Report Card : Film
: Film 4 - Vandancing
said that even people who don't usually comment were raising their hands to
respond for Vandancing. A few had tears - Patrick & Mun chee. Biggest negative was
the voice over, because the speakers where they show films are not that great,
which caused the lows to sounds muddied.
Wendy is still a novice when it comes to recording audio. There's a effect in recording known as proximity effect that causes low frequencies (bass) to be amplified if someone talk too close to the microphone. I think that's what happened. She spent today removing the entire voice over. Several comments said that her images were good enough that she didn't need the voice over.
overall note is that people came away with a sense that they knew who Van was, &
what he meant to people. This was her aim from the very beginning. Looks
like she succeeded.
many liked her surprise ending. They said it was too different from the rest of the piece.
The interview with George at the USC studio came out great. George is lawyer & knows how to talk - didn't hear him say, 'ah,' 'er,' or 'um' once. He said was eloquent & succinct. He was dressed (appropriately) in all-black. The studio lights gave him a highly-contrasted look. These clips, contrasted w/ the foggy ocean day, worked well.
fog lent a haunting feel to the piece.
ends w/ a shot of a big, grand-daddy pelican in flight, close to water's surface
-> pelican glides along water & finally come to rest in the ocean ->
fade to black. Footage of pelican was shot at Van's scattering-of-ashes-at-sea.
Wow. You really got to the center of your brother. I feel like I know him. It
was great to let other people talk about him, to see their faces &
expressions of how much he meant to them, than simply telling us about him.
This was obviously very personal & a difficult undertaking. I admire you for
having the courage to share your personal feelings of something so intimate with
The shots of people talking about Van were excellent & very moving.
Everyone's feelings for him really came through. Voice & pictures &
clips moving in & out was excellent. Interview with the guy in the studio
& the guy on the street was excellent.
Very personal, which is admirable in itself. It certainly does not shy away from
dealing with some difficult emotions. This is hard to do & I think you did a
great job. Your images were beautiful. The ocean shots through most of the film
were haunting. They conveyed a sense of loss which worked well.
I want to thank you for sharing this film with us. I think it is incredibly well
crafted - you can tell when a piece of work is driven by nothing more than a
pure desire to honestly deal with a subject matter so close to heart. I am very
touched by the piece. I think the choice of yourself walking on the beach was
great. I like the way you put together the images & sound bites of
interviews. Suggestions: none.
This is an extremely personal film, Wendy - one that is very difficult to make.
I loved how you told the story through what through what other people had to say
about, how much they missed him & why. It gave me a real sense of who your
brother was. I also liked the home-movie shots & the ones of him & his
Beautiful, poetic & deeply felt. Gracefully handled transitions between
still images, people talking, home movies, & you walking on the beach. The
sound moved in & out very nicely. The fade from the two men dancing to you
dancing on the beach at the very end was beautiful, touching & poignant - a
Your imagery improves gets better with each project. Your layering of images
worked aesthetically & emotionally. Individual sections such as how Van
'invented gibberish' work great to define him as a person & let the audience
enjoy him. Your imagery was better than words. You created emotionally
compelling imagery that worked great. Your editing rocked!
Very touching film. I especially liked the overlays of the ocean over people's
faces & other shots. You always manage to get your stuff to look very filmic
- especially the shots of you by the ocean. How do you do that? I also like the
recurring image of the ocean as creator & giver of life.
You seem to always use elements like the ocean in ways that are powerful &
never trite. Great superimpositions, & the way your figure seemed to walk
above it all. I liked your presence in the film, as it was a personal story. I
liked how you captured the happy remembrances of Van - not easy to do with such
apparent truthfulness & love. Great at capturing a community of love for
Van. Your timing for holding the stills was perfect.
I was totally absorbed & tearing at the end. Very powerful & I like the
way you went about it. Especially liked the shots of the interview on the street
John Lennon: Love
David Bowie: Ziggy Stardust & Ground Control to Major Tom
Black Orpheus: Manha De Carnival
New Order: Temptation
met in Laguna for sushi last night, to celebrate another completed film. While
waiting for her, I stopped into the 'Latitudes 33' bookstore & browsed.
Picked up one book titled 'Escape from Film School' by Richard Walter, who is a
professor at UCLA, where he 'chairs the graduate program in film & TV
from Francis Ford Coppola on the cover: "Eerily accurate in its portrayal
of the student film world."
book opens like this:
wish I had died in some Hollywoody way: metal-on-the-highway, sex-drugs,
The sorry truth is I choked to death on sushi."
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