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Thread: Awake - Short Film (BTS)

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    Default Awake - Short Film (BTS)

    So for the last couple of months we've been working on what I consider our first serious attempt at a well made short with a little more substance. The concept for the film all came from personal experiences as a result of suffering from pretty severe insomnia for the last five years. I think we're tackling the subject in a unique way that I personally haven't seen explored before. Currently we are in the final stages of post-production before submitting to a few festivals.

    I documented the process pretty well for myself, but decided to share some of the behind the scenes stuff I have.

    First off here's a poster for the film, sorry it's super compressed.


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    Will check out! Can't wait to see.

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    Thanks for checking it out Mark, you are consistently one of the most positive and supportive people on this forum.

    Here are some links to the trailer. Now the color grade for the finished film is a tad different. I'll be posting screen grabs from the film soon.

    Youtube:



    Vimeo


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    Infallible (& formerly known as Krute) Jim E's Avatar
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    Looks very promising.

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    Thanks Krute, I'll be posting more stuff soon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JFP View Post
    you are consistently one of the most positive and supportive people on this forum.
    He sure is!
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    It looks interesting. I don't think my insomnia is anywhere near as bad as yours is, but I have gone to work a few times without having slept at all since the night before.

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    ...formerly known as 'drapeama' Marc-Alexandre Drapeau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krute View Post
    Looks very promising.
    I second that!
    Quote Originally Posted by JFP View Post
    Thanks Krute, I'll be posting more stuff soon.
    Thaqt would be very nice!
    I DO IT BECAUSE I CAN. I CAN BECAUSE I WANT TO. I WANT TO BECAUSE YOU SAID I COULDN'T.

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    tambrm1016, yeah it varies. I can never really just lay down and fall asleep, even after being awake for days. But you learn to cope with it, its been five years and I've been to probably 10 different doctors, psychiatrists, sleep specialists etc and they haven't had much of a fix for me other than medication. Even that doesn't work sometimes. But I don't really stay up for days on end anymore as I learned to manage it.

    But back to the film. Here are some screen grabs. They are jpegs so not the highest quality and there is a lot of compression.

    Awake Doc2l.jpgAwake Night3.jpgAwakeNight.jpgAwake car.jpgAwake Shower.jpg

    Let me know what you guys think. Also if you want to stay updated and you can like our page on facebook. I didn't make a new page for this film specifically but all updates will be posted there.

    Thanks for checking it out and please feel free to ask any questions and I'll answer them as best I can.

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    ...formerly known as 'drapeama' Marc-Alexandre Drapeau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JFP View Post
    But back to the film. Here are some screen grabs. They are jpegs so not the highest quality and there is a lot of compression.
    [..] Also if you want to stay updated and you can like our page on facebook.
    1) You can always try .PNG: the compression is less noticeable depending on the source material.
    2) It'll be done!
    I DO IT BECAUSE I CAN. I CAN BECAUSE I WANT TO. I WANT TO BECAUSE YOU SAID I COULDN'T.

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    I can't help but compare this thread to pstan's. I feel like this forum is a forum again now.

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    Mark, don't worry you don't have to worry about seeing a video on youtube of me talking into the camera about how terrible the people on this forum are. I'm a member of many other film making forums and decided to post about my film here because this was one of the first ones I joined years ago.

    I honestly think Parker is just very passionate about his project and because it seems to be his first one, or at least his first one that people he doesn't know personally are seeing, he doesn't know how to handle criticism and he went to far reacting to it poorly to really come back from, but I do wish him the best on completing his project.

    Drapema, thanks for liking our page. I will try to make .png files and see how they look when I get back to my Avid workstation.

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    Legend Almohada's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JFP View Post
    Avid workstation.
    Sweet.
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    Almohada, yeah Avid is definitely the way to go. I've used Premiere and Final Cut, and Avid blows them away. I got it because all of the pro editors I know said that if I plan pursue it as a career that I should start cutting with Avid now.

    The learning curve is steep but once you get used to it you find how much more efficient it is, and why it's the industry standard.

    The student version is only like $300 i believe. I definitely recommend it.

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    I was going to say "so where the F_CK is the film, this isn't THERAPY this is the F_cking footage forum". Show footage or get the F_Ck out and go to therapy. But instead of saying that, here's a tip for making a great indie movie:

    1. Long montages. Focus the entire film on long montages with songs, and write your script around the montages.

    2. Focus on a narrow audience. For example if your audience is 20 something college kid, focus instead on 20 something college kid who is crossdresser. Another tip, forget about drugs, nobody cares about the drug addict or alcoholic, that has been done more times than pamela anderson.

    3. Have fun and ignore profit or business aspect of filmmaking. Don't quit your day job UNTIL you have several years of living expenses saved!

    It took a lot for me to bring such a positive influence to this thread about a guy telling us about a movie he's going to make. I deserve some make-believe rep points for this. And as an outsider not involved in another thread about a guy talking about a movie he was maybe going to make, I give rep points to all who posted here in this thread. This sure is one hell of a spirituous group of people.
    Last edited by blondandfun; 2012 February 29th at 00:56.

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    How long did it take you to type that out while fiddling with your dinker?

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    Blondandfun, first off the film is finished already. Minus the final mix which will be done at a 3rd party post house in the next few days. We will be submitting and waiting to hear back from festivals. I'd love to post it here but unfortunately that makes your film a no go for most major festivals. Why would anybody pay to go see a film that they can watch online for free?

    With your first point I don't agree, I think its a crutch to hide poor acting, writing, and overall film making abilities. But for those just starting out its a good way to hide your inexperience.

    With your second point, my target audience is very precise. This is a film about severe insomnia and I hope that people suffering from it will be interested in seeing this film.

    Your third point I agree with, but I am lucky enough that film/video is my day job.

    I posted the trailer and other information here because I enjoy reading these types of threads to see how others go about their production process and I hope that somebody may be able to take something away from this thread.

    I hope this clarified some stuff for you and thanks for taking the time to comment.

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    So guys, its been awhile, but here is the finished film. Comments and critiques are always welcome. Thanks for watching.


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    Infallible (& formerly known as Krute) Jim E's Avatar
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    I don't usually watch, right to the end, the films that people post here. I usually watch about a minute, two minutes at most. Not because they're all that bad, but because they usually don't grab me enough to want to see the ending.

    "Awake" is the exception. If memory serves, it's the first HV20 Forum film I've actually watched right to the end, and not taken my eyes from the screen the whole time.

    It's well-edited, well-shot, well-acted, well-directed and well-produced. The movie flows at exactly the right pace for the subject matter. The cinematography is nigh on perfect. I especially love the fact that there are no camera movements. Camera movements would have been inappropriate to a movie about a person whose life is virtually static. I think that's one of the many things that sells the film. If it was a deliberate choice, (and I suspect it was), then it's a credit to you.

    The colour grading is inspired. The man's life is "washed out", there's no colour in his life, so it's perfect that the film's colour is slightly desaturated too. And it seemed to my eyes that there is a very slight "fog" there as well. Another perfect choice. His mind is in a perpetual fog, after all.

    I must commend the acting. The guy is excellent. A role like that could so easily have turned into just a series of bland, mannered gazes at the camera. But he managed to instill something into his face that said just enough about what was going on in his head. I sympathised with him and wanted to know what was going to happen to him.

    The doctor's office scene was brilliant. It provided a very slight change of pace, and that contrast was good for the film overall. The doctor was great. In a scene that lasted less than a minute he reinforced the protagonist's problem by showing a complete lack of interest in his plight. The writing there was wonderful. No excess dialogue, no histrionics, no language... just good tight writing.

    I would very much like to see this film in a longer version. To me, as it stands, it's a set-piece. But it could very easily become a story. You have a sympathetic character whose plight has been very skillfully conveyed to the audience. It would be immensely satisfying if you would show us what happens to him "in the end". You briefly touched on it with the arrival of the girlfriend. I hoped her arrival would mark a turning point, or at least provide an impetus for further story developments. But, it didn't. That in itself was intriguing, though. There is room to continue this character's story. If you choose to do that, no doubt you'll do it very well.

    Thanks are due to you and everyone else involved in this project, for giving us this very good film.

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    Legend Janke's Avatar
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    Agree with Krute, not much more to say, except:

    Three little things bothered me:

    - assuming it was the doctor who called on the phone, it's not the patient that suggests a time, but the doctor.

    - a doctor usually doesn't knock on the door when coming into room where a patient is waiting for him. (BTW, I can relate to the indifference of the doctor!)

    - you broke the 180° rule! It was slightly jarring. If that was intentional, OK, but if not, I don't see any other reason for it.

    Nitpicking, sure, but you asked for comments!


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    Realy Professionally looking film.Well done.

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    Infallible (& formerly known as Krute) Jim E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janke View Post
    assuming it was the doctor who called on the phone, it's not the patient that suggests a time, but the doctor.
    Mister J, I thought that call was from a client, asking for a meeting or a job to be done, because he says, "Yeah, we can do that, how's Thursday for you etc".. I thought that scene showed that the guy was soldiering on, going to work, doing his job, despite his tiredness. Yes, the following shot was at the doctor's office, but that still could be taken as simply the passage of time.

    But Matt will no doubt explain that.

    Re the doctor knocking on the door, I got the impression he was just doing his rounds, rather than arriving for a specific appointment. It was like he was going from room to room, ticking off patients as he went. So, in a hospital for example, he'd probably knock on the door, in case there was already another medico or nurse in there. But yes, since you noticed it, maybe other people would too.

    Yes, he did break the 180° rule. Funny, I didn't notice it at first, probably because I was too interested in what the doctor was going to say.

    It might have been intentional, too, to show the abrupt nature of the doctor's visit, and his desire to fast-track the consultation.

    Again, Matt can enlighten us.

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    Thanks to all who took the time to watch the film.

    Krute and Jet, first off thank you for the kind words, it was very nice to read and I forwarded it on to the cast as well. It feels great to get some positive feedback after all the hours of work. Krute, you especially seemed to get everything I was trying to portray which is encouraging.

    Janke, to clarify some points.

    -It was not the doctor, it was a client as Krute said. I had a shot where he looks down at the calender to see the doctors appointment and him sighing was his reaction to the fact he had to go to the doctor yet again, but it didn't seem to flow.
    -I've personally never been to the doctor to where they didn't knock on the door before coming in. I've never seen it in my life and all my friends in medical school and doctors I know say the same. Perhaps its a geographical thing.
    -As far as the 180 rule, I thought about it before shooting but it didn't seem to hinder the story and i went with my instincts on the feel of the scene. Hence the shot selection.

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    Infallible (& formerly known as Krute) Jim E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JFP View Post
    Krute, you especially seemed to get everything I was trying to portray which is encouraging.
    You're welcome, Matt. I have my moments.

    Meant to say, too, that I like the poster. Using a "digital clock readout" font for the title is a nice touch.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JFP View Post
    Janke, to clarify some points.
    Thanks.

    As I said, "assuming" it was the doctor - but it wasn't! (I only watched the film once...)

    Knocking: Just two days ago, I sat in a doctors office, no knock, just barging in...

    The 180° rule was the only thing in the whole movie that really jarred... but if it was meant to portray disorientation (insomniacs do get that!), then, OK!


    But, they were all your deliberate choices, so I cannot criticize!


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