April 17, 2013

The Prequel to My Feature Film MANCHILD is Here: Watch AMATEUR

AMATEUR is a short prequel demonstrating my vision for MANCHILD, the feature film we’re making next. I've never been so excited to release something, so I hope you like it! If you like the short and want to see the feature, please head over to our just-launched website for MANCHILD and share it. I'm releasing this directly online, and that's how this short will spread -- every tweet, facebook like, and share makes a BIG difference. Thank you!

I'll be back later with an in-depth post detailing how we made this (what we shot on, what I edited on, etc.) -- and please feel free to ask any questions you have -- but for now I'd like to focus on the work itself. The writing, directing, performances, and story -- these are the chief concerns of any filmmaker, and I hope they drew you in whether you're a basketball fan or not.

A few things to note:

This was the first time my name has ever been on a slate -- that's how DIY my film career has been. However, despite this being more of a "real" production than I'm used to, there was no shortage of work, and I've basically done nothing but work on this (and run this website) for the last few months. I believe as AMATEUR gets out there that it will all have been worth it, but please -- if you appreciate the hard work and the resulting film, take a minute to tweet and/or facebook manchildfilm.com. I've talked in the past about the strategy of making a short, and now that you've seen it I hope the approach is much clearer as the story ties in directly to the feature. This short focuses on an encounter between a street agent and a high school basketball player -- played by Lionel Pina and Curtiss Cook Jr., respectively -- but as a result of what you see here, the recruiter goes on to pursue younger, more naïve players -- including TJ, the 13 year-old protagonist of MANCHILD.

In addition to writing, directing, producing (with Chip Hourihan) and editing this myself, there was no shortage of jobs that I did but that you won't see my name alongside in the credits. Editing the short myself was a great way to save on the post-production budget, but it's also a great way to forget there is a sun -- and people -- outside.

To get this finished in post last week I flew back from NAB on a redeye flight, during which I finished working with my composer Tim Kvasnovsky thanks to the combination of in-flight Wi-Fi, Google Chat, and noise-canceling headphones. I landed in New York in the morning, took a taxi straight to Goldcrest Post for the sound mix, brought my luggage home after an all-day mixing session, and finally slept after being up for 36 hours straight.... and then came straight back to Goldcrest for the color grading session with DP Greg Wilson. You might recognize Greg's work from the amazing cheetah video and Phantom Flex4K posts here on NFS. I'll be back later with a post thanking everyone who worked on the short, and sharing all the details of the shoot, when I have some time to put it together properly!

The other thing I should note: we did not spend a dime of the Kickstarter funds on this short, but the short is very much inspired by the outpouring of support that happened during the Kickstarter campaign. So many of the Kickstarter backers came from this website that I'd like to thank you again here (in addition to the Kickstarter update) for your support.

I called in a LOT of favors, as did my producer and DP, to get this made on a tight budget. And that was one of the other rewarding aspects of this production: finding and working with talented people who read the feature script and wanted to be involved.

There is not a single visual effect in this short and it's basically an eight-minute conversation between two people, so there won't be a wondrous VFX demo to show... but feel free to ask any questions! If I don't answer them right away here I will do my best in forthcoming posts. We're using this short to launch a website for the feature, so please take a minute to share that around -- especially with anyone you know in the sports/basketball world. Thanks for watching!

Link: MANCHILD

Your Comment

248 Comments

I liked it! Solid acting, nice images, polished short. How many days to shoot? All the best with your feature.

April 17, 2013

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Marcus

A weekend shoot (one day and one night) -- all of the scenes in the gym were shot in a day and that's at least 7 minutes of screen time, so... we were hustling. As indies always do!

April 17, 2013

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

Nice, were you exploring improv from the actors? or they stuck with the script lines?

April 17, 2013

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Marcus

Ryan,

Great storytelling and what a great twist at the end! definitely looking forward to the feature now!

April 17, 2013

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Great stuff Koo. It played on a cliche well to fool us (and the recruiter). Great execution too. Makes me proud to be a (small) backer of your feature!

April 17, 2013

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MWL

Congratulations on doing this! Looking great!

April 17, 2013

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looks awesome. your hard work is paying off!

April 17, 2013

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Mark K.

Nice short! loved the ending! Solid solid!

Good luck Ryan!on the next steps! Sure deserve it.

April 17, 2013

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Alex Mand

Very amazing work. A clever story. Great acting and smooth cinematography. I enjoyed it! I hope the short film helps with the upcoming feature!

April 17, 2013

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Brent Gooden

Loved it.
Didn't see that coming :) Sadly as a backer and a fellow filmmaker I was analyzing it side by side but at around 3:00 mark I said let me sit back and take this in. Thumbs Up!

April 17, 2013

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Archie

Thanks Archie, MWL, Brent, Alex, Mark, Stuart -- really appreciate it.

April 17, 2013

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

Niiiice man!! Congratulations for this one more step! Sure I'm gonna spread the word. Well I think you guys pretty much nailed it, can't think of anything that pushed me out of the atmosphere of the short. The first seconds of the appearance of the recruiter I was kindda "hmm.....I don't know"....but a few seconds later I got his approach to the acting, something naturalistic thats very interesting, and everything ran smoothly. Photography and direction are spot on I think, precise, discreet, serving the drama.
About Manchild, I have to say that, after reading your posts about it, I still don't get what got you excited about doing it. I know, you can't just deliver detalis about the script and so on, but it would be nice the read sincere koo-style post about the story or the scope, or something that got you by the balls and made you do it. Don't get me wrong, you already have curious about the feature, mainly because of your background and the trajectory you are treading. If you already wrote something like that, sorry for my slip. Peace and good luck!

April 17, 2013

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Raoni Franco

Koo did write a couple times about his personal background growing up playing basketball, so it's something that's always been with him.

April 17, 2013

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Jonathan

Thanks Raoni, I've definitely written about why I'm making the feature -- there are a lot of posts (too many?) here:

http://nofilmschool.com/tag/manchild

But yes, as Jonathan notes, the big thing is I've been a basketball player and general hoops junkie all my life, so it makes sense that the feature I'm pushing up the hill is a passion project!

Glad you felt the direction and photography is both spot on and discreet -- all in service of the characters and story. Thanks!

April 17, 2013

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

Thanks for the attention Koo. I'll check the posts. Congrats again!!

April 17, 2013

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Solid overall, though I would have liked to have seen a little more variety in coverage- seemed like we lived on medium tight shots for most of the film.

April 17, 2013

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Jonathan

Feel you there! One of those wides is actually a shot I tacked onto the Martini at the end of a very long day. Coverage is one of the first things to go when you're on a tight schedule, and all of the scenes in the gym were shot in one day, so... a lof of numbers on my shotlists are scratched out. I would have liked to have seen that too :)

April 17, 2013

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

I noticed lack of coverage as well. Just don't rush on the production of the feature, ok?! ;)

April 17, 2013

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hansd

At this pace, we'd shoot the feature in 12 days. Definitely not doing that...

While this was all about keeping you in there with the characters, it would've been nice to have 2-3 more wides. "Nice to have" is the first thing to go on a tight schedule/budget though.

April 17, 2013

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

I loved the wide shot at 0:22

April 17, 2013

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Aaron G

Good short, can't wait to read the behind the scenes article on it. Looks great.

April 17, 2013

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Aaron

Amazing. That's a fantastic short that focuses on telling a story rather than trying to impress with fancy VFX. I'm very confident that your film will find an audience. Now, I'm even more happy to be a backer of the project. Keep up the great work!

April 17, 2013

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Toby

Great stuff.
Hope it helps you get to where you want to be with MANCHILD

April 17, 2013

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Fresno Bob

I felt the frame format is not appropriate to cover the sport actions. I think in 16:9 would play out more naturally.
If you would found a way to play with the crop between the two format (in play, off play or on court, off court)
You could juxtaposition the two faces of the game (enjoyment vs. bushiness).
Just an idea. Let us know what you think.

April 17, 2013

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Csapo

This format is very deliberate, but I did think about the things you mention. The feature is very much about on-court/off-court differences and I've thought long and hard about how we treat those differently on screen; we'll see what we do once we're shooting the feature.

Overall I felt there is so much 16:9 HD basketball in the world nowadays that I wanted to explicitly differentiate this as cinema.

April 17, 2013

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

great lighting. good acting. very good storytelling. it does what scenes should do. it makes me want more.

was the quivering lip added in post?

April 17, 2013

4
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jim

Nope! Actually nothing was added in post, other than the grade and some foley...

April 17, 2013

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

Nice job! There's this great performance moment where the kid's lip is quivering while the rest of his face maintains its composure. Smart idea to put the pitch in the credits, too!

April 17, 2013

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did you do research for this film? why did you chose this subject matter?

"how about off the court, are you undefeated there too" haha.

the way the scene builds is far too direct....whats your intention to get at? how hard this kids life is?....It feels very false too me even the cut from him shooting to then sitting down on the bleachers....as if there was a time passage? seems you were thinking too much about camera setups and not enoguh about the truth of the scene and the dynamic of the two people.

April 17, 2013

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chimski

Seems like you may have missed the point. Also thought the time cut worked really nicely. I personally love editing like that. It's called ellipsis.

April 17, 2013

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Will

Indeed, thanks Will. chimski, the entire short is about "the truth of the scene and the dynamic of the two people" -- the camera setups etc. call very little attention to themselves for exactly that reason. The answer to your other questions should be obvious...

April 17, 2013

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

people dont speak in the way this was written. this is hollywood cinema. your making movies to make movies, not for emotional reason and it shows. I think the gear you are you using and the time your spending shooting this is outweighing greatly the time your spending developing characters and creating real important moments of cinema. The dynamic between these two people depicted is shallow and obvious which is why this film felt like it did. In 30 seconds of hoop dreams I get more truth then I did in 9mins of your film. I think you need to deepen the work you are doing if it is your hope to really impact an audience and do something of merit.

yes it looks nice, the sound is great, the acting well.... people are going to be yes men when you can make something that appeals to a mainstream audience and is professionally made, but if you wish to be an artist I hope you can do more.

April 17, 2013

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chimski

To be fair...i skimmed through the film. which is i probably missed your elipse.... ITS THE INTERNET AGE YOU NEED TO GRAB MY ATTENTION
hahaha noooo. that was a joke

im just saying mannn dont make movies for the sake of movies. dont make movies for filmmakers to praise you on your own blog. take risks....tell stories that are true.... and I do not mean that in a journalistic sense....dont feed my bullshit with stereotypical characters. As an artist be a purveyor of ideas....make me think different. dont be fulfilled in making a film that works be fulfilled in doing something that is important . I dont need a stripped down "he got game" or hoop dreams those films both worked and were trying things. DO SOMETHINGGGGG

April 17, 2013

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chimski

what an embarrassing series of comments by chimski. great work ryan.

April 17, 2013

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filip

YES MEN!

April 17, 2013

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chimski

April 17, 2013

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Will Gilbey

Honest question... do you proofread what you write? Constructive criticism is really good, however you seem to be confused at a fundamental level about cinema in general, and how short story narratives should be constructed. This was surprisingly well done and the editing was actually quite on point. Those transitions are common and Koo was able to show temporal discontinuity a very nice way.

I honestly didn't think the short would be this good, but it was.

April 17, 2013

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Peter

Really impressed. Great directing and acting. Photography and grading top notch. Loved the twist. Never saw it coming. Great moment as the score kicked in and the car drove off. Can't wait to see Manchild.

April 17, 2013

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Will Gilbey

Thanks Will, I've always felt a short is a hard sell without a payoff and I think this one has it. Glad you liked that moment too.

April 17, 2013

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

Badass. The ending was beautifully set up, didn't see it coming at all. I immediately wanted to know more about the characters; is it only the coach who returns in Manchild? I understand if you don't want to give away any spoilers. Will definitely pump this up to my 72 (!) followers on twitter.

April 17, 2013

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Mak

Shouldn't the prequel to your feature just be called "CHILD"?? ;)

April 17, 2013

5
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Maybe CHILDCHILD

April 17, 2013

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

Ryan could you please talk a bit about the light setup, lenses? Perhaps an BTS post? Loved how clean it was on the last part outside... The image is really clean! Really curious on the light setup outside! And by the way, another good example on how good skin tones can be on Red if proper treated. thanks!
:)

April 17, 2013

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Alex Mand

Yup we'll do a BTS post, I'll get some info straight from Greg Wilson (DP) as well! Thanks!

April 17, 2013

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

nice man! Appreciate it!

:-)

April 17, 2013

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Alex Mand

Fantastic. Great casting, acting, script, etc. Love how the cinematography and editing doesn't come across as showy...just moves the story forward. Didn't notice the music, which is a good thing. Of course, nice twist at the end.

Could you share how the lighting was handled? Gyms are generally pretty poorly lit via practicals, yet this one looks good. Also the outdoor-at-night scene looks good. How was that lit?

April 17, 2013

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Rob

Basically just said the same thing to Alex -- we'll share all that. The gym's lights were pretty awful (very different color temperatures light to light) so we killed most of them. There's one pic on my Twitter profile but I'll post a bunch more in the future.

April 17, 2013

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

That was edited really well. I really felt like i was playing the game with them. The casting for the recruiter was kinda meh, you should have made it a white guy or something. And the cropping is odd for a sports film but somehow it worked.

April 17, 2013

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Skinny Pete

Personally, I liked the recruiter. I thought I could see an inner drama playing out nicely: building confidence in his own game.

April 17, 2013

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Taylor

Well done. You are off to a great start, Ryan. So, would you like one random viewer's reaction? First and strongest impression: I loved the work of the actors - it felt real - the mannerisms and everything -- I felt like I was back in Queens/Brooklyn (NY is the only big US city I know). I loved the silence of the pauses in the dialogue, which made it more intense. Thanks for going easy on the background soundtrack -- for my taste you could go even lighter/ more subliminal. I admire your restraint in not adding any artistic shots that cry out "beautiful cinematography" -- because it meant that I, the viewer, can't run away from the intense interaction going on and hide out in "cinematography". Personal taste -- I'd like others' opinion-- does the camera move a bit too much or am I in the minority on this? Or is this a problem with seeing it on the laptop rather than a cinema or big screen? I'm trying to describe my reaction as a viewer--not give you advice, which you don't need. I'll watch it on the big tv later. Congratulations, man.

April 17, 2013

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Taylor

You know I saw it on the big screen and I didn't notice the handheld nearly as much -- obviously I was going for a handheld look, but I think what it is is the refresh rate of online video/computer monitors somehow exaggerates it. It's silky smooth on my (homemade) Bluray. Thanks for the comments Taylor.

April 17, 2013

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

I noticed the handheld but it felt like it was hand held on the player and tripod/jib on the recruiter. I'm not saying it was this way round but if it was I think it's a genius way of applying status, handheld is a little out of control so its great for showing who has control or higher status in the scene.

Great work overall! Most importantly, it cuts and the performances are great!

April 22, 2013

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Anthony

Do yo thing mang!

April 17, 2013

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Shamus McGee

To quote a famous line from Blazing Saddles "Badges? We don't need no stinkin' badges!" If independent filmmakers are Hollywood's outlaws, you are proving that quality films do not need to be part of the Hollywood approved process to stand shoulder to shoulder with big budgets and the inbred politics. that goes with it.

Really nice work in both story and execution. Best of luck on the feature!

April 17, 2013

1
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Thank you so much, Benton.

April 17, 2013

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

Originally from "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" of course.

April 18, 2013

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Fresno Bob

I still got a bone to pick with you mr. Koo! Im still vexed you didnt cast actors or extras from your NFS family & when I see you IT'S ON!

Couple questions: What did you mean by a sound mix @ Goldcrest Post. cos from the sentence it was not clear if you were following up the composers score sentence and mixing the composer's score or you mean the final & overall sound mix of the film! Also, how was the process for you? did u do specific tweaks to voices based on the scripts emotional componenet? how long did it take you to do the sound mix for the 8 min film? U paid by the hour or was it a favor?

I gotta commend you on the great job with the film!

April 17, 2013

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thadon calico

Final sound mix meaning all the elements were in there -- Tim K, the composer, sent me separate stems (on the airplane) and I brought those to Goldcrest. We did postproduction in two days, Thursday (sound mix) and Friday (grade) last week. More details to follow!

April 17, 2013

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

Hats off to the crew Ryan, they did a great job.

I know your plan is for a feature but I couldn't shake off the feeling all throughout the short that this could be great as a TV series.

Given any thought to it?

April 17, 2013

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Ed

I think so too...many folks want to go the feature route although the tv route is difficult to break into

April 17, 2013

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thadon calico

Thanks Ed -- yes it could be a TV series, certainly (The White Shadow being the foremost example of a basketball TV series). It would probably be much easier to do a TV show with high school aged kids though... but we'll see what happens after the feature :)

April 17, 2013

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

Great work, you definitely walk the walk!

April 17, 2013

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James

Awesome short, I love the ending!

April 17, 2013

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Travis

Nice work. The production value is great. I did miss the one moment where we see the kid decide to play the recruiter. That "Sixth Sense" moment, where I can go back and say THERE: how'd I miss this clue? Here, I went back and you have a moment, in close up of the kid thinking- the home/life question- but you have the kid walk AWAY from the guy.

Instead, since this is where the kid decides to play the recruiter, perhaps the kid should have walked TOWARDS HIM, as if HE (the kid) has decided to take the next step-- showing that he's in control.

Upon first view, this would not matter to the viewer, but watching it again (like Sixth Sense) the viewer says, "it was all right there, look-- the kid is in control." But as it is now, it's YOU the filmmaker pulling a "trick" or "twist" at the end of the film that doesn't flow from the story, just a desire to trick the viewer.

April 17, 2013

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Chriss

I actually feel the opposite, that Anton walking away is exactly in character -- he is literally drawing him in. He's bait.

It's a 15-second shot without a line. The beat is there and his gears are grinding. You can of course interpret it differently, but I was conscious of walking the line between "earning it" and "giving it away" and felt we earned it. Free country to feel differently though!

April 17, 2013

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

Obviously you "feel" the opposite. I think this is also why some have pointed to this exact moment- from standing to the bleachers (I agree with you that a time shift/cut in this fashion is perfectly fine). But I think if you allow yourself to hear this criticism, which is what an artist must do, you might see that aside from the production praise, which you deserve, the one story point folks are pointing to is this moment-- and this is the critical moment of the film.

YOU the writer/director see the gears grinding, but I didn't. Yes. I "interpreted" it differently, but as a director you cannot have your viewer seeing a different film that you intended.

And your "free country" comment is odd. I hope as you hear from folks in the industry who offer notes, this isn't your response. Again, exceptional production value, but take a step back and ask others about this moment.

April 17, 2013

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Chriss

+1

I enjoyed it though.

April 18, 2013

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steve

You are just one viewer and not representative of all. Had he done it your way someone would have criticised that choice as well.

April 18, 2013

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Andrew C.

To conduct an orchestra, one must turn his back to the audience.

April 20, 2013

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Chriss,

I was not defensive in my response to you, yet you feel the need to tell me "what an artist must do?"

Me responding IS me hearing the criticism... How many filmmakers post their work on their own site and get 300 comments (between here and Vimeo) to take into account? That's about as "hearing" the criticism as it gets for a short film. You would never "hear" that many reactions even after a year long run on the festival circuit.

"As a director you cannot have your viewer seeing a different film that you intended." I would argue that every viewer is going to see a different film and that is the nature of filmmaking. And quite frankly I take issue with your tone. "As I hear from folks in the industry?" That's all I've been doing for the past few years, and ask any of them how I respond to criticism. Hint: it's different than how I respond to someone on my website telling me what I "cannot" do. I would never tell another filmmaker what they can't do.

April 21, 2013

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

The audio in this is fantastic, what gear did you use?

April 17, 2013

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CodyA

Will share all of that when I get ahold of the list. But really it was the people -- Dave did great location sound and Mike at Goldcrest is a pro. I guess Mike's gear list is more straightforward -- Pro Tools (+plugins).

April 17, 2013

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

I think this short accomplishes what it needs to. It proves that the feature will be in good hands and nobody's time or money will be wasted. Congrats.
To the point about wearing many hats and never seeing the sun, don't hold out for that to change later on in your career. The hours and pressures on multi-million dollar feature films are absurd regardless of how many jobs you're doing. Consider this and everything that came before it to be basic training.

April 17, 2013

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Oh, absolutely -- but on a multi-million dollar feature the editorial team is >1 at least :)

April 17, 2013

1
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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

AWESOME JOB RYAN!!!!!!! Yes please tell us what you did for sound......it's big studio quality for sure!!!
Actors,lighting,camera work and plot twist all first rate!!!! I was worried you latched on to the tired story of kid gets out of the slums by being a basketball star. We have seen that story 100 times but you flipped it around....I dig it!!!! Seriously...what did you use for sound and the lighting. You gotta tell us now....it's why you have this blog!!!

April 17, 2013

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marky mark

Did you fog the gym at all? It looks like it in the bleacher shot above. Has that 80's WHITE SHADOW look to it.

April 17, 2013

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marky mark

Post coming once I check in with the DP to make sure I'm getting everything right... when you're working with the actors you might miss the details :)

And yes, that was the story I wanted to play off of... glad you got it marky mark.

We did fog the gym. Anything that references the White Shadow is fine by me :)

April 17, 2013

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

Did you use fog in a can or a fog machine?

April 17, 2013

1
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marky mark

Hazer.

April 17, 2013

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

Awesome job Koo! Awesome!

We are looking forward to hear from you all the details about sound, light and other gear!

This its your time Koo!
Succes!

April 22, 2013

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GREAT AUDIO!!

April 17, 2013

1
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smitty iproduce

Thanks! Dave, our sound guy -- yes, just one man, not a boom op AND mixer -- did a terrific job.

April 17, 2013

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

It took me a little while to figure out what happened with the surprise ending, but I like it.
Great job, Koo!
This looks very professional and inspires me in my filmmaking career.
Keep it up!
I look forward to seeing MANCHILD when it is released.

April 17, 2013

0
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Really well done. This looks to be a festival film I would actually watch.

April 17, 2013

1
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Casey

Just in time for playoff season. Everyone tweet those bbal players!

April 17, 2013

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Micah Van Hove
Writer
writer, director, dp

Very much enjoyed watching the parts that I did. Acting sold it and the picture and sound supported them well. Personally feel like the slight vignetting (or maybe it was the encode?) wasn't contributing, but that's a look that I feel is a bit tired for me.

I have to agree with chimski on one item -- the time cut from "how about your family?" to him sitting down on the bleachers felt false. I was with the short up until here. Maybe it was his performance, or maybe it was the "ellipses" as someone else wrote, but there wouldn't be a time break in that situation. There couldn't be. The recruiter is a few yards away and nothing really changed, so it just feels like a technique that you wanted to try out, but didn't work for the scene.

Coverage-wise, this felt very TV to me. Competently done, but played mostly in mediums and close ups. Again, personal taste so for me I would have liked to see more wides and more played in the wide (and the one you do use earlier in the short is very welcome)

I do think you have a solid building block for your feature. Not trying to be negative and as much as I understand you had limited time and had to cut shots (as is always the case) none of that really matters in the end.

April 17, 2013

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mitch

I agree on the ellipse cut. It seemed strange in the flow of the conversation. That said, the shots looked amazing. Great job on the cinematography.

AMATEUR shows some great potential for MANCHILD. Congrats Ryan ;)

April 17, 2013

1
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I agree as well. I watched it twice to give it a fair shake but, a few things don't work for me:

shaky/handheld; while it may be a style I didn't see a need for it, so it came across as artificial to me and not organic to the story

I don't buy the story at all; the "scout" must be the worse in the business if he never noticed well dressed parents and a well dressed bball player at the times he saw the other games, nor apparently did he do any homework on the kid, even if the "scout" was lying you can't miss the kid isn't destitute and looks well kept. So the twist (a good one) didn't resonate with me because the kid was never seeing hard times in my mind.

There's no conflict in the entire piece, no drama, nothing to really engage me, it just came across as a long conversation with some stretches of the imagination required - which I guess is fine if you're experimenting but, it just lacked appeal for me.

I do think the piece is well put together, solid production value, decent cast, obviously excellent crew, good lighting, sound, editing, grade and a thoughtful producer and director. But, it wasn't working for me.

I don't think the things that didn't work for me would be as distracting in a feature though, so I don't see any reason the feature couldn't be good.

Just my 2c.

April 17, 2013

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Krys

The comments about the editing, the time break, ellipsis... that I totally get. I'll talk more about that in our BTS post as to why that is the case, and while I do feel the end product works, there is a particular reason for those issues and I hear you on that. In an ideal world I would do some things differently there too... as is the case with every film. Especially films that were (mostly) shot in a day.

But "There’s no conflict in the entire piece, no drama..." That's a clown comment bro.

April 17, 2013

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

I stand by my comments; I didn't buy the logic of your story so it didn't work for me. How about you indicate why you disagree with my reaction - which is valid criticism because I am an audience member - in reply, instead of some dumb "that's a clown comment". Criticism comes every filmmakers way, how about some maturity? I can understand if you're defensive about your work but, nothing I said was rude. We can disagree yet have a meaningful dialogue.

April 17, 2013

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Krys

Nah, I agree with Koo...

"Thats a clown comment brotha"

April 17, 2013

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Mr. W

Krys,

Two characters meet. Each wants something different. Only one can get what he wants. "No drama?" That's drama 101.

Sorry for referencing a meme.
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=that's%20a%20clown%20question%20bro

April 18, 2013

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

To be honest, I share some of the criticism from Krys, admittedly the 'clown comment' being the most important one. After appr. 2 minutes I only kept watching because the short was from Ryan.

April 18, 2013

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hansd

Ryan,

According to Urban Dictionary which you reference: Clown Question - An inappropriate question, typically dripping with either intentional or moronic douchebaggery, and usually posed by an actual douchebag.

On the surface this looks like you are calling Krys a douchebag simply for expressing his reaction to the movie you made. A reaction that happened to be negative.

And you've defined drama for us. Under your definition. Your scene has the same amount of drama as the scene where Sunday enters Daniel Plainview's home near the end of "There Will be Blood". "I drink your milkshake. I drink it up." Now there are situations that 'inherently' have drama, and there are situations where that drama actually plays itself out it a real tangible way. It appears to me (as I don't want to put words in his mount) that Krys's opinion is that in "Amature" that drama doesn't play out. From my perspective that seems to be a valid reaction, that he didn't express in a particularly douchebaggery way.

Anyway, good look with all this. I'm excited for all the opportunities you have coming down the line. Make the most of them.

April 18, 2013

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Seriously Ryan? That's your response to constructive criticism you don't agree with? Very nasty. Seems very self indulgent of you to respond that way, I'm surprised. God forbid you get negative criticism from the public then.

April 18, 2013

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This pretty much sums up how I felt about the story. Great effort and certainly a talented crew but the story and script right now are definitely lacking any real tension, interest or reason to keep watching. I was unable to finish.

April 17, 2013

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Very nice. I love the idea of using a short as a prequel. I hope it generates the buzz you're looking for. I thought the acting was quite good and nicely understated. It got me interested in the characters and wanting to see more of them, which seems like the whole point.

April 17, 2013

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Eric Jolley

Amazing. Really inspiring storytelling. Gonna go write myself for my own projects. Always great to be inspired by things like this. I'm a young guy just turning 20 so thank you Ryan for giving out that extra motivation for people like me! I shared the link, I'll try and help spread the word.

April 17, 2013

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Hussain Al-Khalil

Thanks Hussain, that's great to hear. I won my first flimmaking award right around that age and it's taken me this long to get to this point, so... #STICKWITHIT

April 17, 2013

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

Definately! Cosistency is key. And I live in right Jersey if you ever need another extra hands with anything, like a NFS intern.

April 18, 2013

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Hussain Al-Khalil

Thanks for posting Koo, you've done this super fast as well! Seems like only yesterday you were talking about doing it. It's great and proof positive that you can direct a great feature film. It's beautifully shot, acted and the sound is top notch. More-over I just enjoyed the story and the punchline was great!

I liked the handheld nature, didn't think it was TV at all, and didn't think you needed more coverage. I think it's really exciting what you've pulled off in a short period of time and would advise any of your readers (myself included!) to get out there and do the same!

Well done! Look forward to the feature even more. I'm assuming it's not about either of these characters though right? Shame! Would love to know what he spends the 300 bucks on!

April 17, 2013

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Ewan Thomas

The recruiter is in the feature... you can imagine after seeing this short why he might want to start going after younger kids.

Whether or not Anton Lyles (player) is in the feature, you may very well see Curtiss Cook Jr. (actor) in a different role. We'll see!

April 17, 2013

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

Ryan, I've been obsessively visiting this site for months now, totally inspired by your enthusiasm and your work ethic. This is the first time I felt like I just has to comment. What a great short! I thought the pacing and coverage were great. The looks is what a highschool gym looks like in my memory. The twist was perfectly executed, a great and satisfying ending. I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to MANCHILD.

(also can't wait for the making of posts about this short. really really wanna know what camera you were using and see the rig, etc...)

now I'm off to share on my social networks...

April 17, 2013

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Jim Hicks

Thank you for your first comment Jim!

April 17, 2013

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

Awesome Koo! So clean!

April 17, 2013

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Quobetah

I really tried to like this and perhaps I'm analyzing it too much but I thought it was very slow and sloppy. I don't mean this as an attack on your work but just my honest opinion which may or may not be of use to you.

I thought the pace of the editing did not keep up with the dialogue and I thought the dialogue itself was weak in a lot of places. I don't think Lionel pulls of the character very well. Some jarring cuts at and 1:44 and 2:39. I don't understand the fade at 03.33. This suggests time has passed. Has it? Was anything said during this time? The camera movement was a little sloppy, for example at 06:13 where you can see the camera sway from side to side as you stop, plus you can also hear your two feet stop. Then the camera follow the money back to Curtiss' face too slowly and you loose Dominguez at 06:32? Also, with regards to sound I can hear a whine through most of it which sounds a lot like the whine of a RED fan, most likely from the scarlet?

On the positive side I like the lighting and grading. I think the dialogue works well in places and I think Curtiss is a great actor. I like the twist but still leaned towards the lame side for me personally.

Anyway, those are just a few of my initial thoughts which are offered as constructive criticism. I feel all too often people just compliment work but it only from criticism that we learn to look at our work more closely. Looking forward to Manchild.

Ro.

April 17, 2013

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Ro

I loved the ending, and working this a prequel is smart. The pacing was good, and the misdirection at the end was superb. I deff thought it was going to be a straight forward piece and I'm happy it wasn't. I can't wait for the feature.

April 17, 2013

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J

Loved it! Well done Ryan, can't wait to see the feature :)

April 17, 2013

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SebTorres

You played to the Scarlet's strengths. :-) Good work.

April 17, 2013

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marklondon

what camera and lenses did you use on the shoot?

April 17, 2013

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We'll do a full BTS post soon, but the "shot on RED" logo at the end gives away that part...

April 17, 2013

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

at the beginning I thought I was seeing bad acting from Curtis; i was starting to think his reactions seemed exaggerated until after the reveal at the end where it became clear what all that was all about.

Using performance to sort of foreshadow is great stuff I think.

April 17, 2013

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