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    #21
    Senior Member Batutta's Avatar
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    Hmm. Thanks for the input on the sound. I haven't had anyone complain about it yet. It's the same mix I played in a theater screening and it sounded good. It's possible something happened to the dynamics in the upload to Amazon, which I didn't handle. Or the stereo downmix. Did you watch in 5.1, or stereo? I only looked at the Canadian stream, which sounded good. Anyway, you almost completely and throughly understood the plot fine, except it wasn't so much emotion, but individual thought, as in the dimension they are from they share one mind.
    "Money doesn't make films...You just do it and take the initiative." - Werner Herzog


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    #22
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    Here's some stuff I noted as it came up:

    (1)I wish the Derelict and the LA cityscape were in the same frame - you get more buy-in emotionally (see: Terminator); doing it sequentially feels cheesy and unrealistic and cheating and low-rent. Yes, I understand budget, permits and practical difficulties.

    (2)When the Derelict is finally in the city - we see him in super boring, super constricted space, behind a brick wall corner. Doesn't feel engaging, doesn't feel part of the city. Seems a place for no reason. Terminator: night-time near trash (Arnold) - near trash and bum (Human). Which location has more character and connotations? Daylight wall and corner - meh. Yes, I understand budget and so on. Also, note re: point (1) - Terminator and Human appear, and immediately there is drama and action. Derelict appears and he wanders about in a listless unexciting manner. Terminator fights almost immediately. Human must run, almost immediately. See? Nothing to do with $, all to do with drama, excitement and involvement - you're wasting time on unexciting and expected actions (looks for food in trash bin... ooh, exciting... not!) - the viewer is looking at his watch. The Thing - the helicopter appears, the dog and the chase is on, shooting! OK, not every opening needs explosions and high adrenalin - but it does need involvement... you can open quietly, but still must involve. You don't involve by showing expected actions as in Derelict... what if the did something unexpected? The viewer would sit up!

    (3)After Derelict encounters his Guardian - too much slo-mo. I wish folks would use slo-mo sparingly (same with music - wish folks would do it more low-key). It doesn't make it more interesting or "heavy" cause you do slo-mo. It just says "I ain't got any other way to make this significant". Nobody buys it.

    (4)After the Derelict 'took' the first soul, you need a scene inbetween this, and the appearance of the coroner and his car. Give it time to breathe - otherwise it feels super low-budget and clumsy. Put in another scene between these two, this is an opportunity to make the film "bigger" psychologically.

    (5)Really, do we need to see that car door with the writing (coroner) quite so flatly and artlessly? Feels low-rent.

    (6)The convo between the coroner and his assistant is too on the nose - makes it feel small time, artless, and low-rent

    (7)BADLY RECORDED sound - not just badly mixed, but badly recorded - when the Coroner comes home and talks to the Nurse - sounds like something done from a camera mic. Super distracting. Also, enough with the music here! Let the scene (coroner comes back home) breathe! Make the drama on the screen, not in the music speaker

    (8)Coroner convo with the Detective - the volume is all over the place - half the time I couldn't understand what was being said

    (9)Back to the Coroner and Nurse - the volume DROPS. What is she saying?? I can't hear.

    (10)Coroner in the car on the phone. Sigh. I can hear the phone end of the convo just fine, but I can't hear the Coroner - exasperating!

    (11)Woman who is gardening - convo with Derelict - I can only hear about 25% of what they're saying... and I feel I'm missing the premise here as it's being explained, because I CAN'T HEAR!!

    (12)Leukemia doctor convo with Coroner - volume JUST FINE. I can hear everything! What joy! Clearly, the problem is not my system or my ears - it's that some scenes have good sound and some do not! Sound 101!

    (13)The interstitial scenes of the cityscape - too mechanical and boring. They pop up just as a editing device - feels uninvolving, unmotivated and most importantly uncreative. Too many such "city landscape" joining scenes - find something better and more creative.

    (14)The woman from the shelter is dressing Derelict's wounds - terrible mix/volume. I can't hear what's being said.

    And so on - a sample of stuff. More in next post.


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    #23
    Senior Member Batutta's Avatar
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    Give me specifics on which version you watched. Stream, or rental? HD or SD? 5.1 or Stereo?
    "Money doesn't make films...You just do it and take the initiative." - Werner Herzog


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    #24
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    HD 1080p - streamed it right off the link you provided in your first post, stereo on my iMac 27" through external surround sound speaker system I use to watch movies - but I then also as an experiment disconnected the system and listenened directly on my iMac speakers, on different days (3 days ago and today) - no difference, just bad sound


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    #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldCorpse View Post
    HD 1080p - streamed it right off the link you provided in your first post, stereo on my iMac 27" through external surround sound speaker system I use to watch movies - but I then also as an experiment disconnected the system and listenened directly on my iMac speakers, on different days (3 days ago and today) - no difference, just bad sound
    I wonder if it's something to do with the stereo downmix. Sounds good to me in 5.1, but then I'm in a basement home theater where you can hear a pin drop, so it can withstand pretty aggressive dynamics. You're the first to comment on it.
    "Money doesn't make films...You just do it and take the initiative." - Werner Herzog


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    #26
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    I don't know, but as a matter of principle, I would not judge the sound based on top level sound systems - that's not realistic... most people listen on crappy systems. But anyway, perhaps I'm the only one - although again, I don't have this problem with most movies/shrug/.


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    #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldCorpse View Post
    I don't know, but as a matter of principle, I would not judge the sound based on top level sound systems - that's not realistic... most people listen on crappy systems. But anyway, perhaps I'm the only one - although again, I don't have this problem with most movies/shrug/.
    I'm asking around to see if anyone else is having a problem.
    "Money doesn't make films...You just do it and take the initiative." - Werner Herzog


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    #28
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    I did some google searching, and bad audio, low dialogue, seems to be a common complaint about Amazon Prime specifically. I just checked it on my iPad's s*%tty speakers, and again seemed good. Actually the dialogue seemed louder and more prominent than my computer stream. But I am streaming from the Canadian site, so it may not be the same source file.
    "Money doesn't make films...You just do it and take the initiative." - Werner Herzog


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    #29
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    As an experiment, I played the audio on my computer, which has 5.1, and shut off the centre channel. You can still hear the dialogue as there is dialogue information in the stereo channels, but it is very low. I am thinking this might be going on with the stream, it's not properly playing the centre channel on your system, or using the centre channel at all in the downmix.
    "Money doesn't make films...You just do it and take the initiative." - Werner Herzog


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    #30
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    Look, it may not be your fault - but hey, you know how it is... no matter what goes wrong, it's always the fault of the director ... as it is s/he who is responsible for the final effect regardless... totally unfair, but such is life. More than once I've heard "the film is really dark, the DP - or director - is a moron", meanwhile the problem was bad projection - happened just recently on this very board where someone complained about how bad it was, and I had to point out that it probably was the fault of the theater projection. So here I am, doing the same darn thing with you and sound But seriously, if there is one thing you should be paranoid about, it's sound.

    I'll finish the feedback on another day, hopefully it will be really helpful for your future projects - I'm intentionally not holding back on criticism at all, because I think the end result is much greater benefit than if I soft pedalled it.


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