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 My new 1-min horror short-term Sangre Dulce 
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I think that this works as a one-minute story and I think that these sort of exercises are useful as they force you to be ruthlessly economical in setting up and paying off.

The link is just a gag reel. I shared it because it's an example of how with Star Wars you can get away with whatever you want (knock on wood). That is the only thing that I have online.

I haven't edited films for a few years now. I don't have the right equipment set up. I am happy with a recut of Blade Runner that I did a while back. I recut the The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, 2001, a slew of horror films. Usually, it was an exercise in turd-polishing (e.g., can we save The Phantom Menace in the edit?). By and large, I think that these projects are doomed. Garbage in--garbage out. However, they are fun. I did a cut of Predator, for example, where the dramatic irony in the first act is removed from the film. That is, where the alien is as much a surprise to us as it is to Dutch's commandos (which Dutch, of course, piously insists is a Rescue-Murder squad and NOT a Murder-Rescue squad "We don't do this type of work!") as it is to the audience. Turns out the original film got it right the first time, but it was an interesting exercise. I did a cut of HEAT where most of Pacino's personal life is cut out of the film (e.g., Natalie Portman) which makes the film a half-hour shorter and actually makes the film better, IMO.


Wed Dec 05, 2018 5:22 am
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Melvin Butterworth wrote:
I think that this works as a one-minute story and I think that these sort of exercises are useful as they force you to be ruthlessly economical in setting up and paying off.

The link is just a gag reel. I shared it because it's an example of how with Star Wars you can get away with whatever you want (knock on wood). That is the only thing that I have online.

I haven't edited films for a few years now. I don't have the right equipment set up. I am happy with a recut of Blade Runner that I did a while back. I recut the The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, 2001, a slew of horror films. Usually, it was an exercise in turd-polishing (e.g., can we save The Phantom Menace in the edit?). By and large, I think that these projects are doomed. Garbage in--garbage out. However, they are fun. I did a cut of Predator, for example, where the dramatic irony in the first act is removed from the film. That is, where the alien is as much a surprise to us as it is to Dutch's commandos (which Dutch, of course, piously insists is a Rescue-Murder squad and NOT a Murder-Rescue squad "We don't do this type of work!") as it is to the audience. Turns out the original film got it right the first time, but it was an interesting exercise. I did a cut of HEAT where most of Pacino's personal life is cut out of the film (e.g., Natalie Portman) which makes the film a half-hour shorter and actually makes the film better, IMO.


Agreed on the usefulness of these super short shorts having value for thinking economically. It's been something I've sought after my bigger short seemed to be viewed as excessive and the nearly 20 min runtime really harmed people watching it.

I finally got home a bit ago so I'll check it momentarily.

I feel like I didn't so much save B&R as I did revel in the comedy it was always intended to be (albeit with some serious departures for my own amusement). It's on my channel if you want to check it.

There are some days when I love Heat's bloat and others when I really wish it had all the fat trimmed. Sounds interesting.


Wed Dec 05, 2018 9:06 am
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Not bad.

Will agree with some others that the black and white is a nice touch.

Was a bit confused by what happened to the gun after she tried to use it. Was able to figure it out later, but it was a bit unclear.

I thought the prayer and crucifix were nice touches, giving a sinister undertone to the creature heading towards her.

Liked how you showed just enough of him.

Kudos to the last shot and line. Felt right.


Wed Dec 05, 2018 9:09 am
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Apex Predator wrote:
Not bad.

Will agree with some others that the black and white is a nice touch.

Was a bit confused by what happened to the gun after she tried to use it. Was able to figure it out later, but it was a bit unclear.

I thought the prayer and crucifix were nice touches, giving a sinister undertone to the creature heading towards her.

Liked how you showed just enough of him.

Kudos to the last shot and line. Felt right.


Thanks! Glad to hear that about the ending. It's shocking to me how few of the films in the competition seem to have put any effort into ending their films. Some of them have exceptional craft then just sort of stop and it just feels deflating. I don't get that.

If you type "filmstro & film riot 1 minute short film competition" you can check out some of my competition. Been watching a bunch. I'd say the competition a lot more stiff compares to the Annabelle Creation one.


Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:14 am
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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. 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.


Frankly, I felt like this was pretty obvious. I think that the only other reading it evokes is the classic Indiana Jones gag of just, "Well, this way is easier" by using a gun instead of getting into a more dangerous sword fight. I think that the fact that he tastes her blood instead of ravenously devouring it also adds something to that moment--it reinforces a monster who is more thoughtful and not driven only by instinct/need.

I was reflecting on your short a little more, and something that I think could be interesting to explore in a more long-form piece would be how the protagonist is failed by both the classic/supernatural/belief/religion (the crucifix) and the new/technology/concrete (the gun). I think that exploring this in the context of a Western, the place and time being inherently liminal anyway, could be really neat.


Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:38 am
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:

Thanks! Glad to hear that about the ending. It's shocking to me how few of the films in the competition seem to have put any effort into ending their films. Some of them have exceptional craft then just sort of stop and it just feels deflating. I don't get that.

I found a playlist with 30 of them, and after watching them, I agree that a lot of them suffer from their endings. It seems like the director's weren't sure how to end them, so they just picked the simplest thing to come to mind. Admittedly, however, endings can be hard to write if all you initially came up with was a concept and a setting.

As for a couple shorts which stuck out, I liked The Last Photoshoot, because even though it starts to fall apart near the end, it had some clever shots mixed throughout it.

Also, A Glimpse had a pretty cool structure complete with a clever twist ending, although it was on the straightforward side.

I'd say that The Box comes the closest to your short in terms of quality as it had a creative sci-fi plot, did a decent amount of ideas with it for its short run time, and it had a satisfying mind-fuck ending.

I'll check out some more tomorrow once I have more time.

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Wed Dec 05, 2018 12:14 pm
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Takoma1 wrote:

Frankly, I felt like this was pretty obvious. I think that the only other reading it evokes is the classic Indiana Jones gag of just, "Well, this way is easier" by using a gun instead of getting into a more dangerous sword fight. I think that the fact that he tastes her blood instead of ravenously devouring it also adds something to that moment--it reinforces a monster who is more thoughtful and not driven only by instinct/need.

I was reflecting on your short a little more, and something that I think could be interesting to explore in a more long-form piece would be how the protagonist is failed by both the classic/supernatural/belief/religion (the crucifix) and the new/technology/concrete (the gun). I think that exploring this in the context of a Western, the place and time being inherently liminal anyway, could be really neat.


It's been something of a learning experience seeing what people take away from the short. Some things that felt obvious (like the gun grab) are seemingly not so and the premise is more vague than perhaps intended (assuming subtle isn't used synonymously in this context). I'm glad that it was clear for you and that the taste does that, as revealing his intelligence gradually was always a hope.

Yes! A complete failure to be protected while at your most vulnerable (sleeping at night). There isn't anything concrete for the expansion but I've gabbed with my co-writer about potential avenues and the general direction that we feel would compound this via a failure of society. It would basically be Fritz Lang's M meets Nosferatu except the vampire would never be the one rightfully accused of being the cause of their town's plague and they'd go mad tearing each other up. All in a frontier town/Western setting. Right now, we're hoping to polish our sci-fi script Dream City before focusing on another feature length project.


Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:18 pm
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Popcorn Reviews wrote:
I found a playlist with 30 of them, and after watching them, I agree that a lot of them suffer from their endings. It seems like the director's weren't sure how to end them, so they just picked the simplest thing to come to mind. Admittedly, however, endings can be hard to write if all you initially came up with was a concept and a setting.

As for a couple shorts which stuck out, I liked The Last Photoshoot, because even though it starts to fall apart near the end, it had some clever shots mixed throughout it.

Also, A Glimpse had a pretty cool structure complete with a clever twist ending, although it was on the straightforward side.

I'd say that The Box comes the closest to your short in terms of quality as it had a creative sci-fi plot, did a decent amount of ideas with it for its short run time, and it had a satisfying mind-fuck ending.

I'll check out some more tomorrow once I have more time.


I think TLP would have worked better with actual monsters instead of decent looking gals with some birth defect horns. It made it hard to grasp the reactions.

I did enjoy both the Glimpse and the Box.

So far, I think my favorite that isn't mine is In A Room but even it stumbles in it's ending.


Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:21 pm
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:
So far, I think my favorite that isn't mine is In A Room but even it stumbles in it's ending.

Pretty good short. Thanks for linking it.

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Thu Dec 06, 2018 3:23 am
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:
revealing his intelligence gradually was always a hope.


For me it was particularly effective because I live in the forest and these days (winter), I frequently have to go out to take care of animals who live really close to the tree line. It is not uncommon to go out and just see a pair of eyes glowing out at me. Usually they're just deer. But I also have bears and coyotes who come through my backyard, and the idea that something out there might not only be dangerous but also smart is pretty terrifying. The evolution from that pair of glowing eyes (which reads purely as "wild animal", to a clothed, sophisticated villain) is a fun one, especially considering that it happens in 60 seconds.


Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:49 am
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Takoma1 wrote:

For me it was particularly effective because I live in the forest and these days (winter), I frequently have to go out to take care of animals who live really close to the tree line. It is not uncommon to go out and just see a pair of eyes glowing out at me. Usually they're just deer. But I also have bears and coyotes who come through my backyard, and the idea that something out there might not only be dangerous but also smart is pretty terrifying. The evolution from that pair of glowing eyes (which reads purely as "wild animal", to a clothed, sophisticated villain) is a fun one, especially considering that it happens in 60 seconds.

The glowing eyes in the woods has always been a particularly striking image to me. I used to go hunting with my dad when I was growing up and a distinct memory was looking out into the field at night and seeing dozens of glowing eyes. It made me wonder why most films that have an eye glow don't go for this effect but rather a glow that emits rather than reflects light. Using elements found in the real world always add weight and authenticity.

I can't decide if I want to spoil the original ending as it ties directly into this. Hmmm


Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:10 pm
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Thanka for watching!

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.

Thanks a ton again, all of y'all!

I thought the way it played was good, you know she no longer has the gun but you assume it's on the ground and she holds up the crucifix, which is perhaps going to hold him at bay... except he actually HAS THE GUN. To me, that seems like the whole point and I think the execution of it works.


Fri Dec 07, 2018 1:11 am
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Wooley wrote:
I thought the way it played was good, you know she no longer has the gun but you assume it's on the ground and she holds up the crucifix, which is perhaps going to hold him at bay... except he actually HAS THE GUN. To me, that seems like the whole point and I think the execution of it works.


Yay! I did want the audience tof forget about the gun once he grabbed it from her, which is why I avoided any shot of him holding the pistol and treat him raising it as a reveal but I didn't want people to be confused about him taking the gun. It's a fine line between withholding information and being confusing. I'm hoping that it's more than the former than latter for most viewers.


Fri Dec 07, 2018 3:36 am
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:

Yay! I did want the audience tof forget about the gun once he grabbed it from her, which is why I avoided any shot of him holding the pistol and treat him raising it as a reveal but I didn't want people to be confused about him taking the gun. It's a fine line between withholding information and being confusing. I'm hoping that it's more than the former than latter for most viewers.

It worked on me.


Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:24 am
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Wooley wrote:
It worked on me.


In the immortal words of Mr. Burns... Excellent.


Fri Dec 07, 2018 8:54 am
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:
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

I accept your apology 8-)

Looks great, moves well, the mask is pretty cool (it doesn't look like you bought it at Spencer's or something).

Without getting into all of Yarn's issues with the backstory, I will say that I'm eager to see how you handle narrative elements. It isn't surprising, given the various time/money constraints, that your films have been more about stylistic demonstration, which is immediate and fundamental and necessary, but I'm looking forward to see some more fleshed-out stories for your scenarios. You mentioned having an extended version of this film - is it much longer or more involved?


Fri Dec 07, 2018 12:40 pm
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Jinnistan wrote:
I accept your apology 8-)

Looks great, moves well, the mask is pretty cool (it doesn't look like you bought it at Spencer's or something).

Without getting into all of Yarn's issues with the backstory, I will say that I'm eager to see how you handle narrative elements. It isn't surprising, given the various time/money constraints, that your films have been more about stylistic demonstration, which is immediate and fundamental and necessary, but I'm looking forward to see some more fleshed-out stories for your scenarios. You mentioned having an extended version of this film - is it much longer or more involved?


By narrative you mean more traditional elements like dialogue and an expanded plot, right? Because I would argue that I cram a ton of narrative into these short packages, just usually through visual and stylistic elements and implications rather than explicit through exposition and world building. Especially with A Girl Alone In A House and Wake Up, though to a lesser extent, with this one.

The extended version wouldn't be MUCH longer or more involved though it would certainly be both. The extended ending would hopefully imply the owner of the fire and a greater scope to the action and hunt but it doesn't give much in the way of backstory and the dialogue is still mostly to build mood rather than develop them as deeper characters (though the vampire certainly comes more into focus both literally and figuratively.


That said, my next project, Glass Stairs is a stylish neo-noir (think Mario Bava meets John Alton) that’s a back and forth between two archetypes: the Goon and the Femme Fatale. It’s certainly got more traditional elements to the narrative and exponentially more dialogue than I’ve ever done. It’s an experiment to get me out of my shell as my aversion to dialogue should be a stylistic choice rather than an inadequacy. Tak read the script a few months back and gave me some very interesting feedback and I’m going to be sure some the elements we discussed are highlighted during filming and editing. I just got a Sigma 18-35mm lens to shoot the project with so it should be a far better looking project than anything I’ve done (assuming I can master all the new quirks that come with new equipment). Going to start storyboarding and doing some some light tests given what I learned making this one. It should answer your question about how I can handle these elements. Though perhaps you’ll find you detest my dialogue as much as I do.

We shall see!


Fri Dec 07, 2018 2:08 pm
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Well, we lost. This is a video of the winners if you want to take a gander. https://youtu.be/5n-Mrwkxjuk


Tue Dec 18, 2018 11:28 am
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Well, we lost. This is a video of the winners if you want to take a gander. https://youtu.be/5n-Mrwkxjuk


How do you feel about the winners? How would you have ranked them?


Tue Dec 18, 2018 12:07 pm
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Melvin Butterworth wrote:

How do you feel about the winners? How would you have ranked them?


I really liked Mother and Kick Me before they won. I'd actually remarked that the Mother was a serious contender when I saw it but was disappointed it didn't have a proper ending. Kick Me was very charming and bright. It also didn't stick it's landing.

I don't care for Fever Dream nor do I find it periculaely well edited, especially in comparison to In A Room, which I posted earlier.

I'm rather cheesed off that the winner was a punchline for an apple ad, which broke the competition rules and features the most banal filmmaking out of any of the nominations. Green screen and a bought, almost entirely unanimated model. A tad bitter towards that one.


Tue Dec 18, 2018 12:16 pm
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:
I'm rather cheesed off that the winner was a punchline for an apple ad, which broke the competition rules and features the most banal filmmaking out of any of the nominations. Green screen and a bought, almost entirely unanimated model. A tad bitter towards that one.


Yeah, and there are some others sounding off in similar fashion in the comments. "Shark Survival" is funny and a fun little short clip, but it's not horror. Like, at all.

I'd say that you should be really proud of what you came out with from this one. And it seems like a really promising launch for the feature you've got in mind.


Tue Dec 18, 2018 12:27 pm
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:

I really liked Mother and Kick Me before they won. I'd actually remarked that the Mother was a serious contender when I saw it but was disappointed it didn't have a proper ending. Kick Me was very charming and bright. It also didn't stick it's landing.

I don't care for Fever Dream nor do I find it periculaely well edited, especially in comparison to In A Room, which I posted earlier.

I'm rather cheesed off that the winner was a punchline for an apple ad, which broke the competition rules and features the most banal filmmaking out of any of the nominations. Green screen and a bought, almost entirely unanimated model. A tad bitter towards that one.


I haven't had a chance to really watch yet. What I glimpsed of Mother looked like it had good production value.


Tue Dec 18, 2018 12:31 pm
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Takoma1 wrote:

Yeah, and there are some others sounding off in similar fashion in the comments. "Shark Survival" is funny and a fun little short clip, but it's not horror. Like, at all.

I'd say that you should be really proud of what you came out with from this one. And it seems like a really promising launch for the feature you've got in mind.


They didn't have to be horror. Most did horror because we're unimaginative scamps. There was a car chase one that I'll post if you want that had a killer gag in it. I just feel like the winner should have shown some actual filmmaking talent beyond static camera shots on a green screen.

Thanks! I feel good about it still and wished that either The Mother or Kick Me had bested it. I definitely learned a lot making it too and think it showcases how much I've learned since the days of my zombie web series. It would just be nice to get some slight recognition from any of the competitions I've submitted to. Best I've done is semi-finalist is my script for the A Girl With No Name. Well, guess I gotta just use this as fuel to do better next time.


Tue Dec 18, 2018 12:35 pm
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Melvin Butterworth wrote:

I haven't had a chance to really watch yet. What I glimpsed of Mother looked like it had good production value.


The Mother had GREAT production value and a really solid set up. It just takes the implied ending route that most take and I wish it hadn't.

Watch the winner. It's only 15 seconds. It's not even on YouTube but it's in the link.


Tue Dec 18, 2018 12:38 pm
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Found the winner on Vimeo.

https://vimeo.com/298937507


Tue Dec 18, 2018 1:10 pm
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Found the winner on Vimeo.

https://vimeo.com/298937507




Tue Dec 18, 2018 4:21 pm
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Melvin Butterworth wrote:



The best joke is the one I feel has been played on me.


Wed Dec 19, 2018 2:54 am
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:
The best joke is the one I feel has been played on me.


Can't have the peaks without the valleys and immediate success sometimes spoils artists. Have you ever the tale of M. Night Shyamalan?


Wed Dec 19, 2018 7:53 am
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Melvin Butterworth wrote:

Can't have the peaks without the valleys and immediate success sometimes spoils artists. Have you ever the tale of M. Night Shyamalan?


I would accept the most modest success at this point. Does it count as immediate if you've been chipping away at this for a decade?

Also, I think Shyamalan was ruined by kids. I plan to avoid that.


Wed Dec 19, 2018 8:17 am
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ThatDarnMKS wrote:

I would accept the most modest success at this point. Does it count as immediate if you've been chipping away at this for a decade?

Also, I think Shyamalan was ruined by kids. I plan to avoid that.


Maybe, do something you don't want to do? Do something well out of contempt. Think of songs like "Fight for your Right" by the Beastie Boys and "Stuck in the Middle" by Steeler's Wheel. Do something trite, but do it well--an exercise in genre.

Maybe do something extreme? For example, make a horror film with the ambitions of Raimi (to hurt the audience). I am not talking "gross out" stuff, but something psychological. The "hook" for ALIEN (as I am sure you know) that actually got it produced was the chest-burster scene. The producers thought everything else was garbage, but that scene stood out. Is there anything you've been afraid to do?

Maybe do something cheap? Cameron didn't have permits to shoot Terminator, so he shot at night under mercury-vapor lights which gave the film a cold "blue" look. Something chatty. Good dialogue and characterization. How cheap can you go and make something look great? I love Blade Runner, but it's Scott using all his cheap TV advert tricks (light, water, smoke). How much could you get away with?

Maybe focus more on networking than with "going viral" in a contest? It's not what you know, but who you know, right? Maybe you just need to pay your dues so as to build relationships to get the gigs to tell your stories?


Wed Dec 19, 2018 3:31 pm
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