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Thread: Nikon Film Festival Made Top 50 short film "Melody of the Mind"

  1. Default Nikon Film Festival Made Top 50 short film "Melody of the Mind"

    Hi everyone, My name is David Reynosa, a high school senior, and I have recently produced a short film for Nikon's Film Festival. The Film was selected out of 1400 entries as one of the top 50 contenders for the $100,000 judges award and $25,000 audience award. The judges for this competition are:

    RAINN WILSON from the office
    CHASE JARVIS famous photographer
    and IJUSTINE famous youtuber.

    I wanted to give you a behind the scenes look at the making of the film and also share some production stories.

    Here is the link to the video on the Nikon site where you can rate/view my film also if you like the film feel free to help spread the word on it by posting it on your facebook and tweeting it asking people to vote: Nikon Festival Melody of the Mind

    Here is a high quality version of the film on Vimeo:


    Link to behind the scenes video:

    Our crew for this project was rather small. I tripled as a DP/Director/Editor and also brought along a Script supervisor, PA, Assistant Cameraman, and an AD. The entire film was shot using the Panasonic HVX200 (which I was able to purchase for an extreme discount after taking a class with History/Discovery channel director Jim Lindsay).

    A Redrock Encore equipped with a 50mm 1.4 Nikon Lens was our second weapon of choice. This was only my 3rd time using the Redrock system and dust became very problematic, especially while shooting in the desert. To check our focus we used an Ikan v8000 monitor. Our crew also constructed a dolly out of PVC pipes and skate wheels to achieve silky smooth dolly shots. Wanting to capture the best quality video possible we decided to shoot 1080/24p on the HVX200. Post took around a week and the film was edited in Final Cut Pro and graded using Magic Bullet Looks. To stand out from the rest of the entries we decided to compose our music completely from scratch. Using Garage Band and our quick wits within two days we had a polished soundtrack. Pre-Production took around two weeks. Every day our crew would meet and brainstorm how best to tell our riveting tale. Once the idea was set in stone we went on a hunt to find our key prop- a white door. Finally finding one in an old drama bin at our school we painted it and polished it up.

    The entire shoot took two days. Every morning at 5am the crew would arrive at my house where I had freshly cooked breakfast burritos waiting for them. On the first day we drove up to Mt. Baldy, and hiked up to a desolate forest. Once done we drove back to my house and whipped up some delicious sandwiches and were ready to go to the next location The Mojave desert specifically El mirage. This proved to be an arduous task. For some reason our GPS systems did not know where El mirage was and lead us half way around the world. Finally we arrived at our location and finished shooting just before the sun shone its last light.

    The second day of filming did not go as well. Early in the morning just like the previous day the crew arrived at my house. We all loaded up and took off to the second location, which was a lush green forest in San Dimas. When we arrived we were greeted not by a lush forest but by a sea of dead brown grass. I had made the fatal flaw of not scouting the location; boy did I learn not to do that again. Quickly thinking I told my crew to go set up at the next location, which was a city area not to far away.

    In the meanwhile, I tried to figure out an alternate location to the forest. Eventually I found one, it was a tiny botanical garden near my house. Just to make sure things would go well I visited the garden while my crew and cast were eating lunch. I was greeted by the sweetest old lady and told her I was doing a tiny school project and wanted to know if I could film in the garden, she said it was fine. When I returned to the garden with a crew and cast of around 20 people, a whole door, piano, camera, tripod, monitor, and dolly her mouth fell through the floor. After 30 minutes of talking we finally assured her that we meant no harm, and were allowed to enter in the garden for a small fee of $50. The garden worked perfectly.

    The finished product can be viewed below, also if you would like to help us win the grand prize you can rate our film and tell people you know to rate it also. To do that all you need to do is click on the link below navigate to the 5 stars on the upper left hand corner of the film then click on the 5th star congrats you have just voted! Thank so much!

    Link: Nikon Festival Melody of the Mind
    Last edited by inthelunchbox; 12-28-2009 at 12:49 AM.

  2. #2


    Nice one.

  3. #3


    Good job the 'Making of' wasn't the entry!!

    Some good ideas and footage, but the editing leaves a little to be desired...
    Well done.

  4. Default

    Hey guys thanks for the replies! Yep the making of is in no way an entry to the contest it was just a way to show people a little bit of the behind the scenes. The entry is the the video above the making of.

    Thanks again for your replies!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Cumbria, Near the Lake district


    Its an okay film. In my view not an award winner...Thats only my view. Good luck with it anyway

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