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Did anyone watch "Paranormal Activity"?

Luis Maymi's picture
Last seen: 7 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 09/26/2008 - 4:58am
Plus Member

Hello fellow Videomakers:

I will like to make my most honest opinion of the movie "Paranormal Activity". I didn't like it at all. The story is so lame and boring that I was almost sleep in the theater chair, even when the monster/demon/ghost (or whatever it was) "attacks" the couple at approximately 3 am. The movie sucks, didn't scare me at all and the hand-held camera movement was over exaggerate. But there is one thing (only one thing) that I like about this movie and it was the composition of the bedroom scene. It was a perfect composition, almost all that happen was on the left side of the screen. I look back at the people and at my friends and they were all looking at the left side of the screen (excellent job director Oren Peli) The composition was so good that if you imagine the "tic tac toe" from the rule of third you could actually see that the camera position from the bedroom scene didn't change at all (only slightly). If it was me in that situation (knowing me) I would have change the camera angle to another place every night, but if they did that in this movie it will ruined the tension they already build on the audience (the audience expect something to happen at the left side of the screen) That about all I notice. Nonetheless I applaud low budget productions that goes out of the ordinary movies and make huge budget.


grinner's picture
Last seen: 6 years 10 months ago
Joined: 12/29/2007 - 2:56am

I'll wait for it to come out on DVD to watch it but I tip my hat to any $11k flick that can hold it's own with the big boys. Ya gotta love this reality world we live in.

I get almost as much of a rush shooting paranormal content as I do motorsports and it's infinatly more affordable to produce. Hard to go wrong with it, really.

I'm looking forward to seeing the movie.



doublehamm's picture
Last seen: 1 year 1 month ago
Joined: 11/29/2009 - 5:52pm

Does anyone know the camera that was used? I keep hearing Z5 or FX1000 (dont think the movie camera had XLR)- but for some reason the timeline is not adding up in my head as I am pretty sure this movie was made before those models were released. I use Z5s in business and a lot of people love the fact that they think they see it in the movie. In any case it is along the same family I am sure!


grinner's picture
Last seen: 6 years 10 months ago
Joined: 12/29/2007 - 2:56am

If memory serves, he shot the first one on an FX1.

I was very disapponted in it overall. Loved the way it was shot (obviously. I shoot a paranormal show on the same camera with the same handheld vibe) but the acting, good lord it was painful.


doublehamm's picture
Last seen: 1 year 1 month ago
Joined: 11/29/2009 - 5:52pm

I guess I wasn't too critical of it. It did it's job, causing me to massage my scalp every once in a while. Much preferred over tons of blood and gore.I thought it might be an FX1, as the next generation wasnt quite released yet. Thanks!




grinner's picture
Last seen: 6 years 10 months ago
Joined: 12/29/2007 - 2:56am

"it sucked' is a bit broad. While the movie was less than entertaining, I'm sure we can all appriciate the marketing that made it so much money. In the end, that's the key to profitable filmmaking. There is many a wonderful movie that has never been seen and we all know how many Oscars have gone to unwatchable flicks.



vid-e-o-man's picture
Last seen: 7 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 02/06/2010 - 4:20am
Plus Member

I'm guessing that some orall of us have had dreams of making the nextmoney-makerthat grosses millions ("Paranormal Activity","Star Wars", etc.)or wins bundles of awards or both. Why are we doing what we do? Almost all of our efforts go to just making a living.While we are doing this wemake a product that has a purpose- to satisfy our customer. Whilesatisfying our customer, we can also satisfy our need to express ourselves artisticly. Is this what has drawn us to videomaking?


Luis Maymi's picture
Last seen: 7 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 09/26/2008 - 4:58am
Plus Member

"While satisfying our customer, we can also satisfy our need to express ourselves artisticly"

I think that we as videographers can make our own "movies" any time we want, but the problem is do we have that time. Making a movie, a short film or a documentary takes a lot of time which we can use to get a lot of clients and generated some income. Many independent movie producers generated almost nothing and spend half their salary to produce their dream movie that eventually almost nobody watch.

Like you mentioned vid-e-o-man maybe all of us have that award winning dream movie, but that movie world is pure business. You need to talk ideas that generate tons of cash and not some fancy student short film ideas that no one will ever produce. I have few scripts I have written and although I think they will be the next big thing (of course we all think our work is the best. We write it) I must stop and put my business/executive producer hat and think about:

Who had done something similar?, Does people want to see a movie with that topic?, Will people be willing to PAY to see my movie?, How much money will I need to invest?,Will I generate some income with the movie?, How I'm going to market my movie and how much will I spend on that?

Of course we can always make a movie with our friends and family, have fun doing it and later watch it, laugh about it and keep it as a great memory. I have a few of this "movies" I did with my friends years ago and we all laugh a lot of how lame the movies are and how much we had change.

-

"The meaning of a movie are the characters, the life of the movie is the music, but the magic is in the editing" –  http://www.lomaymi.com


doublehamm's picture
Last seen: 1 year 1 month ago
Joined: 11/29/2009 - 5:52pm

Give me $10,000 to invest and turn in to multi millions anytime you wish. I don't care how poor the acting is - they were paid $500 to do the entire movie. Before it's release I remember hearing that they (DreamWorks)wanted to remake it into a larger budget film, but then decided to keep the original as is. Smart business move on their part!


unknownbluray's picture
Last seen: 3 years 8 months ago
Joined: 02/02/2011 - 4:00am

I saw the first one andthought ok this is gonna happen etc its predictable, unfortunately just getting into the special effects and tricks I find the movie dull its all been done one way or another on tv.

PA1 and 2 would have never reached it success if not so many were interested in Paranormal Activity. If it wasnt for Ghost Hunters on syfy and then all the spin offs on other channels I dont think it would have banked as well as it did.


directorscut's picture
Last seen: 3 years 4 months ago
Joined: 06/01/2011 - 7:13am

I am still clue less about what works for paranormal activity 1 that it get so much success.


DARTHDOUGY's picture
Last seen: 1 year 7 months ago
Joined: 04/05/2011 - 3:37pm
Plus Member

My wife and I just saw it this weekend. I thought it was well done for what it was trying to accomplish, and kudos for the filmmakers on taking a small budget and getting seriously paid for it. I think we would all be happy for that result, right? It's the dream for any aspiring filmmaker.

I thought the tension built nicely, and the use of Hitchcock-likedrama was more effective than anything. I look forward to seeing how their success affected the second film.

Good for them!


pseudosafari's picture
Last seen: 6 months 1 week ago
Joined: 01/19/2009 - 2:09am

The second one ties in to the first nicely. I agree with Darthdougy--both of these movies weregood "for what it was trying to accomplish." That sums it up for me. I'd say worth seeing, good for some thrills, etc. Not exactly Gone With the Wind, but thenagain it wasn't trying to be.


grinner's picture
Last seen: 6 years 10 months ago
Joined: 12/29/2007 - 2:56am

I just think, from a business dtand point, they should have doubled their profits by cating some acting a viewer could buy into. Buddy deals go a long way though. Costly in the end though.