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On The Run (Test)

Posted: Tue, 2nd Jan 2007, 4:55pm

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miker

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First of all, I'd like to say this was shot with no Scripting/Planning done before hand. The plot (if you could consider this a plot) is really not the importance of this movie. This is my first attempt at the "frantic" shaky film style. I'm really quite pleased with the results. Does it look good? Basically, the title sums everything else up. Enjoy the movie.

More Info
Posted: Tue, 2nd Jan 2007, 6:31pm

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mattio

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Rating: +1

Im having a hard time downloading it.. really slow. If you want I can host it on my site.. Only watched the beginning so far.. Love the music.. what is the track called? really great music..

Will post a review after Ive downloaded.

Currently going at 25kb (and im on 2mb broadband).
Posted: Tue, 2nd Jan 2007, 7:18pm

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Garrison

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I thought the running/chase part in the beginning did pull off the effect you were trying to acheive. Even the sound in that part was well done. Music score helped the pacing as well.

The fight scenes could have benefitted more from sound effects.

Good Job
Posted: Tue, 2nd Jan 2007, 10:11pm

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miker

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mattio wrote:

Currently going at 25kb (and im on 2mb broadband).
Strange, I just re-downloaded without problems at 150 kb/s. Not sure what's going on..Ourmedia/Archive.org tends sparatically go bad every once in a while. Thanks for offering to host it mattio, if it continue's to give trouble I'll know who to call.

PLEASE let me know if other's are having problems downloading.

mattio wrote:

Only watched the beginning so far.. Love the music.. what is the track called? really great music..
The begining track is titled "Field of Death" off of the Behind Enemy Lines score.

Thanks for watching!
Posted: Wed, 3rd Jan 2007, 12:42am

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NickD

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Wow. You filmed this on a ZR-100? If so, that's some great image that you got biggrin
Posted: Wed, 3rd Jan 2007, 2:01am

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miker

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NickD wrote:

Wow. You filmed this on a ZR-100?
Yes sir, it was.
Posted: Wed, 3rd Jan 2007, 2:02am

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JT9

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That was pretty good. The only thing I thought was weird was when the runner and the chaser went in to that house loaded with guns. But other than that I thought it was really good I really liked the camera work and the color grading. And that was some great music you used to. Congrats on this film I look forward to see your next film! biggrin

Regards, JT9
Posted: Wed, 3rd Jan 2007, 2:37am

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TechLord

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Excellent Achievement! Congrats.
Posted: Wed, 3rd Jan 2007, 5:15am

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KevJay

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Very nice, it grabbed my attention from the start. The begining running scene was very very good, the only part that killed it for me was the long drag into the house, and just the overall house scene didn't really do it for me, but since it wasn't planned out and was spur of the moment kinda stuff, i can totally dig it. But again the begining sequence and fight scene in the woods were excellent! the music really helped the mood also. I give it a 3/5
Posted: Wed, 3rd Jan 2007, 5:50am

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miker

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I completely agree with you about the inside stuff.

Haha, I guess the main reason for the "house scene" was due to the lack of daylight. By the time we were shooting the house entry shots it was too dark outside to pick up anything on my camera. So we thought we'd bring it in. I also wanted to practice doing some special effects (especially the explosion). smile What can I say, I let time get ahead of me on another film shoot, once again.

Thanks for watching!
Posted: Wed, 3rd Jan 2007, 8:33am

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Gnome326

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The only thing that this video was really missing was some sound effects for the appropriate action happening on screen.
Posted: Wed, 3rd Jan 2007, 4:03pm

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Nicholas Iota

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Nice job on the effects, loved first scene with runing and I think it would have turned out alot better if it wasnt dark out and the rest was shot inside but even then it was still good.
Posted: Wed, 3rd Jan 2007, 4:55pm

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awesomeasapossum

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Nice job!
Posted: Wed, 3rd Jan 2007, 5:52pm

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Jazzmanian

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Aside from being pretty much pointless and plotless... (oh, wait. It was a test. Nevermind) wink it was quite good for the most part. The outdoor scenes were handled in that high energy, frenetic film style that suited the musical score and the action being depicted quite well. It even went some ways towards telling a story with absolutely no dialogue or sub-titles, which is always an accomplishment. The whole pace, feel and film style seemed to change once you got inside the house, which put me off a bit, however. But still, the film work for the actual chasing parts was quite exceptional. As already mentioned, the fight scene could have used some work, but that's incredibly hard to pull off for anyone, even with trained professional actors, so it's easy to overlook. A very well produced film.
Posted: Wed, 3rd Jan 2007, 7:30pm

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Mellifluous

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Running scenes were good, and your shakey cam test worked, nice angles and variation in this, good grading. The fight scene, as mentioned, needs a little more work, there was some uneven cuts that didn't merge shots seamlessly, e.g. in one shot the guy on the ground seems to kick the other off him, and then in the next shot he's got him by the neck again. Hope you apply this to a planned out movie!
Posted: Wed, 3rd Jan 2007, 9:16pm

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yan

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Very good film test, tense too! do you think it would be possible to submit a grading filter to the site similar to that whih you use in the chase scene. I'm going to be doing a film of a similar nature.
Posted: Wed, 3rd Jan 2007, 9:21pm

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TimmyD

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Rating: +1

Miker didn't use any FXhome products for grading, as far as I believe.
Posted: Wed, 3rd Jan 2007, 10:23pm

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miker

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Mellifluous wrote:

Hope you apply this to a planned out movie!
We're begining our largest project of all time within the next few weeks. I'll probably be posting a production thread soon. Keep your eyes peeled.

Yan, Magic Bullet was used for the grading.

Thanks for watching!
Posted: Thu, 4th Jan 2007, 12:49am

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ben3308

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This is really, really cool, my man. Props to you. I really liked the camerawork and the grading. Alot of the editing was disjointed (unintentional jump cuts, I'm guessing), but since it's a test I can see why that'd be.

Altogether I loved the production design of the setting, grading, camerawork, music coordination, actors, and costuming; but I think you need to work on adding fight sounds and that the last one minute or so need to be cut out.

It'd be a 3/5 for what it is, but I'm going 4 because I liked it.
Posted: Thu, 4th Jan 2007, 9:48pm

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miker

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Thanks for checkin it out ben. Could you give me some examples where some of my editing was bad? I appreciate the constructive criticism.
Posted: Thu, 4th Jan 2007, 9:54pm

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TimmyD

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In my opinion, the only bad editing was really in that fight scene in the woods, some of the cuts were awful, but we've talked about that. wink

Try storyboarding it next time, it'll help you out loads.

Plus, the lighting on the indoor scenes was less than would be desired. The foreground of shots usually seemed rather dark as opposed to the background.
Posted: Thu, 4th Jan 2007, 11:03pm

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jmax

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WOW. The camerawork was stunning, dare I say Abrams-esque? Reminisent of Paul Greengrass as well. A really stunning job. I felt the film declined as it went through fight scenes, and the running cuts were more well-done. But you had to give it some direction, and something will always be worse than something else. So I understand what you went through there. It's never as easy to make a good-looking fight scene as you think it will be. It was also pretty obvious you were running out of daylight at the end there, but I feel you. I've ended a film less than halfway through on account of darkness more times than I'd like to admit. (It's a compliment to the ambiguity of my movies that no one notices.)
The music was really nice, I thought I recognized it from some movie. My recommendation, don't bring in guns next time. Completely unnecessary. The hand-to-hand action was at least better than the guns. It lowered the credibility majorly to have a random little indoor gunfight. In the future, don't let your lust for effects govern the plot of your movies, because it really took down the professional tone of the film when they started picking up guns and shooting at each other from like 12 feet away.
Otherwise, excellent job.
Posted: Fri, 5th Jan 2007, 1:47am

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miker

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jmax wrote:

My recommendation, don't bring in guns next time. Completely unnecessary. The hand-to-hand action was at least better than the guns. It lowered the credibility majorly to have a random little indoor gunfight. In the future, don't let your lust for effects govern the plot of your movies, because it really took down the professional tone of the film when they started picking up guns and shooting at each other from like 12 feet away.
I agree with you completely on this. But as I've said before, this short was merely a test. By the time we got inside we realized we hadn't used a single weapon yet (which was actually one of the main reasons why I wanted to film this thing). So we pretty much just tossed the guns into the scene so I could get some special effect practice smile.

Thanks for your review.
Posted: Fri, 5th Jan 2007, 8:39pm

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j man

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The running sequence in the woods and the grading was great. It was a great editing job there. Also, the fast cuts and the music added to the quick pace to which things were happening. What was that song by the way??
Posted: Sat, 6th Jan 2007, 10:18am

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miker

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miker wrote:

The begining track is titled "Field of Death" off of the Behind Enemy Lines score.

Thanks for watching!
Posted: Sun, 7th Jan 2007, 5:59pm

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Mosk

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hey miker i was wondering what settings you use on your camera. My friend has a zr100 and we cant seem to get it looking good, theres just always a grainy look to it. I have used the spotlight setting and that definatly make a difference but it sigificantly darkens it.
Posted: Sun, 7th Jan 2007, 8:09pm

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NickD

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Mosk: Good lighting would be the first thing. Good lighting can make any camera look better (take a look at "Light" in the Cinema. It was shot on a $300 TRV-19).

Also, Magic Bullet probably made a difference, but lighting is the first thing to consider.
Posted: Sun, 7th Jan 2007, 8:46pm

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Mosk

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I know that light is something to consider but im just talking about the camera. I was wondering if there were any setting that wold help in low light with out getting that grainy noise look. This is the only camera that i have had issues with low light. I noticed that when you shot thee house scen it looked fine, but when i try to shoot in my house, even when its day and i have all lights on, i still get the same look.
Posted: Sun, 7th Jan 2007, 9:08pm

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NickD

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Try manually adjusting the aperture on the camera.
Posted: Sun, 7th Jan 2007, 9:56pm

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miker

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The ZR 100 doesn't have a manual aperture adjustment (as it's a really basic video camera), but does have a few option settings you have to choose from which will adjust the lighting for you. If you ask me, none of them really made it look any better. I usually end up setting it to Auto.

The ZR series seems to shoot at a semi-high brightness, and low contrast by default. Adjusting the Brightness/Contrast on your NLE can do wonders for your footage. I'd try this and see if it fixes some of the grain you seem to be getting.

If you've tried that already and continue to have problems it may just be poor lighting. We can't expect the footage to be perfect with the ZR100 as it only retails for around $300, but it shouldn't be terribly grainy as you describe. If you haven't yet, try using some color correction. That always makes the biggest difference.

Could it possibly have something to do with the brand of DV tapes you are using?
Posted: Mon, 8th Jan 2007, 10:12pm

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miker

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A new mirror link has been posted, hosted by TimmyD (thanks Timmy). Hopefully this will fix the slow download problems. Thanks again to everyone for taking the time to review this.
Posted: Sun, 21st Jan 2007, 5:40am

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Klausky

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I realize this is a test, so I will cut you some slack. However, when any amateur filmmaker sets out to produce anything he/she must keep some rudimentary concepts in mind.

Continuity - Make sure everything matches from cut to cut. Too many times I saw the characters in different positions between cuts. Especially in fights, make sure there are choreographed motions. A huge error I saw was in the final shot. The shot right before shows the character on the right side of the frame, but inthe last shot he is on the left.

Read this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/180_degree_rule to solve the latter problem.

Cutting on actions - There were too many unwarranted cuts within this. The chase scenes were fine considering multiple cuts add to the intensity, but some of your cuts made during walking sequences seemed awkward for two reasons. One being cutting at the wrong point and, two, having conflicting screen direction (which I will get into later). By cutting on an action or right before an action occurs, for instance turning the head while walking, a seamless transition is made from shot to shot. The viewer doesn't notice the cut because he is focused on the completed action.

Screen Direction - With all these walking/ running sequences, make sure you have the character moving in the same direction as you switch angles. This doesn't really apply to the first chase scene because it was your goal to make it chaotic, but when looking at the stealth scene in the house, the lack of screen direction annoyed me. A real good example of this mistake can be seen when the "bad guy" is looking down at the house right after the other character has made his way past the garage. In the shot where we see the back of the bad guys head, he is moving left to right across the frame. But in the next shot he is moving right to left. Believe it or not, this difference disrupts the flow and rythm to your movie. The 180 Degree Rule will fix this also.
Posted: Fri, 26th Jan 2007, 7:52pm

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miker

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Thanks for the review Klausky. I'll take a look at that 180 degree rule.