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Matt Stevens

Entered my latest film into the Kodak 8mm contest. Was down to the wire!

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Hey gang, some of you who follow this forum know I shot a pretty big production (for me) in September in NYC before I left the USA for China. It was by far the largest production I have ever attempted when using 8mm film (we also shot digitally). And it was all paid for by yours truly.

 

The rough assembly came in around 25 minutes and I figured it will be 15 minutes when finished. But a little over a week ago i found out about this:

 

They have a 5 minute limit so I decided to work like a madman and see if I could deliver a 5 minute version of my story. Well, it's not exactly the same story, but it has the same feeling and mood so here it is...

 

http://theaudienceawards.com/films/revelations52236

 

If it won't load you can ask me for the vimeo link and password.

 

The 8mm film was scanned at 2k by Cinelab. I finished my edit Saturday morning and quite literally learned how to do a very very basic color correct / grade during that same day. So the 8mm footage can and will look even better than what you see. No doubt.

 

5 minutes is so short. i basically concentrated on one scene and expanded the emotions based upon it. Let me know what you think.

 

Oh yes, the sound mix is of course not final and the temp music has to be replaced. I just wish i could find some music that is similar in tone and feel. So far no-go.

 

The full length version will have an original score.

 

Here is a film frame given a quick color correct by one of our fellow forum members...

 

04%20Subway%20Quick%20Corrected.jpg

Edited by Matt Stevens

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That's looking great Matt.

 

I'm reading it as an extended trailer for another film, as much as being a work in it's own right.

 

There's a sense of a bigger story here as much as that more immediate story caught within an extended existentialist moment.

 

The Super8 provides a sense of the past (as Super8 has a way of doing) framed in terms of a present that will anchor it. As if the past could not exist (or subsist) except in terms of that which will remember it. But interestingly it's a present, itself, without any anchor. It is not so much the Super8 image itself which achieves this sense of recollection (anchorless or otherwise) - but the way in which Super8 is often shot - where the photography encodes the author (the person holding the camera) as much as the authored (the memory). There is a connection forged. The subject looks into the barrel of the lens as if looking at the photographer, and the photographer treats the camera in the same way, as if it were an extension of their being. Each becomes encoded within the fate of the image. An existentialist realism, or idealism, or fatalism takes hold. Which is a kind of evaporation. The universe as some kind of void, or noise, into which the observer and the observed must ultimately dissolve in a shared fate.

 

Against this one hopes the girl will reappear. Even if she must return as a Super8 film, or as a stripper behind glass in a peep gallery, or the author/authored as reflections in a car's rear vision mirror, as each of these occur in Wenders Paris Texas.

 

C

Edited by Carl Looper

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What is time?

 

This is a good question. One answer is "God knows" which both atheist and theist alike might exclaim (if with completely different intent).

 

What would Einstein have done with another 1000 years?

 

Nothing at all. Einstein had already done more than enough by the time he was barely out of his teens. It is purely a mythological Einstein that could do anything more.

 

There are at least two different types of time. On the one hand there is that endless infinite time, or indeed finite time, which treats time as analogous to space, be it independant (Kant) or integrated (Einstein's spacetime). A chronological time. And then there is another kind of time which is more about intervals (and their relations, disjunctive or otherwise) than any isolated (or infinite) lengths of such. A cyclic time. Or a beat. In variations of such. And their superimpositions. The way in which one might speak of timing in a joke. Or an edit in a film. The cut which suddenly works when one more frame has been removed, or added, regardless of the narrative or the physical action. The time or timing that music has understood since antiquity. A non-chronological time.

 

C

Edited by Carl Looper

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Matt, let me just say I genuinely enjoyed this film and found Revelations to be incredibly gripping. Voted for you today and I will again tomorrow! Would you please vote for my submission in the "action" category? "Lights and Shadows" is a compilation of skateboarding I have filmed over the last 6 years. I'd appreciate the support. http://theaudienceawards.com/films/lights-and-shadows-oshea-brothers52174

Again, great film and I cannot wait to see the full length.

 

- Hunter

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Carl, thanks for the insightful comments and thoughts. You certainly paid attention and are on the right track for where the final production will go artistically. The final version of WRATH will run around 20 minutes and have a full on 5.1 sound mix. At the end of the day we want to use this Proof-of-concept to raise money for a feature version. The script is written.

 

I could wax philosophical on the subject for a long long time, but I have to go out. it's New Years Eve, daggonit!!

 

Quick%20Correct%20SC44_Shot06_Tk04.mov%2

Edited by Matt Stevens

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I would consider having no music in the background. If you have to achieve your desired tone through a backing track then that means you've failed to do so through your writing and pacing which I don't think is necessarily the case. If I were you, I would consider recording some folly for your super 8 footage and pace that throughout the dialogue to try and garner some sort of tension. My immediate thought watching this was to get rid of the music, this film shouldn't have music

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I would consider having no music in the background. If you have to achieve your desired tone through a backing track then that means you've failed to do so through your writing and pacing which I don't think is necessarily the case. If I were you, I would consider recording some folly for your super 8 footage and pace that throughout the dialogue to try and garner some sort of tension. My immediate thought watching this was to get rid of the music, this film shouldn't have music

I appreciate your comments, but do not agree. A film without music is going to fall completely flat.

 

The final version will have an original score.

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And I respect that its your film and not mine so I never push my opinions in a critique but I still think its something you might want to consider. Its not difficult to mute your music track think about what you can do. I think you might find that in reality, relying on music creates a flat soundtrack and while this is conematography.com I think most people on here would agree that sound is more important than image

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...while this is conematography.com I think most people on here would agree that sound is more important than image

 

In a word...no.

  • Upvote 2

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Watch a film with a decent story slick images but a shitty sound design and you have a shitty film. Watch a film with a decent story mediocre images but an incredible sound design you have a decent film. I'm not saying Matt's sound design was shitty by any means but this is just in response to your response and while this is cinematography.com, when we are discussing a film I think its important to weigh all of the aspects and I think if you start considering some of the more successful films it's their soundtrack that really carries the film.

 

Matt you have a nice film and I'm looking forward to the longer version as well

Edited by Keil Mitchell

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Watch a film with a decent story slick images but a shitty sound design and you have a shitty film. Watch a film with a decent story mediocre images but an incredible sound design you have a decent film. I'm not saying Matt's sound design was shitty by any means but this is just in response to your response and while this is cinematography.com, when we are discussing a film I think its important to weigh all of the aspects and I think if you start considering some of the more successful films it's their soundtrack that really carries the film.

 

If you're talking about poor sound-design distracting or even ruining the film, then I agree with that. But your initial statement was this:

 

...while this is conematography.com I think most people on here would agree that sound is more important than image...

 

...making it seem like you feel that even properly recorded sound is more important than the picture.

 

...I think if you start considering some of the more successful films it's their soundtrack that really carries the film.

 

Again, provided the sound-mix and musical soundtrack have been done properly, no. Sound does not carry a film. Is it one of the most important elements? Absolutely. But this a visual medium, not an aural one.

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Your opinion vs mine. We're just not going to agree and thats cool but I respect yours and see where you're coming from

 

Likewise!

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Well! Now that THAT is over, lol! ...

 

I appreciate all comments. I had little to no time to finish this so the sound design was limited to dialog and a music score. And i believe it works well. The FINAL longer film will be far more complex and feature a robust sound design with a 5.1 mix.

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There is even the whole history of silent cinema!

I keep trying to explain to people that there can be all kinds of different films and cinema. :)

 

Freya

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There is even the whole history of silent cinema!

I keep trying to explain to people that there can be all kinds of different films and cinema. :)

 

Freya

I don't mean to drag this out but I just want to be clear that I wasn't trying to suggest there can't be different kinds of film and that the history of silent films don't exist; it's just that when you use sound in a film I believe that becomes the most important technical aspect for the finished piece.

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I think you are right that sound is really, really important in a lot of productions and also that people are unlikely to forgive bad sound (especially in dialogue), so you must place close attention to that. However that doesn't really equate with it being most important. That's a jump that a lot of people make and I don't think it holds up.

 

If you take a look at Stanleys Kubricks "Dawn of Man" sequence for example. The sound definitely adds a lot and is really important there but it's definitely not the most important component by a long way. In fact a lot of 2001 is more about the visual element.

 

There are films like Baraka which are almost all about the visuals too and sound is really of a very low importance.

 

Modern movies are a lot more focused on dialogue because it is something that has become easier and easier to do. Back when people shot on film for the first time and that was the only option, the sound was often a pain to deal with in a number of ways so people were more motivated to try and tell more of the story visually. This was good practice actually because the visual side of things is really important, so those constraints could make for a good learning experience and made people more creative to deal with that.

 

These days it's become comparatively easy to achieve mediocre results, whereas in the past it used to be really hard to even achieve almost anything on a low budget.

 

Freya

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Well sound design is certainly much more complex than dialogue and that is why I offered my suggestion in the first place. I haven't read any reasons to change my opinion in this thread and I didn't respond to your comment to try to change your opinion because I am not going to. I just wanted to clarify that I wasn't excluding different genres and an entire section of film history.

 

Edit: typo

Edited by Keil Mitchell

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Well sound design is certainly much more complex than dialogue and that is why I offered my suggestion in the first place. I haven't read any reasons to change my opinion in this thread and I didn't respond to your comment to try to change your opinion because I am not going to. I just wanted to clarify that I wasn't excluding different genres and an entire section of film history.

 

Edit: typo

True enough for sure and yeah there are lots of opinions on this stuff as much as there are different kinds of films! :)

Some truth to all of it.

 

Freya

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I entered my film too and it only got 13 views? What a crock! It got almost 2000 on Vimeo in a week.

 

 

I have to confess I tried to watch these video's and was never able to get it to work on any of my computers.

I might try on my phone tonight and see if that will play the videos.

 

Freya

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Their servers were god awful. Simply unbearable. And it's a contest where he or she with the most social media friends wins. It really is a farce.

 

Heh heh. Yeah I didn't get involved because I'm not into those popularity contest type things. I was involved in something a while back which had a popularity contest side of it and I was trying really hard to get the least votes. I'm not even on Facebook so I thought I would be a shoe in but somehow someone somewhere still voted for me! If I remember correctly that one vote was enough that I didn't pull it off, as there were people with no votes at all. Oh well! It was still funny.

 

It can be annoying when you are hoping to get your film to a wider audience tho and you realise there isn't any built in audience beyond what you can drive to the site personally. That's annoying.

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