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Action/Mystery MINI-FILM. 1:30 runtime. Did I succeed in telling the story?

Yeah, pretty good. Fast and effective.

I'd dial it back a bit on the shakicam next time though, you were having a bit of trouble keeping the subjects in frame at all times, though that may have been due to the addition of letterboxing in post.

Color grade is good, audio not bad, you didn't go crazy with the DOF for no reason (which is good), The timing on the last lines could be like one second later, to allow the impact of the last reveal a moment to land.
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
I'd love some feedback on this mini-film. Do you think I succeeded in telling a story within the short runtime?


i'm a fan of really quick films and you do tell a story here that's easy to watch
I unfortunately have some criticism though.

This whole movie is built around a chase scene, it's the climax of the story, but the chase scene is poorly executed.
We don't even get to see the chase scene end it just fades to black and then? IDK. this woman is running for her life supposedly, but then when the chase is over she is just sitting on the ground completely relaxed, not out of breath or anything. looking at her, you can't even tell she was runnning.

But the way that the chase was filmed is the biggest problem, the two characters are never once even in the same frame together?
I have no idea how far away she is, how close the guy is to catching her, shots lack energy and suspense.

You say it's an action film ... well thats the rub, action films live or die by how exciting their action sequences are.

My favorite foot chase is from Death Sentence - due to copyright issues it's only available with this weird alternate score
 
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Agreed on all counts, I wouldn't say it was terrible, but there were some missed opportunities in the chase sequence.

I give this film a score of .... BBC1, that's below the CW but above Hulu plus originals.

You don't always notice how important scoring is until you replace it.

 
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Agreed on all counts, I wouldn't say it was terrible, but there were some missed opportunities in the chase sequence.

I give this film a score of .... BBC1, that's below the CW but above Hulu plus originals.

You don't always notice how important scoring is until you replace it.

You just wrote my new business card: "Cancel your Hulu subscription and subscribe to my channel instead. But don't worry, you can still watch The Flash!"
 
i'm a fan of really quick films and you do tell a story here that's easy to watch
I unfortunately have some criticism though.

This whole movie is built around a chase scene, it's the climax of the story, but the chase scene is poorly executed.
We don't even get to see the chase scene end it just fades to black and then? IDK. this woman is running for her life supposedly, but then when the chase is over she is just sitting on the ground completely relaxed, not out of breath or anything. looking at her, you can't even tell she was runnning.

But the way that the chase was filmed is the biggest problem, the two characters are never once even in the same frame together?
I have no idea how far away she is, how close the guy is to catching her, shots lack energy and suspense.

You say it's an action film ... well thats the rub, action films live or die by how exciting their action sequences are.

My favorite foot chase is from Death Sentence - due to copyright issues it's only available with this weird alternate score
Thanks for the feedback! Good criticism. The idea was that she twisted or broke her ankle while running and had to stop... but we needed more than a barely audible sound effect to communicate that :lol: I'm fairly happy with the film for what it is - a little run and gun film shot in an hour - but your points are valid and well received!
 
The acting was ok but uninspired. The cop was not nervous about being caught. Wasn't looking around. He apparently killed both people with his service revolver. Probably should have had a 2nd gun since all CSI would have to do is run ballistics on his gun to find out it was him. I assume a murderer would have that level of paranoia.

For some reason, Indie film makers rarely go close enough with the close ups. Every camera angle means something. If you don't have any tight close ups, you are missing the mark. Close ups of the cop realizing someone saw him. Close ups on the girl showing the terror of knowing she is going to die.

Shaky Cam. I understand that simulating a shaky camera is supposed to make the movie feel more real, like a documentary or home movie but I've always hated it. I've walked out of movies that were too hand held and shaky. If you think about it, real shaky cam is the result of having to "run and gun" the shots as would happen with a documentary where the camera man is on the move and ready for anything, or the result of someone shooting a home video who really has no idea about how to handle a camera. Either way, deliberate shaky cam is the result of telling your cameraman to shoot the scene as though he/she doesn't know how to handle a camera. Why would any professional (or aspiring professional) want to simulate bad camera work? We're not talking about the Blair Witch or Cloverfield, which did this because they were supposed to be filmed by people on the move.... Anyway, it's just my personal feeling about it. Shaky cam ruins films that might have otherwise been good. I have never seen any of the Borne film because I was warned about the excessive shaky cam. I just can't tolerate it. It give me motion sickness. Hand held shots use to be almost exclusively used to show POV from a character off screen. Now, I think it's just a way to cover up so the editing doesn't have to be tight and the continuity can drift all over the place.

The girl seemed like she might be a good actress!
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
edit - Nevermind I accidentally got political about a cop getting away with murder
 
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shaky cam is the result of telling your cameraman to shoot the scene as though he/she doesn't know how to handle a camera

I agree completely. IRL, I use a 75lb crane, a stedicam with vest, even a stedicam mounted on a tripod on the bed of a truck. I have on occasion seen it used to good effect, but stuff like Battle Los Angelis was super annoying.

Basically I think it should only be used when you are explicitly trying to convey "amatuer cameraman" as a plot point, like switching to the POV of a cell phone in a crowd, or for ghost hunter shows.

I do get that this was a quick run and gun shoot, still, a cheap stabilizer and a few more takes might have gone a long way.

If you make a list of the 10 greatest directors of all time and go looking for a shakycam shot in one of their films, you probably won't find a single one. I think maybe Spielberg did some camera shake during the Normandy invasion sequence, but in general, audiences aren't as crazy about it as Blair Witch led some to believe.

It's a pretty good outcome for a 1 hour run and gun, if you end up shooting another one, try suspending a steel wire between two trees, and mounting the camera on a cheap stabilizer and ziplining it through the forest. You could probably get some great chase shots that way. Just remember to put some pillows at the end of the zipline. You'd need some kind of resistance system to control travel speed down the wire, or a carriage with an electric motor. People have been making a lot of cheap mobility equipment for smaller cameras lately, so it's probably not as expensive as you think to get some epic shots.
 
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I have an unpopular anecdote about police reform,

I lived mainly in two places, one was a rural hick town in Indiana, and the other was the heart of Silicon Valley.

In the rural town, cops were hired on at 14k a year salary, prerequisites were a GED, and little big man syndrome. We had a significant amount of the kind of police behavior that needs to be "reformed" there. Dumb cops, racist cops, criminal cops, violent cops, etc.

In Mountain View CA, cops were hired at a 65k a year salary. College degrees were mandatory, and they didn't just hire anyone who walked in the door. Psychological testing, character references, etc, were required to land a job. Because they were offering 4x the money, more people, and better people applied for the jobs.

Over a decade in Mountain View, I never heard one report of police beating suspects, stealing money, etc. In the rural area, you would hear about it a half dozen times a year.

My point being that when police departments don't hire high school dropouts, and people that would fail a psyche screen, the situation seems to improve dramatically. The problem with police behavior is real, no question, I'm just not sure lowering the resources that stations have available to hire a better grade of cop is the answer.
 
I have an unpopular anecdote about police reform,

I lived mainly in two places, one was a rural hick town in Indiana, and the other was the heart of Silicon Valley.

In the rural town, cops were hired on at 14k a year salary, prerequisites were a GED, and little big man syndrome. We had a significant amount of the kind of police behavior that needs to be "reformed" there. Dumb cops, racist cops, criminal cops, violent cops, etc.

In Mountain View CA, cops were hired at a 65k a year salary. College degrees were mandatory, and they didn't just hire anyone who walked in the door. Psychological testing, character references, etc, were required to land a job. Because they were offering 4x the money, more people, and better people applied for the jobs.

Over a decade in Mountain View, I never heard one report of police beating suspects, stealing money, etc. In the rural area, you would hear about it a half dozen times a year.

My point being that when police departments don't hire high school dropouts, and people that would fail a psyche screen, the situation seems to improve dramatically. The problem with police behavior is real, no question, I'm just not sure lowering the resources that stations have available to hire a better grade of cop is the answer.
All I can say is look for me in 2024
 
Ummmm, well,,,,, I've had my run with with a few cops in Utah when I was younger. They were pretty cool about the whole thing. If I was in my car, I stopped, turned off the engine and put my hands on the steering wheel. If they asked me for my drivers licence, I gave it to them. .... Once they came to my house. I let them in. Listened to what they had to say, I did not admit guilt or innocence. I went with them then settled the whole thing in court in front of the judge...... simple as that.

On the other hand, I also met some of law enforcement's finest in Illinois decades ago. They were not so nice. Pricks, actually... So I think it depends on location.
 
I had a really strange run in with 2 police detectives once. They rode up to my house on bicycles with their official looking black ties, pocket protectors, horn rim glasses, and black notebooks. They knocked on the door and said they wanted to ask me some questions, so I let them in, not knowing what it was about. The whole interview was about whether I had considered joining the church of the latter day saints, and whether I would consider it. I have no idea what kind of crime they were investigating, but it must have had something to do with that group.
 
I was walking down the street one day a few summers ago when those two police detectives that tried to kidnap Nate approached me. They were fearsome they were. Black pants. White button down shirts. Bicycle helmets... They started telling me all about their church, a place they were very proud of. They wanted me to join them, get a bike of my own then peddle up and down the countryside looking for new members as they were doing. I said no, I prefer the fortune tellers in town. The one's who have a small storefront right next to the 24 hour massage parlor. They understood and thanked me for my time. Before leaving me they asked if there was anything they could do for me. Anything? I replied. They answered Yes, whatever you want. I told them I would like them to change the oil in my Camaro Z28. They looked at me feeling that I misunderstood their offer, but they said they would do it. True story.... I let them off the hook, thanked them then went on my way.. Nice kids they were...
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
They started telling me all about their church, a place they were very proud of.

The police weren't trying to get him to join the church lol.
The latter day saints are the subject of netflix series Keep Sweet, and also hulu show Under the banner of Heaven it's very similar to the cult at waco where the church is running against the laws of the country
 
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