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My second 16mm short [3:00], would love your thoughts/feedback!

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I shared my first 16mm film with you all in 2019 (https://cinematography.com/index.php?/topic/80373-my-first-16mm-shot-film-147-would-love-your-thoughtsfeedback/&tab=comments#comment-513161, and like promised I shot my next film on 16mm again. 2nd time shooting film was a little less nerve-wrecking than the first. I felt that with the first I was having more fun, but with this one I was more rigid (mostly due to limited finances because of the pandemic). Shot with an ARRIFLEX BL on 700’ of 500T Vision 3 (rated 200ASA). Lenses Used: Carl Zeiss 9.5MM S16 Super-speeds (90% of the shots) and an Angénieux 12-120MM. Additionally, the lenses were fitted with a HOYA 4 Cross Star Filter. There are 2 shots of BMPCC sprinkled in. 

Unfortunately, I did not have the money to test the camera’s magazines, nor film, so there were some issues that arose in some frames (might not be visible to some with the film’s pacing.) I posted on the site about scan lines/scratches a few weeks back (https://cinematography.com/index.php?/topic/85907-16mm-scan-lines-or-scratches/&tab=comments#comment-537111) but I managed to hide them. Additionally, I had to pull focus myself so there are some shots that are visibly fuzzy, but I feel like they're also passable for the medium. 

I managed 4 main lighting sources: The Sun, and 3 Mole Richardson Fresnels (2x650w and 1x1K) using Duvytene taped to walls and ceilings to cut, and shape the light. Lighting was my main concern as I did not have suitable lighting or gripping equipment at my disposal, so chasing the sun was the play. However, I shot it with a friend who lived in my building so I had the luxury of waiting for ideal lighting situations before shooting.

SOUND DESIGN: The sound was inspired by the last 16mm film I made which utilized a “sound mosaic” to drive the story and supplement the pacing. I don’t know if this is my “style” but I have noticed I tend to rely on non-diegetic use of sound in my past films. I am not a sound editor by any means but I try to make it work.

All-in-all I’d love to continue using the film medium to tell my stories as I find it alot simpler and straight to the point, especially when shooting by oneself. It keeps shooting tight and meticulous and forces editing in your head before rolling single foot (and also during shooting).

*Also this film has no direct relevance to the pandemic as it is a fleshed out remake of a story I wrote in college 3 years ago. The film is about introversion and loneliness, and if it weren’t for this Pandemic some of us would still essentially be living this kind of closed-in lifestyle. This film's intention is to speak on that.*

I’ll likely continue to make films on a limited, constrained level due to finances, but I enjoy the challenge and am excited at the potential benefits of having more bodies, and more skilled professionals (art directors, gaffers, wardrobe etc.) will yield if I am ever granted the opportunity to work on a larger scale than the films I currently make. Thanks!

Screengrab album: https://imgur.com/a/n5mSCpQ


Edited by Bravo Michael Nwosu
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  • Bravo Michael Nwosu changed the title to My second 16mm short [3:00], would love your thoughts/feedback!

Short and sweet! Excellent!

One reason I watched it twice was because at 0.36 it looked like the hands were ensnared in a fine mesh netting, and that idea hooked me in for a least a few more seconds until the rest of the film resumed for me.

That could be a scheme worth remembering: a judiciously used very subtle,  and subtilely disorienting, shot that can be "explained away," but serves to hook the viewer. 

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Really beautiful work!  As much as you didn't write it as a covid film, I think it will be all the more accessible to people who may not have confronted loneliness to the extent that they have this year.

Your camera placement and lens choice are so strong!  Keep trusting your intuition in this department with your next film!

I didn't mind one bit when the star filter wasn't perfectly aligned - I think it worked super well with the aesthetic of the 16mm and the way you move the camera.  With a "cleaner" approach it might have bothered me

I wish I had more criticism but I truly think you're on a great trajectory and should just keep making concise films like this.


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