Independence Day / Independents Day – Watch “Year” – My First Feature-Length Film Is Now Free On Vimeo

Published On July 4, 2012 | By Mike Carroll | Director-Cameraman, Films, Naked Filmmaking, Year

Last 4th of July I commemorated America’s Independence Day by posting Back-To-Britain British movies. This year I am carrying this annual tradition on, but making it more personal, by giving you my movie.

For all the actors who were a part of our first feature-length film Year, and there were many, and for all of the people both in the U.S. around the world who have been discovering my book Naked Filmmaking, I have put the entire one hour and 49-minute film available on Vimeo to watch and download.

For filmmakers who want to make their own film, or want to find a better, simpler, less expensive way to make a film — the DVD of Year offers loads of extras:

1) Audio Commentary where I go into great detail about making this film over the course of a year and working with actors.
2) Behind-The-Scenes Feature filled with making-of footage and interviews with the actors about their experiences making the movie.
3) Alternate Scenes. Year premiered in the 2006 San Francisco Independent Film Festival at a length of 97 minutes. The version on the DVD and that I’ve uploaded onto Vimeo is 9 minutes longer. There is a side-by-side comparison of the opening New Year’s Eve party sequence, which was radically cut down in the first version, then restored and improved for the DVD version.

Filming a scene with Hazel Johnson and Carol Miranda for “Year.”

Over the past few months I’ve developed an e-mail relationship with Don Tingle, a filmmaker and teacher in Louisiana, who watched Year this past weekend and wrote me this review:

“The picture quality is really good. I’m surprised that it was Pre-HDV format. And the sound quality was excellent. I bet if I showed a segment of Year to any filmmaker, they’d think you had a crew of dozens. It really is hard to believe what you can accomplish pretty much on your own.

“The acting was extremely good. You did a great job of selecting cast who could adapt to the screen, where less is almost always more. I’ve watched a lot of low budget Indy films – ones with a hundred or more crew listed in the credits, that were uneven, with bad sound and hammy acting, and in which it didn’t seem that all the scenes even fit into the same movie. I’m generally tempted to think that is from poor editing, but then the editor can’t edit what he doesn’t have. All that just to express amazement at the overall production.

“As for story… I really didn’t think I would like it, this type of ensemble cast and sort of “slice of life” seldom appeals to me – it’s usually too much of a whirlwind trying to keep up with who did what to whom. But I think your characters were well drawn so that I found myself following the drama – not just who was sleeping with whom, but also whom those events would hurt. Perhaps because all the gals looked so dissimilar (funny how you explained the sisters various appearances in one line) I was not confused by the large cast.

“At the end of the film, I had a feeling of melancholy over the events of the year and the impact they’d had and seemed would continue to have – then I realized that is a key component of your film, that these are lives that extend beyond the story. In most films I can suspend disbelief and accept that the characters lives should extend before the first and after the last frame, but here there isn’t quite as much disbelief to suspend.

“As an Indy film, I think Year is/was more ambitious than the Indy film movement typically can produce. It’s a mature film that finds faults in maturity.”

Happy 4th of July!!!!

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About The Author

Mike Carroll joined the digital revolution in 1999 with a Sony TRV900 camcorder and Final Cut Pro, when it was only Final Cut Pro and not version 2, 4 or a Suite.

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