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Short Film - "Counterfeit"
  • Here's a short film I shot back in 2011 on a hacked GH1. I'm starting pre-production on my next short film so I'd appreciate all feedback and comments.

  • 8 Replies sorted by
  • It's a good short. Congratulations! The lighting was quite interesting in some shots.

    The only think that I was not very fond of was the sound quality. What was your audio setup? Which mics, recorders, mixers etc?

    Also, how much did the whole production cost? (I mean without the equipment)

  • I thought this was strong, with good editing. Title sequence, great but quite long. Bit too violent for me.

    I'm not sure what happens to the character who gets out of the car, is he shot or does he fall badly ?

    I listened through headphones and thought the sound was reasonably clean

  • @kronstadt Audio was a simple setup using a Tascam-DR100 for recording and using a RODE NTG-2 as a boom + Countryman Wired Lav Mic in some scenes.

    As for budget it was practically nothing. Excluding gear I only paid for food and drinks for the actors and crew.

    @andyharris It's supposed to be that he trips and falls badly but the way I shot it and without any proper stunt work, it's hard to tell. I wish that sequence had come together better and it's definitely one of my least favorite parts in the film.

  • great...the sound was very good too ... thanks

  • @Xenocide38 in terms of sound, the scenes that I thought the sound was a bit strange, "digital" and video-ish were the opening scene (two guys inside the car sounded strange)-- I guess that's the Countryman lav. The moment they got outside the car to rob the man in black suit the sound was a lot better (I guess that was the NTG2 on a boompole). And then in the next day-scene inside the car they sounded "digital" again; and also the following scene when the fat policeman talks on the phone--I'm guessing that was Countryman lavalier too.

    But overall I liked the texture in most scenes - very filmic look. GH1 is awesome. I wonder what which lenses were in your lens kit? Did you use any anamorphic adapters? (I noticed an anamorphic flare at 5:29)

    And what kind of lights did you use as your lighting kit? The lighting on fat policeman's cheek at 4:54 was not so successful, but at 9:31 was pretty nice (although the light coming from the side seemeda bit too strong and unnatural,when juxtaposed with the shots of the fat man in white shirt). Was the scene in the diner naturally lit, or did you add any additional lighting?

    Acting/directing: were any of these guys real actors? They performed quite well (except that younger teanager). The lead charachter's performance was reasonably good (except for the point when he looks up at the fire-alarm.I felt that was a bit overdone). If these guys are not actors, then kudos to you as the Director and the person who had casted them.

    PS: what kind of xenophobic name is Xenocide?!? :o

  • @kronstadt Thanks for the feedback! Yeah I was very pleased working with the GH1. It was pretty much the only thing I could afford at the time and I was incredibly happy with the resolution and look compared to the 5DmkII and 7D which were very popular but I never much cared for. The only issue I ran into with the GH1 was its poor ISO performance and the FPN. It wasn't a dealbreaker but it did crop up from time to time.

    Truth be told, I cropped the film to 2.35:1 in post so no anamorphic lenses were used although I hope to film anamorphic for my next project. All the glass I used was older Nikkor lenses. 24mm f2.8, 50mm f1.4, 85mm f1.8 were my primary lenses with maybe a few shots with other glass. Now that I have more lenses, it's crazy to think of how little I had when filming this.

    Lighting was a mixed bag. I used fluorescent work lights mounted vertically on stands for a majority of the scenes. These can be had for a mere $20 at Walmart (yeah my budget was pretty much nothing haha). But they actually performed quite well considering the price. Although you will notice some odd looking catch lights in the actors eyes from time to time (very long vertical catch lights). They worked well enough, drew little power, stayed fairly cool and gave a nice soft light.

    The actors were all people I knew and were amazing to help me out. Some had taken acting classes but none were "professional" actors although I'm sure they'd be glad to hear your comments.

    PS: Xenocide is the name of the 3rd book in the Ender's Game series of novels. Great reads if you enjoy science fiction.

  • @Xenocide38 Sound: and was I correct in the first paragraph in assuming that sound recording in the internal car shots were done with Countryman lavalier? Please tell me. If yes , I'll make sure to stay away from Countryman lavs.

    Lights: Can you post a link to the flurescent lights that you used? or at least a link to the imageof those flurescent lights. I never used flurescent - my kit are all old-school tungsten (Redhead and fresnel As-Arri + gels)

    Lenses: Nikkor glass looks superb. Quite filmic. Were these the AF series? I'm planning on getting some old AI ones.

    Acting: frankly speaking, this is one of the very few short films from DSLR filmmaker community where acting is not so self-concious. You can spend tens of thousands of $$$ on expensive gear, but (for me) the moment that Acting and Sound is bad, that's it- the film is ruined. So well done to you as the Director and to your actors.

  • @kronstadt Yes if memory serves me right, the inside the car shots were with the Countryman.

    Lighting: This isn't the exact light I used but it's similar to it.

    I bought 3200k bulbs and 5600k bulbs and would switch when needed. These kinds of lights should be available at any Walmart or Home Depot for around $20.

    Lenses: They are not the AF series lenses, all older manual focus and manual aperture lenses. They were fairly affordable when I got them many many years ago.

    Acting: Thank you, I appreciate the compliment. So far it looks like my next short will also be on a next to nothing budget but I do intend to raise some funds just in order to pay actors and secure locations. Great films have been made over the past 100 years regardless of budget but they all had a great story, great actors, and good locations. I like new gear and equipment but it's such a small aspect of filmmaking.