A Man's Legacy - New Short Film

AndrewAndrew Website User Posts: 379 Enthusiast


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Hey guys, I just wanted to go ahead and share with you all my latest short film, "A Man's Legacy". If you know me or my work at all, you'll know that I participate each year in a 24-hour 'video race' where we have to make a 5-minute short with a handful of required elements in under 24 hours. This year was our 10th year to compete, so there was a bit of feeling of ceremony and tradition to the whole thing- and likely our last time to enter- so we really tried to make it count.
The result is "A Man's Legacy". It's a short film I'm very proud of, both in technical execution and thematic storytelling, and I hope you all can enjoy it as well.


For anyone interested in the creation or technical specs, the short was shot on a Canon C100 and edited/color post-processed in Sony Vegas Pro 12. The required elements to be included in the short were the theme of 'a dream', prop of a flashlight, the line "call your mother", and the location of a bridge.


An Atomic Production
A father talks to his sons about the importance of a man's legacy. Written, conceptualized, shot, and produced all in less than a day for the 24 Hour Video Race Dallas.
Starring
Mike Gassaway
Reese Arrington
Chase Arrington
Directed by Ben Adams
Written by Andrew Adams
Assistant Director Josh Cavazos
Line Producer Kris Cho
Produced by
Chase Arrington
Andrew Adams
Ben Adams
Kris Cho
Music by Dan & Adam Skinner
Executive Producer Paul Adams

 

Anyway, I'd love to hear everyone and anyone's thoughts- and share this with you all. Lemme know what you guys think.

 

Comments

  • AxelWilkinsonAxelWilkinson Staff Administrator, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 5,241 Staff
    edited May 2014
    Excellent Stuff, Andrew.  It doesn't feel at all like a 24-hour project; it feels like every aspect was carefully and deliberately thought through and planned in advance.  So, well done in that respect, especially.  I actually didn't notice anything on my first viewing that felt like it needed more work.  I suspect I'll give this another watch or two in the near future, and maybe eventually I can come up with some constructive criticism for you, but it will take some looking.  This is solid, and perhaps my favorite work you have don thus far.
    My compliments to the entire team.
  • StormyKnightStormyKnight Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 2,726 Ambassador
    Nicely done! The pacing is perfect, the story tragic and the message thought provoking. I give it three thumbs up!
  • AndrewAndrew Website User Posts: 379 Enthusiast
    Thanks guys. Really appreciate the kind words.
  • BenBen Website User Posts: 51
    Thanks guys, for watching and for the kind words. They're very much appreciated.
    Any other takers on this?
  • KirstieTKirstieT Staff Administrator, Moderator, Website User Posts: 1,055 Staff
    I am SO SURE that I commented on this already, but apparently not. 
    This is really something to be proud of. The cinematography was lovely - each scene (like Axel said) felt well thought out and certainly not like a 24 hour race.
    I really loved the acting specifically - the father was perfectly casted. You could really see all of his emotion in his eyes. 
    Particularly my favourite part was the scene where you were skipping between the hospital scene and the moment where the father got run over. The shout is really dramatic and works perfectly. 
    I think out of everything the editing impressed me the most. It's very solid and really takes it to the next level because the heated road-exchange was really needed. 
    The only thing that grated with me (and I'm not sure why) was the 'message' of the short. The only point at which I felt the script was let down was when the father said "You boys - you're my legacy". I think it's because the word legacy was used just before - and it felt a bit forced and confused. It caused me to lose track and flow of the conversation, as he was talking about 'letting it go - no' (and so seeming to suggest that his son should take accountability) and then suggested that his sons were his legacy, full stop. 
    So was the point that the children are the legacy, no matter their actions? Or that it is important but he didn't want to leave his sons hating each other? 
    Sorry I just seem to have got confused towards the end. Apparently the others got it first time so it's likely just me!
    But beautiful filming and acting nonetheless.
  • BenBen Website User Posts: 51
    KirstieT, thanks for watching and commenting.
    I think the father, on his deathbed, realizes that although his sons staying responsible and accountable for their actions is something he lays out early on as important, at the end of the day it is his sons themselves -- their mere existence, their brotherhood, their respect for one another, and their ability to 'rise above' whatever problems may come their way -- that are his legacy, what he leaves behind.
    Something to the extent that, although he's going to succumb to his injuries as a result (partially) of his own son's volatility, by getting in that argument in the first place he's almost reaping what he sows. It's that penultimate realization that true responsibility means having the strength to forgive, rather than 'keep score' or hold bitterness in your heart. To that end, although we hear early on "responsibility, accountability: that's what makes a man"; the father's words are, in effect, a bit misguided: something it takes his mortality being threatened to truly realize.
    I think that it is with this paradigmatic shift in the father's wisdom -- and his subsequent passing -- that will become a true catalyst for the older brother, Daniel, to change. Although it is a product of tragedy, this change brings hope and optimism to Daniel's life, and effectively repairs the long-broken relationship between the brothers, therein mending the crumbling bits of the father's legacy.
    To be frank, we actually had more lines in there that clarified this point in the hospital room ("My boys...stronger together than you ever have been apart") but they had to be cut for time and flow based on performance/pacing. The performance in the 'legacy' lines, I think, dictated that the father's life was really coming to a close, so when you hear that heart monitor sound become more audible and then flatline, you're feeling something.
    Sort of up for interpretation, though, I suppose.
  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 18,244 Ambassador
    Holy *long stream of profanity* that's a 24 *Short profanity* hour production?
    Yes, after this and your demo reel, I shall be perusing your youtube channel to see what you produced to get you this good!
    The entire team should be very proud of this work, the acting, cinematography, pacing, visual editing and the concepts of the sound editing are are first-rate planning and excellent execution. (As a side note: Vegas editor myself. There are advantages to Avid and Premiere, but, I always say if you're working under tight deadlines, nothing's faster than Vegas.)
    I'll agree with Axel that this doesn't feel like a 24-Hour production. Very polished. So, any criticism below comes from the standpoint ignoring the fact that a 24-hour film is, basically, first draft. I suspect that anything I say below would have been addressed if this were something you took even just a week to do, whether or not you agree with my interpretation. :-)
    Now my critiques: Not much, really--It's not subtle, but a five minute short doesn't have time to be. In the hands of a lesser cast and production team, this could have been horrible cheese. I agree with Kristie: "Legacy" was used too many times in the script. Once in the first scene with the boys and once just before the end would have bookended nicely. The line, "Your boys are my legacy...what are you going to make of it?" popped into my head.
    Audio levels are a bit wide--bear in mind, I was watching on a laptop, but there are huge volume jumps between wise father and wrathful father that had me stabbing the volume buttons. I think the music is a bit hot, as well.
    That was it.
    This film shows a very high quality of skill, artistry and professionalism. This is a strong contender in your festival, methinks. :-) I would like to see a "director's cut" of this later. I know any 24/48 festival film ends up as what it "had" to be, but I'd love to see you take some time to make it what you know it "is." (for example, lines cut to make time restrictions.)
    Thanks for sharing!
  • AndrewAndrew Website User Posts: 379 Enthusiast
    Thanks, Triem- we really appreciate it.
    As far as 'Director's Cut' goes, we tend to stick away from those. Though audio and grading are cleaned up a tiny bit to be more-consistent across-the-board before we upload, we don't like tinkering/lengthening/altering the takes or editing choices we made on the short after-the-fact, as it sort of alters the integrity of the piece in our eyes of it being made in 24 hours.
    Not to say we're ignorant of the fact that spending more time in the editing bay can help in many respects on lots of projects- but on things such as this short, which is heavily reliant on the concise timing and quick, rhythmic cuts punched into such a short runtime of 5 or so minutes- it just doesn't make as much sense to go back in and add the remainder of lines and alter the cuts made, as it might fundamentally change the heart of the whole thing- or the music choice and style altogether. So it's something we tend to shy away from, especially if we like how the whole thing turned out in the allotted time. Which, especially in this case, it's something we were very proud of.
    But yes, we really do greatly value and appreciate such kind words. That sort of praise is what gives us the motivation to continue on in this business.
  • KirstieTKirstieT Staff Administrator, Moderator, Website User Posts: 1,055 Staff
    I think the father, on his deathbed, realizes that although his sons staying responsible and accountable for their actions is something he lays out early on as important, at the end of the day it is his sons themselves -- their mere existence, their brotherhood, their respect for one another, and their ability to 'rise above' whatever problems may come their way -- that are his legacy, what he leaves behind.
     


    That is the conclusion I'd ended up at so you did manage to get that across. Like you said I think it just needed a little bit of clarification but it's difficult to do that without extending the script - and in 24 hours you didn't have time to do that obviously!
    Nevertheless - you should be incredibly proud. It's all very well to sit here and critique your work, but I know I wouldn't be able to produce ANYTHING of that calibre in such short a time frame. 
    I take my hat off to you, sir. 

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