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    #11
    Senior Member taylormade's Avatar
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    I never though someone could come up with a film on post traumatic stress disorder and make it both funny and charming, but you did. At first I thought the acting was a little over the top, but as I got into it I liked the performances. Great job and a very different take on the fest theme.
    "If they move, kill'em!"


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    #12
    Senior Member Chris Messineo's Avatar
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    I was really charmed by the romance in this one and I thought both actors involved were great.

    However, I was a little confused by the PTSD specters they were haunted by and in particular the faces they made.

    Some lovely shots in here too, for example the slow pull out of the kitchen was a great choice.

    Best of luck in the fest.


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    #13
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    Hi there! I'm one of the co-creators of the film and seeing the PTSD-specters referred to here as well as in the warfest uploads thread I thought I'd step in to offer some clarity (but of course, no excuses... what the view gets should be enough!!). Originally, our project had been more explicitly hinged on the specter-ghost-guy being specifically a PTSD incarnate, but as we had to trim more and more away to deal with the time constraints (both of the movie and how long we had to shoot) what might've explained/supported the characters' existence mostly fell away. In terms of the faces (and generally, the style in which he's portrayed) that was chosen with the specific sketch/character in Andy Samberg's SNL 'mirror' digital short in which a not-ever-concretely-characterized zombie-esque character is portrayed for comic/absurd effect as our 'PTSD guy' in this film. The notion of being haunted is, I think, traditionally associated with something gritty and terrifying, and I think we forwent that in favor of focusing on how we could keep the portrayal of the specter being a constant interruption to what was once a routine life style (which still fits with a haunt) but also maintain the style-atmosphere of the piece. We of course didn't mean to demean, diminish, or devalue PTSD in any way, but rather concentrate on the levity we could find in a rather vanilla lifestyle interrupted by and then struggling afterwards to adapt to war. Again, any confusion is ultimately on us, but I just figured I'd put the explanation of a bit of our process out there for any who might be interested!! Thanks to all for the positive feedback and always-useful critique!!


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    #14
    Senior Member Russell Moore's Avatar
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    So far for me(only 6 movies in, but)....biggest surprise of the whole freaking fest! I really really enjoyed this film.

    It looked good, the acting was top notch. I thought your lead actor was terrific (best in fest so far).

    I admit, I wondered about the funny faces and the purpose, but I was so taken by the film, I just went along for the ride and enjoyed it.

    Also appreciated the slow pull back and the score fit like a glove.

    I just watched it so maybe I'm caught up in the moment, but I thought it was surprising, charming, funny and original! Quite a feat.
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    #15
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    Quirky and interesting entry. I think this one missed the mark with me. I couldn't stand that abrasive piano sound, I know it was meant to be jarring, but I got to the point were I just didn't want to hear that sound again.
    I did however, really like old war footage cut with the battlefield stuff - this was my favorite part. Well done on doing something different.


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    #16
    Knight of the Holy Order krestofre's Avatar
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    The idea is solid. The execution didn't work for me, but the fact it didn't connect for me doesn't mean the film doesn't work or that I can offer any worthwhile advice. All the elements were there. I appreciated the levity and what you were going for (especially after reading bluemanrocks post). Maybe I just didn't watch it in the right mood. It was nice, however, to see the two get together at the end.

    I also agree with Matthew B. My favorite part was the intercut of the archive footage. If I had thought about doing that three months ago I probably would have made a very different film myself. Kudos!
    Chris Johnson


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    #17
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    Thank you for your continued positive feedback: the levity and the archival footage were important elements right from the beginning. The archival idea came from not wanting to necessarily place the film IN wartime but keep the central conceit that of war... how could we pack significant enough of a "war" feel in short enough of a time that it didn't take over the movie, and also serve a structural-storytelling function?? The intermingling of the footage and showing the friend (and loss of friend) was our answer, inspired by the first 30 or so seconds of the first episode of Sherlock (if you haven't seen it, check it out on Netflix... it's a wonderful BBC 2 season miniseries); glad that you liked it!! And the levity was just so important to me because I feel like if you are putting something out there that people sacrifice their time and energy to sit down and watch, shouldn't they walk away with something positive to show for it?? That's my take, anyway. And of course thanks for the critique as well, without that nobody ever improves.

    krestofre, I know you said you can't offer any advice, but do you know what specifically of any/everything it was that didn't work for you, even without suggestion or ideas for improvement?? If not, not a problem, just trying to figure out what could've been done better for next time!!

    And Matthew, sorry to hear about the soundtrack... again the movie should stand for itself, but also again just to explain a bit of process... our original script/flowoffilm was quite different than what it ended up being, and the actress who played Amelia did the scoring in perhaps a day or two or three at the very very end. Perhaps with more time (next time) we could make it less "abrasive" as you put it. That being said, I certainly will stand up for what you described as our intending to be jarring... we did indeed mean for that, so at least in that respect we succeeded? Who knows! Last thing: you said the movie missed the mark for you; anything in particular other than the piano-bang?? Always looking for room to improve.

    Thanks again all, and glad those who enjoyed did so!!


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    #18
    Knight of the Holy Order krestofre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluemanrocks View Post
    krestofre, I know you said you can't offer any advice, but do you know what specifically of any/everything it was that didn't work for you, even without suggestion or ideas for improvement?? If not, not a problem, just trying to figure out what could've been done better for next time!!
    Sure, I can do that.

    I think the reason that I failed to connect with the piece is that I was simultaneously watching it and trying to figure it out. Looking back I get the personification of PTSD, which is quite clever. As I was watching it I get a setup of a coming of age story where the protagonist's main concern in life is making sure he is at his front door at the exact right time (and the exact right book in his hand) to try to impress the mail carrier whom he has a crush on. Then he gets drafted. I didn't know how to take that. Your protagonist plays it off as a joke and the whole scene is used for comedy because suddenly he can't talk to the girl and says that he needed to be left alone. I think I needed this one serious moment to anchor the comedy that was to come. Instead the serious moment that you gave me was the intercutting of the archive footage and the actor screaming over his dying friend. Dramatic to be sure, but to me, drama at the wrong moment. Drama at that moment made me question the humor in the rest of the movie. When the PTSD Ghost appears for the first time it's frightening, but ultimately played for comedy. But I couldn't tell if I should laugh, or if the scene was just mishandled. To that end, maybe a funny introduction to the Ghost would have worked better instead of the audience-jump that it was. You successfully mixed horror and comedy (the scary reveal of the ghost and the nervous chuckle that happens because of the absurdity of the situation), but mixing those two made me not sure what side of the fence the film was on.

    In the end it's just individual perception. If it had been maybe 5% more comedy I would have liked the film more. Obviously there have been people who didn't have the same conflict that I did and enjoyed the film. That's why I hesitated to give any advice. I can watch a film and if I believe the story to be technically wrong or the construction of the film to be flawed I'll point that out. I didn't feel that way about this film. It wasn't that the story didn't work or that it was poorly made. It wasn't that at all. It was just that I didn't emotionally respond to it.

    Hope that helps.
    Chris Johnson


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    #19
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    Chris,
    Thanks so much for the thorough response. Shaping the film in editing, it was always a struggle trying to balance the humor and then horror/shock moments. Sometimes the shocks were supposed to be funny...I guess it gets confusing... Anyway, your persepctive will certainly help improve the next film! Thanks again


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    #20
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    To tack on to zucked: The drafting was not meant to be comedic, rather it was supposed to totally dwarf what you very accurately depicted as our exposition. That that wasn't clear and the protagonist playing it as a joke is totally our mishandling... it was meant to be a real tragic moment, even if our perception of his puppylove is lighthearted.

    Maybe, had that been more clear, the war sequence seriousness (as well as the psychologist scene thereafter) would've been seen as part of that same unit of the film, in which the film had turned 'serious'.

    I am in total agreement with the first appearance bit... we wanted so desparately to make that a fun surprise, to release the tension we'd intended to build starting from the drafting up till then, and we just never quite got that. We had also considered having the apparition appear next to the protagonist in the psychologist scene as the protagonist is saying "he's always right there, beside me, behind me, etc." thinking that it would make the interpretation of his being figuratively haunted with the truth of him being literally haunted pop. Perhaps that would've done it.

    Regardless, that absolutely absolutely ABSOLUTELY did help clarify, and thanks so much!
    Last edited by bluemanrocks; 08-21-2012 at 12:20 PM.


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