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Toy Wars: The Phantom Scalper Menace

Posted: Wed, 9th Jun 2004, 11:17am

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Toy Wars has returned, and back with a better server!

"TOY WARS: THE PHANTOM SCALPER MENACE" takes place approximately two years after "A NEW COLLECTOR." The seven month deadline has passed for the Dommonick Hollie Enterprises (DHE) scalpers in trying to obtain one of the two rare toy variant action figures, the black suit Princess Leia in slave gear (aka the black slave Leia) valued at an unprecedented $5 million due to the controversy over the name and the rarity of the toy. If the Master Scalper Dommonik Hollie and DHE get a hold of the toy, it means the end of the Collectors. The undercover organization would have enough money to control all toy shipments routing directly to DHE forcing toy sales to reach over triple their worth in the secondary toy market while no store in America carrying Star Wars toys would carry them anymore.

In between "A NEW COLLECTOR" and "THE PHANTOM SCALPER MENACE" Mark Gallagher (Matthew Czaplinski) has been learning the ways of the collectors from John Bolo (Jim Rothman) and strengthening his skills in the toy runs that are a daily effort against DHE.

One day an old friend approaches Mark unannounced that there is trouble and that he must seek the master of all collectors to resolve the conflict before it's too late. In the process a revelation will be brought to Mark that will test his true faith in the Collectors Union.

Mark can not take on the scalpers alone. His friends John Bolo, Ada Oregano (Katie Ward), Randy Crimson (Josh Belcher) and Admiral Beanie (Michael Czaplinski) will have to stand up to DHE.

This movie will be released in late 2004. AlamDV was used for muzzle and firing effects.

More Info
Posted: Wed, 9th Jun 2004, 12:41pm

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It looks like you had quite a high production value. Lots of different people and some nice locations, wich is cool!

All in all I must say though, there wasn't much that griped me in any way. The TV spot looked pretty ridicolous to me in places (I guess you're going for a comedy with the props and costumes, just didn't made me laugh, just go "meh") :I

The 4 minutes intro was nicely filmed I thought. Solid cinematography and editing. What I thought could be improved a lot is the sounddesign. There were a lot of ambient sounds missing or oddly mixed together with the music. I guess it wasn't original music, was it? It seemd too dominant and a little off to the picture.
What was nice though was that the dialogue could be understood, wich is rare. smile
And the acting was okay too!
Posted: Wed, 9th Jun 2004, 6:10pm

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Hello, all!

Wasn't really meant to be laugh out loud comedy. It's a cross between a drama, comedy, action, spoof.

During the trailers lots of the ambient tones weren't added yet. All I have is dialogue. I'm working on the final cut right now.

Whatever negative criticism I receive isn't bad at all. I know this is a community where people love to use effect software, but I get so tired of productions where all they think about is where to put the next explosion or what other flashy thing they can throw in next. There's a lot of shorts on here that is just saturated in effects, but lack any kind of story at all, and I just mean that in general. So much of the work I see on here is technically very well executed and beautiful effects work, but rarely do I care about any of the characters. I'm all for character and story driven moreso than how much effects sequences you can throw it. This is the age of flashy effects though and I guess I'm still just living in the past.

Yeah the 30 second spot was goofy. It's just a small run of clips is all. SOmeone wanted me to throw a few clips together within 30 seconds for a public acces TV Show. That's all it is.

All criticism is welcome and I actually do expect to receive more mediocre reviews than positive ones because of my trailers not having lots of effects used. The last 20-30 minutes get pretty intense though. smile Most here won't have the attention span to watch a 2hr and 10 minute movie though. Just a bunch of film with characters and story... wink
Posted: Wed, 9th Jun 2004, 6:45pm

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Don't get me wrong... I wasn't talking about the effects. I enjoy films without effects a lot as well.

Just couldn't see anything interesting storywise. Don't know about the final film of course, could have a great script. Just from the teaser or the 4 minute outtake there wasn't really anything that left me wanting to see more.
Could be cause I am no Star Wars fan either, so you don't get me with anything Star Wars just because it's got lightsabres or Stormtroopers in it. In fact, chances are you turn me off with anything Star Wars... smile

But thats a matter of taste really, technically the film looks cool!
Posted: Wed, 9th Jun 2004, 10:23pm

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Nice to see some of the final film. However, the sound definitely needed more work. Also, the preview was somewhat interesting, but it seemed a little boring to me. However, I assume it gets more interesting later on, and from seeing the three trailers (I thought C was the best!), I'm not worried about the final film being good. smile

Can't wait until I can rotoscope some of the lightsabers!
Posted: Thu, 10th Jun 2004, 12:20am

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Yeah it gets more interesting.

If you don't care for Star Wars at all, you really shouldn't watch it. This isn't all Star Wars related, but the story spoofs on it somewhat, but also has originality to it.

You also should have seen the first movie to understand one of the character's ebtrances into the opening scene, so just seeing this without knowing who anyone is will be definitely thinking, "Who the heck is that? Why should I care?!" He's the guy in our first movie who basically killed our Obi-Wan character and basically does the big "dirty work" for DHE. So if you were bored, it's probably because you didn't know who the character was, and also... yeah.. not much effects to keep the eye candy flowing. Maybe some relentless crap next time will do the trick, haha!

I have always said this movie won't be for everyone and I don't expect it to attract all general audiences at all. If I tried to do that I'd be making Brother Bear II or something, but heck I never saw the fiorst one because it looked like the Lion King with bears. haha smile
Posted: Thu, 10th Jun 2004, 7:34am

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I myself think you guys are doing a great job, and although Im not a huge Star Wars fan myself. I REALLY, want to see this movie. As for the first four minutes, I found that everything was good. I liked the music, the ambience sounds, and the acting. The dialogue was very good at the beggining and the entrance of the "bad guy" was done very well. You guys keep up the good work, Im very anxious to see the final film.

By the way, Is there anyway possible to see the first Toy Wars film?
Posted: Thu, 10th Jun 2004, 11:31am

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Simon K Jones

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Not quite sure where all your comments about FXhome people only being interested in effects are coming only have to look at the current top 10 to see that most of the films are story/character/idea-driven affairs, with the effects being just one element. Most of the top films in the archive are also story-driven, with only a few FX extravaganzas.

Just a brief familiarity with forum discussions round here would make it pretty clear that plot and character are what most of the filmmakers are striving for - hence the sighs when someone submits a standard lightsaber/gunfight test.

"Most here won't have the attention span to watch a 2hr and 10 minute movie" is an odd thing to say...sure, people won't have the attention to watch a rubbish 2hr and 10 minute movie, but if it's good then we'd all be more than happy to see it. Your attitude towards FXhome seems rather curious. smile

Anyway, down to business - the 4 minute clip.

• Very nice opening titles, polished and immediately gives the film a sense of class.

• Setting the opening scene in the rain really adds to the feeling of foreboding. It's also good to see that you went to the effort of shooting in the wet - most people would have decided to wait for better weather.

• The post-production lightning simply doesn't work. It's far too slow, and comes across as a slow super contrast fiddle, rather than a proper flash. It's distracting and unconvincing at the moment, which detracts from the scene. Check out Ghost for a good example of post-production lightning. I think another problem with your lightning is that it is far too bright, considering it is broad daylight and the storm is clearly a little way away, judging by the sound delay.

• Dialogue was mostly clear. Sound work in general was ok, if a little bland. I'd have liked to have heard some more rain noises, water droplets hitting the top of the umbrella etc. Would help to add atmosphere to the scene. While I'm not familiar with the characters or the story, I got the feeling the scene is meant to be quite ominous, and a careful sound design would really help to enhance that.

Overall it's a fine opening teaser. As I don't know the series it doesn't get me too excited, but it certainly doesn't put me off watching the rest. Personally I'm looking forward to the puppetry work, which looks hilarious. Judging from the various trailers, the puppets all seem to have had a lot of work put into them, but still look deliberately incredibly cheesey - coupled with the deadly serious acting, the result is brilliant. The tauntaun (?) in particular looks great.

Main thing I'm interested in is is how you handle the tone of the film. It seems like a pretty tough mix of outright comedy, drama, action and spoof. If you carry it off, I imagine it'll be highly entertaining. Hopefully you'll change your mind about us not being able to cope with a 2 hour movie.
Posted: Thu, 10th Jun 2004, 7:22pm

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Thanks for the great in depth review!

The lightning I may have to revisit.

I must stand corrected about the "general audience." It's moreso just few people who want to see effects stuff. I know there's plenty of great stories here. Maybe it's just a lot of stuff I've come across is a saber duel... I dunno. I do apologize for wording that incorrectly and irresponsibly.

It is a tough mix of eberything. The puppets and costumes for any beanie characters deliberately have a cheesy look to them, though I did try to take some care into the Yoda creature which I am very happy with. The Admiral (the one in the red vest) is definitely cheeseball smile It is going to be different.

Thanks for the comments on everything. I'll take a look at the film you mentioned for lightning and see if I should do that.
Posted: Thu, 10th Jun 2004, 10:54pm

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Awesome! I'm sure you already heard from me about the 4 minutes on TFN, but I thought since all the trailers are here that I would take the opportunity to comment on them.

Trailer B was awesome! Showed alot more of the movie. There were some really really awesome shots in there some of my favorite being the scenes between Mark and the blue Yoda guy. Some of your cinematography (waterfall shots stand out) and lighting (blue night shots with mark really stand out) is just top notch.

30 Second TV Spot - Navras is a cool song, nice use of it probably was fun to edit. Some of the sabers and keying need work during the saber fight but I'm sure some of these are first draft shots. That shot of Mark at about :12 is just amazing. The look on his face and the soft lighting is How did you get the subtle glow to the shot? Lens Filter?

I'm not sure how fond I am of the purple grading that you are giving some of the shots but hey that seems like it is sortof the color sceme of the movie. I'm giving you a 5 because if you can make a 2 and a half hour movie of this high quality with comedy, drama, and visual effects then you deserve it.

Posted: Fri, 11th Jun 2004, 6:56pm

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Hey, I've been on-edge waiting for this to come out ever since you released the first trailer. Looks great, I really hope you can get it on the site. If not, maybe you could post individual scenes? Just an idea. It's funny, dramatic, and Star-Warsy (without being THAT nerdy looking) Can't wait. 5 from me. biggrin
Posted: Tue, 15th Jun 2004, 2:22am

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I was most impressed. THIS is what I like to see. Good lit scenes, PROPER effort has been put in. And the trailers pulled me in. I watched the 2002 one first and liked a lot of the puppetry stuff. Gotta love the blue guy! A number of great shots, characters and actors (Phew).

To be honest, it's too early to comment on things like sound or visuals if you won't be releasing this till "late 2004", so I won't say nuthin' more. But it's looking good.

And one last thought - thank god someone decides to use more camera shots like boom, dolly, etc. Keeping the viewer interested with different shots and angles. And of course locations like the toys r us and the waterfall parts are great. Variety and spectacle. Thank you for this, I can't wait. And I usually don't care for Star Wars based fan films!

Posted: Tue, 22nd Jun 2004, 1:42am

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Thanks for the comments. The progress still struggles forward, but we're getting there.
Posted: Sun, 27th Mar 2005, 1:20pm

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This is an amazing movie..... really.... it´s fun.... it´s thrilling.... you want to see more of The Collectors..... But there is only one thing..... Where did you get the music to Trailer C..??? if you want to share it with a fan......
Posted: Thu, 28th Apr 2005, 3:30pm

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I Have a question?How can I erase the wires when filming in greenscreen....
You movie will be fantastic....
when is the release date in Europe (Portugal) lol????????
Thanks for everything
Posted: Sun, 1st May 2005, 12:56pm

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Wow... The trailers were just plain awesome... But where do I go to download the movie?? doesn't work now, so where do I go to get it?
Posted: Sun, 1st May 2005, 3:36pm

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Ok, erasing wires: Mask it out in Chromy, AE, or really any compositing program.

And DarkWarr, sadly it isn't out yet. :-\ I will send him out an email asking what's done and I will update you guys when i get a response.
Posted: Mon, 2nd May 2005, 2:27am

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Thanks man =) Really appreciate it.
Posted: Wed, 4th May 2005, 8:59pm

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vilhelm nielsen

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Rating: +1

DarkWarr wrote:

Wow... The trailers were just plain awesome... But where do I go to download the movie?? doesn't work now, so where do I go to get it?
here, i don't know why they changed the url
Posted: Tue, 10th May 2005, 9:51am

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w00t... Thanks man... Nice site... Why'd they change the URL??

Heck... Doesn't matter now, NOW I KNOW THE SITE!!! MUAHAHHAHA!!!!
thanks! =)
Posted: Tue, 10th May 2005, 3:52pm

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Hey- where are you guys located?
That was a FANTASTIC trailer... 5/5 just for trailer C. Loved the use of the Requiem for a dream music!

I'd be interested to know what your plans on distribution are?
Posted: Sun, 19th Mar 2006, 11:07pm

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All I Can Say Is I Want To See This Nice Teaser . I dont Make Films or Anything Just Come On this Site To Watch them And This Luks Great My First Post 2..

When And How Wil I be Able To Watch The Full Version ?