I must start off by questioning that choice of genre. I saw nothing at all Science-Fiction, nor was there anything Fantasy, save the dream sequences which doesn't even qualify... Perhaps the problem in catagorising this short is due to its lack of story. True it does have a beginning, middle, and end, but what was the point? Am I to think that all G.A. groups are just fronts for gamblers to get together and gamble? Where was the character arc for Donald?
Beyond that, many of the technical aspects in filmmaking were lacking as well. Many of the individual shots were awkward and confusing to the viewer (ie: the shot of Donald in bed at the beginning or the numerous low-angle shots during the gambling party dream sequence). Think about all the elements within the frame and how they come together to tell the story. Each scene and sequence needs to further the story and if the framing pulls the viewer out of the film, then they viewer will also be pulled out of the story.
Also the sound was terrible. It sounded like it was all done with the on-board mic. I would suggest using a boom mic at the very least next time to capture much clearer sound from the subjects you want and less ambient background noise.
I'm going to skip the acting since it felt like these were friends helping you out rather than a group of serious actors.
Editing was okay. There were a few effects early that were used to further the dream sequence feel, but be judicial with these. All in all, the cuts were not well placed and at times quite jarring. Again, the editing needs to help tell the story, keep it moving forward and flowing. When the cuts are too sudden and jarring, it pulls the viewer out of the story, something to be avoided at all costs (unless of course you are going for that effect). If this is your first forray into film editing, try reading a few books on the subject to see how different editing techniques are used to help further storytelling in different ways.
I would say this was a good first attempt for someone with little to no film experience. Keep at it if you're really passionate about film. Try reading a few cinematography and directing books and then trying another short. And above all, start with a solid story. Have a clear reason and purpose for telling a story through the moving picture. Everything starts with a solid script.
Other Reviews by FloydTheSecond 66
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