Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Hobo Horror

Boards combined with script

Revised with roomy spacing, some painting clarity, renumbering


Davis Chino said...

This looks so clean--makes it so easy to comprehend. Very nice! Love yr use of marker tone (or virtual-marker tone?).

I'm so intrigued by that opening shot. If you do shoot at night, might be cool to show the door open while you're in this master--if you get that wall real black, opening a door and making a bright rectangle of light (and the gradient of cast light out into street) might be a pretty cool thing.

I wonder if holding off on the real tight close-ups until the very last shot(s) might be worth trying? Just a thought.

On the second row of shots, I get a little confused between each shot--could just be a thumbnail thing, but maybe Shots 7 & 8 should look more like Shot 5 so we can see we're still in the same basic setup? Might just be the viz. similarity between Shots 6 & 7 that starts the disorientation for me...? Love idea of Shot 8--the protag in BKG fidgeting, crazed hobo in foreground looking offscreen, then turning attention toward it.

Lots of potential in shot 13 to build business...hobo circles man, sizes him up, mumbles or outright talking to man--man uneasy trying to ignore him, etc.

Should you tantalize us with a closer downshot on hobo's hand rooting around in sack? At shot 14? Don't have to "reveal" what's inside, but might be a nice tension-builder/accent?

What a great final drawing of the insane hobo--"Any offer appreciated..."

HA! Great stuff!!

One other thought--if you don't have real pro actors, it can be hard to saddle non-actors with close-ups and/or moments of true acting. I'm thinking of shots 4, 11, even 15. Most of yr dialog shots are longshots and that's good--you can loop stiff line reads after the fact. But closeups can sometimes be a lot to ask of the non-pro...? Maybe think of alternate shots to get across the mood change/info you want out of the close up? (ie., instead of closeup of protag shifting from mildly observant to personally worried and then extremely uncomfortable, show that transformation in a wider shot thru body movement (he shifts uneasily, looks up and down street), or series of detail shots (checks phone/wristwatch for time, suddenly gets super-interested in iPhone, etc., or even a supertight closeup of a single feature--biting lip, wiping forehead, adjusts himself, etc.).

It looks like it will be a blast to shoot--and screen!

It looks super-promising. Are you

Davis Chino said...

oops, left a fragment there. Sorry.

LOVE THE EVIL HOBO--and his bindle!!

A hobo always makes me think of that old Kirby Simon Leprechaun story, "The Nasty(?) Little Man."

Davis Chino said...

...and that's a good thing!

MrGoodson2 said...

GREAT notes Marty. I'm going to shoot daylight but it will be BW. Itb would be nice to have the backed off establishing shot have "the Man" come out the door.

It's always about the shots and the acting. Close up is tough for non actors. But we should be all friendly enough and a micro crew, self consciousness should be less.

Of course the opposite is just as bad. Where you amp up the performance to fake levels.

As a director I guess you tell them what they are thinking, hopefully the actors then go ahead and think those thoughts. It should read. We're all kind of mind readers that way.

Enjoying Scott's book. I'm going to try to listen to the rest today. I'm really jealous of his current location. Portland Or.

Snippets of my review are forming.

MrGoodson2 said...

Technical notes on the boards- 6 and 7 rectangles drawn on 5 by 8 index cards with a felt tip tombo. Arranged in photoshop to read across and the tone is a separate layer. painted behind the line art, using that alpha channel trick we like so much. Then I reduce the black to about 50 percent transparency.

I've got 9 days until show down at the location. I'll touch the boards up and make them read better. May use your notes on some changes.

MrGoodson2 said...

The main change- why did I decide to count from zero? The numbering will start with 1 on the revision.

MrGoodson2 said...

Especially valuable not Marty. Don't throw away tight close up too early. Make it a vocabulary of close closer closest. Like Sergio Leone.

MrGoodson2 said...

I'm compared my ambitions to Kubrick and Leone. Might as well throw in Orson Welles.
These guys I use will be my Mercury Players.
I've already sompared this short to Amish barn raising. I get the barn this time. But I'm ready to just bring a hammer any time these guys want to make a film like this.

Tom Moon said...

Always happy to see sequential storytelling art from you Ellis. It never fails to stimulate my own imagination.

Now, are you picturing that there are actually eyeballs in the sack which the man sees? And you are just not showing them? Or did you decide that there is something else in the sack?

I ask because I think it might be nice to throw in just a little more of a hint about what's actually in there. I understand the appeal of leaving much to the imagination of the viewer, but I would find it more provocative if I had a small clue.

You have a line in there, "Waiting for the first wife?" which makes me wonder if the head of the man's first wife is in the bag. That wasn't your intention, was it?

"Waiting for the first wife? Well, here she is!"

Sorry if I'm being dense.

MrGoodson2 said...

Ha! That would be Seven Tom.

I don't know exactly how to play it.

Maybe close on a blood drop on the sidewalk.

My instinct is total mystery.

All we know is it horrified "the man" and the last shot confirms the Hobo is totally insane.

BIG NEWS! Count Gregore / John Ferguson has agreed to be The HOBO.

Now we're talking.

MrGoodson2 said...

I don't know where I first heard the first wife type of joke. Joke being the husband wife thing is poked at, mocked , with tags like meet my first wife. The only wife at that point, but that could all change. Especially if she is going to be late picking me up and exposing me to crazy hobos.

Tom Moon said...

Really? You asked Count Gregore and he accepted? Refresh my memory on your relationship with John Ferguson. And are you going to have to pay him his $125-a-day SAG minimum?

MrGoodson2 said...

I found out from listening to a podcast that sag minimum is 100 dollars for 2 days. So I'm paying him 100 bucks for that day. And that day will hopefully be about an hour of his time.

Tom Moon said...

Wow Ellis, you're actually going to do this!

Davis Chino said...

Ellz! This is all so great. Oh, man, I love the way you are making this happen!

And Tom--holy moly, I LOVE yr interpretation that the hobo is bringing him his first wife--I didn't read that at all! THAT can be the payoff--we wouldn't need to see anything from the bag--just have the hobo's sign-off be something like, "You say you're waiting for your wife?" Protag looks into bag, recoils in horror, "Well, here she is...." Hands him bag.

Maybe set up is he's not just waiting for his wife--she's on her way over to hand him keys to the place. He's made her move out.

"So you really had her move out?" coworker asks as they talk at the curb.

"Yeah--but the judge said I had to pay fer the movers." chuckles. "So I rented a Uhaul first thing this morning, and I drove down to skid row and grabbed the first four bums I saw, loaded 'em in the truck, drove up to the house--she came out onto the porch in her little jammies acting all confused--I point at her and tell the bums, '$20 each to move this bitch out--and for $20 more, you can toss her in the river when you're done!' and I walked off." Chuckles more. "Bet she loved that...."

The other guy is put off by this, gives him an uneasy smile and half-heartedly asks one last time, "sure you don't need a ride?"

"No. I gotta wait for her. She's gotta give me her key." or go sign the final papers or something.

Then enter bum....with this set up you could end with the bum asking to collect his extra $20!

Too complicated and asking too much of the actors, but I wanted to play it out and see what you thought. Too obvious by half, huh? Must be a way to finesse the bum thang...

Davis Chino said...

The way you've got it is great. It's just trying to get that line of dialog to zing and connect everything--IF the bum has his wife in his sack.

Could it be a play on "In the sack?" Instead of "toss her in the river," maybe their problem was she was a cold fish--refused him sex. His last words to the bums could be, "And an extra $20 if any of you can get her in the sack!"

Oh, that's too awful.

I kinda love it.

Tom Moon said...

I love all the brainstorming riffs you just did Marty. I think with sufficient time and thought something could come of it.

Have you ever watched one of those compilations of great funny ads like:

Ellis, the ad at the 3:58 mark reminds me of something you would do. And the kung fu one right after at 4:24 is pretty funny too.

A good 30-60 second ad is so impressive because they really do manage to tell a provocative story in that short amount of time. Truly an art.

MrGoodson2 said...

Lot of effects in that Loch Ness one Tom.
I liked the very first one. Where the guy timed that biker perfectly. That's a simple, come as you are, video short.

Even though they probably had 50 people work on it.

I am ambitious in this direction. I may get nothing but local market scraps. But it's the Ridley Scott way. Learn your stuff doing commercials.

I spoke with the director of this commercial about that. He was making commercials to make feature films. His associate and friend , still works for the same ad company, but also made the very good film, The Imitation Game. Storyboards for commercials- straight to directing. Why not. I'm on chapter 16 of the Scott MacMahon audio book.

I like the interpretation it might be the wife's head. It would explain her showing up late.

Tom Moon said...

Yeah, that first commercial is good, and as you say, so simple. That's the key with the uber-short storytelling. You make just one little point about life. Just one little observation about human nature that's universal. "That's what I'd like to do if some biker kept touching my car." See a secret desire played out.

Davis Chino said...

You guys are right to keep it short and simple.

Please ignore my baroque musings. least until you're ready to expand it into a 5 minute feature!

Davis Chino said...

Had an interesting convo today with a producer...while working on getting CG movies produced, said the Creepy people pitched them on producing a feature drawn from some of their classic fell apart when they wanted my producer friend's company to come up with all the money. But she said they showed them some great art...she didn't know anything about those mags before the pitch.

The takeaway: how very cool to imagine a CG version of a Berni Wrightson Creepy story!

MrGoodson2 said...

I'm into the Spirit of The Thing

MrGoodson2 said...

CG is a great idea for the Warren work and on into the EC work. How about a few Jack Davis art direction stories in CG. Grisly stories. Reminding everyone how great Ray Bradbury told stories.