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Thread: A Club Film - Dracula Returns

  1. #1
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    Default A Club Film - Dracula Returns

    I wasn't sure whether to post here or under "Just for Fun" but I always like to compare my own thoughts with comments received here.

    This is a club film written by and starring our chairman. His script ended somewhat earlier - at about 3:05 in this version. The scene after that was added by me. You may or may not think it makes it stronger.
    I directed it within certain constraints. No choice as to actors, costume etc - so don't blame me that the actress's lovely blonde (= on the side of good) hair has been covered buy a horrible looking plastic wig in black (= evil),
    Edited by me in Vegas with compositing done in HitFilm.



    Password is vansin

    Enjoy or otherwise
    Tim

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    Editing was fine but I wasn't very sure if it was expected to be serious or funny in the beginning. That may well be what you intended though. I am not really sure about the final bit. It added to the humour but the part before it may have been a bit to long to really let it kick in.
    I enjoyed the video nonetheless and could watch it all the way through

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    Thanks for watching, Ray. It was intentional that the viewer was meant to take it seriously at the beginning. The first hint that it is meant to be funny is when Dracula says he prefers a rare steak. Up to that point it could just be ham acting etc. The original script ended at "You've spoilt my nice white shirt", which I thought was rather weak. This is why I (with the writer's permission) added the final scene. I was hoping that the change into an advert would come as quite a surprise and help carry - but you may be right - it does throw the film rather out of balance.
    Tim

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    Well on the other side I think the ending would have been a bit dull without the ad. I think the rest of the video needs a bit more pace.

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    Quote Originally Posted by XXLRay View Post
    Well on the other side I think the ending would have been a bit dull without the ad. I think the rest of the video needs a bit more pace.
    Agreed entirely. And it had to start with the script. The last film Len wrote, we actually completely re-wrote it - even to the extend of using an entirely different plot - so it didn't seem fair to do it again. Having said that, if he hadn't come up with a script, we'd have had nothing to rewrite and not made a film at all.
    Tim

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    Right-ho Tim brace yerself...

    As you know I hate "spoofs" with a passion but anyway... Technically good, camera, lighting and the greenscreen worked (ish) although I think it would have been better, and more fun to make, if you'd gone out on location. Smoke machine and a few decent lights - result!

    The acting... er... um. Deliberate "ham" acting never works. Never. Never ever. Look at any decent spoof, from "Galaxy Quest" to "Little Britain" and you'll see that the actors are all taking it seriously, even when going over the top. So even though it's obviously a spoof, it comes across as a bit am-dram. Sorry mate.

    The thing is... Once the viewer has decided that it's "bad acting", that impression remains. They don't subsequently think "Oh they were deliberately bad" they just remember that first impression of bad over-acting.

    A couple of tips here. Gained from watching many others doing it wrong, then doing it wrong myself, then watching others do it right, finally getting it right myself!

    Firstly I find it best if you don't over-rehearse. Make sure the actors know their lines, get them to walk through it and then film the bloody thing. Before they get a chance to get jaded. I make sure they understand the words and why they're saying them but don't let the buggers over-practice.
    Secondly, if they're sounding forced. Get them to speak softer. It'll piss your soundie off but then it's good practice for him. It will also train your boom operator to get in close! The temptation is to get the talent to speak clearly and loudly and, as a result, it sounds fake.

    Finally, I've got to go with the others and say that it's a tad slow. However, I suspect that's due to the script. I do agree though that stopping directly after the shirt gag would be weaker and the "advert" makes it a lot easier to "get" the fact that it's a spoof.

    Edit:

    However... Respect and kudos to anyone who goes and makes a scripted movie. Good on ya mate!
    Last edited by Rembrandt Rob; 01-18-2016 at 05:35 PM.

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    No problems Rob.

    Outside might have been fun but we have no means of powering lights and no smoke machine. And no coffee/tea making facilities (most important to this bunch)

    As for the acting - trust me they weren't deliberately hamming! I'm only too aware that in spoofs, the actors have to play it straight and have said so many times on this forum. For club actors (and I've seen many) I didn't think they were that bad. True they were trying to emulate a style, but I can assure you they were taking it seriously. Look again (if you can bare to) and I think you'll find the girl (who is a pro actor as it happens) and the sales rep are definitely playing the parts for real (with the exception with the girl's swooning). In truth, whilst I wouldn't dream of suggesting the parts were believable, I don't think they did as bad a job as you are suggesting. The only character I thought was particularly poor was the doctor. She was the only one I thought sounded forced - what did I miss?

    Believe it or not they weren't over rehearsed - totally the opposite. In fact apart from a read through we'd never had a rehearsal and it was the first time the girl had even seen the script. If it comes across as such it's because each shot took many takes until no-one forgot their lines or moves. None of them can remember their lines anyway so there's no point rehearsing (other than a technical rehearsal).

    Dunno why I've gone all defensive. I never wanted to make the bloody thing anyway - hated the script -
    Actually that's probably why I have gone defensive, I've spent hours, if not days, on a lost cause.


    Edit: But thanks for the reality check!
    Last edited by TimStannard; 01-18-2016 at 08:33 PM.
    Tim

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    Quote Originally Posted by TimStannard View Post

    m. For club actors (and I've seen many) I didn't think they were that bad.

    k!

    True.

    Our club has in the past used local amature dramatic actors who tend to "project" as if they were delivering their lines to a theatre audience...coming across like an episode of Terry & June
    Your lead here wasnt too bad (though is audio sounded slightly "roomy" at times )

    It was a little slow but no worse than a 70's Hammer Production.... which i guess the club were trying to emulate
    'No longer are the pleasures of Home Movie Making limited to those with ample funds. Now the man and woman of moderate means can join the sport'..... Kodak catalogue 1933

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    Quote Originally Posted by enc View Post
    Your lead here wasnt too bad (though is audio sounded slightly "roomy" at times )
    If you mean Dracula, he does have a bit more reverb than the others.

    Being recorded in a typical brick built 1908 hall, room echo was a big problem - even with a close (2 foot) shotgun. I managed to remove a lot of the reverb with Isotope RX (which does a good job, but can leave it sounding a bit artificial). There was one line in particular by the guy in glasses where I couldn't achieve much at all. The I discovered it sounded rather to dead for the supposed "outside" location so I attempted to add back in certain reverbs, but only (supposedly) a touch. I deliberately gave Dracula a bit more than the others.

    I do find playing with sound - particularly reverb very tiring. You can spend hours on it and come back the next day and it sound crap. I did this over several days and it still sound crap. But the more I practice, the better i'll get (I hope)
    Tim

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    No offence meant Tim, just me being ultra-picky because it's you!

    I'm not saying they were awful, far from it. They're a lot better than some we get posted here! It's just that I'm trying to get perfection from you! Technically you've got it more-or-less sussed, but then it is a video club not an acting club.

    Actually I found the sound okay, certainly much better than a lot of amateur or club productions. Like you I find tweaking sound to be a pain in the reverb!

    It's not a lost cause at all. It's 100% better than any scripted drama I've shot this winter (ie you got off your bum and did it, I didn't!).

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