Comments Made During the Contest
Andrew Zhou (Level 3)
Change...the...camera...angle...more...often...pleaseThat would make this film like 100 times better. More closeups (that are CLOSE) to show emotions (espeically his eyes and fear).Also, I feel the build up of suspense, like the man was a child kidnapper, could have been stronger. Then you throw in the "you need to learn to swim" part. BAM bigger contrast and plot twist.Otherwise, good job. :D
Audrey Webb (Level 5)
I love the opening credits -- sets up a great deal of tension. The lighting and the camera angles in the opening shot also add to the tension. But the tension is lost as soon as the man says "learn how to swim". I think there needs to be more of a delay before that reveal is made. I had a difficult time believing that the entrance to the pool would be down that creepy hallway.
Ayal Pinkus (Level 5)
Wonderful short!The acting was really good, both characters. Loved how the kid held his breath before walking on. Staging and camera work was amazing! The nice abstract composition of the close-ups in the title sequence set up the atmosphere, the boy in the small room on the bench first sitting in the middle (he is the subject), then trying to crawl away into a corner. The man coming in towering over him as he looks small in the corner indicates relative power. The tunnel they walk in to at the end, going straight into infinity. All that helped tell the story.Fantastic surprise ending, we think he's in prison, but he needs to learn how to swim. Great ending.Colors a warm white and blue, do suggest a warm environment, which is at odds with your first impression that this is a prison. But it fits with the final image of the setting.About the only thing I can find to fault is that it is so short. It's such a great start that I was sad that it had already ended.Music fit well.I love it!
Bill Clar (Level 5)
Cinematography: The camera is shaking on the static shots of the bathroom floor. It's a bit distracting.Score: Very ominous. I like it.FX: I'm not crazy about the dripping water in the beginning. It doesn't mesh with the score.Audio: It sounds like you used the microphone on the camera. A boom mic will cut down on the echo and improve the quality.Lighting: I like tunnel scene. The colors are flat and the fluorescent bulbs have an eerie glow.Script: I didn't understand the story at all. Billy cowers in what looks like a prison room, and an older gentleman tells him he needs to learn how to swim? Is this the first act of a larger film?Acting: The older gentleman does okay. Billy has no lines, but he looks scared.
Brian Howell (Level 5)
This is GOOD. I think the writing had limitations. It was playing on a trick almost; I thought this guy was some kind of pedophile the way the kid was acting, and the setting, but then we find out the kid is afraid of learning to swim. I went back and read the script and confirmed my thoughts. The script was something I would rate as good. The technical aspects of the film were very good. The sound inside the room was a little odd. I know it is the echo and that's how it actually sounds, but it just felt a little odd to me. I really liked the long industrial hallway at the end.So, overall this is GOOD.
Brian Wind (Level 5)
Script - I gave the original script a Good. My main suggestion was to correct a lack of clarity I perceived. 3/5Performances - Well, the child didn't have any lines but did fine at looking scared. The adult won't win any Academy Awards or anything, but was not bad in his role. 3/5Cinematography - Well, I know firsthand that the camera is pro-grade and I really liked the lighting in the film so thumbs up here. 5/5Sound - The knock at the door sounded a little too loud compared to the rest of the film. The drip sounds at the beginning are quite good. Haunting. Aside from possibly some footsteps, I believe that was the only other added sound effect. 4/5Editing - I felt like the suspense could have been built a little more if we saw more of the kid in solitude being scared before the adult arrived. Transitions were seamless. 3/5Score - This was perfectly appropriate for the tone of the script. 5/5Direction - There were some really nice shots in here. I especially liked the closeup of the drips going through the drain at the start. Coupled with the sound FX, it sets up a creepy tone quite nicely. Also, the shot of the long hallway at the end was nice. 3.5/5Script - 3/5Performances - 3/5Cinematography - 5/5Sound - 4/5Editing - 3/5Score - 5/5Direction - 3.5/5Overall = 26.5/35 = 3.79/5 = VERY GOOD
Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus)
I loved the whole look of this - the drippy beginning, the claustrophobic corridor scene, the sound - brilliant.I guess that once Billy arrived (even though I had forgotten the script and its twist)I had no thought that he might be a paedophile so the reveal was lost.I think more could have been made of the darker side so that the twist stood out more.Great job though. Margaret, you're a great film-maker!This got a Very Good from me.
Chris Messineo (Founder)
SCRIPT: I like this story a lot. It begins with so much tension and fear - we assume the worst - and for the boy, it is the worst. But, that reveal at the end is very sweet. I can see why several have tried to film it.PERFORMANCES: I think the actors are good and they both have a great look for the film. Although I wish both actors had a bit more variety in their performance. Their levels don't change much. For example, in the script the man smiles at the end, and I would have liked to see that.CINEMATOGRAPHY: Overall, I thought the composition was wonderful, it helps convey the mood and tone of the story. The locations were great too - love that hallway. Some of the lighting was a mixed bag, it was very grey and flat at the beginning - I would have wanted more shadows. Still, this was very good.SOUND: It's got a bit too much echo, but I imagine it must have been a nightmare to record sound in there.EDITING: I thought the editing was very good. The film had a great place and I loved the montage that opened it up. Although I didn't like the title graphics. I found the font moving to be distracting - it drew too much attention - and competed against the mood the music and edit was establishing.SCORE: I love the music at the beginning, but I really wish you had changed it up for the end. One of the things I love about the script is that you get this sense of relief, Billy will be okay, he is just learning how to swim. But with this music I almost expect Billy to drown in the next five minutes. :)DIRECTION: You did an awesome job. My biggest suggestion would be to change the tone of the ending to match the script. You need to release the tension after we realize the truth. This isn't a dark story - even if it feels that way at the beginning. Still, I could tell a lot of love and care went into this and it really shows.OVERALL: Margaret, I am so proud of you. I remember your first attempt very well and this is a big improvement. Congratulations on getting it done and I'm really looking forward to seeing more from you in the future.
Dave Kunz (Level 4)
Great production values, solid acting, and a script that strips it all down to a bare minimum. And the concept of learning how to swim, from a young boy's POV, being horrific in it's own way, has real merit.
David Birch (Level 5)
production value was up there with the best i've seen so far...just a little too short to get the viewer "sucked in"...i mean, why?...why does he need to learn how to swim?...and why is he so afraid to learn...without the backstory, it makes it difficult to interpret the look of horror on the kids face...as if he was in an episode of SVU...liked the music...not too overpowering, but effective...nice work there...thanks...
David Laffey (Level 3)
Well I'm glad it ended with the kid needing to learn how to swim - it felt like he was headed to something darker and scary, like being sold into slavery or something crazy like that. I felt you did a great job setting a tone, through the subtle actions of the actors, few lines of dialog, the music, and the creepy setting. The setting also made it hard to guess what was happening, it wasn't clear it was a swimming facility until swimming was mentioned, it felt more like a jail to me, so I liked that it was mysterious. Obviously this was a 1pg script, so I liked how all of that was jammed onto one page and I enjoyed how it turned out. It may have been more interesting if it was even creepier or if there was an element of anger or intense fear in either character. Obviously the boy was scared but he really didn't resist anything. Well done.
Elias Farnum (Level 5)
Quick and to the point. I remember the story, and the quick twist works here. Good job.I thought the dripping water was a great touch for perhaps something sinister. But just a boy scared to swim, yeah. The performances were fine, I was sold. Good job, and good job with the shots. Not a lot of room to work in, looked like. Great directing too, really good job.The sound was fine, I heard it all. The score was also appropriate.Overall everything came together well, good job. Congratulations, and good luck to all involved.
Faith Friese Nelson (Level 5)
I am very familiar with this script. Overall, very good job. I think everything could be improved by two things. (1) Site location. The shower area needs to be grimier and gritty, to get our minds working in another direction, to get us asking "where is this boy?", and (2)put the boy in something that doesn't look like a bathing suit, perhaps cut-offs.
Fred Koszewnik (Level 5)
I thoroughly enjoyed the opening drain credit sequence and wasn't entirely sure what to expect. And then the story came and went without much fanfare. The film needs more drama. The boy's fear didn't register in any palpable, dramatic manner and needs to be kicked up a bit. And the instructor might benefit from being more threatening in the way he presents himself. And I fully realize how difficult it must be to expect an audience to emotionally engage in such a short feature. The final long shot of the two figures disappearing into the distance effectively caught the mood of feeling lost and abandoned. I've just read the screenplay and you're to be congratulated on realising the film pretty closely to the script. The older man's athletic jacket made him seem more like a swim coach than a grandfather - and also, I think, far less threatening than if he had been dressed differently.
Heather O'Connell (Level 4)
I love the "drippy" opening credits.The setting and music worked to create tension. And the creepy man. The acting was a bit stiff - the twist lost its punch because the line was so flat. I love the reaction of the boy when he takes a big breath. :) Heather
Heidtmann Oppong (Level 4)
Wow! So few, so simple, so Good. I always enjoy reading materials with simple content, thats me. I enjoyed your script. The video is good too. My only addition is your dialogue-split-by-action, adding "CONT"D" next to characters after dialogue has been interrupted with an on going action. Beside that, it was ok!
Herman Chow (Level 5)
Script: Wow, this is very, very short. I haven't read the script before, but I'd imagine it to be not even one page long. It's simple and straightforward, setting up our expectation (the boy being molested) and paying it off with a twist (he's just afraid of swimming). But nothing too memorable or special.Performances: The boy's acting is superior to the man. I can really feel he's afraid of something and then when the man came to get him, he just looks like a boy going to get molested. On the other hand, the man acted very unnatural when he delivered his line.Cinematography: I liked the series of opening shots. Well done.Sound: The volume of the man's dialogue can be higher when compared with the background score. Otherwise, nothing much can be said about it.Editing: Again, the series of shot is the highlight at the beginning. Showing how afraid and lonely the boy is. By the time the man appears, nothing special about the editing.Score: Loved the water dripping sound along with the eerie background music. Fits the story and the overall tone perfectly.GOOD.
James Hughes (Level 5)
In this one pager, the setup of the boy waiting in the room built the tension. Then hearing the footsteps, etc., you think something bad is going to happen. For the film, those beginning shots of the boy and the room are really part of the story but I thought lost their dramatic effect when paired with the opening credits. Maybe credits can come first then go into the shots. Also, the sound was a big part of the script on the level with the images of the room and boy but i couldn't hear much of the way of footsteps. I am not sure the sound built as much tension as in the script. The sound of the dripping faucet seemed to overpower the other sounds in the script (then after the grandfather enters the dripping sound is gone).For the first shot of the two walking down the hall, could you cut in a bit later, the grandfather seemed to be standing and then begin to walk.I liked the shots, especially down the long hallway.
James Resendes (Level 2)
Not a fan of this one. I can see what you were trying to do with it, but I just never really felt like you managed to convey it. The acting didn't help either. I found it quite obvious, right from the beginning, that he didn't want to swim. I don't think it was much good.
Jamie Collins (Level 3)
At first I wasn't sure what the boy's fear was but I thought it was swimming by the way he was dressed, then it was confirmed at the end.
Jeannie Sconzo (Level 5)
I like the story. I liked it when I first read it. As a film though, it could have been much stronger with some additional set design, artistic cinematography and a slower but steadier pace in the opening.
JeanPierre Chapoteau (Moderator)
First impression: If I hadn't read the script, I wouldn't have know what this was about. Direction: I didn't get the sense that billy was in danger. I think the whole idea is to believe billy is stuck in a cellar, and the man that enters the room is a pedophile. - I think you could have made the "cellar" a bit more dirty. Add shots of grime in the corners and the drain. It looked too clean.- There were too many things that told me this was not a dangerous place, but a pool's locker room. The window in the background completely gave it away. Again, how clean the area was. Especially the bench he was sitting on. And the biggest thing was the fact that the boy was wearing swimming trunks and NOT a speedo.- I think you should have made the corridor darker. Would have more creepier. I did like the location though. Very cool. Music: The constant hum was okay. It might have been better just completely silent, but maybe not. Acting: The boy looked genuinely scared. The guy could have used a little work. My main problem was the fact that Billy gave the old man his hand. The old guy should have yanked him out the seat. And when they stopped in the corridor, The old man should have abruptly stopped and clasped his hand down on Billy's shoulder. That would have gave us the sense that Billy was in danger. Sound: I liked the dripping. The door knock sounded like it was added though. Not too natural. I could hear them perfectly fine, so that was good. This is the second time I've seen this script filmed, and I've come to the conclusion that if you don't have enough money for great actors and are able to set up the location to look intimidating, then it can never do the script justice.
Jeff Ferry (Level 4)
It was very bland, but I thought it was a solid film. It had excellent produciton value for the sets, they all looked very good. I thought the actors were good and it was a good adaptation from the script.
John Padgett (Level 2)
I didn't love the main titles...Music/Audio: Average. Not bad/distracting so you did your job.Acting: A little cheesy in parts, but overall pretty good.Story: Too short. Come on, really?Overall: It was just too short really, I think it had potential. 7/10.
Jonathan Palk (Level 1)
I felt this short film was shot wonderfully. The opening few shots helped to establish the theme of water in the film. The sound of water dripping was especially memorable. The boy hiding in fear of the man, and not knowing what the man was there for added some suspense. His overall fear of swimming may be relate-able to many people, who can sympathize with him.
Kenneth Hurd (Level 4)
I remember reading this one during the monthly contest it was submitted in. I think the script is excellent and the details in the script really create a great atmosphere. I also think the twist was nicely done and was definitely unexpected. However, I don't know if this script was executed to its full potential. Maybe its because I've read the script before, but I felt that the opening shots gave the ending away. The original script really made the coach very creepy, but I didn't get that from him while watching the film.Your camera work is good and the lighting is fine. With the film being so short, I would have liked to have seen some more abstract shots to establish the sense of dread that Billy was feeling.Your editing and audio work was good. The film moves at a fast pace and your sound design is very clean. I think that your opening title sequence was a bit too long and I felt the moving font was a bit distracting, but everything else really worked.I think you've got a really solid story that could really make a great short film. With a few edits, this film could end up being a lot better.
Khamanna Iskandarova (Level 5)
Congrats Margaret! I enjoyed the movie, thanks. It is a good one, I couldn't believe how many people were engaged into making of this:) --it's just two shots:) But a good movie. And funny line at the end. I missed the pool shot however. Maybe they could make through that tunnel and arrive at a pool - just a glimpse is all that's needed in my opinion. And then it's their faces again so you can use a green screen perhaps but I do think that it would leave bigger impact when he says the last important lines if he was at the pool.The boy was very good. The man was very good too but the last words sound lifeless, I think. Maybe it's one of the many shots, and at the end the actor got tired...The sound mix was amazing! The cinematography too. Very nice shot of the hand at the beginning - I really liked that. And the tunnel too. I just think they could arrive at some pool. Still very enjoyable!
Kirk White (Level 5)
i liked this. short and sweet with a nice little twist.
KP Mackie (Level 5)
Love the visual opening. The drip, drip of water going down the drain, Billy sitting on the bench with his knees drawn up, his head buried in his arms, the title overhead. Terrific. The music contributes an ominous element. Add the pounding on the door, Billy's slide into the corner, and peering out over his arm, the tension mounts. The shot of Vincent addressing Billy is obviously designed to elicit concern from the viewer. It does. There's even more drama as Vincent appears to be dragging Billy down the long tunnel. Vincent delivering the punchline, "You need to learn how to swim" comes in the nick of time. It's sweet when he grasps Billy's hand at the end. The acting is first rate. Billy is expertly portrayed by young Nicholas Olson, without uttering a word -- not easy to do. David Ricke transforms in seconds from a potential bad guy into a caring coach. Congratulations. Excellent film.
Margaret Avnet (Level 4)
I feel you have the beginning of a good story... the fear of a boy learning how to swim. I think you should have taken it further. Get him to the side of the pool, show his fear as he stands at the edge of the pool looking into the water. Perhaps even have him step back and protest. Then proceed to have his father/coach ease his fears and lead him slowly into the water. Then step by step the father/coach can start teaching him to swim. Perhaps even have a flash forward of a week or so where the boy now over his fear jumps carefree into the pool and starts to swim.Even though it was a very short movie I liked the fact that you didn't give away what his fear was until the very last moment. You had the viewer wondering what his fear was and I didn't guess it was swimming. So a very good job on that aspect.
Marko Trcic (Level 2)
huh, I'm sorry, but I expected more drama, the murmur of children's barely audible, he should still be a little louder, always reading a script I had imagined at the end of the pool full of children, I think that is changing faster in the editing staff of boys from different angles, could more to emphasize the atmosphere of fear.
Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5)
I remember this SP...it played out very well on screen. I really liked the shots chosen, especially the walk down the long hall. I do think there could have been a touch more tension added during that walk though.Nice job Margaret and team!!!
Martin Jensen (Level 5)
The beginning was very creepy. If I didn't know the twist I would have been scared. I think there could have been a bigger build up to the final line. Maybe a music cue or a longer pause from the actor. Then after the twist, a shot of a busy swimming pool would pay it off nicely, but I know that would be difficult to manage. Very good.
Martin Lancaster (Level 4)
This is a tough one to score. The atmosphere is strong, as is the cinematography. I especially like the credit sequence. And I thought the script was quite effective.But: on film it didn't quite work for me. A couple of reasons:The reveal comes too soon - there's not enough build-up, not enough tension or terror to make the reveal workThe dripping water clues you into the fact that this is a swimming poolThe boy's shorts are obviously swim shortsI wonder if I would feel differently if I didn't already know the script.Still, this was a professional looking film, even if the twist in the story fell a little flat. I think this can be fixed in another edit.
Matias Caruso (Level 5)
I'm a big fan of twists, I like to be tricked into believing something and then have the rug pulled from under my feet. This piece accomplishes that but, on the other hand, I can't help thinking that the story might be too simple and needs something more going on.Still, good job. Congrats to the writer and to everyone involved.(By the way, is this Margaret's first production? Well done girl!)
Matthew Fettig (Level 5)
Well there's not too much here to critique. All the components are well done - camera work is good, lighting and sound are good, direction seems fine.I don't know that I ever read this script, but as soon as I saw Billy I thought this had to do with swimming. In that sense, there was no twist. In fact, I thought we'd see some water so the walk down the hall seemed to be taking a long time!Nicely filmed but not much in the way of a story.
Michael Cornetto (Level 5)
This was an interesting concept on the page - where we are supposed to think something dreadful is about to happen to the boy and it turns out to be swimming. However, I don't think that really came across in the film, or perhaps it doesn't seem to have come across because I just read the script, not sure. Technically it was done fairly well though I found the beginning titles a bit distracting.
MJ Hermanny (Level 5)
This doesn't build tension as well as it could or as well as the script suggests. The shot of the boots is missing and the overall menacing approach from the coach which is what makes us think something sinister is going on.The rust is also missing which is suggestive of blood and again hints at something much worse about to happen and which makes the ending so much more of a releif.The sound quality is very low (?) I had to really crank up my volume.I think a lot of the succes of this script translating well to screen lies in the young actor's ability to convey deep fear and it just isn't reached properly here.The long hallway with all the pipes is a great location and it may have worked well to have this as an opening shot for the credits to give a feel of isolation.
Paul De Vrijer (Level 5)
I'll be as honest as I can here, because I believe that will benefit future projects the most.I had already read the script this was based on, and I had pictured something differently. Reading back, I can see that the filming of this script was actually pretty loyal, but missed all the marks.When the movie opens up, the opening credits are extremely annoying. This isn't style, this is just plain annoying. They should evoke a minor emotion at best, but are usually just there to open the movie in a slow pace. (See 'Broken' this month on how it should be done). Shot position and direction are absolutely low-level. Stale shots with no depth. When the old man enters, he never really looks menacing. He never looks like a kidnapper and thus the viewer is never tricked. The man also doesn't inspire ANY fear into the kid, so there's no tension. The acting, short to say, just isn't there. The man is reading lines and the kid just grabs his knees and goes along.Low-budget is no excuse for this. The sound of a pool doesn't really replace the actual pool. Although no pool was shown in the script, you see that it greatly diminishes the punch. The hallway used at the end doesnt even look like it would be located within a pool-building. Easy choices, no punch. This just needs more production. Chris wrote a decent script here, but it's cracks show when you literally film this. Showing the pool would have been a better reveal, the kid should fear the man, maybe even reluctantly join him. The acting is bad, you see the kid's swimming trunks in one of the first scenes, no way that anybody thought he was caught or anything.Wife's thoughts: Typical film which only revolves around the twist, which I saw coming by the way. I feel it's important in shorts like these, that you actually show everything. The way the kid covers up his face removes all the power of the acting. The long hall is misplaced, and even though you hear it's IN a pool, it doesn't substitute it. Why is a swim-instructor wearing such an outfit?Good luck on future films, but there is a lot to learn in nearly every area. From lighting, to sound, to composition. I don't even want to touch those elements right now, because they are so crude here. If you want to continue directing short films, I suggest taking more time for projects and trying your best to make every shot count. I see many people had double jobs on this and clearly they should have gotten some help.I don't mean to hurt your feelings, just my honest take on it.
Paul Williams (Level 5)
I'm very familiar with this script now, and even watched a different version of this, but I don't remember when or where.I like that you keep this nice and tight, but I think you could've built the tension more. The "twist" is reveled at 1:11 and I think you could've played with this more.I don't know if it's me being predisposed to the story, but the boy's black/blue swim trunks might give it away. Ultimately with this story, I've always thought it was a tough twist to hide, more on screen than paper, but I think you guys did a good job.Good.
Philip Whitcroft (Level 5)
This is a pretty clean effective version of this. In particular I like the fact that you have stuck with the central concept that was in the script. If I didn't know the story already I could believe that I'd have bought the fake out in this, and yet I also believe that I'd have accepted the real explanation.I like the fact that you've kept this short and simple, with the editing quite tight. The locations work well. A couple of things I'd suggest is trying to get a little bit of movement in the camera and thinking about composing more of the shots with the characters off center.
Rich Keel (Level 4)
I remember reading this one awhile ago and wanting to shoot it. I am glad someone picked it out. When reading it I felt the boy's fear which was great. But I did not get it in the film itself. If I hadn't known the ending maybe it would've worked better but I just didn't feel it.Music - fit very nicely.Acting - The boy did fine but I felt the older gentleman needed to do a little better job overall.Shots - I really liked and I thought they were setup very nicely.Audio - The sound effects seemed off and were noticeably fake. Too loud maybe. I thought when the main guy did talk the audio was nice. Also the kids at the pool sound effect was very well done.Other thoughtsThe credits at the beginning bugged me they way they bounced around. Maybe make it more subtle...because they took away from the shots on the screen. Also I think that if the shots had been more eerie looking or darker then the mood of fear would've been noticed more. I know the title says it and you see the kid sitting there in a ball. But the room was just too white, clean and bright. I don;t know. Just a thought.Good luck to you this month.
Richard Bell (Level 3)
OK, this is a very interesting piece. The final shot at the end was excellent. The depth of field, the light refraction, the two figures fading into the distance. However, if the surprise twist (which wasn't a surprise to me) is that the boy is afraid of learning to swim, then it seems that the pool itself needs to be the final shot and perhaps him jumping in. Loved the use of water dripping as foreshadowing, but in a sense, it gave away the twist. As I watched the movie, it gripped me right away because it was such a disturbing image of a boy in that situation. Frankly, it made me not want to watch, but I when I heard the water dripping and saw the swimsuit, I realized what was going on. Not sure if the filmmakers intended to give it away. Also, not sure if the opening image was simply one of shock value to bring the viewer in or whether the choice was to equate the fears, which are not really comparable. Nice film work - the acting of the old guy was off when he spoke - may have worked much better without dialogue at all.
Rob Gross (Level 4)
Ahh, this looks familiar!Nice to see another director's take on this very cool story. I liked the setting and the color. Billy didn't convince me that he was too scared, maybe because I know the ending, or maybe because I may have overdid the fear in my production of this tale.I would have like to see where they were walking to, maybe some sign of the pool. That long corridor was scary.Well done.
Sally Meyer (Moderator)
This was one of the few scripts that I remembered from last years scripts. I thought it was a great idea. The script and story stayed with me a long time.I think that's why I was a little disappointed in the film. I had imagined this in my mind and to be honest, it didn't seem the same on film. I didn't get that sense of relief that I did in the script, when I realized it was just a grandpa wanting to coax his grandson to learn how to swim.The setting, when he took him down the tunnel seemed strange. We never saw the pool. We did hear the sounds of kids in a pool, but that wasn't enough. It would have been cool for them to just open the door and there they were at the pool. You wouldn't have even needed words at that point.You would have just got it.I think the boy being younger would have worked better, and the grandpa being a little kinder looking. He seemed really sinister at the beginning, and while I know it's to throw us off the reality of what is actually going on, I would prefer him to be softer, kinder.All in all though a good film with a good twist at the end. Lighting and sound was good. Direction good, but I wish we'd seen the pool. That was the one thing that tripped up this film.
Shawn Cottrill (Level 3)
This makes me think that the deadline for entry was approaching and you needed to just throgh something together. It is simply put bad. Not to mention that it's only 2:19 and you waste the first .30 sec on title. This was not intertaining or well directed. I realize that you were trying to mislead the viewer in the beginning, But you already give all the info that we need to know what is really happening. I would not show this to anyone else.
Travis DeStein (Level 5)
Uh. There's absolutely no pacing here. It ended before I knew it even began. Where was any kind of conflict or action? What was the point? In the original script, it worked a lot better because there was much better use of atmosphere and foreboding. Here, it's just random and without meaning. I figure (hope) that you expected this to turn out a lot more different and better, but once filmed it didn't quite capture the mood how you expected.
Valentina Reiken (Level 2)
I liked the look of this film. It built suspense very well throught the close ups, the credits and the music.Even though it was very simple, the boy's fear was well exposed.I thought the sound was especially effective.Well done.
Wayne Morrical (Level 4)
Nice camera work. I like the short lenses. Nice cut to the hallway. More suspense would have been built if you could have got the kid to the pool: staring at the water, sweat running down his face, nervous hands, then, he jumps. Overall the shots that were in the piece and the cuts were good. I think the camera operator has a good eye.
Wes Worthing (Level 5)
I think this would've been more effective if it were longer. Not crazy longer, but a little longer. Perhaps add the child's point of view of other "bad guys" and scared children. That would really intensify the tone. The intro shots were almost as long as the action shots. To not sell the ending too early, I would make the boys' shorts not as bright - they look like swimming trunks. The sound and look of the beginning succeeds in giving it an eerie feel.
William Bienes (Mod Emeritus)
I thought this was a solid entry, the boy was very good. Vincent, the grandfather didn't feel as natural.The technical aspects of the production were done well -- lighting, sound and direction.I'm not a big fan of extreme shorts, they don't feel like films to me or a complete story, but instead a moment. Having said that, I thought this was good.
Comments Made After the Contest
Chris Keaton (Level 5) ~ 1/1/2011 12:52 AM
For Margaret's first film I think she did a great job. This is a tough one to film. This is a script I give to anyone that wants to film it. Many people look at it as an easy one pager, but it is a challenge on many levels. So applaud Margaret for getting it finished. Many people have tried an only few have made it to the end. A solid exercise for any new director.
Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 1/1/2011 12:56 AM
Very well said. Sometimes I think the easiest scripts on the page can be the most challenging. They are like small poems and each moment, every nuance, counts for so much.Margaret, congratulations on taking the first big step and filming this. I really enjoyed it and I'm totally looking forward to watching more films from you!
KP Mackie (Level 5) ~ 1/1/2011 12:57 AM
Terrific film. Congratulations Margaret and Keaton!
Margaret Ricke (Level 5) ~ 1/1/2011 1:03 AM
I'm really glad this did so well. Thank you all for your comments and insights.It was supposed to be longer - a lot more footage of "Billy" was taken, but ended up unusable. Nick Olson did a really great job portraying him, too, so it was a shame we couldn't get more in.This was a Murphy's law production, and I feel fortunate that it came out as well as it did. Thank you all again...
Brian Wind (Level 5) ~ 1/1/2011 11:07 PM
Congratulations Margaret! This came out great!!!