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The Longest Journey

Posted: Fri, 23rd Dec 2005, 10:18am

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TurManveru

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A pseudo-surrealist short, The Longest Journey endeavors to present dream-like imagery in a way that at first seems devoid of meaning but, in fact, is imbued with it. It is constructed from the basic premise that the answers we need aren’t the ones we look for. They're the ones we find when we’re looking.

John Cooke, a good friend, and I, Mike Shur, wrote the screenplay over the course of about a month, half a year ago. We then spent about another month doing test shots to insure that we could do the things we wanted to do. It was hard to find time between classes, John and I are both college students, so the filming was done mostly on weekends and spread out from the end of July to the beginning of November.

I edited it in Final Cut Pro 4.5. The visual effects I did with EffectsLab dv, Bryce 5, and compositing with Final Cut. I also put together all of the music using Soundtrack.

Also, knowing that some people might not catch the allegorical elements the first time around, I decided to record and present a version of the movie that includes a commentary from me.

We (John, myself and the entire cast) all worked very hard on this movie and we’re all pretty proud of the result. I hope that you will be happy you took the time download it.
- Mike Shur


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Posted: Fri, 23rd Dec 2005, 11:45am

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Clintorules

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That was extremely different from most of the movies on FXhome...but i liked it.

I liked the way you used different things to movie in between the different "worlds" instead of just one effect.

I'm gunna watch the commentary now =D

Clinto

Edit:
Ok i watched the commentary, which did explain a whole bunch of stuff...were can i find the bloopers??? Also, you should get an award for the most inovative green screen in the world!
Posted: Fri, 23rd Dec 2005, 6:02pm

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Framen Noodles

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TurManveru wrote:

some people might not catch the allegorical elements the first time around...
You definelty have that right, and I'm much too lazy to watch the commentary. Greenscreening was done very well and the acting was satisfactory.

It was actually boring to me, due to the fact that I couldn't understand it and it was very hard to follow, but I did watch all the way through. What the crap was he looking for?!?!?!?
Posted: Fri, 23rd Dec 2005, 6:35pm

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TurManveru

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Well, Framen Noodles, I'm sorry that you found it boring. I used Un Chien Andalou as a reference (a movie that is initially impossible to follow, and better for it).

As for what he was looking for - the point is that it doesn’t matter. The point is that he is looking for an answer and that eventually, in the process of looking, he realizes that the action of looking, of doing, was his answer.

Clintorules, thank you for the only kind comments I’ve received so far. As for the bloopers, I’m uploading them right now.
Posted: Fri, 23rd Dec 2005, 9:21pm

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theone

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Rating: +1

congratulations. I loved this movie. right into my top 10. I think it's soundtrack,framing,plot...it's all great. the only think i miss is some other grading in most of the scenes, but again that may have been your intention when creating a dreamy look.

anyway, good work.
Posted: Fri, 23rd Dec 2005, 9:37pm

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TurManveru

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Thank you, Theone! It is really gratifying to hear comments like yours after half a year of work on this. (Also, this is my first movie I've posted here).

Your comment concerning the grading was a good. I was going for a dreamy look, but I think you may be right. Some more variation may have helped.

Thanks for your comments!
Posted: Fri, 23rd Dec 2005, 10:06pm

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Andreas

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First of all, it's really fun to see something diffrent around here. Although I have to say I didn't understand much witout watching it with the commentary track. I did not find it boring to watch, other way around. I was hyped up for a ending that would put it all to place, which it didn't really do.
With the commentery track this is an excellent movie, so the lack of plot somehow kills it. It's really hard to get my words out but this could've been a such great flick if somehow the images or something told what the commentery track did, maybe I'm just abit stupid or slow to actually get this kind of story. I'm sure there are people who will get it right away.

Technically this was really good. Images looked pretty great, the grading was maybe a bit too much but I do not agree its repeating, obviously the movie is about his life in this circle so it works really good with the story. The soundtrack was overall good, camera work, actors etc the same. Sound could've been better but I could hear what you said so nothing major then.

I have no idea what to rate this, but I still think you've done a great job and tried to do something really original which I didn't really get without your help (commentery)

Merry Christmas!
Posted: Tue, 27th Dec 2005, 12:17pm

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Clintorules

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AHHH! Were'd it go??? Did you submit the bloopers?
Posted: Tue, 27th Dec 2005, 8:00pm

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TurManveru

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I tried to submit the bloopers... If you want to see them, they're at:

http://homepage.mac.com/ntwarwick1/tlj/Bloopers.m4v

As for where the movie is... your guess is as good as mine. It spent only a few hours up last friday. I've emailed Fxhome a few times; no response.

Hopefully everything will be fixed soon... unsure

- Mike
Posted: Thu, 29th Dec 2005, 7:42pm

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scannon

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“Look into my hat.”

I too congratulate you on your film. It’s nice to see a film that makes you think and is not full of muzzle flashes and light sword clashes.

I watched it without the commentary first and drew my own conclusions that brought me to my cousin that has passed away. It was nice to think of him and for that I thank you.

I then watched it with the commentary and was no less moved.

“Smell This!”

Bravo!

5 from me
Posted: Fri, 30th Dec 2005, 2:25am

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TurManveru

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Oooo! My movie back up! Yippeeee!

Scannon, thank you so much for your compliments. I am truly honored by your words and you have my sympathy concerning your late cousin.

Apparently you also share my sense humor!
Thanks again!
Posted: Fri, 30th Dec 2005, 3:42am

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Jrad

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This might sound stupid but whats .m4v and where do i get it?
Posted: Fri, 30th Dec 2005, 3:49am

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Serpent

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m4v is iPod format, you can just download QT7. Then, download the m4v and open it in QT. I believe it uses mp4 technology.
Posted: Fri, 30th Dec 2005, 4:26am

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TurManveru

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Yup. Serpent is entirely correct. You shouldn't have any trouble viewing it with Quicktime 7. If you do, tell me and I'll post a version in a different format.
Posted: Fri, 30th Dec 2005, 4:36am

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Jrad

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I got it.
Posted: Sat, 31st Dec 2005, 7:04am

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TurManveru

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Webkroa Consulting seems to have ranked my movie with no stars... And he/she didn't even bother to say why...

For future reference, if you really don't like it, let me know why. Give some constructive criticism. That way I can learn and get better.

BTW - All the comments posted so far; great stuff! Thank you, everyone who's posted, for not only taking the time to watch my movie, but to post and tell me why you did or didn't like it.

Happy New Years!
Posted: Sat, 31st Dec 2005, 7:30am

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Jrad

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I had to watch the commentary to get it because these type of films don't really appeal to me, but good job. On the music, shots, FX, and I think the acting was actually quite well. 4/5.
Posted: Sun, 1st Jan 2006, 7:12pm

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JoeyLawrence

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Hey, I enjoyed the movie and am glad to see things like this up.

All of your transitions between the senses were really smooth except the hat one. Like you said in your commentary, you wern't sure how to pull it off. I don't like telling people how they should have done something specifically, but that particullar transition wasn't as creative as the others. Maybe if the camera were pulled out of the hole the flowers were being planted in?

Another thing in that scene is it is way too overexposed. This can be a problem in the sunlight because cameras want to show the detail in the dark shadows, but make everything else bright and blown-out while bumping up those dark areas, (such as your actors face). This can be avoided by manually adjusting the exposure on your camera so the background is evenly exposed, and then using something as simple as a white sheet of poster board to bounce some light on the subject. They do this in photography all the time, it really works well. biggrin

You can also try out a board covered in tin foil for harsher results.

See ya!
4/5 stars
Posted: Sun, 1st Jan 2006, 8:16pm

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TurManveru

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Glad you enjoyed the movie, JoryLawrence!

Thanks for all of your advice! As I've admitted, the transition between Magician and Gardner didn't. Your ideas are good and appreciated!

As for the overexposure; that was actually intentional. From the beginning, when I was writing the movie, I knew I wanted all the scenes but one to be inside or otherwise lack a sense of space. The two green-screen scenes were not meant to look like they were inside (which, of course, they were), but inevitably they lack a sense of space and light. For the Gardner scene (which I always felt was the most important) I wanted space and light. Too much space and light. That's why I have a number of shots a distance away from the actors and why I allow a good amount of time for the Dreamer, John, to walk to and then away from the Gardner, Sarah.

Now, whether this was a good idea or not is completely another story. Maybe it wasn't. My point is just that the overexposure was done digitally, after the fact, on purpose.

Your suggestions for avoiding this outcome are all very helpful, however. I've copied them down for future reference with other projects (as my expertise is in traditional art mediums, not video or film, and they are things I hadn't considered).

Thanks again for all of your input!!!

Whew! I didn't mean to ramble on that long! Oh, well...

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!
Posted: Thu, 5th Jan 2006, 11:05pm

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nfsbuff

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Wow! I was finally able to download this, and I have no regret doing so. On the technical side, this movie had some of the best keying I've seen on here. The glow added a nice touch, and certainly gave the feel of a dream-like state. Well done.

I know the story and plot have been explained, but I still wasn't completely fond of it. I don't know, I just wasn't drawn into it...maybe because it felt so disjointed.

Overall though, good job!
Posted: Sat, 21st Jan 2006, 3:39am

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mikeysnipaa

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Filming and editing keeps getting better and better on fxhome. one of the bigger things of this film is the acting was actually decent/good smile

i really liked the part where the main person goes from the black and white tv thing to color. took me a few to figure out how it was done smile

music fit perfect, acting = good, filming and editing were also done well smile

great job ONLY one thing.. shouda fadded out music at end.. (easy fix)
Posted: Sat, 21st Jan 2006, 6:14am

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TurManveru

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Thank you very much for all of your kind words, Cheezyfilms. They are appreciated.

cheezyfilms wrote:


great job ONLY one thing.. shouda fadded out music at end.. (easy fix)
Are you referring to the end credits or the cut to black? In both cases, the decision was deliberate. I have a general dislike of fades (in a visual sense and an auditory one) at the beginnings and ends of movies and TV shows. I love sharp cuts because they imply the extension of time before and after the event depicted. This way, said event is just a piece of a greater whole, plucked from it.
Posted: Sat, 21st Jan 2006, 6:24am

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mikeysnipaa

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i was talking about the ending credits i figured you cut on perpose with ur film to the credits (and it wasnt that bad) but from credits to there fxhome logo.. i thought at least the music.. should have been fadded. mostly because it was right in the middle of the song.. and most people who stay and watch credits are also enjoying the music wink lol so.. when it just CUTs.. its almost like being kicked in the side.. (if u know what i mean)

but, its ur film and ur choice smile and its not like it makes the film bad.. its just a personal pref i guess.
Posted: Sat, 21st Jan 2006, 4:31pm

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TurManveru

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Sorry for kicking you in the side! That isn't what I meant to do!

Just because the decision was deliberate doesn't mean it was a good decision. You raise a good point - I'll change it.

Thanks again for all of the comments!
Posted: Sat, 21st Jan 2006, 10:01pm

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mikeysnipaa

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haha, its ok my side has mended
Posted: Tue, 31st Jan 2006, 1:55pm

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FXhomer128

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Michael and John, you guys did a fantastic job here. I'm glad that I was able to hold a mini-premiere of "The Longest Journey" in my Art History class last semester.

Keep up the good work and I'm sure you'll accomplish great things. By doing this movie, you have set the bar high for yourselves!

I'll add a link to this copy of "The Longest Journey" in the news portion of Kevin Grass's art website at www.kevingrass.com. Kevin enjoyed debuting as a magician in your movie -- acting is an art form that he usually doesn't practice, but it's a nice break from painting.

Sincerely,

Michaela Oberlaender