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Behind the Lines: Between the Lines Preview

Posted: Mon, 12th Jun 2006, 3:50pm

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ashman

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Behind the Lines is various cuts of my upcoming movie called Between the Lines. It is shown as stock footage on a projector, everything you see here has been shot by Tinyworld Productions, there has been no stock footage used from other soruces. Don't feel you have to vote for this as it is not a movie as such, it's more of a sneek peak as what to expect. The final movie will not be graded this way and will have a completely different look.

All the Best
Ash


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Posted: Mon, 12th Jun 2006, 4:24pm

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Oeyvind

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I think that was great! razz I'm really looking forward to this movie, and I wish you good luck on the rest of the production! It really looked as it was old shots from the World War, and I understand this is not the final grading but it was really cool for a sneak peak! The music sat the right feel to it. Though the choice of shots seemed a bit random I think this was an excellent sneak peak! Great job! razz

Oeyvind

PS: I just have to ask, did you use my WorldWar-preset for this? razz In which case I'm honored!

Last edited Mon, 12th Jun 2006, 9:12pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Mon, 12th Jun 2006, 6:46pm

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Xcession

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Superb.

This is one of only a handful of times in my 5-year history of the fxhome cinema, where i felt myself suddenly snap out of it, while watching it, and realise that "its only an amateur film". Better yet, this is the first time ever, that i've accidentally starting thinking a film was real footage.

Three things immediately come to mind, which would aid authenticity by a huge amount, in my opinion...

1) the music should pitch up and down at random intervals, like a warped record on a gramophone.

2) The footage should be sped up to the point that it looks a tad silly. At places i suspected it was already sped up, but like i say my brain started to think it was real footage and i think it added some speed all by itself. I'd suggest removing maybe 2 frames in every 5, then playing it at the usual framerate as before.

3) the vignette is a little too heavy at times. I noticed it particularly at 1:35, where it appeared to be perfectly circular, which was a bit odd.


In addition to these, i'd say the music could have been better chosen. Its suitably melancholy, but not suitably "tally pip what ho lets go stick it to the bosh for king and country old fellow". Remember, footage back then was often deliberately made into propaganda which appeared to make war fun, the troops happy and well fed and everyone up-beat about so many other people dieing. The music is missing that sickly sweet, pompous naivety which authentic war-time footage has.

And finally: 4 minutes is a long time with no commentary, the same musical track and very little to be made out in the picture itself. You could cut it down to 2/3 or even 1/2 that length and still have something amazing.

Whats a little disheartening, is that i suspect the full film - with its full quality, millions of colours, digital 999+1 surround sound and omg clevar grading - is going to be anticlimaticaly average, but i hope not.
Posted: Tue, 13th Jun 2006, 3:59am

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Riese

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I am interested in finding out how you were able to land the vehicles. That was pretty cool with the german tank crew and stuff. The props look really good, plus they do add realism to everything. Anyways I am interested in seeing how it all turns out.

Riese
Posted: Tue, 13th Jun 2006, 1:10pm

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bassmasteruk

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Looking fantastic Ash. It really makes me proud to a be a part of it. Really can't wait to see the final prroduct.
All the best with the rest of the process.
Posted: Tue, 13th Jun 2006, 4:09pm

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Simon K Jones

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Fantastic stuff. That 4 minutes of plotless, zero dialogue footage can be this captivating is testament to the great selection of props, costumes, vehicles and actors as well as very well shot cinematography.

Looks great, though I think you could have milked the sound a bit - lowering the crackle and hiss a bit at times and bringing the music to the fore, for example, as particularly emotive moments.

As Xcession says, I hope the full movie doesn't end up looking too mundane and 'video' compared to the brilliant authentic atmosphere here. Having said that, you don't want to make the full movie look this archival either - somewhere in between would be fantastic, though.
Posted: Tue, 13th Jun 2006, 9:36pm

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Mantra

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Just watched the clips and I can honestly say I enjoyed them as much as anything I've seen on FXHome. Random or not, you've done a fine job in setting the feel for your movie, and I can't wait to see the final film.

I know you've worked really hard to get this made Ash, I salute you biggrin

Mantra
Posted: Tue, 13th Jun 2006, 11:53pm

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Atom

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Tarn wrote:

Fantastic stuff. That 4 minutes of plotless, zero dialogue footage can be this captivating is testament to the great selection of props, costumes, vehicles and actors as well as very well shot cinematography.
I agree with this to an extent. A nicely orchestrated and put-together peice of production, but not the video itself. The reel seemed incredibly plotless and random, which was captivating, YES, but because of this I was kind of left: "Meh".

The lack of story, dialogue, an ammount of noticeable lighting, and acting push this down quite a bit for me. Although, I do like where you are going with this project, and think it's commendable you would take on such a lengthy and complicated production. Very aunthentic-looking, although I thought the camerawork was still too static. A great effort, though, and visually captivating.


2/5
Posted: Wed, 14th Jun 2006, 3:18am

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mavic19

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After having just watched this collage of imagery, I am left with mixed feelings:

First let me tell you what I liked about your submission:

1: This film probably has one of the highest productions values of any film on this site, cept for a couple of others. You certianly had great access to antique military vehicles, weaponry, and uniforms. That, in itself is great stuff to see.

2: I liked the classic film-look you gave it. It definately makes it stand out in the crowd.

3: Your angles. You implemented a very "field camerman" look which makes the footage seem all the more authentic.

Now....what I didn't like.

Some of your strengths are also your major weaknesses in terms of actually trying to make a viable film.

1: As mentioned by a previous poster; while the classic film look gives it that authentic feel, you're not going to be able to keep a captive audience with it as it will be too distracting in the long run. If you were aiming to just piece together material for making fake stock footage for a docudrama of sort, it would work great. Just not for a feature film.

2: While the clips were great to look at and the music fitting, it definately needed something to provide purpose. I think a nice voiceover track would have improved it. Maybe something giving a bit of a hint as to the direction of your project.

That's all the input I have to add. You've got some great stuff there and please don't think I'm ridiculing your work. It has oodles of potential. I would have just prefered a more organized structure to it and, as mentioned before, a bit of a voiceover to give it purpose. Keep up the hard work!
Posted: Wed, 14th Jun 2006, 9:14am

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Xcession

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Whilst i think 2 stars is completely unwarranted (and i suspect is deliberately harsh) I do agree with Atom to an extent. Let it be recorded in stone - I agreed with Atom.

My comments about the length of the trailer were born of the same tedium i suspect Atom and Mavic19 were feeling. Whilst i enjoyed watching it, it was mainly because i was eager to see if you'd include some kinda crude white lettering saying "Our Boys at the front" or some such period cliche. By the end i was still 'wowed' so didn't really care that you'd missed a few tricks.

Despite being wowed at the time, one day on i'm beginning to feel the "meh". Watching it again, nothing really happens. There are various shots which string together - such as someone closing a tank hatch, then shots of someone inside - but even when all the shots are grouped, they are still all rather unrelated when taken as a whole.

I suspect the vignette played a part in being unable to follow a plot if there was one - when you could make out so little in some shots, it obscures any chance to catch a plot.

I still maintain thats its superb, but high quality work deserves a well thought out comment and i suspect my initial comments weren't quite as honest as i would normally be.
Posted: Wed, 14th Jun 2006, 9:50am

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ashman

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Thank you for all you commetns so far I really appreceiate the feedback, that said I'll just make a few pointers as to why I made this the way I did and explain myself.

Unrelated cuts- The cuts were sorted like this for the reason that old stock footage is never put together like film, by putting them slightly staggered I was hoping to mimic stock footage and the way it's put together, the random feeling again comes form that. I watched alot of old stock footage in reaserch for the project, I may have confused people by putting the footage together like this.

Static shots- pans, crane and etc... avoided these because they looked to cinematic and missed the feeling of the look, all pre dated war stock have static shots.



If you were aiming to just piece together material for making fake stock footage for a docudrama of sort, it would work great
I was, and i did smile

If I put the shots in order and smoothed the cuts, added pans,tilts and crane shots the footage would have missed what i was going for and look very fake, that said the completed film itself will be cinematic and look and sound very different. Much the opposite to this.

It was my job to interperet these things across, it seems I have blundered a little and people are not sure what this piece of film is suppose to be, is it a trailer or is it old stock? It's suppose to be old stock, similar to "the ring" teasers that were shown around as the video the child watches. At the end of the day it is what it is. Many improvements could be made and that's a lesson I have learned, don't jump in feet first, take time and review what im doing.

I had to edit this post a few times to try and explain with some clarity what im trying to say, heh, and remove some silly remarks. smile

Films are never completed, only abandoned.
Posted: Fri, 16th Jun 2006, 12:02am

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nanafanboy

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This is very cool and I am very jealous

I wish I had the resources you lads had.

bravo
Posted: Fri, 16th Jun 2006, 9:24am

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Bryce007

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Ashmaster flex...Finally got around to seeing this and thought...


"Thats gotta be real stock footage"

Apparently it wasn't, but you had me fooled. Very realistic look to it all. And the production value was Sky friggin' High.

Although it wasn't really a preview persay, Just knowing that your technical skill level and production values are that high makes me certainly want to keep an eye out for this..
Posted: Fri, 16th Jun 2006, 9:41am

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alpha54

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Atom wrote:

2/5
While I can agree with your comments to an extent, that score seems overly harsh! unsure
Posted: Fri, 16th Jun 2006, 10:47am

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Arktic

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Rating: +2

Yeah, I'd like to remind everyone that this isn't the finished movie!

Some of Atom and Xcession's comments would be more apropriate if this was a complete peice in and of itself - but at the moment, it's just background stock to give atmosphere; and for that reason, it's almost perfect. As some of you have noted, it's almost indestinguishable from real WW2 footage in places.

mavic19 wrote:

you're not going to be able to keep a captive audience with it as it will be too distracting in the long run ... Just not for a feature film
That'd be true enough, if the feature film was composed entierly of this stock footage and nothing else - but this isn't a finished film, it's an atmosphere piece that I imagine will be played on a projector somewhere before the film begins - while people are taking their seats etc, or while the director gives an introduction to the film. In that regard, it's one of the best pieces of 'pre roll' that I've seen - it will set the tone for the screening perfectly, without being too distracting for an audience.

atom wrote:

aunthentic-looking, although I thought the camerawork was still too static
You've watched too much Saving Private Ryan my lad! Watch some real WW2 stock, and you'll see nearly no camera movement, because of the technical limitations of the day. I think that this is one of the most authentic looking 'fake stock' pieces I've ever seen - and adding extra camera movement would take that away.

Xcession wrote:

Despite being wowed at the time, one day on i'm beginning to feel the "meh"
But I suspect that's not the purpose of this - I think it is there to get you into the right mood to watch the film, and if it wow'ed you at the time, then it did it's job properly, because it's not something you'd really come back to and watch over and over again, unlike (hopefully) the film.

Cheers,
Arktic.
Posted: Fri, 16th Jun 2006, 12:39pm

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alpha54

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Perfect way to put it Arktic, I think ya nailed it! smile
Posted: Fri, 16th Jun 2006, 1:18pm

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ben3308

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This is good, it looks friggin like the real thing, but........

as a movie on here, this has no true content, no meat. I can appreciate this for what you've done with it, ashman, and how authentic you've made the movie, but if I'm just going off of this clip, it all seems rather.....boring.

Arktic noted that it does it's job of looking like WWII stock footage. Well, IMO, I don't find watching minutes and minutes of stock footage entertaining. I know that was kind of your purpose here, and your accomplished what you set out to do, but to me it's all a little (and don't take this the wrong way)...bland.

If this is a representation of anything what the final movie will look like, I'll surely watch it, but- as my bro noted- I'll expect the camerwork to be a little more dynamic, as it's a little too static for a movie-movie. If I'm gonna watch a movie ABOUT a war, these shots are fine, but if I'm gonna watch a movie with a SETTING as the war, some Saving Private Ryan-esque shots would be much better suited and generally more fluid.

I liked this, and the costuming and props all looked top notch, as well as what you set out to do with the grading, I only have two major gripes:

Too much vignetting at points, and too long for what it is; the length makes it get old pretty fast for me.

Altogether, this I found so-so, but I know you've got a whole movie up your sleeves, so I won't be too quick to judge. 3/5.
Posted: Fri, 16th Jun 2006, 1:30pm

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Xcession

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Rating: +1

Hmm, what a strangely contradictory post.

You accept that its not meant to be a film, then find fault in the fact that its not a film.

You accept that its meant to look like bland stock footage, then find fault that its not entertaining footage.

You're welcome to express the belief that stock footage is boring, but you can't really criticise a piece of work for not being something which its not meant to be, or for not being to your personal liking. Thats the cornerstone of "objectivity" in a review.

In the past I've deliberately used the "agree wholeheartedly then continue to disagree" tactic as a means of sneaking in under the radar of opinion, so I'm unclear whether this is a deliberate discussion tactic or lack of proof-reading.

Actually i've just noticed your opening line too "as a movie on here...". This appears to imply several things: that its meant to be a movie, that to be on 'here' it has to be a movie and that by being on 'here' theres some kind of rule-base to adhere to.

Perhaps you could clarify a little.
Posted: Fri, 16th Jun 2006, 4:38pm

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ashman

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as a movie on here, this has no true content, no meat. I can appreciate this for what you've done with it, ashman, and how authentic you've made the movie, but if I'm just going off of this clip, it all seems rather.....boring
Ok I completely respect your opinion on this movie, I can't make people like something if they generally don't like it and find it a little boring. You mention "as a movie on here"? Are you saying it's not good enough to be put forward into the cinema or that the content isn't applicable to the cinema's requirements? There are Lot's of different types of footage and movies scattered around on the site, from shorts like "Gir find's a piggy" to "muzzle flash tests" to some full blown feature length movies. Just because it doesn't have Actor's as such and a story doesn't mean something beautiful can't be extracted. Unfortunately this seems like a movie you'll either like or dislike, there doesn't seem to be a middle ground.
Posted: Fri, 16th Jun 2006, 5:57pm

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alpha54

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Don't worry about it ashman, it seems like some people might've slightly missed the point of what you were trying to do here - I think it looks ace, nearly indistinguishable from real WW2 footage, so great work! smile
Posted: Sat, 17th Jun 2006, 1:23am

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Sollthar

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For what it is, it's absolutely great. The footage looks like actual WW2 footage and it's a nice B-Roll.

I can't see myself watching it over and over again, but that's not really the point.


*pats ashman on the back* well done man... Now go get that film done! smile
Posted: Mon, 21st Aug 2006, 5:25pm

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ferral

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Great stuff Ash!! You nailed the look. Can't wait to see the final product. Keep it up ; )
Posted: Wed, 30th Aug 2006, 12:34am

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JT9

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This was awesome ashman. I cant wait for Between The Lines biggrin.

Good Luck biggrin
Posted: Fri, 22nd Sep 2006, 11:19pm

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Dancamfx

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ashman I watched your previews and they were awsome. I do have a question though. I saw some of your production pictures and it shows you guys filming this movie with a Canon Gl2, but the trailers that I viewed looked like HD. What camera did you use, and if you did use a GL2 how did you make the final footage look like HD?
Posted: Mon, 25th Sep 2006, 8:48am

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ashman

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What camera did you use, and if you did use a GL2 how did you make the final footage look like HD?
I wasn't aware they looked HD like? It's most likely it's a combination of the way the shots are set up, lighting and heavy grading. The finished movie will look very different from these. We used the XM2 (PAL GL2) throughout the entire shoot. I glad you think the movie looks awesome as it is, I couldn't afford better equipment smile
Posted: Mon, 25th Sep 2006, 10:23pm

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Dancamfx

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Well thats great because I have a Gl2 and I was thinking I needed a better quality camera to purduce images like yours. What grading techniques did you use? Also, I have had trouble viewing your trailers, do you think you can put one up in a quicktime format? That would be awsome. One more question about your film, how much was the total cost of your production? I am currently working on my own WWII film and its really pricey!
Posted: Tue, 26th Sep 2006, 7:01am

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ashman

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We spent a total of £3000 for food, props hire of locations and the tiger one tank. And I spent £1300 of my own money on the camera. DV tapes and Mini Disc's are also included in that price. I graded the movie in VisionLab Studio using some of the preset filters. We kept the costs down as I got alot of Reenactors and museums involved, and being the project it is it attracted alot of free help from enthusiasts all over the UK.
Posted: Sun, 19th Nov 2006, 3:58pm

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CTLW83

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Very well done, I give you 5 stars for this.

It does look very much like real stock footage. It is also very hard to tell where the particle effects are, simply because of the filters and such. Everything is very well done.
Posted: Tue, 28th Nov 2006, 2:57am

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Dancamfx

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Ashman,

Do you think you can post a version in .mov format for all three of your teasers? I can view the divx version but the sound is all screwed up. Thanks.
Posted: Sun, 3rd Dec 2006, 12:38am

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ashman

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Do you think you can post a version in .mov format for all three of your teasers?
Everytime I have tried to convert this in an mov format I have had some problems with compression. My fault as I have to get clued up better on that front. What I can do is point you in the direction of the website trailer page. There should be no problems with sound here.

Link : http://www.betweenthelinesmovie.com/trailers.html

Cheers
Ash
Posted: Sun, 3rd Dec 2006, 4:31pm

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Dancamfx

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It works great. Thanks, and I do have to say that your web site is awsome.