Topic: A short made for a Halloween contest

First post, sorry for the shill. smile

Here's a quick short that was made for the Ed Video 48hr Halloween Film challenge.

All info is in the description bar.

Any feedback is appreciated. And in the future, I'll post less shilling, like, no more shilling. smile

Re: A short made for a Halloween contest

48 hours is more than enough time to bang out a decent little 4 minute film, but the fact that you played hooky half way through your production to go to a concert kind of speaks volumes as to how serious you took all of this. Why you didn't just knuckle down, and pull off something really unique and clever, and chilling.... is beyond me.


I think that when you are doing a short film like this, you need to throw the audience into a very dramatic situation right from the first shot - and having a woman in her kitchen hitting meat and then clubbing some nice guy at the door doesn't cut it cuz frankly.... it's not interesting and comes off as terribly formulaic and dull. I mean, had the guy at the door been unable to speak a single word before the woman just went ballistic on him, pulverizing him with the mallet (juxtapostioning those hits with the mallet hitting the meat on the table would have been cute)... THAT would've been more attention getting.

For a short film, the audience needs to be put in a more challenging situation; a predicament that really takes them by surprise, and gets them involved. A guy waking up tied to a table is just about as cliched as someone waking up in a sweat and realizing they were "just dreaming." You need to be more clever than that. This isn't the 70s anymore.

Having said that, I didn't get the story, the point there of,  the punch line etc. Did I miss something?

As for tech feedback.... Well thought out lighting set ups would have added mood and ambiance, a more suitably creepy room likewise, and more thought put into the framing of your shots was definitely something that could have been done.

The older woman was passable in her role, but the other two were just grating on the ears; the young girl especially so.

My two schillings.

Re: A short made for a Halloween contest

We really didn't have much time to shoot, and zero prep (minus getting blood supplies) going in, but we wanted to do something. If we had the time, as in whole weekend, and NO computer problems, we could have done something better. Shit, the "script" was banged out in like an hour. Really, more of an outline with dialogue ideas. I basically just took the script and shot on the fly, with honestly, ZERO preconceived shots. Just "yup, this looks good" and ACTION! Being on a short, short time frame, I'm pleased enough with what we got in the end.

You're only critique I have to quibble about was the "this isn't the 70's anymore" line. That's kind of what we were going for. The nonsensical 70s/80s horror that had zero plot. We wanted way way more gore, but not to overuse the excuse, time was at a big premium that weekend. 1 weekend earlier or later and it would have been a messy gore-fest (which was the intention going in).

Thanks for watching and I appreciate your input.

Re: A short made for a Halloween contest

Yeah... the 70s shooting style thing is cool, but it's always at odds when your actors and their surroundings, the dialogue, and clothes, are obvious not of that period. To really capture a 70s feel, camera work alone is not going to cut it, and will actually work against you in the end, giving you a final product  that has that "shot-on-Dad's-video camera" look. And that is just not cool.

To be honest.... I have not yet seen a film shot today that comes close to the true 70s feel. Death Proof and the lot were good, but more of a superlative, kitsch take on the era, rather than a true depiction of the time. 

As for shooting.... I think that a significant number of young filmmakers today - ones that I have worked with as a make-up artist -  all have one thing in common, and that is that they do not realize the power of a long take "master shot", or shooting in long shots in certain cases. Too many "talking heads" and hand-held bob & weave about camera work can neuter the environment, that can often be used to great effect when married with stretches of dialogue spoken in long shot, with considerations made for high, low, or head on angles. IMO.

Re: A short made for a Halloween contest

That's true. Even an extra chunk of hours to get things together would have helped.

The original idea was to shoot on MiniDV, but since we had the T2i, it was, "Eh, a good reason to do some shooting with it for practice," kind of thinking.

The final half was shot in an 8x5 room, so that REALLY limited out shots.

Like I said tho, this was done for a "fun" competition, and we did have fun shooting it.

Oh, and main page story... I LOL'd at that! big_smile

My buddy who I make flicks with (this included obviously) messaged me, "Uhm, Ratchet is on the main page of!" Thanks to whomever put it there.

Re: A short made for a Halloween contest

yer welcome smile