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Posted: Fri, 6th Feb 2004, 6:56am

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Bryce007

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Rating: +4

Ok, so ive been watching alamDV movies for a looong time now.

Is it just me, or do some people on this site just not even bother trying to make a movie that doesnt disappoint when it finally finishes its huge download?

Its like they get a camera, pirate some high priced editing software off of kazaa or limwire, turn the camera on and from that point on, dont really care at all what happens.

There are so many movies on here that ENTIRELY ignore the following:

1. lighting
2. cinematography
3. acting

Screw the effects, they all end up looking the same since about 5 people on here can do impressive special effects. Of course, not that it matters, since 1 out of 3 movies is a shootout that only requires muzzleflashes anyways.

And then they wonder why they dont get higher ratings?

For instance, most of these movies are so badly lit, its sad. Why cant people at least go get some really cheap clamp lights and plug them in? its effective enough, and then at least you can see something.

You can get pretty decent books on cinematography for under $20, and even if you cant, you can always watch movies and write down interesting angles on a notepad.


Acting can be faked. Dont show people faces so much, uses lower body shots as much as possible, show creative angles that dont reveal poor acting. Take the screenplay (if you even have one) and cut out all the talking and replace it with actions, then put the whole movie to music.

simple stuff, yet people consistantly think they have good actors.

Music...


Things that need to be said:
1. matrix music should never be used in any other movie ever again. its pointless, unoriginal and everyone knows what its from. go to a pawn shop and get some older soundtracks from less well known movies. simply done, and it doesnt make people think "oh boy, more matrix ripping off, YES!"


Cameras...

To put it bluntly, quit thinking about more expensive cameras until you know how to use the one youve got to its fullest extent! a new camera isnt going to improve your cinematography skills at all, so get your camera to produce results far beyond what people think is possible, and then get a better one and do the same.


Editing...

If youve ever watched a real movie (if you havent, thats odd), you should notice that movies movies camera angles most often change in about 2-3 seconds. Even more often in action movies especially. So if a amuetur is attempting to make a good movie, why would they show the same angle for so long?



Cinematography..

More angles, creative angles, well known angles..<--these are good things, use them. I also wonder why i have yet to see a single location establishing shot in any movies on here EVER? when you see that someone is sitting somewhere, you want to know what kind of place they are in, right?


Cliches...


Things that should never be featured in a usermovie...

1. diving from explosions (no, they arent exciting anymore)
2. absurdly huge pistol clip sizes
3. droning, poorly record narrations
4. overly emotional and heavy script (bad acting shows up worse with this)
5. lightsabers showing up for no reason whatsoever..
6. crappy car chases (can be done, but good angles are NECCESARY, otherwise it looks slow and lame)
7. horrendously blatant CG
8. big, popular movie franchise sequels that try to replicate the originals intesity and productions values (i know everyone will still do this, but oh well, it had to be said)


I felt the need to type this up for no reason other than to maybe impress upon everyone the importance of good filmaking and not wasting your audiences time. none of this needs to be done, or even read.

This being said, twisted studios seems to know entertainment quite well, even though they dont follow all this advice.

Feel free to contradict me, as this little post is in no way extensive or complete, because that would take me way to long.
Posted: Fri, 6th Feb 2004, 4:20pm

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Gibs

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I agree with you fully on the camera issue. I have a crappy Digital8 cam right now, but I'm happy with it because it records footage, and I know that I can use it to learn over time and still get a decent picture.

However, the rest of the stuff, while I understand what you are saying, I disagree with it. The many people on here are at different stages of their filmmaking "careers", and don't always care about some of this stuff. For example, when me and my friend made our first few movies, we cared nothing about lighting, acting, or anything. They were made at our church building! But we didn't care, because we had fun doing them. That's how some people are here, and you just have to accept that. If you don't like all the amateurish movies, just wait for the next NCC release and watch that.

Likewise, with the music. If you are trying to create a decently good action flick, the Matrix music is way overused. But if you can find some way to fit it in and have it compliment the movie (as opposed to being the main driving force), then it is okay. And if you're like what I mentioned in the previous paragraph, then you shouldn't care, and just have fun with what you're doing.

Hope this expanation clears some things up.
Posted: Fri, 6th Feb 2004, 5:06pm

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otteypm

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I think the problem with what you are saying is that it takes a lot of time and resources to light scenes properly and film multiple angles and create stunning CGI, most people on here want a quick fix, they want to film their mates running round firing guns and thats as far as they want to take it.

I would love it if people took all of this on board and tried to raise the quality of their films, but I think 90% of the cinema can't be considered to be films anyway, they are clips or fun things that people have made with their friends.

I try to improve with every thing I make in one way or another, and I think others like Solthar and Twisted do the same, It's all about the standards you set for yourself....
Posted: Fri, 6th Feb 2004, 7:49pm

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Axeman

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Well aiming for a higher quality with your movies is definitely a good goal. Keep in mind, though, that many of these people may have never made a movie pefore the ones you see in the AlamDV cinema. The very first time you do something, you can be pretty proud of the result, even if it is a piece of dung. I like to at least try to do things right the first time (as do you, apparently), but sometimes it can be fun to just throw something together really quick as an amusement. But yeah, if you come here expecting to see a bunch of professional-quality shorts, you will be disappointed. Most of the movies focus more on the effects created in AlamDV than on content or quality.

Also Bryce007, just so you know, Cinematography is lighting, not camera angles. Camera angles are generally selected by the director, not the cinematographer. The cinematographer does have some input of course, especially with regard to making sure that the lighting set-up and so forth are not in the frame, but since the shot composition has a direct influence on how the director's vision is conveyed to the audience, he is the man in charge. People often confuse the way frames and shots are composed with cinematography, which is in fact the way a film is lit and shot.
Posted: Fri, 6th Feb 2004, 8:54pm

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AndrewtheActorMan

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Bryce007, you seem like a good movie critic.

And no, i am not trying to sound like thats stupid, its actually good.

I personally did a small test film on here called Thanksgiving with AlamDV, just because it was my first day w/ the program and all...as i look back on it, i have not clue why I posted it...heh.

I did take time in working on some very techinque and "story telling" in my small film, The Challenger Mission

Tell me what you think of it, as it seems that you care about film...etc. Dont bash it, as i don't think anyone on this site deserves it, but i would like to know what you think.

I do agree with your points...problem with creative angles at the moment, is most of my small things are done by myself...thus havent dont much stuff...so there is no camera person. The camera just is stuck on a tripod.

Andrew biggrin
Posted: Fri, 6th Feb 2004, 9:12pm

Post 6 of 33

sidewinder

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Rating: +1

This being said, twisted studios seems to know entertainment quite well, even though they dont follow all this advice.
Hey, thanks. Glad you like our stuff.

Comment on the comments:

When saying how many people here are n00bs, don't use that as an excuse for not attempting to improve or polish one's movies.

People say how the cinema is just a place to show what you've done, but I like to think of it as more of a real online cinema where people are trying to make movies, not show their tests. The "tests" aspect was covered back when this site had the gray color scheme, and was referred to as alamdv.com. Personally, I'd appreciate it if people posted tests in the forums much like people do with non-alamdv movies. I'd prefer for the cinema to be more complete attempts at this aspect of art.
Posted: Fri, 6th Feb 2004, 10:35pm

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jstow222

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Bryce007, I could not agree more, this is why I have yet to upload a movie here. We have been working very hard on all the above mentioned and hope it turns out well. Now, keep in mind that not many of us have a huge budget while making our little films. I admitt, I too used to use ripped copies of software, but after talking to some members here, I realized what a crime I was commiting and I am now a proud owner of After Effects 6. In similar posts to this people have made comments such as its just a "little joke film" or just "alot of gore". While making films like this can be a real blast, often not much is learned while working on these projects. I for one come to FXHome to learn. Period. Yes, their products are amazing and I am using both of them in my current project, but they are not the reason I make my films.
Posted: Sat, 7th Feb 2004, 1:07am

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Brettsta

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I agree with you but...


Many people cant afford to get lights for their moviemaking. For Many people this is a hobby. Theyd rather spend their money on a camera, or an ipod or something. I feel putting down a movie because it isnt top notch lighting and such is ridiculous. You bring up some good poitns though...

Bryce007 wrote:

Screw the effects.
I thoroughly disagree with you on this, without effects there;d be no AlamDV or Chromanator..

Last edited Sat, 7th Feb 2004, 1:44am; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Sat, 7th Feb 2004, 1:16am

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Pooky

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Yay, I do all of those!
Posted: Sat, 7th Feb 2004, 1:40am

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kungfukid

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lol yay me too...i think
Posted: Sat, 7th Feb 2004, 1:50am

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Magic_man12

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Hey

I do agree.

One thing I can suggest for n00bs is to look up "rule of thirds". Basically rules for how to frame what you want etc etc - very helpful.


-MAGIC
Posted: Sat, 7th Feb 2004, 2:01am

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Troy

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Rating: +1

I kind of figured, with AlamDV being a "Budget" special FX package, that the Cinema here was intended for amatures to post, get feedback on and strive to improve what they were doing. I at least *thought* about lighting and camera angles when I did my first one, even if I didn't have the information or skill to do it very well. My Afflakkk commercial bit certainly taught me a ton about what can be improved, and I imagine the next one I make will to.

I have done some research about lighting, and plan to incorperate it when I can, where I can and if time allows. (fact is, not everyone has the time or desire to spend 2 months putting together a 30 second to one minute "short", a little thing called "A real job and a life"..... or in my case, a Con coming up and several more bits to finish)

I have done research about sound, and found an answer that improved the sound I can get from my camera dramatically. It's still not studio quality, but at least it's not so bad it's distracting anymore.

It all comes down to the amount of time and passion you are willing to put into making movies. For me, it's strictly a minor pastime. It's fun, as long as it doesn't get too tedious. it's certainly not something I ever intend to do for a living. I'm not about to stop because my work doesn't meet your standards, but I'm also not about to whine about getting a low rating for a low quality product. Or any rating, really.... to me it's about improving things to the extent I'm willing to expend time and effort to. I would at least like to know what I COULD do to fix problems, even if I've decided it's not worth it to me to do so.

I guess my point is, there's a big learning curve to doing this stuff. To add to that, we don't get to specialize in one area, we have to wear all hats. (Director, cameraman, sound guy, editor, cinimatographer, foley artist, prop maker, wardrobe, and whatever else) so there's a lot to it. Different folks are at different spots on the curve, not only skill wise, but on the "Time and passion" scale as well.
Posted: Sat, 7th Feb 2004, 2:17am

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Gibs

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I agree Troy, there is a big learning curve for this stuff. And not only that, but it takes a long time to get good no matter what. Filmmaking is experience.
Posted: Sat, 7th Feb 2004, 7:57am

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Bryce007

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my comments about the effects were making the point that movies should never hinge on special effects. this whole "BIG BUDGET" stuff is weird, since clamp lights cost around 8 bucks. I also never said that any of you had to adhere to my standard, i was simply suggesting that its not that considerate to waste your audiences time. If you want to, feel free. What im really saying is, What is the point of movies? to entertain? to inform? to be enjoyed (regardless of what it is about them you enjoy)? them logistically, if you didnt make a movie that was able to do such, it would simply be recording a couple things you did earlier, and playing them back.

I suppose people who admit to making 100% crap all the time would find this offensive, since they dont care to attempt anything that would take time and a little effort.

Ive made movies that have won quite a few film festivals by doing this:

1. get together with another person (really, just 2 people switching off with the camera, and doing some cloning while wearing different clothes and not showing a ton of face and head)
2. film all of it in 2 saturdays (8am to 6 pm)
3. get permission for a good location.
4. clamp some lights around.
5. shoot all the scenes we can do at the current location.


simple eh? 2 saturdays and we took top prizes at film festivals.
so all this about people not having the time is an excuse for not feeling the need to put some effort forth. i used to have 2 jobs currently and i didnt work weekends on either of them, so i used my only time off to film, and consequently pleased the audience. now i have alot more equipment and a 10 person crew, because they had seen our earlier efforts and realized we cared about what we do. Im not saying youve got to make a masterpiece, just something that makes it seem like you put effort into.
Posted: Sat, 7th Feb 2004, 9:43am

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Aculag

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I want to see some of your movies, Bryce. I know it's not hard to pull something good together. You don't even need the things you're talking about. The Low, Down Of It was shot in 4 hours with one light. Depending on your situation, or the mood of the film, you can get away with not having a completely lit set. You can get away with using no lights at all. I agree with what you said about cameras. I have said the same thing many many times. Also the music thing. I get tired of hearing the same songs in every movie. And it's not just Matrix music. Carmina Burana should always be avoided. And since most people think that Carmina Burana is that one song, and not an entire hour long suite, it's even more annoying. Editing is one thing I don't particularly agree with you on. Holding a shot for a long time can be very effective. The placement of the cut is what matters. Don't cut on an action, to another take where there is no action. That's bad editing. Cinematography, listen to axeman, but I have something to add. You mention an establishing shot as an angle... Well, you don't have to have the camera pointing up at a building to show where someone is. take the opening shot in X2 for example. There's no exterior shot of the white house to start out with, but the shot the movie starts with is an establishing shot, because we know they're in the white house. If there's a gun fight in a snowy field, we don't need a helicopter shot with subtitles saying "Colorado Wilderness" for example. You know what I mean? Sometimes it's ok. The vast majority of scenes that are done correctly will let you know where someone is without spelling it out. I'm RANTING!
Posted: Sun, 8th Feb 2004, 7:36pm

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Bryce007

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Rating: -2

Have you seen the vast majority of camera work on this site? enough said...
Posted: Sun, 8th Feb 2004, 8:08pm

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Tobbger

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In this type of amateur-films it's more effects than very good acting, story etc. I think you just should get use to it. I want more of the nice angles, script but this is a AlamDV-archive, you show what you can do with the program.
Posted: Sun, 8th Feb 2004, 9:00pm

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Arktic

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Rating: +1

Bryce 007 -

Wheras I agree with what you've said for the most part, I feel that you've overlooked something.

I see the FXhome cinema much like the real cinema. There are some movies that look fantastic - and others that look like trashy teen films that I wouldn't want to see, ever. So I see the ones I like the look of, and avoid the others.

No-one is forcing me to see the bad movies at a real cinema - and likewise, no-one is forcing you to see the lower-quality movies in the FXhome cinema. So if you don't like them, don't download them.

You get a fair idea of if a film is going to be bad from other users' ratings and comments. There are some people here who don't mind sitting through 'bad' movies, as they like to tell the creator how to rectify the problems that they can see. They will let you know, via their comments, if it's the kind of film you want to watch or not.

Bear in mind that the people who post test clips and first-attempts are after advice on how to improve, as well as wanting to show off their new work - and nobody should stop them. It's up to you what you watch and what you don't - but it's up to no-one but the creator to decide if they want to put their work up where others have the option to view it if they wish.

This way, everyone's happy smile

Cheers,
Arktic.
Posted: Mon, 9th Feb 2004, 1:01am

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Bryce007

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So, basically all i was saying with this thread was that improving is good, not putting any effort into your movies because you dont care isnt good.
Posted: Mon, 9th Feb 2004, 6:53am

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Unbreakable

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Long shots can be really effective. Don't believe me? Check out the film Unbreakable by M. Night Shyamalan. It has many shots that are quite extensive in length.

You know what long shots do? They bring you into world established in the film that much more. Every time there is a cut, it is as if it were an interruption (an awakening) from the dream that is film.

A lot of times, jump cuts in action films mean that they had zero budget to work with and thus cut together random footage to make some semblance of an action sequence.

The Matrix actually had some nice long cuts in it. As did Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. These are the films that have done action right.

Oh, for a good example of quick cutting done right, go watch the first 20 minutes of The Transporter. This started off as one of the best action movies of the last decade, but, alas, the story turned into crap. The car chase that starts off the film is full of rapid cuts and fitting music. Very well done, very resourceful.


Then, you look at a movie like Hard Boiled starring Chow Yun Fat, and you can see a single shot that spans over two minutes that has multiple gun battles. Simply amazing, it really draws you into the scene and makes it that much more real.
Posted: Mon, 9th Feb 2004, 8:03am

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Bryce007

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I never said that long cuts are bad, i was trying to say that (some movies ive seen on here linger unnecessarily) when you dont have a large crew or enough people to act while using a camera, its an easier workaround to simply use static tripod shots that are cut a little more often then that of one with an actual camera person. Also, ive noticed that when dialogue occurs, sometime the camera stays in the same spot for seemingly ever, making the script sound monotonous.(like i said before, this is for people who dont have the luxury of a dedicated camera person)
Posted: Mon, 9th Feb 2004, 10:14am

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Simon K Jones

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In the hands of a capable filmmaker, all of the rules are there to be broken when deemed necessary. Best be thinking of them more as...guidelines, ye might say.

As for the cinema at FXhome...it has to be remembered that there are wildly different creative teams here, with vastly different ideas of a potential audience. A lot of the films are made for personal enjoyment, with no concern for the final audience. Now, if you had to pay to watch the movies you could understandably be frustrated at some of the more frivolous entries. The FXhome cinema is a free archive to view, though, and you have the option to choose what to download.

Take Prodition as an example - one of the best movies we've had on the site. However, its director fully admits that it was made for his own and his kids' enjoyment. It was a personal family project. Now, due to unclepain's own skill, Prodition also ended up as a highly enjoyable movie for the rest of us. But the point is that we were not its primary audience. A movie by the Twisted boys or NCC, however, is designed very much with as large an audience in mind as possible.

I suppose my point is that whilst the normal cinema requires you pay a fee to view its films, thereby allowing you to assume a certain level of quality (although whether this is regularly met is debateable...), things work slightly differently here, with all kinds of filmmakers - some would not even call themselves filmmakers - looking for all kinds of audiences. Personally I welcome the diversity of the movies on display here, even if it does mean the quality varies greatly. And I do have to watch them all. wink
Posted: Mon, 9th Feb 2004, 5:58pm

Post 23 of 33

anonymous

WOW. I agree with you on alot of things Bryce, but I haven't seen any films from you yet. I don't know if anyone else has but I sure haven't. I can't say much for myself because I have not posted anything into the cinema because I'm waiting for a project of mine to be completed. I don't want to annoy you with stupid little pointless effects and movies with no plots or dialogue. But I would still like to bring something to your attention. The fact that a good film needs good sound to it too, otherwise it just isn't at its full potential period. From experience, it is hard finding a good shotgun mic or any mic for that matter that can be used with your camera. Making sound FX' or finding some is hard at the same time aswell. Not all of us have credit cards to buy things through the internet or just at the mall too. Sound is a BIG factor. Another thing that people should try out is to try and make your OWN music and dont rip anything off any other movies. Even if it is an old movie that no one remembers or something. I use a GREAT program called FL Studio (www.flstudio.com). the demo is perfect for anyone wanting to make a good movie and have the right music for their type of film. I am sick of Rob Dougan, duel of fates, etc. Make your own! get this program, or find some original music that hasnt been used before. Lighting shouldnt be a problem for people either. Take lights from home..a lamp, desklamp, flashlights even work for lighting an actors face. I could go on but ill just leave it at that for now... biggrin
Posted: Mon, 9th Feb 2004, 6:00pm

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elementcinema

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that was me up there..forgot to login AGAIN! unsure
Posted: Mon, 9th Feb 2004, 10:54pm

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Troy

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At least one comment on the original post got me to thinking....

To put it bluntly, quit thinking about more expensive cameras until you know how to use the one youve got to its fullest extent!
So, I downloaded the manual to my camera (This would have been addressed sooner had I been able to find the manual easier) and looked up how to manually adjust White balance and Exposure, so hopefully I can avoid the dark/warmish yellowy feel I seem to get using auto. It's a step in the right direction, at least. smile
Posted: Tue, 10th Feb 2004, 1:13am

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Bryce007

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Yeah, i was going to put something about sounds and mics, but i knew it would catch alot of flak since that is usually the second most expensive piece of equipment, which is why its good you added that. After all, who would believe someone with only 40 force points?



And pugh gave me a link to a place to host some movies, but im not sure whether i'll put any links to them on here since certain people are suddenly holding me to a higher standard after this and other posts, which will cause the movies to get railed on by a select few vicious critics, if i do, i'll probably only post some older ones that arent up to even my own standards.
Posted: Tue, 10th Feb 2004, 2:13am

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Slick

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Bryce007 I agree with you some people do tend to just pick up a camera, pirate expensive software and push the big reddy!

The thing is movies ( shorts, films, ect...) are'nt all about special effects. I mean sure its nice to have some stunning vizuals but it understemates the point every movie should have a good plot (story) and at least some good camera work and some focus on lighting. Now some people are new and are still learning but being that this is a site with programs that do special effects the new people start to think that they need to have them.

I personaly think its rather silly. Every movie should have some kind of story to it not just a gun fight at random for no apperant reason. If you really want the gun fight make a story to go with what causes the gun fight. For example there is a movie with someone pointing a gun and he starts to shoot and kills someone so a bunch of other people start shooting that is a horrible movie and is not worth downloading. Another example A former Mafia learder desides to resign from his possition but is hunted down by the others so he has to gather a new gang of followers to support him in a battle against the Mafia. Which one is better? You decide.

Well just my views I'd like to see more work put into films rather than just 10 mins of filming and 10 minitues of adding special effects in Alam Dv.

After all, who would believe someone with only 40 force points?


Another thing I would like to add is a person with 40 force points who is helpful is always better than a person with 1,000 who is a jerk and spams everywhere.
Posted: Tue, 10th Feb 2004, 2:28am

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Brettsta

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Bryce007 wrote:

After all, who would believe someone with only 40 force points?
Stupid comment, no offense. Force doesnt make someone a better person or more helpful person.
Posted: Tue, 10th Feb 2004, 3:04am

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KimPossible

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>> i'll probably only post some older ones that arent up to even my own standards.

Nice backpedal.
Posted: Tue, 10th Feb 2004, 10:27am

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Bryce007

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force points may not make someone more helpful, but ive noticed it sure does make other people listen you as opposed to others.

Kimpossible, that comment you made about me backpedalling, that was pretty unnecessary and uncalled for, since the reason i would put older ones up (if any) is because of people like yourself feeling the need to tell me how much it sucked and how much it was worse than anything ever made ever in the history of the cinema. This way, i dont have to put up with lame and biased opinions because even i know they arent all that great. Not that i would really listen to some such as yourself anyways.
Posted: Tue, 10th Feb 2004, 10:30am

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Aculag

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If they're not all that great, why do you act like you can do so much better than everyone? No offense, it's an honest question.
Posted: Tue, 10th Feb 2004, 4:31pm

Post 32 of 33

JohnCarter

Force: 3295 | Joined: 11th Mar 2003 | Posts: 1078

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Rating: +1

Unbreakable wrote:

A lot of times, jump cuts in action films mean that they had zero budget to work with and thus cut together random footage to make some semblance of an action sequence.
While what you say here may be true for some films, quick cuts are as much a matter of style than anything else. Same goes with long cuts. Long cuts take longer to do and are much more logistically complex. It all depends on the feeling you want to give. Michael Bay uses a quick cutting style and he doesn't have pennies for budgets. It's not always efficient, but when it works, it works.

As for Bryce, I kind of agree with Aculag and I ask myself the same question. And Kim's reaction echoes mine as well. It's easy to be a critic, not easy to be criticized. You complain about a lot of the films in the cinema, yet of your own admission, your early efforts are not up to your own standards, whatever that means, since we haven't seen anything by you. A lot of the films you complained about are first time efforts. Just like yours, they are not up to many people's standards, and a lot of times, the makers themselves know it's not up to theirs either. At least they have the courage to show them, expose themselves to the criticism of others, and hopefully learn in the process. That's partly what this site is for. It's free, it's fun, it's there to help people who use CSB programs to make their movies. Nothing more, nothing less. It ain't a film school site, or a Hollywood hangout.

You had valid point in your original post, some of them I share, but since then, your credibility is in freefall with almost every comments you make... I don't think force has anything to do with how you are listenend to. It has to do with your argumentation. And lately, it's pretty weak. Kim made a statement that can be perceived as rude but she has a point.

And I'm sorry, but it doesn't say much about your character to say that you don't want the community to see your films because you are afraid people will gang up on you and trash you because of your original comment... It's pretty weak dude. Yes there will be people who trash you, but there is a lot of mature people around who will look at your stuff objectively. And what if you really deserve a trashing? Is that what you are afraid of?

If you ask me, it's a weak excuse that seriously weakens your former statements...
Posted: Tue, 10th Feb 2004, 10:12pm

Post 33 of 33

The8thRemover

Force: 0 | Joined: 10th Feb 2004 | Posts: 4

Member

While most of what your saying is true Bryce007, there are a few things that you didnt take into account, like others have said, some people make movies exclusively for there own enjoyment.