Thread: "the box"

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    #81
    More Cowbell Pictures Michael Anthony Horrigan's Avatar
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    Nice job! I have no idea how to pull off a shot like that.
    Very nice work. You are one talented Dude!

    Cheers,

    Mike


    MONSTERFEST : 4th Place - Sustained Excellence Award - WESTFEST: 3rd Place - THRILLFEST: 3rd Place


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    #82
    Senior Member Edgen's Avatar
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    I hope this answers some questions that some of you have asked about the film. From the acting to the kid to the box to the compositing/fx.




    Thanks Robert for the kind words!

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Eldon View Post
    I like the aspect ratio that you chose and you used the space very well. Nice framing and composition. I especially like the shot at the beginning with the ants. Is that the 'art' shot?
    Yes. that was my art shot that absolutely no point in the film other than to establish the brother was outside and then heard a noise within the house which motivates him to run back in. This continues from opposite side of the house later in the film. (hope everyone got those two 'angles' of shooting)


    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Eldon View Post
    Did you use anything special for the lighting with the brother in the chair? I liked the use of the TV flickering lighting on him and his shoes in some shots. Very subtle, but well used.
    The special lighting was light from the window as the backlight, and a home 'flood' spotlight for the front left. China ball with three 100 watt bulbs on the right. The TV flickering was me off camera randomly shaking my desklamp at his feet. I could only do that so long, so some shots I did not even have the flickering.


    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Eldon View Post
    Mat Raney was incredible as an actor and the kid, Tristin was wonderful as well. What a cute kid. Was it a challenge to work with him or did you just let things 'flow'? Tristin reminded me a little of the kid in 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind'. The acting from the kid seemed very natural. Was there some improv going on with him and Mat?
    Ya, Mat's character was pretty basic throughout. We wanted him to just be a dick to the kid and I think he pulled it off. I wanted him to actually shove the boy down, but Mat didn't want to do it and I don't think Tristin would have liked that either. Most of the acting was natural. Mat talked him through the lines and constantly was saying his lines and having tristin repeat and to go along with him. It was tough cause some takes took forever. Then, others, he would just storm off and say, "I don't want to do this anymore..." So, we had to shoot other scenes while he was 'cooling off' and then all the sudden, he would come back and say, "What's my lines? I'm ready!" . So, we'd stop real quick, set the mic back up, check the monitor and hit record. Because of this, many shots were out of focus cause we wanted to jump on any opportunity that we could to capture his reactions and lines. It was a nightmare to edit everything together in a cohesive manner. I was basically editing all the way to the deadline. (and, only at nights because I had to work in the day and take care of the baby)



    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Eldon View Post
    The dialog was difficult to understand from the kid a lot of the time, however, after watching it a few times, the dialog was very witty, especially some of the lines from the brother. I like the shot and the dialog at about 2:37, very nice!

    I think if the dialog were easier to understand, that it would have carried the middle portion of the movie better. There is a scene at about 3:30 where the brother is calling for Jeffrey and then he seems to go back to sleep. It would have been nice to see the brother get up and start looking for his little brother. And when he's looking, the shots and mood seem static. I would think he would be more concerned and animated, maybe with some camera movement.
    Ya, I'm thinking of doing another edit and cutting that section down. That seems to be re-occurring complaint of the film is that the middle drags. I just wanted to show time passing. I could have cut it down more.
    Dialog... Ya... the mixer was awful and there was a constant hiss, so i had to do ADR with my home computer mic for most of Tristin's dialog because I didn't have access of hooking up that mic again. That was a feat in itself to get him to say everything again. Plus, same as before, Tristin was pretty moody in letting us record his voice. Luckily, he lives with us, so I'd give him a break, and a few hours late, he would come back to my office and say, "I want to say my lines for my show now".


    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Eldon View Post
    The ending was awesome! What a great pay off. The ending is what lended itself so well to the theme. And technically, within the time constraints, great job! There were only a few other films where I thought the ending lended itself to the theme so well.

    The music was well done and motivated, of course! And also, the scenes where there was no music were thought out. Good job on the sound design. I really liked the stereo effect when the kid was going back and forth across the frame with the sound going left and right. Nice!
    I hope everyone thought the ending was pretty powerful. I had another shot of him actually crawling out of the box, but the purple blanket hanging on the fence just did not work out very well so I had to take that shot out.
    Music.. That process was pretty easy. I turned to my piano, played a few notes, thought it sounded cool, turned back to my computer, hit record, and kablamo.. took about 2 passes playing live and then the ending shot took the longest to orchestrate. after watching it a few times, I did have to go back and make changes. That's the greatest thing about composing music for your own films, cause you can say... "Bleh. I'm done. good enough" and just move on without having to justify your cause to the director that it's 'good enough'.


    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Eldon View Post
    Good use of the ball. It didn't draw attention to itself and was used very naturally in the film. Was the 'Durban - Raney' text on the box there for the movie or was that there when you and Mat were playing with the box before you did the movie?
    Thank you.. There were actually a few other shots with him standing there with the ball that I wanted to rack focus, but with the adapter, it's nearly impossible without the use of a focusing mechanism. As for the cardboard box... that was actually "Durban - Koppie" as we made that for my baby boy, Myndin and for Tristin to play in. It's amazing how much toys cost and you can give them a box and they'll play in it for hours. Mat and I only thought it was a natural to get on their level in terms of a story. Of course we started a week before the deadline, so we didn't have much time to perfect it or to think out all the shots before hand. and... babysitting the two kids was pretty rough too all while trying to shoot.

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Eldon View Post
    Overall, one of my favorites and one of your better films. I can't pinpoint the reason for sure. Maybe it was the story, the editing, the ending... I guess I'm a sucker for a good charming story and my expectations of the theme were paid off!

    -Robert
    Thanks again robert! I'm glad you enjoyed the film.

    If anyone else has any other questions, i'll be happy to answer them.

    this is the camera:
    HV20 + Twoneil Deluxe vibrating 35mm adapter:


    cheers!
    /j


    justin r. durban -
    yup & yup.



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    #83
    Senior Member Tim Joy's Avatar
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    Hey Justin. Thanks for sharing your process.
    The end was cool... but the thing that I thought was very unrealistic was the speed of the waterfall. It seemed way too fast for the distance we were seeing it at. Other than that, great job creating "the other worldlyness".


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    #84
    Senior Member Edgen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yeehaanow View Post
    Hey Justin. Thanks for sharing your process.
    The end was cool... but the thing that I thought was very unrealistic was the speed of the waterfall. It seemed way too fast for the distance we were seeing it at. Other than that, great job creating "the other worldlyness".
    Ha!! that's actually one of my personal notes to change on the re-edit. Another FX shot was the first one where he stands up. For some reason, his shirt is all jacked up and funky artifacts are going on. I fixed some of the bad rotoscoping aspects already, but I haven't re-cut the film yet. Just need some free time and a night of no interruptions.

    /j


    justin r. durban -
    yup & yup.



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    #85
    Senior Member Horncastle's Avatar
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    Great work, I really enjoyed this - I thought it was a big improvement over your Timefest entry. Story, acting, cinematography, editing, and your score were all good. My only criticisms are those already mentioned about the ending - more realistic compositing and maybe a slightly longer final scene would make this really hit home. How you manage to make a film like this while scoring so many other entries I can't imagine.
    Jason


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    #86
    Senior Member Geoff_R's Avatar
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    One of the best concepts of the fest. I love how this one enfolds. Nice cinematography, editing, music, acting! Really great work, Justin. This is my favorite work I've seen from you thus far.


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    #87
    Mr. Hollywood Blaine's Avatar
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    Justin, I agree with Geoff. This is your best work to date. I liked the concept and feel you did a good job pulling it off.


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    #88
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    Such a wonderful piece of art, Justin.

    I am a little bit surprised it didn't make it to the final seven though. Anyhow, for me that is certainly a major winner, without a single doubt!

    You should be proud of your work, my friend. I am truly impressed.


    Erez Henya,
    Professional Film Composer,
    Orchestrator and Conductor


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    #89
    Senior Member Edgen's Avatar
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    Hey guys! I'm not sure if matters or not, but I got a PM from Larry and "The Box" ended up coming in 10th place. Not too shabby considering we filmed it a week before the deadline and with a crew of two.

    I'm looking forward to the next fest and of course seeing all of your next entries too.

    ..




    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff_R View Post
    One of the best concepts of the fest. I love how this one enfolds. Nice cinematography, editing, music, acting! Really great work, Justin. This is my favorite work I've seen from you thus far.
    Thank you Geoff!! I'm glad you dug the short, and I hope to raise the bar even more on the next round.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blaine View Post
    Justin, I agree with Geoff. This is your best work to date. I liked the concept and feel you did a good job pulling it off.
    Thank you Blaine!


    Quote Originally Posted by Erez Henya View Post
    Such a wonderful piece of art, Justin.

    I am a little bit surprised it didn't make it to the final seven though. Anyhow, for me that is certainly a major winner, without a single doubt!

    You should be proud of your work, my friend. I am truly impressed.

    Erez, Thank you so much! I really dug your scores too. Thank you so much for watching.

    Cheers!
    /j


    justin r. durban -
    yup & yup.



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    #90
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    Hey Justin,

    I really liked this short, especially because of the nice buildup and sparse use of score (which was very atmospheric and really drew me into that strange world).

    The concept of the film slightly reminded me of a film that I scored a few years back, where a homeless man discovers a strange room after going through a cardbord box, which he uses to sleep in, later finding out that the room also exists in the mind of a psychopath.

    Also, interesting to read about about your working process I hear you about scoring your own films. I think it can really give you the opportunity to fully realise your vision as a filmmaker. I should try shooting a film sometime

    Definitely my favorite Edgen Film

    HERMAN WITKAM | COMPOSER | SOUND DESIGNER
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