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View Full Version : George Villalba presents " NO MIDDLE GROUND"



abalex
04-13-2007, 01:35 AM
Ok here we go again, this is now the official thread to our short entitled NO MIDDLE GROUND. Shooting will start in the last week of April and we're still looking for one more key actor to play Ernesto the cold blooded Latin Drug lord.
http://www.dvxuser6.com/uploaded/2319/1181423166.jpg

EQUIPMENT
We will use two HVX200 to speed up production, no 35mm lens adaptor(no time to get the SGpro, will buy it after this show is done).

Location: Somewhere in Utah.



credits
written by John labonney and George Villalba
Produced by George Villalba Andres Villalba

Directed by George Villalba(me)
http://www.dvxuser6.com/uploaded/2319/1176448180.png


talent

Bryce Bishop as Robin
http://www.dvxuser6.com/uploaded/2319/1176448012.jpg

Paul Hunt as Charlie
http://www.dvxuser6.com/uploaded/2319/1176448129.jpg


More updates and pictures coming soon!!!!

John LaBonney
04-13-2007, 05:47 AM
George:

Great poster! :thumbup: I'm looking forward to the production updates and to watching the script come to life.

John

bosindy
04-13-2007, 11:04 AM
Cool poster, I consistently have poster envy on this site. That guy Paul needs to get to the gym more often, but other than that he looks like an action hero. I bet Utah will lend itself to some unique locations. Beautiful part of the country. Good luck!

Elton
04-13-2007, 11:38 AM
I'm intrigued. Nice to see another local in the mix.

Good luck!

abalex
04-13-2007, 11:44 AM
Thanks everyone for the kind words. We're moving as fast as we can, production will start soon....more to come!

George V.

John LaBonney
04-13-2007, 01:36 PM
That guy Paul needs to get to the gym more often...!

That's what I look like with my shirt off too! (NOT!!)

abalex
04-18-2007, 11:28 PM
tomorrow we'll have the casting for Ernesto, the drug lord!!

pictures coming soon.

g.

Charli
04-19-2007, 09:09 AM
Hmmm, I didn't get a good look at Charlie's (Paul) abs, post some more pics, do a girl a favor, hmmm...

Mark T. Aro
04-19-2007, 10:13 AM
WELCOME!!! Sweet Poster!

Yeah... That's what I look like too... underneath a protective layer of course... maybe a couple protective layers.

Man I gotta get back on my bike!!!:zombie_smiley:

Norm Sanders
04-19-2007, 11:31 AM
Cool poster, George, and the guy playing Charlie looks like he's direct from a Bowflex commercial, sheesh!!! Looking forward to seeing what you do with this. :beer:

RebeccaD
04-19-2007, 04:47 PM
Um, more pictures, please? I'm watching this film to at least see more of Paul.....wow. On a serious note, congrats on your entry and I am looking forward to checking it out...... :beer:

abalex
04-19-2007, 10:38 PM
Does anyone would like to see a picture of me without shirt?....hummmm...maybe not.

g.

leogardini
04-20-2007, 08:32 AM
Vai ser uma tima produo George..."looking forward" para fazer a trilha:Drogar-Happy(DBG): !!!

tmnt
04-20-2007, 08:45 AM
Man, that is one slick poster. This is gonna be good...

abalex
05-25-2007, 01:57 AM
Okay here are some grabs, enjoy, no CC yet.
http://www.dvxuser6.com/uploaded/2319/1180079492.png
http://www.dvxuser6.com/uploaded/2319/1180079608.png
http://www.dvxuser6.com/uploaded/2319/1180079707.png
http://www.dvxuser6.com/uploaded/2319/1180079773.png

thanks
g.

abalex
05-25-2007, 02:04 AM
Last monday we finished shooting the short, we had a great time and now I'm editing the movie 100mph!! Leo Gardini is going to compose to music. All I can say about shooting with the HVX is that if you light well this camera is going to do wonders for ya.

stay tune!
G.

Elton
05-25-2007, 08:42 AM
Nice grabs. It looks like you forgot to stretch the PAR from 960x720 to 1280 x720 but the images look solid.

Glad to see you in the mix and best of luck with the edit. :)

JOE BLO
05-25-2007, 09:43 AM
The grabs look great. Can't wait to see your film.

abalex
05-26-2007, 12:52 PM
thanks guys.

g.

Keystoned
05-27-2007, 09:03 PM
Wow I REALLY like the look of those grabs.

The grainy black and white surveilance shot is a nice touch.

Nice lighting!

abalex
06-03-2007, 01:46 AM
Well we're in! Just very excited for the first time to be part of this festival, hope everyone watches my movie an enjoys it. We conceived the whole thing in basically 2 months, the whole preproduction and production phase was CRAZY! But I think we have a decent product for you all.

We are working on the BTS for a the DVD which will be for sale once the festival is done. On the BTS we will address subjects like the cinematography of NMG, make up, location, stunts, guns and all those things.

Thanks
G.

abalex
06-03-2007, 02:18 AM
Few stills, hope you enjoy. On Monday check out our short No middle ground.

http://www.dvxuser6.com/uploaded/2319/1180858282.jpg
http://www.dvxuser6.com/uploaded/2319/1180858385.jpg
http://www.dvxuser6.com/uploaded/2319/1180858426.jpg
http://www.dvxuser6.com/uploaded/2319/1180858332.jpg

I still can't figure out how to make these stills look normal or I gues 16:9, I export them straight from FCP using quicktime conversion, any advice???

peace
George V.

arielman
06-03-2007, 10:45 AM
Great poster !
" cold blooded Latin Drug lord."
Like the looks of the 3rd clip down !

will be watching for sure ..looks and sounds good .
Ian

Norm Sanders
06-03-2007, 04:50 PM
George, glad to see you're in & still looking forward to seeing this! Guessing by the size of those grabs you shot this HD? LOVE the CC of the 3rd image down, the dude with the gun at the log ... NICE!

abalex
06-03-2007, 09:21 PM
Thanks for the kind words!

g.

Keystoned
06-03-2007, 11:00 PM
Few stills, hope you enjoy. On Monday check out our short No middle ground.

http://www.dvxuser6.com/uploaded/2319/1180858282.jpg
http://www.dvxuser6.com/uploaded/2319/1180858385.jpg
http://www.dvxuser6.com/uploaded/2319/1180858426.jpg
http://www.dvxuser6.com/uploaded/2319/1180858332.jpg

I still can't figure out how to make these stills look normal or I gues 16:9, I export them straight from FCP using quicktime conversion, any advice???

peace
George V.

Hey George these look GREAT. Nice character cast and the CC on the 1st shot is SWEET.

To make em look "normal", open em up in photoshop and change the pixel dimension from 940 (or whatever it is) X 720, to 1280 X 720.

FCP works with them in some semi anamorphic way, so you have to change the dimensions to 16X9 manually after you export.

Maybe if you want to go straight from FCP you could change the shape on export. :beer:

:beer:

maxout
06-04-2007, 03:34 PM
Very nice film G! Very well done! I wish I could vote......

Edgen
06-04-2007, 03:41 PM
I really really liked this film. You could 'sorta' catch how it ends before the reveal, but visually... I enjoyed the show. :)

Hats off to Leo! Wonderful score. 'Specially the drum cue in the woods.

Cheers!
/j

abalex
06-04-2007, 06:20 PM
Thanks Justin! I enjoyed watching your short as well, really like the concept and music. great work.

After the fest is done I will be asking the ones who saw the movie for their advice about a better way to end my movie. i had another ending in mind that would be better. What's the part that you think gives the ending away?

thanks
g.

leogardini
06-04-2007, 06:53 PM
This is a great movie George...I wish I had more time to compose the soundtrack but it was a good tiny time learning experience!!!
Thanks Justin, actually the soundtrack is not exactly the way I wanted it to be because I wouldnt have enough time to orchestrate and edit the samples, but therel be a longer version of the movie with some changes in the orchestration!!!

bosindy
06-04-2007, 07:27 PM
One of the top ones so far for me. Let me first compliment you on excellent sound, Ive learned the challenges there an yours was pro all the way. I thought the acting was good, the big guy was really good. Loved the colors chosen for the shots. cinematography was well executed. The post was a little to heavy in the woods scenes for me, but all and all the look was fantastic. Congrats!

Jim

abalex
06-04-2007, 08:52 PM
Thanks Leo! Great score as well, hopefully the ending of the movie was as good as I was planning. The longer version might have a few things changed.

g.

abalex
06-04-2007, 08:56 PM
One of the top ones so far for me. Let me first compliment you on excellent sound, Ive learned the challenges there an yours was pro all the way. I thought the acting was good, the big guy was really good. Loved the colors chosen for the shots. cinematography was well executed. The post was a little to heavy in the woods scenes for me, but all and all the look was fantastic. Congrats!

Jim

Thanks for the kind words. Sound was really challenging but I think we managed to pass the test. You're right about the color on the wood scene. this is the rough version for the fest but I'll cut a new version after the fest is done. We learn from our mistakes.

thanks
g.

chris f
06-04-2007, 09:36 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: I'm starting to sound like a broken record, but great job, cinematography, acting, lighting, etc. all top notch. Really liked the lead actor and the twist of the film. Also really liked the outdoor chase sequence. So far this film has the most realistic violence (acting, sound, and fx), great gun shots

Not as Good: Maybe I missed it, but I don't recall any mention of a character being called Rob or Robin. I saw it in the credits but don't recall it in the story. I'd hate to see a film this good get DQ'd. Can someone correct me on this one?

Blaine
06-04-2007, 09:56 PM
I thought you did a great job on this movie. I liked the acting and there were only about three or four movies I can say that about. But for me, I most enjoyed the story and the look you achieved. Having watched all the movies, now, this one is definitely in my top three.

mjjason
06-04-2007, 10:42 PM
Great film. Put it in my top 3. While I kind of saw the ending coming the overall style of the film and the strength of the acting made it into a great film. I really liked the drug dealer lead. He would be great in a Hollywood film.

JOE BLO
06-04-2007, 11:15 PM
Great Job!! I think this had some of the best cinematography in the fest. I loved the CC you did on the flashback stuff. that was a really cool look. Your actors were great too and your dolly shots were smooth and lighting was great. Congrats!

abalex
06-04-2007, 11:33 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: I'm starting to sound like a broken record, but great job, cinematography, acting, lighting, etc. all top notch. Really liked the lead actor and the twist of the film. Also really liked the outdoor chase sequence. So far this film has the most realistic violence (acting, sound, and fx), great gun shots

Not as Good: Maybe I missed it, but I don't recall any mention of a character being called Rob or Robin. I saw it in the credits but don't recall it in the story. I'd hate to see a film this good get DQ'd. Can someone correct me on this one?

Thanks for the kind words. We did our best in the least amount of time. Utah has some unique locations, that's all I can say, love this place.

You're right about not mentioning Robin's name in the movie, that was a slip but we put it in the ending credits hopefully tha save our butts. Mcgregor's film 18 SECONDS was desquilaified because he had the same problem but he didn't have the character's name at the ending credits eather. I think that if he had fixed that he would be one of the top ones in the drama fest. Lest's see what happens.

thanks again
g.

Brandon Rice
06-05-2007, 01:10 AM
WOW! Best film of the fest! I am saying this right now! You did it my friend, you did it!

You achieved a mini-hollywoodworthy film here....

The Positives.

Story and script. Great story, great twist. It was all simple, but executed well. The dialogue was all top notch writing! Nice nice work.

Acting. Wow... even though there are a few little TINY qualms I had with some of your leads performance, I would say you had hollywood caliber acting here all around... great looking cast, and great acting all around!

Cinematography. Dude... this was just sick sick camerawork here... the lighting was great, and shots were great, the framing choices were excellent! Nice.

Editing. Tight tight editing... and your use of movement on your shots in your edits was just fabulous!

Score. Leo rocked the score... it worked, it flowed, and it never drew attention to itself..

Negatives.

Nothing really... this is easily the best film of the fest, IMO. I loved every part of it... I think there were a few color grading issues toward the end (inconsistencies in color grading) but otherwise... a flawless piece.... just solid man! Congrats!

abalex
06-05-2007, 01:59 AM
WOW! Best film of the fest! I am saying this right now! You did it my friend, you did it!

You achieved a mini-hollywoodworthy film here....

The Positives.

Story and script. Great story, great twist. It was all simple, but executed well. The dialogue was all top notch writing! Nice nice work.

Acting. Wow... even though there are a few little TINY qualms I had with some of your leads performance, I would say you had hollywood caliber acting here all around... great looking cast, and great acting all around!

Cinematography. Dude... this was just sick sick camerawork here... the lighting was great, and shots were great, the framing choices were excellent! Nice.

Editing. Tight tight editing... and your use of movement on your shots in your edits was just fabulous!

Score. Leo rocked the score... it worked, it flowed, and it never drew attention to itself..

Negatives.

Nothing really... this is easily the best film of the fest, IMO. I loved every part of it... I think there were a few color grading issues toward the end (inconsistencies in color grading) but otherwise... a flawless piece.... just solid man! Congrats!

Wow! Thanks my friends for the kind words. I'm happy you had a good time watching out little flick, we went through HELL to make this movie come true, lots of problems, but I think everything was worth if people like it.

You have a good eye, we did have some problems with the color correction. Tomorrow I'm getting together with my DP again to to another CC to the project, change a few things and get it ready for the Festival circuit. Just to let you know that I will have a longer version of the movie. The script was 9 pages so you can imagine. I had to trim it pretty good!

thanks and good luck
g.

Mike@AF
06-05-2007, 03:41 AM
Great film you made here! Cinematography and shots were excellent. Acting was decent. I saw the ending coming, but maybe most others wouldn't.

Dustin R. Rogan
06-05-2007, 03:45 AM
I loved this one! I too saw the ending coming, but who cares! Awesome Job man!

Noel Evans
06-05-2007, 05:35 AM
You guys are sure making it hard to choose a winner. This was very well done. If there was an award in this fest for lighting - you would win it.

Your bad guy was excellent. The sound in particular when he was talking during the break down scene was beautiful.

I too saw the ending coming but not before I thought I should have. Cool story. Very nice indeed.

Couple of your gunshots, and his scream seemed a little too hot in audio.

dvpixl
06-05-2007, 07:20 AM
really enjoyed this one. I'm torn though because it feels like a hollywood film or at least has better production value than anything else I've seen. Could be talent I bet, but to be honest, it's nothing spectacular. But it just looks great! so I dont know where I stand. I saw the end coming a million miles away. But that's not to say it wasn't a great story. It was just perfect. lighting is pro.

Barry_Green
06-05-2007, 09:14 AM
Totally agree with Brandon Rice...

Lost Skies
06-05-2007, 09:50 AM
WOW!! Great cinematography, editing and direction- And the casting couldn't be better, especially the bad guys... they really seemed like they enjoyed their work.

I loved it!

abalex
06-05-2007, 10:47 AM
Thanks everyone for the kinds words, I really appreciated.

GV.

ripupthehwy
06-05-2007, 02:10 PM
I agree with everyone else who say this is the best film. Truly the most professionally shot & posted. It's the mark i'll be aiming for next time!!

However, and please don't hate me for saying this, but I think it should be disqualified for not using the name Rob/Robert/Robin within the film. I'd hate to see that, and is much as I think your effort deserves a win, I think it's more important for the integrity of the rules to be upheld. If Jarred and the gang start letting things slide and there becomes this gray area in the rules.. then I will have lost all respect for this filmfest.

rich nation

Hootzie
06-05-2007, 02:26 PM
Great movie here! Acting was a little stilted in sections, but the story was great and the twist was well executed! Rockin job!

Michael Anthony Horrigan
06-05-2007, 02:31 PM
I see John and Leo had a hand in this, excellent work!

Really professional looking. Felt like I was watching a movie to be sure.

Nice work!

Mike

Michael Anthony Horrigan
06-05-2007, 03:20 PM
However, and please don't hate me for saying this, but I think it should be disqualified for not using the name Rob/Robert/Robin within the film. I'd hate to see that, and is much as I think your effort deserves a win, I think it's more important for the integrity of the rules to be upheld. If Jarred and the gang start letting things slide and there becomes this gray area in the rules.. then I will have lost all respect for this filmfest.

rich nation

Is this true?
It would be a shame to have such a great film axed because of it though.

I'll give it another listen, maybe it's there.

Edit: I watched it again and didn't hear it. It is in the credits though.

Good enough for me! :)

Cheers,

Mike

AmyO
06-05-2007, 03:40 PM
Wonderful film. I loved the look of the opening scene. I'm struggling to describe what it reminds me of - I think maybe early 90's action flicks. Gritty, weirdly yet nicely oversaturated colors, deep contrast. Sometimes I felt it slipped out of that look (within that scene, it seems other sections have their own look, which is fine).

I liked that there was a double-cross, but I didn't totally see it coming who he was working with. But, I usually don't.

Strong editing and great acting. I loved the drug lord character. He really owned that role.

Great job.

tmnt
06-05-2007, 04:33 PM
Really good work. One of the best I've seen so far. The young dude with longish hair reminded me a little bit of Stephen Dorf. I thought the blood makeup was stellar.

Only slight critisicm is that when they're breaking his fingers, maybe clearly show that they have a finger then pull the camera back to hide it.

Really good.

jamesh
06-05-2007, 05:04 PM
Great film! the Cuban bad-guy was awsome and over the top but i loved him! I also loved the chase through the wood, it was so stylish and well executed. Like everyone else i saw the ending from a mile off so maybe you made it too obvious? The lighting was great and the make-up even better!
nice one!

cinealma
06-05-2007, 05:54 PM
Absolutely smooth-looking film. I do feel that the younger "guy inside" should have been cast older, but that's just me. I felt the violence was little gratuitious here and there, but overall a terrific job. Very slick and well crafted.

Thanks for screening.

Barry_Green
06-05-2007, 06:52 PM
There will be *no* disqualification for not having used the name, because the name was used (if only in the credits). We had to make this decision last year and decided that while some films didn't use it *at all*, some used it in spoken dialogue, one used it only on a nametag, and some used it as credits-only. The fest organizers made a ruling last fest that a) as long as it was used (even if only in the credits) that counted, and b) all films would be pre-screened to make sure they met the requirements.

All films have met the requirements. (although, of course, if someone's used copyrighted material and our screeners didn't "catch it" when pre-screening, we'd still like to know about it).

No film that's in the festival is in danger of DQ because of the rob/robin requirement.

chris f
06-05-2007, 06:59 PM
that's good to hear that this film isn't getting DQ'd because its definitely in my top 3.

on a side note though, what's the point of the Rob/Robin rule if you don't have to use it at all and can just add it in the credits? not that it makes much of a difference but i would have used a different name for my character had it not been a required rule

Barry_Green
06-05-2007, 07:26 PM
It *is* a required rule. Credits are part of the film, and the name being used in the credits qualifies. Barely, by the skin of the teeth, but it qualifies.

Barry_Green
06-05-2007, 07:43 PM
Heck yes we'd want Mel Gibson to enter. Of course Mel Gibson could enter. Why couldn't he? (or are you saying that only lousy directors should be allowed to enter? Or only small-timers? Or that it should be limited to "nobodies"? Or that they can only have "so much" skill, and if they have more skill than that then we should disqualify them? Or that they're only allowed to spend up to $500, any more than that and they're disqualified? Or what?)

So, yeah, we opened it up to other cameras. Did you notice how many other-camera users entered? Practically none. About 10%. 90% of the films were shot on DVXs and HVXs. So did it really hurt anything to open it up to other cameras? I'm actually quite disappointed; we had so much lobbying to open it up, and not a single XHA1, XHG1, XLH1, JVC HD100, Sony V1 or Z1... not a single one. We could probably close that rule back down and it wouldn't make much of a difference.


Is that what they want?
You want to know what we want? We want our community to participate. That's what we want. If Mel Gibson was a member of this community, I'd want him to participate. If a member of our community uses an HV20, yes I'd want them to participate too. That's what the fest is about -- community participation. Collaboration. Feedback. Making films, showing films, commenting on films, growing and learning and achieving.

Michael Anthony Horrigan
06-05-2007, 07:49 PM
If a member of our community uses an HV20, yes I'd want them to participate too. That's what the fest is about -- community participation. Collaboration. Feedback. Making films, showing films, commenting on films, growing and learning and achieving.

Thanks for that! :thumbup:

Cheers,

Mike

ripupthehwy
06-05-2007, 07:51 PM
Ok Barry, thanks,

Guess I have to just change my way of thinking on this. I apologize for offending anyone, including George.

Mark Johnson
06-05-2007, 07:55 PM
I applaud your interpretation of the rule, Barry. In my opinion, its sort of a nice way to emphsize that these projects are to be original works -- not some recycled piece you had laying around for a year. That said, slavishly requiring incorporating the character name into the film causes me to cringe. Having the character name in the credits accomodates both the filmmaker and the purposes of the rule.

Barry_S
06-05-2007, 08:02 PM
We're just sticking to our own rules as far as the naming thing goes. We didn't specify, so the default is to accept the loosest interpretation. As always, we're not looking for ways to disqualify films, but we do want to make sure the films aren't recycled.

Jarred Land
06-05-2007, 08:14 PM
the focus of the dvxfest is to get our community to make films.

That is, and always has been, what its all about.

Its not about a certain camera, its about a certain community.

Isaac_Brody
06-05-2007, 09:12 PM
I just watched this and was blown away. Excellent story and execution. My favorite film of the fest. Great work George. :thumbup:

Christopher Barry
06-05-2007, 10:07 PM
This fest, I never looked into the BTS threads, I just waited and looked at all the submissions and then narrowed it down to four. No doubt for me, this was my number one after first viewing them all. Granted, there are a few minor criticisms mentioned through this thread that stand and are valid in my opinion, however, the combination of cinematography, editing and performances by your talent made this one my first choice. Congrats GV, Mike and crew for what you have achieved.

Kholi
06-05-2007, 10:17 PM
Holy crap.

This was so well done man. Beginning, Middle, End. Interesting, great acting, great usage of weapons, blood, practical effects.

Simply freakin' amazing. Congrats on a VERY well done short man.

It's one thing to "see it coming", it's another to do such a "cliche" very well. You totally nailed it and I'm happy to have invested my time in watching this ALL THE WAY THROUGH the credits.

Keystoned
06-05-2007, 11:00 PM
Great work. Really well put together. Very professional amazing work.

My only caveat would be that while the technical skill was deft, I got no sense of YOUR voice as a filmmaker, and I would like to very much.

But again. Really, really great work from a technical and story standpoint, even if somewhat by rote.

I'm really glad you screened it for us. :beer:

aravance
06-06-2007, 12:51 AM
The best film I've seen so far. I'm going alphabetically and haven't finished, but I think it's going to be hard to top this one.

The acting, the lighting, the cinematography, the editing, the music....all of it was hands-down awesome.

The production value was truly inspiring. You guys did a good job with the fake blood, the locations, etc.

Here are some things I thought of while watching it, just to give you some feedback that might help you as you make your final edit for your longer version of the film.

1) The cutting between shots at 0:07 and 0:18 was a little jarring to me just because of the different angles. The latter one you can definitely get a sense of depth because of the table providing the z-axis, but the first one you can't as it's pretty flat. I was just curious if you might be able to use either one or the other for both shots? I don't know if that's possible at all considering how you shot it, but just a thought.

2) The house scene where they are discussing the target didn't seem to match the high contrast look you have in some of the other scenes. I'm not sure if that is intentional, but it seemed a little flat...like you could probably deepen the blacks more, etc. Also, the CU shots with Bryce Bishop don't seem to match the warmness of the rest of the scene. I would work on color correcting those specific shots to match.

3) The clipping on the audio when Paul Hunt screams. I don't know if you would be able to fix it, but I just thought I'd mention it. And also I felt that when the Drug Lord hits him at 3:59 that it needed to sound more powerful of a hit.

I'm already on board to purchase the DVD when you guys release it.

Seriously, you guys did an outstanding job!

I loved it.

Kudos!

Shawn Philip Nelson
06-06-2007, 01:05 AM
Very nice! A big props for being one of the few films to actually be a spy film and to do it well.

Paul Coleman
06-06-2007, 02:26 AM
Really liked the look, especially in the birch forest. Good clean sound. Walter is great. Good stuff. :beer:

Matt Sconce
06-06-2007, 02:28 AM
This was just plain good and felt bigger than a 6 minute short. It told a nice story well in the time it had and I liked it a lot! I enjoyed the characters.

Chris Messineo
06-06-2007, 06:20 AM
This was one of my favorites. I loved the look of it. It was really beautiful. The sounds were tremendous. This was one of the few where I believed the violence and it made me cringe. Great job.

chris f
06-06-2007, 06:29 AM
reiterating once again that i thought the violence was the most realistic in this film, i also like the idea of breaking bones as opposed to chopping off fingers, a nice creative touch (i can't imagine the pain)

JasonFox
06-06-2007, 10:16 AM
Great job. Goes to show how good audio work really matters. Everything else was very well done, too.

TimurCivan
06-06-2007, 11:20 AM
Excellent work.

Blaine
06-06-2007, 12:17 PM
Primo!

Elton
06-06-2007, 12:28 PM
Truly excellent work, George. Cinematography, editing, performance were really top notch. Great sense of pacing and yet each scene felt like it was allowed to breathe naturally. I believed the violence and I was absorbed. Absolutely loved the chase up in the aspens--great visuals!

Bravo!

Mark Harris
06-06-2007, 12:40 PM
All right, you are clearly some kind of super-filmmaker. I dunno if you got bit by a radioactive Speilberg or what. But I am going to be a little harder on this one because you are so good.

I had two big beefs:

1) Story. Straight out of a box. I had a really hard time caring enough to finish it from about 2 min on. I know that's nearly impossible in 6 min anyway, but I think as good as you and your team are, you should be able to focus it on more original material.
2) Characters - also straight out of a box. same stuff.
3) Acting. I thought the Hispanic guy, the one who hires him to begin with, was pretty silly. I think numbers 1 and 2 hindered him greatly, and he didn't have enough time, or think about it enough to come up with some specific choices about his character and make it three dimensional. I felt like that across the board. The difference to me between an actor and a great actor, is that the great actor will make VERY specific choices about a role and make it very personal, so that when we see it, he is playing the part as only he can play it. The just-so actor will do what is expected and not really dig to find anything real about the character.

That's it. You don't need me to tell you your strengths as technically, you are far above me as a director.

But DUUUUDE, how did you convince Corey Feldman to be in your movie???? That rules! :)

Brandon Rice
06-06-2007, 12:45 PM
But DUUUUDE, how did you convince Corey Feldman to be in your movie???? That rules! :)

Dude, that was him! I knew I recognized that guy!

abalex
06-06-2007, 02:40 PM
Hi everyone!

Thanks for all the criticism and compliments, both are always welcome. We need criticism to grow as artists and compliments to realize we're on the right path. THanks.

No Corey Feldman in the movie, that would be nice!

We did everything in less than 2 months so of course there are gaps in the story, is not perfect. Actors we're all busy working on other projects so they didn't have enough time to practice with my script. But personally I think they all did an awesome job, very pro.

I'm reading every post and I think we all have different opinions or points of view about the short. I'm happy with the results and hopefully everyone had a great time watching my movie.

Some post talk about the CC and color temperature. Every scene has a different look. THe file that everyone downloaded look pretty washout, very bright and that's my bad since I'm not really good at compressing and all that jazz.

Right now we're working on the new CC which is actually the same but less bright, more shadows, just the way we shoot it.

If anyone has more questions about NMG's cinematography please email my DP Andy Velasco and he will answer your Q's, andyvelasco@gmail.com.

thanks for your support!
gv.

Herman Witkam
06-06-2007, 03:57 PM
Hey - Very nice film guys, but why does Leo's cool score seem to be only in mono? :huh:

John LaBonney
06-06-2007, 05:30 PM
Lots of great praise for No Middle Ground, and all of it deserved. I was quite shocked by the final product. Completely blown away.

Cinematography, acting, special effects, make-up, sound---every production element was at the highest level. It seems like the weakest part of this film was my writing!

George collaberated with me extensively on this script, shaping each element of action and dialog with care. There were many changes and revisions, and additional writing talent was brought in. The high production values in No Middle Ground reflect that kind attention to detail that George demands.

Nice work George!

John LaBonney

leogardini
06-06-2007, 05:53 PM
Hey - Very nice film guys, but why does Leo's cool score seem to be only in mono? :huh: Hi Herman...mono???I dont hear that...actually the only thing is that its low in the mixing:)...Im trying to edit the score for the listening pupose but actually Im having problem in my system now!!!

abalex
06-06-2007, 10:58 PM
Lots of great praise for No Middle Ground, and all of it deserved. I was quite shocked by the final product. Completely blown away.

Cinematography, acting, special effects, make-up, sound---every production element was at the highest level. It seems like the weakest part of this film was my writing!

George collaberated with me extensively on this script, shaping each element of action and dialog with care. There were many changes and revisions, and additional writing talent was brought in. The high production values in No Middle Ground reflect that kind attention to detail that George demands.

Nice work George!

John LaBonney

John!!! my friend and writing partner! I'm happy you like the movie, I'm really sorry for been so picky when we were writing it but this is why I was so concerned about details and stuff. THis is your success as well, great job!

Loved "Spy for fun and profit" I thought it was really original and funny, loved the writing.

Hope we work together on future dvxuser projects.

regards
g.

Grug
06-07-2007, 05:11 AM
Awesome! This is the first 'Fest' I've been here for and this is hands down my favourite. Well done guys.

Darkline
06-07-2007, 05:12 AM
Hi George,

you've heard this before but this was exceptionally well made. Very well crafted in every respect, from the directing down to the production and sound design. You show a real maturity in your craft. I expect many people will certainly be hard pushed to find any fault with this technically. Your action scene proves that good directing/editing can overcome any budget concerns. It all looked like a glossy hollywood production.

I feel I'm probably covering ground which has already been said.

As for the story, this is where I have my only concern, maybe its a personal thing but I found it to be a little bit predicatable and with somewhat generic characters. However, you did have a complete story told fully within the 6 minutes allowed with no flab. That alone is an achievement for a short film. The story was well told, just for me the story didnt have the hook that some other premises have had. (im nit picking by the way here :-))

Certainlly in my top 5. The most well rounded short in the fest.

Herman Witkam
06-07-2007, 05:21 AM
Hi Herman...mono???I dont heard that...actually the only thing is that its low in the mixing:)...Im trying to edit the score for the listening pupose but actually Im having problem in my system now!!!

Leo > It seems almost fully mono (I tried the mono button for comparison, and it's almost the same). Stormdrum normally has a huge stereo image, but it's reduced to all center now, while only the sound FX of the bullets seem to be in stereo.

arielman
06-07-2007, 09:18 AM
Hi Guys

Well great minds think alike don't they .

Your short takes place today , mine the 40's . The torture scenes are vastly similar but very different , again 40's Hollywood style and the new Hollywood .

Very enjoyable and my son just watched it ..loved it it .

I would like to see this on my LCD and not thru QT

The acting was great from all the actors . very believable I think.

I think you guys did a great job here with this short .

If you go DVD please keep informed as I wouldn't mind a copy .
Good luck in the fest !!
Ian

Geoff_R
06-07-2007, 09:39 PM
Awesome! This one really stands out for me, definitely one of my favorite films from the fest. I didn't realize you didn't use an adapter until I read your first post. I was almost certain that certain shots were done with an adapter.

Your story was good and kept me interested but I think the whole 'reveal' wasn't as strong as it could have been. I don't think it's the way the story was told but more so in the way it was edited. I knew the two were working together far too soon which made that whole reversal less impacting.

Anyway, awesome job on the film. I'm really looking forward to more of your work in the future.

Ted Arabian
06-08-2007, 11:52 AM
Holy crap! What a film! OMG, do you know how to make an awesome looking film! I just loved the cimatography of this. The camera work was perfect. The editing on pace. The action intense! Wow.

The story was pretty neat. It was very unnerving when I started thinking just how far that guy went to "play along." Pretty cool.

Make-up and sound were outstanding!

That was incredible.

Whew!!!

-Ted

PaPa
06-08-2007, 12:17 PM
i just crap't my pants. How in gods name did you light such a beautiful piece? The grading is beyond my comprehension, but i must know how you lit this masterpiece. Are there any BTS stills?

Beat Takeshi
06-08-2007, 06:38 PM
Dizzam. This is probably the best film to come out of these fests besides Texas Fortune. I totally loved everything about this. You did a great job establishing your time changes with the color changes. I totally knew what was what. The drug lord did a great job I thought. The hits were looking real, the make up and blood rocked. I saw the ending also but was so entranced by the production value I really didn't give a sh!t. Damn that was freaking sweeeeeet!!!
The lighting in this was freaking pro to the hoe also.

abalex
06-08-2007, 09:45 PM
Holy crap! What a film! OMG, do you know how to make an awesome looking film! I just loved the cimatography of this. The camera work was perfect. The editing on pace. The action intense! Wow.

The story was pretty neat. It was very unnerving when I started thinking just how far that guy went to "play along." Pretty cool.

Make-up and sound were outstanding!

That was incredible.

Whew!!!

-Ted

Thanks my friend, I'm happy you liked the movie.

gv.

abalex
06-08-2007, 09:48 PM
Dizzam. This is probably the best film to come out of these fests besides Texas Fortune. I totally loved everything about this. You did a great job establishing your time changes with the color changes. I totally knew what was what. The drug lord did a great job I thought. The hits were looking real, the make up and blood rocked. I saw the ending also but was so entranced by the production value I really didn't give a sh!t. Damn that was freaking sweeeeeet!!!
The lighting in this was freaking pro to the hoe also.

Thanks you for the feedback! I loved your movie, loved the opening scene, the main character and the ending. One of my top 3.

thanks
gv.

Michael_Petro
06-09-2007, 09:54 AM
Ted stole my line(damn you ted) holy crap what a film.. this is the most impressive movie I have scene. I was blown away... writing directing editing camera work... awesome just awesome.. I seriously want a hi rez version of this..

From beginning to end I was hooked... I cant say enough about this film...

chris f
06-09-2007, 10:09 AM
The lighting in this was freaking pro to the hoe

note to self: use this phrase as much as possible

Michael_Petro
06-09-2007, 10:13 AM
note to self: use this phrase as much as possible

pro to the hoe.... classic

Norm Sanders
06-09-2007, 12:11 PM
EXCELLENT shots, music was great, and the sound design/SFX was good, though I thought a couple of hits could have been improved). Really cool CC choices, and a great story. Acting was quite good, and I especially loved the bodyguard, though he had a smaller role (i.e. with regards to dialogue), he looked VERY Hollywood. A thought dawned on me (haven't read back through the posts), but where was the use of 'Robin', other than in the credits?

The dedication that these two would have together in this master plan seemed a TAD over the top, in that they're willing to take gun fire from each other, allow his fingers to be broken, beat him across the face with a 2x4, etc. I mean, holy cow! :)

deedive
06-09-2007, 03:47 PM
I love the way this looks. Especially at all the kitchen stuff, and at 2:15. Good acting, good story, good movie.

Beat Takeshi
06-09-2007, 04:31 PM
Yeah that line came out as i was typing. Starting a new saying i guess :)

gabrielflorit
06-09-2007, 06:14 PM
WOW. This one was amazing! No 35mm adapter? For real? I didn't even notice.

Great script, great editing, fantastic acting, fabulous light. A couple of complaints: 1) some scenes look washed out (this is just because they're right next to eye-candy perfectly lit scenes, and so the less-than-sublime scenes stand out), 2) the music could have used a little bit more oomph. Maybe the score shouldn't have been melodic, but more ambient, like in JDS's "18 Seconds". I think that would have added a whole lot more tension.

Fabulous job. This looks absolutely professional.

abalex
06-10-2007, 01:23 AM
WOW. This one was amazing! No 35mm adapter? For real? I didn't even notice.

Great script, great editing, fantastic acting, fabulous light. A couple of complaints: 1) some scenes look washed out (this is just because they're right next to eye-candy perfectly lit scenes, and so the less-than-sublime scenes stand out), 2) the music could have used a little bit more oomph. Maybe the score shouldn't have been melodic, but more ambient, like in JDS's "18 Seconds". I think that would have added a whole lot more tension.

Fabulous job. This looks absolutely professional.

Thanks GABRIEL , appreciate the feedback. We're fixing the washout look, that was a CC problem since we did it the same day submission was due. Good point about the music.

thanks
gv.

Norm Sanders
06-10-2007, 10:40 PM
CONGRATULATIONS, abalex!! 1st place, WHOO-HOO!!! :beer: Looking forward to your next work!!

Kholi
06-10-2007, 10:42 PM
Congrats, Abalex. Definitely top of the fest for me, and well deserved win!

More!

Keystoned
06-10-2007, 11:06 PM
Congrats guys!

Great film. :beer:

gabrielflorit
06-10-2007, 11:18 PM
Congratulations! I just watched this one again. Lots of fun. Very high production value. Great acting.

Anyways. Congrats!

deedive
06-10-2007, 11:44 PM
congrates!:)

JOE BLO
06-11-2007, 12:35 AM
Congrats George. Your film deserved it.

abalex
06-11-2007, 12:48 AM
Wow!!! Thanks everyone! I'm really happy, I think I can quit my 9-5 job and make movies....just kidding, still need the cash!.

THis is inspiring!
gv.

leogardini
06-11-2007, 09:24 AM
Hey George, congratulation on more time...deserved prize!!!

leogardini
06-11-2007, 09:30 AM
WOW. This one was amazing! No 35mm adapter? For real? I didn't even notice.

Great script, great editing, fantastic acting, fabulous light. A couple of complaints: 1) some scenes look washed out (this is just because they're right next to eye-candy perfectly lit scenes, and so the less-than-sublime scenes stand out), 2) the music could have used a little bit more oomph. Maybe the score shouldn't have been melodic, but more ambient, like in JDS's "18 Seconds". I think that would have added a whole lot more tension.

Fabulous job. This looks absolutely professional.
Im glad you been willing to make comments about the soundtracks...but please tell me, what you mean by oomph???Also, I dont understand how to make the score less melodic for the action scenes because theres no melody in there...do you mean the main theme played twice???
Im very open-minded to any kind of critic and I thank you for this one...but as I had less than two days to compose the score, things are not the way I wanted to be and an improved version is coming soon...thas why Im trying to understend your meanings:Drogar-Happy(DBG):!!!

Michael Anthony Horrigan
06-11-2007, 09:30 AM
I think it is awesome that Leo (Music) and John (Writer) got in on the win!

Two great guys to work with.

Congratulations!

Mike

Edgen
06-11-2007, 11:39 AM
Congrats on the win! Looking forward to your next entry :)

/j

gabrielflorit
06-11-2007, 11:50 AM
Im glad you been willing to make comments about the soundtracks...but please tell me, what you mean by oomph???Also, I dont understand how to make the score less melodic for the action scenes because theres no melody in there...do you mean the main theme played twice???
Im very open-minded to any kind of critic and I thank you for this one...but as I had less than two days to compose the score, things are not the way I wanted to be and an improved version is coming soon...thas why Im trying to understend your meanings:Drogar-Happy(DBG):!!!

Two days? That's crazy.

I guess what I meant is that, in my opinion, for entries like this one, a melodic score is distracting. The best way of describing this is by going back to the ILLEGAL trailer posted here several months ago (don't watch the CC'd one, that one came later - the first one they posted had the CRASH soundtrack), http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?t=71299. The score you hear isn't theirs, but the one used for CRASH. OK, so there might be a singable tune or two during that trailer, but for the most part it's more ambient than melodic. I think that with a short that has such strong images as NO MIDDLE GROUND, ambient scoring adds a whole lot more tension, whereas a melodic one distracts and pulls the viewer out. This is all, of course, my opinion. I'm not against melodic scores - it all depends on what goes with what.

Hopefully this mess of a comment explains what I typed earlier. But don't sweat it. I can only imagine how tough it must be to write music in less than two days.

abalex
06-11-2007, 12:00 PM
Special thanks to my boys John and Leo , you guys did an awesome job, it was a hard one but we did it. I told my wife I wanted to participate on the next fest but she went nuts and told me to get a job, :p

peace
gv

John LaBonney
06-11-2007, 12:59 PM
Thanks George, I am really proud to be a part of this project. I hope you do enter the next fest!

John

Mike@AF
06-11-2007, 01:29 PM
Congrats on the win! You definitely deserved it. Great looking and very entertaining film. Well done!!!

Geoff_R
06-11-2007, 05:54 PM
Congrats George! Can't wait to see more work from you!

Robert Sanders
06-11-2007, 06:09 PM
Can we get a link to a higher resolution version?

dvpixl
06-11-2007, 06:46 PM
congrats! Loved your work.

Neil Rowe
06-11-2007, 08:39 PM
..very, very well done. you absolutely deserved the 1st place win and thats what i voted you as. your going to be an even better filmmaker as you progress in your career and i applaud you. nothing more to say.

abalex
06-11-2007, 10:26 PM
..very, very well done. you absolutely deserved the 1st place win and thats what i voted you as. your going to be an even better filmmaker as you progress in your career and i applaud you. nothing more to say.

Thanks Neil for the kind and encouraging words.

gv.

abalex
06-11-2007, 10:35 PM
Can we get a link to a higher resolution version?

We're working on a dvd and BTS. You really need to watch this movie on a tv or big screen, looks amazing. About a higer resolution, I think I'm going to hold on that cuz I'm submitting the movie to another festivals. Sorry about that.

take care!
gv.

Jarred Land
06-11-2007, 10:39 PM
We're working on a dvd and BTS. You really need to watch this movie on a tv or big screen, looks amazing. About a higer resolution, I think I'm going to hold on that cuz I'm submitting the movie to another festivals. Sorry about that.

take care!
gv.

hopefully on the the Spyfest DVD as well :):thumbsup:

John LaBonney
06-12-2007, 01:31 AM
George:

Can't wait to see the DVD with BTS footage and material. Thanks again and congratulations on the victory. I was really glad to play a part.

John

Gord.T
06-12-2007, 09:54 PM
Congrats. I was late in viewing and didnt vote. Glad I didn't because 2 of the top 3 I had not got to.

So, this moved at a good pace as good as anything I'd expect to see as far as entertainment. So alot of thought into the shots and alot of work and I appreciate it as a viewer. Moreso that might readily be apparent.

The one thing that bugged me was the color grading. I have not read thru the thread so I don't know if it has been discussed but I really wish people (as in this case) would not get overtly creative with color grading unless they are a
true color artist , as in a painter e.g. It is such a subjective interpretation that lends itself to crits.

But well desereved placement. Now go celebrate you bastards. :)

eureka
06-13-2007, 05:12 AM
Hey
Where can i watch this movie any links?

idesofmerz
06-13-2007, 08:35 AM
Congrats on the win. I'm not a big fan of short films, but this one blew my mind. Best short I've ever seen; you had a vision and you executed it precisely. You have a real talent and this film proves it. Good luck in all your future endevours and I hope to see more from a very unique, artistic and entertaining voice.

Congrats again,

Matt.

abalex
06-14-2007, 01:16 AM
Thanks everyone for the kind words!! I really enjoyed making this movie. Is a good way to learn and practice for the big deal. DVDs coming soon.

gv.

Kyle Stebbins
06-14-2007, 01:42 AM
totally first place material.

love the poster.

great work.