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aravance
04-10-2007, 05:29 PM
http://www.vantagepointproduction.com/imprint/imprintbanner.jpg

This will be my first official entry into a DVXUser Film Fest.
**crosses fingers**

Finished the script a few weeks ago.
Length: 6 1/2 pages.

I'm taking sort of small scale approach for this one. Rather than tell a grand tale of international intrigue and espionage, I want to tell more of a personal story, a glimpse into the life of a man who is at the end of his rope. Think more Rear Window than James Bond in terms of spying.

CAST
Rob Cardine.............. Craig Griffin
Heather Jenkins........ Mattye Bresnen

CREW
Director/Screenplay......... Van Blumreich
Director of Photography... Josh Reese
Boom Operator................ Kevin Broussard
Music Composer.............. Ian McDavid
Foley/Sound.................... Matt Mellin
Production Assistant........ Bryan Brick
Dolly Grip........................ Jeff Peeples
(more to come)

Preproduction has already begun.
We have about half of the locations locked down and have already started rehearsels.

I'll keep updating this thread once I have more things to show.

abalex
04-10-2007, 06:24 PM
welcome!

AmyO
04-10-2007, 08:13 PM
Welcome to the fest. I'm glad to hear you're mixing it up and giving us a different angle on the spy game. I'm looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

troypod
04-10-2007, 08:19 PM
As a fellow first timer, i wish you luck! can't wait to see what you produce...

dougspice
04-10-2007, 09:07 PM
I like the title and the Rear Window approach... good luck!

aravance
04-10-2007, 09:31 PM
Today I visited one of the locations we will be shooting at and decided to take some pictures. Originally I was going to hide an envelope amongst some debris on the ground, but it might work better if we hide it up in the vents and have the character reach for it. I took the pictures home and decided to play around with some possible looks for the film.

http://www.vantagepointproduction.com/imprint/imprint_002.jpg
Raw Scene

http://www.vantagepointproduction.com/imprint/imprint_002a.jpg
Scene with Color Correction and Light Bleach Bypass

http://www.vantagepointproduction.com/imprint/imprint_002b.jpg
Scene with Color Correction and LS Coolish

I thought that Bleach Bypass was the route I was going to go, but after looking at these photos, I think I prefer the cooler look from the LS Coolish filter than the warmer Bleach Bypass Light. It's staler and darker and I think that fits the theme of the movie better.

This is all just preliminary testing...so who knows what it will end up looking like.
But these pictures at least explore some options.

Ralph Oshiro
04-10-2007, 09:49 PM
Awesome location! I actually like it with NO correction! But it's your film! Anyway, location should shoot real nice--great find!

bosindy
04-10-2007, 09:51 PM
I really like the cc and agree with the LS coolish. I like the idea of doing a small film for this length. Unfortunately, I didn't tak my own advice. Good luck with the project.

aravance
05-12-2007, 06:34 PM
Banner is now up.

More crew credits added as well.

Production is almost complete.
We have one more weekend of shooting, then it is all post work.
[Editing, Sound Effects, Music, Color Correction, etc.]
I'm really hoping we can finish before the deadline, but it's going to be hard.

**crosses fingers**

Michael_Petro
05-12-2007, 07:18 PM
crosses fingers with you:beer: I have one more litte shot on the 20th should be close to done editing then.. Luck to you sir.

aravance
05-23-2007, 01:26 AM
I've been trying to get a final lockdown on the edit.

My film turned out to be a lot longer than anticipated.

I've been spending most of my time editing the short film down.

It was at 8 minutes, then 7 minutes, and now I am at 6 minutes and 11 seconds.

I've been spending the last few hours trying to figure out how to shave those 11 seconds.

Charli
05-23-2007, 08:31 AM
Get rid of the credits, take out filler, trim some establishing shots, don't hold the cu's so long, I dunno.

Larry Rutledge
05-23-2007, 08:51 AM
If you have closing, scrolling credits...you might consider a single "credits frame" at the end for the festival entry. That way it can still be seen, but doesn't take so much time.

You can always include the scrolling credits in the version you produce for yourself, your cast, and your crew, etc, etc

DJ Lewis
05-23-2007, 11:44 AM
Looks like several spyfesters have met and tackled the same problem. It can be done. I hope you saved the long version though, I'm sure we'll all want to see it after judging closes.

aravance
05-23-2007, 06:22 PM
Yeah, I definitely am going to release the "extended" version at some point.

I probably should've made my version first and then whittled it down, but because of the time crunch, I opted to just make the 6 minute edit first and then eventually do the longer edit.

aravance
05-24-2007, 11:44 PM
A couple of screen grabs to perculate interest.

http://www.vantagepointproduction.com/images/imprintstill01.jpg

http://www.vantagepointproduction.com/images/imprintstill02.jpg

Matt Sconce
05-24-2007, 11:45 PM
Nice! I really like the colors!

JOE BLO
05-25-2007, 08:55 AM
Cutting down the film was the hardest part for us too. Good luck. I look forward to seeing your film.

aravance
05-30-2007, 06:23 PM
I ended up getting the edit down to 6:04.

But really those last four seconds are just the closing credits.

It just didn't feel right ending the movie without any or just putting it as one frame on the end. IMHO it kills the feel of the movie and is distracting to the viewer. I want them to feel like they are viewing a complete movie and give them a smooth viewing experience all the way through.

I read in some other forum about how people will complain about using the extra five grace seconds for credits, but I actually did it before reading about the grace seconds.
The edit has been locked and the sound is already in place. It would be a huge pain to change it all now.

But I've also come to the realization that people are going to complain and gripe no matter what you do.

So I'm just going to stand firm in my film and my decisions and hope for the best.

All that's left is getting the music in place.

Looking to upload sometime tomorrow.

Gotta make a poster too.

aravance
06-01-2007, 12:50 AM
Well, I finally did it.

I finally made it into a DVXUser Fest.

I can now scratch that off my list of things to do.

cinealma
06-01-2007, 02:01 AM
Congrats! Looking forward to seeing your film.

Norm Sanders
06-03-2007, 05:34 PM
aravance, looking forward to seeing your film. Something in my gut tells me this is going to be a surprise sneaker hit.

Keystoned
06-03-2007, 10:40 PM
Nice colors on the grabs there. Their small size makes me want to see more too, don't know if that was intentional marketing, but it worked :laugh:

I took a small scale approach to, so looking forward to how you approached the theme as well :beer:

aravance
06-04-2007, 11:28 AM
Now that the film is out, I would love some feedback on what people thought.

I know how important feedback is to us filmmakers, so I'm going to be making my rounds after I view everyone's film and leave my comments as well.

Thanks!

Brandon Rice
06-04-2007, 12:17 PM
OMG! GREAT FILM! Loved the acting, the story, the look, the pace, it had me gripped to the end! Bravo, bravo!

wesley
06-04-2007, 01:06 PM
story was ok but didnt do much for me. I did like how it looked, good compositions and lighting. good job!

Michael Anthony Horrigan
06-04-2007, 01:18 PM
Great work! Looked really good, sounded great. Nice narration... excellent story. This one really stood out for me so far...

Very nice lighting btw!

Mike

Edgen
06-04-2007, 01:19 PM
with only a few more to watch, this is One of my favs from the fest.

I suppose if I had to crit.. it would be the VO. It would have been pretty tough to pull of the same story just relying on visuals.

Otherwise, I dug the cine and music. The story and character's reversal at the end really drives the end.

Cheers.
/j

Matt Sconce
06-04-2007, 01:50 PM
I have watched 14 films already and this is my favorite so far. The scene with the fire reflected in the glasses was beautiful and the story was coherent. The moment with the gun and the girl was directed brilliantly. Loved it!

aravance
06-04-2007, 03:50 PM
with only a few more to watch, this is One of my favs from the fest.

I suppose if I had to crit.. it would be the VO. It would have been pretty tough to pull of the same story just relying on visuals.

Otherwise, I dug the cine and music. The story and character's reversal at the end really drives the end.

Cheers.
/j

Throughout postproduction, I was thinking of getting rid of the VO entirely. But because that was the way the script was written, it would be hard to get across everything I wanted without it. But I definitely think next time I will go without the VO - I believe films need to rely more on telling things visually anyway.

Thanks for the feedback!

Hootzie
06-04-2007, 04:05 PM
Yeah, I think that based on the length of the feature the VO was perfectly suited and BRILLIANTLY acted. Great film my friend. Only dissapointment in the gig for me was the click of the gun cocking. Sort of weakish....even if it might be accurate, it came across "that's a fake gun" Very impressive movie though!

aravance
06-04-2007, 04:13 PM
Yeah, I think that based on the length of the feature the VO was perfectly suited and BRILLIANTLY acted. Great film my friend. Only dissapointment in the gig for me was the click of the gun cocking. Sort of weakish....even if it might be accurate, it came across "that's a fake gun" Very impressive movie though!

Hahaha...I know what you mean! I said the exact same thing to my foley guy!
I wanted it to sound louder, but he was telling me it wouldn't be as realistic.
But I'm sure we'll work on that on the extended version.

Thanks for the comment!

RebeccaD
06-04-2007, 04:42 PM
Nice job! Wow! I thought the acting was top notch and the story was well told. Great shots as well. Overall very nicely done flick.

jamesh
06-04-2007, 06:54 PM
wow. i'm half way through all the entries and i think i've found my winner.

Story & characters: great! very simple, good clear beginning,middle,end etc the main character had good development with a clear change of heart at the end, very sharp story telling

camerawork: brillianty naturalistic where it needed to be but then very technically proficient & creative in places to help tell the story (dolly in the restaurant)

Lighting & Cinematography: awsome, the reflections in the glasses were majestic and i love the low angle shot pulling back with the guy in the parking lot, great d.o.f not overdone to get annoying, liked the long hallway shots.

Editing & sound: perfect, not a jarring cut or clunky repeating shot anywhere, each shot revealved something and lasted for the exact right amount of time, music suited the flick and there was just enough of it in the right places, very clean realistic sound too

Acting: very good, totally believeable, could tell that there was real pain & anguish going inside not just struggling with his situation but struggling with himself and his morality, voice over very professional & imaginitive, boss's vo also sounded good like the bad guy out of saw.

overall, i thought it was pretty great. can obviously tell you put alot into making this, thanks.

chris f
06-04-2007, 07:56 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: Probably the most well rounded film I've watched so far. Great sound design, production quality was top notch throughout. Good story that made you care about the characters. Good acting, good ending.

Not as Good: Would have liked to have figured out more of the story myself instead of being told the story via voiceover.

Sidenote: Was it hard to find a pager? Can't remember the last time I've seen one of those except on a doctor.

aravance
06-04-2007, 11:02 PM
Sidenote: Was it hard to find a pager? Can't remember the last time I've seen one of those except on a doctor.

Yeah, I had to take some time to track one down. But you'd be surprised what crap people have lying around for no good reason. Lucky for me they didn't throw it away!

Mike@AF
06-05-2007, 02:34 AM
Overall I thought this was pretty good. Great cinematography and good shot composition. Editing was good as well. I think the VO is excessive and really holding the film back.

Noel Evans
06-05-2007, 04:07 AM
Could see a feature from this premise. Nice job.

jojopop
06-05-2007, 11:04 AM
I really liked this one, definitely one of my favs. The tone and atmosphere -- spot on. The voiceover work was very effective and well acted.

The cinematography in the hallway sequences was great - I loved the look here. Ditto for the garage - just about everything there worked for me, suspense, look, feel... fantastic. (echo the foley on the hammer pullback, though...)

Wasn't too big a fan of the camera work/editing in the restaurant sequence (maybe it was mainly the dolly...) and the art direction in his bedroom struck me as a little on the cheesy side with the newspaper plastered wall.

BUT, minor quibbles aside, damn good show!

Matt Sconce
06-05-2007, 11:13 AM
I have now watched all the films and this one is my winner.

The acting was superb. The story made me care about the life of that girl. When he is holding the gun to her and the screen keeps cutting to black, I felt as if I would hear a gunshot any moment. Her reaction when he walks away was spot on!

My favorite scene besides that was the scene of burning paper. Fantastic imagery with the reflection in the glasses! I especially like when he was saying he was not evil, the fire showed in only one of the lenses. I loved this movie. It made me want to cheer and that is what I look for. Ya got my vote and I hope all others watch this magnificent film.

Barry_Green
06-05-2007, 11:15 AM
This one was exceptionally good. In my top 2, certainly.

Brandon Rice
06-05-2007, 11:39 AM
This one was exceptionally good. In my top 2, certainly.

Ditto... agreed. :beer:

cinealma
06-05-2007, 01:10 PM
Ok. Is this a spy film? Not really. Having said that...

Great film. One of my favorites. Clean and polished. The only flaws I can find are just bits of dialogue in the script. I really like the style and this is one I could have watched for 2 hours. I hope to see more of your work.

Thanks for screening.

aravance
06-05-2007, 06:23 PM
This one was exceptionally good. In my top 2, certainly.

Thanks Barry. I'm glad you and Brandon enjoyed the film.

aravance
06-05-2007, 06:27 PM
Ok. Is this a spy film? Not really. Having said that...

Great film. One of my favorites. Clean and polished. The only flaws I can find are just bits of dialogue in the script. I really like the style and this is one I could have watched for 2 hours. I hope to see more of your work.

Thanks for screening.

Larry R says this in another thread:


This was discussed in a couple threads early on into the fest, and was verified that it would be ok to have a film where someone was "spying on" someone else, which simply means one person is watching the activity of another person without the "watched" person aware of the surveillance.


I'm glad you felt like you could've watched it for 2 hours. Maybe I'll develop a feature out of it?

RebeccaD
06-05-2007, 07:13 PM
Bring on the feature! I'd watch it for sure!

deedive
06-05-2007, 07:20 PM
wow, this is great. one of my favorites. Loved the CC, acting and directing. I'm not a fan of VO but i thought it worked well enough. Would love to see what u would do if there wasnt any. great poster too.

OK, time to get nit-picky. I am going to disagree with alot of people and say i think it should be shorter. I think u can do alot in less time. Have one question. did that girl get up and go to the bathroom and come back and drink one sip of her glass and leave?

This is not a nit-pick but tell me what u think. I love the newspaper montage. What if instead of voiceover u had the sounds of what was happening in the clippings. explosions. people getting sick.etc

again great film, one of the best.

Noel Evans
06-05-2007, 08:07 PM
Maybe I'll develop a feature out of it?

As I said in my earlier reply, this is certainly strong enough material.

Keystoned
06-05-2007, 09:48 PM
Looked great. Nice story. Never a fan of wall to wall V.O. in a short, mostly because I often think that it is not necessary. I think this could have been told w/out the V.O. as well.

But I really liked the story and the execution was really good to, and it was about a character that was actually dealing with something internal and had an arc.

Definitely near if not at the op of my list so far.

Thanks for sharing it with us.

:beer:

Christopher Barry
06-05-2007, 11:01 PM
Agree with ncje, this is one short that has legs to be developed into a Feature film. Some of my favorite films have VO, and this worked for me in general, although I would reduce some of the VO. This may also work without any VO. Funnily enough, I thought of the opening scene of Fight Club, during your scene where the music and VO occurs leading up to the climax, the gun being pulled on Heather in the car park, and the edit cuts to black, then continues with the CU dolly shot. In saying that, I do not want to suggest you even thought about FC when making this short, just sharing something that crossed my mind, and I really like FC. I enjoyed the cinematography, with the slight movements in the camera for a lot of shots (hand held or tripod with slight pan/tilt moves?). I liked the lighting, grading and industrial/metallic sounding music composition components. It would be interesting to hear a version without the VO, and only the limited dialog with the M&E track. You got one of my votes in the top three. Van, Josh and crew :thumbup:

Matt Harris
06-05-2007, 11:18 PM
i like plague stuff so i was hooked instantly. nicely done.

Ralph Oshiro
06-05-2007, 11:54 PM
Great opening shot! Awesome locations (expecially the "hallway" location)! Gorgeous "flat-perspective" dolly shots in the parking garage!!! Great cinematography work all around! Plus, a very hot chick!!! GREAT JOB!

Paul Coleman
06-06-2007, 12:54 AM
Excellent work. Strong acting, frames, CC. I like how his thought process is basically a plague. And how the woman mysteriously survives the first attempt. Good stuff. :beer:

aFox
06-06-2007, 12:58 AM
Oh man for some reason, i nearly missed your movie, i already thought i have downloaded every movie... Would have been bad, because i really liked it. I was so happy that he doesnt shoot the woman. Really great ending, both good and bad. Great main actor. One thing i didnt like was that there were a few shots were i think you cut a bit of his head of, but thats minor. Other than that, i really liked the cinematography especially when you see the fire refelecting in his glasses.
Important message too in my opinion. Imprint is definitely one of my favourites!

Chris Messineo
06-06-2007, 05:15 AM
I loved this film. It was my favorite. I thought the look, the performances, and the story were all excellent. Extremely well done.

Redcloak
06-06-2007, 05:45 AM
This is certainly my favourite so far. The execution is great, and you buy any random details because you sell it so well. Have you listed any info anywhere on the equipment you used to get the look? (or if you haven't, could you?)

The only negative would be an overcooked voiceover. A little more faith in the images you're using to tell the story could make it stronger.

Incidentally, I have no idea why people are talking about features. The premise could be expanded perhaps, but it's one of the weaker areas of the film, it's your execution that sells it. The short itself doesn't feel like a compressed feature to me (that is a compliment).

DarkMatter
06-06-2007, 08:14 AM
you got my vote! Best overall.

aravance
06-06-2007, 12:44 PM
Thanks to everyone for the comments and feedback!

Sorry I've been somewhat neglectful lately. I feel really behind on responding to all comments I don't even know where to start. So if I missed answering a question or something, just PM me.

As far as equipment goes, we used the HVX for the majority of the film and added the Redrock m2 for a couple of scenes. We would've liked to shoot it entirely with the Redrock, but lighting concerns and other budgetary issues prevented us from doing so. But I was superimpressed how the HVX held up on its own. The Redrock Micro is such a fickle thing, and the HVX is just so easy to use it really helps the process. Other than that, we used a doorway dolly and an arri lighting kit. Nothing really fancy. Most of the look was done with white balancing in camera and also post color correction.

I'm going to see what I can do about the VO in the longer version. I don't know if I can do without it completely, but I'll definitely try to be more minimal about it.

**Warning**Spoilers Below**

As far as being expanded into a feature, there is a bigger backstory that fuels this story, but whether or not people would actually like the bigger plot is debatable. I don't know if it would expand in the way people think it would expand.

His decision not to kill the woman is only the first plot point and from there it focuses more on their relationship and then unravels into a bigger conspiracy puzzle. More details on the virus and the "people on the phone" are uncovered. His death would obviously not come so soon, but leave him ample time to tell the story.

I'd like to hear more on whether or not people think it should be expanded into a feature. I was just going to move on to another project after this one, but now you guys have me second guessing myself.

I'd need a bigger budget too.

Hootzie
06-06-2007, 12:58 PM
I think one of my favorite parts of the film is the fact that it doesn't feel like part of a bigger feature. It feels contained. It tells a story...a WHOLE story and tells it well. I wouldn't expand it into a bigger feature. I think a lot of the drama that unfolds from it comes from the micro drama involved (will he kill the girl, won't he, who is on the phone) rather than creating a macrocosm for it to reside in (why are the people on the phone doing this to him, why is he special). I really feel it is so effective as is. It also didn't suffer from wonky dialogue, which a lot of films in the competition suffered from. Writing is hard and directing is hard and producing is hard and cinemetography is hard. It's hard to believe that all those skills could reside within one person. There were quite a few films that had people saying things for the sake of saying them and your film avoided all that with a very well conceived and well delivered voice over.

I would be very interested in what your next project may be though.

deedive
06-06-2007, 01:00 PM
expand, i would love to see it.
inless your next project is kooler.:)

aravance
06-06-2007, 01:10 PM
I think one of my favorite parts of the film is the fact that it doesn't feel like part of a bigger feature. It feels contained. It tells a story...a WHOLE story and tells it well. I wouldn't expand it into a bigger feature. I think a lot of the drama that unfolds from it comes from the micro drama involved (will he kill the girl, won't he, who is on the phone) rather than creating a macrocosm for it to reside in (why are the people on the phone doing this to him, why is he special). I really feel it is so effective as is. It also didn't suffer from wonky dialogue, which a lot of films in the competition suffered from. Writing is hard and directing is hard and producing is hard and cinemetography is hard. It's hard to believe that all those skills could reside within one person. There were quite a few films that had people saying things for the sake of saying them and your film avoided all that with a very well conceived and well delivered voice over.

I would be very interested in what your next project may be though.

Nice comments, Hootzie. I agree with your cautionary advice.

I added a poll just for kicks. Just to see who has what opinion.

Norm Sanders
06-06-2007, 01:17 PM
I'll have to watch it again with that question in mind to make a better judgement ... but I WILL say that your production quality & filmmaking abilities (as shown in IMPRINT) tells that you SHOULD be making a feature ... whether it's IMPRINT or something else altogether.

I'll get a review up later ... still trying to get through the last of the films.

JasonFox
06-06-2007, 01:47 PM
Very, very well done. I think the idea could be stretched into a feature, although this particular scenario might not be in it. Or, frankly, it could be the basic premise: kind of like Bladerunner.

dougspice
06-06-2007, 02:22 PM
I'd agree with that. I think the story here was very well framed and presented, and you'd risk losing that in expanding the feature. However, if you set the virus/treatment as the world background, and then opened the feature with a teaser similar to these 6 minutes, I think you might really be on to something.

Well done, man! One of the best.

Herman Witkam
06-06-2007, 02:48 PM
Very impressive storytelling & cinematography! One of my favs :beer:

bosindy
06-06-2007, 09:08 PM
I really liked the look of your film, a lot of them this fest. The dolly shot of them in the garage with the gun pointing was amazing. the burning of the photo as well. Great stuff in the Hallway, very filmic.

I"ll be honest, I am not a fan of prolonged V.O. This is a complicated story to be told in 6 minutes so I can understand its need here.

If you do decide to make it into a feature, I would want two questions answered immediately as an audience member. If this is a flu or something that has broken out, would people gather in a restaurant? Also, I would want the conflict of conscience explained further. Clearly he has killed many times before, I wanted to understand why this time was different?

The acting was an A+ , I thought even the V.O. had nice subtlety. Very good film as a whole.

Darkline
06-07-2007, 04:30 AM
Another one in my top 3 here. (havent seen them all)

What I liked is that this was the only short film I have seen so far that has gone for some emotional impact/refection and succeeded. But also told within an interesting spy premise.

This had one of the the best combinations of style and story. Some had fantastic style but didnt pull the story off; others had a good story but perhaps were lacking in procudtion. This is one of the few that all round 'worked'.

I liked the actor a lot too, he gave the role the right amount of sublety.

Overall I have nothing really negative to say - there were maybe one or two shots that stood out as being less than stellar (picking up the needle was one), but im getting highly critical here because there's not much to pick at.

really good work, and I hope you enter the next fest

Erik Olson
06-07-2007, 05:30 AM
This one got my vote for best SpyFest short. Although a couple of others exhibited a comparable level of technical merit, none told a story as well as your's did.

I would absolutely expand this into a longer form project, though I think you might consider that episodic TV could be another place for it. Within each episode, you have the potential to reveal a little more about this world he lives in - are the rest of the affected population quarantined or dead?

Who put this virus out there - maybe the same people who have hired him to kill his marks? Why? Perhaps he is working for an insurgency - people who have figured out that a world government launched the virus in a campaign to change the world order. Or is he killing the very people who lead this resistance?

I think you've probably explored concepts like this, but think about how you could introduce new characters each week - and how his contacts would act as recurring ones. Perhaps he crosses the line when he spares this girl - opening his eyes to a small part of the bigger picture. Whatever is between them, she'll eventually have someone else after her. It would be a race against his own mortality and the threat of their collaboration being discovered.

It could be really interesting to see this develop over two seasons.

With a small feature, you have the same ability to expand the concept and a much higher likelihood of getting it made. Still, I think TV would make an interesting future home for the base concept.

You can launch your own Lost franchise after the feature posts some good numbers!

;)

e

Isaac_Brody
06-07-2007, 08:21 AM
This was a really solid short film. I'm not a huge fan of VO, but you used it in a very unobtrusive truthful way. The VO allowed us to get inside the characters head when usually it's used as a crutch to get across exposition.

And this was very well executed, my only technical complaint was that tracking shot in the diner. It cut off the actors heads. The confrontation with the girl in the parking lot was very well done.

I loved that your film built and raised the stakes to that point. It's the point when he has a choice to fully commit to being the walking dead or save some sliver of his humanity.

I like that the enemy is a disembodied voice, nice touch. Your actor was very good, very internal performance without going over the top. I had doubts about this when it started because VO sends up red flags, but the interaction between the killer and the girl worked so well that I have no doubt you can work with actors.

Great location choices and production design. The newspapers on the wall, the crappy cellphone, and that long hallway all add to the mood. In fact I think a lot of people don't realize just how much art direction adds to a film. And you've done it tastefully and realisistically. It had a nice grittiness to it.

Finally, I really appreciate that you told a complete story with a beginning middle and end. It's much harder to do this than to create a scene that feels part of something larger. So kudos for telling a very strong complete story in six minutes.

This is definitely in my top 3. :thumbup:

AmyO
06-07-2007, 10:04 AM
Nice work. Every shot had a purpose, everything in the frame was necessary. Very thoughtfully done.

VO is a hard thing to use. Yes, it is often used as a crutch, to explain. But, we have all these "rules" or accepted protocols for filmmaking, and if we always stick to them things get boring. By purposefully, thoughtfully, and selectively breaking the rules we can create something far more interesting. I think you used the VO quite well, and since it was balanced with such engaging and descriptive action, it didn't seem overbearing or unnecessary to me.

chris f
06-07-2007, 02:02 PM
i say if you could keep the production quality as good go for it. you could go so many ways with what you've got so far, the short could be the intro to a whole different aspect of the film or could be the main storyline if you expanded it alot.

Geoff_R
06-07-2007, 08:20 PM
(As Batman says in 'Batman Begins') Nice...

Really digging your cinematography and story. Production value is high and consistent across the film; everything works well together to make a solid short film. Your story is what makes this short shine. Very interesting concept/premise.

I loved how he draws the weapon in the end and we cut to black. I was waiting for the 'shot' and then we faded back in and he starts to question his actions...probably my favorite beat from this short.

Visual speaking, my favorite shots occur in that long corridor when he gets the phone call. Great location and framing/dof for those shots.

It looks like you used a 35 adapter for the majority of the shots, correct? But you didn't use it for when he's in that room by himself with all the newspapers? Lighting concerns or aesthetic choice?

aravance
06-08-2007, 12:32 AM
I actually only used the 35 adapter for the corridor scenes. Everything else was just the stock HVX.

Most of it had to do with lighting concerns. I did want to use it for the apartment scenes, but somebody had broken my m2 by that point of filming, so I was forced to go without. But I'm okay with how it looked, even if it is a bit sharp. I just actually received my fixed 35mm adapter back today, thank God.

Hermn8r
06-08-2007, 02:08 AM
Definitely liked the movie!! Not suitable for a feature, IMHO. Perhaps it's a little spyish, but I think that's a stretch. It's too bad this film wasn't entered in DramaFest- I think it would have had a great chance at winning!!

Great job!

Mike@AF
06-08-2007, 03:13 AM
Not too sure about expanding this exact story into a feature. Perhaps the basic theme and premise, but I don't think you have enough story right now to pull off a full feature. You could possibly expand to a longer short film tho. I thought this overall looked really good and had a very interesting story. Good work!

aravance
06-08-2007, 11:32 AM
After giving it a lot more thought, talking with my team, and listening to everyone's opinion, I've decided to NOT expand this into a feature. At least not right now. The themes that I wanted to get across work in the short film format, and I feel there wouldn't be anyway to keep them intact if it was expanded. It really would become an entirely different movie altogether.

We still plan on releasing a longer version of the short film, but after that we will be moving on to other projects.

I have a couple of stories I'm working on right now that I'm really excited about getting off the ground. One is another short film and the other is a feature film.

I don't know how to take down the poll....any help?

bokser
06-08-2007, 03:02 PM
I really loved the film, what made it for me was
THE STORY... I do want to see a featur emade of this, and I thought that immediately upon seeing the film.

But here is some critique
For the feature, use a better actor. This guy had the look but I didn't believe him too much, even with that I still loved the film.

When your shots are great, they're great, like the first shot and the music... ohhhh sweeeeeet! keep mor eof that feel. Cant wait to see more. Good luck!

aravance
06-08-2007, 05:41 PM
This one got my vote for best SpyFest short. Although a couple of others exhibited a comparable level of technical merit, none told a story as well as your's did.

I would absolutely expand this into a longer form project, though I think you might consider that episodic TV could be another place for it. Within each episode, you have the potential to reveal a little more about this world he lives in - are the rest of the affected population quarantined or dead?

Who put this virus out there - maybe the same people who have hired him to kill his marks? Why? Perhaps he is working for an insurgency - people who have figured out that a world government launched the virus in a campaign to change the world order. Or is he killing the very people who lead this resistance?

I think you've probably explored concepts like this, but think about how you could introduce new characters each week - and how his contacts would act as recurring ones. Perhaps he crosses the line when he spares this girl - opening his eyes to a small part of the bigger picture. Whatever is between them, she'll eventually have someone else after her. It would be a race against his own mortality and the threat of their collaboration being discovered.

It could be really interesting to see this develop over two seasons.

With a small feature, you have the same ability to expand the concept and a much higher likelihood of getting it made. Still, I think TV would make an interesting future home for the base concept.

You can launch your own Lost franchise after the feature posts some good numbers!

;)

e

hahaha...I think you've thought about this more than I have!!

Very good ideas overall. Some of your suggestions are actually pretty close to what the bigger story is, although I won't say which.

I definitely think doing something episodic in the future is a possibility. It's somewhat an uncharted territory, which is kinda exciting. Pretty soon webisodes are going to start having their own format like television...with the beats and commercial breaks, all within a smaller time frame to hold people's attention.

Thanks for all the input!

MojoTrancer
06-08-2007, 06:06 PM
Excellent entry!!! The cinematography was right on the money. There are some great camera moves and angles in this film. I enjoyed the story as well. My only gripe (and its a small one) would be about how she survived the first attempt on her life. What was the stuff that was put in her drink, and how did it not work?

Once again, great film!!!

Shawn Philip Nelson
06-08-2007, 09:27 PM
Wow...

Dude, this is an amazing short film. The first one so far that has blown me away. Very, very good accomplishment.

Michael_Petro
06-09-2007, 06:32 AM
Great looking film .. nice story.. voice overs are not my cup of tea... but it work here.

Norm Sanders
06-09-2007, 11:36 AM
Aravance, I already told you I was impressed with your work, but finally I can give a little more specifics. First, when I downloaded these, they were in alphabetical order of the usernames in which the films were being submitted ... so yours was the first one that I said 'WOW' on, and new right away it would be a serious contender in the fest ... without even having to watch the rest to know it.

INCREDIBLY well lit and shot, with a great story as well. Really cared about the lead character, and the acting/performances were solid throughout. One to watch again & again to fully critique, because it's just so easy to get wrapped up in the film itself to the point of forgetting to critique it.

I think the money shot for me, and possibly one of my favorite of this fest, is the reflection of the flames in his glasses ... gosh that was beautiful. Also, as I think I saw someone mention a few days ago, the use of the fade/cut to blacks (as he was about to shoot the girl in the parking garage) was great!

Wish I could find some critique for this, but nothing comes to mind. :beer:

gabrielflorit
06-09-2007, 04:46 PM
WOW. This was beauuuuutiful. I'm going to try and find negatives, cause talking about the positives would fill a whole page.

I guess the VO could have been done more convincingly, with more gravitas - it doesn't match the level of tension and atmosphere that the video part supplies.

I guess that's it. I liked everything, the handheld, the dolly shots, the slight breeze when they finally meet, the girl was cute but not bimbo hot, and she played her part well, not over the top.

Perfect short man.

Danielleus
06-09-2007, 06:06 PM
Hey, just caught the piece. Serious contender, man. Really enjoy the look and the dolly shots. Love the actor and also liked the VO. Though it might have slipped a little but still, very strong. I think I'm most impressed with the story. Despite what you said at the beginning of your thread, I thought you managed to tell a pretty grand story, actually. One wonders how long he's been doing it. Might have been a little more effective, if we got to see him actually do a kill and have issues with that. Then get to where your story begins. Just a thought. But yes, expand that sucker. Loved it. Thanks for entering.

Norm Sanders
06-10-2007, 09:40 PM
CONGRATULATIONS, ARAVANCE!! You were in my top picks for this fest, so I'm thrilled to see you placed in the top 3! Very well deserved, and look forward to your next entry!

Keystoned
06-10-2007, 10:11 PM
Congrats! Much deserved. Really cool film here :beer:

gabrielflorit
06-10-2007, 10:20 PM
Congratulations! Just saw this again, and it's still enjoyable.

deedive
06-10-2007, 10:39 PM
congrates, told you, you would win!

JOE BLO
06-10-2007, 11:39 PM
Congrats on your win. Your film was great. You deserve it.

Hootzie
06-11-2007, 10:33 AM
Congrats my friend on a fantastic film and win! Can't wait to see your next project!

Edgen
06-11-2007, 10:34 AM
Congrats on the win! Looking forward to your next entry.

cheers!
/j

Mike@AF
06-11-2007, 12:31 PM
Congrats! I really liked your film! Looking forward to seeing more of it if you turn it into a feature.

Neil Rowe
06-12-2007, 10:55 PM
great job on this one. i really enjoyed watching it and was really happy about its originality and flow as compared to many of the other entries. it was engaging and suspenseful. i especially liked the ending.. it seems he was one of the few real heros (or anti hero if you will) presented in spyfest. in that he felt like he was a real person, and that his story was meaningful. well deserved win and congrats. i hope to see more from you in the future.

Edgen
08-27-2007, 07:37 PM
Hey Van, Congrats on the top ten for the Assasin's Creed Contest over at IFC media labs :)
http://medialab.ifc.com/film_detail.jsp?film_id=5284&list=1

I've actually got a film that I worked on (scored) there too, it's called, "His Final Hit" (dir Adrian Picardi)

Good luck!
/j

aravance
08-28-2007, 06:00 PM
Thanks Justin!

I really enjoyed "His Final Hit". It's actually one of the few good ones on there.
I wouldn't mind losing to it. ;)

But I am hoping I'll place something.
I'm trying to fund my next short film and every little bit helps.

Plus, the exposure would be nice.

Edgen
08-28-2007, 07:59 PM
Van, Ha!! Thanks man. Ya, it was a cool film to score. And after watching them all, I honestly have no clue who will win the contest. I definitely think you've got a good chance at winning so you bet that I'll be watching :)

cheers and looking forward to seeing what you come up with next. BTW, are you still wanting to make Imprint into a feature?

/j

aravance
08-28-2007, 09:28 PM
It's kind of on the backburner for now, but always a possibility.

I have a couple of films I want to get out of the pipeline first.

I might even make a film for the All Hallows Fest.

What's next for you?

Edgen
08-29-2007, 07:09 PM
I hear and understand the backburners. Seems like the good stuff are always sitting there overcooking and by the time you are ready to eat, it's all chewy and yuk. Soo.. get it off as soon as you can. Or, you'll be like me. Lots of rotten dinners. :)

just scoring a few features, finished up shorts, and looking to enter the next dvxuser contest, but it just depends on how many burners I've got free up on my range.

cheers!
/j