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Thread: The Key

  1. #1

    Default The Key - please review and comment!

    A short suspense drama by Paul Strutt and other members of the Norwich Movie Makers club, with original music composed and performed by Tso Peter Chen and Yu Paul Chen. The film is an amateur production with a budget of under 200. It was filmed in and around Norfolk. The featured car was provided by a member of the Norwich Classic Vehicle Club. The pub is The Pelican at Tacolneston, which was kindly loaned by the landlady. The biggest technical diificlties were the fog and filming in the dark, which caused us lots of issues and delays.

    Comments and feedback welcome!




    Thanks for watching.

    Paul
    Last edited by Paul Strutt; 03-19-2013 at 01:36 PM.

  2. #2

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    I think you did a good job with this guys. Apart from the story being a bit predictable I thought the script was ok if somewhat hampered by less than competent actors. Some good filming and audio was also ok. I especially like the opening establishing shots and opening music. Having filmed a lot of night work myself, I understand the difficulties you had and thought you over came them quite well. The only thing that stood out was the "day for night" looking shot as the lady left the pub, I thought it looked a bit too blue but that was a minor thing in what was technically a well produced film.

    There was one aspect which needs addressing in your next production Things like the phone sound was the same in the ladies pocket as when she took it out and would she be so clean after spending the night on the side of the road ? I think these sorts of things take the needed reality out of a production like this, if you want to make the story believable.


    One the whole a very well produced and enjoyable little film.

  3. #3

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    Splendid! I enjoyed it very much and happily felt tingles down my spine as the plot developed. I could see a 'time' related twist was coming up, but could not guess the outcome. I loved the acting, which I thought showed alot of trust in the director.
    1) May I ask whether the score was composed after the video editing? The editing fitted the music very well; and gave no sign of having been padded out to fit the music.
    2) There is something minor jarring my eye in the opening credits. It is the ampersand "&" between the composer's names. In the final credits, there are no ampersands amongst the list of; eg: video camera operators.
    3) There is a flickering light to the right of the bar staff. Was that a fluorescent light in that recess area causing it?
    4) Whilst we get a shot of the lady raising her glass briefly to the man; we got alot of reaction from everyone in the pub; almost as if she was continuing to interact with the man for more than just a few seconds.
    5) I sensed some audio/video sync problem, but it was a very vague feeling; but it was almost as if some of the diaglog had been dubbed afterwards. It might just be me.
    6) In helping her neighbour, I was sorry they forgot to retrieve the bike; which I assume is still padlocked on the side of a Norfork road.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by TimAndrews View Post
    Splendid! I enjoyed it very much and happily felt tingles down my spine as the plot developed. I could see a 'time' related twist was coming up, but could not guess the outcome. I loved the acting, which I thought showed alot of trust in the director.
    I am delighted the film had that effect on you. I worked very hard to try to create an atmosphere of suspense. The actors were all very much 'press-ganged' into the roles, and in most cases, it was their first effort at acting in any shape or form. They also had to put up with a lot. Freezing cold, lots of hanging around, lots of 'takes', and not a penny for it.

    1) May I ask whether the score was composed after the video editing? The editing fitted the music very well; and gave no sign of having been padded out to fit the music.

    The score sort of came together in parallel with the filming. I listened to hundreds of tracks to find the ones I wanted. In most cases, I had the music in place before the visuals, with 2 or 3 options in each case. There is a bit of a story to the title track... originally, it was a a simple piano piece. I found it on Soundclick and wrote to the composer to get permission to use. He agreed and offered to help with other tracks. Then he got called up for National Service and handed the project over to his twin brother, who completely re-orchestrated the title track for the film. It's called 'Amazing' and I think it is. (They even played it on BBC Radio Norfolk.) Other tracks were shortened/samapled, etc to get the length right. One track is actually a 'mash' of two.

    2) There is something minor jarring my eye in the opening credits. It is the ampersand "&" between the composer's names. In the final credits, there are no ampersands amongst the list of; eg: video camera operators.

    You are the first person who's ever commented on that. I agree - I don't like it either!

    3) There is a flickering light to the right of the bar staff. Was that a fluorescent light in that recess area causing it?

    I think it's a relection of the flames from the fire!

    4) Whilst we get a shot of the lady raising her glass briefly to the man; we got alot of reaction from everyone in the pub; almost as if she was continuing to interact with the man for more than just a few seconds.

    Hmmm. This was tricky. We knew what we wanted to achieve - the other customers seeing her apparently raising a glass to an empty seat, and reacting to that action - but it proved quite hard to capture and edit just the right degree of reaction and puzzlement. Plus, we only had a limited time in the pub before they re-opened to paying customers, so time was tight.

    5) I sensed some audio/video sync problem, but it was a very vague feeling; but it was almost as if some of the diaglog had been dubbed afterwards. It might just be me.

    Well spotted! Another first for you! The original on-cam recordings in the pub scene were messed up by interference on the radio mics, so we had to resort to the backup recording from the Zoom H2. I thought I had it pretty well frame perfect. The dialogue in the car was impossible to record live, as the car was so noisy. (incidentally, one of the big hurdles was to find a classic car with a central ignition switch!)

    6) In helping her neighbour, I was sorry they forgot to retrieve the bike; which I assume is still padlocked on the side of a Norfork road.

    That reminds me... we really must go and fetch it!!

    I really appreciate the fact that you have watched my film so closely, to have picked up on these detail points. I spent around 500 hours over two years making and editing this, so I'm delighted other people are enjoying it. The fog, by the way, is real, not added in Post. It was created using a big bucket of smoke bombs which only had a 30s burn time - so we had to work very fast, before it drifted away. Several shoots had to be abandoned as the weather was too breezy.

    Paul and smoke effect for Key 3 DSC_0213.jpg

    Cheers

    Paul

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