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A Love Not Standing

Posted: Tue, 7th Jul 2009, 9:04am

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Atom

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When he's faced with another blind date, Ryan can't help but recall his past hallucinations that prove problematic to his dates.

this was our entry into the Dallas 48 Hour Film Project. The theme we drew was 'Comedy', and the required elements were

-Prop: Weedwacker
-Line: "You're not making any sense."
-Character: Penny/Peter Knoll, Wheeler Dealer

Produced by John Redlinger
Directed by Andrew Adams & John Redlinger
Cinematography by Greg Cotten
Edited by Andrew Adams
Written by John Redlinger & Sam Schweikert


More Info
Posted: Tue, 7th Jul 2009, 12:42pm

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Rockfilmers

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I thought that this was really funny, but the ending just didn't really make me laugh. I was cracking up at the beginning though.

Last edited Tue, 7th Jul 2009, 4:46pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Tue, 7th Jul 2009, 12:57pm

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Simon K Jones

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I absolutely love, love, love the first half of this. It's some of the best work you've been involved with, Atom. The framing story is pleasantly mundane with restrained acting, which contrasts brilliantly with the ridiculously over the top and imaginative flashbacks. The lead actor gets the absolute perfect tone with both the "PIRATES!" screams and the whispered "Cong...." Genius.

For me, though, once it gets to the restaurant the short film goes downhill quite steeply. The restaurant scene is too drawn out, the final twist too obvious and, crucially, just not particularly funny. After the elaborate hallucinations we've seen previously, the penis gag is just a bit mundane. It's such a subdued scene in the restaurant, too, that it doesn't 'feel' like another one of his flashbacks, all of which were hugely explosive, inventive and ambitious.

Nonetheless, the first half is absolutely fantastic. No idea how you pulled off all those flashbacks in such a short timeframe. Nice one!
Posted: Tue, 7th Jul 2009, 7:08pm

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swintonmaximilian

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Hi, just watched this. I liked it. I thought that the concept worked well enough as long as you didn't think too much about it, and the hallucinations were funny and well done.

The lead actor was very good, I loved the tone of his performance, incredibly serious and intense, it really heightened the comedy. The war hallucination was the best part for me, particulalry the ''it's the cong'' line and the scream when he strimmed someone to death. The pirate one I didn't like so much, but it was well done with the swords and all.

The restaraunt scene I actually found pretty amusing, the parts where he was sweating and trying to maintain a grip on reality. I think what made that work was the fact his rraction to such minor hallucinations, compared to the other ones, was so extreme and intense. It reminded me a lot of the scene in American Psycho where Bateman is reacting to a superior business card.

The penis joke was a low point, really out of place and bland. It was saved by the acting, but it did have the effect of blandifying, new word, the second half of the film to some degree. I would have liked a lower key ending, because in the restaraunt the tone starts shifting to something slightly creepy as the guy becomes quietly, sweatily unhinged, and I think that it might have worked better to continue that, instead of a neat and tidy finishing gag.

Technically it's solid for the most part, the crane shot is nice and in general the camera work fits the slightly schizophrenic mood nicely. The scenes in the restaraunt are much too dark, and occasionally the backgrounds of shots are distractingly over exsposed. Most likely there was nothing you could have done about it though.

Well done with the scope of it, you got a lot done in such a short time, although it could stand to probably be a little shorter.

To sum up, I like it a lot, funny and with great acting and direction.
4/5.
Max
Posted: Tue, 7th Jul 2009, 7:24pm

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Bryce007

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The first 4/5's of this were good. The end gag didn't work at all for me, as I kind of raised an eyebrow in surprise at such an overused "Shocker"

The Cinematography, grading and editing were all quite great. Although a lot of the film was just a bit too dark (Lighting-wise).


I also enjoyed the Bateman-esque sequence. Was it a homage?


Also of note, the structure of the film worked quite well with the storyline. well done on that.
Posted: Tue, 7th Jul 2009, 8:49pm

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The Chosen One

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Very solid film, I really enjoyed every minute. The sound quality was a little lacking and hollow during the dinner scene, but still very tight flick. Good Job.
Posted: Tue, 7th Jul 2009, 9:17pm

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Atom

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Hey guys, thanks for watching!

Yeah, actually a lot had to be cut out of the restaurant scene that was written and shot simply because it did drag on too long and lost some of it's momentum- so I'm glad I cut it down from that to begin with. I understand how it can get a bit slowed, too.

The goal was, I think, initially to get the punchline joke and restaurant scene to take up the last 1/3rd or 1/4th of the movie, but alas the actiony bits, however painstakingly orchestrated, end up shorter and quicker than you expect when you get down to it.

One thing I thought might branch this better, but that we didn't have the time to go and additionally shoot (and, I mean, we shot a lot of different places with different stunts and real explosions) was a western flashback to throw into the restaurant scene to 'over-the-top' it up a little bit.

Still, without it I think the movie works as a whole. Most people who've seen it on my end agree the very very end, with the largely overexaggerated scream from Ryan (actor John from MSB) and rap music backing it, saves and redeems the restaurant scene.

And actually, most people find that part to be the funniest and most over-the-top part of the whole movies, just because- even in my eyes- it's just so damn funny the way it boils up to it.

But I see what you guys are saying, and for the most part I agree. I liked that many of you picked up on the Bateman-esque stylings of bits of it. I'd say generally it was intentional- especially in the restaurant when the music becomes ominous, his thoughts bleed together, he get sweatier, and the angles get more severe. I actually, in editing, thought this might play as one of the funniest bits- but even if not I like how it came out.

Editing wise I still got to fool around with several different grading options and different looks for each scene, play with like 20-30 visual effects on-computer (something I don't normally do), work with footage using scary-that-we-actually-did-them real explosions (the Vietnam parts) and a 50 foot cliff jump- which I couldn't have asked for better, juicier footage to work with.

Additionally, I directed a good bit of it- which I don't normally do- and, alongside the lead actor (who also co-directed and wrote it), was really happy with how all the performances came out. Even in the stale parts, the acting is still there, and I'm happy about that.

Oh, and the music! I've never had more fun just arbitrarily throwing the most ridiculous tracks into Vegas and in the end actually using them. Sean Beeson, all but the beginning and ending tracks, helped make the flashback scenes with his pitch-perfect music. Thanks to him again, whether or not I mentioned him in my initial post.

And finally, while you'll likely never actually see Ben's collaboration with this same 48 Hour contest, you should see at least one good piece of it- with Atomic's new golden boy Trevor as the required character, Peter Knoll 'wheeler dealer'. Not to take away from my movie, but I found this really impressive and hilarious, and I doubt Ben would show you guys otherwise:

Trevor as Peter Knoll.
Posted: Wed, 8th Jul 2009, 7:34pm

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aguayopro

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funny
Posted: Wed, 8th Jul 2009, 8:05pm

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Atom

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Eloquent in its brevity. Thanks!
Posted: Wed, 8th Jul 2009, 9:35pm

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TheOutlawAmbulance

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"PIRATES!!!" 5/5 stars! biggrin
Posted: Thu, 9th Jul 2009, 5:20am

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gregcotten

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Didn't realize this movie was ending up on fxhome as *ATOMIC*/Last Minute Movie Makers... Anyway, I think it's hilarious how many people here didn't like the end gag yet the entire theater uproared with laughter - fxhome is a different audience I suppose. We won the Audience Award and will hear about the others in a few weeks!

Greg

P.S. I agree about the darkness and would like Andrew to regrade the restaurant scene although he does have a life and a job like the rest of us so I don't blame him one bit for not fixing that. Also, people must understand that certain scenes (such as John in the bathroom talking to Brett) can be lit under key. I mean to say that a subject, in certain situations, does not always have to be at the center of exposure - depending on the tone we can light subjects under or over key exposure.
Posted: Thu, 9th Jul 2009, 5:34am

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ben3308

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gregcotten wrote:

Didn't realize this movie was ending up on fxhome as *ATOMIC*/Last Minute Movie Makers....
I think I've made pretty clear my lack of involvement in this to the proper channels, I think the name slash is just there to denote Andrew's involvement, the credits on the blurb and in the movie are pretty straightforward, though. It's there for publicity I think, not to steal anyone's thunder. biggrin

For the uninitiated, I did not shoot/light/produce any of this - Atom edited it on another team. wink
Posted: Thu, 9th Jul 2009, 5:39am

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doppelganger

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I watched this on youtube a week or two ago and the first half of the film is definitly in my top 10 funniest scenes ever. Love the weedwacker.
Posted: Thu, 9th Jul 2009, 1:50pm

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Simon K Jones

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gregcotten wrote:

Didn't realize this movie was ending up on fxhome as *ATOMIC*/Last Minute Movie Makers... Anyway, I think it's hilarious how many people here didn't like the end gag yet the entire theater uproared with laughter - fxhome is a different audience I suppose. We won the Audience Award and will hear about the others in a few weeks!
Yeah, that's a curious one. I'd be interested to hear more about the demographics of that audience. Young/old/male/female/etc.

To better elaborate what I said earlier: My problem with the ending is that it feels like the punchline to the joke was prematurely told a few minutes earlier. Throughout the restaurant scene you're thinking "is it a man? Is it a woman? Does he/she have a penis or not? Is it a hallucination, or is it real? What could be happening?" That the punchline then turns out to simply be "yes, she does in fact have a penis" is somehow just not terribly surprising or interesting.

If he'd hallucinated/panicked about something else, perhaps still related to her (perhaps worrying that she's a lesbian, or that she's interested in another guy in the restaurant, if you wanted it low key, or worrying that she's a secret agent or assassin etc if not), to throw you off the scent, THEN the ending would have been wacky, amusing and surprising. You could even have still had her saying the occasional double-entendre, but with the main character going off on a completely different fantasy.

As it is, it feels like someone's telling you a joke and then, when they're only halfway through, somebody else wanders past and tells you the punchline, but the guy continues to tell you the joke anyway, until he finally gets to the punchline and you're like "yeah, I know."

It's like Homer walking past the the Empire Strikes Back line and saying "wow, I can't believe Darth Vader's Luke's dad!" smile

I do want to stress just how much I enjoyed the first 2/3 of the movie, though. Fantastic stuff.
Posted: Thu, 9th Jul 2009, 3:19pm

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Mike Q

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I really liked this, I still have issues with the "shaky cam" I know you guys hate that term, but to me that's what it will always be. In the cong flashback, after the explosion there was a lot of camera movement, but that worked well with the explosion that had just happened. In the pirates flashback there was a great slow mo clip, then a shaky clip, an excellent track as he jumped off, and fell down to the water, but you finished it up with a quick zoom and shake, when that was the logical place to cut. I think the story should have ended on the " you have a p..." line. And the end did seem tacked-on.
However, It was well written, acted, shot, shaky cam aside, graded etc. 4.5/5. Lost a .5 on the shake though biggrin
Posted: Thu, 9th Jul 2009, 11:55pm

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Atom

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Mike Q wrote:

In the pirates flashback there was a great slow mo clip, then a shaky clip, an excellent track as he jumped off, and fell down to the water, but you finished it up with a quick zoom and shake, when that was the logical place to cut.
First off, thank you for acknowledging I don't like the term 'shaky'. smile

Now, I'm sorry, but to me it seem that you are reeeeeally stretching to call stuff 'shaky'. Now, I didn't shoot the movie, but great slow-mo clip followed by a 'shaky clip'? The shots are relatively damn the same as far as camera movement, aren't they? I don't think the slow-mo shot is particularly good myself, actually, as I slowed it to give the scene greater length- but the shots after it are just the same as far as setup- so I'm somewhat confused. Shaky? Why? What shots? Why don't they work.

I mean, are we talking about the same series of shots?

Don't get me wrong, stuff can start to wander and look literally shaky in movies- but are you just calling any camera movement shaky? Yes, the shot of him jumping off of the cliff moves slightly to track him- but are you talking about the literal splitsecond of minuscule wobbly movement and zoom in the end of it. I didn't even notice that the shot zooms in for a 1/4th second very slightly at the end, and I edited the movie!

Now, no, I don't mean to argue- cinematography is, after all, not my area of expertise or interest- and I don't claim this movie or any of my others to be faultless, no.

But come on with the 'shaky cam' business. We're using spiderbraces, cranes, dollies, and glidecams on our movies, even 24/48 ones, these days and this 'shaky cam' business persists, even in a movie like this one that's mostly non-actiony and done primarily on a tripod! What about the zillion other movies out there that are entirely handheld and not well shot either, you know? Handheld shots are used in real movies, after all. And there's an art and skill to getting good ones, just as there is with framing a locked shot well- so I wonder-

Do you even care about the shot composition, or does non-locked/mechanical shot movement in a clip immediately become 'shaky' and deemed bad? biggrin

Of course, I'm only joking on that bit. And I'm sorry, again, I'm just always perplexed by the comment- especially nowadays as it seems every shot has to be orchestrated camera movement on some tedious or expensive piece of equipment (dolly/crane) or it's just blanket-termed 'shaky'. Is that much really necessary?

But moreso, I'm irritated- not angry, so don't think that, I don't think you're wrong and I'm right- that you mention 'shaky cam' in this of all movies and in bits where I don't even notice things myself.
Posted: Fri, 10th Jul 2009, 11:12pm

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AwesomeFist

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That has to be the best ending ever! biggrin
I know others hated it but i enjoyed it
Posted: Sat, 11th Jul 2009, 5:08am

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RodyPolis

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What?? You all didn't like the penis joke lol I think it worked great cause at the restaurant I was convinced that he was just hallucinating. 'what if she really does have a penis' was one of the funnies lines I've heard. I was dying smile
So the fact that it turns out he actually wasn't hallucinating and the girl really did have a penis was just briliant. Love it guy!

I guess it really does depend on the audience. I think we all can agree that fxhome isn't the most layed back forum when it comes to liking movies smile

Plus I'm not a fan of that 'smart humour' genre (The Office) so there's a huge a chance I was gonna love this.

So yeah, don't have much to complain about except the explosions at the pirate thing were too yellow and didn't match the scene, and the lighting in some shots as other's mentioned.

So 5/5 great job once again.
Posted: Sat, 11th Jul 2009, 11:59am

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swintonmaximilian

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Hi, I totally forgot to mention the real explosions, how did you go about doing that? It really added to the film.
Posted: Sat, 11th Jul 2009, 5:13pm

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AwesomeFist

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RodyPolis wrote:


So yeah, don't have much to complain about except the explosions at the pirate thing were too yellow and didn't match the scene, and the lighting in some shots as other's mentioned.
Yeah! i have noticed that too, But comedy's don't need the best effects right?
Posted: Sat, 11th Jul 2009, 5:27pm

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Mike Q

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[quote="Atom"]

Mike Q wrote:

the shot of him jumping off of the cliff moves slightly to track him- but are you talking about the literal splitsecond of minuscule wobbly movement and zoom in the end of it. I didn't even notice that the shot zooms in for a 1/4th second very slightly at the end, and I edited the movie!
Isn't the editor supposed to notice the dead wood, and trim it out wink
Sorry for the late response. I should clarify what I meant. I like camera movement, the crane shot in the army clip, the tracking shot as he jumps of the cliff, and numerous more, all very well done, as is the "shaky cam" when the explosions go off, because they draw you into the scene. The "shaky cam" shots I don't like are the ones when its used as an artificial attempt to instill tension, or urgency. It can work, in the examples I gave, but when it's used to emphasise an action shot it just distracts me. Especially when, in the same film we have simple tracking shots, with good editing, biggrin , that gives it energy.

Sorry if I'm babbling, sugar rush from to many dohnuts.
Posted: Sat, 11th Jul 2009, 5:35pm

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Atom

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Haha, yeah. We used homemade explosives that our pyrotechnician always makes for our 24/48 hour events and we, unfortunately, never really end up using.

For this one, though, (even though he wasn't on the team) Atomic's pyro put together gunpowder and other homemade chemical mixtures into a few candy bar-sized plastic-wrapped container and we wired the charges with copper or some other kind of metal wiring, I can't quite remember, and set them off electronically by connecting the wire to a car battery and thus giving the 'bombs' a little electric jolt. It's all very scary/fun stuff, actually. I always joke with our pyro about how he could work for Al Queada the way he's so chemically-knowledgeable and explosive-savvy. It's really impressive, actually.

Specifically, I'm not very sure what the mixture is, but I do know it's really cool because it makes virtually no noise, produces a big 'explosion' look, and burns white smoke instead of black- both of which keep the chance of 911 calls down.

And on camera, it looks great. Especially here, where we really got to fully utilize two great explosions. (And with good, funny acting in it too-which is always a gamble with practical effects.) I'll get our pyro- who does second camera on all our movies as well- to explain it to me all and I'll post it here.

Like I said, interesting stuff. The cliff jump was what we initially wanted the explosives for, but it was just too dangerous for the actor, too high risk for the location, and too time-consuming to do.
Posted: Sat, 11th Jul 2009, 6:12pm

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Sollthar

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Hehehe, I really really loved the most of this. The actors are great and the OTT flashbacks are hilariously shot and edited (particularly the boob-grab with the blood shoot at the beginning, brilliant!) The pirates one was also quite funny (especially the acting of the girl, which was as pirate b-movieish as it gets) and the Kong one was amusingly random.
I liked how the restaurant scene played out and I really liked both the dialogue and the acting of the two. Made me giggle and watch in excitement as to what happens. The only thing that fell totally flat for me was the final punchline. It just wasn't funny or witty at all and seemed incredibly rushed.

Also, there's many parts in this where the shaky-cam actually fit the tone of the scene and where I liked it - there are again parts where it didn't and I didn't like it as much. But all in all, the film is top both visually and accustically with great sounddesign all through. The explosion compositing was a bit dodgy, but tracking worked fine.

Despite the weak final punchline I really liked this enough to give it 5 stars. It's a hell funny idea and thoroughly well executed in most areas.
Posted: Sun, 12th Jul 2009, 7:32am

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Atom

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Hey, thanks! Glad you liked it, Sollthar- still with Greg about the reaction to the final punchline being so lukewarm-to-negative. Most people that we've seen watching it- including the diverse audience of it's initial screening- seem to burst out in laughter at the end, if only at the sight of John's expression and the scream and music that accompany it all.

But hey, to each his own. Compositing iffy? Hmmmmm, I dunno- that is, after all, your stock footage at work, and it was keyed in and tracked pretty tediously in After Effects. Although I'll agree the compositing ended up a tad bit oversaturated, maybe it's just the real explosions putting the digital ones to shame? smile
Posted: Mon, 13th Jul 2009, 1:39am

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Prograde Productions

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how do you track your effects so good? i would like to know?
Posted: Mon, 13th Jul 2009, 1:49am

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ben3308

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They used the motion tracking in Adobe After Effects.
Posted: Mon, 13th Jul 2009, 7:23am

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Garrison

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This was well done. Good acting and funny situations made this really entertaining to watch.

The action was well done and the editing was tight. I laughed at the part where he taste the dirt.

I agree that the punch line seemed telegraphed a bit and that the dialogue between them on the date was a good build up to something. It just left a little more to be desired.
Posted: Wed, 15th Jul 2009, 11:43pm

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FXhomerTony

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Atom. Very Funny and very clever. Shades of Walter Mitty. Good camera, editing, and effects- good everything! Award material for sure.
Posted: Thu, 16th Jul 2009, 2:21am

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Atom

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Thanks, Tony!

We actually got the results in for the Dallas 48 (today) before the Austin one as there was no screening for the Dallas winners, just a read-off. But......it went well.

Very well. 'A Love Not Standing' cleaned out the awards- including 'Best of City', which means we'll now be going to NAB in Vegas next spring with it. As an editor, too, I was really really happy because we won most of the technical awards as well. I was really pleased and pretty surprised.

Like I said- cleaned them out:
• Best Film
• Best Directing
• Best Writing
• Best Editing
• Best Sound Design
• Best Special Effects
• Best Musical Score
• Best Choreography
(There's another one we won, I just can't think of it right now! biggrin)

And, additionally, we were also the audiences' favorite pick winning the Audience Award. We didn't win Best Acting or Cinematography out of all of them, though, which was somewhat disappointing- but overall we get it- they can't give all the awards to one team, and Best Directing is better-suited of an award for such an ensemble cast than Best Acting is. Either way, those are the only ones (besides the supplementary 'Best Use of....required element X......') we didn't win out of them all, so it's all good.

Greg, who shot it, says we'll just have to clean out Best Acting and Cinematography in the Austin 48 with 'Exodus'- which we all still have our fingers crossed for winning 'Best of City' as well. We find that one out in a few weeks!

Whew! Exciting stuff- after all the problems I've had with the 48 hour the past few years, I can hardly believe it! Awesome!
Posted: Thu, 16th Jul 2009, 10:18am

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Simon K Jones

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Congratulations! That's awesome news. Makes your forthcoming guide even more important. wink
Posted: Thu, 16th Jul 2009, 8:06pm

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JohnRedlinger

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Rating: +1

Hello all! As the writer/co-director of the film i wanted to address a couple of earlier topics.

I was surprised to read that many on this forum did not enjoy the ending, as it seemed to be one of the most appreciated parts of the film among other audiences. In the story aspect, the idea is that the during the dinner the audience assumes he is having another episode, the end is meant to be a little ironic.

Now, i do agree that the dinner seems flatter than the other OTT flashback sequences. All i can say is that there were a few more 'gags' that were more shocking and over-the-top that were cut from the dinner due to group in-fighting and lack of time.

Thanks to all who have viewed A Love Not Standing and commented, i appreciate the feedback on acting, writing, and story just as much as i am sure Greg and Andrew appreciate the feedback on their amazing technical work.
Posted: Fri, 31st Jul 2009, 7:27pm

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davlin

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I loved this movie ,great story with real humour and some fantastic
action scenes thrown in.
Not once did I think this movie slowed in any sense at all but was expertly handled throughout.
All the actors were first class as was the whole production.

Well done the Atomic crew.

Dave

www.davlin-studio.co.uk
Posted: Sun, 2nd Aug 2009, 1:19am

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ragnar

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I really enjoyed this short. The restaurant scenes were the best acted and written. The actress is very talented, probably the best actor in the whole thing. I found it humorous as well, which was the point after all. Well done.

Ragnar
Posted: Tue, 4th Aug 2009, 3:32pm

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Atom

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Thanks davlin and ragnar!

Yeah, the restaurant bits are too slow and lose momentum for some viewers, so I'm glad you still both enjoyed them. The actress in the latter half, Elizabeth, really is pretty excellent- I was surprised myself when we started filming how casually she picked up such vulgar male humor; and how naturally she pulled it off.
Posted: Mon, 21st Dec 2009, 4:45pm

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Hybrid-Halo

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LMAO.

How have I not seen this until now? This was great.
Posted: Wed, 6th Jan 2010, 9:06am

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Force: 4300 | Joined: 9th May 2004 | Posts: 7014

EffectsLab Lite User FXhome Movie Maker Windows User

Gold Member

Thanks, Hybrid!

Hopefully we'll have another FXHome Awards sometime soon and I can get this baby in the running! wink