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    #31
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    When people are being truly honest and as long as you're at least eventually open to it it's always helpful in the long run, even if it seems hurtful in the moment. One of the most common pieces of advice I've gotten but one of the truly hardest to actually put into practice. But if we didn't have reviewers we'd only be making this work for ourselves and, at least in my book, the best work comes from when you're forced relentlessly to clarify and communicate because it's not strictly your work/story any more.


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    #32
    Senior Member lawriejaffa's Avatar
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    Blooming real life releasnig my feature trailer and press stuff has dragged me away from doing more reviews - however if there are folks in the contest wanting my feedback, just post here and i'll get you a response!
    Feature: LORD OF TEARS - A New Legend in Horror - Pre-Order Now http://www.lordoftears.com/


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    #33
    Member Tequilawoo's Avatar
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    I would enjoy hearing your take on my entry battle portlandia if ya have time!


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    #34
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    Lawrie I would love a response! Didn't get one for villainfest, so I'm looking forward to this one. And by "looking forward" I mean terrified. The film is called "(En)Listless"


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    #35
    Senior Member lawriejaffa's Avatar
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    En(Listless)
    Right this is an interesting film - that has a promising concept that other filmmakers could learn from imo - especially those with artistic pretention.

    1) PTSD
    2) Original and Disturbing depiction of PTSD
    3) Wrapped in a comedy.

    Those ingredients could buy you an indie film playing at Telluride hehe.

    But its a difficult balancing act (and at the risk of offence, DVXFESTs are not often the best venue for these kinds of complex divisive ideas.)

    I think you get a lot right with this, but where it goes wrong (i think it does) critically. It is with the extent and manner of your comedy - these ideas work as a black comedy with a kind of circumstantial comedic aspect (as in how his tragic remember... tragic loss of his friend, affects his daily life.) I also like the irony of before and after (and in this context the music actually works but...)

    While you had it right with the ingredients - the direction seems to imo... lack a confidence in your own idea. The hamminess of the performances - the over the top aspects were not... required to make this funny or for it to work. It could have been closer to the bone, more black, and still be amusing and disquietly disturbing.

    By having this kind of Adam Sandler esque characterisation you are LOSING the power of your concept and giving it away to a kind of short term/insecure agitated gain - like the ott nervousness of your actor, it seems to be reflected too in aspects of the films edit and delivery.

    The VERY SAME script, and SAME CAST AND GEAR hehe, but with a different direction of your actors, (strip it back) and less obvious comedic ironic music - something more real, would have made this piece a strong contender, not just for its few (uneasy laughs) but for its tragic aspects.

    This is a much more ambitious war film than the token, that it fails to deliver (in comparison to the token) is something you can rectify by following your original convictions harder imo!

    (Yes im aware i make a terrible number of assumptions in this feedback, apolagies for that


    Battle Portlandia
    Yep this was an amusing film on the superficial level - (and is all the more amusing and affectionately so) among fellow filmmakers (be warned - less so imo, to a discerning indifferent audience!)

    The story is a set of skits among different pop cultural groups with the odd (unexpected individual) though for a sec I though the mountain man would be a hipster haha (if he had skinny jeans and pilot shades!)

    so this was a 'fun' and irreverent little film, that was all very geeky and silly. Which is part of its charm, there have been (in the cinematic evolution of things) sophisticated attempts at this kind of geek-pop-culture-humour in films, especially as nerdomia becomes an ever increasing pop cultural obsession and commodity.

    So yoru film certainly filled the criteria of 'crowd-pleaser' and had moments of fun - creative and novel ideas that I think indicate a somewhat irreverent and creative mind!
    Last edited by lawriejaffa; 09-04-2012 at 12:48 PM.
    Feature: LORD OF TEARS - A New Legend in Horror - Pre-Order Now http://www.lordoftears.com/


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    #36
    cool little "title" Charli's Avatar
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    Thanks, Hawk.

    When I give feedback, it's not to pat anyone in the back. Do you know how many screenwriters actually finish a screenplay and it totally bombs? So for me (and I'm probably one of the few) a finished film product isn't enough. It takes more time to write 40,000 word script (6 months to a year) than to finish a 6 minute short, from my point of view.

    I am always truthful in my feedback without any bias. Even the guys I get along with and are buddies, I will butcher their film. It's not personal. You put a product out there and I will tell you what I saw, how I felt, etc. This type of honesty doesn't make me popular among those who always seem to get a pat on the back for their "stunning visual" work.

    With Lawrie, hey, he's across the pond and honestly, sometimes I understand HALF of his feedback. But it's always welcomed because he has such a unique intellectual style that if you really read his feedback, you might actually get something from it.

    Back at the screenwriting forums the hardest thing was to put up 5 pages for people to critique. Screenwriters show no mercy. As long as the critique is not a personal attack, it was allowed because you MUST DEVELOP THICK SKIN AND QUIT DEFENDING YOURSELF.

    You take the feedback that is "consistent" and then you can toss away the rest. The goal is to become better filmmakers. The way to get there is to listen to what others have to say about your work and to listen OBJECTIVELY.

    I went to Santa Monica's Writer's Bootcamp (prestigious screenwriting workshop) and there was one rule we could not break: When you read your synopsis to the class, allow the class to give crique and you say NOTHING. Let me tell you, to listen to your classmates tell you what they don't like about your script to your face far worse than words on a forum page.

    This little pond of DVX forum is nothing compared to Hollywood or film festivals. If you can't take criticism here then don't expect to appreciate it there because here we''re minnows compared to the sharks in Hollywood. Just saying...

    Lawrie, your feedback is always anticipated so keep it up!
    Last edited by Charli; 09-07-2012 at 07:26 AM.
    "Imagination is more important than knowledge." - Albert Einstein
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    #37
    Senior Member lawriejaffa's Avatar
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    I reckon the qualification of feedback is based really on what that individual has achieved, experienced and succeeded in (to the individual recieving the feedback.) Doesn't make the critic (or flatterer) automatically right all of the time, and we are always still learning of course, but I will always consider my harshest critics more if they have goods to back it up, and be more likely to temper (but importantly - not dismiss) the critiques of those who are obviously inexperienced or immature.

    Charli cited a difficulty to understand a part of mine, but it can be hard to for folks providing feedback from different directions, IE. Is it coming from a scriptwriter? A producer, a director and so forth. Charli's is very much imo focussed from a screenwriters perspective, mines very much from a producer/director others will be variations - some technical others intellectual. It can actually take real EFFORT to decipher critique from a direction we don't care for! I know some tech guys who hate the arty intellectual critique (and vice a versa) to the point where it is wrongly ignored imo.

    I think when we get critical feedback that does need some deciphering we can be prone to falling back om immediate and gratifying -easy emotional rejections. Typical replies being like
    1) 'well hey bro... all me ol' mates saw it (argh me hearties) and they looooved it... so you stoopid)
    2) 'well hey bro... at bandcamp (film-school or whatever metaphorical equivalent) they taught us to make (insert generic impossible to rebuke positivist word) eg. 'GOOD' films so thats why i made the bit your critiquing and thats why your wrong.
    3) Bro I don't think you get.... that some films are allowed to be 'just' entertaining instead of all arty.... (somebody who has never seen a Chris Nolan film...)

    The list could go on hehe

    The same goes for those unused to feedback, JaceBrownlow I'm sure you wouldn't deny you fell victim to that but won't be so sensitive next fest?
    Last edited by lawriejaffa; 09-08-2012 at 02:53 AM.
    Feature: LORD OF TEARS - A New Legend in Horror - Pre-Order Now http://www.lordoftears.com/


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    #38
    cool little "title" Charli's Avatar
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    Lawrie, my critique is focused on writing, but I also notice details others may miss (sunglasses on dead guy who took a piss) but that's part of writing too in that actions must have a plausible believability.

    And as far as understanding half of what you say, uh, you're just so freakin' intellectual, I have no problems stating you're way smarter than me and your style of critique is uber cool.
    "Imagination is more important than knowledge." - Albert Einstein
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    #39
    Senior Member lawriejaffa's Avatar
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    Awe hey i wouldnt say that haha - but thanks for the compliment! Its good that you point out continuity issues (I'm terrible at noticing these even in the films I direct) but you know its always been the writer that notices (in my smaller crews often serving as continuity expert too.) I'm glad to say i always stop to listen to what the writer has to say about these little details.
    Feature: LORD OF TEARS - A New Legend in Horror - Pre-Order Now http://www.lordoftears.com/


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