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ClosetFilms.com CG Intro Credit

Posted: Wed, 23rd Aug 2006, 2:13pm

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outerringz

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This CG credit intro was modeled, textured, animated, and rendered using Blender. Post render enhancements were done with EffectsLab Pro and The Gimp. This intro, or variations of it, will be used as the ClosetFilms.com credit intro on all future productions.

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Posted: Wed, 23rd Aug 2006, 2:34pm

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Sollthar

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Nicely modelled and animated, good job on that! A cool idea too and nicely executed.

However, as a logo, I think it's too long and too nervous and doesn't work as good as the design and execution suggests.



(plus the word "closet" is referring to a toilet in german, so you might not want to use that name in german speaking countries) wink
Posted: Thu, 24th Aug 2006, 1:24am

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outerringz

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Thank you for the post, and the kind words.

I was a little worried about the length, not so much for feature length films but for shorts. I looked at some of the big name production and distribution companies and found ours to be longer than some, but shorter than others. The Dreamwork credit for example, is 20 seconds compared to ours at 17 seconds. I had a hard time balancing between the suspense and chaos of the shot, and keeping it short and to the point. I wanted it to feel tense but not confusing.

About the name…
I work as a Systems Admin/Programmer and can only enjoy filmmaking in my free time, so I consider myself a closet filmmaker. smile
Posted: Thu, 24th Aug 2006, 1:37am

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Garrison

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I liked it and thought it was cool.

I would change the part where the countdown is because it takes too long in relation to the rest of the piece. So when the countdown comes into the frame, I would start it at 3 or 2 instead of 5.

Very cool.

Sollthar wrote:

(plus the word "closet" is referring to a toilet in german, so you might not want to use that name in german speaking countries) wink
Avoid the German market... LOL.
Posted: Thu, 24th Aug 2006, 1:46am

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miker

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I LOVED it. Hope to see more soon.

Check your pm's. smile
Posted: Thu, 24th Aug 2006, 2:06am

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outerringz

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Garrison,

The count leader is exactly where I have considered trimming some fat from the projects overall length.

Thanks for the comments.
Posted: Thu, 24th Aug 2006, 2:08am

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outerringz

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Thanks miker...

By the way, I posted a response to your PM.
Posted: Thu, 24th Aug 2006, 6:04am

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SyroVision

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A little long, but a lovely effort and clean render.
Posted: Thu, 24th Aug 2006, 11:53am

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Jazzmanian

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CAUTION: Long winded diatribe follows.

Apparently Thursdays are the days when Jazzmanian has to be a critic. crazy Considering how much effort obviously went into this, and how slick and professional the finished result is, I really feel pretty bad saying that it just doesn't work for me. (Which doesn't change the fact that I think it's awesome from a technical perspective.)

But the fact is that what you're showing us is the opening credit sequence for your production company, correct? This discussion kind of hits right in my wheelhouse since I work in marketing for a living. What is a production company credit sequence? Basically it's a short, quick advertisement for our production company. As such, it's got an important job to do. It's how we brand our production company name and get it stuck in the mind of the audience so they begin to associate us with the films that they see. Actors have it easy, since they show up through the entire film and people remember them. To get your production company known and generate a positive image with the viewing audience, you've got just this one short moment before the film begins to grab their attention and burn your image in their minds. For one example, if the rest of the members here watch anywhere near as many movies as I do, I'd be willing to bet that the solid majority of you could, right now, without going and looking it up, describe the credit sequence for Dreamworks. Bet you can, can't you? cool It's damned near perfect and it gets the job done.

Yours is failing that test in my opinion, on a few levels.

First of all, as previously mentioned, it's too long... particularly if you're using it for a short film, but I think it still borders on being too long even for a feature. It's an advertisement. People dont' like advertisements. They came to watch a movie and ads can be annoying, but we tolerate them as a neccesary evil. Less is more in this case.

Second, I really don't care for credit sequences that actually look like live action film shots. (And again, it's a credit to your technical ability that yours looks so real.) I prefer something a bit more abstract so that people *know* they are seeing the credit sequence and not part of the film. Yours looks, if anything, too much like part of a movie itself. If I saw that at the beginning of a film and then it cut to two women in an office talking about something (i.e. the actual beginning of the film) my first thought would be, "What? What happened to the girl in the closet? Did she just come out of there and into the office?" It would be kind of annoying.

Last, and probably most important to this disussion, is that the biggest job the credit sequence has to do is get the name of your production company out there, big and bold, impossible to miss, and quickly imprint it on the mind of the viewer. If I timed this correctly, your credit sequence is 17 seconds long and the name of your production company is on the screen for approx 1.8 seconds toward the very end. And even then, it's really not the name of your company... it's a website: ClosetFilms.com. And even with that, it's very small and only on a tiny portion of the screen. That doesn't do the job of branding your company name in my mind at all. At a bare minimum, I believe it should have said "Closet Films .... www.closetfilms.com " That way you put the actual name of the production company *and* the URL of the website in the viewer's mind.

If I watched this roll at the beginning of a film and you came back after the movie ended and asked me who the prodction company was, I seriously doubt I could even come up with a guess.

I know you have obviously put a serious amount of effort into this, and maybe you won't want to hear this or want to change it, but hey... you asked. biggrin If I were consulting you on this, I would advise you to go back to the drawing board and rework it in the following areas:

1. Make it shorter. Try to get it down into the ten second range.
2. Do something to make it a bit more abstract and less "real film" looking.
3. Get the entire production company name up there sooner, leave it on longer, and do it in a way that's still visually appealing and burns into the viewer's mind without creating a negative response.

Please accept my apologies in advance if that came off sounding harsh, but it's one area that I do some work in and I really think that this very excellent technical effort on your part could still stand with some substantial rework to really make it the most it can be and do its job in the most effective way for your future productions.
Posted: Fri, 25th Aug 2006, 2:50am

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outerringz

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Jazzmanian,

Thanks for the post.

You lost me a little when you referred to the Dreamworks credit, which is 20 seconds long, as “damned near perfect” and mine, which is 17 seconds, as too long. The reason why I mentioned the Dreamworks credit in an earlier post was because I used the length of their credit as a benchmark of an acceptable length intro, in deciding the length of mine. I do feel that I can trim it down a little, but I was confused by your comparison.

I agree with you that I could benefit from some additional logo screen time and I may recoup a second or two from Garrison’s suggestion about cutting the count leader down, but I don’t really agree that a credit needs to be abstract. In fact, other than displaying your name, I don’t know that I would subscribe to any ground rules for making an intro. I decided to make a tense and suspenseful sequence because those are the feelings I enjoy the most when watching films. Also, I’m not overly concerned about the intro blending into a films beginning, since any film will have its own intro and credits.

Thank you for the suggestions and recognizing that a lot of work went into this project. Overall, it was about 3 ½ weeks of after hours diligence.
Posted: Fri, 25th Aug 2006, 9:03am

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Jazzmanian

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I see why you were confused as, upon checking, they are using a few different ones. The most recent one I found was from Over the Hedge (leaving aside the fact that I thought that was just a dreadful film to begin with) and it's the one where it pans in from the left before getting to the iconic boy fishing shot. Indeed it runs around 20 seconds, and yes... it's too darned long. Just annoying. But I suppose when you grow as massive as DreamWorks you figure you can do whatever you please. smile I was thinking more of their shorter one, which you can see in the opening flash animation at this site, or at the beginning of Shrek on DVD. Around nine seconds and nice and tight.

The "real film feel" thing, as I said originally, is just a matter of personal preference on my part. Your mileage may vary. There have been a number of live action credit sequences which have worked very well, but they often happen in a jerky, almost stop-motion fashion which again clearly distinguishes them from the film. (David E. Kelly's credit sequence with the grandmother falling over backwards in the chair comes to mind.) But again, completely up to you and I'm sure it can work that way.

The biggest issue of the ones we discussed, however, is the screen time, size, and clarity of the company name, and I'm pretty well married to that opinion. cool I do hope you will, as you say, consider finding a bit longer time to have the full name on screen, and possibly even consider making it a bit larger. (For example, would it be possible to make the projection screen in the credit sequenc a bit larger, taking up more of the room?) Some other thoughts, other than showing the full name in addition to the web site URL, might be to place the name on the screen in color or a different font to make it jump out more? I can't escape the feeling that the company name just gets lost in all of the bells and whistles of the admittedly wonderful technical animation of the sequence.

Good luck with it either way!
Posted: Fri, 25th Aug 2006, 6:15pm

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JoelM

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Do I hear a bit of music from Mr. Shyamalan's "Signs" in there? It works really nicely.

I really don't feel there are any write or wrong ways to make an animated logo as long as it keep your attention and is neat, which this is. Good job!

Reminds me of AMC's logo during Halloween, they have a digital camera going through a 3d haunted house with all kinds of weird stuff.
Posted: Fri, 25th Aug 2006, 6:47pm

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outerringz

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JoelM,

Actually, the audio was produced by "Richard Band". I purchased an edit/commercial use license of the track. It is 100% legal. smile The way the track is cut is my own. It's possible that the audio was also used by Shyamalan since it is commercially available and cannot be purchased outright but only licensed for use.

I agree with your opinion about logo, I think you try and appeal to as broad an audience as possible, but ultimately, it's about creative expression. It is impossible to appeal to everyone.

I do however take everyone's comments and opinions very seriously. That doesn't mean that I will agree with, or apply, all or any of them but the best way to improve your work is to hear what others have to say about it. If you see trends in the comments, it is likely that this or any work could appeal to a broader audience by adopting some suggestions.

Thanks for the comments.
Posted: Sun, 27th Aug 2006, 9:11pm

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The Chosen One

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I loved this, I felt it to be just the right lenght for a production company opening logo. Good Work.

Here is a neat site to check out
http://hollywoodlostandfound.net/stories/studiologos/
Posted: Wed, 30th Aug 2006, 5:16am

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outerringz

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thechosenone,

Thanks for the comments, and the link. Cool history!
Posted: Thu, 31st Aug 2006, 4:03am

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Gnome326

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I actually like it. Only problem I could see with it is that it has a very tense feeling to it, and maybe a more nuetral feeling would be better? But that would be up to you to decide.
Posted: Thu, 31st Aug 2006, 4:20am

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outerringz

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Gnome326,

The tense and suspenseful feeling is really what I was going for, it fits my style pretty well. Thanks for the comments.