem really forced, like in the intro, when he is stepping up onto the ledge he pauses for a really long time. Doesn't seem natural. When the mystery man walks up to the park bench, you can see him standing still for like 5 frames before he begins to walk.
I'm somewhat up in the air on the acting. The main guy was pretty good, but everyone else seemed pretty hammy.
The effects, overall, need some work. There were lots of pops where background plates were repeating.
Something about the handwashing/ walkby shot looked off. It has to do with the hand timing and the guy walking by.
After he puts on the costume, it would have been nice to see a moment where he showed some signs of being unsure of what was going on.
I would definitely try doing your own foley next time, those ready-made punch sounds are often a bit rediculous.
A bit more careful framing, and the punches in the fight scene could have looked much more realistic.
In the scene where the cop shows up, I can see a mask traveling on the left side of the frame, though I'm not sure what you were using it for. Also, there's remnants of it as he runs away.
I dug it, and for the first time with the DVX (and second film overall?) that was a great accomplishment.
06-10-2006, 12:32 PM
Hey TC, thanks for the comments....I guess that means I have to get back to that boat anchor, huh? :grin: Wait a minute, aren't you supposed to be at the mud run today? You didn't chicken out did you?
Anyway, back to the film/comments.... It sounds like you were entertained and for that I'm glad. That was the primary goal.
I agree, the punch sound fx were cheesy, but on such a limited budget and extremely compressed timeframe that was the best I could come up with. I was glad the music underscored the punches in the bathroom...really adds a nice "punch" to the scene.
I am working on fixing the disappear/reappear scenes...as I agree that it isn't working as is. I originally wanted it to be a cool fade-out/in effect or something, but ran out of time.
The long delay when he step onto the ledge was intentional. I was trying, not totally successfully, to show his apprehension about approaching the edge and, ultimately, leaping off.
The actors are better than you can tell here...that is the fault of my still learning to direct.
Regarding the effects...that is just the best I can do. That is not an area I even have a desire to delve into...just to much to learn on top of everything else. Next time I will bring on a VFX person/crew...they did, however, greatly impress my family and friends. Especially the "hologram" rising out of the watch...Personally, I know it is cheesy and weak, but the average audience is easily impressed.
Good idea about a little more apprehension after he put the suit on. I actually scripted a longer sequence of him putting the suit on, but just ran out of time to film/include the shots.
And yes, I want to focus on framing a lot... I see where I need to improve there...and many other things as well.
Glad you enjoyed it...and thanks for commenting.
06-11-2006, 10:58 AM
I liked this one. The theme/writing was what I liked best. Not trying to be completely serious, not trying to be completely satirical. This one had a flow to it I really enjoyed.
Some technical issues were there, some writing and editing issues, but a good concept, design, and pacing carried it along well.
The music was great.
06-12-2006, 10:27 AM
Larry great film! Well done.
I loved the music ,(defo da best), and I think you really gave us a SuperHero film at last! Liked your main Actor (Cool SM gloves :)) I did question a few of the cuts dolly, bathroom fade, also how he left the sketch book behind, his initial reaction to that cool watch but thats just pickin. It was very entertaining and I think you got the ending spot on leaving us wanting more.
06-12-2006, 01:09 PM
Rapier - glad you enjoyed it...and thanks for the great work cleaning up my bad audio and making that awesome 3d rotation of the logo.
jp - yes, I agree the music is FANTASTIC...Leo did an outstanding job. I'm not sure what "SM gloves" are (I know I'll feel stupid when I find out :) ), but I actually got chemical gloves from the military surplus store, washed the powder off them and spray painted them black. Yes, the cuts need more work...some are because I don't know what I'm doing yet and others are because I had to work with timing/available footage issues. Glad you enjoyed it.
It's interesting about the script...a few have mentioned quibbles with the dialog/script. This is where I spent the majority of my time...and actually went through several revisions with 3 different people reviewing each version. I never got a 100% consensus on any version. Some people loved one version and then really disliked another, then the next revision it would be just the opposite :) It's pretty interesting how subjective that stuff is.
I'm not saying the dialog doesn't need to be tweaked/cleaned up, just pointing out an interesting observation.
Anyway, glad you guys enjoyed it. Thanks.
06-12-2006, 10:12 PM
I liked the film and it is very apparent that a lot of hard work went into it. I like the story the only thing that I found difficult was it felt a little forced. What I mean by that is that the story you wanted to tell may have been served better in a 15-20 minutes film.
It reminded me of "Greatest American Hero", loved that as a kid.
Other then that my notes have already been discussed so there is little reason to rehash.
This is a wonderful effort and proves that you can execute the complicated task of putting together complicated scenes and deal with both live action and special effects as your tools to tell the story. A lot went right with this. Can't wait to see what you have up your sleeve next.
06-13-2006, 08:08 AM
Wow, thanks for the kind comments....glad you liked it.
When I wrote the script I remember thinking that I had something that fit well in the 5 minute timeframe, but while I was shooting it I realized that I was compressing a large amount of time into a small window. I am a fan of these short form projects because as a writer they challenge me to tell only the core elements of the story and not drag on simply to fill time. But, you're right, this story would be well served in a longer format....It would be nice to get to know these people, especially the hero. It would help to know his fears and insecurities and his desire to become something more than himself. It would also help to establish a real "crime" for him to deal with rather than the stereotypical "hostage" situation I cooked up just so I could get bad guys into the story before the 5 minutes ran out.
You are the second to comment on the Greatest American Hero. I never thought of that while making it, but I see the connection....in particular with the suit. I too enjoyed it as a youth.
Again, thanks for the kind comments and the constructive feedback. I'm glad you enjoyed it and I too look forward to seeing what I might be able to pull off next time.
06-13-2006, 11:13 AM
Heres my review of the film.
STORY: The story was there but it didn't collect right. Why would some give him the suit why would someone what to be a hero? Why is it happening to him? Why do gangster hold people up in the most open space, a park at noon time? why does he jump at the end? incomplete feeling and confusion. unanswered informaton.
SFX: I didnt' understand why you green screen a scene on the bench. it could have just had the compositing. I don't understand the drawing being fake as well on the paper, it destracting and looks "magical"? The one part when the cop tells him to stay there you masked something out but it is very visible and even cover up the actor at one point. Need a FX guy to do your work and have him there while you shoot for suggestions.
SOUND: Decent audio job. could hear them talk and well done but the asian guy voice seemed dub or out of sync.
SOUNDTRACK: Went well good job!
ACTORs: Acting was a little rough on the edges. the action fighting was really under done and comes of bad on camera, almost funny. Its ok for actors to take punches if you want realism. for cpu my actor puches each other and threw each other. I let them act natural with one another and they started to go at one another.
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Good shots need to work with the camera more then you'll be better with it. study movies and the way movies are shot.
Overall: an Ok start to your first real project needs alot work but it can be better overall a decent atempt good for the first time. But editing wise make sure you dont see the "AND ACTION" then movement of character I noticed that with the one wide shot of the asian guy walking.
But story wise you need help in. I mean I knew what you were going for but it wasn't. I know of Bibleman and It felt like you going for that approach. It's ok to break away from it or to do the same just make sure your story is well thought and planned well or you will have certain themes but overall message is a miss. make it your own film but make it worth viewing and interesting with the message.
06-14-2006, 06:20 PM
I was an extra in Leap of Faith (the one with Steve Martin etc.). :) Anyways, Glad to see you were able to get it done. everything has pretty much been covered, the guy waiting for his walking queue, the drawing, the masking but it's all about living and learning right. Nice score also. Good luck.
06-15-2006, 06:13 AM
I liked this film, particularly the costume of the main character. I also liked the moment when he poses in the mirror...a little bit of superhero vanity to brighten up the day.
Maintaining the pace of action is obviously a key thing here. Running out of one frame and strolling into the next is a risky choice, it makes your audience feel the urgency has passed already.
And the invisibility FX - I can't help but feel something more could have been done with that. The best effects are done with editing, not with AE. What the audience wants is to feel like something magical has happened - if you show it to them, unless you're Aram Bauman or somebody like that, it's basically going to be a let-down. Don't be afraid to hide things if you do it well.
Best of luck, and see you next fest.
10-06-2006, 09:37 PM