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    Senior Member Slimothy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn Philip Nelson View Post
    Btw, who wrote it? Or came up with the concept?
    The writing process for this short was actually very interesting as we initially had a different concept that we were working on but it quickly became apparent that it would not fit into the proper running time for this fest. After throwing around different ideas we decided to try and make our short under certain conditions:

    - We would enter anonymously so we could get honest feedback
    - Shoot a story in one location (couldn't afford more than this so we ended up shooting at my parents house in Apple Valley which is 1 hr 40 mins from L.A.)
    - Use very few actors (keep costs down.)
    - Spend very little money (we didn't have any.)
    - Keep crew numbers low (less people to feed.)

    After we figured those things out it was pretty challenging to try and come up with a concept that not only works but falls within those parameters as well as the dvxuser rules.

    One of the concepts we grew fond of was the idea that we begin the story after a traumatic incident instead of before or during. So we played with various concepts around this idea including: demons, werewolves, zombies, etc. We weren't terribly please with any of them.

    As the deadline for the fest came closer we were really in desperation mode because we had a basic story roughed out but not anything solid or near a final draft. Next we decided to go ahead and lock down a shoot date which was to be the 17th of Oct. This gave us very little time for post and even less time to get the script in place and do pre pro of any sort. Anyways, we kept writing and I showed it around a bit to certain people to get some advice. We kept working on it but didn't really get anywhere until the Tuesday before the 17th (shootdate.)

    That Tuesday we had an epiphany of some sort on what we needed to do and that's basically how and when we finished it. The script ended up being 2 1/2 pages long.

    So the pre pro went like this:

    Set up casting call on Monday
    Finish/send out script on Wednesday
    Audition on Thursday and Friday
    Build stake thingy on Friday
    Set Dress/Shoot on Saturday

    Then the next weekend we did some pick up shots. I think I spent about a week or so editing and Brad Semenoff and Justin Durban finished the sound and score in a day and a half.



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    The Dude Abides Mark Johnson's Avatar
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    Brad Semenoff did his usual stellar work for our sound design and, of course, Justin Durban (Edgen) provided our score. I think it's discussed earlier in the thread that we used the Zoom H4n digital audio recorder for sound recording and we were really pleased how well it performed. I've got some BTS footage of Geoff and Luis working with the Zoom that I'll post that is pretty amusing.

    As many of you know, we had an elaborate project titled "Dirty World" that we intended to do for this Fest. Unfortunately, our preproduction got sidetracked when my Mom's illness worsened and she passed away. By the time I returned and we reassembled we realized it was going to be impossible to do "Dirty World." Fortunately, though, Tim was really committed to having us shoot something and he wrote the script that eventually became DISPATCH. I have to give him credit for not only keeping FAT MONSTER's feet to the fire, but for working to develop the script into an efficient short. He kept re-working it and sending revisions to Luis, me and others for input until we got a version that we all were satisfied with.

    We decided to do a "stealth" entry because in the past we've been aware of comments to the effect that the "Monster hype machine" and friendships from being part of the community for so long might be responsible for some of the voting our projects receive rather than the quality of our work. We did not want to deceive anyone or make a prank out of this. In fact, we did not expect to win but hoped that a solid effort would put us in the finals (before we submitted we saw the entries by Justin (Edgen) and Geoff and were blown away by their work). What we were interested in was honest feedback because we always are very aware that we have much to learn and this community is probably the best resource for constructive critique that we could ask for.

    The fact that the entry did well was, of course, heartening to all of us. More importantly, I think it shows that anyone who produces a solid piece can compete and receive attention in these fests. It also was instructive to find that we didn't have to rely on a big crew, my schmooze-meister skills to get locations, props or talent, or a lot of pre-production work to be able to create a nice little short. This all came together in a few days and was shot in one day with a half-day for pickups.

    For what it's worth, the project did reaffirm our belief that the major element responsible for any success we have comes from the diverse but complimentary talents that Luis, Tim and I have as a team. This was very much a Tim-led project but it benefited from contributions by Luis and, to a lesser extent, by me. Obviously, the talent of our actress was a huge factor in the film's success. We chose her from an audition the day before we shot and Tim had serious misgivings about her among the candidates. However, Tim trusted and deferred to the fact that he was out-voted by Luis and myself that she was the strongest candidate. As a trio, we have always operated with a "two votes win" approach and although we've had some heated discussions, we've always been able to accept that a decision by any two monsters will bind the third.

    I'll conclude this by saying how much we appreciate this community and how pleased we were to be able to show up for the MONSTER FEST. There are a lot of talented filmmakers here and we will look forward to helping those of you who are in our neck of the woods and, especially, to watching the work that you all turn out in future fests. It was great to be back again, but now we've got to turn our attention to making a buck in this crazy industry!

    ........ you guys rock.


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    Senior Member bosindy's Avatar
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    Congrats guys. Well deserved and in many ways I think it your finest work. definitely another leap forward.


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    Senior Member ZazaCast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slimothy View Post

    - We would enter anonymously so we could get honest feedback
    I really don't think this would change the feedback...no one around here has a problem being honest with comments.
    For me, the anonymous entry raised all kinds of flags, but from the first frame, it was obvious this was FM. Great film guys!
    - Shoot a story in one location (couldn't afford more than this so we ended up shooting at my parents house in Apple Valley which is 1 hr 40 mins from L.A.)
    - Use very few actors (keep costs down.)
    - Spend very little money (we didn't have any.)
    - Keep crew numbers low (less people to feed.)
    Welcome to my world....and for that matter, most of us amateurs.


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    Senior Member Slimothy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZazaCast View Post
    I really don't think this would change the feedback...no one around here has a problem being honest with comments.
    For me, the anonymous entry raised all kinds of flags, but from the first frame, it was obvious this was FM. Great film guys!
    Welcome to my world....and for that matter, most of us amateurs.
    I kind of disagree because I know sometimes I am less than anxious to leave a bad comment on a movie done by a friend of mine. I think that's normal and we didn't want to deal with the politics. What do you mean by red flags?

    Thanks so much for your participation in these fests and for your nice comments.



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    Senior Member ZazaCast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slimothy View Post
    I kind of disagree because I know sometimes I am less than anxious to leave a bad comment on a movie done by a friend of mine. I think that's normal and we didn't want to deal with the politics.
    A critique, positive or negitive only goes to help the filmmaker make a better film. Food for thought. An honest review, friend or not, shouldn't be taken personally. It's the only reason I enter films....to learn.

    ....and I don't have any 'friends' here (well, maybe a few because of the ZazaSlider)!

    What do you mean by red flags?
    To be honest, it felt like some uber-filmmaker was swooping in to take the cake. Why else would such a good film be entered anonymously in such an open, sharing community? Fat Monster is a long standing, awesome part of DVXuser...there is so much to learn from you guys. Please, don't be shy.

    Thanks so much for your participation in these fests and for your nice comments.
    Didn't make it in MonsterFest because the one location fell through, the actor's schedule didn't work, couldn't find any other crew members & the pizza place closed due to the bad economy.....but there's always the next fest!


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    Senior Member Slimothy's Avatar
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    I'm glad you enjoyed it but I've got enough evidence on myself to prove that I'm no uber-filmmaker. Was it that obvious that it was an anonymous entry?

    Quote Originally Posted by ZazaCast View Post

    To be honest, it felt like some uber-filmmaker was swooping in to take the cake. Why else would such a good film be entered anonymously in such an open, sharing community? Fat Monster is a long standing, awesome part of DVXuser...there is so much to learn from you guys. Please, don't be shy.



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    Senior Member ZazaCast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slimothy View Post
    I'm glad you enjoyed it but I've got enough evidence on myself to prove that I'm no uber-filmmaker.
    ...come to think of it, I do remember seeing a picture of you on all fours on a table? You might be right. I stand corrected, you're a Semi-Uber-Filmmaker!

    Was it that obvious that it was an anonymous entry?
    Yep.


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    Senior Member chriscurl's Avatar
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    I can't wait for you to combine spaceships and vampires into one epic masterpiece!

    Love the film btw, congrats on the well deserved win.


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    Senior Member AJ Brooks's Avatar
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    I really love Dispatch and thought this was an incredibly innovative and well told story.

    Personally I am glad it was an anonymous entry because I enjoyed it that much more without having the expectation of it being a great film because it was Fat Monster.

    To quote what my girlfriend said after she watched Dispatch, "...oh well. Maybe next time AJ." lol
    Last edited by AJ Brooks; 11-22-2009 at 05:54 PM. Reason: removed quote for continuity


    AJ Brooks - Writer / Director


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