New Short Film, "The Balloon"

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New Short Film, "The Balloon"

Post by jessixxfan on Thu Mar 15, 2012 6:02 pm

hey guys! this is my directorial debut here...I did this for my producing and directing class for school and I would really appreciate your guys' criticism and thoughts on it! Smile

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Re: New Short Film, "The Balloon"

Post by Rex on Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:26 pm

Ok here it goes. First of the movie is very good and my criticism is meant solely to help you. Now for the suggestions

The opening shot is great but tilt the camera slightly to the left. You may lose some pretty background but it's worth to get a better shot of the girl's pretty face. Also better of her cleavage. Although with the girl make sure to keep her chin down.

The music is very good but you could try make it a little softer and in slower pace to fit with the melancholy of the break up letter. Maybe add a violin. The letter shot is done very well but when she looks up try to make it slower and linger on the shot a bit. Also the box with pictures is a very nice touch but I am not sure if this will connect very well with young audiences. Watching the pictures on an iphone might be a better way(no scratch this now it make sense with the letter box). Also it would be very good if as soon you put the camera on the picture you don't go straight to the flashback but you add in another shot of the girl holding her heart shaped locket with one hand while staring sadly at the picture. Then you go to flashback

With the flashback. I am not sure there the bench is needed. You may try a more dynamic shot of the two chasing each other playfully followed by the slower shot with the ducks. And you might want to get the shot near the lake for a better background. With both of them being in a more relaxed and softer pose. If you can get them sitting on the pier behind it might be even better. And the interaction between them is great but you might want a little more eye contact for a better connection between the two

The thumg fight is a really cute part but the background is very bad. Too bland and the lighting does it no favors. The bed scene is better but again the lighting and the bland walls can use an improvement. Maybe a few posters cna chance this and you can talk with your lights guy. Also try again for more eye contact and on the bed scene with the guitar more physical contact. Lessons on anything are a great atmosphere for him to get his hands around her and show her how it's done and it's a classic scene

The movie scene is nice but I am sure you can seethe lighting problem. Also her ironically the bland background helps in a way but the picture ruins the illusion of a theater. Also love the yawn hand thing however if you want to for a softer vibe you might simply have the girl lean in and put her head on his shoulder. And then he looks at her lovingly and cue to the great hand scene


The car scene seemed a bit strange. Like there was no rel context to it(although nice butt shot). Try putting it into some kind of a different location or bring a travel back to show that there she is traveling away. Something to give the scene more impact and meaning. Also if this her going away scene you need a kiss. It's very important even if the actors don't feel entirely comfortable with it. You need to go all the nine yards. Longing sad stares, close up shots on their faces, the old hand on face to prepare for a powerful kiss you know the drill. You need to go for a serious emotional impact. And after the kiss make the hug scene one of those tight desperate I never want to let you go hugs

Love the mail box and the Game of Thrones flier. You might actually try and replace it with local sponsor to transform it into product placement and get a little money out of it

Great on the letter exchange shot, great on the laptop news breaking scene. Good on the driving scene you might want to get a longer shot, some change in music to give it the old bad vibe.

At 2:54 the girl titls her head too much to the side . Also at 3:16 when she gets up the top part of her head is kinda out of frame for a second or so but the background is awesome. A really good choice. Also at 3:33 great shot but we need to see more of her face to connect better with her. Try starting it like this but going into a different angle afterwards. Also it might be better dramatic wise if she just lets go the letter slowly . And keep the camera on the letter. It loses it for a microsecond and is a little shaky and I think there is some dirt on it

I like the whsiper at the end. Very nice touch


Overall you have great potential. I can see this going to a short movie festival(and trust me i've been to a lot of them) with just some minor work. The camera,light ,angle,background and sound work are minor and you cna easily do them but I think you guys should really work more on the chemistry between the leads. They felt a bit awkward around each other. And even when they were supposed to feel awkward around each it each other it didn't feel the right kinda of awkward aka "I like him/her how do I behave" but just regular awkward. If they develop great chemistry this movie will be beyond excellent

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Re: New Short Film, "The Balloon"

Post by jessixxfan on Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:38 pm

yeah i see your points rex, thank you for your criticism. most of it though was because i shot it in 2 locations, the actors were both not really actors...they were my very good friends of mine that just met each other the day of, explaining the awkwardness. the girl actually wrote the original short story and i decided to turn it into this film. she also composed the music, which was quite hard considering she did it before the entire thing was even shot! i edited it to what she gave me pretty much. and the lighting...don't worry, i see it. i would have had it better but my entire crew bailed on me at the last second. so i had to just do everything myself and everything eded up just being natural lighting Razz and it needed to get done that day because this was a project for class. the balloon at the end, my fault. i had trouble keeping up with it because it was windy. that's why there is dirt in the lens, i was rushing a bit because of how windy it was. i actually had 5 balloons for the shot and they all failed except for one. Razz but all in all it was decent. there is a lot i would have loved to do better on, most of it you mentioned haha so we are on the same page there. but thank you for your honest criticism! it will only help me for my future projects! Smile
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Re: New Short Film, "The Balloon"

Post by jessixxfan on Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:53 pm

i wish you could come to my class and criticize the really cocky students' work. seriously. there are so many cocky people in my class whose work look like amateur hand held shizz and they think it's the greatest masterpiece alive next to Avatar. okay, maybe i'm exaggerating slightly but it's still pretty bad. haha
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Re: New Short Film, "The Balloon"

Post by Rex on Fri Mar 16, 2012 1:12 pm

Man if we were rushed for time and you still did such a great job you have real talent. And I am serious about the festival. A little work on this and you can really submit this quite a few festivals. You should really go for it



i wish you could come to my class and criticize the really cocky students' work. seriously. there are so many cocky people in my class whose work look like amateur hand held shizz and they think it's the greatest masterpiece alive next to Avatar. okay, maybe i'm exaggerating slightly but it's still pretty bad. haha

Lol that's probably a bad idea. I can be a little overcritical even when I like someone(as you saw yourself) but if someone annoys me like I imagine those people would do....oh it's not pretty. One of the reasons I never went into teaching was because due to my way with words and knowledge of the human psyche when I lose it I can inflict some pretty nasty mental traumas to people.
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Re: New Short Film, "The Balloon"

Post by jessixxfan on Fri Mar 16, 2012 1:17 pm

yeah i shot that all in one day, i know it's crazy. i wasn't even sure if i would get it done. haha and thanks, i appreciate your compliments, critique, everything!

but you critique these people would just be so damn hilarious for those of us who hate them!! then maybe they will shut up, and that would be fantastic. Smile
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Re: New Short Film, "The Balloon"

Post by Rex on Fri Mar 16, 2012 1:37 pm

Wow your really good if you manged it in one day. You have a bright future ahead of you if you get a good crew

Yeah you would think that but it's usually not. You just end up feeling sorry for them. That's why I usually always try to keep a lid on my mouth otherwise it gets kinda messy. Like there was this international conference I was on and this kinda nice but really boring professor used incorrect sources in his presentation. I am not sure he even knew that. He probably simply didn't bother to learn the context and why it was wrong but since I was kinda really bored after three hours and my nerves were kinda well not very controlled. So I kinda stood up and dismantled his entire presentation in front of all his colleagues from close to a dozen countries. Which might sound hilarious but it really wasn't. I think the poor professor was nearing a nervous breakdown by the time my professor interrupted me and redirected the topic.

And that was me just bored and annoyed. When I really don't like someone I go full throttle. Body language, voice, specific phrases. Tone that that can go from sarcasm,contempt, false praise to the most painful one false sympathy. Then there are the random personal attacks on their looks,hygiene , clothes, social station all delivered rapidly in less then two seconds and under the guise of being part of the critic. And then there is the false sympathy and advices, concern for any mental problems they might have and so on and so on. Yeah I can really really nasty and I don't even realize most of the time . My subconscious can be a real dick and trust me the picture is really not pretty. You will feel bad for them no matter how much you dislike. So I generally try to stay from such sitautions
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Re: New Short Film, "The Balloon"

Post by Unit7 on Fri Mar 16, 2012 2:36 pm

I definitley agree with what Rex has said.

The picture in the theater scene did throw me off, but more then that it was actually the walls themselves. I guess I have only been to 2 theaters well two if you count my Highschools theater room, and I don't quite remember the one I went to in a nearby town. Anyways in my limited experience the walls were usually darker color. If possible I would have hung up some sort of dark bedsheet or blanket.

The only other thing that bothered me about this was the part where she describes the car accident. The dialogue just felt awkward and almost unnecessary. Why is she describing the accident to the person who knows what happens?

I guess with a very limited budget there really is no way around it if you want to let the readers know how.

I am glad that Rex reconsidered the iphone thing. The thing about digital media is that is incredibly easy to back up. But with physical pictures its far more valuable. It also went great with the mail box and them writing actual letters instead of emails or even online chat. Letters and pictures can be destroyed and ruined. Neither can really escape the passage of time.

In movies and TV shows if a character carries around a photo or a letter often times they will either be almost destroyed or lost forever.

So I am happy that you actually didn't go the email/iphone route. That and unless you are going for a more comedic route him kissing the screen would come off as more funny then cute.


You definitely do have talent and I really enjoyed the short film.

Also Rex.

Remind me never to piss you off. Razz

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Re: New Short Film, "The Balloon"

Post by jessixxfan on Fri Mar 23, 2012 4:11 pm

Unit7 wrote:

The only other thing that bothered me about this was the part where she describes the car accident. The dialogue just felt awkward and almost unnecessary. Why is she describing the accident to the person who knows what happens?


my teacher also commented on this too but then said that by her saying "well you probably already know this since you have been looking down on me ever since" kind of saves it. i get what you are saying though, i didn't even notice it until my teacher pointed it out!

Unit7 wrote:

I am glad that Rex reconsidered the iphone thing. The thing about digital media is that is incredibly easy to back up. But with physical pictures its far more valuable. It also went great with the mail box and them writing actual letters instead of emails or even online chat. Letters and pictures can be destroyed and ruined. Neither can really escape the passage of time.


i agree. although i am in the generation of texting, instant messaging, and emailing and such i feel that letters just feel so special. and it would be a completely different story if it was an email! she ties the letter to the balloon at the end as a way to "mail" it to him. the email just wouldn't have the same impact and i'm glad you both caught that!

thank you both for your criticism and compliments! it's great to hear because even my teachers don't get as in depth with the criticism. I am curious to what you guys think of this video I did before "The Balloon". it was an project for my editing class and my partner and i had to create a montage:



as you can see, we had a lot of fun with the camera shots haha
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Re: New Short Film, "The Balloon"

Post by Unit7 on Fri Mar 23, 2012 11:52 pm

Oh yeah her emailing the final letter would have been really really weird. So it definitely good to go with a more 'retro' means of communication.

It took me a moment to actually get the title of Home Remedies. Aside from the camera shot of the computer screen of him googling it. The shots of the screen were a bit blurry and...

Damn. Alright never mind that actually works. It all works. Hmm...


Oh it would have been neat if he made some progress through the book. It looks like he is on basically the same page. Unless thats what you were going for.

Same with the puzzle. It would have been nice to see his progress from dumping it out and then showing it in stages. But maybe thats just me.

Nice editing through. Also the music choice is great... but then I will always have a soft spot for that song.(wish I could say it was more then just because it was part of an amazing finale montage)


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