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[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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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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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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Hi Ed! It would be great if you put subtitles in english for non native public. I understand most of it, but would love to understand ALL!!! Congratulations!!!

​here's the last script I wrote - it changed a little in the final version but still it's mostly this plus some adlibbing.  About rolling shutter - yea - I wish I shot at 180 shutter but what can you do?  Also shooting the footage I had no idea I was going to turn it later into a short film - I started it just for fun. - 

 

The Quiet Escape

by Edward C David

 

I do want to leave

this city but I’m

always half in or half out with it

but I really want to leave it

but then I don’t but I do

then I don’t then of course I do

 

when i’m here i want to be there

but the truth is when I’m there 

in the country

I don’t want to be here, the city

it’s a drug to get off of

 

 

its safer now this city,

new york city

but it’s

more crowded and, noisier

and very very expensive

even a single subway ride costs way too much

 

ten years ago I came here

from college straight to here, no where else

I didn’t like manhattan, I liked living in brooklyn more,

cheaper and smaller and more like 

my suburbs where I grew up

more peaceful  - 

but maybe not as much now   

 

And of course it’s my fault and other young turds like me

who gentrified areas like in williamsburg, brooklyn

 

I remember before those luxury condos on the water there 

it was kind of dangerous or maybe i was just a young kid and scared of everything

but it was more dangerous and cheaper 

 

i lived here and worked and worked and worked

just to move forward financially, my art on hold

I had a script I never made

about a man walking 

through the city 

and all his thoughts

mending, fluidllike 

the war forever fought in our heads

 

But I didn’t finish the film

and now I’m 33 years old 

 I can’t remember that much

the last 13 years at all really

just having some low rez photos

 

 

here I am

now talking into my phone mic recorder

out in the country

with my wife and my dog

and her family and I have time, 

finally,

to do my art.

 

And finally for the first time

well I’m being a little bit dramatic 

but  here I can see

what a waste it all is

to live in that city

 

to fight to survive

when you can just as the cliche goes, work to live

or is it work to live?

 

Unlike that city , I have time here

and peace and nature,

it’s not all candy land - i’ve been

confronting my flaws and 

my pain 

all bottled deep down in this well - 

ten years of tartar and plaque in my head.

but god I needed to do this.

 

I hope I can remember it

 

The precious luxury of all. Boredom.

The luxury to be bored, jesus that’s where

our lives have gone?

or maybe it’s just me and this city virus in me.

 

the constant stimulation

makes you numb

you tweet away as the world fades and burns

 

I have so many good memories of New York

because 

New York is such a 

romantic place, those lights at night.

how could anyone not love that

those walks thru the west village god it’s so charming

Riding my bike on and on and on thru brooklyn

god those nights are good but dry up the next day

and with the trash out  and that smell

and the loud noises

you start to realize you’re

paying an incredible amount of money

for a little plot of land you rent from

some slumlord far away

(not talking about my current landlord

who I love, he’s awesome, seriously)

 

I’m done self-sacrificing myself, thinking it’s

making me a better artist.  no, 

Great art only comes if your brain is clear

and your neurons and heart are firing properly.

 

I got this unique chance to get out of this

shithole and I’m going to take it.  

but still gotta be near some city

and those wackos are pretty lovable

but I see less and less of them

as those suits and young rich bastards

move in, with  their hands always on their phones

posting photos of themselves with their friends

when I think I know they go home at night

and are really secretly sad, a lot like me.

 

We humans spent a zillion years in nature.  With low noise, 

not in a city with  bus’s tire stretching or the sound

of a police siren.

My dog knows that.  

 

We lived in small communities, maybe tribes of 100 or so.

Not six million strangers

None of which are allowed really to care about each other

because there isn’t time.  Our heads would blow up. 

 

Getting smaller and quieter

increases quality of life.

I should put that on my fridge.

I don’t want to wake up tomorrow, ten years later,

in my little prison

with my noise canceling headphones on.

No, thank god for that little dog, he would never let me.  

 

DEDICATED TO MY WIFE LILY FRANCES HENDERSON

 

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