Comments Made During the Contest
Ayal Pinkus (Level 5)
Wow! There's so much to like!Notes, things I noticed (all good!)From the titles, you have this soothing piano music score, absolutely perfect! Then the low tone, tells us something bad is going to happen. The girl outside, looking distressed, to the left (against our reading direction, so we feel she's struggling to go somewhere) then father rushes out to fetch her, and you've piqued our interest. What happened? What will happen next? Great hook.The fade to light also worked well; visual shorthand which every one recognizes. It suggests some atomic bomb explosion.Then inside the house, later (shown by the man suddenly having a beard).One interesting thing the story did was it kept in the middle what catastrophe had happened. Clearly something had contaminated the air; a mask was enough for father to go outside.The claustrophobic feel of the basement worked well. Combined with the sunlight shining in and the tree leaves that were visible, I instinctively wanted the characters to go outside.One thing though: water-based art materials? If water is a scarcity, why doesn't he work with pencils, crayons, pastels, or some other such dry medium?Small unimportant detail; an artist will work coarse-to-fine, not from detail to detail. Granted, the painting doesn't look good then until the very end, so you could have the painting be almost finished, or have a studio pencil drawing next to him that he's using for reference. Then the composition has been worked out and working from detail to detail is somewhat possible (if the rest is blocked in coarsely too). Any way, story before realism :-)I have to say you also built up well to the surprise; first we're thinking, hey, it does all look good out there, why don't they go outside? Only later is it revealed that it is all a fake, a daylight lamp with some leaves. That surprise added to the emotional punch as we now realize father is doing everything he can to take care of his daughter, to give her hope of a better life.I thought both actors acted really well, they did a great job!This one should definitely do the rounds at film festivals. I loved it!
Bill Clar (Level 5)
Script: I don't see the need for your new ending. The window reveal is strong enough without Mel trekking out of the shelter. Acting: Great job by both. The girl is adorable.Cinematography: Good use of depth of field. Great lighting of the faces and background.Sound: Voices sound rich and full. Editing: Great opening transitions.Score: Good piano score. Very subtle and somber. Direction: Good choice giving Mel a beard. Not many razors in the apocalypse. The slow pace loses my attention.
Bill Sarre (Level 4)
powerful story, with a nice set up scene in the intro that couldn't be in the script.I wasn't wholly sure why the girl doesn't pronounce her words correctly, is it because they have been there some time? If the man's painting was of his wife, maybe this could be clearer.well acted, well put together.all the best.
Brian Wind (Level 5)
I'm only halfway through my reviews, but I can already say that I'd be pretty darn surprised if this doesn't place in the top 3.All aspects of the production seemed to be at a professional level. Lighting, FX, sound.... All pro. Acting and direction, just top notch. Both actors were pretty solid, but the little girl stands out more simply because it's so difficult to get a decent performance out of a child. The video quality left something to be desired though. There were these weird lines scrambling throughout the film. My guess is that they are from the upload, but if not, there's a much bigger problem here, especially if they occur in all of your footage.The story is cool. I remember liking the script as well. I did feel like it could hav been tightened up quite a bit though, like half the running time. I don't think the story felt big enough for a 8 minute film.Oveall, really well done. My only real suggestions would be to clean up the video and perhaps tighten up the editing a bit. Nice work. I think this will place.
Byron Matthews (Level 4)
There was a lot hard work and effort put into this short...it started very strong but I did find my interest waning a bit in the middle of the short. However, I thought the acting was pleasant (not Oscar worthy) but very believable in my eyes. The quality of the work was EXCELLENT. Great cinematography and nice score. I don't know much in terms of editing, but every shot flowed nicely together. I really liked the camera in this short which I can't say enough.
Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus)
Great opening. I loved the use of sound and the quality of the imagery. Great little actress although crying is always difficult to master effectively.The guy's a great actor too but I felt he looked very clean - especially his hair - like straight out of a salon! (whereas the little girl was convincingly grubby.)I remember KPJ's script very well. I'm wondering if, if I hadn't read it, I'd be a bit unsure what was going on? Just a thought.
Charlie Hebert (Mod Emeritus)
I remember this story, really liked it. Thought it was filmed professionally and loved the score. At times it is difficult to understand what the daughter is saying and thought the end could have given us a little more, but good job.
Chris Keaton (Level 5)
Oh I remember this. I liked it. I see you cut the whole 'he's just keeping her in the basement as a lie' ending. I'm giving you an excellent.
Chris Messineo (Founder)
SCRIPT: I love the original script. I read the rewrite too, but I have to say, I don't like it as much. I don't think starting outside the bunker adds anything. If anything it tells us too much at the beginning and the power here comes from the reveal at the end. We certainly don't need to see him leaving.PERFORMANCES: I like both the actors here. The girl was a little hard to understand at times and I wish I felt the bond between them a bit more. CINEMATOGRAPHY: I love the look of the film and the angles throughout. The space felt very claustrophobic.SOUND: The sound was clean and crisp, but at times the girl's speech was a bit hard to understand.EDITING: I like the editing, the pacing and selection of shots are good. I would just lose the opening in the yard. Also, a side note, this ending is an infinite improvement over the DVXFest ending.SCORE: The music is very good, soft and plaintive. It definitely added to the emotional impact of the short.DIRECTION: I thought the direction was strong and professional.OVERALL: I liked this a lot, I guess, I just wish it stayed closer to the original story as I thought that was pretty near perfect as it.
Christopher Pedersen Cook (Level 3)
Great work. Really captures a sense of intimacy and sadness in a confined space. The actors are great, especially the young girl. And I was really impressed by the editing here. The same angle is almost never used more than once, yet the images glide smoothly into each other. Some really creative work there. My one question if the film could have been shorter. Certain details need to be established and it's good that we get a sense of the dynamic in such a strange situation, but in the last minute or so before the ending it seemed like little vital information was given. But all in all, a nice film!
Darren Seeley (Level 3)
Interesting tale of a father and daughter hiding out in a basement and painting....while the outside world has suffered some sort of plague. I say some sort, because it's hard to say what excatly happened. All we know is that the father goes out in a gas mask and the light is so intense it blurs out the frame. It's because of that I wasn't quite sure of the threat was. I'm thinking maybe a bio-chemical accident, although the hint was that someone outside might hear (Father very concerned over the noise that the trap door made) - but it wasn't clear. I liked some of the camera choices though.
David M Troop (Level 4)
Thick WindowWow, everytime I think I have seen the winner, the next film is just as good or better.This contest is too close to call, now.Thick Window, written by Kyle Patrick Johnson, won first place in the May 2010 contest.THE SCRIPT by Johnson is a beautifully written tale of a father and his daughter who are now confined to a small shelter in a post-apocalyptic world. They spend most of their time painting and drawing. He paints pictures of his dead wife, and she draws pictures of the world as it was from her memories. The daughter thinks things are starting to get better, but her father knows they are not. The twist is brilliant, touching, and chilling. The only issue I have with the script is I wasn't quite sure what was happening at the end with the window. I had to read the script to be totally certain. THE DIRECTING by Christopher Westfield was excellent. The director makes us feel we are inside the small room with them watching them interact. He gets amazing performances from his two actors - especially Cassidy Robbins. THE EDITING by Christopher Westfield was also excellent. The movie flowed smoothly from beginning to end. THE CINEMATOGRAPHY was stunning. Considering the location was a basement or shelter, this movie looked beautiful. The colors were awesome. The picture quality was superb.THE ACTING was very real. Mike Karan did a great job as the father Mel. He is caring, impatient, loving, protective - awesome performance. Cassidy Robbins as Caitlyn was remarkable. Hers is easily the best performance of the contest. I felt every line. She is a natural.THE SOUND by Andrew Miller and Rick Mann is great. The dialogue is very clear at all times. THE MUSIC by Mike Karan is very good. Some soft piano sets the mood nicely.OVERALL, I thought Thick Window was EXCELLENT. Very emotional. Beautifully acted and directed.
David Serra (Level 4)
A very moving and mature look at a father and daughter, struggiling to survive after an apoctalypic event. The conflict between the two is very real and well constructed. Everyone involved with this film should be proud.Well Done.
Dawn Calvin (Level 5)
Gonna give this an excellent! I thought that it was interesting even if it was done in one location.. something I think is hard to keep interesting. The script was strong and the filming and lighting really good. The acting was great, the little one did a great job of believability. I enjoyed this a lot.
Debra Johnson (Level 3)
I assume they are in the basement because of radiation. But that was awesome about the dad with the paintings of the leaves for day and then one for night. The film had a very dark tone. You can tell the dad was stressed and all, so bravo for the actor. The little girl was very good also. Very good film!
Denise Jewell (Level 4)
Good filming and touching story. I think the pace could be a little quicker -- the music in the background really slows things down. There were spots where the music was low and I liked those more. It just feels like each shot is just a few minutes too long. Kudos on your actors - very believable. Good job.
Donnetta Williams (Level 3)
The characters are very well portrayed. The plot is intriguing keeps your eyes glued to see what happens next. Great direction of film. I enjoyed it...great job.
Elias Farnum (Level 5)
I didn't get to read the original script, but this is a very tender emotional tale, and very good, Kyle.The production values are all excellent, I mean the attention to each shot, the softness, or sharpness, all here has been carefully orchestrated to achieve exactly what was meant to be done.The sound and score was perfect down to the crayola scratches. Simply amazing. It makes me sick to think of the crappy sound job on my own entry next to these amazing, amazing films. And this is one of the tops. An amazing, excellent, excellent film.
Faith Friese Nelson (Level 5)
I remember reading this script and the film did the script justice. The young girl was adorable but I sometimes had a difficult time understanding her dialogue. The male actor was professional and believable. This film earned an excellent from me!
Felipe D. Machado (Level 4)
The film was generally well shot and it is sad, but most of the time things felt forced and the father came off as a jerk at times. Overall is was a bit too slow for my taste. Not too much going on other than a naive little girl making mistakes and her dad yelling at her.This isn't really related to the writing, but there aren't too many things that take me out of a movie more than a character walking into the lens for a transition.
Gary Rademan (Level 5)
First off, powerful script. Interesting move to make it a little girl rather than the boy. (Probably so you could get the best line in "I wish you were Mommy.") The story, music, mood, lighting looked great to this novice film critic. My thoughts on watching the film were "Damn, that was good!" The girl's voice was hard to understand at times.That's it, EXCELLENT!
Greg Tonnon (Level 5)
I really liked this a lot. The acting was very good, even the little girl was surprisingly good. The camera work was also very good and the sound quality was excellent. The story itself was very interesting and there was a lot there in just eight minutes. Keep making films!
Heidtmann Oppong (Level 4)
It was okay. Think script was more than enough to tell a simple story of a single parent Mel, struggling to placate his seven year old daughter Caitlyn. Two pages could bring the same idea than forced into a six pager.Anyway, i enjoyed reading and watching it. Good job!
Jeannie Sconzo (Level 5)
Excellent acting, camerawork, lighting, directing, and editing. The dad had a warm caring face and yet a commanding voice when necessary. Great casting there.
JeanPierre Chapoteau (Moderator)
I have been waiting for this to be filmed. Finally. AUDIO: I heard everything just fine. DIALOGUE: It was solid. Loved the script. ACTING: Hm... this could have used some work. The actors didn't jump into the part, they just kind of tread around it. Like when the father "threw" his paintings off the counter, it was too soft. So was his "yell" when the girl tried to go outside. Did the little girl have an accent? I would detect one every once in a while. It seemed strange that she did and her father didn't. DIRECTING: I really liked it. My only issue is I really wish the night painting was shown. I thought that was extremely vital to the story. I wonder if I never read the script, if I would understand what happened. I thought the beginning scene with the little girl staring off into the distance and the father rescuing her was amazing. MUSIC: This was my least favorite part of the film. First, I really don't think there was any need for it, except for in the beginning and in the end, when it escalated after the reveal. That was cool. But the little piano keys here and there was unnecessary. And why piano? It seems like every indie film director uses pianos. I would try and change it up. Overall: I really did enjoy this. I'm going to have to watch it again later. :)
Khamanna Iskandarova (Level 5)
I've seen it on DVXuser and I think this is a much better version! That one was pretty solid too but I didn't like the ending in that one. This one just flows and it's not in a script but I liked that addition a lot - him in a mask going out. I'd like some more focus on the window for us to understand that it's not a window at all. I think in the previous movie it was shown differently.Overall, it's an extremely solid movie. All the shots in it are just great. Both actors are absolutely amazing but I'll say that the little girl was super great. I wonder why you cut all that stuff about mom - there's a lot in the script about the painting, he was working on and her spoiling it. That's how it was tied to the glue. Anyway, great job! Thanks.
Kirk White (Level 5)
I would be curious to know more about the development process for this... I feel that the script comes off much better/more beautiful and haunting than this finished product. Not really sure exactly how but I think with adding the element of the water spilling muddies the overal arc. and having him leave at the end absolutely crushes the reveal of the window.The film is well shot and acted but overall the effect is less than the potential of this magnificent script.
Kisha King (Level 4)
This story is nicely told through the acting and visuals. I like watching a day in the life of Mel and Caitlyn during the middle of a catastrophe. Good luck
KP Mackie (Level 5)
This story was a terrific script. So happy it came to life as a film.Actors Mike and Cassidy were perfect as Mel and Caitlyn. Not always easy to cast children and Cassidy did an excellent job. The underground bunker is interesting, made all the more intriguing by the significance of Mel's paintings.Being familiar with the surprise reveal of the thick window helps clarify what Mel is doing on the ladder. It's a bit dark and a little hard to see all the mechanics of Mel's deception from the side. Wondered if a better view might be from behind Mel over his shoulder. An audience would then be able to watch Mel dislodge the painting, finger the light bulb, and substitute a new painting from start to finish. The closeup of Mel's face with the light on it looks like sun shining through an open window, which obviously is the point. Not sure if the next shot of Mel pulling the light through is perfectly clear. Could be wrong though...Nevertheless, the film turned out beautiful. Congratulations.
Lee Lyons (Level 2)
Great opening shot. Sells the premise of what's about to happen really well. I feel like this is really well shot but I also think that maybe it runs a little long. I think the story can be just as strong and as sweet without dragging to eight minutes. It is sweet, I just don't feel that there is genuinely enough happening. I did like the ending though.
Margaret Ricke (Level 5)
I've watched this more than a few times now. For some reason, it seemed to drag the first time through, but none of the others. I picked up more and more detail each time through, and came to appreciate this for the gem it is.The location is really well thought out. It's set up to look like he just grabbed whatever he could when they went down there. Very nice.The acting was wonderful, especially if those two aren't related. The kid is a natural. There wasn't one moment when I thought of her as playing a part. There are some big names in show biz that don't always pull that off.The production level on this was high, and I commend everyone who worked on it. And the music's perfect, too.
Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5)
I thought there were some cool parts to this but IMO it moved too slow. I did like it and I thought the acting was very good, just think it needed a quicker pace. I liked the lighting and there were some great shots like when he put Caitlyn to bed. I can't say as though I understood what was going on. Why could he open that window but then needed a gas mask to go get water? It may be clear in the screenplay but I didn't understand by watching it.Maybe an edit would have helped but as is I'll score it a good.
Martin Jensen (Level 5)
I like how the lighting suggests a large unnatural light source outside the window. It's also completely believable as just a light bulb. I'm not a fan of the font used for the titles and names, nor of the shadow effect it casts beneath the letters. To me this reminds the viewer that they are watching a 2D film and not experiencing real events. The film really rests on the two main performances and I think they both did a good job, especially the girl. I thought the moment when he exited the basement could have been longer, maybe with a more subtle effect. This might have made it clearer what he was leaving for (sacrificing himself a little each time to get supplies, was how I interpreted it, having not read the script). The music was really good, especially at the end. Overall, very good.
Martin Lancaster (Level 4)
Excellent short!It starts with a great script, tons of emotional pull and subtext in the dialogue.The acting is strong, especially the girl. A couple of lines of dialogue are difficult to make out but it doesn't detract.I think this one's a winner.
Michael Hughes (Level 4)
All very good.I watched without having read the script and then, in going back, confirmed that the father was changing the image in the window. This wasn't exactly clear with the editing in the film. The script seemed to more strongly suggest that the father was protecting the child from the reality of what had happened. (the reason for the picture in the window.) but the film showed the dad a little more defeatist (his comment about how the leaves on the trees didn't mean everything was ok) which made me question why he was protecting the girls belief.Over all though, I thought this was very well done. Nice acting, camera work, editing, lighting.
Mike Senkpiel (Level 4)
Script:Had I reviewed it at the time, I probably would've given the script a very good or excellent. I think the rewrite is an improvement, so I'll go with excellent.I suspect that quite a few people would have to be on board with the title for it to make it this far, but for some reason, this strikes me as the weakest part of the script. I can't put my finger on it, though. It just seems like there is a better one.Performances:I thought these were very good. Cassidy was especially good for this being her first film (but I think this knowledge should not color my score). Mike was good as well, but sometimes his anger was not completely convincing to me. I suspect that he doesn't have children as the chemistry seemed a bit forced.Cinematography:The lighting was clear and consistent. I would have brought down the saturation and maybe used more brown tones to make it a bit more dismal. The look was a bit too clean - like a set built just for this movie. :)Composition and camera work was superior. Effective use of rack focus throughout, especially when the girl is drinking from the jug. Sound:Consistent and even throughout. If there was foley and/or ADR, it was flawless. The mics were great, no hiss.Editing:I thought this was very good. I wasn't crazy about the dissolve after the opening scene, but I thought the blurry look at the end worked well. These both looked a tad like a generic effect relative to the rest of the film, but that may say more about the ubiquity of those effects than of this film.Score:Mike did a great job getting the melancholic feeling. The cello and strings were effectively forboding. The bells were nice for the Dad's softening.I really liked the three chords at the end. I think this theme should have been used after the opening scene as well, so that it is a reprise at the end.Direction:I thought the handheld worked well without being too shakey. There was a jump cut when the girl is opening the can, and the can label was inconsistent.I never was fond of the "walking into the camera" shot.I noticed that there were a few changes made to the script in production. These were probably due to budget/time constraints, but I wonder if the opening scene could use something more dramatic, e.g. a bright light or black smoke - something to give more of a sense of how serious the situation is. But, I can also see how the ambiguity of what has happened is intriguing as well.I liked that in the film it seemed more like he was just going out for more water or something instead of leving her like in the script.I understand the use of the child's font, what with the girl drawing, but I didn't think that it fit the tone of the movie.
Moldovan Alexandru (Level 3)
This was quite good,I enjoyed it.The actors were good,cute little girl.I don't know what advice to give because I have no experience in this I barely developed a critic eye for scripts.Keep up the good work!
Olga Tremaine (Level 4)
Reminded me of War of the Worlds with Tom Cruise.The story is interesting.Acting -- good. The little girl plays well.Montage -- well done.Cinematography -- is done in a good way.I like it overall. Very good job.
Paul Williams (Level 5)
My preamble: For the first time, I produced and directed a short-film this year, so now I approach the reviewing process with a new perspective. I never thought it was easy, but now I know it's not.This is low budget short film-making at its best.The story always reminded me a little too much of O. Henry's "The Last Leaf," but this it stands out enough on its own.The pacing could be tightened up and the score comes in a little too heavy towards the end, but those are minor issues.Excellent.
Pete Barry (Level 5)
Beautifully shot, exquisitely acted. The father-daughter relationship is fully fleshed out by these two actors, and the detailed set and makeup, as well as the haunting music make this a touching and suspenseful film. The first shot shows nothing but reveals exactly what's happening, and gave me chills.If I have any qualms: I did expect that Dad might be lying, and I'm pretty sure that wasn't it. (Which is good.) But I'm not totally sure what does happen at the end: does he leave her? Or is it just another day, Dad's off to harvest some more nuclear food? The window pulled aside suggests not all is what it seems, but the gas mask belies it.There are a few edits that don't work - the weird alpha mask as the father moves away and the sleeping girl is revealed in the next shot, and Dad's first explosion of anger isn't quite believable (the shots don't work, not the actor). Other than those small points, though, you've got an award-winning short, here.
Philip Whitcroft (Level 5)
It's a great opening that immediately sets a strong atmosphere.The editing, camera work, and sound in this are all very strong.The performances work really well.For me the thing that gave this script its edge was the revelation of the fake window, so I guess I was a little disappointed that the movie didn't get that point strongly across. I guess I'd have liked to see her looking through it and see what she is seeing, establishing it as more important to her.
Pia Cook (Level 5)
The standout part of this film for me was the girl. What a fantastic little actress she is!! The man was good too, but the girl for being so young did an excellent job. Good directing too.The film looked good and sounded good. I think it was longer than it needed to be though. Didn't really care for the music. Overly dramatic IMHO and it might also have added to the feel that the film was longer than it needed to be. Voting Very Good on this one.
Reginald McGhee (Level 0)
SCRIPT: After I read the script, “The Thick Window,” it went well. I have not spotted any plot holes in the “Thick Window,” screenplay. Your writing is brilliant and the dialogue all flowed well. CINEMATOGRAPHY: There’s nothing wrong with the camera shots. No unnecessary shots or camera pans I notice.SOUND: I thought for a moment that the sound effect where the daughter drops the the bucket was a little off, but after listening to it again, it wasn’t an error. I have found that some other sounds jumped out when it shouldn’t. I think overall sound is excellent. EDITING: At the binging of the film in the opening leaves scene, the light shone too brightly on screen. I think you can reduce that with a little bit of editing though (0:05-0:07) I also found another error when Dad turned on the lights and climbed the ladder, the screen went blare (7:53-8:00).PERFORMANCE: I thought the daughter’s performance was brilliant! However, I think that Dad was overly aggressive when she accidentally dropped the water jug though. SCORE: It’s excellent, and good for a drama movie. DIRECTION: As far as the direction goes, the speed scroll of the credits went well. Overall, I think everything worked well, except Dad’s acting, which was a bit too aggressive for me. Maybe it’s just me though. I will rate this as very good.
Rich Keel (Level 4)
Well shot and very well done. The director knows his way around the camera. Audio - nicely doneDirecting - mentioned above, very well done and a pleasure to watch.Acting - The Dad did good but the little girl, even though she was cute and fit the role nicely I could not understand her most of the time. I did not know they were tlaking about Glue until the Dad said it later on. Same thing when she was talking about the trees or leaves...I couldn't understand her. Not sure if that was intention because sometimes she sounded like a 11 year old and other times(when I could not understand her) she sounded like she was 6 or something. Minor but thought I should point it out.Overall - Very Good film. Congrats to all on getting this made and good luck this month.
Richard Buckley (Level 4)
Congratulations on your completed film,This is a strong entry with accomplished acting and cinematography. Soundtrack was good also.It wasn't exactly my kind of thing storywise and I found it difficult to hear certain pieces of dialogue, but on the whole a very good effort. Well Done.
Robert L McBride (Level 2)
Impressive. It truly made the script come alive. It captured the essence of the film. The girl was Great. The sound, camera work, plot, wardrobe, all made me feel like I was watching this on the big screen. I can't help but believe I saw this man in another film. lol. Maybe a Hand that rocks the cradle? Great work
Robert Newcomer (Level 4)
Nine minutes might be a bit much for this one, that feels a bit drawn out. The lighting is dark by necessity, I suppose, but perhaps a bit too dark at times.The biggest problem here, however, is that the script has such a marvelous payoff that the film ultimately disappoints. Had I not remembered this story, the significance of the man's actions late in the film would be completely lost on me. You simply cannot tell what he is doing, and that is a big problem.Actors and music and general production are all pretty good, but that final minute or so really lets the script down.
Rustom Irani (Moderator)
This was very well realised and executed to screen. Also, I personally think it has the best acting so far amongst the films I've reviewed and the little girl is a revelation.Two things prevent me from scoring this an excellent.At times the dialogs are a bit illegible and seem to be muffled a bit. Especially when he asks her for the first time what she's doing.Secondly, I don't think the shallow depth of field works in favor of the production design and plot.A shallow DOF adds depth and isolates the subject, wherein the intention here would be to make the location feel stifling and claustrophobic for the kid to want to leave. It's not quite the right choice given the context.Great blocking, music and shot composition otherwise.Also, the best opening shot so far in the contest.Very good job!
Sally Meyer (Moderator)
This was very powerful. You have two likeable main characters who have great chemistry on screen. The little girl was exceptional for her age.The father had some great moments, and you could feel his love for Caitlyn and see it in his eyes. Powerful acting.The story is a love story, between man and child. Love like this is universal and it plays out so well here.I thought your setting was great, it was lit very well. Cinematography was good. Music was a little jarring at times. But for the most part it was good.The story was what makes this stand out from the crowd, it pulled you in and let you experience this world.I gave it an excellent. This is my favorite so far. I have five more to watch and review, but you set a high bar.I HAVE NOW WATCHED EVERY FILM AND THIS ONE IS MY FAVORITE. WELL DONE!! I GAVE TWO EXCELLENTS OUT, AND THIS ONE OF COURSE WAS ONE OF THEM.Many kudos for staying as true to the original script as you did. Again your actors were very good and the story was strong and compelling.Nice job. I am expecting you to place very high!
Van Atanasov (Level 2)
I've got to say I really loved "The Road" and this one has the exact same atmoshpere to it. Loved the whole idea of the paintings and the fake window. Great cinematography, lighting and colors. One problem is maybe that the location didn't really feel like a bunker at first. I could swear there was daylight there. But other than that, great job!
William Bienes (Mod Emeritus)
Very well done all the way around. Impressive production from cast and crew. Cassidy Robbins was superb - having a child actor appear natural and effortless is no easy task. Mike Karan was also very good.Lighting, music, editing, dp and direction - all top-notch. Loved the shots.If I had one criticism, it would be that the pace was sometimes a little too slow. While I understand that the emotion comes from being trapped in that bunker room and allowing each moment to hang - to linger, sometimes it feels like it lingers a bit longer than necessary. It could be it's just the nature of the script and the single room wrapped around the painting and drawing... could there be a moment when she brings up the mother where the audience could be lead to that past with a photo or memory from her father while she lays in bed??Again, great job and congratulations.
William D. Prystauk (Level 5)
The pace is a bit tedious and the father didn't let it fly as he should have. Granted, he was still good, but he held himself back especially in regard to being hostile towards his daughter. The music at times was way too heavy-handed in the melodramatic vein.The ending, however, could have been stronger. Granted, we understand Mel is deceiving his daughter for a purpose, but since he can go outside with very minimal protection, why can't he tell his daughter the truth?
Zach Jansen (Level 4)
I couldn't get into this because I couldn't understand 90% of what the girl was saying. It was just a bunch of mumbling -- which is surprising considering how good the sound design was overall. Well, except the music, which got overbearing at times.Beautifully photographed.I liked the actor. Good nuance in his performance.Unfortunately, like the script, I just didn't get why the dad was deceiving his child. Seems unnecessary and just a way to put some kind of twist on an intimate story that didn't really need one.
Comments Made After the Contest
Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 1/1/2012 12:13 AM
Congratulations on winning second place!
Chris Keaton (Level 5) ~ 1/1/2012 1:03 AM
I had this one as an excellent. Congrats!
Brian Wind (Level 5) ~ 1/1/2012 1:46 AM
This was my only Excellent this year. Nicely done & congratulations!
Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus) ~ 1/1/2012 2:23 AM
this was Excellent for me!
Martin Lancaster (Level 4) ~ 1/1/2012 7:35 AM
You were robbed! This was great. Congrats
David M Troop (Level 4) ~ 1/1/2012 8:14 AM
Congrats on winning second place. The films were very strong this year. For me it was a toss up between Thick Window and Focus. Excellent work. One of my favorites.
William Bienes (Mod Emeritus) ~ 1/1/2012 2:00 PM
This was in my top three. Congratulations. Professional film.
Sally Meyer (Moderator) ~ 1/1/2012 8:44 PM
This was one of two excellents from me. The other one took first place. I do love this story and you did a great job!!
Margaret Ricke (Level 5) ~ 1/2/2012 9:32 AM
Congratulations! This was one of my excellents. I was out of sorts for most of December, or I'd have written a longer review and pointed out more of what I liked and why I liked it.The little girl really was truly stellar, and the preproduction efforts show in the finished film. Wonderful job from conception of story to completion of film.
Kyle Patrick Johnson (Level 5) ~ 1/2/2012 7:26 PM
Thank you, everyone! Chris did an outstanding job putting his production together. He regaled me with stories about how he built his sets, etc., and his dedication to the project is the reason why it looks, sounds, and smells so good. Excellent job, Chris, and my hat's off to you.