First short film - Critique and Guidance Anyone? (1 reply and 6 comments)
I hope this is the appropriate location for this. At 48 I am following my passion for film, specifically cinematography and directing. While I have done amateur photography since college, never really played with film or video.
I had the opportunity to pitch an unscripted, self-contained TV show recently and learned Adobe Premiere in the process. Through this, I decided to write and shoot my own, and very first short film. I have zero formal training but feel I may have some "talent" for visual storytelling.
If anyone would be willing to view my "The Sixth Floor" and provide constructive feedback, I would really appreciate it!
Don’t worry about being 48, it’s a good age to learn filming.
Your little film intrigued me. The opening shots with credits was really superb, and I mean really superb. Licence plate and open box of matches got me excited, the ticking Omega Seamaster watch was a good choice but I thought the sound was coming from a larger clock. That doesn’t really matter except that if the sound track doesn’t match up with the image then the viewer will become distracted.
The rising camera outside the balcony again was rather good but you reversed the shot from the previous one which was distracting. The girl walking to sofa should have been longer, it probably was but you cut it too tight. Again you reversed the shots which made me feel unncortable. Door buzzer too quick, should be more pronounced perhaps multi buzzer noise. The girl was on the sofa reading a book, drinking wine and looking at the TV at same time, the TV sound was in full stereo in the Center of the image, I would pan the sound track to the right of the screen to match the image also it was too loud imo. The swinging vase on a rope was a mystery, had a squeaky sound like a child’s swing, which annoyed me, again the sound levels were not correct.
Underground car Park scenes were very good but confusing as to why she was running, she didn’t seem too distressed, running from what was what the audience were asking. Btw, the paperwork on the desk seemed authentic even including an autopsy report so somebody did their research when writing the script.
Overall this was a superb piece of film making considering it was your first one. Points to watch are your sound levels when jumping from one scene to another and continuity levels too. Your opening shots were excellent, your photography and lighting was really good, editing needs to be worked on, especially pace and timing the shot to suit the story. When you list music credits always include the record Label for that track otherwise they won’t know who to bill!
This is only my opinion ofcourse but is meant to encourage not to discourage. Your next film will even be better. Can’t wait.
For the purists, I watched this film 4 times using Beyer DT 48’s 25 Ohms reference headphones.
Mike, thank you for your detailed and honest critique. I really appreciate the feedback and will review and incorporate it. I wrote the screenplay for it during lunch one day in Final Draft. Created the shot lists with Studiobinder etc... I was going for a Hitchcockesque/Noir feel - I wanted to make the viewer feel uneasy, uncomfortable at certain points of the film. Sounds like that may have worked - hopefully for the right reasons! Thanks again.
Reminded me of the “rear window”. I would like to see your film re-shot, it has the makings of a great little film. Concentrate on the tension, perhaps some dramatic close ups of the girl, we want to see her ‘Fear’. You are nearly there you know.
Btw, what camera and lens were you using. Photography was excellent.
Wow, "...reminded me of the "rear window"....That is a compliment. I shot it on a Panasonic Lumix GH5 Mii with 12mm and 25mm Meike Cine lenses, a trusty tripod and a Ronin gimbal. Manual focus, ISO and WB all the way
Thankyou for that, members like to know what equipment you used.
Btw, I was impressed by the size of the lounge used in your film, assume it was yours.
Mike and all - I have almost completely reworked my first "short" based on the valuable feedback I have received here and elsewhere. If anyone has 4 minutes to view my short and provide some additional guidance on the new version, I would really appreciate it. You can find "Divergence" here: https://cinetodd.com/film»