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Table read - Help salvage a short film.


Turboguard
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So in 2014, me and two friends set out to shoot a short with my new BMPCC and for me to learn how to use it through practice. I ended up with 350GB footage, but then put the project on the shelf. I had a 4 page script dabbled down for the shoot and less than 24h to shoot. 

 

Last year I finally decided to put together an assembly cut and wanted to share it here. I learned through the assembly cut that I clearly didn't get enough coverage and some of the scenes just look terrible in terms of my setup and (obviously) because of the time limit. 

 

Okay to the point, I thought it might be fun to salvage what could be saved so have uploaded the assembly here:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4RzH3eFvfE8c21WZEdjTWtTN0U/view?usp=sharing

 

I was thinking, you who wants to, can download and look and maybe give me some pointers what work and what doesn't. You can def think out of the box and rechange the basic idea of the script and delete scenes you think could go etc. Even pull it into your NLE and move things around. 

 

I did record audio separately that I haven't even touched yet cause I felt so let down with what I had gotten footage wise. But it's still on a drive in case this turns out to be a fun collab with y'all so yeah, audio in this cut is from the BMPCC.

 

Hope you'll think this will be fun! Can't wait to hear what some of you think, even if it's only a short comment or what you feel you have the time to share.

 

Thanks!

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Honestly, I have to agree with Webrunner... I wouldn't change much of this at all. I guess a better audio mix and a little tighter here or there, but all in all it's a very good short that should have been entered in horror festivals a couple years ago.

The end twist is simple yet effective, but I am left wondering if there is any meta fiction in the short. Since you had Ida Stein as the director, is there any real life truth to that or is just part of the story? Or are you the female lead of The Lake House as well?

There were also some nice simple choices that made the short feel more realistic. For instance, by having your female lead in her underwear was a nice touch. Horror is an experience that prays on the visceral side of the human condition. The audience needs to feel many emotions to truly feel the horror of the film and fear is not the only one.

But anyway, really cool work and I really don't think you need anybody's help here, it just needs another pass on the cut and better sound... since you said you have those files, then you should be golden!

Also, in the end as a filmmaker, this has inspired me to take a simple idea and make a film. And I thank you for that. Too often am I bogged down by production and gear that I forget a nice image from a simple camera is more than enough to tell a good story!!!

Oh yeah... one more thing... one edit I would make is when Ida struggles to get away from her attacker and we see his mustached face, I instantly became less fearful of him than I did before I saw 70s porn killer. IMO.

Sorry one more thing. I watched this on my phone, so I am basing any visual quality off of my iPhone screen... and I loved the look of it. It reminded me of Ty West's, "The House of the Devil."

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Thank you both for such kind words. I still feel like this is still a little above my head at the moment, but you have def made me feel like I should take my time to sit down and really clean and tighten this up! Still, any collaboration is greatly welcomed here! (looking at that last scene where camera goes out of the screen haha).  And that it reminds you of House of the Devil really made my day, I LOVE that movie!

 

1 hour ago, mercer said:

The end twist is simple yet effective, but I am left wondering if there is any meta fiction in the short. Since you had Ida Stein as the director, is there any real life truth to that or is just part of the story? Or are you the female lead of The Lake House as well?

Well, meta and meta, haha, in the script it sounded so easy, but it is part of the ending. Don't want to spoil it without one of those spoiler things but I don't know how to hide my text on this forum.

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1 hour ago, Turboguard said:

Thank you both for such kind words. I still feel like this is still a little above my head at the moment, but you have def made me feel like I should take my time to sit down and really clean and tighten this up! Still, any collaboration is greatly welcomed here! (looking at that last scene where camera goes out of the screen haha).  And that it reminds you of House of the Devil really made my day, I LOVE that movie!

 

Well, meta and meta, haha, in the script it sounded so easy, but it is part of the ending. Don't want to spoil it without one of those spoiler things but I don't know how to hide my text on this forum.

Yeah I really think you should give it another pass yourself... I really liked it. I am more than happy to discuss it with you if you want to get more detailed without spoiling the ending... just PM me. 

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On 3/24/2017 at 4:29 PM, webrunner5 said:

Now this IS a thread that will probably go no where :frown:,  but this is the kind of thread that we Need. We need to up our game and put stuff up here to critique, us and them. This is a damn good effort, like it or not, and hell I like it.  :blush:

Thank you, and yeah, maybe this forum is just more for the technology today than actually creating. We'll see! I think I'm going to sit down this week and review the raw footage and see that I can do... Maybe I'll have a new cut up in a few weeks! Again, both of you, thanks for the encouragement!

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Your first post sounded so apologetic, that I was prepared to watch some real crap, and was absolutely surprised with what I actually saw. Yes, some stuff might be tightened, and yes, sound would add a ton to the viewing experience, and yes, you should keep working on it, as it can be a pretty solid short, if polished. 

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Thanks redimp! Yeah, audio is going to be a hassle because I never organized it and it was also my first time using my Tascam recorder, but it's all there! Haha

 

and here's a lil bts after the final shot (third guy owned the house we did the cellar scenes which was a separate house)

 

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1 hour ago, Turboguard said:

Thanks redimp! Yeah, audio is going to be a hassle because I never organized it and it was also my first time using my Tascam recorder, but it's all there! Haha

 

I picked up Plural Eyes when it was on special from RedGiant. Takes a lot of the grunt work out and zero learning curve.

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8 minutes ago, Orangenz said:

I picked up Plural Eyes when it was on special from RedGiant. Takes a lot of the grunt work out and zero learning curve.

I have it too, got it with a NTG2 a long time ago but I tried it twice and can't seem to understand how it works really. It's how it priorities clips and deletes others and both time's I did it it deleted 90% of the clips I wanted. So gave up on it. I have plural eyes 3 something.

49 minutes ago, mercer said:

Hey Turbo, just looked at your Vimeo page... are you from Philly? I live in South Jersey, about 15 min across the Ben Franklin.

No but my partners mom lives there so we go for every holiday! I'm in NYC.

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45 minutes ago, Turboguard said:

I have it too, got it with a NTG2 a long time ago but I tried it twice and can't seem to understand how it works really. It's how it priorities clips and deletes others and both time's I did it it deleted 90% of the clips I wanted. So gave up on it. I have plural eyes 3 something.

Ermmm..? Yea 3.5 here. It doesn't delete clips at all. Unless you go for the additional sequence but that is always a second sequence in addition to the main one. Not sure how it would work on a completed sequence.

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The short is actually pretty good. 

The final shot is a little unclear. We didn't get much of a view of the SUV earlier, so it's not an 'ah-hah' moment as much as it should be. And now that we're in this upper layer in the meta fiction, the meaning could be shifted...is that her actual vehicle in this world? It would be more clear if we had a shot of both of the cars. Maybe show her car and the SUV creeping in, still following her.

The other main problem I had is that a lot of the first half of the film felt like filler. I understand this is necessary to an extent and common in horror films, to put you in the protagonist's world so you feel the tension as they start to be menaced. But, a lot of little details could be trimmed. Since we can't actually see what she's writing on the laptop screen, a lot of the time spent around that could be trimmed. Or her running sequence, etc. Just generally tighten things, since nothing essential is being communicated. For a short like this, minimal is best. 

Love the BMPCC image on this. The noisy/grainy image is great for narrative, it really is today's S16 film.
What lighting was being used when she turns the lamps off in the bedroom? 

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On 3/27/2017 at 10:04 PM, Chrad said:

The short is actually pretty good. 

The final shot is a little unclear. We didn't get much of a view of the SUV earlier, so it's not an 'ah-hah' moment as much as it should be. And now that we're in this upper layer in the meta fiction, the meaning could be shifted...is that her actual vehicle in this world? It would be more clear if we had a shot of both of the cars. Maybe show her car and the SUV creeping in, still following her.

The other main problem I had is that a lot of the first half of the film felt like filler. I understand this is necessary to an extent and common in horror films, to put you in the protagonist's world so you feel the tension as they start to be menaced. But, a lot of little details could be trimmed. Since we can't actually see what she's writing on the laptop screen, a lot of the time spent around that could be trimmed. Or her running sequence, etc. Just generally tighten things, since nothing essential is being communicated. For a short like this, minimal is best. 

Love the BMPCC image on this. The noisy/grainy image is great for narrative, it really is today's S16 film.
What lighting was being used when she turns the lamps off in the bedroom? 

Thanks for your input! Means a lot and will hopefully get around to get a tightened up version online in a few weeks. Regarding light, I shot the whole thing with one ikan led panel I picked up a few years ago for pretty cheap. It can be seen in the BTS footage I posted further up. Am excited to dive into this again! 

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