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View Full Version : "Spying for Fun and Profit" - Official Thread



Karl151k
04-01-2007, 05:46 PM
Spying for Fun and Profit is now online! Click here (http://www.dvxfest.com/spyfest/loader.php?id=26624) to view it!

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/229/472739074_560afa6a07.jpg

----Synopsis----

An in-depth look at how to utilize spy techniques to make everyday living easier.
Stick with Robin as he demonstrates how to use social engineering, pretexting and
various other technical words that end in "-ing." Spying for Fun and Profit will open
your eyes to a world you never even knew existed... Oh yeah, there's porn too.

----Characters----

The various characters (and boy are they characters) in the movie.


http://farm1.static.flickr.com/230/487375662_8a979172a5_b.jpg

----Credits----

Robin - Josh Manley
Matilda the Maid - Darlene Cleary
Guy the Pizza Boy - Geoff Goodloe
Scarlett the Party Thrower - Rebecca Seubert
Dave the Tech Support Guru - Matt Jarbo
Voiceover - Rebecca Seubert


Written By - John LaBonney

Original Score - Dmitry Kichenko

Directed By - Carleton Torpin

----Photo Gallery----

An online collection of Production Stills, Candids from the set, and various production design elements can be viewed at the
Spying for Fun and Profit Flickr Collection (http://www.flickr.com/photos/flipmovie/collections/72157600158795348/) . Check it out, we took a lot of good photos during the production of this short!

----Tech Specs----

For the technically inclined, here's a breakdown of the equipment to be utilized:

Production Gear
DVX100a
Sachler DV4 tripod
FigRig
Senheizer Wireless Mic kit
Azden SGM-2X
Nikon D80 w/18-135mm lens
2 Lowel DP lights (1000 and 500 watt bulbs)
2 Lowel Pro lights (250 and 125 watt bulbs)
1 Lowel Tota light (500 watt bulb)

Awesome gear purchased from DVXUsers and affiliates:
Rowe Cine Dolly wheels
DVXUser batteries
The Kessler Crane

Post Production information:
Spying for Fun and Profit to be edited in Final Cut Pro
Production Design elements created in Photoshop CS2

----

As more details become available, I will be updating this thread. Feel free to ask any
questions you may have... except about the porn. I can't divulge any... information on that.... at this juncture.

-zach-
04-01-2007, 05:49 PM
Seems like a lot of fun!

Keystoned
04-01-2007, 05:56 PM
Haha this looks fun.
Welcome and looking forward to it :beer:

Karl151k
04-01-2007, 06:08 PM
Yeah, I'm excited to be directing an original John LaBonney script. As far as I know, at least 4 SpyFest entries (including this one) were written by John. That's not just a coincidence either, he's a damn good writer.

Production on Spying for Fun and Profit starts on April 15th! Woo Hoo!

-zach-
04-01-2007, 06:14 PM
This is the mockumentary one [that John LaBonney wrote], right?

Karl151k
04-01-2007, 06:22 PM
Kind-of. It's not really a mocumentary, it's more of a "day-in-the-life" kind of thing. It'll be shot as a straight narrative, but the main character will be breaking the 4th wall to talk to the viewer frequently.

Charli
04-01-2007, 07:02 PM
This sounds crazy, such fun. Good luck.

John LaBonney
04-01-2007, 07:16 PM
And I had promised no hard-core porn in any of these scripts. But you know my motto: give the viewer what he wants!

Great graphics Carleton! It's fun to watch some of the elements come together.

-zach-
04-01-2007, 07:26 PM
Kind-of. It's not really a mocumentary, it's more of a "day-in-the-life" kind of thing. It'll be shot as a straight narrative, but the main character will be breaking the 4th wall to talk to the viewer frequently.

Kind of like Fight Club.

When "Jack" is telling us Tyler Durden's various jobs.

Karl151k
04-01-2007, 08:18 PM
As much as I'd love to liken any aspect of my work to that of Fight Club, I don't think I've earned that right yet. =) However, yes, the movie will be somewhat similar in it's approach to the "talking to the viewer"...

Ralph Oshiro
04-08-2007, 12:22 AM
Ditto! Sounds like fun! EXCELLENT art direction and execution on your props!

JOE BLO
04-08-2007, 12:41 AM
I dig all of your prop logos. Can't wait to see this one.

Karl151k
04-08-2007, 01:02 AM
I'm getting more into production design with every movie I do. Glad to hear they're being well received. More to come!!!!

Karl151k
04-16-2007, 07:14 PM
Quick update:

We finished the first day of shooting today. It went well. We shot in a total of 3 hotels, all meant to look like one hotel in the final movie. No permits, because it's just more fun that way. The next shoot day is April 21st. That'll be a full day, for sure.

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/182/462070274_685dc6244e.jpg

Karl151k
04-21-2007, 10:19 PM
Another update. Today was the second and final day of shooting. All the principle photography is now complete! I am batch capturing footage as I type, so I hope to have a rough edit done by the end of next week.

There is a complete set of production stills available here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/flipmovie/sets/72157600106105800/

AmyO
04-21-2007, 11:41 PM
Congrats on wrapping filming! Your production stills look great. I'm glad everyone seemed to have a good time shooting. Looking forward to your film!

John LaBonney
04-22-2007, 05:21 AM
Carleton:

Great stills! It's really exciting to watch it come together. Looks like production design was a lot of fun on this one.

Karl151k
04-25-2007, 02:32 PM
Thanks guys! A quick note: The assemble edit for Spying' is finished. It's going to be pretty light, almost cartooney at times. I am currently working with Composer Dmitry Kichenko to get the rough edit ready.

I have updated the main page of this thread with the final color scheme, kind of a 60's-ish theme. The supporting characters have also been given images along with their profession.

Ted Arabian
04-30-2007, 01:56 PM
Hey Carleton, Congrats on the entry. Really looks like fun!

I talked with you quite a bit on a Marketplace listing you had. Still bummed that I couldn't swing that deal you had! Too many other obligations for my money!!!

Looking forward to your film!

-Ted

Karl151k
05-06-2007, 08:40 PM
Thanks Theodore. I have since turned that M2 adapter that was for sale into a wonderful Nikon D80 DSLR. =)

Nice banner for your film, BTW.

Ted Arabian
05-07-2007, 05:48 AM
Cool! I have a Nikon D70 and love it! Congrats. Happy shooting! (and thanks for the kudos on the banner! I have to share the credit with fellow dvxuser, Preston!)

Karl151k
05-31-2007, 05:33 PM
Well, it's finally done. Spying for Fun and Profit has been uploaded and now I can finally get a good night's sleep. And THAT, is the biggest reward of them all!

Norm Sanders
06-03-2007, 06:38 PM
Great news to hear you got it in, Karl. I can't remember this small of a fest since HEROFEST (which was even a little smaller still), but the reasons are different ... a lot of folks simply weren't able to finish in time, so huge kudos to all those who could pull it through!

Look forward to seeing your film.

Keystoned
06-03-2007, 11:30 PM
Haha, the characters in the poster crack me up. Especially for the genre. Looking forward to it. :beer:

Karl151k
06-04-2007, 01:39 PM
Thanks guys. It's finally time to start watching the movies! Soooo excited!

Dmitry Kichenko
06-05-2007, 01:28 AM
Hooray, it's up! I've uploaded the surfy soundtrack I did for it to my own server too:

http://coincidentalstudio.com/music/

Was pretty fun to compose. All tracked onto a reel-to-reel. Good job on the film too, Carleton!

Ted Arabian
06-05-2007, 07:17 AM
Hey Carleton, nice job! Very entertaining and amusing. The music started to grate on my after a while. Maybe just me but there was something hard to listen to about it. The pitch or something. Anyway, small detail.

I loved your concept and I think it works. I especially love the "clicks" with the credits!

Good job!

-Ted

Hootzie
06-05-2007, 09:41 AM
Fun movie my friend!

Michael Anthony Horrigan
06-05-2007, 12:10 PM
I enjoyed this as well. Nice twist on the spying theme, well done! :)

The music was good, but maybe a little overused.

Nice work overall.

Cheers,

Mike

chris f
06-05-2007, 02:00 PM
Standard Disclaimer: I've yet to see a bad film so far in this fest. 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: Clever ideas. Makes me want to try the pizza thing out.

Not as Good: Obviously things could have been more polished, but for what you were going for superb production value wasn't necessary.

Sidenote: The lead reminded me of the guy from the goodwill commercials, especially during the beginning.

Karl151k
06-05-2007, 02:05 PM
I see your points about me using the music a little too much. I could probably have left some parts non-scored but then, you'd all have to endure my lousy sound mixing skills! And nobody wants that! =)

I met Dmitry about a year or so ago here on DVXuser through a tread labeled : Free Score and Soundtracks (http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?t=62689) ... There was also mention of a free hat... And we've worked on several projects together. Since he lives in Vancouver, Canada and I live in San Diego, USA, our only means of communication is online.

We frequently utilize AIM to discuss the project and then I'll upload a rough cut to a server and he'll compose to that. Then after lots more FTP-ing well decide on a particular track and he'll polish it and send it to me in AIFF form. It all sounds a little tedious, but it's actually quite beneficial because then all the conversations are documented perfectly and should I ever need to recall a particular idea one of us had, I can just use AIM to find the previous conversation.

In other news, I've watched 20 films so far and taken plenty of notes on each. When I'm done with all of them, I'll post in everybody's respective threads!

Dahopafilms
06-05-2007, 06:16 PM
Karl,

Really nice job. Very original - and that gets super high marks from me.

I saw the earlier comments on the music. The music was good, but maybe just a touch over-used. Really liked your lead actor - just the right combination of smarminess.

Nice wardrobe. OK - it was the cap. Oddly appropriate.

Liked to graphics, too. Nice job.

Couldn't help thinking that I hope you have clearances on those photographs in the porn segment. Sorry - that's the producer side of me crawling out.

Thanks very much for making this. I really enjoyed it.

Dmitry Kichenko
06-05-2007, 09:08 PM
What are you all talking about, the music was underused! =))

And yes, the photos were all purchased by Carleton. All the ladiez are legit yo.

Karl151k
06-05-2007, 09:53 PM
Thanks Dahopa,

The porn chicks are all royalty free photos I got from BigStockPhoto.com for a mere $2 a piece! I'll be using that site again in the future. Also of note, the intro shot of the "CIA HQ" was actually a still photo from the same place that I bought the chicks' photos. I just isolated the building element in Photoshop, laid some timelapse clouds footage (taken from my front yard) behind it, and plopped it into the movie. That building was actually a British Parliament building! =)

The credit for the wardrobe goes to the actors. I asked them to wear what they owned already. (Robin is dressed exactly like me, cept I wear a different hat). The only exception being Matilda the Maid. She and a friend had to go out and find that wardrobe at thrift stores. The whole maid ensemble cost a whopping $5! God, I love thrift stores!

aFox
06-06-2007, 01:30 AM
Another great comedy! Enjoyed it whole the time, plus i now really have to try some of those things ;)

Karl151k
06-06-2007, 12:15 PM
Thanks aFox. The script and ideas within came from fellow DVXuser John LaBonney. All ideas are actually quite feasible, with the pizza one actually stemming from a real (time tested) scam.

John LaBonney
06-06-2007, 06:02 PM
I think that this script was a great match for Carleton because he's got a real talent for utilizing production design elements. The Porn-Co and pizza logos, the photo of CIA headquarters, and the girlie pictures were great creative components. The little graphics in the first scene where Robin lists the skills he doesn't have are great, as well as the one in a such-a-huge-number-it-won't-fit-on-a-screen subtitle. Spying for Fun and Profit also gave the opportunity for a director to use some of those cool wipes and crossfades that won't work for a dramatic production.

Carleton didn't make a whole lot of changes to the script, but not all of the dialog made it into the final cut, mostly due to time elements I'm sure. One place he really saved the day was with the toilet paper scam. It was his addition to have Robin walk out with a robe, towels, toiletries, etc. He added a great joke that made what I realize was a weakly written scene into a good one.

Josh was great in this. He's good wetware.

I liked the score, thought it was pretty appropriate.

Good work Carleton!

John

AmyO
06-07-2007, 12:16 PM
Thanks for giving me a break from all the shoot-em up bad-guy flicks in this fest. While I enjoyed them, I really had fun watching this one. Sort of an info-mercial meets Ferris Bueller kind of thing. I could easily see Josh on the Daily Show in a few years, too. He was great. The lighting in the opening scene was brilliant, very much "I'm just shooting this with my desk lamp" feel. The camera work and lighting walked a line between the filmmaker's production value and what this wanna-be spy's production values would be.

Good work.

cinealma
06-07-2007, 01:31 PM
Clever film. I was thoroughly entertained. I liked that fact that you thought outside the box for this fest and I think it works. Music didn't bother me as I really didn't notice it too much (a good thing, no less).

Good job. Thanks for screening.

arielman
06-08-2007, 07:20 PM
Brilliant! lmao ,very good guys .
Most entertaining.
Good luck in the fest.
Ian

Tom Marshall
06-08-2007, 10:06 PM
I enjoyed this! Very original idea and you pulled it off nicely. I'm gonna try that pizza trick sometime... :beer:

Shawn Philip Nelson
06-08-2007, 11:38 PM
Lol, nice. Fun and original. Definitely made me laugh out loud. Thanks for bringing some real humor to the fest!

Michael_Petro
06-09-2007, 08:48 AM
did someone see an episode of the broken???? :) very good made me laugh..

Karl151k
06-09-2007, 12:35 PM
What's The Broken?

Norm Sanders
06-09-2007, 12:39 PM
Cute concept, like a step by step guide on how the average person can spy in daily life ... but for profit (I know, that's exactly what it was). Since it wasn't too cinematic, and didn't have a compelling narrative story, it didn't pull me in as much as some other films have in this fest, but I'm not sure that was the filmmakers' intention. I don't think it was trying to take itself too seriously, and they just had a good time making something that would bring out some laughs, which means they succeeded for their target audience/end result. Talent was fine & delivered for the content/setting.

Michael_Petro
06-09-2007, 01:23 PM
What's The Broken?

http://revision3.com/thebroken/ep1

go directly to the 9 minute mark

Karl151k
06-09-2007, 01:36 PM
EXACTLY! Yes, I have seen that before, I must have just forgotten what it's called. The scam as written in the original script was actually based off what they do (pretexting). However, I was unable to secure a pizza place that we could actually shoot inside, so John re-wrote the scene for the phone. Thanks for providing that link, I'd lost it.

John LaBonney
06-09-2007, 04:15 PM
Since it wasn't too cinematic, and didn't have a compelling narrative story, it didn't pull me in as much as some other films have in this fest, but I'm not sure that was the filmmakers' intention.

This fest was the first time that I've had my writing produced into films, so it was a great learning experience for me. Once I saw the films, there were many areas that I realized the writing could have been better.

Once the film is out there, the writing can't easily be changed, in the same way that once the space shuttle is out in space, it can't easily be fixed. All-in-all it was a good lesson to learn, and I'm looking forward to improving in the next fest and in other upcoming projects.

:)

John

John LaBonney
06-09-2007, 04:37 PM
did someone see an episode of the broken???? :) very good made me laugh..

"The Broken" came up during my research for the film. I was looking for ways for Robin to scam himself a free pizza, and this was a pretty good example. Mitnick's book was also amazingly relevant, and I enjoyed reading it.



EXACTLY! Yes, I have seen that before, I must have just forgotten what it's called. The scam as written in the original script was actually based off what they do (pretexting). However, I was unable to secure a pizza place that we could actually shoot inside, so John re-wrote the scene for the phone. Thanks for providing that link, I'd lost it.

Originally, the pizza scam was very similar to the method used in The Broken episode. In fact, I was a little worried it was too similar, even though right in the podcast they tell you to do whatever you want with their movie. Carleton and I discussed it, and since Carleton couldn't find a suitable pizza restaurant anyway (nobody wanted to show themselves getting ripped off), we changed the scene to encompass an out-of-store delivery. This relieved Carleton of having to find a cooperating interior location and dealing with all that hassle. In the end I think it was a better scene. I changed the theme from pretexting to surveillance, and the rest is cinematic history.

Michael_Petro
06-09-2007, 04:44 PM
good to know I'm not the only geek on this board... BTW your execution was great theres was typical hacker talk.... I like both but in a movie I want fun.. yours was a blast.... really enjoyed it just so you know :beer:

Beat Takeshi
06-09-2007, 06:12 PM
That was fun. The pizza trick won't work in the big city. You try that and they give you a big FU. I have thought about that same trick with other things though. Like tapping into B&H and finding out who they are sending the next HVX to. ;)

I tried the last trick and all I got was a virus...

Edgen
06-10-2007, 12:45 PM
My Thoughts:

Welp.. it was definitely different from all the other films. :) Now.. go package this up and create some cool packaging and place it after the 'Dr. Computer' guy on infomercial TV :)

/j

gabrielflorit
06-10-2007, 04:45 PM
This was fun. Very engaging, although not really a spy.... flick.... enjoyable, nonetheless.

Jen Bright
06-12-2007, 12:21 AM
Thanks Theodore. I have since turned that M2 adapter that was for sale into a wonderful Nikon D80 DSLR. =)

Nice banner for your film, BTW.

Thats a marvelous trick! Can you teach the rest of us how to do that?