Topic: SECRET SHOPPER by Jamie Jenkins (Maven)

Hi guys,

I just found out my short flick did not make it into the film festival to which I submitted it.  So the good news is I'm free to share it how I choose now.  Give it a gander and let me know what you think.  This is my first horror short and I'm proud of it but I also know it isn't perfect so don't feel you need to be gentle.  Let me have it.  Your input will help me in the future.

Without further hoopty-doo, I present SECRET SHOPPER, my twisted little PSA (of sorts):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXBoKlCU … ce=message

Re: SECRET SHOPPER by Jamie Jenkins (Maven)

totally unbiased opinion. it was great. excellent job.

Re: SECRET SHOPPER by Jamie Jenkins (Maven)

It didn't suck smile

Re: SECRET SHOPPER by Jamie Jenkins (Maven)

I thought it was very creative. Pretty well done in every aspect. The ending cconfussed me just a little but you clarified it for me. I would like to offer my advice but I thought to myself who am I  to give you advise lol. All I can say as set your goals even higher for your next project and don't let anything get in the way of your creativity!

Last edited by ChainSaW80 (2012-03-24 18:43:59)

Re: SECRET SHOPPER by Jamie Jenkins (Maven)

i'm sorry it didn't make it into the festival Jamie smile  it deserved to. i think you will go on and make bigger and better films because you like me and many of us on here love our films especiallly our horror genre with a passion.that's why we're here. you are a gifted talented lady. xxxx

Re: SECRET SHOPPER by Jamie Jenkins (Maven)

I liked it, Jamie. The film looked/sounded really good. It was all well put together.
I hope to see you do some more directing sometime soon. smile Props!

Re: SECRET SHOPPER by Jamie Jenkins (Maven)

I saw what you were going for but I think your director let you down.  He didn't establish the kid or the threat clearly enough, which is why it took a minute for me (and Chainsaw, and I'm sure a few others) to realize what exactly had just happened.  But none of that is your fault.  Your job as the writer is to supply the story; it's the director's job to execute that story  effectively, which I don't believe he did.

Before any of you mooks give me any hassle, keep in mind Double J said we didn't have to pull any punches, which is a good thing for a filmmaker to ask.  In filmmaking, you're doing no one any good by sugarcoating, particularly if the filmmaker genuinely wants to improve and do well.  They need to know what works and what doesn't.  In this case, Mave's idea was fine -- it's just that her director didn't convey her idea clearly enough.

My two cents.  Nothin' but love, JJ. smile

Last edited by LoudLon (2012-03-24 20:25:52)

Re: SECRET SHOPPER by Jamie Jenkins (Maven)

Thank you, Lon.  Brutal honesty is always a good thing.  The trouble here is that the director is me.  So it is my fault.  LOL

I must say, however, that you and Chainsaw are among only a few to mention not quite getting my goal.  I have been pleasantly surprised to the opposite for the most part.

BUT it is my job to convey my meaning clearly enough for everyone to get it, particularly in a film so short. 

The problem I encountered with writing and directing is that sometimes it's difficult to tell whether your audience will be on board because, of course, YOU get what you are trying to say.  lol

At any rate, I love that you told me exactly what you think.  That is precisely what I want.  I can't improve if I don't know what I did wrong.  So be nice to him, folks.  He is being a good friend by ripping my heart out.  LMAO wink Kidding, of course.

For everyone else, thank you, too.  I appreciate any input and I appreciate you taking the time to indulge me by spending the time not only watching but commenting on my work. 

Love you all. 
xoxo

Last edited by moviemaven (2012-03-24 20:54:52)

Re: SECRET SHOPPER by Jamie Jenkins (Maven)

Ahhhh...Lon, you didn't watch threw all the credits lol tongue

Re: SECRET SHOPPER by Jamie Jenkins (Maven)

Which also means he missed my awesome Bill and Ted reference at the very end. lol   Tsk tsk

Re: SECRET SHOPPER by Jamie Jenkins (Maven)

Very well done Maven.  I got what you were trying to say  smile   I liked how you included all the kid stickers on the back of the car at the end.   Now I will always think of you and your movie when I see those stickers!  lol

Edit-  I just watched Intruder a few days ago and the grocery store looked like the one in Intruder!

Last edited by DirtyGirl (2012-03-24 21:21:47)

Re: SECRET SHOPPER by Jamie Jenkins (Maven)

I can't think of a better compliment than you saying you will think of my movie.  smile  Thanks!  It was inspired by seeing those damned things in front of me on the road every day.  lol

Re: SECRET SHOPPER by Jamie Jenkins (Maven)

ChainSaW80 wrote:

Ahhhh...Lon, you didn't watch threw all the credits lol tongue

True, I didn't stick through all the credits but all's I know is when it showed "director" it didn't say Jamie Jenkins. lol

That said, I'm not going to backpedal.  Chick asked for opinions and I gave her mine.  I wasn't being mean or nasty, just telling what didn't work for me.

Re: SECRET SHOPPER by Jamie Jenkins (Maven)

LOL Sorry, Lon.  The first credit reads:

Written and Directed by Jamie Jenkins

I tease you about that, yes, but no matter who the director was, it wouldn't change your advice which I appreciate.  smile  It's difficult to get honest opinions from people who care about you sometimes because they don't want to be mean.  But I don't see being honest as being mean.  I can't do better in the future if I don't know what didn't work in the past, right?  You are A-ok by me.  Thank you again.

Incidentally, I got the notes back from Viscera regarding the film.  Here is what was said by three of the judges for anyone who is interested:

1)I think: I like the idea behind it, and the retro 1950s feel and music, which is a really neat way of poking fun at tradition and gender roles. I had to watch it twice to make sure I understood the twist moment, however. I like the stickers and the way you used them (probably my favorite part) but it was hard for me to tell which car the sticker was on the first time I watched it. I was confused as to whether the boy had gotten into the brunette's care accidentally, or if he was stolen. Then I got it on the rewind. Because the film is so short this is a crucial moment and needs to be really clear because it cinches the whole deal for the viewer.

I'm not sure if dialogue would have helped make that clear, or if it would have destroyed what you were going for. Perhaps a wider shot of the car, or more focus on the boy himself before he gets taken would have made it more clear to average joe viewer like myself? I was concerned that the twist wasn't clear enough and that might prove troublesome when it played in front of a large audience.

I loved the color schemes, the coverage in general, and the location!


2) I think it had a cute idea but was lacking a payoff. I like short and sweet stories but this could have benefitted from a little more time to give it a horrific twist.


3) I liked Secret Shopper and voted for it. I thought it was very clever, and the whole sticker thing was a really amusing concept. The only thing I wasn't particularly a fan of was the over the top acting, just because I thought a greater sense of normalcy pre-kidnapping would've enhanced the dark ending. I would've found that more funny because of the contrast, if that makes sense. Or maybe I'm a bad person who laughs at evil things!  smile

Last edited by moviemaven (2012-03-25 01:29:30)

Re: SECRET SHOPPER by Jamie Jenkins (Maven)

I had no issues at all with the way the story was conveyed.
I was actually impressed with how everything comes across in the brief running time, especially because I was privy to the story before it was filmed.  It looks and sounds great as well.
I don't like to think I'm biased where this is concerned, even though I love this gal to no end, I think for what it is it's a pretty brilliant bit of film-making.

Re: SECRET SHOPPER by Jamie Jenkins (Maven)

I liked it and had no problem following it but I think that you might have clarified things just a bit more with a quick shot of the mom getting the kids into the SUV. Also the guy standing in the background behind the kids is really easy to miss in such a short scene (I didn't notice him until I watched it a second time) if he started walking forward just before you cut away the movement would have drawn the viewer's attention to him.

Re: SECRET SHOPPER by Jamie Jenkins (Maven)

Thanks! I appreciate the input. big_smile

The guy is a woman, though.  lol  And it was intended to not be seen by everyone.  I've gotten about a 50/50 spotting average going for my shopper which is what I was hoping for (like an Easter egg).  Good job catching her.  smile It's designed to play on a big screen.  In that case it's pretty much impossible to miss her but I still didn't want her to be really obvious, which is why I didn't focus on her directly.

Re: SECRET SHOPPER by Jamie Jenkins (Maven)

I watched this last night when Cap posted it on fb.

I really like it. It's simple......but very effective.

I loved the kitsch 'everything is fine and dandy' music. And seeing all those little stickers on the black, sinister car of the secret shopper is quite chilling.

Thank you for sharing. smile

Re: SECRET SHOPPER by Jamie Jenkins (Maven)

Good stuff. goes a little fast you can miss what happened if not paying close attention, great concept.

Re: SECRET SHOPPER by Jamie Jenkins (Maven)

Seeing the guy behind the kids was a creepy moment, loved that lol. The music gives it a great edge, I thought that was really well done. Also the stickers was a fab concept, the car at the end with all of them on was a great chilling shot.

I agree with the others that it is easy to miss a few things and more clarity would make it better, but for such a short film I think you did a really great job

Re: SECRET SHOPPER by Jamie Jenkins (Maven)

^ Hell yeah! I totally missed that before, so I just watched it a couple more times and I tell ya when you notice him standing back there it literally made my heart sink to my stomach, such a feeling of dread came over me it was surprising! Good stuff!

Re: SECRET SHOPPER by Jamie Jenkins (Maven)

Thanks so much, guys.  smile

Chainsaw, if that is true, then I am pleased beyond belief. That is what I was hoping for when I made it.  Thank you.

You may not be able to tell on the small screen very well, but the guy is a woman.  lol  I went that route on purpose because there are certain assumptions that people make regarding men who steal children. I wanted to remove any preconceived notions about what happens to the kids.  I don't even know.  lol

Re: SECRET SHOPPER by Jamie Jenkins (Maven)

^ absolutely Maven, im telling you that moment is quite chilling. And as a father I can tell you nothing is quite as scary as the thought of losing your child in any way, shape or form. So MAJOR props to you for exploiting that fear, damn, what else can I say. Good job!

Re: SECRET SHOPPER by Jamie Jenkins (Maven)

I already told ya Maven in some other thread smile  I like your awesome little short. Hopefully your next one will get into a film festival.

And about that person creepin around the cars.... maybe it wasn't him/her who was the kid stealer... maybe it was that first person way in the background who is the sneaky evil one!  hmm

Re: SECRET SHOPPER by Jamie Jenkins (Maven)

females shall not be spared
all blood is the same
sustenance to the Elder Ones
it shall be provided