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A Stranger in the House

Posted: Fri, 17th Dec 2004, 11:29am

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skynet2004

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We shot this short thriller over the weekend, and edited most of it during the weekend too.

Unfortunately, we didn't get to shoot 'till Saturday night, at about 2 A.M. ... so we were tired and short on time. This resulted in some lesser acting and a few of the shots being kind of poor. A few of the cuts are also a little rough, because the camera messed up a few times(if there's one thing I've learned from this, it's that when the camera says 'recharge battery', you recharge the battery).

However, much of it turned out good, the lighting worked out surprisingly well and the whole intro to the film(before the plot takes off) came out really good.

If you're still with me, please give the film a chance. A lot of it turned out good.

Before you comment, please take into consideration that we were tired and the crew consisted of only two people... in hindsight, maybe we were aiming a little high... oh well.

Any feedback is appreciated.
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Posted: Sat, 18th Dec 2004, 1:13pm

Post 2 of 16

Fundamentum

Force: 200 | Joined: 7th Nov 2004 | Posts: 10

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What did you use as blood?

On topic: Yeah, the movie was ok, a bit scary but a bit boring too. The punches and shooting was not that cool and the acting sucked. If someone shoot a bullet right beside your head, I think you would have been a little more frighten, than just turn around and look at the shooter.

The strangling was sucky, the main character just stood there as a stick and the other guy just walked toforwards him and started to strangle him.
In other words, the struggling and fight between them, sucked.

I also think the the dramatic scenes was too boring. The scene "the shooter shoot at the door and the main guy stands at the other side of the door" was too little dramatic. Dramtic music should been there.

One more thing, when the the main character knocks the other guy out with a sculpture(or something) you can clearly see that he ARE NOT hitting the other character, not in a long shot!



I'll be nice and give it a 3/5. smile
Posted: Sat, 18th Dec 2004, 3:22pm

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skynet2004

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We used some fake blood we bought a while ago. Originally, there was gonna be far more blood in the final scene, but we didn't have enough of the blood, and we couldn't find the ingredients we needed to make it ourselves.

The punches and shooting were almost entirely unrehearsed, and the reaction to the shot fired was filmed at a point where we weren't sure if we had time to film all of it, so it was a bit rushed(much like the rest of the film). The acting sucked? Yeah, of course it did. It was 2-3 A.M.! Christ, we were struggling just to stay awake.

The strangling was supposed to be more fast-paced and startling, which is why the main character barely moved.

Many tell me about the lack of music really takes something from the dramatic scenes... I'll try finding fitting music for future projects.

The rune-stone/sculpture hitting was supposed to be more fast, but my friend, the main character, was afraid he might end up breaking it if he swung it through the air, so he did it slowly and held it too far away from my face... of course, I was busy acting like it had hit me, and there was no one behind the camera, so we didn't know it looked so fake. After filming, we went to bed, so we didn't discover how it looked until the morning after, when we started editing, and by then it was too late to do anything about it. I attempted speeding the clip up, but it was too short and ended up either being too short or looking like something from an old silent slapstick comedy.

Thanks for the comments.
Posted: Sat, 18th Dec 2004, 9:15pm

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movieguy5

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this was bad. No music at all made it horrible. The shots were grady, however you captured the late night atmosphere of it all very well. For your next film I reccomend using better sfx and music, for I found my self dosing off to this one. The effects also did not look so good.
Posted: Sat, 18th Dec 2004, 9:43pm

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skynet2004

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Criticism about lack of music noted. The next film will have more post-production work put into it as far as music, I promise. What did you think of the acting, plot and script?
Posted: Sun, 19th Dec 2004, 12:55am

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Bryce007

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So..

Acting, as already mentioned, was aweful.

Plot, was fairly usual and cliche.

Script, again, run of the mill.

The grainy picture also didnt help.

The effects were simply terrible, i suggest you work on those alot more.

Overall, this was generally bad, but for your first movie, it was better than some ive seen.
Posted: Sun, 19th Dec 2004, 7:19pm

Post 7 of 16

masta oooba

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There were some things about this movie that I liked, that others didn't, but I'll agree: this movie was bad.

Your fake gun had a noticably red tip, and there is a shot of the villain pointing it directly at the camera, making it easy to see.
This film had a lot of unnecessary and unusual shots that didn't blend well in unison.
The acting was just bad. I was never the slightest bit impressed with the characters reactions or overall preformances. The fighting was not well acted, and were not realistic in any sense of the word. In the part where the villain snatches the gun from the main character, you can see him blatently smiling.
One thing that was unusual was that I felt like I was playing an old Lucasarts point-and-click game, similar to Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis. The character walks into a room, turns the light on, looks around, goes into another room, turns the light on, looks around, sits down, waits for something. Very strange.
The sound effects for the gun shots were allright, but the punching sounds were terrible.
I didn't think the writing wasat all special, and the line "There must be at least 100,000 dollars in here" is just bad. Why on earth would he say that to himself if there was a suspicious man in the next room?
The saftey lock trick with the gun was cliche as hell. And by the end of the film it seemed as though I was watching a cut scene from an old Nintendo game.

I disagree with everyone on the absense of music. I thought that it was particularily unusual and made it more realistic.
Also, the plot was not bad at all, but it definately lacked substance. If you think about it, the plot was really too simple, and quite boring.
The filming techniques used were not bad. There were a variety of different camera shots, which made it interesting to watch.

2/5
Posted: Sun, 19th Dec 2004, 8:40pm

Post 8 of 16

skynet2004

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Thanks for the indepth comment. Before I write anything more, I have to tell you that this wasn't really an attempt at an actual short film by us... it was more like a practice session. We've made one real attempt... Timeline. From that short, we learned that we needed to practice and learn the tricks of the trade before making more serious projects. This short was done to practice cinematography and lighting. This is why there are some weird angles and cuts... we're trying stuff out, figuring out what looks good and what doesn't. I'll take the fact that no one has really complained about the lighting as a sign that it we did a good enough job on that.

The script was written in a few days and we only had one weekend to film it(before the holiday season, in which we won't have any time to film). That's why it's so simple. Also, we were a two-man crew. We couldn't do anything major. Since it had to be filmed at home(we couldn't really find a location in such a short time), I tried to figure out what the most interesting concept for a thriller that took place in the main characters home would be. I came up with the idea that being attacked by a stranger in your own house, one that you yourself let in, was the most exciting. I try my best to make films that have something unsettling in them.

The gun, what are ya gonna do, Danish toy-shops... to get one that looks more real, I'd have to travel 55 miles and pay about twenty times what I did for that one. That's not worth it, in my opinion.

The acting was impaired by the fact that we were really, really tired.

As for the character walking in and out of rooms like that, we were trying to imply him being somewhat bored.

The punching sounds were the best I could find.

You're the first person to say that the absence of music is good.

I'm glad you like the plot. I tried to give it as much substance as I could, while still keeping it simple. I thought about putting in more details about the stranger, where the money came from and such, but I couldn't find a good place or a good way to tell the audience this, so I eventually scrapped it.

The different shots was probably what we worked hardest on, so I'm very happy you found the result interesting to watch.

Again, thanks for the review. Indepth comments like yours are what help us improve. Have you seen our short film, Timeline? I'd love to hear your comments on that one as well.
Posted: Mon, 20th Dec 2004, 9:05pm

Post 9 of 16

masta oooba

Force: 10 | Joined: 17th Sep 2003 | Posts: 73

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If you have a gun with a red tip, you can take black spray paint or any black paint and use it to better the situation. If there is an absense of these things, and you don't want to go hunting for black paint, on Airsoft guns you can actually remove the red tip. It will come out if you pull it hard enough. The problem is, then you can't cock the gun, but it's worth it for close up shots, and afterwards you can just put it back on.
Posted: Mon, 20th Dec 2004, 9:08pm

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Klut

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BananaWorm wrote:


One more thing, when the the main character knocks the other guy out with a sculpture(or something) you can clearly see that he ARE NOT hitting the other character, not in a long shot!
Lol, me and my friend to hit each other all the time, but not so hard. Looks real and it hurts biggrin

Edit: When we make movies, where there is a fight!
Posted: Mon, 20th Dec 2004, 9:11pm

Post 11 of 16

skynet2004

Force: 400 | Joined: 6th Aug 2004 | Posts: 35

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Ooba: I was referring to Airsoft guns when I said: "to get one that looks more real, I'd have to travel 55 miles and pay about twenty times what I did for that one."

I live in a small town, so no shops nearby have Airsoft guns. I've been looking into the paint thing, but it's hard to get quality paint that can be used for plastic here, as well.

Klut: Thanks for the tip, it might come in handy.
Posted: Tue, 21st Dec 2004, 5:24am

Post 12 of 16

masta oooba

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I bought one off the ebay for very cheap.
Posted: Tue, 21st Dec 2004, 10:44am

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skynet2004

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Oh... I'll consider doing that, then.
Posted: Tue, 21st Dec 2004, 7:55pm

Post 14 of 16

masta oooba

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With fight scenes in movies, I WOULD want my friends to actually hit me. A moment of pain perhaps, but the shot itself will look good.

Another tip:
Do you ever watch Jackie Chan movies? They allways use camera shots to their advantage in fight sequences. For example, if you wanted to make a shot of someone hiting another person in the left side of the face, the one place you would NOT shoot it from would be to the absolute left of that person. You could have easily avoided the blatent miss by shooting the attack from the right and behind the main character (which is the left and front of the person being hit if anyone got kind of confused by that).
Posted: Tue, 21st Dec 2004, 8:05pm

Post 15 of 16

masta oooba

Force: 10 | Joined: 17th Sep 2003 | Posts: 73

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One more thing:
You COULD order an airsoft gun off of ebay for no more then 35 dollars, which is what I did, but it would have a red tip as well. So it would be a waste of time. I suggest that you take the gun you have and remove the red tip with your hands (if it doesn't slide out, saw it off...seriously) or order black paint off of the internet somehow. If you don't want to search that hard to get paint (I understand it's only a minor addition for the amount of work, and that you live in a very small town) you can ask your mom or sister for dark lipstick to put on it, or use silver paint of some kind. You could also take black electric tape and place it over the red part.

I understand these are things most people wouldn't want to bother with, but everything is worth any effort to better a film.
Posted: Tue, 21st Dec 2004, 10:38pm

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skynet2004

Force: 400 | Joined: 6th Aug 2004 | Posts: 35

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Good point about the fight scenes... I'll take it into account the next we're filming something involving hand-to-hand fighting.

I'll probably just either paint it over or use tape.

You're right, it'll be worth it, once the illusion is perfect.