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PRATOL OF THE WATTSON SOLDIER

Posted: Wed, 6th Dec 2006, 10:20am

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jpaul

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Court Métrage de guerre
june 6 1944

Normandy French


More Info
Posted: Thu, 7th Dec 2006, 12:57am

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persianrebel

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Let me start by saying your props were AMAZING. The costumes, weapons, makeup and all of that was outstanding. You also had a lot of people in your movie so it probaby expensive to buy the props. Good music and excellent location. The problems were the effects. The muzzle flashes needed some work. THere were scenes were a guy was squeezing off rounds on the m1 but there was no sound. THe soundeffects in general were bad. Also, the soldiers were walking around most of the movie so you could have made it more dramatic. Good job on the film though.
Posted: Thu, 7th Dec 2006, 1:39am

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Armageddon1212

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Yea i have to agree with persian rebel. The effects were very bad and the sound effects were either not there or very horrible. The acting was a bit stale to with them just fallowing each other. Im not trying to be meean but you have all the props and costumes, so try writing a decent scripts/story and put time into editing it. My 2 cents.
Posted: Thu, 7th Dec 2006, 1:41am

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MC Turtl3n3ck

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Freaking awesome setting/props/actors. However, like the poster above, the FX were just horrible. The grading was solid, but all muzzle flashes, explosions, and sound effects were absolutely horrid. This has soooo much raw potential. Id like to see the outcome of it if you would give the raw footage to some of the advanced users on FXHome. Good job though, it mustve been hard getting everything together.
Posted: Thu, 7th Dec 2006, 1:51am

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KevJay

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Gotta say that the part with the music was amazing, really band of brothers like, for that part i simply give it a 3/5. The big downer was the parts with the effects and sound effects, they were very very poor both the sound and visual effects which was a huge let down, but that is very easily fixed and once done you will have some extremely awesome war films on your hands my friend! Keep it up dude, i really want to see more, I love war films!
Posted: Thu, 7th Dec 2006, 5:28pm

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Jazzmanian

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It was pointed out before, but I think it bears repeating. Your props, costumes, makeup and location selection were fantastic. Also, I agree that the music choices really worked for the film.

Others have already commented on the special effects, which need some work, so no need to elaborate on that.

In terms of the editing, I think you could recut this to improve it quite a bit. For example, fairly early on around the 2:00 mark, you have the entire patrol coming around this one corner of a building. You shot the entire group turning the same corner from the same static camera position with no breaks. By the time they were done I thought I was watching a Benny Hill or Monty Python sketch. I was thinking, "Man! Just go around the darned corner already!" biggrin I think that could have been shortened a good bit, possibly broken up at least with a few different camera angles of some of the soldiers sneaking around from closer up, or below, or something. And I don't think you needed to show every single one of them turning the corner to move the story forward.

Exact same problem with them in the next scene coming out of the field and onto the road. That dragged on forever and I was losing patience by that time.

Camerawork.. mostly pretty great, but I did notice during that "final charge" near the end of the movie where you had the backwards running shot keeping up with the advancing soldiers, it shook the camera enough that the picture just deteriorated.

We never got to see even a hint of the enemy that the squad was fighting. Not so much as a wisp, as far as I could tell. You had a lot of actors at your disposal for this film. You might consider putting at least a few in a different uniform to be fighting back. Or failing that, maybe at least lay in some muzzle flash from the treeline as the squad is approaching. We saw some of the good guys getting hit and going down, but no clue as to who was shooting them or from where.

And last, while I can see how somebody might choose to go this route for an artistic feel, I was put off by the complete lack of dialogue in the film. You didn't need a ton, but just something to flesh out the story and give us a sense of who the good guys were, what the mission was, why they were there fighting that particular battle... something. Without some sort of context for the plot, it felt rather random.

Anyway, just some observations from me. I still gave you a 3 just for the setting, costumes, music, and all the effort that must have gone into it. With some rework in post I think you could still have a pretty impressive film.
Posted: Thu, 7th Dec 2006, 7:34pm

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Sollthar

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Hm yeah... It's been said already and there's no need for me to repeat it.
This is oddly unbalanced. Which is a shame.
Posted: Thu, 7th Dec 2006, 10:41pm

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Dancamfx

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Alright, Im a very huge fan of WWII movies but I just didnt care for this one. All of your actors are professional reenactors, which isnt a bad thing, but there was no dialog or anything. It had potential, but it just didnt deliver. The way the actors acted in some scenes was just not believable and some shots, like the one where they stop at the wall and then proceed lasts way to long. As stated before, the sound was really bad, and the effects need alot of work. If it would have had a story, dialog, better sound, better effects,more creative shots, edited better, it would have been great. Im not trying to insult you, Im just trying to give you advice for your next film. Good luck.
Posted: Thu, 7th Dec 2006, 10:49pm

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Atom

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I pretty much agree with what's been said here, so to surmise it:

The production value is good, but the technical value isn't. Work out the kinks, and I think you may have something.
Posted: Fri, 8th Dec 2006, 12:42am

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Ceramite

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You have great footage which is a much better start then most films (including mine)! I would take that and cut it to 30 seconds make a trailer/commercial - Keep the cuts fast (2-3 seconds MAX) and finding better sound will help you a lot. Don't toss this footage! Its a great canvas!!!

Everyone has high expectations but you can meet them!
Posted: Sat, 9th Dec 2006, 2:08am

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King of Blades

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What would be ideal (well, what I think would be ideal) is if in the beginning where the soldier platoon is first travelling on camera, and the date appears, have a guy narrate the situation, and have him narrate the goal that they have to achieve, or describe what their orders were.

Your work on the Special Effects was just a bit mediocre, so that can be worked on as well. The costumes were GOOD! Most WWII or some type of army movie that I've seen on this site so far are horrible. Like others have said, a plot and some dialogue could help DRAMATICALLY. Also what others have said, the video was great... but everything must balance; acting/re-enacting, dialogue, plot, scenes, set, props (if any), and especially the film.
Posted: Mon, 11th Dec 2006, 3:42am

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Seargent

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You have done my dream of making a war movie about WWII. If you tell me where you got your uniforms and how much they cost, then I will love you forever(not in a gay way).

I have studied countless war movies and looked for film techniques, so I have a bit of advice for your soon-to-be-successful war movie.
1) A narrator would be good, if you want a really deep voice use audacity which can do that.
2) Your scenes need to be quicker instead of watching the entire squad go by.
3)Dialogue? What happened to it? Every war movie needs it, and make sure it is clear enough to hear it and understand it.
4) Some muzzle flashes were okay but I recommend all stock footage from Detonation Films, they got new better one in their unit k for free.
5) I also recommend that all your detonations also be stock footage. Your cgi explosions were not good at all were as the stock footage was(bazooka could've been alot better)
6) I don't know how to fix the planes, you can work on those however
7) When your men started to charge, DON"T STAY HUDDLED IN A GROUP!!!!!!VERY BAD!

Well, I hope this advice can help and I really hope you make more. Best of luck to you!
Posted: Mon, 11th Dec 2006, 7:27am

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Dancamfx

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You guys need to understand that these guys are reenactors. Their uniforms cost hundreds of dollars each and I dont think they take film making as serious as most people on this site do. Im not trying to be negative or have a bad attitude but thats just what reenactors do. I know a couple reenactors that just meet with other reenactor groups and they simulate battle's. Most of them like to have fun with it and bring video cameras along.

Check out out their website, its actually very cool.

www.dday33.com

Im not into the whole reenacting thing but I would love to try it. Its just a very expensive hobby.
Posted: Mon, 11th Dec 2006, 11:28am

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Jazzmanian

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Dancamfx wrote:

You guys need to understand that these guys are reenactors. Their uniforms cost hundreds of dollars each and I dont think they take film making as serious as most people on this site do.
Agreed. My wife and I used to participate very heavily in the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA), and while it focuses exclusively on medieval content rather than WWII or other modern era situations, we ran into the same sort of thing. Many of them spend hundreds, or in some cases, thousands of dollars on their various pieces of garb, equipment, military hardware, etc. trying to get it all as close as possible to spot on accurate. They research musty old library books an publish things about what's authentic "period" dress and gear, and what's not. Some can be real tight-arses about it.

But they also, almost uniformly, have no interest in acting or being in movies. A few outfits have used some of them to do independent medieval themed films, but it's nearly impossible. They're just not into it for the most part.
Posted: Mon, 11th Dec 2006, 11:56am

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Xcession

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Given what we know about you and the contents of this movie, its likely you only submitted this film to FXHome because of the digital effects in it. As such it only seems fair to comment on them specifically.

On the whole, they're rather poor and not blended enough.

I was also confused by the application of a muzzle flash with star, to a Thompson M1 sub machine-gun - which as far as i'm aware, has no muzzle brake and hence could not create a star-form muzzleflash. Given the accuracy with which you recreated the props, this was a disappointing mistake.

One exception, however, is at 6:08, where there are two explosions either side of the squad as they cross the field. These explosions were actually quite cool, even if they didn't look that powerful. I can't tell if they're pyros or digital.
Posted: Mon, 11th Dec 2006, 11:05pm

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Dancamfx

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The most important part of a film is the story. For some people to say that this is the best WWII films on this site, thats completely wrong. Yeah the uniforms and props were perfect and the location was good, you have to remeber that its all about telling a story. This film had no story at all and I think it doesnt even come close to "Between The Lines", "The Last Days", and other war movies on this site. Im not trying to be rude but you cant compare this video to other WWII films on this site.
Posted: Wed, 13th Dec 2006, 10:30am

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ashman

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There is room for improvement here on the technical side. Cuts are to long and the colour balance is all over the place, but with some post work these could be fixed. Sound is also very poor and the effects need an overhaul. I can see this is all shot from the hip so to speak and the shots are not really set up as such. For this reason I can understand why the film is the way it is. I think the props are faultless but that isn't the problem here. I don't think it's a total loss as there is always something you can do to the footage. The problem is it lacks a begining and an end. I don't understand whats happening, who is who or what the point of them running into gunfire crazy But I don't think you planned the film to have a story, you simply wanted to show people what you shot and added effects to see how it all came together. Without a doubt you have gained experience from this shoot and if you continue things will fall into place on the technical side. Good Effort, keep going!
Posted: Sun, 31st Dec 2006, 1:39am

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doppelganger

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xcession- those to explosions on the side where digital explosions from detonationfilms.com ive used them many times in my movies
Posted: Thu, 4th Jan 2007, 4:49pm

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White Balance Guy

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I would have to say I agree with the other reviews. No. 1 the editing if you simply went back and edited it more precisely that in itself would raise this film to a whole new level. Now what I mean by editing is it would include redoing the special effects and sound effects color correction including setting the white balance on every scene this would improve the films consistency dramatically. You should also raise the color saturation and contract. I think another good idea would be to have a voice over, the person talking would represent one of the soldiers in the film describing what is happening from his perspective. Preferably the soldier that was comforting the soldier that was dying.

Lou
Posted: Thu, 4th Jan 2007, 10:36pm

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White Balance Guy

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sorry about the bad link. I modified the link and it should work properly now.

http://debbiecooks.com/PATROL-OF-THE-WATTSON-SOLDIER-2.wmv
Posted: Fri, 5th Jan 2007, 8:25am

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jpaul

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bonjour fxhomer ,merci de ton passage sur mon site ,merci aussi pour tes conseils j'en prendrais compte pour mon prochain court métrage et je n'oublierais pas de faire dialoguer mes acteurs.Je souhaiterais qu'on reste en contact pour un prochain tournage, je te souhaite une bonne année je te remercie .voici mon adresse mail jpaulcams@hotmail.com
Posted: Fri, 5th Jan 2007, 2:01pm

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White Balance Guy

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I decided after reviewing my first attempt to improve the white balance of this film, that the quick automatic white balance in pinnacle studio plus was not up to the task. So I decided to manually adjust this film scene by scene. In most scenes the red hue needed about -10 to minus 15 points to produce what I consider closer to true color. I was also dissatisfied with the highlight detail to many objects washed out. lowering the brightness in some scenes as much as -30 points dramatically improved the detail along with small amounts of increased contrast. For me it is very important when watching a war film to feel emerged in the scene and for this to happen it must first appear real. For it to feel real too me it must have true color and realistic brightness/contrast/lighting. If it is missing this then the film has failed. I do realize that under certain circumstances for creative purposes certain types of color keying can set the mood for a particular scene. But I also believe for the director and editor of the movie to be able to achieve this they must first have a benchmark or a reference point, and I believe precise color balance is that reference point.


http://debbiecooks.com/PATROL-OF-THE-WATTSON-SOLDIER-3.wmv


Lou