Comments would be appreciated thoroughly. Thanks. :)
While I liked the actor’s performance, some slight changes in the image may help people stay involved. Maybe a close-up, let us see his face as the emotion hits. Build the drama in camera as well as in performance.
Good luck on getting comments, I have my short up in a thread (Short film- Spinning) and on my profile and aside from one person, the other commenters were people I had sent a link to the first cut to and had already seen it.
I’ll check out “Spinning” and comment on it for you. :)
The lack of cuts was intentional. I actually was originally going to do that before I decided on the one long take from the POV of the TV. Haha. Maybe I shoulda kept with my original gut feeling and just made the film more jarring in its editing? (Originally – things that the character does – his twitches and neuroticisms – were going to be emphasized on with cutting.)
And thanks for comments on my performance. ;)
Anyone else? :)
I believe that I experienced more of the character’s pain because there was an appropriate distance between me and him. If there were close-ups of the character I think that I would have felt manipulated into the pain, and the experience of the pain would have evaporated. I liked this film a lot even though the situation was not one I could relate to personally.
Thanks for that bump Uli. ;)
No problem, the only way I’m getting people to view mine is to be a dick about it, not a fun thing
I watched this piece after having watched a couple of the others you’ve made and posted links to and I have to say that I thought this was your best work so far. There are some things I didn’t care for about it but overall, it’s a simple, thoughtful short.
First, I want to applaud you for making film with what you have available, both in the sense of equipment and crew. It seems to me that “Grandson” and some of your other pieces were produced with somewhat limited means and that your creative goal took precedence over the technical execution. Unfortunately, even though style and content should outweigh technical performance, many people will not give your work a chance if it looks/sounds amateurish. Fortunately, there are a few ways in which you can take those limited means and get more from them. A simple three-piece light set up would do the most for the “look” of the work, but without the luxury of good lighting (and/or the know-how and crew to achieve it) a quick white balance will at least remove the overall blue color cast. I am aware this isn’t exactly a “warm” story and shouldn’t appear that way visually but it is clear that something could be done to improve the visual without an alaborate production design.
Second, as far as sound is concerned, there seems to be a continuous hum running throughout the piece. I’d venture to say that the sound was recorded in-camera, thus causing the repetitive noise. This is unfortunately an instance that inevitably requires a rental/purchase. The good thing is that a boom/shot gun kit is fairly inexpensive to rent. I got one for $40/day for my last short and just milked the day price for a weekend. My piece still had its share of technical sound flaws but it definitely sounded better than it would have without the sound package.
The plot was interesting and the screenwriting pretty good (more on this later). I thought the acting was good for the most part, certainly better than most acting I see in amateur shorts. Still, I feel that certain moments felt slightly forced, such as the phone call to the mom. It wasn’t awful, just a little strained.
As for the execution of the script, the part that I am undecided about is the emotional change in Keith around 6:50. There is an obvious shift from ‘this is ridiculous; why am I praying with a stranger?’ to something much more deeply felt. The acting says the character has had an ephiphany of some kind at this moment. But I was unsure as to whether this was signifying that he realized that he was in fact speaking to his grandma or if he was simply moved by the thoughtfullness of this anonymous person. Normally, I wouldn’t even consider the former as an option, except for the fact that this call seems to strike such a deep chord within him. I find it hard to believe that a prayer from an anonymous individual could evoke so much emotion from someone who seems to initially scoff at the idea. On the flipside, it doesn’t seem likely it would take so long to recognize his grandma even after not speaking to her for two years. I think that often times films are best when left open to multiple interpretations and that this is in fact a sign of the complexity of the work; however, in this case I felt as though the ambiguity of this last call somewhat hindered it.
Nevertheless, I think there was definitely a lot of merit to this film and I was intrigued by the relationship you hint at in the work. Good job.
p.s. I’d be curious to see what you thought of my short film “Mirriam.” You should be able to find the link in a recent thread if you’re interested.
Thanks for watching and commenting Keith. Glad you liked this short. Interestingly, you were the first so far to actually catch onto what the meaning behind the phone call that made him cry was. It was his grandmother – and I don’t know if I conveyed it well enough (I’m not a strong actor, I don’t think) that his smiles and teary-eyes show that he’s realizing that it was his grandmother during her prayer. After that conversation, he doesn’t call the last number in the book because he has realized it is her – and his call to mom was just a desperate need to vent. The thing I wanted to keep most ambiguous is why he has become estranged from his grandmother, and why to such a degree that she lies in order to stay out of contact with him or to such a degree that the grandson himself feels he is “sick” about it?
But thanks for the comments – I’m hoping to save up for better film equipment in the future for more serious projects. Right now, I’m more comfortable just experimenting with my no-budget, very limited resources. :)