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Ramen

Posted: Mon, 22nd Dec 2008, 9:56am

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Evman

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Created as a final project for my Frame and Sequence class at NYU Tisch Film, Ramen tells the story of a young atheist, Adam, who encounters a noodly diety that he didn't expect. Finding faith in the Flying Spaghetti Monster, he discovers the religion of Pastafarianism, and begins seeing pasta everywhere. But will his newfound religious ecstasy last?

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Posted: Mon, 22nd Dec 2008, 10:23am

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ben3308

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Pretty good stuff.

I understand the frame-by-frame limitations, and they were worked with well. The comedy, too, is appropriately tongue-in-cheek, though I found it a bit too deprecating for my tastes. Still a solid effort, congrats.
Posted: Tue, 23rd Dec 2008, 7:32am

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Evman

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I didn't quite intend it to be deprecating. How is it?
Posted: Tue, 23rd Dec 2008, 12:34pm

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ben3308

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The whole nature of the comedy was predicated on the fact that, justifiably, 'religion' is an object of ludicrous attachment and hypnotic realization - in this case to pasta biggrin - and in that respect it poked a bit more fun at religion than I would've liked.

Even if this wasn't your intention, this is a lot of what I got from it. It didn't insult me or anything, so don't think I'm offended by any means. I just think the punchline of the joke is taken a little too far for my tastes.

Am I making any sense?
Posted: Tue, 23rd Dec 2008, 7:17pm

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Evman

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Well it was definitely meant to be a metaphoric commentary on religion. But Pastafarianism is actually a real thing - the original idea was to broadcast my views on religion through the lens of Pastafarianism. Getting to cover everything in spaghetti and show the flying spaghetti monster was certainly an excellent plus side as well. razz

I don't think that there is any reason for me to be more or less cynical about religion in my own film based solely on the audiences' wants. It's my film, and I'm not going to skewer my message or "kidify" it because it might possibly offend people.

That being said, I appreciate that you aren't offended - it would be easy to get offended, but that would take a man of weaker religious faith than you.


Anyone else want to share some comments?
Posted: Tue, 23rd Dec 2008, 10:41pm

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SNI BRI

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Hey evman,

Alright. smile

I actually liked this. I do believe that you had your story in mind before you had went out and shot it. So however bizarre the concept, I do think the idea of it was relatively controlled. I've been looking at a lot of these frame by frame videos around the net, and I will admit out of most of them...this one at least kept my attention all the way through. Sound was nice and clean. I could have enjoyed some more cinematic angles, and possibly a little more hysteria when he started to obsess over the Pastafarianism, but other then that man....good stuff!
Posted: Wed, 24th Dec 2008, 12:15pm

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Sollthar

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Heh, I'm familiar with the "spaghetti monester who created the earth in the appearence of evolution" equasion, hence I got it when I saw it. An amusing and clever philosophical conondrum.

Filmwise, I liked the idea of lots of stills. It tries something new. However, I thought the stills themselves could have been a lot more cinematic or iconic. It looked too much like usual point-and-click-photos to me to be much interesting.
So while I think the whole still-approach can work, for me, it only works when the stills actually are top notch photographs. Which these mostly weren't.

All in all, a fun effort though!
Posted: Sat, 27th Dec 2008, 8:29am

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Evman

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Thanks Sollthar.

While I agree with you that some of the shots are fairly "point and shoot", I'll argue that a lot of them were very thought out. I guess they're hidden by the other shots.

And I shot on actual film - so of course I didn't have shots to waste getting things perfect by taking take after take. Luckily the lighting that I did for the scenes in his room worked well - and they didn't have to be re-shot.

SNI BRI-
Thanks man!

Ben - Did read my last post?


Thanks for the comments guys.

Is there some new coding in the cinema that doesn't put a movie in the top ten unless it has more than 2 ratings? That again begs the question - why have only 2 people rated this film!? razz
Posted: Sat, 10th Jan 2009, 7:59am

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ben3308

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Hey man, with regard to your comments about not a lot of ratings, I just rated this a 3, and I feel like I should probably explain myself a little bit.

I liked this, pretty much. It was comic enough, the concept was properly inclusive of the themes presented, and the execution - at least, on the technical scale of things - was more than solid.

That being said, I think you could have got more creative or hmmmmmm........extreme(?) with your still images as the 'pastafarianism' in turn got more extreme. I know this is sort of vague, and I'm fully aware of how crippling the 'no motion' limitations can be, I just feel that you perhaps could have strayed away from the more standard angles nearing the end.

Even so, the colors are vibrant, the angles even, and the dialogue/presentation completely intact and positive. The narrative itself drags on for a bit; but this serves to make it more 'compelling', as is the case with these droll, static, 'only pictures' assignments rolleyes (this isn't anything against you, but lower-division film school professors).

So, in the end, I ended up with a higher-end 3/5. Soooo close to a 4, but because of the long-winded (cynical irony ftw) ending I pushed it down. Hope that makes sense!

Keep up the good work, though, bro, because I'd love to see your talents develop (technically, at least) into some film-school caliber shorts at NYU.
Posted: Sat, 10th Jan 2009, 8:59am

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Evman

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ben3308 wrote:


Even so, the colors are vibrant, the angles even, and the dialogue/presentation completely intact and positive. The narrative itself drags on for a bit; but this serves to make it more 'compelling', as is the case with these droll, static, 'only pictures' assignments rolleyes (this isn't anything against you, but lower-division film school professors).

I don't see what my professor has to do with any of this. It's my film, not his.
Posted: Sat, 10th Jan 2009, 9:42am

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ben3308

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Uh....yeah, duh.

Lower-division film professors would be the ones that require film projects to be composed of only still images, no moving ones; and it is the nature of such assignment to be, at times, a bit boring or tedious.

Hence, most of the more boring bits of this were something you couldn't change because of the limitations of the project. I'm not saying I know all about your school, just that I'm familiar with the type of assignment.
Posted: Sat, 10th Jan 2009, 7:16pm

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Evman

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It's not a requirement of the professor.

It's a requirement of the curriculum. My first semester was in the visual track, and next semester will be the audio track. I won't work with images at all starting in a week or so.

Personally I think the way they've set it up is brilliant. Strip away all the bull$hit of actually having to focus on moving images right up front, and getting us to simply focus on framing and sequencing (the damn class is called Frame and Sequence) of images. When it is simplified like this we don't get wrapped up in the intricacies of shooting film and can focus on the most basic storytelling concepts. It was, quite frankly refreshing to do this, and it's a very smart way of doing things. Some of the projects I saw from my classmates (including mine) COULDN'T have been done with moving images... at least not with our budgets. They were all imaginative and some of the best student films I've ever seen.

That freedom is something you usually don't find in school of any type. Next semester we'll have the complete opposite experience, shooting on actual film, and physically cutting it with razors and putting it together. Nothing digital at all. Rather than just making films like I've always done, I'm getting the gamut of experiences that make the money of actually going to film school... worth it.

It's not the professor, it's the curriculum. And neither is stupid or limiting. It's only limiting if you can't think of how to work in the medium.
Posted: Sat, 10th Jan 2009, 10:18pm

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ben3308

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Haha, I think I understand where you're coming from, no need to go crazy about it! biggrin

All I meant was that frame-and-sequence films are lackluster compared to moving films. Not for everyone, agreed, but for you - someone who we've seen good 'non-photo-limited' films from, they're a proverbial step backward.

A learning experience? Absolutely. But in terms of story and entertainment, not too large of a stride. At the end of the day, it's a slideshow of interesting images supplemented by sound to make a narrative. Yes, I'm aware that this, too, is what motion pictures are, but the point in being is that, despite the reason for the assignment, it still lacks moving pictures. Do I make sense now?
Posted: Sat, 10th Jan 2009, 10:39pm

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Evman

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Yeah but I don't think moving pictures are necessary to tell this particular story. In fact, I think that if this film included motion, it wouldn't be nearly as successful. To criticize it for the very thing that makes it what it is doesn't make any sense to me.

That's like saying the opening of Casino Royale is a bad scene because it was shot on black and white film, when all people involved had proven themselves before adept at color photography. unsure
Posted: Sun, 11th Jan 2009, 12:20am

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ben3308

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Oh, no absolutely. I had a sneaking suspicion you were going to bring up Casino Royale's beginning, heh. biggrin

I suppose I just think that 'Ramen' is more.....innocuous compared to your other work and, despite what it may seem, this is likely by virtue of the limitations of the assignment. Sure, you couldn't have made this film under any different circumstances, but, then again, the learning, transitional nature of frame-and-sequence makes it something to be considered on a different level than motion picture; while both black-and-white and color films maintain similar storytelling tenets of motion and dynamics.

Sorry to hijack the thread, man!
Posted: Mon, 12th Jan 2009, 2:11am

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Dreadalus

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As I watched it I wasn't exactly sure how to respond. The comedy was a little dry for my taste and the story just way too out their. But I liked the fact you didn't go overboard with the No religion vs religion. You actually handled such a controversial topic very skillfully.(practically a lost art these days.)Also the pictures were well selected the more I watched it. For me this wasn't bad but it wasn't great either. I have nothing to say for improvement, because still pics aren't my expertise. So I'm going to give it a neutral rating of 3/5.