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I made a short film!
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TsarMatt Offline
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Video I made a short film!
Despite being rather busy over the holiday break, I managed to complete my very first attempt at a short film! The film is titled Chapters After Death and details an individuals 'journey' when confronted with the death of his grandma. It's loosely based on my own personal experience with loss which occurred late last year. Anyway, here it is. I'd recommend watching the film in headphones and in 720 or 1080p because the picture quality is obviously not the best:








Some quick notes:

• The camera I used was a cheap $300 JVC HD camcorder I have owned for a few years
• The only source of sound was from my iPhone 5 microphone
• I deliberately made this film feel somewhat 'loose' in narrative - as you can probably tell, I focused more on photography and editing than I did writing (the film didn't have a script, actually, as it was essentially improvised)
• I edited it on iMovie, a free software for Apple computers and laptops

So yeah, any thoughts and feedback would be greatly appreciated, particularly about the technical aspects of the film (composition, framing, camera movement, editing, use of sound, etc).

Keep in mind, it's my first real attempt at creating a short film, so there's obviously still a lot to learn. I did technically create one in high school some years back with friends, but I hardly gave any effort there.

Thank you for taking the time to watch and (hopefully) comment!
(This post was last modified: 17-Feb-2015 06:12 AM by TsarMatt.)
17-Feb-2015 06:11 AM
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shawnbm Offline
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RE: I made a short film!
I was taken in by the mood, and I liked the remembrance being in black and white and then colorizing the last part reflecting acceptance. I like the sounds you chose to include and some of the positioning you made. A first film, eh? I think you have more in you and I would be happy to watch. I wish I could do something like that, but I don't have all those things you do--nor the knowledge on how to operate them LOL! At any rate, bravo--all the way around, Matt!!!!! Clap:

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(This post was last modified: 17-Feb-2015 10:52 AM by shawnbm.)
17-Feb-2015 10:43 AM
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TsarMatt (02-18-2015)
Kirijax Offline
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RE: I made a short film!
I don't much about making films and movies but I just wanted to add my comment. Going from black/white to color expresses the feelings perfectly. My mom suddenly passed away two months before my first child was born. When she died, all color seemed to fade away and everything was just grey. This probably lasted for six months or so. Trying to understand, remembering, trying to understand how something could end so suddenly, and noticing something that would never happen every day were things I dealt with every day. I couldn't even look at my daughter without remembering what I lost. But like you expressed in your film, the color does eventually creep back in. You learn to remember the good, be thankful for what you had and try to take that with you as you move forward. You don't forget. The loss will always be a part of you, and I often go back to remember. But the color does come back and you do move on. The way you used color, the way the guy seemed to be walking faster at the end, like he had a purpose again, was spot on. Very good!

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18-Feb-2015 02:06 AM
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TsarMatt Offline
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RE: I made a short film!
Thank you both very much for the feedback. Smile I'm also very sorry for your loss, Kirijax. Your analysis of my film was inspiring to read since you were dead-on accurate with what I was trying to convey.

By the way, the main character in the film is me.
18-Feb-2015 05:23 AM
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Kirijax (02-18-2015)
tented Offline
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RE: I made a short film!
Great job, Matt.

The B&W photography, moving into color, is perfect. I love the tracking shots. They establish a mood which keeps the "narrative" moving. I can't believe the sound is from an iPhone. The quality seems much higher.

Recently, I saw "Birdman" which led me to the article "The tracking shot: film-making magic - or stylistic self-indulgence?"

It references several famous tracking shots, including this stunning example I'd never seen before, from the 1964 film "I Am Cuba":



(This post was last modified: 18-Feb-2015 05:36 AM by tented.)
18-Feb-2015 05:35 AM
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TsarMatt (02-18-2015)
TsarMatt Offline
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RE: I made a short film!
Thank you very much, Trent! The iPhone 5 has a surprisingly good microphone, indeed.

And yeah, that tracking shot is incredible. Fantastic film, too, might I add. Thanks for linking that article - a very interesting read, especially after seeing how the long takes were used in Birdman.
18-Feb-2015 07:25 AM
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Riotbeard Offline
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RE: I made a short film!
Wow, Matt!

I can't believe you did this with the equipment you had. All of that aside, you really know how to compose an image. There are a lot of striking shots here that set a really compelling and interesting atmosphere. Some very memorable, haunting imagery. I especially like the juxtaposition of beautiful raw images of the person near the ocean and then also wandering through this dreary suburban atmosphere. The mix domestic with nature and jumping between these two worlds sets an interesting tone.

I also like how there is no organic sound until the color comes back into world. Really nice short.

My one note (sorry if you don't want this but as someone who edits writing a lot and gets edited, I have learned honesty is better than not giving feedback) is that a few moments feel a little overacted. In particular the throwing of the cell phone, I didn't feel like that translated well compared to the much more performances like the guy breathing heavily in the lazy boy. Also, the over expressive sighing and breathing during the monologue scene. Especially on film, less is more in terms of performance. These moments break into the eerie silence of the rest of the film.
22-Feb-2015 11:12 AM
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TsarMatt (04-06-2015)
TsarMatt Offline
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RE: I made a short film!
(22-Feb-2015 11:12 AM)Riotbeard Wrote:  Wow, Matt!

I can't believe you did this with the equipment you had. All of that aside, you really know how to compose an image. There are a lot of striking shots here that set a really compelling and interesting atmosphere. Some very memorable, haunting imagery. I especially like the juxtaposition of beautiful raw images of the person near the ocean and then also wandering through this dreary suburban atmosphere. The mix domestic with nature and jumping between these two worlds sets an interesting tone.

I also like how there is no organic sound until the color comes back into world. Really nice short.

My one note (sorry if you don't want this but as someone who edits writing a lot and gets edited, I have learned honesty is better than not giving feedback) is that a few moments feel a little overacted. In particular the throwing of the cell phone, I didn't feel like that translated well compared to the much more performances like the guy breathing heavily in the lazy boy. Also, the over expressive sighing and breathing during the monologue scene. Especially on film, less is more in terms of performance. These moments break into the eerie silence of the rest of the film.

I'm so sorry I never got back to you, Chris! I completely forgot about this thread because of how busy I was at the time. Thank you so much for the feedback, and the nice words, it's sincerely appreciated. Smile

I definitely agree with you my acting, haha. Obviously, being on screen isn't one of my strengthens - I feel much more comfortable behind the camera, composing the shots or in the editing room, putting everything together. I will definitely take into account your criticism, and hopefully in the future if I ever get to make another short, I'll use people who actually want to act.

Thank you again, and repeated apologies for not getting back to you.
(This post was last modified: 06-Apr-2015 05:29 AM by TsarMatt.)
06-Apr-2015 05:28 AM
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britbox Offline
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RE: I made a short film!
Good stuff mate. Lot of range on the various sequences. A portfolio within 5 minutes.
07-Apr-2015 08:01 AM
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TsarMatt (04-11-2015)
TsarMatt Offline
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RE: I made a short film!
Cheers mate! Smile
11-Apr-2015 01:28 AM
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