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about that feature film i did with the GH2
  • wanted to share this with you guys, and anyone who's into making films, or just interested to hear the story.

    if any of you remember, a few years ago i filmed a feature film using the non hack GH2, and made this preliminary basic "Shots" clip:

    yea it was 4 years ago. and at the time i had to "bury" it because i felt it failed completely, i showed it to some producers who basically thrashed it and said it was worthless. it was very painful and traumatic experience.

    well after 4 years, i suddenly decided to confront the project and see what can be done. i understood 2 things: my vital mistake then, was trying to edit the footage as a feature length, not thinking of the possibility it may not hold 80 minutes as i planned, so the first thing i did, was to cut 30 minutes and make it the best edit i could do. even if it's only 50+ minutes atm, it's still considered "feature length" at festivals, and at least now the film is "tight".

    the second thing was the music. i tried composing my own ideas back then, and now it seems it was a mistake, a totally misguided feel for this kind of film once i gathered some new reference music (mostly tension drones, more horror feel), the film started to "work" much better, and this new direction guided me throughout the process. it made me produce a much more creative, efficient, interesting and better product.

    so now i know exactly what's needed to complete the film. maybe a 1-2 extra scenes, i hope.

    i will now start letting people watch it and see where it leads me. my main goal now is the target this to festivals that my have interest. i hope some producers/distributors here in Israel will now "dig" this film (which is kinda weird, dark, "arthouse" horror film) and help me finish it and sending it to festivals. i will even uses a kickstarter if i'll have to get the rest of the money needed.

    anyway, i will be glad to hear your thoughts, experience, tips or any other words ;)

    P.S - lucky i didn't sell the GH2. i already put it for sale but was too lazy to sell it.

  • 34 Replies sorted by
  • why don't you just do a trailer? If it generates interest, make it a short. Try and bring it under 20 minutes. Film Fests prefer shorts that aren't long so they can program more films. Also, I like your footage above, but that's no trailer as it conveyed no story or drama.

  • @brianl i will make a trailer, that's obviously a further step. these shots were just what i edited 4 years ago to let people see a GH2 native abilities..

    but i DO have a 50 minutes very presentable offline (not including any completion scenes yet) why would i make it a short film? most festivals declare 40 minimum for a feature film..

  • @rozroz Rock on. Looks like it has potential.

  • why would i make it a short film?

    well if you think you have 50 minutes of viable content, go for it. On the other hand, reduces a story to a quantum level is always a good exercise and normally yields a more dynamic narrative.

  • @brianl well, how much can you reduce from NEEDED scenes? (or at least, scenes i think that are needed?) i guess i'll be wiser after some feedback.

  • I can't tell what to have from what's posted. If your happy at 50 minutes, go for it. I have to shorten everything I do a half dozen times though. What I think it needs, usually drags on for others. Eventually, I get it where everyone is happy.

  • very few hollywood films are engaging from start to finish. many have only 10 minutes of engaging scenes out of the entire two hours. so maybe you shouldn't put too much pressure on yourself to expect every scene to make people go awwww? or maybe the same standard doesn't apply to indies since hollywood has all the money in the world and they can do whatever they want?

  • Huh, somehow India filmmakers manage to keep films engaging (just in different way) for 3 or more hours :-)

  • well, how much can you reduce from NEEDED scenes?

    IMO the person who can answer this knows the secret of filmmaking.

  • I really not like the music ! The image was nice and some are very nice composing framing. Your storytelling need help... a voice over or earing some one talking. I do not see the version before you said it's more tight and this it's look like ok The music tempo is increase slowly until the end.... the image do not show this a regular ascension in the story ( related with the speed editing ). I will vary the film tempo at different place. About the girl this was the past or the present if they are backflash in your story those clip must have a different look. Do not forget a silence said a lot some time. Remove the music .... work the storytelling. Very good job for a first long, it's not a bad idea to have a 20 minutes version and a 50 minutes and a preview.

  • @peternap, the reason i feel i can't cut anymore atm, is because my approach to re-editing this was "make the film as short as possible, don't drag A SECOND", and with that i got 50 min.

    @babypanda i think that if i wanna get this work wanted by other producers/distributors, and while i can't even be sure what works or not (for other viewers), the safest way is to make the most engaging edit i can produce right now (also with sound fx, whatever possible). that was my big mistake 4 years ago.

    @Samuel yea i agree this is not the music for what needed. but remember that what you see is AN OLD edit i did back then, this is NOT a trailer. just a little showcase for GH2 quality. i will make a new trailer soon of course.

  • So, was this your first film?

  • The clip feels like it could easily be made into a trailer, in which case the editing could be even tighter. It's impossible to get a feel for the sound design of a film only from the music. What I mean is, I hope the sound in your film is not only about the music. As one who teaches sound design I always encourage filmmakers to get down their (clean) dialogue and effects tracks first and then carefully add the music into the mix (the most rudimentary form of sound design). Even if you're confident in doing this, its still good to run it by an experienced post-production mixer who can "tune" it for festival screenings.

  • @4CardsMan - this was my first attempt at a feature length. i did many short (and stupid) films when i was younger (some parts of them are on my YT page https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLE138821B5D9226FE )

    @MirrorMan - as i mentioned above, what you saw is an old edit i did back then, this is NOT a trailer. just a little showcase for GH2 quality. the music is also just for feel. i will make a new trailer soon of course. a trailer for this kind of film is going to be dark, moody, and puzzling imo. i work as a promo/trailer editor, so i kinda know what's needed for a great trailer.. my goal when i decided to go back working on this was first to have a film that stands on it's own. a trailer is always possible with the footage i have.

    btw- did any of you here tried crowd funding? kick starting? i fear i may have to go down that rout if i'll need to invest more money.

  • if it's not too personal, how much money has it cost you to make this film so far?

  • @babypanda - to reach the stage i'm at, i guess around 5000$ (including buying the whole equipment) i WILL need at least 10000 more i guess, to finish extra shoots, mixing, CC, sending to festivals, music licenses, etc.

  • sending to festivals

    fyi: i was just on another forum (sorry, links to other forums seem to be discouraged here) and read that there are many things to be cautious of when submitting to festivals, including some scams out there. so do your research and read the fine print.

  • @babypanda yea, i see what you mean about these little fishy online festivals.. thanks.

  • I couldn't find a topic devoted to film festival submissions. In my limited experience, trying to get 2 shorts into festivals, the process awkward and feels a bit like gambling. I've been using online services like Withoutabox, FilmFreeway and FilmFestivalLife. It's daunting to go through thousands of listings and you can easily blow wads of money without having any idea what kind of chances you have. This is from a total indie no-budget perspective. I'm curious if its similar for mid or bigger budget films and how they go about it, if there's any better way, apart from getting invited.

  • Examples of clauses that some festivals put in their agreements:

    FILMMAKER HEREBY GRANTS THE DOORPOST FILM PROJECT A "GRATIS," NON-EXCLUSIVE, WORLDWIDE LICENSE, IN PERPETUITY, FOR THE LIFE OF COPYRIGHT, TO EXHIBIT, BROADCAST, TRANSMIT, DISPLAY, DISTRIBUTE, REPRODUCE IN COPIES, COUPLE WITH OTHER FILMS, SYNCHRONIZE, SELL AND OTHERWISE PERFORM THE SUBMITTED FILM"

    by submitting your film you are giving them the right to sell your work and profit off of it in perpetuity. They are under no obligation and you have no claim on any of the monies generated from your own work.

    FILMMAKER SHALL NOT POST, UPLOAD, DISPLAY, TRANSMIT, OR BROADCAST A SUBMITTED FILM OVER THE INTERNET FOR A PERIOD OF THREE (3) YEARS FROM THE DATE OF SUBMISSION OF THE SUBMITTED FILM.

    If you submit your film to this site you no longer have the right to place your own work online in any capacity for a period of 3 years.

  • @MirrorMan, IF i'll manage to get some kind of a producer to support this, they usually have some knowledge on specific festivals that match this kind of film. and then they usually DO that work themselves ;) that will depend on how much money i'll be able to get to finish all this. i have no idea about how this works. but i think that in my position i can maybe target towards good calendar dates to match the best festivals options.

    but first to get some positive feedback and finish a draft...

  • According to this guy, film festivals want films under 10 minutes...

    http://www.indiewire.com/article/attention-filmmakers-dont-submit-to-film-festivals-yet-20141106

    You need to cut some more.

    As the idiom goes, "get in late and get out early." That means your 20-minute senior project is too long. No, really. Trust me. It is. And that means it's going to get cut from more festivals than you can shake a boom pole at. Festival programmers get inundated with submissions. They're looking for quality work that knows how to capitalize on the economy of the short film format. If you can't cut your short to less than 10 minutes you're making things harder on yourself.

  • @babypanda,

    if this goes to a SHORT FILM category, this sounds interesting.

    but if i'll managed to squeeze my work to a feature length category, then what's wrong with a 50-60 min. length? sounds the same principle as the short film idea this guy says ;)

  • right, it only applies if you decide to keep it as a short. why not contact festivals you intend to submit your film to now and ask them what would improve your chances of getting your film accepted? that might help you make a final decision.

  • @babypanda,

    i think it's too soon. first i'll have a good stabe cut that gets good feedback, then we'll see..