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Thread: I Saw Him Lying There. Would like some feedback on this new short.

  1. Default I Saw Him Lying There. Would like some feedback on this new short.

    So this is one of the first shorts I've done that I'm actually semi-proud of. I'd like some constructive criticism on just about everything. Narrative, editing, camera, etc etc. I would also like to hear what people thought happened. It seems to be about a 50/50 chance that people will actually understand what I intended to be going on. Not sure if that's okay or there's something wrong with the execution. I wanted to try my hand at something that didn't really spoon feed the audience. Let me know what you think and I'll answer any questions you have.




    http://youtu.be/gVoQJ22oiv4
    Last edited by David401; 11-18-2013 at 10:49 AM.

  2. #2

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    Creepy - I was scared

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    Yeah creepy, you set up the scenes very well, and the camera work/editing was great. The plastic lined studio smacked of, erm, studio, and the 30 seconds of credits?

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    I too found it very effective, but I wondered how much was down to the music. So I watched it without any sound. I'm delighted to say it worked almost as well - no reliance on the audio here. The feel was there in the shots and the editing, the audio only enhanced. Great job.

    As far as what is it about ... I'm not sure. Am I mean to be looking beyond the obvious that one guy is prepping his doppleganger/twin for surgery with a jigsaw or what?

    Perhaps he's the jealous underachieving one of the pair and he wants his turn in the limelight?
    Tim

  5. #5

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    I agree with the others that the audio and visuals brought about a degree of tension but like Tim I didn't really get what it was about and felt disappointed at the end rather than shocked by the "twist".

    This is a big problem no matter how good the technical aspects of the film are.

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    So basically the idea was that he sees victims as himself because a part of him doesn't want to be doing what he's doing anymore. And he thinks he deserves to suffer the same fate of his victims. Is there anything that could be added to establish this a bit more? I actually intended the dialogue to sort of hint at that but I'm not sure how well it's working. There's also about a second when you can see that he also marks his wrists as the killer shown during the screwing in the blade part. Doesn't seem like anyone's catching that though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by David401 View Post
    So basically the idea was that he sees victims as himself because a part of him doesn't want to be doing what he's doing anymore. And he thinks he deserves to suffer the same fate of his victims.
    In that case in my opinion it is the wrong way round. We open with the victim. We see the victim's face. We hear the victim. The killer is, for the most part of the film, a faceless, merciless, well, killer (or torurer - we only know he's a killer from the credits). We empathise with the victim.
    At the denouement we see the killer's face.
    I genuinely wondered when i first saw it whether this meant the victim saw himself as the killer! That's what i mean by it being the wrong way round.

    To get what you're tying to achieve, I would suggest it should be reversed. We see the killer's face throughout. We see him studying hhis tools and his "work" intently. The "reveal" is then the victims face.

    But maybe that's just me

    Quote Originally Posted by David401 View Post
    There's also about a second when you can see that he also marks his wrists as the killer shown during the screwing in the blade part. Doesn't seem like anyone's catching that though.
    Even having been told that, I had to watch that sequence several times before finding it (It's at 1:07 if anyone's struggling!) It's far too subtle. Our eyes are guided to the action (the screwing of the blade) and even if they wander away from it this mark is visible right at the very edge of the picture on the wrist that is furthest away from us. It is more carefully concealed than dipping boom microphones on many major Hollywood blockbusters!


    As an addendum, getting it right is very difficult. in my latest film a lot hinges on misguiding the audience into believing that the protagonsist is in a cell or interview room when in fact he's in a laundrette. The "reveal" is accomplished by a "ping" and the introduction of the sound of a tumble drier spinning down and him getting up and moving over to a line of tumble driers (on camera). We still got the question "How did he suddenly get from the cell to the launderette?"
    Last edited by TimStannard; 11-18-2013 at 11:35 PM.
    Tim

  8. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TimStannard View Post
    In that case in my opinion it is the wrong way round. We open with the victim. We see the victim's face. We hear the victim. The killer is, for the most part of the film, a faceless, merciless, well, killer (or torurer - we only know he's a killer from the credits). We empathise with the victim.
    At the denouement we see the killer's face.
    I genuinely wondered when i first saw it whether this meant the victim saw himself as the killer! That's what i mean by it being the wrong way round.

    To get what you're tying to achieve, I would suggest it should be reversed. We see the killer's face throughout. We see him studying hhis tools and his "work" intently. The "reveal" is then the victims face.

    But maybe that's just me



    Even having been told that, I had to watch that sequence several times before finding it (It's at 1:07 if anyone's struggling!) It's far too subtle. Our eyes are guided to the action (the screwing of the blade) and even if they wander away from it this mark is visible right at the very edge of the picture on the wrist that is furthest away from us. It is more carefully concealed than dipping boom microphones on many major Hollywood blockbusters!
    I thought about that. But I figured it'd be less suspenseful not seeing the victim's side. Originally on those victim pictures that are on the wall in the wide we had what looked like a crazy person's writing saying stuff like "He made me do it." to establish that the killer had some kind of disease like multiple personality disorder or schizophrenia. What if I open the film with close ups of the pictures with the writing and stuff on them before we go into the first title and shot of the guy waking up. Would that help things make a little more sense?

    i don't have close up footage of that but I'm sure I could shoot it and cut it in nicely.

    Edit- Just finished shooting and editing. Here's a cut.



    Would you say it works better now? Not sure what that red flash is during the new footage. I'll fix it for the final cut.
    Last edited by David401; 11-19-2013 at 06:05 AM.

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    Tricky.
    I think having those images does make it clearer that the killer has killed other people before, but I'm not convinced that the overall message is any clearer. If we ignore the "meaning", I think you were right to leave out the images you've just added back in. Although they were well presented, they make the start of the film a bit more "ordinary" (too much like many "slasher" type movies) and thus detract (again in my opinion).
    Tim

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