You are viewing an archive of the old fxhome.com forums. The community has since moved to hitfilm.com.

Atomic in the Austin 48 Hour

Posted: Sun, 27th Jun 2010, 2:59am

Post 1 of 54

Atom

Force: 4300 | Joined: 9th May 2004 | Posts: 7014

EffectsLab Lite User FXhome Movie Maker Windows User

Gold Member

Well, I'll keep this short for now. We're in the thick of the Austin 48 Hour Film Project right now, which we are again this year doing in Dallas several hundred miles away from the dropoff point.

Fun fun fun stuff. I'd put more, but I've got a big summer sort of 'spotlight' thread coming you guys' way, so I'll just say this for now:

We got our required elements. Timetravel is our genre. We're very excited. UPDATED POSTER-



Here's hoping- now halfway through and just barely into production (eek!) our ambitious ideas can all come to fruition and we can finish this at-length and on-time. Wish us luck! biggrin

Last edited Sat, 3rd Jul 2010, 9:45am; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Sun, 27th Jun 2010, 9:19am

Post 2 of 54

PLANB

Force: 1312 | Joined: 20th Dec 2006 | Posts: 218

CompositeLab Pro User EffectsLab Pro User Windows User FXhome Movie Maker

Gold Member

Very cool stuff. Good luck!
Posted: Sun, 27th Jun 2010, 12:55pm

Post 3 of 54

spydurhank

Force: 1956 | Joined: 24th Jun 2008 | Posts: 1357

VisionLab User VideoWrap User FXpreset Maker Windows User FXhome Movie Maker

Gold Member

Nice. biggrin
Posted: Sun, 27th Jun 2010, 3:00pm

Post 4 of 54

davlin

Force: 1572 | Joined: 21st Jan 2002 | Posts: 1088

EffectsLab Pro User FXhome Movie Maker Windows User

Gold Member

GOOD LUCK and with some good writing you may get the results before you present movie..smile
Posted: Sun, 27th Jun 2010, 6:05pm

Post 5 of 54

Fxhome Dude

Force: 996 | Joined: 1st Jun 2009 | Posts: 927

CompositeLab Pro User FXpreset Maker FXhome Movie Maker Windows User

Gold Member

Atom wrote:


We got our required elements. Timetravel is our genre. We're very excited. Need I say, hype poster? smile

This promises to be a classic...Good luck.
Posted: Mon, 28th Jun 2010, 2:18am

Post 6 of 54

Aculag

Force: 8365 | Joined: 21st Jun 2002 | Posts: 8581

EffectsLab Lite User VideoWrap User FXhome Movie Maker MacOS User

Gold Member

I can't wait for the inevitable, "We lost, and the film that won wasn't even that great!" post. wink

Seriously, though, always excited for your 48 hour films, and excited to see what you can do with your T2i now that you're used to it.
Posted: Mon, 28th Jun 2010, 9:00am

Post 7 of 54

Atom

Force: 4300 | Joined: 9th May 2004 | Posts: 7014

EffectsLab Lite User FXhome Movie Maker Windows User

Gold Member

Well, we finished the movie and got it all wrapped and done on time, but alas in uploading/downloading/signing paperwork we just barely missed the official time to get it in for 'best of city' judging. (We shot it out-of-town and had a crewmate download it and the paperwork and turn it in for us in Austin.) We're still up for all the other awards, though, because we got it in right after time, so I'm really not that upset.

Mostly because I'm just really proud of my team and our movie and ambitions on this thing. We shot an 11-page script with lots of action, special effects, practical effects, and dialogue (where we usually shoot simmer 3 to 5 page scripts) We did things and attempted (with mostly success) that we've never tried before.

And even when we were down, not only did we finish- but we finished the movie on time as well. And with it cohesive and complete. Which is, on a personal level, more important than winning anything. After all, it's not about winning- but finishing. wink

We worked from another city and tried out relying on uploading (the fatal flaw of the project, but a trial/experience nonetheless ) in order to turn it in. We tried a new actor. We increased the diversity in our crew. We did a trio of a cast. We shot primarily at night and used generators for power. We shot TIMETRAVELING. Just......things I'd otherwise stray away from for fear of overambition or lofty incompletion in a 48hr- we did in this one. And it came out great. A little less cohesive/confusing in parts- but nothing out of the realm of timetravel headscratching.

I really like how everything turned out. Trevor was back for this one, so was Chase. Just.....good stuff. And I was so scared to death we weren't going to even finish shooting- a feeling of anxiety I've NEVER before got on one of these. Easily our coolest movie as of yet-but from our recent demo reel you'll see we had planned for that anyway. wink

Sooooo yeah. I'll get this on after the screenings. Good stuff, great and satisfyingly adventurous/ambitious filmmaking weekend!
Posted: Mon, 28th Jun 2010, 3:26pm

Post 8 of 54

Bryce007

Force: 1910 | Joined: 5th Apr 2003 | Posts: 2609

VideoWrap User Windows User

Gold Member

Sounds Just.....great. I Just.....can't wait to see it.
Posted: Mon, 28th Jun 2010, 6:45pm

Post 9 of 54

Aculag

Force: 8365 | Joined: 21st Jun 2002 | Posts: 8581

EffectsLab Lite User VideoWrap User FXhome Movie Maker MacOS User

Gold Member

Sounds awesome! Good luck!
Posted: Mon, 28th Jun 2010, 7:22pm

Post 10 of 54

swintonmaximilian

Force: 1970 | Joined: 23rd Jun 2007 | Posts: 527

VisionLab User VideoWrap User FXhome Movie Maker

Gold Member

Sounds good, looking forward to it.
Posted: Mon, 28th Jun 2010, 7:28pm

Post 11 of 54

Limey

Force: 547 | Joined: 11th Sep 2005 | Posts: 752

Gold Member

Sounds great man. I can't wait to see what you guys came up with.

Also, I just read a goosebumps story on a kid named Ben Adams who makes movies. Ha.
Posted: Mon, 28th Jun 2010, 10:24pm

Post 12 of 54

Atom

Force: 4300 | Joined: 9th May 2004 | Posts: 7014

EffectsLab Lite User FXhome Movie Maker Windows User

Gold Member

Here's a few screens for now of what it looks like.






Posted: Mon, 28th Jun 2010, 10:53pm

Post 13 of 54

alienux

Force: 1050 | Joined: 6th Jan 2010 | Posts: 299

CompositeLab Pro User EffectsLab Pro User Windows User

Gold Member

The screenshots look good. The last one especially looks intriguing.
Posted: Tue, 29th Jun 2010, 12:11am

Post 14 of 54

Pooky

Force: 4834 | Joined: 8th Jul 2003 | Posts: 5913

EffectsLab Lite User Windows User MacOS User FXhome Movie Maker

Gold Member

Great cinematography as always smile Glad to see it all HD-sharp now, too!
Posted: Tue, 29th Jun 2010, 12:17am

Post 15 of 54

ben3308

Force: 5210 | Joined: 24th May 2004 | Posts: 6433

VideoWrap User FXhome Movie Maker Windows User

Gold Member

Well, the filming towards the end was split between myself and my friend Chase, who had to really blaze through whole scenes in one shot. So the earlier bits are clear and tack sharp, the later bits have a general softness as the focus changes rapidly from person to person.

Definitely some cool shots in the one, though, I'm excited to put it online. Unfortunately, the Austin 48 Hour people only accepted SD Quicktime files, and our rendering of that (SD, .mov in 4:3 aspect) was only mediocre at best, so the file that will physically be screened will be kind of 'meh' in terms of clarity. neutral

Either way, the copy we post online will doubtless be a 1080, 24p wmv through YouTube, so no worries! biggrin
Posted: Tue, 29th Jun 2010, 6:31am

Post 16 of 54

Aculag

Force: 8365 | Joined: 21st Jun 2002 | Posts: 8581

EffectsLab Lite User VideoWrap User FXhome Movie Maker MacOS User

Gold Member

That is ridiculous... Only accepting SD files in 2010 makes no sense at all. HD has been standard for what, five years? More than that? You're livin' in the past, Austin 48hr. Those shots look excellent, but there's no way 4:3 SD will do it justice on a big screen. Seriously, what are they thinking? I feel sorry for you guys because of that.

But yeah, get that HD file on Youtube asap. This looks awesome. smile
Posted: Tue, 29th Jun 2010, 1:25pm

Post 17 of 54

Serpent

Force: 5426 | Joined: 26th Dec 2003 | Posts: 6515

CompositeLab Pro User EffectsLab Pro User FXhome Movie Maker FXpreset Maker MacOS User

Gold Member

The entire 48 Hour Film Project's living in the past. We were instructed to do the same thing. Complete bull.

Glad you finished, can't wait to see the final product. Let us know what it looks like in a theater, despite it being lower quality.
Posted: Sat, 3rd Jul 2010, 7:44am

Post 18 of 54

miker

Force: 386 | Joined: 30th Jul 2005 | Posts: 651

EffectsLab Lite User FXhome Movie Maker Windows User

Gold Member

Yes, post that shiz. Now. smile
Posted: Sat, 3rd Jul 2010, 8:44am

Post 19 of 54

Atom

Force: 4300 | Joined: 9th May 2004 | Posts: 7014

EffectsLab Lite User FXhome Movie Maker Windows User

Gold Member

What, this?


(Click the picture to watch)

biggrin
______________________________________________________________________
Zero Hour

"Produced and directed in just two days for the 2010 Austin 48 Hour Film Project, 'Zero Hour' is Atomic Productions' sophomore effort in the sci-fi genre, this time playing into the intruguing required sub-genre: timetravel.

When a team of three young men are sent back in time to stop a crime before it ever happens, their situation corrodes as suspicions arise of murder and foul play. Amnesia, dissent, and gunfights abound, 'Zero Hour' is one of Atomic's most ambitious projects to date."

______________________________________________________________________



It's still processing/pending cinema submission, so if you're going to watch it here please do make some mention of it on the cinema page it will soon-to-be inhabiting too, please. Also, don't mind that audio in the traintracks scene. It is, indubitably, completely f*cked. But we know that already, and hey- it's still just a 48 hour contest, so we saw no sense in reshooting it after-the-fact. That'd just be....silly, ya know?

Other than that technical bit and some minor 'overtly-avante-garde sort of on-the-fly shots', like I said we're all pretty happy with how this came out. We tried a lot of things and production values behind the camera that may not be as noticeable, but they were a big deal for us and spread our extension of reliable resources and contacts for the future- which is always really cool.

Click the picture above to watch, wait for the cinema submission to clear, or pop a snap at this little linky to check it out.

And, as always, let us know what you think. This thing is devoid of voicework and absent of heavy contrast- but stills retains much of the style we love, so we hope you enjoy the fact that we try and take (some) of yalls comments to heart. wink

Enjoy!
Posted: Sat, 3rd Jul 2010, 10:20am

Post 20 of 54

Sollthar

Force: 13360 | Joined: 30th Oct 2001 | Posts: 6094

VisionLab User VideoWrap User PhotoKey 2 Pro User FXhome Movie Maker Windows User MacOS User

SuperUser

Hm, is this the finished version? I found this rather difficult to watch really.

The wobblyness of the camerawork which I thought was, apart from some few really awesome moments like a few of the opening shots and that flame time travel shot which is just perfectly shot and edited and probably one of my favorite moments I've ever seen from you, rather weak and incredibly distracting. What looks great in those screenshots falls mostly flat in motion for me. sad
The sound and mixing had some large problems too, not only in the beginning.

What appeared like an interesting story setup with the timetravel and the whole "what happened and who did what" was, for me, completely drowned in overdrama and just lost all it's impact. In terms of overdramatic, this felt like one of the most extreme I've seen even for you.
The characters pretty much begin by shouting dramatically at each other, keep shouting dramatically at each other and end shouting dramatically at each other - There was once again never enough time for me to even start caring and not enough variation in feelings not to just be numbed down by how overdramatically it all was. The almost constant music from about 3 minutes in that hardly shifted it's tone - only to change from "dramatic" to "very dramatic" to "incredibly dramatic" - added the rest.
The film appeared like it really wanted to shove the drama up my *** rather then let the feelings slowly and believably unfold and creep up on me. Hence I never cared. Nor did I believe the acting.

So in all, with the uneven technicals combined with just way too much hyperdrama with little else to offer on the directing side made me not care about what I see. This went for effect way too much for my taste and, for me, can't reach some of your other work. :I
Posted: Sat, 3rd Jul 2010, 10:30am

Post 21 of 54

Atom

Force: 4300 | Joined: 9th May 2004 | Posts: 7014

EffectsLab Lite User FXhome Movie Maker Windows User

Gold Member

Well, that's unfortunate. unsure

Yeah, this is the finished version. (I mean, why wouldn't it be if I put it up, buddy? wink) We really tried for going through a sort of building shift of anger/frustration from Trevor to Reese and back to Trevor throughout the thing- and hit some different tonalities with the intensity of the acting (which I thought was really excellent from our actors, but that's just me). Sad to hear that didn't translate for you. Especially because we really thought we created a nice parallelism between the timelines as far as the drama went.

The tricky thing with subject matter such as this is, inherently, how to tackle it without making it sound preposterous or cheesy or silly. For us, ramping up the themes of ambiguity and trust and doing the whole thing from a really serious perspective seemed like the best option. And still, I think we turned it out fairly well. These guys awake disoriented and shot. They're bound to be a little.......cranky. You know? smile At least that's what we were going for.

I don't really believe that the character 'shout and yell' at eachother the whole movie- and I think when they do there's been a build-up towards it (I mean like the middle 1/4th of the movie is just passive sort of 'talking'/tri-banter)- so I am really genuinely surprised by that being such a strong complaint. Mostly because we sort of went out of our way to give each of the characters sort of an emotional journey- in writing, directing, and editing the movie- and again that's something I really felt we did do. And partly did because of previous criticism on here. So I'm not necessarily saying 'you're wrong!', but I'm slightly disappointed- because when level-headed-mediator Jared finally cracks and yells for the first time in the movie "I SAID CHILL!" or Trevor goes from powerfully yelling to long minutes of defeated speechlessness- that's something we really did capture for the sake of the tone and perspective of the movie.


Which is to say, then, that if it all just appeared that way, in sort of a pensive shouty/screamy demeanor, then I apologize.

I can see what you're saying overall- so yeah, sorry you didn't enjoy it. I know how/when an overdramatic blur can soften the effect of a short film overall (although obviously I still don't think this completely has that effect here). But yeah, I get it. A singular mood/intensity is bothersome and boring.

There are, however, also clear moments where the mood changes. The jumps back and forth shift the perspective and (at least are supposed to) with the tone. In the beginning you've got Jared joking with Trevor, Trevor yelling. Reese pacifying them.

Then Reese yelling, Trevor on the defensive, and Jared pacifying them. And so on. That's sort of what we were going for- a real ebb and flow of changing feelings/perspectives/emotions.

Sort of same with audio editing/mixing. That's something I really, really worked very hard on this time so as not to play this as 'by-the-book-Designer-Sound-FX-style' as our other recent movies. Especially in the timetravel/timejumping bits.

It's a dastardly shame that those are some of your biggest criticisms then, I suppose. Huh. Well......I guess we'll work harder on that next time. unsure

Last edited Sat, 3rd Jul 2010, 10:48am; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Sat, 3rd Jul 2010, 10:45am

Post 22 of 54

spydurhank

Force: 1956 | Joined: 24th Jun 2008 | Posts: 1357

VisionLab User VideoWrap User FXpreset Maker Windows User FXhome Movie Maker

Gold Member

Wow dude really!? eek
I'm not concerned with anything else nor am I gonna bring up anything else other than the acting because that's the only thing that really stood out for me. It started off a bit slow shoddy and weird and then all of a sudden just built up into this whole overwhelming crescendo of emotion that was very well played by all of your actors.
Panic confusion and distrust... those guys did a fantastic job on this one and have seriously improved on their acting skills. Love it!

I don't know their names but the skinny kid has this whole emotional range with his facial expressions shtick that really works for him, same thing for the other white kid except he didn't use words so much, his very subtle mannerisms posture and eyes during the confrontation spoke volumes, maybe even a hint of sadness and remorse while the third guy had a semblance of both but not as pronounced, kinda like he was waiting to find the truth about what really happened so he was holding his emotions in check, but just barely.

Again, very impressive emotional range from your actors. They were awesome.
Posted: Sat, 3rd Jul 2010, 11:04am

Post 23 of 54

Atom

Force: 4300 | Joined: 9th May 2004 | Posts: 7014

EffectsLab Lite User FXhome Movie Maker Windows User

Gold Member

Thanks, spydurhank. You really I think cemented what we were trying to do with this contest this year with your review.

We wanted to take the guise of the timetravel genre, do that specifically (the literal timetravel) as technically best and as cool as we could (and no doubt the most well-shot, best-lit, most well-orchestrated and tightly-edited scenes are the timetravel sequences)- and then just allow that framework to open the question:

"What do you do in the future if you've changed the past and things went wrong, but now can't remember why/how because you've changed it?"

Which is a head-y sort of question to begin with, but basically our goal was to make timetravel look as cool as possible and not silly or cheesy, then take that question and let the actors sort of act out the confusion and distrust and disorientation that might follow after that with little to no explanation.

That's how I've always wanted to see timetravel done, that's how we did it. Whether it came out completely ace or not, I don't as much care- I'm happy to see some of those ambitions go to the screen. And we never would've done it had we not got timetravel as our genre in this thing; so I'm grateful for that as well.

And yeah, thanks for the kudos on the actors. Reese (the skinny guy in the leather jacket) has grown a lot, both physically and as an actor, over the past few years- and he's really our favorite person to work with these days. Has several nuances and facial sort of ticks that just ache with humanity. We love that stuff. smile

Although Trevor (the other white guy) does too, to be fair. And we love T-Git. The guy never complains, never wonders 'why?'. Ever. He's got the rarity of complete trust in Ben and I, and we love him (and his performances) for that- as it really comes through in the eyes I think.

And Jared, the third actor in the film (the black guy), we really thought did a great job in this as well. He's relatively new to film acting (he's actually a rapper) but he had such a natural presence and real enthusiasm- we really thought he added a lot to the group dynamic onscreen. Also, funny enough, he was going to play Mr. Freeze in our third Batman film about a year ago. But that ship sailed. biggrin
Posted: Sat, 3rd Jul 2010, 11:23am

Post 24 of 54

Sollthar

Force: 13360 | Joined: 30th Oct 2001 | Posts: 6094

VisionLab User VideoWrap User PhotoKey 2 Pro User FXhome Movie Maker Windows User MacOS User

SuperUser

Yeah, this is the finished version. (I mean, why wouldn't it be if I put it up, buddy?)
Just wondering. I often do re-edits of films after I finished the first version and tend to lose about 10 to 20 % of material or make changes in mood. I tend to, as you have often correctly critisized, tell rather slowly in movies. (which is odd for someone who has ADHD, but anyways)

It really might just be a combination of my character and background why I reacted to this the way I did.
First, I'm the sort of person who stays rather calm, logical and pretty emotionally unaffected - especially in extreme situations where other people lose their heads (You might remember calling me "disgustingly cold" in a conversation a time ago. And I really can be like that). So I didn't have a character to identify with in this. Hence the acting didn't work for me. It didn't pull me in, it pushed me away.

Second is my education in classic theatre with obviously lots of european influence in direction. So I have been tought to use shouting and tears rarely and very, very specifically - if even. And only with an appropriately long build up of little things, details. Which I just didn't feel here.

And it's something I did feel very much in "A love not standing" for example which is still my favorite work of you - apart from the ending. But the buildup offers such a great and well timed range of emotions and breaks, combined with precise editing and wit. I still watch it from time to time and there are moments that still get a giggle from me. I also showed it in a filmmaking course and they loved it too.


I'll probably stay in the minority though, so nothing to worry about. smile
Posted: Sat, 3rd Jul 2010, 3:49pm

Post 25 of 54

RodyPolis

Force: 805 | Joined: 28th Apr 2007 | Posts: 1839

CompositeLab Lite User FXhome Movie Maker Windows User

Gold Member

Just watched it. I didn't get it at all really. I'll watch it again to try and get it.
Posted: Sat, 3rd Jul 2010, 3:51pm

Post 26 of 54

Sollthar

Force: 13360 | Joined: 30th Oct 2001 | Posts: 6094

VisionLab User VideoWrap User PhotoKey 2 Pro User FXhome Movie Maker Windows User MacOS User

SuperUser

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that in my review: Neither did I. There was something about timetravel and someone did something but didn't remember. But I didn't get who did what or why. But it was dramatic. That I got. wink
Posted: Sat, 3rd Jul 2010, 5:07pm

Post 27 of 54

CX3

Force: 3137 | Joined: 1st Apr 2003 | Posts: 2527

EffectsLab Lite User VideoWrap User MacOS User FXhome Movie Maker

Gold Member

When it got to the shot where you all time jump, I rewound it about 10 times. I thought that looked brilliant! But everything else was meh for me. I could tell what you were going for but I just don't think the actors are on that level of making such believable just yet. I found myself cringing through about 80% of the acting (or over-acting imo).

Also, I as well didn't understand the story & ending. That shoot out and the reaction immediately following made no sense at all neutral

Btw, if you plan to continue shooting on DSLR's, you're really gonna need to find a way to capture audio externally for people to take you're films as serious as they look. DSLR's produce an amazing image but that can be crapped on with horrible audio. I know that was probably out of the question for this 48hr project but just a side note for the future (no pun).
Posted: Sat, 3rd Jul 2010, 5:18pm

Post 28 of 54

davlin

Force: 1572 | Joined: 21st Jan 2002 | Posts: 1088

EffectsLab Pro User FXhome Movie Maker Windows User

Gold Member

I thought your actors done a superb job and the direction was top class.
I found story a little confusing but I think that's more to do with me..
not as smart as I used to be)..smile
I fully understand the concept,been watching Lost you see, but it just did'nt seem to come across that well in the movie.....I shall watch again and let you know.
The whole movie was a very dramatic episode and that was handled brilliantly by all.
Well done guys.


Dave
Posted: Sat, 3rd Jul 2010, 5:50pm

Post 29 of 54

Arktic

Force: 9977 | Joined: 10th Nov 2003 | Posts: 2785

VisionLab User VideoWrap User PhotoKey 2 Pro User FXhome Movie Maker FXpreset Maker Windows User MacOS User

SuperUser

The good:

- The cinematography was lovely, some really nicely composed shots in here.
- I quite liked the music (was it composed specially for this film?).
- Liked the grading of the flashback/forward/whatever sequence, a little more subtle than some of your previous stuff, really good.
- The effects were great.
- The editing was good, nothing stood out or felt jarring.

The not-so-good:

- I don't have a clue what on earth was going on. I got that they were timetraveling to stop some someone from killing some other people, and one of them double crossed the others - but after that, I'm totally lost. I don't get why one of them wanted to double cross the others, I didn't understand how they worked out who was doing the double crossing, and I don't have any idea what the timeline was - was the graded stuff the future? Or the past? Or... what?
- I don't think the acting was that bad (especially for a 48hr film), but I do think it was let down by the very on-the-nose dialogue. There wasn't a great deal of variation in what the actors did, but they did manage to do the distrustful shouting very well.
- TOO MANY CINEMATIC WOOSHES IN THE SOUNDMIX! Ack!

Conclusion:

Overall, as a narative, it totally didn't work for me. I just didn't get it, sadly. As a sequence of pretty visuals that flow together, then it was great - lovely cinematography, great image quality, good solid editing. The acting was ok, the script lacklustre. Overall, a 2.5 outta 5 for me.

Cheers,
Arktic.
Posted: Sat, 3rd Jul 2010, 6:18pm

Post 30 of 54

DVStudio

Force: 4983 | Joined: 22nd Nov 2007 | Posts: 1845

CompositeLab Pro User EffectsLab Pro User PhotoKey 4 User FXpreset Maker FXhome Movie Maker Windows User

Gold Member

Well, I watched it. Twice actaully. And I still have very little clue as to what happened. I get that something obviously dramatic happened in the past and no one can remember, but the rest of it... meh. No idea.

The film looked good- great cinematography and nice effects (especially the time travel one). Plus pretty good actors for a 48 hour film contest. Props to you as far as that is concerned.

However, being quite confusing, having the odd sound effect blurps at different intervals, and the shaking camera manage to outweigh that for me.

I've seen better from you guys and this wasn't my favorite of your films. Perhaps it was the topic you were assigned this time around, but I'm not really sure. Something just didn't work for me, which is a shame because it seemed like it would be pretty good.


Just my 2p. Here's to looking forward to your next film.

Cheers,
DV
Posted: Sat, 3rd Jul 2010, 6:27pm

Post 31 of 54

ben3308

Force: 5210 | Joined: 24th May 2004 | Posts: 6433

VideoWrap User FXhome Movie Maker Windows User

Gold Member

Hey guys, thanks for watching the film. A shame many of you didn't enjoy it, but that's alright - to each his own.

The goals in this were definitely to communicate a story using actors without using exposition and to get some cool effects in. Two things we almost never do. Effects, we did well in my opinion. The story, too, comes through in my opinion. Maybe it bears watching a few times through, but, in the linear sense:

Three guys in the present day go back in time for 90 minutes to retrieve a case, for vague but noble reasons. They're thrown back in time where they find the case, but the guy they're supposed to find there isn't there. This is when it's revealed that one of them was given money to shoot the others. As this is discovered, an argument ensues and the backstabber doesn't have the heart to finish killing the other two. So he pauses, lowers his gun, and thinks in regret while another one is disgusted, tosses his gun, pauses, then goes back to pick it up again. Picking it up causes confusion as to a possible threat, and a minor gunfight ensues wherein a worklight is kicked into a thing of paint thinner, causing an explosion.

After the explosion, all three awake to find it daytime and with minor amnesia. The fact that it's daytime and they're still in the house, not back at the traintracks, means they missed their window to travel back to the present and are now stuck, 8 days back, with the past altered. One of the young men begins to formulate, through his amnesia, what happened, seeing that an explosion went off and that one of the three had to shoot the other. Once it's revealed who the backstabber is, there's a tense moment of holding guns at each other, followed by a retreat prompted by the third timetraveler. As they begin to leave, shots are fired which ignites a gunfight, ending in the third timetraveler being shot. The end.

The story itself flips between the past (in the house at night) the present (the traintracks) and the altered present (in the house during the day). In my opinion, I think it's relatively easy to follow once you watch it twice or more, so maybe consider another viewing?

Also, I think the acting here is pretty good, and was an accomplishment for us. But maybe it's not the right style for you guys, and that's fine. Directorially there was actually a lot of work done. But.......whatever, if it's not your cup of tea that's fine. Script-wise, I thought this was also our most structured/orderly writing to date, but again, if the film isn't serviceable for you to understand it well enough, then perhaps read the description above and watch it with that in mind. That may play better, post-enlightenment. biggrin

In the Law of Conservation of detail, and because it was a 48 hour movie, deeper facts as to why someone would double-cross or what the case was for just have to be thrown out. So we had to cut out the minor details and leave it up to the variation in acting/costume/lighting/grading to set the stage for the different 'time zones'. Daytime in the house follows the night time in the house. And there's obviously some amnesia-creating event in between those two times. I thought that was pretty obvious...?

Also....

spydurhank wrote:

I don't know their names but the skinny kid has this whole emotional range with his facial expressions shtick that really works for him, same thing for the other white kid except he didn't use words so much, his very subtle mannerisms posture and eyes during the confrontation spoke volumes, maybe even a hint of sadness and remorse while the third guy had a semblance of both but not as pronounced, kinda like he was waiting to find the truth about what really happened so he was holding his emotions in check, but just barely.
This is pretty much, to the letter, exactly what we were going for. That, and a badass timetravel sequence. biggrin

It may also bear stating that everything effects-wise we did, sans the last gunfight flashes, was practical and not added in post.

Last edited Sat, 3rd Jul 2010, 6:47pm; edited 2 times in total.

Posted: Sat, 3rd Jul 2010, 6:40pm

Post 32 of 54

CX3

Force: 3137 | Joined: 1st Apr 2003 | Posts: 2527

EffectsLab Lite User VideoWrap User MacOS User FXhome Movie Maker

Gold Member

I think your guys premise would be really good if you used it on an actual short film and not a 48hr contest. Because what you just said sounds great! But it definitely did not come across in the filmmaking. I believe the only reason it makes sense to you all is because you obviously have a strong understanding of the film, seeing as how you created it ha.

But a short film shouldn't take the audience 3 or more viewings just to understand the basic story...
Posted: Sat, 3rd Jul 2010, 6:41pm

Post 33 of 54

Atom

Force: 4300 | Joined: 9th May 2004 | Posts: 7014

EffectsLab Lite User FXhome Movie Maker Windows User

Gold Member

Well, sorry everyone seems to be lost with it. The idea was to do two timelines and have them sync-up climatically with an explosion going off- knocking them all out- and having them awaken after time 'jumps' back the present.

I've now written a lengthy response and it seems Ben's beaten me to the punch- but here most of it is, anyway, for further explanation/understanding:

I is, admittedly, supposed to be somewhat convoluted- as it is timetravel- but not terribly so. The goal was to show Trevor jump back to the past with the other two and double-cross them for money, accept that he can't seem to do it and lowers his gun. It's only after an argument that he gets nervous and swings it back up just in time for Jared (the black guy) to defensively shoot at him, him back at Reese and Jared- them two knocking into something and causing an explosion that knocks them all out.

We felt we conveyed that all onscreen, most-especially the explosion, decently well. So I'm sorry that didn't come through in explaining the whole plot.

From there the characters, in the 'alternate present', become amnesiac and are left to their own suspicions. No one really knows what's what or what happened- they're all just acting out of confusion, emotion, and frustration. So when you've got Reese or Trevor yelling- and then the big spur-of-the-moment shootout, it's all supposed to seem incredibly needless and out of pure emotion. Sort of the show the fragility of life when our angers or distrust (even rightfully-so) controls what we do.

In the present how did Reese know Trevor double-crossed them? Well, frankly he really didn't. Or maybe he did. Really, you don't know. The goal was to show that he was running purely off of suspicion- and that was sort of the point of the movie. Small moments of emotion can dictate big decisions. So Trevor doesn't shoot in the past. He, in some ways, redeems himself here. But ultimately that doesn't matter because in a few short seconds it's all unraveled and everyone is shooting at eachother.

What we were getting at was that time is fleeting, but the decisions we make really aren't. That was the crux of the movie.

It sucks that hasn't really come through on here, and that this hasn't been terribly well-received. We really tried hard/thought it was something special.

I have no idea what people are talking about acting, though. I personally think our actors outclass/outact most of the people I see on here- which isn't meant to be self-complimenting, I'm just proud of the people I work with. Honestly, what is the expectation there when this acting is bad/overdone/cringe-worthy? Not to be snarky or overly-defensive, but just what is the expectation these days? What is 'good' acting here, if this- which I consider done by three excellent actors- isn't?

Last edited Sat, 3rd Jul 2010, 6:45pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Sat, 3rd Jul 2010, 6:44pm

Post 34 of 54

ben3308

Force: 5210 | Joined: 24th May 2004 | Posts: 6433

VideoWrap User FXhome Movie Maker Windows User

Gold Member

CX3 wrote:

But a short film shouldn't take the audience 3 or more viewings just to understand the basic story...
Yeah, I know, I'm just saying that if you would, at this juncture, like to enjoy the film with an understanding of it, re-watching it a few times may make it be more enjoyable/make more sense to anyone whose complaint is not enjoying through confusion.

Also - half of us had no idea what order my brother had written things in until he'd edited the entire movie together - we had to use symbols on a diagram to denote the acting/feelings/wardrobe/lighting for each setup, because everyone became so confused throughout! In the end, the actors all understood the film once they actually saw it edited together, so it's funny you mention that.

Zero Hour is our 'fun' movie in that we took the liberty to do stuff that we deemed cool and intricate and high production value (inside a pre-remodel house, where we got to light fires and spraypaint on the walls) and only worried very marginally about being succinct. I think the film makes sense, for sure, 100%, all the information you need to understand it is in there. But is it succinct/concise enough to get it all in one viewing? Probably not. But..........well, whatever! biggrin

This may be our 'Revolver' - pretty cool, the ending sums it up decently well, but I still have to watch it, pause it, and watch it again to totally 'get' it. biggrin Which is good, because it's still something I can be proud of, at least cinematographically (I shot the night stuff, the traintracks stuff, and all the effects and action shots, but none of the daytime wide shots/conversations). It also means we're due to have our 'RocknRolla' next...
Posted: Sat, 3rd Jul 2010, 7:26pm

Post 35 of 54

Sollthar

Force: 13360 | Joined: 30th Oct 2001 | Posts: 6094

VisionLab User VideoWrap User PhotoKey 2 Pro User FXhome Movie Maker Windows User MacOS User

SuperUser

I personally think our actors outclass/outact most of the people I see on here (...) What is the expectation there when this acting is bad/overdone/cringe-worthy?
I'd agree your actors are certainly with potential compared to others here (allthough on a film site mainly inhabited by teenagers and hobbyists, that doesn't say too much).
But good acting to me is when someone manages to make a character, his lines and his emotions feel real and evokes a true feeling in the audience. Loud shouting, tears, tension and drama doesn't equal good acting if it doesn't feel true and honest. And it didn't at all here. Hence the acting didn't work for me. This isn't necessarily the fault of the actors, but also of the directing and script that just didn't come together.
Plus going for that kind of emotion you're always aiming for is difficult. Even big actors fail often.

Being, as far as I'm aware at least, the only one on this board with professional acting school training even though for stage and not film, my expectations are maybe too high. And obviously, my sense are also very very sharpened acting wise simply because I'm surrounded with it on a regular basis additionally to knowing exactly what to look for. But they are that: Honest, complete immersion. That would be 100%. And sometimes actors get there, sometimes they miss the mark. It's all a bit of a miracle why it happens - that's even more obvious on stage when the exact same scene can sometimes bring laughs and tears to the audience, the next day it just doesn't work.
Posted: Sat, 3rd Jul 2010, 7:47pm

Post 36 of 54

swintonmaximilian

Force: 1970 | Joined: 23rd Jun 2007 | Posts: 527

VisionLab User VideoWrap User FXhome Movie Maker

Gold Member

Rating: +3

Ok, just watched this and I have to say for me it was completely incoherent. Now, I understood the premise, but it all became so jumbled and difficult to differentiate, that I think it got lost, no offence, up it's own arse.

That sounds very harsh, but I think you guys can take it, and I don't necessarily think it's bad film making on your part, rather that you perhaps lost perspective of the thing as a whole.

I think the story was certainly there for you while you were making it, but the film felt so hyper and hysterical, and the cinematography and editing, while each good in their own right, worked against the story and made it very, very confusing. The overall tone is one of overwrought hysteria, time periods are indistinct, everything is so fast, and even on a second viewing knowing exactly what the plot is, it still doesn't really make sense. It certainly doesn't unravel and lead you to anything like a satisfying conclusion.

Again, I've no problem with a film being confusing, or not leading to an easily digestible or understandable conclusion, as long as I can emotionally understand the film. And this doesn't work on that level either because the emotional journeys of the characters are so tied up to the narrative that it makes just as little sense. The whole thing feels very cluttered.

However,I do think that the film is a complete success if taken as a representation of the confused, jet lagged, amnesiac minds of the characters. Nothing makes sense to them, nothing makes sense to me. This isn't meant to be sarcastic, I genuinely think it's much more interesting to look at it that way.

Of course, you may well disagree, and of course it's also a subjective thing, but I hope you can see what I mean.

Now, I thought the acting was fine, sometimes it was good, but it didn't have the anchor of a coherent emotional tone to make it really work. It was like they were all having breakdowns.

Cinematography and editing were technically very good, but they didn't work to convey your story. I like your more restrained grading, and some of the visuals were very good. I'm not a shaky cam fan myself though, especially with the video DSLR's, but I thought it worked well for the frantic tone, although that worked against the film overall.

I really think this one got away from you, because the film itself bears little resemblance to the one you describe.

I'm sorry that this sounds so harsh, I mean it as well intentioned feedback and criticism.

I think that you are improving fast with your cinematography and editing, and your last film was proof of your directing abilities, and your actors are good and getting better. Everything is lined up for you to do something great, but I don't think that's going to be a 48 hour thing. I think you're reaching the limits of what can be achieved in those circumstances.

Anyway, I hope this is helpful, even if it isn't what you want to hear.

Keep it up and good luck lads.

Max
Posted: Sat, 3rd Jul 2010, 8:06pm

Post 37 of 54

ben3308

Force: 5210 | Joined: 24th May 2004 | Posts: 6433

VideoWrap User FXhome Movie Maker Windows User

Gold Member

For the most part, I do want to thank you guys for taking the time to explain your qualms, in detail, about the film. It's important that we know what people have pause with here, because while I don't consider this my best film to date, I ranked it pretty highly before hearing these dissenting opinions. So it's good that that gets explained a bit more, because some of it really is beyond me understanding without explanation.


swintonmaximilian wrote:

time periods are indistinct
This is what I have a hard time understanding. Yes, it flips back and forth in time a lot in terms of the narrative, so it can get confusing there.

But one setting is day. The other is night. The film clearly, very clearly, begins with fire on the ground and amnesia-struck characters, in the day. The night time stuff is then clearly at a different time period. The lighting is different, the blocking is different, but most clearly it's night time.

The night/day differentiation has been obvious to other FXHomers I've spoken to on Facebook and to a lot of my filmmaking friends here, how is that not obvious? What I described the story as above is just a transcription of the film we made, not the script we wrote. Yes, it's convoluted and difficult to follow. But all the information needed it there.

I suppose I just can't see how, knowing that day and night are different lines separated by an explosion, it doesn't make sense for time periods. It seems pretty clear.... Admittedly, the script denoted that, in the day time, post-explosion, the filmmaking and acting is one of frustration and disorientation - and that's why things happen out of nowhere, that's why confrontations are made based on almost no evidence, why a gunfight ensues from just the chaos of being amnesia-stricken and generally not knowing what's going on. So yes, you've hit the nail on the head there.

My wonder is why the night stuff isn't clear? It's pretty straightforward - enter a room, see a case, turn around, get shot in the back by a guy who, upon looking up, we flash quickly to see him accepting money for some reason or another.

I'm not trying to over-explain the story outside of how the film presents it, and I 'get' it not being narratively strong enough to support a succinct coherence. But........how does it not make sense after watching again? Hell, with Marathon and Redemption we didn't film enough footage, and fudged some emotions/plot devices in the end. Here, we stuck to all the info we needed and I think it makes enough sense with that in mind.

Starting at like 4:07, it's the present daytime, the suspicious timetraveler mentions "which one of us was pushed?" We then use cinematography to show the backstabbing timetraveler's eyes moving warily sideways, as if he knows it's him. Then we cut back to the past to actually confirm the suspicions that he did something wrong. That's like.......clearly unraveling. Does that much go misunderstood? I'm not trying to argue, I just really want to know, is that not obvious?

Then, we cut back to the present, and the suspicious timetraveler is even more sure that the backstabber is bad, and he confronts him on it. This is cut between the present, where there's a confrontation even despite amnesia, and the past, where there's a parallel confrontation that they were going to be backstabbed. We thought the parallel there in Trevor's (the backstabber) humanity - not following through killing them in the past, and remembering, with regret in the present that he had tried to shoot them in the first place - and Reese's (the suspicious one) disgust - being disgusted by getting shot in the shoulder in the past, even more disgusted that his suspicions are probably correct in the present - was pretty paramount.

My brother even cut back and forth frequently, on music cues, to make this obvious. It's a 'still moment' for some small exposition, to give credence to either character. Maybe that didn't totally come through, but at least some of it should have. The character has amnesia and is suspicious, so we jump back as the audience and actually see his suspicions confirmed. To me, that's a great 'moment' for our filmmaking. And it should make sense.

Even:
"We don't know what's what just yet..."
"We know EXACTLY WHAT'S WHAT!"

Yes, that dialog is meant to mirror what we want the audience to know. We now know Trevor is, at least pre-explosion, the 'bad guy'.

Is it the parts following this that don't make sense? I can understand the final gunfight being unwarranted (the smaller bits of the script didn't come through at all there), but the argument preceding seems pretty clear. We even show Reese consult Jared, to say 'look at his eyes' to confirm to the other guy that he is sure it's him.

Them, bam, we're back in the past and the music is settled and an explosion still has to happen for them to be amnesiacs in the other plotline. So how is that going to happen? How do three people get amnesia in the daytime if now it's the night? We show that, with an accidental gun fight that ends in flames. Then, for the edification of the audience, there's shots of them while they're passed out at night, ending in a short catch-up of shots in the daytime to bring the storyline for the 'past' back to the storyline for the 'present'. Bam, they came full circle. Sort of. biggrin

I dunno. neutral Either way, thanks for taking the time to watch and comment on the film. It's interesting to see a different (albeit disparaging/critical) view of the film here, because it gives credence to our worries about it being convoluted when we made it. As for totally nonsensical, no, I don't agree there at all......but whatever. wink

Last edited Sat, 3rd Jul 2010, 8:35pm; edited 2 times in total.

Posted: Sat, 3rd Jul 2010, 8:28pm

Post 38 of 54

swintonmaximilian

Force: 1970 | Joined: 23rd Jun 2007 | Posts: 527

VisionLab User VideoWrap User FXhome Movie Maker

Gold Member

Well, however you want to argue it Ben, it wasn't clear to me. I can see the difference between day and night, I'm not stupid.

I've told you what I think, I'm not going to go over and over it. You say all the information is there, but you have put it together in such a way as to make it very difficult to understand. This is not the fault of the viewer, it's your fault. And I didn't say it was nonsensical, it doesn't make obvious sense but it isn't nonsense, big difference.

You're a talented and experienced film maker Ben, just take what I'm saying and accept it's my view, you don't have to agree, you don't have to like me for saying it, but accept it and realise it isn't personal.
Posted: Sat, 3rd Jul 2010, 8:34pm

Post 39 of 54

Serpent

Force: 5426 | Joined: 26th Dec 2003 | Posts: 6515

CompositeLab Pro User EffectsLab Pro User FXhome Movie Maker FXpreset Maker MacOS User

Gold Member

This is my favorite work of yours, actually, as I told you on chat. I questioned what was going on at first, but then it just worked for me and I got it. And your explanation of it confirms that. Great visuals, didn't notice any distracting/wobbly cinematography. The execution/story of this kind of film is more up my alley for a short film. 5/5, especially since it's a 48 hour film.

Also, no one understood the end of Sopranos, and that was brilliant, so don't feel too bad. wink
Posted: Sat, 3rd Jul 2010, 8:38pm

Post 40 of 54

ben3308

Force: 5210 | Joined: 24th May 2004 | Posts: 6433

VideoWrap User FXhome Movie Maker Windows User

Gold Member

Serpent wrote:

but then it just worked for me and I got it.
Thank God, bro. biggrin

Hehe, it's one of those things where I can't un-understand my own movie, so it's difficult for me to see how people can say it makes no sense. Most especially where we've done films in the past (Redemption) whose endings were just totally nonsensical and people said they still understood it! biggrin

Anyhow, glad you enjoyed it. Dunno why my brother posted this in the thread when the cinema submission is pending, but it certainly gives me a chance to theorize the plot and explain a bit more.

You're a talented and experienced film maker Ben, just take what I'm saying and accept it's my view, you don't have to agree, you don't have to like me for saying it, but accept it and realise it isn't personal.
Oh no, I absolutely am not taking things personally. I release a lot of films on this website and you've spoken favorably about the majority of them, so I for sure have nothing against a negative opinion on one of my films at all! biggrin

I really am just trying to know what 'parts' of the movie make it not work as a whole, most specifically in it not being understood. And your response was the most specific, which is why I directed my questions to you. You mentioned the film was totally incoherent, which to me meant you didn't understand any of it, at all. So I wanted to know what made it nonsensical. I mentioned the day and night not to insult your intelligence, but because I already understand and know my own movie, so it's not clear to me if that same day/night transition is obvious for others. Some people think the night stuff is day. I already know it's difficult to make sense of, just wanted to know why 'impossible'. But clearly I misunderstood your post. Apologies all around!
Posted: Sat, 3rd Jul 2010, 9:24pm

Post 41 of 54

swintonmaximilian

Force: 1970 | Joined: 23rd Jun 2007 | Posts: 527

VisionLab User VideoWrap User FXhome Movie Maker

Gold Member

Well, I do tend to speak in absolutes when it comes to films. I think basically, the film didn't work for me, as I said it felt jumbled and incoherent, and when I say incoherent I mean that it was very fragmented, so much so that it fell apart. I understood the set-up and the premise, but then it seemed to implode. I really think jumbled is the best I can describe it.

And don't think I'm telling you that you should really try and push narrative to the fore, I don't feel that way at all. In fact, if there's a sure fire way to make a film as boring as it could be, it's putting too much emphasis on story narrative.

You tried something different here, and that's commendable even if it failed for some people. I mean, it's still a definite step forward because you're trying to push things further, and you're trying to do bigger things, visually and emotionally.

And no need to apologise, certainly not to me, I do have a certain amount of trouble articulating what I want to say which is probably why it's sometimes unclear exactly what I mean. I hope I've made it clear now.

Also, this is me telling you it doesn't make sense, which is a criticism you could very easily level at most of my stuff, although I would of course argue that it did.

So, anyway, I really would like to see you make something in more than 48 hours, you could do so much more and really make something special.

Max
Posted: Sat, 3rd Jul 2010, 9:26pm

Post 42 of 54

Sollthar

Force: 13360 | Joined: 30th Oct 2001 | Posts: 6094

VisionLab User VideoWrap User PhotoKey 2 Pro User FXhome Movie Maker Windows User MacOS User

SuperUser

I really would like to see you make something in more than 48 hours, you could do so much more and really make something special.
I've been saying that for years. Let's hope they'll listen to you. smile
Posted: Sat, 3rd Jul 2010, 9:30pm

Post 43 of 54

RodyPolis

Force: 805 | Joined: 28th Apr 2007 | Posts: 1839

CompositeLab Lite User FXhome Movie Maker Windows User

Gold Member

Well i watched it again and I got it now! Lol, I'll post what I think later.
Posted: Sun, 4th Jul 2010, 2:57am

Post 44 of 54

spydurhank

Force: 1956 | Joined: 24th Jun 2008 | Posts: 1357

VisionLab User VideoWrap User FXpreset Maker Windows User FXhome Movie Maker

Gold Member

Sollthar wrote:

I really would like to see you make something in more than 48 hours, you could do so much more and really make something special.
I've been saying that for years. Let's hope they'll listen to you. smile
Agreed, There's some things that you didn't touch on, in this short that I think would come across way better in a slightly longer short, 15 to 20 minutes maybe? perhaps even a bit longer. I like the premise and acting in this film and were the audience given enough time to, know the characters, they may understand it better and realize why it was supposed to and needed to be so chaotic since there in fact is a story amid all the chaos.
So I third swintonmaximilian and Sollthar's motion for a longer short. Think about it... this film does indeed have a ton of potential even though I already like it as is.
Posted: Mon, 5th Jul 2010, 1:31pm

Post 45 of 54

Simon K Jones

Force: 27955 | Joined: 1st Jan 2002 | Posts: 11683

VisionLab User VideoWrap User PhotoKey 5 Pro User MuzzlePlug User PowerPlug User PhotoKey 3 Plug-in User FXhome Movie Maker FXpreset Maker Windows User

FXhome Team Member

Just catching up on things having been away for the last week.

I'm afraid I didn't have a clue what was going on here either - I actually thought they'd time travelled into the future, for some reason, not the past.

In your explanation, Ben, you mention that they go 90 minutes into the past, but then end up 8 days in the past. How does that work?

My main issue with the story, even after reading your explanation, is that the time travel element is a bit unnecessary. The story could have functioned in exactly the same way if they'd just had to drive across town to get the briefcase, rather than time travel.

Other than the story, I liked this, though. Visuals were nice, good use of the locations, and the acting for the most part was good enough for me - the black guy and the Gitlin worked particularly well for me, as they both seemed comfortable in their characters. As others have said, the time travel sequence in particular is fab.

Having done one of these 48-hour bastards recently, I understand just how insanely hard they are to pull together. As such, I think this is a decent little film that works on most levels - but the convoluted story is a problem for me.

For what it's worth, I'll echo what others have said in that I'm eager to see a film from you guys that isn't constrained by 24/48hours. I'm not saying you need to do a 6 month production - but maybe just take two weekends to pull something together, rather than one, if stretching it out further puts too big a strain on your cast and crew.
Posted: Tue, 6th Jul 2010, 3:43am

Post 46 of 54

Atom

Force: 4300 | Joined: 9th May 2004 | Posts: 7014

EffectsLab Lite User FXhome Movie Maker Windows User

Gold Member

The idea was that they go back 8 days (or 187 some odd hours) to stop a crime that has just happened- but they only have a 90 minute window to stay in the past. When trouble ensues and an explosion goes off in the past, they get knocked unconscious and miss their window 'back to the future'. Hence the time jumping sounds and flashy zooms in and out of the house location right after the explosion, then the procession of 'recap' clips in the new 'present day' to establish how they got there.

They then awake, in the wrong place and (presumably) the present day disoriented and confused and amnesiac of the past because things didn't go according to plan. I know that sounds confusing, but really it truly wasn't meant to be. I mean, we wanted this to be a cerebral movie, yes, that played with timelines and invoked a tad bit of headscratching/rewatching- but something that was still cohesive and decently clear narratively. Like Ben said, we worked really hard at this, too: shooting 'past' scenes at night and 'present'' scenes at day. Stuff like that which took time and effort and (seemingly) hasn't paid off for the viewership of many people here.

The whole idea we wanted to run with was that when people work in the timetravel business, they've just got to have a lot of trust and faith in eachother and really believe in what they're doing- because once something is done, and the past changes- the present (and their memories of the past) are altered. Like I said, that's how I've always wanted to see timetravel done and what we tried to do here- albeit with the question of 'what if that trust is betrayed?'.

Although I'm slightly saddened by the reactions here, I'm also quite surprised. People on facebook, other places on the net, and who have screened this outside of this site seem to 'get' the movie just fine and really enjoy it. Which isn't to say it isn't overly complex or convoluted in sorts- it is- I'm just surprised some people are completely lost with it when other (also arguably dumber smile) off-site people seem to understand the movie just fine.

Just sort of odd, I suppose. Makes it hard for me to gauge my own perception of the narrative coherence having written the movie myself. Either way, thanks to all for writing such lengthy and insightful posts. Good or bad, we're always extremely grateful to have such strong (and often passionate) responses to our work; and Ben and I know that is a rarity for many filmmakers- so it's something we don't at all take for granted.

As far as projects outside of 48/24hr contests go- more to come on that in an upcoming thread. wink
Posted: Tue, 6th Jul 2010, 4:13am

Post 47 of 54

miker

Force: 386 | Joined: 30th Jul 2005 | Posts: 651

EffectsLab Lite User FXhome Movie Maker Windows User

Gold Member

I also have to agree - I had no idea what was going on here. It was entirely too chaotic for me. Maybe using some text, telling us what time they've reached at each moment it changes - would have been a good idea. "8 days earlier.." something like that.

Visually, I liked it. Good cinematography, and just an overall nice look to the film. Nice work on the special effects as well.

The acting was over-played in my opinion, but.. as always - good nonetheless. You have a fine selection of actors. I envy you.

The sound mixing/design were good. Aside from the rough dialogue in the beginning. And again, I can't fail to mention that I am big fan of the creative title work - along with the audio "booms" which accompanied the intro to this - very badass. Props on that. How did you make the titles, by the way?

However, I wasn't a huge fan of the musical choice. Mainly because, in my opinion, it totally drowned out what was going on - which I think may have contributed to why this felt like such a mess when trying to render what was happening in my brain. It felt way too epic/cinematic for what was going on, along with the constant yelling and screaming at each other from the actors - it didn't blend right. I think it would have done better with no music whatsoever. It probably would have made more sense that way.

I'd say, for what it is, it deserves a 3/5. Regardless of being a 48 hour project.

But, as this was made in 48 hours, I think this is something you should be proud of. And as you've mentioned before, it was somewhat a test in a new style of narrative. Which some may consider a failed attempt, but a learning experience no doubt. So. Now. As always, you take what you've learned from this and adjust for the next production. I think you've received some nice feedback here, even if it may not be what you wanted to hear.

I'd also like to see you guys step outside of the 48 hour zone and make something which allows you the time you need to fix all the "bugs" which can accompany a 48 hour time constraint..

Good luck on your future projects (which sounds like quite a bit, according to Atom *SPOILER ALERT*) wink.

Cheers,

miker

Last edited Tue, 6th Jul 2010, 6:31pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Tue, 6th Jul 2010, 5:02am

Post 48 of 54

Atom

Force: 4300 | Joined: 9th May 2004 | Posts: 7014

EffectsLab Lite User FXhome Movie Maker Windows User

Gold Member

Well thanks, miker.

There's not much that can be said on the more critical end that hasn't already been mentioned I don't think- but you give some nicety and insight nonetheless. The title work/intro is one of my absolutely favorite things to do on any movie we make. Not so much the titles themselves, but how to go about presenting and timing them. With this I tried to get fancier with what I did than just plain 'white-text-black-background' (which is, again, another new thing we tried with this 4cool and I worked in Vegas' ProType Titler with stock footage of smoke and bullet ricochets slowed down immensely and overlayed with subtractive dissolve transitions to create that sort of 'numbers-y' faint, glistening lettering. I really like how it came out, actually. Thanks for the mention. Also with the sound effects. I tried to really find a plethora of new and more unique ones than the now-tired set of DSFX, and I really like what I got for most of the movie. (Notably the timetravel bits, but most people like those parts anyway. smile)

Oh, and yeah. Big time things are happening right now, we're just trying (apparently, pretty successfully) to keep them underwraps. That is, in fact, our constant saying around here (and my facebook status most of the summer):

"BIG TIME THINGS".

It's almost self-parodying, the way our crew uses it. It's rampant and ridiculous. But we love saying it. (And, right now, it's rather true.) biggrin Let's just say this for now: We shot with MTV yesterday. It went well. We expect lots to happen in the not-too-distant future. Most of which I can't/won't mention here just yet. wink
Posted: Tue, 6th Jul 2010, 8:32am

Post 49 of 54

Simon K Jones

Force: 27955 | Joined: 1st Jan 2002 | Posts: 11683

VisionLab User VideoWrap User PhotoKey 5 Pro User MuzzlePlug User PowerPlug User PhotoKey 3 Plug-in User FXhome Movie Maker FXpreset Maker Windows User

FXhome Team Member

I thought I'd try to identify perhaps why so many of us are having difficulty grasping the actually-quite-simple story.

I think the confusion is perhaps arising from multiple elements, rather than specifically the story. The story itself is relatively simple and decent. Combined with the handheld, frantic camerawork and similarly frantic editing and the relatively simple story becomes more and more fractured.

The day/night divide was clever, but the hyperkinetic shooting style and editing stlye meant that I didn't really notice the time difference.

In other words, I think the confusion is maybe happening due to an abundance of information. The energetic camerawork and editing means that you're having to concentrate a lot just to go from one shot to the next, let alone figure out the overall story.

As a member of the audience, with a short film you're playing a guessing game right from the start, trying to figure out what's going on. The high levels of information here mean that people can formulate contradictory and confusing hypotheses about what's happening, which the real plot doesn't then have time to override.

Like I said, I actually think this is a good piece of work, and the narrative confusion shouldn't stop you from being proud of the other aspects.
Posted: Tue, 6th Jul 2010, 7:53pm

Post 50 of 54

Atom

Force: 4300 | Joined: 9th May 2004 | Posts: 7014

EffectsLab Lite User FXhome Movie Maker Windows User

Gold Member

I suppose that's a fair summation of why things might not make as much sense- or at least feel really chaotic. Maybe I'll recut it in the exact timeline order (ala 'Pulp Fiction in order'-style) and put that on here, too. biggrin

It's always a shame with the narrative pacing/feel and the technical aspects/screen have some sort of disconnect I think; and if that's really what happened here I simply don't know how it could've been avoided.

Our style is our style, after all. Maybe it just doesn't nearly as well transplant to this sort of material. The goal overall was to have something restrained and thought-provoking. And from our shots, to longer cuts, to music slowing down, to subtler grading- we really did try to keep this from feeling terribly messy and frantic. Frustrating, yes. But not messy.

But old habits die hard, I suppose.
Posted: Wed, 7th Jul 2010, 5:53am

Post 51 of 54

The FE

Force: 435 | Joined: 10th Apr 2007 | Posts: 580

EffectsLab Pro User MacOS User

Gold Member

Well as I major fan of Time Travel in general I would first like to say that after watching I like how the actual "time traveling" was done. It seems like it's always some sort of giant machine (or in some cases a sweet ass DeLorean) but this was just a little device that is easily mobile. It has always bothered me that time travelers in movies just happen to wind up wherever it is they need to be, even if it is nowhere near where they are coming from. This handy little device changes that, so now these guys can actually TIME travel, not space and time travel. First of my favorite things about the movie smile

Secondly I like the actual theory of the movie. Although I have never really liked the idea that the past is changeable, this is different in the way that these guys don't change it and then leave, they change it and get stuck. I seriously want to know what the repercussions of this mess up are. Of course to understand the differences of the two futures, I would have to understand the reason they went back in time in the first place, which unfortunately I do not sad

I've kind of got it now, but only after reading a synopsis from the each of you. I don't want to sound like a broken record, but I couldn't quite understand the dialogue during the train tracks bit, which I think would have helped me grasp the reason for time travel just a little bit more. I could have gotten on board with it some more if I knew why white guy numero uno guy holding what only looked like fifty-one dollars turned on the other guys, but I understand why you couldn't go into too much detail, after all you did only have 48 hours.

Finally, that black actor, Jared I think his name was, gave a great performance IMO. You should really use him in more projects of yours, he was definitely my favorite out of that trio.

So all in all I did quite enjoy it as I am a sucker for a great time travel movie smile I understood how the traveling actually worked and could easily tell the difference between the past and future/present. I would have enjoyed some more if I understood the motivation for the time traveling itself, but I like it nonetheless.

Sooo...... Good Job! I would actually LOVE if you guys turned this into something longer, I think it could really rock some balls given the proper timeframe.[/i]
Posted: Wed, 7th Jul 2010, 6:34am

Post 52 of 54

ben3308

Force: 5210 | Joined: 24th May 2004 | Posts: 6433

VideoWrap User FXhome Movie Maker Windows User

Gold Member

Hey man, thanks for the comments!

Glad you, for the most part, understood the shifts in time and the thought/work we put into 1. making the timetravel bits non-cheesy and 2. adding 'complications' to how they traveled, meaning space/time didn't work 100% in their favor exactly. biggrin

As for the 52 dollars thing - I had that shot in the back of my head the whole second day of the 48 hours, but as it was b-roll (which our stuff is normally FULL of) and we needed ALL the a-roll we could get, that was the last shot I got. One team member of ours (Reese, in the red leather jacket) had just won 700 dollars at a casino two nights before, so I was going to use his cash for that shot - except he had taken off by the time I was able to go shoot it. So I pulled out the cash I had, and put the 50 upfront. The ones were supposed to be disguised, but I had to literally turn on the camera, record, and take the footage back to my brother within 10 minutes (including driving time, etc - it was 5:15pm when I shot that, the movie being due at 7) so I got what I got. At least, in my opinion, that footage gives a bit more credence to the betrayal subplot.

If you'd care to watch the movie again or rate/comment elsewhere, the cinema thread for it can be found here.

Thanks again!
Posted: Wed, 7th Jul 2010, 3:06pm

Post 53 of 54

jawajohnny

Force: 1965 | Joined: 14th Dec 2007 | Posts: 829

VisionLab User VideoWrap User MuzzlePlug User Windows User

Gold Member

I think this is a pretty solid film... especially for a 48-hour contest. Yes, it's confusing... but since when was any time-travel story ever not confusing? While I didn't recognize the specifics of the time-shifts (day/night, etc), I did realize that they were occurring. I was still able to follow the basic premise; they travel back, something goes wrong, they miss their window to get back, drama ensues, etc. For a 48-hour short, I don't think we need to know any more than that.

The technicals are, as always, phenomenal. Excellent grading and effects Very cool stuff.

So yeah, it's a really great effort, especially for a 48-hour film. However, it probably wouldn't hold up as well without that label. I'm thinking that the plot was "too big" for a 48-hour project, and that it deserves more than what time allowed for. I'll echo some of the other comments by saying I'm really excited to see what you guys can do without time restraints.
Posted: Sun, 11th Jul 2010, 2:04am

Post 54 of 54

Aculag

Force: 8365 | Joined: 21st Jun 2002 | Posts: 8581

EffectsLab Lite User VideoWrap User FXhome Movie Maker MacOS User

Gold Member

You guys really needed some kind of stabilizer on this. Those shots could have been really good if they hadn't been so shaky.

I also thought the acting was a mixed bag. I think if you hadn't had the overly dramatic music playing over the entire thing, I would have thought you needed all new actors. It seemed that you were making up for them having odd timing and emphasis with the music at some points.

The story comes through very slightly, but I had to read your synopsis to figure it out. Makes sense, but is only a little apparent watching the film. I got that the timeline wasn't linear (seems like it never really is with your films), and I knew what was happening when (8 days ago, present), but I had no idea why it was happening.

But overall, I think it's one of your best. If your shots had been on at least a shoulder rig, or some kind of steadicam, and if your actors were more dynamic, it would have been a lot better.

3.5/5