My first short film.

I had no idea where to write this since it is about films but I'm a more active member at this site. I put it on both and if that's not ok feel free to lock it.

Over the Summer I went to a film "camp' at UNSCA for four weeks. It was a Monday through Saturday school thing lasting from 9-5. It was a pretty cool experience and I learned a lot about the film process. I was apart of the beginner film classes since I haven't been to this thing before and was the only college student there since I had graduated high school a month before. It was strange and cool to see many of the students younger than me have as much knowledge as they did about making film as well as able to make cohesive analysis's on films even from the age of 14 as well as actually having done a lot of projects by themselves.

I was taught mainly by the college students who have interned on East Bound and Down as well as other things that they may not be proud about.Sometimes I was taught by people who have actually worked in the industry like Matthew B. Moore who actually worked on Eyeborgs if you can believe it. He taught cinematography and is actually the teacher in my short film. He's actually pretty good and knows what he's talking about. We were also taught by a Duke professor named Gary Hawkins. Gary would be the guy who told us how to write even though he specializes in documentary films at Duke. The guy that led it was János Kovácsi who also taught us directing techniques. He's pretty funny even though he tends to repeat what he says. Janos also claims he was "banned" from his home country of Hungary because he made a political film. One of the students made a song about him that plays throughout the "behind the scenes" feature on our dvds.

I could go deeper into my experience but I would like to talk about my short film. It is short, like 3 minutes at most. I was writing a completely different script that wasn't going anywhere and was complete shit if I say so myself. I decided to write a cheesy faux horror instead based off of an event in class. I did write this in a night but my teacher liked it enough that it was the second one to be filmed even though he asked me to be first. Now I was nervous as this was the first thing I have ever done. My first time writing and directing and I had no idea what I was doing. I was learning yes but I was also not good. Halfway through the shoot things went bad. I ended up having a silent battle for director against my DP. You can see the point in the video where the kids says "Up yours old man!" That was not meant to be in the film at all and neither was Moore throwing a marker at the kid making him fall over. It was a goof and we were just going to try again which is where my DP decided he wanted the film to be in his image. It was my fault and I should have taken charge but I was nervous and the kid has more experience than I did.

Well here is the end result and even though I'm not sure if it's any good I'm still happy to have been apart of this. I have to thank the editor Scott for making it watchable. The name wasn't my idea either but I like it and to be fair I told Scott to name it.

Even though this is MY first film throughout the Summer session I ended up working on at least 10 other films mostly as a boom op/sound mixer. Though I did do some AD and editing.

Tell me what you guys think and ask any questions you got and I'll try my best to answer them.

24 Comments
25 Comments
Posted by SethPhotopoulos

I had no idea where to write this since it is about films but I'm a more active member at this site. I put it on both and if that's not ok feel free to lock it.

Over the Summer I went to a film "camp' at UNSCA for four weeks. It was a Monday through Saturday school thing lasting from 9-5. It was a pretty cool experience and I learned a lot about the film process. I was apart of the beginner film classes since I haven't been to this thing before and was the only college student there since I had graduated high school a month before. It was strange and cool to see many of the students younger than me have as much knowledge as they did about making film as well as able to make cohesive analysis's on films even from the age of 14 as well as actually having done a lot of projects by themselves.

I was taught mainly by the college students who have interned on East Bound and Down as well as other things that they may not be proud about.Sometimes I was taught by people who have actually worked in the industry like Matthew B. Moore who actually worked on Eyeborgs if you can believe it. He taught cinematography and is actually the teacher in my short film. He's actually pretty good and knows what he's talking about. We were also taught by a Duke professor named Gary Hawkins. Gary would be the guy who told us how to write even though he specializes in documentary films at Duke. The guy that led it was János Kovácsi who also taught us directing techniques. He's pretty funny even though he tends to repeat what he says. Janos also claims he was "banned" from his home country of Hungary because he made a political film. One of the students made a song about him that plays throughout the "behind the scenes" feature on our dvds.

I could go deeper into my experience but I would like to talk about my short film. It is short, like 3 minutes at most. I was writing a completely different script that wasn't going anywhere and was complete shit if I say so myself. I decided to write a cheesy faux horror instead based off of an event in class. I did write this in a night but my teacher liked it enough that it was the second one to be filmed even though he asked me to be first. Now I was nervous as this was the first thing I have ever done. My first time writing and directing and I had no idea what I was doing. I was learning yes but I was also not good. Halfway through the shoot things went bad. I ended up having a silent battle for director against my DP. You can see the point in the video where the kids says "Up yours old man!" That was not meant to be in the film at all and neither was Moore throwing a marker at the kid making him fall over. It was a goof and we were just going to try again which is where my DP decided he wanted the film to be in his image. It was my fault and I should have taken charge but I was nervous and the kid has more experience than I did.

Well here is the end result and even though I'm not sure if it's any good I'm still happy to have been apart of this. I have to thank the editor Scott for making it watchable. The name wasn't my idea either but I like it and to be fair I told Scott to name it.

Even though this is MY first film throughout the Summer session I ended up working on at least 10 other films mostly as a boom op/sound mixer. Though I did do some AD and editing.

Tell me what you guys think and ask any questions you got and I'll try my best to answer them.

Edited by MooseyMcMan

I thought it was called "The Quake-ening" at first. Still good though, despite less Quake than I was expecting.

Also, less quacking than I was expecting.

Posted by SethPhotopoulos

@MooseyMcMan said:

I thought it was called "The Quake-ening" at first. Still good though, despite less Quake than I was expecting.

Also, less quacking than I was expecting.

Quake come out of the computer AND INTO YOUR HOMES!!!!

Posted by Mrsignerman44

The editing and acting from Mr. Moore made this pretty enjoyable, I'm actually going to major in film myself so I'm very interested in this "film camp".

Edited by PeasantAbuse

That was good, That Moore guy seems pretty funny.

Posted by Akrid

As a director it sounds like you kind of fudged up your end of the deal by not maintaining control of the situation. The end product was actually pretty entertaining though! Very well done.

Posted by SethPhotopoulos

@Mrsignerman44 said:

The editing and acting from Mr. Moore made this pretty enjoyable, I'm actually going to major in film myself so I'm very interested in this "film camp".

It's pretty cool. It takes place in Winston-Salem NC so if you don't live by there its really expensive because you gotta buy a meal plan and rent a dorm room which I didn't have to do because I lived about an hour away so I just sucked it up and drove everyday. If you still want to try it I'd find a local one first but always check University of North Carolina School of Arts' website.

Edited by SethPhotopoulos

@Akrid: I did. I didn't take control of the situation and I only blame myself for that. The thing is though that most of what is in the video is what I wrote and directed but behind the scenes it just made it harder. i am missing shots because of it but I only had 3 hours to make it.

Posted by Mrsignerman44

@SethPhotopoulos said:

@Mrsignerman44 said:

The editing and acting from Mr. Moore made this pretty enjoyable, I'm actually going to major in film myself so I'm very interested in this "film camp".

It's pretty cool. It takes place in Winston-Salem NC so if you don't live by there its really expensive because you gotta buy a meal plan and rent a dorm room which I didn't have to do because I lived about an hour away so I just sucked it up and drove everyday. If you still want to try it I'd find a local one first but always check University of North Carolina School of Arts' website.

There should be some here in California, I wouldn't mind going to North Carolina for this either though, sounds awesome.

@SethPhotopoulos said:

@Akrid: I did. I didn't take control of the situation and I only blame myself for that. The thing is though that most of what is in the video is what I wrote and directed but behind the scenes it just made it harder. i am missing shots because of it but I only had 3 hours to make it.

Also, sometimes you have to take charge and be kind of a jerk if you get stuck with a partner who has no idea what they are doing.

Posted by SethPhotopoulos

@Mrsignerman44: I plan on learning from that next year if I go back or if I'm accepted as a full on student (which because I went to the summer thing I have a good chance of doing just that.)

Posted by Bruce

@SethPhotopoulos:

My friend is in his first film production class this semester, and the professor has a real hard-on for abstract stuff. I can't WAIT to see the pretentious crap he's forced to make.

Anyway, I liked your short. :)

Edited by SethPhotopoulos

@Bruce said:

@SethPhotopoulos:

My friend is in his first film production class this semester, and the professor has a real hard-on for abstract stuff. I can't WAIT to see the pretentious crap he's forced to make.

Anyway, I liked your short. :)

Thanks.

Some of that abstract stuff can be funny though. I've seen some.

Actually one of our teachers had us watch Black Sheep, the New Zealand comedy horror about sheep. That was weird.

Posted by Bruce

@SethPhotopoulos:

He has to film an object -- he chose a piano -- and show some something about it with no actors and no interference with the object. He decided he was going to try to show fear and intimidation. I honestly can't wait to see it. It's totally going to be one of those black/white YouTube videos set to an Interpol song.

Posted by SethPhotopoulos

@Bruce said:

@SethPhotopoulos:

He has to film an object -- he chose a piano -- and show some something about it with no actors and no interference with the object. He decided he was going to try to show fear and intimidation. I honestly can't wait to see it. It's totally going to be one of those black/white YouTube videos set to an Interpol song.

Thats... odd.

Posted by Aetheldod

@SethPhotopoulos: The only take that seems disjointed is the one at the 2 minute mark , after the actor looks back and we see a shot of the professor empty chair ... why? The most logical shot would´ve been a shoot looking at the duck statue .... so what prompted this change? Also Im very interested at the exact changes that the DP did against you intructions

Posted by SethPhotopoulos

@Aetheldod said:

@SethPhotopoulos: The only take that seems disjointed is the one at the 2 minute mark , after the actor looks back and we see a shot of the professor empty chair ... why? The most logical shot would´ve been a shoot looking at the duck statue .... so what prompted this change? Also Im very interested at the exact changes that the DP did against you intructions

That was the original plan. Have a shot of the duck from the kids perspective.

:47 all the way to 1:17 were not supposed to happen. He was also super keen on the idea of having a Jaws like seen with the duck which is in there. The main problem was that we only had 3 hours to shoot it and I wrote my script for the sake of brevity. My DP ended up convincing me that we needed some scenes of the duck acting sinister and i allowed it. Because of that we ended up taking a lot of footage not in the script or in the actual video. Another downside to that was the inability to cover more shots. The ending was a little different as well but at that time we were just rushing to get out. We also rushed through some takes. In one of the scenes in the video you can see a girl if you look hard enough sleeping in class when everyone was supposed to have left to go to lunch.

Posted by Aetheldod

@SethPhotopoulos: Yeah tought as much .... it does feel like another one took helm for a bit there :P but overall you did a good job , belive me it took me more than a year of making vids to actually tell a coherent story (which is the hardest)

Another question the zoom in is well...... a zoom in (as in digital) or a dolly in (even if you are just moving the cam through the table)?

Posted by blindisaac

@SethPhotopoulos: PRETENTIOUS HIPSTER BULLSHIT!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by SethPhotopoulos

@Aetheldod said:

@SethPhotopoulos:

Another question the zoom in is well...... a zoom in (as in digital) or a dolly in (even if you are just moving the cam through the table)?

We didn't have a dolly. I want to say the dude just zoomed in as "Robert" walked out. I don't think it was done on Final Cut especially since it stops and starts. It's hard to remember that part.

Posted by FourWude

*Puts on Roger Ebert glasses*

It's unfunny. Far too self absorbed. Lacks thematic consistency and is unaware of its own direction. Waste of celluloid.

One thumb down.

I've got to be brutal, this is the film industry.

Posted by SethPhotopoulos

@FourWude said:

*Puts on Roger Ebert glasses*

It's unfunny. Far too self absorbed. Lacks thematic consistency and is unaware of its own direction. Waste of celluloid.

One thumb down.

I've got to be brutal, this is the film industry.

*Puts on Kevin Smith Glasses*

MEH!

Posted by blindisaac

@FourWude said:

*Puts on Roger Ebert glasses*

It's unfunny. Far too self absorbed. Lacks thematic consistency and is unaware of its own direction. Waste of celluloid.

One thumb down.

I've got to be brutal, this is the film industry.

You should put on your James Lipton glasses now

Posted by blindisaac

@SethPhotopoulos said:

@FourWude said:

*Puts on Roger Ebert glasses*

It's unfunny. Far too self absorbed. Lacks thematic consistency and is unaware of its own direction. Waste of celluloid.

One thumb down.

I've got to be brutal, this is the film industry.

*Puts on Kevin Smith Glasses*

MEH!

/thread

Posted by iam3green

pretty interesting stuff. it's good to learn new stuff.

Posted by SethPhotopoulos

@iam3green: Learning is power gijoe.jpg