Author Topic: "Detour" - 3:22 dramatic short // T2i  (Read 2025 times)

Retrogrand

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"Detour" - 3:22 dramatic short // T2i
« on: March 07, 2015, 08:19:50 PM »

Hello! This is the second film I've posted here on the ML forums (the other was 2 Cops 2: Double Justice).

Detour was produced as an entry into an Oscar Night film festival at our local community theater, where the audience voted for their favorite film. With a diverse audience of locals in attendance, we wanted to to write something that was relatable and emotional, without being cliche and sappy. I feel we accomplished our goal and we're pleased to say that we came second place.

Everything was shot on a Canon T2i with a Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 (most of the time at f/4.0). Lighting was done witha combination of available street lighting and two bare Yongnuo 300 LED panels on light stands or resting on the sunroof glass. The dialog scene was shot stationary (not hard to see) and our gaffer/grip waved a smaller LED panel on a boom pole over the length of the car to give an illusion of passing street lights. Almost every shot was at ISO 1600.

Very little post work was done: mostly darkening the blacks and raising the midtones every so slightly when necessary. No noise reduction.

Primary shooting was done in one night over about 5 hours. Having a detailed shot list and scouting/storyboarding almost every location beforehand made the shoot a breeze. The only complication was the parking garage we shot the last scene on had very rough pavement making our small dolly jiggle a bit. Did about a dozen takes of that last shot and added a bit of warp stabilizing to smooth it (as well as on some of the driving scenes).

Enjoy!

[EDIT] Forgot to mention that the co-directer wrote the original song for the film specifically.

kihlbahkt

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Re: "Detour" - 3:22 dramatic short // T2i
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2015, 10:54:58 PM »
Hey Retrogrand. Thanks for sharing your short film. Here is my mini critique...  The framing, composition, camera work, lighting, all come to together nicely  to convey the story. Kudos to you and your team for just getting it done. The story itself was interesting. As a viewer, I wanted more conflict between the characters and was hoping for a deeper conversation from the two, once that they climbed to the top. Imagine a story line that has some bitterness or animosity while we drive in the car with them. The proposition of "climbing up" and ending with apologies/ respect for each other/ reconciliation/ embrace/ unification/ resolution type themes. etc. The music was loose but effective. Overall, I liked it, and while  there was little to critique on the technical side, I think that a focus on storytelling that would build tensions for the viewer to later be released by resolution of those conflicts would have made for more viewer satisfaction at the end. That is just my opinion. Thumbs up. Keep making more films.
600D x2

Retrogrand

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Re: "Detour" - 3:22 dramatic short // T2i
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2015, 05:45:06 PM »
Hey kihlbahkt!

Thanks so much for taking the time to give such a thoughtful review. You definitely hit on the crux of our creative dilemma with the story, as we knew the minimalism of conflict was the big risk we were taking. Our original script had a much more tense relationship between the father and son, however we felt that it was a bit too cliche as originally conceived. We could have rewritten to combat those cliches, but it started to feel like story became too unnatural and forced. Instead we decided to make a u-turn and tackle the challenge of subtlety and realism: could we make a film the represented the more common, low intensity decay of a relationship that hasn't been tended to, and have a resolution that was emotionally and tonally appropriate to that minimal level of conflict. In other words, an emotional gulf that required a small, shared gesture of vulnerability, rather than a life changing realization or adventure.

I don't know if we succeed; maybe a story that subtle just isn't worth telling, or maybe it is and we weren't able to communicate the tone or themes effectively. Either way, I'm glad you felt it was at least worth 3 minutes of your times. Thanks for watching!