Comments Made During the Contest
Aaron Williams (Level 4)
So great. I remember when this script first appeared on MP-- one of my first months on board and I thought it was killer then. It's improved tremendously and just shot so beautifully. Great acting.. sweet music.. good cast choices.. even the profanity is poetic (although, I find profanity to be melodic by nature).choice, man.. really well executed.
Barry Katz (Level 3)
Wow! Everything about this film was top-notch! Fabulous acting, fabulous cinematography, fabulous music, fabulous story. Congratulations to all involved on a job very, very well done! Would like to see more of your work.
Brian Wind (Level 5)
SCRIPT: I gave this script a Very Good the first time I read it.PERFORMANCES: The performances were both high quality, but I couldn't help but feel like both roles were miscast. I thought the male should be MUCH older, like an elderly person in their 60's or 70's. That was how I pictured him when I read the script and I feel like it'd be more appropriate for the character to be such a curmudgeon. And I pictured the nurse to be middle aged and much less attractive. That girl could get laid any time she wanted to so it makes the line where he tells her that's what she needs seem almost laughable.CINEMATOGRAPHY: The under-typewriter shot is awesome. Your camerawork and lighting is great. I have much to learn from you. Thanks for sharing your knowledge so freely.SOUND: The audio was good although I did feel like the score kind of overwhelmed the film at times. (More on that in the Score section.)EDITING: No problems. Nothing fancy, which I think is good. It's my opinion that the editing/transitions shouldn't really be noticeable (unless clearly intentional and with purpose) and the film should flow nicely from start to finish. This film accomplishes that.SCORE: My instinct is to say it's a bit melodramatic, but this is a dramatic film so I suppose it should be. Maybe melodramatic isn't the best term for it... Let me put it another way... I felt like the score could have been a little more understated... Or maybe just a little quieter so it's there, but less noticeable. Sorry, I don't really know how to phrase my thoughts on it... DIRECTION: Let me just say that I feel weird critiquing your work. Telling you how to direct a film better would be like Daniel-san telling Mr. Myagi how to chop a piece of wood with his hand. I'll just say you did an excellent job and ended up with an entertaining film. OVERALL: I liked the film, but I felt like it was miscast and the score was a bit too loud. The cinematography and acting was extremely high quality.Nice work to everyone involved.
Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus)
SCRIPT: I've reviewed this and the film before. My review will be from the perspective of a new viewing after some time.PERFORMANCES: Love the performances by both actors.CINEMATOGRAPHY: Fabulous opening sequence. Love the clarity of your work. (A lot of films I seem to view through a fog. The close ups - like the tap running - work very well. His face seen through the spokes of his wheel - like a cage - brilliant.SOUND: It comes across very clearly.EDITING: Great balance of shots when interchanges between the two characters. I like the way you weren't afraid to linger on shots.SCORE: Unobtrusive, so perfect.DIRECTION: I'm sure it was very good!OVERALL: EXCELLENT - it grows on me more each time I see it.
Chris Keaton (Level 5)
Well Mr. Messineo you sure are making a lot of films. Ok, I think you made just two, not like those 'Stage Left' people. :)This sounds like the same music from the answering machine short?Wow, could've used a language warning. I liked the actors interactions. It really played well. Quality of your stuff is top notch.
Clay Blincoe (Level 2)
I was unsure about the film at the beginning, I thought it would be another failure at raunchy humor, but it turned into something much more. I thought the revelation of the poem being written was great, I thought the letter to Penthouse was a great cover up. I'm not sure about the hostility of the main character at the beginning, but I appreciated at the end. I thought the acting really symbolized the emotions of both character's roles very effectively.
Dan Lennox (Level 5)
okay.... Not even sure where to start. When I see work like this, it makes me realize just how much I don't know. What a great film.Everything just seemed so technically flawless. Two things that stand out for me on this film. First is the choice of shots and camera angles were well done. Second is the sound, it has "Pro" written all over it. I thought the talent did a wonderful job in their performances as well. I was really drawn into what they were feeling and going through in the story. Overall, this one gets and excellent from me. Great job!
Daniel Piatt (Level 2)
Amazing film! Beautiful cinematography...can't even find the words to describe it! The opening series of shots really sets the mood for the rest of the film. Can't get over the shot of him through the keys of the typewriter. Genius! Also, very good acting. The acting allowed the relationship and the backstory between these two to come through. Every element of this film was top notch...fantastic!
David Birch (Level 5)
the piano score was a bit melodramatic for my tastes...almost came across like a soap opera...the male lead seemed to be overly hostile...a bit of a turn off...the story seemed to really work for the female lead, but her performance came off a bit stiff...production value was top notch...
Dawn Calvin (Level 5)
I really love this. There is so much emotion in it in such a small amount of time. Notning is wasted and it draws you in and you attach quickly to each of these characters. Its a sad story with a very interesting ending. What did she type, did she leave, did he come around. No - I think not. This is not a fluffy piece, it feels very real.Oh. I have not filmed but there were things I liked about this. You did not disenfiect it, this place was lived it, it made it more believable.The looking up thru the keys was an awesome shot. The opening shot of NJ (?) with the birds flying by almost at the perfect time, the color of the sky. Perfect.
DW Pollard (Level 4)
Interesting film angle through the typewriter keys.I liked the story, though it did seem to drag a little at times and go slow in a few spots. The ending left one wondering....Film quality and sound were very good.
Elias Farnum (Level 5)
SCRIPT: The script was the foundation here for an excellent production. I like the realism, the subtle, yet abrasive character of John, and his dialogue in counterpoint to the caring service of Emily. PERFORMANCES: These were serious roles, and the acting was superb. I was hooked. You knew these characters in a short time, and knew them well.CINEMATOGRAPHY: The lighting, camera work, composition, mood, and tone was flawless.SOUND: Everything was clear as a bell. Perfect.EDITING: The pacing was excellent.SCORE: The score was beautiful.DIRECTION: An excellent translation from script, to screen.OVERALL: Hat's off to all involved, excellent.
Faith Friese Nelson (Level 5)
If I had to choose one word to describe this film, it would be POWERFUL. A little slow in the middle but, nevertheless, POWERFUL. Both actors have great futures if they continue in this craft. I give this an EXCELLENT!
Herman Chow (Level 5)
Wow! As John said, "It's a fucking a masterpiece."Everything looks so professionally done. From the direction, cinematography, editing, sound, lighting, acting, to the score. I really liked the shot where John is viewed from underneath the typewriter. How did you do that?The acting is superb. The two characters have chemistry. Although their action was very subtle, their tension was very pronounced.EXCELLENT!
Jacob Guerra (Level 4)
I thought this was very well made, and ended up being a very poignant piece. I really did believe he was writing a letter to penthouse, and was touched and surprised to find the poem. The ending with Emily typing was also very effective.
Jeannie Sconzo (Level 5)
Superb acting! Some gorgeous shots like under the typewriter keys and you didn't hold onto it too long which is what a lot of greet filmmakers do. Nice pace throughout.I do hope we get the chance to work together in the future.
JeanPierre Chapoteau (Moderator)
This had great acting but I wasn't feeling the story. The music was pretty good. I really enjoyed the directing. I don't have much to say because the story didn't really grab me, but everything else was right on point.
Jeff Ferry (Level 4)
I really enjoyed this one. It was obviously a top flight operation. I thought "Emily" was the stand out in this story, she really conveyed a lot of emotion while having the more difficult role. While not exactly uplifting it was a very good story throughout. The apartment sort of looked like Stanley Kubrick designed it with its very base, very blah look. Overall, I would like to commend the writer, director and the actors on a very fine piece of work.
Jem Rowe (Level 4)
Wow, Brad Standley, I'm gonna have to remember that name. What an absolutely brilliant performance. He trapped an uneasiness in his character that sent shivers up my spine. All round this was an extremely well put together piece. I'm finding it hard to find criticisms so I'll start with what I loved:- Great timing and editing, especially on that magical last shot. It reminded me of the final shot from "Magnolia".- I liked the use of close up between 3:10 and 4. It really brought attention to the tears in his eyes. - Your minimalist soundtrack was suiting and enhanced the unsettling mood.- The close ups of the type-writer were very nice, especially the one from bellow. - Exceptional castingAnd now those bits I wasn't so keen on:- A few shots seemed a bit awkward and set up, I can't put my finger on why. In particular the shot sweeping down the side of his body when we first see the wheelchair, and the shot of her sliding down the wall.- The editing at 4:22 seems a bit clunky, it holds the shot too long for a hip hop montage if that's what you were going for.But even so, in this display of all round excellence, nothing else compares to the performance you managed to draw out of Brad and capture. Extremely well done Chris, but I expected no less from you, EXCELLENT.
John Brooke (Level 5)
SCRIPT: Tight and subtle at the same time. A mental emotional trap.PERFORMANCES: Absolutely spot on. Pro and projected real people believabilityl. CINEMATOGRAPHY:. Lite the way films used to be. I could actuatlly see the action and the actors body lanyuage and facial exprssions. Very unusual these days!SOUND: Crisp and professional/EDITING: Clean cuts alll throughour. no silly effeects.SCORE: hardly noticiable appropriately supporting the performance of the the film’ DIRECTION: Superb.CAST: Wonderful!OVERALL: A bitter sweet movie that left a resonating emotion of love in its resonance. I shall return when I can figure out how to critique these moving experiences. That's a promise.
Kenneth Hurd (Level 4)
Very powerful film! I really liked the story and was pulled in right from the start. You created two fully developed characters within a matter of moments. I loved how subtle you kept everything in the film, allowing the events to unfold in a believable and realistic way.I thought your actress did an amazing job and really carried the movie. Your actor, while he does do a good job, gave me a few moments where I had to look back and see if I was interpreting his reaction right. At the beginning of the film, I wasn't sure if he was angry or being playful in his line "You're fucking late." I think that if you would have started with a close up on him during the line, it could have helped me better decide what his intentions with the line were. However, with the line the way it was, I thought the two were in a relationship at the beginning, and it wasn't until the actress recommend that the agency send someone else that I realized what she was.With your camera work, I was instantly drawn into the film. I loved the way in which you moved the camera and established the film. However, once the two characters start talking, I found myself wanting more visually. There were a few close ups where I felt uncomfortable, and that would be when the camera cuts off the character's chins. This may have been your intention, especially since the conversation they were having was so uncomfortable to begin with. Still, the camera work is really solid and the film has a great look. I also loved how you had a streak of light that lit up the eyes of the actress as she slid down the wall. Very powerful use of lighting.Your sound was great. It sounded very professional. My only recommendation would be that the typewriter sound at the end was a little bit too loud to be coming from the other room.Your direction was excellent. You worked with the actors very well and I believe that you pulled off the best performances you could have gotten from those two. The only thing I would have liked is if you could have made the contents of the poem a bit more clear. I had to go back after the film was over and pause the scene so I could read all of it. I could see that keeping it on the screen would have been a pace killer, so you could probably have had one of the characters reading it aloud and shown either a close up of one or alternate between both characters.Overall, this really was an excellent short film. There is so little room for improvement. Great job!
Kevin Carty (Level 4)
I like this. It is a very nice drama. However, for a guy as foul mouthed as him. I just think he might have more charm to tirade of expletives. I read this script a while back and it is a very good film. Sometimes I was hoping for someone to make a joke that might lighten the mood because I just felt that it was slightly heavy handed on the melodrama. The guy is obviously cynical and I wish that shone through more.The production values are great the cinematography was very good but I wish it explored the emotional spectrum a little more. Acting is good. The actor in the chair might have been a little bit too handsome, granted it still works but might just be a little bit too clean cut for me to think that he is a hermit or a shut-in. If he was a little more dirty or had a five o clock shadow then I might believe it more. However this is very high quality film making. The nurse did fine. I loved the shots.I can only speak as a viewer and a writer because I've never directed.
Khamanna Iskandarova (Level 5)
Well, what to say about this one... It's what a short should be - powerful, extremely well shot, touching in so many ways...I read the script awhile ago, I liked it but the movie is just great. The only thing I couldn't understand is typing at the end but that's quite minor.The shot of him watching the street, waiting for her, tells the plot - I love it.This one is my absolute favorite, hope it wins.
KP Mackie (Level 5)
Wow. The actor and actress portraying John and Emily in this film are fabulous. Watched the credits and committed Brad and Nova's names to memory; Brad's delivery (those dimples) and Nova's expressions on that stunning face really sell this story.The establishing shot of the buildings is interesting and colorful. Thought that John was looking for Emily out the window. Slowed the movie down, though, and didn't see her as one of the people on the street below.The tapping of the typewriter keys is a cool sound effect. Love the scene where Emily slides down the wall, and the scene focused on John's face with the typing sound emitting from the other room.Tough subject matter with terrific acting made a compelling story.
Kyle Patrick Johnson (Level 5)
SCRIPT: The script is very good. Rather rough language for my taste, but I'm always happy when the "rough stuff" serves a higher purpose, as it does in this case. It's not vulgar for it's own sake, but to show the underlying desperation in the young man's soul.PERFORMANCES: The script calls for the young man to be unhappy right from the get-go, but I don't think he really comes across that way until about halfway through the script, well after he reads his fictional letter to Penthouse.CINEMATOGRAPHY: Really good. The iconic upshot through the keyboard must have taken a long time to prep.SOUND: Fantastic. Love the well-placed bathtub drips.SCORE: I found myself terribly distracted throughout the piece by the plinking piano keys. I think a smoother score would have blended in better throughout this film. But the high clunking piano clashed with the low resonant cello and created a rather awkward feel that did not serve the film well.OVERALL: A great ending, too, in that we wonder right along with the young man what the nurse is typing: just how long-suffering will she turn out to be? Other than the poor score and early lack of seriousness from the male actor, the rest of this film was really excellent. Very Good!
Len Ramirez (Level 2)
This film deals with some difficult material and creates some good tension. It takes us to a place we didn't think we were going. The acting, especially by the woman (she should pursue more acting), was strong. Don't get me wrong, he was good as well. The emotions seem real. I really felt they had a connection - even in this short period of time.The sound added to the drama - it complemented the mood of the film. Though there was shouting, the sound levels were well maintained. I felt sad for both of them. At the end, when the typewriter starts up, it had me wanting for more - I wanted to know what she was writing. Though I couldn't see a future for these two, I wanted to see more resolve.The story is taut and he seemed a little bitter out of the gate. The environment matched the male character - small, almost claustrophobic, and isolated. Very dark, even the curtains were drawn (withdrawn just like him). The refrigerator, empty like him. When he is talking about the typewriter, he is talking about her.Not only was dramatic tension created, sexual tension, and frustration, as well. The director has a pretty good grasp on character development. The dialogue was well done - timing was good as well.The material was just SAD.
Margaret Ricke (Level 5)
I find this incredibly moving. I keep replaying it as I write this review... Every single element works together to tell the story... The colors, the setting, the lighting and sound... Everything considered carefully and chosen for best effect.The actors are exceptional, the mood poignant... The performances were perfect. Their faces, the nuances. I believed everything that they said and did, and they had such rapport.I could make a positive comment on every single shot. Not just a "good work" comment, either. The opening skyline shot blows me away. Did you hire the bird? I love that you start us out in the city, and that it's a beautiful image. I love that he peers out his window from around his curtain, and that you filmed it from the outside. I love that he looks down at the people in the street, watching and waiting for her to come...Those few shots tell the audience almost everything we need to know about his isolation. The wheelchair and her entrance complete that. Then the shot from beneath the typewriter has the visual effect of a cage surrounding him... Every shot is framed to add to the story. The colors you chose all tie together. They're all soft and muted until he's sitting alone in that stark white tub with the little bit of mold on the edges. Even the water feels cold in that scene.The music is subtle and poignant and rich...Chris, I love this film. I absolutely love it. I can't find one single thing I'd even consider changing. This is a work of art.Absolutely excellent work.
Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5)
SCRIPT: I wasn't a member when this was written but if I was...excellent. :)PERFORMANCES: I thought both actors were outstanding and really brought these two characters to life. Both roles had so much depth which is what good actors look for. Brad was this guy. I totally believed his performance and I felt it. CINEMATOGRAPHY: I love the shot up through the typewriter. Near the end when Emily slid down the wall and the strip of light crosses her face as a tear falls....brilliant.SCORE: Perfect...in all the right places.OVERALL: I've seen this film many times and I never grow tired of it. It's appealing on many levels, visually, performance, sound, emotion...just love it.
Martin Jensen (Level 5)
I really like the misdirection about John's character with the letter to Penthouse. Through most of the film you keep the inner workings of his character veiled to the audience, basically putting us in Emily's standpoint until she (and us) gets a glimpse of his real character through the poem and his reaction. It's great character work. Some of the shots - through the typewriter keys, and the opening especially - were really beautiful. The poem was really good, so good that I had to go back and pause to read it all. Excellent.
Matthew Fettig (Level 5)
Great visuals and sound. I really liked the camera work on this one, and the acting was very natural. The only negative on the sound was in the bathroom. It seemed to drop out there. When John started reading his letter I thought he's either making it up or there was some poor editing! So that was a nice twist.The characters seemed to play off each other well, so his abrupt anger made me think that she had maybe ignored previous advances? Or maybe John simply knew he would never win this girl? I think it was well done and sad to watch.
Micah Ricke (Level 4)
Wow, this is excellent throughout. The lighting, the directing, the editing, the acting, the score --excellent.But the ending is too abrupt. There's no closure. I felt the same way about the script. I see John as the protagonist and his own sense of worthlessness is the obstacle he needs to overcome in order to achieve his ultimate goal, which is getting Emily (judging by the poem) to truly love him. But how can she love a man who doesn't love himself? I would love to see the note Emily types slip under the door and have John read it and realize he means something to her as well.Anyway, I loved the film. I just want an ending that's a tad more telling, and hints at a happy resolution.Best regards.
Michael Cornetto (Level 5)
I thought that was excellently acted and directed. The production qualities were great. I'm still not too sure about the story though. For some reason it doesn't make a real lot of sense to me and it could just be that I don't connect with it in any way. Well done though.
Michael Johnson (Level 2)
This is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO close!!!!!I think I might have fought back a tear when I heard the typewriter at the end.Well shot, love the angles. I would have liked to have seen a little different lighting set-up in the bathroom, but well done regardless.You got lucky with your talent. I was impressed by both actors but the gentleman in the wheelchair was excellent. I was immediately drawn to him. His intensity was great!My favorite shots; before and after TITLE SCREEN. The color and composition of the cityscape is awesome, and the shot of the window looking IN..... kudos!Top notch... keep it up!ONWARD!MJ
MJ Hermanny (Level 5)
This is great Chris. It looks fantastic and your framing of shots is wonderful - not that I know what I'm talking about but I really like how you keep a part of each actor's head in the shot even when the camera isn't on them.Your actors are amazing. Really top notch, he was especially good, excellent frustration and simmering intensity. She reminds me of a young Andie MacDowell (with better acting skills!) they really brought the piece to life.The script is super tight, I love how you got a kind of history of their relationship right from the opening two lines.I'm really impressed with this, I loved the script and have been wanting to see this since you finished it. Has it won anything yet?When are you gonna make a feature?My first excellent. Really well done, I thoroughly enjoy your work and have really loved watching your work progress through each short that you make. I wish I had the technical know-how to know what it is that makes them better and better each time.
Paul Williams (Level 5)
Hey Chris, I've watched and/or read most of your short-films and scripts, but for some reason never got around to viewing or reading this one. And I'm glad I didn't so I can use my initial reaction now for scoring and commenting.This is very powerful. John's situation is so identifiable to me: unrequited love, feeling like a prisoner in your own home, maddening frustration and rage at the world, etc. Plus, he has the added conflict of being paraplegic.I liked the shots in between the wheelchair spokes and from underneath the typewriter (how'd you do that?). I thought the performance of the actress playing Emily was a little better than John's, but he had a tough role to play.I liked two departures you took from the script: 1. Giving us a glimpse of John's poem. It satisfied our curiosity, but didn't feel too expostional or on-the-nose.2. Emily typing something, and NOT showing us that. I like the open-endedness, and hope for a happy-ending.Excellent.(P.S.- I hate to sound so shallow after such a serious piece, but man I wouldn't mind a sponge-bath from a nurse like Emily...Sorry.)
Philip Whitcroft (Level 5)
This is very strong all round. In particular the shot compositions and the moves between them seem very fluid.The acting is good and I like the fact that this keeps things understated, because I could see the drama in this being easily overplayed. The sound is solid and the music works well. She is a little quiet when she first talks in the bathroom.The ambiguity of the ending works well in some respects, but for me I think it feels like the story ends early. I guess the question I have is why does it end at this point? Leaving the story open ended is fine but in doing that you still need something that brings the curtain down. The typing sound doesn't quite do that for me.
Pia Cook (Level 5)
I remember the script. Wasn't blown over by it, but this is one of those rare cases when the film is better than the script. This was excellent. The actors were great.Cinematography was great. Not a lot of static shots. Lots of moving shots and interesting shots as well. Loved the shot from underneath the typewriter.Music fit.Editing was great too. Sound...I didn't notice it, so that means it was good!Excellent. Congratulations! :-)
Rich Keel (Level 4)
Very well done. I remember this script from before. The short film is even better! Nice work all around.Acting - Well done by both characters. I thought the guy did a better job but the woman did good as well.Lighting - still looks great...as always :)Sound/music - well done as well.Direction - I loved some of the shots in this one. The one under the typewriter was probably my fav.Good Work!
Rustom Irani (Moderator)
This is so beautiful, Chris. So beautiful!You know your characters, I can vouch for the handicapped guy's frustration and angst.And I love the fact that you are one of the few modern filmmakers who practices tried and tested old school techniques.The camera belongs on a tripod, even in an enclosed space like the bathroom. The editing enhances dialog and performance with lingering shots and L-cuts. The music never overpowers any moment.The dialog audio is a bit low in places but that's a minor quibble.Wonderful!
Sally Meyer (Moderator)
So much to love about this film. I read the scripts first and the ending is different. I think it works so so much better in the film. Even though I thought it was very good before.ScriptThe script was extremely well written. Very visual, I could see the characters in my mind. I loved the story. I loved the way it evolved, and the ending was great. The writing was sparse. That's good. I like that it was easy to read and visualize. I love lots of white on the page!PerformancesYour actors are amazing! I thought the actor who played John did an excellent job. He was very believable in his performance, very real. I do think that actors can make or break you, and your casting choices were excellent. Combining the great solid performances with a strong script, makes this a winner. I could feel the pain of John, his sense of worthlessness. CinematographyThe angles you chose were great. shooting up through the typewriter keys was awesome. The shooting thru the wheelchair wheel when he was in the bath tub. Again, a cinematographer can make or break your story too. This was very well done, and the tone that was set, pushed the story forward.DirectingTop notch!ScoreThe music was soft and really added to the story. I liked the feel of the music. EditingReally well done. The editor knows his stuff, and created a strong film, that didn't drag at all. This was a beautiful love story, set in a modern setting. OverallThis was a beautiful well written, well directed, well acted film. I think it will place very high! I was impressed with the quality of the film, the acting, directing and cinematography. I like a film to make me think and feel and this one did.
Scott Merrow (Level 5)
A good-looking movie, but not my kind of story.STORY / SCRIPT: This movie really looks professional, so it was fun to watch for that reason, but it's just not the type of story that interests me. If I'm going to watch something about self-pity, I don't really want it to be ABOUT the self-pity, I want it to be about how the person overcame the self pity. (Or possibly succumbed to it, but personally I'd prefer to watch someone overcome it.) This was a guy wallowing in his self-pity, and at the end he's still wallowing in it, more so than ever.I guess the woman has some kind of epiphany because of the poem, but we aren't really sure of that, because our only clue is the sound of a typewriter against a black background. (But what else could she be writing?) Anyway, (for me) that ending wasn't a satisfying payoff for the very depressing set-up.I guess maybe this is it -- when she says, "Sometimes, you make me very sad," I didn't feel that. He didn't make me feel sad. He made me feel like shaking him and saying, "C'mon, buddy, stop feeling sorry for yourself and get a life!" I guess that's the difference.PERFORMANCES: Both terrific.CINEMATOGRAPHY: Excellent. Very professional.DIRECTION, SOUND, EDITING, SCORE: I don't really know enough about any of these to make intelligent comments. They all seemed fine.OVERALL: I enjoyed watching it because of the outstanding production values, but, again, I didn't care for the story.MY SCORE: GOOD.
Shaheryar Ahmed (Level 3)
WOW! Amazing... CinematographyAmazing... The lighting and the camera angles were really thought off and were perfect... I loved the beneath the typewriter shot... The tap shot in which the water is dripping... Too good!EditingExcellent work on editing... Nothing fancy but I guess that was not required in the first place...WritingI guess I cant say anything about this other than Excellent.DirectionI really liked the way you translated this piece into the film... The acting was really good... I liked the way you paced your story... Not too fast and not too slow... Giving away stuff at the right time!PerformanceBoth of them were good... But here is a problem that rise for me... I would rather say a question... Why did character of the female choose to stay.... I mean this is just one day... Imagine that for the rest of your life... My question in short is what is her motivation of staying... You might have told that in the film but I did not get it!Other than that, Superb!
Stan Tjaden (Level 3)
Very slow beginning, why not get to the heart of the story faster? Okay, he's bitter and horney, yet I could not empathize with him even though he's disabled. But the female character lead played her role very well. Liked the background music. Not another story about a writer and his struggles, yuck.
Tim Westland (Moderator)
SCRIPT:A fine script at every level. Everything that was in the script was on screen. However, there was one bit that was on the screen and NOT in the script, and it's something that made the whole of it better: her typing while he listened. It really brought everything to a logical, sweet and moving conclusion.PERFORMANCES:Both were professional level. The girl was simply engaging and she does a very fine job. The man was also quite good, although he was better at emoting than at his dialogue. Not that his delivery was bad, just that he was THAT good at the art of acting without words. I think there is a very good chance we'll see one or both on the big screen.CINEMATOGRAPHY:Flawless. Perfect. Professional. This is so far beyond the rest that there really isn't even a 2nd place.SOUND:Just like the cinematography. So great.EDITING:Can't say enough about it. It's as good a part as the rest. It's fine work.SCORE:Hmmm... I was so into the acting and professionalism of the film that I didn't notice a score. I'll go back and listen, but I'm going to vote based on not remembering one. Luckily, I think this works perfectly well without any score, so no marks off here.DIRECTION:Had to be the best to get these performances.OVERALL:This is by far the best film I've seen. Moving, sweet, poignant - and all that with the male lead being tough to like! A fine accomplishment. Congrats (in advance) on the 1st place!
Tommy Merry (Level 4)
Story: Cool a Messino script. I remember this one. Great reveal of the wheelchair.Acting: Very solid. Actors were in-the-moment 99.9% of the timeCinematography: Great from the get go! But then I would expect that of Chris having his own film school and all ;-)I can see right off this is THE ONE to try and beat. The bar has been raised by 40 seconds into this damn thing!Music: The music was spot on, the Cello was perfect underpinning to the sad segment in the center.Sound: my only complaint is, and this is being hyper critical, because when something is SO well done, even minir flaw stand out: That when the cuts between the dialog happen especially the over the shoulder two shots, there seems to be a drop to silence, where a little room sound could help film this up and smooth them out. Again a nit.Overall: Great story, great use of space for the widescreen. It was just as i had visualized the story in my head while reading the screenplay the first time. Excellent!
Victor Ojeda (Level 3)
Awesome opening sequence of shots. Nice lettering, good camera. Not a bad story. This is one of the reasons I keep coming to moviepoet.com because of the great amount of talekt we have in the contributors. Top 5 material here.
William Bienes (Mod Emeritus)
Very professional film. Wonderful cinematography, direction and acting. Script is very good. My only problem with the script as it appears on film, which I have probably mentioned before was, "You're fucking late". The fucking stands out -- due to it happening twice. If feels and sounds awkward to me... possibly forced? While I didn't find it that way on paper, it did feel that way to me on-screen. I understand that he is pushing this awkwardness due to his own feelings of love and self-pity, so hard to change or see something different there.Performances: both very good, Emily's a notch above John's.Cinematography: Excellent -- so far, easily the best opening image in any of the films I have seen: Out the window, Williamsburg Bridge, seagulls flying by mixed with the sound of typewriter keys... sheer brilliance. Loved it, stays with me, followed by John looking out the window to the sidewalk mixed with perfect mood music.Sound: Excellent, even and clear -- score matches the mood and film in every way.Editing & Direction: both Excellent. A well-crafted film from opening sequence to closing credits.
Comments Made After the Contest
William Bienes (Mod Emeritus) ~ 1/1/2010 12:13 AM
Congratulations, Chris. Excellent. I stand by my opening image remark -- brilliant.
Kyle Patrick Johnson (Level 5) ~ 1/1/2010 12:18 AM
A weighty film, Chris. Bravo.
Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5) ~ 1/1/2010 12:40 AM
I love this film. I've seen it several times and it never loses it's charm.
Sally Meyer (Moderator) ~ 1/1/2010 12:53 AM
This was one of my favorites this month. I really enjoyed it. Loved the opener and the actors. Well done.!!!
Margaret Ricke (Level 5) ~ 1/1/2010 1:12 AM
Every time I watch this I see more. Love your work. This was one of my two favorites. Congratulations.
Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 1/1/2010 1:17 AM
My favorite, too, Chris. Just a wonderful bit of work. I think you got robbed and I demand a recount.Congrats!
Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus) ~ 1/1/2010 1:57 AM
One of my three excellents and any one of them could have been first. You remember all the trouble I had with the original script, prude that I was, back in those days? It has grown to be one of my very favourite short films due to the sensitive and powerful way you brought it to life on screen. I'm so pleased this was honoured in this contest.
Brian Wind (Level 5) ~ 1/1/2010 2:18 AM
Congrats Chris. I actually enjoyed One Saved Message even more than this (for reasons specified above) but nevertheless, great job!
MJ Hermanny (Level 5) ~ 1/1/2010 8:24 AM
Congratulations Chris, I'm so pleased this placed.
Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 1/1/2010 9:08 AM
Thank you all for your congratulations, your kind words, and for your thoughtful reviews - they mean so much to me.A few post contest thoughts:- Our two actors, Brad Standley and Nova Mejia, were a joy to work with. Brad has since moved to LA and his career is beginning to take off. Nova (she reminds me of a young Andie MacDowell too) stills works out of NYC and her career is exploding as well, she was just featured in the Robin Williams and John Travolta movie "Old Dogs".- The opening shots were done in Brooklyn (the interiors were shot in New Jersey). We got lucky with the bird, but then you need some luck when you film.- I'm so happy that many of you liked the shots looking through the typewriter and the wheelchair. I wanted to show him trapped behind these two as if they were his prison bars.- The music went through an interesting transition. Initially, it was just piano and I felt like it captured him, but not her. Then the composer added the cello for her and suddenly it felt complete.- The poem, briefly seen in the film, was actually written by Brad. I thought it would help connect him to his character to create it.- The ending, with her typing a response, is obviously different from the script, and I owe all the credit for that to Don Riemer. I showed him a rough edit (with a traditional ending) and he created that new ending completely in the edit. In fact, that last shot of Brad looking up, was just a different (unused take) of him reacting to Nova knocking at that door.If anyone has any specific questions, let me know; I'd be happy to try and answer them.
Kenneth Hurd (Level 4) ~ 1/1/2010 9:12 AM
Congrats! This was one of my favorites!
Matias Caruso (Level 5) ~ 1/1/2010 11:32 AM
Awesome film, really touching Chris. Dramas aren't my cup of tea but I find myself consistently enjoying the ones you write and direct.Congrats on placing!
William Bienes (Mod Emeritus) ~ 1/1/2010 11:36 AM
"A few post contest thoughts:"...proving why your film did so well. Excellent work.
Michael Cornetto (Level 5) ~ 1/1/2010 6:00 PM
Well done Chris. Congrats on the third place nod.
Rick Hansberry (Moderator) ~ 1/1/2010 6:23 PM
Congrats, Chris!! I'm happy for you and excited to have you at the helm for 'Branches.'
Jacob Guerra (Level 4) ~ 1/2/2010 12:51 AM
This was very well made. Congratulations.
Martin Lancaster (Level 4) ~ 1/3/2010 9:47 AM
Congrats, Chris. It's great to finally see this. It's probably my favourite of all your films. The story is all character and it's backed up by strong performances and great cinematography.I love the new ending as well.
Ed Jones (Level 4) ~ 1/27/2011 10:08 AM
My first film viewed on MP, and my first review, but I must favourite this superb production.I’ve watched it five times; each time something new hits me and it continues to linger in the mind.I note no names are used by the characters in the film. Some comments have used the names “John” and “Emily” which must have been in an earlier script. I like that the names have been dropped in the film as it contrasts more strongly the patient/nurse relationship with the sexual undertones. “Emily” is the title of the poem and, we are to assume, the subject. I had the benefit of replay. I wonder if a theatre audience will have time to spot this – or even if it is important. “Letters to Penthouse”: good title, flags the theme of sexual frustration, has strong psychological depth. The challenge at the heart of the drama – subjecting the nurse to a pornographic reading - is an imaginative device, creating a crisis in the relationship and increasing the tension. The amused tolerance of the nurse, flushed with a degree of coquettishness - which must have raised some hope in the patient – is now ineffectual in checking his passion. Will she cross the line and enter into an entirely different relationship? The sound of typing at the end is a brilliant and tantalizing touch.