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Posted: Tue, 30th Sep 2008, 3:43pm

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ben3308

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Made in just two days for the 2008 Dallas 48-Hour Film Project, "Pages" is our first attempt at delivering pure dramatic entertainment without any messages.

To be clear, to us we have two goals: keep people entertained, and present a message. In some of our latest films, the 'messages' get pushed too hard; so this movie is a step back to our basic abilities to entertain, agenda-free. There's no deep philosophy here, just a few things that are open to interpretation for fun.

While there's not much to say about the story- at least, not without giving anything away- it's a bit of a mix between Memento (hadn't seen it when I shot this), The Bourne Identity, and Cover's Story.

I flew into Dallas after class one day to shoot this, and flew back to class a few hours before the contest ended. It was, to say the least, a very hectic weekend. The copy you're seeing is the draft I was sent while it was being edited. I wish I had a more polished copy (a few bits of unsynced audio here and there) but seeing as I live in a different city, I can't access the original copy. This is also why the credits are separate from the film.

Anyhow, I already know most of the issues with this (audio pops/glitchy) but I'm putting it up for the sake of entertainment. Enjoy!

Shot and Directed by Ben Adams
Edited by Andrew Adams
Starring Brian Hunt
Joshua Cavazos, Willie Buggs, Lorrie Pucket
Music by Sean Beeson


More Info
Posted: Tue, 30th Sep 2008, 5:56pm

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Jabooza

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Technically, this is very strong (except for, as you mentioned, some audio problems), nice framing, great grading, good music, etc. And while it is quite nice to see you moving away from the "presenting a message" approach, I think the story was a bit lacking. It starts out very good, you don't really know what's going on a whole lot, but you don't really care because you know that everything is going to make sense in end. That's where things start going wrong. When the end comes, things aren't really explained... at all. You do something similar to Cover's Story when you show a scene in the beginning that ends up being revealed as something that happens in the end, and it worked great in Cover's Story, and in this one it works alright, but it isn't really satisfying enough on its own because then you expect to be supplied with more information (like what's up with the book) but then it just... ends. It's quite odd.


In short, very strong technical execution, but the story really needed more explanation.


-Jabooza
Posted: Tue, 30th Sep 2008, 11:57pm

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ben3308

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Thanks for the comments, man.

The main two goals here were to emulate the linear story (broken only by montage/jumpcuts) that Cover's Story took, but to tell a story that, like a lot of supernatural/mystery (Daybreak or the Bourne Identity come immediately to mind) is never fully explained, one where you're just there for the ride.

Not to spoil anything story-wise I suppose, but the general concept is that he's in a loop with tasks to do, and only after completing the tasks does he get put into another loop with other tasks. This is the reason for the whole book with several pages crossed out (lol), he keeps having to do things (and we don't really know why, but each page is one loop), but we do know that his wounds aren't transferred (he clutches his chest and rubs his neck when he wakes up, but there's no longer blood there) and that when he awakes under the bridge, it's only after he's failed the loop. The thing is: the shot of him falling down in the beginning isn't a convention of creative editing, it's linearly what's actually happening: he fails for some reason, passes out, and then he has to restart.

For this reason exactly, the end is significant: he's somewhere else, meaning he saved the girl and is done with that page. Anyhow, glad you liked the film, I know it's vague, but at least in this sense (it being a type of scifi/supernatural forces movies) it sort of fits as ambiguous. biggrin
Posted: Wed, 1st Oct 2008, 2:14am

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The Strider

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I loved it. The whole thing kept me on the edge of my seat. Very beautifully shot, and I thought the story made sense. Figuring out the mystery of "why" made it especially engaging.

5 out of 5 stars.
Posted: Wed, 1st Oct 2008, 4:40am

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SilverDragon7

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I said before, and will now say again, I love it. 5/5.

Also: The impression I got from the movie (when I first watched it) was that he was being resurrected (or however you may phrase it) to complete the task (saving the girl). But because he died he has to start over again until he gets it right (until no one is harmed).

Anyway, another movie to add to my Top 10.
Posted: Wed, 1st Oct 2008, 10:36am

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J MAN 77390

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I have to say, i didn't watch it all, but i don't have to live someone's life to know them...and i know that you are going to be a great filmmaker...keep it up. I just had to comment...but now i'll finish watching it...i know it may not turn out exactly the way you wanted it to, but don't worry, one filmmaker to another, i can tell what kind of film you were trying to make...it also tells me what kind of filmmaker you are...a good one!
Posted: Wed, 1st Oct 2008, 11:43am

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ben3308

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Glad you liked it, J MAN. Since you're new, you probably aren't aware of this, but this film is one of many of my more serious films in recent years.

Feel free to check out the others, titled:
Marathon (2007)
Redemption (2007)
Messages (2008)
Cover's Story (2006)
And also, my recently-completed Batman Fanfilm (2008).
Posted: Wed, 1st Oct 2008, 1:27pm

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StumpMovieMan

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Hey man, I really loved this bro. I think it may have been as close to perfect as it could have been for the genre you were doing (which is one I love) and the restrictions in the 48 hour race. I really loved this. As you mentioned there were some audio problems but, for me I was definitely able to look past them.

The film carried through the whole way without lacking. Very entertaining. The question "why" as previously stated is a very powerful one in movies, and I think you all exploited it very nicely. brian did a wonderful job, and I think the edit was very well done. I loved the sound effects at the beginning it gave it that very cool/ slightly creepy thriller feel. Also I love the opening shot under the bridge where it says "Atomic" then Brian comes into it. Very nice man, haha i clapped.

Anyway all in all. Very well done. I think you left just enough out of the story to leave people asking some questions, and think about the film. Very similar to Memento and I love it!

5/5 stars

PS- I think this may be my favorite Atomic Production. I need to re watch Marathon, but I liked this more then Cover Story.
Posted: Thu, 2nd Oct 2008, 2:29am

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Biblmac

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Oh wow. I just got finished watching it. I hadn't read the description at the time and when it was over was thinking... "WHAT! What happens next! What is the point! What message was he trying to get across!" I couldn't figure it out, then I read the description and realized, there was no intended meaning givin. I enjoyed it very much. I am just curious is there a reason he just wakes up and has to follow this book? Who wrote the book? Is there a sequel that will help explain? What happens next! Anyway entertainment wise this was the best atomic production yet! As far as overall I still like Marathon for the message and cinematography and everything.

5/5

This is going on my top ten!
Posted: Thu, 2nd Oct 2008, 4:54am

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Atom

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Haha, thanks all!

Biblmac, as SilverDragon states he's essentially being resurrected everyday to complete a task without error- until he gets something exactly correct. As far as if he's doing the same list of tasks over and over until he completes it without getting shot- or if he's doing new tasks each time- that's all really supposed to be left up to the imagination.

Why does he have a book? You assume either he wrote it himself or there's some divine force behind it. You'll notice, though, he wakes up both times disoriented, without shoes or articles of clothing, in obscure areas like under a bridge and in an abandoned fair grounds (in the end), and is confused as to how he got there. The reason he turns to the book is that it's his only real sense of identification or guide. To follow this movie, you have to watch it with the assumption that he simply accepts what the book says regardless of origin and follows it. As he first follows the pages of the book, he notices the car license plate matches up with numbers in it. You have to assume here he realizes there's something to it- if he already for that matter didn't know- and blindly follows it.

But as Ben said, there's no intended message here, just a 'chose-your-own-story-path' kinda open-ended movie brought to you purely for entertainment and technical value.
Posted: Sun, 5th Oct 2008, 3:28am

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Shadow013

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Wow. This is some great filmmaking right here! I liked it a lot. I love the style and the genre of the movie. Its crazy how you guys make such amazing films. And I watched that Batman Fanfilm, that too was freakin AMAZING! Maybe you can help me out with something. I have three new movies that came at the same time as that Invasion Planet Earth movie did and none of my movies even grazed the top ten thing, and their still not on there. I know my movies aren't as good as your movies or some of the movies in the cinema but I know their better than that Planet Earth movie. Any ideas as to why? Once again the movie was awesome! Can't wait to see more.
Posted: Sun, 5th Oct 2008, 6:38pm

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Gibs

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I liked this. I was able to follow the story, and it was very intriguing, especially considering you guys put it together in such a short time span. The shots under the overpass were cool, especially when the camera panned from the main guy to the city in the background. Overall very well composed in my opinion.

The only thing I didn't particularly like was the ending. I understood that he woke up and suddenly wasn't wounded anymore, but then it ended. This confused me. If the point was to show that he did something right and now everything is okay and back to normal, maybe you could have shown him walking down the street to some redemptive music before cutting to the credits.

Still, it was very well done. I've always wanted to do the 48 hour or similar contests, but nobody back home ever wants to do it with me. sad You guys are very fortunate to have a lot of friends who like filmmaking in your area.
Posted: Sun, 5th Oct 2008, 6:50pm

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Jabooza

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Shadow013 - I too noticed that your movies weren't in the top ten, which is really weird because the top ten isn't full yet, so they should be in there somewhere regardless of their quality (look at Invasion Planet Earth for example smile ). After movies have been in the cinema for a month, they aren't eligible for the top ten anymore, but yours haven't quite been in for a month yet, so I don't really know what's going on at all.


Gibs wrote:

The only thing I didn't particularly like was the ending. I understood that he woke up and suddenly wasn't wounded anymore, but then it ended. This confused me.
Same here. I don't want to be misunderstood, I also thought the whole 'why' thing was very well handled, but it doesn't have as much of an effect when it isn't actually answered in the end.


-Jabooza
Posted: Sun, 5th Oct 2008, 11:56pm

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Atom

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Jabooza wrote:


Gibs wrote:

The only thing I didn't particularly like was the ending. I understood that he woke up and suddenly wasn't wounded anymore, but then it ended. This confused me.
Same here. I don't want to be misunderstood, I also thought the whole 'why' thing was very well handled, but it doesn't have as much of an effect when it isn't actually answered in the end.
Hmmm...well, you know we'd normally go for some triumphant music with a big, grand finish; for however mentioned something like that. In fact, we've pretty much coined/perfected that ending with our previous movies- but we wanted to try something different here, and not because we were experimenting with our style on this movie in general.

Really, we wanted a duality to the end and beginning of the movie to give a cyclical feeling; as if things immediately start back over with an immediacy to them. (ala the initial 'revival' and the the fast-paced music and camerawork of the ending)

I don't know if this was clear, as I had to cut it pretty short for timing, (This is the exact copy turned into the 48 Hour competition) but you're supposed to see a huge ferris wheel in front of him as he looks through the pages and looks up, insinuating the start of some new, grand set of tasks. There's no resolute finish, no final ending, because it's supposed to be never-ending. If that makes any sense.

Gibs wrote:

I've always wanted to do the 48 hour or similar contests, but nobody back home ever wants to do it with me. sad You guys are very fortunate to have a lot of friends who like filmmaking in your area.
Heh, I wouldn't go as far as to call us lucky; especially on this movie. It was just Ben, myself, and the actors- very strange as we normally have a crew of a few more- but it wasn't anything grand and certainly not as if we've got a lot of friends who like filmmaking, let alone good at it. smile

What I will say is that we've been lucky enough to have a good number of our friends join in just to help us and have been lucky enough to generally keep the same five-man crew/Atomic core group from our first videorace 4 years ago alive for at least one or two projects every year, which is great.

But yeah, don't think this was any small feat with large numbers behind it. Other than Batman, which was a crew of three including myself and the actors, Pages is perhaps the smallest-crew production we've done in a while.
Posted: Mon, 6th Oct 2008, 12:29am

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Shadow013

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Whoa after I said we weren't in the top ten... were #1! I didn't think it would beat this movie but ok... Something strange is going on...
Posted: Mon, 6th Oct 2008, 9:25pm

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Limey

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I liked this movie. It held my interest throughout the whole thing.
Posted: Mon, 6th Oct 2008, 10:12pm

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Bryce007

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I can't help but notice the fact that the hangover probably helped her character quite a bit...

Well done fellas.
Posted: Tue, 7th Oct 2008, 6:10pm

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Atom

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Hey, thanks Bryce and Limey!

Yeah, we're pretty happy with how this came out-although the exposure on here has been sadly pretty low. Maybe I need to get the hype-machine-cogs a'turnin' again. smile
Posted: Thu, 9th Oct 2008, 9:28pm

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Klut

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This one guys I REALLY like. I like it a lot. It's a five from me.
BUT, I do think you did just a tiny bit too much, camera vice... If you know what I mean. But I don't care that much about the technicals', I loved the story and the performance.
Posted: Thu, 9th Oct 2008, 11:10pm

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ben3308

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Thanks for the comments, Klut, glad you enjoyed it! Could you be more specific by what you mean by 'vice'? I feel I may be misinterpreting your English. Even so, thanks! biggrin
Posted: Fri, 10th Oct 2008, 9:02am

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Klut

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Hmm. Is it spelled wice? Wise? Anyways, I mean that you might have done just a little too much out of the camera work. Like a few angle/viewpoint changes too many.
Posted: Fri, 10th Oct 2008, 11:47am

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davlin

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This is a great quality film.....(sound a bit iffy)...I especially love the way you guys tackle your movies.
Trying to do something that's truly original is one of the goals we all try for and usually unsuccessively . You are always pushing the boundries and I'm certain ,in the not too distant future ,you will achieve this with your intelligent style of movie making.
Your actors were top class...
I wish you fellas would do a movie that's not in some kinda panic timeframe.....then you will shine....hehe

very well done to all of you.

Last edited Fri, 10th Oct 2008, 2:33pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Fri, 10th Oct 2008, 2:22pm

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bdeleon719

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Its was awsome...i loved the camera angles and everything...
honestly bro you did good for two days!!smile
Posted: Fri, 10th Oct 2008, 5:03pm

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Atom

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davlin wrote:


I wish you fellas would do a movie that's not in some kinda panic timeframe.....then you will shine....hehe
I hope so. smile
Posted: Fri, 10th Oct 2008, 5:07pm

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ben3308

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All our HTML links on our FTP are dead, so that won't show. Granted, I dunno why the files that are there won't show, but they won't.

Check out the Google cached version of the link, though, by clicking on the link I just provided.
Posted: Sat, 11th Oct 2008, 12:26am

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Plainly

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Okay, so I won't resay everything that's been said already - the great technicals and whatnot - but, yeah, I really enjoyed this. razz Good job, guys, again. I especially liked the camera-work in this one.

Also, the idea (with the book; the guy having to do the things it told him to) is very original. I like it. The only downside, though, was that - and I realize you did this on purpose, as you said in the comments - it wasn't really clear enough. I mean, if you were to make it unclear, that's fine, but it was just a bit too unclear - a lot of the great things you guys posted (the protagonist having failed in the first scene and therefore restarting after the title sequence - that kind of stuff) I can't recall having thought of on my own. This is just a bit of a shame since your film doesn't show all of your effort, if you see what I mean.

Anyway, apart from that little thing, I think this is most impressive. Again. Nothing new, really. wink Keep up the good work!
Posted: Sat, 11th Oct 2008, 5:41am

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ben3308

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UnrealProductions, any chance you could shed light onto why you gave this a 0?
Posted: Sun, 12th Oct 2008, 5:51pm

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The NEW VRBstudios

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grrr i got up to 5:57 and then the video had to buffer hahaha!
ya pretty suspensefull...

-VRBstudios
Posted: Fri, 17th Oct 2008, 5:12am

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Atom

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I'm a little bit late to the response, but thanks VRB! Sorry about the buffering. smile

Anyone else wanna take a stab at watching this? It's been perhaps the least-frequented (and least controversial/argumentative) of our movie threads. A tad bit disappointing, I must say- but I guess that just means our small following has moved past FXHome and we're growing in our work past an excessive need for defense. smile
Posted: Fri, 17th Oct 2008, 12:33pm

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davlin

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Anyone else wanna take a stab at watching this? It's been perhaps the least-frequented (and least controversial/argumentative) of our movie threads. A tad bit disappointing, I must say- but I guess that just means our small following has moved past FXHome and we're growing in our work past an excessive need for defense. smile[/quote]

I also feel that the cinema has lost something in recent times,there is a distinct lack of members voting/commenting and I suppose I'm as guilty as anyone else for not giving the forums more time.
Posted: Sat, 18th Oct 2008, 3:48pm

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FXhomer42344

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good job, in point lack of sound effects, and about you comment that you never seen memento before, well i never watch it either , ....... NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! xD
Posted: Sun, 19th Oct 2008, 9:13pm

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Atom

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I'm sorry, but what? smile
Posted: Sat, 25th Oct 2008, 12:35am

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Atom

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Rating: -2

Bumpity-bump. smile

What's with the cinema comment/rating turnout these days? Now, now, don't you all know it's your civic duty as an FXHomer to vote on these movies and let your voice be heard? biggrin

EDIT: Honestly, you guys. This is f*cking ridiculous. Are you all just arbitrarily rummaging through all of my posts and rating them down? This post in this thread is old and pointless to rate!

Last edited Wed, 11th Feb 2009, 10:26am; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Sat, 25th Oct 2008, 7:14am

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TemporalCoder

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I enjoyed this smile

not just momento/bourne but also a bit of more modern quantum leap.

It left me feeling i had just watched a teaser/pilot wanting more.

Would make a great TV series.
Posted: Sun, 26th Oct 2008, 2:05am

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TSHADproductions

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how did u guys do by the way? in the contest? oh amazing job by the way... top ten...
Posted: Sun, 26th Oct 2008, 7:28pm

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Jabooza

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Atom wrote:

What's with the cinema comment/rating turnout these days?
I must say I agree. The cinema has been seeming pretty dead lately, and it's a bit disappointing to not really be getting many comments on our movie either (granted, it hasn't been in the cinema for very long yet). FXhome is pretty much the only place with filmmakers who can actually give us good feedback that we ever show our movies too, and now since the cinema isn't very active, it seems like there's nowhere we can show our movies where people will actually criticize/appreciate them.


-Jabooza
Posted: Mon, 9th Feb 2009, 7:13pm

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ben3308

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If you have a slow connection and would like to see "Pages" in consideration for the FXHome Awards, be sure to check out the YouTube version or the Vimeo version.

Thanks!