'The Waterboard', a film by yours truly (+1 new short!)

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PR_GMR
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'The Waterboard', a film by yours truly (+1 new short!)

Post by PR_GMR »

Hola all,

After much procrastination and many life delays, here's my 4th short film, 'The Waterboard', at Vimeo.com. Finished last year, and having now come full circle, the time has come for me to put it online and let it have its afterlife. The short is 14 mins, and, yes, it's a horror short, but frankly it's nowhere as graphic as you could imagine and it's very fit for public consumption by the citizens of OctopusOverlords. I've made three other shorts, which I'll also share with you when my new film company website is finally finished later this summer. Enjoy this (or try to.. hehehe) and keep in mind, this is indie filmmaking. I ain't batting on the Hollywood leagues so don't expect 'Iron Man'.

All comments welcome, even if you freaking hate it. I've got a thick skin.. and all comments will help me make a better film next time out.

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Last edited by PR_GMR on Tue Jun 01, 2010 9:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 'The Waterboard', a film by yours truly.

Post by GreenGoo »

Will check it out tonight at home. Thanks for sharing.
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Re: 'The Waterboard', a film by yours truly.

Post by Jeff V »

Will there be a NSFW "director's cut"?
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Re: 'The Waterboard', a film by yours truly.

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Jeff V wrote:Will there be a NSFW "director's cut"?
Oh, I've not forgotten about your NSFW strip club scene, JeffV. That one's gotta be saved for a future feature length film. Gonna make sure you're filmed with a bevvy of beauties.. and a fat wallet. :P
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Re: 'The Waterboard', a film by yours truly.

Post by LordMortis »

I hope to remember to watch when I get home but I have a busy night ahead and may not get back OO tonight. Keep bumping this. :oops: :ninja:
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Re: 'The Waterboard', a film by yours truly.

Post by PR_GMR »

LordMortis wrote:I hope to remember to watch when I get home but I have a busy night ahead and may not get back OO tonight. Keep bumping this. :oops: :ninja:
Yeah, I'll bump it tonight. I figure no one here or at GT will be seeing it during the day 'cause of being at work.. but I'm busy tonight so I just wanted to post it and at least have it there.
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Re: 'The Waterboard', a film by yours truly.

Post by GungHo »

Disclaimer: Im pretty sure that's the first indie short film Ive EVER watched, so I doubt Im your target audience. Hehe

That said, Im not really sure how I feel about it. THe over-voice kinda threw me a bit...I wasnt sure if you were making a documentary telling us about serial killers and how/why they are what they are, and the two guys doing what they were doing was just something to look at(cuz this is a film after all); i.e. it was a dramatization(sp??). Or if it was the reverse: you were making a psychological thriller made to look like a documentary. And Im probably not saying that very well...sorry. :?

I feel bad for the dude on the door though...it certainly looked for all the world like he was being waterboarded. How'd you get an actor to agree to being subjected to that?
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Re: 'The Waterboard', a film by yours truly.

Post by rrmorton »

Nice job, Armando! Very effective mood and David Kratz did really nice work shooting that.
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Re: 'The Waterboard', a film by yours truly.

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Thanks for your comments, Gung Ho and Rob Morton! Gung Ho, you're on the mark with your comments. I don't want to spoil the film for those who might see tonight.. but I do have issues on how it came out and will elaborate later tonight after a few others have checked it out (I'm interested in reading their unadulterated reactions to the film). Rob, my friend Dave shot it with a Canon XHD camera with a 35mm lens attachment, and I'm very happy with the look of the film.
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Re: 'The Waterboard', a film by yours truly.

Post by Jeff V »

I'll watch it when I get back from my bike ride. I was planning to just watch movies tonight anyway.
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Re: 'The Waterboard', a film by yours truly.

Post by YellowKing »

Just watched it.

The good:
Spoiler:
Loved the torture scenes, very effective. I also didn't mind the shaky cam - I didn't find it overdone and felt that it added to the intimacy/realism of the film. I also liked the effects with the skeleton and the guy turning into a shadow person.
The not-so-good:
Spoiler:
I really didn't care for the voice over. I don't know if it was the concept of the voice over itself or just the actress reading it. Maybe I found the juxtaposition of the light female voice and the male-driven horror on screen jarring (and not in a good way). I'm also one of those people who like to be shown, not told, and I felt the voice over work was hitting me over the head with the film's message rather than letting me unravel it for myself.

I also wish there was a little more climactic ending. I felt that the film was a little bit backwards, with the horror/torture right up front at the beginning and the slow talky parts dragging on at the end.
Hope you don't mind the honest criticism, PR_GMR. I think what you're doing is awesome and I wish I had half the talent and determination you have in following your dream!
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Re: 'The Waterboard', a film by yours truly.

Post by miltonite »

I didn't understand it. I am not a horror flick aficionado, but I need some back story. I can say that waterbording does not look like fun and I kind of felt sorry for the guy having it done to him. I think my problem is that I have no emotional investment in either character. (I know almost impossible for a short film) Maybe a little earlier reveal who we are supposed to like.

The credits were amazing to say the least though. They had my heart racing and waiting for the next slide to pop up.


I am not your target audience or a director myself so of course take my comments with a grain of salt.
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Re: 'The Waterboard', a film by yours truly.

Post by EvilHomer3k »

Spoiler:
I think my biggest issue is that I did not identify with the guy on the waterboard. I think it was well done overall. The voiceover was odd but it did not bother me. I think it might have been more effective if it had been the guy doing the waterboarding. I liked how he took out the gun when he heard the sirens. The flashback at the end makes you wonder who the 'good' guy is.
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Re: 'The Waterboard', a film by yours truly.

Post by Chaosraven »

PR_GMR wrote:
Jeff V wrote:Will there be a NSFW "director's cut"?
Oh, I've not forgotten about your NSFW strip club scene, JeffV. That one's gotta be saved for a future feature length film. Gonna make sure you're filmed with a bevvy of beauties.. and a fat wallet. :P
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Re: 'The Waterboard', a film by yours truly.

Post by rrmorton »

miltonite wrote:I think my problem is that I have no emotional investment in either character. (I know almost impossible for a short film)
SFX: <record needle skipping>

Say WHAT?! You can get emotional investment in a 15 second AT&T long distance spot. It's entirely not even close to almost impossible. It's just that Armando was making a different kind of film.

Overall I'd say I agree with YK's notes. I thought the style of the opening of the film was extremely well done; the props, the shots, the cutting, the tone... and watching that torture process slowly unfold really holds the viewer's attention.

But then the female narrator started in and the "conceptiness" took over in place of plot developments and I started to lose interest.
YK wrote:I felt that the film was a little bit backwards, with the horror/torture right up front at the beginning and the slow talky parts dragging on at the end.
Will you come be a guest lecturer in my screenwriting class? You're absolutely right that the film seems to start in the third act. Give me a good old-fashioned story arc any day of the week.
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Re: 'The Waterboard', a film by yours truly.

Post by PR_GMR »

I want to thank again those who took the time to watch it. Let me respond to your well-put criticisms.

Miltonite: I hear you. Yes, it's difficult to feel any empathy for any of the two characters. 'Waterboard' is largely a conceptual film and I didn't go into it looking to create fully-developed every day characters. The overall concept of the short it's also quite hard to grasp.. for reasons I'm about to explain.

EvilHomer: Thanks for watching! Yes, as I said to Miltonite, the concept gets in the way of 'enjoying' the story.

Yellowking: Thanks for the kudos on the the fidelity of the torture sequence. This is what I was mainly aiming for--to depict waterboarding as realistic a way as possible. Your criticism on the female voice-over also has validity. It's jarring isn't it? It doesn't fit in. And, yes, the film is 'ass backwards'.

Rob Morton: The 'conceptiness' does hurt the film.. and here's what I was aiming for...

'Waterboard' is meant to be opening scene to a feature length film called 'Anatomy Of A Dog'. This is why the short feels anti-climactic, because the feature legth film begins right after that ending. Frankly, I wish when I wrote the short I would have made it a 'close-ended' short, because the confusing narrative and lack of ending in the film hurt me tremendously at film festivals. I do understand proper short film structure, but with 'Waterboard', I hit the wall with several issues.

For starters, the female voice-over is a narrative device that plays largely in the feature film. The female character you're hearing is kidnapped by the lead character in this short, and she's a major character in the feature. What she's reading from is a thesis paper on serial killer psychology that she's just finished writing for school. Passages from this thesis paper play a major role in the feature film. Unfortunately, in the short, this became confusing. I was adviced to shoot scenes of the female character for the short, so as to clarify this, but lack of time and funding made me nix that idea.. and thus we have this disembodied female voice-over that doesn't work for most people.

I also hit the wall with problems in the editing room. The orginal script had little to no dialogue, and was more ambient and experimental, but there was no context as to why one man was torturing the other.. and thus I wrote a scene for the actors to play and give some of the context. I ended up liking their scene a lot.. and decided to re-structure the short in the editing room to have the torture and murder happen first, then come back in time and give context to what you just saw. This is problematic, and again, it's not proper short film narrative structure.

If I had to do it all over again, I would have develop a short more about the relationship of the two men (they're both CIA agents) and how one of them discovers the other has become a serial killer. But, I've no time machine.. so must live with the short as is. :P

The feature film that follows this is still in the drawing board, though, and I plan on using everything I learned from this experience to make the best feature film possible in the next couple of years. It's a very dark, disturbing horror film about the nature of evil.. with a limited audience.. so I'm weighing my options as to how exactly I will execute it.

Well, thanks again for watching. I plan on loading my other shorts soon. I've actually done several comedy shorts (I'm producing one right now) and I hope you can enjoy those. :)
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Re: 'The Waterboard', a film by yours truly.

Post by YellowKing »

Cool, that definitely explains a lot, PR_GMR. Thanks for sharing it. As you know I'm a big supporter and can't wait to see your first feature.
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Re: 'The Waterboard', a film by yours truly.

Post by PR_GMR »

My latest short film, a short comedy about hipsters and the fools who date them:

'Hipsturbia'

This was produced for the Baltimore City Paper 2nd annual Shoot.Film.Baltimore contest. It screened last Wednesday here in town. It was a Top Ten finalist out of 40 films submitted and we came 2nd on the Audience award. Just a funny little something-something for you to enjoy. I'm not all about the horror, though most assume I am
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Re: 'The Waterboard', a film by yours truly (+1 new short!)

Post by Odin »

That was pretty funny!
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Re: 'The Waterboard', a film by yours truly (+1 new short!)

Post by PR_GMR »

Sith Lord wrote:That was pretty funny!
Thanks for watching, Sith Lord! Glad that you were entertained. :)
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Re: 'The Waterboard', a film by yours truly.

Post by Hipolito »

PR_GMR wrote:
'Hipsturbia'

Loved the ending, was not expecting that! Congratulations on the good showing.

Did the hipster actors do some ad-libbing?
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Re: 'The Waterboard', a film by yours truly.

Post by PR_GMR »

Hipolito wrote:
PR_GMR wrote:
'Hipsturbia'

Loved the ending, was not expecting that! Congratulations on the good showing.

Did the hipster actors do some ad-libbing?
Glad you enjoyed it! Yes. I write the original script, but I always trust my actors to do ad-libbing, specially with comedy subjects. If what they come up with is funnier than what I wrote, I keep it. :)
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