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    Feature: Somewhere Between Here and Now
    #1
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    Hello!

    my name is Olivier Boonjing. I'm a producer/director based in Brussels, Belgium. I would like to invite you to have a look at my first feature called "somewhere between here and now". It's a ultra low budget self-financed feature that was finished in May 2009.

    Here's the synopsis:

    Louise comes back to Belgium after a long trip in Asia, but is reluctant to go home. She postpones the moment to come home. In Brussels North Station Adrian notices Louise. He is about to leave. Instead of taking his train, he follows her. Unlike Louise, he postpones the moment to leave. What follows is a backpacking trip through Brussels at night. They are in a moment in between, not yet gone, not yet arrived, in a huge transit zone, called Brussels. A place that makes surprising encounters possible, an inter-cultural, inter-national area. How to experience the home land as a foreign country? A reflection on travel as a state of mind, and home as a feel.

    On the movie's website, you'll find the trailer, blogger, facebook and vimeo links: www.somewhere-themovie.com

    We've just started sending it to festivals. The world premiere took place at the Brussels Film Festival in June 2009 (www.fffb.be). It won the Telenet Prime Audience Award.

    It was shot on a Sony FX1 (PAL) with a SGPro Rev2 35mm adapter and Sigma lenses (20/24-70/70-300). Intro (not in trailer) was shot with two small Panasonic FX12 digital still camera in video mode. Edited on Premiere CS3, CC in After Effects CS3 using the Cineform codec.

    We don't have any distributor, nor sales agent,... Our goal for now is simply to find an audience, get people to see it and hear their reactions. It's a first feature for the whole cast and crew, we all hope it will help us finding new projects. If you have any questions, I'll be very pleased to answer.

    Thanks for reading this, I hope you'll enjoy it.



    Best regards,

    Olivier Boonjing

    www.somewhere-themovie.com
    www.asom-films.com
    www.theblacksheep.be























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    #2
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    i'm surprised to see that no one has commented on this yet. great job, i really enjoyed the trailer. it kept my attention all the way through enough for me to want to see it. it has a nice feel to it. looks great!

    zack


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    #3
    Senior Member ChrisHurn's Avatar
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    Fantastic stills, really nice trailer. Looks interesting. I would like to see this film. Looking forward to hearing more. The visuals are great, really nice feel to it.


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    #4
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    It looks very good. Reminds me to 'Once' (although you might hate comparisons). I would really like to see the whole movie. Bring it to Berlin! Could you describe your work on the whole project (writing the script/planning/finding people to work with and so on ...)? It would be great to read something about it. Best regards
    Hannes


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    #5
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    wow, i hope i get a chance to watch this film. i am so impressed.

    thank you


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    #6
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    It looks absolutely incredible! The story seems very interesting too. I hope to see this one day. Thank you for sharing this.


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    #7
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    Thank you all for the nice comments ;-) I'm very happy you liked it.

    Here are more infos about the whole process. I might forget a lot of things, if you have any questions, please ask.



    Script

    It all started with the idea of having two travellers meeting, one leaving, one coming back. I was reading quite a lot of books that could be put into the "travel writing" category which is a pretty broad one. The good ones usually tend to be way more than that going into philosophy, sociology,... Highly recommended are "Global Soul" by Pico Iyer, "The Art of Travel" by Alain de Botton and "Guide to Vagabonding" by Rolf Potts. I kinda mixed some of those subjects with stories that happened or to close friends or to myself.

    I have experience in directing commercials and music videos but this was only my second fiction after "Marla" (www.marlathemovie.com) so I don't know much about screenwriting. I thought that aslong as I could direct it, it would be okay... so it was pretty short, 25 pages aiming for a 75min movie. I knew it would be hard for me to write good dialogs so I only wrote their content with a notion of rythmn and cues. The actual lines were written with the actors after discussing the movie, the scenes, rehearsing,... I also planned the improvisation parts at that stage.



    Production

    We knew from the very beginning we were going to have a very low budget. I wanted a small movie from the beginning. No pressure, time to experiment,... So we didn't look for further investments. The plan was: short schedule, shoot intro later, cast actors we know well, shoot in natural/practical light only, focus the sound on the dialogs for now, find locations close by, minimal crew,...

    We did locations scouts during the writing so we knew exactly where it would happen and could use it in the staging. We searched for locations where the light was already nice and strong enough to register on camera, focusing on places with mixed color temperatures.



    Casting

    For most the cast, they are actors and actresses we met on other projects. For the ones we missed, we ask our main actors for recommendations. Most of them were just out of acting school or still were. It was a nearly a first movie for nearly all of us.



    Shooting

    We shot in 19 days with a crew of 4 (Olan Bowland, Jean-François Metz, Quentin Aksajef and myself). We shot nearly chronogicaly excepted the first sequences when she's alone because I felt it would be easier for her to feel the scenes if she had the rest of the shoot behind her.

    We shot during summer so nights were short but it worked well. We had 6 hours shooting schedule most of the time, many time less. It was pretty fast, not having to light helps dramatically, low shooting ratio also. I operated and pulled focus myself. Some say it can distract you from the acting, for me it's quite the opposite. I feel closer to the actors, can adjust quickly,... That said, I'm very used to do it on other projets. You can't think that much about the framing and focus, it must come naturally.

    We shot the intro way later when we finally gathered the money needed to travel to South-East Asia for a month. This intro should represent the main character's memories of her travel so I decided to plan anything and just travel around, shooting what moved me. Olan and I left with two small digital cameras we used in video mode so we could be very discreet. It worked well, we only looked like hyperactive camera-freak tourists ;-)



    Cinematography

    We shot with a Sony FX1 PAL in 1080/50i with a SGPro Rev2 adapter and Sigma lenses (20mm/24-70mm/70-300mm). No filters, no sunshade, CaVision hand grips and custom shoulder mount (with additional weight in the back). Intro was shot with two Panasonic FX12 digital cameras in video mode (848x480 QT-MJPEG).

    Shot wide open, 1.8 on the 20mm, 2.8 on the 24-70mm, 5.6 on the 70-300mm (only daylight scenes). Gain was +6 to +9 all the time, daylight scenes included.

    White balance was on the cold side. Daylight: 5600K WB SHIFT to -3, Night: 3200K WB SHIFT to -7. Sharpness down to 8, Color Phase towards green.

    I wanted a movie where the shots would be long (without trying oversmart sequence shots) but the scenes short. Alltogether, there are less than 200 shots in the movie plus more than a hundred in the intro which has a very fast rythmn to contrast.

    I wanted to use wide shots to keep both actors in the frame and avoid over the shoulder cut to over the shoulder as much as possible.

    2.35 scope helped a lot. I also enjoy the negative space it allows.

    Most of the staging was improvised on the fly based on the actors performance.



    Sound

    Location sound was recorded on camera using a Mini-Jack shotgun (Azden SGM-X), cheap boom and crappy foam windshield (bad, bad, bad, not too windy fortunately).

    A lot of additional sounds (foley, atmospheres,...) were recorded after the picture edit was locked. Only a couple of lines had to be post-dubbed.



    Post-production

    This could be a very long post... as it took a lot of time. I really wanted to polish every single step.

    Edit was done using Premiere CS3. Tapes were captured to the Cineform Codec and then DV offline files were created. The edit was done step by step. We took breaks because we had to work on other projects and it truly helped a lot. It allowed us to have a fresh eye. Three of us worked on the edit, sometimes together, sometimes alone. Alltogether, we had 6 passes on the edit.

    Sound edit was done on ProTools LE by Thibaut Darscotte who did a truly amazing job. I can't comment much on that phase as I don't know much but if you have questions, I can forward them to him.

    Grading was done in After Effects CS3. Imported the Premiere project, relinked the HD files and started a long cleaning process. Chroma cleaning, first noise reduction. Grading was done without the use of look plugins, standard AE tools (calculations, curves, levels, color balance, hue saturation). Used a couple DFT55mm also for precise saturation control, slight diffusions,... All the renderings were done in 32bit then outputed to 16bit PSD files. After another noise reduction step, I uprezzed the export to 2K, added sharpness and a bit of film grain. Alltogether, I had 7 passes for the grading.

    Sound mix was done at a studio called "Chocolat Noisette" by Jean-François Levillain. It's a stereo mix.



    Music

    The movie features music by Michael the Blind, Ramona Cordova and a specially composed song by Jim Kenny



    Thanks again!

    take care,

    Olivier

    www.somewhere-themovie.com
    www.asom-films.com
    www.theblacksheep.be


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    #8
    Senior Member jenningsp's Avatar
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    ARRRRR!!!!!!!!!!

    i've been waiting for this for over a year!!! how can i see it??!?!?!? can i buy a dvd maybe please?

    i've said it before but i'll say it again. i bought an SGpro and a sigma 24-70 just because of the rushes you posted almost 2 years ago. it's just too beautiful.
    Patrick Jennings
    Melbourne, Australia
    patrickjennings.com.au


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    #9
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    Thank you very much Patrick! Check your PM ;-)

    All the best, take care,

    Olivier

    www.somewhere-themovie.com
    www.asom-films.com
    www.theblacksheep.be


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    #10
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    Yay! We are selected at the International French Speaking Festival of Namur in Belgium (makes more sense in French: Festival International du Film Francophone de Namur) and the World Film Festival of Bangkok ;-)

    We keep our fingers crossed for the festivals in Canada and the US...


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