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chris f
04-06-2007, 03:15 PM
Click here to view the film (http://www.dvxfest.com/spyfest/loader.php?id=7168)


Ecclesiastes

Screenplay, Cinematography, Direction
Christopher Allan Francis

Original Score
David Barajas

Starring
Larry Bao
Sarah Gerke
John Khoury Nasser
Sarah Sullivan
Yitong Wang

Also Featuring
Michael Alan
Dawn Ament
Bill Bowman
Patrick Binkley
Katie Brant
Dana Goot
Ken Klingenmeier
Pam Thinnes
Jeremy Tubbs

Crew
Matt Zwiesler - Boom, Foley
Stephanie Francis - Production Assistant
Brett Potter - 2nd Unit, Grip
Tim Devlin - Grip

Speical Thanks
DVXuser.com
Indiana University School of Informatics
Above and Beyond Limo
Tina Simmons
Elsa Taylor-Cless
Cheryl Wright & The Marion County Library
IndianaActors.com
Indyfilmco-op.org

chris f
04-06-2007, 03:15 PM
*Edit: All screengrabs have been taken down now that the fest has arrived. Enjoy these photographs until viewing starts.

http://chrisfrancisvideo.files.wordpress.com/2007/05/asiancouple.jpg
Larry Bao & Yitong Wang

http://chrisfrancisvideo.files.wordpress.com/2007/05/hotel.jpg
John Khoury Nasser & Sarah Gerke

http://chrisfrancisvideo.files.wordpress.com/2007/05/sarah_sullivan.jpg
Sarah Sullivan

http://www.dvxuser6.com/uploaded/9694/1180590867.jpg
Stephanie Francis & Matt Zwiesler, without them this wouldn't be possible.

http://www.dvxuser6.com/uploaded/9694/1180590828.jpg
Filmmaking = Laughter and Headaches

http://www.dvxuser6.com/uploaded/9694/1180590880.jpg
Behind The Scenes

http://www.dvxuser6.com/uploaded/9694/1180590840.jpg
Behind The Scenes

http://www.dvxuser6.com/uploaded/9694/1180590775.jpg
Behind The Scenes


http://www.dvxuser6.com/uploaded/9694/1180590812.jpg
Don't Mess With the Boom, Man

Matt Sconce
04-06-2007, 03:39 PM
Awesome! Welcome to the fest!

AmyO
04-06-2007, 05:48 PM
Welcome to a fellow fest newbie. :) Look forward to your entry.

Happy shooting.

Charli
04-06-2007, 06:41 PM
Like the title, good way to start. Good luck.

Norm Sanders
04-06-2007, 08:33 PM
That named after the book in the Bible, or is there another definition I'm not aware of? I agree, intriguing title!

chris f
04-06-2007, 09:06 PM
You are correct, from the Bible

chris f
04-15-2007, 09:53 PM
The first of many shoots was done today. I tried to do everything the legit way and get an official permit, etc. but after finding out how much I would have to pay to use a "free" location I opted to just show up and film, which is what we did today and it worked out perfectly.

chris f
04-24-2007, 08:28 PM
added screen grabs and bts photos, i'll post the official film info soon and hopefully a poster/banner sometime soon as well

Norm Sanders
04-24-2007, 09:24 PM
Got some GREAT grabs going on there, Chris ... screams big production value! :thumbsup:

Brandon Rice
04-24-2007, 10:05 PM
WHOA! Nice screenshots there!

Michael_Petro
04-24-2007, 10:07 PM
Wow! good looking stuff.

Edgen
04-24-2007, 10:33 PM
Wonderful grabs! Looking forward to seeing your entry.

cheers!
/j

chris f
05-07-2007, 07:48 AM
added a couple of grabs from Day #3. more bts photos to follow soon

Norm Sanders
05-08-2007, 01:48 PM
Chris, some nice grabs up there ... again, REALLY dig the title on this as well!

chris f
05-08-2007, 09:25 PM
thanks Norm, so far so good, but i've still got alot left to shoot.

also, i've added some more bts photos

chris f
05-27-2007, 10:21 AM
i've been planning on motion tracking a few shots in after effects for my film, and just realized today that I may not have access to after effects this week before the deadline. right now I have access to final cut and motion, is there a way to motion track in either of those? if not, it looks like I might have to try to do it manually frame by frame

Dahopafilms
05-27-2007, 10:28 AM
Hey Chris.

Really interesting screen shots - interesting to compare their look to your staging in the BTS shots.

Looking forward to this.

Keystoned
05-27-2007, 09:10 PM
Wow those grabs look like an episode of law and order or something -- nice!

Noel Evans
05-27-2007, 09:37 PM
Agree with others, some nice shots there. Good luck.

chris f
05-27-2007, 11:00 PM
as much as it's killing me to admit, i am really doubting that my entry will be finished for the deadline. in pre-production i got carried away and wrote a 15 minute film, but kept the spyfest rules in mind and came up with a story within the film that i could focus on and film an alternate ending for. however, after spending 20 hrs or so of editing over the past week i'm coming to the painful realization that it's next to impossible to create a coherent 6 minute film out of what i've shot. even with the shorter alternate edit i can't fit all the necessary scenes into a 6 minute structure. so unless a miraculous 6 minute edit of the storyline comes to me in my sleep tonight, i won't make this fest. after i get some sleep i'll most some more screen grabs or maybe even a scene of the film and ramble on about the experience and what i learned

on a positive note i am still 100% committed to finishing the 15minute version of the film and already have a local premiere planned in July

Norm Sanders
05-28-2007, 04:12 AM
Chris, hopefully you can find that 6 minute cut ... would be a shame not to see you enter after all of this hard work. That said, I understand the trials & tribulations of trying to get a solid cut out of something that was created to be much longer. Best to you on that.

With regards to your Letus issue, on the first page, I'd suggest setting your zoom/focus on the camera while CONNECTED to your computer. Your computer is showing the full overscan, which is what is also seen on other people's computers and/or when you do projection onto a screen, etc. ... so it's best to just set it for those, then you're safe for TV as well. What you'll need to do is zoom further into the ground glass ... you'll lose a little bit of your field of view, but at least you'll get into the sweet spot of the ground glass, and lose the vignetting you currently have.

bosindy
05-28-2007, 10:42 AM
Bummer, I had this one on my radar. Make sure you post a link to the 15 min version when it is finished

chris f
05-28-2007, 11:58 AM
im back! amazing what a night's sleep will do for some creativity. i've still got some editing to do, but with a few new cuts I've got a version of the film right under 6 min. sorry for the false alarm!

chris f
05-31-2007, 12:06 AM
upload completed!

Keystoned
06-04-2007, 12:39 AM
Hey congrats man. Will watch it tomorrow. :beer:

wesley
06-04-2007, 01:46 PM
like how this was shot. story didn't do much for me but i still thought it was good overall.

chris f
06-04-2007, 05:55 PM
thanks, the story is better in the longer cut of the film, but I'm happy with what I could fit into 6 minutes. your comments are appreciated

aravance
06-04-2007, 06:15 PM
yeah, I thought it was quite a cool little short film.
I'd be interested to see what the 'extended' version looks like.

The lighting was great. I really enjoyed the colors in the film.

Enjoyed the music as well. Love piano themes.

Where did you shoot the scenes with all the gun action going on?

I was wondering if you had any reservations or any problems shooting because of the whole Virginia Tech thing? We were going to shoot part of our film on a college campus, but after what happened at VT, we decided against it.

chris f
06-04-2007, 06:26 PM
I shot the exterior part of the gun scene at my apartment complex. I went into the office and told them about the shoot and they were suprsingly very cool about it. I told them I would post a sign and I also posted flyers at the door of every apartment in the adjacent buildings saying what was happening. My apartment complex is across the street from my college so I used the old "Student Film" title to get more leeway. The shoot went really smooth and everyone who walked by was very nice and respectful of our shoot.

I was a little worried about the whole Virginia Tech thing, especially since my main actor was asian too, but luckily had no problems and so far no one has taken offense to it.

bosindy
06-04-2007, 06:38 PM
Wow, I really liked the mood of the film. The shooter and his wife did a realy good job with the acting, very natural. There is something very dramatic when someone can achieve a stillness.

The pacing of the piece was well executed. I wanted the speech given in front of congress to be a bit more sophisticated, but that is a minor point. All and all a strong film.

chris f
06-04-2007, 06:45 PM
that speech was actually the "press conference" the day before her presentation to congress (I knew that would get mixed up having two seperate presentations written into a short script, but if you pay close attention to the newscasts I believe it's clear), that's also why it wasn't as sophisticated (plus there was no way I could realistically recreate the look of congress)

thanks for the feedback, I appreciate it

gabrielflorit
06-04-2007, 09:50 PM
One thing I liked: the beginning scenes, the lead looks very convincing.

One thing I disliked: the speaker's acting skills.

Michael Anthony Horrigan
06-04-2007, 10:19 PM
Very natural actors, nothing seemed forced.
Some really nice DOF shots as well.

Loved the ending too!

Great work... the music fit nicely.

Mike

dvpixl
06-04-2007, 10:20 PM
realistic congress or not, it was well made for the given premise. the look of this short is right up my alley and I will like it ALOT just for that. (performances were fairly good too). great stuff.

chris f
06-04-2007, 10:33 PM
that scene wasn't supposed to be congress (see my post above), we never actually make it to the congress scene, that was the press conference the day before. thanks for the compliments

Brandon Rice
06-05-2007, 12:50 AM
Wow.... really enjoyed your film dude... some comments

The Positives:

Look and Pace. The look of your film was real nice natural, and gritty. It reminded me of the Bourne films. Nice look! The pacing was also really well done... moved just right... didn't feel long, or too short...

Performances. All real spot on and natural, great job throughout!

Storyline. I really liked the twist at the end... it really worked for me, and played as believable.

Some Negatives

Sound. Some of the sound was unbalanced.


Wow, not a lot to say negative here... I really liked your film! Thanks for showing!

Mark Johnson
06-05-2007, 09:44 AM
Question: the scene cutting between your protagonist and his intended victim was obviously shot on opposite ends of the same couch (with same picture frame on wall). Was this intentional or simply the result of having a limited set to work with?

Hootzie
06-05-2007, 10:43 AM
Enjoyed this movie...liked the cuts where she can't sleep. Loved the concept!
Couple of things that bothered me a bit...I loved the acting, but I would have liked the pace of the conversation between the husband and wife in the beginning to be quicker....it felt a little pause speak pause speak. The face wash cut.....it felt like she was setting it up almost. Something like that I wouldn't even let her know that the cut is going to happen in editing and just have her wash her face...may have felt more natural. I loved them sitting on the same couch.......I suppose it's because they are in the same hotel....but I would have liked less landmarks like the coffee table, frame and side table so that it didn't seem like a limited set issue.

cinealma
06-05-2007, 10:54 AM
Good job. This film kept me engaged. Looked good and sounded fine. I liked the sequence in the hotel rooms with the assassin and the lady. I agree with the point that you could have changed the rooms up a little bit, or even have changed the lighting a little bit, maybe making the guy's room darker.

One thing I really like is the political aspect of the story. I feel maybe you should have turned that up a couple notches.

I enjoyed it. Thanks for screening.

chris f
06-05-2007, 11:52 AM
for the same couch thing I thought about shooting them on the same side and then flipping the image in post to make it seem like it was slightly different, but still obviously the same hotel so the rooms look very similar, but then I actually thought about making that shot more of a psychological shot using the exact same spot to further show that the two characters were connected and in a similar situation (something I expand upon alot more in the full cut of the film). Originally I was even going to have them sit on the same couch at the same time to further that point, but thought that might lose some people that didn't pick up on the surrealism of the shot, so I opted to do what I did. (for the longer cut I was thinking of using a split screen for that shot)

as for the face wash cut, i'll have to go back and watch that because that never occured to me. she definitely did know it was going to be cut like that because there wasn't actually a cut, just a trick shot where she ducks and the other actor pops up in her place

as far as the political nature of the film, that is actually the key to the movie in the longer cut. to keep with the spy theme and the 6min deadline i pretty much extracted the assassin's storyline out of the film and made it stand on its own. the full cut of the film is actually much more about the Robin Nole character and the political aspect of the film. I'd say this cut of the film is a condensed version of the middle of the film, there is quite a bit more before, during, and after what is shown in this 6 minutes.

Beat Takeshi
06-05-2007, 02:48 PM
I loved this. The story was complete, the natural lighting is great, the locations were great, the acting was great. Good job on this.

chris f
06-05-2007, 07:05 PM
thanks for the compliments aram!

AmyO
06-05-2007, 09:25 PM
Oh man. I just watched this for a second time, and on my TV this time around. Wow. Beautiful. Great color and contrast. Very filmic. I'd swear this was 16mm. Nice pacing. Good script. It's not full of talking, yet so full of story. Nice work, Chris.

aFox
06-06-2007, 01:10 AM
I was really involved in your movie. Clearly one of my favourites. One thing i didnt like were the jump cuts i think they could have been done a bit better, but then i don't really like jumpcuts... Other than that i thought it was really good, great cinematography, sound, and the ending really got me.

Shawn Philip Nelson
06-06-2007, 01:20 AM
I love that big chunks were done in a foreign language, it gave it a realy aura of authenticity. The acting was grounded and good. The actress playing the senator acted well, but was cast poorly, I just did not believe it as she was way too young for the role she was playing.

Lastly, the ending was...well the hero suddenly getting shot in the back and then the credits roll felt very, very Deus Ex Machina to me.

tmnt
06-06-2007, 06:03 AM
Very well shot, very natural. This may be my fave so far.

Only thing I didn't like was, as shawn said, the senator actor was too young.

chris f
06-06-2007, 06:20 AM
I agree, I was afraid that she might be too young looking, but this was really my first project where I branched out and worked with alot of actors that I have never met, and she was one of my anchors so to speak. I've been good friends with her for a while and she's done alot of theater as well as starred in my first short film (this is only my second short film). So when I wrote this script (which was very ambitious for me) I had no clue how I was going to fill the cast and felt that if I was even going to have a chance at getting this film made I'd need to cast some friends that I knew and could 100% completely rely on to be committed to this project. With that in mind I really tried to work that into the script by dropping some hints (ie. the newscast introduces her as someone new and young that is kind of coming onto the scene and shaking things up with this "new technology") and I also cast her husband to be slightly older than her, but very believable to help her seem a few years older than she is. Also, it didn't make this cut of the film, but she carries a family photo with her in which she has a young child. All that being said I think she did a great job.

*sidenote: I've come a long way since my last short film where I cast her and my best friend who was 21 at the time to play a couple that had been married for a very long time and whose relationship had deteriorated, haha. Realistically they should have been 30 years older for those roles, but that's one thing I learned and I'm really glad I branched out and got alot more "grownups" to be in Ecclesiastes and I think that really helped sell the film (the full cut of the film features the "grownups" a lot more than this cut)

thanks for all the comments guys, keep 'em coming!

chris f
06-06-2007, 06:22 AM
oh, and I don't know what Deus Ex Machina means, but I'll assume it's another movie that did a similar thing? with the time limit and this being a fragment of a longer film I felt that the ending was almost necessary and I personally just really liked the abruptness

500Cuts
06-06-2007, 10:03 AM
Hey Chris_f, Really liked Ecclesiastes. Great pacing.

The good: The photography in the opening scene is fantastic. Really moody and nicely understated. The Asian actors do a great job. The story is well constructed, but how does the title fit in? Locations are great.

The questionable: The news reporter and senator lady (is she a senator?) are a little uneven as actors and the target (senator?) kinda pulls me out of the movie because she's so young and doesn't really look like a person in power. Also, the news reporting can be an efficient way to get exposition across, but it was overused here. And the photography for the news footage was great, so don't cheapen it with the video lines effect. Those things are always cheese.

The other stuff: The quick ending is great, but who shoots the guy? The lady's companion? The bullet seems to come from a different direction.

By the way, deus ex machina means "god in the machine" and refers to greek plays where a god would literally come down in a basket and fix all the problems that happened in the play. It's considered a cheat in writing. Did someone say that about Ecclesiastes? I don't see it here at all. If a security guard or the companion shoots the assassin, that's story. If a tree limb falls on the assassin or he gets struck by lightning, that's deus ex machina.

Nice job!

Co.

Michael Anthony Horrigan
06-06-2007, 10:06 AM
The other stuff: The quick ending is great, but who shoots the guy? The lady's companion? The bullet seems to come from a different direction.



I believe the newscast that his wife/gf watches at the end explains that the cops showed up quickly and took him out.

Just going by memory so don't quote me... :)

Mike

chris f
06-06-2007, 10:26 AM
The story is well constructed, but how does the title fit in?

I'm surprised no one had brought that up yet. The title doesn't actually get tied in on this cut, ha. In the longer cut of the film there is a big tie in at the end which relates the story to the title. In short, one of the themes in the book Ecclesiastes is that the world never changes, always repeating itself, which I tie in to the film, but I don't want to elaborate further cause it will give away too much of the full cut


The questionable: The news reporter and senator lady (is she a senator?) are a little uneven as actors

I addressed the Robin Nole character in an earlier post, as for the news reporter she actually did a terrific job I think. She used to be a news reporter and had all the beats and tones and look of someone I'd see today if I flipped on the TV. I felt bad for her however because the particular take I used in her opening newscast wasn't her best one. In the longer version the newscast contains alot of b-roll footage that will be placed over her audio which will allow me to edit the audio from her best takes together, but I haven't finished shooting all the b-roll so unfortunately we're stuck with her on screen for a prolonged period of time and we get to see and hear her untimely stop to catch her breath.


but who shoots the guy?
it is noted in the final newscast, but the secret service guy that we see briefly in the clip of her getting into her car is actually the guy that shoots him down, again another thing I couldn't include in this cut of the film because of the time limit. There's probably another 2 minutes to the film after that shot which explains what happens (and we actually see the secret service guy in action)

oh and for the deus ex machina thing, now that you explained it I remember reading about that in Aristotle's poetics I believe. I definitely kept that in mind when writing this film and made sure the ending was motivated and plausible (you just don't get to see that part in this cut :( )

thanks for all the feedback, i really appreciate it because it gives me an opportunity to look at things closer and consider changes for the longer cut of the film. keep it coming!

JOE BLO
06-06-2007, 12:26 PM
Chris,

Great job. I really liked your film. It was very moody. I loved your shallow depth of field and your muted tones. The music was sparce and sad, I thought it fit very well.

Congrats!

Aaron Marshall
06-07-2007, 01:38 AM
This was one of my favorites in SpyFest. This probably isn't a good thing for you. My favorites usually don't get anywhere near the top. :grin:

I like how you created a politcal atmosphere. It wasn't strictly about characters. I get the feeling from a lot of amateur films that I'm like a horse with blinders on not being evoked to think of anything bigger than the principle characters own little selfish world. It gets boring real quick. In Ecclesiastes it felt like something bigger was going on. It was an intense feeling. All of the character motivations were very well tied into a main core. I liked the acting.

kurtmo
06-08-2007, 01:13 PM
I liked this film. It really told a story that people can relate too, decisions! I liked the filming of the candidate. I really thought the interaction between the couple felt so real! The hit shots both seemed authentic without going overboard. Liked the TV shots. I thought the end where the bowl got dropped worked well to convey the woman's feelings!

I didn't care too much for the section where you cut to the same actor multiple times, although I liked the smooth transitions between actor/actress (she leans forward, he stands up, etc.). I also didn't care too much for the yellow lighting in the room once or twice.

Overall, really nicely done. My first download was corrupt. Glad I re-tried. This one impressed me!

chris f
06-08-2007, 11:47 PM
glad you guys picked up on some of the backstory/atmosphere of the film, I wasn't sure how evident it would be in this shorter cut of the film.


I didn't care too much for the section where you cut to the same actor multiple times
I did that to help create a sense of uneasiness and that time is passing. I really wanted to heighten the anxiety of both characters as they prepare for the biggest day of their lives.


I also didn't care too much for the yellow lighting in the room once or twice.
Although it may not have been the prettiest to look at, I really felt that it helped create the mood of the scene. I also think that the warmness of the color temp helped contrast the previous scene as the film transitions from the professional/political side to the personal/human side of the story.


Overall, really nicely done. My first download was corrupt. Glad I re-tried. This one impressed me!
Glad you stuck with it. Thanks for the feedback!

Norm Sanders
06-09-2007, 12:53 PM
Chris, I thought I read somewhere once that this was your first short film? If so, HOLY MOLY!! Some GREAT lighting, sound design, acting, etc. throughout. The weakest performance I felt was the person playing the character of Robin Knoll. Just didn't believe it for some reason. Also, nice transition from where she goes down to rinse her face & he comes up rinsing his. I felt that the bedroom scene where the husband gets out of bed was a slow spot, or stood out as uninteresting as compared to the rest of the film.

Didn't get what the Biblical name (title) had to do with the film or it's content. Can you explain? Regardless, a very solid entry!

chris f
06-09-2007, 01:34 PM
Thanks for the feedback Norm. This is actually my 2nd short film that I've ever made and I'm happy with how much it improved over my first one (but of course there's still a ton to improve on). Here's a reply from an earlier post regarding the title:


I'm surprised no one had brought that up yet. The title doesn't actually get tied in on this cut, ha. In the longer cut of the film there is a big tie in at the end which relates the story to the title. In short, one of the themes in the book Ecclesiastes is that the world never changes, always repeating itself, which I tie in to the film, but I don't want to elaborate further cause it will give away too much of the full cut

Karl151k
06-09-2007, 05:44 PM
Loved the cold open. It was an effective way to just throw people into the movie. The lighting throughout was pretty well done, and the acting served the story well. The locations you got for the film were great, I was impressed. It wasn't just another "Here's my apartment with a few spy things thrown around it" kind of set. There was an excelent transition at 2:25 that was nice and smooth.

As with many of the SpyFest entries, the DoF was a little too pronounced at points. The trick to using a 35mm adapter is also knowing when not to use it, and I can think of several shots in this movie that would have benefited from a simpler presentation. The sound mix was a bit rough at times, but that's an aspect I've come to accept in internet movies. One specific little thing I thought was really cliche' was the bowl dropping on the ground. It's been done so many times in so many different ways. There must be a better way to convey that character's feeling/emotions about what happened.

Overall, I really liked your story. I don't know if a longer cut would be better, but I'm sure it would clarify things a little more. Thanks for submitting this to the fest!

Beat Takeshi
06-09-2007, 06:14 PM
I watched this again and I still love the look of this and the story is complete which is what I'm looking for since so many movies are technically well done.

Ben Sliker
06-09-2007, 07:18 PM
chris,

The first minute of this film was great for me. For some reason my brain thinks "great acting" when something is in a different language, probably because I don't know how well the lines are being delivered, but it sounds great.

The superimposed image on the TV took me out of the mood that the dialogue created. If they don't have any money, why not just have a crappy TV, scans lines and all playing in the background?

the mirror transition blew me away, I will be stealing that for a future project.

Yes! another shot of the hotel room sequence. The gun took me out of the mood as well, as you could see the plastic seams from the toy.

This was a solid entry, some really good stuff!

chris f
06-09-2007, 07:45 PM
yea I'm going to work on a better/more realistic composite of the newscast, I just did it last second going frame by frame in final cut. At the time of shooting the first/last scene the newscasts weren't complete so I didn't have that option unfortunately.

The gun took me out of the mood as well, as you could see the plastic seams from the toy.
the gun in your film definitely put mine to shame, but I guess that's the difference between a 20 dollar toy off of ebay and the real thing, ha. This is open to anyone as well as you: If you thought the gun looked fake which parts of the gun and which shots made it seem fake? I'm going back to that hotel room to shoot the poster photo next week and I'm trying to make a list of shots that we might be able to do pick ups of while we're there, so maybe I can frame something differently or do something to the gun between now and then to make it seem more realistic. For the most part everyone's thought it looked real, but it's not like many people have a seen a sniper rifle in real life.

Noel Evans
06-10-2007, 09:36 AM
Chris, enjoyed this a lot. A few bumps, but stuff that can be easily ironed out (already mentioned). A strong story - very well done.

Ben Sliker
06-10-2007, 10:35 AM
Chris,

If you want a full blown critique of the gun scene, here we go.

At 4:40 - This is probably the most awkward I've seen someone hold a gun, it doesn't look organic. The gun looks okay from this angle, the scope really blows it for me, that looks like a handgun scope.

4:42 - better shot, he looks more natural, except it doesn't look like he could actually see anything through that scope, almost like it still has caps on it.

4:45 - much better position than the 1st shot, which is problematic because you can tell the angles on the gun are different, a slow rack to the face would have been awesome right here.

4:47 - I would change this matte, it looks silly. the crosshairs are far too thick and I would blur the circle a bit.

4:49 - I like this shot, but this is where you can really tell it's fake and it's because of the giant plastic seam behind the trigger.

4:51 - same matte issues.

4:54 - the sound took me out as well, as it is a silencer sound, but a rifle of that size would make a big boom. As for the performance from the actor, on a gun of that size, you don't just yank the trigger back to fire. It's more of a slow and steady pull until the gun goes off. If you yank back like that, your aim goes completely haywire and you'll miss by a mile.

4:57 - one shot, one kill? the reaction is more effective in this one, but if his eyeball was that close to the scope without being braced, he'd be experiencing some pain from the recoil.

All of these could contribute to having a more realistic assassination. I hope my experience helps you in the future. And you don't have to go and hunt down a 1500 rifle, there are plenty of fake alternatives that will play just as well.

I come from a military family and our actor happened to be an ex-marine, which also helped out a lot!

Ben Sliker
06-10-2007, 10:37 AM
grr edit save button ... that would be a $1500 rifle.

chris f
06-10-2007, 11:01 AM
thanks for the imput, I nor my actor knows anything about guns so I kinda figured that we did alot of things that weren't technically realistic. I'll print out these notes and take them with me when we do some reshoots this week.

Edgen
06-10-2007, 11:27 AM
My Thoughts:

Chris, I really enjoyed the film and liked the premise. I could guess the ending half way through of what his job was going to be and I couldn't help but to think of film, "The Saint". I'm not entirely sold on 'elizabeth shue's' character, but was enjoyable to watch none-the-less. I really dug the look of the sniper scene and the conference. The final gunshot rang out from nowhere and I would have liked some closure on who the hell sniped him. Was it the police? Secret service? At least a rack focus of another gun or something to close that scene. Music.. effective. (what little music there was in the film)

Thanks for sharing your film.

/j

Keystoned
06-10-2007, 02:02 PM
I really liked the acting in the opening scene. This really felt like a slice of life - and whether heightened or otherworldly even, that's the goal of course and I thought you achieved it here. I was really drawn into these two characters and what was going on with them.

I did not buy the representative, however. I think it was more of a type issue than an acting issue. She seemed a little young and a little too green to be a Representative. So while you had a real kind of intense believable government thriller vibe going her part took me out. Like I said I think it was mostly just type but she did not seem like a confident authoritative public speaker to me while addressing the house or the UN or whomever that was.

I liked the subtle Color Grading and muted look to the film. Very Nice.

The audio was a bit erratic, even within the classical piece. I found myself riding the volume a bit. I think the general rule of thumb is try to keep everything between -6 and -12 db except for ambient on the soft side and gun shots and screaming on the loud side. It's all just taste of course but I find that gives me enough
dynamic range without having people ride the volume knob while watching.

So to sum up. I enjoyed watching this and I really liked the look and the performances of the Asian couple. I also appreciated your confidence in the slow deliberate suspenseful pace. That takes an assured hand and I think it worked for the piece.

Thanks for screening it man, nice work here :beer:

chris f
07-24-2007, 08:29 AM
**best if viewed with headphones or good speakers**

for anyone who still looks at the spyfest thread, here is the extended cut of the film that i've been working on since spyfest: https://oncourse.iu.edu/access/content/user/mzwiesle/Ecclesiastes_dvxuser.mov

I premiered it Sunday night, we had 2 showings and there were about 70-80 people in each showing, so not too bad of a turnout for an 11.5 minute film. I'm releasing the DVD in about a week or two, so if you have any feedback, questions, or suggestions feel free to let me know. I won't be doing any reshoots but if you see any other changes I could make to make the film better don't hesitate to let me know. Thanks!

Aaron Marshall
07-24-2007, 07:13 PM
Chris,

I'm downloading this movie right now. It's going slowly, but that could be my connection. I look forward to checking out the extended version.

Your theatrical opening sounded like it went well. That's a good turnout.

I'll follow up with another post once I watch the extended version.

Huy Vu
07-25-2007, 02:30 AM
I saw it. Great stuff. Really worked much better at 11 minutes instead of six. I did miss the old ending though where the assasin's girlfriend watched the news and discovered that he's dead. Thought that had more emotional punch than seeing the old guy (wasn't really surprised that it was him).

chris f
07-25-2007, 04:27 PM
yea i kind of liked the other ending too because it definitely felt more personal, but the 11 minute film was more focused on the Robin Nole character/energy crisis theme than it was about the spy/assassin so i think the new ending was more consistent with the overall story. thanks for the feedback

Aaron Marshall
07-29-2007, 06:20 PM
Chris,

I like the extended cut much better. My favorite part is the energy crisis element. It's what makes the spy element work so well. It's not just some random "get the jewels back" story. As pretty as jewels are; they don't matter to the entire planet.

I will watch your film again soon with my filmmaker cap on. I like to watch it at first without thinking of how or why you did this, or that. It clears my head.

talk to you soon