Author Topic: Paris (In Parts) - short film  (Read 1679 times)

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Mr.

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Paris (In Parts) - short film
« on: August 08, 2011, 06:33:36 AM »
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Hi guys.

Here´s a short film I recently finished, that I would like you to watch.

Even though it was shot in 2009 and I´m moving on to other projects now, I would love to hear your comments!
What you liked and (especially!) what you didn´t like!

http://www.vimeo.com/27414038

- Jonas Thorbjoern

PS. It´s in french but subtitled! :)

polkablues

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Re: Paris (In Parts) - short film
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2011, 08:40:37 PM »
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I really liked it.  Beautiful work, very affecting.  Naturalism is a deceptively difficult style to pull off, and for the most part, this nailed it.  Your actors were fantastic, which is as much a compliment to your writing and directing as anything.  That they were acting in a language you don't speak makes it even more impressive.

My one complaint, and I'm only even thinking of one because you asked for them, was that the final song begins too soon.  I felt like I needed that moment of him at the door to play in silence, and then the music could come in on the cut to black.  As it is, it felt abrupt, like it was butting in on the moment that he (and the audience) are still processing what just took place.  Minor complaint, though.
Now you're in the *spoiler* place.

matt35mm

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Re: Paris (In Parts) - short film
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2011, 12:26:03 AM »
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Great work!

I think that, contrary to the common belief that characters should be likable, the thing that I liked the most about it was how terrible the guy was. Ultimately, that was the part that I related to! I haven't cheated on a girlfriend, but if I was in that situation, I know that I would logically know what I should say, but I wouldn't be able to say it, even though it's the least I could do. I'd stand there like a fucking idiot. I'd be a coward.

Most writers, I think, would follow their writerly impulse and write out all the deep and self-aware dialogue that really only comes through hindsight. That end scene works so well because we want him to just say something! Whether it's that he'll stay or that he'll go doesn't even matter, as long as he just says SOMETHING. But he doesn't. Which is true. At least for me. Having him go back at the very end allows you to have your cake and eat it too, because at the end we feel like he'll finally say SOMETHING. So it manages to capture how unsatisfying and full of cowardice a situation like that would really play out, but then also gives us some resolution at the end. Nicely done.

There wasn't really anything that I didn't like. I guess my criticism, although this is almost more of a backhanded praise, would be that some scenes were merely fine. No bad scenes, but you have a couple of great scenes and a couple of scenes that are merely nice but not terribly interesting. But of course, it's very difficult to have every single moment be interesting and gripping, though that's still something of the goal.

I'm not SURE if I agree with Polka's criticism. I'd just have to see that alternate use of the music and see how it feels. As it is, I didn't really notice when the music came in, because it came right at the end of the action. It all carried together in one big flow all the way to the end, which worked for me. If the end was silent, I think that that's a great idea for the initial few moments, but after that, and as he turns to go back in... I'm not sure, it might emphasize the ambiguity and seem deliberately ambiguous in an unappealing way. There's something cold about it, and I'm not sure if having the music start after the cut to black would really bring enough warmth back to it. It's just one of those things that I'd have to actually see to know for sure what would work better, though. But Polka might be right.

Now that I've seen this, I'm very much looking forward to seeing future work from you!

polkablues

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Re: Paris (In Parts) - short film
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2011, 02:11:42 AM »
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Matt makes a great point. One of the hardest things to avoid as a writer is having your characters react to a situation only in the ways that you like to imagine you would in that situation. Too often, we end up with characters that have a witty rejoinder to every remark, who are these precociously profound mannequins that bear no resemblance to actual humans. To have our main character react instead in the worst possible way, to make him unlikeable for the sake of relatability, is a brave thing to do.
Now you're in the *spoiler* place.

Mr.

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Re: Paris (In Parts) - short film
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2011, 02:52:02 PM »
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Man, I won´t even start to explain how happy I am for your reviews! Didn´t quite know what I could expect, except some comments on how boring it was :)
So I´m just really happy and satisfied right now. I´m glad you took it to heart, because that was something I didn´t know when I was writing it (in 2009). If people would think it was too touchy-touchy.

Writing the Sebastian-character was really just me trying to be as honest as I possibly could. I didn´t do it for therapy-reasons but having P.T. Anderson as a true source of inspiration I really wanted to try out his way of writing: Writing from your gut.
I haven´t cheated on a girlfriend either, but definitely been in somewhat the same situation, where it was just easier to walk away. I wanted to show that moment and really wanted to write it in a very honest way. It was pretty intense, writing from the gut like that, in almost every scene. Normally you would try to hide away your weaknesses.
The same thing can be said about the gift-scene. I haven´t been in that exact situation but it was the feeling of that embarrassing realization, that you´re not making an effort as you used to, that was my starting point.

That has been the greatest thing to learn on this one: Writing from your gut will always be the way to go. Gotta stick to what you know :)

About the final song: You might be right, Polka. For the longest time the were no music at the end at all and it worked pretty well. It was a very real and honest approach.
Later on I tried all sorts of things during the editing with the song. I even put it on as he is leaving the apartment.
After making the decision that the song would mark the beginning and end, I realized I had to have it start somewhere IN the film, during the ending. And I thought it wouldn´t create the same circle feeling if I had it start with the cut to black.
But it was a chance I took :)

Now that I've seen this, I'm very much looking forward to seeing future work from you!

Thanks, man! Much appreciated. I will definitely post future work on here. Nice to know that you get some proper critique on this forum :)

©brad

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Re: Paris (In Parts) - short film
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2011, 04:17:58 PM »
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Sorry I'm late to this but I just wanted to also extend my praise. This was a beautiful film. I felt more for your characters in 15 minutes than I do in most Hollywood movies. You took a simple concept we've seen before and made it feel fresh and alive and most of all honest.

Can I ask some technical questions? What kind of budget did you have? How many days of shooting? Did you rehearse with your actors? Polka was right you got some terrific performances across the board. Bravo my friend. Keep doing your thing.

Mr.

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Re: Paris (In Parts) - short film
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2011, 01:04:42 AM »
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I´m sorry I´M late, took me forever to find my password :/

I thank you so much for your comment! It made me so happy! And if there was a poster, I would put your comment on there! :)

Budgetwise, it was only like 500 dollars. I was a film school at the time, so I had the equipment. I had to pay for the insurance though. And the ticket to Paris of cou
But it was only a camera and sound equipment. Very, very gorilla-style filmmaking. It wasn´t my plan to begin with, but no one would go with me, so I did it myself.

I was in Paris for 10 days but we only shot for 4 or 5 days. The time between takes was almost none, since it was only me and the actors. So we managed to get more done than I thought we would.

We met the day prior to shooting to rehearse, but that was really it.
There were two very scary aspects of this.
One being that I had no idea if these people could really deliver an honest performance. I hadn´t seem them act before and I knew in order for the story to work, they´d have to be incredibly honest and real in their performance. Otherwise it would all be a soap opera. So it was a big chance on my part.
But I really liked these people and I trusted them.
Two being that I wrote this in english and in my trusting them, I sended them the script and asked them to translate their dialogues themselves. So when we were shooting I had no idea if they said what I had written.
Which didn´t really matter, as long as they got the idea behind the sentences.
(When we rehearse, they said what would work in french and what wouldn´t work, so they were very keen on correcting it correctly.

What was interesting about this though, was that I had to listen to the tone in their voices instead of what they actually said. So when we stopped shooting a take, I wouldn´t ask if they got the words right, I would just say "That sounded about right" or "I could really feel what was going on".

And I agree, they did amazingly, all of them. You guys should have been there, it was very intense. Especially the last scene. They did it 4 times, each times with real tears and me worrying if they were alright after the scene was over. Each time they would go back to their normal self and say "Oh, yes. Let´s do it again".
Amazing.

 

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