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Thread: Closure

  1. #1

    Default Closure

    About six months ago, I was looking at a random Pinterest page and read a line about your path taking where you "needed" to be, rather than where you "wanted" to be. It stuck in my head for a few days and so I decided to write a story/script around the idea. I roped a couple of friends in to help me make it and this is the result.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WuZT6yX0dBE&t=8s


    Go take a look when you've got a spare 12 minutes...


    Like, comment, subscribe... and share if you like it.

  2. #2
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    Hmmm....

    You have a good selection of shots and make a good use of certain cinematic conventions, but it takes far too long to tell the story.

    The opening scenes which are lots of nicely shot snippets from different angles are cut together well but there is far too much of it. We get what is happening very quickly, adding more shots of the driver eating breakfast doesn't add anything. Similarly, we see him pick up car keys - you could cut directly to the car reversing out of the drive - we know what is happening. I'm not saying there's no scope for one or two shots in between, perhaps to confirm it is the same guy, or that he has shut the house up, but they should convey extra information.

    At least we get variety in these shots which retains some interest. However, when we get to the driving, this really does seem to go on forever. Yes, you do well to get several shots (thorugh the windscreen, looking at the driver, keys in ignition, external shot from overtaking vehicle, but we just seem to have an endless succession of these. Even if you are trying to get across the message that this s a long and tedious journey, this does not need to be presented in a long and tedious manner (indeed all that does is lose the interest of the viewer). I presume that the car radio is not meant to be audible as such and isn't crucial to the story. If I am wrong then (a) it's not loud enough to make out and (b) you are guilty of telling the story rather than showing it. I'm not sure whether the locations on the road signs are important to the story, but I couldn't make them out if they are.

    This sounds like it's all negative but that is not the intention. I quite like the story. I think the acting is fine and the shots are really good wiih a good variety (I liked your whip pans in the forest from the driver POV). But there's just too much of it.

    When editing, look at each shot and ask what it adds to the story, character or emotion (eg either ours or the characters') that we do not already know. If the answer is "nothing", then the shot probably shouldn't be there. Rarely is a film made worse by shortening. In this case, I think you've the makings of a good three or four minute film.

    Also, be wary of dissolves. Use very sparingly and only with purpose (those used on the car journey show time passing so that's an example of purpose),
    Tim

  3. #3

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    Wow, Tim. Thanks for the detailed analysis, most appreciated and mostly agreed with. Yeah, originally I was making a 5-6 minute thing, but it seemed to extend a lot as I was editing.

    The driving was way too long, agreed, probably could have shortened every shot by at least half, but, as you say, wanted to get the idea of it being long and tedious. Also wanted to get some space between the flashbacks. And yeah, the radio had nothing to do with the story, although it did have a slight Easter egg in there if anyone could catch it... The signs, if you're not from Queensland, would have little meaning. But for those that know the area, would be significant. Tough to film in a moving vehicle and keep in focus though!

    Thanks for the feedback, greatly appreciated.

    David

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by diddy1960 View Post
    Wow, Tim. Thanks for the detailed analysis, most appreciated
    You're welcome, David. I'm a little surprised no-one else has commented as, whilst this is a low volume forum, comments are usually well-considered and most regulars are far more likely to comment when we can see that someone has put effort into creating a film from scratch as you have. I'll put it down to the surprisingly good weather in the UK at the moment and the fact England are still in the FIFA World Cup

    Glad you didn't take offence - my comments can come as rather negative at times but I always try to give reasons for any negative reactions I have and try to balance them with some positives (although "lots of good shots" is only four words whereas explaining why something didn't work might take a couple of paragraphs so it always seems imbalanced)
    Tim

  5. #5

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    A few scattered thoughts as I was watching, and in many ways adding to Tim's notes:

    The breakfast part is pretty solid but probably too long. Also your cut transitions fade to black, which makes the cuts very choppy. I figured you did this on purpose but I would prefer clean cuts so the storytelling feels fluid.

    The music changes several times in the first minute, but your story is still in the same general scene (introducing the character and starting the car trip). The volume and type of the music changes drastically too, it makes the scene messier than it needs to be and can pull the audience out of it.

    Be extra careful with any text on the screen, and particularly the effects used. Anything that moves, has color, choice of font, it all says something as part of the story. Thatís why most movies use white text on a subdued classic font and very little movement, to avoid charging the screen with action thatís not meant to be there.

    Also, can you find a way to say what needs to be said in the film? Text over video should always be a last resort type solution to convey info to the audience. In many ways it is a cop out, it shows the story is unnecessarily complex or shows the lack of skills of the storyteller (see 1977 Star Wars/George Lucas)

    Do more to question the contribution of every cut and angle. That may sound way too meticulous, but how would you expect Tarantino makes movies? So at 2:10 Iím seeing traffic, someone changing lanes, hands on the steering wheel, why? Are you showing conflict with a car merging into our lane? Are you showing this guy is a safe driver by having his hands in textbook driving position? Every cut says something to the audience, if you are not saying it on purpose, then whoís controlling the message of the film?

    I generally did not understand mins 2 Ė 6, and thatís where I stopped watching. The cuts to the computer research revealed too little, and the cuts of traffic seemed unguided enough to presume I could make sense of the story. Up until min 5 what I was gathering was that this guy has a date with destiny, and that it has something to do with his choice of highway exit. Also the computer research cuts give an air of mysticism and some potential life-altering drama. But thatís not enough to know after 5 mins of nothing else.

    Then we hear the TV report that confirms what had already been suggested, that someoneís missing and the disappearance is out of character. But you already made that point with a bunch of previous cuts, so at this point feels like too little reveal, too deep into it, and I still donít understand whatís going on and why this other guy is on the case, or is he on the case? Why does he care? Why should I?

    The point Iím making is that the storytelling is paramount to piece all of this together. You have good scenes and plenty to work with with your cuts. Lots of footage with your actors, so thereís a lot here. But always, the way you tell the story is the most important thing, how you use your cuts and timing to explain whatís going on, reveal the journey of your character, their motivations. We canít be halfway into the story and still not understand any of these things. You have to give me something to understand even if you reveal the story in layers.

    Why is this guy having breakfast Ė why does that matter? Why is he doing online research, and how is that connected to the driving? You donít have to give me all of it, but something to chew on for a couple of minutes while you further the story. And donít say things twice, certainly not in a 12 min short story. If you show a cut that someoneís missing, thatís it, you said it, donít talk about it again with another clip, and another reaction shot, and then a TV report, and more reaction shots. Thatís the kind of thing that makes the story feel drawn out instead of advancing.

    I hope this helps.
    Last edited by jochicago; 07-08-2018 at 07:10 PM.

  6. #6
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    Nicely observered. jochicago. Adds some good reasoning to some of my comments and some great new angles of your own (which i shall plagiarise, next time I review a film )
    Tim

  7. #7
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    The pace was too slow

    Other than that it seemed fine

    I think you can fit it into 72 seconds

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