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jcs

Short film shot with A7S, GH4, 5D3 RAW

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

I liked the night shots at 4:20 & 4:40.

It's probably the first time I see skin not looking green and yello on an a7s... You nailed the skin here

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The "beach" shots were really good.  Looked other worldly so I didn't know whether it was a composited background, but when she was walking round it didn't seem like green screen so I guess the location just looked fantastic at that point.  Was that the 5d3 raw sunset shot you were refering to or was that the earlier one looking over the city?  The bird flying off behind her looks great too.  Really lucky to get that in the shot, unless it actually was composited.

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Thanks Ebrahim. An interesting finding is that on some monitors the footage looks green and on others it looks magenta. Even after X-Rite color calibration, the effect is still there (though reduced). I biased towards magenta so that on 'green' monitors it looks OK and not too magenta on 'magenta' monitors. I have not done extensive tests, but perhaps Canon's colors don't swing so much between magenta and green with similar monitors, meaning something deeper is going on with the perceptual color science.

 

Thanks Matt. All the moving shots were on location. The 'beach' shots were in the desert- the Salton Sea at around 111F and high humidity. We delayed shooting until near sunset hoping it would cool off (it didn't), so we didn't have much time, and thus shot plates so we could do the fight scene via green screen. Indeed we were very lucky- the birds are all real. The 5D3 shot was the city pan shot, taken on Runyan Canyon above Hollywood looking toward Century City.

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I'm sorry, but this isn't doing anything for me.
Mainly because the green screen shots are very very obviously fake, and the digital effects like the explosion or jump into the pool are anything but convincing.
Add to that the sound design and mixing which don't make any sense.  Like all composited shots from the 7:15 mark on, which have dry studio voice over sound, while they're standing outside.

The main problem I have with these technical aspects lacking, is that they draw me completely away from the story.  So much so, that I couldn't even tell you what this short is about.  Nor that I want to watch it again to find out.

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I'm sorry, but this isn't doing anything for me.
Mainly because the green screen shots are very very obviously fake, and the digital effects like the explosion or jump into the pool are anything but convincing.
Add to that the sound design and mixing which don't make any sense.  Like all composited shots from the 7:15 mark on, which have dry studio voice over sound, while they're standing outside.

The main problem I have with these technical aspects lacking, is that they draw me completely away from the story.  So much so, that I couldn't even tell you what this short is about.  Nor that I want to watch it again to find out.

 

Well, it may be as goofy as Barbarella back in the day, but you don't really worry about that too much, because your attention is arrested by pretty much the same "thing" as it was back in the day when Jane Fonda was living her prime years. ;)

 

As for your merry way of distributing "constructive criticism" and rooting for your fellow filmmakers, whether you like piece or not, at least he's walking the walk, instead of just talking the talk. With the resources he's got right now. Who knows what all that will become, eventually. Both in terms of storytelling and technical.

One thing is sure, though, just talking and criticising technical shortcomings won't take us anywhere. Let's give jcs some credit for actually doing something with the gear and putting it out there for everyone to see, instead of just bickering about the specs of the gear on online forums. Personal projects are the things that get us going, aren't they.

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Pascal- thanks for the feedback. I can probably fix the green screen shots if I understand what you are seeing as fake. Can you describe in more detail what exactly looks fake? The jump into the pool was real, no green screen. What aspects of the explosion look wrong? I understand there should be major waves on the sea, however that was beyond our budget (this could be done in 3DS Max or AE with a suitable plugin and rendering time). I thought about using a convolution reverb on the outside voices, however no one had an issue with the sound until now. I can take another look at it.

 

Quirky- thanks for the kind words. I recently saw Barbarella for the first time after wrapping Delta. It was entertaining in many ways, though not for the story or acting. The color was amazing, and after researching how it was done, was very interesting (the history of color and Technicolor film). It was also interesting reading about how they did compositing back then, all with film processes (no computers). Jane Fonda looked great, with and without clothes, and the 60's sets had a fun vibe. And interesting to learn the band Duran Duran took their name from Dr. Durand Durand from Barbarella.

 

Our goal with this project, never having done any sort of narrative before, was to get it done in a timely manner. I wrote the first draft script in a couple of hours. We revised it as we shot, and the Planet Dominous scene was written on the drive to the Salton Sea where it was filmed. The original idea was more Zen philosophy and less drama. After showing a rough cut to a few friends and family, we refactored it for more drama. We now have a better idea what we'll need to do in the future for a more engaging story. Moving forward, our primary goal is making sure the story is decent before we begin shooting.

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This is definitely a 'put up or shut up' kind of thread.

Challenges are non stop making a narrative. I just finished a rough cut of a short shot in the Imperial desert as well, and some things just end up half baked...excuse the pun.

I haven't had enough nerve to post it here as I still want to fix a few things, but it's admirable for anyone that is willing to create something and release it into the wild. You gotta start somewhere.

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Hey fuzzynormal, indeed shooting in the desert can be a challenge. One of the benefits is when it's super hot, there's little or no people out there to get in your shot :)

 

Setting goals and deadlines forced us to get it done, no matter what. After this short it's more understandable why it takes so long to complete these projects, and why some projects never get finished.

 

While we can't please everyone, it's helpful to get feedback, good or bad, to help with future projects.

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