JT Film Review

Damsel in Distress

Logo Picture

With Damsel in Distress I tried for a very straight forward genre exercise, with the added challenge of shooting in low light (which I have no real experience doing). I learned a lot about shooting in the dark, mainly about how far I can push my camera and editing software.

As for the film itself, I am fairly pleased with it. The pacing isn’t quite how I thought it would be, and I’m not 100% sure the ending works, but I think it’s one of the better ones I’ve done yet (which, while not saying much is something I am happy about), and the actors do a great job I think. The film is embedded below, but as usual I’d like to do a quick rundown of my thoughts.


– I think the film moves pretty well.

– When considering this is my first low-light experience, there are a couple shots I’m pretty proud of.

– The actors do a great job great here I think.

– I’m very proud of the end credits.


– Not sure that the ending works.

– I was unaware of the limits of my camera, resulting in a few very grainy shots, as well as crushed blacks.

– It’s a pretty ugly looking movie. For some reason whenever I render my project off with Sony Vegas, the blacks inevitably end up crushed quite a bit. This probably has something to do with the encoder or something, but I really don’t know much about it and can’t find a SINGLE source online that can help a beginner like me.

What I Learned

– If you ever DO have to shoot in low-light (which I’ll try not to do from now on), make sure your light levels are bright enough and consistent.

– This strategy of doing shorter films and more of them seems to be working for me. I learn a lot more, and a lot faster.


Well, one more under the belt! Thanks a TON for everyone who helped out! Many thanks to Dan Sherman and Steffie Surette for volunteering two of their nights to help with this, and lots of thanks as well to those who helped behind the scenes, including my brothers Sam and David Turpin for gripping/standing-in, my parents Karen and Tim Turpin for the location, my wife Sarah Turpin for the feed-back in post-production (it was a real family affair, this one!) and to Lyle Goodwin for the lighting gear. See you at the next one!



January 4, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Lord of the Manor

Poster 1 - David

Lord of the Manor (2014) Banner Poster

Well, I’ve finally finished Lord of the Manor! This film was my attempt at creating a small character-driven movie, as opposed to the “guys-with-guns” films I’d been doing (not that there’s anything wrong with that). I am very grateful to the cast for their time and talent (David Sarginson as The Man, Jeremy Watkins as The Reporter, and Ian Travis as The Servant). The film is embedded below, but I’d like to discuss my feeling about it first, and what I’ve learned.


— I’m quite proud of the cinematography. The day couldn’t have had more perfect weather. The fog created even lighting, with no garish bright skies and shadows to worry about.

— The tone is exactly what I was hoping for.


— The script just doesn’t work. It’s too expositional and stiff, and doesn’t really go anywhere.

— I didn’t give the cast enough rehearsal time. David Sarginson had way too many lines, and I didn’t give him enough time to memorize them, resulting in an uncertain and wooden performance. This is 100% my fault. David is a very good actor, as he demonstrates in the last couple scenes. I didn’t give him enough time, and that is my biggest regret of the film.

What I Learned

— Give your cast enough time to prepare. If there is a lot of dialogue, give them plenty of rehearsals and time to memorize. Best yet, I should try and not have as much dialogue, and focus on telling stories that can be told through more visual means. Show, not tell, etc.

— Workshop scripts more. Ask people’s advice on the writing.

— The use of wide angle lenses worked pretty well I think, and I’ll try using those more in outdoor settings. I like the wide angle feel. This also means staying in focus is easier, which can be tough with a run-and-gun style.


Well, there we go! Once again, many thanks to the cast and crew! The film is embedded below.


October 15, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Upcoming Movies – The Hobbit (2012)

Upcoming Movies – The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
(Opening Date: December 14, 2012)


And now, a two month old trailer!

The Hobbit is the prequel to Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. The book The Hobbit is quite dis-similar in tone to The Lord of the Rings (it is much more kid friendly), so it will be interesting to see how they tie this to the previous movies.

After much speculation, director Peter Jackson has returned to the series. Martin Freeman is the new Bilbo, and a more perfect casting there could not be. A lot of the old gang is back (including a few characters who were not in the books). Ian Holms reprises his role as “old Bilbo”, Elijah Wood is back as Frodo, and even Orlando Bloom will appear as Legolas. There are good reasons to bring them back though, so hopefully it won’t seem jarring.

The trailer is below.

I must admit to getting goosebumps when that song kicks in. The movie seems very close to the tone of The Lord of the Rings, but perhaps not as intense. That is fine by me, as The Hobbit has to build up to the first three.

I think the footage we see here is purely from the first movie, which will be released in December 2012. The second part, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, will come in December 2013.

 Tomatometer Rating Guess: 88%


Feel free to leave a comment!


February 12, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized, Upcoming Movies | , , , | 1 Comment