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Thread: Death in C Minor -- A Short Horror Film

  1. Default Death in C Minor -- A Short Horror Film

    If you've got a couple of minutes to kill, check out our first attempt at a short horror film:



    We want to improve our craft, so please tell us what you think -- good, bad, and the ugly.

    Thanks,
    Jason R

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    Nice job. Some great use of shadows and composition. Towards the middle it became a bit less shadowy which didn't look quite so spooky. Great use of sound and music, although I have to say the sound at the climax has become rather overused.
    One rather obvious flaw (to any musicians watching) is that the note played on the piano is E natural - just about the ONLY note you wouldn't play in any variant of C minor!
    Tim

  3. Default

    Great job

    the actress didn't look scared enough - but that's about it

  4. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TimStannard View Post
    Nice job. Some great use of shadows and composition. Towards the middle it became a bit less shadowy which didn't look quite so spooky. Great use of sound and music, although I have to say the sound at the climax has become rather overused.
    One rather obvious flaw (to any musicians watching) is that the note played on the piano is E natural - just about the ONLY note you wouldn't play in any variant of C minor!
    Thanks for the feedback, Tim. We screwed up on the ISO, whitebalance, and exposure in the kitchen so the middle scenes didn't turn out the way we hoped. It was a valuable lesson and, hopefully, we'll do better next time. It's too bad we couldn't slip the "obvious flaw" past you. Now we'll have to change the name to "Death in E Natural."

  5. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Vittorio Capellini View Post
    Great job

    the actress didn't look scared enough - but that's about it
    Not scared enough, eh? That's on us for not properly directing her. Good to know. Thanks for the feedback. Glad you enjoyed it otherwise.

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    Quote Originally Posted by glasspixelstudios View Post
    Now we'll have to change the name to "Death in E Natural."
    Go for "Death of A minor" just to put a different angle on it
    Tim

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    For a first attempt that was really good. Use of lighting and shadow in beginning and end was good, added to the suspense. I agree with the above comment that the actor didn't show enough fear or give enough facial expressions for the mood. Music was solid and the shots were clean and smooth. Only thing I would do different is maybe use a different actor with different make-up for the older lady. I mean she looks like all the others from just about every other scary movie, unless she really appears in every film, it would be nice to see something different as far as who is doing the scaring. But overall it was a good job man.

  8. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Limitles3 View Post
    For a first attempt that was really good. Use of lighting and shadow in beginning and end was good, added to the suspense. I agree with the above comment that the actor didn't show enough fear or give enough facial expressions for the mood. Music was solid and the shots were clean and smooth. Only thing I would do different is maybe use a different actor with different make-up for the older lady. I mean she looks like all the others from just about every other scary movie, unless she really appears in every film, it would be nice to see something different as far as who is doing the scaring. But overall it was a good job man.
    Interesting to hear your (and other people's) feedback about the actress's lack of fear. As the editor, I tended toward more subtle, low-key expressions from the actress. Perhaps that made her acting appear less fearful than it should have been. Good to know for future projects. Makeup is another area I know we'll need to improve on. Coming up with an original concept for a creature was actually tougher than I thought it would be. Part of the problem is conveying concepts to the makeup artist. It's all stuff we hope to get better at. Anyway, thanks for watching and spending the time to send us constructive feedback.

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    Quote Originally Posted by glasspixelstudios View Post
    Interesting to hear your (and other people's) feedback about the actress's lack of fear. As the editor, I tended toward more subtle, low-key expressions from the actress. Perhaps that made her acting appear less fearful than it should have been.
    Ah, but getting the balance right is the perennial problem as where the line should be drawn (in this case between too much/too little fear) differs from viewer to viewer. FWIW I really liked the underplayed fear aspect - it made the film seem so much more realistic (and here are the important words) to me! The girl was curious with just a hint of fear and that is exactly how I behave when confronted with something unexpected. It worked well with the sinister, but not immediately threatening, old woman in the reveal.
    If the girl had been panicking, breathing heavily, building up to a frenzy, the reveal simply would not have worked. It would have required a bloodied axe murderer type rushing towards her in an attack or at least the old woman appearing right beside her. Check out for a great example of what I'm talking about.
    My only criticism of the acting/direction in your case was the look at 1:27 where I thought the look was one of mild curiosity - she looked like "What's that over there?" rather than "Did I just see something over there?" (ie she should be questioning her own senses)
    Tim

  10. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TimStannard View Post
    My only criticism of the acting/direction in your case was the look at 1:27 where I thought the look was one of mild curiosity - she looked like "What's that over there?" rather than "Did I just see something over there?" (ie she should be questioning her own senses)
    Thanks for the link. That was a great film. It ran the full gamut from curiosity to sheer terror. I shared it with my filmmaking partners. We could certainly learn a thing or two from these guys.

    If I remember correctly, I believe I gave the actress direction that went something along the lines of "Did I just see what I think I just saw?" However, after reading your comment, I think I should have also contrasted that with something along the lines of your first example: "Hey, what's that over there?" I think that small bit of contrast might have helped her achieve more believable result. It's just a guess -- I guess we'll never know. On a side note, I find it fascinating how such a seemingly small difference in direction can be the difference between a believable moment & a moment of disbelief in the mind of the audience.

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