Our 2007 National Film Challenge Entry...

Posted by PhillyFilmmaker 
Our 2007 National Film Challenge Entry...
October 25, 2007 11:00AM
Here is our entry for the 2007 National Film Challenge.
I think we had the most fun making this one and we also had some of the BEST chicken wings ever, Bon Chon Chicken. If you've never had it, you gotta try it...

We didn't have that extra day to shoot though because we had to go to a wedding that Sunday. But we did get it mailed away on time.

Our Genre was Fantasy/Superhero, Character was "Cheeks" Easton, Celebrity Impersonator, Prop was Bubble Wrap and Line of Dialogue was, I don't remember but the Boss' daughter said it. LOL

Re: Our 2007 National Film Challenge Entry...
October 25, 2007 12:20PM
- The intro is weak. Why an OTS? For a shot that's so rooted in a particular POV, the shot is very generic. Also, the camera didn't adjust for when the father squatted, leaving lots of blank frame. What I saw was that you guys locked down the tripod too hard, so when it tried to move, you had an ugly "bump". The shot was also insufficient for covering the kid hiding and then the bad guys coming in to abduct the father. I probably would have shot this moment either with a dead-on POV (with reverse) on the father, or a Quentin Tarantino-style "back shot" with the father covering the kid until the moment of reveal.
- Acting is still a problem -- if you want eccentric characters, you need funnier people who know how to behave strangely without appearing fake.
- If you want an "old film" look in the beginning, might have also looked into manipulating the frame rate on top of the sepia.
- I think the first scene needed music. Or some kind of eccentric sound design (eg. reverb on voices? A hum/drone?). Some kind of mood setter.
- Why does the voice-over repeat what we already know -- "My dad gave me these sneakers"?
- The montage introducing the main character is much more interesting than the intro. Fragmentation preventing us seeing his face stokes interest. The scenes after that need tightening, though.
- Main character -- bad acting, sorry! Nothing else can save this one.
- Girl and main guy scene in club -- too many cuts, not well motivated.
- Nice boom shot when they exit into the parking lot.
- Needed a bit more transition between ransom note and entrance into meeting place. Good dolly back once he gets there.
- Needs sound design. Music is by and large good, but needed more thought into exact what we hear at each moment. Also, mix between music and dialogue is sometimes uneven.
- Shots are pretty well chosen during the fight, but needed a couple of beats -- how did the second bad guy realize how to beat the hero?
- Ending is unsatisfying. Unless you're going for a trailer instead of a full-fledged short, but there's nothing indicating that it's a trailer.

Re: Our 2007 National Film Challenge Entry...
October 28, 2007 05:22PM
Thanks DerekMok!
Your reviews of our works are what we look for when we enter these things.

We don't usually get constructive input back from the contests so this helps us when we go back to refine and remix our little movies.
Re: Our 2007 National Film Challenge Entry...
December 01, 2007 07:10PM
needs strengthening, definitely. Some parts of the plot is just way too blatant- shoot the objects, rather than reveal it through dialogue. The part of the bomb- there's no build up, i didn't get quite why they're holding the girl ransom or what they were planning to do, until the girl said "there's a bomb". And a lot of work needs to be done on the casting.

The wide shot of the old man outside the warehouse/cafe... Doesn't seem like a good idea to hold onto that shot, even if you're trying to show a passage of time- it just feels draggy without anything happening.

The editing on the cafe dialogue scene is way too choppy- there are like 12 or 13 cuts when he starts talking to the girl. A little thing floating into the corner of the frame (is that the reflector?) at the end of the dialogue- it's white, you can't miss it.

need some buildup to the 'bomb' and the villains. The boss is just too hilarious. He was so bad on the "the bastards" line, i almost laughed!
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