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Thread: Outer Realms - short

  1. #1

    Default Outer Realms - short

    At last we have our first full short up on youtube. Please view and feel free to comment.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Surrey, UK
    Blog Entries


    An amusing film which had me smiling throughout. Your lead was very believeable and the documentary style also.

    It was good, but I think with some tweaking could have been better.

    Most of this is down to lack of pace.

    In this sort of film, the main "joke" is the concept and the concept has to be established very early on. Thereafter all the other jokes are dependent upon and in some ways subordinate to the main joke and therefore need to come pretty thick and fast.

    Whilst I suspect there are writers who could improve on the script to this end, I thought the script was pretty good as it stands and think the pace would have benefited from somewhat tighter editing. (This can be tricky - what appears the be a lengthy pause after a "gag" when watching alone on aTV or PC can be not long enough to allow an audience to laugh in a cinema or at a festival)

    The intro was far too long. You had a great selection of shots establishing the office environment but, unless you're showing something which develops the story, we need only one or two establishing shots to leave no doubt where we are. Many TV programmes and films have a lengthy sequence as you have here - but they are usually under titles: we read the titles whilst almost subconsciously taking in the environs.

    Similarly I thought the ending was edited together wrongly. OK there's no "punchline" as such but the final line does not come across as such. "I've always thought I'd look quite good in red" is followed by a nice selection of cutaway shots which leads people (or certainly led me) to expect some more dialog. But, no we get the closing shot of her answering the phone (which, incidentally, was a very nice miror of the way the "action" opened up - I like "bookends)". So I felt cheated.

    I think I would have prefered the discussion about the perks, maybe with the cutaways under her description of the perks, an audible question from the interviewer, a brief pause (cutaways definitely here) then cut back to her "Well, to be honest....." punchline then cut (or maybe fade through black) to your closing shot.

    One or two of the shots didn't appear composed correctly. In the medium close ups of the receptionist, her attention is directed to screen left, but she appears in the left half of the screen.

    The positioning of the phone/use of left hand to pick up the phone looked particularly awkward - especially for someone who was a long term employee in this role and would therefore have the desk arranged for her. My guess it she is left handed sitting at a right hanbded person's desk. Picking up the phone with the right hand would have meant (a) the phone where a right handed person would mist likely have had it and (b) prevented the phone and phone cord passing between the camera and the talent creating a barrier.

    I'm being picky as usual. It helps me think about things to consider when I make my future films.

    I thoroughly enjoyed it. There were no annoying distractions and apart from the interviewer's question the sound was clear. I thought the concept was hilarious and the script was good. It reminded me of the sort of thing clay_9 might work with.

    Thanks for sharing.

  3. #3


    Tim, firstly two things;

    • Thanks very much for watching the short. And
    • A million thanks for taking the time and trouble to make such a detailed critique. Sincerely.

    Some background first. Outer Realms was our third ever short. But, in reality, it was our first ‘short’ given how our first two attempts (The Dinner & 6 Down) grew arms and legs. I think by this point we hard worked out it was best to get in and out a swift as possible and keep actors and locations down to an absolute minimum.

    There is a further cut of this short which addresses many of the speed issues you rightly point out, sadly I have been pestering my editor to load it up to youtube for months that I eventually – as you’ve seen – loaded up the version I had electronically. I think the ‘extended’ opening scene was just so ‘everyone’ got involved managed some screen time. Crew becoming extras. In fact the only people involved not to get an appearance is Matt on camera and Marco on sound. I’m the bald guy on the phone; ‘just, why?’

    One point I can address from your comments is the ‘interviewers’ mumbled question. That was in fact put in in post. We didn’t want to ‘hear’ the question as we wanted the subtly of what was driving the answer to be the focus of viewers attention. Hoping the viewer would mentally backtrack to work out what had been asked, based on what they had seen previously and the response from Jessica our receptionist.

    And I agree, Toyra, our actress was spot on. We tried to cast her in a later production, but her having a baby coincided with both our schedules!

    The desk layout? Yes, that was governed by space and where we could position the camera and lights etc. It was one of those times if you pulled back and taken in the whole set up it would have ruined the whole illusion.

    The short was shown as part of the Glasgow film festival – Lights in the Dark – last year, and went down well with such gracious feedback as; quirky, clever, smart. So was very chuffed with that.

    Glad you enjoyed the script, as that’s what Emma and I are first and foremost – writers – and only got into making shorts to try and showcase our writing. Now, you don’t happen to have Ridley Scott’s email address so I could send him my Alien prequel screenplay?

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