December 15, 2015 at 1:09PM

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3 Years, 4 camera upgrades, and my short film is done.

https://vimeo.com/148969016

Short film I shot over the course of 3 years with my wife, that does ballet as a hobby. This short film aims to help visualize how a dancer can get so wrapped up in the art of ballet that they lose themselves. So what are you waiting for, Get Lost!

Started with a Canon 6D then a FS-700, next an A7s and finally an A7s II for the final macro shot.

Let me know what you think!

21 Comments

Graham,

Visually looks good. No questions there.

Since you are way above the intermediate level, I have questions that I hope gonna challenge you :)

- How is this a short film? This looks more like a b-roll with music. Story? Theme?
- 3 years???? I counted 5 locations at most.

So, you get top grades for video, titles, and credits, but story, script, and time to market get failing grades! And I mean it in the most supportive way! ;)

Alex

December 15, 2015 at 8:48PM, Edited December 15, 8:48PM

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Alex Zakrividoroga
Director
3726

Man, I don't agree with you. I see a clear story in this movie. It's shown that dancing is her whole world & kinda a journey. You might even say that all the scenes besides gym are taking place in her imagination & are how she actually feels about dancing. I felt it really hard & for me it was clear, but I kinda agree that some people might not get it, because it's semi-obvious. About time - I think it was his side project & sometimes you lack motivation to finish :) I also have projects, which should have been done in like 1/10th of time I made them.

December 18, 2015 at 7:15PM

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Andy Tokarski
Director, Editor, Colorist
1306

Yes, you are completely right haha.

January 9, 2016 at 9:29PM

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Graham Uhelski
Director of Photography/Video Editor
400

I agree with Alex Zakrividoroga here. From a story and editing perspective, it's kind of a mess. You can tell there's a passion there, but its hidden behind a lack of a cohesive narrative. This isn't experimental so much as its a small part of larger story, and that's the story I would like to see.

It's quite beautiful at times with great care toward color and lighting, but in the end feels like an extended trailer for character study, rather then the study itself. This is one of those cases where I would encourage you to forget about the camera, and whether it needs an upgrade (4 in 3 years is kind of overboard), and focus on the larger story that needs to be told, behind the dancing, in between it, during it, rather than just displaying it.

I'm sure while editing there was a story in your mind, and some may be able to grasp it, but to be brutally honest, it just doesn't translate well. You shouldn't have to explain the point of the film to us before we watch it. And without a strong, effective story taking center stage, it becomes forgettable, just another pretty clipshow. I don't mean to be too harsh, but you've clearly got talent, so it's important that you get some real criticisms, rather than me just blowing smoke up your ass. Keep at it.

December 20, 2015 at 8:56AM

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Jacob Floyd
Writer / Videographer
1243

Yeah I agree with you it's a bit frustrating using work that's years old and editing down to a final project. Also you are correct, it was a side project for 3 years, not a main focus by any means. Thanks for your comments!

January 9, 2016 at 9:31PM

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Graham Uhelski
Director of Photography/Video Editor
400

I totally hear you Alex, it wasn't a project I was focused on for 3 years straight by any means. I just took forever to edit it because I needed to wait on new lenses and everything. I consider it a short because it's not just a music video, it's 3 tracks of music and an intro/outro I don't even know how to categorize it. I think the message is clear, it's a dancers mindset. It's becoming one with the music, with the dance. That's why I used different locations, I wanted the subject to be lost in the music. Thanks for your comments Alex, I am glad you were upfront about it!

January 9, 2016 at 9:28PM

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Graham Uhelski
Director of Photography/Video Editor
400

Interesting short. I am curious how you feel about the different cameras you used, and which ones you still own ?

December 16, 2015 at 12:15PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
32014

Thanks, I own the a7s II as of now.

January 9, 2016 at 9:32PM

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Graham Uhelski
Director of Photography/Video Editor
400

The shots in the studio made me think of Black Swan. Very well shot. Interesting to see the different cameras mixed together. Was each location a different camera or a mixture of cameras at each spot through the years?

December 17, 2015 at 11:34AM, Edited December 17, 11:34AM

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Alex Everingham
Video Editor
646

This film wasn't successful in visually translating the idea of getting lost. Personally, I didn't get that at all, and I doubt a general audience would walk away with that understanding. The dolly stuff didn't help, focus on the execution of the idea and control your elements man.

December 18, 2015 at 9:07AM

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Indie Guy
871

I think "getting lost" means passion in this movie. It means that you love something so much that your mind/ego dissolves when you do it.

December 18, 2015 at 7:17PM

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Andy Tokarski
Director, Editor, Colorist
1306

Where was the visual communication that articulated that idea? What I am saying is that such a read of the film is conjecture.

December 18, 2015 at 8:35PM

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Indie Guy
871

I actually am fascinated with the idea of "getting lost" in or by something, I really liked the visuals, the camera work was nothing short of professional and I like the movements of the camera as a juxtaposition of her movements as a ballet dancer. Very beautifully done! I do have to say though that you could have done more with the transgression of her "losing herself", in my mind this could have/should have had parallels with a severe drug addiction in that way that any obsession can.

Also there is one specific little editing choice that strictly my opinion could be drastically improved with a small choice at 2:24, you made a cut of her jumping on the dock and then landing on the forest path, followed by a second jump and up close landing of her foot, I think you should cut out that middle jump and cut from the dock to her up close landing. I don't know if that is appropriate to tell you but just my thought.

Overall, better than anything I could do and I think the focusing that you did during action scenes must have taken a lot of practice (3years?) and IMO, it really shows. I liked it a lot man. And it's so cool that your wife is willing to do all that with you. My girlfriend has acted in my shorts and it is SO much fun. Great stuff man.

December 18, 2015 at 10:05AM

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Nathan Karimi
Writer/ Director
195

Thanks man! Yeah she is my go to girl for video work. It was mostly a side project, I don't want anyone to think I was slaving away solely on this project for 3 years straight. I have had many projects to juggle, this one just took forever because I needed a macro lens for her eye at the end hahah.

January 9, 2016 at 9:35PM

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Graham Uhelski
Director of Photography/Video Editor
400

Hey,
Thanks for sharing your work!

I agree with what some others have said, the visuals are very nice. They're not exactly interesting, in the sense that the composition and locations are fairly normal. They are well executed and pretty. I guess I get more a feeling of a camera test than a story.

As for getting lost, what I took from it is you're trying to show that she gets to the room, stretches, starts dancing and then--in her mind at least--she's sort of taken away into these various worlds? We're not supposed to believe that she actually is dancing int he forest, or on the beach, but that in her mind her dancing is taking her to all these places and feelings? I like that idea but I don't think its executed the way you want to get across the idea of getting lost, and it also isn't the kind of getting lost I think we all wanted based on your description.

For one, the transition from the ballet space to dock, the firs time we see her our in nature rather than the room, though she's doing a similar movement it's not close enough to create a continuity in the viewer's mind that she's still in the same movement as she was just a moment ago. I guess ideally we'd see some sort of fade, if not too cliche, with one single movement as she bends in the room and the world around her changes to the dock, etc. I'm assuming here that you meant to present a mental reality like I mentioned above, and if I'm way off then this might all be bullshit anyway! :)

Basically, the scenes of her dancing are really pretty but they don't feel connected or like they make much sense as far as what's going in her head other than that, I guess, she likes dancing. On first view I actually thought I was just watching her practice dance in a variety of locations, which I guess is cool but seems a little nutty. Not dancing in the woods, but with full regalia of a ballerina. It didn't occur to me that these moments were all still taking place in same room until the end and that's simply because we finish where we started, bookended so. If you'd finished on a scene at the dock, for instance, I would've thought it was a series of shots of someone who liked to dance different places.

And as for getting lost, I think we were all thinking more about the obsessive kind of getting lost, the kind where you lose track of the rest of life, put it on hold, to focus often without realizing it on one thing that might not be the best for you, or at least isn't the only thing that needs focus. Scenes of someone dancing while at work as the boss screams, or while the baby cries, etc. Obviously a little stretched, but you probably get what I'm saying. Getting lost is different than just really enjoying doing something. Being transported somewhere doesn't equate to getting lost in it.

Anyway, I hope my thoughts might be able to help. Again, it's very pretty looking but perhaps the message is lost along the way. I'm also curious about why it took 3 years. This stuff takes a long time, for sure, but maybe for your next project impose a timeframe of a single day. Try to come up with an idea, and shoot it, all on the same day. It can be 30 seconds, it can be five minutes. But just do it all at once so the ideas and whatever came to you just happens all at the same time. Just an idea.

Best of luck!

December 18, 2015 at 1:31PM

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I must say I'm impressed, even though the movie is very simple & technically far from perfect. It's just one of those movies which make your heart warm :)

December 18, 2015 at 7:20PM

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Andy Tokarski
Director, Editor, Colorist
1306

How is it technically far from perfect in your opinion?

December 19, 2015 at 11:25AM

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NB Jensen
Film buff
273

The transitions between gym & other locations are not good enough, that's why some people didn't get the idea. Also it lacks some tension at the beginning, a little tension would make it much better. She just prepares & then starts dancing. I think it's kinda too simple. I would also like to see images when she closes her eyes, open them & she is in the other location, it would enhance the idea. There are also some mistakes in editing like in 1:39 - he broke the 180 degree rule & I don't see why, it doesn't serve the story. Cinematography in general is very good, but it's not perfect.

December 19, 2015 at 12:41PM, Edited December 19, 12:41PM

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Andy Tokarski
Director, Editor, Colorist
1306

A great short film. I loved the story and the passion that went into making it. Many are going to question the story, but I think the style is more in line with a Terrence Malick film. Telling a story with visuals and keeping interest isn't easy.
Also, using the Beck song "Wave", which is about moving away from disturbance, "only to get carried away" (song lyric) tells you everything about this film. Good film, good choices.

December 20, 2015 at 10:40AM

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Sathya Vijayendran
Writer/Director/Editor
342

My man Sathya, you get it. It's all about the music more so than anything else. Also Malick is one of my favorites, so thanks. I consider myself a young Malick with a tripod haha. The 180 degree rule, screw that...I have dreams that break it. I am aware of the "rules of filmmaking" I break them with no remorse, because filmmaking isn't about rules it's about creativity.

January 9, 2016 at 9:39PM, Edited January 9, 9:45PM

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Graham Uhelski
Director of Photography/Video Editor
400

Cinematography was epic... 3 years to make a 5 minute video...not buying it. but overall.. I like it..

December 22, 2015 at 7:57PM

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Alfred Cox
Writer / Director
88

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