Here's two of my films. (PLEASE WATCH!)

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by mattrud, Dec 6, 2007.

  1. mattrud macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2006
    Here are two of my films. One I made with a group in Junior year of HS. That's called Batteries not Included. The second, I just made as a Senior in HS. That's called Last Light. I did that one by myself.

    1 Within school film award (most outstanding film of the year)
    1 regional film award (best original narrative comedy in capital region media arts festival)
    One of my films was accepted to be screened at the Westport Youth Film Festival
    Batteries Not Included is the one that won all of those awards.

    The second, is incredibly different. It's called Last Light. It's a drama/music video using Broken Social Scene (feat. Feist): lover's spit. it's kind of Half Nelson-ish. It'll be submitted to festivals soon.

    Here they are on youtube. < Last Light < Batteries Not Included

    Also, I'd love to hear what you think about my films. I'm applying to Emerson College as my #1 choice for school for the fall, so I'm really hoping on getting in.
  2. rudini macrumors member

    Sep 17, 2007
    What software did you use to edit/cut/etc these two movies?

  3. Keebler macrumors 68030

    Jun 20, 2005
    hey, i thought it was great.
    1st link: great timing during the song with hitting the steering wheel and hugging the GF. also, good timing with hanging the scenes a bit to make me wonder what was going - particularly the beginning when the guy is in the driveway and then again in front of the lawn heading to his car. i fully expected something to happen.

    liked the ending with the music and credits as the car drove away and the lights went out of focus.

  4. mattrud thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2006
    thanks guys

    i used iMovie to make batteries not included

    and Final Cut Pro to make Last Light
  5. mattrud thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2006
    these two are going on my college dvd portfolio for film schools.

    god, i hope i get in.
  6. superman666 macrumors regular

    Jun 25, 2007
    listen, i'm gonna give you some huge constructive criticism, but just bear with it.

    The whole point of being an independent filmmaker, or being a filmmaker at all is to show an audience a different perspective on something. It's not so much that you show them something completely different, but something that they've seen but not in the way your showing it. This makes the film familiar yet interesting, and opens up the audiences mind. However not all films are like this, only the good ones are.

    About 90% of high school filmmakers are pure **** (i'm not at all saying your complete **** lol). What High School filmmakers tend to do, is put an apple on a broken chair, and think it resembles societies downward spiral. Or they make a no-dialogue black and white film of some random girl committing suicide, and think it has meaning. The problem is, it doesn't.

    I watched your two films and to be honest, couldn't finish either of them because i lost interest. Maybe it's my current mood, or my attention span, but I especially disliked "Last Light". You know how much that kind of thing has been done before? When you make your next film, spend alot more time planning it, and executing it.
  7. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus


    Jan 15, 2006
    The Kop
  8. Ibanez Strummer macrumors member

    Mar 5, 2007
    Hey! Before I say what I thought, just let you know I do not have a clue about professional film making or anything, Its just the view of an everyday person!

    I didn't sit through the whole of 'batteries not included' as I did (like superman666) lose interest. In all honesty I think that is down to the acting. To be fair I have just finished watching films with friends and obviously shouldn't expect the same sort of acting in a high school film as I saw in the big releases. I also felt the conversation wasn't flowing well...but, before you kill me I want to get on to my main point....

    I was amazed by Last Light. I loved the music, it was the perfect song for the story conveyed and I felt the whole film worked better because there was no dialogue...everything was shown through expression and I generally felt a lot more gripped by the whole story.

    So anyway, thats my two cents for what its worth, not keen on 'batteries not included' but absolutely loved 'last light'!
  9. bluedoggiant macrumors 68030


    Jul 13, 2007
    MD & ATL,GA
    which imovie? im guessing iMovie HD?
  10. puckhead193 macrumors G3


    May 25, 2004
    i watched the batteries not included. I did like the shot of CDs "being sold" it wasn't in order which made it interesting. I didn't like the scene when the kid was sitting on the steps and then half way through you zoomed in to not really change the shot. If it went to a more close up then maybe you could get away with it but not a tiny zoom. It was like the scene was long and u needed to change it some how....
    Just my thoughts
  11. Stampyhead macrumors 68020


    Sep 3, 2004
    London, UK
    Maybe I'm really slow but I have no idea what happened in Last Light. I could not follow the story at all. After all, I'm guessing there was a story and it wasn't just random clips. So what happened? Was that bit with the small child a flashback? What did the letter say? Was that girl his girlfriend? What did she have to do with anything? Whose house was he at in the beginning? I'm so lost...
  12. mattrud thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2006
    To answer a couple questions and respond to a couple people...
    Yes, I used iMovie HD for Batteries Not Included
    for Last Light, I used Final Cut Pro and LiveType

    I made Batteries Not Included with a group. They came up with the whole story and I edited it. I know it says I directed in it, but I didn't really. We all kind of directed it. We never went into it with a script or anything. I'm also the Lester character in Batteries Not Included.

    Yeah, I do understand a lot of the criticism for Last Light. I went through a nightmarish production process in which my macbook screen broke, my camera broke, the weather changed dramatically (snowstorm), my actors got sick, etc. Everything you could imagine going wrong, did. I wanted to replace a lot of the shots of him driving for a long time/sitting for a long time with other shots to further the story, but due to a due date and college application deadlines, I couldn't. I just didn't have the time. This is sort of what I could make with what I had. My peers generally praise everything I put on a screen, so I turned to the real world for more constructive criticism. I thank you for your opinions and I will put these suggestions to use in the future.

    Last Light is meant to be a very dynamic movie. You can make the note say whatever you want each time. I was inspired by the song over the summer. Whenever I listen to a song, I get images in my head and often times they're moving, like it's a film playing in my head and the song is the soundtrack. I felt that what I saw was worth making a film out of. Really the only part that I feel like I nailed, is the end in the parking lot. I just wish the rest of the movie could have been like that too.

    I want to be an editor, not so much a director. I like writing scripts too, but I won't turn any opportunity down at this point. I'm keeping an open mind as I hopefully head off to film school in September.

    But again, I'd really like to thank you guys.
  13. zblaxberg Guest


    Jan 22, 2007
    To be honest, as a film student, I wouldn't use the batteries not included in a portfolio. The plot was absolutely pointless and I pretty much fell asleep. Editor, producer, director, matter what you want to be you still need to have a basic knowledge of writing an interesting script. It's not good enough to just be able to cut together a few scenes and do some fade-ins and outs.

    As for last light I really don't think the shots were planned out well. The angles were way too unplanned for lack of better terms. I think you also have a knack for taking up too much time to establish a shot/event. Try moving the camera during a shot, panning, anything. This movie didn't even start to make sense till 4 minutes in. Even so it just had no point at all, like the only thing that happened was the girl showing up and hugging the guy. There was absolutely nothing happening that meant anything. It should have been established what was on the paper he held.

    I honestly hate to be mean and realize that this is all just constructive criticism but if you want to go to college for video, you need to step it up. Start learning how to use different effects among other things in final cut pro. Start familiarizing yourself with shake and motion. The shots you use are always stationary, look up different camera angles/shots and utilize them. Editing movies includes the fact that you know how to make sense out of the movie so if these plots are coming from you I would start looking for more interesting ideas. Step out of the high school student perspective and start thinking big and creative. Do something that people haven't done before. If you don't start doing things like this then I'd say start looking for a new major and keep film as a hobby.
  14. mattrud thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2006
  15. superman666 macrumors regular

    Jun 25, 2007
    Very well said
  16. zblaxberg Guest


    Jan 22, 2007
    Look Matt, I'm not here to put you down, check out my suggestions in the last paragraph and follow them. It's very tough and competitive getting into film. I will honestly admit that I am no professional however these are some things that you need to start learning if you would like to do this for a living. Take out books from the library, look at tutorials, gain as much knowledge as you can now because you are going to realize that as soon as you get to college there are going to be guys that know a lot more and have made some pretty amazing stuff. Start getting ahead of the game now before you get left behind.
  17. mikeyPotg macrumors 6502

    Mar 20, 2006
    Ouch, we have some brutal people here! Criticism is a great thing, but man... to kill a dream? lol.

    anyway, I teach video production at a high school in NJ and I thought you had some solid work. I understand how hard it can be to work with other students who may not have the same vision and/or nearly the same ability as yourself.

    With that in mind, how long have you been editing? If this is some of your first work, I'd say I'm very impressed and I think college will only make you a stronger editor/director. Depending where you go to college I'd say you're already a leg up on most students in half the college programs.

    Batteries Not Included - I wasn't a fan of the acting and I was a bit lost in the end, but I did enjoy some of the shots and edits. Especially the time lapse and the simple music you added to some scenes. So often a lot of my students forget that music can add so much to a movie.
    Last Light - I enjoyed, though it did seem a bit long. I thought you had some nice shots and all. The flashback of the father and son threw me off because then I thought it was about a father/son thing, then suddenly we saw the girlfriend? Then she went into the guys car... but what happened to hers? Much better acting and great job matching the music to the edits.
    oh and... why didn't he open the car door for her? haha

    Now, I haven't been teaching this stuff (nor doing it really) for more than several years so take my advice for what you will, but again, I think you have talent and I think that you will only get better as you progress.

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