Post 1 of 44
You are viewing an archive of the old fxhome.com forums. The community has since moved to hitfilm.com.
Post 1 of 44
|Guns. Mayhem. A dash of comedy. Atomic.|
That's what you get with 'No Rest For The Wicked', the fifth annual Atomic Productions entry into the Dallas 24-Hour Video Race. (2009)
When a ragtag team of four men stage an unprepared heist, trouble ensues.
This year the required elements were
-Prop: Fruit or vegetable
-Location: Any street or traffic sign
-Line of Dialog: "the one on the left."
The movie couldn't be more than five minutes in length and had to be produced, as many of you already know, entirely in 24 hours. We wanted to do something a little different this year and deviate from our knack for overly-dramatic exposition following the lead-up to our epicfail 24 hour project, 'Kingdom Come'. This year we instead tried different things in every field- completely new actors, locations, different styles of music, different styles of writings, lots of new crew members, and took more creative liberties.
We think, even given these things, the movie came out exactly as we wanted it to- and even though this is the first year we didn't make the finals, win, or place; we're still proud of 'No Rest For The Wicked'.
Post 2 of 44
Post 3 of 44
Post 4 of 44
Post 5 of 44
Post 6 of 44
Post 7 of 44
Post 8 of 44
Post 9 of 44
The goal was to meld Guy Ritchie and Lubezki for the cinematography. Hence, some frenetic, some longer, more austere (the end, the pre-killing everyone shot, etc)
Tarn wrote:The camerawork opens up to include much more than just high contrast shakey-cam, making fantastic use of the cramped corridors with the dollying/steadycam moves in and out. The shakey-cam attack at the start works perfectly, feeling tense without inducing headaches.
Heh, that happens to be none other than one of the writers of the film! Unfortunately, there's a whole scene shaped around him (hence the jump in counting from 10 to 5, and us not seeing Jones enter the room to 'bust a cap') but it had to be cut in the editing.
Tarn wrote:Favourite moment? The clerk's scream as he finds the file and hands it over to the assailant. Highly amusing.
We debated this before shooting, actually. When it got to the point that I decided I just wanted to do one long shot for the entire 'shooting everyone' moment, we had to make a judgment call on Jones hearing the gunshot. The reasoning behind leaving it there is that this is an odd, inexperienced group of robbers in the first place. Maybe their ineptitude is so high that they don't realize unnecessary gunshots could mean something? I dunno.
Tarn wrote:* It seems odd that the black guy doesn't here the gunshot just outside the room when the leader starts taking out his crew.
Probably three reasons here: the acting is a bit rougher, especially with Harrison, given it was his first time acting (ever), and the cut to 'no reason' is awkward because of the switch from dolly to handheld, then back to dolly and tripod. So it's just one of those things that you look back at, I suppose.
Tarn wrote:* Post-credits scene felt a little forced. Not sure if it was the acting/writing/editing/camerawork, but it just didn't flow quite as easily as the rest.
Ah, well, as always, there's some brightness lost in compression, but the dark, low-key lighting in the end is sort of my attempt at saying, here was this goofy movie, not it's time to get serious. And yeah, it's intentionally very Fincher-esque. I watched Se7en for the first time two days prior, and got inspired, directorially. The Scorcese reference there should be obvious, too.
Tarn wrote:Grading on the final scene was maybe a bit OTT, a bit too dark and murky for my liking, particularly the final shot.
Thanks, glad you enjoyed it!
No Degradation wrote:I thought it was incredible! Excellent job! Great camerawork Ben, I thought it really showed your talent. Excellent!!!!!
Yeah, the opening 1.5 minutes is my favorite, too. I think it's just that the story got cut so much in the editing that the stylish/funny/goofy bits run lower in the second half. Even so, though, I think the ending is pretty compelling in an 'everyone gets their just desserts' way, especially with the 'crime pays' mindset.
sfbmovieco wrote:Of all the things though, I really liked the intro and the opening title.
Yes, precisely. Tony Scott is my usual goal in everything I shoot/direct but there was certainly a Ritchie mindset for 90% of this, specifically the beginning. That, and a dash of Soderbergh.
SilverDragon7 wrote:Also, were you guys going for a Guy Ritchie feel by chance? 'Cause if you were- spot on.
Thanks a lot, man, glad you like it! I still feel that the actual narration in Redemption works pretty well, but the omniscient monologues in our other stuff does indeed 'blend' a bit.
RodyPolis wrote:I liked this a lot. I think it's my favorite movie from you guys. I liked how it got to the point, instead of just pretty narrations.
The main mantra of this film, more than anything we've ever done was "show, don't tell", the audience can make up their own minds about things. I like to make these contest films so that they can be watched independently of the contest and still be good. I don't mind screaming "oh, this was made in 24hrs!!!" (you know that!) but I definitely don't say "oh, in Redemption the 'wrong turn' line was to match the theme!".
RodyPolis wrote:The scene where you had to include "the one on the left" did feel out of place and not really needed.
This is another one of those things that would probably seem more justified had we been able to keep the other clerk and Jones scenes in the film. The whole point of the Jimmy character (Trevor) is that he's not tough at all - he wants to call his friend in to shoot someone, he backstabs others, and he speaks in a black dialect; in the vein of a colossal poser. There's a LOT more Jones/Jimmy interaction that plays up the color commentary, but it was cut out for time and respect for Willie (who played Jones).
Mike Q wrote:I didn't like much after that begging though, and lines like "I'm gonna bust a cap in your ass" really annoy me.
Post 10 of 44
Post 11 of 44
Post 12 of 44
Post 13 of 44
Post 14 of 44
Thanks for the reply!
SGB wrote:The camerawork in the scene that followed was a little weak I thought, the dollying wide shot didn't work out so well, especially the dollying out. Everything else worked stylistically and really made the film enjoyable.
Post 15 of 44
Post 16 of 44
Post 17 of 44
Yeah, we tried the stances a couple of different ways, with Reese (youngest one) on different sides, approaching Harrison (oldest one). I knew we wanted Harrison in the middle, especially in Trevor (guy who screw them over) would be walking into frame. Another placement issue was Willie, who had to leave to get his hair cut about 20 minutes into shooting the movie.
SGB wrote:I guess mostly it may have been the way the actors were standing, as if positioned for the framing of the shot, that seemed very unnatural. The guy in the middle was standing especially awkwardly.
I'd say the crane shot in marathon was with out a doubt much better than this shot.Lord, I'd expect it to, given that that portion of Marathon took an entire day to film! I realized in 'No Rest' that 8ft of track for my dolly probably wasn't enough, and experimented with the camera at different lengths away from the talent. Any further back, it would just be too far. Any closer, and you obscure Trevor walking in (he just doesn't hit the frame of the camera). I believe some of the awkwardness there may be in the editing, it's just one of those things where the shot looks iffy because of how it is placed around other shots. I dunno what I'm saying.
Post 18 of 44
Post 19 of 44
SGB wrote:The following scene in particular suffered from bad acting.
I'd say overall the movie suffered from poor acting, which contrasted sharply with the high level everything else was at.Hmmmmm, I wouldn't go as far as saying that. Certainly our Atomic films have been prided (besides technicals) on having excellent acting, something we're very thankful for, but that doesn't make not-excellent acting in our latest movie, even contrasting the other high levels, poor- does it?
Post 20 of 44
Post 21 of 44
Yeah, I know what you mean. I wanted the gun-purchasing scene in there- although it didn't come out exactly as I wanted it- for the irony of it all, a feeling that would accompany the rest of the movie's tone. You see, in the pawn shop Ray is picking out Jimmy's (Trevor) gun for him. Since Jimmy kills Ray, Ray is essentially choosing the weapon that kills him, picking out his own demise. It was supposed to be furtively funny- but it just didn't translate well from paper to screen. I still think it works alright, though, and like I said- I'm happy with the project as a whole.
Limey12345 wrote:But I think that the part were you flashback to them buying the guns didn't really fit. I know you had to use that line, but I think the line might have worked better if one of the guys said it during the robbery and you didn't have that flashback thing. Like he could have pointed to one of the keys and said it or something.
Post 22 of 44
Post 23 of 44
Post 24 of 44
Post 25 of 44
I liked the style of acting here, though I'll concede Harrison definitely developed as we filmed. We used SAG and Julliard trained actors, respectively, in Cover's Story and Redemption, so I don't think we can get any better than that - we've spoiled you guys on acting! I mean, you don't get more prestigious than Julliard!
SGB wrote:I've always liked the acting in your stuff, and I think the acting in films like Cover's Story, and especially Redemption were quite excellent.
Post 26 of 44
Post 27 of 44
Post 28 of 44
Post 29 of 44
Post 30 of 44
Post 31 of 44
Post 32 of 44
Post 33 of 44
Post 34 of 44
Post 35 of 44
Post 36 of 44
Post 37 of 44
Post 38 of 44
Post 39 of 44
There were a few snippets here and there that could have been a little tighter. The scene where the one guy leaves the office when things start going bad... it was good but was missing a little something from the actor that leaves. He didn't seem to pull off that he was "shocked" at what his partner did. He was good with the "I'm out of here" part though.See, I and a lotta people who've seen the movie seem to think the moment his eyes widen and flip back-and-forth is the best bit of acting in the movie, which makes me scratch my head as to how it didn't sell as well with you. Reese, the character in the scene, is the only 'real' actor in the movie; and we really think he's quite good. We specifically wrote the role for him because we knew it'd have more of a dramatic, naive 'shocked' turn in it- and I thought he pulled it off beautifully. But, opinions differ I guess.
The scene where the guy finds the file... he could have been a little more panicked and afraid. Other than that... all in all everyone's acting was pretty good.Hehe. Well, I don't know what to say about this either. This scene was pretty heavily cut down, as the longer scene plays with the clerk being pistol-whipped by Jones and asking for clarification on how Jimmy is going to 'count to ten'. (as in 'ten seconds' or '10 9 8 7, etc.'). Together the scene played too long and not frantic enough- and I feel like it's current length and takes really push the panicky feel. Maybe not enough for you, but hopefully you still got some of it in there. Andrew Allen, the AD on the movie and actor of the clerk, we felt like did a great job playing the girlishly-screaming and whiny role. I'm sure you'll notice, as you mentioned the manager who gets killed earlier on, that the latter clerk was supposed to be a younger employee who hadn't been through a robbery before the way the more laid-back manager had, and therefore a humorous comparison could be drawn between their demeanors.
Post 40 of 44
Post 41 of 44
Post 42 of 44
Post 43 of 44
Post 44 of 44
Thanks, Jabooza- yeah, the acting wasn't up to par with some of our other efforts, but we're still generally happy and impressed with our actors- especially considering you can get away with less acting gravitas in a movie like this. Sorry you didn't like this- kinda odd, most people we've talked to have the best reaction to this as far as 'liking' any of our movies.
Jabooza wrote:The only real criticism that I have would be, as Sollthar mentioned, the acting. Not that it was bad, but it definitely wasn't up to par with your other stuff.
Besides that, this is nearly technically perfect... just not my kind of thing, if you know what I mean.
No no no, this was supposed to be the 'kid' character, from the beginning. The point of establishing him in the '16 hours ago' scene was to show his stressing of the plan having structure; then his conscience when they killed the manager which causes him to desert the whole operation. He's the one who kills Jimmy in the end; a bit of cruel irony and justice there. If you notice, that's where the name really comes from as there truly is, in the movie, 'no rest for the wicked'. Hopefully the ending music playfully and cool-y plays into that, too.
Richard III wrote:But one thing I didn't understand; who was the guy who shot the protagonist? The boss?
The grading was good and fitting in with the film, except the green tint that made me think of the Matrix, especially in the urban setting. I think the green could have been left out altogether and been replaced with a cold blue or maybe gritty grading. I've heard that the green is your signature "atomic" thing, but it might well get a bit tired. Maybe if it doesn't fit with the story, you could stick it in the intro and leave it out for the rest. Just a suggestion.I'm sorry, but I can't agree with you here. Although we're somewhat notorious for having 'green grading' I want to make it clear it's not simply a filter or anything, we're known for good grading, too. It's a choice that goes with the tone of each movie, and I hate it being labeled as 'green'. Specifically in this movie, I went with a corporate-y set of blue and orange tones that I never do. Likewise, in our movie now in the cinema, 'Exodus', I've gone with a more desaturated, bleaker color palette that builds up to more golden tones throughout the movie. Hopefully you can note some of these things.
Technically it was really nice. One thing I disliked was the lack of blood, when I think a few shots of wounds would have fit in well. Maybe blood pooling around your "hero"'s body when he was lying there. It might have added another element of grit to the story. Muzzle flashes were great.Sure, turn it off the first sound of some coarse language, but bring on the blood! No, really. Thanks for watching, seriously.