Help With Short Film

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by TheEpicFilmCo, Feb 4, 2009.

  1. TheEpicFilmCo macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    Location:
    Uk
    #1
    Hello. I have recently got a Canon HF100 camcorder and I want to make a short film with it.
    Here is the rough script that I have been working on:

    Film opens. Man sitting down on chair studying newspaper stroking chin.
    “I am DONT KNOW NAME YET”
    “and I am the best assassin in the world”

    Takes a pen and vigorously circles a picture in the newspaper
    “I study my targets meticulously”

    Zooms in on a gun in his pocket.
    “I demand only the most high-tech equipment”

    Walks over to door, takes keys off a hook, puts on jacket and picks up briefcase.
    “I am always thinking one step ahead.”

    He walks down the corridor, goes down the stairs and kicks a can. Goes out the door.

    As soon as he opens the door he gets shot in the head.

    The camera pans round to reveal a man crouched beside a plant. Blows the smoke from his gun. Fixes the camera with his eye.
    “and that is why I am the best.”

    So, I need a name for the character. I might make this the opening sequence a longer film so I need a name for the film as well. Could I use the name of the assassinator for the name of the film like in James Bond?

    Thanks a lot.
     
  2. P-Worm macrumors 68020

    P-Worm

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    Salt Lake City, UT
    #2
    Why does he have to have a name at all?

    P-Worm
     
  3. TheEpicFilmCo thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    Well, he does because he says "My name is..." and if it was a good name I could use it as the name for the film.
     
  4. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #4
    Just cut out the part where the character talks to or looks at the camera. If you need those things to drive the plot then you are not thinking visually yet. Film makers tell their stories with moving pictures.

    For this kind of very short film it is best to draw story boards and not even think about "scripts". Put LOTS of detail into the story board, every cut and camera setup if you can. You short might have two dozen shots in it. Work that out not the words. Lighting too. Light says a lot
     
  5. TheEpicFilmCo thread starter macrumors regular

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    #5
    Okay so shouldn't he look at the camera? I will make a storyboard thanks for the tip.
     
  6. P-Worm macrumors 68020

    P-Worm

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    #6
    What I was getting at, is that he doesn't have to say, "My name is..." at all. Why can't he just say "I'm the world's greatest assassin."?

    P-Worm
     
  7. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #7
  8. TheEpicFilmCo thread starter macrumors regular

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    #8
    He doesn't speak to the camera though. The speech through the story is narration and at the end when you actually see the assassin speak he won't look at the camera.
     
  9. schizoidwoman macrumors regular

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    #9
    Having a character look straight into the camera is a stylistic device you need to approach with caution; ChrisA is absolutely spot on with his comments about storyboarding and, especially with your narration being the only speech, I think some comprehensive storyboards would be invaluable to you.
     
  10. KeithPratt macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 6, 2007
    #10
    I think it's a popular misconception, the whole "show don't tell" thing. Or at least it's popularly misconstrued. A lot of people seem to interpret it — or dispense it — as meaning keep the dialogue sparse and relay everything through action and facial expression. This approach often looks unnatural and stage-y, and that doesn't suit so many types of film. Sound is just as important as image. Dialogue can give so much insight into a character. Obviously, too much of it can make it stage-y too. Like everything, it's all about balance.

    So many short films I see have little or no dialogue (and often they only come across as twee for it). I'd like to see some dialogue-heavy shorts for a change.
     
  11. TheEpicFilmCo thread starter macrumors regular

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    #11
  12. acearchie macrumors 68040

    acearchie

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    #12
    Really quite strange but I saw this video on Youtube today without even seeing this post! What a coincidence!

    Anyway I thought it was mainly good just a few little things:

    I didnt think the voiceover voice was particularly strong... (Sorry if that is you!)
    A couple of continuity errors such as in the end shot I don't think he's holding a gun at all. Also the way the phone is in his hand then in the next shot simply on the table...
    Also the camera is very static throughout the whole film. From watching for example james bond movies you should know that the more the camera moves the more action packed the film looks.

    Apart from this its a good start! The soundtrack also fits pretty damn well to the visual.

    Nice one!
     
  13. TheEpicFilmCo thread starter macrumors regular

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    #13
    Hahaha thats a bit freaky that you watched it already!
    Thanks for your thoughts. I agree that the voiceover wasn't very good (it wasn't me btw) and yeah, there was some problems with the props and stuff. I was going to do a camera shot of mans view as he walked down the stairs but for some reason I just missed that out. It took almost as long as making the film to find a good soundtrack that fitted with the movie but the soundtrack I think is the part that really brings it all together.
     
  14. fiercetiger224 macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 27, 2004
    #14
    Haha I liked it. It was pretty funny. I thought some of the cuts were a bit too long, but other than that, pretty cool for a home made video. For example, the part where he walks in the hallway, I would have cut it to where he's already walking instead of where he begins to start turning around and walking. It looks like it was "staged". Does iMovie have any effects to boost contrast levels? You can probably make it look a lot more filmy that way. Colors look very video like. Maybe you should try using a "Vivid" setting on your camera, which I assume it has. On a side note, there are too many "static" shots. If you watch the bond films, not many of the shots are static, but rather a lot of moving and panning shots. For this type of stuff, I recommend going for a Bourne/24-style cinematography, which have very dramatic shots.

    I'm too used to using Final Cut now...I'm not sure how far along iMovie has come along in terms of features in the past six years... :rolleyes:

    --EDIT--


    I just watched it in HD, and I noticed the nasty rolling shutter effect common on CMOS based HD camcorders...If you don't know what this means, basically whenever there is fast panning or a quick "jolt" from non-steady hands, there'll be a "jello-like" effect to the picture. You should learn to hold the camera more steady when taking shots, and minimize fast panning shots. There are ways to avoid the nasty rolling shutter artifacts, and some can be fixed via post-processing, but that requires pro tools like After Effects. Also, shooting manually usually yields much better results.
     

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