Posted: Fri, 20th Aug 2004, 9:59am
Post 1 of 33
|To avoid a group of bullies a fisherman takes the long way home but can't suppress the feeling that he is being watched. Is he the innocent victim of harassing punks or is it something much more sinister, something he brought upon himself? |
This movie was our entry for the first round of the 2004 “NYC Midnight Movie Making Madness” competition. www.nycmidnight.com
We were assigned the following:
Genre - Horror
Subject - Somebody is being watched.
Posted: Fri, 20th Aug 2004, 10:45am
Post 2 of 33
Yes! That was awesome. It definitely kept my attention until the end, and was definitely quite creepy. Really really good job on this one. I tend to enjoy all of your movies anyway, but this is really good.
Although, I definitely think you needed to use a tripod. Sometimes, the handheld stuff worked, but mostly it didn't.
I give it 4/5.
Posted: Fri, 20th Aug 2004, 10:48am
Post 3 of 33
Thoroughly enjoyed this one...genuinely made me jump at one point, too, and the tension was cranked up enough to hold my attention throughout. Also very effective use of effects. When he's wandering around the abandoned factory and the little girl keeps appearing in the background....that scared the bejeesus outta me.
How did you go about lighting this one? For the most part is seemed extremely well lit - did you have a good setup, or just a fortunate location?
Posted: Fri, 20th Aug 2004, 11:51am
Post 4 of 33
Hey nice movie, creepy. GOOD STORY, but the camera was to shaky.
Posted: Fri, 20th Aug 2004, 11:55am
Post 5 of 33
I actually rather liked the camerawork, it helped to enhance the creepy atmosphere and put you on edge - although I agree there were a few shots that were a little too wobbly.
However, having recently seen the Bourne Supremacy, the camerawork in Remember seems very steady...
Posted: Sat, 21st Aug 2004, 3:23am
Post 6 of 33
Well done. I felt your attention to lighting was the highlight of this piece, as another already pointed out. The audio struggled at times due to the distance of the talent from the camera mic, a common issue for all of us I would suspect. I've tried to use a boom mic in some of my own tests but in actual production it is always hard to find somebody to hold the damned thing.
Perhaps I missed something but I didn't quite understand the logic of that girl becoming an evil being just because she was shoved down on her bike. That seemed a bit thin. Nonetheless, very nice work. I hope it gets considered for the prize.
Posted: Sat, 21st Aug 2004, 4:30pm
Post 7 of 33
Woah! Excellent movie! The camerawork, lighting, acting, everything was excellent! Very scary and suspenseful also. Kept me watching til the very end! 4.5/5, you earned it!
Posted: Sat, 21st Aug 2004, 9:05pm
Post 8 of 33
holy ****. I'm home alone, and I watched that with my speakers cranked, and they be the scariest movie I have seen on FXHome, and actually, this may be one of the best I have seen, period.
The movie was solid throughout, though there were two things that kind of bugged me. The acting from the group of bullies was a little iffy, but it was so short it didn't really bother me that much. My biggest complaint though would have to be the flashback near the end. I think it would have been more effective if you had somehow had that mini quarrel in the beginnng of the movie somewhere instead of just bringing it up right there and then. This minor factor doesn't change the fact that I am now scared at the fact I am in my house alone, and probably won't go downstairs for many hours. Great acting on your part and the girl's, great cinematography and lighting, and it scared the crap out of me. Oh yeah, and in the parts where you distorted the faces, that was really well done too. 5 stars, and a place on my top ten.
Posted: Sat, 21st Aug 2004, 9:32pm
Post 9 of 33
holy crap that was good 5 stars all the way! that was Really well done! bravo
Posted: Sat, 21st Aug 2004, 11:17pm
Post 10 of 33
Very good. I watch the movies posted here often, but rarely vote unless I see something that I really like. I liked this a lot.
Acting - Very good, IMO. The main actor, "the fisherman" was great. The other actors appeared so briefly that it'd be hard to judge their performance, but I saw nothing to criticize in anybody's performance in this movie.
Feeling of suspense - Very good. You managed to create a real atmosphere of suspense and it built at a good pace. I think your location contributed a lot to the feeling...that was a spooky looking old building you filmed at. Good choice, and it made the movie work.
Good camera angles, good use of effects, great sound (which also contributed to the suspense).
I gave it a 5.
Posted: Sun, 22nd Aug 2004, 12:05am
Post 11 of 33
well i thought it was okay. didnt make enough use of a tripod (but some of it was better without). audio kinda quite. and too much walking was shown.
Posted: Sun, 22nd Aug 2004, 2:42pm
Post 12 of 33
I personally think this is your best movie you have done, the camera shots could have been better, but i think you pullled it off very well. man i would love to be in that compition.any way, i loved the idea, i loved the music, good acting, Great location. great sounds. nice plot. 4/5 for me.
i think you do better in seriouse movies.
Posted: Sun, 22nd Aug 2004, 9:01pm
Post 13 of 33
Well worth the download. I'm also curious about the lighting, for the most part it was pretty good for the night time shoot. Did you have someone off screen with a lantern or other light source? Or did you do it in post? The editing was tight and only jarred me a couple of times due to the shake of the camera. Acting was great and atmospheric music was spot on, though you could have had more jumpy crash sound effects to get more jumps
And yes, it was a little too shaky for me at times - just nitpicky stuff. Excellant overall. How did it fair in the contest?
Posted: Tue, 24th Aug 2004, 5:13pm
Post 14 of 33
Well made, and the main actor had character and individuality because of his baseball cap. Nice editing and effects. The beginning where he's walking had too many through leaves/behind trees shots, but they built up the tension (overdid it though, IMO). The flashbacks were nice but I agree about the flimsiness of the girl's motive...then again, showing other things happen to her would have been risque and legally and morally dubious.
I give you a 4; this was well made and acted, but I feel a bit more work is needed on story, to establish the bullying storyline more - and it seemed a ripoff of The Ring when you finally saw the girl with hair over her face. Goodwork though, stylish and well made.
Posted: Tue, 24th Aug 2004, 6:15pm
Post 15 of 33
This really was extremely good. Its only let down by factors which i think are largely easy to fix.
1. Already mentionned: the story was a bit convoluted and in a confusing order. I can understand what you intended
to do by putting the 'who is it?' flash back towards the end - ensuring the viewer has absolutely
no clue whats going on - but it only felt a bit confused, not revelatory.
2. Overuse of "creature-cam". The ol' shakey-cam trick of lurking behind a bush or tree, then moving away when the target of the shot gets suspicious, is a good one. But when used for almost the entirety of the outdoors shots, i forgot that i was meant to be scared by the prowling, watching fiend and instead started to think that perhaps it was just how you wanted it filmed. Injecting a few locked shots and simple pans would have been better and given how derelict most of your set looked (read: how able you were to get places you shouldn't), you missed a brilliant opportunity for some distant arial shots looking down on you as you approached the building complex. The sense of eerie solitude would have been far more apparent with a bit of distance to the odd shot here and there.
3. Overuse of tunnel-vision effect. I think this effect is firmly established to be the
shot you use when something runs up to someone and is just about to pounce. The reason it works so well, is that since the viewer (who naturally assumes the part of the fisherman as they watch it) can't quite see what is hapenning during the effect; it becomes more scary when, as the camera cuts from creature-vision to victim-vision, the sudden clarity of the picture is shockingly real and uncut. Using it like you did, however made the effect less special or unique to the usual way of approaching horror.
On the plus side, either you've got a natural talent for sound effects, or someone has been learning a lot from Doom 3
The little voices and children's laughter was great, and you're probably the first person on fxhome to do something even vaguely complicated or tricky with sound manipulation - like the voice on the phone. I wish more people understood that sound is often a bigger part of a film than whats visible on the screen.
There are a couple of techniques/tricks i'd have used in addition to those you did:- like flashing the screen where a figure appears for a split-second... better sound effects for where 'the thing' was following him through the grass.... distant shots to aid the 'lost' feeling...but i think youre already on the right tracks and way ahead of many on fxhome.
Keep up the good work.
Posted: Tue, 24th Aug 2004, 6:41pm
Post 16 of 33
Very cool and at parts very ring/gothika in the way it presents the villain. A great location for this kind of film, well edited and the effects/deformations were well used.
5/5 from me, I think this is excellent work.
Posted: Wed, 25th Aug 2004, 12:12am
Post 17 of 33
This movie was our first “serious” short that we’ve made and although it’s not without its faults I think the final product is much better than the other cheesy short “skit” movies we’ve made and uploaded here in the past.
I appreciate all the constructive feedback that everyone here has given and will definitely use that advice on the next movie we make. One of the problems with making movies for competitions like this one is that you’re usually under a tight schedule. I had planned to shoot most of the movie on a tripod (shaky camera movement the biggest criticism so far) and only use the handheld shaky shots for those scenes where the person is being “watched”… I thought it would create a more dramatic effect between the two elements … BUT (there’s always a “but”) not only did I have time constraints for the competition deadline but that time was shortened even more by the fact that the two main characters (my younger brother and sister, Jonny and Breanna) were leaving for a weeks vacation during the competition so that only gave me three days to write, plan, and shoot the movie. The competition started at midnight on Saturday so I wrote the story on Sunday and planned to shoot on Monday and Tuesday after work (had to fit this all around a full time job). We started shooting Monday night around 6:30pm – using a tripod but it took so long to set up each scene that we lost the light and couldn’t use any of the outside scenes we shot. So we spent the rest of Monday evening shooting the night scenes and indoor scenes. I came back to the location around the same time on Tuesday evening just with Jonny. Because of the problems the previous evening and only having a little over an hour of useable daylight I scraped the tripod and did the entire thing handheld…
Posted: Wed, 25th Aug 2004, 11:26pm
Post 18 of 33
I must say it is a lot better then the films I have seen lately. It was better then most of the movies on Fxhome, for example. And it was very scary.
Even so, there were a lot of things that were faulty.
1. It followed some principals of the Rings plot. A young scary girl posseses strange mostrous features and ends up passing them on to a victim. Almost like how in The Ring, a young scary girl posseses strange monstrous features and viciously kills victims unless they pass the video onto another person. I guess they don't relate much plot wise, but the way it was shot was very similar. When he turned around a corner, suddenly she was standing behind in the foreground.
2. There was one detail that is critical enough for me to be embarassed mentioning. So don't think much of it.
When the fisherman gets knocked down during the day, why wouldn't the girl have killed him then?
3. I did not like the acting at all. The fisherman was very unbelievable in a sense that, in the situation he was in, he would have acted much different. No question.
This had a little to do with dialouge. When you write a movie like this, I think the best outcome would be to not even script the "scared character "scenes, and have the actors act how they normaly would. Through a few swear words out if possible.
The punks were not bad, but I noticed that a few of them were smiling in parts. Not a normal "look-at-this-tiny-kid-I'm-beating-up" smile, but a "I-can't-believe-I'm-doing-this-in-front-of-a-camera" smile. Again, force actors to act as they normaly would in the particular situation.
4. The camera work was significant in parts, but unneccesary in others. Not only could you have had a similar feeling in certain shots if you'd used a tripod, but it would have looked a lot better.
That's it for suggestions (or basically things I didn't like about it). It was very good over all. Good job. (It just dawned on me that scary movies are very hard to make as well)
Posted: Thu, 26th Aug 2004, 4:57am
Post 19 of 33
Thanks – I’m glad you found the movie scary. Trying to make a scary movie (without resorting to grossing people out with buckets of blood and guts) was more difficult than I thought because as you are shooting it you’re standing there with other people, lights and a camera and nothing is scary and as you edit the movie and then watch it, nothing scares or surprises you because you were there the whole time and know what’s going to happen. I wish I had time to have a few people screen the movie and get some feedback before I had to send it in.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t influenced by The Ring and Gothica. I’ve always found little girls in any horror movie to be a bit on the freaky side and that scene in Gothica when the girl suddenly appears behind Halle Berry? Well, that’s the only time I can ever recall really jumping at anything (except for the time when I was three years old and my uncle hid under my bed one night and started pushing up and down on the mattress from below and then reached up from under the bed and grabbed me…eh, nothing ten years of therapy couldn’t cure) As for the story being on the weak side, I agree. I wish I had more time to come up with something a little better. As for why the little girl turned into a freaky monster and why nothing really happened when the girl attacked the fisherman the first time… I have a reason somewhere in my head but one of the contest guidelines was that the movie couldn’t go over ten minutes (including credits) so the fishermen being knocked out was just the easiest way to go from a day to a night scene and give him a reason to go into the building looking for a phone
The only thing I don’t agree with you on is the acting… (well the bullies were a bit weak but that’s what you get when you get a few co-workers to go out into the parking lot in the middle of the day and yell at a video camera while other people from the office building are watching) but as for my main guy, Jonny the Fisherman, I think he did a great job! I few scenes could have been a little more intense but he did just what I directed him to do… One scene which I thought he acted out brilliantly was the scene near the end where the girl revealed herself and he went from being scared to being confused… I think he nailed it perfectly and he does all his scenes in just one take! But hey! If everyone agreed about everything this would be a boring world to live in - I appreciate the comments and feedback!
Posted: Thu, 26th Aug 2004, 5:06am
Post 20 of 33
A few people have asked how I did the lighting on this movie… the indoor scenes were done with halogen work lights that I bought at Wal-Mart and the outdoor night scenes were done with my cars headlights… For a few of the scenes I then used Adobe Premiere to adjust the color balance and contrast and gamma. I shot this on a Sony Handycam which isn’t very good with low lighting but thanks to movies like Blair Witch and 28 Days Later, the “grainy look” works well for the horror genre. (Hopefully the prices on the Canon XL1 will drop when the new XL2 comes out next week)
Posted: Mon, 30th Aug 2004, 8:57am
Post 21 of 33
I was very impressed with that.
Performances were muted and naturalistic, which was good, and the script was cleanly written without a shred of naff exposition.
Minor things I didn't much like were:
The flashback flash, which might have been an effect better accomplished by a flash frame of some sort. This film is strong because the fundamental film-making is strong, so a weak(ish) effect detracts from it (slightly).
The radial blur (which is what I'm assuming you're using) zoom effect. Again, it might look a bit more natural if it fluxed a bit, so maybe alter the degree of zoom over the timeline? That's just a thought.
I voted this a five. I virtually never do that.
As a postscript, having read the other posts - I sympathise with your deadline. Holed Up (which is on fxhome) was made with a deadline of just one month from start to finish for a film competition as well. You end up looking at all the gaffes and glitches and just wish you'd had that bit more time ...
Posted: Fri, 3rd Sep 2004, 6:41pm
Post 22 of 33
This movie was awesome. It really had a horror feel to it, especially when he woke up outside the wharehouse area. When he entered the wharehouse and you saw those brief shots of the little girl, that was actually scary, it didn't look amateur at all. I gave this a 5 for all the right reasons. Can't think of to many flaws. The end however, when the girl attacks the kid may have been a little stretched for to long. If she would have jumped on him than perhaps a two or three second shot of her ripping him to shreds or whatever would of been cool, but seeing her rip him apart for like 15 seconds kind of ruins the mood. Overall this was really sweet though. GL on your future movies.
Posted: Mon, 6th Sep 2004, 10:51pm
Post 23 of 33
This movie is awesome. I really think there were a lot of things wrong with this movie- the VERY frustrating overuse of handheld (VERY unecessary)- however, they were highly compensated for with your great eye for camera angles. And the suspense, oh the suspense! I watched thisw movie last night at 1:00am and once the guy woke up in the dark, I was talking to my friends who were watching it as well like, "Hey guys, how about we just skip this part?" I was truly scared something was gonna happen. The ideas in the movie were also well executed such as the flashbacks in the eye- short and informative, only the necessary clips- and the light flickering while Jonny tried to call on that psycho phone. Like I said, this movie doesn't really deserve a five solely because of the problems with the handheld motion, but I'll give you one anyways. 5/5.
P.S. Hey while you're reading this, would you mind rating my trailer? Here's a link. http://fxhome.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=15379&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0
Posted: Wed, 8th Sep 2004, 12:40am
Post 24 of 33
Good lighting and good camera work.(anyone who has made movies with one of throes cameras must agree they are not very forgiving when it comes to steady cam and lighting)
Posted: Sun, 12th Sep 2004, 9:46pm
Post 25 of 33
Holy crap, I downloaded this at 1.3 Mbps!
Posted: Tue, 21st Sep 2004, 5:31pm
Post 26 of 33
I downloaded it weeks ago but didnt watch until just yesterday.... I am sorry I did that!
great film! ..... but quickly...what were you smoking when you thought this up?
Posted: Fri, 17th Dec 2004, 5:29pm
Post 27 of 33
Bravo I gave it a five. one of the best films on the site and definitely the best horror film. good job!
Posted: Sat, 1st Jan 2005, 10:43am
Post 28 of 33
SWEET!!! This was a great movie, though some mistakes were made, but it really made me excited. A five!!! Great job!!
Posted: Mon, 21st Feb 2005, 6:32am
Post 29 of 33
I really enjoyed watching this movie. I really like the storyline. How did you come up with something like that? Lol. Its frickin tight. You gave it the real horror movie feel and look. Great job. Keep up the good work.
Posted: Sat, 3rd Sep 2005, 9:13pm
Post 30 of 33
I only wish this movie was still in the cinema. It was by far my favorite movie from fxhome. Will it be back?
Posted: Sat, 3rd Sep 2005, 9:16pm
Post 31 of 33
I was just thinking about this movie the other day for some reason. It kicks ass.
Posted: Tue, 6th Sep 2005, 3:16am
Post 32 of 33
miker wrote:I only wish this movie was still in the cinema. It was by far my favorite movie from fxhome. Will it be back?
I think the company I was using for my hosting service made some changes and for some reason fxhome was no longer able to verify the links to my movies (I had about 10 movies in the cinema). Even though the movies were still hosted fxhome, unable to verify, automatically deleted them from the cinema ... I've since changed hosting services but didn't want to bother submitting them back here since they're not new movies....
Posted: Thu, 8th Sep 2005, 11:49pm
Post 33 of 33
Thats too bad about the hosting problems...This movie really inspired me to start making horror films. Thanks for the entertainment!