XIXAX Film Forum

Creative Corner => The Art Gallery => Topic started by: JG on May 05, 2015, 07:42:09 AM

Title: Making Eyes & Other Movies
Post by: JG on May 05, 2015, 07:42:09 AM
Hey team,

a short i made last summer called MAKING EYES is on the website hammer to nail (http://www.hammertonail.com/film-festivals/short-film-contest-winnerrunner-up-spring-15/) as part of its spring short film contest. a few people have said some nice things to me about it and its got me in a sharing mood.  it won runner up which is nice. you can read the words there and then follow the link to the movie, or just watch it here (https://vimeo.com/126396714)


Title: Re: Making Eyes
Post by: jenkins on May 06, 2015, 10:04:12 PM
"by all means," (hand gesture) "the lady can pay."

(other things happen and btw there's flute music in the background)

"sort of. um i'm actually going to a party really close by."
"oh me too."
"yeah well i'm visiting a sick friend, and um...just..."
"uh, for a minute, so..." (hand gesture)

but it can't be written as well it sounds. oh i'm so jealous! it's what i'd call nyc good, and it's goodgood. all the people look and behave and sound believable and believable things are happening. believable textures. codeword believable, crisp sound, complimentary hi8 aesthetics, and i'm like eye-to-eye with the humor. i like how at first i just liked that the guy made a joke and the other person laughed (people don't even usually laugh in movies!) then later the joke is explained. you're so clevvver. well done. and i think the character is a bit of an interesting pickle. welllll done
Title: Re: Making Eyes
Post by: Alexandro on June 19, 2015, 12:34:33 PM
loved it!
Title: Re: Making Eyes
Post by: Reelist on June 19, 2015, 02:22:17 PM
That gave me a few good chuckles, especially the awkward party exit. I like how nothing about this takes itself too seriously, from the photography and the acting to the script, where nothing really pivotal happens. People just meet and get along and go on their merry way. Even the setting of Brooklyn feels light and bouncy. Great shot in the doorway of the deli, did that kid just walk in unaware you were filming? I have to give you credit on a couple suspenseful notes. First, when he's looking in on the girl sleeping I was thinking "Oh god, I hope she doesn't open her eyes!". Secondly, since I didn't know the Mad Men reference I thought no one at the party was going to get it and he'd feel like an ass. About the impression thing, at first from the look on his face, I thought he was doing Deniro. Then, I assumed it was supposed to be a nameless actor. So, when there's the reveal that it's from Mad Men, I felt like it closed the doors on some comedic potential with him embarrassing himself doing an impression nobody knows.  It also takes away from the timeless quality the short had until that point. Only slight criticisms, but overall it was refreshing to see this kind of small, quirky film. It reminds me that I can still use my Hi-8 camera to tell stories, with that super saturated grainy look. It has a kind of analog texture that lends itself well to making movies that feel like a time capsule of another era. What camera did you use, by the way?
Title: Re: Making Eyes
Post by: jenkins on June 21, 2015, 12:56:00 PM
Showed this to two movie friends of mine last night, triggered by a chat about Heaven Knows What, and while showing this to them I was asked about it and I just made it sound like I read Hammer To Nail all the time and of course watched this. I still think it's funny how the Mad Men joke is set up. He bombs the joke with me as an audience member at the beginning, in that I have no idea who he's doing (but I like the scene regardless), then it all works better and in a different way later. Not sure the first time around I spotted that he rehearses his impression in the bathroom mirror, before the bedroom eye-stare scene, or I did notice the rehearsal the first time but now information about the impression is collecting together inside my thoughts. The impression is under pressure. She mentions it to him while they say goodbye. Appreciated how during the goodbye he doesn't try to kiss her or hug her, he does that wave. Pleased to be reminded it's titled Making Eyes and seeing (again?) the final eyes at the end of the short.
Title: Re: Making Eyes
Post by: JG on June 21, 2015, 02:41:35 PM
thanks again for the words. camera is a sony tr818 hi8 camcorder. always shoot with it around the house, just home video stuff. love working with a 4x3 frame, and also genuinely think it looks great when there's lots of light. wish we flooded more light into the interior stuff, to be honest. will shoot with it again though. one day soon, 16mm!

 thanks so much for talking about it in the same breath as heaven knows what, this film actually shares a crew member with that film lol. a friend told me that he thought it was my version of person to person, a short that i love and also recorded sound for. i think it was a compliment. you can watch that here. (http://video.newyorker.com/watch/the-new-yorker-shorts-person-to-person)
(i make a quick cameo as one of the dancing bodies in the beginning) working on that and on my friend ted's movies (https://vimeo.com/109664021) got me itchy to make a movie again.

thought long and hard about how to contextualize the mad men impression, but i ultimately like that its a bit vague in what he's doing. i originally wrote it as a bit where everyone in the room is reminiscing about some shared memory, and 'jay' does his best tony soprano and says "remember when is the lowest form of conversation." but then the real 'jay' told me that he actually did impressions and showed me his draper, which is pretty good, and i felt like a real filmmaker changing things on the fly. 

and lastly - because as i said above - kindness puts me in a sharing mood (and because no one will ever ask) - i'll share with you a couple quotes from a stephen crane story that weighed heavy on my little movie. its called the pace of youth. its about a boy and girl who work on opposite sides of a carnival and make eyes throughout their shift.

"There had finally become established between the two in this manner a subtle
understanding and companionship. They communicated accurately all that
they felt. The boy told his love, his reverence, his hope in the changes
of the future. The girl told him that she loved him, and she did not
love him, that she did not know if she loved him."


"They had grown so intent upon the uncertainties, the variations, the
guessings of their affair that the world had become but a huge
immaterial background...They were the victims of the dread angel of affectionate
speculation that forces the brain endlessly on roads that lead nowhere."

read stephen crane!


several friends have said that they've run into the main actress on the subway since seeing this film but did not say hello.

Title: Re: Making Eyes
Post by: jenkins on June 21, 2015, 06:35:16 PM
Do you like holding hands? We could just try it...
Title: Re: Making Eyes
Post by: jenkins on May 24, 2016, 01:53:33 PM


A distinctive piece of homemade filmmaking thatís awkwardly funny and intriguing. Arriving and departing on its own track, itís a lo-fi film about locking eyes with a stranger on the NYC subway and falling in love.

An office worker who gets by with his Mad Men impressions keeps seeing the same women on his commute to work and canít get her out of his head. When he finally decides to introduce himself, sheís surprisingly receptive to his shifty presence and even invites him to a party (which he attends after pretending to visit ďa sick friendĒ). Despite his uncouth manner, the party-goers arenít entirely weirded out by him, and the woman seems to actually like him. But something changes on his way to the bathroom after a roommate encounter, which sets him off in a new direction.

Directed by Sean Dunn, previously a co-director on The Confabulators (NoBudge Selection 2013), Making Eyes achieves similar strangeness and unease, but the modern HD of the previous film is replaced with the dated aesthetic of 90ís home videos via hi8 camcorder. Dunn leans heavily into awkwardness and absurdity and makes it his own. (13 minutes)
Title: Re: Making Eyes
Post by: JG on May 26, 2016, 12:06:44 PM
hey thanks! its true! was hoping to share a poster we made for the movie to coincide with the "release," but it'll be ready in a few days i hope

Title: Re: Making "Short Stay"
Post by: JG on July 11, 2016, 05:56:50 PM
here is a short clumsy "making of" doco i made for my good friend ted's movie "short stay."  its a hi8 movie about shooting a 16mm film.


maybe interesting for those who have never shot on film i duno!!