directing not living up to expectation

jax_rox

Staff Member
Moderator
As a fellow Australian and graduate of a well-respected Australian film school, I would be interested in watching it.

For the record, I went to two film schools - one as an undergrad and one as a postgrad. Through my time at film school I shot maybe 10 films. Of those, perhaps two ended up in festivals.

However, the connections and network I found at film school were priceless, and I still work with people I met there. That is what launched my career - working with those people on the films we made (and as crew on others’ films), not any film in and of itself.
 
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As a fellow Australian and graduate of a well-respected Australian film school, I would be interested in watching it.

For the record, I went to two film schools - one as an undergrad and one as a postgrad. Through my time at film school I shot maybe 10 films. Of those, perhaps two ended up in festivals.

However, the connections and network I found at film school were priceless, and I still work with people I met there. That is what launched my career - working with those people on the films we made (and as crew on others’ films), not any film in and of itself.
Would love to show you. Message me and I can send you the link.
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
Thank you. I got your message and replied.
I just finished watching it.
There are lots of great qualities in the film, really liked the actors.
only a couple very minor things that I didnt like. nice job!

But all the technical stuff aside here is your biggest problem IMO.

What you've created is what I call a "Feel Bad Movie"
Where are the moments of joy? relief of tension?

And ultimately how does the audience FEEL when your movie is over?
Probably like shit. And whats worse is they dont want to cry.

If you make the audience cry its cathartic.
if they just feel like shit.. well.. then it just feels bad

i wouldn't necessarily share this film with my friends bc it would make them feel bad to watch it.

If I were running a film festival and I had a choice between two equally good films, and one film would make the audience feel good, and one film will make the audience feel bad... i'm choosing the first film. I want people to "feel good" about my festival.

I know i know indie should make you think and feel etc but you can't just constantly ratchet up the tension and negativity.
you need counterbalance. one mans opinion.
 
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sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
Thank you for watching. I’m not a fan of happy endings. I thought there would be a place for this but I guess not. I really appreciate your opinion.
No problem. Keep in mind though I'm just a guy on the internet giving it my best guess.
I have never ran a film festival.

You mind discussing the ending ? I'll put it in spoiler tags so I dont ruin the ending for anyone else that might watch

You didnt have to have a happy ending.
I think if you showed the death scene and aimed to make the audience cry
The ending could have been cathartic

When you didnt show the first gunshot I thought.. oh he's saving it.
He will show the gunshot when they shoot the father.
Then you didnt show the second gunshot either? Strange to me.
The most dramatic moment in your entire story and you didnt even show it
You could have had a really sad dramatic death scene between two brothers
one dying, the other apologizing and beside himself

I'm curious what your choice was to not show it?
 
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jax_rox

Staff Member
Moderator
I don’t understand what I have done wrong.
What you’ve done wrong is put all your eggs in one basket and assume this one film will be all you need/would launch your career.

That is hard to hear. That it isn't based on merit. I think its quite enough for me to move on and not make another film.
Being selected for a film festival is based on how good your film is in comparison to the others submitted. How hard you worked on putting the film together has nothing to do with it - as with any film. You ever seen someone go ‘well this film looks terrible but I’m going to see it anyway because I reckon the crew worked really hard to put it together’?

Take the ego hit and keep making films. Keep developing your craft. Keep being creative. There are plenty of people who work really damn hard on a career in film and never make it, especially in Australia. Even those who do make it may not ‘make it’ in the sense that you would expect - there are plenty of well-known Australian filmmakers who have to rely on unemployment or other work when they’re between films.

If that’s not for you, maybe you should look at doing something else.

Or maybe you should suck it up, realise everyone makes more than one film and keep going.
 
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I haven't watched your film but based on what I keep reading? Based on what @sfoster said about the ending? That does in fact sound DARK. LOL. There are many LEVELS of dark and this sounds dark to me based on having been pigeonholed as someone who fleshes DARK into screenplays for a living.

And I already explained what dark has done for me... Just sayin'.
 
At the end of the day, I never expected this film forge me a career on a winters evening in Park City. I expected it sculpt me a humble beginning which I’ve seen worse films do for not only tutors, but fellow filmmakers I’ve studied with. My expectation was for it to play at a mid tier level festival, win some small change I could put toward my next short, and hopefully get me some attention to move into some commercial work. That’s it. They didn’t sound like high expectations at the beginning, when I was told to submit to Berlin and Sundance (which I never thought I’d ever be considered for), but as the months go by and the rejections pile up, it seems that an expectation to be treated fairly by a mid tier festival and be seen by an audience is an expectation too high to hold. I know this film is good and it deserve more. And I know everybody but the people making decision feel this way too. I think I had a lot to offer the industry. I think my voice is unique, I don’t think people put the time, effort and quality into work like I do. But, they wanted above me anyway.
 

mlesemann

Staff Member
Moderator
We all work hard. We all think we have a unique voice. We all believe we make unique work.

You're whining about a lack of success from one short movie to people who have been working our collective asses off for decades.
You definitely have mis-read the room, which could be part of your problem.

Good luck with government work - sounds like a better choice.
 
Unfortunately, that's why I hate competitions... I'm talking about me PERSONALLY here so please understand. Again, I haven't seen your film so I cannot speak to IT specifically. But because I see this business also as a business? I've always thought (again personally) that competitions should judge films and screenplays based on both execution but with an eye toward BUSINESS... The ability to put butts in theater seats and MAKE MONEY.

Do I like watching David Lynch and other non-conforming artists' work? Of course I do but in the end? When one is going to RELY on other people's money to attain their vision? I feel like the end result has got to at least break even but hopefully... Make a profit so that the work can go on.

I specifically dislike screenplay competitions because in my humble opinion... By and large? It's very RARE to see a winner or winners of screenplay competitions screenplays actually get made into a movie. Why? Because while the execution was fine or even outstanding? It's something we've either seen before OR the people that make the decisions realize that story simply ain't gonna put butts in theater seats... i.e., MAKE MONEY.

I've seen more than a few film festivals work the same way... As well as how they handle dark material. There are simply too many biases in these venues for someone like ME to rely on with my kind of work. Your mileage may vary but I woke up to that fact EONS ago to the point that I had to basically be OKAY with taking on writing assignments to pay the bills but write my own specs because THEY ARE WHAT I LIKE TO WRITE and the rest of the world be damned so to speak. LOL.

You say you don't like happy endings... I can personally take them or leave them IF the film is good. Either way? I'm good if the film speaks to me personally. Unfortunately, the rest of the world doesn't seem to work that way. If you're as good as it sounds like you are and you want to stay true to your vision? Understand that because of that? You may have to forge on without the assistance of competitions assuming you still want to be a filmmaker. Competitions aren't the only way to break into the business and to be honest? Hollywood is quite literally LITTERED with competition winners who never broke into the business.
 
We all work hard. We all think we have a unique voice. We all believe we make unique work.

You're whining about a lack of success from one short movie to people who have been working our collective asses off for decades.
You definitely have mis-read the room, which could be part of your problem.

Good luck with government work - sounds like a better choice.
I do make unique work. There is no one that makes films like I do. No one. There are very, very few filmmakers in the short genre that make anything of even equal production value/film quality that I do. I've seen this. I may have recently graduated, but I was in the film industry for a very long time before I started to write and direct. I've seen pieces of garbage slapped together that have won awards and recognition. I do appreciate your advice, but I'm not a part of 'we' because I don't 'think' I do this well, I know I do. I don't 'think' my work is I'm unique, I know it is. They only thing that I 'think' when it comes to film making is that there is no justice left in the industry. It seems that what is more important than good work are the immutable qualities of the creator.
 
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sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
I do make unique work. There is no one that makes films like I do. No one. There are very, very few filmmakers in the short genre that make anything of even equal production value/film quality that I do. I've seen this. I may have recently graduated, but I was in the film industry for a very long time before I started to write and direct. I've seen pieces of garbage slapped together that have won awards and recognition. I do appreciate your advice, but I'm not a part of 'we' because I don't 'think' I do this well, I know I do. I don't 'think' my work is I'm unique, I know it is. They only thing that I 'think' when it comes to film making is that there is no justice left in the industry. It seems that what is more important than good work are the immutable qualities of the creator.
:pop:This should be fun
 
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