Darker Than Diamonds

Keegan Posts: 294 Just Starting Out
Hey guys!
Since my last film, I've been working really hard on lighting and carefully planning out all my shots.
This film is all about writing, acting and lighting (from a technical standpoint) and I tried really hard to work on those key areas because they have been lacking from my previous films and videos.
Criticism is encouraged, as I know this needs a ton of work before it's anywhere near ready for festivals or anything like that!
Here it is!
Thanks everyone!  :D


  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,689 Ambassador
    ASMR is a good hook to get your protagonist into the altered reality state. The acting is pretty damn solid, so is th composition of your shots. Lighting is fairly solid and consistent, except in the dialog in the woods about 3:30 in. Obviously you had to deal with moving sun, and I don't know if a refector on-set would have helped that scene. Fun design for the portal, GREAT shot of the hand/eye, and, overall, pretty damn creepy.
    Main critique: Audio editing. Working on smoothing out where you have to bring in production audio should be your next challenge. Did you record "wild," "ambience," or "room tone?" (By this I mean you record audio at the location with no dialog--just a minute or two of the sound of the site to fill in where you don't have line.)
    I think you're being a little hard on yourself--this is an effective, moody piece and I wanted to see the story continue.
  • KirstieT
    KirstieT Posts: 1,284 Staff
    I was really impressed with this when it popped up. I found it creepy myself (2:24 especially) and knew from the beginning that something was going to happen, so you certainly set the anticipation level high. 
    In terms of the things you were actively trying to work on, the lighting was really well executed. I was thinking that the bedroom scene was a little dark, but the contrast was still there, and I could see more clearly the difference you were trying to achieve between that scene and the following one in the living room. 
    One thing which was discussed in the office was whether or not the horizontal banding of those light streaks distract from the main character's face and therefore negatively affects the composition, but we were undecided in our answer. Did you mean it to look very CG?
    You were really fortunate to have good actors as that really helped with the storyline and although I think it's not quite ready for festivals yet, the idea behind the story is REALLY interesting. Well done, I think it's really cool.
  • Keegan
    Keegan Posts: 294 Just Starting Out
    Thanks, guys!
    Triem23-  That scene in the woods was very difficult because the sun was rapidly setting! We had a reflector, but it just wasn't doing the trick! As far as audio, the second I started the final mix, I realized I had no wild sound. Suddenly a nightmare of crossfades and copy/pasting of room tone occupied a few hours of my day. In the end, I needed to stop nitpicking and just release it. haha. It's something I'm definitely going to remember for next time.
    KirstieT- The light streaks were a funny problem, because some of my friends watching a rough cut pointed out the same thing. I guess we decided it was a good way to draw the focus from the normal to the crazy. Kevin is the only tie we have to reality, so when the focus is off of him, it feels jarring. That was what I hoped for, anyway. It may or may not have been the best execution of that mindset! xD
  • StormyKnight
    StormyKnight Posts: 2,722 Ambassador
    edited September 2013
    To be honest- I don't know if I would change much. It pulled me in and kept me wondering what was going to happen next. Loved the scene change during the word "dreaming"- very well executed. The flares on the eyes may have been a little too big- they almost look like glowing sunglasses. The eye on the hand was really cool!
    My only harsh critique is the misspelling of 'believing' on the guys hand.....unless it was intended....but you got the correct contraction for 'you are' so the misspelling stands out to me. Or- I may be turning into my english teacher.
    Great job! :) 
  • Keegan
    Keegan Posts: 294 Just Starting Out
    Hey Stormy! Thanks for the feedback!
    I chose to make the flares bigger because  they weren't sticking to the eyes very well If you look closely, you can see them wiggle), and I felt they didn't have enough visual impact. 
    As far as the "beleiving", that's funny you say that because it was written on there by one of my producers who is actually no longer a friend of mine due to a recent falling out. The irony is she is an English major! Not a huge deal, but the misspelling of a word really does hack away at the legitimacy of the film, unfortunately. 
  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,689 Ambassador
    Now for a dissenting opinion: I really liked the size of the eye flares. (Reminded me of the eye flares from "The World's End.") And, hey, you only did it once, so go J. J. ABRAMS on it. I didn't catch the mis-spell, but I did view this on my phone.