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Ed_David

[The Quiet Escape] A short film I shot on the Samsung NX1 - B&W and Color. 4 min.

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Really enjoyed that Ed, well done!

Totally agree with Andrew (and Ed's post) as well.  

The idea that film making should be confined to a certain set of rules is crazy.  It's creative expression.  "Expression" meaning, you're expressing who YOU are through film.  Anything other than that is commercial and/or fake (I'm guilty of it at times..we all are).  That said...

I love hiking, love it, and a lot of my "work" is stuff captured in locations that took a long time/a lot of work to get into.  People that appreciate nature/hiking will recognize that as something beautiful.  Someone that went to film school and studies film theory all day in LA will say "The images lacked direction, the composition didn't follow the rule of thirds and my eyes couldn't decide where to look".

To me, it's incredibly insulting that people even think that way.  How could a form of creative expression have any sort of rules? That mindset is comedically ironic.

I would much rather watch a short film made by a child from a village in Sudan that has NEVER touched a camera than some film snob that just graduated NYFA. 

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I would much rather watch a short film made by a child from a village in Sudan that has NEVER touched a camera than some film snob that just graduated NYFA. 

​Waow. Just... wow.

I don't get all the hate directed towards filmschools, except perhaps that most people in here didn't get in. Sure, you can make your way without it, but variety is good, right? I think the discussion gets too simplified - there's either Transformers 5 and Marvel films, or the one man band shooting random stuff in the street and see what he comes up with in edit.

I absolutely agree with The Gifts of Chance as Jorgen Leth describes his approach to filmmaking, however that is not NOT having a plan, an idea of what you want in your film. I see these randomly shot films on vimeo all the time, and while some of them might look "polished" (instagram look), 9 out of 10, no 99 out of 100 has zero emotion, zero story, zero characters to connect to. Editing average framed shots, with too much "look" on the grade, to the music of your favourite band is as much filmmaking as any 99 out of 100 instagram accounts are art photograpy blogs.

 

Nice film Ed, by the way.

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I don't get all the hate directed towards filmschools, except perhaps that most people in here didn't get in. Sure, you can make your way without it, but variety is good, right? I think the discussion gets too simplified - there's either Transformers 5 and Marvel films, or the one man band shooting random stuff in the street and see what he comes up with in edit.

​I don't hate film schools, some people simply learn differently.  Personally, I was really bad in school and film school would have just been a continuation of that.  Learning "by the books" doesn't work for me, the only way I learn something is via trial and error.  Some people do learn more through traditional education though so in some cases film school is probably the right choice!  Just comes down to knowing yourself and how you work.

I agree, variety is good and there are certain instances where a technician is preferred over a free wheeling auteur.  In fact, I would prefer most crew members that I work with have formal training in their job somewhere along the line.  That is starting to go away with digital though, we all know this to be true.  Technology is democratizing everything. Film School isn't immune to that.

My point is aimed more at an idea or a mindset than film school or any type of person.  Fitting your work within a set of rules or parameters can take your personality out of it.  

In my opinion, whatever choice the creative people in charge make is the right choice.  I don't argue it, I don't offer constructive criticism, I don't even VIEW media that way.  I ingest it, I watch what they give me, I keep an open mind, and I don't sit there and try to critique minute details and make myself feel better by saying I could have done it better.

I couldn't have, no one could have.  It's their art and that's why you could never do it better.  If Ed doesn't know anything about lenses or ratios or quadrants but he still wants to make a film...do it!  

I, for one, won't pick up on any of those insignificant details if your heart is in it. 

 

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I got my NX1 just this week and I'm already loving it. The H.265 as Andrew has said, is a bit of extra hassle, but I anticipate that being temporary. Sooner rather than later, H.265 should be the norm, and then it will make things much easier. Storing master files certainly is :) 

 

I've gotta get adapters for my zeiss c/y though. After watching this, that Nikon is lovely! The AF from the kit lens is astounding, and will be invaluable for my gimbal work, but nothing beats some good vintage glass.

 

your film captured a certain sentiment towards cities... Especially New York, that I think everyone feels if they've lived there. It's a real struggle. I love living in the woods on a river in northern Minnesota, with my dog and my woodstove. But there's no video work here, I have to drive to the twin cities for that, and it makes finding work difficult. 

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The reason I know this is great filmmaking . . . I wanted to view the piece to see someone who had used the NX1 in a narrative. Maybe do a little pixel peeping. I got to the end and realized I was so immersed in the story, that I had completely forgotten the original reason for viewing the film.  

 

Makes me a little embarrassed for having spent so much time chasing those pixels. 

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Ed I enjoyed your piece as well, really connected with it and your raw true thoughts, the swearing part ;) and just plain what we really need as humans.  Thanks to Andrew for helping me find this piece. 

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Regarding rules for creating art: while I agree that there are no rules, understanding why the 'rules' are commonly used is helpful. Then as a creator, one can use the rules as tools or choose to ignore them. Rules are technical, and technology by definition is a tool. Like brushes, paint, and canvas.

In a prior thread, we discussed 'winging it' vs. 'following the rules of traditional filmmaking'. Ed's Charlie Chicken was pretty good, though I could see Ed's concepts going a lot further with a little less winging it and a little more planning. It's clear Ed spent a lot of time with the script and overall design of his latest creative work, and it shows a dramatic improvement in The Quiet Escape. Now that I'm back doing tech-work for my day job, I'm itching to get back to shooting something creative, but I won't roll camera until we have a solid story, script, and basic shots planned ahead of time.

There are (at least) two way to enjoy art: by experiencing it without thinking, typically allowing our minds to generate emotion/feelings and allow it to flow with no analysis, and more or less the complement: analyzing the art for structure, purpose, color, flaws, etc. Both methods are valid and the same work can experienced differently with repeated interactions. Our perceptions change even from what just happened in our lives right before or after experiencing the art. Sometimes a work we didn't like is experienced again years later and our appreciation flips 180 degrees: from hate to love and vice versa.

Marginalizing one form of 'art experiencing' over the other is a form of extremism and narrow-mindedness. All forms are valid, and it depends on each of our own unique perspectives at the time of the experience. Understanding this allows us to have a sort of 'art empathy' for others' reaction to art which may differ from our own experience.

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I agree JCS.  My main gripe is when people go against that and say "this isn't right because you broke rule a and rule b".

​Right on Luke. What's important isn't memorizing the rules, it's understanding why the rules exist, then we learn they're not rules at all, only guidelines we've learned that in many cases can provide predictable results. When money is on the line, everything changes- less risk tends to be taken, stress is higher, people need to pay rent, food, support their families, etc. It seems the best art is created from passion and not for money.

I wondered why so many artist/designers would get upset when as a manager and developer I challenged their designs for usability (Cognitive Science concepts). After doing additional research, I found many of them were simply copying 'cool designs' without really knowing why they were good or not. In many cases, while the designs looked cool, the functionality greatly suffered. When challenged to make changes to improve usability, since they didn't really understand the design they had copied, they didn't know how to correct the flaws in usability, and thus became defensive as the jig was up. I'm totally cool with copying good designs, everyone does it, however its important to know why the designs are good and only copy the designs for the right reasons. These concepts apply to filmmaking as well: it's cool to copy what works and/or break the 'rules', so long as we understand why we're doing it.

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I just need to rant a little and not give any new input probably, because this is just my favorite subject.

First of all, bravo, Ed!

“I didn't know what you couldn't do. I didn't deliberately set out to invent anything. It just seemed to me, why not? And there is a great gift that ignorance has to bring to anything. That was the gift I brought to Kane, ignorance.” - Orson Welles, in reference to still the greatest film ever made

This is why I left school really. It wasn't a school with particular emphasis on film, which showed. it was zero to do with creativity and all to do with the terrible formula for making films the crappy way. One of our textbooks was Your Screenplay Sucks - a book written by a man who has written maybe a handful of unknown, low-rated feature length screenplay that have been made... one of them was Ernest Rides Again. I wish I was kidding. . I had never been more inspired to not care about what I was doing. I once made a mistake of writing about something I cared about for her class, and since stuck to bullshit since that's what it would become anyway. She disrespected innumerous amazing films in our class by saying an aspect involved in it was horrible. Along with many things, she criminalized montages altogether.. which is literally a term for "editing". It can be used in sort of an overdone "cheating" fashion perhaps.. but it's clearly an insane set of parameters.

Since leaving school, I buckled down and wrote my second longer screenplay, which I'd had in mind for years but couldn't touch because I was kept so busy with nonsense. I absolutely love it, and I'm satisfied to say in that class it would have been torn to shreds. It may not end up feature length even! Which I love! That's freedom! Because no one wants that. Let's not conform to an standards by adding rubbish to your film so that it's long enough, nor keeping a short film short enough that it can hold the attention of the audience by falling into a different formula.

"A movie tries to pacify people by keeping it going for them so that it's sheer entertainment. Well, I hate entertainment." - John Cassavetes, my favorite director. And with this mindset he has made the most entertaining, amazing films. When making Faces he and his team didn't know if it would end up ten hours long. They made it anyway, expecting zero profit, because screw everything. There are legitimately good 5 hour long films which people won't give a chance.

Let's do what's right for the story. The films I've written had been entirely formed in my head before I started typing. And it wasn't active brainstorming. They just happened and they mattered. Not that every film has to be developed that way, but shouldn't we all be that lucky! and then people come in to criticize and change things. But if my professor could have changed Citizen Kane, she would have. We'll end up with bad films if we don't try to change something when we see a "flaw", but we'll also end up with amazing films. Sidney Lumet is fantastic, but could have never made Kane in his studio setting. And Welles made KANE, but also made some real stinkers, because he fought for that freedom. He would have been much more crazy if he could have, and I really wish he could have.

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Thank you so much for this Andrew - what an amazing write up you did.  Yes the small technology can empower all of us to tell stories and bring so much -to not worry about costs - just to worry about creating and telling as good of a film as we can.  What an exciting time we live in!!!

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Why didn't you finish the film? The one based on the script you wrote, about the thoughts of a man walking through the street. I'd really like to know. Why don't you make that film now? Do you think the script is not worth it?

​I got lost in my work - and never really went with it.  In some ways, this is the film - it is about the thoughts of a man wondering down the street.  It's not quite what I envisioned years ago when I was 23 - but it's a similar thematic device.  Besides that passed - who I was then is not who I am now.  

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Loved this, Ed! Well done. Great imagery and you also have the perfect voice for this kind of piece.

Did you use quite a high shutter speed or drop some frames to get that choppy feeling?

​I don't remember :)  - probably just high shutter speed because I had no variable NDs and was shooting sometimes in bright daylight.  :)

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nice story telling, but too much rolling shutter.

And the shutter speed is wrong, no motion blur at all.

​I also found the story nice, but I have to admit I was distracted by rolling shutter too.

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I quite like the high shutter, on occasion and it didn't distract me at all. 180 Shutter speed is just another rule that can be bent and broken.... Saving Private Ryan used fast shutter to perfection.

Rolling shutter does quickly take me out of the moment though. I'll be shooting in 1080p i think (for short films). 4K for my bread and butter landscape work.

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