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Disconnected < Film Release

Posted: Sat, 18th Sep 2010, 11:30am

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FCRabbath

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Hey guys, here is the release of the new film DISCONNECTED. Which will be online temporarily for festival reasons. The neat thing about this project is we really didn't think it would work out. Just because of how much it required and how little there was to work with. Flexibility & speed was key in this film, and sometimes just seeing something randomly why driving and filming it too. It was a very interesting shoot and go experience which i hope to release more info on soon. The total, money wise, is actually 35$ dollars. This was almost all gas money. Anyways we do hope you enjoy! Comments and questions are always welcome.



Film TRT: 30 minutes.

VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMWSQTvNPNU

Also, the main channel if you'd like to see the other films:
http://www.youtube.com/fcrabbath

- FC

I hope to release a behind the scenes commentary next month!
Posted: Sat, 18th Sep 2010, 3:24pm

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Biblmac

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Holy cow! That was incredible! Very intense...
Posted: Sun, 19th Sep 2010, 3:12am

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FCRabbath

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thanks man!
Posted: Sun, 19th Sep 2010, 1:51pm

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2xZProductions

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Have watched a bunch of your films, and although it wasn't my favorite, still a great film. My favorite was Scarlet's Witch. Am amazed at how good your films are (and the recurring cast). The girl that played the younger Scarlet in Scarlet's witch was my favorite in Disconnected, mostly because she really protrayed the character well. While some of your other actors didn't appeal to me, and a bit of dialogue was a little cheesy (this was only in one or two seconds of the films) at times, loved it.

Now, do you have multiple cameras you shoot with, or do you take several takes?
Posted: Sun, 19th Sep 2010, 4:03pm

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FCRabbath

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Just one camera, and multiple takes!
Posted: Sun, 19th Sep 2010, 4:59pm

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Biblmac

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Hey FC! I liked your film, as I said above and posted it on Facebook. I got this reply to my post: "Watch This, it should really make you think about the world around us! Thanks Matthias, for sharing." So thanks to you for making such a well loved film!
Posted: Mon, 20th Sep 2010, 3:27am

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FCRabbath

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Rating: -1

Awesome man! I'm surprised no one else here seems to want to watch it! There appeared to be interest in the production thread sad
Posted: Mon, 20th Sep 2010, 4:36am

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Pooky

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Just watched this, and my comments are the same as always, heh.

Amazing production, great cinematography, decidedly above-average acting for an amateur pic, and an interesting concept with a lot of potential. The opening is by far the greatest part, with some great editing, sound, framing and acting.

HOWEVER. Once again I think your script was severely lacking compared to everything else. The ending makes the whole thing pointless, which could have worked had the whole *SPOILER*"I destroyed the whole country just as a drill! Haha, lol?" plot point not been present. No president in their right mind would cut off communications as a drill,*SPOILER* which made the whole film feel silly in retrospect.

Also, the concept of "we're very dependent on technology and our social interactions are suffering because of it!" is one that has been analyzed in great depth by thousands of people in thousands of different ways. You didn't bring anything new to the table as far as that is concerned, because all your characters seem to do is just plain repeat the concept without ever delving into it, explaining it, or anything, really. Of course, the fact that I strongly disagree with the sentiment didn't help smile

Once again, otherwise this was top notch and surprisingly good for an amateur pic. I feel that maybe it was paced too slowly and dragged on sometimes, but that might be intentional and it kind of fits in with the themes anyway. My recommendation for your next movie would be to find another person to work with for the script to get it to go beyond the superficial level your films never seem to venture beyond.

And herein lies another interesting point: I think the reason nobody is replying about the movie is that there really isn't anything TO reply about. The movie doesn't do much on a psychological level that we haven't seen before, and the only thing to comment would be "Awesome movie man, great cinematography", which doesn't feel like it's worth the effort of posting, really.

So yeah there's what I think.
Posted: Mon, 20th Sep 2010, 7:06am

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Struker

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Biblmac wrote:

Hey FC! I liked your film, as I said above and posted it on Facebook. I got this reply to my post: "Watch This, it should really make you think about the world around us! Thanks Matthias, for sharing." So thanks to you for making such a well loved film!
Let me guess, Biblmac, you're an "Omega Man" fan, right? smile
Posted: Mon, 20th Sep 2010, 7:15am

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Sollthar

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I agree with Pooky. Beautiful cinematography undermined by a weak script that fails to tell me something that interests me in a way that captures me. After the film went on for about 10 minutes and I still couldn't figure out what the actual story was and why I should continue watching, I stopped.

But it does look very pretty!
Posted: Mon, 20th Sep 2010, 8:29am

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FCRabbath

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hey its fine if you didn't like the script, as yes it didn't follow the conventional formula and hence is immediately labeled weak, But i'm sure you remember i've done a few films in the past that have and people were all over it. (well according the reviews)

However with this film i tried to venture out of that, and according to other reviews it seemed to really be thought provoking and not superficial as you mentioned. In fact, 90% of negative reviews are from filmmakers.(which i suppose is okay since we know what films are) The reason i don't partner with another writer as a few other filmmakers seem to beg me to is that i am aiming to be a writer director and that would be counter productive if i'm not at least doing that on my own movie and would otherwise never get a chance to.

So this is why, so any advise outside of get a new writer *which sounds like, hey give up and get someone else to do it:" would be greatly appreciated.

I do thank you for watching, and hope you keep watching!
Posted: Mon, 20th Sep 2010, 8:39am

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Sollthar

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That's completely okay. You don't "owe" me anything nor am I in any way important enough to listen to and if people are all over your films then, hey, congrats and continue what you're doing. I'm happy for you!

You asked for comments, I gave you my perspective, in which you're a very talented visual filmmaker that works with scripts far behind your visual abilities and should maybe try to improve that aspect or find someone who can keep up with his writing. Take it, leave it - as you wish. smile


Good luck and much success in whatever you aspire to become and however you aspire to become that!
Posted: Mon, 20th Sep 2010, 8:42am

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FCRabbath

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Sollthar wrote:

That's completely okay. You don't "owe" me anything nor am I in any way important enough to listen to and if people are all over your films then, hey, congrats and continue what you're doing. I'm happy for you!

You asked for comments, I gave you my perspective, in which you're a very talented visual filmmaker that works with scripts far behind your visual abilities and should maybe try to improve that aspect or find someone who can keep up with his writing. Take it, leave it - as you wish. smile


Good luck and much success in whatever you aspire to become and however you aspire to become that!
And i do love you perspective solthar, i just would like to know how it should be improved in your eyes. I guess to me it just sounded like it was so bad that i should just give up on it.
Posted: Mon, 20th Sep 2010, 9:15am

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Sollthar

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Ah, heh - no. It didn't mean to say it was so bad you should give up. smile

It's just that, in my eyes, it is on a very different level then your technical abilities, which are truly top notch.

To be more precise:

The film offers a great problem that is really well staged: A complete blockdown for unknown reasons. It takes a long time until it offers me the main character, my protagonist. I know his problem, but that's about it. I know nothing about why it's a particular problem for him (Why he is the chosen protagonist) or anything else about him. Okay, I ride along.

Then suddenly, more characters are introduced I know just as little about. I'm already getting confused as to whose story you're trying to tell. And these characters also don't do anything. They all go into this "deep anarchy" WAY to fast to be believeable for me. So far, none of them has spoken a word.

Then, at 7 minutes in, we hear the first dialogue. And I thought this dialoge was very weak for several reasons. The foremost is the characters. The way they talk doesn't seem natural at all. It seems weird. They're weirdos, both of them. One is a biblequoting drunk weirdo who, mechanically, does a classic "Exposition" and literally tells me the intentions of you as the filmmaker. He TELLs me the theme of the film. This is not a normal dialogue two normal people who are in this situation have - at least not even close to how I would assume it would be - it's a stilted piece of exposition in an attempt to get deep meaning out of something by literally speaking it out loud. As a main character, the other guy responds in such a strange way that I can't sympathize with him - so I lost interest in him as the main character.

At 9 minutes in - a third of the films running time mind you - yet ANOTHER group of new characters are introduced despite the fact I don't even get what the other characters are all about and the film completely loses focus. And again: The characters respond with total anarchy and get introduced at the midpoint of an ongoing conflict shouting at each other. I get no chance to watch them develop that conflict out of normality, but instead get thrown into something that's already ongoing and dwells on the exact same emotion all the other characters explore. Where's the guy who deals with this calmly? Where's the sane people? They don't seem to exist in your world and so, your world has nothing in common with the world how I experience it.

12 minutes in, the main guy (at least who I suppose is the protagonist despite the fact I don't know any more about him then any of the other faceless characters I've seen so far) meets a woman who - surprise - is pointing a gun at him. I still don't know why I should care about this protagonist, what exactly his journey is. Then suddenly he talks about a network of people pulling resources... And I realize: I don't know how long this has been going on. I don't know if he tells the truth or if he lies because I haven't been given any information about the guy yet apart from the fact he's a bit strange judging from that one scene I've seen him in so far and the fact he's taking it all very DEEP by the fact he looked at the ocean with a deep facial expression earlier. I realize: This film has a concept, not a story. At almost half the running time, I still can't see a "story" in there. It loses focus, so do I.

This is the point where I quit.


All of this has to do with the writing. It seems like the film was shot not with a properly dramatized, structured and written screenplay that went through several revisions in order to maximize it, but just an exposé with a concept someone thought up in a couple of days. And that's why, in my perspective, it's your writing that is the weakest part of almost all your films.
Posted: Mon, 20th Sep 2010, 2:44pm

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FCRabbath

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Rating: -2

Thanks for the review, like i said, you can't please everyone - but thanks for watching!
Posted: Mon, 20th Sep 2010, 4:45pm

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doppelganger

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I watched this film a few days ago and didn't feel the need to comment but I think I should at this point. I like everyone else enjoyed the cinematography more than anything else, the editing during the opening was also unbelievably well done BUT your writing and your actors just don't hold up. All of them seem like they're trying waayyyy to hard... this also probably has something to do with the directing. Especially the black guy in the beginning and the guy who SPOILER murders the main character's dad for the wallet SPOILER OVER. The writing also feels like it's trying to hard to be meaningful and natural... and it ends up cheesy and completely unnatural. The whole "You can trust me." bit comes to mind.

Working with someone else to improve your screen plays most definitely is not moving backwards. Why would you not want your films to improve just because you're not the only writer?? That's what seems backwards to me. I've watched your films since I joined fxhome and they all suffer from the same problem. I also want to write and direct but I realized that I'm not very skilled when it comes to writing, therefore I work with other writers and tend to make films with little dialogue. I'm not saying you should do the same but you should at least acknowledge the fact that your writing is not up to par with your technical skills otherwise it sounds a bit egotistical.

In the end it's not "you can't please everyone"... that's true but it's also a scapegoat. Your films would be immensely better if your writing either improves a great deal or you work with other talented writers... which in the end will improve your writing also so its a win win! Also I'd get new actors that tend not to overact...
Posted: Mon, 20th Sep 2010, 4:52pm

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Sollthar

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You ask me explicitly to write a clearer review to where you can improve, I take the time to do so and you respond with a simple "you can't please everyone"?

Alright, if that cheap copout shot is the train you take, you're not worth the time it takes to watch or comment your films as far as I'm concerned.


Good luck in the future
Posted: Mon, 20th Sep 2010, 5:14pm

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Pooky

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Rating: +2

I think what it comes down to here is, do you strive for artistic perfection, or popular acclaim? They are not the same thing:

If you want popular acclaim, you'll end up making stuff like Transformers 2.
If you want artistic perfection, you'll gravitate towards stuff kinda like Lost in Translation.
If you want to go half-and-half, you'll end up with things like Inception.

By ignoring everything that every filmmaker who knows how movies work tells you, you're a popular acclaim guy. That's fine, as those kinds of movies please a lot of people... but then if that's the case, why are you asking us for our opinion anyway, if you're just going to ignore it?
Posted: Mon, 20th Sep 2010, 5:28pm

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FCRabbath

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Listen. im sorry i didnt say much. i am very busy working on other projects. please know i appreciate your review and always take the time to read my reviews and reply when i can.
Posted: Mon, 20th Sep 2010, 5:47pm

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Atom

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Too busy to write another sentence but not to dedicate a post to asking for views/why more people haven't watched this? wink
Posted: Mon, 20th Sep 2010, 6:12pm

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Serpent

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You can say "Thanks Sollthar, I'll take that into consideration, it really helps to see it from another perspective" just as easily, and it's actually polite to him. And to be honest, I hope that in those words, that's true, because Sollthar is also a professional, and he took the time to review your film on a fairly small forum where discussion is expected. This isn't Youtube, we aren't expecting "Thanks for watching, can't please everyone. Danger, Will Robinson."

And to be honest, we're busy too. Sorry I didn't set aside to watch and comment/review your film within one day during my schedule, a full time GDI. I know you didn't single anyone or me out, but come on, 24 hours for 30 minutes? I feel like you've got to be joking. Regulars here like Evman post short films and don't end up with comments for days, and then they start to flow in when people get in the mood and have the time.

I'll watch your film eventually, because I think you're a good visual storyteller and this looks interesting. I agree with others, that sometimes your writing is not the best (some of your short film scripts are very nice though) and it's definitely your weakest area. Anyways, I enjoy following you as a filmmaker, best of luck, may comment soon.
Posted: Mon, 20th Sep 2010, 6:29pm

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FCRabbath

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Rating: +1

OKay finally got on a computer, i was on a cell phone (*the first post* at 4 in the morning). So i do want to clarify. I am thankful for what Sollthar wrote. I think he's got great input. I was simply saying you can't please everyone as a whole. Not responding to Sollthar, but i can see how that misunderstanding happened, and typing on a cell phone is just not the easiest thing ANYWAYS - to Atom: I just noticed there were 120 views and no comments is why i said something. If anything i was worried people hated it or something.

But i apologize to Sollthar for getting that impression, really not my intention.

I know everyone is busy, i was just responding to the fact that i couldn't type a longer response to Sollthar at THAT time because of where i was, and felt it necessary to respond to him immediately. I did even respond above that I do love to hear his perspective. I do hope you come back and give me more reviews in the future.

Again, i do apologize to anyone who got that impression.

Cheers,
fred
Posted: Mon, 20th Sep 2010, 8:46pm

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ben3308

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Fred,

I'm loading the film as I type this, will give you my impressions on it when I'm done watching. For the record, though I have notably lamented the quick-response, nonchalant attitude you sometimes convey on this forum, I don't really see where you've done that here - so just a heads up that even one of your biggest "haters" when it comes to your rhetoric has no problem this time around.

Anyhow, looking forward to seeing this, especially the cinematography in it, and will let you know what I think once I've watched it all the way through and collected my thoughts on it.
Posted: Tue, 21st Sep 2010, 7:43am

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Serpent

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I never look at topic views. I always assume a lot of them are generated by refreshes, bots, lurkers, less chatty mods, etc. No worries.

I think what was off-putting about the rest is that you specifically asked for Soillthar's review. Misunderstanding on forum, it happens, better to be as clear as you can next time.
Posted: Tue, 21st Sep 2010, 2:29pm

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Sollthar

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Sorry about my reaction, I was a bit put off. I see where the misunderstanding came from and if it was that, it's all good.
Posted: Tue, 21st Sep 2010, 3:46pm

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FCRabbath

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Pooky wrote:

I think what it comes down to here is, do you strive for artistic perfection, or popular acclaim? They are not the same thing:

If you want popular acclaim, you'll end up making stuff like Transformers 2.
If you want artistic perfection, you'll gravitate towards stuff kinda like Lost in Translation.
If you want to go half-and-half, you'll end up with things like Inception.

By ignoring everything that every filmmaker who knows how movies work tells you, you're a popular acclaim guy. That's fine, as those kinds of movies please a lot of people... but then if that's the case, why are you asking us for our opinion anyway, if you're just going to ignore it?
One more thing i'd like to make clear is i do listen to A LOT of advise. I do work on other films too that i did not write. I was simply stating that i write my films because i can. Only chance i get really.

I think the biggest issue here is, writing to your locations. Which is what i do unfortunately. I go see what i have and write to it because the other way around is nearly impossible in my area. But hey it's all about adapting.

I do ask your opinions because they are important to me. I simply do not like to hear to just get another writer because it isn't constructive. Tell me how to write better then, not get a better writer. Which is where i think the misunderstandings happened.

Like i said, i do appreciate all comments positive or negative.
Posted: Tue, 21st Sep 2010, 6:39pm

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Pooky

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Yeah, sorry about that, I just got the wrong impression from your short posts like the others smile

What I would recommend to improve in your writing is to become more nuanced. Basically, instead of having your characters say something like "It's too bad that X happened because of Y!", have them mention only parts of what led to X, or show parts of Y, and basically let the viewer come to the realization of what happened by himself instead of plain telling him with unnatural sounding dialogue. This not only gives the impression of being more clever, but it helps make your characters feel more human.

This also means trying to build up to situations more organically, rather than suddenly making people act crazy to get to the good part as you seem to do here. When the lady walked up to "main character guy" with a gun, she was instantly insane, and then once he talked she suddenly lowered her gun and was friendly. Not much of a transition; I'd work on that next time.

Another problem I found is that this didn't really have any character or story arcs: the characters didn't really change or learn much, and the story led nowhere. This makes the viewer feel like what he just watched was pointless. Of course, this wasn't helped by what I found to be a silly plot twist at the end. Think about it, what kind of a moronic president would do that stort of thing?

And finally, while the subject matter was really interesting, the movie didn't really delve into the philosophical debate in a way that engaged me. Instead, it seemed to focus on showing crazy people overreacting to their cell phones not working - I get that you were aiming for poignant and emotional situations, but they were too simplistic and over the top for me. That probably has a lot to do with the points I mentioned above, though.

But yeah, basically it boils down to trying to be more clever, subtle, nuanced and organic in your writing.
Posted: Tue, 21st Sep 2010, 6:46pm

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FCRabbath

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Pooky wrote:

Yeah, sorry about that, I just got the wrong impression from your short posts like the others smile

What I would recommend to improve in your writing is to become more nuanced. Basically, instead of having your characters say something like "It's too bad that X happened because of Y!", have them mention only parts of what led to X, or show parts of Y, and basically let the viewer come to the realization of what happened by himself instead of plain telling him with unnatural sounding dialogue. This not only gives the impression of being more clever, but it helps make your characters feel more human.

This also means trying to build up to situations more organically, rather than suddenly making people act crazy to get to the good part as you seem to do here. When the lady walked up to "main character guy" with a gun, she was instantly insane, and then once he talked she suddenly lowered her gun and was friendly. Not much of a transition; I'd work on that next time.

Another problem I found is that this didn't really have any character or story arcs: the characters didn't really change or learn much, and the story led nowhere. This makes the viewer feel like what he just watched was pointless. Of course, this wasn't helped by what I found to be a silly plot twist at the end. Think about it, what kind of a moronic president would do that stort of thing?

But yeah, basically it boils down to trying to be more clever, subtle, nuanced and organic in your writing.
Well first, it has been done before. Drills with military and everything, and in this time of paranoia, it's very possible. The idea is they president asked them to stay home, and the lack of communication (message of the film) caused a lot more chaos than anyone could've anticipated. Also i believe the main character DID change...A LOT. I mean that's the whole ending. The film kept repeating the idea of waking up, not stealing the wallets and then realizing how bad it was when it happened to him and actually waking up to what was really going on. I for one who is was in the military see this kind of chaos when people don't know. And with http://news.techworld.com/security/3228198/obama-internet-kill-switch-plan-approved-by-us-senate/?olo=rss such a power you'd be surprised how out of hand it gets.
This is all subjective i'm sure, but i believe this is very possible. I've also seen this happen in the Ukraine. Very scary stuff.
Posted: Tue, 21st Sep 2010, 7:36pm

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Biblmac

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Well I feel that we didn't really know too much about the main character. We didn't seem to learn much over the course of the film either. I guess I just would have liked a little background info on the guy. I think that would make the change more obvious and effective.
Posted: Tue, 21st Sep 2010, 8:11pm

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ben3308

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Okay man, I watched the film.

I really enjoyed it. A lot. I felt like it had very good cinematic pace in terms of capturing the 'feel' of a movie (which was a problem for me with, say, Scarlet's Witch, which felt like it went stale at one or two points) and the mise-en-scene and staging contributed greatly to this. The use of locations, in particular - notably in the opening sequence, but also in the locations here-and-there - contributed well to the style and thesis of the film.

The acting, as it stands, may have been too caricatured for what austerity the subject matter called for. As in, you have, for instance, us introduced to a man and his wife, whom he decides to leave to go "see what's out there". This is an effective mini-plot for us to help understand the larger conflict and see how worldly the problem of being disconnected is, but because we're abruptly introduced to this couple as two new characters (in addition to the protagonist, who was appropriately developed/directed/acted) it's harder to accept the verisimilitude of their statements.

What I'm really talking about is the woman - her acting there is fantastic, but not called for by the scene really. In this respect, I understand this issue - it's common with the acting in my own films - but I think in this film, particularly in communicating an austere, reserved emptiness (a 'disconnect', as it were biggrin) makes that contrast between high-volume acting and low-volume narrative even more extreme; and I believe that may be what pulls the film down. I mention solely the woman's performance not because it's the only instance of this, but because it's a good analog for the problem throughout the film.

It's these discontinuities in narrative pace (nice, reserved style then a jump to something abrupt but not shocking) that make the film a bit......off from truly being 'great', at least in my opinion. And this isn't so much a single problem as it perhaps is a mix of plotting, directorial effort, and acting ability. And though I criticize these things, I am happy that you have made efforts in all these regards - because although this film, perhaps, isn't as taught or succinct as earlier efforts that I have enjoyed from you; this movie taken broader strides in its ambition; which I wholly appreciate.

Maybe the most disconcerting aspect of the whole thing is that the ending isn't as 'earned' - it feels very much like an amalgam of the traveling ending of the director's cut of I Am Legend and the horrific, regret-laden twist ending of The Mist - but without the causal changes necessary for that 'regret' to be found. Why is this? I really think it comes down to something simple: the radio DJ. While an upbeat DJ is okay for the opening monologue, and is grounded as a 'news' outlet in the 'world' of the film; the upbeat, excitable attitude with which the DJ treats the news of the 'drill' (that, and the plain-speech way of saying it..." a DRILL!") is not aligned well with the way the audience (and the characters in the film) should feel at hearing such news.

Yes, you show the regret and angst through the main character, but because the music doesn't build or make inaudible the 'news' that's running on the radio (as might be the case in other films) we have to have the background audio revelation be something more serious, less goofy and disingenuous. I feel as if the impact of your film is effectively cut by the fact that this news - this horrific announcement that the loss suffered throughout the film was all for naught - is treated without any solace, or solemn delivery.

This all being said, the film has great technicals, very nuanced cinematography and some nice experimental shots and locations that work very well thematically. All-in-all a great effort, and I look forward to the work you continue to create.

EDIT:

I forgot to mention this, but I will state it again, as I have in your previous stuff: I feel like a focus on a deeper element of religion, particularly maybe the importance/existence of/lack thereof God in all these situations would help. You touched on it, but only in a superficial or disposable way it seemed - and it was this primary involvement of spirituality that made me invested in (and enjoy) all your earlier work.
Posted: Tue, 21st Sep 2010, 9:22pm

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Sollthar

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It's not as subjective as you might think FC. There is a subjective element of taste in art, obviously, but that doesn't make it all entirely subjective.

Also, don't make the mistake of assumimg that something a majority of your internet audience doesn't see (ultimately because most don't know better) isn't there.

You say you write around your locations. I say that shows and I´m really trying to help you. Not by saying "get someone to do it for you", but, because you want that, try to give you pointers on how to improve.

Ultimately, you have no main character - structurally speaking. My drama teacher would give you a hard time for that and he would be right.

Your little jewelry thief film for example has a much better script, structurewise. The film starts with a main character with a conflict that gets solved, one way or the other. smile
It´s much simpler, obviously. But it works because it follows the rules perfectly.

This film doesn't have that. We don't even see the main character up until 20% into the story and even when we do, he's no main character. There is nothing about him that we know of that sets him apart from anyone else. The lockdown doesn't affect him more then anyone else (cheap example: he could be working in a mine and gets forgotten after the breakdown hence it's life threatening for him) nor does he has an additional problem (bad example: the communication gets killed in a very important moment. Like in a phonecall with his son being in a potentially dangerous situation he can´t get out of alone) and ultimately, he has no AIM/GOAL (like: Get out of the mine alive / go find and rescue the son).
They all have the same problem. Obviously, they deal with it differently, but that has little effect on the fact you have no AIM for your main character. Or at least, you´ve not managed to understandably introduce it within the first 10% of your story.
This is bad. Everyone who had any writing education and every producer would tell you that your script has basic, essential structural problems.

And again, that is in NO WAY SUBJECTIVE. It's structure. Unless you aim for an arthouse everything goes approach. Then obviously, there is no right or wrong. I you want to do classic storytelling cinema, there is.

That's where and how you can improve your writing.
Posted: Tue, 21st Sep 2010, 9:52pm

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FCRabbath

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Sollthar wrote:

It's not as subjective as you might think FC. There is a subjective element of taste in art, obviously, but that doesn't make it all entirely subjective.

Also, don't make the mistake of assumimg that something a majority of your internet audience doesn't see (ultimately because most don't know better) isn't there.

You say you write around your locations. I say that shows and I´m really trying to help you. Not by saying "get someone to do it for you", but, because you want that, try to give you pointers on how to improve.

Ultimately, you have no main character - structurally speaking. My drama teacher would give you a hard time for that and he would be right.

Your little jewelry thief film for example has a much better script, structurewise. The film starts with a main character with a conflict that gets solved, one way or the other. smile
It´s much simpler, obviously. But it works because it follows the rules perfectly.

This film doesn't have that. We don't even see the main character up until 20% into the story and even when we do, he's no main character. There is nothing about him that we know of that sets him apart from anyone else. The lockdown doesn't affect him more then anyone else (cheap example: he could be working in a mine and gets forgotten after the breakdown hence it's life threatening for him) nor does he has an additional problem (bad example: the communication gets killed in a very important moment. Like in a phonecall with his son being in a potentially dangerous situation he can´t get out of alone) and ultimately, he has no AIM/GOAL (like: Get out of the mine alive / go find and rescue the son).
They all have the same problem. Obviously, they deal with it differently, but that has little effect on the fact you have no AIM for your main character. Or at least, you´ve not managed to understandably introduce it within the first 10% of your story.
This is bad. Everyone who had any writing education and every producer would tell you that your script has basic, essential structural problems.

And again, that is in NO WAY SUBJECTIVE. It's structure. Unless you aim for an arthouse everything goes approach. Then obviously, there is no right or wrong. I you want to do classic storytelling cinema, there is.

That's where and how you can improve your writing.
First thanks to both Ben and Sollthar for not giving up on me! haha

Second, I feel what i meant to say was that i understand what you mean by structure. However i chose to not use that kind of structure. If you recall my other film ( an example drawn) i had that kind of structure. Following the same hero's journey formula if you will. Not that i'm not capable of doing that - I guess a better question is why not venture out of that said structure? I feel like if everyone did that there would be no need for me to even enter the film business as everyone would be making the same thing. NOTE: this film was a HUGE experiment haha.

I hope that makes sense.
Posted: Tue, 21st Sep 2010, 9:54pm

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ben3308

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Sollthar wrote:

There is nothing about him that we know of that sets him apart from anyone else. The lockdown doesn't affect him more then anyone else
I disagree. It doesn't, in the literal sense affect him - he's no downed miner or the like - but because our introduction to him, amidst hysteria and overreactions from others in the film - is him being quiet, and observing others; we can draw the conclusion that he's a man who, unlike nearly EVERYONE else in the movie, will internalize his conflict. This drawn conclusion is the reason I followed him in the story and understood him to be the main character - he had the least outward emotion or exposition, making him the character whose 'past' we most want to see revealed; which, in the sense of a short film, is usually the 'main character'.
Posted: Tue, 21st Sep 2010, 9:57pm

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Sollthar

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why no venture out of that said structure?
Because it limits your audience to arthouse watchers, people who don't know better and friends and family who appload you for just trying. Simple as that. I can totally sympathize with the argument as an artist. But the truth is, those structural rules have endured for thousands of years for a reason.

So if you say "I consciously tried to break the rules that make every story good" then, well, congrats. You successfully did that. wink
Posted: Tue, 21st Sep 2010, 10:02pm

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FCRabbath

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Sollthar wrote:

why no venture out of that said structure?
Because it limits your audience to arthouse watchers, people who don't know better and friends and family who appload you for just trying. Simple as that. I can totally sympathize with the argument as an artist - to a certain degree.

So if you say "I consciously tried to break the rules that make every story good" then, well, congrats. You successfully did that. wink
Its not that i consciously did it on purpose, i just took out that limit and tried to get a story that went with the flow regardless of the rules. Sorta mimicking the situation of the world in the film.

The youtube comments might not be an accurate source but do you feel as if they are responding well to make me feel better or do you honestly think they liked it? Curious you thoughts on it..
Posted: Tue, 21st Sep 2010, 10:08pm

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ben3308

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YouTube comments offer polarization, because the point of YouTube is to watch and broadcast, and less to comment.

So you'll only see people logging in and commenting if they have something uncommonly praiseworthy or uncommonly hateful. That middle-ground of criticism you seldom see on YouTube, mainly because the kind of people who seek to provide it aren't the kind of people who will log into YouTube and write it out. Because it's not that kind of forum for communication.
Posted: Tue, 21st Sep 2010, 10:09pm

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Sollthar

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I honestly think they like it. Just like lots of people honestly like some of my stuff that is in no way good or flawless or just like some people like really bad greenscreen shots because they can't tell they're not very good. smile

That's not the issue. I've gotten hundreds of thousands of views, TV and cinema screenings to some of my work and lots of people really like it, say or write "great" "good job" and all that and that's great - but it doesn't change the fact I still have a lot of optimization possibility and lots of space to improve and only a few even have the necessary knowledge, time and possibility to TEACH me how to get better.


I guess the question you have to ask yourself is this: Is getting lots of people on Youtube (probably made of people who can't even tell the difference between a good, very good and great film, only between a shitty and a brilliant film - and of which 50% are probably below 15 and drool at the beautiful visuals and depth of field and grading and think that's a good film) to say "good job" what you aim for, or is it to go way beyond that. And if so, how can I do this. Not by sitting comfortably on a couple of hundreds or thousand "good jobs" or "great film mate OMG"s. At least, I don't tick that way. Maybe you do.

Edit: And what ben said. "Great film" doesn't necessarily mean they wouldn't agree that the film isn't flawless. No one doubts it has stuff that works great. But it's also flawed. And you, at least that's my impression, keep excusing those or downplaying by saying "but others wrote it was good!". That simply doesn't help you.
Posted: Wed, 22nd Sep 2010, 12:09am

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Struker

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FCRabbath wrote:

Also i believe the main character DID change...A LOT. I mean that's the whole ending. The film kept repeating the idea of waking up, not stealing the wallets and then realizing how bad it was when it happened to him and actually waking up to what was really going on.
I think what Pooky means is that the character/s should change because of what happens in the story.

It isn't really a character arc if he merely reverts back to the way he was before anything happened to him. It makes the audience think, Well, what was the point of us watching that particular character through all of that, then?
Posted: Wed, 22nd Sep 2010, 12:13am

Post 39 of 67

FCRabbath

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Rating: +1/-2

Struker wrote:

FCRabbath wrote:

Also i believe the main character DID change...A LOT. I mean that's the whole ending. The film kept repeating the idea of waking up, not stealing the wallets and then realizing how bad it was when it happened to him and actually waking up to what was really going on.
I think what Pooky means is that the character/s should change because of what happens in the story.

It isn't really a character arc if he merely reverts back to the way he was before anything happened to him. It makes the audience think, Well, what was the point of us watching that particular character through all of that, then?
He didn't revert back??? Where did you get that? He changed, he woke up. He's aware now of what he did was wrong and how the dependence of communications and their own world left them to be missing out (sleeping) from reality.
Posted: Wed, 22nd Sep 2010, 1:15am

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Atom

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This increasing-ever-movie retaliation isn't very becoming on you, FC. It's actually quite souring, no matter what your movie is like- but especially because you seem so apt to describe how only you made the movie with very little crew and even less money.

Why does this matter? Because it all serves to, rightful or not, put the film (and all of it's positives or shortcomings)squarely on your shoulders in the eyes of more-discerning, considerate viewers such as ourselves. That's just something you'll have to deal with as you may.

We've got over a thousand comments praising Inebriation on YouTube, that doesn't make it flawless though, man. Come on. I had some thoughts on the film, but yeah. Nothing really new or out of the realm of what's been said.
Posted: Wed, 22nd Sep 2010, 1:31am

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swintonmaximilian

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Rating: +2

Hi fred, OK, I'll tell what you thought of this and you might not like it, but I want to give my honest feedback from the perspective of a fellow film maker and film watcher.

I didn't like it, but I respect it and I respect you as a film maker.

I didn't like it because I found the story to be unoriginal, heavily reliant on clichés, devoid of dramatic heft and thematically overly simplistic.

The whole premise, despite an interesting real life basis, is one we've seen played out countless times before. Something goes wrong on a global scale, the world falls into chaos and anarchy, people sink to their lowest and rise to their highest etc. It's all been done to death, and once you get the MacGuffin out of the way, the skill switch in this case, what you have amounts to little more than a post global meltdown survival story, kept afloat by clichés. you have the sassy black girl, who actually says "I didn't sign up for this". You have the descent into anarchy and destruction, city's on fire, violence, everybody is a threat. You have an assortment of desperate people, all of whom appear to be insane to a greater or lesser extent. You have the religious nut who actually turns out to be right. You have a woman cracked under pressure committing suicide. You have a morally ambiguous man who does what he can to survive, who is gradually revealed to be good guy in a bad spot, eventually finding redemption and purpose in role as protector for the woman and her daughter. Basically, everything is a cliché. At least it felt that way to me.

The plot itself was convoluted and trite. It was also difficult to care about the main characters, impossible to care about any of the others. He comes across as cold and hard, and seems to have no problem with murder if it benefits him. But then we are meant to be emotionally affected when he indirectly brings about the death of his parents and alienation of his sister, only to find out that the whole situation was a drill, which was itself a symptom of the attitude of people like him who I'm presuming you intended to exemplify the sort of person who had become indifferent to humanity because of the depersonalising effect of technology and an absence of faith? The message is so thrust in the viewers face, and so heavily sign posted at various points throughout the film that it feels like a sermon. The emotion is so obvious, there is no subtlety or room for interpretation, no nuance, as been mentioned already. This is something I've always felt about your films, so I should also add that our tastes and attitudes when it comes to story telling are clearly not aligned, so you obviously take all this with a pinch of salt.

Your writing could definitely do with more subtlety, thought, and much more strenuous vetting of ideas. I think that something like Scarlett's Witch benefits from a much more unique idea, so it's more interesting even if the writing is flawed. Here, because the story is a collection of clichés, flaws in the writing really stand out. This should have been really tightly plotted, and if you're going to use clichés, play with them and subvert them to confound expectations and make something fresh with old ingredients.

The cinematography was OK, much too dark/blown out in places, and some of it just looked rushed. Definitely not as good as some of your previous work.

There is a lot I admire about this and about you as a film maker. I think you must have great interpersonal skills, and be a very good with people in order to pull in all the favours and actors that you do. You are certainly ambitious with your locations and the number of actors you use, and you are capable of utilising both to great effect. I know you'll hate this, but the no budget blurb at the start is so annoying. To me it's the equivalent of a big smug grin.

So yeah, this is my honest opinion, and I hope it's at least interesting to you.

All the best and good luck with whatever you do next,

Max
Posted: Wed, 22nd Sep 2010, 1:47am

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Bryce007

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I was going to write a review, but Swinton said almost exactly what I was thinking. But to add to it: I think you rocked in the producer department, as you managed to get all those people and locations for free somehow. Good job on that. I will say though, that I felt like the text that precedes the film cheapens it somewhat.
Posted: Wed, 22nd Sep 2010, 2:19am

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Struker

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FCRabbath wrote:



He didn't revert back??? Where did you get that? He changed, he woke up. He's aware now of what he did was wrong and how the dependence of communications and their own world left them to be missing out (sleeping) from reality.
Actually, I said he did simply revert back, (resumed his former persona).... not sure if you meant to put question marks after that...

Anyway, if you tried to show a major change in his outlook or character at the end, it wasn't evident, to me at least. I must add, though, that by the ending, I was losing interest in him as a character, and I hadn't had much interest in him to begin with.

So, it's possible that I missed the dénouement and the end of the character arc because of that.
Posted: Wed, 22nd Sep 2010, 2:23am

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FCRabbath

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Thank you for the reviews! I'm very happy and honored that you all took the time to write them. Sorry for the confusion Struker, i was just a little shocked because it was very important the audience see the change by the end.

Cheers,fred
Posted: Wed, 22nd Sep 2010, 2:33am

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Struker

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FCRabbath wrote:

Sorry for the confusion Struker, i was just a little shocked because it was very important the audience see the change by the end.
No problem, Fred.
Posted: Wed, 22nd Sep 2010, 2:35am

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FCRabbath

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Word of advise to everyone, don't release movies when you have too much going on. I feel terrible for not keeping up with everyone's post in length at the moment. However i do read them all! Thanks again!
Posted: Wed, 22nd Sep 2010, 7:14am

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Sollthar

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Word of advise to you:

No one is expecting you to write immediately within the next 5 minutes of a post. If you don't have time to write something proper that isn't coming across as if you don't actually take in the words of advice you're getting from a couple of rather experienced filmmakers here despite asking for comments, which is happening just again, don't write at all.
Posted: Wed, 22nd Sep 2010, 7:38am

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Struker

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Rating: +1

Word of advice to both of ya.

It's spelled ADVICE when it's a noun. It's only spelled ADVISE when it's a verb.

Just advising you, that's all. wink

As they say, A word to the Wise is sufficient.
Posted: Wed, 22nd Sep 2010, 7:39am

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Sollthar

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Heh, damn. Here I was thinking I'd learn proper english on internet forums. biggrin
Posted: Wed, 22nd Sep 2010, 7:44am

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Struker

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Sollthar wrote:

Heh, damn. Here I was thinking I'd learn proper english on internet forums. biggrin
biggrin ... And you definitely will, if you listen to me. wink
Posted: Wed, 22nd Sep 2010, 8:20am

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Sollthar

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Something I just noticed:

You called structure rules "limits" somewhere before. I think if that's your interpretation, then you have misunderstood something very basic about them. They're not limiting in any way. They don't prevent you from telling anything you've told in here: You can have a go at peoples darkest secrets, anarchy, conflicts, sacrifice, religious undertones, whatever perfectly fine even by applying the rules. They will just help you structure it in a way that these points you want to come across will work and be understandable and accessible for a larger audience. They will turn an okay film into a good film. You still NEED artistic creativity in order to make it all stand apart, but a film that has all themes without proper structuring is always worse then a film who has all themes AND proper structuring.

Maybe you should simply spend more time on your script. I don't know how long you've worked on this. By the sheer number of films you spit out every year and the result: I'd say too little.
Posted: Wed, 22nd Sep 2010, 9:39am

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Xcession

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Its strange to still see people citing youtube hits/comments as "proof" that their videos are good.

Youtube comments are when averaged out, only representative of the Average Jo - they don't represent anyone with taste, talents or specific knowledge on the content of the video. They reflect the opinions of people who don't know any better.

Something which is popular is not the same thing as something which is good when compared to its peers.
Posted: Wed, 22nd Sep 2010, 1:14pm

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FCRabbath

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For some reason i didn't mention facebook postings/other forums. What i was trying to say is, if people like it - why not?

Also i do want to say that i am agreeing with what your saying. I was just making a call that sometimes structure, can be very limiting. I was just pointing out that i can do structure but i chose not to. Is all i'm saying.

Thank you for posting guys.
Posted: Wed, 22nd Sep 2010, 1:24pm

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Sollthar

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I can do structure but i chose not to.
Then, out of curiosity, please answer this:

Does your film, in your opinion, GAIN from the fact you structured it wrong? Or, other direction, do you think that your film would have LOST something from a correct structure? Can you name it?
Posted: Wed, 22nd Sep 2010, 1:32pm

Post 55 of 67

FCRabbath

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Sollthar wrote:

I can do structure but i chose not to.
Then, out of curiosity, please answer this:

Does your film, in your opinion, GAIN from the fact you structured it wrong? Or, other direction, do you think that your film would have LOST something from a correct structure? Can you name it?
Well first, this is all opinion. It's fine if you disagree i am just pointing out my side.

It's not that it can gain, or lose, and yes it would it would BE in the safe side to follow it correctly. Let me again stress i didn't do it on purpose, it's not like i said hey im not going to follow it because of how artsy i want to me. No i just don't feel structure was NEEDED in a post apocalyptic film where structure all around them is failing. Again this is just something i felt would be neat to bring into THIS project.

It was just an element I thought the film will gain from not exactly following the same structure films follow.

Sollthar, i do want to say - i agree with your points. I really do - i just like my stories to follow a certain element. And as someone who's lived overseas in countries (3rd world) where similar situations have occurred - i wanted to show what i saw.

I'm very aware many people won't relate but it's just something i saw that i wanted to present and felt as if the film structure would've taken away from that experience.
Posted: Wed, 22nd Sep 2010, 1:43pm

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Sollthar

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You keep going back and forth to a degree I can't follow you, sorry.

Sometimes you say you didn't do it on purpuse, then you say you decided to do so, then you agree, but also you disagree, then you tell us that others liked it, then you want critique, but you also don't want to take ANYTHING critical, at all, without rebuting it, then you tell us that it's all a matter of opinion.

You appear very emotionally unstable through your forum posts, are you aware of that?
Posted: Wed, 22nd Sep 2010, 1:51pm

Post 57 of 67

FCRabbath

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Sollthar wrote:

You keep going back and forth to a degree I can't follow you, sorry.

Sometimes you say you didn't do it on purpuse, then you say you decided to do so, then you agree, but also you disagree, then you tell us that others liked it, then you want critique, but you also don't want to take ANYTHING critical, at all, without rebuting it, then you tell us that it's all a matter of opinion.

You appear very emotionally unstable through your forum posts, are you aware of that?
To be honest, i'm going through A LOT right now so i'm not surprised - but i didn't want to leave you guys without reply.

Let me try to clarify.

1. I do understand, and agree with you - in fact, i would've added more structure if i had the chance to go back. I agree with you on your points.
2. I didn't wake up and say i'm going break structural rules on purpose just because. If the story felt like it should, then i would follow the structure. But not allow myself to be limited to it (this is the opinion part)
3. I really wasn't trying to rebuttal, i was just explaining myself because i didn't want it to seem like i didn't understand what you were saying, which ironically in turn caused more confusion and misunderstanding.

Cheers.
Posted: Wed, 22nd Sep 2010, 2:57pm

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Sollthar

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Okay, I think I understand you a lot better now, thank you.

I hope that whatever it is you're going through will find a positive end!

And I hope that you can start to see structural rules not as a limit, but an enhancement. It takes more time to write and needs even more creativity to make it all work within those structures, sure, but the result is (almost) always more then it would have been without.
Posted: Wed, 22nd Sep 2010, 5:49pm

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Atom

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I can use punctuation but i chose not to.




wink
Posted: Wed, 22nd Sep 2010, 11:13pm

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Struker

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FCRabbath wrote:

No i just don't feel structure was NEEDED in a post apocalyptic film where structure all around them is failing. Again this is just something i felt would be neat to bring into THIS project.

It was just an element I thought the film will gain from not exactly following the same structure films follow.
Just on that point, FC, (and I've had this discussion with others, so I'm not singling you out) - if an artist applied that thinking to, say, a painting of a post-apocalyptic scene, he could simply give us a blank canvas. And when anybody asked, he could say, It's blank because it's a post-apocalyptic scene, and all painting media and brushes etc were consumed in the conflagration.

Or, the old classic, a totally black painting - it's a black cat at midnight with its eyes shut.

See what I'm saying?
Posted: Thu, 23rd Sep 2010, 12:00am

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FCRabbath

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We got a great review from this one film reviewer, and thought i'd post share it. Really does a good job analyzing the characters.

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/5811038/technology_and_the_apocalypse_of_fear.html?singlepage=true&cat=2
Posted: Thu, 23rd Sep 2010, 1:13am

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Pooky

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May I ask what your general approach when trying to get the rights to film in a certain location is? Do you generally have any tactics, strategy or preplanned things to say, or do you just wing it and hope for the best?
Posted: Thu, 23rd Sep 2010, 1:26am

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rogolo

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Struker wrote:

if an artist applied that thinking to, say, a painting of a post-apocalyptic scene, he could simply give us a blank canvas. And when anybody asked, he could say, It's blank because it's a post-apocalyptic scene, and all painting media and brushes etc were consumed in the conflagration.
Besides being a completely random and ill-fitting comparison, that 'blank canvas' idea actually sounds pretty tame/realistic as far as modern art goes. smile Sounds almost similar to this, where the backstory/explanation has more of a pull than the piece by itself.

Fred: Have you seen Traffic? First movie that comes to mind when thinking about this style of film - a decentralized character-based drama that runs the gamut of human emotion.
Posted: Thu, 23rd Sep 2010, 1:33am

Post 64 of 67

FCRabbath

Force: 305 | Joined: 11th Oct 2004 | Posts: 583

Member

Pooky wrote:

May I ask what your general approach when trying to get the rights to film in a certain location is? Do you generally have any tactics, strategy or preplanned things to say, or do you just wing it and hope for the best?
Just asking the right people. Go make friends with them and see what's possible. Make your luck possible i guess. Sometimes we wing it. You'd be surprised what you can get by just asking.
Posted: Thu, 23rd Sep 2010, 4:30am

Post 65 of 67

Bryce007

Force: 1910 | Joined: 5th Apr 2003 | Posts: 2609

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FCRabbath wrote:

Pooky wrote:

May I ask what your general approach when trying to get the rights to film in a certain location is? Do you generally have any tactics, strategy or preplanned things to say, or do you just wing it and hope for the best?
Just asking the right people. Go make friends with them and see what's possible. Make your luck possible i guess. Sometimes we wing it. You'd be surprised what you can get by just asking.
My answer would be more along the lines of "Lying, Sexual favors, or learning to run away fast"
Posted: Thu, 23rd Sep 2010, 11:50pm

Post 66 of 67

Struker

Force: 870 | Joined: 28th Dec 2009 | Posts: 178

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rogolo wrote:


Besides being a completely random and ill-fitting comparison, that 'blank canvas' idea actually sounds pretty tame/realistic as far as modern art goes. smile Sounds almost similar to this, where the backstory/explanation has more of a pull than the piece by itself.
What a load of rubbish!!!! That "candy art" thing, I mean. wink

My analogy wasn't ill-fitting, Rogolo, it was spot-on. Fred said he filmed his movie without structure because there would be no social structure in a post-apocalyptic world, or something like that.

So presenting a "painting" with no paint on it, (because there would be no paint left in a PA world), is exactly the same principle.

And it wasn't "random". I gave it a lot of thought and carefully selected it from many other examples. smile
Posted: Fri, 24th Sep 2010, 12:00am

Post 67 of 67

Struker

Force: 870 | Joined: 28th Dec 2009 | Posts: 178

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Atom wrote:

I can use punctuation but i chose not to.wink
Eye kann yewse korreckt speling butt eye chews knot two. wink