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    shot my first narrative shortfilm - would like some feedback :)
    #1
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    Hey peepz,

    I hope this is allowed here.

    after testing and trying things in my studio for the last 2 years I finally shot my first short.
    We were a dp tag team. I lit, exposed and graded everything. My co dp Julia composed the shots.

    I like were I have come, too. But please please help me becoming better.
    https://youtu.be/9fSCB2FSkV0

    Shot on BMPCC and Nikon Nikkor AI lenses and Tokina 28-70 2.6
    My main light was a Falcon Eyes 18TD and a 4x4 frame.

    Would love your opinion on the visual side of things.
    Thank you very much,
    Tim


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    Senior Member Justin Kuhn's Avatar
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    Nice work! I particularly liked the wall shot in the bathroom and the high angle on the staircase.

    It did start to get a little slow in the pacing; some additional angles to cut to in the conversation scene might have helped.


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    Shots look solid lighting and composition wise. Couldn't really find anything to comment on. The only 'less good' things here are down to the directing, like how the bathroom scene and the shot of the guy walking up to the bar and getting the drinks added nothing to the story. Would have rather just stayed with the girl and built on her character.


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    I did not turn on notifications. Sorry for that. I forgot about this topic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tolin View Post
    Shots look solid lighting and composition wise. Couldn't really find anything to comment on. The only 'less good' things here are down to the directing, like how the bathroom scene and the shot of the guy walking up to the bar and getting the drinks added nothing to the story. Would have rather just stayed with the girl and built on her character.
    I am totally with you. The director/editor and me, where just yesterday talking about exactly that. The reason he didnt focus on the girl actually was that our footage was very flawed, so a lot of decisions are actually damage control. - Still learning, we learned the lesson, continuity is important. And you are right, I got hung up in the "oh that bar shot looks pretty" - in prep or on the day I never questioned its relevance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Justin Kuhn View Post
    Nice work! I particularly liked the wall shot in the bathroom and the high angle on the staircase.
    It did start to get a little slow in the pacing; some additional angles to cut to in the conversation scene might have helped.
    Thanks. Watching the cut, that's so true. It's gets really old after a while. Can't watch it anymore actually.


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    Sound Ninja Noiz2's Avatar
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    I liked the look, mostly. In the bar the guy seemed a bit heavy on the green. I thought it might just be a strange colored shirt but the bar behind looks almost radioactive with the green so I think there is a strangeness in the color. Bathroom scene needs a flush. Bottle opens need a little fizt, as it is it seems really obvious that the bottles contain a non carbonated liquid, no sound no bubbles etc. The sound would probably get the audience to overlook the lack of bubbles. And while we are on the bottles, labels? I'm not a local so maybe bars bottle their own beer and don't put labels on the bottles but it looks really "no-budget prop" with out labels to a US watcher anyway. You can't use commercial ones probably but ask some home brewer for some of their labels. They will be thrilled to have their "beer" in your film.

    The mix was not bad. I found the very low music in the bathroom distracting. I could see a logic of it being the bar music drifting up but it sounded like score and not something a bar would play and it was just loud enough that I took off headsets to see if it was actually in the film or not. So I would either use it or loseit, the too low part distracts your audience because they are trying to figure out what they are hearing. If you want it and need it that low at that point then establish it earlier and you can bring it down and we all know what it is so it won't be distracting. The ambient hums in the bathroom and the stairwell are OK but they are not very interesting. When you have a time like that where there is no dialog the sound should be advancing the story and setting up what is coming. I'm not actually sure what the scene is specifically about since I don't speak the language so exactly what those sounds might be that would help the story along are? But in a shot like the stairwell you should be building to the reveal of the guy and finding out what the story is. So bathroom to stairs to reveal ought to build our curiosity and give us hints about what might be coming. It generally should not be up front specific but more metaphorical. Is she dumping him? then the flush is a hint. Maybe the door creaks, has a strange close? The noises of the club ought to be increasing as she gets closer to the bottom etc.

    I don't necessarily think the scenes you talking about cutting or shortening need either. I think what is missing people got right, that it's not advancing the story, but it could with the right sounds, maybe.

    As you probably have gathered I'm a sound editor more than a cameraman. Visually I liked the darkness and general moodynes. Image wise it looked very clean and profesional. I have seen and worked on a lot of films from small to huge and a lot of small films have sloppy camera work, too much is in focus, or too little. Lighting tends to be spotty and any given moment, if you pulled a still, nobody would mistake it for a film shot on a budget. I think you did a lot better than that. It looked like well thought out shots.

    My limited time shooting and being on sets has drilled into me that you just can't have enough coverage. A lot of folks do a ton of takes as "coverage" but that is not coverage thats just a nightmare of "options" in post. You need things to cut to, things that tell the audience something about the characters or the locations. That is just a general agreement with something you said. I'm not sure what or where it would have made life easier for you or enhanced this film. Just driving the point since it seems a hard one to really embrace for a lot of people (myself included) that the B roll is really important.
    Cheers
    SK


    Scott Koue
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    ďIt ainít ignorance that causes all the troubles in this world, itís the things that people know that ainít soĒ

    Edwin Howard Armstrong
    creator of modern radio


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    Senior Member Cary Knoop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimTom View Post
    I like were I have come, too. But please please help me becoming better.
    https://youtu.be/9fSCB2FSkV0
    I would put more light on the faces, I think the faces are generally too dark.


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    I watched it without any sound, and visually it looked good. When asking for feedback take everyone's opinion with a grain of salt because they're usually speaking from their own cinematic voice. If you haven't already, you have to find your cinematic voice and then hone in on it and perfect it; and if you're pleased with the way you've lit, shot, and sound designed it already, then so be it. There are ppl that hate every great director or cinematographers movie aesthetics, stories, the over blown highlights, not enough details in the shadows, the compositions, score, etc...but then there are ppl who look up to everything they do and try to mimic it. Ppl will ALWAYS find something wrong in art and tell you "the right way to do it", but there are no rules in art, do it your way, find your own voice and be great at it! Keep up the good work.


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    Sound Ninja Noiz2's Avatar
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    Reggie has a point. Some one I used to work for loved to say "Opinions are like rectums (though he used a more colorful term), everybody has one".

    Personally I love to hear peoples opinions on stuff I do. I grew up with blunt opinions and have learned to listen with out taking it too to heart. Pretty much every criticism is valid, at least for the person making it. The two big mistakes I see people make is to either jump to "fix" every criticism or ignore it all with a "they don't get it". They are both over reactions. If nobody is "getting it" you probably have a problem, if 1 in 100 doesn't get it you probably don't. What this kind of stuff is really useful for is that you know too much about your film and read things into it that no viewer is going to get. So having cold viewers can give you a reality check of whether you are accomplishing what you are aiming at with the audience. I have worked on major budget films where story changes happened after the first previews because the "bad" guy was too bad and the audience hated him right off the bat which really screwed up the story arc. So they cut a few things and changed some edits so he was just a bit more likable at the start and it made a big difference.

    But it is your story and other than the odd time when a suggestion turns out to inform you of the "better" story that was there and you missed it mostly what you get is to see whether you are manipulating the audience the way you want. Part of that is distractions. So for me the lack of labels was a distraction, but if nobody else mentions it then it's probably not an issue. It's not practically fixable at this point anyway so it would be more of a "future" note, but again not if nobody else noticed.

    The "no rules in art" mantra is fairly misleading. As long as you don't care if anyone ever sits through one of your films yes, no rules. If on the other hand you want to make watchable films then there are at least guidelines if not actual rules that come into play. You will confuse the hell out of your audience if you ignore the 180 rule for instance. There are tons of time that has been spent over the years working out ways to manipulate your audience and while you shouldn't be a slave to formulas you should stand on the shoulders of those that came before. Most things that are not done, are not done for a reason. The reason may not apply to your film but you should know why others avoid it so you can make an informed decision.
    Cheers
    SK


    Scott Koue
    Web Page
    Noiz on Noise


    ďIt ainít ignorance that causes all the troubles in this world, itís the things that people know that ainít soĒ

    Edwin Howard Armstrong
    creator of modern radio


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    Senior Member Patryk_Rebisz's Avatar
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    On the 8th day, bored with his creation, God put together a few rules for filmmakers.
    Early in our career we tend to break those rules but it's good to revisit these from time to time.

    God's rule for filmmaking: Thou shall not light the subjects but rather environment - sometimes the subjects ends up lit, sometimes not.
    God's rule for filmmaking: Thou shall not stage the scene at the table - unless you really, really, really have to because it restricts the actors making their performance stiff and staging boring.

    There are a few more rules but those are the two you've broken in your short film.
    Patryk Rebisz
    director/DP
    www.ShoulderTheLion.com - my feature-length documentary
    www.TupeloProductions.com - my production company
    www.PatrykRebisz.com - my directing/DP work
    gear, gear, gear for rent in NYC area!!! >>> www.PatrykRebisz.com/lights.html
    (917) 291-2565


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    I think the lighting rule is conditional...if a subject is static for a time, speaking, etc. it’s weird not to have them at least partially lit unless the lack of light is supposed to say something about their character or the story etc. If they’re moving through an environment that’s a different story.


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