Author Topic: just Just Withnail's short films  (Read 19274 times)

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matt35mm

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Re: just Just Withnail's short films
« Reply #105 on: March 31, 2016, 10:57:41 AM »
+3
Didn't Matt go boating with Pubrick right before he stopped posting?

The original matt35mm would've loved that joke.

Just Withnail

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Re: just Just Withnail's short films
« Reply #106 on: April 01, 2016, 02:31:52 PM »
+5
Today my mom sent me the kind of picture she usually sends of her and my siblings, but with Matt instead. I find this oddly comforting.
My short WORLD WIDE WOVEN BODIES is now online:

Watch it here!

Just Withnail

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Re: just Just Withnail's short films
« Reply #107 on: April 11, 2016, 03:33:18 AM »
+3
Holy shit! We just got another special mention for WWWB at Aspen Shortsfest!
My short WORLD WIDE WOVEN BODIES is now online:

Watch it here!

matt35mm

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Re: just Just Withnail's short films
« Reply #108 on: April 11, 2016, 11:05:31 AM »
+1
Good that you got another one, because I stole the New Orleans one from Heine.

jenkins

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Re: just Just Withnail's short films
« Reply #109 on: May 27, 2016, 11:04:57 AM »
+6
Quote
New short: EVERYBODY IS PRESENT. A young couple tries to cope with a long-distance relationship through the wonders of modern technology. Directed by Truls Krane Meby (Good Machine Gun Sound, NB Selection Feb '16). Only available on our Vimeo channel. Please FOLLOW our channel to view other Vimeo only selections. https://vimeo.com/channels/nobudge/115961726

xixax is dominating nobudge this week  :inlove:
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Just Withnail

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Re: just Just Withnail's short films
« Reply #110 on: May 28, 2016, 06:45:26 AM »
+1
The Xixax sleeper cells have been activated. Go go go.
My short WORLD WIDE WOVEN BODIES is now online:

Watch it here!

Just Withnail

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Re: just Just Withnail's short films
« Reply #111 on: June 25, 2016, 11:04:42 AM »
0
Gang!

I'm trying my damndest to write a feature that's inspired by World Wide Woven Bodies, set in the mid-90s when the internet came, but I really don't want to re-use the same plot as my short. I'm seriously stuck and banging my head against the wall (how does one write a feature??), and need to get out of my bubble a little.

Do any of you have any good early internet stories to share? What things did you use it for in the beginning? Did it affect your life away from the screen in any way?
My short WORLD WIDE WOVEN BODIES is now online:

Watch it here!

Reelist

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Re: just Just Withnail's short films
« Reply #112 on: June 25, 2016, 12:45:24 PM »
+4
I think I first started having conversations at length with girls on AOL instant messenger. Remember how much of a party it used to feel like? It's so quaint to look back at how simple text messaging excited us. I would talk to girls I'd never have the guts to in person for HOURS, and usually it'd veer into sexual territory. So we'd have this weird 'thing' between us that we could never breach in public but would seem to obsess about once we got back to our computers. This lasted into my late teens and I never got anything 'done' with it. The memory I look back on with the most fondness was when a girl I really liked invited me over late one night and we ended up watching TV under the same blanket but I just couldn't. make. THAT. MOVE. And sometimes I'll find myself looking back on these brief passages of time and think "Wow, that was my one shot with her. We'll never be that innocent again."
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matt35mm

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Re: just Just Withnail's short films
« Reply #113 on: June 25, 2016, 02:15:24 PM »
+1
I think I first started having conversations at length with girls on AOL instant messenger. Remember how much of a party it used to feel like? It's so quaint to look back at how simple text messaging excited us. I would talk to girls I'd never have the guts to in person for HOURS, and usually it'd veer into sexual territory. So we'd have this weird 'thing' between us that we could never breach in public but would seem to obsess about once we got back to our computers. This lasted into my late teens and I never got anything 'done' with it. The memory I look back on with the most fondness was when a girl I really liked invited me over late one night and we ended up watching TV under the same blanket but I just couldn't. make. THAT. MOVE. And sometimes I'll find myself looking back on these brief passages of time and think "Wow, that was my one shot with her. We'll never be that innocent again."

Um. These are my experiences. How'd you get them?

Things like Xanga/LiveJournal (these were a bit before MySpace, even, I think) were eating up a lot of my time, as well as XIXAX and obviously porn. Music downloading. I used the internet to educate myself a lot, reading about movies, movie-making, reading scripts. I spent a lot of time discovering and listening to new music, which I don't really do anymore. I still mostly listen to what I listened to in high school.........

Reelist

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Re: just Just Withnail's short films
« Reply #114 on: June 25, 2016, 06:19:19 PM »
0
I spent a lot of time discovering and listening to new music, which I don't really do anymore. I still mostly listen to what I listened to in high school.........

Yeah, remember how much Napster broadened your taste back then? There was so much "un-popular" music you'd have never bought for $20.00 at best buy until you sampled it and then it was your new favorite thing! Those were the days, when downloading a song took 45 mins and you'd be thrilled to get it.

I do think an interesting realm to consider for your film would be the early web communities before social networking took off. A place to swap stories and speak your mind that felt like your own corner of the internet. You'll meet some kindred spirits and of course more seedy characters ( where it seems like the drama in any movie about this would lie )
You can go to places in the world with pudding. That. Is. Funny.

polkablues

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Re: just Just Withnail's short films
« Reply #115 on: June 25, 2016, 09:14:34 PM »
0
A weirdly great way of discovering new music was when you would download a song on Napster or Kazaa or whatever and it wouldn't be the song the filename claimed it was, but you liked it, so you had to do some detective work to figure out what the song actually was.
Now you're in the *spoiler* place.

wilder

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Re: just Just Withnail's short films
« Reply #116 on: June 30, 2016, 05:39:33 AM »
+1
Just Withnail:

I was re-watching Good Machine Gun Sound because itís so fucking good, trying to figure out how you pulled it off. Itís one of those things I see that seems to work by magic - simple explanations about how itís constructed are elusive. So Iím watching it again, and had a vague idea that each section is sort of like a mental headspace. The first section sets up this idea of Arvidís innocence, playing, spraying his brother with fake machine gun bullets - making light of death. The dialogue is sort of throwaway (in a wonderful natural way), but really what Iím getting from this section is ďinnocenceĒ not even really from the dialogue or what Iím imagining is scripted action necessarily, but from the way you directed it - the movement and pace, etc. Then the phone call interrupts that. Following thereís the angry/confused/darker behavior Arvid displays in reaction to the phone call when he plays with his brother, and the direction totally changes hereÖ On and on as the story progresses.

So really, I have a question about how you write and direct your films: Is all of it on the page? Are you improv-ing in the moment? (i.e. is it ďArvid runs around the house.Ē and then you stretch that out to a a few minutes once on set, orÖ?) What kinds of things do you say to the kid? How much are you giving weight to the script versus some separate idea of how the scene should be directed (i.e. is the direction giving into the script or the script giving into the direction, if that makes sense). What Iím trying to say is that the real story seems to come across in your direction, almost regardless of what the dialogue and action is, because itís that strong, and it's amazing. It all feels so organic and I'm really curious about your process. Tell us your secrets!

Just Withnail

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Re: just Just Withnail's short films
« Reply #117 on: July 02, 2016, 04:17:58 PM »
+4
Thanks guys, for the anecdotes! It really helped, and loosened things up for me, first just making me want to put everything in, and for a day or three it was suddenly a very loose multiple-protagonist film that just floated around a little aimlessly, from episode to episode. Itís not like that anymore, though I wonít rule out that I float back to it later.

Especially the kind of chatting experiences you mention I think will be very prominent in the film. Since I started thinking about it, itís been the anonymity angle thatís been most attractive to me, that it letís to behave in ways youíd never allow yourself offline. Just like you describe Reelist, that situation is perfect.

And the educational part that you describe Matt, was also instrumental for me. Growing up in a tiny town, the internet really made you feel plugged into the world. Thatís also been a part of this film at one point, with a little kid who gets really cocky and starts feeling much smarter than his parents (which obviously wasnít true).

Itís been all over, this film, and Iím starting to feel like it might be because Iím trying to stretch short film storylines into a feature - hence the episodic idea mentioned above, but then it became a little to thematically focused.

The detective angle that you mention, polka, is something Iíd like to cover, in a little bit of a different way, that was covered a teeny tiny bit in the short. That using the internet in the beginning was mostly trying to figure out what the hell it was.

And Garam: losing your virginity through an online date, thatís what all this should be about.

Iím going crazy. I should make a dozen shorts about it instead, I want to do a little bit of everything.


And wilder - thank you again for the great words and in-depth thoughts. Itís quite moving to read. Much appreciated that you take time to watch it again. Here are some thoughts of mine about the process.

First of all, you are bang-on about the structure. My thought was very much to have these bulks of sequences with metaphorical atmospheres, where each sequence could be thoroughly soaked in a mood, where the plot was so much forwarded in the sequences themselves, so much as in-between (roughly). The first one, was, like you say, to do with innocence. Sadly it was just to chilly that day to have Arvid/Erlend run around in just his shorts, which would have exacerbated the innocence-mood, but oh well. The mood of the next one was something like ďescape and aggressionĒ, and, with the wake I wanted to bring in a surrealism, and so on.

Another idea was cross-cutting between these like Eisensteinian montage - instead of each shot having itís own strength and symbolic potency that crashes, itís in the whole of the sequences themselves. The cut-points become vital for the story and potent in effect (exacerbated by long-takes: minimal use leads to maximum feel, contrast is key).

As for whatís on the page or not: I definitely tend to over-write. Then as we shoot and go, I just keep subtracting: dialogue, beats, entire scenes. This is a very on-the-fly feeling, often. Iíve seen what we have up to that point, and can make some quick mental edits to feel if we have whatís needed, and then we either go or skip.

With these last two shorts Iíve also known the locations intimately and have so tailored the motions of the script very directly to the way people can move in these places. Many shots - such as when Mads is on the PC and the father is in the kitchen in WWWB - are very precise and are there on the page, as the intensity of the drama depends very much on it. I try to do that as much as I can - tailor the drama to the place. A funny anecdote that I think I said here before: before we landed on the house in WWWB I was picturing the house from GMGS while I was writing, just to be able to picture things more concretely. After my DP read the screenplay for the first time, he actually noticed that Iíd done just that. Heíd recognized the house from the writing. So a lot is there on the page, but itís always negotiable if it doesnít flow.

What stays in from the script and what goes out will often come back to the metaphorical atmospheres. If the atmospheric changes come through from sequence to sequence, then often the only thing that is really needed to keep is the key change in the scene - and it doesnít have to be outwardly big, as the atmosphere will do most of the heavy lifting when it comes to getting a sense of how the character feels. After that the rest is things that maybe deepen character and place, but sometimes those things have had to go, in favor of flow and keeping atmosphere.

This also feeds into how I interact with the actors. I try to do most of the talking up-front (and if possible to have a reading through the script with them) , and minimize it when weíre shooting. When we shoot I mostly try to get everyone into the feeling of a scene, the tone of it, and not to do too many adjustments to peopleís performances.

By the way, I have never really intellectualized this as much Iím doing now, but I notice that this was probably what I was doing all along.


My short WORLD WIDE WOVEN BODIES is now online:

Watch it here!

wilder

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Re: just Just Withnail's short films
« Reply #118 on: July 02, 2016, 07:28:37 PM »
+1
JW, thank you for elaborating so much and writing such an in-depth response, your explanation is even more detailed than Iíd hoped for. There are a few key things you said that make so much senseÖ

My thought was very much to have these bulks of sequences with metaphorical atmospheres, where each sequence could be thoroughly soaked in a mood, where the plot was so much forwarded in the sequences themselves

instead of each shot having itís own strength and symbolic potency that crashes, itís in the whole of the sequences themselves. The cut-points become vital for the story

If the atmospheric changes come through from sequence to sequence, then often the only thing that is really needed to keep is the key change in the scene - and it doesnít have to be outwardly big, as the atmosphere will do most of the heavy lifting when it comes to getting a sense of how the character feels. After that the rest is things that maybe deepen character and place, but sometimes those things have had to go, in favor of flow

The following really surprised me because your shorts feel very elliptical, even though theyíre progressing linearly and the emotional beats are precise, but in retrospect now I understand why it would work with your cutting method:

I definitely tend to over-write. Then as we shoot and go, I just keep subtracting: dialogue, beats, entire scenes. This is a very on-the-fly feeling, often. Iíve seen what we have up to that point, and can make some quick mental edits to feel if we have whatís needed, and then we either go or skip.

I think about this a lot - how you can introduce an idea once in a story and it really will resonate if you trust it, but that if you keep hammering the idea over and over it becomes redundant and stale, and hinders story from evolving and feeling complex in any way. Redundancy also just negates the setup/payoff contrast you mentioned:

(minimal use leads to maximum feel, contrast is key).

For me the conundrum comes in the writing stage, where I often feel paralysis in fleshing out a scene because focusing it down to the change from whatís come before becomes an exhausting mental exercise, but, paradoxically, sometimes writing through the redundancy is the avenue to new things. Iíd imagine having all the experience you do of cutting things down on set would help set my mind free.

Youíve been more than generous in explaining how you work, but at the risk of being greedy I have to ask - would you mind posting a scene from GMGS in script form, prior to its being cut down? I completely understand if you donít want to reveal your cards / take off your clothes in public. It'd be illuminating, though.

Just Withnail

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Re: just Just Withnail's short films
« Reply #119 on: July 06, 2016, 06:06:02 AM »
+2
Quote from: wilder
would you mind posting a scene from GMGS in script form, prior to its being cut down? I completely understand if you donít want to reveal your cards / take off your clothes in public. It'd be illuminating, though.

I'd be happy to show an example. As I was reading over the GMGS script again, I was a little surprised at first, at how little was really cut from it, and started thinking that maybe I was projecting my experiences with my recent writing back onto this, but then I came to the following scene and thought it's a very good example of the kind of cutting-down I was talking about. Some of the cutting down came as we found the location (only two days before shooting the scene), some ideas came while we were shooting the scene that is directly prior to this, and some came on set.

The exerpt:

8 INT. CHURCH - SMALL ROOM
Dark. Arvid is hiding in a corner, behind his mom, holding her hand, looking towards a table where somebody is blocking Arvidís view of a white-clad figure that lies on it, seeming to adjust itís clothes. He canít see the face. Until the person steps aside, and we see a pale woman, identical with his mother, surrounded by flowers, with her mouth open and lifeless.

Somebody speaks mundanely about funeral preparations.

Arvidís father leans down to his face.

MORTEN
Come, Arvid, letís look at your auntie.

He takes Arvid in his arms and carries him over to the corpse.

Arvid stiffens and fights slightly against it.

MORTEN
Look how calm she is.

ARVID
Dad...

Arvid turns his body and face away from his aunt.

MORTEN
...but itís not dangerous. Look. Look how calm she is.

We hear sounds of scratching that we donít yet understand the source of, as Arvid looks towards the door and his aunt lies white behind him.

--

This one was maybe the scene I was most unsure of how to do before we came on set, since the way this scene is written demands many set-ups, as we follow Arvid and his eyes around the room.

When we were preparing to shoot the scene, I felt the drama between Arvid and his dad was a little too tightened, that the father was too pushy in the script, so that was toned down to the bare essentials (it was all in there in their body language anyways). I had also failed to imagine exactly how large eight year olds are (and add to that the fact that we cast a ten year old), so suddenly it seemed very implausible that the father would pick him up and that was axed (but no big loss).

"Somebody speaks mundanely about funeral preparations" became a wonderfully half-improvised bit when we gave the task to a person who actually works at this place, with corpses. That bit about "she looks like she's sleeping on the couch" came from her, as something she'd actually say in a situation like this, as well as the technical details about the "death stiffness receding".

One of the core ideas of the scene preceding this one, was that Arvid's movement is stilled by the father, and when were were on set it suddenly seemed obvious that everything needed to be simplified, and for that complete stillness to continue over from the previous scene, keeping everything in one long shot. So Arvid's direct POVs were discarded, in favor of an "emotional POV" (like putting him out of focus in the back of the shot, the cutting off of the heads of the adults, and the overall atmosphere). The last addition was the father tightening his fist over Arvid's sweather.

So, calling it over-writing might be exaggerating, but this kind of paring down happens all the time in different forms.

EDIT: I think this is all because I've yet to develop an instinct for how much is really enough to get an idea across, and in the writing I always have a slight paranoia, that diminishes more and more as the shoot progresses and I realise what I we have and how much is really there in the images.

I'd love to read what you're writing! PM if you want.
My short WORLD WIDE WOVEN BODIES is now online:

Watch it here!

 

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