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Farewell

Posted: Mon, 12th Jan 2009, 12:51pm

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Sollthar

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A little shortfilm story. Don't want to give away too much, the title tells it all.

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Posted: Mon, 12th Jan 2009, 1:15pm

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b4uask30male

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A couple of points if I may, a tad too long, maybe should have been half that.
I also felt that it needed more movement in the shots eg: dolly or tracking shots.
I know how it is shooting a quicky on the weekends so I know sometimes there is not much time so setting a dolly is the last thing on your mind.

Camera angles and mood was good and what i'd expect from NCC, actress was good except for the metal in her nose which distracted me sad

Well done, good short film.

Oh, the description, not sure it's worth telling people that, i'd have let them watched it and guess than let them know, because of your discription I was guessing correct all the way along and would have enjoyed it far more not knowing anything, might be worth editing the discription.
Posted: Mon, 12th Jan 2009, 1:32pm

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Xcession

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I'd second the issue on length, but cutting it to half the length would barely allow any atmospheric build-up. In fact I'd say that perhaps it was just each shot which lingered perhaps a second or two too long.

Its a hard balance to strike though. If it had been any more snappy, the austerity of the piece wouldn't be as clear and the 'twist' therefore not so juxtaposed.

While we're being pedantic, that floorboard creak should have perhaps been removed. With the audio balance as it was, it felt like the entire piece could have been a silent one, carried solely by the music. The few effects which came through were well balanced with the exception of the floorboard, which stuck out rather a lot.

I failed to notice the piercing, or rather - it was of no relevance.
Posted: Mon, 12th Jan 2009, 1:34pm

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Sollthar

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Heh, I seriously had no idea what to write as to not give away too much. Best I could come up with. Editing it now.

Dolly or jib was out of the question quite soon, as that wouldn't fit the tone I wanted. Despite the fact the apartment was already difficult to film and light in being so small.

Always difficult to judge how much time is needed. I can totally see why it could be too long for some, especially considering viewing it on the internet. As the piece needs quite and calm to fold out completely. Watching it browsing through other things in the background or "as by" will work less then in a darkened room with nothing else.
Posted: Mon, 12th Jan 2009, 1:38pm

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Simon K Jones

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Guess who's back?


I found this extremely effective. Moody, tense and sad through some nice shot selection and haunting music, with a great twist at the end that really rather shocked me.

I wish there were a few more tripod shots rather than hand-held, and agree with Xcession about the floorboard squeaks (I think the opening few shots should be totally silent other than the music, too), but otherwise this works well - and on a second viewing the sadness transforms into being all-out creepy.

I disagree with B4 quite strongly about the length. I found it to be pretty much perfectly paced - though as Sollthar points out, it's definitely one to watch in a quiet, darkened room rather than in a little window on the net. Similarly, I also disagree with B4's thoughts about more movement in the frame - the sterility and lack of movement is exactly what gave it the tension. Graceful tracking and dolly shots would have spoilt that, even if they might have looked pretty.

Great to see you back making films, especially returning with something that is so different in style and content to your back catalogue. smile
Posted: Mon, 12th Jan 2009, 2:18pm

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b4uask30male

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Tarn wrote:
I disagree with B4 quite strongly about the length. I found it to be pretty much perfectly paced

That may be for you Tarn but because of the discription I was waiting for things to happen which happened, so for me it's like watching it when i've already got an idea where it's going, this i'd say is what made it slow for me.
As I said before not reading the discription would have had me hanging on and wanting to find out more, so I guess for me the timing issue wsa down to knowing or guessing too much from the discription.
I still enjoyed it though. (p.s I did notice the handheld shots but after the comment about dolly I thought it wasn't worth mentioning)

Keep em coming i'd like to see more.
Posted: Mon, 12th Jan 2009, 2:25pm

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Sollthar

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Changed the description. Just needs to update. The title already tells it all really. smile
I also took away the youtube link since the film works better in higher quality.

Interesting. I presume the knowledge does change the way it's received as well. Difficult thing, this filmmaking. wink
Posted: Mon, 12th Jan 2009, 3:47pm

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Axeman

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Its always nice to see a quality bit of filmmaking around here that doesn't rely on copious use of effects. The description had already ben changed by the timeI arrived, and for me it worked quite well to have to explanation of what was about to occur. The end came as quite a surprise, and was powerful. The cinematography was superb, as I would expect. I though the pacing was good; for me the deliberately slow pace built anticipation which paid off dramatically in the final act.

I may add more when I have more time. Pretty darn good in general though.
Posted: Mon, 12th Jan 2009, 11:06pm

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The Chosen One

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What a great short, nice grading and sound quality. Only thing I caught was a reflection of the cameraman in the glass door at
00:01:05. Top Notch as always.
Posted: Tue, 13th Jan 2009, 1:12am

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Atom

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I must say, I tried hard to like this, but really just found it to be a kind of boring, predictable film- even without the description. (I'm guessing you gave away the ending in the initial, unedited post.) Cinematography and editing were okay, but nothing eye-catching.

Overall this is a solid 2.5/5, maybe a 3 if I'm being nice. There isn't much about this that is flawed; I agree with others that it is overlong but requires the length to draw dramatic tension- however for me this ending was obvious and therefore the tension of the movie just seemed like filming to fill up a timeslot without any realy depth/plot.

Sadly, this is an example of a movie that simply doesn't 'connect' with me and I, for an unremarkable reason, just didn't like.
Posted: Tue, 13th Jan 2009, 3:55am

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Travis Kunze

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The film was not bad at all. The Only part I was suprised at was the end...

SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT

When the guy was Dead in the bathtub, I expected the gal to hang herself or something along those lines.
Posted: Tue, 13th Jan 2009, 5:06am

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Moonloon1

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Well done Marco lighting was great, overall look/grade was excellent. The only thing I did not like was the nose ring, too distracting. Being mainly an audio engineer I really liked the foley and the music bed.
Posted: Tue, 13th Jan 2009, 6:25am

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SilverDragon7

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*Spoiler
This is quite excellent, I thought everything was perfect. I got this very real, unscrippted feel while watching this- and must say I expected the girl to hang herself as well, not to see a dead guy in the tub.

As Axeman said, surprising and quite powerful.
Posted: Tue, 13th Jan 2009, 8:55am

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Sollthar

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Thank you all for the feedback! Glad so many of you like it. Wasn't sure how it'll be received here, being very much a non "fxhome" style film. Much appreciated!

Proud to say the film, allthough only published yesterday, has already been invited to 2 shortfilm festivals so far. I'll keep you updated how it goes!


Heh, interesting that the nose ring distracts so many people here. Is it that uncommon or in the UK?
I know B4 is british and I think moonloon is as well? Maybe that's got something to do with it?
It didn't get mentioned in any other forum. Very interesting that.

a solid 2.5/5
Hey, half as good as Barbie Girl! What could a filmmaker possibly wish more? biggrin
Posted: Tue, 13th Jan 2009, 9:11am

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ben3308

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Rating: +1

I liked this film for several reasons, but there's also quite a few reasons I was held back for a five.

First, for the positives. The cinematography is top-notch and obviously thought-out. It does get a bit stagnant sometime in between, but this is compensated for with powerful cuts to extreme wide angles (as in the end) or zooms. This being said, I felt that there were two primary flaws in the cinematography that bring it down to simply 'great' from what is otherwise 'exemplary'.

For starters, I feel that the overhead shots are too awkward. It's fine to cut to an overhead angle, but your 'version' of it isn't quite there: when you frame rectangular objects like tables and counters, it becomes obvious that your overhead shot is skewed to one side slightly in perspective. I understand it's very difficult to get a perfect overhead, but even so, it pulled down the polish of the cinematography for me.

Another thing is a lack of real dynamics. In this short - which is, as others have mentioned, in all honesty, quite boring for the greater half of it - not much happens to really throttle the audience.

Narratively, that's fine, but cinematographically, I think dolly shots would absolutely have positively influenced what you were going for. The short can still be austere with dolly shots - maybe even more so - I think you just robbed yourself of the opportunity by not considering them. But, at the end of the day, it's the cinematographer's call and that's that. Even so, I think tracking or dollying shots could have been used to supreme effect in this piece.

Next on the agenda is the sound. Yeah, yeah, I'm well aware that you're big on sound; which is why I was so surprised by the sound in this. Here we have a short that, from the looks of it, is mostly intended to be self-effacing and austere in presence, in effect to be shocking in the end. So why is the sound so intrusive?

Foley is overcompensated, and sounds are in there (floor creak?!) that I would have expected someone such as yourself to have taken out. These mistakes are fine for amateurs in the world of audio mixing, but I'd hold you to a different standard.

Included in my judgment of the sound is the music which, despite being modestly self-produced (which I commend you for!) is altogether too moody for most of the short without being, I dunno, powerful enough. By the end, the sounds I'm hearing resonate with me on less of an emotional, eerie level, and more of an 80's, John-Hughes-esque level. Is the latter necessarily bad? No, I love John Hughes films! But for this, it didn't 'click' for me, it just drew too much attention to itself at all the wrong times.

Speaking of that, I felt that the length and the pacing of the narrative were dragged out for too long. Not far too long, mind you, but long enough that - after a certain amount of time - the whole 'act casual/somber' attitude of the protagonist and the actions she performs start to seem less minute and more......intrusive to what's actually supposed to be conveyed.

After this time, she transcends being a characters and becomes an actress playing a character; supplanted by the narrative's insistence on being 'plain' for too long.

I understand that you full-well made some of these decisions to help lull the audience into a more shocking ending. I just feel that, in doing so, you made me care less about the story/scenes at hand and, in the end (hah), less about what would've been a startling confusion.

A great parallel I can draw to this is the film in the FXHome cinema, 'Nick's Last Day at the Office' which observes similar personal minutia to build up to a big reveal. While 'Farewell' has a woman who we know to be planning likely malcontent and 'Last Day' has a man we suspect of doing nothing, they're similar in that both from our assumptions about your film's protagonist and the monologue of Nick in 'Last Day', both are clear victims - an assertion overturned in each by dramatic endings of malignant action.

The reason I gave 'Last Day' a 5, and this a 4, however, is that the former chooses to be more innocuous in its presentation and is therefore more compelling and more satisfying in the end, crushing the predecessed ennui. This film, on the other hand, plays it less innocuous and, ironically, ends up more so. Because the protagonist appears to have this.........precondition of an incensed attitude, it becomes a tired emotion by the end, and I'm left not really caring about her or what she's doing. By extension, then, I don't care as much about the end - which is, in essence, the selling point of the film overall, at least for me.

Well, that about sums up my thoughts! biggrin My apologies for being long-winded, I like to clearly delineate my views, especially when they hit contention with something.

EDIT:

Also, though this doesn't involve me, for what it's worth, films - most of the time - should be judged objectively after they reach a certain bar of quality. I have more thoughts on this matter, but Roger Ebert more clearly explains why a star-rating system is hugely flawed. If you look it up, it should probably give credence to why an emulation of a music video from the 90's by a highschool student should be weighed differently than a short by a 28-year-old with experience in directing a feature. biggrin
Posted: Tue, 13th Jan 2009, 9:52am

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Sollthar

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Thank you very much for taking the time to write such an elaborated and in depth review ben! That is very, very much appreciated! And I find your thoughts very interesting and helpful! Thank you!

I can totally see what you mean and I agree on pretty much everything you said. Especially the part about the rectangular objects. Filming the table from above, while watching the light, while holding a microphone in one hand and the rather heavy camera in the other was really really tough. Heh. Totally agree with the straight lines, annoys me too.

The creaking sound has been mentioned in other boards as well. I kind of liked it, hence I put it in. But I know what you mean about the soundediting. It has an almost silent film feel most of the time.

Glad you go into so much detail as to where and why you lost interest with the character. I can understand what you mean very well and it sure helps me see the effect of the decisions I made.


What's also very interesting for me: The film is received very, very different on this board then in the german ones I frequent, which consist of older professionals and industry people, rather then young aspiring learners like here. The film is deemed too long here only. Dolly shots eg more movement are recommended here only. The only common critizism is some of the jittering in the handheld shots and the notion you had on the table, which are mentioned in the other boards as well - and which I totally agree on. So the consensus there is, if anything: less movement eg no movement. Very interesting.

I suspect it's got a lot to do with the stage of filmmaking people are in. Young learners tend to want to overuse new technical finds just because they can and also focus much more on these things when they watch something. I noticed people going OMG just because they see a dolly shot. I know because I used to be similar. What I look for in a film has shifted quite greatly in the last years. And I'm sure it will again.
I believe pros with more industry experience, as well as simply older people have seen and done it all and rather focus more on the characters emotions and story and feel - hence don't seem to miss a dolly shot in a film where it's really not needed to tell the story. It might be a fun technical addition to keep the attention of some viewers longer, but storytelling-wise, it's not necessary. At least I can't see where, if you know what I mean.

Should investigate that further.


Thanks again very much for the indepth review!
Posted: Tue, 13th Jan 2009, 10:10am

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Xcession

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Although I'm sure this is doing everyone an injustice: It feels like Sollthar's choices and Ben's suggestions are the difference between Japanese horror films and the American remakes of the same titles.

Japanese horror films are superior on every level because of their treatment of horror itself. Being horrified is not about living in an implausible situation, with implausible people, in an implausible house, where music and cameras allow you to predict whats going to happen next. Horror is the unknown happening to anyone, not matter how average, in ordinary situations you can identify with. Japanese and European horror films seem to appreciate this, while all-too-often the American ones appear to feel compelled to soften the blow or caricature everything for the dumbasses in the audience.

Its not just a lighthouse, its "a spooky lighthouse with a mysterious past" oooOOOohhh! Hes not just your son, its your son with a pre-history of abuse! oOOOooohh! Its not just a phone ringing, its a phone ringing with an evil ring-tone! OooOOOoohh!! Its not just a scene-setting pan around a room, its a scene-setting pan...in which you catch a brief glimpse of the evil!!OMG!11one

I feel a direct parallel can be drawn between the abject boredom of the intro to Farewell, and the excruciating monotony of the lives of every protagonist in the intros to practically every jap/euro horror film that I rate.

This isn't to say that the Farewell intro worked 100% - I do understand Bens feeling that the protagonist became an actress not a person. Something about the timing or the duration, or the slightly cliched "place setting for the last meal" made her less of a human and more of a set-piece.
Posted: Tue, 13th Jan 2009, 3:07pm

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Moonloon1

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[quote="Sollthar"]
I know B4 is british and I think moonloon is as well? Maybe that's got something to do with it? It didn't get mentioned in any other forum. Very interesting that.
[quote]

No, Marco I'm American I'm just older and personally find this piercing stuff distasteful.
Posted: Tue, 13th Jan 2009, 6:59pm

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ben3308

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Sollthar wrote:

I believe pros with more industry experience, as well as simply older people have seen and done it all and rather focus more on the characters emotions and story and feel - hence don't seem to miss a dolly shot in a film where it's really not needed to tell the story.
I see where you're going with this, but perhaps let me be a bit more clear.

I thought the camerawork in the short was fine as-is, but I feel very strongly that a dolly shot would bolster the cinematographic quality of the piece and make it more memorable/compelling. Narratively, it can be done without, but the small excess of style it grants would, in my opinion, help the short to be more unique and more powerful overall.

Now, I'm not new to dolly shots. Okay, yes, I'm only 19 years old. But that doesn't mean that, for me, it's a 'new discovery' that I want to throw in anywhere to look cool. Rather, it seems like the (as mentioned) self-effacing vibe of the greater portion of 'Farewell' would really, really benefit from a dolly in or dolly out - either in place of the zoom when the protagonist is seated, or for the reveal.

In short, 'Farewell' does fine without dolly shots - but that doesn't mean you shouldn't admit that one could make it better! biggrin


PS
Also, something I forgot to mention in my long-ass post earlier was the jumpcuts in the editing. I think that more of these would help to 'sell' the liberty taken in the slower pacing. Standouts for me are the jumpcuts preceding and following the cutting of the carrots. They're so well cut (the shots, not the carrots biggrin)that I get the great illusion that just the right amount of on-screen time has passed. wink

And for Xcession, for what it's worth, I greatly dislike almost all horror films and lament your likening of my words to banal, uninformed cinema. Just because I have a difference of opinion here doesn't make me the 'wrong' American.
Posted: Tue, 13th Jan 2009, 8:07pm

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Xcession

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I'm not deliberately saying that you're being American or that you're wrong, but my personal tastes in horror and what sollthar said about younger filmmaker's decisions seems particularly applicable given your latest answer. I think the bottom line for me is that style is redundant to an extent. It's certainly stylish to add some dollys, pans an what-not but is it really necessary?

I remember when I was getting into photography and I went through a phase of trying to add depth of field to everything because I realized how much more professional shots looked with it. Somehow i overlooked the fact that I still needs a good picture at the core of it.

Style really only goes so far, but could it not be sollthar's style to down-play scenes and be less affected?

I think as people advance in their skills, they learn that less is more, but there will always be a youth Market for loud, stylized, no holes barred stuff as anything more subtle isn't so appreciated.

To a degree, the fact that sollthar's camerawork doesn't float your boat is an indicator that he has failed to identify his audience. But at the same time I think this is entirely down to personal taste in style, not right or wrong
Posted: Tue, 13th Jan 2009, 8:37pm

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ben3308

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Xcession wrote:

It's certainly stylish to add some dollys, pans an what-not but is it really necessary?

I wrote:

Narratively, it can be done without, but the small excess of style it grants would, in my opinion, help the short to be more unique and more powerful overall.
Oh, I don't think it's necessary at all, just that it couldn't hurt. I think that style can, as mentioned, bolster the original work. This is not to say, however, that the original work can't already be highly satisfactory. Style is an add-on (in most cases) to the core values of the movie, and I clearly delineated that.

Xcession wrote:

But at the same time I think this is entirely down to personal taste in style, not right or wrong
I completely agree, which is why the dolly is a suggestion, not a compulsive 'lacking this made the short fail' argument. biggrin This is mostly why I found your comments so strange:

I thought we were all on the same boat here, but then you draw my opinion as 'wrong' - as evidenced by your comparison of Japanese to American horror, a case in which the latter is clearly worse than the former! biggrin

Regardless, the film works well, despite being a bit dry/uninspired in the middle, and for that I gave it a 4. Anything less than a 3, really, wouldn't make sense to me; unless, of course, one were really vehement on the principle of boredom. wink
Posted: Tue, 13th Jan 2009, 10:38pm

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Sollthar

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I get what you're saying. Allthough, the phrase "adding style to it" suggests it has none, which obviously I disagree with and therefore object to the phrasing. smile
It has very much style. Mine. And my style doesn't use much dolly or jib shots. It's just not my thing. I prefer static, well light and composed shots and in what my abilities and knowledge so far is, it very much has that.
So adding a dolly shot wouldn't add "style" as a general new description it lacked before, it would add "your style" eg "someone elses style". But since this is film is mine, my style is what drives my creative decisions. If you see what I mean.
In fact, if I'd shoot it again. I would actually use the tripod on all shots and remove all handheld stuff.
If I think about it, there's only one shot I'd probably add a dolly. Which is the very last shot of the film. All the others, I prefer to be static as I do believe it rather fits the tone of the film, as it is deliberately not a very kinetic story. There is, as has been mentioned, very little actually happening in terms of movement.

Having said that, I also simply didn't have a dolly or jib at hand. smile This short was conceptualized, shot and postproduced in 15 hours total. (So I could run it into one of those 24 hours things really) smile
Posted: Tue, 13th Jan 2009, 10:51pm

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ben3308

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Sollthar wrote:

I get what you're saying. Allthough, the phrase "adding style to it" suggests it has none, which obviously I disagree with and therefore object to the phrasing. smile
Heh, I mean 'add' in the purest sense. As in, additional style to what style is already there. There's plenty of style here - I should know! - as evidenced by the shots/grading/etc.
Posted: Wed, 14th Jan 2009, 2:14am

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Rockfilmers

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It wasn't your best, but it was kind of good. I thought it was kind of boring to be honest with you. I'm sorry, but I almost turned it off half way through because nothing was happening. I'm glad I didn't though. smile
Posted: Wed, 14th Jan 2009, 4:15am

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Garrison

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I think what was important to me was the payoff and for me watching it did catch me off guard. I wasn't expecting the end.

I thought the music complimented the mood and I've felt that it worked whereas if there were no music, then the scenes would feel like it would drag on. I feel it added here.

I'm not the biggest fan of the lighting flooding the room and it probably would have benefited from a more darker mood visually, but as it has been discussed here, each has it's own style.

Well Done Marco. It's good to see your art again.
Posted: Wed, 14th Jan 2009, 5:15am

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Stand4Truth

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I really enjoyed this! Good imagery. Would have liked to see a little more emotion on the actress tho.... Nice twist at the end. Good job!
Posted: Wed, 14th Jan 2009, 7:41am

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ashman

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Hey Marco,

You know my thoughts on this as we talked about it previously. I liked the film. My only gripes being the wobble shake which you're all to aware of and the music. I still think the music is a bit heavy in places for my tatse, I may have found a slightly more minimalist appraoch. None of my gripes detract from what you have here, which is a tidy short.

Personally I think the length is fine, I have no issues with that and I like the slightly longer lingering shots as it gives the viewer time to meditate on the thoughts of the character. The nose ring didn't bother me either, I thought it quite strange others did? I guess it can be associated with a type of person in different places/cultures. Not really much more I can say that hasn't been mentioned.

I'll have my fingers crossed for you on the festival circuit. It's also good to see you back in the cinema, you could say welcome home. Good stuff!

Best,
Ash
Posted: Wed, 14th Jan 2009, 10:27am

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Simon K Jones

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I find it odd that people can get bored so easily. Farewell is under six minutes long. It's slow paced, sure, but it's only six minutes! If the same content was spread over an hour then I'd understand, but to get bored so quickly and easily I find rather curious.

What perplexes me is that I really didn't have time to get bored. All the way through I was wondering what was really going on - was she leaving her boyfriend, was she about to commit suicide, has the boyfriend been dead for years already, did the boyfriend never exist and she's living a fantasy life.....I could go on. In other words, my brain was engaged throughout trying to piece together the story based on the limited and deliberately vague information that the visuals and music were presenting to me. The best thing is that of all the scenarios I imagined, none of them were the actual ending.

My point is that I didn't have time to be bored. I felt engaged throughout. Maybe people watch films in different ways? Do some people essentially 'turn their brains off' when watching a film like this, so that if the film isn't delivering questions and answers rapidly, it appears to be 'boring'? If your brain is inactive, then I suppose I can see what Farewell would be perceived as boring.

But I've always thought art and entertainment are interactive things, whether you're talking about movies, books, computer games, music, paintings - whatever. It's 50% you and 50% the artwork. It's not a passive thing - but if you let it be a passive thing, then you're inevitably going to miss out on a lot.
Posted: Wed, 14th Jan 2009, 10:37am

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Xcession

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Tarn: the "turned off brain" issue is precisely why so many films these days are so painfully childish and over-explanatory.

It used to be the case that the viewer was expected to draw their own conclusions, try and second-guess the film and let their imaginations run.

These days it seems either the audiences don't want to think: so the film makers explain everything. Or maybe the film makers don't want their cleverness ignored: so they remove all trace of whit to ensure even the most moronic viewer can 'get' it.

Either way it seems attention spans are shrinking. If the mystical force binding the universe isn't explained in precise biochemical detail, the kids and the morons don't care. The death of the imagination. Tragic.

Last edited Wed, 14th Jan 2009, 11:03am; edited 2 times in total.

Posted: Wed, 14th Jan 2009, 10:47am

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Moonloon1

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Xcession wrote:

Tarn: the "turned off brain" issue is precisely why so many films these days are so painfully childish and over-explanatory. Either way it seems attention spans are shrinking.
The average attention span of Americans is 12 minutes.... The space between commercials.... sad and sic
Posted: Wed, 14th Jan 2009, 1:28pm

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Sollthar

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Thanks for the comments guys! I very much appreciate everyone who spends a bit of his/her time to comment on the film.

Do some people essentially 'turn their brains off' when watching a film like this
Heh, I think the answer to this is "yes". smile
Films like this one get interesting when the viewers brain tries to work things out. I've had a lot of very fascinating reactions where people told me what they suspected during the scenes unfolding...

She says good bye to someone, hence makes dinner for him / her. That someone doesn't arrive / is dead / has been dead for a long time / she wants to kill herself / she writes a letter to him, so he can't be dead / she puts the letter on his grave / she hangs herself from the lampshade (which I heard quite often, amusingly) / she makes herself beautyful for death / for someone else and so on and so forth.

What I found is, the more people kept guessing, interpreting and thinking, the more interested and excited they were during watching the film and the more they liked the film.

And with films like this, it's necessary and vital. If you sit back and expect to have all the interpretation done for you or simply only can think of one version how this is all going to turn out, wether right or wrong in the end, then you'll get bored quickly. If you expect a straightforward story to unfold and one action to hunt the next, then you'll get bored quickly. If you expect the camera to do the wildest things for effect rather then simply and calmly support the character on screen, then you'll probably be disappointed.

Then again, this is a forum called "fxhome" which has little to no history with more "artier" films. I didn't expect it to be rated very high here really. Though I am surprised about how vast the difference actually is. Maybe it's also got to do with the reputation I have here and some people expect certain things of me automatically, don't know.
Though admittedly, "FXhomers" are looking for slightly different things then people on other forums, naturally. Just look at the movie archive and go through the top 30 rated films and count how many of them have NO gun in it... smile


I believe what's also the case is that filmmakers, especially ones who are just starting and still looking for their own style and language in the art, watch films on a filmboard as a filmmaker rather then simply an audience. They already look out for things that could be improved on in order to comment on them later. They focus on what the camera does, what the sound does, the music does etc a lot instead of just watching what happenes and letting themselves fully into something. They think about what THEY would have done with the same premise and how what they see is different - and you can never compete with what people make in their own head. I know I work like that sometimes. I'm sure many others do too.


I find this all very, very interesting I must say. biggrin
Posted: Wed, 14th Jan 2009, 3:15pm

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ben3308

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Rating: +1

Tarn wrote:

It's not a passive thing - but if you let it be a passive thing, then you're inevitably going to miss out on a lot.
Ooooh, not sure I agree with that.

Entertainment has to be passive to some extents: as much as I can say I enjoyed, say First Sunday, it still took more work for me to like it than I should've.

We can excuse away problems all we want, but there's still going to be a reason that a film can be called 'boring', and I think it's almost entirely the wrong thing to do to simply blame it on the attention spans of your viewer. Me, I didn't find the film too boring, just a little slow in the middle parts. But I was also influenced by trying to make sure to give it a chance after I saw that my brother so vehemently didn't like it.

So yes, I didn't let the film passively forgo my attention - but ultimately it's the film that should actively seek my attention, not the other way around. Such is entertainment!

Yes, it's an active process. But truly great filmmaking engenders this process in its audiences without them even realizing. When I become invested in the storyline of a movie, book, or lyrics of a song, it's seldom because I have tried, taxingly, to be a part of them. Rather, it's that they drew me in and would not let me go, even if I wanted to.

I would say 'Farewell' for a lot of people on here is comparable to Bad Boys 2: lots of one thing with a little of something different at the end can make things in the beginning and middle a bit uneven. As the latter had all action with no time to catch its breath, the former has all pensive stares and moments of recollection.

It's asinine to assume that audiences who find this boring aren't 'interpreting' it well enough, perhaps the movie didn't give them enough reason to. I'm not saying I agree with this, all I'm saying is that you make yourself look foolish when you blame it on the viewer. I know, I've done this countless times, and there's usually one big outcome: the viewer's opinion is usually dead on. Someone being bored with 'Farewell' isn't 'not trying hard enough' or 'not getting it', maybe they just find it boring by virtue of the fact that, for most of it, its rather plain.

Yes, the payoff is there, but for most people I don't really think you give them enough reason to stay in there to watch it. To draw and example, two films with twist endings come immediately to mind: The Usual Suspects and Lucky Number Slevin. Both have shocking, twisting, incredible endings, but the former gets, admittedly, pretty boring in the middle whereas the latter is sharp-tongued throughout. So as good as both films may be, I've found viewers of 'Suspects' who find it boring even after seeing the ending, but have yet to find a 'Slevin' viewer who didn't enjoy every minute of it.

'Farewell' is a good film, and Sollthar's comments are spot on. I just find it a shame that there's others here who are using it to demonstrate tenets of entertainment that I think it clearly isn't the best example for. In doing so, you're deprecating and alienating an otherwise highly responsive audience.
Posted: Wed, 14th Jan 2009, 3:28pm

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Simon K Jones

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I'm not sure any of those examples are really valid, though. As I said, if Farewell was a 2 hour feature then I'd understand. But I don't really understand how people can find a 6 minute, technically proficient movie boring - I don't see how there's time for it to get boring.

If it were 6 minutes of bad filmmaking, then fair enough - it would be unwatchable, like some of the typical Youtube 'tests'. If it were 120 minutes of the same kind of content as Farewell, then I'd understand too. I can totally see how a lot of people find 2001: A Space Odyssey boring, for example.

So I'm not saying that anybody that finds any film boring is guilty of 'turning their brain off'. There are lots of films that I find boring as well. But spending 6 minutes watching somebody's vision, portrayed in a technically decent manner...I don't see how that can be boring, unless people are completely unwilling to engage.
Posted: Wed, 14th Jan 2009, 3:38pm

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Xcession

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I find it strange that someone who by his own admission isn't really interest in horror is defending this point so vociferously.

If this were a song-writers forum and sollthar had posted some classical music in a happy hardcore board, no one would be saying his music should have tried to seek the attention of the HH fans. No one would be suggesting that if HH fans didn't interpret it correctly, then there was something genuinely wrong with the music.

If anything, it's asinine to assume that audiences who find this boring were ever in a position to find it interesting!
Posted: Wed, 14th Jan 2009, 4:21pm

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Sollthar

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We can excuse away problems all we want, but there's still going to be a reason that a film can be called 'boring'
I'm not excusing any problems. I don't actually even see a "problem", on the contrary. I see a fascinating thing to explore for me as an artist who tries to understand the effect of his work. I'd never excuse just because someone doesn't like my work or find it boring. That's not really my problem, is it? smile

Indeed there's a reason. And I'm honestly, seriously curious as to why the majority of critique and talk of "boredom" is located in this forum out of more then a dozen places the film has been published in. So far, the word "boring" or the suggestion it's too long has only and exclusively appeared here. Which is an interesting observation.
I'm by no means saying the film is flawless, just to get that straight - I agree with a lot that has been said. I also disagree with things that have been said of course, but it's not that. I just find that specific critique so fascinating because it seems so isolated. Maybe it's the age. Maybe it's the culture. Maybe it's the mindset in the forum. Maybe it's the attention span. Maybe it's the stage the learners are in... Maybe it's also simply the fact people don't find it necessary to write in all the other forums, because all they focus on is the content. As I have said, each forum has a certain mindset when it comes to the film it's inhabitants prefer. And obviously, this one was expected to have a more limited target audience for that kind of thing. I suspect it's a bit all of that. I wish I knew. smile

I would say 'Farewell' for a lot of people on here is comparable to Bad Boys 2: lots of one thing
Since I thought BB2 was good fun, I take that as a compliment. smile

Seriously though, I share Tarns notion on the length being a major difference. "LOTS of one thing"... That's exactly what I find interesting. That people see "lots of one thing" in a 6 minute short that just doesn't do anything flashy to keep the attention. That a collection of scenes roughly 80 seconds in length which focus on a characters still quite archaic emotions without in-your-face-exploiting them either acting-wise or with fancy camera-movement is so quickly "one single thing" and "boring".

maybe they just find it boring by virtue of the fact that, for most of it, its rather plain.
You made a really good point. But stating that it's "plain by fact" I disagree with. It's a viewpoint one might have and obviously some do have. Also a viewpoint many disagree with - including it's creator. It's a matter of what you make with it. Because the thought on it's creators part is all there and the film's technical aspects are well solid enough to support it. But as someone said. Technicals are not "eye catchy" and their not meant to be. But they are more then solid.
So I'm not objecting to anyone who might watch this and find it plain or boring - I object to the statement that it is plain or boring by fact though. Even with the relative-addition of "for the most of it".

If anything, it's asinine to assume that audiences who find this boring were ever in a position to find it interesting!
Heh, true.

The argument of "people who find my film boring just don't think enough", while it's not my point at all, also has an amusing downside. It would mean, the people who DO find it interesting find it interesting because they thought a lot. Which means in the end, what they were moved and entertained by, are their own thoughts and ideas rather then my film. Which is something else I find interesting when dwelving into what "art" is, should be or should not be. biggrin
Posted: Wed, 14th Jan 2009, 4:39pm

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ben3308

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For the record, I don't see a lot of 'problems' in the film at all, per se; and the few little bits I had issues with I noted waaaay back in my first long post. biggrin

I just thought to was necessary to play devil's advocate for the litany of rebuttal to the 'boredom' bit. And yes, I think the BB2 comparison is apt! smile I enjoyed both this and BB2, but even on an objective scale I don't quite think either is at the 5 level in their respective efforts.

EDIT:
As for the 'plain' bit - this is why I pad my rhetoric with causal words like 'rather' and 'some' - because most of what I say is conjecture, not fact. 'By virtue of the fact' is just a favorite phrasing of mine.
Posted: Wed, 14th Jan 2009, 10:28pm

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Garrison

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I get the feeling that some if not most that find it boring seem to lack any patience to me.

For me, boring suggests that there is no new information being given to me, and that what I see on the screen serves little or no purpose.

I find the opposite here. As the short went on, I kept asking myself a lot of questions.

Just my two cents
Posted: Wed, 14th Jan 2009, 11:40pm

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firefly mcqueen

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Brilliant. I like it a lot. Short and sweet with a nice twist at the end. Editing was tight camera shots very professional. Well, well, well done. Now maybe you should start thinking about LONG FORM!
Posted: Wed, 14th Jan 2009, 11:42pm

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Horcruxes88

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I really enjoyed the mood of this movie. At first I thought that maybe her husband was working and than he was late. Until the tub was revealed. I did feel that the over head shot was of the table was kinda awkward. Also, the creak level was rather loud so maybe if it was lower it would feel more natural or, if it there was CU of her foot stepping on the floor. I don't think that the dolly shots where necessary I think the smooth zooms are enough.As for you comment about this not being a FX home type movie I wish we had more Of these narrative type films on FxHome, and less Experimental. I really enjoyed the mood and the twist at the end. If it was me I might have done the lighting a little different in the kitchen laptop scene, maybe a little more dramatic with some more shadows. However, I like shadows so maybe its just me. I gave this a four out of five. The length was just right it gave enough time to tell the story effectively. Great JOB!! [/i]
Posted: Thu, 15th Jan 2009, 9:18am

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Simon K Jones

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firefly mcqueen wrote:

Brilliant. I like it a lot. Short and sweet with a nice twist at the end. Editing was tight camera shots very professional. Well, well, well done. Now maybe you should start thinking about LONG FORM!
Sollthar has already made three feature length movies, two of which have received some form of distribution. His most recent was NightCast, which we covered extensively here at FXhome.com.

For example:

http://fxhome.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=33679

And premiere coverage:

Part 1: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=mfVoBbwC00g
Part 2: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=1PbQo1BqXwk
Posted: Thu, 15th Jan 2009, 1:49pm

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FXhomer63553

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Ya i thought it was kinda depressing and the bathtub thing was a bit disturbing i think it should have been longer and told more of why she killed him and stuff.
Posted: Thu, 15th Jan 2009, 4:59pm

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Sollthar

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Thanks for the input, suggestions and thoughts all!

Yeah, I've made 2 feature films which have been distributed internationally on DVD, which was good fun.

I it should have been longer and told more of why she killed him and stuff.
We thought it would be more interesting if the audience can make their own image of what exactly happened. In fact, people I spoke with came up with a far spookier backstory then the one we had in mind. We just thought "she was unhappy with her boyfriend and killed him, making it look like suicide."

But the one I liked most was this:

She's a mass-murderer who flirts with single guys, let's them take her home and kills them, making it look like suicide. Then moves on to the next...

Great. Much better then ours. biggrin
Posted: Thu, 15th Jan 2009, 5:01pm

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Simon K Jones

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Yeah, I think less is more is definitely best here. Leaving it up to the viewer's imagination is far more powerful in this case than spelling it all out. You might be able to explain it all in a feature length movie, but in a short like this it lingers in your mind more effectively if it remains unexplained.
Posted: Mon, 19th Jan 2009, 2:51pm

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Redhawksrymmer

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I really, really liked this film and I feel bad for not watching it until now. Cool story, some great acting too.

I just find these kinds of films really, really inspiring (filmmaking-wise, that is) - as you build up an atmosphere using only characters and brilliant music and sound design. In fact, my favorite shot in the film was probably the chandelier shot, with the accompanying sound. In that sense, it feels a bit like your older film Ghost, with some big improvements, obviously. Great cinematography too - the absense of dollies and steadycam movement really help selling the creepy atmosphere. Oh, and how is it gas stoves always look awesome on film?

I wasn't bothered by the length of it at all...in my opinion, it could even be a bit longer. While it's a great film, I would have liked to see this as an pre-credits sequence for a film. But, then I guess you can't get everything you wish for. wink

Seriously good job mate, glad to see that you're back!
Posted: Tue, 20th Jan 2009, 10:31pm

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ChromeHeart

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This was a cool short film, I really enjoyed it. The music was flawless and added so much to it. Awesome work Sollthar. I was curious about the scene where she's typing on the computer. Were these shots "smooth slow motion"? They seemed like it, and if you did do this, how did you achieve this effect? Anyways, congrats on making a killer film biggrin
Posted: Wed, 25th Feb 2009, 7:01pm

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Sollthar

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Thanks guys!

I'm happy to report the film will run in it's first shortfilm festival at the end of this month. Farewell has been invited to the "Magenta Filmfest".
Posted: Thu, 26th Feb 2009, 9:33am

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Simon K Jones

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Excellent! Hope it goes down well.
Posted: Thu, 26th Feb 2009, 9:48am

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Jonnie

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good luck dude. I'm sure you'll do well
Posted: Tue, 24th Mar 2009, 4:37am

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Arcwave

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Woah! Nicely done! I haven't really made an appearance on this website in about 4 1/2 years, and I must say, this film was very good. Nice soundtrack and camera angles. The end of the film totally threw me off guard. Hah! Awesome work!!
Posted: Tue, 24th Mar 2009, 5:24am

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Thrawn

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Wow, I'm surprised I never saw this. I thought it was great! Fantastic work, Marco.
Posted: Tue, 24th Mar 2009, 7:41am

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Sollthar

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Thank you very much everyone!

The film has had a couple of successful public screenings and I'm quite happy with how it turns out there, especially given it was shot and done over a weekend. smile
Posted: Wed, 25th Mar 2009, 2:58am

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The Strider

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Whoa. Almost insufferably professional. wink

Loved the twist ending, would make a great start for a thriller or redemptive drama.

4 out of 5.
Posted: Fri, 12th Jun 2009, 12:26pm

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zammael2

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Hi Solthar:
This short was the inspiration I needed for the story I started to write some time ago.
Thank you for the great work.
Posted: Thu, 1st Oct 2009, 6:58pm

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Sollthar

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Farewell has won the BigStar FLIFF contest and placed 1st.

The film will also get screened in the 24th Annual Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival this year.
Posted: Thu, 1st Oct 2009, 7:31pm

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Staff Only

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Wow Sollthar this is one my all time favorite FXhome Cinema movies now. I really liked the feeling of the film. I don't know how to explain it but in retrospect you could almost feel that there was a (highlight to read) dead person in the house. Secondly the grading is some of the best I have seen in amateur filmmaking. Over-grading can get really distracting. Nicely done.

I personally would have liked to see that the bathtub was filled with blood (or bloody water) just to really hit it home (But that's probably just me). The facial expression of the guy in the bathtub was pretty morbid already.

Really well done.

EDIT: Congratulations on winning. I'm sure you deserved it!

Last edited Fri, 2nd Oct 2009, 8:33am; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Fri, 2nd Oct 2009, 8:06am

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Simon K Jones

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Sollthar wrote:

Farewell has won the BigStar FLIFF contest and placed 1st.

The film will also get screened in the 24th Annual Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival this year.
Fantastic! Congratulations.
Posted: Fri, 2nd Oct 2009, 4:47pm

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Garrison

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Congrats!
Posted: Sun, 6th Dec 2009, 9:07am

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Sollthar

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Farewell wins another shortfilm contest and has a national TV premiere next year.

It has also been chosen to be screened and integrated in the film school by teachers as, I quote, "a perfect example of visual storytelling" - which obviously makes me very proud. Hehe. smile
Posted: Sun, 6th Dec 2009, 5:12pm

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swintonmaximilian

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great job, congratulations.
Posted: Tue, 8th Dec 2009, 10:22am

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Simon K Jones

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Spiffy!
Posted: Wed, 9th Dec 2009, 4:52am

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spydurhank

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Wow, I remember watching this a loooong time ago, just watched it again and I still thought it was fan-freaking-tastic.
I really liked the way you seemed to edit it so that the audience had to use their imagination so as to come up with an idea as to what was going on and also why. Well, it did for me. That's what kept me watching and glued to the screen... too bad it was only 6 minutes because this short would make for a very interesting feature, I kid you not. Can you imagine this with dialogue? It would be so bad-ass. biggrin

It's a nice change of pace from all of the "something needs to happen 5 minutes ago because my bipolar ways can't take it because I never learned how to truly appreciate art and I need a loud BOOM or two to keep me interested because that's the only thing that moves and speaks to my Gnat like attention span" type of attitude that frequents the forums which there is nothing wrong with. biggrin
Posted: Sat, 12th Dec 2009, 1:48pm

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davlin

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Hi Marco
This masterpiece slipped me by when first on forum and for that I apologise.
It truly is so refreshing watching your work as it always reminds me of
the way movies should be made.
Your cinematic skills are second to none and it's a real pleasure to watch your talents unfold on the screen...not forgetting the perfection of Patricia who brought professional acting qualities that would outclass many.
Your music and sound editing was superb.
A great little story with an epic feel.....skillfully written and applied.

Dave
Posted: Fri, 15th Jan 2010, 10:52pm

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Sollthar

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Farewell has, together with "Wild", been selected the Lichtspieltage in Winterthur. We're looking forward to the films run.

Last edited Sat, 16th Jan 2010, 12:56pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Sat, 16th Jan 2010, 2:11am

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Atom

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Congrats, once again. I looked and saw you also won a BigStar.tv award for this a while back-congrats on that as well!

Shame it wasn't one of those $1,000-prized ones they run, but cool nonetheless. I'm rather jealous, as I've basically submitted all of my recent movies to each of their competitions they've run over the past several months and made finalists twice but never won. (I thought 'A Love Not Standing' was a clench for winning the 'Parody' competition. Could'a used that $1K. smile)

Nonetheless, congratulations. As always, keep up the good work.
Posted: Sat, 16th Jan 2010, 6:14am

Post 65 of 65

Sollthar

Force: 13360 | Joined: 30th Oct 2001 | Posts: 6094

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SuperUser

Heh, yeah. I won the only contest where you wouldn't win 1000 $. biggrin

I saw you entered and as far as I'm concerned, A Love Not Standing was quite a bit superior then the actual winner. But ah well. That's competitions for ya. smile