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Vivification

Posted: Mon, 5th Nov 2007, 12:31pm

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Evman

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Created as a portfolio entry for a college application submission, Vivification details the story of a young man who has seen too much in his short life. His life is changed forever when an unexpected gift from the heavens quite literally crashes in his backyard.

NOTE: Before you rate this based on the preview version I posted in the regular forums a few weeks ago, please note that I have made some changes since then, shortened some stuff up, and generally polished the film up a bit more. Please watch before you rate.


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Posted: Mon, 5th Nov 2007, 8:51pm

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jmax

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This is a special movie. Heartfelt and poignant, it really speaks. This is incredibly hard to do as a young film-maker with limited resources, I know. This makes it all the better that you're not giving me "Lightsaber Duel 27". Vivification is well-done and clearly you put a lot into it. Great job. I could whine about some shaky camerawork and dodgy day-for-night grading, but I'm not going to becuase something about this movie reached as an audience, something I can only say about a handful of other movies posted on this site. Fantastic job.

P.S.-Where'd you get that music? It was perfect...
Posted: Mon, 5th Nov 2007, 9:56pm

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Waser

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This was a really hard movie to watch. By no means am I saying so in relation to the quality of the movie (I'll get to that in a second), but I mean it in a more....congratulatory way...? That's the best I can come up with, but I hope the rest of my review clears up what I mean.

As with any dramatic attempt from someone who's forte is comedy, it was hard for me to watch this movie and not think of all the hilarious movies from you that has come before it. I mean, this guy, in the movie, is the same guy I saw walk around with a plastic bag on his foot for 50 minutes. In that specific regard, this movie was tough to watch. Thankfully, that had no effect on my ability to enjoy this movie.

I love the opening shot with the rock flying across the sky. This became very iconic of the movie to me, and I loved it. You could have made the movie with just this isolated incident, a lone rock falling out of the sky or whatever, but the fact you had one in the beginning, one in the middle, and near the end made the feel of the movie that much more grand. As captain Hook would say "GOOD FORM JACK!" but really he meant Evman.

I really liked the music throughout too(where the hell is it from, I recognized it).

Also, God BLESS you for not making Luke an adult. For some reason, that added an interesting dynamic to his character that wouldn't be found in an adult character in the same position.

I also loved that the movie had this ambiguous feeling. You're never really sure what actually happened, what the rock was, and what it did exactly, rather than off help to this guy in need of some. The movie never really beat me over the head.

Who knew that the guy who looked for the mouth on a tree could make a movie like this? I didn't, but now I do.

Good luck on your submission to those colleges you were looking at.
Posted: Mon, 5th Nov 2007, 10:28pm

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Penguin

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jmax wrote:

P.S.-Where'd you get that music? It was perfect...
The music is from the 2005 version of King Kong.
Posted: Mon, 5th Nov 2007, 10:29pm

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Rockfilmers

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I thought it was good. I noticed you looked at the camera a few time (Which is so hard not to do). The acting wasn't bad and the music was great. The only thing is it wasn't long enough to grow atached to the character, so it wasn't like a big happy ending, but it's a short so what can I say. But I thought it was good.
Posted: Mon, 5th Nov 2007, 11:23pm

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Atom

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Rockfilmers wrote:

I thought it was good. I noticed you looked at the camera a few time (Which is so hard not to do). The acting wasn't bad and the music was great. The only thing is it wasn't long enough to grow atached to the character, so it wasn't like a big happy ending, but it's a short so what can I say. But I thought it was good.
I agree.

This work shows real growth, potential, and good storytelling. Past that, I think I've told you the rest of my sentiments on the positive side (acting, effects, setup, grading, angles, editing, music- all very solid) so let me just highlight a few negatives that bothered me:

-The girl. By god, she nearly ruins the whole thing for me. The aesthetic look and feel of the movie are very determined and don't at all fit the way she looks or speaks or acts, if there ever was a way for something to "fit" in a movie. Maybe it's the slight lisp, but the character just felt kind of annoying. (Which girls are sometimes, so I'll give credit to the writing on that one smile)

-The odd change in quality/framerate at the end. Maybe it's compression, but there are a few minor switches and hiccups that made me go "huh?" and replay to see if it was the player.

-Copyrighted Music. I guess it's still not that big of a deal, but I thought our generation, the age of new children (hehe, Waser), had gotten out of the habit of using copyrighted music. I really did. While it's all very fitting, there's an air of amateurism to me in using it, especially when there's some great stuff that's been noted several times out there. Maybe it was a creative choice, maybe you were pressed for time, maybe (as I see) to NYU it just didn't matter, but to me for the past few years- it seems like using copyrighted stuff, especially a recognizable and full score to a major movie, is just as much copying as is using footage from another movie.

It's a tough one for me, as it fit perfectly. But I must retract a point on this, because you know better. I love the Batman Begins soundtrack to death and put it into everything I do at first, but it's not right to use it.

Well done, man.
4/5
Posted: Tue, 6th Nov 2007, 12:52am

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Evman

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Atom wrote:


-Copyrighted Music. I guess it's still not that big of a deal, but I thought our generation, the age of new children (hehe, Waser), had gotten out of the habit of using copyrighted music. I really did. While it's all very fitting, there's an air of amateurism to me in using it, especially when there's some great stuff that's been noted several times out there. Maybe it was a creative choice, maybe you were pressed for time, maybe (as I see) to NYU it just didn't matter, but to me for the past few years- it seems like using copyrighted stuff, especially a recognizable and full score to a major movie, is just as much copying as is using footage from another movie.
I know it bothers you, but I have NO means of obtaining a soundtrack that is on par with anything I would be happy with. There just isn't a way to get it, and I tried to use ambiguous music anyway (no one really knew until I told them). Music is a VERY important aspect of my films, and I couldn't stand to see it short changed just because I can't afford it. In short, if I used anything original, it would sound way to amateurish for me at this stage because again, I have NO means of attaining a fantastic score of the length I require. You'll just have to deal with it, I'm afraid! biggrin


And about the length, the script actually has the entire movie in a linear format, which really fleshes out my character a LOT more. I actually have all the scenes shot fully as well, and I was planning on creating a "Director's Cut" if you will (Because I had to shorten everything up so much to get it under 10 minutes), but half from seeing some of the responses in the other thread about the length of the film, and half from just outright laziness after FINALLY completing my application, I decided not to do that. Who knows though, I still have the footage, and if I ever have time, you might see the Full Version.


Thanks everyone for all the comments so far, I'm glad to know that I managed to touch some of you, as this is (as you know) my first legitimate attempt at drama. Overall, I'm pretty pleased with it. (Though I acknowledge its flaws, and had I started on it earlier, it might not have been as rushed as it still feels to me... but I'm the creator, so I'm my own biggest critic. razz )


EDIT:

Oh yeah, about the frame rate switch at the end. That last sequence of sunrise was filmed with my GL2 and a camera from school that ended up having a really weird "Double Frame" issue when I imported to my computer. I filmed with two cameras just to get it done faster (it was sunset actually, and we were losing light fast). So basically, for me, that last scene is a miracle of color correction, as I managed to relatively match shots from 2 cameras that never looked the same from shot to shot due to the changing light.

Not to mention that basically EVERY shot in that last scene has sky replacement in it...

That's another thing I might eventually do, show a side by side comparison of graded/ungraded final scenes there, as well as maybe some day for night examples (the day for night ended up looking a lot better than I was expecting it to).
Posted: Tue, 6th Nov 2007, 1:05am

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Klausky

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Atom wrote:


-The girl. By god, she nearly ruins the whole thing for me. The aesthetic look and feel of the movie are very determined and don't at all fit the way she looks or speaks or acts, if there ever was a way for something to "fit" in a movie. Maybe it's the slight lisp, but the character just felt kind of annoying. (Which girls are sometimes, so I'll give credit to the writing on that one smile)
He is right on this one. I thought the best parts of this were the composition (except for a few extreme close ups) and the editing of the scene where he contemplates picking up the meteorite. Did you shoot the extreme close ups on the wide angle setting?

As far as the story, I feel like this is an overly sentimental piece, which fails to capture the reality of the situation at hand. I realize there is a fantasy element to it, but as far as realistic dialog, I think you missed the mark. Its well written, but forced. The acting is mostly at fault for this -- and I will agree with what Atom said concerning the female character. She is somewhat hard to understand and a little awkward. Its hard to explain. But this isn't your fault at all, and trust me, I run into the same problems with my movies. Bottom line, she is a saint for helping you, but her acting does conjure a campy element to a serious story.

This is a quality short that exhibits your best technical work.

3.5/5 (rounds up to a four)
Posted: Tue, 6th Nov 2007, 1:22am

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Atom

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Evman wrote:

I know it bothers you, but I have NO means of obtaining a soundtrack that is on par with anything I would be happy with.
Alright, I'll give you that you may be happy with something copyrighted and not want to find anything else, but there's always something else. Like I said with the Batman Begins soundtrack, nothing is comparable to its presence and how it works in, say, Marathon, but I found something that worked just fine (if not fantastically) and wasn't an issue.

I have NO means of attaining a fantastic score of the length I require. You'll just have to deal with it, I'm afraid! biggrin
That's just not true, man. Come on. There's plenty of stuff out there to the point where you shouldn't be making excuses about this kind of stuff. Call it what you will, but I'm going to have to turn the tables on you for "lazy excuses" that you sometimes call me on.

It might sound silly to just the offhand person, but since we've progressed with eachother professionally in filmmaking and are both on our way to bigger and better things, I'm very surprised with the music. Well, maybe not the music as much as defending it with something lame.

Other than that, though. You know my thoughts. Congrats.
Posted: Tue, 6th Nov 2007, 1:24am

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Evman

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Atom wrote:


That's just not true, man. Come on. There's plenty of stuff out there to the point where you shouldn't be making excuses about this kind of stuff.
Like what? I don't know anyone musically inclined, and unless it's custom made for the film, it's just as good as stealing. PM me about this one.
Posted: Tue, 6th Nov 2007, 2:11am

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Waser

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If you ever make an all-accordion scored film, I know this guy....
Posted: Tue, 6th Nov 2007, 3:38am

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Atom

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Messaged.
Posted: Tue, 6th Nov 2007, 3:59am

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Evman

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Waser wrote:

If you ever make an all-accordion scored film, I know this guy....
I'll be needing that for sure.

Oh and Waser, I must thank you, you have such a knack for writing reviews that always make me smile. Always.
Posted: Wed, 7th Nov 2007, 5:35am

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Xanikoo

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I liked this movie it kept me watching.
Posted: Thu, 8th Nov 2007, 11:57am

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Simon K Jones

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Good stuff evman! I agree with just about everything that's been said so far.

The two main things to focus on regarding improvements would be the camerawork and the acting. While the actual framing etc was mostly really solid and worked well, the actual technical execution of the shots was sometimes a bit lacking - this was most noticeable in the opening shot with the title. If it had been a steadier move, on a tripod, without the random wobbling at the end, it would have been amazing. As it is, it's still a great opening - the meteorite whizzing past the title is really unexpected and immediately captivating. But a bit more care taken over the actual movement of the camera would take this to the next level.

Acting is always a tricky thing, especially if you're not necessarily working with 'proper' actors. I think a bit more time taken here would have helped. It was possibly made more difficult due to being very dialogue-heavy - by placing the conversation in a car, you didn't really have any opportunities to move the actors and the camera, or change location or shot to any large degree. As such it became just two people talking, and the visuals became largely irrelevant - it would have worked just as well as a radio drama in that scene. This consequently focused everything in on the line delivery which, while ok, could have done with improvement.

Nonetheless, for your first foray into drama, this is definitely a good start! Looking forward to what you do next, definitely.


Oh, and on the subject of music...you might not know anybody that does music, but you might have heard of this thing called....the internet. wink Seriously, look around, you might be surprised who you find. After all, er-no and sollthar both linked up with their composers fairly randomly and have forged great relationships. You might also be surprised by how cheaply some composers will work for if they know they're doing it for a student filmmaker that has a zero budget - it's not necessarily going to break the bank.

Never underestimate how effective a custom score can be, though. Even if the score itself isn't as 'good' as something by Hans Zimmer or James Newton Howard, it's likely to be FAR more effective in the context of your film, because a) it's specifically designed for it and b) people won't be constantly thinking "hmm, was this from King Kong?" and getting distracted from your own work.
Posted: Mon, 12th Nov 2007, 8:59pm

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Evman

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Thanks Tarn, glad you liked it.

I'm pleased that so many people seem to think it was at least an adequate first foray into drama for me (Though I don't particularly appreciate certain personal insults against cast members).

Anyone else want to share your thoughts? I know you want to... razz
Posted: Tue, 13th Nov 2007, 6:21am

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Atom

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Evman wrote:

Though I don't particularly appreciate certain personal insults against cast members
If you're referring to me, I really meant no offense. The girl just didn't work in the production for me and at least a few others, plain and simple. Past that, I don't have anything to say about the cast.
Posted: Tue, 27th Nov 2007, 7:44am

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Aculag

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I've already told you what I think about this, but let me say that I'm glad you took the time to trim and polish it, because it works a lot better now.

Your meteors are still super cool.

I give it FOUR out of FIVE Christmas Tree Turkey Pumpkins!
Posted: Tue, 27th Nov 2007, 10:08am

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sfbmovieco

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LAZY SUNDAY!No seriously, this was good. I liked it and pretty much agree with what everyone has said. It's good to see the filmmakers on fxhome packing so much great stuff into shorts...You know what I mean.
Posted: Sat, 1st Dec 2007, 2:26am

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Evman

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Yes, there are some very large members around here... hmm... razz

Thanks for the comments, once again.
Posted: Sat, 1st Dec 2007, 7:55am

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Bryce007

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Finally got around to watching this....


It was pretty damn good. But much like Waser, I had a hard time taking it seriously, since I've only ever seen you make goofy comedies in the past...


But it was well shot, well acted (Minus the girl.. who was a major weak point as already mentioned) and nicely edited.


Good job. I'm sure this will get you great reviews from school recruiters.
Posted: Sat, 1st Dec 2007, 1:01pm

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smoorns

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a good sweet little movie. not a huge fan of your other stuff but thought this was an interesting little piece
Posted: Thu, 13th Dec 2007, 7:49pm

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Evman

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Looks like this film did the trick, as I've been accepted!
Posted: Fri, 14th Dec 2007, 1:33am

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Merrick

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I thought that was great! The symbolism is wonderful and the last shot of the meteor flying is particularly moving. The rock did remind me in a way of the One Ring, mainly because of the flash when he first tries to pick it up. The girl was not bad; it's just that she contrasted completely with the rest of the film. I love the way you move into the credits: it doesn't abruptly pull me out of the story, but gives me a chance to reflect on what I've seen. Glad you got accepted. smile
Posted: Tue, 23rd Dec 2008, 10:53pm

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Evman

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Due to a random website problem that I wasn't able to resolve until now, most of my movie submissions were deleted. As a consequence - I've taken the opportunity to re-render at higher and more perfected quality my most "important" films. I've even done this to the ones that survived the deletion (like Vivification).

So please enjoy the high quality version of Vivification!