'Close Encounters' by Barnstorm Pictures

(Glasgow, UK/Edinburgh, UK) Second Edit

We are a group of dedicated filmmakers from Glasgow and Edinburgh committed to producing quality, innovative film. This year we have filmed comedy and drama for various Short Film competitions and are in preproduction for our first Feature film which will start shooting in spring 2013.

Read 'Close Encounters' HERE

Second Cut Comments... have YOUR say!

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Comments: 4
  • #1

    Devon (Saturday, 24 November 2012 21:21)

    I like all the changes you've made. It is a lot stronger now. It could still be tightened in a couple of places, but you don't need to cut much from it now. Also, when I watched it there seemed to be audio sync problems?

  • #2

    Douglas Caldow - Director (Sunday, 25 November 2012 15:07)

    @Devon. Could you be more specific about what you feel could still be tightened and where you are getting audio sync issues? I've been all the way through it with the sound guys a hundred times over and if we've missed something we want to know about it.

  • #3

    Staré Yildirim (Wednesday, 28 November 2012 02:58)

    Much better version. However sometimes longer plans can make the footage shorter. Such as timecode: 0:20, why not stay on him a little longer? if u have any footage even get closer, let us see him think "is that her? did i hear correct?" because right now it's too fast. I like tight cuts but like how i said, i have seen footage with short shots but it felt longer, when a few shots were made longer then they felt much tighter. Upto you, u can try and see..
    0:29, im not sure if u have the footage but would be lovely to see her face from his angle..i wanted to see her face not from profile but facing her..
    A few times i felt like i wanted to see a different type of reaction on the male actor's face like instead of a smile, a slight sadness that he cant hide..but well, i know how it is..sometimes u just have to edit with whatever you have.
    Other than these, everything else looks really good. Congratulations. Great lighting, great location, good actors, good cinematography.

  • #4

    filmfan (Thursday, 29 November 2012 04:18)

    Firstly, well done. It's a very respectable contribution and my comments are borne out of a love of story married with a very technical craft and often abstract ingredients, all of which make a sum, usually and thankfully greater than its parts.

    Below is my opinion, I hope it helps.

    Cinematography, grading and set is lovely. It's clear, modern, strong and impacts in a very professional way. There is a lovely idea of symmetry in the opening shot, gives the audience some nice metaphors to work with.

    There is a credible chemistry between the characters, but to my ear the delivery doesn't always work and there are some 'darlings' I'd cut to sustain the rapport.

    Where the delivery works, i found it unique and not generic. There were some nuanced things I liked very much, just tiny quirks in pitch and power of lines that adds dimension, and therefore credulity for the audience. For example, the laugh during the hug, the beats in body language at tea change...

    In terms of taking the film to shorter duration, I believe it will make the film stronger, serve the plot better by improving the beat of the story. every story on film has its beat, its counted in frames within scenes and one too much or too little....

    So for example, I would have shot the interior scene where woman enters as a single shot, from behind the counter. Man in BG focus and as woman is asking for tomatoes, I'd pull focus to her. This saves time but also serves visually the distance yet connection far quicker and more interestingly than a pan shot which is uncomfortable (especially with a detailed background). The cuts between 1.06 and 1.10 are unnecessary

    Where man says 'sounds exciting....' is not working. I would cut the questions and just leave the voice over shots. I think this is enough, removing unnecessary beats.

    The bag raising could come out. I have watched several times and it still puzzles me. Exchanges facially will convey.

    It's easy to say in hindsight, and difficult as editing is a physical task, and much of it is trial and error. I can only propose changes and suspect that they'd work. In reality I don't know for sure.

    The story is sweet, well executed but familiar. Light and shade in the writing starts with sub-text, and I missed this from the film.

    That said, I enjoyed this. I did believe it, I just wanted less yielding more...

    Hope this was helpful.

'Close Encounters' by Barnstorm Pictures

(Glasgow, UK/Edinburgh, UK) First Edit

First cut: Producers notes for the filmmakers

  • Sound is a bit patchy, take a look closely at the voice overs being occasionally drowned by ‘live’ sound.
  • Room atmos a bit loud but not too bad.
  • We suggest cutting the first minute or so, you can start with them just before they meet.
  • Trim, trim and trim, we feel the whole piece would be tighter.
  • Shorten the hug and cut directly to them leaving – you don’t need the whole post hug stepping away, it just slows things down.
  • Try bringing the music in when they hug as that’s the moment they actually begin the journey to recommitting.

First Cut Comments... have YOUR say!

Comments: 14 (Discussion closed)
  • #1

    Jade (Sunday, 04 November 2012 14:17)

    I liked the concept, best version posted so far...

  • #2

    Adolf El Assal (Sunday, 04 November 2012 17:04)

    the beginning is way too long and work on the sound design, it's a bit empty. but I like this version.

  • #3

    Catherine (Monday, 05 November 2012 13:23)

    Great location! I love the shop. But yes - too protracted and think improved sound/music would add a lot. Lots of potential!

  • #4

    Stephen Cooper (Tuesday, 06 November 2012 17:17)

    Great location, performances and beautifully framed and shot through-out but just feels a bit static in places. Feel if you really trim this down and add a bit of a score to it you're going to have a fantastic film. Would suggest getting in and out quicker as a way of starting to trim it down but think a lot of the shots could lose a few seconds. If you get this down to 2 minutes it will be very very good.

  • #5

    Michael W. Penny (Tuesday, 06 November 2012 17:32)

    Love how you played the ending. The final shot with him out of focus was really nice.

    Agree with everyone else in that if you can get it down to 2-3 mins, it'll be a strong competitor! The best places to trim are the empty handles you have on many of the shots (just as everyone else suggests). I know you have those "spaces" to stretch out the awkwardness of this meeting between the two of them, so just see what can be done. Tightening a bunch of these types of shots before someone says something or does something will probably save you most of the time you need to get it down to 2-3 mins.

    Really loved the location and the colours you developed. It just looks really, really good. Nice work!

  • #6

    Phil (Wednesday, 07 November 2012 10:32)

    Very well done, visually beautiful and edited well, but you really need to cut down, you can take a few frames of almost every shot - as Michael says, I know you have used the silences to highlight the awkwardness but it just slows the whole piece down. A different way to convey awkwardness might be to just use some long L or J cuts, conveying silence on screen while the audio moves the piece along.

    Some beautiful shots though, much to be proud of!

  • #7

    Douglas Caldow - Director (Wednesday, 07 November 2012 12:31)

    Hi guys. Thanks so much for all your feedback and the great near 5/5 star rating. We're taking on board what's been said and are aiming for a much more trimmed down version with better sound (We learned a very important lesson about filming near large fridges on this shoot).

    I am going to fight to keep our opening sequence (albeit trimmed) because for me it wasn't enough that these characters just bump into each other. I wanted to add depth to their story and I think based on the writers feedback and our rating here that it does bring something to the film. We may not get down to 2 minutes but I think around 3 is possible and that's due to the feedback we've gotten here. So thank you again.

  • #8

    Shaun Bond (Wednesday, 07 November 2012 14:16)

    The colourful setting is very interesting but as has been pointed out by yourself, it's a damn shame about that fridge noise. The ending was very well done by the way, I love the dropping of the bag being the first indication that they are both thinking the same thing.

  • #9

    Devon (Saturday, 10 November 2012 00:40)

    What happened to the woman at the beginning? Are you allowed to show the tea brand? I think that's a copyright issue. When the guy leaves the shop at the start in the wide shot, I thought it was the same guy we had just seen inside the store, the editing of this part creates confusion. I think if you lose the whole first scene you solve a lot of problems, and the beginning of the story can actually begin. Is the tea scene supposed to tell us he is with a horrible partner and he is unhappy, or that he has different tea tastes to the woman he shops with? Where is the added depth you mention in the comment above? Is it that he prefers the next woman because they share the same taste in tea? I love how you shot this. Great cinematography, it just needs tighter editing and the first scene dropped to be a contender.

  • #10

    Mark (Saturday, 10 November 2012 12:52)

    This is the first time I have seen this and not read the script. I felt at first disinterested and then was slowly hooked by the will they wont they question. I really enjoyed the film in the end. I liked the way you ended it as they looked back at each other.

    I think you need to get rid of the opening and just get straight into the story. The hook goes on for a while so I don't think you will lose anything in establishing the scene and I think that would have shortened my disinterest. Although opposite to what I just said in context of a 50 kisses film probably not a problem as it is because people may go from disinterest to wow glad I watched and that might be a good thing anyway and even increase an interest in watching other 50 kisses film.

    Keep it lose it Pro's and con's Up to you! Everything else works great!

  • #11

    Simon McCay - Producer (Saturday, 10 November 2012 22:35)

    Thanks to all of you guys for taking the time to watch and then comment on our film! Getting feedback which is neutral/impartial is invaluable! We have taken all your advice on board. Watch this space...T

  • #12

    Mark P (Sunday, 11 November 2012 12:57)

    Hi folks,

    Well done on a really nice looking film.

    I think that trimmed it will work well. For me, the bits that really drag are the hug and the looking back at the end. If they're actually, really and truly doing this is in real life, would they just stand there like that? For me, the length of it and the fact they were just there like two lemons took me out of the drama. I think that some of the other films do this moment a bit more naturally.

    On the opening, I appreciate that you want to add depth to the characters but for me I find it very confusing. I was thinking who is the dude in leathers? Is he the tweed man's biker twin brother? Is he the mean version of the guy? They seem like two different people. But the key thing for me is that I can't really see how it adds depth. Are we saying he's hanging around the shop waiting for her to come back? If so, why does he try and get away unseen? If he's just there by coincidence, why do we need the scene anyway? I think the simple fact that he hears her ordering the fancy tomatoes is enough to show us that there's a history.

    Hope this is helpful,

    well done!


  • #13

    Andromeda Godfrey (Monday, 12 November 2012 17:12)

    I really really like this. The lighting is beautiful. The location is superb. The colour scheme is great. The only thing is is that it's too long other than that lovely. Great actors too.

  • #14

    Jasmin Egner - Actress (Anna) (Thursday, 22 November 2012 12:57)

    Thanks everyone for your honest feedback and votes. They really are much appreciated!