At first I was like... HOly Smokes!! You got Dustin HOffman in your movie?!!
Opening.. superb. Music. Brilliant. Very nice setting of the mood. I dug the voice over and left you at a cliff hanger.
I caught the CG with the pad and paper right away. Nice trick. just needed some motion tracking on the plate and you would have been solid in those respects.
It was really great and I fell for it until the guy with the bag walked in. He seemed like he was waiting for his cue and action! Everyone had cues. A little awkard IMO. I think you could have shaved a little from the beginning to get around a set up a additional 'cued extras' actions.
THe main actor's performance was great.
The man in black... I guess he served his purpose, but could have been better direction with his lines.
The fx shots were OK.. Was the BG plate looping?
The "Flex" made me chuckle. Nice performance.
The heist in the courtyard really made no sense. Why the public place?
The thug holding the gun was pretty bad. His 'knock out' was worse.
The FX of the hero could have been better. Instead of just "cutting him out", he should have dissolved, or perhaps blurred out with some SFX. Plus the instructions to hide seemed too early as he dissappeared.
The hero coming to save the day.. again, made me laugh. he's funny.
Shew.. I know they were probably friends, but the people sitting down just didn't look frightened enough. One boy is just 'chillin'. Someone should have been in charge of extras and their performances while you looked over everything else. (next time)
The tackle scene. shew. This is where It lost my interest and could have been excuted better. MUSIC was the key to this part for sure.
What was on that park bench to cover it with a mask? It grabbed my attention away from the cop holding the gun.
This was again, funny and awkward for the character. I liked it.
However; I would have liked to see him run more. seems like there wasn't a sense of urgency for him to climb up a roof top and then jump back down onto the ground to run away like a sissy. (he's still exploring his faith I assume? )
Lastly, again, I can't say enough about the score. I enjoyed the sounds and had some superb super hero feeling to it. Congrats Leo!
All in all it was a good little film. I thought it had some great elements and some that just needed a little more attention. I hope this helps.
cheers and congrats on the submission.
Thread: Leap Of Faith - Larry R
Results 21 to 30 of 52
06-06-2006 01:17 AM
06-06-2006 01:21 AM
Hey Larry, GREAT job ... ESPECIALLY for how short of a time frame you had to shoot & edit this all together ... and with all the road blocks you ran into. What a film maker!
I also noticed the CG drawing right away, as it just stood perfectly still while everything else moved around it. After Effects has got a great motion tracking feature, though I don't know how to use it.
I would have had the disappearing act in the bathroom be a little more subtle, like with a QUICK fade or something.
I really liked, for the most part, your hero's acting. Especially his initial responses to the guy walking up with the bag, etc.
Solid script, and Leo did a fantastic job with the score! Good job, my friend.
Oh, other small critiques would be the title/font could use some improvement, as well as framing (i.e. when the guy's sitting on the bench he's smack dab in the middle of the screen vs. having the eyes at 2/3 level, etc.).Norm Sanders
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06-06-2006 07:03 AM
Nice short. I enjoyed it.
As someone else noted you were trying for that heroic archetype where self is put aside for the greater good.
Others have touched on some of the more technical issues like cc, sfx and exposure. I thought the audio was good. The score was very good. Full and heroic.
I'm wondering if maybe there could have been more incredulity from the hero. Especially when he pulls out the mask. Just me.
There was one shot at about 52 seconds where the bg is sharp but he's soft.
I like the anti-phone booth use of the bathroom stall as a change room.
When he gets changed he just has to look at himself. To see how the suit fits. Nice.
I thought the fight scenes could have used more flow to them, perhaps with more coverage of the scene? But then again perhaps you were under time constraints.
Still. A decent effort. Your second you say?
Keep it up, up & away!
Everybody sing it with me...
"Believe it or not, I'm walkin on air, I never thought I could feel so free-ee-ee..."
My first thoughts when I saw the costume.
Congrats on a job well done.
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06-06-2006 08:08 AM
Ive just discovered these topics ...congrats Larry, it seems that people really liked your work as me!!!
Thanks everyone for the compliments about the score...Larry has updated it and it still not in the sinc I worked, but it is fine, no problem!!!
It was a rewarding experience working with you Larry, and I did my best !!!
06-06-2006 08:09 AM
Yeah, great great job on the score!Feature NO GREATER LOVE being distributed by LIONSGATE, On DVD Everywhere NOW!
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06-06-2006 09:11 AM
Edgen - Thanks for taking the time to watch the film and give a nice detailed response.
When I decided to join in on this fest I had four goals in mind, 1) Try things I'd never done before (not hard since it's only my second film), 2) Tell a good story, 3) grow as a filmmaker and 4) have fun. I know I tried many new things (audio, multi-character interaction, fighting, using a DVX, working with extras and VFX), some I think I did better than others, but in all of these areas I learned things that will make me better next time (I hope). We also had a great time making this film and I'm looking forward to the next one...I gained a lot of confidence that I didn't have before and that can only help. I hope I satisfied the other goal, telling a good story...I think I did, but you all are the judge of that. Just going through the experience plus all the great feedback I'm getting here are already helping me grow.
Here's a response to each of your comments/questions:
Glad you liked the opening, it was the original image I had when I started writing. I was concerned about the V.O. because I know a lot of people don't like voiceover, but I felt it added to the story rather than try to fill in holes.
The CG with the pad and paper was a miracle I got it as good as I did. You're right, I need to track the image with the movement of the pad, but I don't know how...yet I knew there was still something wrong with it, but I wasn't sure until you pointed out the "lack of tracking"...now I see it (so see, I I was thinking I need to spend some more time learning all these VFX trick, but actually I think it would be best if I hook up with a great VFX guy/team that can make my visions reality.
You're right about the cut with the guy with the bag walking in...I intended for the cut to start a little later when everyone is already in motion, so it looked more natural.
Glad you liked James' performance (the superhero). He, the "guy with the bag" and the main villian (guy in grey suit) are all excellent actors. Where they may have fallen short here is my lack of direction. They gave what I asked of them and even went beyond that, but I still need to learn to direct actors.
I can't remember now, but if you are referring the bg plate of the water then yes I think it is looping. I had to use the shots I got and work around problems.
The "flex" was his idea and I let him try it...I think it was a nice touch. I told him to "preen" for the mirror because I wanted to give the sense that this guy, though he was reluctant to get involved is starting to warm to the idea once he sees himself.
The heist is not as clear as I would like...the idea was supposed to be that this was like a "lakeside vacation resort" area. Then the bad guy (guy in gray suit) would look out of place, which is why the superhero starts sketching him. Because of the shortness of time I couldn't really develop the superhero and a plausible villian so I tried to stick to a stereotypical "hostage situation" so just seeing it people would understand, "Hey, he's a bad man....get him super-guy"
I think all the actors suffered because I am still learning how to direct them, especially the "thug holding the gun" (I assume you mean the one who gets beat up by the invisible superhero). He is fairly new to acting and still trying to learn. I tried my best to convey what I wanted and I think he gave me that. I just had so much going on that I couldn't focus on whether I needed more from him (or the others for that matter).
The FX of the hero vanishing/reappearing was supposed to be "cooler". I was going to make him fade out, or vaporize, or something cool...but a combination of lack of time, experience and skill prevented it. There was actually a problem with the bg plate and I had to do some fancy footwork just to get him to disappear at all. And the "instruction to hide" timing is off because of working around those problems with the effect.
The "hostages" probably didn't look frightened enough because I left them sitting there so long they were cooking in the sun and their legs had gone to sleep. When I came up with the idea of having them "run away" they had a difficult time getting up
One of the big challenges I faced was that the 30 extras that told me they were coming, didn't. I had 1 (yes, that is a one) extra out of 30 show up. This caused a problem in framing (couldn't show the area too wide or you'd see there was no one there), it caused a problem with a plausible hostage situation, and it caused a problem with the "guy with the bag". In the original script I have him walk in through the crowd and they subconciously part to allow him through. Then when he leaves he was going to exit through the crowd, again they would part to allow him to pass, then part way through the crowd he disappears but the crowd continues to part as if he is still passing through. So I had to come up with new ideas for all those parts, on the fly, while we were already cramming 2 days worth of shots into a single day.
The mask on the park bench was to cover up where two kids walked over, sat down and were watching what was going on (they were the two boys from the hostage scene). Their action didn't fit so I tried to mask them out. For the most part I was successful, but there is that point there were it shows up and EVERYONE comments on it. I was hoping the action with the cop running in would distract people from it, but they seem to be drawn to it. I just ran out of time to fix it any more.
The fight between the superhero and the villian was not as good as I wanted. I just don't know how, yet, to film a fight sequence. And at one point the superhero throws the villian to the ground, then they punch and roll around a bit. Well we were on concrete so I put sleeping bags down for padding and then threw a green screen over it (hoping I could key it out later). But I forgot to get a BG plate, though it doesn't matter as the green screen bunched up so much during the struggle that I couldn't key it out. So I had to reframe everything in the NLE to keep the screen from showing. They were not used to fighting and I wasn't sure how to direct them so they ended up fighting at the wrong speed and their punches didn't land close enough to be believable. I went back and shot some of the closeups to try and cover it up, but I couldn't cover them all.
The idea wasn't that he was running to a rooftop to jump to the ground and run more. It was supposed to be that we've seen this guy become this "superhero" and do things he "supposedly" couldn't before. And all along he has been instructed by the hologram version of the guy with the bag. So when he gets to the roof, this hologram tells him to "Fly!" and it blacks out with him jumping to fly.....but can he? Is that really a power he has, or has been given? That ties into the "leap of faith" title....will his attempt to fly be successful. Does he have the faith to trust this new found power he has acquired.
Yes, the score is FANTASTIC! I'm sorry to see in leo's post that it is still out of sync. I don't think anyone knows but Leo, but I totally understand creating something to be a certain way and then having it not be that way. Hopefully the last minute correction I made is better than what it was.
I hope there is a "prize category" for composer this time, because I'm sure Leo will win. He is a fantastic composer and look forward to working more with him. And, he didn't have much more than a week to create this work, so imagine if I'd given him a more fair amount of time
Glad you liked the film overall, and again, thanks for the feedback on the parts that didn't work or needed more attention.
06-06-2006 09:18 AM
Envision - I'm glad you liked it!! And, you're right, with the short time frame and the myriad of difficulties I ran into, I'm very proud of the finished film. Yes, I see things in every shot that I would like to fix or do differently, but overall I'm proud of what I accomplished.
The best part of those guys acting are parts I barely directed. I was setting up the camera and then I turned to the 1st AD and said, "Grab a couple scripts so they can start working on the lines"....he looked at me and said, "They just did the whole sequence" (this is the part when he brings the bag and they converse). So, I had them run the lines again and sure enough they already had them memorized and had a good intercourse going on. So we shot it. I just gave small direction to tweak some of their responses/reactions. In particular, having the main actor wait, looking incredulous before saying, "What?" and then having the guy in the black suit turn and walk away immediately after the superhero takes the bag.
Thanks for the comments, it's great to have things to think about while I watch the film. I am learning so much from this project.
06-06-2006 09:22 AMOriginally Posted by leogardini
Originally Posted by leogardini
Originally Posted by leogardini
Originally Posted by leogardini
Glad you liked the film and we'll be talking more soon about the DVD version
06-06-2006 11:48 AM
Ian - Thanks for the comments, I'm glad you enjoyed the film (that was the first priority...make a film people will enjoy watching!)
Yes, I love the classic superhero and wanted to follow that path. It was tough deciding whether to pursue a old-school, comic style piece like Spiderman or a more dramatic piece like Batman Begins. I think I fell somewhere in the middle and am pretty happy with the result.
When the "hero" pulls the mask out of the bag he actually says, "This is crazy!" but I had trouble with the audio and I couldn't get that line in loud enough without sounding funny, especially because the music swells at that point.
I had a huge problem in that about 30 feet from the park bench where the majority of the action occurred there was a huge fountain. I did my best to keep the mic pointed away from the fountain and when the shots were tight enough we had grips hold blankets up to try and block the noise. Rapier_100a did an EXCELLENT job removing the noise from most of the audio and giving it a nice round mix so the overall audio was clear and easy to hear.
Glad you liked the choice of the bathroom, never even considered it an "anti-phone booth", but I guess it was. One "easter egg", if you will, in the bathroom scene calls back to my first film, INVITATION. For those that have seen it you know that several people crumple paper invitations and toss them away, but you only see their hands. One set of hands was mine and some people said, jokingly, that I should use that as my "hitchcock"...that in every film I should have a shot of my hands crumpling paper. So that is why you see a set of hands crumple the paper towel in the bathroom...it fits since it would be natural to walk in on someone washing their hands and lets us see the hero pass behind, giving a little more distance/size to the bathroom...and it gives me my "cameo"
The fight sequence needs more work, but I'm still learning how to film a fight. I need to experiment more with different angles, shutter speeds, moving the camera around the fight, etc, etc. I just need to watch a lot of movies with fight sequences in them to see how they do it.
I don't know if you saw it or not, but early on in the announcement of this fest I put up a picture with Ralph (Greatest American Hero) and Superman together. When I was a kid I loved that show....now, like MacGyver and A-Team, I cringe when I watch. When did these shows get so cornball...did someone modify them while I was growing up??
Anyway, glad you enjoyed it...and thanks for the comments.
06-06-2006 02:14 PM
Good job, you made an entertaining movie. Nothing much I can add in way of constructive criticism that you haven't already seen. I liked the "hero theme" when he was changing in the men's room. Very inspirational.
The chorus from a Guy Clark song (The Cape) kind of sums up how your movie made me feel:
"'Cause he’s one of those who knows his life
Is just a leap of faith
Gotta' spread your arms and hold your breath
And always trust your cape"