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War Crimes Final Movie Trailer

Posted: Mon, 31st Oct 2005, 11:28am

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News: This film has been sold to a US Distributor and rights worldwide are in negotiation. Great news.


A group of six friends, recently graduated in the UK travel to Bosnia in 1992. As fighting breaks out around the capital Sarajevo the friends are forced to escape overland to the border whilst the fighting spreads. After witnessing a horrific massacre in Bosnia they are pursued by a ruthless Yugoslav People's Army Officer and his brutal Chetnik fighters. With the weather worsening, limited supplies and murderous soldiers behind them, will they ever make it out of Croatia alive?!

Story Background

WAR CRIMES, an original thriller set during the traumatic events of the collapse of the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s. The feature film by SPEARHEAD FILMS is based on a script by Michael Thomas and is directed and produced by the THOMAS BROTHERS. This epic thriller features a diverse cast from around the world. WAR CRIMES was shot in 2004 for a mere £5,000 over a period of 6 months.

More Info
Posted: Mon, 31st Oct 2005, 2:17pm

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Congratulations on your distributing deal! Hope all goes well for you for the worldwide rights. Tell us how it goes!

There's quite some effort been put into this and it shows. Good costumes, lots of extras, a chopper, gunfight. There's everything in there. Congratulations!

I must admit though, as a trailer, it doesn't work at all for me. sad

The structure doesn't really show much of what will be happening. It doesn't show me a reason to see that film other then "it's about a massacre and some students see it", wich is quite little info.

The images, even though as I mentioned, contain a lot of things hardly a film on here does, fail to impress me at a level where I'd want to see the film even though I have no real idea what it's about. The images fall flat. Most likely because the trailer has no structure to back them up. I can't really put my finger on why these images feel so flat. They have no reason to...

The sounddesign feels rushed and quickly done, especially the music, wich feels pretty loosely connected, if even that.

Sorry if it's sounding a bit harsh, but I get the feeling you might have something really good in your hands, because it really containts everything it should have to be good, but the way it's presented doesn't reach me a bit. Wich is a shame.

But since you got yourself a distributor, maybe it's just me. I hope it is.
Posted: Mon, 31st Oct 2005, 2:36pm

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I too am rather non-plussed by this trailer.

On its own the music sounds like its meant to be dark, eerie and unforgiving which certainly matches the overall feeling of the Bosnian war - but does not match the footage whatsoever.

There are some nice shots, don't get me wrong, but much of it feels too thought out. The bottom line is that I was constantly aware of the camerawork, which obviously is a rather bad thing as i shouldn't be noticing it at all.

It could also do with some grading or if you've already graded it - better grading. Using natural colour and footage or bleech bypass is great in moderation but not for the whole thing. A palette of khaki's, browns, greys and muddy greens is just visually mundane to say the least, no matter how real you want it to look.

Its a good plot on paper and will certainly be a decent watch if a decent director picks it up.
Posted: Mon, 31st Oct 2005, 2:46pm

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Definitely looks a good story but I too am not won over by the trailer edit. It seems like a highlight reel and doesn't do anything trailers usually do, like show a character/s the audience can identify with or pose a question that you answer in the film.

Very good quality footage, costumes, locations etc... more grading might make it more atmospheric (or maybe a raw "real" look is what you're going for to complement the story), I personally thought it could do with looking more moodier, like high contrasts, darker colours, some fake mist too maybe. Would be interested in seeing a re-edit, definitely.

I'm definitely not joining the crowd to just feel at home criticising this smile
Posted: Mon, 31st Oct 2005, 3:34pm

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Thanks for the comments so far. The trailer was actually a 5 hour emergency edit as out distributor needed it ASAP. It cannot be altered, this is how it has to be. Its kind of is a highlight reel, it is for use by the distributor in selling to foreign markets rather than selling the film to the general public.

You like the heli then?? smile

Xcession: It's doesn't need a director, it has been shot, completed and sold. Project over, next film...
Posted: Tue, 1st Nov 2005, 11:56am

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First off, congrat's on your achievement! I'd certainly be interested in seeing the finished movie.

I have to join the FXhomer's before me though in saying the trailer left me a little cold. A film that has as good story and production value like this really deserves better presentation, especially in light of your distribtuion.

I'm not sure what music you are using in the final movie but I feel trailers often make good use of music to bind the array of clips together, where as here it just felt like a generic track has been overlayed.

I really hope this film takes you onto even more exciting projects, best of luck to you!


Posted: Tue, 1st Nov 2005, 4:55pm

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The music is part of the soundtrack, sadly, for a commercial product we can only use the material we have permission for, hence no Hans Zimmer in the trailer sad Grrrr.
Posted: Thu, 3rd Nov 2005, 9:22am

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I think this is really well done and I really like it. Good picture quality and sound qualty was ok too. I liked the costums as well as the props I think they were pretty nice, were did you get the millitary tuck?

Anywya I am new to FXhome and I have only voted on one other movie and I have only seen a couple others so I can't say this is the best in terms of quality, but is is pretty good and is the first movie on this site that gets a 5/5 from me, very well done Polemarch.
Posted: Thu, 3rd Nov 2005, 9:52am

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The camera work in this trailer Might be THE least kinetic shots i've seen in a "commerical" product, considering the subject matter. The grading was decent, could have been better. The was practically no close ups at all..

The Music was alright, abit underplayed though. And the Helicopter scene looks like you saw one flying while you were filming other stuff and said "Hey, lets film that" and just zoomed the camera in on it.

It simply didnt seem like a commerical product to me.
Posted: Thu, 3rd Nov 2005, 11:47am

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I admit as a trailer it doesnt work (mainly because it barely sheds any light on what happens and the music is ill fitted to the content). But you've probably heard enough of that by now from other members of the board.

There are some nice shots in there and a higher production value than I would've expected, it takes some doing undertaking a project of this size with so little money so well done.

Out of interest - did you practically make your budget back with the distribution deal?
Posted: Thu, 3rd Nov 2005, 5:39pm

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I thought this was pretty good it sounds like a good story line too. I cant wait for the real thing but for now I give this trailer a 4/5.
Posted: Thu, 3rd Nov 2005, 6:22pm

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Thanks for the positive comments btw. Here are some answers to some of your questions.

1) The army truck is a Mercedes Unimog and was common issue to the JNA in the early 1990s. We found an enthusiast that let us use it for a small price.

2) We can't really discuss the distribution deal as there are additional sales taking place right now, we are very pleased though.

3) Making a full length feature film that doesn't look like 5 starwars fan films joined together is very tough. It costs money and we've had to go without lots of things for along time to keep this project alive. Making 40 uniforms, 40 wooden AK47s, transporting and looking after 25+ people everyday for three weeks (primary shoot) 1 hour from your base is hard. Getting 100 page script translated into Serbo-Croat and then coaxing the actors to speak it! Fun smile

4) The goods news though is that we aerin the final stages of post for our new feature Pax Imperium and organising our third which will be shot in Aug next year.

5) Glad some of you like the story smile

6) Not a commercial product? We have a distribution deal and it's out soon on DVD so we're happy with our commerical prospects. Not bad for a 1st project by non 'film' people.

7) Could it be improved? Yes it could but in the end it is a low budget B movie that has met success. No point trying to make it into what it isn't. In the time since this film was completed (Dec 2004) we have shot another feature that is better and will hopefully get an even better deal.

If anybody has any prop, equipment, technical questions etc please ask away. Will do my best to help.
Posted: Thu, 3rd Nov 2005, 7:44pm

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A commercial product doesn't have to be good to be commercial. smile

If you make a feature length film, your chances of getting it distributed are pretty high. To be honest, I've never heard of an amateur feature film that didn't get distribution yet really (unless it didn't even try of course). Some of them are well done, some of them aren't.

The sheer amount of work that needs to be put into a feature is the main reason most people stick to shortfilms I guess.

Since it is your first project, you have obviously entered a realm of constant learning. And at last, that's what film is all about. To improve. That's the cool thing about it. smile

If you're happy with the distribution deal, then that's really a lot. Most distribution deals are a sheer ripoff considering the amount of time and work put into a project.
Posted: Wed, 4th Jan 2006, 11:37pm

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It really is amazing how this film, one of 82 mins with some pretty good scenes still only score 3.625 whilst a video of a few kids running in a garden with fake light sabres gets higher. Odd.
Posted: Thu, 5th Jan 2006, 12:02am

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3,6 isn't that bad. And it's only the trailer, no one here has seen the whole 82 minutes, they might score much higher.

Remember you gave the "Face to Face" Trailer 3 stars too, and the film is 78 mins, has pretty good scenes and is internationally distributed as well. So length and a distribution deal are no guarantees for scoring higher then Kid XY. People enjoy different things smile
Posted: Thu, 5th Jan 2006, 12:09am

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Ahh, get to know your audience smile