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Mike@AF
06-05-2007, 03:33 PM
I finished watching all the films at about 3am this morning. Great work and tremendous effort by everyone. I would like to commend the team working on Sleeper for going to the extreme with their film. I'm really looking forward to seeing the rest of it when it's done.

As someone who entered into the On The Lot competition and was disappointed by some of the filmmakers they selected and their films, not to mention the number of unbearable films on that site, I must say I am proud to be a part of this community. The quality of filmmaking this site has garnered with this festival in just a few months is outstanding. All of these films are far and away much better and everyone should be proud of themselves.

Thanks to all and especially DVXuser.com! I'm really looking forward to working on the next DVXfest!... btw, what's the topic going to be for that?

Dustin R. Rogan
06-05-2007, 03:39 PM
I too entered 'On the Lot', and I hear it didn't do to well in the ratings...so its now a "filler show"...but I agree with you I'm very new to film making/DVXuser.com and I feel welcome already. you guys are like the brothers (so to speak) that I never had :Drogar-Happy(DBG):

Matt Sconce
06-06-2007, 02:05 AM
I finished watching all the films at about 3am this morning. Great work and tremendous effort by everyone. I would like to commend the team working on Sleeper for going to the extreme with their film. I'm really looking forward to seeing the rest of it when it's done.



Thanks for the shoutout!


I am amazed by the level of these films. I thought for sure we would have at least one I would say awe man...that is pretty bad, but I have not thought that on ANY of them. They all have great qualities and creative twists and turns. I think the people here on dvxuser are slowly evolving into some pretty amazing film makers. I am excited to be one of them. When Sleeper is finished watch nine to five ninja and compare the two. It is amazing the distance that has been created between that first film and now. This is my third film.

I have seen people's films from Zombie fest to now and it is so fun to watch the progression. Congrats to all the film makers in this fest. You got up and did something instead of merely talking about it. That is the first step to the dream!

Huy Vu
06-06-2007, 02:08 AM
I'm also very surprised the despite the fest being open to all cameras this time around the vast majority of the submissions were still shot using DVX and HVX. Only three or four films were done using other cameras, and none from the A1, which was quite a shocker.

Matt Sconce
06-06-2007, 02:11 AM
Yep, expected a ton of new entries. Maybe next fest?

Mike@AF
06-06-2007, 02:13 AM
I'm surprised as well that there wasn't other cameras used that much. I was even expecting some mixed-camera use and it didn't seem to really show up. I was almost sure we would see some camera-phone shots in at least one of these.

Michael Anthony Horrigan
06-06-2007, 06:03 AM
Well, I'm a first time entry, and I used the Canon HV20.

One of the few I guess.

Cheers,

Mike

Chris Messineo
06-06-2007, 06:05 AM
I just finished watching them all as well.

I have watched all the films in all the contests and I agree, this one had the highest quality level throughout.

I have 4 favorites at the moment and I'm having a hell of a time, narrowing it down to my top 3.

Knoxworth
06-06-2007, 06:32 AM
I had planned to enter and had written something before the HVX arrived. The two weeks left was sort of hectic. I think the script is still pretty good, it wasn't a spy genre film so much a movie with a spy in it. Maybe I'll post the script or shoot it some other time.

Blaine
06-08-2007, 01:10 AM
I for one am disappointed in the overall quality of the movies. There were three that I felt were really good. They were my 1, 2 and 3 picks for best movie. There were another 3 or 4 that were pretty good. But beyond that, it was much more of the same as previous fests.

I applaud everyone that entered that you actually went out and did something. Take a look at what you've done and look at the critiques you've received. Take them to heart and use them to up your game next time around. Story and Acting...the two things that will kill a story faster than anything.

One improvement I have noticed, is that the character have become more 'age appropriate' as the fests continue. By this I mean, the age of the actors tends to match the perceived age of the characters. If all you can get are young actors, build your story around that...don't try to use Corey Feldman to play a Morgan Freeman character.

Hootzie
06-08-2007, 09:40 AM
I think I would agree with Blaine. I felt the biggest obstacle in the way of greatness with a lot of these films was the writing. Specifically, dialogue. Some of the dialogue was very....inappropriate to come from certain characters. One filmmaker asked me if I thought the casting was off. And I didn't think it was. I felt the actor was embodying the character well and playing very natural, but there was just some dialogue that he was being asked to say that I don't believe could be delivered in a way that didn't come across as "Who says that?" I understand that characters are the creation of the writer, but they have to be believable in some respects....and if the actors can't portray the characters, then a rewrite is in order. Now then, if you are working with super amateur actors, then no matter of dialogue will come across naturally but the more specific and well written the dialogue is the better chance they will have of achieving success.

I have only been on this board since just before the SpyFest films were posted and I have to say it is impressive. As a newb to the board I don't know how many of you have done any networking with writers or if there is a way to get writers added to the mix with some of these projects. It seems to me that writer/directors are pretty rare and there is probably a reason for that. They are very diverse skill sets. I know that I am excited about what the next festival is going to be so I can throw my hat in the ring. (By the way Matt.....I'm gonna need your camera....and you to run the camera....and your editing equipment....and you to edit......hrm...yeah)

So I suppose to tie it back to the thread name, my overall impression was "Wow, there are a lot of people making really good movies out there. I wish these semi-pro filmmakers could hook up with some semi-pro writers out there to get a great, well thought out concept and dialogue that they could execute with the kind of precision I've seen here" That may have been paraphrased.

Matt Sconce
06-08-2007, 11:18 AM
I know that I am excited about what the next festival is going to be so I can throw my hat in the ring. (By the way Matt.....I'm gonna need your camera....and you to run the camera....and your editing equipment....and you to edit......hrm...yeah)


Haha! You know I got your back! I am interested to see what the fest is as well. I believe people have made a huge jump in quality from Zombie fest, but it is dificult to write an engaging story with amazing characters, cast amazing actors, and shoot an amazing movie, in 3 months. It would be great to have some excellent stories to shoot! But there are just as many director/writers that are not the greatest writers as there are writers who are terrible. It is difficult to find a well thought out, character rich script that doesn't cost a fortune.:crybaby:

Hootzie
06-08-2007, 11:27 AM
True.....but it may bear looking into for this group, as a whole, to seek out screenwriting message boards and bring them into the process. I don't know if I buy that there are just as many terrible director/writers as there are terrible writers. Probably more terrible writers because there aren't very many director/writers, but seeking out the same kinds of people who are looking to make their break may benefit all involved.

Matt Sconce
06-08-2007, 11:30 AM
True.....but it may bear looking into for this group, as a whole, to seek out screenwriting message boards and bring them into the process. I don't know if I buy that there are just as many terrible director/writers as there are terrible writers. Probably more terrible writers because there aren't very many director/writers, but seeking out the same kinds of people who are looking to make their break may benefit all involved.


True Dat

bosindy
06-08-2007, 11:51 AM
but it is dificult to write an engaging story with amazing characters, cast amazing actors, and shoot an amazing movie, in 3 months.

and tell it in 6 minutes!

Tom Marshall
06-08-2007, 12:14 PM
True.....but it may bear looking into for this group, as a whole, to seek out screenwriting message boards and bring them into the process. I don't know if I buy that there are just as many terrible director/writers as there are terrible writers. Probably more terrible writers because there aren't very many director/writers, but seeking out the same kinds of people who are looking to make their break may benefit all involved.

It's a lot easier to sit down and bang out a script... whether it be for a short or a feature... than it is to actually make a film...

cinealma
06-08-2007, 12:15 PM
It's a lot easier to sit down and bang out a script... whether it be for a short or a feature... than it is to actually make a film...

Ha! Go post that one on a writer's forum. :)

Hootzie
06-08-2007, 12:18 PM
I feel that was probably the problem...."banging out a script" is pretty easy. Crafting a script is difficult. You can't honestly believe that all writers are just hacks that have fooled people into thinking they have skills.

Tom Marshall
06-08-2007, 12:22 PM
Yeah, that's what I meant... it's not that hard to fill up 6 pages (for a short) with stuff... it can all be crap with bad dialog, action, and no story arc, but it's still a script...

Just about anyone can sit down and fill pages with words, but to gather all the necessary elements to put together a film (camera, crew, actors) is a much more difficult thing to do.

Matt Sconce
06-08-2007, 12:25 PM
I feel that was probably the problem...."banging out a script" is pretty easy. Crafting a script is difficult. You can't honestly believe that all writers are just hacks that have fooled people into thinking they have skills.


I bet there are some great ones but the question is if they can write screenplays. Can they create character arcs that fit in to a Master plot with subplots branching from that, maintain character depth while making people want to see what happens next and building the correct momentum. Those writers are hard to find. I talked to many writers as I looked for something to make after Sleeper. Many of them sent me full length feature scripts or their short scripts. Most of them (in my opinion) were absolutely dreadful. It would be refreshing to find some amazing gem out there that can do the above well.

Anthony, I bet you could write some awesome stuff.

Brandon Rice
06-08-2007, 12:27 PM
Well... I've teamed up to work on several scripts with Larry_R, and sadly, we haven't had the chance to produce any of them, but I can say, they're very strong scripts.

Tom Marshall
06-08-2007, 12:28 PM
I want to work with Larry for the next fest... :)

Michael_Petro
06-08-2007, 12:29 PM
this post wont be here long cuz i don't want to offend those wonderful people who helped me... but is is very very difficult to get actors where I am at I Have posted in colleges craigslist.. freaking everywhere.. so you work with what you have.. some of the acting obviously would be enhanced by better writing but still... I took what I had and did the best I could with it... also i never respond to critics of acting.. its what i have and if its all i can get then, I will make more movies with them... cuz i love doing it... also I dont make serious movies anyway soo run and gun and have fun..

Hootzie
06-08-2007, 12:31 PM
I'm curious as to the defensiveness of some people in this thread. I don't think I ever intimated that the writing a script was harder than making a movie. Just a different skill set. I may have said that a couple of times. I'll review and see if I remember that differently. But just because you can do something as difficult as make a film doesn't mean that you can do anything that happens to be easier than that. That would mean that because you can make a film you can make the perfect omelette, beat anyone at Jenga and knit the perfect scarf? I dunno.

I stand by my observation of most of the movies in this festival suffering from weak writing. I understand tha writers are hard to find. As are good filmmakers, but I'm sort of surprised at the attitude that ANYONE can write a script so what's the point in looking to good screen writers. It seems to me to be rather short sighted.

Hootzie
06-08-2007, 12:32 PM
I'd also like to apologize for not knowing how to edit posts?

Brandon Rice
06-08-2007, 12:35 PM
but I'm sort of surprised at the attitude that ANYONE can write a script so what's the point in looking to good screen writers. It seems to me to be rather short sighted.

I never sensed that sentiment here :) I know for a fact I am very limited in my writing skills. I can come up with plots, characters, and interesting story ideas, and I'm a very visual writer, but I realize where my writing is weak is in the dialogue, so, I team up with other people, a few examples are Larry_R, and also my film partner Daniel Noa, who is a brilliant writer as well. I am currently working on two feature scripts with Daniel, and one with Larry_R.

Brandon Rice
06-08-2007, 12:36 PM
I want to work with Larry for the next fest... :)

I have first dibs ;) :)

Matt Sconce
06-08-2007, 12:37 PM
I'm curious as to the defensiveness of some people in this thread. I don't think I ever intimated that the writing a script was harder than making a movie. Just a different skill set. I may have said that a couple of times. I'll review and see if I remember that differently. But just because you can do something as difficult as make a film doesn't mean that you can do anything that happens to be easier than that. That would mean that because you can make a film you can make the perfect omelette, beat anyone at Jenga and knit the perfect scarf? I dunno.

I stand by my observation of most of the movies in this festival suffering from weak writing. I understand tha writers are hard to find. As are good filmmakers, but I'm sort of surprised at the attitude that ANYONE can write a script so what's the point in looking to good screen writers. It seems to me to be rather short sighted.


It is difficult to find good writers but they can definitely be found. I absolutely agree that writers are needed or at least better stories. Dialogue only works if it is written well. It is a totally different skill set then thinking of a story concept. I would love to understand how to write character interaction and depth better than I do and, since I know that is not my strong suit, it would be wise for me to seek out a writer who already has that area mastered. I think it is simply easier for the moviemakers to not use a seperate writer, or share creative control, or concepts, etc, but I believe once we see the value come through in our movies, many of us will move in that direction.


Calling all rockin writers! We need you...pepare for the next fest!

Hootzie
06-08-2007, 12:37 PM
I never sensed that sentiment here :) I know for a fact I am very limited in my writing skills. I can come up with plots, characters, and interesting story ideas, and I'm a very visual writer, but I realize where my writing is weak is in the dialogue, so, I team up with other people, a few examples are Larry_R, and also my film partner Daniel Noa, who is a brilliant writer as well. I am currently working on two feature scripts with Daniel, and one with Larry_R.

That's what I mean. I don't think writers are the only ones who can come up with an idea, but it is advantageous to seek out people who can help with the bits and pieces of writing when you can, it would seem to me.

Brandon Rice
06-08-2007, 12:37 PM
Hit up Kholi too, he's had some impressive writing, IMHO

Brandon Rice
06-08-2007, 12:38 PM
That's what I mean. I don't think writers are the only ones who can come up with an idea, but it is advantageous to seek out people who can help with the bits and pieces of writing when you can, it would seem to me.

Absolutely! And precisely the reason I've done so... I encourage you all here on DVXuser to find those people who compliment you, and have strengths where you're weak!

Matt Sconce
06-08-2007, 12:39 PM
Absolutely! And precisely the reason I've done so... I encourage you all here on DVXuser to find those people who compliment you, and have strengths where you're weak!


*looks around* I have a Mark Aro around here somewhere.....:beer:

Brandon Rice
06-08-2007, 12:40 PM
Good call Matt... and I've seen a lot of people start to team up with others, and if you click, that's invaluable!

bosindy
06-08-2007, 12:42 PM
Writng a good script is not easy. I would hesitate to judge the scripts by the film though. It very well be that many of the scripts were better than the end product. There are a lot of folks here that are learning the art of filmmaking and all its complexities (acting lighting etc.). That can hurt the final product.

If you want to be helpful, I would suggest PM ing the filmaker with your specific criticism of thir script. My feeling is that most people would appreciate the feedback. Make a specific argument rather than a generalization.

Hootzie
06-08-2007, 12:44 PM
I have done so with a couple of filmmakers. I simply posted the original idea here in the Overall Impression thread someone started because I thought it was food for thought.

bosindy
06-08-2007, 12:45 PM
BTW, I think there is something wrong with the editing function today.

bosindy
06-08-2007, 12:47 PM
I have done so with a couple of filmmakers. I simply posted the original idea here in the Overall Impression thread someone started because I thought it was food for thought.

that is good. I think people are afraid to be critical because they don't want to hurt peoples feelings. Good for you for doing that. I think criticism, put the right way, is one of the ore important parts of the exercise.

Brandon Rice
06-08-2007, 12:51 PM
We should all be our own biggest critic.

Tom Marshall
06-08-2007, 01:09 PM
But it definitely helps to have other people be critical about your short. That's how you grow as a filmmaker...

Brandon Rice
06-08-2007, 01:11 PM
Of course, I am not discounting that either, as other people may have a more objective opinion :)

Isaac_Brody
06-08-2007, 01:49 PM
One thing I find really helpful, make a list of everything that you didn't pull off on the last film you worked on, and work on those specifics the next time around. If the actors are weak, find ways to direct them better, if the writing needs work, team up with a screenwriter or take the time to go through multiple drafts.

Hootzie
06-08-2007, 02:07 PM
But it definitely helps to have other people be critical about your short. That's how you grow as a filmmaker...

Well said....I have found in my native art form, music, that the only way to break through some barriers was to have outside critiques of my work brought to me in an environment of trust and nurturing and laid bare. There are things I never would have heard in my own playing if others hadn't pointed them out because I am so close to what I'm creating much of the time.

gaer42
06-08-2007, 06:24 PM
Criticizm is a great thing. Infact even though I write and direct my own scripts I send the scripts to 3 different people to give me feed back on what they think. And trust me they are brutal... but sometimes you have to be... then it is up to me if I take their advice or not.

The problem arizes when there is criticizm with out a reason... such as "Hey your film was bad" ok.... so why.... or "Hey I loved your film" great... but what did you love about it...

I noticed this when I submitted to the on the lot competition... Everyone was either really negative or super positive but no real constructive criticism could be found.

Either way... feel free to criticize my film "The Spy Who Fed Me" and dont worry about being brutal.. I love the criticism... just be sure to explain yourself... or give suggestions on how to fix what you did not like..

Larry Rutledge
06-09-2007, 04:54 PM
I want to work with Larry for the next fest... :)


I'd re-consider that if I were you. I've now written 4 scripts and consulted on a couple others....and NONE of them have made it to the actual fest. It must be some sort of curse


(this smiley doesn't go with anything I just said...it just looked cool, so i thought I'd use it ;) )
http://www.dvxuser6.com/uploaded/501/1181429621.jpg

Norm Sanders
06-09-2007, 05:25 PM
Nah, the only way you can guarantee your material will get made is to make it yourself, and even then there can be cirucmstances that come up, which you can't control. Poor Leonardo Gardini, in the DramaFest, had all of his scoring opportunities drop out ... and he's super talented ... just the way the dice rolled, unfortunately.

You've got some good writing skills, Larry, so I'd be the first to promote you as a writer that people should tap into if they want a skilled writer on their team!

Here's another idea: Charge people a $250 (or more) writing fee that is FULLY refundable, once you receive your copy of the DVD, or they at least make it into the festival. That way, they've got some cash on the line to help encourage the film gets made, yet at the end still had a FREE writer out of it. If it doesn't get made by X date, then you also got some compensation out of at least doing something, but would otherwise have had nothing to show for it.

I don't know ... just brainstorming as I type, knowing in advance the edit feature isn't working right now, lol. :grin:

Ralph Oshiro
06-10-2007, 12:23 AM
To me the huge problem occurs here . . . I think writing a script, and then dealing with the sometimes vast chasm between what's on the page, and what actually ends up getting on tape is what disappoints most.

My original SpyFest script was a great read. A real page-turner, so I was told. But what I wrote was far too difficult (read, "expensive") to shoot. Even relatively simple stuff is hard to get "right." In my SpyFest entry, Alejandra's romp though the Metrorail at Union Station was perhaps, at best, 50% of what I had envisioned.

Ralph Oshiro
06-10-2007, 12:25 AM
HA! No edit feature! Make that 20% of what I had envisioned!

Ralph Oshiro
06-10-2007, 12:29 AM
Also, someone touched on this somewhere here already, but let me underscore it here. Get people who genuinely DON'T LIKE YOU to review your work. If they like it, you KNOW it's good. I use this tactie at work (where there's an ample supply of people who don't like me). Very effective, and at times, very sobering.

Ralph Oshiro
06-10-2007, 12:32 AM
(tactic)