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Thread: Letting go

  1. #1

    Default Letting go

    This is my latest. I think Iíll do a comedy next because this one has just about emotionally drained me.

    Itís a study in grief, love and hope.

    Itís a bit longer than normal, and thereís a section at the start which has stylistic touches that potentially may alienate viewers, but I felt both were important.

    I hope you can find the time to watch. Many thanks.

    Letting go on Vimeo

  2. #2
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    You're certainly treading on thin ice with this one, Mark. It's a very thin line between an outpouring of genuine emotion and sentimental slush and I suspect that different people draw that line in a different place.

    For me this was just on the right side *** though you very nearly lost me when the daffodil head flew into the air. Fortunately your daughter's voice delivering those lines so soon aftewards pulled it back.

    Apart from that moment I thought it was excellent. For this to work so well the whole package had to work - the cinematography, the choice/use of music and sound, the script and the delivery. Had one of those been not quite up to scratch it would have had a seriously detrimental effect on the film.

    The v/o at the end just gave the film enough lift, adding as it did, a new element, to reward the viewer for watching.

    I wouldn't go so far as to say I felt alienated by the shots at the beginning but I have to say that whilst I loved the choices of shots and the colour, I didn't like the shots that jumped about (like a zoom shot with Image Stabilization applied), the going in and out of focus or the jump cuts. And I really didn't see the point in the occasional flash transitions.

    You clearly did this for a purpose so maybe I'm missing something. I'd be interested in your reasons, should you care to share.

    *** I have to say that for the me of 25 years ago (when I was in my early 20s) it would have been on the wrong side of the line. Having kids & other life experiences mean one's emotions are constantly shifting.

    If your objective was to get as close to the line between emotion and sluch without crossing it, fromk my POV it was a great success.

    I had to sit and compose myself for a few minutes after watching it before commenting, so it clearly had the right effect on me.

    Great job. Well done.
    Tim

  3. #3

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    Thanks for watching Tim and taking the time to make constructive comments. I have to say my objective wasnít to get as close to the line between emotion and slush without crossing it. Itís actually a personal account, albeit indirect, and filled with metaphorical fantasy to portray hope. Itís probably the fantasy elements that push it close to sentimental slush and if it was perceived that way it would be a real shame. So Iím really pleased that you didnít think it had crossed the line. I certainly felt I had resisted any temptations to slip into melodrama. I tried to capture what I felt watching my father disintegrate in front of me and then gradually rebuild himself after the death of my mother. I guess Iím the girl in this scenario although I was a little older, 10 years old. Now, Iím a father myself I wonder how I would cope in such a situation. I hope I never have to find out. In fact it breaks my heart just thinking about it and what my father must have gone through.

    The purpose of the shots that jumped about was to reflect that you were seeing the manís memory of the woman and that something wasnít quite fitting in with the perfect, beautiful surroundings. This was also supposed to be implied in the final shot of the sun going down. The jumpy shots happen when the viewer goes in for a closer look. For instance when I think of my father I see his face in my head for a moment before it fogs over and drifts away. I wanted to capture this inability to remember someone as clearly as you would like. This is why the shots jump in the more intimate images and you only really see the back of the woman until there are a couple of shots of her face, which drift in and out of focus.

    In fact every shot was deliberate. For instance, people might not take it in but when the man has some form of closure near the end, it is reinforced by images of two becoming one. Two daffodils becoming one, as the single daffodil flies away and two ducks swimming into the scene and only one coming out when the sky is illuminated. Iím starting to sound a little pretentious so Iíll stop there.

    But thank you for the feedback Tim. Your assessments are always detailed, filled with insight and incredibly helpful.

  4. #4

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    I agree with a lot of what Tim has said already. Loved the shots, beautifully composed as always. Can certainly see why you may want to do a comedy next!
    Driftwood - Available on iTunes - www.driftwoodfilm.co.uk

    Follow me on twitter - @DirectorJWebber

  5. #5
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    I also go along with virtually everything Tim said.

    I could see that you were trying really hard to get a message across and I missed the point a few times. The first sequence went on a wee bit too long and was a bit too melodramatic for my taste. In the same way, the bit behind the tree (those who have watched it know what I mean but I don't want to spoil it for those who haven't yet) was a tad too much for me. A bit less, and a bit more imagination, would have resulted in a more emotional scene, in my opinion.

    Having said that, camerawork, post-production, story etc all excellent. I'm especially impressed if you acted and did the camerawork.

    A slight niggle (really nit-picking) was that the flower in the wind didn't quite flow for me. Looked a bit "added on" and the movement didn't quite ring true. I'm not saying I could do any better, just letting you know how I see it.

    It was very close to the kitch line for me but just managed to avoid stepping over into melodrama. However, it was a really well made video worth of respect.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mhh View Post
    The purpose of the shots that jumped about was to reflect that you were seeing the manís memory of the woman and that something wasnít quite fitting in with the perfect, beautiful surroundings. This was also supposed to be implied in the final shot of the sun going down.
    Thanks for the explanation. It's obvious (now) what you were doing.

    And melodrama - yes, a much more fitting word than the phrase I used (sentimental slush) which carries implications I didn't mean. I really need Mark W back to improve my vocabulary

    One thing that did come across that I forgot to mention, was that I thought it came across as very "honest". I can understand how draining it would be to make a film like that and it's even more courageous to show it to others (and especially offer it up for criticism) - a bit like laying bare a part of your soul.
    Tim

  7. #7

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    Thanks for the constructive comments. As mentioned, the level of sentiment is always a question of taste and this differs between individuals.

    Guru: I agree. Iím sure the animation of the flower could have been done a lot better but Iím fairly happy with it. Itís certainly the best my limited technical skills and available time could achieve.
    All the camerawork is me except for a couple of steadicam shots. I really need to get other people involved because the simple practicality of setting up a shot yourself, in terms of composition, focus, lighting, exposure etc, when youíre actually in the shot is a nightmare. As you can imagine thereís a lot of trial and error.

    Tim: Iím glad it came across as honest. I think the courage or is it stupidity is outweighed by the benefit of constructive comments, although I always feel uncomfortable and vulnerable when I post any film, but especially one so personal.

  8. #8
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    Beautifully photographed and produced. Well chosen music. Nicely balanced all round in my humble opinion.

  9. #9

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    I can very much agree with a number of comments made, some beautiful choice of shots made for an overall engaging piece to view. However I probably fall on the other side of the fence of emotion / slushy. The gentleman crying didnt seem genuine to me and the crying didnt seem to match the visuals so I'm guessing it was added in post? Also sounded like it repeated the same loop a fiew times.

    Well there we go, please forgive my heart of stone. Nice peice, but year, go for a comedy. I can probably critique a comedy much better!

  10. #10

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    Hi,

    Thanks for watching and posting comments. Emotions are a tricky subject to tackle and we all have different thresholds based on life experience. My other half is forever crying when she watches her soaps and they are as artifical as you can get.

    Btw the crying wasn't on a loop, it was one continual recording.

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