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    #51
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    Got our final sound mix w/ score, color correction on its way, etc... HERE WE GO SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!


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    #52
    Senior Member Matt Harris's Avatar
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    I'm very excited to see this one completed, you guys made a helluva film...
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    #53
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    Thanks Matt! Super proud of all the films in this fest - and to have ours be one among them


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    #54
    Moderator Zak Forsman's Avatar
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    well done! very much enjoyed the writing, direction, production design, and acting in this one.


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    #55
    Producer Mod Brandon Rice's Avatar
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    Quick review (going to try to do this for each film)

    Writing: I had never heard any of the "Monkey's Paw" folk lore before, so all the background stuff was pretty good. I liked hearing the exposition of it. The dialog for the most part seemed natural, and one real strength was writing it for period, and not modern. So often I see period films with modern dialog... throws me off. Nice work on that. The story was good too, but really wanted more closure at the end.

    Acting: Overall I was pretty happy with the performances. I think some of the editing choices actually hurt some of the performances (more on that later). I think the best actor of the bunch was the guy who originally had the paw.

    Cinematography: You had some nice compositions, but sadly a lot of the lighting and color grading didn't match. Not sure if it was intentional or not (as I know sometimes it is) but it threw me off.

    Editing: For the first scene the editing was excellent, but I felt in the longer dialog scenes it wasn't well paced. This, I felt, led to some strange beats in the performances that either could have been hidden, or were created in the edit that didn't work. It's really hard to quantify what I mean through text on a screen, but some stuff just felt "off". Like I said though, the first scene was really well cut!

    Overall: I really enjoyed the film, and bought into the world and characters. I also really liked the folk lore of the monkey's paw. Good work!
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    #56
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    Brandon: glad you enjoyed - yeah it's a great classic tale that I'd not heard of before so it was fun to adapt the lore for the screen!

    Yes! Our Morris was great - a great attitude and a great guy and a great performance As for the editing (and combining this with color correction/cinematography) that was definitely a point of contention that we had hoped to smooth over but didn't end up having the time. Not sure what exactly happened as I was rather uninvolved in the dealings of post (something I'm learning about more as we go), but the three of us on the production team all had similar qualms about how these parts turned out. C'est la vie, it seems, for now - after this fest we plan on reassessing the aesthetic as we were rather confident we could get consistent lighting/color/etc. (though we were unfortunately not able to this time around).

    Though you described it as hard to explain, I'd love to hear more on the editing if possible, as we're always trying to learn and improve.

    Thanks to you and Zak for your feedback! Much appreciated to hear from others as it's easy to become absorbed in one's own work and lose sight of outside perspectives.


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    #57
    Senior Member Hawk Teflon's Avatar
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    SPOILERS. PLEASE STOP READING IF YOU HAVEN'T WATCHED THIS SHORT.

    What I liked: Location, location, location. The setting sold this for me. The pacing early on felt solid to me. I also liked that you just explained that the paw moved instead of having some effect in there that might now have solid it as well. Smart move. Small things like that throughout really worked well. I also really really liked the concept and story of the whole piece.

    What didn't work as well for me (please take with a grain of salt): I didn't like that the son tipped the king over on the chess set. To my understanding that's reserved strictly for that player. Later on, the pacing seemed to change and parts felt very rushed while others felt a little too long. I don't know if that was due to the 10 minute limit or not. There were a few strange color vignettes that darkened areas of importance. The ending. I feel it was maybe a few shots too short. I understand what she was probably seeing at the door, but it still felt incomplete to me. But not in the "it's a horror story, it's supposed to be open to a sequel" kind of ending. It was more of a "2 more minutes would have summed this up nicely. I also felt like the king being tipped over at the beginning should have played some role in foreshadowing, unless I just missed that.

    Very good entry, nonetheless. Period pieces always amaze me, and you really found quite the location / wardrobe, etc. Very nice!


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    #58
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    So glad you liked the location/period feel

    The son tipping the father's king was intended to display the (hopefully endearing) mischievousness of the son (and followed by a knowing/bemused glance w/ the mother). Obviously if this didn't read, and if it put you off, it's well worth considering... noted and thanks for the input!

    Definitely understood about the color stuff - as mentioned above was a clear point of issue for us.

    If you have any further specifying about timing stuff it would be incredibly valuable to us - we agreed that there were some pacing issues as it went on but wanted to know what specifically people got (or didn't) to compare opinions around and maybe come to a consensus about certain things that definitely need changing.

    Thanks again for your input and kind (and constructive!) words!


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    #59
    Senior Member NICK ASH's Avatar
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    I remember reading the Monkey's Paw in High School and I always enjoyed this story....it's right up there with the Tall Tale Heart. I mentioned it before but I love your location. I loved the performance from the Sergeant Major although he seemed a little too young to be one....but then again, in the Civil War people would get promoted at earlier ages than what they do today.

    The monkey hand was a cool prop. How did you come about acquiring it? If I could borrow it I would ask for more than $200!

    I would say that I was expecting a little bit more with the image/coloring....I guess I was expecting to see more of a "pop" of colors but it seemed a little on the de-saturated side. (but that is just my 2 cents).

    The other thing I thought was during the scene where it broke for dinner....then the soldier was walking out the door. I thought that perhaps it would have played smoother if it starts right after dinner, maybe sipping on a after dinner wine (port) and then when it is time for the soldier to leave, he simply excuses himself and is seen out. That way it is one continuous scene rather than two without the assumption of a dinner scene.

    Overall, excellent film and it follows closely to the originally story. Thanks for letting me critique and its films like yours that I aspire to get to.


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    #60
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    Brandon and Hawk pretty commented on everything I would have. I will definitely note that the location and art department was nice, but the cinematography definitely detracted from it. An interesting take on an old legend. I couldn't help but feel as though this film had more to tell though. We seemed to finish on only two wishes. I kept waiting for the son to come back as an undead, kill the mother and then the father would wish for death, like the original story the soldier told.
    Overall all a nice little story.


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