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Jaime V
05-26-2007, 10:30 PM
I was disappointed I missed the last fest, DramaFest, so I promised myself not to miss this one. To that end, I present "Ancient Chinese Secret".

I don't have fancy bts footage or anything, as I'm too busy trying to cram this one in the last minute. I threw together a script, shot it, and made a poster and that's about it, and I have 3 days left to edit. Lucky it's memorial day weekend :)

Jaime V
05-26-2007, 10:32 PM
I suppose I should actually upload and post the poster at least:

http://www.dvxuser6.com/uploaded/17371/1180412054.jpg

Sid Barnhoorn
05-27-2007, 01:20 AM
Good luck with this one! :)

Ki-Ki
05-27-2007, 05:18 AM
Interesting title, best of luck.

spidey
05-27-2007, 05:44 AM
title could go two ways.

JOE BLO
05-27-2007, 11:33 AM
I admire your guts. I started a couple of months ago, and I still want more time.

Keystoned
05-27-2007, 08:11 PM
hee hee.

Lovin' the title.

Looking forward to it :beer:

Jaime V
05-27-2007, 09:49 PM
thanks for the support.

I like your title too, 'schittekatter'...it makes me giggle like a school girl every time I see it :-)

Good luck y'all!

cinealma
06-02-2007, 12:13 AM
Looks like you made it! Sometimes that all you gotta do, you just have to get off your ass and make a film. Looking forward to watching your film.


Cheers!

arielman
06-02-2007, 05:48 PM
glad your in.

I think the title leaves it open to your imagination .

Now you'll have us all watching just to see what the secret is ..lol .

We'll be watching for sure and good luck .
Ian

Jaime V
06-02-2007, 07:34 PM
Thanks guys, definitely glad I got off my duff and did this, even if it was at the last minute. I'm looking forward to watching everyone's films...it's great inspiration for the next fest! ;-)

Good luck all!

Norm Sanders
06-03-2007, 03:57 PM
Hey apollyon, glad you got it in, even if it was last minute. At least you won't be sitting this fest out wishing you HAD gotten something in! There are many others who planned on it, and just weren't able to meet the deadline (that was almost us as well), so congrats!

Keystoned
06-03-2007, 11:37 PM
Yeah congrats on finishing and uploading on time. Had to make several sacrifices from realizing my ideal version of the film to get it there myself. Looking forward to taking a look at you flick miņana :beer:

Charli
06-04-2007, 11:26 AM
I've seen a few of these films and may I say, this is the first one I've seen so far
that stays true to the "spy theme" - meaning, there's information to be had
and someone goes out to collect that information.

Good job on sticking to the theme. One gripe I have is that the guy has
binoculars, but you have only one scope on the screen. I know it's easier to do it
that way, but it's not quite true to the props.

Love the ending, cracked me up.

spidey
06-04-2007, 11:53 AM
LOL i dont really know how to feel about this one.. semi racial but funny at them same time... ill be going around giving myHUGE REVIEW when I WATCH ALL BUT yours was the first I saw.

wesley
06-04-2007, 11:55 AM
lighting (under and over exposure) bothered me in a few scenes so did the compositions (some of the shots of people had too much head space) but they didn't bother me enough cause i thought this film work as a spy comedy.

i saw you almost did this by yourself so good job on your entry

Michael Anthony Horrigan
06-04-2007, 12:14 PM
The lighting and camera work was a tad off in spots.... but I have to know! What's the secret!?? :)

It was still a pretty entertaining short.

Take care,

Mike

cinealma
06-04-2007, 01:39 PM
Definitely entertained. A funny little film. Looked and sounded good. The acting caught up with the piece, my only bones would be with the gal who wasn't too convincing for me. I like how the dry cleaners were cutting up the territory. That's classic!

Again, I was pleasantly entertained. Good job and thanks for screening.

Keystoned
06-04-2007, 02:04 PM
Yeah I was entertained as well.

Some under exposure on Han's closeup in his home and in the secret meeting, but by in large I felt the naturalistic unlit look served the piece.

Really picky note on sound. I don't have good speakers so I have to use my headphones, some of this might not be audible without phones, but at the same time headphones should come into your post sound process at least once so ... basically there were a few room tone drop outs in the first scene, then beyond that I would say be careful with your transitions in terms of sound. A hard cut works visually but not so much with subtle degrees of noise and room tone. Yeah it works with sound if we suddenly cut to a loud engine room or something, but going into and also I think out of Han's place I good hear the room tone punch in mid cut. Took me out just a little. Now that is a VERY nit picky thing, only mentioned it because I noticed it.

I agree with John's phrasing "the acting caught up with the piece" seemed stiffer at first and then loosened up a bit. Also I think the story starts to work on us by the time he is spying with the binoculars, so we become more forgiving of performances and some other small things.

But entertained here. I also think some of the editing particularly towards the end was quite nice and told the story well.

Thanks for a good time :beer:

aravance
06-04-2007, 03:12 PM
It was pretty entertaining.

I thought the humor and delivery was spot on.

There were of course technical things that have been mentioned that could've added more to the film if they were better (lighting, sound, cinematography) but the premise is what really carried the film anyway.

Kudos!

Jaime V
06-04-2007, 03:28 PM
Thanks all for the kind words, and constructive criticism. It's funny because in my first entry, the lighting was decent but the sound was horrible...this time around, I think I reversed it :)

I was rushed towards the end (my own fault) so the lighting was really bad in the scene with the 'Triad', but I must say it actually looked better on the LCD on the DVX than it ended up looking in post.

So...I've learned a lot:

1) stop procrastinating so I don't get rushed
2) make sound AND lighting work

hopefully, third time's a charm. Can't wait til next fest, and back to viewing all the entries!

-jaime

Hootzie
06-04-2007, 03:35 PM
Clever concept and execution.

Jaime V
06-04-2007, 03:49 PM
Really picky note on sound. I don't have good speakers so I have to use my headphones, some of this might not be audible without phones, but at the same time headphones should come into your post sound process at least once so ... basically there were a few room tone drop outs in the first scene, then beyond that I would say be careful with your transitions in terms of sound. A hard cut works visually but not so much with subtle degrees of noise and room tone. Yeah it works with sound if we suddenly cut to a loud engine room or something, but going into and also I think out of Han's place I good hear the room tone punch in mid cut.

Hey Keystoned, I can understand your point, because for the first scene I did use different dialog. When the two characters were talking, I had the mic between them, and since my actress was facing away from the mic, she was very muted, but the guy was clear, so I ended up using audio from a quickie adr session instead for her lines.

I never thought about room tone though. I was wondering if you had any pointers on how to keep room tone stable when using different recordings like that? Any tips appreciated :)

Thanks again for taking the time to post comments like this, it really helps me learn!

-Jaime

chris f
06-04-2007, 04:05 PM
Standard Disclaimer: I've watched half of the films so far and have yet to see a bad film. Congratulations to every film maker, everyone did a great job. All my comments and criticisms are meant to be constructive and helpful and in no way am I trying to take anything away from what you accomplished.

Good and not as good: I'm lumping both sections together on this one because I'm on the fence about it. This is definitely a Curb Your Enthusiasm take-off. Everything from the storyline, script, cinematography, music, humor was Curb. In fact I think this would make a really great episode, you should try to send in the idea to the show. I thought this was a very good idea (story was hilarious as well as the ending) and very different from every submission I've watched so far, but I don't know whether to pretend I've never seen Curb and enjoy the film or try to imagine Larry David in this situation (which makes me crack up even harder imagining what Larry would be doing, I can just see him now doing the super long stare down he always does to the chinese guy when he says he doesn't have time to clean the shirt right then. (Also reminds me of Seinfeld's dry cleaning bit). The more and more I think about this I really think you should try to send this idea into Curb, so i'll stop rambling and in conclusion say great idea, but unoriginal.

gabrielflorit
06-04-2007, 07:33 PM
This was very funny. Great script, dialogue was fine. Sound was really good and really cheesy at times - which I guess is what you were going for? Camera work was ok, although some indoor shots could have really benefitted from more lighting. The best part of this was the writing, no doubt, very clever. The worst part was the acting. I'm assuming none of these people are actors? If so, their performances are excusable.

Fun flick. If only I could write like that.

Mike Insane
06-05-2007, 01:49 PM
Cheese! i like it! Technically there were some issues but it was very different than most of the othere entries. I liked the lighting in the first scene but it seemed like you sort of just shot natural lighting after that scene. Nat light can work but it felt different than the feel you established in the first scene.

Good job, especially for your first entry.

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

Jaime V
06-05-2007, 04:38 PM
Good job, especially for your first entry.


It's my second entry, but thank you :)

I'm glad people other than my friends found it funny. When I was making it, I wasn't sure if I was laughing AT it, or WITH it hehe.

Jaime V
06-05-2007, 04:40 PM
his is definitely a Curb Your Enthusiasm take-off. Everything from the storyline, script, cinematography, music, humor was Curb.

Curb Your Enthusiasm? I never watch it. I saw one episode and found it highly annoying, so it's funny to hear someone compare this short to that.

In case you're curious, this was my inspiration:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojm1Xzwlc9Q

Thanks for the comments!

-Jaime

Aaron Marshall
06-06-2007, 05:02 PM
Good job on this film! I laughed quite a bit. It was wonderfully absurd. I thought it was well written, acted, and the production values were of a good quality.

Dr.Cyclops
06-06-2007, 08:52 PM
Calgon! HAHHAHA Great job! Only thing I could say would be to smoothen out the tripod action, light some more, and leave out the zooms. Great job though!

Michael_Petro
06-07-2007, 08:23 AM
I love cheese :) it made me laugh esp the breathing dead guy with his tongue hanging out :) lights and audio where already mentioned but it didn't stop me from enjoying it.... good show..

arielman
06-07-2007, 04:25 PM
The story line was unique,with a touch of comedy ,the actors were very good .
I loved the scene in which the areas were being dibbed up .Reminded me of those old kun Fu movies .. lmao, very good.
This was well done and well worth watching.
Congrats guys .
Ian

Mark Harris
06-07-2007, 05:55 PM
Holy Cow, this goes into my top 4 so far. So far, I've seen 4 that really made me want to know what happens next, 4 that really entertained so well that I just didn't care about the technical blah blah. This was one of them. good work. And funny.

Jaime V
06-08-2007, 08:10 AM
Thanks everyone for the very kind words. I'm glad it made other people laugh :)

kurtmo
06-08-2007, 09:03 AM
I liked this one. The concept was fun and the little cymbal crash was great. The acting was just plain fun! I'd pop this into the cheesy category. I'll take a second helping!

Beat Takeshi
06-08-2007, 04:14 PM
LOL. This made me laugh and the lead guy's voice or tone had my crying. Even though there were audio issues it kept me engaged. The music sounded like canned stuff but still was fun. Good job.

Norm Sanders
06-09-2007, 11:30 AM
Story was humerous, though not enough to make me laugh out loud ... just a constant smile on my face, which is still a good thing! Ligting: was any lighting used, or was it simply shot with the camera and all natural/available lights from the locations? While the acting wasn't believable, the talent did a fine job on the humor delivery.

Technical issues aside, I thinking you set out to make a campy, fun film, in which case you succeeded! :)

Jaime V
06-09-2007, 01:09 PM
Now that I'm finished viewing and my votes are in, I wanted to take the time to respond to some of the comments here...


I've seen a few of these films and may I say, this is the first one I've seen so far
that stays true to the "spy theme" - meaning, there's information to be had
and someone goes out to collect that information.

Good job on sticking to the theme. One gripe I have is that the guy has
binoculars, but you have only one scope on the screen. I know it's easier to do it
that way, but it's not quite true to the props.

Love the ending, cracked me up.

Thanks Charli! Even though I wanted it to be funny, I did want to adhere to the Spy theme. The binoculars...yeah...honestly, looking back I don't know what I was thinking.



Definitely entertained. A funny little film. Looked and sounded good. The acting caught up with the piece, my only bones would be with the gal who wasn't too convincing for me. I like how the dry cleaners were cutting up the territory. That's classic!

Again, I was pleasantly entertained. Good job and thanks for screening.

Thanks John! Again, I'm so glad people other than me thought it was funny.


There were of course technical things that have been mentioned that could've added more to the film if they were better (lighting, sound, cinematography) but the premise is what really carried the film anyway.

Kudos!

I take that as a great compliment on the writing; that it allowed you to overlook some of the technical flaws. Thanks so much!



This was very funny. Great script, dialogue was fine. Sound was really good and really cheesy at times - which I guess is what you were going for? Camera work was ok, although some indoor shots could have really benefitted from more lighting. The best part of this was the writing, no doubt, very clever. The worst part was the acting. I'm assuming none of these people are actors? If so, their performances are excusable.

Fun flick. If only I could write like that.

Definitely wanted the cheese. You are correct, the people are not real actors, they're my friends. I'm still learning a lot of the technical aspects of this stuff, so I figure I've no need for real actors until it's actually just the actors that are holding me back, and not the rest of it (lighting, sound, composition etc.) :)



Holy Cow, this goes into my top 4 so far. So far, I've seen 4 that really made me want to know what happens next, 4 that really entertained so well that I just didn't care about the technical blah blah. This was one of them. good work. And funny.

Thank you for the extremely high praise!



Ligting: was any lighting used, or was it simply shot with the camera and all natural/available lights from the locations? While the acting wasn't believable, the talent did a fine job on the humor delivery.

Technical issues aside, I thinking you set out to make a campy, fun film, in which case you succeeded! :)

I was indeed aiming for campy/funny, so thanks. The lighting was all natural/available and it did indeed suffer on some scenes. I'm glad it put a smile on your face though :)


I'm glad that the general consensus of people posting on this thread is they at least found it funny and entertaining.

This is my second flilm, and I know I still have TONS to learn about the technical aspects of filmmaking (lighting, sound) as well as get a feel for the more artistic elements (composition) so I appreciate the constructive criticism, and also the words of praise and encouragement. Really, these fests are the only way I have to practice.

Thanks everyone for taking the time to watch, and post on my thread!

-Jaime

Karl151k
06-09-2007, 01:11 PM
Being the first on the list of Spyfest entries, this was the first Spyfest entry I watched. I really enjoyed the story of this movie. Your main actor was good and had good comic timing. The audio cues were funny as well. Wardrobe was very thorough and looked "accurate" (for what you were going for). I really like the quote "Everyone thinks it's just Calgon".

Some things I noticed (I realize they may have been said before) are, the music fades. Just taking those extra 30 seconds to smooth out little audio issues like these can make all the difference in the world for a viewer. The ADR was a little obvious as well. And, as other people mentioned, lighting can really make the movie more watchable.

Overall, I'm glad this was the first entry I got to watch of the fest. It was fun and I enjoyed it. Thanks for making it!

Edgen
06-10-2007, 11:59 AM
... My Thoughts:

Acting. hurm. I think the lead had a few good moments and I'm glad he was finally shot. I couldn't get over the end with his tongue sticking out and him still breathing was classic.

thanks for entering the fest.
/j