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Dreamweaver

Posted: Wed, 23rd Jun 2004, 10:45am

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BackOfTheHearse

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Gary is a man who once had a problem with insomnia. His doctor prescribed pills to help him sleep, but they have been coming with a price: Now that Gary can sleep, he's haunted by horrible nightmares. Every time Gary dreams, he sees the same man attempting to kill him. Each time, Gary manages to escape just before his demise, but he's becoming more and more worried... the dreams are so vivid that he often cannot tell if he's awake or asleep. And what if the man who is after him is actually real?


This was a movie made for my Creative Writing final exam this year. It is plagued with certain problems that I am well aware of. The movie itself was filmed in under 5 hours, and fully edited over the course of 1 single night, in which I completely taught myself the use of Chromanator. So I am aware of the masking problems with the Chromy effects, and the acting (at least with a couple characters) is not professional. Given that I'd never used Chromanator before that night, and given the "flash" uber-fast filming schedule, I am actually surprised that this did come out to the level it's at. Not an incredible level by any means, but adequate for my exam grade. Enjoy.

Extra Special Thanks to Greyo for hosting this file.
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Posted: Wed, 23rd Jun 2004, 11:20am

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Greyo

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Hey,

no problems about the hosting. I just finished watching the film and here are some of my thoughts.

I like the concept of a man with insomnia then going to the other extreme and having nightmares. That’s a very good premise for character conflict.

The film itself was okay but I was blown away by your make-up skills. The burn effect with the shirt stuck to the guys skin was amazing. You obviously have a great talent in this department.

I think you need more close-ups. Whenever a scene gets intense you should go in close to get peoples reactions. At times it feels as if the viewer is being kept at arms distance on purpose making it harder to engage in the story.

I know locations can be difficult but the doctors office looked like you attic room, probably was. It would have been better if you could have used an office or a furnished living room.

The gunshots were wicked too. What did you use for the bullet hits and the blood soaking into the shirt when he gets shot in the arm.

heh you were right about the appearance of the predator

to end I enjoyed the film, could have been much better but by not far not he worse film I’ve seen on here. The physical effects elevate it quite highly.

Ian

Last edited Wed, 23rd Jun 2004, 10:41pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Wed, 23rd Jun 2004, 11:34am

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simon603

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i did enjoy this film, there were things i liked and parts that i didn't. The special effects in the film were good, well done if that was your first time using Chromanator. I liked the story line and i really liked the ending although a little preditcable. The only thing i didn't like about the film was the beggining thought it took a little while to get into the main story and the scene dragged on a bit too much.

All in all it was a good film, i would be interested to see what mark u got for it, as u say it was made for your Creative Writing final exam.
Posted: Wed, 23rd Jun 2004, 12:08pm

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Mellifluous

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That was good. I agree some of the acting wasn't great, but this was mainly the guy with glasses, who was quite emotionless (apologies if this was you twisted)

The camerawork could have been a lot better. Right from the beginning it is rather stilted (the pans in the room aren't great, as are the zooms). A slow handheld pan may have looked better. There was a lot of shakey camerawork, plus the framing was poor when it kept on cutting out characters in wide shots. I agree, close ups would have been good, especially with the psychiatrist scene. The wide shot of each character kind of made the characters distant from each other, which led me to believe that the actors lines were filmed separately. More intimate close ups would have made the scene more convincing.

As a writer who's explored similar themes, I guessed all the plot twists (didn't try but my mind tends to think ahead to paths down which a plot can go with some films). In the psychiatrist scene, you needn't have emphasised the psychiatrist is real so much, with him saying he's real 2 or 3 times. Maybe not at all. That way it's much more of a shock when he starts disappearing.

The other acting was fine. I thought the psychiatrist carried off his role really well, & his deliverance of the script was good, his words believeable. The stalker guy was equally good, delivering his lines (which were B-movie cheesy, heh) with panache.

The effects were great. I liked the burns effects. The effects of the stalker appearing could have been accompanied by a blinding lightbulb flash to make them look a bit better; just a tip. The fire/explosion effects looked good...the guy did look on fire. Plus, there were some nice powder/smoke effects there emanating from the stalker. The only effect I didn't like was the morph. You could have added more frames to the morph & taken care not to morph the background so much, OR used a simple additive dissolve which may have done the trick better.

Still, good work which IMO deserves 4
Posted: Wed, 23rd Jun 2004, 4:58pm

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BackOfTheHearse

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Hey, thanks for the replies and kind words.

Greyo, as for the psychiatrist's office, it was written as being thus:

"We find ourselves in a private psychiatrist's office. It is nothing truly special: a couch for patients, a large armchair for the doctor. The room also has shelves of books, a desk littered with papers, and a small clock is ticking in the background. It's obvious that the office is not a private office, but instead is a room in the doctor's home for him to conduct his sessions."

And truly, the only reason I wrote it like that was because I just had no time to even prepare a room to make it look a tad better. As I said, uber-fast filming schedule. And to tell the truth, that room is someone's furnished living room razz

The bullet hits were done with condoms and firecrackers, by the way.

Simon, you're absolutely correct about the dragging, and with the predictability. I think the scene with the Doctor would work better either shorter, or if kept the same length but put into a much longer overall film. The grade I got for it was a 96, and I probably did lose those four points for predictability. That's the kind of teacher I had... tough on things like that.

Mellifluous, the guy with glasses wasn't me, it's my friend Eric. I was the psychiatrist, and the Dream-guy is Rob. Both Rob and I have previous acting work, Eric I kind of threw in there without enough practice (he didn't even have time to memorize his lines).

Thanks for the advice on the camerawork, I should see about doing closer shots. And you are correct about the shots being filmed separately.

When Agemo (the stalker) appeared, I had the problem of the camera moving slightly without my knowledge. So it wasn't very clean. The blinding flash is a good idea, similar to what I did to aid in the car hitting Agemo, to make it a little less fake (at least, that's what I tried to do).

And as for the morph, thinking back, I would have done it in front of a blue/greenscreen and added the background later. Also, the second morph looks much cleaner because I added more points of reference than in the first.

Anyway, thanks for the comments, and thanks for watching.
Posted: Wed, 23rd Jun 2004, 8:49pm

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DRAYKO

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Good job that was great I liked it alot
Posted: Wed, 23rd Jun 2004, 9:31pm

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Aculag

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I loved it. Despite it's low points, it was very interesting, and had a good outcome. I jumped a couple times too. Nice. And good use of effects. Everything else has already been said.

Please tell me the main character was called Gary as an homage to the singer of Dream Weaver...
Posted: Wed, 23rd Jun 2004, 10:11pm

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jonky64

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I liked this film. Expecialy the home made squibs.
Posted: Wed, 23rd Jun 2004, 10:17pm

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BackOfTheHearse

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Aculag wrote:

I loved it. Despite it's low points, it was very interesting, and had a good outcome. I jumped a couple times too. Nice. And good use of effects. Everything else has already been said.

Please tell me the main character was called Gary as an homage to the singer of Dream Weaver...
Thank you much. And actually, the correlation between the Main Character's name and Gary Wright was entirely unintentional. The movie was originally going to be called "The Cure for Insomnia", but I didn't think it fit well, and it's also already the title of an Andy Worhol movie. I actually didn't notice the name match until now, haha.
Posted: Thu, 24th Jun 2004, 5:21am

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hippa03

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I enjoyed watching this film. More close ups please, we are watching these movies on small screens 15.17,19 or 21". It gives more impact and effect. Another point use the tripod some unwanted movements are eyesore.The ticking in tha biggining are too expressive, must be lowered by 25%.
Posted: Thu, 24th Jun 2004, 1:43pm

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Serpent

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What is it rated 15+ for, I think we should do that more often, because, I can not watch it for cussing, but can for blood and violence. We should start putting things like, Rated 15+ for ...
Posted: Thu, 24th Jun 2004, 2:17pm

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BackOfTheHearse

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Hippa -- The ticking in the beginning was meant to be ridiculously loud... it's the first indication that something isn't quite right.

Serpent -- It's rated 15+ for violence/gore, as well as some swearing.
Posted: Thu, 24th Jun 2004, 2:32pm

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Serpent

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Thanks.
Posted: Thu, 24th Jun 2004, 7:47pm

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Ufbasser

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Great Mystery Story mixed with Horror. And hey, how do you create these Shoteffects with the blood. Can you tell me Please smile
Posted: Thu, 24th Jun 2004, 10:07pm

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rypcat

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I must say: excellently executed plot. The music helped a lot.

The stalker running around with flames on him was good, but it was not clear what Gary had shot (classic james bond video game: bookshelves, televisions, boxes, etc. are all explosive wink

For morphs---ALWAYS use a blue screen, and try to put more morph points, the more the better (i.e. around the eyes, nose, mouth, ears, any and all prominent features) Your effect was (as was stated) little more than a dissolve with the telltale signs of a poor morph.

Many camera angles+well timed editing=good
all wide angles+lengthy shots=amateur look

just try to get a few better and more varied angles, and stable motion (if any motion is used)

Otherwise good (an amateurish film with plot is better than a well-made film whose content is sawdust)

Also good----makeup and physical effects. Reality (with effects) is so much more realistic than digital. I'm glad you didn't use the alam blood splatter plugins.
Posted: Fri, 25th Jun 2004, 9:18am

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Sarkilas

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This movie was great! The thing was that when he got shot in his shoulder you could see that he was having a bag or something under his arm were you kept the blood. Maybe I'm mistaking, but I think I saw it! Otherwise good movie.

Keep up the good work. biggrin
Posted: Fri, 25th Jun 2004, 3:41pm

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Evman

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yay! Tra! You used a period! Now i need to use one. there we go.
Posted: Sat, 26th Jun 2004, 8:54pm

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radiometricx

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It was pretty good. The directing was a little off and the voices could've been louder, at times, though. Good job.
Posted: Sun, 27th Jun 2004, 10:40am

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ghevans

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it was ok - i liked the ideas presented in the short but something felt a little off in the execution of them.

i thought the psycho guy was good, other than that the acting wasn't so convincing. i think one of the problems i had was that after running the guy down in the car - the most logical thing would have been for him to just keep driving, instead of running into the woods. it just felt like you needed to get to a certain point for a certain effect to work so that's why he abandoned the car, same goes for the constant changing of weapons - instead of it feeling like a natural progression in plot it just seemed like a signal for "this is the method for the next effects shot".

all in all though - the fx are done quite well (most of my suggestions have already been mentioned in previous posts. morphing using green screen etc.)

but well done otherwise, i'd say about a 3 from me.
Posted: Sun, 27th Jun 2004, 2:26pm

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BackOfTheHearse

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Well, ghevans -- Just remember that in the end, it is a dream sequence.. of sorts.
Posted: Sun, 27th Jun 2004, 3:04pm

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ghevans

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yeh i get that - it just took me out of it for a while. didnt mean to offend by my comments - just thought i could offer constructive criticism.
Posted: Sun, 27th Jun 2004, 8:14pm

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BackOfTheHearse

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Oh, no offense taken, don't worry. smile
Posted: Tue, 29th Jun 2004, 11:52pm

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berlin2232

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First off, congratulations on completeing your movie! But there were a couple areas of concern....

The "tick-tock" of that clock about drove me insane... For a minute there, I was waiting for the psychiatrist to stop talking mid-sentence and look up in anticipation for it to stop. You must have had a really powerful amp hooked up to that bad boy...
It was just too loud and went on too long. Half the time you couldn't hear what was being said and for a moment there I thought that guy was in there because of the tick-tocking...
Perhaps flashbacks and audio of his tormentors voice would have added to the movie instead.

Secondly, you have this character who seems to be able to "get around" via a series of random self-inflicted explosions, which is ok, but why when the victim shoots a fuel tank of some sort and there's this "H U G E" explosion does the tormentor start yelling and screaming as though it hurts? I mean, explosions is how he gets around, right? Seems like through the explosion he would just be involuntarily transported someplace else.

Your camera shots were off a bit as well. There were times throughout the office visit where you could have relayed the emotional and mental pain of the patient better through a series of close up's and camera rolls. Lighting & sound are factors and would have been able to capture his mental torment and express his frustrations too.
Posted: Wed, 30th Jun 2004, 2:31am

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BackOfTheHearse

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berlin2232 wrote:

First off, congratulations on completeing your movie! But there were a couple areas of concern....
Thank you for the congratulatory statement smile

The "tick-tock" of that clock about drove me insane...
That's exactly what it is supposed to do.

For a minute there, I was waiting for the psychiatrist to stop talking mid-sentence and look up in anticipation for it to stop.
The psychiatrist wasn't supposed to notice anything. It was all Gary who's crazy.

You must have had a really powerful amp hooked up to that bad boy...
Nope, just added in post.

It was just too loud and went on too long. Half the time you couldn't hear what was being said and for a moment there I thought that guy was in there because of the tick-tocking...
It's supposed to be loud, and yes, the length may have been a tad too long. But as I mentioned earlier, the tick-tock's change was all in Gary's head, and in a way it DOES signal that something just isn't quite right. And then right as it stops, the guy enters.. that's how it's written, that's how it was filmed.


Secondly, you have this character who seems to be able to "get around" via a series of random self-inflicted explosions, which is ok, but why when the victim shoots a fuel tank of some sort and there's this "H U G E" explosion does the tormentor start yelling and screaming as though it hurts?
It's important to remember that this whole situation is all a dream... of sorts. Also, the guy who gets hit with a car, shot, blown up and decapitated DOES feel the pain. He BLEEDS. He's knocked out, he reacts with pain to the gunshots, and yes, he's going to scream when he's lit on fire. As for his teleportation, it's more of a mystical self-started explosion that is really only the reaction of matter disappearing from one place to another. That's how I explain it. It's a DREAM, as I said. It's going to require a suspension of disbelief. Do you question the reality of a radioactive spider biting someone and giving him the spider's abilities? Do you question the reality of a luck-dragon named Falcor even existing, let alone being able to speak English? If so, watching movies must be very boring for you.


Your camera shots were off a bit as well. There were times throughout the office visit where you could have relayed the emotional and mental pain of the patient better through a series of close up's and camera rolls. Lighting & sound are factors and would have been able to capture his mental torment and express his frustrations too.
This, I do agree with. And given more time, I hopefully would have done that. But I just was at a loss for time and ability.

Thanks for the comments, and thanks for watching though.
Posted: Wed, 30th Jun 2004, 2:00pm

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berlin2232

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It's supposed to be loud, and yes, the length may have been a tad too long. But as I mentioned earlier, the tick-tock's change was all in Gary's head, and in a way it DOES signal that something just isn't quite right.
I understand... but it's highly annoying from an audiences' point of view. Scenes like that have to be setup differently so as to convey your message and not drive away viewers that's all I'm saying. You do own Chromanator right? Perhaps if you used some extreme close ups of the second hand on the clock moving in slow motion and also manipulated the "tick-tock" sound a bit, slowed it down and distorted it, give it a deep echo. Then maybe insert some extreme close up cuts of Gary lying down with a cold-sweat on his forehead and quick shifting eyes. Get close ups of the doctors mouth as he speaks, or close up of the doctor writing notes on the tablet, etc, etc.... Put your back into it man!

[/quote]As for his teleportation, it's more of a mystical self-started explosion that is really only the reaction of matter disappearing from one place to another.[quote]

ok, ok... but again, from the audiences' point of view it looks like and explosion. Maybe if you "reversed" the explosion or simply used another effect for the character to teleport, you know, break up the monotony a bit then I think that I would have been able to digest it better.

It's a DREAM, as I said. It's going to require a suspension of disbelief. Do you question the reality of a radioactive spider biting someone and giving him the spider's abilities? Do you question the reality of a luck-dragon named Falcor even existing, let alone being able to speak English? If so, watching movies must be very boring for you.
See, now you're twisting things. I understand it's a dream but it still has to make sense to the viewers.

A spider biting someone and giving them super human abilities stays within the context of the story, a "luck-dragon" (whatever that is) being able to speak English stays within the story context. It doesn't speak english one moment and then not understand when someone says something in english back to him.

All I was saying was that for your character to appear & disappear through explosions and then when an explosion occurs, cry about it, was in itself contradictory and not remaining within the context of the story. As a matter of fact, your whole story doesn't make much sense. It's called "Dreamweaver" and part of the movie takes place in a "dream", right? As far as I can tell Gary never falls asleep to enter this dream world. There were some nice special FX that burn up the furniture and then we see him run out to his truck but Gary never goes nite, nite.

Special FX without a story is just that...

Last edited Wed, 30th Jun 2004, 3:14pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Wed, 30th Jun 2004, 3:04pm

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Mellifluous

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I love Neverending Story