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Zero Hour

Posted: Tue, 6th Jul 2010, 8:57am

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ben3308

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First things first: you're going to have to watch and re-watch this. It gets confusing. Just a heads up - if you watch it two or three times, it WILL make sense. But give it time.

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 intriguing 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.

Required Elements were:
Character- Vincent Lowe, Potter
Prop- Balloon
Line of Dialogue- "Why does everyone keep saying that?"
Genre- Timetravel

Directing/Cinematography - Ben Adams & Chase Arrington
Editor/Line Producer - Andrew Adams
Visual Effects/Boom Operation - Ben Haschke
Production Assistance - Michael Stettler & Alex Koeppel


More Info
Posted: Wed, 7th Jul 2010, 12:24pm

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PLANB

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I watched this a few times and indeed it started to make sense. I could not get enough of the superb acting that is shown in every one of your short films! Camera gets lost in a few places, however I really liked how the story unfolded. Did you guys win that competition? You guys deserve to wink
Posted: Wed, 7th Jul 2010, 6:45pm

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ben3308

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Thanks for watching, glad you enjoyed (and understood!) it. biggrin As for winning, we know that we didn't win the Audience Award (we've won this every year in every city we've ever competed in, even times when we didn't get the film in on time) so that's a bummer, but we won't know until the 19th if we win the city stuff of not.
Posted: Thu, 8th Jul 2010, 12:21am

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Evman

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I saw this on your Youtube channel a while ago and only just discovered the other thread about this film with all the less than stellar reactions. My thoughts pretty much echo those sentiments. I really didn't get what was going on, and was pretty put off by the "100% intense acting - all the time" approach. Technicals were good , but I continually see that from you guys, so I was expecting that. When you're not blown away by that, there really wasn't much else to be blown away by, unfortunately.

I've seen plenty of time travel stories played out on film and have even written a few. When you've got someone who knows most time travel theories and stories scratching his head, you know you've got a problem. The fault seems to lie mostly just in the jumbled way that the film was told. In going for a less formulaic approach to the linear story you ruined any chance of the audience being able to keep up, which spelled doom for any emotion you were trying to go for with the characters/actors, as I was constantly trying to figure out what the hell was happening. It didn't help that it seemed most of the movie was just shouting and intensity. Which to me personally isn't very interesting.

A film should be able to stand up on its own after one viewing, and this didn't quite do that for me.

3/5 cause you guys obviously know what you're doing by now, but you can do better.
Posted: Thu, 8th Jul 2010, 1:55am

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Atom

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While I think there's quite a bit of merit to what you're saying, I won't agree or allow you to call the acting 100% shouty/screamy. I mean, it may have a feel of intensity, but there are clear moment of quietness and calm.

Trevor is silent almost the entire time Reese grills him. Jared, aside from finally yelling "I said CHILL!" is almost entirely a mediator and decently silent/quiet throughout the movie. The three actors start on the traintracks perfectly normal, calm, and collected

There are ebbs and flows to the intensity of dynamic in the acting- and while I know it's been a more common complaint here for this movie, I honestly don't at all understand it. Not the narrative frenzy- I get that, how the fragmented style could seem jumbled or convoluted. But the acting. I just really don't get it. They, in a literal sense, don't yell at eachother until specific, pivotal moments. This may not be clear, but surely it's not just a blur of yelling- let alone moreso than some of our other movie that are (admittedly-so) lots more yelling-dominant. I'm almost insulted by it actually, as we worked hard- as directors and actors- to have a pace and rhythm to the mood. And, for most everyone except Fxhome, that is evident.

Which isn't to say I'm angered by any of the reactions or am taking it all terribly personally- it's just.....really, really surprising. Because it isn't at all the reaction we expected or got really anywhere else. Like, really and truly.

We really tried to do different things on this one; really take our biggest criticisms to heart here. We tried to expand and mature the mood of it so that it developed and grew more as it moved along, and broaden the acting range- so it's especially bittersweet that the technicals (which we also admittedly spent less time than usual on so that we could add precision to the pace, story, and acting) are the more lauded aspects, whereas the story, acting, etc. have had the most detrimental/misstep/criticized reaction we've, well, ever had.

Nothing I'm really upset by. Just....surprised. Frustrated.

Except the timetravel bits. Those seemed to payoff. wink
Posted: Thu, 8th Jul 2010, 11:40am

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Sollthar

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I just watched it again now for the 4th time and my impression is still the same. I don't really get the story I'm being told (that isn't to say the story isn't there, just that it's told in a too convoluted way) and can't feel with the characters since it's all just too shouty and dramatic for me.
In your actors favor, I don't think the acting is their fault. I think the problem lies in the writing and directing. Your actors are certainly with potential. But the problem is "INTENSE DRAMA AND LOUD SHOUTING" doesn't equal "good acting", which I feel is the impression. That impression is however not uncommon, I get that a lot in upcoming young actors I sometimes teach, that they go for the dramatic climactic bits and put all their energy into those without realising that they only work with a really solid buildup - without those they are just cheap and without substance (The so called "calm moment" in this still goes for DRAMA. It' just less loud).

As said before, the one moment that is pure awesomeness in this film and a moment of true cinematic genius coming together is the time travel bit. That just works incredibly well and is among my new favorite fxhome movie moments.

The wobblyness of the cinematography is another issue. For me, you definately need stabilization in so many shots, the DSLR look adds to that. The shots are made with attention to light and composition and obviously by someone who knows what he's doing - that's entirely not the issue. But they still appear rushed and unnecessarily wobbly. This constant frantic movement also adds to the impression of OMG!INTENSITY which you already have way too much of. Your actors gof or it, your music goes for it, your text goes for it... so if the camera goes for it too, its just drowning.

For me, this is a solid 3 as it is right now. I really hope your understanding of drama evolves into more subtle and just as effective narrative, because it would be a shame if your cinematic skills get lost in Michael Bay style over substance fare.
Posted: Thu, 8th Jul 2010, 12:12pm

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davlin

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This is a real classy piece of work even if the story did'nt quite get there.
In my opinion if this was done in a non-time limit situation the flaw in the storytelling would have been solved....hence my lack of enthusiasm
for 24/48hr movies from an audience point of view.

As far as the acting goes I thought it was of a quality that could stand comparisons with the best on this site.
Yanky contempory acting always seems to be more on the over dramatic as can be seen in a batch of latest TV/movies from Hollywood.
Atom and co are following exactly what their professional counterparts are doing.

Well done lads....all of you.
Dave
Posted: Thu, 8th Jul 2010, 12:16pm

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Simon K Jones

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On the acting debate, I actually enjoyed the performances from The Gitlin and the new guy. In particular, I liked that The Gitlin specifically went for a restrained performance when he's being accused: still intense, but holding himself in check, while the tension is still evident in the sweat and pursed lips. That choice was excellent, as it would have been really easy to respond in a shouty, flaily manner.

Sollthar does have a point that this kind of intensity needs to be earned somewhat. Whether it's angry intensity or upset intensity or happy intensity, it's difficult to get to the point in a short film where the audience will properly empathise with the characters. The exact acting you guys went for here would probably have worked fine in a longer piece of work where there's a bit more contrast throughout.
Posted: Thu, 8th Jul 2010, 4:47pm

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The Chosen One

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Most of the shorts that Atomic make are alright, but this one just didn't click with me. I thought the acting was good but the film just lacked direction IMO. It was a nobel try on the part of Atomic, it just didn't work for me.
Posted: Thu, 8th Jul 2010, 6:51pm

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ben3308

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Thanks everyone for watching/rating/reviewing! Always great to see more people watching our stuff, even if the response is lackluster.

I'm going to be honest, while making this we actually went out of our way to do things we thought FXHome guys would enjoy, like the explosions, writing on the walls, fire effects, timetravel sequence - all of this was HUGELY time consuming and difficult to orchestrate, and I figured that a lot of people would rate this movie highly on those merits alone, and the movie itself would be fine otherwise. As I mentioned, this is one of the movies I've made that I'm most proud of, in every aspect.

Your actors are certainly with potential. But the problem is "INTENSE DRAMA AND LOUD SHOUTING" doesn't equal "good acting", which I feel is the impression.
We don't take that as ever the impression - although emotional extremes in bad/untrained actors are much easier to hit than subtlety, and you know that I'm sure - and I think in this film, in particular, we didn't have any LOUD SHOUTING, save the bit of "It was you, wasn't it?" which, in my opinion, isn't loud or unwarranted at all, as it fits in the lull beforehand. There's also a lull afterward where Reese walks over and whispers.

And everything before that is either quiet or regular conversational. Even the buildup at the beginning isn't LOUD SHOUTING, it's an assessment of the situation that ends in a breathy "we just didn't get back home" - which, in my opinion, is a great acting moment.

I mean, you're entitled to your opinion on all of this, obviously, but I'm not 100% taking your words here as infallible because I would like to think I know some, if not a great deal, about acting and direction and have different ways of approaching things. I feel as if my crew has always, always been applauded for acting but faulted on direction - and, wouldn't you know it, normally those performances that are good/emotional are a result of good direction IMO.

Like Jared, the black guy. He's pretty good in this, but no acting experience. Or Trevor Gitlin in any of our stuff. Or the differences in Reese's acting here versus him as 'stolen boy' in Cover's Story or Marathon. Just sayin'.

Another thing to keep in mind is that because this is a 48 hour film, there's also that drive to be/look impressive as a means of being more entertaining. High emotions and intensity look and feel more impressive to the general public, at least in mainstream American audiences - from what I've found. So there's still that penchant to do things or set stories in high-intensity situations as a way of letting the actors do what they want and directorially to have room to do things as well.

(The so called "calm moment" in this still goes for DRAMA. It' just less loud).
Yes, very true. And that's 100% why I like it - veiled intensity! biggrin
Posted: Thu, 8th Jul 2010, 7:34pm

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Sollthar

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I'm not 100% taking your words here as infallible because I would like to think I know some, if not a great deal, about acting and direction and have different ways of approaching things.
You can take (or not take) my words as whatever you like really - either is fine as far as I'm concerned. I'm ultimately just a guy on the internet. smile

everything before that is either quiet or regular conversational.
Heh, that's interesting. You know what I just realized... Seeing I know the two of you for a couple of years now and looking back, I experience you as sometimes rather dramatic people with some intense emotions yourselves judging from many of your past forum posts. So what I see as overdramatic maybe actually is close to what your "regular conversation" experience is like. Seems to make sense in my head just now. smile

And it's no secret that there's a huge difference in the portrayal of emotions in american cinema and european cinema - allthough I wouldn't consider myself much of a typically european filmmaker, my training and education still completely comes from that front. So hence my perspective is largely influenced by it.


Anyways, even if it failed for me this time, I'll still be immediately in line for whatever you come up with next. It's not like I doubt any second you have all the ingredients necessary to create a truly great film, you just need to practice cooking some more (and without a bloody time restraint of 48 or whatever hours) imo. Like we all. oink
Posted: Thu, 8th Jul 2010, 8:16pm

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The Chosen One

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@Ben You shouldn't take any comment personly. You made a short and posted it before a small audience here on Fxhome. You are a talented filmmaker, its just this short struck out.

Remember like a customer in a store, your audience is always right. The audience is why folks make films in the first place.

Don't take every comment to heart, just learn from the mistakes made and make a better film next time.

Looking forward to the next Atomic film.
Posted: Thu, 8th Jul 2010, 8:29pm

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swintonmaximilian

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The audience isn't ever right, don't make anything for other people, only for yourself. What else can you do? Trying to pre-empt peoples responses and make something fitted to what you perceive other people want to see will mire you in mediocrity and kill all your passion for what you are doing.
Posted: Thu, 8th Jul 2010, 8:55pm

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Atom

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Rating: +2

I'm not sure I agree with either of you on the whole audience thing, though. Both are great and valid points, and some nice advice- but the reason Ben and I specifically make movies (and make them the way we do) is almost entirely split between two fundamentals:

-We love making movies the way we do.
-We really enjoy entertaining. We construct our movies as best we can, at their very core, so that if nothing else they are entertaining for our audience.


So I'd say it's rather between the two. The audience is extremely important to us, and it'd be silly to ignore them. But it's less of 'giving them what they want' and more of 'doing what we would like to see, but also what we think others would like/find cool/be entertained by'. Which is, essentially, also what we went for with Zero Hour.

Ben and I have been discussing this movie a lot lately due to the reaction of it being sort of a misstep- most-especially because our other recent movie 'Release' was all rather formulaic and much simpler/louder/shallower/same-y and yet received much more favorably than this. (And more favorably than expected in-general, too).

And Ben's basically concluded this is sort of like our 'Revolver', a movie by the talented Guy Ritchie that was all sorts of messy and convoluted (even garnering half-a-star by Ebert), but really enjoyable if/when you 'got it'. Or at least ran with the way it unfolded. Which isn't to sound pretentious, it was just one of those movies that didn't latch on with accessibility to many people. You had to run with it. If you didn't, no big deal, you'd just probably hate most of the movie. smile

But sometimes that just happens, despite any director's best efforts. And we get that. Maybe it's what happened here. We set out and ended thinking this was close to one of our best works, but maybe it just isn't. And that's cool, just surprising.
Posted: Thu, 8th Jul 2010, 9:13pm

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The Chosen One

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Atom wrote:

I'm not sure I agree with either of you on the whole audience thing, though. Both are great and valid points, and some nice advice- but the reason Ben and I specifically make movies (and make them the way we do) is almost entirely split between two fundamentals:

-We love making movies the way we do.
-We really enjoy entertaining. We construct our movies as best we can, at their very core, so that if nothing else they are entertaining for our audience.


So I'd say it's rather between the two. The audience is extremely important to us, and it'd be silly to ignore them. But it's less of 'giving them what they want' and more of 'doing what we would like to see, but also what we think others would like/find cool/be entertained by'. Which is, essentially, also what we went for with Zero Hour.

Ben and I have been discussing this movie a lot lately due to the reaction of it being sort of a misstep- most-especially because our other recent movie 'Release' was all rather formulaic and much simpler/louder/shallower/same-y and yet received much more favorably than this. (And more favorably than expected in-general, too).

And Ben's basically concluded this is sort of like our 'Revolver', a movie by the talented Guy Ritchie that was all sorts of messy and convoluted (even garnering half-a-star by Ebert), but really enjoyable if/when you 'got it'. Or at least ran with the way it unfolded. Which isn't to sound pretentious, it was just one of those movies that didn't latch on with accessibility to many people. You had to run with it. If you didn't, no big deal, you'd just probably hate most of the movie. smile

But sometimes that just happens, despite any director's best efforts. And we get that. Maybe it's what happened here. We set out and ended thinking this was close to one of our best works, but maybe it just isn't. And that's cool, just surprising.
Well-spoken +1
Posted: Thu, 8th Jul 2010, 9:26pm

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ben3308

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Sollthar wrote:

You can take (or not take) my words as whatever you like really - either is fine as far as I'm concerned. I'm ultimately just a guy on the internet.
I want to make clear, though, that while I sometimes will not agree with how you stand on things, I still very much respect and acknowledge your talent at filmmaking. Yes, there are tropes in your films (purple shadows in the grading, acting quirks and other little 'European' things that seem foreign and strange to me) that I don't align with all the way, but by and large I enjoy your criticisms and love that FXhome is a place where my stuff can be seen - and is seen, frequently - in other countries and even continents across the globe.
Posted: Thu, 8th Jul 2010, 10:02pm

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swintonmaximilian

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Rating: +2

Yeah, without going into what I thought all over again, I genuinely think this is a positive step forward for you. It just misfires, at least for me, and it feels like it got away from you at some point and you were to close to it to notice. There's something lacking at it's core, like a little piece that would make it gel has been misplaced somewhere.

I think it's a step forward because it's an attempt at something different, new ideas, new ways of doing things, visually your work is improving, technically it's improving.

I really hope you have something in the works that your going to spend some real time on, it could be really great I think. You've reached the 48 hour limit if you want to develop in the way you seem to be going, cerebral, action packed, moving and stirring film making. I get a sort of Christopher Nolan vibe from your work recently, I don't know if that's intentional or coincidental, but I think you have the same sort of action and brains sensibilities.

Put bluntly, I think the 48 hour contests are becoming a trap for you guys now, and if you don't move away and beyond that you could be in danger of just getting stuck there.

I really want to see an Atomic production that fulfils all of the promise your work shows, and I'm sorry if that sounds patronising, I mean it sincerely.

Max
Posted: Fri, 9th Jul 2010, 8:16am

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Simon K Jones

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The "do you make it for the audience or for yourself?" thing is an interesting debate. I'm with Atom, in that I think it's a halfway house, although if I had to pick one or the other I'd go with swinton's assertion that you should make it for yourself primarily.

What the Chosen One said was part right - the customer is indeed always right. However, the audience is not. They are very different things.

Where it gets complicated is for some entertainment, such as movies, the audience is also the customer. So the bigger the film, the more difficult it gets to follow your own vision and not second-guess the audience.
Posted: Fri, 9th Jul 2010, 8:42am

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Atom

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Oh, how I disagree.

I don't think 'the customer is always right' mantra works at all- let alone be useful/motivating for making movies. Ultimately the 'customer', as the audience, doesn't know what it wants. I feel my/our job as filmmakers is to kill two birds with one stone and satisfy our filmmaking desires by creating what we think the audience will like. (And in turn what we as filmmakers would like.)

But not exactly what they want- because, no, the customer isn't always right. I just don't really agree with that. Were it the case, Speed Racer would've been awfully different. wink
Posted: Fri, 9th Jul 2010, 8:48am

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Simon K Jones

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Atom wrote:

But not exactly what they want- because, no, the customer isn't always right. wink
Well, no, the customer isn't always right, if you're taking it literally. In fact, the customer is very, very frequently wrong. Trust me, I've read 9 years of software support queries. wink

But that's not the point. The point is that, as far as the business' public-facing attitude goes, the customer is always right. Even when they're wrong.

That's why Apple's ludicrous "you're holding it wrong" response to the iPhone 4 signal issues was so unusual.

So I might receive a support ticket that is clearly ridiculous, but I still treat that customer with complete respect. Even when a problem is caused entirely by the customer's actions, I don't respond with "well, it's your fault." The customer is always right - because you want to keep them coming back.

With audiences, it's very different, because it all relies on opinion. There's no such thing as right and wrong, and you can't possibly cater for everybody's varying tastes. Hence trying to play to your audience can be an exercise in futility. Sure, keep one eye on them, but don't start trying to second-guess.

Edit: Of course, with entertainment it's complicated again depending on your work. If you're an auteur or in a position to make what you want to make, it's very different to being a jobbing director on a long-running TV series. In the latter case, then of course the audience is the primary factor.
Posted: Fri, 9th Jul 2010, 10:14am

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Sollthar

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The debate is basically the all time war between art and commerce. As an artist (or hobbyist, as must here are), you can do whatever you want because your main goal is to express yourself and/or do things for fun. As someone who wants a job in the industry and actually earn money with with you do and go up the career ladder, you have to win over the audience.

The reality is obviously somewhere in between.

I'm also with atom on this one. It's both. And the audience isn't always right nor is it always wrong. You can't ignore them, but also can't do everything for them.

If 50% of your audience doesn't understand your story for example, you can say that they're just too dumb/uneducated/whatever to get it or that the story is indeed told in a too complicated/convoluted/odd way. It could be one or the other or both. If you're just the artist, you can find that interesting, amusing or annoying or don^t care. If you want to keep your job, you have a problem. smile


(I find this especially interesting since it's what I'm mainly doing with my current feature and the work with the script doctor. The story is there, but all I've done for the last months is trying different ways to tell it so that it remains interesting and complex, but understandable for a majority since the producer obviously wants the film to be a financial success - eg many peopel to a buy ticket to se it and tell their friends it was cool. So this debate is very prominent for me atm)

Anyways, this is about Zero Hour. smile
Posted: Sat, 10th Jul 2010, 12:38am

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Sick Boy

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What's the soundtrack playing? I really really liked it.

And what kind of sound fx did you use? (those in the time travel part which was pure awesome).
Posted: Sat, 10th Jul 2010, 2:51am

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ChillyZebra

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I just want to add in a bit here.

First off, I think the customer IS always right. They are coming to be entertained, period. If they weren't, then they weren't... no amount of posturing or artistic enlightenment will change that.

It's more like the movie chooses the audience, not the other way round. It's up to the creative staff to make something for the audience we want. And it's up to us to define success, although as Tarn/Solthar point out, sometimes the parameters for success are laid out for you by someone else.

You can make a movie like Avatar, a stunningly one-dimensional movie in 3D, but the boys watched it for the action, the girls for the romance, the geeks for the technology and the Academy members so they could vote for Hurt Locker with a clear conscience; everyone got something. It was fairly successful, but could also be seen as a terrible waste of such ground-breaking technology.

I think we pick our audience, not the other way around. They are always right; it's their opinion, how could it be any other way? You just make the movie you think YOUR audience will like.

But, as for Zero Hour. It got too confusing for me to try and figure it out. I really do agree with the other poster that felt that you've outgrown the 48hour 'genre'. Lose the guns, and make a movie measured in days, not hours, I think you (and we) will be pleasantly surprised.
Posted: Sat, 10th Jul 2010, 2:54am

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Atom

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Rating: +1

Hey man!

It's actually a mix of four tracks I licensed from Audio Network. It's not a soundtrack, just some royalty-free/licensed music I bought. We've used a mixture of that, composers on here, and my rap friend's music in all of our movies for the past several years. Nothing copyrighted. wink

I can't recall the names of the specific tracks, but the song midway and on through the end is actually two separate pieces I edited together to give the sequence an intertwining sort of feel.

As for the sound effects specifically in the timetravel scene- I'm afraid that's most just some creative mixing of sounds we happened to record when we left the camera on mixed with random noises from Designer Sound FX (although not really, since I feel I've mostly overused that pack by now) and several other places I've built my collection up on from the web over the past several years.

Most-notably the sounds that create the build-up and 'jump' of the timetravel sequence are:

-an airplane landing
-reversed airplane landing sound
-whale noises with the pitch heightened
-about 30 'swish' noises reversed onto eachother

and finally for the 'jump'

-a lightsaber drone/monster noise (from one of the soundpacks on here, actually)
-a radio wave fly-by
-a reversed sound of a guitar rift/powerdown

And bingo-bango, you've got your cool sounds with sights. Funny enough thing- I initially had there being loud, heat-based noises as if they 'burned' their way back into time, but I lost that save and when I pulled sounds back in I accidentally added the guitar rift in and loved the sound of it. It gives the scenes a much more techno-y and less heat-based/organic sort of look, sound, and feel. But it just, by chance, worked so much better. And so I built the rest of the sounds around that.
Posted: Sat, 10th Jul 2010, 10:03am

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davlin

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A great insight into how soundtracks can be developed.
Always ignore the "title" of the libary sound effect and just play it and listen...don't be afraid to mix'em up and experiment,you can
create a great sound by "accident".
Posted: Sun, 11th Jul 2010, 8:58am

Post 26 of 44

ClatterOwls

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Nice work! really enjoyed this! Have watched it twice and will probably watch it again at some point but i really like what you've done. From my point of view i enjoy watching it and the confusing story makes me want to watch it again and again to see what else i can piece out of the story (don't all effective movies make you want you to watch it again?). I kinda feel that the confusion works as the actors seem confused and not sure who has done what which is emphasised to the audience. confusing stuff. To me it did what Memento did when i watched that film. it confused the hell out of me even though i liked it so i had to watch it a few times to understand it. The effects are awesome and the time jump scenes are awesome!

Keep making films!
Posted: Sat, 17th Jul 2010, 7:44pm

Post 27 of 44

Atom

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Hey, Clatterowls!

Sorry I seemed to overlook your initial review here- thanks a lot, man! We were definitely going for sort of a pulled-apart Memento feel, so I'm glad that came through in the performances and orchestration. And thanks for the compliments- it's all really appreciated!
Posted: Wed, 21st Jul 2010, 3:22am

Post 28 of 44

Biblmac

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Well before I watched the film I read four or five of the reviews from you guys and expected a movie that was hard to follow and very "shouty" and "intense." I found this to be one of my favorite Atomic shorts, and I only had to watch it once. Maybe I'm the only one who wasn't "hopelessly confused" by the story telling on this, but I don't know.

So as I watched it I prepared myself for some really intense "shouty" acting. I don't think the acting was "shouty" to any stretch. Intense? Yes, no doubt about it, but I wouldn't call it shouty. As Atom/Ben3308 said there was only a handful (if that) of moments that were "shouty." I just don't think it was all that bad. Definitely intense though.

*IF ANYONE CARES, THIS NEXT PART MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS*

As for the story, what I gathered from it after watching it once was that there were three guys. For some reason they are sent back in time to retrieve some sort of case. When they arrive they find the case and one of them turns on the other. They get into some sort of shoot out and they all end up passed out after an explosion or two. When they come to, they realize something went wrong and they try to figure it out. Eventually figuring out that one of them turned on the other they go into a frenzy and then people start dying. Is there more to this that I didn't get? Cause as far as I can tell it was pretty straight forward, but maybe I'm missing something.

*NO MORE SPOILERS*

As for the things that Ben said that he "things we thought FXHome guys would enjoy". I noticed one in particular, the writing on the walls I thought was really awesome! I thought it was really interesting, something that definitely kept me from getting bored. As for the fire effects, thought that was pretty awesome, considering you guys don't normally, (not that I have seen), used special effects like that. Thought that was cool. However the actual time travel effect, didn't really do it for me.

So if this really is all there was to this film, I was genuinely entertained by it. I think I pretty much understood the story unless there was more than I came out with, but regardless it was, for me, very enjoyable to watch. This movie goes on my top ten. Enjoyed it immensely.

-Biblmac-
Posted: Wed, 21st Jul 2010, 12:44pm

Post 29 of 44

Toruk Macto

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That's exactly what I understood too, but I think it is more complicated than that...


I only watched it once, and I think I got it, but I'm not sure. However, it was entertaining and well-made (absolutely) for 48 hours.

I love your poster too![/i]
Posted: Wed, 21st Jul 2010, 8:14pm

Post 30 of 44

Atom

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Well thanks, guys! Glad some people seemed to understand what was up on a once-through of our movie, haha.

And more kudos on noticing some of the things we tried to do in this one, too. Can't believe you didn't like the timetravel sequences/way we went about it, Biblmac- that seems to be everbody's favorite part! smile

Either way, thanks guys- your comments and viewership are, as always, greatly appreciated.
Posted: Thu, 22nd Jul 2010, 2:29am

Post 31 of 44

Biblmac

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Hey Atom! Not that the time travel part was bad, just not my favorite way of doing it. It looked cool and was entertaining but it just seemed like something was missing. That's just my opinion though. I liked when they arrived. I thought it was very well done. I really enjoyed that part, thought it looked well done and well acted. So just not my cup of tea I guess.

So is that really all there was to it? There wasn't any deeper meaning or story that I missed? Cause I thought that was it but people made it out to be hard to understand and I didn't think it was that hard. But each to his own I guess.

-Biblmac-
Posted: Thu, 22nd Jul 2010, 3:11am

Post 32 of 44

Atom

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It's just a portrait of what our suspicions and distrusts will bring us to, even if they aren't correct, when people are brought to the edge.

We wanted the movie to be primarily about the acting, about these guys' frustration and confusion with not knowing what happened/trying to figure things out- and the 'twist' if you want to call it that- would be that Reese's suspicions weren't unfounded; and that they were double-crossed.

But really, that part doesn't matter. The movie is an illustration of the trio's dynamic: how they react to eachother, to the situation, and to their feelings. Obviously it's a portrait of three different levels of distrust and frustration in the three different people, as well.

Although I wouldn't call it shallow, it certainly isn't complexly deep. The movie is meant to reveal itself as it plays out; but not be overly-convoluted or mysterious past that.

If you 'got it' right away, well, great! That's what was intended- either that or a positive Memento sort of ambiguous conclusion with the audience approach. We figured we couldn't lose with either. smile

Sadly, though, we didn't win any of the competition. No technical awards, no acting awards, no nothing. Really sad there. But it's all good- we're at least happy with it!
Posted: Thu, 22nd Jul 2010, 3:38pm

Post 33 of 44

Sick Boy

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Atom wrote:


Sadly, though, we didn't win any of the competition. No technical awards, no acting awards, no nothing. Really sad there. But it's all good- we're at least happy with it!
Just goes to show what kind of fools are doing the decisions, not that i've seen the other contributions, but i doubt you guys didn't outdid them in something with Zero Hour, which honestly is your best short i've seen. Instead of doing these 48 hour short films, you guys rather should look for sponsors, going for a feature film. I think you could handle it.
Posted: Thu, 22nd Jul 2010, 9:19pm

Post 34 of 44

Atom

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Well, thanks man.

I won't be a poor sport much more, but I have to admit it's pretty sad to come off of winning these things for so many years- and then have this past year and 2009 just completely lose. Yeah, I cleaned house with A Love Not Standing- but with Release, Exodus, No Rest For The Wicked, and now Zero Hour: we're really giving it our all and have got really nothing back, judging-wise, from these competitions.

It's assy and prideful to say, but I almost consistently feel we've got the best film (or 'one of the best') each time, too. There's never much doubt when I see the competition that 'oh, their's is much better than ours!' or 'oh, that one is going to win!'. Nah. For me, it never seems like we're really against hard competition. Sometimes I see really strong things, and I really like them- but I never feel much is really all that better than what we're doing ourselves.

And perhaps that's just my cocky nature, but I used to feel overwhelmed and nervous when I saw others' movies in these things wayback when pre-Splinter Cell and Cover's Story (some older movies of mine). And now I just.......don't. I can see the seams and faults in other movies, I can compare them to ours, and I never really feel all that threatened by immense competition. The only people I really ever feel are apt competition are my good friends (well, 'frenemies') Greg and John- who we work with on big projects and go against in 24 and 48hr contests.

And what's worse, John and Greg (who I made A Love Not Standing with) were in this and lost as well. The ones that won were decent, but nothing close to the best. Best Cinematography was awful, Best Writing was worse. And sincerely, not even counting Zero Hour- there were some truly great films in the running- to where it's just a dastardly shame that such mediocre things get picked.

Judges will be judges, of course, and ranking films is entirely subjective- but you'd like to think there's a level of class and knowledge behind decisions with these things that makes at least some sense; and I think that's what's really lacking nowadays when we've done these things. I'd say it's time to retire from doing them from my continual disappointment in judging with these; but they're far too much fun to just flat-out quit. smile

But thanks, Sick Boy. As always, the positivity is appreciated- and we really enjoy when people enjoy our movies.

We've been working on a few very large things that aren't time-related, actually, and we've got some funding behind one of them- so the past few months it's just been a process of getting the plans, people, time, and finances together. It's a much harder and longer task, as you'll imagine: But something really is coming. And not just narrative stuff, either.

More on that in an upcoming thread. wink
Posted: Mon, 16th Aug 2010, 7:59pm

Post 35 of 44

softdistortion

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Hey guys, just wanted to say I've admired your work since I saw Exodus a while back. Just coming back to the forum now and seeing your latest.

I'm heavily into VFX, so I LOVEd the extra effort on shots like the return time travel fx with the flash fire/flame freeze.

All round I'm one of the people that likes the look of your films.

Not sure who does what...seems there are 2 of you?

Would be great to work with you guys on a VFX scifi collaboration some day in future!
Posted: Tue, 17th Aug 2010, 9:07am

Post 36 of 44

ben3308

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Hey, thanks for watching our film!

We often have different friends and people help with different things (we love working with new, different people from time to time) but very generally I do cinematography and direction (production) whilst my brother (Atom) does script and editing (pre- and post-production).
Posted: Tue, 17th Aug 2010, 9:57pm

Post 37 of 44

FXhomer108199

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This film is amazing, you guys rock!
Posted: Tue, 17th Aug 2010, 10:05pm

Post 38 of 44

ben3308

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Thanks man! Glad you enjoyed it, we certainly aim to please!

Feel free to check out our other stuff on FXhome (Release, Exodus, No Rest for the Wicked, Pages, etc) or on my YouTube.
Posted: Mon, 23rd Aug 2010, 4:21am

Post 39 of 44

FXhomer32915

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Rating: -2

You're kidding with this, "You have to watch it three times" crap, right? What that says is you're a poor filmmaker so I have to make up for your shortcomings by watching your film over and over.

Gee, what an idea for a great story! It's amazing! It's Original! It FREAKING "Time Cop"!!! You know, Jean Claude Van Damm!?!?!?!?! Besides, how do these, still wet behind the ears, "kids" get a hold of time travel technology?
Posted: Mon, 23rd Aug 2010, 6:01am

Post 40 of 44

Atom

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Hey buddy, it's a simple concept- you don't like the description off-the-cuff?

Then don't watch it. We won't cry over your lost viewership. unsure

For (what your profile at least claims you are) being older-than-a-middle-aged adult, your response is certainly bewilderingly immature. As is that 'let's rate everything a 0 rating!' binge you seem to be on. But whatever man, I can deal. Sooooo.......

We put 'watch multiple times' because we're receptive filmmakers, and because the reaction we initially got from this movie yielded that sort of response. This isn't one of those 'your work should speak for itself' bullshit sessions, because we're just way past that already. We put the tagline note at the beginning for the benefit and better enjoyment of our viewers, not as an excuse. If that doesn't work for you, then that's cool. But don't pretend like there are these specific rules movies have to follow as far as describing themselves- there aren't.

At least, with this movie. So whatever, don't watch it I guess. Our actors are our actors, we did the best with the concepts we have. We're all in our 20s now, and actively include even older adults in our projects- I've no reason to try and even respond to those sorts of things any more.

We wanted to make a cool-yet-profound movie about timetravel, given we were given that as our theme. So it lends itself more to the former of the adjectives- we did the best we could with it, and there wasn't quite the connect with the audience we expected. But we know this, and we've acknowledged it.

So, yeah. Whatever, man. Watch something else- maybe one of the 10,000,000,000,000 videos without any story and 14-year-olds shooting poorly composited guns at eachother. Maybe that'll suffice your entertainment appetite. wink
Posted: Mon, 23rd Aug 2010, 6:08am

Post 41 of 44

ben3308

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FXhomer32915 wrote:

You're kidding with this, "You have to watch it three times" crap, right? What that says is you're a poor filmmaker so I have to make up for your shortcomings by watching your film over and over.
Feel free to not watch anything else by Atomic Productions, then. We neither need nor want your viewership. Thanks.
Posted: Mon, 23rd Aug 2010, 6:12am

Post 42 of 44

Evman

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Rating: +2/-1

An adequately childish set of responses to a childish post.

And there is balance again in the world...
Posted: Mon, 23rd Aug 2010, 6:14am

Post 43 of 44

Sollthar

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However unpleasantly rude his comment was worded (judging from his other posts, he's got his fair share of ettiquette to learn himself), he's essentially right though. Your film doesn't work - which is why most don't understand it and you didn't win nor get your usual high ratings for it. And if you're actually that "past it", you'll know that's the case. smile

That doesn't disqualify you as filmmakers entirely though, just renders this an effort that doesn't fully work. We've all had that and we all will have more of that as we continue to try. wink


Heh, exactly my thought Evan. oneeye
Posted: Mon, 23rd Aug 2010, 6:21am

Post 44 of 44

Atom

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We're very aware of the film's shortcomings and pitfalls- they've all been well-responded to and clearly-outlined- and we've grown as filmmakers and responded in kind to that sort of thing. That's sort of the thing, I suppose. Anyone who put even a second into looking at the previous responses would know it's all mostly been addressed and thoroughly talked-about. And while I'm all for resurrecting my own movies (wink) and continuing conversation, that wasn't this. This guy just wants to be a snarky snob. And I'm not just saying this on my movie.

Look at his other posts on movies in the cinema. I'll be childish all I want for little things like this- the movie's all but retired itself from the cinema already, we've 'been there done that'. And this guy's an ass. And the best place for me to address him as such is where, I suppose, he addresses me.

So whatever.