This was most complete short I've seen in this whole competition. I loved the choice of the opening completely black, and when the Pine Lake logo came up with the scary music, you definitely cast an ominous shadow (in a light-hearted, fun sort of way) over the pic. I loved the story, and felt that it was really handled well, definitely something fun for the family. The cinematography was top-notch (as usual), immediately making me think of the work of one of my favorite cinematographers, Andrew Lesnie. I have always loved your nature films, and thought you'd make a great professional cinematographer (and in many ways, your work eclipses much of the stuff I see on the big screen), but with Shot in the Dark, you have displayed the talent to direct a film. The level of consistency in your work proves that we all should enjoy watching your films on here for free while we can, but I'll also be first in line to shell out $12.00 to see one of your films on the big screen. 10.
Thread: Shot in the Dark - Disjecta
Results 21 to 30 of 52
09-27-2005 07:09 PM
09-27-2005 07:46 PM
Thank you for all the valuable feedback. I will address you all in more detail in another post...right now I just wanted to acknowledge everybody.
09-27-2005 11:31 PM
Even when you make a zombie film, it's beautiful.
The cinematography was jaw dropping. I lust after that wide angle.
"If you take his DVX, you'll be a zombie."- awesome.
I loved the cheap shot. I was thinking about doing something like that, ala Rich. Bonus points for actually getting me to jump.
I saw ya sneak in that shot of the Chrosziel gear.
Great music, especially at the end- a gag that I particularly liked.
Good story, and the kids did a good job in front of the camera.
Overall: A lot of fun, I really enjoyed it. As I do with everything you put out.
EDIT: Wow, that was a lot of really short comments. I'll come back and go into more detail later, ya Irish bastard.
09-28-2005 09:21 AM
I’m happy to know my zombie scared your wife. I was very influenced by M. Night’s “Signs” where the kid says to dad, “There’s a monster on the roof and I’m thirsty.” Dad goes to look out the window and, sure enough, there’s some huge looming form on top of the barn roof. A great jump scare for me and I wanted to emulate that in my film. Those moments are cheap, I know, but fun.
In the multitude of meanings of the title “Shot in the Dark” I can’t say I thought of it in relation to the black sequence at the beginning, but I certainly laughed when I read your post.
I’m honored, of course, that Spielberg would be mentioned in anything I’ve done. I don’t really get that reference although it’s not the first time it’s been said. I do like keeping my films clean, I don’t believe it’s necessary to get into profanity, violence, etc., when it’s just gratuitous. It’ll be interesting to see how my films develop as my cast grows up
It was important for this film to be a complete story. I’m not fond of watching shorts where it feels like you step in and step out of a longer story and walk away feeling confused as to how the story and characters relate to each other. I also appreciate your observation of the humor. At one point I had my son saying the line “This sucks, let’s get out of here.” It was so jarring to me that I just had to get rid of it.
The DVX humor and clever narrative/dialogue is all Linda’s genius. She always comes up with the best lines and ideas. She also came up with the idea of the end punchline and I executed it in what I personally consider a pretty cool camera move. We are an excellent team when it comes to this stuff. I usually kick and scream about some of her ideas but when I give them a chance, which is nearly always, they end up making the film something special. I really value her input and creativity.
I tried to keep the cinematography as subtle as possible. I used a Glidecam 4000 pro extensively instead of a tripod. It sure saved on time laying track and had more of a grip and rip feel to it. I also find that there’s more energy in those shots than straight dolly shots.
Your point about the narration is well taken. I think it was overdone in the forest scene because all it did was describe what was going on visually so I probably could have taken that out. The other narration was important to the film, IMO, because it was giving extra information that was not on the screen.
Thanks for the clarification on the framing. I definitely felt under a lot of pressure working with the kids. Because they are not professionals, and because they are kids, I had to compromise a lot of shots I would have otherwise spent a lot of time on perfecting the framing. I feel I got the absolute best shots I could under the circumstances but I appreciate the input.
“Going as fast as he can” with shooting some of these scenes is accurate. That goes with the hazards of working with non-professionals but they did a great job for me and were surprisingly patient when we were setting up shots….unlike me Thanks for the high marks!
Thanks so much for your gracious comments. It would have been easy for you to say “too cutesy” and just left it at that but you were kind enough to tell me more and I really do appreciate the extra time you took to do that. It says a lot about you as an individual so…thank you.
Thanks for your feedback. I am at odds with your suggestion of cutting the screen time for the zombie…I rely completely on what my heart says to me when I look at an edit. This final timing represents a lot of experimentation and it has not looked wrong to me since making that decision. The hand at the end was, in fact, a real zombie hand. Funny you would think it was rubber.
I am very appreciative of your comments as I think you are a wonderfully talented filmmaker. Your film came in as one of the top 3 for me so it’s nice to get kudos from you The day for night shots were necessary because I didn’t have a lot of time to do them and I certainly couldn’t afford any kind of lighting setup being a one man crew and all….although they are not all that believable from a nighttime standpoint, I would not swap them because they have a surrealism that makes them unique and interesting to look at. I tried toning them down a little but lost too much detail in the main characters…
Thanks for your comments also. The choice to include the black opening was for the DVXUser audience only. The movie outside of this environment will not include that…but I love it anyway
Thanks for the kudos on the music and landscape cinematography….I loved working with Glenn Scott Lacey, he’s a fabulous composer with an endless capacity to be creative and inspiring. He really lifted the movie up in places and brought the whole thing together with his cohesive score.
It is cute…is that good for an undead movie? Probably not, but it also makes it stand out from the crowd. The truth is, if I hadn’t done it this way, I wouldn’t have shot the film so it was worth it regardless of how it fits into the genre.
Some of the day for night shots, I agree, are not very believable but I love the magical quality and the lanterns really photographed well.
ADR was tough to pull off and it was a real learning experience given that I don’t work with ambient sound much in my films.
Working with Martyn Stewart, a nature recordist, was a whole lot of fun also. I would shoot him an email and say, I need some crickets with the occasional owl hoot and, within 5 minutes, I would have this high quality recording of my request in my inbox. Such an awesome resource to have available. I intend on using sound a lot more now.
Gore, blood and boobies? Didn’t seem to sit well with my cast Thanks for the high score.
I guess I kinda misled the board (well, Dallas did) with the Zombie Ducks are coming banner…that was intentional to throw everyone off.
I’m surprised that not more people have commented on the very last scene after the credits. I thought it was hilarious. I wonder if people are really watching it through to the end or if they are just closing it after the credits begin…huh.
Wow, thanks for the kudos….nice that you thought to favor Shot in the Dark over the other films you mentioned…. The story aspect of this was definitely key for Linda and me.
I can see your point regarding the narrative jump and this whole exercise has been interesting just to see people’s different takes on what works and what doesn’t. Thanks for your comments.
Appreciate the thumbs up.
If I had had more time, I would have really developed the whole forest scene a little better so I see where you are going with that comment.
I’m so glad you felt that real ominous vibe as the logo came in…I just love that part myself, I must confess.
Andrew Lesnie?? Thanks so much, I am very honored to be in that league to you… Funny, a few people mentioned Lord of the Rings to me when they saw my original Water’s Edge film. And thanks for the high marks…I’ll let you know when the DVD is available!
I have a lot of respect for the things you say. Again, I won’t apologize for my cheap shot…
“Ya Irish bastard” sounds totally disrespectful but it’s really not (to those who don’t know)
On another note, all of the sound elements at the beginning of the film (the black with Dallas) were done in my house with a little Sony lavelier mic. Including the scream, done by Linda.... I didn't think she had it in her but, my god...did she ever.
Thanks again everyone. When I get time, I’m going to outline some of my shooting experience. I’m also going to try to include some behind the scenes stuff for the DVD…no promises but I’ll try. Keep the comments coming.
09-28-2005 01:23 PM
Just watched your short , as usual very nice indeed . The crow at the end ..nice touch.
This short brought back memories when my kids were small and we told scary stories when we camped or when I was driving them back home .. An old fashion scary movie,
Very nice Disjecta .
09-28-2005 01:27 PMOriginally Posted by arielman
Horsefilms, I appreciate your kudos
09-28-2005 01:59 PM
oooopps SORRY . I meant to say near the end just before the young lad wakes up and realizes the camera is still in the woods ..I thought that was a nice shot . working 12 hr shifts , getting up and watching Zombie shorts my brain is slow to function ..
09-28-2005 02:02 PM
Oh, I understand...that's a Great Blue Heron....if you told a birder that was a crow, you would be stoned to death
It's all good my man.
09-28-2005 02:09 PM
Hahahah a fool am I ..a crow I thought ..... Blue Heron it is ..way too many Zombie shorts ....it is a nice shot irregardless