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    #21
    Senior Member Ralph Oshiro's Avatar
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    Wow! You guys are too kind. I think you really lose all sense of objectivity when you make a film--I honestly thought my short totally sucked. Anyway, I was aware of many of the weaknesses most of you have pointed out going in. Here's some background . . .

    I never had a script. I had a vague concept, but no specific story idea--I just started shooting. I had originally photographed an entirely different expository sequence, which was actually better than what ended up in the submitted version--I just couldn't make it "fit" into the "story." So I cut it. I cut it ALL. Painful, because it cut beautifully, and offered GREAT exposition in a clever way. The "story" really came together in the edit bay. The last sequence in my final submission was both conceived and shot only two nights before the deadline. Now, here's my own self-critique:

    • Waaaay too much security guard. I know. As some of you pointed out, I fell in love with the photographic element of him and his environment, and couldn't quite manage to create the tension element he was intended to fulfill.

    • Lack of appropriate sound/FX, sound design, foley, and lack of MUCH needed ADR. Yup. I'm just lame at sound editing--don't really know how to do it well. I left all sound work for the last night before the deadline, and boy was I getting tired!

    • Score (or lack thereof). Yup. I'm actually a pretty lame musician. The music for the opening credits and end titles are two pieces I happened to have on my hard disk that I recorded months ago. I just couldn't figure out how to make "scary" music!

    • Elevator sequence was "lacking." Boy do I know that. I really needed an entire night just to shoot "the attack." This sequence was my biggest disappointment.

    • Steadicam work: Although I'm a certified operator, I actually kinda suck at it--I'm no where near the abilities as the guy on ER, who's AMAZING. Check out his "situation room" Steadicam work on The Peacemaker (same ER operator)--it's AMAZINGLY good.

    Again, I can't believe how generous you all have been with your compliments, and I certainly welcome any and all CRITICISM as well--that's how you become a better filmmaker. Also, many of your shorts just totally blew me away--they're all so damn good! And the funny ones, I laughed the entire time! Great work, all of you!
    Sony NEX-FS100 + FMU | Kinotehnik LCDVFe | Nikkor FX primes | Cavision IRNDs | Vinten Vision 5 | Steadicam Flyer



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    #22
    Senior Member Ralph Oshiro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trent
    What did you use to compress it?
    Thank you for your kind comments, Trent. By the way, I know I've already told you this, but, I just LOVED yours! "The Bargain" was beautifully conceived and executed! Great work! Here's the compression details:

    I compressed my short from the Adobe Premiere Pro timeline using the "Adobe Media Encoder" interface to Windows' WM9 codec. The preset I started with is called, "WM9NTSC 1024K download." Here is the transcode setting summary copied and pasted here from Premiere:

    General Summary:
    Output: Compressed
    Average Kbps: Variable

    Video Summary:
    Codec: Windows Media Video 9
    Encoding Passes: Two
    Bitrate Mode: Variable Unconstrained
    Allow interlaced processing: Off

    Audio Summary:
    Codec: Windows Media Audio 9.1
    Encoding Passes: Two
    Bitrate Mode: Variable Unconstrained

    Metadata Summary:
    Title: INFECTION 1.1
    Author: Directed by Ralph Oshiro
    Copyright: Copyright 2005
    Promotion URL: http://www.24framefilms.com/
    Codec: WM9

    Audiences Summary:
    High bandwidth
    Decoder Complexity: Complex
    Frame Rate [fps]: 30
    Pixel Aspect Ratio: Square Pixels (1.0)
    Frame Width [pixels]: 640
    Frame Height [pixels]: 480
    Keyframe Interval [seconds]: 5
    Buffer Size [seconds]: Default
    Average Video Bitrate: 1000.00 (low quality)
    Audio Format: 96 kbps, 44 kHz, stereo VBR


    Note that "Decoder Complexity" is set to "complex" instead of the default "auto." This is where you tell the WM9 encoder to "take its time" and do its best encoding. I kept the keyframe interval at the default "5", since I kept going over the 35MB limit by about 600K for a while.
    Sony NEX-FS100 + FMU | Kinotehnik LCDVFe | Nikkor FX primes | Cavision IRNDs | Vinten Vision 5 | Steadicam Flyer



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    #23
    Senior Member Ralph Oshiro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by disjecta
    Man, this review sounds harsh...sorry about that.
    Not at all, disjecta, not at all! Your post was actually highly complimentary as well. And all your critiques are spot-on! Thanks!
    Sony NEX-FS100 + FMU | Kinotehnik LCDVFe | Nikkor FX primes | Cavision IRNDs | Vinten Vision 5 | Steadicam Flyer



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    #24
    Senior Member Ralph Oshiro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by D_and_G
    A couple questions, what kind of lighting package in the underground garage? I liked the blue highlights quite a bit. Also, did you make any adjustments, to lighting an African-American? Any tips?
    Holy crap--thank you for all your kind words! The "lighting package" I used in the garage? YOU should be at Yuk Yuk's! In the first garage scene, the guard is reading a magazine. In the fold of the magazine (which he FORGOT to hide from camera in that shot!!!) is a $5 Home Depot handheld flourescent light, internally powered by four AA cells. Its color temperature was WAY blue, and that's the source of your "blue highlights" that you see in his face in close-up.

    Other than that, I used no other lighting in that location other than the ambient, uncorrected ceiling flourescents mounted in the garage. As an aside, I've often noticed that black people tend to photograph REALLY well on video. Video just likes that skin tone. So, to answer your question, they're actually EASIER to make look good, but they do require a 1/2 to a full stop more light.
    Sony NEX-FS100 + FMU | Kinotehnik LCDVFe | Nikkor FX primes | Cavision IRNDs | Vinten Vision 5 | Steadicam Flyer



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    #25
    Senior Member wesley's Avatar
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    i had the same thoughts as disjecta. i didn't really get into the whole feel of the story. but the camera work and production value were top notch. you already summed up the things you know could have been better so there's not much more for me to say except that you did a great job and i'm looking forward to seeing more of your work.


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    #26
    Senior Member Ralph Oshiro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John_Hudson
    Your titles are wonderful; why do mine appear pixealted and yours so clean?
    DAMNIT, JOHN! I still haven't been able to see your film (or disjecta's) yet!

    Well, thanks for the very nice comments! Comments like those coming from you and Curugon are pretty impressive, since Curugon's short was poo pooin' amazing, and I expect yours to be damn good as well. Again, not quite sure they're all deserved. And your critiques are spot-on as well. Great suggestions, too, John!

    As for my titles . . . the opening credits were simply done in Adobe Premiere Pro's built-in titler using some old Helvetica-clone Bitstream TrueType fonts. The end titles were done in Photoshop CS (I think, using Photoshop's "crisp" alias setting in the type tool) also using TT fonts from the Bitstream library (which has very good Helvetica families). I then imported the Photoshop-native files (.PSDs) into a bin in Premiere and just stuck 'em in the timeline. I dunno why they look better than yours. Check my transcode settings in above post to Trent?

    The dolly is a $150, very lightweight dolly I found on the internet a few years ago from some obscure British company. They made all kinds of cool stuff, and it's all REALLY inexpensive. Can't remember the site or the company name.
    Sony NEX-FS100 + FMU | Kinotehnik LCDVFe | Nikkor FX primes | Cavision IRNDs | Vinten Vision 5 | Steadicam Flyer



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    #27
    Senior Member Ralph Oshiro's Avatar
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    HOLY s*%t, JOHN!!! I JUST saw your film. It's about 100,000x better than what I "tried" to do! Game over. I suck. You win, buddy!
    Sony NEX-FS100 + FMU | Kinotehnik LCDVFe | Nikkor FX primes | Cavision IRNDs | Vinten Vision 5 | Steadicam Flyer



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    #28
    Senior Member Dahopafilms's Avatar
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    Finally managed to see your film today. Really liked the story but loved the look - crisp, interesting and colorful. I think you get the idea from the other posts and I concur with the other positive comments.

    The only "hitches" for me were (1) the distance the guard had to go after "hearing" the scream from within the elevator (at that point, apparently about three miles away and two floors up - I just didn't buy it); and (2) (I hate to admit) I expected the "usual" flashing red lights from police/ambulance/fire vehicles as the female victim was being wheeled away on the gurney - and I know that can be explained away.

    Actually, I will also disagree with the other comments on the length of time on the security guard. They gave a nice, pacing breather from the other scenes. I liked it.

    Delighted to have seen it, and thank you.


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    #29
    Senior Member Monglane's Avatar
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    Hello NBC, and congratulations. Your short is one of my top three or four, and I've now watched them all except Letztes.

    The main reason why I like Infection very much is the amazingly professional cleanliness of your camera movements and of your image. I will not repeat what others have already said above, and better than I could, certainly.

    Just a couple of minor things, though... For me, entertainment value is closely associated with plausibility (or "suspension of disbelief", as Sharon so aptly puts it), and there were a couple of things that I thought didn't cut it.

    First, the much talked-about guard : yes, we do see a little too much of him, but that didn't bother me. However, the first time we see him, his chair's back is against a concrete pillar, and the second time, he's in a different location, although basically no time elapsed in between.

    Second, the elevator : the nurse boards it and it goes up. You see it passing Floor 3 and reaching 4... but then, you're back to Floor 1...? And all that time, the girl rests against the elevator wall with her eyes closed, even though the elevator seems to beep at least once... Plus, she must sense the motion... but she keeps her eyes closed even when the doctor walks into the elevator ? Even with your eyes closed, you hear and "feel" the cabin stopping, the doors opening and someone else boarding... You would automatically open your eyes to see who's coming and greet them, wouldn't you ? There must be something I didn't get there.

    Then there is the attack, which is not very credibly acted out, and the casualness with which the doctor disarms the guard, even though he's waiting and fully ready to fire (not very credible either)... and the apparent ease with which the doctor gets rid of the same guard, who doesn't even pretend to put up a fight...

    Then, when the nurse picks up the gun, why the hell does she feel the need to arm it ? I know it may sound sexy but she's not supposed to be proficient with firearms, and if you wanted her to do it for some reason, the cartridge that was already in the chamber should have been ejected, since the guard obviously wore it in the "cocked and locked" position...

    Finally, there's the fact that the blood pack that's being used on her is precisely the one that was infected (and already open)... I understand the importance of that element in the plot, but that is not consistent at all with EMS standard procedures...!

    OK, OK, those are details, I agree. I'm nitpicking and they didn't prevent me from giving you an 8 for the sheer quality of your cinematography, but they were so easy to get right that I would have stopped hesitating between 8 and 9 and given you a 9 (my personal top grade... perfection is not of this world) straight away, had these minor imperfections not been there.

    Anyway, once again, many congrats. You do deserve to be very, very near the top, in my opinion.


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    #30
    Senior Member CallaghanFilms's Avatar
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    What could I possible add that hasn't been posted thus far?

    I loved your stylized approach.

    Your stream-lined editing was masterful.

    Very pro.


    For your daily Callaghanism...follow Cal on


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