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Thread: Flummox

  1. #1

    Default Flummox

    This is a feature length movie shot over a 4 month period july-Oct 2007. The script was written by Sam Mason Bell a film and psychology student at a local college.

    Sam got in contact with me when a local music promoter told him I would probably "help" him make his film i.e provide camera, editing lighting facilities etc. It soon became apparent the the resulting film would be shakey out of focus and badly edited.

    So I ended up doing everything. And it ended up shakey out of focus and badly edited

    Most of the actors are from the same college, Southdowns College Hampshire UK, three of the actors are lecturers and staff members at southdowns! The rest of the cast are local band members and friends and family!

    The film features music by bands found on myspace.

    I was director of photography, editor, cgi artist ,sound etc etc.

    Chris Spurgeon, who plays Robert Stevenson in the film, wrote some station ident jingles for the "Flummox news network" and the music for "Curiosity Killed The Cat"

    We probably spent about 1000. If that!

    flummox.avi

  2. #2
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    Looks like an interesting project. I bet you had a ball.

    I've watched the first 8 minutes or so and whilst I can see a couple of problems straight away it's got me intrigued.

    The brutality at the beginning was quite well done (not showing the actual impact has a massive technical benefit - you don't need to come up with the effect and an even bigger artistic one - people's imagination is greater than you could show anyway) with the acting being quite good - though the lad might have reacted a bit more I would have thought.

    On the down side in that scene you caused unintentional (I presume) distraction by "crossing the line" in a few places. This is where you cut between shots from one side of the line of action to the other. This is generally a big "no no" as the actors appear to switch places and as it takes the viewer a short time to adjust it acts as a distraction.

    My other comment was the news reporter. Apart from the delivery which sounded more like a spoof than an actual report***, why shoot him moving? For a serious report like this he would surely be stationary. You've just made much more work for yourselves... and the "shrubbery in this park" should have had a longer pan to the park - we couldn't see it.

    *** even in a spoof, no especially in a spoof, actors have to play the parts absolutely straight or it fails.

    But this is all minor. The overall feel is good and it gets the important bit - the content - across very well. Looking forward to the next 10 minutes.
    Tim

  3. #3

    Default

    You can watch the movie on you tube as idividual scenes!

    YouTube - flummoxfilm's Channel

    The reporter is a spoof inspired by sky/24 rolling news. I swear I saw a sky news reoprter do this exact report during the madeline mccan disapperence thing. and as you say

    "why shoot him moving? For a serious report like this he would surely be stationary."

    Cheers

    Pete (deltafactorproductions)

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by deltafactorproductions View Post
    Y
    The reporter is a spoof inspired by sky/24 rolling news. I swear I saw a sky news reoprter do this exact report during the madeline mccan disapperence thing. and as you say
    Well, I have no reason to doubt you. Truth stranger than fiction etc.

    You have to bear in mind that at this point in my viewing it's unclear to me whether your film is a spoof or not. I really hope that I still don't know at the end
    Tim

  5. #5
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    OK I've now watched the first 30 mins. That's dedication for you!
    After an intriguing begining and the excellent titles the next scene of the two friends chillin' smoking weed was really poor. Poorly lit. Abysmal sound. And it just seemed like some stupid sixth form YouTube effort. I guess this is setting the film up, but it just went on too darn long.

    The only thing I can glean from the film at the moment is it seems to be like some sort of propaganda thing saying smoking weed does your brain in. Ceratinly the central character seems to be suffering some sort of psychosis (probably a bad diagnosis - it's the writers who are student psychologists, no me)

    The different episodes appear to have been written by/directed by/ filmed by different people as there is a massive difference in the quality of each scene in terms of writing, direction and camerawork!

    You really need to get the lighting and camerawork better than this for such a lengthy piece. I know "content is king", but there's a limit to how long a viewer is prepared to put in the effort of comepensating. What I'm talking about here is:

    Sound - virtually unintelligible in places (in the first scene of the two friends the music drowns out the dialogue)
    Lighting - most of the indoor shots were far too dark.
    Camera work - a lot of shots aren't square. Look at the verticals of door frames - they're often 10 degrees or so out. This is distracting and not the same as "dutch tilt" shots which are done for effect and normally more like 30 degrees out.
    Continuity - look at the shots in the street where Alice and our hero are having their confrontation. There are a pair of opposing over the shoulder shots during the conversation (standard practice) From behind Alice they look as if they're two feet apart, then we cut to the opposing shot where they are more like 6 feet apart (I don't know whether this was down to the actors' positions or choosing wildly different focal lengths)

    Despite this some of the editing is very competent. Especially the stuff to the music (and I love some of the bluesey stuff). There are also some imaginitive shots (the first shot of the table-tennis ball dropping behind the net was a really great opener for that scene)

    It's certainly a strange film - there seems to be alot of late 60s influence - Performance & A Clockwork Orange spring to mind. And the cutting to the musical number/performance is almost Dennis Potter.

    It's a very ambitious project for you to have taken on. I suspect the biggest problem you had and the films greatest downfall is given away in the opening credits: "Directed by The Company"

    It's very easy for me to sit here criticising after the event, but please rest assured I'm only too aware of that. I'm only posting my comments to (a) maybe help you improve with your next venture and (b) help me to identify similar faults or traps that I might fall into in my own films and thus try to avoid them.

    I shall continue to watch and comment (unless I've said enough by now)
    Tim

  6. #6

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    Wow Tim, That was an indepth review, it leaves very little for me to comment on.. I had to give you a thanks for that seeing how you noticed stuff I missed
    Wil

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