New Short Film - Stand, Understood?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by johndatserakis, Jun 22, 2010.

  1. johndatserakis macrumors member

    Dec 9, 2008
    A trippy short I think people might like!

    It's about a writer who is deals with external forces while trying to stay original.

    It's shot with a bare HV30 in 24p. The slow motion portions are shot in 60i then slowed using JES Deinterlacer. The original music was created using pro tools and reason. I did everything besides the acting. If anyone has any questions or needs help shooting a video I'll be happy to help! Thanks for watching!
  2. brendanryder macrumors 6502a


    Dec 28, 2006
    You lost me after like the 10th cross fade...
  3. spice weasel macrumors 65816

    Jul 25, 2003
    Maybe I'm just dense, but I don't get all the slow-mo entrance shots and how they fit into the film. The whole first minute is taken up by the entrance and all those cross fades. I won't comment on the dialogue.

    I wouldn't call it trippy. Unintelligible, yes, but not trippy.

    Sorry, just my opinion.
  4. johndatserakis thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 9, 2008
    Thanks for watching guys :)

    I can see how one would assume the film has no meaning or is too complicated to understand. If you follow the dialogue you will find that what you are watching is actually a writer's conversation with himself.

    The slow motion shots were an idea for a skit the writer had. When he enters his room, his alter-ego explains that no one will understand the skit and that they can't use it. They then proceed to speak of societal exceptions and the interference these expectations have with the process of creativity.

    Then, at the end, we see the writer writing down the skit that you just watched while sitting at his desk. Looking at the camera, he explains that feels no one will understand the skit unless you are someone who understands it inherently without explanation.

    Thanks for the feedback, and thanks again for checking it out. Seriously, I appreciate it. (Not all my stuff is this "unintelligible", there are merely certain skits in which I set a bar of originality that I wish to stick to.)
  5. camomac macrumors 6502a


    Jan 26, 2005
    Left Coast
    i thought it was alright. i liked that you made the music too..
  6. gødspeed macrumors regular


    Jun 11, 2009
    Interesting, compelling concept... but I really didn't pick up on all of that at all, until reading your intention explicitly. I think your concept is worth pursuing, but vision is only 1/2 of the filmmaking process; it needs to be rendered in a way that is accessible to your intended audience.
  7. pmasters macrumors member

    Aug 15, 2009
    Here's my honest take on it. At no point should it matter what others think about it. That may be cynical on my part but frankly, I, like most, are tired of the same cookie cutter approaches to many stories that seem to be hashed and rehashed again and again.

    I honestly hope that we start to see even less structured stories in the future even if it just for a break from the same 3 act routine.

    As a filmmaker, I get why everything has to make sense for the end viewer but frankly, life hardly ever adheres to the 3 act structure. To me, some of the best works I have viewed made absolutely no sense or had a sensible ending.

    The crossfades were a bit overdone. The concept was more impressive overall.

    One rule I live by as a filmmaker is write/shoot/edit the stuff I want to see. Screw the rest of the world. I make films the way I want to see things. If others enjoy it, great. If not, who cares? It was never intended for them. Yes, its a radical approach that will not get you high paying gigs with those who still subscribe to traditional storytelling.

    Look back at all the greatest filmmakers. They broke all the rules of traditional production and were granted God status because of it.
  8. LethalWolfe macrumors G3


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    But they were all able to still communicate w/the audience even w/their non-traditional approach. Take Memento, for example, very non-traditional storytelling approach but it still communicates well once the viewer figures out what's going on and gets comfortable w/the rhyme of the film. You also have David Lynch films which have a lot of seemingly off the wall stuff in them but they are told in such a way that you feel like you are being fed a riddle and if you think about it long enough you'll figure it out. Maybe there is no meaning to anything that Lynch does but he's such a grand storyteller that he can suck people in anyway.

    The grammar of film needs to be treated the same way the grammar of language is, IMO. Learn the rules, understand how and why the rules work and then when you want to break the rules you understand how that will impact the audience. The 180 rule is a classic example. When broken appropriately it can add a sense of chaos to the scene but when broken inappropriately it just needlessly confuses the audience. And if you needlessly confuse the audience at a point in the film where you need the utmost clarity you are sunk. That's not Avant-garde vs cookie cutter that's just poor storytelling. Poetry, for example, breaks many rules of language but it still can be used by the poet as an effective means of communication. Being different for the sake of being different doesn't automatically make it good.

    Just because you have a good concept doesn't mean you have executed it properly either. I like the OP's concept I just don't think it's executed very well. Timecode is my pet example of this. I love the idea of the movie which is 4 cameras running in real time following different threads of the same story line and shown in a quad-split unedited. I like the idea not only because of the unique challenges it brings from a production aspect but also because of the unique storytelling options it presents as well. Unfortunately the movie itself isn't very good, IMO, but I wish someone would try that kind of thing again but execute it better.

    I agree that you should create for yourself first, not create strictly based off of what you think others want, but that doesn't mean you do everything completely inside of a vacuum. At least not to me it doesn't.

  9. johndatserakis thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 9, 2008
    Here's My latest short film

    @LethalWolfe I understand your point and agree with it to a certain extent on certain issues. On a personal level though, it seems as though I share the same frustrations as pmasters.

    @pmasters I'm pretty much on your level with this subject. I admire creativity and originality much more then the mastering of the basics.

    The reason I posted again to show my latest short film: "Cede Social Orbit". (Yes, I work fast! ...and don't sleep.)

    This film, while delving even deeper into the perception of reality, is, in my opinion, much easier understood by the viewer. Check it out and tell me what you guys think. (I'm finding the balance between making a film for myself and not showing anyone and making a film that others can watch and maybe take something away from.)
  10. jwheeler macrumors regular

    Jan 14, 2010
    um the mom looks the same age as the guy. Also when someone interupts, don't have any gap, its better if you have the actor still reading lines even if their behind the camera, and off mic. Then you just merge / cut the audio later.

    Anyway I did get bored, but I imagine any films I write will undoubtably be boring. I guess people get better the more they do :p

    But from an editing point of view, it was well done to the point I got to.

    Hope this helps, and ignore me totally if not :p

    Also, I agree with an earlier post. You don't make them for other people, because you end up not being creative. You make them for yourself, replicating the images inside your head, and creativity flows!
  11. johndatserakis thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 9, 2008
    :) They're both just my friends, I'm 22.

    Thanks for your thoughts man!
  12. advres Guest


    Oct 3, 2003
    Do you want honesty or do you want me to stroke your ego?
  13. jwheeler macrumors regular

    Jan 14, 2010
    I think he'd prefer constructive critism.

    Example of destructive critism:
    • Dude, your cr*p
    • Don't give up the day job
    • This is nt good at all
    • Try to do better (Quote from red vs blue :p)
    So try to avoid things like that.

    And try things like,
    "I think there are too many fades at the beginning" (Which has been said further up)

    And then he can benefit from that in the future.
  14. advres Guest


    Oct 3, 2003

    One of the umbrellas for the lighting was in one of the shots. Either cut the shot differently, do a reshoot or omit that shot all together. It looks like crap.

    More DOF will make it more interesting. Use visual cues to show the torment and confusion in the persons head. A little focus play will be much more entertaining and understanding than a crash push onto the subject.

    If you want to go handheld, practice a lot more and maybe pick up a HD2000 steadicam on the cheap. The camera moves were painful to watch and shows the amateurishness of the project.

    We don't need to see "a blah blah production" 3 times in a 6 minute piece.

    Stop being arsty... Seriously! Work on techniques, basic story telling, editing, lighting and everything else at this point. Witty storytelling comes later. If your idea is a great concept but pulled off poorly, it will suck. Kevin Smith for example wrote Dogma before Clerks. Why did he not make it until 5 movies into his career? Because he knew the story was better than his ability and financial position at the time.

    And seriously... watching student films was the worst part about going to film school. If you want people who AREN'T forced to watch it enjoy it, work on the things I said above.

    I am an editor by trade so take what I wrote however you wish.

    EDIT - This is for the first video you posted. I couldn't get through the second one so I will not comment on that one.
  15. jwheeler macrumors regular

    Jan 14, 2010
    You can easily make them too, search google for diy if you have little cash.

    I agree, after the first one, perhaps just cut to the last second of it, or summat?

    Unfortunately I didn't either.... sorry

    constructive criticism - complete! :p
  16. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    Dec 23, 2006
    In my imagination



    Get more sleep and work A LOT slower, and think about all aspects of the story before going straight into it.

    Fully understand your story first, then how you're going to tell it to your audience.

    I wouldn't worry too much about making your own mixes in Protools and Reason, if you want to tell stories, put most of your effort into telling stories.

    p.s. On a side note, the first one takes too long to get started IMO. I stopped watching after 43 seconds. I stayed on the second one for a 1 min 35 sec then skipped through until the end. One of the best practices my professors in university gave me was to think of a message you want to give someone in two minutes. Draft up the story, etc. etc. Then once you have it keep the same elements but tell it in 30 secs instead.
  17. johndatserakis thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 9, 2008
    Hey I just checked this page for the first time in a while and wanted to thanks everyone for their thoughts. I will listen to any advice that makes my work better. Thank you.

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