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Author Topic: I wrote and directed a nearly two hour movie.  (Read 6165 times)
retromike22
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« on: November 03, 2013, 04:06:36 pm »
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(I know, I'm shamelessly promoting)

I hate bad movies, and I'm very picky about what movies I'll see in the theater. So many movies just disgust or bore me. With many action movies, I just feel like I'm watching the same stories over again, but with newer special effects every year. With comedies, I just feel like they rely on cultural references (which dates them and requires that the audience know about those references) or gross out humor (because the directors mistake disgust for humor).

After years of complaining, people starting telling me "Well why don't you try to make a movie?!" So, seeing as I had a bachelor's degree in political science (somehow this helped me) and I was unemployed, I decided to make a movie as a challenge.

It took almost a year of writing, planning, casting, filming, and editing. But I did it, I wrote and directed a nearly 2 hour action comedy. It's EXTREMELY low budget, and nobody on the film had any acting or film experience at all. Almost 99% of the film is original, with the exception of the music, which I used from the Youtube Audio Library. I'd like to thank the various government agencies who failed to hire me, because without such non-cooperation, I wouldn't have had the time, effort, or desire to pull this off.

The story... is about an intern, a doctor, a mayor, a cross dressing prostitute, farmers, aliens, and zombies.

Enjoy:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43GrfR8JQ3k

Viewer Statistics as of September 26, 2014:

States with Most Watch Times:
Shaded Blue at 90%
1. California
2. New York
3. DC
4. Missouri
5. Florida

Shaded Blue at 50%
6. Massachusetts
7. Wisconsin
8. Indiana
9. Kansas
10. Texas

Shaded Blue at 30%
11. Oklahoma
12. Washington
13. Arizona
14. Arkansas
15. Ohio
16. Connecticut
17. New Jersey

Shaded Green at 90%
18. South Carolina
19. North Carolina
20. Minnesota
21. Oregon
22. Illinois

Shaded Green at 50%
23. Virginia
24. Pennsylvania
25. Georgia



Countries with Most Watch Times:
1. United States
2. Germany
3. United Kingdom
4. Mexico
5. Ireland
6. Canada
7. Australia
8. Sweden
9. Austria
10. Vietnam
11. Belarus
12. France
« Last Edit: June 22, 2015, 11:46:07 pm by retromike22 »Logged

Knight of Vice Czars at Atlas Free Radio:
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Also, I wrote and directed a nearly two hour movie. It's about an intern, a doctor, a mayor, a cross dressing prostitute, farmers, aliens, and zombies.
 http://uselectionatlas.org/FORUM/index.php?topic=181696.0
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« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2013, 06:00:16 pm »
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Your movie may be very good but all I can think about is this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Threat_Level_Midnight
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retromike22
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« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2013, 06:08:25 pm »
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Your movie may be very good but all I can think about is this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Threat_Level_Midnight

hahaha my own family laughed at it the first time I showed them it. But that was a test screening, and I made edits to fix what they thought were problems.
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Also, I wrote and directed a nearly two hour movie. It's about an intern, a doctor, a mayor, a cross dressing prostitute, farmers, aliens, and zombies.
 http://uselectionatlas.org/FORUM/index.php?topic=181696.0
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« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2013, 06:21:10 pm »
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Your movie may be very good but all I can think about is this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Threat_Level_Midnight

Which is freaking awesome.
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« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2013, 05:36:03 pm »
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Wow, that's impressive! Congrats. Smiley
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« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2013, 07:34:05 pm »
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The accents Shocked
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« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2013, 10:05:30 pm »
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Congrats, man.
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« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2014, 04:13:54 pm »
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It had denouement, which is good.  Often movies don't give you that much, presumably because they want to leave room for a sequel.  (Although, you do seem to leave room for a series development at the end.)  Also, I liked the action scenes.  Given the budget, they and the very special special effects were effective in the development of the story.  The use of meter sticks for sabres was especially cheeky.  Moreover, the character development, with a few exceptions, was easy to follow.  For example, a great deal of footage was shot with Thompson driving the car and the conversations between Gupta and Thompson helped understand their dynamic.   

What's with the puertorican cross-dresser with the really fake Hindi accent?  (Or is it Mexican.  Yeah, I'm in PA, you're in CA.  You know how it is with our respective assumptions.)  Was his character really necessary?  I don't think it added to the story and, like Titanic and Malcolm X, your movie could have benefitted from some editing.  (Read:  make it shorter.) 

The telephone beep was overmodulated.  Jarring, even.  Maybe that was intentional.  I certainly added to the tension.

I really like the character development in Melanie Gupta.  She starts off as a clueless, unskilled idiot, and eventually becomes a slightly less unskilled idiot.  She should be nominated for an award.  Considering the lack of enthusiasm in Thompson's relation with his wife, you might want to explore an affair between Gupta and Thompson in the next installment.  (Is she your squeeze?) 

Speaking of squeeze, I really never understood the dynamic between Farmer John and Agnes.  (An old couple fallen out of love?  A marriage of convenience?)  That should have been examined a little more.

I noticed that you put Van Gogh's Starry Night on the wall the third scene with Mayor Lopez.  Was that intentional?  Van Gogh was not satisfied with the painting.  He once wrote to his brother saying that "these are exaggerations from the point of view of arrangement, their lines are warped as that of old wood."  Was that a statement about the Mayor's general dissatisfaction with her situation in life?

Replace General Hog with Admiral Hog, since they're on a spacecraft.  Or even Captain Hog, if you want us to believe he's a commander of a vessel containing invaders.  Putting him at an O7 rank or higher makes him less approchable to the audience.  If he's an evil villian, then we want to relate to him on some level, even if only to hate him. 

The king was a weak spot.  You really need to work with that guy.  Get him an acting coach.  Or coach him yourself if you're on a tight budget.  I never figured out whether he was a good guy or a bad guy.  Also, he really needs to lay off the cigarettes if he wants to live to see his 50th birthday.

The soundtrack was appropriate.  The only exception would be during Melanie's physical training.  That one was really, really bad.  Go with Eye of the Tiger next time.  Comic relief was decent  ("Are you crazy?  That thing's an antique.  I should fire you for saying that!")  I don't like the silent G either, by the way.  I appreciate your attempt to publicize their problem.  Overall, it was compelling but a bit dry.  I think the reference to being in a movie, about an hour and 11 minutes in, reminded me of the Leslie Nielson flicks.  If you're going to go there, you have to make us really feel the situational irony.  Good effort, though. 
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« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2014, 04:32:14 pm »
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I've watched about a quarter of the movie so far, and I love it! I hope to finish the entire movie soon.
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retromike22
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« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2014, 05:18:29 pm »
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That is by far the most complete review I've ever received and I greatly appreciate it Smiley

Thank you so much!

Here are my responses:

What's with the puertorican cross-dresser with the really fake Hindi accent?  (Or is it Mexican.  Yeah, I'm in PA, you're in CA.  You know how it is with our respective assumptions.)  Was his character really necessary?   The main reason Mr. Gupta is in there was that I felt Melanie needed a background, a character to interact with outside of work. Also, he (hopefully) drives Melanie to fight harder than she did previously. And, we needed a newborn baby.

Your movie could have benefitted from some editing.  (Read:  make it shorter.) I agree completely! That's actually the most frequent complaint, except people differ on what should be cut. Most say that the action scenes are too long, especially the ending. I personally have always had problems with the "lardburger lunch scene," I feel I'm having Benjamin talk about his past more than necessary.

The telephone beep was overmodulated.  Jarring, even.  Maybe that was intentional.  I certainly added to the tension. It wasn't intentional, it was just bad amateur sound editing on my part Sad

Considering the lack of enthusiasm in Thompson's relation with his wife, you might want to explore an affair between Gupta and Thompson in the next installment.  (Is she your squeeze?)  I specifically didn't want any hint of romance between Gupta and Thompson for several reasons. First, I wanted it to be like a buddy comedy, but with different genders. It's hard to think of another movie that has a male and female lead in an action movie who are friends and who do not become romantically involved. Also, the girl who plays Gupta is my niece in real life haha. So I added the part about them discovering that they are cousins (Aunt Syphilis is Benjamin's aunt, but also Melanie's mom) so that any romantic possibility becomes impossible. It has been frequently mentioned by others that this movie has no romantic angles at all. Benjamin and his wife have problems, Farmer John and Agnes aren't close, and Benjamin and Melanie don't develop feelings. I think it's because it has always been hard for me to see an action movie that has new romantic elements in there. Basically, I don't see chaotic events as a spur for developing romantic feelings. All the "drives" for saving people is for familial reasons: Melanie wants to save her dad, the mayor wants to save her daughter.

Speaking of squeeze, I really never understood the dynamic between Farmer John and Agnes.  (An old couple fallen out of love?  A marriage of convenience?)  That should have been examined a little more. Oh it was just a single line joke to put in when she said "I never loved you." I felt that if I explored their characters more, than I would be focusing away from the backgrounds of Melanie, Benjamin, and the Mayor. I basically felt I would be trying to explain the background of every singe character.

I noticed that you put Van Gogh's Starry Night on the wall the third scene with Mayor Lopez.  Was that intentional?  Van Gogh was not satisfied with the painting.  He once wrote to his brother saying that "these are exaggerations from the point of view of arrangement, their lines are warped as that of old wood."  Was that a statement about the Mayor's general dissatisfaction with her situation in life? No, the reason that painting was there was because it was already on the wall when we decided to film it. There wasn't any subtext to it. Perhaps it's not obvious, but I have the mayor as a successful single mother. I wanted her to fit the "wise old man" archetype but to change the gender.

The king was a weak spot.  You really need to work with that guy.  Get him an acting coach.  Or coach him yourself if you're on a tight budget.  I never figured out whether he was a good guy or a bad guy.  Also, he really needs to lay off the cigarettes if he wants to live to see his 50th birthday. For some reason, everyone who reviews the film finds a different character to single out as the weakest actor. Usually it's Melanie or the mayor, but you're the first one to say the king. But yes, he's not an actor, he's actually a chef in real life haha. Oh that's not his normal voice, thank God. I tried to base the voice on Beetlejuice.

Overall, it was compelling but a bit dry. Good effort, though.  
I think that's the most accurate review of my movie in as short a phrase as possible.  Thanks again for sitting through it:)
« Last Edit: July 03, 2014, 01:52:55 am by retromike22 »Logged

Knight of Vice Czars at Atlas Free Radio:
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Send me a PM if you'd like to be a guest!

Also, I wrote and directed a nearly two hour movie. It's about an intern, a doctor, a mayor, a cross dressing prostitute, farmers, aliens, and zombies.
 http://uselectionatlas.org/FORUM/index.php?topic=181696.0
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« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2014, 07:44:25 pm »
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For some reason, everyone who reviews the film finds a different character to single out as the weakest actor. Usually it's Melanie or the mayor...

The woman who played the part of the mayor was, in my opinion, one of the stronger actors.  The woman who played Melanie could benefit with some experience or instruction, but she was suited to the part.  (For all I know she has one PhD in chemical physics and another in philosophy, but she came off as an idiot well enough on screen, so in my book she wasn't a particularly weak actress.)  The little boy answering the phone was probably the weakest in the abstract, but he was a little boy and he was only apparently hired to answer the phone, so I didn't hold that against him.  You carried your own weight with dignity as well, I might add, as did the cross-dressing father of Melanie.  (I still don't think his existence helped explain Melanie very well, but except for the really, really bad fake accent, he was fairly credible in his role.)


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tmthforu94
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« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2014, 01:40:15 am »
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Ah, it's not letting me watch it! Sad Says the number of allowed playbacks has been exceeded. Looking forward to watching it eventually, though!
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« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2014, 02:17:23 am »
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Two hours?!  Oof!  I'll give it a try when I have time.  Smiley

Great job though - that's really quite an accomplishment.
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retromike22
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« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2014, 08:46:28 pm »
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Important Note:

Ah, it's not letting me watch it! Sad Says the number of allowed playbacks has been exceeded. Looking forward to watching it eventually, though!

You weren't alone Sad So, to make the film easier to see on youtube, I reedited the film using their approved music. Since I went back to the original files, I also used the opportunity to trim the film down by 12 minutes and to color correct it. The link in the original post has been replaced. Enjoy!
« Last Edit: August 06, 2014, 08:54:26 pm by retromike22 »Logged

Knight of Vice Czars at Atlas Free Radio:
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Also, I wrote and directed a nearly two hour movie. It's about an intern, a doctor, a mayor, a cross dressing prostitute, farmers, aliens, and zombies.
 http://uselectionatlas.org/FORUM/index.php?topic=181696.0
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« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2014, 01:25:26 pm »
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I was expecting a short film around 15-20 min. Doing a full length film is very impressive, something that people will generally have a hard time pulling off without quite some experience, so my hat goes off to you good sir.

I'll try to make time to watch the whole thing soon.   
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« Reply #15 on: September 07, 2014, 02:33:19 pm »
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Watched this at about an 8, enjoyed it quite a bit. Definitely could be the next "so bad it's good" movie.
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retromike22
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« Reply #16 on: September 09, 2014, 01:39:32 pm »
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Watched this at about an 8, enjoyed it quite a bit.

Definitely could be the next "so bad it's good" movie.

Thanks Smiley

That was exactly my intention. Hopefully I can be the next Ed Wood.
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Also, I wrote and directed a nearly two hour movie. It's about an intern, a doctor, a mayor, a cross dressing prostitute, farmers, aliens, and zombies.
 http://uselectionatlas.org/FORUM/index.php?topic=181696.0
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« Reply #17 on: September 26, 2014, 11:07:52 pm »
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retromike22
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« Reply #18 on: September 28, 2014, 09:01:54 pm »
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I need to send that to assorted family members so when they get mad at me, they can just look at that.
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Also, I wrote and directed a nearly two hour movie. It's about an intern, a doctor, a mayor, a cross dressing prostitute, farmers, aliens, and zombies.
 http://uselectionatlas.org/FORUM/index.php?topic=181696.0
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« Reply #19 on: March 07, 2015, 11:16:46 pm »
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Sorry to be bumping 6 months later, but I finally got around to watching, and I'd strongly recommend this if you're ever looking for something to do - even if you have to break it up. Definitely some very cute and funny lines in there. Particularly in the first half while the later scenes have just genuine situational humor. Some silly things that just had me cracking up:

[SPOILER]
When the girl confuses an Australian accent for sheep talk - well-delivered humor
The comeback, "You're a sign of mental illness". Some people are a little slow, haha.
The almost Disney-esque, "Feel the Power of the Metric System"
When the protestors shout generic libertarian ideology at the mayor as if she controls it (we can all enjoy this!)
And of course a pretty awesome final fight scene with the ears being torn off
[/spoiler]

The important thing we should all be taking out of this: why has no one in Update, Bushie or another poster, ever used that twist on "I always 'watch' what I eat" when he gets questioned on his habits. This makes Update seem too serious.

Also, traces of the opening conversation could've been in Update itself thrown into an Indian persona. "I remember when I was skinny; I hate being fat!" and "[We] still love you no matter how obese you become." Those need to be memed or some modarn thing.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2015, 11:21:07 pm by SMilo »Logged

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20:41   Classic   I think we need to abort any babies with autism so we won't end up with more people like smilo in our society

[9:01 PM] retromike22: no offense.... but I have occasionally realized that it is easier to understand your emotions and actions if I think it's a girl making those choices
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