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Feature Film Shot on Iscorama TRAILER


jeffpb7
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Your last post reminded me of this:

http://channel101.wikia.com/wiki/Story_Structure_106:_Five_Minute_Pilots

That whole series is worth reading. Word-for-word it's the best advice on story structure available online. The only competition is the Save the Cat beat sheet, but that requires some context and is specific to selling a feature-length "Hollywood" genre spec script, and less applicable to telling a story in any medium. So Harmon's guide is a better place to start, especially for shorts and episodic content.

Fwiw, Tiny Furniture–shot on a 7D–launched a major career for a storyteller and nothing posted here ever will. It also launched a major DP's career. There's already an entire industry devoted to production value and a lot of great cameras and technicians if you can afford them–and so the ability to get decent production value cheaply is far less interesting than the ability to tell a story, especially once budgets surpass $100k. And so those who are getting blood from a stone will only continue to get more stones to milk–unless they develop an eye that's more aesthetic than technical or a voice as a storyteller. But those are more terrifying skills to tackle since there's no test chart to quantify them. And there is money in corporate and in post–where technical polish is more valuable. But even then you'll only rise above the noise floor once you can carry a signal.

Sure, Fincher is a genius technician. That's inseparable from his storytelling skill. But if you could separate it, it wouldn't be worth much on its own.

Also: excellent observation on result vs method acting and result vs process direction, regardless of the quality of the performances above. Check out (but don't slavishly adhere to, especially when working with experienced professional actors, who do much of the work themselves) Judith Weston's book Directing Actors. Or the first few chapters. Ironically she's a bit too prescriptive, though, given that her advice is not to be.

That said, this isn't a filmmaking or storytelling forum. You're smart, you should realize this immediately. This forum exists specifically for hobbyists to try to get the best image possible from lower end consumer gear through technical tricks and gizmos. Is there value to that? Sure. But if you're stuck with a cheap dSLR looking for the best image, you could spend your effort looking for a new LUT, a new vintage lens, a weird camera hack, etc. Or you could spend the same effort developing a pitch and networking and creating a story that attracts talent and money. In both cases, you'll end up with a better image. In one case, best case scenario it'll be a slightly sharper dSLR image you can use to shoot your friend's wedding (or whatever parts are in focus and not dropping frames from whatever weird anamorphic raw video hack you've employed), in the other it'll be a legitimate crew and high end gear being used as a secondary tool to tell a story.

But you know this isn't a filmmaking or storytelling forum. It's a technical forum. So it comes across as trolling when you criticize anything but technical skill (or what's perceived to be technical skill by a narrow-minded audience–usually the best barometer is either the best-informed eye or the least-informed). 

Really it's just irrelevant. The audience here is after tips and tricks to get a better image cheap–and that can be valuable, too, in its own by. But it isn't after storytelling. 

Are you?

Back when I was shooting 4x5 I met a technician from Polaroid and showed him my fancy lenses. He said–nice lenses, but are you going to use them to take photos, or is your interest the lenses themselves. My interest was the lenses themselves. I spent money on landscape lenses rather than a trip to Yellowstone. I have some really sharp chromes of my backyard that no one will ever look at.

They were really fun to shoot, though.

And that's the thing. You're going to get nowhere–except to dead ends–unless you follow your interests. And while storytelling seems like a nobler goal than GH2 hacks, there's a market for both. This site caters to the GH2 crowd. If you're lucky enough to be interested in storytelling, you should look for that crowd. Maybe someone in it owns an Alexa (and ideally knows how to use it, too!).

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Following up, the most useless feedback you'll get is from online audiences, unless you're specifically trying to make what they're trying to make and doing it better than them.

The best advice you'll get is from an ignorant audience. The second best is from masters of their craft. Online know-it-alls combine the worst of both worlds. 

Spielberg doesn't give director's commentaries. That bad photographer with an afro won't shut the hell up.

Here I go spouting nonsense online instead of working. Inadvertently proving my own point. :(

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A lot of directors who start in theater are exceptionally good at blocking. Sometimes they don't know how to move the camera, though. Reading Sidney Lumet's book you get the impression he takes a pretty theatrical approach to blocking. It works. Polanski is great at blocking. Spielberg is the best in that he can block well and move the camera. 

Having a background in acting is great. Wish I had one!

Just saying this isn't really a forum that's as concerned with performance so much as playing with toys. Nothing wrong with that, but there are better communities if you're interested in storytelling and performance.

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Here's the trailer for a movie I shot last year using an Iscorama/helios/jupiter9/minolta 35mm and FS700 with Blade recorder. It's a no budget, lowbrow, dark comedy. It's no Oscar winner, but it's my first feature film and it's almost ready for distribution(hopefully). 

Man...Loved the B-Movie vibe, really good!

(Ignore the crazy guy, cause he's crazy!)

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I'd pay to see this at the theatre.  looks superb.  well done man

 

It sounds like some here don;t quite 'get' the movie.  It's not meant to be serious.  I see a lot of great humor here - the characters are great - memorable looks to the main guy.   The selection of an isocrama and the old russian lenses definitely adds to the authenticity of the piece.  the fact that you worked around the limitations of anamorphic is probably why it looks so good.   the cut and the offset audio sync is a great touch.

Granted I wouldn't have watched if it had not stated that it was shot on a 'rama, but that's the whole point.  People shoot anaorphic to separate themselves from the guys shooting on L series and grading to try and make it look like what you;ve achieved.  Thanks for sharing this!

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Thanks everyone, for the kind words and constructive criticism… in case you're wondering, this movie is not a serious one. It's a ridiculous redneck comedy, so the acting isn't so bad, once you realize how ridiculous it is. I shot it for 10k(actors and locations), doing all of pre and post solo. My wife and I shot the movie. I also had to act in it, because I couldn't afford to pay someone to play my part(redneck in the truck). Sometimes there was no one behind the camera. I hope I can get some help on my next one, which is a lot crazier than this one, but it's hard to find dedicated filmmakers in Sacramento, CA. 

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Thanks everyone, for the kind words and constructive criticism… in case you're wondering, this movie is not a serious one. It's a ridiculous redneck comedy, so the acting isn't so bad, once you realize how ridiculous it is. I shot it for 10k(actors and locations), doing all of pre and post solo. My wife and I shot the movie. I also had to act in it, because I couldn't afford to pay someone to play my part(redneck in the truck). Sometimes there was no one behind the camera. I hope I can get some help on my next one, which is a lot crazier than this one, but it's hard to find dedicated filmmakers in Sacramento, CA. 

Man, if the film is anything like the trailer...classic!

 

You don't see me. That is your problem.

Oh, I see you...that's my real problem!

Classic. The thread is becoming better than the original post. 

You get meh? I don't think you do.....

We need a sticky on this forum, so we can 4chan-ise.....

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You can ignore this if you can't deal with it or perhaps move onto the other opinions that you like and the people who love your work can do the same if they feel offended. I hate it when people can't just scroll past me when they feel hindered by the appearance of the broadening long text.

 

It's not like this text is a court judge telling you if you do not read this you will face charges. You also have the freedom to talk this long and descriptive about my work. The big critics do that to people. Zach Did you get a long ass review on your work by some guy trashing it? Probably not reading this... Or perhaps fixing a big mean reverse psychology comment, which I hope he does not do and I'm being paranoid. Please don't, I'm using you as a good example of a good filmmaker.

 

To the person above me, I got a question, an annoying one, but to give a different perspective and is a different opinion from yours. I personally from the way it looks, great camera, but it doesn't look structured correctly, and the actors look like they were given commands instead of told to act. That is a constructive opinion, because by focusing on that it helps build it. Now anyway: would you say it was great had it been made with a VHS camcorder without the anamorphic lens in bad lighting?

 

I remember a guy telling me he hated being lectured in life and believe me I have been lectured by masses of people and more times than you and learned from it. Got called out on my complaints quite a lot too when I had arguments with people while I was given criticism that I just hated because it was not what I wanted or wanted to deal with and ignore. But I decided to listen each time learning a new thing or new form of how to approach thing each time I decided to listen. And believe me I dealt with people who were more persistent to having to listen to what they had to say and I'm saying it like this, not to deter you or force you, you can ignore it. It's a harmless texted opinion about your work. It's not like the text is devious or is going to jump out and hurt you, it's just an opinion and when you move higher up you are going to get it no matter what. The other Zach when I looked at his work got it A LOT. I saw his IMDB pages, his youtube comments, everything, and he got a lot of hate on his work. When I'm in theater, oh man I remember having to watch the audience not clap and walk out when watching them on DVD.  I felt like the tech crew placed a false laughter track and false clapping track to make us feel better. But it's going to happen, it's human nature. Yeah, sure, my Mom liked it..hehehe... Yeah... Some shows turned out bad, some okay, and some was difficult but made it to good.

I remember all of the times I felt a tiny bit irritated at my professor when I showed him my scripts he kept on telling me: Where's the plot, where's the plot, where's the plot. That new short film that Ebrahim told me he liked, finally had a plot. My professor too had bad criticism, he got told his entire show was laboriously dull and boring. Don't throw your movie in the trash and get emotionally like a 4 year old when he gets told someone does not like his macaroni art.

 

Believe me when I posted my short films and test films on 4chan I remember the sheer amount of distrust and hate I got from it. And here I got a barrage of people telling me the lighting on my videos was so dark they couldn't see it and I got very frustrated and retaliated. I acted like that, but still was listening to them and trying harder and harder working harder and harder. Even though the haters kept on hating me. Every time I get try harder they get quieter, and I gain more fans. And the people who gave me constructive criticism started rooting for me. Read my quote and here is something new: As passionate as film is, it's as hard as it is passionate. The only ones who make it are the ones who actually love doing it and listen.

 

Anyway, enough with the harmless rant to let stuff out of my chest to show my feelings and in an attempt to give you comfort when you read my criticism:

By the trailer, your film is too much an attempt at trying to be cool, the actors need to be told to be naturally the character when they say their lines, the characters look like they have the same emotion throughout the story, the film looks like it came from the SyFy channel, the music sounds like it came from some cheap royalty-free packs (not as bad as the stupid hipster piano music on test shorts) NOTE TO FILMMAKERS DO NOT GO FOR THE OVERLY DRAMATIC ORCHESTRATED ROYALTY FREE MUSIC THAT IS CHEAP AND DOES NOT MATCH THE STYLE. THE AUDIENCE COULD CALL YOUR FILM MORE CHEAP THAN THE CAMERA USED IN ITJUDGING BY PEOPLE LIKE ZACH, HE WENT FOR THE SPECIFIC MUSIC THAT FITS THE TONE AND STYLE. WHICH WOULD ONLY WORK ON THAT ONE FILM HE CAME UP WITH. IT CAN BE FREE, BUT MAKE DAMN SURE IT MATCHES THE TONE AND STYLE AND HARDLY ANYBODY HAS USED IT. I like your setup, you got all you need, now work harder on making rather than buying or showing off gear. NOT REQUIRED CHALLENGE FOR EVERYBODY ON EOSHD REMOVE THE GEAR DESCRIPTION.

Well, thanks for the insight… I'm with you on the music. I don't have an ear for music, and have had a rough time with the audio in general. But picking music has been a bitch. This is my first crack at a trailer, so I'm sure it could be done much better, using what I have. The acting is what it is… I would have liked to rehearse more, but just getting the actors to show up during production was hard enough. I had 5 people drop out a week before and during production. It sucked to have to replace people the same day someone dropped out during production. I did it though, and stuck to my schedule(16 shoot days)… which was a huge challenge in itself. Some days I really wanted to call everyone and tell them that day was canceled. But then I told myself, fuck it, just get it done dummy!

Also, the only reason I mentioned the camera etc., was because I like it when people do that on their videos, especially on sites like this one. Had nothing to do with showing off… it's not like it's the nicest gear either. If I said it was shot on an Alexa with Hawk Lenses, then I mite be showing off gear. The reason I mentioned the Iscorama is so you would watch it, and to get opinions on how it looks.  

I'd like to improve this movie as much as possible before I release it, so if you have any advise that's doable, let me know. I'm looking for some scratchy film grain to make it look grittier. Maybe that will make it look less SyFy'ish. 

 

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I wouldn't take any artistic advice from anyone on this thread, or from any forum in general if i were you.  I think you;re on the right track as you are.  Clearly you've done your work creating a style, a look.  The whole thing captures that b-movie vibe.  It feels like you made an effort to make it look as if it's not meant to be funny, but is - the reason old b-movies are entertaining.  watching films of this style you put yourself into a different mindset and absorb the film how it's meant to be absorbed.  The critique I see above is kind of like a random guy with no film making experience going up to Tarrantino and Rodriquez and telling them that the cut is shabby and the image quality looks bad on Death Proof / Planet Terror.  Missing the whole point.  

my take on the politics of the thread... It was nice to see a piece shot completely on an iscorama.  It illustrates to those worrying about lack of wide angle anamorphic solutions that with a relatively low investment of lenses ( for the price you paid for your iscorama and the taking lenses you'd only be able to rent a single panavision c series lens for half a week) and a bit of hard work and creativity you can shoot something that looks like it was shot in the late 1970's and cost 500k.  and the bonus for you is that it has driven traffic to your film.   I'm looking forward to seeing the entire film

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I wouldn't take any artistic advice from anyone on this thread, or from any forum in general if i were you.  I think you;re on the right track as you are.  Clearly you've done your work creating a style, a look.  The whole thing captures that b-movie vibe.  It feels like you made an effort to make it look as if it's not meant to be funny, but is - the reason old b-movies are entertaining.  watching films of this style you put yourself into a different mindset and absorb the film how it's meant to be absorbed.  The critique I see above is kind of like a random guy with no film making experience going up to Tarrantino and Rodriquez and telling them that the cut is shabby and the image quality looks bad on Death Proof / Planet Terror.  Missing the whole point.  

my take on the politics of the thread... It was nice to see a piece shot completely on an iscorama.  It illustrates to those worrying about lack of wide angle anamorphic solutions that with a relatively low investment of lenses ( for the price you paid for your iscorama and the taking lenses you'd only be able to rent a single panavision c series lens for half a week) and a bit of hard work and creativity you can shoot something that looks like it was shot in the late 1970's and cost 500k.  and the bonus for you is that it has driven traffic to your film.   I'm looking forward to seeing the entire film

Thanks man, I appreciate that… you totally get what I was going for with the comedy and look. I'd like to find some scratched film overlays to give it that super gritty look. I have Gorilla Grain, but it's not even close to as gritty as Death Proof/Planet Terror overlays. Rodriguez inspired me to become a filmmaker with his 10 minute film school. I was living down in Costa Rica, surfing, building houses, and watching shitloads of B movies, and then I ran across "The Robert Rodrigues 10 Minute Film School". After watching it, I decided that I was going to be a filmmaker. My wife and I made our first short movie "Dead Monkeys" while we waited for my wife's green card. Here it is https://vimeo.com/44907754 maybe you'll get a laugh out of it. It's suppose to be one of those "It's so wrong it's funny" type movies… kind of like "Squat". I think Squat is very funny… I still laugh at certain parts, even though I've seen it a million times. I'll make sure let you know when I'm finished.  

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At times those types of people help you out the most if you listen to them. You don't need to directly say or do anything, just pay attention and learn. You can come off as the 12 year old filmmaker's 13 year old friend who overly defends his work. Did not call Jeff a 12 year old filmmaker by the way, it was not a double attack or an attack at all. It's a comparison made directly and only to rich who has the profile picture of the lens. By listening to critics you learn a lot of what they say and learn a few techniques to better themselves? Ever heard a director tell his actors to color their lines? It means to be 3-dimensional, not 2-dimensional, or one dimensional like a dot. The guy that is inexperienced with lighting is not inexperienced with all of the other aspects of filmmaking. Critics can help shape directors if listened to in the right way. Selfishness with greed does not get you far with your work. Did not call you greedy by the way Jeff, don't worry. Greed is what causes problems in some of the bad Hollywood remakes. You got a company that just sells a product with a fancy camera, showing off to everyone, fancy spectactles, sex, drugs, violence, language. Throw in a big name actor and there you go instant gratification for the dollar. Not the right way to go. I'm helping him since I am discovering ways and trying to help myself out with filmmaking, so I can relate. You need to read poetics: http://image.slidesharecdn.com/elementsofgreektragedyandthetragichero-110411222619-phpapp01/95/elements-of-greek-tragedy-and-the-tragic-hero-11-728.jpg?cb=1302560870 Smartasses without filmschool or jackasses who skip this in filmschool or anyone in general need to remember this triangle. Notice how spectactle is at the bottom? It's the least important. Which means your fancy action hero waving guns arounds and shooting terrorists is at the bottom along with the Arri Alexa and Panavision lens. That is what the bad remakes do a lot. Look at the other posts and analyze it even though it is humorous. I'm glad you think I'm funny, but my ideologies can be recognized well in the filmmaking world. I'm not telling you to start changing your film, sell this thing and on the next one work harder.

Great monologue, love the bit about greed. But I feel overall the piece indicates a lack of experience in the analysis of others. 

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jeffpb7, love the look of it! However the audio is messed up :-/ I'd focus on that next time.

Thanks, I appreciate that... I'm trying to fix the audio, but I'm not quite sure what's wrong with it. I'm kind of learning as I go with the audio. Can you explain what's messed up about it, and possibly how to fix it? I'm at the point where it sounds better than it did, but still doesn't sound right. The problem is, I don't really know how to make it better. I'm using Adobe Audition, if you have any advise. 

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