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Release

Posted: Wed, 19th May 2010, 3:22pm

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ben3308

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Shot, edited, and produced in just one day for the 9th Annual Dallas 24 Hour Video Race, "Release" marks Atomic Productions' six year participating in the competition.

When he's tasked with picking up a stranger from a fast food restaurant, 19-year-old Luke finds himself in too deep, and with too much to lose. Loan sharks, guns, and contemplation of the human condition abound, "Release" is our latest entry in true atomic form.

Shot, albeit haphazardly, on a newly-christened Canon T2i and edited in Sony Vegas 9, the footage may have suffered some granulation and quality issues during the transcoding process. It was our first time using the camera, and first time with Reese (the lead) as a main actor, and both efforts far succeeded our already high expectations.

Enjoy the film for what it is. It's similar, intentionally so, to things we've done before, but was an attempt at creating the layered narrative featured toward the end of films like Lucky Number Slevin.

Director/Director-of-Photography: Ben Adams
Editor/Line Producer: Andrew Adams
Screenwriters: Naeem Munaf and Josh Cavazos
Co-Producers: Ben Haschke and Michael Stettler
Boom Operation: Anthony Haskins

Starring Reese Arrington
Josh Cavazos
Joel Cavazos

Special thanks to
Amanda Rojas
Chase Arrington
The Cavazos Family
The Adams Family


More Info
Posted: Thu, 20th May 2010, 1:58am

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TheOutlawAmbulance

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This is one of the best movies I've seen on these forums in a while...but then again so are most of your movies! wink 5/5 Stars!
Posted: Thu, 20th May 2010, 2:23am

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ben3308

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Thanks man, I really appreciate it. My main goal for this video race was to have Reese, the main actor, take a lead role and for me to figure out the Canon T2i my parents bought one day prior. biggrin

We have classic 'atomic' moments, for sure, but I'm happy with the acting all around in this one, specifically, and think the way my brother layered the narrative - thankfully there is a real narrative story this time around - makes it more chilling, more real, and definitely more fun to watch.

While cinematography is for sure my normal forte, I assuredly spent the majority of this year's race trying to direct the best performances I could. And I think the result is some of the finest acting we've had yet in our stuff.

Thanks for watching!
Posted: Thu, 20th May 2010, 11:58am

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Simon K Jones

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I really liked this, it's absolutely some of your best work to date. Having recently attempted a 48-hour challenge myself, I'm fairly astounded that you put this together in 24 hours. Very, very impressive.

As you know, in the past I've kinda lambasted you guys for repeating your formula again and again. You've slightly done that here, except it didn't actually bother me, because in this particular case the style fits the story perfectly, which meant it didn't feel like a formula at all - it just felt like a story being told effectively.

For a 24 hour film the editing here is remarkably tight and complex. Acting is decent, although there's one or two shots that go a bit too much into "extreme gurning because I'm upset!" acting - but most of the time the actors did a fine job.

For your first outing with a T2i is looks good. A little rough around the edges, but that actually worked for this particular story, rather than against it.

Very nice indeed.
Posted: Thu, 20th May 2010, 2:18pm

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swintonmaximilian

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This is a really impressive effort for 24 hours, I'd say it's your best film to date.

The layered narrative means that your plot is basically a situation that reveals itself over the course of the film, so plot wise it feels tight and together. There's no sense of trying to condense too many elements into a short film, which I think you sometimes tend to do.

Acting is mostly good, but I agree with Tarn on it sometimes tipping over into being a little over the top. Mostly it was good though, it worked and it didn't feel awkward.

Cinematography and editing was good, some of your best I think. It seemed economic, in the sense that there wasn't really anything in there that didn't need to be, it was very tight.

The only bit that bothered me was the voice over. I like the voice over as a device, but you kept on hammering the message home over and over again, until it became laboured.

Overall, really good effort, I'l go for a 4/5.

How did you find your new camera on this?
Posted: Thu, 20th May 2010, 9:00pm

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NovaProducteur

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that's just AMAZING !


very good job ! clap
Posted: Fri, 21st May 2010, 11:07pm

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ben3308

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Thanks for all the comments, guys, I'm glad you all enjoyed it.

Expect a commentary and behind-the-scenes in the next few days! biggrin
Posted: Sat, 22nd May 2010, 1:40pm

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platform69

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Outstanding job! I love it!

By the way, how did you record the voices with SLR camera? Are you using a special device of something that attached into the camera?
Posted: Sat, 22nd May 2010, 3:41pm

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Rockfilmers

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Hey guys, really nice work. To be honest, I don't think it's your best film yet buts far above mediocre. Acting was good, editing was good, lighting was good, transcoding not so much as you've already addressed. What settings did you guys export with? Good job! smile 4/5
Posted: Sat, 22nd May 2010, 4:49pm

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ben3308

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Hey guys, thanks for the comments and for watching!

We recorded audio using a Rode NTG-2 attached directly to the SLR. Because it has batteries, there is no phantom power requirement, and so it worked well with the format we were testing. Automatic Gain Control meant fuziness and distortion at times, but was not, on the whole, a huge deal. For a lot of the footage I connected a Sennheiser C2 transmitter to the camera's mic Jack and dialed it to sync with a matching receiver connected to the NTG2. We didn't use a boom pole, the audio person just stayed craing on the ground, transmitter attached to their belt, and pointed the mic where it generally needed to be.

So basically, the transmitter came in handy (was borrowed from a friend) and worked well as a spontaneous idea at the last minute ("what if we could wirelessly boom?") and I was happy that what I assumed would be on-camera 'scratch audio' was what we ended up using in the final thing. The voiceover, actually, was something I didn't think would make it into the movie, and so I recorded it quickly on location with jus the camera's built-in mic.

All hasty, potentially unpofessional decisions, but they pretty much worked.
Posted: Sat, 22nd May 2010, 6:13pm

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davlin

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Awesome work,very stylish and tightly edited.
Once again i don't know how you guys do this level of quality in 24 hours
of filming.
One of your best works...well done.


Dave
Posted: Sat, 22nd May 2010, 6:47pm

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Sollthar

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Cool to see a version with somewhat corrected grading. Shots look much better that way then when I first saw it.

There's not much to say about the film though as for me, it's pretty much the atomic by-the-book-standard fare: Technically very good but not outstanding, all through good if overdramatic acting, life and death situation with a dramatic voiceover leaning towards slightly preachy and pretentios - all incredibly impressive considering it was made within 24 hours, solid if that fact is overlooked. ^

So it's everything I've come to expect to see from you, both in good and bad. smile

Hence it's a 4 as I'd argue you know your stuff way to well to get below that and tend to get a level of quality within 24 hours that others never reach in 24 months, but for a 5, you'd have to do more then show off the same or similar trick over and over in different variations. At least for me. Maybe I'm overestimating you, but I don't think I am.
Posted: Mon, 24th May 2010, 1:29am

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Evman

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Sollthar wrote:


Technically very good but not outstanding, all through good if overdramatic acting, life and death situation with a dramatic voiceover leaning towards slightly preachy and pretentios - all incredibly impressive considering it was made within 24 hours, solid if that fact is overlooked. ^

So it's everything I've come to expect to see from you, both in good and bad. smile

Hence it's a 4 as I'd argue you know your stuff way to well to get below that and tend to get a level of quality within 24 hours that others never reach in 24 months, but for a 5, you'd have to do more then show off the same or similar trick over and over in different variations. At least for me. Maybe I'm overestimating you, but I don't think I am.
This pretty much sums it all up for me. Including the rating.

I used to chalk the problems I had with all your stuff up to the fact that you only ever did 24 hour contests and therefore never got a chance to flex your muscles to their full extent. In your non-timed projects I've seen some improvement, mostly at the script level.

With this it seems you're attempting to address a lot of the criticisms that have been flung at you over the years (mainly by me wink ). A more clear narrative being the main thing.

This being said, for me the narrative never gelled. It never felt like it went anywhere. I understand the concept of doing a non-linear story, but only when its necessary. There's no reason this couldn't have been a straightforward narrative, with no omniscient voice-over. At least then I wouldn't have seen the ending coming a mile away, and would have felt that the characters really existed in a tangible world, grew, and developed over the course of the film. The way it's been edited gives the entire film the same basic tone throughout, with no dips and waves of excitement. It just... was.

As it is this just seems like a snapshot of a much more exciting event boiled down into a simplistic version designed for emotional impact through technicals rather than genuine emotion. This is understandable in a 24 hour race, and I wouldn't fault most people in this situation for it... but I'd like to think you guys are open to improving these 24 hour race projects, as they seem to be your bread and butter.

I think here you still fall into the trap of it feeling very "been there, done that". Yes its technically proficient. Yes there's a message, but its handled again in such a hit-you-over-the-head and unrealistic way that its hard to take it too seriously. And guns. And intense closeups. And guns. And grading. And did I mention guns? There are less cliched objective power-denoting devices you could use, you know (Knives? Swords? razz ). Or you could use something internal. Not everyone needs a gun in their hands to make a choice.

Sorry if I'm being a bit harsh here. I just know you guys can stomach it. I just want to see you evolve from where you've seemingly been for several years now.

Having a "style" is ok. It just can't overwhelm the emotion of your projects, which I personally feel it has in far too many of your films.

So yeah, like I said at the beginning of this longer than initially intended post - I give it a 4.


EDIT: I'd be really interested in seeing a recut of this film told linearly. Just to see how it would play out. Personally that would help to alleviate a lot of the problems I had with it.
Posted: Mon, 24th May 2010, 2:43am

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ben3308

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Evman wrote:

EDIT: I'd be really interested in seeing a recut of this film told linearly. Just to see how it would play out. Personally that would help to alleviate a lot of the problems I had with it.
Thanks for watching and reviewing bro, I really appreciate it.

I do have one thing to say about this part, though. I shot this linearly, and with totally different scenes in the event we didn't use others - more linear versions of the old guy talking, a scene with my cousin that we totally cut out - and it just doesn't work as well. I'm a filmmaker, not particularly a screenwriter. So, you know, I think that the more interesting way to tell the story is non-linearly. Not just that it's jumbled for the sake of being jumbled, or that the beginning is the end.

I think what's important isn't the story, but the way it's told. So the intercutting of the loan shark's dialog while Reese looks himself in the mirror before running to the room next door to commit the deed; I think that plays a lot better than the linear version. It's not just the 'beginning is the end factor', I think, it's the cutting up and B-roll footage that makes it more fun to watch, more meaningful, and easier to stomach in terms of being a 'student film'.

I watch the films at these video races, just as I watch the films on here. In many of them, I think, the straightforward telling of simple stories is often uninteresting, and I find myself skipping through them before watching all the way on second viewing. In this respect, the creative cutting (as mentioned in The Five C's, too) isn't just not inappropriate, but actually quite fitting and apt.

There are a lot of things about 'Release' that mimic things we've done before. And a lot of that, I'm aware, is sort of.........'mellow' and not as powerful as one would expect something 'new' from us to be, I suppose. My own crew members have called me and my brother out on this. Trust me, of this I'm aware.

The goal here, as mentioned, was to test my proficiency with a new device, which, by my own admission, wasn't the best - but since you mention this being technically proficient, I would say that I've done a good enough job learning to trick people as such. biggrin It was also more directorial, which if you'll watch 'Redemption' then 'Release' and compare Josh, the "victim" in either, and the acting, you'll notice a significant improvement. Same with Reese, yes, the acting seems over-the-top a bit because it's five minutes and we have whole transitional emotional segments we cut out, but at the same time he's no longer the kidnapped boy or the victim or the guy being carried by a runner across Dallas, TX. He's the leading guy. And I think he does a good job.

I would say what seems like a lack of development in the script area is..........well, I've mentioned to my crew, too, that that's not really what I'm excelling at, nor what I want to excel at. Granted, parts of it need to improve, and my team for sure has the ability to do so. But personally, I think directing/cinematography is what I need to work at now. Both in school and in these contests.

When we really, really, want to go off-the-wall and work on something totally new, we'll work at it. But we use these contests as both a chance to 'do what we do best' and to work at new things. I went into this year with only one actor, another available for 6 hours, and nobody to edit. So the decision was to go.......simple. Not necessarily tried and true, but simple. Then, as it happened, my brother was available to edit, and so he added his own spin and flair as he likes to do. The result is what you see.

Basically, I'm saying - in many more words than I intended - that I totally understand your criticisms and want you to know that it's not something we're ignorant to improving, just that this particular time it was like...."whatever" biggrin

EDIT:

Ooooooooooh, great. That douche who rates every movie a zero happened to catch this one. Wonderful. wink
Posted: Mon, 24th May 2010, 3:55am

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RodyPolis

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Lol he gave Chosen a 1, so I consider myself pretty lucky smile
Posted: Mon, 24th May 2010, 5:31am

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ben3308

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I think it's hard for many people to accept the assertion that filmmaking includes not just conceiving a story, but telling it in an artful way. I strive to be someone who finds different ways to tell stories - with cinematography, with direction and production design, my brother with editing - and what the actual story is can ultimately be irrelevant by virtue of simplicity.

So the zero rating guy teaches filmmaking in Houston, and attributes everything to script. The notion that filmmaking is, by and large, a visual language with which to cultivate media into a story is what intrigues me and drives me to be great in what I do; and I actually find it offensive when people fail to recognize any filmmaking efforts in lieu of a simple, or weak based story. In my opinion, using the script as a Bible for everything is great, but that makes it a book - many of which I have read and enjoy reading - not a film.

There's something extra about film as an artform, I think, some divine way to form meaning and attachment and excitement and intrigue all at the same time, and I think that's formed more powerfully through narrative cinematic language, not mere content-less source material. Stephen King may be a gifted writer, but it's the production design, austere cinematography, subtle direction and brilliant acting of The Shawshank Redemption that make it truly great.

Just some food for thought, I suppose.
Posted: Mon, 24th May 2010, 8:16am

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Simon K Jones

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It's an interesting way of looking at things. Essentially: script is story, filmmaking is storytelling.
Posted: Mon, 24th May 2010, 5:47pm

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Fxhome Dude

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The zero rating guy is someone who's rated 36 other films 0 stars...His rating is nothing in my opinion.
About the film. Extremely well done, very hard to believe it was done in 24 hours. It got a little confusing for me but the excellent narrative redeemed it. Acting was as other said, over the top in parts.
5/5
Posted: Thu, 27th May 2010, 3:36am

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Duck Studios

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This is Awesome!
and I don't mean awesome in the overused mundane sense. I mean truly Awe Inspiring. Not only is it excellent storytelling, and beautiful cinematography. It has a higher message, a moral message, and that's something that most modern films are sadly lacking.

5 Stars, "Awesome" Job
Posted: Thu, 27th May 2010, 5:01am

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Atom

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I feel a little sad that I'm on less of a 'reply as best and fast as I can' grind than I used to be with our movies, but I want to enter the conversation nonetheless.

First off, just wanted to thank everyone for the excellent praise, comments, views, and even criticisms. They are, as always, duly noted and something we continually try to work on- even when we've thrown ourselves back into more 'safe' territory as with this movie.

Here, as Ben has mentioned, we went in with far less planning and certainty as to what we could and would be able to do (namely that I wasn't initially available to edit until I found out day-of I could do it; and I hadn't called around to properties like I normally do to secure a handful of locations)- and so it seemed like the most sound and best option would be to play to our tried-and-true strengths.

However, there's still a few things to be said with this, and I think it's something both Evman and Tarn mentioned. Here, yes there was smaller amounts of risk and innovation than our progression the past 18 months has gnawed at; but we also really feel like we paired-down a simplicity and clarity to our narrative (and, in-effect, the storytelling) that we've only scratched at or strayed away from with other priorities in the past. Hopefully that is evident here.

Secondly, there's the moral elevation we wanted the movie to bring out. We're faith-filled people and not shy to some hinting level of pseudo-religious parable in all of our films- but often we are aware this can seem shoe-horned, pretentious, and in some instances just not sit well with others. Here in Release there is a message, yes, but it's something that we felt absolutely worked toward the narrative and very strongly in-conjunction with the required theme for the contest, which was 'acceptance'.

This isn't to defend a flaw in the movie, however, as in my editing and amending of the dramatic films we do I always strive to find and evoke some deeper truth, revelation, or aching humanity if I can- and I strongly feel this redeeming quality is a facet of our filmmaking that can elevate our movies. Even in No Rest For The Wicked or Exodus there's some hinting of this in their ending sequences. And, while perhaps more formulaic in our style, this is something I'm proud of.

I think Sollthar, Tarn, and Evman- you all know this, and you've seen it before and said your piece, so don't worry about this response. wink Although one thing here:

Tarn wrote:

It's an interesting way of looking at things. Essentially: script is story, filmmaking is storytelling.
I know we've been over this before- but while script may equal story, story does not equal storytelling. Storytelling is something vastly different, and I firmly believe that even the worst of stories can be made engaging, engrossing, and entertaining with the right storyteller. This goes with the ongoing, film-world-dividing assertion that 'movies aren't in what they tell, but how they tell themselves'. I strongly believe this to be true, and it's a testament to how we make our movies. It's in how we're trying to tell our stories, not the stories themselves. But you already knew this. wink

Because Duck Studios brought it up, and we seem to be getting a new wave of viewers less-familiar with our work these days, I'm finding myself retreading over some explanations and discussions I've had with older members before. biggrin I'm glad you liked it, Duck, and I hope you'll give our other movies a watch!

I'm fairly happy with how this movie turned out. The audience response at both of our screenings was really strong, and that's always a comforting feeling. After doing some comedies this previous year that were screened and got lots of laughs, it's really nice to bring back some of that tense dramatic twinge that can invoke a totally different type of reaction in a real theater with a real audience. That sort of power and reaction in filmmaking........it's absolutely magical. The reason we keep doing these things.

This all being said, look for a few more short screwball things from us soon- we'll be working on some uber-sneerious features with other crews for some of the summer, then doing some drama work (likely) on the 48 Hour contests in the later months- so we're gonna 'get our sillies out' so to speak sometime soon. wink

Thanks for the comments once again, they're all much-appreciated!
Posted: Wed, 2nd Jun 2010, 3:22pm

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DX6channel

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Hi,
I just bought the Canon T2i and I have some questions:

What memory cards did you use?

How long do the batteries last?

I'm on a tight budget. Where could I get low-priced memory cards?

Thanks
Posted: Wed, 2nd Jun 2010, 8:19pm

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Atom

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Hey man!

There are numerous threads for this (and I hope you liked/watched the movie too wink) but yeah we used a single off-brand, class 10, 16gb SD card. We emptied it twice, maybe three times, while shooting this movie- but all we during breaks to take footage to me to edit or changes of location anyway, it wasn't that much of a trouble with just one 16 card, even in a time-sensitive pinch. We used two batteries interchangeably, which went quicker than the card filled up- about an hour or two for both, with the camera on and shooting almost all that time as well. Again, nothing terribly mind-numbing or frustrating though. We simply charged one while we shot with the other, and it worked perfectly fine even with the timed competition.

The extra battery cost about $40, I'm not sure about the rest.
Posted: Wed, 2nd Jun 2010, 10:01pm

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DX6channel

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Atom wrote:

Hey man!
we used a single off-brand, class 10, 16gb SD card.
What kind is it?
Posted: Wed, 2nd Jun 2010, 10:44pm

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ben3308

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Rating: +1

The card brand is Transcend, Class 10 16gb, and it ran about only 35 to 40 dollars. The secondary battery I purchased was generic - getting Canon brand makes no difference, I swear to you - and it cost me only 12 dollars on Amazon. The brand was 'Power2000'.

The reason my brother mentioned it costing 40 is because I ordered it the day before the video race, same day shipping for roughly 25 bucks. I really needed it, obviously. biggrin

Also, I shot with Highlight Tone Priority on and with custom colors tilted toward +1 GREEN and +1 BLUE.
Posted: Thu, 3rd Jun 2010, 3:19pm

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Creative Media Production

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very nice film...respect
Posted: Tue, 8th Jun 2010, 10:41pm

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Limey

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Hey man I really liked this.

First of all, I thought that this looked real nice visually. I like the shot of him walking out of the store a lot. The color in that shot comes out great, as with most of the rest of the film. My other favorite shots are the ones with the motel sign in the background. Most of the shots were nice and clear, but a couple were a little soft. Some nice focus pulls with the 7d, seems like you will make good use of its capabilities. The color grading was cool also. Some shots seemed a little too blue, but overall I would say that it was very nice looking, as with most of your films. I really like that goat head in the background, haha, as it definitely added to the feel of the guy's office.

The editing was pretty good too. I noticed that you guys use those thud/boom noises for transitions between scenes in a lot of your films. That seems to work pretty well here, especially with the layered narrative. I like how it is put together, with the inter-cut scenes. And I like when the shot cuts out the middle of an action, like when you show Luke walking in the background and then cut to him in the foreground. Also, the font choice was nice. Where did you get your music? It gave the whole movie a much better feel.

Narrative-wise, I pretty much understood it the first time. I was a little bit confused about the stakes of his actions. But whats nice about layered narrative films, is when you are able to pick up new stuff the second watching. Any other projects like this coming up?

The voice over was pretty good, and it guided the film pretty well. I thought the acting was pretty good also. The older guy seemed pretty cool and played the part well. The younger guy was alright but I didn't like the parts with him on the phone where he says "I never agreed to this sort of.....sh!t" but the line where he says "I've done my job, I'm done" is pretty solid.

Overall, I enjoyed watching this. As usual, I look forward seeing more from you guys.
Posted: Sat, 12th Jun 2010, 9:56pm

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miker

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I pretty much agree with everything Sollthar and Evman said. 4/5.

Solid job for a 24 hour contest short.

I'd like to add I really like what you did with the titles.

Good work, as usual. Look forward to what's next from you guys smile.
Posted: Mon, 14th Jun 2010, 7:07am

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Atom

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Thanks, man!

Good to see you back around these parts- hopefully we can lay down some tricks from up our sleeve before you disappear again. biggrin

More to come soon- so do stay tuned. wink
Posted: Mon, 14th Jun 2010, 8:31pm

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FXhomer50249

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Rating: -4

MOD EDIT Content removed due to inability to form polite sentences or provide constructive feedback.
Posted: Mon, 14th Jun 2010, 9:10pm

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swintonmaximilian

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Rating: +1

Can I suggest an immediate ban for FXhomer50249?
Posted: Mon, 14th Jun 2010, 9:27pm

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Sollthar

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Someone seems to be mixing up FXhome with Youtube.
Posted: Tue, 15th Jun 2010, 1:38am

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Atom

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Rating: +1

Well, we're all bound to have both our die-hard fans and our polarizingly-opposite critics. I'm just happy our movies have such an affect they draw such passion from guys like those- even when it isn't positive. Shows that, for the least, they were engaged enough to form an opinion! biggrin

But yeah, the YouTube culture is spreading sadly. With more people beginning to check out our channel, too, we've got a lot more 'no show' voters these days who come and just rate one movie and do nothing else- giving it a 1 or a 0. Real shame, that sort of thing.

But again, at least that guy had passion. smile
Posted: Tue, 15th Jun 2010, 9:06am

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Simon K Jones

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Annoying. Still, as Atom says, it's better to have some kind of reaction than no reaction at all. wink
Posted: Tue, 15th Jun 2010, 1:00pm

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davlin

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I would like to compliment Atom on his coolness and philosophical approach under fire.
well done.

Can't say I'd be so understanding though.

Dave
Posted: Sat, 17th Jul 2010, 11:09pm

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FCRabbath

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Very good job guys, this is my favorite out of all your films. I thought the writing was solid for what it was. I think the only thing that bugged me was they looked too young but otherwise it's awesome. Keep it up!
Posted: Tue, 2nd Nov 2010, 11:36pm

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Atom

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Hey guys!

Don't want to bump this too hard, but just wanted to let you guys know that Release just won the Mobile Short Film Contest over on BigStar.tv with a $1,000 prize!

Really cool stuff, and will continue to help us garner more equipment (as well as pay off some unsavory credit wink ) and give us more time and opportunities to work on more filmmaking endeavors- which is really exciting!
Posted: Wed, 3rd Nov 2010, 1:14am

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Biblmac

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Congrats!
Posted: Wed, 3rd Nov 2010, 5:42am

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miker

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Nice job guys! Glad to hear it.
Posted: Wed, 3rd Nov 2010, 8:54am

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Simon K Jones

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Nice one guys!
Posted: Wed, 3rd Nov 2010, 9:02am

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Sollthar

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Awesome! Not sure what's "mobile" about your film, abut winning 1000 $ is always good stuff. cool
Posted: Wed, 3rd Nov 2010, 9:18am

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Atom

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I suppose I took it, as it was intended in many aspects, as a film made on a camera, phone, or other mobile device not strictly created for video/film. Or otherwise 'mobile' cameras, like the Flip camera line. As in, not strictly-speaking a "videocamera". I think this was in all ways that.

As Release was shot on a DSLR, which is a still camera that happens to have a 'video function/feature', it's still entirely a "mobile" production. It may be a tried-and-true methodology now, but using DSLRs to the best of their abilities in video is still very much a creative 'trick' on the cameras, and it works to great effect that- plain and simple- that's not what they're meant for. And so using one for such is what it is. A 'mobile' use of the camera for the indirect means of filmmaking.

Additionally, this is a testament to how great DSLR filmmaking really is these days, as the low-profile mobility of such cameras allows you to shoot cheaper and in more locations (in my experience and opinion) than any other camera. We were, for instance, trying to get some shots for our forthcoming Social Network parody in an off-limits boardroom in the University of Texas a week ago. A film crew of students came in to use the room, having reserved it for 'studying', but they let us go first because (somewhat naively) they assumed with our small camera we would only be taking some quick stills.

Then a manager of the rooms came up and made them leave, citing that- reserved or not- film permits were required for the area. As it looked like we were strictly taking photos with our still camera DSLR, the woman in charge let us stay for a short while.

Which, aside from being completely asinine, was really cool. Because we got tons of footage on the guise of our videocamera being a stills camera. And the compact size and mobility of it makes it far less intimidating than most of the things out there, while still looking less-silly and more-professional than something like a Flip camera.

That's mobility for you, in its truest form.
Posted: Wed, 3rd Nov 2010, 9:47am

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rogolo

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Atom wrote:

as the low-profile mobility of such cameras allows you to shoot cheaper and in more locations (in my experience and opinion) than any other camera.
So true. Some locations I've shot at would be much trickier/impossible if not for my DSLR.

Atom: I've been curious about BigStar - what happens if you win? Or even submit for that matter? Do they acquire non-exclusive rights to redistribute your video and/or use it for promotional purposes?
Posted: Wed, 3rd Nov 2010, 9:55am

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Atom

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It's a very (seemingly) shady/scammy site, I'll give you that- but as of now I'm not quite sure. I haven't received the prize yet, but I do have letters of intent/affidavit of eligibility forms coming my way, so we'll see. And I did win this time, so I kind of want to think it's all good.

I've been on the site for a few years now every now and then and scoured their fine print pretty hardcore (although now it's next to impossible to get to the 'rules and regulations' portion of contests without re-submitting your entry and reading through the pop-up screen with reminders of them during uploading) and haven't found it to be that big of a deal. It's only if you win do you- essentially- 'sign off the rights to your work', but even that is only for a period of 24 months and only on their online site, which you can pretty much navigate through all of with ease, and you still retain all copyrights as the proprietary owner to the work yourself throughout that time. You're just 'allowing' BigStar to market your stuff as a product of using their service- which, I obviously don't care one way or another if they do. Hey, it's $1,000.

Nevertheless, I've only put up some small projects there, and have made it to the finals a few times but thought it was a total joke- then, low and behold, I win one of them. But I'd never go more than the minimal risk with putting stuff on there. Right now I stick strictly to 24-hour and 48-hour things to put on the BigStar site. But legitimacy/rules/etc?

Right now? Who knows. We'll see how the prize-receiving goes and I'll let ya know. biggrin
Posted: Wed, 3rd Nov 2010, 9:57am

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Sollthar

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Nothing happens really. I also won one of the contests a few months back and they just did an interview and submitted my film to a few other festivals - after asking, of course. They don't own the rights to anything.

It's contest content is basically the same as the fxhome cinema. The voting system is rather dubious, but apparently, there's a set of judges that judge your film, not the user votes.