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 My new 1-min horror short-term Sangre Dulce 
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I shot this over the course of one incredibly long night and spent the last two weeks furiously editing and sound mixing with my production partner. We made this for the Filmstro 1 min short film competition and it was a crazy challenge getting this thing to work at such a short length (we have enough footage for a 2 or 3 min cut that we may release some day, which includes a very different ending)

That said, I'm rather proud of how this one turned out and hope you enjoy it! Give me critiques and stuff, please!

And if I waste a minute of your life, I'm sorry. Though I've likely wasted far more than that with my posts already, if we're being honest.

https://youtu.be/wdQtmZhVEwc


Sat Dec 01, 2018 11:28 am
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Link?


Sat Dec 01, 2018 11:37 am
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Takoma1 wrote:
Link?

Embarrassing! Phone didn't paste and I thought it did! Should be up now.


Sat Dec 01, 2018 11:39 am
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Nice. Of course I wish certain elements could longer but . . . you had 1 minute. The brief glimpse of the glowing eyes was nice.

I always love black and white, especially with a stark element like the fire or her nightgown.


Sat Dec 01, 2018 11:49 am
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Great stuff! Like how you play the villain in the distance and sometimes out of focus, and the small "twist" such as it is works well. That pinpoint eye effect you'd discussed recently also give the villain some extra visual interest.

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Sat Dec 01, 2018 11:52 am
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Nice indeed.

Some thoughts. I agree with Tak that the black and white works great with what we're seeing, and that brief shot of the creature approaching with the "light" eyes is really cool.

I think you succeeded in conveying that sense of dread and life/death in such a brief period of time.

I like that you don't let the camera linger on the bad guy for too long.

Not sure if this was intentional, but at first it's not clear that the creature actually snatched the gun from her. That moment where you briefly see the creature face, and then cut to her standing up and running behind the fire wasn't very clear for me. Again, not sure if that was the intention to just have the audience figuring out "what happened with the gun?" only to see the creature lifting it up later, but it's the only cut that I'm not a huge fan of.

The moment right after where she has her back to the camera while holding the crucifix in the foreground and you can see the creature blurred in the background is a nice shot.

In the very next shot, where she is facing the camera with the crucifix out, I think that it would've been cool to see the shadow of the creature cover her as it approaches.

The only moment we get a clear look at the creature is as it stands by the fire and lifts the gun, but I think that pan towards the gun is really nice.

Like with your previous short, the sound is excellent, and how it stops with the shot. I also like how the camera slightly follows her down, after she is shot. That slight stumble sorta puts us in there with her.

And again, creature is in the background, blurred. :up:

When it kneels beside her, it's mostly shadows on its face, which I like. Keeping the creature in the dark.

The "sweet" thing is so simple and yet so creepy that I love it.

Keep up the great work, man. These are all coming up great

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Sat Dec 01, 2018 12:15 pm
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Thanka for watching!

Tak- 1 min was a heck of a challenge and she went from someone that struggled with the flintlock to oddly proficient in the editing process. I do think when we do an alternate cut of the short, the glowing eyes will be given the breathing room to really work as originally intended as he passes in and out of the light. Glad you liked it!

DaMU- The decision to keep the focus on the protagonist was made early on and while it was as much out of necessity (out of fear of showing the limitations of our villains' make-up), I think it was very much the right choice in keeping you in her shoes. A bit of my own "the shark isn't working."

Thief- I love the long write-up, man! The light in the eyes was supposed to fade in and out as he came into the light and the dark but it took too much time to keep it at a minute.

You're the second person to mention the ambiguity in the gun grab and I'm starting to worry that YouTube messed with the codec and made my shot too dark when he grabs it from her. It's my fault at the end of the day, as I couldn't quite get to gun as well lit as intended but it was one of the last shots of a LONG night of shooting.

That's a nice shot idea and I wish we'd thought of it to put the shadow on her. We were out there struggling to keep the fire alive and light with three lights running off a generator with a manual operated flicker to maintain the appearance of firelight and it was simply too much given how non-existent the crew was.

I love how the pan to the gun turned out as we were actually firing the flintlock. No after effects gun shots in this badboy and it was a very exciting experience to pull that off. We have an alternate opening of her shooting directly at the camera that I think was a pretty dazzling opening but it just didn't work with the pace of this one and I had to kill that darling.

Your response almost makes me question the longer cut as you see a bit more of the creature and he says one other cryptic thing and now I'll have to think of how to cut to not sacrifice those strengths. Really gives credence to this standing on its own.

Thanks a ton again, all of y'all!


Sat Dec 01, 2018 12:58 pm
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Nice job. I thought this one was pretty good, although I slightly prefer the other 2 shorts you've made.

While it obviously would've benefited with more breathing room, I understand that you had to narrow it down quite a lot, so I'm not going to hold that against this short.

Firstly, the acting was really good.

I like the black and white cinematography, and I agree with Thief and Takoma that it worked really well for this short.

I love how you first introduced the villain by somewhat obscuring it among the trees. It's a great way to introduce it in my opinion as it allows the viewer to fill in the blanks as to what the creature is before it's more clearly seen later.

I agree with Thief that the shot of the creature grabbing the gun could've been done better. I didn't realized she lost the gun at first. I was a bit confused until the creature was shown holding the gun.

The sound dropping out once the woman got shot was a pretty good sound effect. However, I think the shot of the woman gasping at 0:47 was a bit of a jarring way to bring the sound back into the short. As an alternative, I'd recommend having the sound somewhat fade back in or have the woman gasp quietly at first and then a bit louder.

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Sat Dec 01, 2018 1:22 pm
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While it was clear to me that she's lost the gun, I thought he'd merely knocked it out of her hand. But rewatching, I see that the sound I took to be the gun hitting the ground was the sound of him taking it from her. Either way, it didn't surprise me to see him holding it (and her holding the crucifix while the empty holster hangs down makes it clear she's not armed anymore).

I also like the idea of
undercutting the (limited) power of the crucifix. I was watching Stardust yesterday, and it makes me think of the part where Tristan is all smug about a magic flower protecting him from the witches' spells, and then Lamia just shrugs and uses her magic to throw a vase at him, knocking him to the ground.


Sat Dec 01, 2018 1:58 pm
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Popcorn Reviews wrote:
Nice job. I thought this one was pretty good, although I slightly prefer the other 2 shorts you've made.

While it obviously would've benefited with more breathing room, I understand that you had to narrow it down quite a lot, so I'm not going to hold that against this short.

Firstly, the acting was really good.

I like the black and white cinematography, and I agree with Thief and Takoma that it worked really well for this short.

I love how you first introduced the villain by somewhat obscuring it among the trees. It's a great way to introduce it in my opinion as it allows the viewer to fill in the blanks as to what the creature is before it's more clearly seen later.

I agree with Thief that the shot of the creature grabbing the gun could've been done better. I didn't realized she lost the gun at first. I was a bit confused until the creature was shown holding the gun.

The sound dropping out once the woman got shot was a pretty good sound effect. However, I think the shot of the woman gasping at 0:47 was a bit of a jarring way to bring the sound back into the short. As an alternative, I'd recommend having the sound somewhat fade back in or have the woman gasp quietly at first and then a bit louder.


I think had this one been under less time constraints, it may have topped the others due to how much more polished it is. I still think Wake Up had the best idea but weakest execution.

I shall pass on the acting compliment and believe me, it will be VERY appreciated

The comments on the gun grab are irksome. Not mad at you but now it nags at me with how I should have lit it differently to catch the gun as he raises it it up ala T2 shotgun grab homage.

Did you watch it with proper headphones or speakers? There's a bass drop that accompanies the sound cutting out that is inaudible on phone/laptop speakers that I think makes it way better. I wanted her gasp to be jarring. The rest of the sounds gradually build back in but I wanted it to feel off-putting and upsetting. Death should look and feel ugly. It's always a gamble though and I'm not surprised it rubbed someone wrong.

Appreciate the feedback, mate! Thanks!


Sat Dec 01, 2018 2:00 pm
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Takoma1 wrote:
While it was clear to me that she's lost the gun, I thought he'd merely knocked it out of her hand. But rewatching, I see that the sound I took to be the gun hitting the ground was the sound of him taking it from her. Either way, it didn't surprise me to see him holding it (and her holding the crucifix while the empty holster hangs down makes it clear she's not armed anymore).

I also like the idea of
undercutting the (limited) power of the crucifix. I was watching Stardust yesterday, and it makes me think of the part where Tristan is all smug about a magic flower protecting him from the witches' spells, and then Lamia just shrugs and uses her magic to throw a vase at him, knocking him to the ground.


When he snatches it, he actually holds it up but due to extenuating circumstances, I found myself operating the camera, laying on the ground to operate the light flicker and pointing the gun at him at all at the same time. It was not ideal but I genuinely thought we pulled it off so I am glad to hear it was at least clear she was losing the gun. I know brightness on phones may play a part in it.

I love little twists like that. I always bugged me that vampires do nothing to address their obvious vulnerability despite having at least human intelligence. No body armor or guns. Occasionally they do things for sunlight but that seems the easiest to avoid in the first place. This was originally the ending to a short that had a modern setting and was about 20 mins long but I think this is a much better product overall. The other one would have plodded (wrote it way back in high school.)


Sat Dec 01, 2018 2:08 pm
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Re: the gun grab, now I'm sorry I brought it up! Seriously, though, you can see that not everybody had the same impression, so maybe it was just my perception at the time. Either way, I don't think it diminishes the overall effect of the short.

And speaking of those twists you and Tak mentioned, I don't remember what TV show/film I saw recently where the lead vampire did something similar with the garlic. They were speaking all through the show/film about garlic this and that, but when they took it out in front of the vampire, he just knocked it off the guy's hand. Gawd, I wish I could remember what it was.

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Sat Dec 01, 2018 11:43 pm
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:

I think had this one been under less time constraints, it may have topped the others due to how much more polished it is. I still think Wake Up had the best idea but weakest execution.

I shall pass on the acting compliment and believe me, it will be VERY appreciated

The comments on the gun grab are irksome. Not mad at you but now it nags at me with how I should have lit it differently to catch the gun as he raises it it up ala T2 shotgun grab homage.

Did you watch it with proper headphones or speakers? There's a bass drop that accompanies the sound cutting out that is inaudible on phone/laptop speakers that I think makes it way better. I wanted her gasp to be jarring. The rest of the sounds gradually build back in but I wanted it to feel off-putting and upsetting. Death should look and feel ugly. It's always a gamble though and I'm not surprised it rubbed someone wrong.

Appreciate the feedback, mate! Thanks!

As for the gun grab, after I revisited the short a second time since I was aware of what occurred during that scene, I wasn't as bothered now that I knew what was going on. It was sort of a short term criticism if that makes sense.

I watched this on my laptop with headphones, so that was probably why I didn't catch the full bass drop. After revisiting that scene, I did turn my speakers up to 100 to see if it was completely silent, and I could faintly hear a bass drop which wasn't audible when I had my speakers on at 20. If I watched this elsewhere, I might've liked that clip more.

Anyways, thank you for replying and posting this short here.

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Sun Dec 02, 2018 12:59 am
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Thief wrote:
Re: the gun grab, now I'm sorry I brought it up! Seriously, though, you can see that not everybody had the same impression, so maybe it was just my perception at the time. Either way, I don't think it diminishes the overall effect of the short.

And speaking of those twists you and Tak mentioned, I don't remember what TV show/film I saw recently where the lead vampire did something similar with the garlic. They were speaking all through the show/film about garlic this and that, but when they took it out in front of the vampire, he just knocked it off the guy's hand. Gawd, I wish I could remember what it was.


No! I'm glad you brought it up. Seeing what isn't clearly communicated is necessary for me to see what I need to do differently next time. I know what I shot but if the audience isn't all getting it, I need to do better next time.

That sounds like.something from Fright Night but it's been years since I saw that one. Definitely deserves a rewatch.


Sun Dec 02, 2018 1:22 am
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Popcorn Reviews wrote:
As for the gun grab, after I revisited the short a second time since I was aware of what occurred during that scene, I wasn't as bothered now that I knew what was going on. It was sort of a short term criticism if that makes sense.

I watched this on my laptop with headphones, so that was probably why I didn't catch the full bass drop. After revisiting that scene, I did turn my speakers up to 100 to see if it was completely silent, and I could faintly hear a bass drop which wasn't audible when I had my speakers on at 20. If I watched this elsewhere, I might've liked that clip more.

Anyways, thank you for replying and posting this short here.


Thanks for rewatching! I am glad it isn't as bothersome a second time but my goal is to do it better the first time. I'll be more attentive in my next short and may even reshoot this shot for the extended version.

What kind of headphones? I find it very hard to mix heavy bass sounds (gun shots, audio drops) so that they're entirely audible on lower end speakers. I mix using some Sennheiser headphones my audio guy recommended and they match really well with surround sound so if you ever find yourself with the opportunity to see if like that, give it a whirl. The cellphone/laptop mix has always just been a "good enough to hear the important bits" test rather than it being a full representation of the audio work. One day I'll figure out how to get truer fidelity across all outputs but today is not that day.

Appreciate you watching and commenting a ton. I'd rather get criticism than crickets so it's nice for someone to take their time like you and the other folks in the thread.


Sun Dec 02, 2018 1:29 am
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:

Thanks for rewatching! I am glad it isn't as bothersome a second time but my goal is to do it better the first time. I'll be more attentive in my next short and may even reshoot this shot for the extended version.

What kind of headphones? I find it very hard to mix heavy bass sounds (gun shots, audio drops) so that they're entirely audible on lower end speakers. I mix using some Sennheiser headphones my audio guy recommended and they match really well with surround sound so if you ever find yourself with the opportunity to see if like that, give it a whirl. The cellphone/laptop mix has always just been a "good enough to hear the important bits" test rather than it being a full representation of the audio work. One day I'll figure out how to get truer fidelity across all outputs but today is not that day.

Appreciate you watching and commenting a ton. I'd rather get criticism than crickets so it's nice for someone to take their time like you and the other folks in the thread.

I use Skullcandy headphones. I have a few pairs at home, but I forget which brands they are. If I'm able to acquire a Sennheiser pair, I'll try what you recommended.

Also, regardless of what I said here, I just want to point out that I still think your short is pretty good. I don't mean to imply that I was underwhelmed or anything.

Best of luck to you on your future shorts. :D

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Sun Dec 02, 2018 3:42 am
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Thanks, PR! I didn't take anything you said as anything more than healthy constructive criticism.

On another note, does anyone know what happened to Godtomato and Dario? I know many jumped here before the RT purge but I haven't seen them around. If someone could shoot this short or this thread to them, I'd appreciate it.


Sun Dec 02, 2018 7:26 am
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:
On another note, does anyone know what happened to Godtomato and Dario? I know many jumped here before the RT purge but I haven't seen them around. If someone could shoot this short or this thread to them, I'd appreciate it.
I'm afraid I have no idea where either of them are online currently post-RT, but I did like the new short; did you ever send your last one to Traz's Facebook, btw?

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Sun Dec 02, 2018 11:49 am
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Stu wrote:
I'm afraid I have no idea where either of them are online currently post-RT, but I did like the new short; did you ever send your last one to Traz's Facebook, btw?


Dang. No one tracked them down and talked them into coming here???

I sent her the message and she said she'd send me the info but never got back to me. It felt awkward so I let it slip into the abyss.

Glad you liked the new short!


Sun Dec 02, 2018 12:00 pm
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Dang. No one tracked them down and talked them into coming here???
I was never super-close with Dario there, so no; wasn't he kind of a regular once in the Horrorcram or something? Anyway, I liked Godtomato, and posted with him a lot in IYPC during my early days there, but, besides the occasional post in the old Relationships Thread after a lot of the IYPC-ers migrated here, or joining the rest of us in 2016 in freaking out about Trump being elected (which is the last time I remember seeing him on RT), I never saw him post much after about 2008, I think. It seems he never made the leap with the rest of us to the Corrie back in 2010, and I don't know who he is on Facebook (or even if he's on there at all), so I don't have any way of contacting him, unfortunately. I seem to remember seeing him post some short film of his own on RT once, but I can't be sure; was he (and Dario) fellow aspiring filmmakers as well, or something? And come to think of it, I'll probably never see Bill The Fish (who was a regular in my old Metalthread) here or anywhere else again :(

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Sun Dec 02, 2018 1:22 pm
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Stu wrote:
I was never super-close with Dario there, so no; wasn't he kind of a regular once in the Horrorcram or something? Anyway, I liked Godtomato, and posted with him a lot in IYPC during my early days there, but, besides the occasional post in the old Relationships Thread after a lot of the IYPC-ers migrated here, or joining the rest of us in 2016 in freaking out about Trump being elected (which is the last time I remember seeing him on RT), I never saw him post much after about 2008, I think. It seems he never made the leap with the rest of us to the Corrie back in 2010, and I don't know who he is on Facebook (or even if he's on there at all), so I don't have any way of contacting him, unfortunately. I seem to remember seeing him post some short film of his own on RT once, but I can't be sure; was he (and Dario) fellow aspiring filmmakers as well, or something? And come to think of it, I'll probably never see Bill The Fish (who was a regular in my old Metalthread) here or anywhere else again :(

Yeah, Dario was a horror ran guy with an eye avatar. I believe it was from Ringu but it may have been Black Christmas. Can't remember which. Both he and GT were aspiring filmmakers (with Dario actually getting hired to do an Indie film last I heard nearly a decade ago). I actually just tracked down his IMDB and apparently the dude directed an episode of Ash vs. Evil Dead with his brother!!! Wow!!!

Anywho, the three of us always gave each other extensive feedback and would gab forever about the process and our approaches and things we could try on our next projects when things weren't going well or how to improve upon things that were. It's the biggest element from RT that's missing here.


Sun Dec 02, 2018 1:47 pm
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Yeah, Dario was a horror ran guy with an eye avatar. I believe it was from Ringu but it may have been Black Christmas. Can't remember which. Both he and GT were aspiring filmmakers (with Dario actually getting hired to do an Indie film last I heard nearly a decade ago). I actually just tracked down his IMDB and apparently the dude directed an episode of Ash vs. Evil Dead with his brother!!! Wow!!!
So I guess Dario became the first RT'er ever to truly, really... make it?? Hurray!

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Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:10 pm
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Stu wrote:
So I guess Dario became the first RT'er ever to truly, really... make it?? Hurray!

I guess so! Not surprised. The Room (heh, bet he regrets that title) and Play Dead were very groovy productions. Now we can all be green with envy and wish we hadn't lost such a wonderful connection whilst also being extremely proud. One of our tribe is a somebody! That means we're almost somebodies!!!


Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:19 pm
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:
I guess so! Not surprised. The Room (heh, bet he regrets that title) and Play Dead were very groovy productions. Now we can all be green with envy and wish we hadn't lost such a wonderful connection whilst also being extremely proud. One of our tribe is a somebody! That means we're almost somebodies!!!
Out of curiosity, is there any way you could use his IMDB page to get in touch with him in some manner?

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Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:21 pm
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Stu wrote:
Out of curiosity, is there any way you could use his IMDB page to get in touch with him in some manner?


I'd have to have IMDb pro for such a thing. Don't see a Instagram or Twitter either. There is a Deadline article about them.having a new movie called "Casa" lined up for their debut film (guess the Puerto Rican film fell apart).


Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:56 pm
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He has a Facebook page (just browsed his name) in case you wanted to contact him.

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Mon Dec 03, 2018 12:00 am
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Thief wrote:
He has a Facebook page (just browsed his name) in case you wanted to contact him.


Dang it. I was hoping someone else had paved the way and I wouldn't have to worry about dealing with anything that could trigger some fun social anxiety. I'll have to think on this.

On another note, does anyone know where I can share this? I hit up a few subreddits but all the ones that seem like it's doing well on are mostly dead and those that aren't, insta-delete it. If anyone enjoyed it enough to share it, that would also be greatly appreciated.


Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:46 am
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:
On another note, does anyone know where I can share this? I hit up a few subreddits but all the ones that seem like it's doing well on are mostly dead and those that aren't, insta-delete it. If anyone enjoyed it enough to share it, that would also be greatly appreciated.


Share it on Twitter, use the #FilmTwitter tag.

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Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:59 am
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Thief wrote:

Share it on Twitter, use the #FilmTwitter tag.


Any prime hours I should do such a thing or is that a dumb question cuz Twitter is global insanity 24/7?

Also, how do you post YouTube on Twitter?


Mon Dec 03, 2018 12:00 pm
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:

Any prime hours I should do such a thing or is that a dumb question cuz Twitter is global insanity 24/7?

Also, how do you post YouTube on Twitter?


It's not a dumb question, cause most people that thrive on social media take it into consideration when posting their stuff. That said, I don't know much about what "prime hours" would apply. I think mornings are pretty active, people waking up, checking their feed, and afternoons/nights as well. But don't know much beyond that.

As for posting the YouTube, just copy/paste the link. Twitter will make it a clickable video. Tag the @Filmstro and @Filmriot accounts.

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Mon Dec 03, 2018 12:29 pm
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Thief wrote:

It's not a dumb question, cause most people that thrive on social media take it into consideration when posting their stuff. That said, I don't know much about what "prime hours" would apply. I think mornings are pretty active, people waking up, checking their feed, and afternoons/nights as well. But don't know much beyond that.

As for posting the YouTube, just copy/paste the link. Twitter will make it a clickable video. Tag the @Filmstro and @Filmriot accounts.


Thanks a ton! Had to download the app to get the link to work. Wouldn't make it clickable in the browser. Appreciate it all.


Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:05 pm
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:up:

Second what DaMU said about the eye effect. Just curious what your narrative influences were? There's a western horror I saw at TIFF a few months ago called The Wind that this isn't exactly that similar to, but certain elements brought that one to mind (in a good way).

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Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:16 pm
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Rock wrote:
:up:

Second what DaMU said about the eye effect. Just curious what your narrative influences were? There's a western horror I saw at TIFF a few months ago called The Wind that this isn't exactly that similar to, but certain elements brought that one to mind (in a good way).

The most obvious influence, of course, is Nosferatu and other vampire horror (as if I needed to mention it) along with an urge to capture the creepiness of glowing eyes watching you from the woods (something I haven't seen or can't remember having seen though a friend insists it was done in the newest It). I was DEFINITELY influenced to some degree by Meek's Cutoff, in which there's a night time long take muzzle loading scene that plays out in a long take. It was gratifying to see that and I had originally wanted to do a similarly mundane and long reload sequence during a shootout in a Western short I was previously working on. It found its way into this one.

I also suppose that No Country always finds its way in as the short, in set up, functions like a slower version of the dog chase as he struggles to reload.


Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:34 pm
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I was confused about the set up. I wasn't sure if she was circling back to her campfire after finding something in the woods or if she were running through the woods and just happened upon the campfire. She appeared to be in her PJs, so I guess she was either camping out there or she was running from someplace else? What matters is that we have our damsel in distress and a looming threat, I suppose. Still, I wonder if her distress could be engineered for greater suspense (e.g., we start off with her POV in the dark running toward the false sanctuary of the campfire).

I guess the twist is that
the gun is turned against her
? If Satan is literally after you in the woods, however, I would think that your goose is cooked anyway, right? That is, I am not sure what the reversal establishes
(e.g., would she have lived if she hadn't grabbed the flintlock?).


Black and white is cool.

Why not have Mr. Baddie not just touch the wound, but dig into her neck and pull out the lead bullet (gushy noises and screams to sell it) and deliver the line sucking the blood of the spherical bullet as if it were a piece of hard candy? That might be more gore than your audience wanted.

I wonder if her POV while dying might amp things up by forcing us to share her subjectivity.

Projects like this are tough, I'd guess--you have to set the ball and spike it and roll credits.


Tue Dec 04, 2018 4:26 am
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Melvin Butterworth wrote:
I was confused about the set up. I wasn't sure if she was circling back to her campfire after finding something in the woods or if she were running through the woods and just happened upon the campfire. She appeared to be in her PJs, so I guess she was either camping out there or she was running from someplace else? What matters is that we have our damsel in distress and a looming threat, I suppose. Still, I wonder if her distress could be engineered for greater suspense (e.g., we start off with her POV in the dark running toward the false sanctuary of the campfire).

I guess the twist is that
the gun is turned against her
? If Satan is literally after you in the woods, however, I would think that your goose is cooked anyway, right? That is, I am not sure what the reversal establishes
(e.g., would she have lived if she hadn't grabbed the flintlock?).


Black and white is cool.

Why not have Mr. Baddie not just touch the wound, but dig into her neck and pull out the lead bullet (gushy noises and screams to sell it) and deliver the line sucking the blood of the spherical bullet as if it were a piece of hard candy? That might be more gore than your audience wanted.

I wonder if her POV while dying might amp things up by forcing us to share her subjectivity.

Projects like this are tough, I'd guess--you have to set the ball and spike it and roll credits.


Does your confusion matter? Why is she in the woods, for that matter? When you're dealing with 1 min of short film, assumptions have to be made.

Why would a POV shot play for greater suspense? What's aesthetically interesting about a forest at night being run through for less than 2 seconds, given the time constraint? How does that not simply protract the wait?

The "twist," more of a subversive reveal, is that the cross and prayer are of no protection in the face of evil and that a vampire of human intelligence would likely use "modern" tools to defend themselves. It established irony, genre subversion and as far as I've seen does something hardly touched on in the body of vampire fiction. Also, given that within 1 minute, it reveals that you're dealing with a vampire in the first place and the majority of the time is spent with the protagonist praying, reloading and struggling to survive, I think an ending that confirms the assurity of demise rather than a "guess" is substantial enough in that regard.

Black and White IS cool.

Why not? Because it's not specifically a horror festival, it's one minute and that's a complex action that involves multiple set ups, costly special effects to do well (are you aware of how complicated it would be to do a bullet removal from a throat that looks believable?) and that I don't see what is gained by going full grand guignol with the grue and gore that isn't there from the nonchalant poking of the wound and licking of the finger.

Why would a single POV shot do more than the multitude of other techniques I used, including shallow depth of field, keeping the central focus entirely on her, audio that captures her subjective experience, etc to put viewers in her "subjectivity?"

Thanks for watching!


Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:16 am
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:
The decision to keep the focus on the protagonist was made early on and while it was as much out of necessity (out of fear of showing the limitations of our villains' make-up), I think it was very much the right choice in keeping you in her shoes. A bit of my own "the shark isn't working."

Funny, I was going to specifically single out the nice make-up job, so if there were limitations you hid them well.
I love the premise. Vampires have the most ridiculous set of rules/weaknesses in all of monsterdom, so I always enjoy when someone pokes fun at that or finds a way around it. Also, it brought to mind that moment in Terrifier when the clown uses a pistol, which I found equally subversive.
And I'll just repeat everyone's comments about the eyes. That was the bee's knees.

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Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:36 am
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Also-nice job on the neck wound as well.

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Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:41 am
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Does your confusion matter? Why is she in the woods, for that matter? When you're dealing with 1 min of short film, assumptions have to be made.


I don't know if these details matter. I am just one data point. The question may matter if you get more feedback raising the question. If not, then just chalk it up to my usual bloviating.

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Why would a POV shot play for greater suspense? What's aesthetically interesting about a forest at night being run through for less than 2 seconds, given the time constraint? How does that not simply protract the wait?


Being in almost total darkness with sounds of pursuit could be quite terrifying (there are many such chases in horror and if I am not mistaken most make use of the victim's POV to get us feel like the prey in the grand scheme of things).

It might be a cheap and easy way to fade in from black, respecting a recognized formal way to open, but also disorienting us a little with sound.

The campfire in the distance become more recognizable as a "goal" - (if only I could get to that fire).

As we presently open, we are sort of guests at your campfire, looking up at the stars and then looking down to see our heroine run into our camp.

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
The "twist," more of a subversive reveal, is that the cross and prayer are of no protection in the face of evil and that a vampire of human intelligence would likely use "modern" tools to defend themselves


Is that it? If she were a woman of faith, wouldn't she reach for the cross first and the gun second? Wouldn't that be the first move to fight the devil? At best, she seems to be like "Benny" in The Mummy, loading her gun while praying and then grabbing the crucifix after the attempt fails. This reads less like subversion to me and more like desperation.
For that reason, it is easy for me to read this as a sort of "punishment" for not leading with faith. As for our vampire, he doesn't really appear to be in any real trouble at any point and he seems to shoot her for the fun of it. In the post-Blade-era the idea of vamps using guns is pretty well established.

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Why not? Because it's not specifically a horror festival, it's one minute and that's a complex action that involves multiple set ups, costly special effects to do well (are you aware of how complicated it would be to do a bullet removal from a throat that looks believable?) and that I don't see what is gained by going full grand guignol with the grue and gore that isn't there from the nonchalant poking of the wound and licking of the finger.


Well, you could show finger probing the wound and then cut to her face as she screams while we hear squishy sounds and then cut to looking up with our vamp with blood soaked fingers looking at the bullet. It could be done on the cheap. I'll grant that this does not mean that it should be done.

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Why would a single POV shot do more than the multitude of other techniques I used, including shallow depth of field, keeping the central focus entirely on her, audio that captures her subjective experience, etc to put viewers in her "subjectivity?"


I dunno. I would probably need to shoot this thing my own way, decide that I hate it, and go back to your version as the better version. There is cool stuff you have going on in these short takes. I am only wondering aloud about how it could be cooler, because (alas) I am no filmmaker myself, so offering advice makes me feel connected to the creative process.


Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:57 am
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Melvin Butterworth wrote:


I don't know if these details matter. I am just one data point. The question may matter if you get more feedback raising the question. If not, then just chalk it up to my usual bloviating.



Being in almost total darkness with sounds of pursuit could be quite terrifying (there are many such chases in horror and if I am not mistaken most make use of the victim's POV to get us feel like the prey in the grand scheme of things).

It might be a cheap and easy way to fade in from black, respecting a recognized formal way to open, but also disorienting us a little with sound.

The campfire in the distance become more recognizable as a "goal" - (if only I could get to that fire).

As we presently open, we are sort of guests at your campfire, looking up at the stars and then looking down to see our heroine run into our camp.



Is that it? If she were a woman of faith, wouldn't she reach for the cross first and the gun second? Wouldn't that be the first move to fight the devil? At best, she seems to be like "Benny" in The Mummy, loading her gun while praying and then grabbing the crucifix after the attempt fails. This reads less like subversion to me and more like desperation.
For that reason, it is easy for me to read this as a sort of "punishment" for not leading with faith. As for our vampire, he doesn't really appear to be in any real trouble at any point and he seems to shoot her for the fun of it. In the post-Blade-era the idea of vamps using guns is pretty well established.



Well, you could show finger probing the wound and then cut to her face as she screams while we hear squishy sounds and then cut to looking up with our vamp with blood soaked fingers looking at the bullet. It could be done on the cheap. I'll grant that this does not mean that it should be done.



I dunno. I would probably need to shoot this thing my own way, decide that I hate it, and go back to your version as the better version. There is cool stuff you have going on in these short takes. I am only wondering aloud about how it could be cooler, because (alas) I am no filmmaker myself, so offering advice makes me feel connected to the creative process.


Will do.

A POV chase doesn't build anything unless given time to breathe. Otherwise, it's a solitary, brief shot at the beginning of the short. I don't see what's gained from such a shot in this context vs. the lowering from darkness, as if being dropped into this scenario from afar.

Why would a woman of faith in this period not attempt to defend herself before falling upon her beliefs for protection? She's not an imbecile nor is she incompetent. Comparing her to Benny, defined by slimy incompetence, doesn't really show much appreciation for what's presented on screen. Her being shot whilst holding a cross is definitely a subversion or expectation in such a scene. Find me anything comparable to demonstrate that it is not.

Blade and post-Blade vampires play fast and loose with the Vampire mythos and make them wielding guns less a subversion than another facet of them basically being gangsters with fangs. They remove the classical nature of the creature to the point that there's not much left there. There's no confusing Deacon Frost for Orloff. Are you trying to equivocate that the presentation of a classical monstrous vampire using a pistol to nullify the one long range protection that humans have against classical vampires is of no discernable difference to gangster vampires with no aversion to religious relics getting into an action movie shootout?

Cutting to hide penetration betrays the gag as it highlights the inability to anyone with an iota of film knowledge. They enter a short with expectations of limitations and that does not ring true as a choice but rather a failure. "They couldn't do that!" Also, given that this short maxed at a minute already with virtually every frame used, this would add at a minimum of five seconds. The logistics aren't feasible for something that would add copious hours of pre-production and shooting. Once again, there's nothing inherently wrong with the suggestion in a different context but like the POV chase, it's a matter of seconds vs value and it seems to not add enough value or punch to the short to account for the monetary, preparation or temporal value that it would devour.

What cool stuff? Criticism seems to come off more in good faith when that's mentioned beyond recommendations of how you'd have done it or preferred it done. Why haven't you tried to make anything? It's not as though you're lacking in beliefs in how cinema could/should be done. Go for it, dude. Download writerduet and get started with a short script. Between freeware and modern cell phones, there's no reason not to try to make something!


Tue Dec 04, 2018 9:48 am
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Captain Terror wrote:
Funny, I was going to specifically single out the nice make-up job, so if there were limitations you hid them well.
I love the premise. Vampires have the most ridiculous set of rules/weaknesses in all of monsterdom, so I always enjoy when someone pokes fun at that or finds a way around it. Also, it brought to mind that moment in Terrifier when the clown uses a pistol, which I found equally subversive.
And I'll just repeat everyone's comments about the eyes. That was the bee's knees.

Thanks CT! We had issues with the mouth that we just couldn't get right. We'd mostly pulled it off doing test footage but come the day off, we couldn't blend the layers properly with latex and kept getting a mustache effect that drove us mad. I was shocked with how well it looked on camera because in person made me want to Hulk Smash.

I dug that scene in Terrifier as well and feel it and a few other strengths validate its existence. I can't say it influenced this one as the Vamp shooting the cross wielder was in a short I wrote about a decade ago but never filmed. That said, I believe our heads were very much in the same place in regards to our asking "why WOULDN'T our monsters do that to get the upper hand?"

And yay! Glad the neck wound worked. I usually have a friend do my latex effects but he was MIA on this one so it came down to me and the actress to pull it off while I bounced between her and the Vamp. She deserves all the credit because all I did was explain the method and she pulled it off excellently. There was supposed to be a blood spurt with it but the pump didn't work due to the blood coming out too thick (even after copious watering down) but miraculously, right when we cut to her, it spurted just a little to cause some visible blood flow. It's extra nice when the things that fought you tooth and nail get a compliment. Appreciated!


Tue Dec 04, 2018 9:55 am
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Will do.

A POV chase doesn't build anything unless given time to breathe. Otherwise, it's a solitary, brief shot at the beginning of the short. I don't see what's gained from such a shot in this context vs. the lowering from darkness, as if being dropped into this scenario from afar.


OK.

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Why would a woman of faith in this period not attempt to defend herself before falling upon her beliefs for protection? She's not an imbecile nor is she incompetent. Comparing her to Benny, defined by slimy incompetence, doesn't really show much appreciation for what's presented on screen. Her being shot whilst holding a cross is definitely a subversion or expectation in such a scene. Find me anything comparable to demonstrate that it is not.


Unless she's loading a silver bullet to take down a werewolf, she kind of is an imbecile (or just desperate) to attempt to shoot an undead creature of the night that can turn into a bat or a mist at will. And Benny may have been slimy, but he is far from incompetent--his gambit pays off! The mummy spares him and it is only the heroics of the protagonists that do him in.

NOTE: there have been plenty of vampire flicks that have vampires which are immune to religious symbols. Consider the movie BLADE in which we learn from our eponymous hero

All right, then, listen up, Vampire
Anatomy 101. Crosses and running water
don't do dick, so forget what you've
seen in the movies.


It's not just BLADE - see https://slate.com/news-and-politics/200 ... rules.html for more examples of the "crosses don't do dick" theme.

In today's demography of new atheism, the subversion would be to show a cross actually working.

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Blade and post-Blade vampires play fast and loose with the Vampire mythos and make them wielding guns less a subversion than another facet of them basically being gangsters with fangs.


Meaning is use. You're operating in a genre which has already subverted this expectation.

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
They remove the classical nature of the creature to the point that there's not much left there. There's no confusing Deacon Frost for Orloff. Are you trying to equivocate that the presentation of a classical monstrous vampire using a pistol to nullify the one long range protection that humans have against classical vampires is of no discernable difference to gangster vampires with no aversion to religious relics getting into an action movie shootout?


Your viewer is coming to your short with fresher memories of Twilight and Blade and Interview with the Vampire than that of classic monster movies. The genre has already been subverted. Hell, I remember a Mexican vampire flick from the 70s or 80s which had a sort of Van Helsing who explained that vampires only recoil from light reflected from shiny objects like crosses and not the cross itself (i.e., naturalized vampires are nothing new and neither are Whedon-style vamps where supernatural evil is ubiquitous but God is absent).

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Cutting to hide penetration betrays the gag as it highlights the inability to anyone with an iota of film knowledge. They enter a short with expectations of limitations and that does not ring true as a choice but rather a failure.


Maybe. Maybe not. Turn of the Screw was scandalous for what it didn't say. Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Halloween are classic examples of implying gore without showing it, but these films are smash successes, in part, because we are tortured in the theater of our own imagination.

Also, there are cheap visual tricks that are effective (e.g., bend a finger half way to make it look like he's digging in the wound).

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
"They couldn't do that!" Also, given that this short maxed at a minute already with virtually every frame used, this would add at a minimum of five seconds.


Fair point.

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
What cool stuff?


The black and white.

The menace at a distance with glowing eyes.

The nice face make up on the vamp.

Pretty good acting on the part of your lead.

Lots of good stuff.

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Criticism seems to come off more in good faith when that's mentioned beyond recommendations of how you'd have done it or preferred it done.


I think the most dishonest criticism is the "gold star" comment that just gushes praise. Good faith criticism is to politely call it like you see it. You are, after all, sharing your work with film snobs, people you've had knock-down drag out arguments with over the years.

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Why haven't you tried to make anything?


I have. Just fan edits. The trouble with fan edits, however, is that they're hard to share legally.

What has really given my fantasies pause, however, was watching the director's commentary for a mediocre little flick called Jeepers Creepers. The film was OK, but listening to the commentary it struck me how much thought, planning, hard work, or heart went in to making it. It was humbling to see how all the very soberly reasoned criteria for doing this or that didn't quite translate into the film they were hoping to make.

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
It's not as though you're lacking in beliefs in how cinema could/should be done. Go for it, dude. Download writerduet and get started with a short script. Between freeware and modern cell phones, there's no reason not to try to make something!


I have a day job as a muggle. It keeps me busy. My delusions of grandeur are sadly limited to me pretending to offer you knowledge about how to make your own films.


Tue Dec 04, 2018 11:15 am
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Melvin Butterworth wrote:


OK.



Unless she's loading a silver bullet to take down a werewolf, she kind of is an imbecile (or just desperate) to attempt to shoot an undead creature of the night that can turn into a bat or a mist at will. And Benny may have been slimy, but he is far from incompetent--his gambit pays off! The mummy spares him and it is only the heroics of the protagonists that do him in.

NOTE: there have been plenty of vampire flicks that have vampires which are immune to religious symbols. Consider the movie BLADE in which we learn from our eponymous hero

All right, then, listen up, Vampire
Anatomy 101. Crosses and running water
don't do dick, so forget what you've
seen in the movies.


It's not just BLADE - see https://slate.com/news-and-politics/200 ... rules.html for more examples of the "crosses don't do dick" theme.

In today's demography of new atheism, the subversion would be to show a cross actually working.



Meaning is use. You're operating in a genre which has already subverted this expectation.



Your viewer is coming to your short with fresher memories of Twilight and Blade and Interview with the Vampire than that of classic monster movies. The genre has already been subverted. Hell, I remember a Mexican vampire flick from the 70s or 80s which had a sort of Van Helsing who explained that vampires only recoil from light reflected from shiny objects like crosses and not the cross itself (i.e., naturalized vampires are nothing new and neither are Whedon-style vamps where supernatural evil is ubiquitous but God is absent).



Maybe. Maybe not. Turn of the Screw was scandalous for what it didn't say. Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Halloween are classic examples of implying gore without showing it, but these films are smash successes, in part, because we are tortured in the theater of our own imagination.

Also, there are cheap visual tricks that are effective (e.g., bend a finger half way to make it look like he's digging in the wound).



Fair point.



The black and white.

The menace at a distance with glowing eyes.

The nice face make up on the vamp.

Pretty good acting on the part of your lead.

Lots of good stuff.



I think the most dishonest criticism is the "gold star" comment that just gushes praise. Good faith criticism is to politely call it like you see it. You are, after all, sharing your work with film snobs, people you've had knock-down drag out arguments with over the years.



I have. Just fan edits. The trouble with fan edits, however, is that they're hard to share legally.

What has really given my fantasies pause, however, was watching the director's commentary for a mediocre little flick called Jeepers Creepers. The film was OK, but listening to the commentary it struck me how much thought, planning, hard work, or heart went in to making it. It was humbling to see how all the very soberly reasoned criteria for doing this or that didn't quite translate into the film they were hoping to make.



I have a day job as a muggle. It keeps me busy. My delusions of grandeur are sadly limited to me pretending to offer you knowledge about how to make your own films.


You're assuming the character would know the "rules" to the vampire, which I don't think is ever the case until they meet a Van Helsing type. If something scary comes after you, shooting it is more or less the human reaction

Not that I particularly care to argue the characterization of Benny, but it's his general incompetence and greed that gets him killed and into virtually every life threatening situation. That he lucks himself into being a lackie is hardly any inspiring testament to his competency.

I'm not arguing for a vampire that is immune to religious symbols and point to it. I'm arguing about a vampire that isn't immune that defends itself logically rather than by hissing and fleeing, which is classically the outcome every time. In order to subvert, modern vampire flicks had to completely removed and escape the trappings of the classic vampire, which makes such a thing almost a subgenre in and of itself. This is largely why I went with a Nosferatu styled appearance, as it removes audiences from viewing the creature through anything other than a classical lens.

When dealing in any horror subgenre, post-modernism has already had it's way with it. The only possiblity for a "new" idea within genre is to find a specific angle that has not been used. As I said, show me a classic vampire susceptible to religious relics behave in such a manner to defend itself and I will concede. I've not found one and I've seen a ridiculous amount of vampire films.

Modern short films are judged by a far different metric from classic films. As great as Halloween and TCM are, they are of their era and wouldn't be able to get into a festival due to technical qualities. Find me a modern equivalent that uses short cuts on such a gag. The atmosphere for indie horror has changed greatly and the usual metric of judgement is either image quality or gore quality. They usually have one, the other or both. I think it's better to go with what can be done effectively and clearly rather than relying on edits to hide cheap effects as people clearly pick up on them. For example, almost every single short film in this competition that features a stabbing of any sort. They can't show the penetration so they cut to hide it virtually every time.

The only real way to pull off the proposed gag or stabbing is either through prosthetics (expensive and time consuming) or compositing (an art in and of itself that can easily look worse than a cut if shots don't properly align). It's the crapshoot of no-budget indie filmmaking and the answer to such proposals is udually- if we had enough time, money and resources, why not anything?

Thanks on the good stuff!

Sure, those can be in bad faith too. Nor is a gush what I'm asking for. There's a bellcurve on criticism and there's a difference between honest and tactless, as you're commenting to an individual who has dedicated dozens of hours and days working on this project despite it's short length rather than commenting on a film to complete stranger who also has nothing to do with the creation of it. But, just like our countless bouts of film snob shouting matches, I will match your points with counter points of my own if only to prove to myself that I understand and can justify my artistic choices as to address your concerns.

Yes, seeing behind the scenes and working on films has made me far less harsh on films in general, including ones that feel like utter failures. You're juggling a million plates and you have to hope the ones you drop at least shatter beautifully.

I have a demanding day job too, hombre. I wrote my last few scripts on my phone in my free time. You should do it, man. At least to prove that you can apply your ideas. I'd be happy to read and offer criticism and argue about your work too.


Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:43 pm
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What did you use for blood? Did you try different things based on how they screen-tested?

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Tue Dec 04, 2018 1:36 pm
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Rock wrote:
What did you use for blood? Did you try different things based on how they screen-tested?

Ordinarily, we use a classic mix of corn syrup, chocolate syrup and red food coloring. The ratio of the mixture shifts depending on necessity.

For this one, however, we didn't set up the area in which we could have feasibly mixed the concoction due to already driving the generator out to our filming location, and there being no means to power the stove. This forced us to rely on emergency store bought fake blood from after Halloween sales and Whataburger fancy ketchup (as unlike our normal fake blood, store bought can't be safely ingested). It's part of what made our blood cannon and our blood pump useless and made things get rather desperate towards the end of the shoot.


Tue Dec 04, 2018 1:52 pm
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:
The most obvious influence, of course, is Nosferatu and other vampire horror (as if I needed to mention it) along with an urge to capture the creepiness of glowing eyes watching you from the woods (something I haven't seen or can't remember having seen though a friend insists it was done in the newest It). I was DEFINITELY influenced to some degree by Meek's Cutoff, in which there's a night time long take muzzle loading scene that plays out in a long take. It was gratifying to see that and I had originally wanted to do a similarly mundane and long reload sequence during a shootout in a Western short I was previously working on. It found its way into this one.

I also suppose that No Country always finds its way in as the short, in set up, functions like a slower version of the dog chase as he struggles to reload.

Ah, ok, the director of that movie also cited Meek's Cutoff (which I should probably see at some point).

I also got some VVitch vibes, with the religious angle (and religion being a support system that ends up being totally useless against this threat) and period immersion.

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Tue Dec 04, 2018 1:56 pm
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Rock wrote:
Ah, ok, the director of that movie also cited Meek's Cutoff (which I should probably see at some point).

I also got some VVitch vibes, with the religious angle (and religion being a support system that ends up being totally useless against this threat) and period immersion.


I suppose I need to add the Wind to my must sees as it sounds up my alley!

I also suppose I neglected to mention the Witch but it was definitely used as a reference point, especially in regards to scoring (which of course, makes Kubrick and the Sbining a big influence as well). The idea of specific period horror is something that really appeals to me and the Witch did so much in that arena right that it would be disingenuous to say it wasn't on our minds. Eggers played an even bigger part beyond that in that he announced his own Nosferatu and got my competitive streak a' goin' as I've always been fond of the prospect of doing such a thing (albeit in homage rather than remake).


Tue Dec 04, 2018 2:26 pm
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Quote:
I'm not arguing for a vampire that is immune to religious symbols and point to it. I'm arguing about a vampire that isn't immune that defends itself logically rather than by hissing and fleeing,

You are trying to communicate that your vampire could not close the gap because of the cross and shot this poor woman instead? That's fucking hilarious and I love it. But that is not what read to me when I watched it several times. Your vampire does not appear to be susceptible to religious symbols. She is praying as she loads the gun. Prayer does nothing (or so it seems) to keep him from swiping away the flintlock. She clutches her cross, but he doesn't appear to be affected by it. He seems to shoot her out of spite (You're gonna pull a gun on me?).

Quote:
which is classically the outcome every time. In order to subvert, modern vampire flicks had to completely removed and escape the trappings of the classic vampire, which makes such a thing almost a subgenre in and of itself. This is largely why I went with a Nosferatu styled appearance, as it removes audiences from viewing the creature through anything other than a classical lens.

Film genre / subgenre is not simply determined by the phenotypical features of your monster.Buffy had a few Nosferatu looking baddies too and yet they're psychologically naturalized, dripping in post-modern irony, and are dispatched by staking. Film vampires run the gamut from Bela Lagosi with sparkles (Twilight) to Star Trek alien-race-of-the-week prosthetic heads jutting with fangs. Individual films often give us many looks at the villain. Think of Fright Night, for example. We have the horribly toothy Amy. We have the various stages of Jerry Dandrige (sensual villain after your mom in a Cosby sweater eventually morphing into a discarded prop from Ghostbusters--this is literally what they did). We have the rather conventional Evil Ed who, nevertheless, dies in the fashion of a werewolf. Vampires have many looks in many genres and sub-genres and often many looks in the same film (Dusk Till Dawn) or TV series (Buffy). The only slam-dunk connection I can think of between phenotype and genre with regard to vampires is that of signalling Burlesque comedy with gray make-up, cheap plastic teeth, black widow's peak, and giant cape. Everything else is a bit of bubbling stew of images.

Quote:
When dealing in any horror subgenre, post-modernism has already had it's way with it. The only possiblity for a "new" idea within genre is to find a specific angle that has not been used. As I said, show me a classic vampire susceptible to religious relics behave in such a manner to defend itself and I will concede. I've not found one and I've seen a ridiculous amount of vampire films.

Have a look at this scene. Not a vampire flick, but this is the gag we're speaking of.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TSaU7qATRHM

Jerry Dandridge is vulnerable to religious reliquary, but he escapes them by pretending to be "born again" to Peter Vincent. He defends himself cleverly against Charlie's test. From Dusk Till Dawn is loaded with vampires armed with practical weapons. Many supernaturally vulnerable vampires make use of human familiars and agents (e.g., Jonathan Harker) to practically navigate supernatural difficulties.

At any rate, the point isn't really to do something new, but to execute the idea well. I like the idea, but I didn't quite get what you were after in your short flick. Again, I am just one data point. If everyone else got it, then you pulled off the trick. You can tell me what you're aiming at, but we shouldn't be evaluating your film with Spark's notes from the director. We should see it as a blank slate and give you are impressions to do with as you will.

Quote:
Modern short films are judged by a far different metric from classic films. As great as Halloween and TCM are, they are of their era and wouldn't be able to get into a festival due to technical qualities. Find me a modern equivalent that uses short cuts on such a gag. The atmosphere for indie horror has changed greatly and the usual metric of judgement is either image quality or gore quality. They usually have one, the other or both. I think it's better to go with what can be done effectively and clearly rather than relying on edits to hide cheap effects as people clearly pick up on them. For example, almost every single short film in this competition that features a stabbing of any sort. They can't show the penetration so they cut to hide it virtually every time.

Old tricks get to be old tricks because they work. You just have to execute the move well or rearrange the furniture enough that we don't consciously hear suspension of disbelief Klaxons going off when you do it.

Magic tricks on stage are cheap gags that can, nevertheless, amaze when staged correctly. I remember Penn and Teller relaying a story about their favorite version of the "sawing a woman in half" trick that was performed decades ago in South America somewhere. It was the closing bit and old magician would cut his daughter in half. The trick involved something gory like a circular saw and halfway through the trick the daughter screams in agony, blood goes everywhere, the stage crew is obviously shaken, and the curtains are immediately dropped with no explanation to the audience. And that is how he closed his act every night, scaring the shit out adults and scarring kids for life--perhaps ethically dubious, but a slam-dunk rejoinder to anyone who claims that you could never do the old "sawing a woman in half" trick credibly today.

Filmmaking is nothing but a quilt of cheap tricks stitched together from technology and technique. A "cut" is a cheap trick which moves us forward in space and/or time which is now conventionalized to being part of the grammar of visual story-telling. Shit, a stage production very often has very light SFX and sometimes none in the black box, but a good performance paired with good writing and staging can make you believe.

Quote:
Sure, those can be in bad faith too. Nor is a gush what I'm asking for. There's a bellcurve on criticism and there's a difference between honest and tactless, as you're commenting to an individual who has dedicated dozens of hours and days working on this project despite it's short length rather than commenting on a film to complete stranger who also has nothing to do with the creation of it. But, just like our countless bouts of film snob shouting matches, I will match your points with counter points of my own if only to prove to myself that I understand and can justify my artistic choices as to address your concerns.

Well, I hope that I am not being tactless in giving it to you straight. Take it for what it is--one person's reaction to your work. It's not definitive of anything. It's just a data point. I wouldn't comment on your stuff if I thought it sucked. Rather, I am hoping that you put together a sort of low-budget modern John Carpenter flick and make a splash or at least win a few of these contests. You got robbed in the last one I looked at.

Quote:
Yes, seeing behind the scenes and working on films has made me far less harsh on films in general, including ones that feel like utter failures. You're juggling a million plates and you have to hope the ones you drop at least shatter beautifully.

It seems like you almost have to get lucky and have everything fall together.

Quote:
I have a demanding day job too, hombre. I wrote my last few scripts on my phone in my free time. You should do it, man. At least to prove that you can apply your ideas. I'd be happy to read and offer criticism and argue about your work too.

I have some fan edits, but I don't know how I could send them to you without running afoul of the law. In my book editing is tough enough. At any rate, it's much easier to lobby you to do what I cannot.


Tue Dec 04, 2018 7:45 pm
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Post Re: My new 1-min horror short-term Sangre Dulce

Melvin Butterworth wrote:
You are trying to communicate that your vampire could not close the gap because of the cross and shot this poor woman instead? That's fucking hilarious and I love it. But that is not what read to me when I watched it several times. Your vampire does not appear to be susceptible to religious symbols. She is praying as she loads the gun. Prayer does nothing (or so it seems) to keep him from swiping away the flintlock. She clutches her cross, but he doesn't appear to be affected by it. He seems to shoot her out of spite (You're gonna pull a gun on me?).


Film genre / subgenre is not simply determined by the phenotypical features of your monster.Buffy had a few Nosferatu looking baddies too and yet they're psychologically naturalized, dripping in post-modern irony, and are dispatched by staking. Film vampires run the gamut from Bela Lagosi with sparkles (Twilight) to Star Trek alien-race-of-the-week prosthetic heads jutting with fangs. Individual films often give us many looks at the villain. Think of Fright Night, for example. We have the horribly toothy Amy. We have the various stages of Jerry Dandrige (sensual villain after your mom in a Cosby sweater eventually morphing into a discarded prop from Ghostbusters--this is literally what they did). We have the rather conventional Evil Ed who, nevertheless, dies in the fashion of a werewolf. Vampires have many looks in many genres and sub-genres and often many looks in the same film (Dusk Till Dawn) or TV series (Buffy). The only slam-dunk connection I can think of between phenotype and genre with regard to vampires is that of signalling Burlesque comedy with gray make-up, cheap plastic teeth, black widow's peak, and giant cape. Everything else is a bit of bubbling stew of images.


Have a look at this scene. Not a vampire flick, but this is the gag we're speaking of.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TSaU7qATRHM

Jerry Dandridge is vulnerable to religious reliquary, but he escapes them by pretending to be "born again" to Peter Vincent. He defends himself cleverly against Charlie's test. From Dusk Till Dawn is loaded with vampires armed with practical weapons. Many supernaturally vulnerable vampires make use of human familiars and agents (e.g., Jonathan Harker) to practically navigate supernatural difficulties.

At any rate, the point isn't really to do something new, but to execute the idea well. I like the idea, but I didn't quite get what you were after in your short flick. Again, I am just one data point. If everyone else got it, then you pulled off the trick. You can tell me what you're aiming at, but we shouldn't be evaluating your film with Spark's notes from the director. We should see it as a blank slate and give you are impressions to do with as you will.


Old tricks get to be old tricks because they work. You just have to execute the move well or rearrange the furniture enough that we don't consciously hear suspension of disbelief Klaxons going off when you do it.

Magic tricks on stage are cheap gags that can, nevertheless, amaze when staged correctly. I remember Penn and Teller relaying a story about their favorite version of the "sawing a woman in half" trick that was performed decades ago in South America somewhere. It was the closing bit and old magician would cut his daughter in half. The trick involved something gory like a circular saw and halfway through the trick the daughter screams in agony, blood goes everywhere, the stage crew is obviously shaken, and the curtains are immediately dropped with no explanation to the audience. And that is how he closed his act every night, scaring the shit out adults and scarring kids for life--perhaps ethically dubious, but a slam-dunk rejoinder to anyone who claims that you could never do the old "sawing a woman in half" trick credibly today.

Filmmaking is nothing but a quilt of cheap tricks stitched together from technology and technique. A "cut" is a cheap trick which moves us forward in space and/or time which is now conventionalized to being part of the grammar of visual story-telling. Shit, a stage production very often has very light SFX and sometimes none in the black box, but a good performance paired with good writing and staging can make you believe.


Well, I hope that I am not being tactless in giving it to you straight. Take it for what it is--one person's reaction to your work. It's not definitive of anything. It's just a data point. I wouldn't comment on your stuff if I thought it sucked. Rather, I am hoping that you put together a sort of low-budget modern John Carpenter flick and make a splash or at least win a few of these contests. You got robbed in the last one I looked at.


It seems like you almost have to get lucky and have everything fall together.


I have some fan edits, but I don't know how I could send them to you without running afoul of the law. In my book editing is tough enough. At any rate, it's much easier to lobby you to do what I cannot.


That is what I'm trying to communicate. A failure to clearly communicate that is something that I can accept, though I'd argue that it IS there, it's just more subtle than the clutch the throat and hiss reaction normally associated with the susceptibility to crosses. He closes the distance supernaturally fast and comes right upon her when he takes the gun only to slowly circle and stop far short of her when she wields the cross. His reliance on the pistol in and of itself as a reaction to her showing the cross in and of itself is something of a tell, rather than grabbing her right away and overpowering her. That said, we made the choice to go more subtle than some initial ideas that would have had a greater degree of bombast to it is more opaque than perhaps it should be, but I've gotten several enthusiastic responses from those that get it.

If I recall correctly, Buffy had 1, the Master, and he largely obeyed classic vampire rules just as most of Buffy's vampires do. Only once does one use a pistol (Darla) but it's a scene largely shrugged off because to pursue that avenue further would have broken the show, so it demanded audiences ignore the problems of vampires not using modern technology to make themselves largely invulnerable.

I don't think your sawing in half trick proves your point so much as proves mine. By adding that twist to the trick, it becomes an entirely different trick all together. It's the same set up, but the execution and punchline are entirely different and serve entirely different purposes for the same reason that old cinematic tricks do not work properly with current audiences. Should he have done the trick classically, no one would remark or care about it. This holds true of cinematic tricks as well. Take Michael strangling and cutting Annie's throat in the back seat. It's a great scene but audiences do judge on a sliding scale. If I did the exact same gag in a modern short with the abrupt, bloodless throat cut and her histrionic eye roll that is comical in it's overreacting, I would be laughed off and criticizes. This doesn't diminish Halloween because they established that violent gag. They get to keep it. But doing the same or similar gag would come off as oneade from inability to do a believable throat slice and an inability to get an effective death performance.

Hiding penetration in a cut will always read as an attempt to hide inability rather than an artistic choice in indie shorts just as I can't release a short with the image quality of 28 Days Later

Your responses have grown more tactful throughout our discourse and I appreciate that. Similarly, if I thought you were solely trying to flame my work, I would not have bothered to respond. I just think we often forget that when discussing a work with someone who made it, our nonchalant critique style we use for films at large is not necessarily the best approach.

Have you tried just uploading to YT and seeing what gets taken down? There are a ton of fan edits and most of mine, the production company didn't contest after I put up a "fair use" argument. If they responded by taking them down, I wouldn't fight it at all but usually, they just either drop it or monitize your video and make money off your work (a fair trade for leaving it up, I would say.) Roughly half of my videos on YT are currently fan edits, including a feature length Star Wars cut with a ton of music I also didn't have the rights to. Somehow, no one touches the thing and I'm willing to take it down first conflict. It's been 3 years.

Then there's Vimeo, which you could load as private and share with a password or Google Drive, which you could link share. I think both of those options fall into a legal gray area.

I just have an "I'll comply with any cease and desist" warning policy if my fair use claims are challenged.

Easier, for sure. But less gratifying.


Wed Dec 05, 2018 12:48 am
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Post Re: My new 1-min horror short-term Sangre Dulce

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
That is what I'm trying to communicate. A failure to clearly communicate that is something that I can accept, though I'd argue that it IS there, it's just more subtle than the clutch the throat and hiss reaction normally associated with the susceptibility to crosses. He closes the distance supernaturally fast and comes right upon her when he takes the gun only to slowly circle and stop far short of her when she wields the cross.


I think a challenge here is that subtlety rubs awkwardly with willful suspension of disbelief. That is, we're rolling with the premise of "vampire in the woods," so real world mechanics of movement and motivation are fuzzy.

Also, vampires have a cat-like tendency to toy with their prey--extending the moment of fear works for the audience because "Munch--THE END" doesn't make for a satisfying tale.

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
His reliance on the pistol in and of itself as a reaction to her showing the cross in and of itself is something of a tell, rather than grabbing her right away and overpowering her. That said, we made the choice to go more subtle than some initial ideas that would have had a greater degree of bombast to it is more opaque than perhaps it should be, but I've gotten several enthusiastic responses from those that get it.


Fair enough.

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
If I recall correctly, Buffy had 1, the Master, and he largely obeyed classic vampire rules just as most of Buffy's vampires do. Only once does one use a pistol (Darla) but it's a scene largely shrugged off because to pursue that avenue further would have broken the show, so it demanded audiences ignore the problems of vampires not using modern technology to make themselves largely invulnerable.


Perhaps, but these vampires are practical to the point of being mundane (especially in terms of their psychology). They ride in cars. They sue people. They hire hit men. They have human-like romances. They run businesses. They have minions do detail work. They are practical creatures.

Vampires have usually been quite amenable to using the logical instrumentalities of their prey. Take the category of "vehicle," for example. Stephen King's Night Fliers features a vamp who travels about the country in a Cessna Skymaster. Stoker's Dracula books passage on the Demeter via his human contacts. Near Dark features vampires rambling around in a van with blacked out windows.

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
I don't think your sawing in half trick proves your point so much as proves mine. By adding that twist to the trick, it becomes an entirely different trick all together. It's the same set up, but the execution and punchline are entirely different and serve entirely different purposes for the same reason that old cinematic tricks do not work properly with current audiences. Should he have done the trick classically, no one would remark or care about it. This holds true of cinematic tricks as well. Take Michael strangling and cutting Annie's throat in the back seat. It's a great scene but audiences do judge on a sliding scale. If I did the exact same gag in a modern short with the abrupt, bloodless throat cut and her histrionic eye roll that is comical in it's overreacting, I would be laughed off and criticizes. This doesn't diminish Halloween because they established that violent gag. They get to keep it. But doing the same or similar gag would come off as oneade from inability to do a believable throat slice and an inability to get an effective death performance.


Right now there are countless hustlers on the street making money on the old game of Three Card Monty. Old tricks become old tricks because they work. You just have to sell the trick, stage it right, and earn the moment.

Everything is cliche when you think about it. There's nothing new under the Sun. You just have to move the furniture around the bit to freshen up the room and to play the scene authentically and hope for the best.

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Hiding penetration in a cut will always read as an attempt to hide inability rather than an artistic choice in indie shorts just as I can't release a short with the image quality of 28 Days Later


When characters enter into a blood pact by slicing their palms with a knife, most of us know exactly how the gag works. Moreover, we know that trick needles and knives are spring-supported and don't actually penetrate flesh. And we know how squibs and blood packs work. We know that no one is really being hurt and quite often we know how the trick is done. And if we don't, we just suppose it's passable CGI.

I think maybe you could get away with more than you think you can. That stated, I admire that you don't want to take the easy path.

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Your responses have grown more tactful throughout our discourse and I appreciate that. Similarly, if I thought you were solely trying to flame my work, I would not have bothered to respond. I just think we often forget that when discussing a work with someone who made it, our nonchalant critique style we use for films at large is not necessarily the best approach.


My apologies.

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Have you tried just uploading to YT and seeing what gets taken down? There are a ton of fan edits and most of mine, the production company didn't contest after I put up a "fair use" argument. If they responded by taking them down, I wouldn't fight it at all but usually, they just either drop it or monitize your video and make money off your work (a fair trade for leaving it up, I would say.) Roughly half of my videos on YT are currently fan edits, including a feature length Star Wars cut with a ton of music I also didn't have the rights to. Somehow, no one touches the thing and I'm willing to take it down first conflict. It's been 3 years.


You can generally get away with Star Wars stuff. I uploaded this a million years ago as a gag and it hasn't been hit by anything. - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vXcBDQy-RY

However, I also uploaded a clip comparative clips showing parallels between Blade Runner and Metropolis and I got an immediate channel strike from the blood suckers who are still trying to protect the IP of Metropolis. It's not really worth it to risk strikes, because I don't want to do anything that could hurt my other channels.

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Then there's Vimeo, which you could load as private and share with a password or Google Drive, which you could link share. I think both of those options fall into a legal gray area.


Like you said. Legal gray area and I am not interested in IP trouble.


Wed Dec 05, 2018 3:40 am
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Post Re: My new 1-min horror short-term Sangre Dulce

Melvin Butterworth wrote:


I think a challenge here is that subtlety rubs awkwardly with willful suspension of disbelief. That is, we're rolling with the premise of "vampire in the woods," so real world mechanics of movement and motivation are fuzzy.

Also, vampires have a cat-like tendency to toy with their prey--extending the moment of fear works for the audience because "Munch--THE END" doesn't make for a satisfying tale.



Fair enough.



Perhaps, but these vampires are practical to the point of being mundane (especially in terms of their psychology). They ride in cars. They sue people. They hire hit men. They have human-like romances. They run businesses. They have minions do detail work. They are practical creatures.

Vampires have usually been quite amenable to using the logical instrumentalities of their prey. Take the category of "vehicle," for example. Stephen King's Night Fliers features a vamp who travels about the country in a Cessna Skymaster. Stoker's Dracula books passage on the Demeter via his human contacts. Near Dark features vampires rambling around in a van with blacked out windows.



Right now there are countless hustlers on the street making money on the old game of Three Card Monty. Old tricks become old tricks because they work. You just have to sell the trick, stage it right, and earn the moment.

Everything is cliche when you think about it. There's nothing new under the Sun. You just have to move the furniture around the bit to freshen up the room and to play the scene authentically and hope for the best.



When characters enter into a blood pact by slicing their palms with a knife, most of us know exactly how the gag works. Moreover, we know that trick needles and knives are spring-supported and don't actually penetrate flesh. And we know how squibs and blood packs work. We know that no one is really being hurt and quite often we know how the trick is done. And if we don't, we just suppose it's passable CGI.

I think maybe you could get away with more than you think you can. That stated, I admire that you don't want to take the easy path.



My apologies.



You can generally get away with Star Wars stuff. I uploaded this a million years ago as a gag and it hasn't been hit by anything. - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vXcBDQy-RY

However, I also uploaded a clip comparative clips showing parallels between Blade Runner and Metropolis and I got an immediate channel strike from the blood suckers who are still trying to protect the IP of Metropolis. It's not really worth it to risk strikes, because I don't want to do anything that could hurt my other channels.



Like you said. Legal gray area and I am not interested in IP trouble.


I agree that the abrupt ending of eating doesn't really satisfy, which is why I chose a different punchline to the short. The end both confirms the premise (vampire) as well as implies an inevitable outcome but the punchline comes in the form of the gunshot. I think most viewers are surprised when he raised the pistol given the responses I've come to and given the protraction of the loading, it makes that dynamic the focal point.

Oddly enough, I think most of your issues would be lessened by the extended cut, which makes a few things more apparent and shifts the focus back to the sacreligious nature of the vampire. It's still fatalistic but there's fun play on her prayer that I miss having done.

I'm not trying to claim that I've found a revelatory angle in the genre, because, as you point out, there have been TONS of interpretations of vampires that have been adapted to contemporary views and interests. What I am stating is that my angle of a classic vampire using a logical defense against a cross is an angle that I have not seen done before and I don't think it should be dismissed on that basis.

Sure, everything is cliched. That isn't my point about technique and certain things are minor enough that their being recycled is custom. However, when dealing with gags, technique and originality do still matter. I simply believe that in order to execute such a gag well, it's not feasible given the constraints on this project and doesn't serve this project better than the far more subtle gag I went with. In fact, the original idea was to do a classic lowering of the mouth to the neck but it was scrapped in favor of the finger lick due to how frequent that conclusion is employed and how much creepier this seemed due to how casual it is.

It's cool.

I'll check the link after work. I've gotten away with Star Wars, Batman & Robin (which I'm quite proud of), Pulp Fiction, Knock Knock and Jaws. Just read the bilaws of YouTube. They basically have a three strike policy and as long as you willfully take it down if challenged, you don't even get a strike

With Vimeo, I believe the password one prevents any accusation of trying to give their product away, plus, if there's enough difference, fair use offers some protection as well. What all have you been editing?


Wed Dec 05, 2018 4:11 am
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