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Body Bags - Trailer

Posted: Mon, 15th Nov 2010, 1:47pm

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Jabooza

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A trailer for a nonexistent film. Made for FXhome's Movie Trailer Challenge.

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Posted: Mon, 15th Nov 2010, 1:55pm

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Simon K Jones

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This is really great. Love the idea, love the general look (although it's a bit TOO blue and washed out) and the Murderer actor looks the part (also looks a bit like Christian Bale!).

The one mis-step, I think, is in having the murderer show up in the second half and attack the body bag survivor. Personally I think it would be far more effective to have the guy emerge from the body bag, look around and have the camera pan up and out to reveal the van full of bags.

ie, almost exactly what you have in there already, but without the Murderer reappearing. To have the victim (and viewers) spot the van full of bodies, then cut straight to a title, would have been seriously chilling and left us wondering how the guy was going to get out of it. Rather than the current version, when it looks like he isn't going to get out of it as he's been killed - thus losing the tension.

Bin bags are scary.
Posted: Mon, 15th Nov 2010, 4:09pm

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Filman86

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Great job! I really like this a lot. You should have been a finalist. My best guess why you didn't is that it has no effects that would "sell" their products. Nonetheless you clearly have some talent!
Posted: Mon, 15th Nov 2010, 4:12pm

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Simon K Jones

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Filman86 wrote:

Great job! I really like this a lot. You should have been a finalist. My best guess why you didn't is that it has no effects that would "sell" their products. Nonetheless you clearly have some talent!
I don't really want to get into the finalist issue again, except to say that none of the finalists were chosen to "sell" our products. As stated in the competition announcement, whether our products were used or not wasn't a factor.
Posted: Mon, 15th Nov 2010, 4:31pm

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Filman86

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I apologize if I hit a hot issue. I never saw the rules or anything, and just happened to come across here. I can imagine the discussions as nobody likes to be judged differently than their own opinion. I saw merit in the others too. I placed my vote! But there can be only one...
Posted: Tue, 16th Nov 2010, 10:22pm

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Biblmac

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This was really good! I do agree with Tarn though, the whole thing with the guy being alive still. I think it feels like there is nothing left to find out about the movie, you already know that the guy is dumping the bodies and the survivor appears to die. So I just feel like there isn't much that makes me want to watch it. Does that make sense?
Posted: Thu, 18th Nov 2010, 3:12pm

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Jabooza

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Thanks for the positive comments! biggrin

Tarn - That's a good idea... kind of wish we had done it that way now... we just hadn't thought of it.
Posted: Fri, 19th Nov 2010, 9:22am

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FXhomer32915

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Rating: -4

Your trailer is supposed to give potential viewers a sneak peek at the S-T-O-R-Y, which is apparently a secret. Other than somebody killing people and stuffing them in garbage bags (body bags cannot be torn open, especially from the inside as is depicted here) there is no story. Somebody thought up a name that sounded cool to them and imagined a scenario, not a story, that sort of fit the title and they put "cool sounding" music to some video. I'm not impressed. Try again fellas!
Posted: Fri, 19th Nov 2010, 9:30am

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Atom

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FXhomer32915 wrote:

I'm not impressed.
No one cares. Really. NO ONE CARES- because your posts lack, among many things, tact. That's T-A-C-T! Try again, fella!
Posted: Fri, 19th Nov 2010, 11:30pm

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Jabooza

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FXhomer32915 wrote:

Your trailer is supposed to give potential viewers a sneak peek at the S-T-O-R-Y, which is apparently a secret. Other than somebody killing people and stuffing them in garbage bags (body bags cannot be torn open, especially from the inside as is depicted here) there is no story. Somebody thought up a name that sounded cool to them and imagined a scenario, not a story, that sort of fit the title and they put "cool sounding" music to some video. I'm not impressed. Try again fellas!
Wow, why all the bashing?

I guess I could respond to you criticisms individually, but I really don't think it'd be worth it.
Convenient you haven't uploaded any of your own brilliant work, isn't it? I appreciate constructive criticism, but unless you can show me that you're at least a decent filmmaker, don't bash my films. Thanks.
Posted: Sat, 20th Nov 2010, 3:24pm

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Biblmac

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Jabooza wrote:

I appreciate constructive criticism, but unless you can show me that you're at least a decent filmmaker, don't bash my films. Thanks.
If he was a decent filmmaker, he wouldn't be bashing your films at all. But whatever, it wouldn't be worth responding as he will likely never come reply.
Posted: Sat, 20th Nov 2010, 4:39pm

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davlin

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This was cool and well excecuted (pun intended).
I thought it had great cam work and editing.
A real spooky feel to it.
Well done.
Posted: Sat, 20th Nov 2010, 6:11pm

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Jabooza

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Biblmac wrote:

If he was a decent filmmaker, he wouldn't be bashing your films at all.
Exactly! biggrin

Thanks Davlin, glad you liked it!
Posted: Sun, 21st Nov 2010, 12:02am

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miker

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Interesting concept. I liked this. I think it would have done better ending right after you see the killer's feet with the sledge hammer-though. Showing what happens after that kinda spoils it. Leaving the story open, in a.. 'what will the escapee character do now that he's finally escaped' concept would have been much stronger, IMO. Soon as I found out what happened afterwords.. (oh, he just got knocked out) it pretty much gave me a sense of COMPLETION with the story/concept of the movie. Which is not something you want to do in a teaser trailer. You want to catch the audience's attention, and make us want more.

Still, nice job though. 3/5.
Posted: Tue, 23rd Nov 2010, 3:34am

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Jabooza

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Thanks miker! Yeah, I do see how it probably would've been better not to kill the guy and end it more as a cliffhanger... it would indeed have made the trailer more effective.
Posted: Tue, 30th Nov 2010, 9:27pm

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TheOutlawAmbulance

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FXhomer32915 wrote:

I'm not impressed. Try again fellas!
Dear Fxhome,
All I want for Christmas is a button to block people. snear
Thank you,
-SGS
P.S. QTF means Quit F**king Talking. Take Tarn's advice. (<<<From another Post)

In all seriousness, this was a very good trailer. Good use of grading and the quality looked exceptional, even for Youtube. I personally liked the trailer but I can see where Tarn and the others are coming from. I feel that (even though this may not have been the point) if this was an actual short movie that the character that you saw die has nothing to do with the main character. Such as the main character might be a cop but this is how it would start off and the killer is who the cop is trying to catch or something like that. smile Anyways it doesn't matter. Its just a trailer.
Thats just my 2c.

5/5 for quality and potential!

-Storm Grenade
Posted: Tue, 30th Nov 2010, 9:45pm

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ben3308

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Storm Grenade wrote:

P.S. QTF means Quit F**king Talking. Take Tarn's advice. (<<<From another Post)
Actually, it means "quoted for truth".
Posted: Wed, 1st Dec 2010, 10:05am

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Sollthar

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Heh, I really liked this. Nice ideas, nice storytelling concept and storytelling execution. You managed to grasp my attention, lead it and not let go of it for the entire thing - which is the best sign of a good filmmaker.
I do agree with Tarns comment on the content though.

What was more distracting for me though was the grading. I thought it was really obvious and took the whole thing down. It would have worked a lot better if you actually shot at dawn and took some lights with you.

Anyways, I like this and it shows potential! I want to see more!
Posted: Wed, 1st Dec 2010, 10:54am

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Simon K Jones

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FXhomer32915 wrote:

Your trailer is supposed to give potential viewers a sneak peek at the S-T-O-R-Y, which is apparently a secret. Other than somebody killing people and stuffing them in garbage bags (body bags cannot be torn open, especially from the inside as is depicted here) there is no story. Somebody thought up a name that sounded cool to them and imagined a scenario, not a story, that sort of fit the title and they put "cool sounding" music to some video. I'm not impressed. Try again fellas!
This is probably your least accurate criticism to date (which is saying something).

You seem to have a curiously basic understanding of 'story', and you also don't seem to understand the concept of a teaser trailer.

As I and others have pointed out, there are definitely ways that the story could have been teased more effectively here. Jabooza agrees. However, despite that it's still a very, very effective teaser.

The storytelling here is actually mostly superb, in the context of a teaser trailer:

1. We're introduced to the murderer, a charismatic, troubled looking man. Good casting and acting grabs our attention immediately.
2. We see him dumping bodies. He is a murderer. We now have a premise.
3. We discover that one of the victims is actually still alive. We now have a protagonist and the beginnings of a plot: how is he going to escape?
4. The murderer then finds and kills the victim, which is the teaser's one mistake. This is a wrong move in terms of storytelling, in my opinion.
5. The final shot of the teaser reveals a van PACKED FULL of bodies. This guy isn't just a murderer, or maybe someone with a specific plan to kill a few people. He isn't, say, a mobsters taking out a couple of rivals. This guy is a serial killer. He's making an industry out of killing. That there is a superb, superb story hook.

Sure, it's only a premise, only the beginnings of a plot. But it's a teaser trailer, that's exactly what it is supposed to do.

As a teacher of film and story you surely must be able to see this? In fact, it's slightly worrying for your students if you can't. crazy

Last edited Thu, 9th Dec 2010, 5:08pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Thu, 9th Dec 2010, 5:06pm

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jotoki

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For me this felt more like the scene before the opening credits than an out and out teaser or trailer. It seems I'm not alone in this feeling.

Beyond that though it was very well executed. I look forward to seeing what comes after those opening credits. You got the dark foreboding feeling just right.

This is good work guys.
Posted: Thu, 9th Dec 2010, 5:49pm

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swintonmaximilian

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Good work Jabooza, an effective teaser with a few mistakes (for me) that bring it down.

I agree with Tarn that the killing shown destroys the tension and takes out all the tease. This is because the teaser sets up the survivor like he is a key character, and to have him die removes any element of suspense or intrigue for the actual film. You could show him being killed if the teaser was structured differently and presented him as a victim from the start, but as it is it doesn't quite work.

Tarn's suggestion is what I would have gone with also.

All in all, it works as a teaser, but it doesn't retain the suspense right to the end, so it's effect is dampened.

Also I agree with Sollthar that the grade is very distracting in places. The obvious mask round the killers face is far too noticeable to work. But, I think the style you are going for fits well and would be effective.

Max
Posted: Thu, 9th Dec 2010, 6:32pm

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jotoki

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it's interesting how different people see things in different ways. I say nothing wrong with killing off the one "survivor". For me it simply added the possibility that maybe those in the bads are not in fact dead. Perhaps they are drugged, perhaps others in that van are alive. One thing is for sure, by showing that elimiation of the live victim it clears up the fact that the guy is the killer and not just dunping bodies for some other reason. Perhaps thats where it falls down. We know too much about who he is and where the bodies come from. Once thing I would say though, letting the survivor live for the sake of the teaser whne he's in fact going to die in short order would have made for a let down. Having him get away a little formulaic. I like what you've done overall. We can't relaly comment on the story here since we don't acutally know where it is going. Who's to say the killing in the treaser doesn't add to the story down the line. teasers in the end are about what they fire in your imagination more than what they actually tell show. I think you did well in that respect. Perhaps what you're telling you pupils here is that you don't always need to follow the rules and hats off to you for that.
Posted: Fri, 10th Dec 2010, 11:21pm

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Jabooza

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Thank you all for the comments, they're much appreciated!

About the ending, Storm Grenade pointed out that the character that dies may not be the main character. This is true; he wasn't necessarily intended to be the main character. We really didn't give a whole lot of thought about what the full story would have been, but our mind set was not that the movie would be about that specific character. I think the reason we stuck with killing him off was because he actually seemed insignificant to us when we were planning the trailer: we were more focussed on the reveal of the body bags in the back of the van at the end.
But I agree, after seeing the film completed, the character does have more significance than we originally were thinking, and again, I regret killing him off.


About the grading, I totally see where everyone's coming from. I didn't actually grade this: my friend did; but I was there for a decent portion of it, and the process was a nightmare. My friend did the grading on a Windows copy of After Effects, which was running on his iMac. For some reason, whenever we'd get the footage back into the Mac mode it would look darker than in Windows. We couldn't find a way to fix this and ended up having to guess a bit with the grading, which made things tricky, on top of the fact that the grading was already pretty complex to do.

There's a lot of things in the grading that I do think worked (for the most part), like a bunch of motion-tracked masks to get the background and foreground to look good together (although some of these masks didn't turn out so well in the final shot, and are noticeable there), and I'm happy with the overall look of it. The masks on a lot of the faces though are (as has been pointed out) too noticeable, and there are a lot of shots that my friend and I are both unhappy with, but we just didn't have the time to fix them.

About Sollthar's comment of filming at night with lights, I really don't think we would've been able to do that; there's no way we could have lit the entire background and everything. The only way we're really able to film at night would make all the actors too bright and the background too dark and grainy (like in Kurt Morgan). So I don't regret the way that we did it (though it would have been nice to be able to film during twilight, but we shot at dusk in the shade), I just wish we would've been able to do it better.
Posted: Wed, 22nd Dec 2010, 3:52am

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jonecool

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Very nice! I'm quite impressed with the quality of this film. I hope to get familiar enough with VisionLab to get there soon.

I must admit, I'm new here to FxHome (and just purchased Vision Lab yesterday). Yours was about the 3rd movie I've watched on this site. However, it looks professionally done and edited quite nicely. Do you have any recommendations for a beginner? Such as, what is the best way to get up-to-speed with the tools and what tools you may have used.

Again, Great Job and a true Inspiration!

Jon
Posted: Thu, 23rd Dec 2010, 3:08am

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Jabooza

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Rating: +1

Hey jonecool, glad to hear you liked it, and it's great to hear that it's an inspiration!

I'm not really sure what kind of advice I could give you other than to tell you to try it yourself and always try to improve. The best way to learn this crazy filmmaking stuff is to constantly try to push yourself to make every film better than your last one, and make sure you don't make the same mistakes as in the film before.
It's obviously also a good idea to observe techniques that other filmmakers use to try to learn from them.

I'm not sure if I really qualify as someone worthy of giving advice, but that's pretty much what I've always tried to do, and I think I've at least come quite a ways from where I started. biggrin

One other thing to remember: you mentioned you recently got VisionLab and you asked you asked about what "tools" I may have used. I'm not entirely sure what you mean by "tools" here, but just remember that filmmaking is about a lot more than just having software/being able to use it.
Don't get me wrong, it's great that you bought VisionLab, and it'll prove very helpful in your filmmaking, but a lot of people tend to think that just because they have powerful software (especially when it's visual effects software) that their films will automatically be amazing. It's actually quite possible to make a film using great effects software (even when you're skilled with it), with the film itself still being crap. It's also quite possible to make a great film using nothing other than a basic camcorder and iMovie.

The point is, having tools is great, and they'll be very helpful in adding to your films, but tools won't make you a great filmmaker.
I just wanted to stress this because everyone falls into the trap of thinking that fancy software will make their movies good, and they forget to actually work on becoming better filmmakers. I've definitely fallen into this trap... which is probably why I keep ranting about it...... I'll stop now. biggrin