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The Most Dangerous Game

Posted: Fri, 10th Dec 2010, 1:26pm

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RedRocProductions

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The Most Dangerous Game is a short film (35 min) made by me and some friends over the summer. It is based on the short story by Richard Connell. This movie was filmed entirely on a SONY Handcam, hence the less than desirable quality, but I think I was able to get the best from what I had to work with. My main focuses on this film were camera angles, continuity, and combining sound and video so that the whole movie flows.

I am just beginning, and I hope to make many more movies in the future, more professionally done.

You can watch this on Youtube in HD. Also, I would say that Part 3 is probably the best, so if you don't have time to watch it all, watch that one. smile


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Posted: Sun, 12th Dec 2010, 11:29pm

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TristanYoshi

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This is really good!
Posted: Mon, 13th Dec 2010, 1:38am

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bradleymaustin

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eek REALLY GOOD!
Posted: Thu, 16th Dec 2010, 10:45pm

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FXhomer32915

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I gave you a star for the sheer perseverance in completing the film, but I'll suggest you watch a film called "Surviving The Game" (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0111323/) It's old enough that you could probably pick it up for a couple of bucks, but it will give you a good idea how to make such a film, e.g., how and when to use music, how to set the tempo, how to tell the story visually so the audience can follow it easily. Get the DVD so it has the scene list to follow and study your subject matter, e.g., "Jaguar" is NOT pronounced "Jag-Wire." It's closer to "Jag-War." The British pronounce it "Jag-You-Are." To save on confusion, you shold just change it to "Cougar." Go the your local theather and recruit some experienced actors. They'll do it for nothing just to be a part of a movie and they'll know how to take direction. You'll also get actors closer to the right age for their parts. Pretty good work overall, but if you can't sell it as is, you've wasted your time.
Posted: Fri, 17th Dec 2010, 3:00pm

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RedRocProductions

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FXhomer32915: Thanks for your feedback. I appreciate when people tell me what they really think of my videos. First off, this was just a project that some friends and I did for fun this summer, and it was also a test to some extent. Hence the age of the actors. I do realize as well that the acting leaves a lot to be desired, and I constantly noticed that throughout the process of making this. I live out in the country too, in a town of about 1,000, so I can't really be too picky about the people I use to act, let alone get some 'experienced actors'. The character of General Zaroff in the story is Russian, and we considered using a Russian accent, but we scratched that since the actor wasn't able to pull it off convincingly. That's why some of it was just way too American. smile
I will continue trying to work on the elements you mentioned; using music correctly and making the film easy to follow.
Thanks again for your input.

P.S. TristanYoshi and bradleymaustin, glad you enjoyed it! wink
Posted: Fri, 17th Dec 2010, 3:48pm

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Biblmac

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FXhomer32915 wrote:

Pretty good work overall, but if you can't sell it as is, you've wasted your time.
This is a absolutely incorrect! Redroc, I'm sure you learned something from this experience and if nothing else you had fun, which already makes it a good use of time wink Anyway, take everything Fxhomer32915 says with a grain of salt. He is known for being very rude and cruel with his comments, this one wasn't as cruel as normal, but, as he has some valid points, he apparently doesn't understand the concept of an independent (no budget) film.

As for my review, I have only seen the 1st part, (as I'm too busy to watch the others so far). Overall, it is pretty good (the 1st part that is), the acting, sure left a lot to be desired, however somethings you can do to improve that is talk to someone in your high school who is involved in drama (if you have a drama class, talk to the teacher about acting/directing, if you don't have a specific teacher to teach a drama class, if they have someone who puts on a drama every year, talk to them.) I know there are books out there on this stuff, I don't own any myself, but I'm sure you could go to your local library and find something good.

Anyway moving on, as for the editing, I didn't think it was poor, kinda slow paced but after I got about 8 minutes into it, it got interesting and kept me interested. I don't think there was anything wrong with your choice in times to play music (for the 1st part anyway, I will watch the rest asap). Anyway, I can't really think of anything really that bad to complain about. For what you had, you did very good!

However as I mentioned before, the pacing was a bit slow, you probably could have cut the whole thing down to about 15-20 minutes and the pacing would be much better. I think some times you showed very little, over a long time. Like when your hunter is in her boat, you could skip her line completely (the one when she talks about not having her compass) and have her reference it when she gets to the Russian's house.

The shooting inside the house was one thing I didn't like. You're white balance setting seemed to be set incorrectly when she gets to her room. Everything is far too red. It looks bad. Try adjusting your white balance to something that looks more natural next time.

Anyway, after I see it all, I will be able to give you a more in-depth review, but so far, so good.
Posted: Fri, 17th Dec 2010, 8:28pm

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RedRocProductions

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Biblmac: Thanks for the encouragement. I wasn't necessarily offended by FXhomer321915's comments, because it's nice to have a variety of feedback and opinions, but thanks for understanding where I'm coming from. smile

Regarding the acting and drama class, I don't really have a lot of access to that since I'm home schooled. However, Kyle (General Zaroff) was in drama when he was in high school and was actually one of the best in the school. I guess it just kinda depends on the setting and script, which was mostly his job. My hope is to eventually get adults to have roles (main roles) in my videos, but so far I have not found anyone that would be willing or able to do that.

I also completely understand what you're saying about the whole video stretching out too long, like with the boat scene or as she's walking through the woods. And, as you will see in the next parts, the part where she's running is a little too long as well. The dinner scene has a lot of dialogue, but we wanted people to know the whole background (probably unnecessary).

I'll work on the color too. I noticed that certain screens and video players show it differently. I wish the walls hadn't even been red in the first place. There were a few glitches and jumps in the video because just a few hours from it's completion, my computer crashed and I had to get a new one. I was able to recover all the files, but not without some 'damage'. wink

Ok, enough about that. Thanks for your feedback!
Posted: Sat, 18th Dec 2010, 5:11am

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FXhomer32915

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RedRocProductions and Biblimac (sp?) Understand where I'm coming from. I'm not "rude" or insensitive. I teach filmmaking in Houston, Texas. Some of the things I write are quotes from the industry. Movies are all about money and if you can't make money, you won't survive in Hollywood, period. I recognize and appreciate when a producer (that's you) puts in the time resulting in good work, but I always, as with my students, have to apply real-world logic to my overall opinion. As such, my critique is meant to be helpful, not mean. Like Wil Ferrell's line, "If you're not first, you're last, Ricky Bobby!" the quote in Hollywood is, "If you can't sell it, you wasted your time!" That's not "my" line. It's used by every agent, manager, and R&D rep in the industry. Nothing personal. I hope to see all of you in Hollywood one day. Some of the crap coming out of there now is a waste of film.
Posted: Sat, 18th Dec 2010, 4:25pm

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RedRocProductions

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FXhomer32915: Please know that I didn't consider your feedback rude. I was glad that I could get some critical feedback as well so I know what areas I need to improve in. Thank you also for sharing some of the Hollywood mentality, because that is where I hope to end up one day. Next year I plan on going to school with a major in Film Production, so I appreciate all the preparation I can get, especially from a filmmaking teacher. I also totally agree with you that many of Hollywood's movies these days are a waste, and to have a part in changing that is one of my goals.
Posted: Sat, 18th Dec 2010, 8:01pm

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Biblmac

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FXhomer32915 wrote:

I'm not "rude" or insensitive.
First off, I didn't say that you were, not this time anyway, but whether you like it or not, you often come off as rude and many times rather cruel. I'm not going to debate this with you now as I don't wish to hijack this thread. Anyway not the point, point is, your feedback this time was helpful, to some extent, however when someone makes a film it isn't going to be perfect, and therefore, criticism is often required to do better in the future, but no film is a "waste of time." Not even the "crap" that comes out of Hollywood. To quote the famous and successful, Thomas Edison, "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." When you make a crap movie, you haven't wasted your time you just now know what makes a crap movie, so you can improve. It isn't a waste of time. Period.
Posted: Sun, 19th Dec 2010, 2:06am

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FXhomer32915

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You are absolutely correct, Biblmac. I'll stand corrected on your point that any experience is a learning experience if you allow it to be. However, as I said in my earlier post, That is a quote used throughout Hollywood. I cleaned it up a bit to avoid being rude. The actual quote is, "If you can't sell it, it's crap!" Remember, Hollywood is all about money. They don't care how much it took to make it or the SPFX or stunts in a film. If it doesn't make money, they don't want it. Believe it or not, the Batman franchise was a flop as a moneymaker. It cost in the neighborhood of $200m to make and made about half again that in box office revenues. Conversely, “Twins” (Swarzeneggar & DiVito) was a stellar success costing nearly nothing to make and brought in many, many times that in revenue. Star power has very little to do with it as well. Look at “Water World.” Called, by many critics, “a cheap and failed attempt at a Mad Max knock-off” and Kostner couldn’t be a bigger star, but it was a financial disaster. “The Bodyguard,” on the other hand, was a super moneymaker and cost nearly nothing to make and that’s the key in Hollywood. Not what it costs or who’s in it, although those are important, it’s the moneymaking potential or “will it make significantly more than it cost?” Getting back to the original thread, you are correct. I have purchased many indie flops in corner drug stores that weren’t worth the disc they’re burned on, except they all have a treasure trove of examples of what NOT to do with everything from story to shot composition to effects, etc. I’ve also found some really good ones as well. Regardless, where Hollywood is concerned, the quote still stands. I agree it’s rude to say and not very helpful, but it is the way it is. If you can’t sell it, you’ve wasted your time (it’s crap!)
Posted: Sun, 19th Dec 2010, 10:00am

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Atom

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My post was (almost) immediately deleted for the second time and separate thoughts, so I'll (try) to make this one more apparent to overall discussion. What to say?

Don't listen to this guy, RedRoc. You've got an ambitious project here, and that's admirable. If you're having fun, that's all that matters. To use quotes like my good friend here FXhomer32915, Clint Eastwood once said:

Clint Eastwood wrote:

Movies aren't ever about the money, they're about the fun. That's it. And when they stop being fun, you won't see me making them anymore.
Now, that's the truth. If filmmaking is something fun, if it's something you enjoy- then stick with it! The length and general scope of The Most Dangerous game shows you've got some weight to your hobby and perseverance within it, even if the technical/storytelling mechanics are lacking for obvious reasons, and that alone is more than I can say for half the people here.

Filmmaking is passion, and if you've got it- then nothing should stop you. As for the comment on money and finances from our favorite naysayer, I thought I'd retort a bit of that for the sake of factual/logical soundness:

You want to talk "sell it"? Then be completely honest-

Relativity in dividends- in the film business- matters very little. A comparative profit in Twins, recouping eight times it's budget- versus The Dark Knight only making back six times what it cost isn't in any way usable info- because a zero sum number exists, and if it is passed- it's passed. The Dark Knight made a billion dollars- literally- compared to Twins few million. That tentpole profit keeps Warner Brothers in existence- regardless of what they spent to make it. They spend the money they do- especially in the case of Nolan and Inception/The Dark Knight/The Dark Knight Rises- because they believe that if they foster talent economically, it will translate to higher quality for a broader audience. And when that audience is rewarded, they reward WB at the box office. Sure, it's money-driven, but through the integrity of art. No one wants to make a bad movie, after all.

They put $200 million in because they have confidence that that is what it's going to take to do things right and make back the big numbers they need to keep more fluid/active projects. A few million can't/won't do that. This is mostly an attribute of WB, though, as they've shown in their biggest franchises of recent years- The Matrix, Nolan's Batman, and Harry Potter. No reboots, no cheaper directors of rushed schedules. They put the time and money they need to in it- even as the biggest studio in the world- and are rewarded with quality. Sure, they're a money-grubbing studio. But their business model incurs great expense because they have to to get above that ceiling they need.
Posted: Mon, 20th Dec 2010, 5:27am

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Vuemaster2009

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The filming was good. You're framing and the basics were really good. I was getting the feel "Of a Predator" film. In that respect, you could have gone to town with "FX'S" huge FX library. Slow motion, grading, maybe even "Bullet time."
The river(Bullet splashes) and some of the close tree work... could have maybe used some "FOG Effects."
Use a partial mask for your female "Runner"?

In any event, this has great potential. I was impressed with the sound, and how well the vocals turned out. Was an external microphone used?

Nice camera angles, and use of close up.

Over all, nice job.... and look forward to seeing more of your work.
-Mark-
Posted: Mon, 20th Dec 2010, 10:06am

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Simon K Jones

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FXhomer32915 wrote:

Movies are all about money and if you can't make money, you won't survive in Hollywood, period.
True. However, filmmaking isn't all about Hollywood.

The actual quote is, "If you can't sell it, it's crap!" Remember, Hollywood is all about money. They don't care how much it took to make it or the SPFX or stunts in a film. If it doesn't make money, they don't want it.
I'm quite surprised to see you putting Hollywood as the ultimate desirable destination for all filmmakers. Given your love of story surely Hollywood is the last place you should be advocating?

Hollywood is indeed all about money. If you look at most of the big movies in recent years they tend to be very, very flimsy on story, with only a few exceptions.

Regardless, where Hollywood is concerned, the quote still stands. I agree it’s rude to say and not very helpful, but it is the way it is. If you can’t sell it, you’ve wasted your time (it’s crap!)
Yes, so why would you assume that everybody wants to get to Hollywood? Sure, some people do, and that's great.

But what about other film industries around the world? What about the burgeoning online and independent filmmaking that is gaining increasing prominence? What about filmmakers that don't care about getting big returns but just want to make movies? These days, thanks to the spread of affordable technology, it's possible to make a movie without major studio support - not easy, of course, but very possible. It's also easier than ever to distribute your movie without having to go through the 20th century distribution model.

I love making films and have a little team here in Norwich that regularly work on stuff. I have no interest in going to Hollywood, though, or going 'professional' - I enjoy making movies and strive for professional quality, but I do so for the sake of my own artistic satisfaction, not for profit or to forge a career.

Maybe it's a cultural difference thing, but sometimes money isn't the ultimate measure of success.

Last edited Mon, 20th Dec 2010, 12:54pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Mon, 20th Dec 2010, 12:51pm

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davlin

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I totally agree with Atom and Tarn on the point of making movies, as a great fun hobby, without all the financial crap that goes with the pro territory.
Most of the forums I frequent are just hobbyists enjoying what they do best ie. making movies on a shoes string using innovative ideas instead of dollars.
Posted: Mon, 20th Dec 2010, 10:47pm

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Atom

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I still want to mention, though, because I do- very much- want to go into Hollywood and the 'pro' territory- that being in Hollywood or making Hollywood movies does not mean that everything has the be money-oriented.

Or at least, that it's economically-goaled. It may be economically-driven, but I'd still say by and large the film industry understands that it is representing art. That storytelling is what they're selling, and that there has to be a measure of quality behind that.

Hell, even in business finances and stocks there is a competitive interest in the growth of companies- in helping and watching there prosperity- more than there is a cold, calculated focus on the almighty dollar.

Why? Because counting the number of gold bricks you have is simply boring. There has to be more drive to do things than the proliferation of money- otherwise we'd all go mad. And the same is true for studio execs as it is for the 9-5 guy at Wal-Mart.

You have to have purpose in what you do- and you want to do a good, quality job. The same is true for every single person on this planet. And so maybe I'm overly optimistic, sure. But I'm sick of the cynicism that Hollywood is just this sin city of greed and pushing out crap. No one would live with themselves if that were true 24/7.

I mean, look- when I hear Jerry Bruckheimer or Joel Silver gushing in behind-the-scenes segments on huge blockbuster films about their passion for the project and what it will entail and mean for the viewer- coming from these guys whose (pretty much) sole ability is to cash in- I see loads of passion and enthusiasm. And that, quite frankly, is how I think most of Hollywood is. Everyone wants to make money- but they want to make it on something good. People have no desire to just outright do things the bad way, that's just not human nature.

Because nothing is ever just about the money. People want, need, more than that. Regardless of what side of the fortune they're on.
Posted: Tue, 21st Dec 2010, 5:04am

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RedRocProductions

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Once again, thanks to all of you for the input you've provided. It's been a great help.
Given your love of story surely Hollywood is the last place you should be advocating? Hollywood is indeed all about money. If you look at most of the big movies in recent years they tend to be very, very flimsy on story, with only a few exceptions.
This is one of the big issues I have with Hollywood right now. They focus heavily on the effects, yet the plot is flat, the characters are underdeveloped, and the script/acting is significantly lacking. Not saying that my film was any better, but I generally expect a little more from a movie of Hollywood caliber. And also, I'm ALL for effects. I love seeing a movie with amazing effects, but you've got to take your movie farther than that. For instance, just today I went to see Tron: Legacy, and if you've seen it, you know what I'm talking about. Great effects, simple plot, corny, basic dialogue, and way too many cliche and predictable moments.

Vuemaster2009: Thank you for the encouragement on the filming in particular. Actually, my on-set 'equipment' was very limited, just a Sony Handycam, so no, I didn't have an external microphone. But that may be a good investment in the future, in order to improve the quality even more.

Tarn and Atom, I really agree with most of what you have to say about filmmaking as a hobby and the filmmaking industry. You should do what you do (in this case filmmaking) because you love it, not solely to make money (although that is important), because when that happens, you're only worried about doing it, and don't put enough effort into the film or really enjoy the process. I'd say someone, or a lot of people, need to get into Hollywood and make a change for the better, because I know it's possible to give people top quality effects AND top quality story/script/acting in one movie.