June 2, 2015 at 6:09AM, Edited June 2, 6:37AM

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My first short, seeking advices from you!

Hi! I'm a french film school student (however we don't practice often it's just mainly theoretical courses and film analysis) and we had recently to create a short fiction (we were to do around 7 shots). We had the plan with my teammate to explore an old abandoned coal washing facility and decided to make something with it, so here it is!

Running Away: (it's supposed to be listened loud! :) )
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nT4gYcjYXRI

Now some explanation. I don't have a lot of money, and our school doesn't have any gear to loan, so we made it a 0$ budget short ahah (well the only thing we paid for was the gas mask). For the prep we had only a few days, so we thought of a story, and we only did the storyboard for the first half of the short (until he enters the factory), as we didn't know what it looked like inside, and we had to improvise on set. It was really run'n'gunning as we only had 9h on location, and some shots are quite rushed...
I shot it with a sony a6000 in AVCHD, with for the most part in exterior the sony 18-105G F4, then in interior the Sony 35mm F1.8 OSS and a Leica Summicron 90mm F2 (pre-asph, which I found in my dad's old camera gear).
For the lighting setup we used an outdoor LED floodlight (which is what the actor is holding inside the factory) and a 200*160 5in1 reflector to bounce some light back.
I edited everything and made the soundtrack on Sony Vegas, then graded everything on DaVinci Resolve Lite.

I'm kinda in a love-hate relationship with it haha, during the edit and post-prod there was some moment I just wanted to delete everything, and I was noticing every little mistake or imperfections, but considering the time limitation, budget the result is fairly ok, and initial feedback was good so I wanted to know from people in the field their ideas, advice, and feedback as well!

8 Comments

Salut Victor. I thought it was a great effort, especially as your first short.

Filming a friend in an abandoned building and using a post-apocalypse/outbreak narrative is hardly original, but you've done it much more effectively than most.

I thought the shot revealing the dropped knife could have been more subtle. And, for me, the early slow-motion shots interrupted the action too much, although I liked the rooftop one showing the backpack/wood.

You've obviously got the technical skills, so maybe the next step is to develop some more surprising stories?

July 16, 2015 at 6:41AM

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Victor,
It is quite evident that you have utilised a level of technicality in your production, which is commendable for beginning a film. However, as a viewer I sincerely hoped that something more should have been shown or depicted.
The scenario seemed a little engaging, for watching survival genre of-sorts especially with the kind of background scoring and the sound design; a good work at that.

However, no conclusive inferences could be drawn after watching your short because nothing else was shown in living or substance; therefore, which way the plot is flowing and towards what - was left unanswered without even a hint.
I suggest that if you could add a few follow up scenes to this current form, maybe further running out and leading towards or away from something (even the faintest idea) could be helpful for viewers.
All the best!

August 6, 2015 at 11:01AM

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Tanay Chaudhari
Cinema Aficionado, Reviewer, Aspiring Screenwriter+Producer
183

Nice, keep it going!
Good use of sound!

August 8, 2015 at 11:23AM

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Cary Knoop
Member
2405

First thank you all for your answers! I didn't saw them until today so sorry for my late answer.

I've really focused on writting better stories lately and it'll be my number one priority next time! I've been kinda bold calling it a first short, as it was still a school exercise and not my first personal project, but I should have taken way more attention to the story told!

I've always been hesitant about my skills but your comments have been very helpful and are a great motivation to keep on going, thank you again!

September 5, 2015 at 1:09PM, Edited September 5, 1:11PM

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Really great first effort! Now that you've told us, it is noticeable that the second half wasn't storyboarded or planned. The first half is really tight. Good job & thanks for sharing! Looking forward to seeing your first proper effort.

September 6, 2015 at 12:02AM

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Jon du Toit
Writer / Director
181

A hell of a lot better than my first film in a festival https://youtu.be/BrL8bSWy6DE

September 6, 2015 at 4:06PM

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Alfred Cox
Writer / Director
142

I'd listen to these two interviews with Robert Rodriguez: http://www.indiefilmhustle.com/robert-rodriguez-interview/

October 11, 2015 at 10:01AM

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Alex Ferrari
Director / Producer
798

Duuuude... I thought it was great, couldn't have guessed it was your first. A few things I noticed...excellent camera work and some interesting cutting. I think some of your cuts were paranoid, claustrophobic and unexpected which for me, contributed greatly to the fear and discomfort of the characters situation. I would agree though that the beginning was tighter than the last third (ish). Also, music was great, the actor was good. I was engaged from start to finish, for me this was more visual appeal than story, and I'm assuming that's what you were going for. I was engaged 100%

I do have a question: what kind of camera did you use? Which lenses?

December 10, 2015 at 10:57AM, Edited December 10, 10:57AM

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Nathan Karimi
Writer/ Director
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