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Office Antics

Posted: Wed, 5th Dec 2007, 4:11pm

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ponyproductions

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"Office Antics" is the story of Max Perkins last day of work. Only, he doesn't know that yet. This film has everything; guns, desks, a ruggedly good looking hero, ninjas and a zombie.

Shot on a budget of just under £500 (£10/sec screentime), this is the first short film my production company has made outside of university. It is also the first time I have used FXLab.


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Posted: Wed, 5th Dec 2007, 4:20pm

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b4uask30male

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Hi

Nice little story, very clever, thought the first few tripod shot were to static.

Other than that very well done, I liked it.
Posted: Thu, 6th Dec 2007, 10:56am

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ponyproductions

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That was sort of the point. Having static tripod shots at the beginning lulls you into a sense that nothing is going to happen, but then teh action kicks in.
Posted: Thu, 6th Dec 2007, 3:58pm

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b4uask30male

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I didn't think the angles on the tripod shot were good, such as when the guy walked towards the camera it was left too long and ended up looking amateur (as if he had to walk behind the tripod to pause the camera)
as he walked the shot had his head cut off, another sign of amateur.
Please don't take offence I liked it, not many films on here I even bother to rate or comment on so for me to give it 5 stars means I liked it, but just those few shots at the start needed to be framed better.

Ian
Posted: Thu, 6th Dec 2007, 8:38pm

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nightbringer

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didn't make much sense, but it did look good and have a 'glossy' film look to it. Nice stuff though. didn't make one bit of sense (mostly due to the end), but entertaining all the same.my only point of concern was the first scene with the gun. The muzzle flashes didn't look realistic....ish. and when you got the gun shooting in first person, it would've been better to get his gun, and a bit of his shoulders and head, and then masked it on. It just looked like you were looking at a guy, he dies and then you spin round to another. 4/5 for being entertaining and good angles and something like a plot.
Posted: Thu, 6th Dec 2007, 10:10pm

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ponyproductions

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It's all in his imagination. That's why the terrorists, ninja and zombie disappear and why his guns are now his fingers. Not too worried about the muzzle flashes not looking realistic for that very reason and it was my first time using FXLab. Anyway, they were good enough for us to get denied being in a film festival for them looking too realistic.
Posted: Fri, 7th Dec 2007, 4:53pm

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nightbringer

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ok fair point
Posted: Sat, 8th Dec 2007, 7:10pm

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Videoace123

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Hehe. I liked it a lot! It reminded me of something I saw on ON THE LOT.
Posted: Sat, 8th Dec 2007, 7:17pm

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Klausky

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How did you get Andy Roddick to agree to be in this?
Posted: Sun, 9th Dec 2007, 5:06am

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Randito3

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I liked the movie from start to finish. It was very entertaining, especially when you seen it was all in his head. Nice work.
Posted: Tue, 11th Dec 2007, 9:49pm

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Aculag

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Meh. I feel like we've seen this same basic concept done a zillion times 'round here, and with better results. It's a glorified effects test with sub-par effects, I'm afraid.
Posted: Tue, 11th Dec 2007, 10:04pm

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clarky104

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Great short... Loved the sound quality..!
Reminded me of an episode of spaced biggrin
Posted: Tue, 11th Dec 2007, 10:30pm

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ben3308

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b4uask30male wrote:

as he walked the shot had his head cut off, another sign of amateur.
I agree with your first point on the cinematography, but this one makes no sense. Are you speaking of the cut from the static wide to the static medium with the boss walking out of frame?

If so, cutting his head off doesn't ruin the angle, rather, it helps it. He's already out of focus- and on his way out of the frame- and already being below neckline on visibility means he's gone quickly. If he took longer to get out of frame (which would result if you zoomed out to leave his head there) then it would have been ill-paced and awkward.

Moreover, by cutting the head- even though it's only for a minute- the cinematographer has established the focus elsewhere; in this case, a reveal of the sitting Perkins.

It's not the sign of an amateur if you use it appropriately and with moderation, as has been demonstrated in this movie.

As for this: it was too short and inconcise (the first-person POV shot didn't mesh well for me) in framing/editing to get it higher than a 3 in my book. I know what the creator was going for, but to spend 18 bucks per minute on something with, well, so little production value seems a bit ridiculous to me. But that's just my frugal filmmaking nature, I guess. biggrin

Also, to give the ending more 'oomph!' I definitely would've cut back to the actiony music as soon as "A Pony Production" comes on screen. This would make the movie twice as good in delivery, in my opinion.

A 3/5 for this one, my good man!
Posted: Wed, 12th Dec 2007, 10:17am

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ponyproductions

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Aculag, do you work for Weta or ILM? As I've said, this was the first time I've used FX Lab and I didn't just make it to put on this site, I made it because I love making films. This is a general comment to all the naysayers on this site; please relax. I'm all for constructive critism, but most of the critism that had been pointed my way has been anything but constructive. I'll think twice before putting anything else on here again.
Posted: Wed, 12th Dec 2007, 11:12am

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SilverDragon7

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I don't think I can agree with anybody else here, I thought it was good... It was all suppose to be fake and in his imagination, right? So I watched it a second time, and I think it's a spoof of an Action movie making the camera angles andall that not matter.

Although... You could have added some color grading or something to make it look a little better...

I give it a 4/5.
Posted: Wed, 12th Dec 2007, 11:19am

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ponyproductions

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It is colour graded. It's graded to look like that. The original footage is very colourful and vibrant. But you're right, we were trying to spoof action movies.
Posted: Wed, 12th Dec 2007, 8:10pm

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Atom

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ponyproductions wrote:

It is colour graded. It's graded to look like that. The original footage is very colourful and vibrant. But you're right, we were trying to spoof action movies.
Color-graded where? If the original footage was coloful and vibrant (IMO) you should've worked from there. Of course, I'm always a man for contrast but this sounds like a really vague excuse. You made it look like it lacks necesary contrast and is dull?

Because if you truly color-graded this, it seems unapparent and thus ineffective. Really. What I would recommend is to re-grade this with 'action movie' really in-mind. One thing that makes the whole 'dream sequence' more humorous and ultimately more effective is to start with duller colors, less saturation, and less contrasty shoots and as the movie picks up move into extreme colors and heavy 'action-movie' contrast. Then, the 'reveal shot' to him shooting with his fingers goes back into the dullness with subtler grading and it's made that much clearer as to what is going on and that much funnier.

Also, since you're new here I'll throw this down: A word I've learned from my years here and history with my own movies is that telling people what they're supposed to think (ex. "it lulls you in and then..") after they've told you they didn't feel that way is hitting at something that won't change and makes you look stupid. Aculag is the farce of everything here at FXHome and has an understated (and overstated) tone of sarcasm to almost everything he says. Years ago, my reaction would first be to laugh and then get angry at him, and then laugh again.

It's all in good fun, as is the criticism. You have to know the people and the community to get this. Everything isn't just meant to put you down, and this is the problem/curse to the gift of having an ever-expanding internet community. There's no sense of place or person, and it's hard to convey tone.

Still, we're all just here to help you. Just know that.

As for the project, I thought it was generally good. I agree almost completely with my brother Ben on the comments on POV and ending with a punch of action music. Also, I agree with Ian's (b4uaskmale) points on cinematography. Refreshing statements to hear, Ian, as I normally don't agree with you on cinematography! smile

£500? Seriously? I hope you're kidding, that's ridiculous.

3/5
Posted: Wed, 12th Dec 2007, 9:10pm

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ponyproductions

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I'm just going to keep my thoughts to myself, everyone seems to have an answer to everything.
Posted: Wed, 12th Dec 2007, 9:47pm

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Sollthar

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I'm sorry for the behavior of some members of this community ponyproductions. If this continues, I'll start to mod the thread. Don't make me do it...


Take the criticism you can use for your own improvement, try to keep the rest out of your head as good as possible. Most people in here actually try to help, others just try to sound important and like to hear themselves talk and some just constantly manage to miss the appropriate tone. You'll figure out who is who over time I'm sure.

Otherwise, I hope you'll continue honing your filmmaking skills and posting your work on fxhome. It is a great place to learn - with some obstacles here and there, like everywhere else.
Posted: Mon, 24th Dec 2007, 7:29pm

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neoglitz

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Dear Pony,
Welcome to the community! Personally, I liked the short film 4/5.

Like all communities, there are all sorts of people. Here are a few of my favorites; the person who criticizes films, but has yet to offer their own work for the community to do the same and the person who criticizes films, yet will give their own work a five star rating. As Sollthar stated, some people just like to sound like they're important.

Keep this in mind, you have the complete right to ignore all comments or suggestions.
Posted: Mon, 24th Dec 2007, 7:49pm

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ben3308

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Rating: -1

Wow, -1, what the hell? I offered good, founded criticism and advice. unsure


PonyProductions, this is my take on this movie, so please don't be overly alarmed:

I agree completely and whole-heartedly with Aculag. It has been done so many times before, and in much better ways. Now I know that you didn't really submit this to be as comparative as we're making it, but by submitting it to a community cinema where the films are rated, comparison is inevitable.

Digressing, there were several ups to this movie. Cinematography was good, as was editing. The effects were pretty good, and I'm not at liberty to say they're bad, as I myself am a horrible effects artist and know how difficult it is.

One thing for me that is, in a sense, 'inexcusable', however, is the shortness and lack of 'oomph' in this movie. The opening few shots with the boss and the employee set the scene nearly perfectly, but the digression into the office madness is weak and fails to keep the action running. More angles, more cuts, and a shift to more extreme grading could greatly benefit this.

Another thing: it's entirely too short, and it is for this reason that the 'clever' ending lacks much impact: there's not enough setup. More fighting and more creativity are two things I would've liked to have seen. Sure, shooting person-to-person is fun, but in most action scenes there's an obvious 'clencher' of sorts that changes up the action a bit.

In 'K-Text', it's the swooping dutch angles as the bad guy runs towards the protagonist. In 'NightCast' clips, it's the hero sliding down a storm drain or piledriving some bad guys. Something, anything different from the standard 'I'm shooting guns at you!!!!' angles/choreography that makes the action more interesting.

Essentially, this sort of seems like a 'nothing' movie in my book: the office setting is properly established, the guy draws his guns and fires, and then....nothing else happens. It's a cold, abrupt ending. Doesn't work in my book.

What adds insult to injury is that even with limited time/resources (which I myself am well aware of in smaller-scale productions) it would not have been, by any stretch of the imagination, a difficult feat to just add a bit more flair and extend the action by a few shots/cuts/and gunshots. In retrospect, you should have focused more on action/blocking/choreography instead of effects.

Moreover, the fact that you spent so much money on this is, I'm very very sorry to say, laughable. Where'd the money go? I understand paying extras/PA's/craft services, but Jesus, at least spend money in the proper places. One thing I think you could learn from this criticism, if anything, is the never-ending production values that can be attained from stretching a dollar.

Not to condescend at all, but I have done productions of twice the value (costuming/setting/props/etc) with less than a twentieth of the money you've used here. I'm not trying to completely shut you down, but say this: learn to use the money in your movie better. With that much money used, it definitely could have been much, much better/longer than it ended up being.

3/5 in my book, but close to a 2 because of the length and impact of the ending.
Posted: Sat, 29th Dec 2007, 9:47pm

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ponyproductions

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It's 50 seconds long because we made it for a 50 second film festival. Original cut was somewhere closer to 2 minutes, this is very much "bare bones" stuff. Still, at the time of writing, it's number 2 at the box office.