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    Senior Member jasonthewho's Avatar
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    I just want to clarify Jon, that the only realize I wrote such a specific critique is that I REALLY like your film. I understand though, the desire to let go of a project after you're done with it. But it worries me when you say you couldn't give a rat's behind about the film. It's a very good film, that you should be proud of.

    Your GLBT film sounds interesting. I'd be curious to hear more about it. Keep us informed on how it goes, and let me know if there's anything I can do to help.


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    Senior Member lawriejaffa's Avatar
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    Yep i'll follow Jason's sentiment to urge you caution not to give up too early on the refinement of your film.

    Its plain and natural to be so exhausted and damn fed up after working on even a short for so long that you just thing 'enough!'

    But thing is you have a little gem there - and the problem is - as often it is... that these films can stand out more than a few subsequent films ;)

    Hopefully not but i can recall myself an early short that i was meh about that others liked. So keep at it as you don't want to leave something so promising unfinished (if you feel it is.)

    A little vague my comments there! Apolages for that!
    Feature: LORD OF TEARS - A New Legend in Horror - Pre-Order Now http://www.lordoftears.com/


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    Senior Member Lawsuit_Boy's Avatar
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    Guys, guys, I'm not giving up, don't worry. I've just had a hard day (school related, not film). I adore film and filmmaking far too much to let go because of one small project. It's in my blood and I don't see that changing.

    I meant it when I said I appreciate your critiques and sentiments. I take it all to heart in order to learn how to make more precise films. And even though I blew up on yeehaanow for the little bit about the condom, I really do appreciate him taking the time to tell me what he thinks the film could improve on. And as I said, I agree with half of his complaints and there is definitely more work to be done.

    I just need to get a project under my belt that makes use of a dedicated crew instead of doing it all off-the-cuff and by myself.

    Lawrie, you've been a great help through the process of this fest and I'm supremely grateful for your caring remarks and kind gestures. I feel that you and I see eye-to-eye on many things and it's comforting. Thank you.

    Jason, the same that I said for Lawrie goes equally for you. I'm very grateful that you've taken so much time to really give me the polite kick in the butt that I need to really get this film up to par (whatever "par" happens to be). And thank you for the offer to help on the next project in any way. I actually have some film/music friends in Texas, so this isn't too unbelievable. I'm pretty excited about the project. The LGBT community and gender equality (ALL genders) is very close to my heart. I have a lot of story ideas, but three main lines that I plan to pursue and then narrow down. It's going to tackle a number of social problems in a hopefully subtle and tactful way. But it's a project that I would certainly need dedicated crew members and talent for in order to do it justice. No more of this "backyard filmmaking" stuff like what I did on Tiny Dancer. Sure, it was just an exercise, but it could have been something special had I had a crew.

    Anyway, I'll be sure to update on the progress of the story and where I plan to take it.
    Last edited by Lawsuit_Boy; 04-02-2009 at 06:01 PM.


    *Saturday Audience Choice Award--Canton Palace Theatre International Film Festival


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    Senior Member Lawsuit_Boy's Avatar
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    Also: you guys just inspired me to want to try a few more shots to expand on some things. I was thinking about a shot moving in slowly on the key as it lies in the hallway, and have Dylan's arm reach down and grab it. We would see this shot cut in while Josie is searching for her pockets for the key before she runs back out to look for it. I'm not always a fan of those types of insert shots, but I think it might work here. Later, perhaps we see Dylan talking to himself, with the key nearby, sort of working through cute little scenarios of how to approach Josie. This might also help take away at least a little bit of the "stalker" or "rapist" connotation he seems to have.

    Just a quick idea. Any thoughts?


    *Saturday Audience Choice Award--Canton Palace Theatre International Film Festival


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    Senior Member Tom Shortridge's Avatar
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    Why do you want to get rid of the stalker/rapist connotation? I think it makes his character a little more interesting, puts a little more conflict and tension in the piece.

    Agreed that the original cut was much tighter and felt more refined.

    One thing that bugged me the first time watching this, was also previously mentioned: when she's looking all over campus, in the auditorium, etc.... these are locations we've never seen before in the context of the film, they're not established. We didn't see her go there, and it seems like she went straight from her room to dance practice. So when she goes to the other places to look for her key... why? So there would really be two options - expand the film so she goes to all those other places she looks, before the dance practice, or cut out the whole searching aspect. Just have her go back to the dorm and be locked out.

    Plus, in the longer cut, she can get back inside the building, and does go back inside at first - why does she then choose to sit out in the frikkin' cold?

    So basically, yeah, I preferred the original cut, and think it might be better served by trimming rather than expansion.

    Also, in regards to the comments about the condom - I don't think that was meant to be a sexist/gender biased comment. If a condom/wrapper was just lying around on the floor, I wouldn't want to pick it up, opened/used or not.

    Just putting my two cents in, giving you another set of eyes on it.


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    Senior Member jasonthewho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lawsuit_Boy View Post
    Also: you guys just inspired me to want to try a few more shots to expand on some things. I was thinking about a shot moving in slowly on the key as it lies in the hallway, and have Dylan's arm reach down and grab it. We would see this shot cut in while Josie is searching for her pockets for the key before she runs back out to look for it. I'm not always a fan of those types of insert shots, but I think it might work here. Later, perhaps we see Dylan talking to himself, with the key nearby, sort of working through cute little scenarios of how to approach Josie. This might also help take away at least a little bit of the "stalker" or "rapist" connotation he seems to have.

    Just a quick idea. Any thoughts?
    Like the idea, but I might put it right when she drops it to avoid confusion. Let it sit a few beats while we see her turn the corner (out of focus), then have the hand come in. But we don't know whose hand it is, at least we're not sure.

    Then, yeah, maybe right before Dylan approaches her, he can pull out the card and look at it, and then we know for sure it was him that got it.


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    Senior Member Lawsuit_Boy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jasonthewho View Post
    Like the idea, but I might put it right when she drops it to avoid confusion. Let it sit a few beats while we see her turn the corner (out of focus), then have the hand come in. But we don't know whose hand it is, at least we're not sure.

    Then, yeah, maybe right before Dylan approaches her, he can pull out the card and look at it, and then we know for sure it was him that got it.
    I was thinking about that as well, but I absolutely love the way the shot following her and the shot leading into the dance studio cut together. I was trying not to break that fluidity.

    And he's wearing a very distinct red hoodie, so I'm sure people would be able to assume who it was, especially later on when we see him with the key.

    Just some ideas. Might do it, might not.

    to Dopeyname101- Well, to respond to your comments about the rooms that weren't established prior: I didn't think it would be a problem for people to assume that these were other locations that she had been during the day. We couldn't shoot in the dance studio because we only had one opportunity to do so (remember, the actor isn't really a dance student). Also, we shot MANY more shots for the search montage, but for time's sake, they were cut.

    Next, she sat out in the cold because the door got stuck and she couldn't get in. It's fairly obvious when she pulls on it MULTIPLE times and it won't budge. Not sure how you missed that one.

    I think that you're right in that even though I expanded on some things, there are other elements that I can trim or just cut out altogether. Thanks for the feedback.

    And once again, you're probably right that it wasn't MEANT to be a sexist comment, but it WAS a sexist comment. And once again, the condom was still SEALED in the package, aka unused. Besides, I don't see why it's such a problem. I've picked up wrappers of condoms before to toss them in the trash. It's like kids back in middle school or high school being weird about someone touching a girl's tampon, even while it's still sealed in the wrapper. Because of the connotations surrounding that one item, people are grossed out or just plain disconcerted by it. There's no blood on the tampon at that moment, just like there was no penis in the condom. And heck, even if it were the wrapper only, I doubt someone would rub it all over their crotch.


    *Saturday Audience Choice Award--Canton Palace Theatre International Film Festival


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    Senior Member Tim Joy's Avatar
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    Jon, it's obvious that you are very attached to many aspects of your film, and I feel strongly that some of those attachments are detrimental to the film, and don't support the story.

    You've gotten some great feedback from people that see the film without the attachments you have, and most of the time you have felt it necessary to explain why they didn't get it, or what it was supposed to symbolize or blah d blah blah. They are your audience. If they didn't get it, or saw things that didn't work, then maybe this a little indication that you can do better, rather than try to force it down their throats.
    This is why many directors have an editor. I know, you don't, and it's really hard to detach yourself when you're a one-man-band, but if you can be really honest with yourself and always ask, "does this shot support the story?" and be willing to cut it if it doesn't, even if it's your FAVORITE shot, then you know you're at that place of detachment nirvana, and you have the potential to create something that stands on its own feet, needs no explanation, and speaks to your audience.

    The condom thing. Sexist? Please... You're just being silly. If it was a male actor, I would've said the same thing about a "boy...". The acting in that part is not good.

    The only reason there is a continued dialog about your film is because many of us see a lot of untapped potential. Detach, cut, repeat. You can do it man!!!!!

    Oh, and your name rhymes with mine so I automatically like you.

    Cheers- Tim


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    Senior Member Lawsuit_Boy's Avatar
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    Heh, thanks Tim. I'm sorry about the condom thing. I do see how it looks overacted. The reason: this was originally supposed to be more comedic than it is. I wanted the search to be a little more screw-bally, but a lot of the screwball stuff got cut, so I can see how that scene feels out of place. I still think it's odd that people are bothered by her picking up a sealed condom packet, but that's just me. And once again, it was a silly little jab at one aspect of stereotypical college life.

    My biggest problem is not that I can't let go of things, but that there are shots in here that support aspects of the story that I originally wrote, and I felt that they were important. Even tiny details that I felt say a great deal. I can think of four shots off of the top of my head that could be chopped right out and the thing would still fly (actually, six). But some of them just add more dynamic in ways that we didn't have the opportunity to pack into other shots. Basically, if I could go back and re-shoot some more stuff, I would. I would condense the entire thing and squeeze more out of each shot. But I can't. I really am going to heed all of the advice and see if I can let go of a few things and maybe even shoot a couple more things to make the fact that the key ends up in Dylan's possession a little more clear. I think that will help the story as well as his character. I genuinely thought, early on, that people would just assume he picked up the key after she dropped it in the hallway. I suppose that in my not wanting to beat people over the head, I actually left them scratching their heads in confusion.


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