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View Full Version : a ralph oshiro film--"LEVEL 4" spyfest 06.07



Ralph Oshiro
03-09-2007, 12:56 AM
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LEVEL 1
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LEVEL 4 POSTER:

http://www.24framefilms.com/L4poster.jpg

[NOTE: THIS SUBMISSION IS INCOMPLETE]

Ralph Oshiro
03-09-2007, 12:56 AM
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LEVEL 2
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CAMERA:

http://www.24framefilms.com/LEVEL4/DSR450SIDE.jpg
Sony DSR450WSL 24P 2/3" 16:9 DVCAM

Camera: Sony DSR450WSL
Format: standard-definition 4:1:1 DVCAM
Sensor: 2/3" PowerHAD EX CCD
Picture elements: 1038H x 1008V [980H x 988V effective]
Aspect ratio: 16:9 native
Resolution: 850 lines [4:3]; 800 lines [16:9]
Sensitivity: f/11 @ 2,000 lux
Signal-to-noise ratio: 65dB
Vertical smear: -140 dB
Frame rate: 23.976 progressive
Pulldown cadence: 2:3:3:2

Ralph Oshiro
03-09-2007, 12:57 AM
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LEVEL 3
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CAST:

http://www.24framefilms.com/LEVEL4/A-240.jpg
Alejandra Torres

http://www.24framefilms.com/LEVEL4/SB-G2.jpg
Sarah Halsey Brown

http://www.24framefilms.com/LEVEL4/D240-2.jpg
Diane Docter

Ralph Oshiro
03-09-2007, 12:57 AM
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//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
LEVEL 4
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NEW FRAME GRABS:

http://www.24framefilms.com/LEVEL4/LEG01.jpg

http://www.24framefilms.com/LEVEL4/DMIC.jpg

http://www.24framefilms.com/LEVEL4/SBUTT.jpg

http://www.24framefilms.com/LEVEL4/HELO.jpg

Ralph Oshiro
03-09-2007, 12:58 AM
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PRODUCTION STILLS:

http://www.24framefilms.com/LEVEL4/SC1.jpg

http://www.24framefilms.com/LEVEL4/SC3.jpg

bosindy
03-09-2007, 12:58 AM
glad you started the thread, knew it was coming, psyched to see it!

Edgen
03-09-2007, 05:00 AM
woot! :) Love the levels. Superb marketing you've got going here. :)

/j

-zach-
03-09-2007, 06:23 AM
woohoo!

Great, I really love the energy drinks. This should be fun.

Michael Anthony Horrigan
03-09-2007, 08:40 AM
I Like it! Nice work...

Ki-Ki
03-09-2007, 12:02 PM
Extremely looking forward to your production mate, good luck,

Geoff_R
03-09-2007, 02:34 PM
Oh yea!! Looking forward to your film, Ralph!!

Ki-Ki
03-09-2007, 03:40 PM
Just realised my post made no sense...you probably know what i mean anyway.

Brandon Rice
03-09-2007, 04:20 PM
Ralph's coming out swinging! Looking forward to it man!

jeremytuttle
03-10-2007, 01:36 PM
Can't wait to see this one either. Keep us updated Ralph, I know you will.

Norm Sanders
03-10-2007, 02:06 PM
Ralph, you always have such killer imagery, and know you've been working hard on the story end too. I imagine now that you're an official competitor, you'll be knocking the ball out of the park in all categories with this one. Looking forward to seeing your film! :beer:

Ted Arabian
03-10-2007, 02:28 PM
Ralph, AWESOME intro to your thread!!! I love it!!!! (Damn, I wish I had thought of something that clever!!!)

Good luck to you man. You are one incredible artist and I can't wait to see what you come up with.

Cheers!

-Ted

Ralph Oshiro
03-11-2007, 08:49 PM
PRE-PRODUCTION UPDATE 1.0:

Thanks for all the high compliments--you guys are too kind!

Did primary location scout at main location last weekend. Great lighting--all mercury-vapor. Far fewer security cameras than I had anticipated. Lots of good areas to shoot unnoticed. Got some cool ideas on how to shoot "under the radar" that I'll share later. Will shoot most the daring sequence first, so if I get shut down, I've got what I really need.

Did another location scout today from another "no permit" site. Found all four security cameras, and all four cameras' blind spots. It's as if I were casing a bank job! A few blocks away, serendipitously, a commercial access road (rarely used) allows for another great location vista. Fence is easily bypassed, and no security cameras in sight! This is another, one-shot, one-take location.

Alejandra (bikini girl in "RUNWAY") lives pretty far away, and couldn't get a ride for the second weekend in a row now. Won't start shooting anything else, until I get Alejandra's shot in the can first, so that I know I've got it.

TimurCivan
03-11-2007, 10:16 PM
yea you and your 2/3" camera.... "look at me.... my camera has no visible signal noise..... LAde freakin da......."


;)

Tom Marshall
03-11-2007, 11:14 PM
Hey Ralph, is that the actress that's going to be the starring role? She's HOT!:love4::Drogar-Love(DBG):

Dahopafilms
03-12-2007, 12:21 PM
PRE-PRO STILLS 1.0

Here are some stills from the other thread, "What's all this talk about SpyFest," re-posted. It was only a test, and none of this footage will be in the actual short.

http://www.24framefilms.com/LEVEL4/SB-04S.jpg http://www.24framefilms.com/LEVEL4/SB-06S.jpg

http://www.24framefilms.com/LEVEL4/SB-05S.jpg http://www.24framefilms.com/LEVEL4/SB-02S.jpg
Hey Ralph, I've got to admit I'm really looking forward to your entry.

Any it looks like we've got the same costume designer - only your female spy is still dressed in her winter uniform ...

Robert Sanders
03-12-2007, 12:26 PM
I love all the levels. Can't wait to see what you fill them with.

I've noticed a lot of you guys have been reserving multiple spaces within your threads. I can tell you've done this before or have frequented this neighborhood before.

Ted Arabian
03-12-2007, 01:08 PM
Here we go again..... Ralph and his amazing women!!! Bring 'em on. I'm tuned in!

Tom Marshall
03-12-2007, 01:09 PM
Tuned in and turned on... :beer:

EDIT: That was a line from a movie... I swear! :undecided

Ted Arabian
03-12-2007, 01:20 PM
heehee... that's a good one! And very apropos for this thread!

Charli
03-12-2007, 05:15 PM
Oh man, this looks exactly like my script! Except for the building, the big gun, the girl in shorts, other than that, it looks like my story, heh.

Ted Arabian
03-12-2007, 05:17 PM
Oh man, this looks exactly like my script! Except for the building, the big gun, the girl in shorts, other than that, it looks like my story, heh.
hahaha!!! That's great, Chuck! (you ARE a writer!!!)

ripupthehwy
03-12-2007, 07:49 PM
It was only a test, and none of this footage will be in the actual short.

Well thats too bad. We need more films with hero hotties!

Ted Arabian
03-13-2007, 12:05 AM
Oh, don't worry, rip... Ralph won't let us down. Just imagine what he will actually be presenting if that was only a test!!!

Ralph Oshiro
03-15-2007, 04:31 AM
PRE-PRO UPDATE 1.1

Whew! I THINK Alejandra's confirmed for arrival this Saturday--which will be my FIRST shooting day, if all goes well (I'm getting nervous with all this waiting around sh*t)!!! Her scenes are the most ambitious, and most hard-to-shoot. Thanks again, for all the kind words, guys!

Ralph Oshiro
03-15-2007, 04:39 AM
CAST:

http://www.24framefilms.com/8393.jpg
Alejandra Torres

Jason Ramsey
03-15-2007, 04:48 AM
Nice pitch. Got my attention. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with Rez. I've heard a lot about your stuff.

Good luck,
Jason

Ralph Oshiro
03-15-2007, 05:02 AM
CAST:

http://www.24framefilms.com/LEVEL4/SB3.jpg

Sarah Halsey Brown

Ted Arabian
03-15-2007, 05:15 AM
Woo-HOOOO!!!!!

Brandon Rice
03-15-2007, 06:35 AM
Can't wait to see your skilz in action Ralph!

Your cast looks good.

Jay Rodriguez
03-15-2007, 06:42 AM
This looks like it's going to be babewatch type of babes in action. Now I want to be an actor.

Ralph Oshiro
03-20-2007, 11:11 PM
CAST:

http://www.24framefilms.com/LEVEL4/DD5.jpg http://www.24framefilms.com/LEVEL4/DD4.jpg

Diane Docter

Matt Sconce
03-20-2007, 11:53 PM
Thanks for these pics! They are awesome!

Edgen
03-21-2007, 01:30 AM
ah yess.. yes. I'm feeling it. :)

btw, Ralph, do you have your shoot days down yet? If you need some extra help, let me know.

/j

Elton
03-21-2007, 12:39 PM
Glad it's moving along for you, Ralph. When do you plan to shoot?

Ralph Oshiro
03-21-2007, 07:53 PM
Ralph, do you have your shoot days down yet? If you need some extra help, let me know.
Yes! Saturday night, 31 March 2007. If you're available for an hour that night (early evening), give me a call! If not, no problem.


Glad it's moving along for you, Ralph. When do you plan to shoot?
Thanks! Unfortunately, I had to reschedule Alejandra's big scene to another date, so last Saturday's shoot was cancelled. So I haven't shot frame one, yet. Saturday, 31 March 2007, is the first shoot day of the production with newly cast, Diane Docter. The bulk of principle photography will take place during the first week of April.

ripupthehwy
03-21-2007, 11:32 PM
Nice! Some good looking women for your flick!

david jerome
03-22-2007, 09:34 AM
Damn!!!

Charli
03-22-2007, 09:46 AM
Girls with guns, a guy's kinda movie!

Bayne
03-22-2007, 12:16 PM
Diane Looks like the chick from I-Robot....

Norm Sanders
03-22-2007, 12:20 PM
Agreed. Also the prettiest of the bunch, IMO. Looking forward to this, Rez.

Geoff_R
03-22-2007, 12:22 PM
Damn...nice BTS...I can't wait to see this, Ralph!

Ralph Oshiro
04-01-2007, 04:13 AM
NEW! TEST SHOOT FRAME GRABS:

http://www.24framefilms.com/LEVEL4/DD-gun6.jpg

http://www.24framefilms.com/LEVEL4/DD-gunx.jpg

http://www.24framefilms.com/LEVEL4/DD-gun7.jpg

CAST PHOTOS AND BTS SHOTS ON PAGE 1 (http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?t=90263)!

Ralph Oshiro
04-01-2007, 04:15 AM
NEW! TEST SHOOT FRAME GRABS!

http://www.24framefilms.com/LEVEL4/DD-profile.jpg

Charli
04-01-2007, 09:25 AM
Rez - love the stills. I think I'm going to like this girl-with-guns short. Does anyone blow up sh*t?

Keystoned
04-02-2007, 12:26 AM
Wow this looks really cool.
I like the levels at the top of the thread too :thumbsup:

Ralph Oshiro
04-02-2007, 01:43 AM
NEW! TEST SHOOT FRAME GRABS:

http://www.24framefilms.com/LEVEL4/DD-keyboard.jpg

Kaz
04-02-2007, 05:46 PM
Love the names, Ralph!

-Olivia (Barry) Green

-Robyn (Jarred) Land

-Diane (Jim) Jannard


Nice camera you got there, too. Though not as nice as your #1148 Red will be.

jeremytuttle
04-02-2007, 06:04 PM
Looking good. I like the lighting and DOF on the top one.

Jack Daniel Stanley
04-02-2007, 06:27 PM
Love the names, Ralph!

-Olivia (Barry) Green

-Robyn (Jarred) Land

-Diane (Jim) Jannard


Nice camera you got there, too. Though not as nice as your #1148 Red will be.
Haha, very perceptive Brian.
This is looking good though (as I would expect)
Nice grabs and gals.

Ralph Oshiro
04-03-2007, 05:54 AM
NEW CAST MEMBER!

http://www.24framefilms.com/LEVEL4/SRP-01.jpg

http://www.24framefilms.com/LEVEL4/SRP-1.jpg

I'm pleased to announce that the very hot, super nice, and really smart, Shaun Robinson has agreed to a cameo role in LEVEL 4. An Emmy Award-winning television correspondent, and recently named, "Sexiest Female TV Personality," by Victoria's Secret, Shaun is a great new addition to LEVEL 4!

Jack Daniel Stanley
04-03-2007, 10:46 AM
... An Emmy Award-winning television correspondent, and recently named, "Sexiest Female TV Personality," by Victoria's Secret, Shaun is a great new addition to LEVEL 4!

Haha, ya think :laugh:

Norm Sanders
04-03-2007, 11:24 AM
Wow, the cast just keeps getting prettier & prettier. Nice find, Ralph!

Charli
04-03-2007, 02:38 PM
Ralph - love the cast, and I uh, hate you, no really, GOD, you rock, man.

Texture
04-03-2007, 05:21 PM
Oshiro makes the most beautiful films to watch... Can't wait.

Ralph Oshiro
04-04-2007, 01:05 PM
Jack, Norm, Charli, Texture--you guys are too kind! Thanks! Hopefully will shoot KEY scene with Alejandra tomorrow (Thursday). Everything else I shoot depends on how much coverage I get on Thrusday.

Charli
04-04-2007, 05:54 PM
Ralph - you keep doing that voodoo that you do, btw, did I send you my number? We are thinking of a possible meet at Universal, interested?

Ralph Oshiro
04-04-2007, 09:10 PM
Ralph - you keep doing that voodoo that you do, btw, did I send you my number? We are thinking of a possible meet at Universal, interested?
Yes! Thank you! My schedule is hugely variable (different call time everyday), but if I can make it, I'm in!

Ralph Oshiro
04-04-2007, 09:12 PM
SETS:

My friend just donated two translights (backlit photographic backgrounds) to "LEVEL 4" tonight!!! Woo hoo!!! Just picked 'em up. Will use them in my "converted living room" set. Now if only I could get my "star" actress to show up!

Ralph Oshiro
04-05-2007, 01:19 AM
WARDROBE:

Whew! Just walked into a major metropolitan medical center ER. We wandered around the halls for a while, then just asked some lady that worked there for a key wardrobe item, and they just gave it to us!

Charli
04-05-2007, 09:33 AM
Sweet on the wardrobe! We wont' go to Universal until the fest films are all up and running. Too many of us in the middle of things.

Ralph Oshiro
04-05-2007, 04:33 PM
WHEW!

Just finished all non-permitted production with Alejandra at three different L.A. locations. Got stopped by several sets of security guards and police officers from multiple agencies. This place had security up the ass! One set of officers asked to see tape playback. Talked our way out of everything.

Ralph Oshiro
04-05-2007, 04:50 PM
http://www.24framefilms.com/LEVEL4/A-METRO2.jpg
UNCORRECTED DSR450 FRAME GRAB.

http://www.24framefilms.com/LEVEL4/A-METRO3.jpg
MAGIC-BULLETED (MAX CONTRAST) DSR450 FRAME GRAB.

Matthew Bennett
04-05-2007, 04:58 PM
very much looking forward to this. It'll be the first one I download..! Yeah!!!

Digital squibs/muzzles or real flashes from blanks?

Ralph Oshiro
04-05-2007, 07:16 PM
http://www.24framefilms.com/LEVEL4/A-METRO4.jpg
UNCORRECTED DSR450 FRAME GRAB.

http://www.24framefilms.com/LEVEL4/A-METRO5.jpg
MAGIC-BULLETED (MAX CONTRAST) DSR450 FRAME GRAB.

Ralph Oshiro
04-06-2007, 01:55 AM
very much looking forward to this. It'll be the first one I download..! Yeah!!!

Digital squibs/muzzles or real flashes from blanks?
Thanks! Realistic weapons fire are of course a huge production issue to every budget filmmaker. Working on solving these issues in the most realistic way possible.

Ralph Oshiro
04-06-2007, 02:17 AM
DIRECTOR'S NOTES FROM FIRST DAY'S PRODUCTION . . .

Well, my precious 19 minutes of raw footage has been ingested, and thankfully, everything's fine. Had an EXTREME panic attack when I thought I had rolled over some footage when I had to do some playback for the cops, but I didn't. I debated frantically over white balance issues on location #2 which had mixed lighting, and finally went with the preset Tungsten, letting the mercury vapors go blue, but not allowing the architectural flourescents to get overly warm. THANK GOD, it looks great at that white balance. I worried about that white balance the whole drive back home. Couldn't tell sh*t from the built-in LCD while on that location, and shooting guerrila-style, of course, we had no monitor. Focus, exposure, good too.

Today's shoot was rife with anxiety--it's amazing that I even got to sleep the night before by 4:00AM (call was at 9:00AM) . . . I was anxious that my actress wouldn't show up (didn't get confirmation that she had actually arrived in L.A. until 12:30AM), anxious about being shut down before I got frame one on tape, anxious about forgetting key coverage, etc. I did forget to shoot one key angle at two locations, and made a severe continuity error on the only wide shot I had gotten at the most-difficult-to-shoot location, meaning, I can't use it. At one point, I thought we were in deep f*cking sh*t with the police (I'll explain later). On another occasion, at location #1, my talent scattered when a local municipality police cruiser started driving around our shooting area. I was 250' from my talent, and I was sure they were going to get hassled. At location #2, we encountered more than a dozen uniformed police and security staff. On entering that location, the security guards at the entrance saw my camera slung over my shoulder and said, "You're not shooting anything in there are you?" I walked by quickly and mumbled a slightly annoyed, in-a-hurry-I'm-too-busy-to-answer, "no." As I walked by even more security staff, they all started getting on their walkies, mumbling something about, "a guy with a camera." My heart jumped, since I thought we were going to get shut down before we even started.

We hit three locations, spread out all over Los Angeles (South Bay, Downtown Los Angeles, Hollywood) and got 95% of my coverage in just over four hours. At location #3, I only needed one shot, and I only did two takes while parking the vehicle illegally. Got it on the second one--we were outta there in about three minutes. Today, we shot the key opening sequence, on which all other editorial material is based. Now that I've got it in the can, I can finally proceed with all the remaining stuff still to be shot.

Ted Arabian
04-06-2007, 05:31 AM
Ralph, you give a whole new meaning to RUN AND GUN! Yikes! Great story there. I am glad that you got your footage in the can!

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your grabs. I always do! You are such an artistic bastard! Great job.

As always, looking forward to your film!

-Ted

Ralph Oshiro
04-07-2007, 02:35 AM
Ralph, you give a whole new meaning to RUN AND GUN! Yikes! Great story there. I am glad that you got your footage in the can!
Whew! Me too! Thanks, Ted! You participate in contributing so much good will and moral support for everyone here with all of your generous and frequent posts! Got to catch up on your thread now!

Ralph Oshiro
04-07-2007, 04:31 AM
ROUGH CUT--OPENING SEQUENCE:

Edited a rough cut of all Alejandra's location footage shot yesterday, intercut with test footage of other two actresses shot weeks ago. I just LOVE this way of filmmaking! Doing a rough cut with ACTUAL footage, and intercutting with test footage REALLY helps craft the film, at least for me. This really produces a lot of expanded ideas. Also really helps stress what coverage you need to concentrate on more. By doing this edit, it spontaneously combusted two new "mini-scenes" that can intercut with the main action, and really enhance it at the same time. Cutting in a parallel-action style really helps keep the pace up too. My ONE goal in this project is for every frame to have a lot of energy. I think Jack Daniel Stanley (or someone else) commented that my shorts in the past lacked a sense of urgency (I agree). So this time, EVERYTHING'S real urgent! Also, cutting the rough cut to music really helps (even if it's not the music you're actually going to use).

ROUGH CUT RUNNING TIME: 01:42 / 28 EDITS

Ralph Oshiro
04-07-2007, 06:04 AM
http://www.24framefilms.com/LEVEL4/A7.jpg
UNCORRECTED DSR450 FRAME GRAB.

http://www.24framefilms.com/LEVEL4/A8.jpg
MAGIC-BULLETED (MAX CONTRAST) DSR450 FRAME GRAB.

BLUESPIDER
04-07-2007, 07:20 AM
I don't like it already...nothing but hot looking girls. :)


Ralph, dude you need an Asian ninja in your film let me know.

Charli
04-07-2007, 09:30 AM
Ralph, looks like it's really coming along.

AmyO
04-07-2007, 12:03 PM
Your screen grabs look amazing! I'm impressed. Can't wait to see the finished project. :)

Ralph Oshiro
04-07-2007, 02:06 PM
I don't like it already...nothing but hot looking girls. Ralph, dude you need an Asian ninja in your film let me know.
Bluespider, DUDE! As a matter of fact, yeah, I DO need an Asian ninja! As long as she's HOT!

Ralph Oshiro
04-07-2007, 02:07 PM
Your screen grabs look amazing! I'm impressed. Can't wait to see the finished project.
Hey, thanks, AmyO!

Ralph Oshiro
04-07-2007, 07:39 PM
http://www.24framefilms.com/LEVEL4/SBX2.jpg
DSR450 FRAME GRAB—SCREEN TEST FOOTAGE ONLY.

Ralph Oshiro
04-07-2007, 08:24 PM
Ralph, looks like it's really coming along.
Yes, thanks, Charli! It is--FINALLY! It was f*cking killing me--KILLING ME, waiting for weeks on end for Alejandra to come to L.A. And, stupid me, I'm like about to use this TOTALLY see-through thing I got at a medical supply place for her wardrobe, until someone says, "She's NEVER gonna wear THAT!" So, the night before the big day with Alejandra, we score the PERFECT hospital gear at UCLA-Harbor Medical Facility at 1:30AM, a mere 7.5 hours before the call time the next morning. But thank god, the first day's footage is in the can, and it's even more than I had hoped for. I thought this day would never come. Now, FINALLY, I can start shooting the rest of the short.

Geoff_R
04-08-2007, 12:06 AM
This project reminds me of that gunfight in the streets of downtown LA in 'HEAT'. Looks like things are coming along real well too! Best of luck on the rest of the shoot! Keep posting grabs!

Ralph Oshiro
04-08-2007, 01:10 AM
This project reminds me of that gunfight in the streets of downtown LA in 'HEAT'. Looks like things are coming along real well too! Best of luck on the rest of the shoot! Keep posting grabs!
Thanks, Geoff! Michael Mann's climactic firefight in "HEAT" is, in my opinion, the archetype for modern cinema urban-setting gunfights. If I could ever replicate 5% of what Michael Mann did in that scene, I would be ecstatic. Stylistically, both "HEAT" and "Collateral" are two of my most favorite films. I'm even shooting at some of the same locations.

Ralph Oshiro
04-08-2007, 04:26 AM
Michael Mann's climactic firefight in "HEAT" is, in my opinion, the archetype for modern cinema urban-setting gunfights. If I could ever replicate 5% of what Michael Mann did in that scene, I would be ecstatic.
That was a bit presumptuous . . . make that 1/10th of 1%.

bosindy
04-08-2007, 11:23 AM
DIRECTOR'S NOTES FROM FIRST DAY'S PRODUCTION . . .

Well, my precious 19 minutes of raw footage has been ingested, and thankfully, everything's fine. Had an EXTREME panic attack when I thought I had rolled over some footage when I had to do some playback for the cops, but I didn't.

Hey, Ralph, I dig your guerrilla style of film making, it takes guts to shoot that way with guns in the scene. I guess in LA the police are on guard about filmmakers shooting without a permit. You mentioned they asked to see your footage, what were they concerned about?

Ralph Oshiro
04-08-2007, 03:20 PM
Hey, Ralph, I dig your guerrilla style of film making, it takes guts to shoot that way with guns in the scene. I guess in LA the police are on guard about filmmakers shooting without a permit. You mentioned they asked to see your footage, what were they concerned about?
Thanks, bosindy! No, we didn't have any weapons at location #2--that would've been suicide! (I only use prop weapons at locations where we are fairly isolated from public view.) But when they saw an "up-skirt" shot of my actress' underwear in the playback, they got upset, and started asking everyone for their IDs (no one had theirs except me).

Us: "Yeah, but her mom is right here!"
Them: "Well, how do we know she's her mom?"
Actress: "Well, we look alike!"

Ralph Oshiro
04-09-2007, 09:44 PM
CAST:

Well, I just HAD to do it . . . I just cast two GUYS to play needed MALE roles. Script actually calls for four GUYS. But hopefully, I can double-role them instead (costume partially hides their faces). No pictures yet. But it's not like they're real hot or anything anyway (just kidding, guys!). Who cares? They're GUYS!

Ralph Oshiro
04-09-2007, 09:47 PM
BACKGROUND PLATE FOR POSTER:

It's still a work in progress, but here's the "background plate" for the "LEVEL 4" poster. Will shoot a body double (for Alejandra) against a greenscreen for a sexy D70 composite shot that will go on top of the background image (this plate is actually only a composite of two DSR450 frame grabs). [The final composite is posted on page one of this thread.]

http://www.24framefilms.com/LEVEL4/POSTER-14.jpg
"LEVEL 4" POSTER BACKGROUND PLATE

Okay, now I've added my name TWICE to the credits on the poster! And added some production logos to make it more "movie poster-ish." Actually, that's more of an "end title credit-ish" kinda thing, isn't it? Hee hee . . . I even credited my CCDs!!! And then, the final touch . . . the "ONLY IN THEATERS" tagline, modified for our contest, "ONLY ON DVXUSER.COM." Can't wait to shoot the body double image for the final composite!

Ted Arabian
04-10-2007, 08:44 AM
Ralph, I love the background plate you have for your poster! Nice color and lines. Love it.

Too bad about having to put guys in your film... I guess I'll still watch it! :)

Always exciting watching your work! Your threads are always a must visit! Great visuals.

Keep up the wonderful work!

-Ted

Ralph Oshiro
04-10-2007, 03:43 PM
Thanks, Ted! Always the perennial forum cheerleader! Appreciate the kind words.

Larry Rutledge
04-10-2007, 03:54 PM
...the perennial forum cheerleader...


http://smilieland.com/graphics/cheerleader3.gif

Ted Arabian
04-10-2007, 03:58 PM
Eeek! I need to change my MO!

Larry Rutledge
04-10-2007, 04:10 PM
At least I didn't use this one: http://forum-images.hardware.fr/images/perso/nagiro.gif

Ted Arabian
04-10-2007, 04:17 PM
yeah, that one's a little too frilly for me!

Ralph Oshiro
04-10-2007, 10:52 PM
......http://forum-images.hardware.fr/images/perso/nagiro.gifhttp://forum-images.hardware.fr/images/perso/nagiro.gifTHEODORE J. ARABIAN--HE'S OUR MAN!http://forum-images.hardware.fr/images/perso/nagiro.gifhttp://forum-images.hardware.fr/images/perso/nagiro.gif
http://forum-images.hardware.fr/images/perso/nagiro.gifhttp://forum-images.hardware.fr/images/perso/nagiro.gifIF HE CAN'T BUMP YOUR THREAD, NO ONE CAN!http://forum-images.hardware.fr/images/perso/nagiro.gifhttp://forum-images.hardware.fr/images/perso/nagiro.gif

Ralph Oshiro
04-11-2007, 02:19 AM
POSTER COMPOSITE:

http://www.24framefilms.com/LEVEL4/POSTER-17.jpg

Ted Arabian
04-11-2007, 09:57 AM
Ah, yes! Much better poster, Ralph. (and no... that is not a cheerleading attempt to bump your thread!!!)

Mark T. Aro
04-11-2007, 10:10 AM
Good looking poster Ralph! I too appreciate the environment, the foreground's not bad either.

:cheesy:

JOE BLO
04-11-2007, 10:22 AM
I did the poster too.

doncamillo
04-11-2007, 01:24 PM
It's great to see that Alejandra Torres is returning (not just for the obvious reasons hehe) and I see she brought some friends along! :happy:

But seriously the poster looks sweet and the grabs look great, it's inspiring. Once again you have made me impatient, impatient to see the end-result! Please do keep posting about your adventures each time you go out 'robbing' the streets of these beautiful shots, they are a great read. Also looking forward to the extra 'revelations' after it's released (maybe another "look, I turned my office into an airplane cabin"-type of bts?)

Good luck on finishing it!

Ralph Oshiro
04-12-2007, 01:21 AM
WHICH POSTER?

http://www.24framefilms.com/LEVEL4/2posters.jpg

Ralph Oshiro
04-12-2007, 04:20 AM
Good looking poster Ralph! I too appreciate the environment, the foreground's not bad either.
Thanks, Mark!


I di[g] the poster too.
Thanks, Joe!


It's great to see that Alejandra Torres is returning (not just for the obvious reasons hehe) and I see she brought some friends along!

But seriously the poster looks sweet and the grabs look great, it's inspiring. Once again you have made me impatient, impatient to see the end-result! Please do keep posting about your adventures each time you go out 'robbing' the streets of these beautiful shots, they are a great read. Also looking forward to the extra 'revelations' after it's released (maybe another "look, I turned my office into an airplane cabin"-type of bts?)

Good luck on finishing it!
Thanks, doncamillo! That's some awfully high compliment--thank you. I think most of us write these threads as sort of a personal journal. It's more "cathartic" than "communication." We birth these shorts from literally nothing. We see what begins as something ethereal, something that only exists in our imaginations--then we somehow, through sheer sweat and will, turn them into moving pictures and sound. I'm writing these posts as much to myself as to anyone here. Sometimes I feel like no one is reading these posts (especially the wordy ones). And that feeling gets me feeling lonely sometimes. I think artists are often a lonely kind of people. Maybe that's not the right word. "Isolated" is more like it. Maybe it's because so few around us in our daily lives really understand the creative process. Unless they're artists themselves, they'll just never know. Also, writing in my own thread seems so self-indulgent, so narcissistic . . . so, "me, me, me." But again, I think that's the nature of the beast. But I'm so glad you derived some pleasure from reading my war stories. Thanks again for posting, and reading!

Ralph Oshiro
04-12-2007, 04:29 AM
It's great to see that Alejandra Torres is returning (not just for the obvious reasons hehe) . . .
And what "obvious" reasons would those be? Yes, I think she's very pretty, too. And she's simply great to shoot. She does everything I ask of her, and she looks great from any angle. She's such a joy to shoot. If she lived closer, I would have a lot more product featuring her talent, and I'm sure, given the time and opportunity, I could elicit far more range and some real acting ability from her. Surely, she's a natural beauty, but I also think she could be a damn fine little actress someday. Unfortunately (or fortunately, for that matter), she has no such aspirations . . .

Ted Arabian
04-12-2007, 05:50 AM
...I think most of us write these threads as sort of a personal journal. It's more "cathartic" than "communication." We birth these shorts from literally nothing. We see what begins as something ethereal, something that only exists in our imaginations--then we somehow, through sheer sweat and will, turn them into moving pictures and sound. I'm writing these posts as much to myself as to anyone here. Sometimes I feel like no one is reading these posts (especially the wordy ones). And that feeling gets me feeling lonely sometimes. I think artists are often a lonely kind of people. Maybe that's not the right word. "Isolated" is more like it. Maybe it's because so few around us in our daily lives really understand the creative process. Unless they're artists themselves, they'll just never know. Also, writing in my own thread seems so self-indulgent, so narcissistic . . . so, "me, me, me." But again, I think that's the nature of the beast. But I'm so glad you derived some pleasure from reading my war stories. Thanks again for posting, and reading!
Wow! You are speaking directly from my soul! Well said!

As for "which poster..." definitely the first one.

As for the tagline... keep at em! I'll check back for the updates! (though I do like the second one of the two!)

Ralph Oshiro
04-12-2007, 05:54 AM
Wow! You are speaking directly from my soul! Well said!

As for "which poster..." definitely the first one.

As for the tagline... keep at em! I'll check back for the updates! (though I do like the second one of the two!)
Thanks, Ted! I truly trust your opinion! Thank you!

Ralph Oshiro
04-12-2007, 05:55 AM
LEVEL 4 POSTER W/DISCARDED TAGLINE:

http://www.24framefilms.com/LEVEL4/POSTER-19x.jpg

Ted Arabian
04-12-2007, 05:57 AM
Now that's a tagline!

doncamillo
04-12-2007, 07:01 AM
For the poster I prefer the left one, where the legs are on the left side. As for the tagline I'll go with the first one hehe but seriously the 3rd one is great.


And what "obvious" reasons would those be?
Well she 'obviously' is very pretty, like you put it :) But what I like most about her is that she looks very natural on camera and I wouldn't mind maybe seeing some more of her 'capabilities' in your next flick. Indeed it is a shame she lives so far away but from the grabs so far it looks like once again she was worth the wait.

Ralph Oshiro
04-12-2007, 07:08 AM
Now that's a tagline!
Really? You never know if these things sound totally stupid or if they're okay. I just read through Zack's "Final Print" thread and it broke my heart . . .


Well, come June 1st, 12:02 AM, this short will be officially dead . . . buried under the likes of Level 4, Berlin, Spies Girls.
Remember, I've been doing this a long time, and I STILL suck at a lot of it. I never have any story to speak of, my scripts never make any sense to anyone but me, and as a crutch, I sensationalize the use of pictures of pretty girls to get attention to my threads. Trite, but true, your only competition is you!

Ralph Oshiro
04-12-2007, 07:14 AM
For the poster I prefer the left one, where the legs are on the left side. As for the tagline I'll go with the first one hehe but seriously the 3rd one is great.
Oh, thanks, man! Like I said, you can never tell if these things are totally f*cking stupid-sounding or not! Glad to see a consensus on the poster version!


Well she 'obviously' is very pretty, like you put it. But what I like most about her is that she looks very natural on camera and I wouldn't mind maybe seeing some more of her 'capabilities' in your next flick. Indeed it is a shame she lives so far away but from the grabs so far it looks like once again she was worth the wait.
Yes, she is certainly worth the wait. But I think I did a great disservice to her this time around. I was so anxious about the location we were stealing, I neglected to delegate any attention to "DIRECTING." That's the huge Achilles' heel to both DP'ing and directing. I am promising myself, that on the NEXT project, I will dedicate much more attention to her performance.

bosindy
04-12-2007, 07:53 AM
Yes, she is certainly worth the wait. But I think I did a great disservice to her this time around. I was so anxious about the location we were stealing, I neglected to delegate any attention to "DIRECTING." That's the huge Achilles' heel to both DP'ing and directing. I am promising myself, that on the NEXT project, I will dedicate much more attention to her performance.

CLICK HERE TO SEE NEW IMPROVED POSTER + TAGLINES! (http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?t=90263&page=11)

As a Director I can now understand how this happens. Boy it's tough when you are using limited resources to keep the "artistic" part of it going sometimes. This is a great observation I am going to remember for the next shoot.

I like the tag line, it matches the more vunerable poster of the two. Obviously we all think "hottie" when we see it, but there is something vulnerable when the the shoes are off in that particular outfit.

Brandon Rice
04-12-2007, 09:12 AM
Ralph... I LOVE your tagline!

Charli
04-12-2007, 09:27 AM
Nice tagline, change her underwear to red to match the 4 on the poster, besides, white underwear isn't sexy, but that's just me.

Ted Arabian
04-12-2007, 09:36 AM
LEVEL 4 POSTER W/TAGLINE:

http://www.24framefilms.com/LEVEL4/POSTER-19.jpg
Yes, I'm serious! This is an awesome tagline!

Go with it!


Remember, I've been doing this a long time, and I STILL suck at a lot of it. I never have any story to speak of, my scripts never make any sense to anyone but me, and as a crutch, I sensationalize the use of pictures of pretty girls to get attention to my threads.
Well, I won't argue that your story for Horrorfest got lost on me but you do have your strengths! Your composition, images and camera work are just great. I would love to see you team up with someone. You do take on a lot of hats and by doing so, elements can get lost or overlooked.

You have your strengths and I admire your attempt to do this all on your own.

And who knows... I have only seen one of your films. Maybe it was a fluke that the story got lost on me.

You know that I am a big fan of yours.

-Ted

Ralph Oshiro
04-13-2007, 02:07 AM
POSTS:

doncamillo, Charli, bosindy, Brandon, Ted--thanks for all your comments! You're all far too nice. Now, I have huge second thoughts about that tagline. Will be trying out some new ones in the next few posts . . .

Ralph Oshiro
04-13-2007, 02:10 AM
LEVEL 4 POSTER W/ALTERNATE TAGLINES:

http://www.24framefilms.com/LEVEL4/POSTER-19i-320.jpg

http://www.24framefilms.com/LEVEL4/POSTER-19j-320.jpg

http://www.24framefilms.com/LEVEL4/POSTER-19a-320.jpg

http://www.24framefilms.com/LEVEL4/POSTER-19l-320.jpg

http://www.24framefilms.com/LEVEL4/POSTER-19f-320.jpg

Ted Arabian
04-13-2007, 05:41 AM
My initial reaction...

#1 choice... "Some girls have all the fun"

#2... "playtime is over"

#3... "Girls gone wild"

#4... "they would kill to have that body"

#5... "there's only one way out"

But I think I still like "survive" tagline the best.

Ralph Oshiro
04-13-2007, 05:56 AM
Wow! Interesting choices, Ted! So glad you "caught" the other variations before I deleted them--I just thought some were too stupid. [Okay, I just re-posted the ones you mentioned, in the order that you ranked them] Thank you so much for your much-valued opinion!!!

Really, "survive" is still your top pick? Isn't that one just a bit too corny, a bit too wordy, and a bit too, "on the mark," as they say? Now I'm really re-considering the "fun" one in light of your ranking order. I like it too, but the tone is a bit off for what really happens in the short. But, anywho, thank you again for your insightful take on these!

Ted Arabian
04-13-2007, 06:08 AM
I don't think that "survive" is too wordy... it's very catchy and say's a lot! But the "fun" one is a very hip tagline and really works with the poster.

Charli
04-13-2007, 08:59 AM
As a writer, I liked: they would have to kill to have that body. But hey, that's just me. The others didn't do it for me. If you ask me if I prefer that one to the survive tag, I prefer the "would have to kill..." - it works.

doncamillo
04-13-2007, 11:28 AM
I was so anxious about the location we were stealing, I neglected to delegate any attention to "DIRECTING." That's the huge Achilles' heel to both DP'ing and directing.A good point to keep in mind for anybody wanting to do the same type of shooting. But even if you maybe let her down a bit on the directing part, I'm sure that on the DP-side she will SHINE.


I am promising myself, that on the NEXT project, I will dedicate much more attention to her performance.
Cool to hear you plan on working with her again.


From the new taglines my first would be "Playtime is over", it fits what we see in the poster: being that we have a girl, she is half undressed and has a gun. Kind of like a 'no more mister nice guy' thing. But my favorite is still the "survive" one. A slight change might be "Even when dying, you'll do anything to survive" but I don't know if that one is any better than the one you already have. It's just a tiny bit shorter that's all.

Charli
04-13-2007, 05:56 PM
Ralphy - thanks for info on that holster. I'll see if I can find one in Venice. Cheap is better since it's a prop for us. I miss those flea markets I use to go to where I could dive in a dumpster and find treasures, okay, I was only 5 but it felt like treasure more than junk. Well, let's see what Venice has to offer.

Ralph Oshiro
04-13-2007, 06:04 PM
As a writer, I liked: they would have to kill to have that body. But hey, that's just me. The others didn't do it for me. If you ask me if I prefer that one to the survive tag, I prefer the "would have to kill..." - it works.
Thanks for your comments, Charli. Yeah, now that you posted that, I'm thinking I like that one too. It's the closest tagline to the actual story. My writer friend at work doesn't like it at all. Tnis seems so subjective, but I KNOW that some are CLEARLY better than the others.

So I'm debating this:

http://www.24framefilms.com/LEVEL4/POSTER-19l-320.jpg

or

http://www.24framefilms.com/LEVEL4/POSTER-19j-320.jpg

I like "playtime" because it's cute, fun, and curt, and it sorta fits the poster, like doncamillo said. He interpreted it how I meant it. I dunno. I tend to agree with Charli on "body" being best, mainly since she's a girl. Plus, she said:


The others didn't do it for me.
Whenever a GIRL says, "that just doesn't do it for me," I LISTEN. For some reason, I think a girl's opinion is more valid here. But then again, Theo ranked "body" as only fourth. My writer friend suggested "Dying is Over." He thought that was the sh*t. What do you think?

Charli
04-13-2007, 06:19 PM
I dunno, Ralphy, I don't have a logline to your story, but judging by the poster and bts stills, I would say:

play hard, die hard
school is over
over my dead body
spy in disguise

or;

when a sleepover goes all wrong
when boys give in, girls fight to live
you messed with the wrong girl


well, something like that.

Ralph Oshiro
04-13-2007, 09:04 PM
Thanks so much, Charli for your input and suggestions . . . just to go through the motions, I set the type for my writer friend's version:

http://www.24framefilms.com/LEVEL4/POSTER-19m-320x.jpg

But I don't really like it.

Actually, my camera guy friend just e-mailed me a suggestion for a modification of the above, which I think is a great improvement:

http://www.24framefilms.com/LEVEL4/POSTER-19n-320.jpg

But, after all, I actually think I really do like "playtime is over" the best. It's doncamillo's favorite as well (I mean next to the long-winded one). Still can't quite figure out why everyone likes THAT one so much--now it just sounds too wordy and too literal to me! Anywho, my sincere thanks to Ted, Charli, and doncamillo for your valued input. Even though we didn't quite agree on all the same favorites, you all helped a great deal with your comments and suggestions!

http://www.24framefilms.com/LEVEL4/POSTER-19j-320x.jpg

Yup. That's it!

-zach-
04-13-2007, 09:16 PM
When you "steal" a location, after you've gotten all the shots they're yours, right? You can't get in trouble for something like that if you've already got all the shots. You can only get in trouble if you get caught while shooting, right?

Am I completely wrong or is it one of those, "Not necessarily" situations?

Ralph Oshiro
04-13-2007, 09:38 PM
When you "steal" a location, after you've gotten all the shots they're yours, right? You can't get in trouble for something like that if you've already got all the shots. You can only get in trouble if you get caught while shooting, right?

Am I completely wrong or is it one of those, "Not necessarily" situations?
Well, of course the answer is "Yes" and "No" and "Not necessarily."

Strictly speaking, you're supposed to get a photo release for any recognizable building from the building owner. But if you shoot the skyline of New York, that's cool with no release. This kinda stuff, I think, is covered under something called, "errors and omissions insurance." Say you spend a $10,000,000 shooting a feature film, and you have the Transamerica building prominently featured in a particular scene. They could conceivably say, "Hey, you can't put our building in your movie without our written permission!" Then the distributor would say, "I can't put the movie in theaters because Transamerica didn't sign a release." Public figures (e.g., celebrities) on the other hand are open game--you don't need a release from say, the President, if you were to photograph him. I don't really know where the line is between a single building, a very famous building like the Transamerica building, and a whole skyline. Perhaps there's a "public figures" equivalent for buildings? I know that federal publications are free to copy by the public without violation of copyright, for example. Certainly, footage of national monuments may be used without releases, etc.

But for most of us, I don't think much of this would be enforced by anyone, since our distribution is very limited, and we're generally not seeking any commercial distribution deals for such low-budget festival entries. My recommendation is to steal every location you can! No one has ever confiscated my tape or requested that I erase it. The worst anyone has ever done at a location was to simply ask me to "stop shooting." Just learn to shoot quickly and be flexible, and you'll be able to bag the most incredible locations for free.

CAUTION:

I forgot to mention. Some municipalities do tender fines for shooting without a permit. These fines can range from a few hundred dollars to more than $1,000. But I only know of one person that actually ever got fined for that. The fine was $500, and that was in the city of Beverly Hills. And that was a looooong time ago. Insurance and a permit would've cost about $3,500, so do your own math. Never heard of anyone I know getting fined since, and I shoot there all the time now with no problems at all. It seems that, at least in L.A., there are so many crews shooting so many things nowadays, that police seem to be more a lot more permissive than in days past.

david jerome
04-13-2007, 10:26 PM
Ralph, with that poster you can't go wrong with a tag line.

Ralph Oshiro
04-14-2007, 03:08 AM
SCRIPT DEPT.:

Well, I started with an 11-page script (actually 11+, including notes). Then edited down a 6-minute SpyFest version totalling six pages. I thought, "Perfect! I'm done!" But silly me, I violated my own damned script-writing rule, "Never write what you can't afford to shoot." As written, the original script may have cost about $20,000 to shoot properly. So, guess what? New script! Thought it up in about five minutes a couple hours ago (WHEW!). It includes two of the new female cast members, who never actually had parts to begin with, Sarah Brown and Diane Docter. When I started casting, I just realized, that it would be fun to cast more women. So I did. Even though they didn't yet have parts. I even told them so, and they both bought it, amazingly.

Good things: day one's shoot/rough cut with Alejandra is able to survive completely intact. New story picks up from there. Wrote in a cool part for Sarah, and a nice ENDING (THANK GOD). The original script will be shot slowly over many, many weekends, using many, many favors, and some damned necessary visual effects. But that's later, and beyond the scope of SpyFest.

I guess the moral is, don't be afraid to scrap everything, and then regroup, rethink, and rewrite your short film script in order to meet the often unforgivingly tight constraints of your alotted time, budget, and sanity.


Ralph, with that poster you can't go wrong with a tag line.
Thanks for the high compliment, David!

-zach-
04-14-2007, 09:59 AM
SCRIPT DEPT.:

I guess the moral is, don't be afraid to scrap everything, and then regroup, rethink, and rewrite your short film script in order to meet the often unforgivingly tight constraints of your alotted time, budget, and sanity.

Serious hats off, man! That takes alot of confidence. Way to go.:grin: :thumbsup:

I'm sure it'll be better the second time around.

Elton
04-14-2007, 11:14 AM
Ralph,

I admire your moxie!! Yet, I am now even more convinced of the necessity of Charli's super-strict "write for secured locations" dogma. I hate to go to so much effort only to have to (nearly) start all over again...but that's the nature of the beast!

Kudos and good luck with the continuing "Level 4" saga!

Ted Arabian
04-14-2007, 12:08 PM
$20,000 six minute short film script??? Wow, I'd like to see that script!

I admire your filmmaking approach and attitude, Ralph. And I love the rule... "when in doubt, add more women!" Can't go wrong, right?!

Great info you provided about releases and landmarks. I always appreciate it when someone offers this info. I make sure to not just skim those posts but rather to read them twice and commit them to my learning.

As for the tagline, I like it. The one you chose was in my top 2! As for the "survive" tagline, you should definitely hold onto that one for a future project. I will agree that the playfulness of your recent tagline choices do tend to reflect the poster design more closely... but that is a heck of a tagline. And if you think that it is too wordy and that you'll never use it, let me have it. I'll put it in my "Ideas are Brewing" folder on my computer and find good use for it someday!

Ralph Oshiro
04-15-2007, 04:02 PM
Serious hats off, man! That takes alot of confidence. Way to go. I'm sure it'll be better the second time around.
Thanks, Zack! Oddly enough, I shoot almost everything twice. Sometimes three times. I know that sounds horribly inefficient, but I think it's like a painter who skeches on the canvas (only some do that) before they commit to oil. I think that's the benefit of owning your own gear, and shooting light (no crew). It doesn't cost you that much more in resources (just time) to reshoot. Thanks to the inexpensive desktop NLEs we now have, this approach really allows you to get things right. It also follows my (sometimes extremely flawed) methodology of "interactive" filmmaking. Shoot, rough cut, re-create/re-think. re-write, re-shoot, etc.

Ralph Oshiro
04-15-2007, 04:15 PM
Kudos and good luck with the continuing "Level 4" saga!
Thanks, Elton! Looking forward to "Birds" as well!

Ralph Oshiro
04-15-2007, 04:22 PM
I admire your filmmaking approach and attitude, Ralph. And I love the rule . . . "when in doubt, add more women!" Can't go wrong, right?!
Thanks again, Ted, for your thoughtful comments. I'm no location expert--that's just been my experience. About my fillmmaking methodology (if you can call it that) . . . Well, at times, my approach can be extremely flawed. As of a day or so ago, the project as written was really unshootable. Yup, the "add more women" mantra did seem to help, though.

Ralph Oshiro
04-18-2007, 03:36 AM
NEW [POTENTIAL] CAST MEMBER!

JUST back from NAB, drooling over at the RED booth for two days. So I go to the Panasonic booth for a meeting I have today, and talk to the reception girl to find our rep. So, I'm like blah, blah, blah, killing time with her and trying to work it, and . . . WOW! Turns out, she's an actress and lives in L.A!

http://www.24framefilms.com/LEVEL4/ch.jpg

Charli
04-18-2007, 09:41 AM
Ralphy - how much more shooting do you need to do?

Ralph Oshiro
04-18-2007, 01:03 PM
Ralphy - how much more shooting do you need to do?
A lot! I've only shot 1.5 days, which is basically one scene.

Norm Sanders
04-18-2007, 10:41 PM
Ralph, finally got to catch up a little bit on your thread ... cool poster, but even better tagline. Love it! :beer:

Great find as well at NAB ... love meeting people & seeing how they can fit here & there. Sooo wish I'd been able to stay for the actual NAB part of Vegas vs. only being there for recreation, but I have no real regrets on how it worked out.

Charli
04-19-2007, 09:12 AM
Ralphy - well, if you're shooting anywhere near out by the coast, let me know, I can always help run cables. Are you short on any equipment? I have some I can let you borrow. I won't be filming anything on my own it looks like until summer/fall, which really truly sucks.

Ralph Oshiro
04-22-2007, 04:31 AM
Ralph, finally got to catch up a little bit on your thread . . . cool poster, but even better tagline.
Thanks for visiting the thread, Norm! Whew! I'm glad SOMEBODY at DVXUSER likes the new tagline! It's the only tagline my closest collaborators liked the most (including me).

Ralph Oshiro
04-22-2007, 04:34 AM
Ralphy - well, if you're shooting anywhere near out by the coast, let me know, I can always help run cables.
Thanks, Charli, for your generous offer! I've been shut down for the last four days due to the common cold virus (a level-1 virus). Finally feeling a bit normal again. Hope to get shooting schedule back on track ASAP!

Ralph Oshiro
04-22-2007, 11:26 PM
SCRIPT DEPT.: WRITE THAT SH*T DOWN!

Thank god, I wrote that last script idea in a quick WordPad document (my computer with Final Draft on it died last week). After coming out of my virus-induced stupor this evening, I had TOTALLY F*CKING FORGOTTEN my re-written ending! I just pulled up the WordPad file, and voila! The idea is STILL good! Gotta think through second act now . . .

Shawn Philip Nelson
05-11-2007, 08:04 PM
Hey Ralph, I'm looking forward to seeing your production!

Matt Sconce
05-11-2007, 08:11 PM
How's it coming?:)

Beat Takeshi
05-14-2007, 02:44 PM
The grabs look good but I think the magic bullet is adding ugly greens in the skin tones making the talent look jaundice. I like the pure ones much better colorwise. The poster rocks.

Ralph Oshiro
05-17-2007, 03:57 PM
Hey Ralph, I'm looking forward to seeing your production!
Thanks, Shawn! Good to see you over "here" for a change!

Ralph Oshiro
05-17-2007, 03:57 PM
How's it coming?
The project is in deep trouble . . .

Ralph Oshiro
05-17-2007, 03:58 PM
The grabs look good but I think the magic bullet is adding ugly greens in the skin tones making the talent look jaundice. I like the pure ones much better colorwise. The poster rocks.
What, you don't think jaundice is hot? Thanks, Aram!

Ralph Oshiro
05-17-2007, 03:59 PM
How's it coming?
. . . deep, deep, trouble.

Larry Rutledge
05-17-2007, 04:05 PM
Come on...you can do it!!!! We have faith in you!!

This fest needs a Rezfactor Original production :thumbsup:


(How's that for a pep talk?) :)

Matt Sconce
05-17-2007, 04:09 PM
You can do it! "Said In best cajun guy voice from Waterboy"

Ralph Oshiro
05-17-2007, 09:02 PM
Thanks guys! Really appreciate the morale boosts!

Matty_g
05-17-2007, 10:22 PM
Hey Ralph, if you need any help let me know.

AmyO
05-17-2007, 10:33 PM
. . . deep, deep, trouble.
Dude, take a deep breath, take the fam out to a movie, and start back again the next day. You can do it. :)

Michael_Petro
05-18-2007, 07:34 AM
Noooooo!! I must see girls in there underwear shooting each other:) breath in breath out <---repeat

doncamillo
05-18-2007, 04:59 PM
Come on Ralph, hang in there! This Fest needs you! :beer:

Mark T. Aro
05-18-2007, 05:05 PM
. . . deep, deep, trouble.

Don't bail now! What do you need?

I am sure that there are people that can and will help. Just speak up!

Ralph Oshiro
05-21-2007, 05:16 AM
TO ALL--THANK YOU!

Hey, my sincerest thanks to all--your generous offers of help and moral support have been incredibly uplifting. Thanks! I needed it! The "deep trouble" I'm in is only fixable by me. I had scripted scenes still a bit beyond my reach. I've also found it extremely difficult to persuade actors to do a part in a short film if their part is real small. Yeah, the parts were small, but they were goddamned important! It's also been hugely difficult to get real hot chicks to take their clothes off (always seem to have that problem, though). So, unfortunately, no nudity, as I had initially hoped for on this one. About the small part thing . . . one hot chick, that I had been talking to via phone and e-mail for weeks, finally said "no" because her character died right away and had no lines. Can't really blame her, right? But I needed her. Plus, she was like way hot.

I said I needed a miracle. I needed a rewrite . . . mainly to reduce the scope and complexity required to shoot what I had written. Rewrote tonight, and re-did the rough-cut of the 1.5 days' footage I have so far. Unfortunately, I had to release the incredibly talented composer, Justin Durban, from the project as well, since I am woefully in jeopardy of not completing the project in time, let alone getting a locked edit in his hands in enough time.

cinealma
05-21-2007, 10:19 AM
Hang in there Ralph. If you need anything in the way of music or whatever else I might be able to help with, let me know. If I remember correctly, you're the guy in Oxnard, right? I live in Newbury Park, so I'm pretty close by. I'm off of work all week, so I'm pretty open.

Michael_Petro
05-21-2007, 11:05 AM
dude i'll do the topless scenes for ya...... er wait ....... sometimes I scare myself

Ralph Oshiro
05-21-2007, 03:46 PM
If I remember correctly, you're the guy in Oxnard, right?
Oxnard? No, I live in L.A. on the Westside. But thanks for the kind offer!

Dahopafilms
05-22-2007, 12:50 AM
Hey Ralph,

Anything from you is better than me on my best day. So work around the poop and get something in, man.

And if you need someone for topless scenes, try PM'ing Norm (the artist previously known as Envision) Sanders. I understand that for five bucks and a bottle of Watney's Red Barrel nad he'll pretty much give you anything you need.

So just do it - looking forward to it.

Ralph Oshiro
05-22-2007, 04:47 AM
Hey Ralph,

Anything from you is better than me on my best day. So work around the poop and get something in, man.

And if you need someone for topless scenes, try PM'ing Norm (the artist previously known as Envision) Sanders. I understand that for five bucks and a bottle of Watney's Red Barrel nad he'll pretty much give you anything you need.

So just do it - looking forward to it.
You guys are too f'n kind! The thread on Spies Girls is looking great--can't wait to see it! Your actresses look great too!

cinealma
05-22-2007, 09:06 AM
Oxnard? No, I live in L.A. on the Westside. But thanks for the kind offer!

Huh. I wonder who that was then? Anyway, hang in there. You stuff looks great, so I hope you can get something in on time.

Ralph Oshiro
05-22-2007, 05:51 PM
Well, a slight title change to fit the [highly] modified script . . .

"LEVEL 4: PROLOGUE"

Charli
05-22-2007, 07:29 PM
Oh, no, if you are going to change it to prologue, I want to see ALL of it, the prologue, the middle, the tag, everything... lol

Ralph Oshiro
05-23-2007, 04:53 AM
Oh, no, if you are going to change it to prologue, I want to see ALL of it, the prologue, the middle, the tag, everything . . .
Thanks, Charli! Hopefully, you will someday see "all" of it! If my vision perserveres, I think "LEVEL 4" will proceed in "chapters." It feels something like an episodic, but not really. It's more like chapters--small divisions among major plot points. It may go something like this . . .

LEVEL 4:

I. PROLOGUE
II. EXODUS
III. RAPTURE
IV. GENESIS

"SpyFest" will only see "PROLOGUE" of course, if I make it in time. If my principle actors stick around, and I continue to stay excited about "LEVEL 4" as a continuing project (something not always easy to do), I hope to eventually get to producing "GENESIS" and beyond.

As you see, I've borrowed some Bibilical namesakes. Though I'm not religious by any means (I'm probably going to end up in the "other" place), but faith-based allegory is always so rich in scope and drama ("PROLOGUE" has no religious elements in it--that may come later).

Noel Evans
05-23-2007, 07:12 AM
Good luck Ralph hope you can finish on time. Looking forward to seeing.

filmat11
05-23-2007, 07:39 AM
yea you and your 2/3" camera.... "look at me.... my camera has no visible signal noise..... LAde freakin da......."


;)

LMAO.....!

Ralph Oshiro
05-23-2007, 12:52 PM
HA! You just saw that now?

Ralph Oshiro
05-27-2007, 07:25 PM
I'm clearly not going to make it. Actress has no transportation and lives two hours away.

Shawn Philip Nelson
05-30-2007, 07:00 PM
Ah dang it Ralph! Yours was on my must-see list! Figure out how to do it :-)

DJ Lewis
05-30-2007, 07:14 PM
Sorry to hear the bad news.... but if I could only get my flux capacitor in order, we can go back a few weeks and....

Ralph Oshiro
05-31-2007, 01:10 AM
Thanks guys! Just uploaded what I had!

Edgen
05-31-2007, 01:12 AM
wew hew!! Looking forward to see how you've 'pieced' together all the footage. :)

cheers and good luck!
/j

Ted Arabian
05-31-2007, 02:47 AM
Hey Ralph, just catching up on your thread..... sorry to hear about the "deep trouble" news. I am glad that you are submitting, regardless. I started to have an anxiety attack thinking about all of the footage, locked away in your closet, with no one to share it with!

You are a master of imagery and the camera.... I cannot wait to see your entry! (besides.... storylines are over-rated, right??? :grin: )

-Ted

Ralph Oshiro
05-31-2007, 10:45 PM
EPILOGUE:

Well, it's all over now . . . and now that I've uploaded my half-baked, half-assed attempt at SpyFest, the proof is in the pudding (what a dumb saying that is). Just so you know, the submission is incomplete (that's the half-baked part) and runs far short of the six-minute alotted running time. We all came into this fest with such high ambitions, especially for me, in that it was the first fest open to all cameras. I had a script. I had a great camera. I had great actors. What went wrong?

• Over-ambitious script. I was at first elated that I actually had a script this time. My original script, however, was far too ambitious. Crowd scenes. Police cars. News crews. What was I thinking? Well, I was thinking, I know a lot of news crews, and on the right day, I could have gotten that scene. Also, I have a police-looking car already. It just needed new tires, but I never got around to deciding on which new wheels I wanted to get. Plus the car had a suspension problem that I only recently noticed. It's still under warranty, but it was yet another barrier to getting my "police car" to be "camera ready." Then the search for drivers willing to risk their license to get that really cool shot. The list goes on . . .

• Principal actress (Alejandra) lives too far and doesn't drive. One of the biggest problems. But it's hard to replace her. She's so pretty, so thin, and does pretty much anything I ask her to do.

• Needed more hot girls to die right away, preferrably, naked. Boy, was THAT a tough one. I spent many e-mails and many phone calls trying to solve THAT casting task. From a Stuff Magazine model to a "2 Fast 2 Furious" extra, none of them would pan out. Not even fully clothed.

• Expensive wardobe. Full costume for two actors was going to cost over $1,000 (it requires a bunch of specialized gear). I couldn't ever decide, since all my shopping had to be done over the internet. No trying things on, no (easy) returns, etc.

• Extensive set dressing, propmaking, etc. Required new aluminum miniblinds to be installed in the whole house. Finally got them all installed last weekend. Still need to paint a hallway and mock-up some clean-room doors. All easy enough things to do, but . . . Needed to rent a white Econoline van for principle characters' vehicle. But never rented it since I never got around to getting the custom vinyl-cut graphics I needed to have made to have put on the doors. Also needed to rig quite a bit of ancillary gear to the van, which I had not made the effort to purchase.

So basically, a lot of laziness on my part. Lots of detail work that never got done. Many of the props and art department-related stuff requires careful attention to detail, and varying lead times to get completed by other vendors. Still, probably the biggest hurdle was script. It still wasn't quite right. Still not quite believable. So, I'm left with that. Hopefully, the script issues will come around, and I'll still believe enough in the project to continue.

What you do see in what I submitted is actually the screen test footage from the other two actors (the two women who are not Alejandra). The footage of the girl with the automatic rifle was never intended to be in the actual short. The wardrobe is COMPLETELY wrong, and just thrown together for "fun" for the test shoot. The footage of the other woman, the one with the headset, was also only her "screen test" footage. The set wasn't completely dressed yet (miniblinds weren't installed yet), so none of the wide shots were able to be photographed. Also, the translite wasn't yet acquired for the "out the window" shot, to be able to marry this interior with the real downtown L.A. building exteriors shot previously. The principle photography of Alejandra was all shot in about six hours, including travel time to three different locations in and around Los Angeles.

insanityfw
05-31-2007, 11:16 PM
Wow Ralph, I'm really sorry to hear about your trials and tribulations. Had the same things happen on me with my horror-fest. I don't know if doing what I did would work and you probably wouldn't be completely happy, but I gave it to an editor who took only 60% of the final footage and stitched together something that surprised me. It was not the movie that I had envision, but barring a couple of major glitches it was an entertaining film. It even stayed at #1 for weeks on undergroundfilm.org, so it got quite a following.

Creativity is so tough when you wear all the hats. It torments me all the time.

I hope that you find some sense of completion with the project. If not, it will just drive you harder next time...as I'm sure you know.

I would still really love to work with you one day.

bEst of luck,

Jason

Dahopafilms
05-31-2007, 11:42 PM
Hi Ralph.

I sense you're too hard on yourself.

I'm looking forward to your short despite the quasi-spoilers (premature self-generated critiques?) in your post.

Hey! It's film-making buddy. Despite all the poo-poo, it's still better than cleaning toilets. And I'll bet it's really entertaining.

And on that note, if only we could get our respective cast members together for the wrap/premiere parties ... can you even imagine?

Cheers, man.

Ralph Oshiro
06-01-2007, 12:05 AM
Hi Ralph.

I sense you're too hard on yourself.

I'm looking forward to your short despite the quasi-spoilers (premature self-generated critiques?) in your post.

Hey! It's film-making buddy. Despite all the poo-poo, it's still better than cleaning toilets. And I'll bet it's really entertaining.

And on that note, if only we could get our respective cast members together for the wrap/premiere parties ... can you even imagine?

Cheers, man.
Thanks for the kind words, Dahopa. No, I was mainly criticizing the fact that my submission is INCOMPLETE! It runs far short of the alotted running time. I just wanted a chance to write a huge "mea culpa" post, not to excuse or explain, but to simply point out what I thought went wrong. Chief among the culprits was only my own incredible laziness and severe lack of motivation. That's the primary mea culpa I wanted to address, not the numerous, "poor me," production-related kinda problems, the kinds of problems which everyone of us has to deal with. But thanks for the thoughts!

Ralph Oshiro
06-01-2007, 04:43 AM
REVISION THEORY:

Well, I've thought about it all night . . . thinking, and thinking. What makes this short, all my shorts, so, uh, unreal? So fake? So, "so what?" I thought and thought and thought . . . and then in the shower, I had some epiphonies. Got some good kernels of story ideas. Based on those ideas, I had a few thoughts on some new filmmaking rules I've made up for MYSELF:

• Don't try to make a cheap version of a big Hollywood film.

It's just never gonna happen. And it's just never going to compare. I've always wanted Jerry Bruckheimer production value. Jerry Bruckheimer dolly shots. Jerry Bruckheimer lighting. But what does that get you? What filmmaker would ever want to aspire to be Michael Bay? Yeah, all his films look great . . . but who cares?

• Try to imbue current political affairs and/or real situations or events into your story's subtext or setting whenever possible (again, this rule is only a personal one).

Making this representation credible is often the trick. It's highly doubtful that USA Today, NBC, or CNN will lend their trademarked logos to my stupid little short films. But to make these kinds of representations, in a highly credible manner, is essential to the successful "selling" of these kinds of premises. In my opinion, this is what gives the art of independent filmmaking the possibility to be its most prescient. Remember how reading the secret treatise in the novel 1984 turned that light on in your head? I remember remarking, "So, that's how the world works!" The reasons I liked "Children of Men" and "V for Vendetta" were as much for their subtextual political commentary as for their other cinematic virtues (okay, I liked "V" for one thing, and one thing only—Natalie Portman). This is why political drama can be so compelling. That's what I found so impressive about such an overtly political movie such as, "Syriana," which I thought was incredible. But a movie like, "Babel," on the other hand, while interesting, at the end, I was left with like, "Yeah . . . so what?"

I've been thinking about all this for the last couple of months, while wondering why "LEVEL 4" just didn't do it for me. I hated it because it wasn't greater than the sum of its parts. It has no meaning. No controversy. No reality. This doesn't mean I don't enjoy good storytelling that is completely entertaining and wholly devoid of "meaning" or "message." The horror film, "Saw," or the mystery TV series, "Lost," for example, are both well written, thoroughly enjoyable, message-free genres, and neither has any strong political undertones--it's pure escapism, pure unfettered entertainment.

• Try to focus on the essential elements of the human spirit.

In a sci-fi context, I think this is what movies like "Blade Runner," "Gattaca," and "A.I." did very well (although "A.I." was extremely flawed, in my opinion). When talking about issues concerning the human spirit, there's also that related philosophical sidebar, religion. I'm dying to take on this one. Biblical allegory, for example, is so rich with drama and scope. I mean who can top Armeggedon? Certainly, there are many poetic ways to interpret religious themes in films. "The Passion of the Christ" was one way. The "Star Wars" franchise used its psuedo-religion, "The Force," to great effect to enhance story. But I think my take on religion is going to be far less whimsical, and hopefully a lot more controversial. You know the two things you're never supposed to talk about? Religion and politics? I think both topics will make for some interesting filmmaking. At least, it will ask the viewer to take a position. After seeing a film, I want to say, "What did you 'think?'" Not only, "Boy, that looked great."

Gord.T
06-01-2007, 05:59 PM
...
Don't try to make a cheap version of a big Hollywood film.

It's just never gonna happen. And it's just never going to compare. I've always wanted Jerry Bruckheimer production value. Jerry Bruckheimer dolly shots. Jerry Bruckheimer lighting. But what does that get you? What filmmaker would ever want to aspire to be Michael Bay? Yeah, all his films look great . . . but who cares?
...


:) Another 2 notches on the ol' respectometer.

Ralph Oshiro
06-02-2007, 02:31 AM
Another 2 notches on the ol' respectometer.
Well, thanks, Raptorman! Remember, these are only MY rules.

Ralph Oshiro
06-02-2007, 03:33 AM
REVISION PART DEUX:

• How do the characters REACT to these real-world events? What is the impact of these events on the characters?

• It's not docudrama . . . it's more like fictionalized reality.

• How do real sociological or political events shape these fictionalized, but very real-seeming characters?

doncamillo
06-02-2007, 03:36 AM
Ralph,

Even though you didn't get too finish the movie as you envisioned it, I'm really glad you decided to share the work you managed to get done with us anyway. Finished or not finished, reading your last post it seems like it was an insightful learning experience one way or the other.

Looking forward to seeing your submission

p.s. I really enjoy reading the 'reflections' your posting.

Ralph Oshiro
06-02-2007, 03:45 AM
Even though you didn't get too finish the movie as you envisioned it, I'm really glad you decided to share the work you managed to get done with us anyway. Finished or not finished, reading your last post it seems like it was an insightful learning experience one way or the other.
Yes, thank you, doncamillo. A very high compliment! Yes . . . each DVXfest has really helped me grow, I think, as a filmmaker (even though it may not necessarily show in the immediate work product itself). I think this last one really created some hard questions for my art and for my craft. These are the essential artistic questions that divide competent facsimiles of movie-like works, from work which transcends basic filmmaking skills, and moves the work product to something a bit more than a mere assemblege of pretty pictures with neat-sounding music, and the deft application of proper film grammar technique.

I owe a huge debt to DVXUSER for this continuing, post-graduate, "online film school," and I think with each "mini-graduation," from one fest to the next, brings new learning, and new insight toward achieving the goal of making something, "good." For me, this recent epiphony has been, I think groundbreaking, and has helped me to think of filmmaking in some new ways, that I hope, will markedly change the character and quality of my work. Now, of course, execution is still key. Whether I can actually pull any of this high-minded conceptualization stuff off, is a whole other challenge!

Ralph Oshiro
06-02-2007, 04:14 AM
Even though you didn't get too finish the movie as you envisioned it, I'm really glad you decided to share the work you managed to get done with us anyway.
Not that I don't ever plan to ever reshoot or re-edit any of my past submitted projects, but, I personally view these contests much like final exams in college. You cram to get it done by the due date. Once you turn it in, you forget it. Then you get ready to register for the next prerequisite.

cinealma
06-02-2007, 09:01 AM
Ralph:

Got love the three o'clock in the morning treatises! I'm with you in a lot of what you say. I've used these fests myself as exercises with specific goals in mind. HorrorFest, my first fest, was to just get off my ass and make a film. I didn't get to make a DramaFest film. This go around for SpyFest, my goal was to 1. make a genre film, 2. edit dialogue in more than a "Dragnet" way and 3. learn to use After Effects, even if it's just for a couple of muzzle flashes and a title sequence.

Ralph, I think you've got a lot more talent than to just "turn it in and forget about it". Polish those babies up and get them out into the world!

I look forward to whatever you're putting up for us to watch.

arielman
06-02-2007, 03:36 PM
Poster is great looking..

looking forward to watching

Ian

Norm Sanders
06-03-2007, 05:12 PM
Ralph, looking forward to your film, despite how much you may have cut it up in advance, lol. I completely understand where you're coming from with regards to just finishing a film & already knowing what you'd want to change differently, what you could have done better ... especially now that you've LEARNED through the mistakes of a current one, etc.

That said, my wife's also given me good advice to try & heed from time to time ... to not rip the film up too much, or it may make the talent/crew that were involved wonder why they took the time to be a part of it in the first place. Now, since I think I recall you actually pay your folks, they may not care as much since they at least got paid. In my case, however, I do have to watch what I say or how I feel about a project, because everyone has put in their blood, sweat & tears on it for no pay, so I owe it to them to also really focus on the positives.

Not to in any way try & say for you to handle yourself differently ... just speaking outloud as I read your posts & then reflected on a conversation I had with my wife just weeks ago. We can all think of the negatives of what could have been done differently ... but I also think there's a lot of good that can come out of knowing what DID work as well & building from those foundations.

All that said, I think you're usually a one-man-crew, so you rock considering all that you do with just that! :thumbsup:

Looking forward to your film. Seriously!

Michael_Petro
06-03-2007, 05:26 PM
So I write this script and everyone sees it and agrees to do it ... then when the shooting begins someone says umm nope not me... had to rewrite the scene 3 times to make it work right... it worked out well for me.. I had two actors drop out .. but fortunately I was able to get them replaced... which is weird considering if you read my thread I didn't think I would have any actors except for Carli... While this is not as extreme as your problems it was still a pain.... You do some amazing stuff and I am ready to see what you came up with even if it is incomplete...

Keystoned
06-04-2007, 12:14 AM
Yeah that poster does rock.

Sorry to hear you had such challenges.

Looking forward to it though. Mad props for seeing it through man :beer:

Ernanio Mandlate
06-04-2007, 11:53 AM
Hello fellow dvxusers,
This is my first post. Hehe, i hope i dnt get off to a wrong start

My review:
Saw it 3 times. Didn't get it the first time. Nor the second, nor the third. I mean i read in your first post that the submission is incomplete. OK. Honestly, it's best to show only completed work. But i will say this though, as far look and cinematography, gotta love that almost uprobe shot you had there of the chick going up the revolving stairs if that's how you call those. Overall, I didn't like it.

Michael Anthony Horrigan
06-04-2007, 01:44 PM
Very professional looking clip! I really wish you had the time to finish it.
Looked great!

Keep aiming high, you did that and it shows in your work.

Charli
06-04-2007, 02:46 PM
Ralphy, Ralphy, Ralphy... I was wondering what you were going to pull with all of
that run-and-gunning that you do. I like the look of the film, I don't however think
the film has much substance. It's a "hitman" short, not a spy short.

You know what to do with a camera, just add more meat to your story.

-zach-
06-04-2007, 03:13 PM
Ralph-

I know these times be tough times, so I'm not going to say, "Argh, ye be lackin' substance matey!" What I am going to say is HER FEET WERE REALLY DIRTY. Everyone reading this, rewatch. Her feet get pretty grimy towards the top of those stairs. Anyways, you had great visuals in this and it did leave me wanting to know more about the story and why she's in a nightgown, etc. I especially liked the shots of the highway and cars going by.

Tell me, was there some sort of filter on the hitwoman's (sorry to dub her that) shots? It looks like an orange-tinted "dusk" filter.

Zach

Dustin R. Rogan
06-04-2007, 03:19 PM
Film looked amazing, and i have to warn you guys i'm a stickler for continuity...or things that make sense...and i don't know (correcte me if i'm wrong) can you hit someone from a distance in 1 shot from an assault rifle>?? anyways thats my only complaint...absolutly love the quality of the film!

Gary French
06-04-2007, 03:28 PM
.

David Jimerson
06-04-2007, 05:15 PM
This is easily the most cinematic of the ones I've watched so far. Production values look great. Editing is paced well; camera work is some of the best I've seen in these fests.

But it's only a chunk of a larger movie, so there's not too much else to go on here. Can't really gague acting, writing, etc., without seeing the whole thing in context. I'd definitely want to see the rest, but I'm not sure I can vote for this one as is . . .

Michael_Petro
06-04-2007, 06:02 PM
You sure know how to make stuff look good on film..... I wished you could have finished it also..

chris f
06-04-2007, 06:41 PM
Standard Disclaimer: I've watched half of the films so far and have yet to see a bad film. Congratulations to every film maker, everyone did a great job. All my comments and criticisms are meant to be constructive and helpful and in no way am I trying to take anything away from what you accomplished.

Good: Wow, production value was through the roof. Everything was spot on, acting (although the script didn't call for anything hard) the cinematography was amazing (lighting, colors, camera movements) the locations were great.

Not as Good: Obviously since it's a prologue it doesn't give us much as far as story and it's very short. You made your sony look better than our beloved panasonics :(.

Sidenote: I'm sure I'll find this out when I read through your thread, but can we be expecting more than the prologue?

Ralph Oshiro
06-04-2007, 07:58 PM
REPLIES TO VIEWER FEEDBACK:


. . . gotta love that almost uprobe shot you had there of the chick going up the [escalator].
That was my favorite too! But the Metro cops that made me play it back for them weren't exactly thrilled with it.


Keep aiming high, you did that and it shows in your work.
Thanks! That's part of the reason it's unfinished.


Ralphy, Ralphy, Ralphy . . . I was wondering what you were going to pull with all of that run-and-gunning that you do.
I actually kind of like the challenge . . . "LEVEL4" was 100% unpermitted.


What I am going to say is HER FEET WERE REALLY DIRTY.
What can I say? I'm into that sort of thing . . .


Tell me, was there some sort of filter on the hitwoman's (sorry to dub her that) shots? It looks like an orange-tinted "dusk" filter.
Yup. It's an amber grad added in post. All-electronic, white-balancing cameras, like the Sony DSR450, have no CC filters in their internal filter wheel—only NDs. And they can white balance really weird sometimes—this is the second time I've had this problem (on "RUNWAY," I just changed another problematic scene to black and white). I was never satisfied with how the camera white balanced on the "shooter's" location, and I could never quite correct it in post. I resorted to the filter to "dress it up."


. . . can you hit someone from a distance in 1 shot from an assault rifle?
Sure you can. The actual distance was about 225 feet.


It’s possible, we never really see how far apart they are, but yeah it’s possible to hit a moving target from a good distance without a scope. Though the shooter would have to have some crazy skills.
The footage of the "shooter" was only a screen test. The shooter is not in the correct costume, and the prop rifle is wrong. I have a new prop AR15 rifle, and it has a bitchin' prop scope on it.


This flick looked very promising, and it’s sucks that it’s not complete because I would really like to see the full version.
Thanks! I'm still deciding whether to complete this project or not. Everything except some Metro footage would be reshot regardless.


But it's only a chunk of a larger movie . . .
Exactly right. Thank you for the high compliments, David!


I'd definitely want to see the rest, but I'm not sure I can vote for this one as is . . .
No voting is necessary for "LEVEL4"—it's an incomplete entry.


You sure know how to make stuff look good on film . . . I wished you could have finished it also . . .
Thanks, Michael! Jury's still out on whether I'm going to finish this one. Yours and others' positive posts here have been hugely encouraging, and are making me think that maybe I should.


Sidenote: I'm sure I'll find this out when I read through your thread, but can we be expecting more than the prologue?
That's what I'm trying to decide now.

jamesh
06-04-2007, 08:06 PM
Shame you didn't finnish as this looks like hot sh*t

Ralph Oshiro
06-04-2007, 08:18 PM
Shame you didn't finish as this looks like hot sh*t
Thanks! Another reason it's incomplete is that there are a number of highly SEXUAL scenes that were originally scripted, which proved to be IMPOSSIBLE to cast for. If and when I can cast those parts, yes, it will be pretty goddamned "hot!"

vidled
06-04-2007, 08:18 PM
Who needs HD when you can simply shoot in RO? :)

Awesome job Ralph for what you had; tension is there, and visually stunning!

gabrielflorit
06-04-2007, 10:24 PM
wow. this looks phenomenal. best looking short by far, by a long distance.

bosindy
06-04-2007, 10:28 PM
I like the way you shoot Ralph, I am looking forward to seeing it when you can make the film you want. You are definitely off to a strong start.

Jim

doncamillo
06-05-2007, 04:08 AM
Hey Ralph,

Thanx for having the guts to share it, finished or not. I just saw the film and I'm once again 'licking my fingers', no not just because of Alejandra on the escalator ;-) but because of the camera-work, the locations and the overall quality-feel it had. Completed or not, it looked great. Yes it was a little thin story-wise but even then it left me wanting more when it was finished, which is a good thing :)

I sure hope you get to finish your entry next time!

Ralph Oshiro
06-05-2007, 04:30 AM
http://www.24framefilms.com/LEVEL4/TITLE.jpg

http://www.24framefilms.com/LEVEL4/LEG01.jpg

http://www.24framefilms.com/LEVEL4/DMIC.jpg

http://www.24framefilms.com/LEVEL4/SBUTT.jpg

http://www.24framefilms.com/LEVEL4/HELO.jpg

http://www.24framefilms.com/LEVEL4/CAST.jpg

Norm Sanders
06-05-2007, 08:51 AM
FANTASTIC images you just posted, Ralph! Will post on the film itself soon ...

Ted Arabian
06-05-2007, 10:40 AM
Damn Ralph! You have got such a great eye and skills at the camera, man! I love your work!!! Damn!

The sound is great, I love the score (who did the music?), the steadicam work is incredible, the locations rock and are visually wonderful, the shots are flat-out gorgeous! You are amazing behind the camera!

And that series of shots of Alejandra are beautiful!

You are one of my idols!!!

Great style!

Congrats on a great entry!

-Ted

Edgen
06-05-2007, 11:35 AM
Ralph! Once again visually stunning film! I love the fact you went guerilla style and got some of those shots. I dig the action sequences leading up to the 'kill' and I'm looking forward to the finished film.

The command center footage was wonderful and the few lines she gave were great.

cheers and good luck!
/j

AmyO
06-05-2007, 11:37 AM
Nice beginning. I can see why you want to wait to get everything up to par. I think it will be worth it. Keep us posted on the progress. I hope to see it appear in the user films section.

Danielleus
06-05-2007, 11:47 AM
Hey,

So I'm gonna mix my review and actually mention what I didn't like about the film as well.
Production value was really very high. Loved it. Subway stuff and the outdoor stuff was, indeed as others have mentioned, strikingly well done.
Agree with Edgen in that the command center was fantastic and I was so very excited about the rest of it.
And I recognize that it is a prologue, or a chunk of what's to come.
I think it could've used a sniper-rifle (I'm just not sure if sniping with the automatic there works. At least, in my mind, it looks incredibly strange).
Probably could have benefited from some tighter filming, especially of the girl running across the parking structure. She seemed to struggle a bit with all of the gear. And I just don't buy the speed that she's going. Tighter might have made her look faster.
But I think you got the panic/anxiety/tension down well.
And again, production value was top notch.
Can't wait to see the final.

Geoff_R
06-05-2007, 01:06 PM
Ralph, as usual...the visuals are stunning! Lots of great shots! You've got a great eye for cinematography; everything is well comped'. Production values are high and consistent; I really like the look/feel of that command center.

It was an exciting intro and I can't wait to see more of this project.

Hootzie
06-05-2007, 01:07 PM
Hot production quality! There is a lot of reat film making there. Would have liked to see her feel more comfortable with that gear though but I can't wait to see the final story come together. Great job!

Mike Insane
06-05-2007, 02:42 PM
Ralph, I loved everything in the film other than the wardrobe of your shooter. Shorts and a big knife doesn't seem tactical for someone in a city chasing a mark. Beyond that... I love the shots of the Hollywood and Highland train center... I work in the building above that. I think everything with the "controller lady was spactacular. Great job on all the visuals.

http://www.dvxfest.com/spyfest/loader.php?id=27648

Ralph Oshiro
06-05-2007, 02:48 PM
The Steadicam work is incredible . . .
Thanks Ted, everyone, for all the very kinds words. But I just quickly wanted to point out . . .
THERE WAS NO STEADICAM FOOTAGE IN "LEVEL4." "LEVEL4" was mostly shot all HANDHELD! One dolly shot, and a few sticks shots.

Geoff_R
06-05-2007, 10:13 PM
Thanks Ted, everyone, for all the very kinds words. But I just quickly wanted to point out . . .
THERE WAS NO STEADICAM FOOTAGE IN "LEVEL4." "LEVEL4" was mostly shot all HANDHELD! One dolly shot, and a few sticks shots.

You run really well with a heavy camera in your hands :)

Shawn Philip Nelson
06-05-2007, 10:16 PM
Ralph! Amazing visuals. Please finish it!

aravance
06-05-2007, 11:42 PM
Wow. Very impressive prologue.

Majestic scenic shots. Great lighting in the control room. Great cinematography in general.

I agree about your shooter's outfit though. It looks cool, but feels out of place.
Feels more Rambo-ish then street urban tactical.

But yeah, very sharp!!

Kudos!

Ralph Oshiro
06-06-2007, 01:00 AM
REPLIES TO VIEWER FEEDBACK PART 2:


FANTASTIC images you just posted, Ralph! Will post on the film itself soon . . .
Looking forward to it, Norm!


The sound is great, I love the score (who did the music?).
Ted, you are too kind—thank you for all the generous comments! The score I purchased at some place online. I bought 12 tracks for $100. I searched and searched their site, so that I could credit the composer, but none was mentioned. I guess that's deliberate.


The command center footage was wonderful and the few lines she gave were great.
Thanks for the kind words, Justin! I love that several here commented on the "control room" shots (see below). Diane was on-screen for like four seconds, but I think she was great too, and her delivery, near perfect.


Nice beginning. I can see why you want to wait to get everything up to par. I think it will be worth it.
Thanks, AmyO! I LOVED "Girl vs. Boy" by the way! Thank you for the encouragement. And yes, I do want "everything" to be "as good." So, thanks to all of you here, I'm gaining the motivation to soldier on, and make "LEVEL 4" what it was supposed to be.


Probably could have benefited from some tighter filming, especially of the girl running across the parking structure. She seemed to struggle a bit with all of the gear. And I just don't buy the speed that she's going. Tighter might have made her look faster.
Yes, I agree. That sequence is supposed to have a vehicle element to it (and more, authentically dressed SWAT guys). The vehicle is supposed to pull up to the location (tires screeching, of course), and the SWAT guys get out, and get their gear out of the trunk, all covered in Steadicam. The picture car for that scene isn't ready yet. All the "victim" coverage was to be handheld; all the "police" coverage was to be Steadicam (although there was NO Steadicam footage used in "Prologue" as shown).


Hot production quality! There is a lot of reat film making there. Would have liked to see her feel more comfortable with that gear though but I can't wait to see the final story come together. Great job!
Thanks! Yes, she had had no previous weapons experience. Plus, the fake AR15 she was carrying was a little lame—have a much better one now. Sarah told me that some of her stunt guy friends have been doing some weapons training with her since.


Ralph, I loved everything in the film other than the wardrobe of your shooter. Shorts and a big knife doesn't seem tactical for someone in a city chasing a mark.
I couldn't agree with you more! That comment is spot-on. That footage was never supposed to be in the film (as you pointed out—her wardrobe doesn't fit). That was only her "screen test." But I ran out of time to schedule her "real" shoot. I can't tell you how much that bothers me!


You run really well with a heavy camera in your hands.
Thanks, Geoff. As you probably know, it's actually much easier to shoot good handheld with a heavier camera.


Ralph! Amazing visuals. Please finish it!
Thanks, Shawn! Thanks to everyone's generous remarks here at DVXUSER, I am slowly convincing myself that this is worth completing.


Wow. Very impressive prologue. Majestic scenic shots. Great lighting in the control room.!
Thanks! High compliments from someone who submitted something as good as "Imprint." Awesome dolly shots in that parking garage! I can't tell you how pleased I am to hear the comments on the "control room." I can't wait to reshoot that "set." I now have aluminum miniblinds along the whole wall behind the desks, and an as yet, unused cityscape translights to hang outside the windows.

Matt Sconce
06-06-2007, 01:58 AM
Absolutely flawlessly beautiful camera work. Some shots just had me quoting wayne's world. "We're not worthy...we're not worthy." The actress at the command center ROCKED period. She was superb in my opinion and I wanted more screen time with her. I am sure there will be later in the rest of the movie. I thought this was a great prologue to something bigger and am excited to see what that is! I think you raised the bar and improved since horrorfest. Amazing stuf!

Ralph Oshiro
06-06-2007, 05:29 PM
Wow, Matt! I'm speechless! Thanks!

Dahopafilms
06-06-2007, 05:50 PM
OK Ralph.

I've watched your film a couple of times now. And now it's time to comment.

Nope. It's not a finished, complete piece. But I knew that going in from your earlier posts.

What it is, is a crisp, beautifully shot, extremely interesting teaser of what will come next. Seriously, when it was over I kinda stopped for a second and was just pissed off that there wasn't more. The images were great. The actors were extremely attractive (and you should be able to get any actor in town to work with you if you can produce images like this for their reels). Your direction and framing and story (to the extent there was one) sucked me in. I just freaking wanted more.

And I loved the scene on the escalator. Particularly when you ask yourself "Did I just see what I thought I saw?" - when in fact you didn't see anything at all. Leave it to the imagination of the audience (like the chainsaw kill in Scarface - everyone thought they saw something gruesome when nothing graphic was actually shown on screen at all other than some blood splatters on the wall). And maybe you should think about that approach if you're having troubles trying to get actresses to play your more "revealing" scenes. Leave more to the imagination and let the viewer fill in the blanks.

So those were the images. What about the story? I couldn't honestly tell, but there was clearly something happening here. Again, I wanted more.

Ralph, you have more filmmaking horsepower than perhaps you realize or accept. Focus on the stuff you do. Keep it as simple as possible (I think you've already made reference to this), but push ahead on this because if you don't, that will one less really great film for us all to enjoy.

Lastly, as for your actress in the control room, she is amazing. What a great look. What a great find. Minimal screen time, but she definitely got everyone's attention and she has that certain "it" factor that makes you sit up, take notice and want more of her. And that scene was beautifully shot anyway - so you only enhanced our interest in her.

So please finish this. For our sake.

Thanks for this, my friend.

Matt Sconce
06-06-2007, 05:55 PM
What was the actress' name in the control center?

Dahopafilms
06-06-2007, 06:00 PM
What was the actress' name in the control center?

"Diane Docter", I think.

I couldn't find her on IMDB.

Matt Sconce
06-06-2007, 06:01 PM
Wow, Matt! I'm speechless! Thanks!

Seriously, your visuals were amazing. I really really enjoyed them.

Brandon Rice
06-06-2007, 06:05 PM
Ralph.. I haven't yet had the chance to send off a full review to ya, but I did want to echo what everyone is saying, your cinematography was genius.

-zach-
06-06-2007, 08:59 PM
Ralph, I watched my favorites with my brother, and he usually starts out skeptical, but especially when he saw the control room girl, he looks over to me wide-eyed and exclaims, "It looks like a TV show!" and I was like, that's a very nice compliment. So, coming from a "normie" as I call them - I think that's a great compliment.

Keystoned
06-08-2007, 07:24 PM
wow looked great

looking forward to the full piece

Charli
06-09-2007, 10:29 AM
Ralphy - sexual scenes you're not sure you can cast, huh? For some reason, why doesn't that surprise me? My suggestion to you is that you pair up with a screenwriter and get some dialogue in that story. Give a pretty girl something rather cool to say, don't just give her guns now.

Norm Sanders
06-10-2007, 12:30 PM
Really late in getting my thoughts on some (most) of the films, but here's what I pulled from it. Visually, this was absolutely stunning, as is expected from you. You've got a great eye for all things visual. Speaking of visuals, I LOVED the colors that were coming through in the subway, up the escalators, etc!

Ouch, I wonder how sore your actresses' feet were after running barefoot all that time, lol?! Made me cringe seeing her go up the escalators barefoot ... must be a phobia of mine I wasn't aware of.

Story wise, you've already stated that this was incomplete, but I don't even have a clue why they're after her, who she is, etc. The whole bit comes across as a chase sequence, and that's about it. The spy/assassin seemed to be more in the role of a sniper, so I questioned her having an AR15/M16 (couldn't tell which) vs. a more accurate sniper rifle/scope combo. Would certainly look forward to seeing this expanded.