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 rp member short film! "Cheaters Never Win"
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stonepiano Offline
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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2006 7:24 am    Post subject: rp member short film! "Cheaters Never Win" Reply with quote

well, I spent all of March writing, filming and editing this 10 minute short and I wanted to share it with everybody here. This is my first attempt at "filmmaking" and it was incredibly humbling but fun and I learned a lot. I used a sony DCR-HC20 as my camcorder and edited in Vegas. Next time around, I think I'd like to splurge on an XL2 or something along those lines. Brad, I may be started a "best place to buy such a camera thread" soon so be on the lookout for that!

It's called Cheaters Never Win and hosted at Youtube here

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IaA9Pd3Quk8

or you can download it directly as a WMV here

http://www.milesmaxwell.com/video/wholemovie.wmv

I'd love to hear comments about the shots, the acting, (ha!) the editing and what not. Keep in mind, no one had any experience with any aspect of filmmaking, short of audio editing and even that's pretty rough.

that's it. Thanks for watching!

Miles

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kramer Offline



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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2006 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

man, that was GREAT! Thumb Up I thought everything was just right. The choice of music for the different scenes and the dialogue was great man.
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stonepiano Offline
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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2006 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sweet! thanks Kramer!

It was part of a contest where we were given a title and had to hand in the finished product 30 days later. Having a deadline to finish it is what made us get motivated to do something.

Anyway, I'm still proud of it. I'm glad we got something finished. Thanks for checking it out!

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TexRoadkill Offline
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PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2006 4:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not bad at all for a first film under those conditions. Nice job on the post. The biggest challenge on low budget movies is keeping them visually interesting.

You have some cool shots and good editing but if you do another one try to work on making all the shots intersting. One thing that helps is to pull the camera as far back as possible and zoom in for a tighter field of view. It makes things look a little more 3D and helps the actors to pop out a bit.
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GT Offline
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PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2006 5:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Stone,

Great work, you da man!!

GT Cool Cool
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Brad Offline
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PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2006 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with Tex... very nice job for your first movie!

30 days, huh? Now that you are no longer a film virgin, you wanna try something even crazier?

http://www.48hourfilm.com/chicago/

I am not pimping them or anything - it does cost a little dough, but it is a great experience. All films get screened in a theater, and that is worth the whole thing right there - seeing your work up on the big screen is a pretty cool thing, IMO.
I've done the Los Angeles contest the last two years. It is a helluva good time, but it also kicks your butt hard - I am not sure that I have fully recovered from last June! My team is signed up again this year, but because of all kinds of personal turmoil, I will not be running the show this time - maybe just editing & post sound.



Again, very nice job!

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gfh Offline
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PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2006 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool movie. A bunch of my friends used to make movies and this is a lot better than our first efforts.

We entered the NYC Midnight Movie Making Madness contest a few years ago ( http://www.nycmidnight.com/ ) which sounds like a similar kind of deal. We got a topic and a genre and had 14 days to produce a short. We came in second in our heat, which wasn't bad considering we were up against a bunch of NYU film students, but only the winners from each heat move on. They had to make a short from scratch in 24 hours, which is kind of insane.
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stonepiano Offline
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PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2006 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for the viewing, guys.

TRK,
I would love to see that depth of field in our work but it's tough with an inflexible camera and shooting in locations where I can't backup 50 ft then zoom. I did learn to NEVER rely on zooming in Vegas, (hence the blurry scenes where I was cropping out a boom mic or something else offensive).
No, to get that focus on the subject and blur in the background, I think I'm gonna need more camera (not to make excuses Cool).

Thanks GT! And, actually, YOU da man! Head Bang

Hey Brad,
thanks for the view. I'm too busy for the 48 hr fest this time around but I had heard about it and will consider it in the future. Maybe in a little more time after I get a nicer camera (I'm already saving...) and I cheat by writing a decent script beforehand. Wink

GFH,
thanks for watching. I know what you mean about going against film students. I was going against a fair amount from Columbia College (here in chicago) and, apparently, their product was a tad higher quality than what we had to offer. We didn't make it to the final round. Sad

In all, the whole thing was liberating artistically because I was no longer holding myself to such a high standard like I do in music. When I play guitar, I expect to be as talented (or close) to the players out there at the top of the industry. For this, I expected to be hovering somewhere between 12 yr olds doing a class project and beneath wedding videographers. I think was close!! Shocked I remember reading about how Joni Mitchell paints for the same reason.

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ramen Offline
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PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2006 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stonepiano wrote:

I was going against a fair amount from Columbia College (here in chicago) and, apparently, their product was a tad higher quality than what we had to offer. We didn't make it to the final round. Sad


that's because they get to borrow all the gear they can think of for free Laughing

I know nothing of film aesthetics, but this was really funny. the character is great, in a love-to-hate sorta way. I love when he got his car keyed. What did you use for the sound effect?

I suppose if I spent more time up north I might recognize more of the scenery. what bar is that at the end?

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stonepiano Offline
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PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2006 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ramen wrote:
that's because they get to borrow all the gear they can think of for free Laughing

I know nothing of film aesthetics, but this was really funny. the character is great, in a love-to-hate sorta way. I love when he got his car keyed. What did you use for the sound effect?

I suppose if I spent more time up north I might recognize more of the scenery. what bar is that at the end?


Thanks man, I'm glad you liked it. I got no sour grapes towards columbia guys. If I were in that position, I'd be taking my pick of the best gear too.

The bar is a place called Brisku's Bistro and it's waaay north up here at Kedzie and Irving Park. The owner was a lot of fun and let us do whatever we needed.

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stonepiano Offline
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PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2006 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

oh, and the car key was an actual key scraping the lid of a Weber smokey Joe grill. We got lucky because it was recorded for pretty much the exact correct time.

BTW, I forgot to add, the hardest part about making a movie was doing the voiceover stuff afterwards at home. I had some trouble with my lines (I was the boss) and thought, hey, no problem, I'll overdub it at home but, after 20 or so takes, I just kept the crappy take. What do they call that? Foley or something like that?

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ramen Offline
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PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2006 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yeah, that's way up there alright. sounds like a cool place though.
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gfh Offline
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PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2006 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stonepiano wrote:
What do they call that? Foley or something like that?


The guy who produced and directed the movies I worked on called that ADR (automated dialogue replacement, or something like that). Adding in sound effects (like scraping a key on a grill to make the sound of keying a car) is foley, as far as I know.
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ramen Offline
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PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2006 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gfh wrote:
stonepiano wrote:
What do they call that? Foley or something like that?


The guy who produced and directed the movies I worked on called that ADR (automated dialogue replacement, or something like that). Adding in sound effects (like scraping a key on a grill to make the sound of keying a car) is foley, as far as I know.


gfh has got it right. If you do something like this in the future, Im pretty sure they still use beeps right before the lines when replacing dialogue.

i think it's 3 beeps before your line starts, one a second after each other, that way you can get ready for the next line, sorta like:

beep, beep, beep, (line)

but yeah, ADR is a beeyotch.

And it's also a good idea to record just the ambiance of each scene for at least 30 seconds. you don't need to record the video, just 30 seconds of the space with no one talking or making noise. that way, if you ahve to edit something out later or replace lines, you don't loose the natural ambience between edits.

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stonepiano Offline
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PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2006 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ramen wrote:
And it's also a good idea to record just the ambiance of each scene for at least 30 seconds. you don't need to record the video, just 30 seconds of the space with no one talking or making noise. that way, if you ahve to edit something out later or replace lines, you don't loose the natural ambience between edits.


Luckily, I read this piece of advice and did so for every location, except for the last bar scene. This saved several scenes.

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ramen Offline
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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2006 9:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

excellent. the only hard part is getting everyone to shut up and hold still for 30 seconds!
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skids Offline
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2006 7:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just saw this. Great job. I really did like the main charater. Pretty funny. I agree there are some shots that could have been improved but all in all really good.
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stonepiano Offline
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2006 8:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks, man!

it was a blast to make and I'd love to do more. I have to admit though, it's way easier to motivate yourself for this kind of thing when you have a deadline to finish. Since the contest ended, nobody's picked up a piece of video equipment.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2007 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can I get my 10 minutes back?
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stonepiano Offline
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

no but you get a full refund.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That was fun to watch! and the ending wasn't what I expected (although it fit)... (I thought maybe the drunk barfly might turn out to be the co-worker in drag...)
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