Thread: Arabella

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    #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawk Teflon View Post
    SPOILERS FOLLOW. READ THE FOLLOWING POST AT YOUR OWN RISK.

    What I liked: This, to me, felt like a Horror film. Some of the others in the fray had some scare moments, but didn't feel very horror-y. This one did. Really creepy feel to it. Very well done. On top of that, I really like the way this was shot. We didn't have see anything gory or over the top because, let's be real here, dolls are super creepy. Really strong lead character. She delivers well. I really like that you guys had her and the doll wearing the same thing toward the end. Good build of suspense, too, with the eerie singing and music. The eyes of the girl at the end was good.

    What I didn't like as much: To be honest the few things here would be minor semantics and preferences. I would have liked to have had more of a scare. Make it even creepier if you can.

    Really solid entry. I'm surprised more people aren't commenting on this, but it IS at the bottom of the youtube playlist. Hopefully people are just working their way down.
    Thanks for you feedback as always Hawk. I really appreciate that you are one of the few who actually comment on every thread.

    Glad you picked up on the costume choice in the final scene.

    Angie (lead girl) did a great job and was surprisingly mature for her age, I had to keep reminding myself that she's only a kid and not push her too hard, but she had a great attitude and was very patient.


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    #72
    Senior Member ZazaCast's Avatar
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    Matthew.... GREAT job on this film. I really have no place critiquing your work as you are a professional & it shows.
    Everything about this worked for me, could you have made it 'scarier'...probably, but would it have added to the film?
    I think not. Scary is different to all people and as I discover with each fest, different strokes for different folks.

    So, that said, I'm going to throw in my 2-cents.

    The same way you thought I should cut my film, I felt that there were a few places that you could have held a shot longer on the doll and let people
    creep-out on it. When the girl is first introduced to the doll, the shots at the table...and the 'twisty-push-in' were just too quick, there was no time
    to really see the doll, let the music build and realize just how creepy that thing is. (IMHO) The film's just a little over 5 minutes...tons of time... let it breathe,
    maybe have the girl try to destroy (rip it's head off, bury it, burn it, etc.) the doll and yet, each evening, it returns untarnished. Build a better sense of fear & panic.
    But like I said, I'm just talking here, one man's observations & thoughts.

    Loved the film. Your cinematography is top-notch and every other aspect fell right into place. Kudos to the crew & all involved, I think you have a winner here.


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    #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZazaCast View Post
    The same way you thought I should cut my film, I felt that there were a few places that you could have held a shot longer on the doll and let people
    creep-out on it. When the girl is first introduced to the doll, the shots at the table...and the 'twisty-push-in' were just too quick, there was no time
    to really see the doll, let the music build and realize just how creepy that thing is.
    I suspect Matthew wasn't so sure how well the VFX was going to work. All the doll shots were very tightly edited before they were sent to me to add the eyes. To be honest I was kind of scared to death I might ruin the film. Before the color grade (and without audio) the VFX eyes are not nearly as spooky looking, but I did the work counting on the grade and I think that came out great. It's always hard to judge a shot after you have watched those same few frames over and over and over.
    Matt Sorrels


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    #74
    Senior Member ZazaCast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by msorrels View Post
    I suspect Matthew wasn't so sure how well the VFX was going to work. All the doll shots were very tightly edited before they were sent to me to add the eyes. To be honest I was kind of scared to death I might ruin the film. Before the color grade (and without audio) the VFX eyes are not nearly as spooky looking, but I did the work counting on the grade and I think that came out great. It's always hard to judge a shot after you have watched those same few frames over and over and over.
    Either way, you did an excellent job...and I hear you, thank goodness there were no VFX in my film!


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    #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZazaCast View Post
    Matthew.... GREAT job on this film. I really have no place critiquing your work as you are a professional & it shows.
    Everything about this worked for me, could you have made it 'scarier'...probably, but would it have added to the film?
    I think not. Scary is different to all people and as I discover with each fest, different strokes for different folks.

    So, that said, I'm going to throw in my 2-cents.

    The same way you thought I should cut my film, I felt that there were a few places that you could have held a shot longer on the doll and let people
    creep-out on it. When the girl is first introduced to the doll, the shots at the table...and the 'twisty-push-in' were just too quick, there was no time
    to really see the doll, let the music build and realize just how creepy that thing is. (IMHO) The film's just a little over 5 minutes...tons of time... let it breathe,
    maybe have the girl try to destroy (rip it's head off, bury it, burn it, etc.) the doll and yet, each evening, it returns untarnished. Build a better sense of fear & panic.
    But like I said, I'm just talking here, one man's observations & thoughts.

    Loved the film. Your cinematography is top-notch and every other aspect fell right into place. Kudos to the crew & all involved, I think you have a winner here.
    All very valid points, I can certainly appreciate where you're coming from.

    Thanks for the kind words and thanks for taking the time to comment, the comments and critiques are the reason I love DVXfests - learn a lot.


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    I enjoyed this. Secretly I think I was comparing it to Annabelle from The Conjuring.

    Annabelle_doll_the_conjuring.jpg

    How could I not. Aside from the whole possessed doll theme, even the name is very similar.
    Arabella had some good creepiness to it and the little girl was great. Cinematography was good too.

    The doll moments worked but I never felt they reached the point of "horror movie" scary. Not bad, though.
    As a short film I thought it was very good. Well constructed, good editing, and very polished.

    The VFX were very good as well. Great job.


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    #77
    Senior Member alex whitmer's Avatar
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    Really enjoyed this one. Your lead is a shoe-in for best actress.

    I can't really comment on camera angles, and sound and lighting - not my area - but story-wise it's clean and coherent. Two issues, though: why would the great-grandmother give the evil doll to her? Not a good relationship? Wanted to pass it on to someone she trusted? From Jessica's reaction to the death, there didn't seem to be a feeling of loss. ?? Maybe a comment from Jessica could have made it clear - like, 'Why, I thought she didn't like me' or something to give a clue.

    The other issue is that Jessica resorts to same/similar ways to try and get rid of the doll. It never escalates to real fear, or a real determination to lose it - chop it up, burn it, pull the legs off - something more than a closet toss.

    Okay, maybe a third issue: I felt Angelika was a tad old to be playing tea party, especially with folks her age so wired on tech these days. However, in an Alice-In-Wonderland kinda way, it works, and may actually lend more to the creep factor. On the fence about it.

    Nice film, fun to watch. Easily a 9/10

    a


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    #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Anthony Horrigan View Post
    I enjoyed this. Secretly I think I was comparing it to Annabelle from The Conjuring.

    Annabelle_doll_the_conjuring.jpg

    How could I not. Aside from the whole possessed doll theme, even the name is very similar.
    Arabella had some good creepiness to it and the little girl was great. Cinematography was good too.

    The doll moments worked but I never felt they reached the point of "horror movie" scary. Not bad, though.
    As a short film I thought it was very good. Well constructed, good editing, and very polished.

    The VFX were very good as well. Great job.
    Never seen 'The Conjuring' but will definitely have to check it out.

    Thanks for the comments and criticisms Michael.


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    #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by alex whitmer View Post
    Really enjoyed this one. Your lead is a shoe-in for best actress.

    I can't really comment on camera angles, and sound and lighting - not my area - but story-wise it's clean and coherent. Two issues, though: why would the great-grandmother give the evil doll to her? Not a good relationship? Wanted to pass it on to someone she trusted? From Jessica's reaction to the death, there didn't seem to be a feeling of loss. ?? Maybe a comment from Jessica could have made it clear - like, 'Why, I thought she didn't like me' or something to give a clue.

    The other issue is that Jessica resorts to same/similar ways to try and get rid of the doll. It never escalates to real fear, or a real determination to lose it - chop it up, burn it, pull the legs off - something more than a closet toss.

    Okay, maybe a third issue: I felt Angelika was a tad old to be playing tea party, especially with folks her age so wired on tech these days. However, in an Alice-In-Wonderland kinda way, it works, and may actually lend more to the creep factor. On the fence about it.

    Nice film, fun to watch. Easily a 9/10

    a
    Thanks Alex. Some really good questions that have definitely got me thinking.


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    #80
    ScriptFEST Mod Chris_Keaton's Avatar
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    That is one damn creepy doll. Didn't she figure out that locking her in a room doesn't work. Maybe this was time for her to play with fire. And when that damned thing is singing was she the only one who could hear it. The acting by the girl was awesome. I wish it was a bit more scary and maybe if the doll moved on its own in just subtle movements it would've provided that extra fright. Okay, in my mind grandma possessed the doll so she could possess the girl and live on. Or she was just a mean old woman passing on a creepy doll to the kid. This was a very professional short and super sharp. If you ever need a script let me know. Great job!
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