Request for Short film review (6 replies and 21 comments)
the link to my short film named "THE SECOND LESSON"
it's my first directorial effort,
is a malayalam short film about a writer on why he decided not to accept the financial help he recieved from government as a result of efforts by his influential friends during his illness stage & when he was not in much of a financial disposition.
I don't know how much the suject would interest the members,But i request all forum members to please watch and share your personel opinions and feedbacks whether positive / negetive on this short film.
English subtitles are Added.
Thank you all.
Master deakins could you please share your comments.
India is producing some fine ‘shorts’ these days and I consider this to be one of them.
Beautifully photographed and accompanied by a superb music track but ADR needs work.
I was very impressed by the beginning with its nicely timed thunder storm and the overhead shot of the man on the bed. I liked the slowed down palm leaves with the rain SFX which introduced us to the Indian monsoon season. I also liked the scene where we see the two boys running slow up the steps and the silhouette of them on the balcony. Very nice work here.
At 4.10 we start to hear the ADR cut in without any ambient sound, this made it sound artificial, drinking water and swallowing SFX was not necessary to the storyline. At 5.30 we heard the bucket drop in the well but the sound was done in the studio and did match the scene levels. At 6.00 there was no room tone and just did not sound right with the studio dialogue, this would distract the audience and spoil a really good scene. At around 7.05 the lip synce was out. This happened again 1032. At 1105 there was no room tone.
There was a lovely ‘push in’ at 1215 matched with well chosen music. Again at 1245 and 1400. 1438 produced some stunning music with sensitive camera moves. This was lovely imo.
This was a really superb short film, well thought out and rehearsed.
Bad points. The sound was not consistent especially ambient sound and the ADR was lip synced but the actors were too close to the microphone and without room tone which made it sound artificial but this is very common with Indian shorts. Perhaps the sets are too noisy for the soundman but other scenes are recorded with live dialogue with no problems. I think the fault here could be the editor!
Lovely film with superb music. Beautiful photography imo.
Perhaps you can tell us what camera and lenses were used.
Wow THANK YOU Mike, your review provides a lot of insights and happiness.
And I'm sure it's going to help me better in next efforts.
This was shot with
Nikon d750 camera
Sigma 24,35,50,135 art series lenses.
Shot in a total of 4 days
And a total budget of 12000 rs as the camera Equipments were owned by the cinematographer himself.
Thank you again Mike.
Who did the soundtrack/sound design? Im assuming this is an original score.
Cinematic dave, no this ain't an original score , downloaded by our music editor.
I recognise some of the music segments/tracks so be careful about copyright. Make sure you use copyright ‘free’ tracks otherwise your production costs could escalate with expensive litigation from the original writers/authors of the music.
Thanks Mike for the invaluable advice,
Will be careful next time 🙂
Speaking of copyrights, i plan on shooting a short film in the future im writing the screenplay at the moment. If i wanted to use pink floyd music how would i go about this without getting a copyright strike?
Pink Floyd music is protected by strict copyright laws. Contact the music publishers and explain what you intend to do. Also explain that you are not doing it for profit but you would like to use one of their tracks in a scene. If you are totally honest with them, then they will help you. You may be pleasantly surprised! BUT if your short film is shown in a cinema where money is ‘SEEN’ to exchange hands and they find out then it’s curtains for sure. Don’t lose your shirt doing the wrong thing.
Thank you Mike, I really want to show the movie at a film festival which im pretty sure is non profit.
Film festivals will expect you to submit all licenses for all music or stocks used along with your submission.
I am shocked that you used Sigma lenses for your short film. I actually thought you were using an Alexa with Zeiss primes. I know your editor had ‘tweaked’ the images as some scenes did match up with the others but were still very good. I think you were pushing the film “look” and you a have achieved that all right. At first, I thought it was an Aaton 16mm with Zeiss so I was shocked when you explained that it was Sigma primes, you fooled me.
Saying that, I went to New York by boat last year and there was a channel 4 film crew on board making a documentary and they were using a digital camera with Sigma lenses. I asked them why are you using Sigma when you have a choice of other lenses, I have used the older Sigma lenses but was never impressed so I was amazed that they were using them. They actually filmed me in some scenes trying to get a taxi but they were actually filming an actress in front of me. They explained that the new Sigma range is much better than the older type and they would show me the footage once we get back on the ship. Well, they did show me the raw footage in the ships cinema and I could not believe what I saw, the contrast and colour were vivid and the clarity was breathtaking. They were using a Sony 4K at 800. New York night scenes were unbelievable and Times Square, well you can imagine. Now I’ve seen your footage just confirms my thoughts, Sigma could be the way to go.
The choice of sigma lenses for us was because that was the equipment our cinematographer owned and he would often talk about the great quality, and we were very happy with the results.
Happy that you see the effort for film look worked 🙂
I thought the transitions were a bit rough, and subtitles were not available for me, so I did not know what anyone was saying. I did enjoy the short film, seems very nostalgic. However, I was unsure if the older man was remembering his childhood in those flashbacks? Was that him when he was a younger man? This could’ve been clear had I read subtitles. The flashbacks tend to get a bit confusing toward the end.
I’m glad to see a short film that doesn’t have that Hollywood mentality, it’s quite liberating to just see people exist in a different culture. Good
Thank you jthomsg 🙂
A little disappointed that you didn't get the subtitles, don't know why,
Yes it was the old man's childhood that he remembers and the flashbacks is his memory about family including his brother.
This is partly a true story.
The old man is a famous writer who is about to receive a government financial help for his illness treatment abroad, which is arranged by his influential friends.
But he is in a dilemma whether to accept that, and he visits his past in fragments, one particular memory makes him decide not to accept the financial help. And he makes his decision while his son was about to show him the facebook comments of people who are against the news of him receiving government help.
Thank you again 🙂
With that synopsis you gave me, the story is quite moving. It’s great that people in your country are taking the initiative to make films human again. Unlike here in America where films need to be big, that feature the same boring famous actors. I haven’t seen any movie in a theater for a whole year, and I tend to resist films like ‘A Star is Born’, because they’re just Oscar bait, made to please critics. I like the way you made your film, much closer to the real world. I just detest Hollywood so much, I wish it would burn to the ground and die forever.
Thank you for your film, I can tell you will make much better and important ones in the not so distant future.
Thanks 🙂 very much jthomsg,
Your appreciation and concerns inspire a lot.
I'm also a fan of realistic films like you, and
have you seen "once upon a time in anatolia"(2011), out of some random thought I feel the need to mention this film, had seen it recently, I think you'll find it inspiring like I did.
I have not! But I must see it now. I just feel films NEED to be reinvented and restored to their former glory. American pigs want nothing but superheroes and fantasy, I do not understand that disease of escapism! We have truly forgotten nature and have put away things that mean something for possessions that are meaningless. You seem to have a deeper connection with nature in your country.
Most films in India are also escapist action fantasies,But a fare share of realistic films are made too in hindi,malayalam,tamil & bengali here.
hoping the graph favours realistic films more in the future
You said, you worked on a budget of 12,000 rupees which is actually ‘peanuts’ even for Indian short films. Can you tell me what lighting equipment you were using? Also have you Directed others films and where did you learn to direct. As you know, Directing is understanding human nature, feeling passion and more importantly, ‘feeling’ anguish and pain and when to show it. You are wiser than you are revealing, you have soul.
lighting was mostly using natural light with mirrors and reflectors, and 2 Halogen work lights were used.
I haven't directed any other shorts, this was my first effort.
But I've done cinematography for a few malayalam shorts.
Which were directed by my friends.
You've probably seen one of them named 13. Coz i've requested for cinematography review for the short film 13 a few years back.
And you were kind enough to take a look at it and gave your opinions and review, it was my first short as a cinematographer.
I try learning directing watching films and mainly reading this forum.
Thank you Mike 🙂
I am surprised that you only used natural light/ mirrors/ 2 halogens. I thought that you used more than that to get those images. I often have a look at your film as I find it refreshing and perhaps I like the simplicity of it although I know it was hard work to assemble and film but I love the natural sounds too which remind me of the days before computers took us all over. You have presented the film as an armature production but infact it far from that as you must have had connections with other like minded film makers and actors. This is a Professional production in all the sense even though you say it is your first endeavour as a Director but you have had experience behind the camera which gave you the confidence to direct. I would say that it could have been produced by a film or TV network. You should try and get it broadcast on Indian TV.
Should have read ‘amateur’ production. Computer error!
we are trying for a broadcast Mike & your words give us the confidence to do so. very happy that you find our shorts refreshing 🙂