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Thread: Rabid - Short Horror Film

  1. Default Rabid - Short Horror Film

    Made for the 2 Days Later Short Horror Film competition 2010, Margate UK.



    Please Rate, Comment or Subscribe on Youtube if you like it! Constructive criticism is also welcome on here, I already understand about the acting.

    Many Thanks
    Last edited by ShoeString; 11-16-2010 at 04:44 PM.

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    Do you want a crit or do you just want views and votes? There's plenty I could say but if you're just pimping I won't waste time.
    Tim

  3. Default

    It does say underneath the video.

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    It says Rate, Comment or Subscribe on YouTube. I took that to meant you want us to do it on YouTube. I meant do you want constructive criticism here?
    Tim

  5. Default

    Sorry, I've changed it to read better. Go for it.

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    Sorry if I seemed a bit arsey, but time and again we get people making there first post here with a film and they're only after hits - they never return to look at the comments and never return the favour by commenting on other peoples' films. Watching a film and making a mental critique takes the length of a film - actually typing one out (especially if every third character is backspace/delete as in my case) takes a serious invesment of time. Henec my initial reluctance.

    Anyway, given your response, it seems to me you're serious, prepared to learn and won't get upset by negative comments (so long as they're justified).

    It takes very few words to praise the easy stuff but loads of detail to explain the areas for improvement so please don't take the following as being biased toward the negative.

    You already know about the acting, so I won't say much other than I thought the lead was played quite well, the drunk - erm - unconvincingly and the "other bloke" adequately. But you start with a problem in that the characters are unbelievable as they are clearly young men playing parts really scrpted for older people. (As a nearly 50 year old I have precisely the opposite problem with casting).

    You put a lot of effort into getting the effects right and generally they worked well. The smashing of the car window was very good: so brief that it conveyed the whole message without giving us the oppportunity to see whether it was for real or done in post (as it was - though it took me a couple of rewinds to check). You have clearly grasped the fact that showing blood, a wound whatever very briefly is far more effective than showing it in detail for a long time.

    But... whilst you get it right in only showing odd flashes of wounds etc, I'm afraid I thought the whole thing was far too long: mainly the "horror" scenes went on three or four times longer than they should have done for maximum impact. All the scene's with the "beast" (except the very final scene) went on far too long. The scene of the lead ariving home after his first encounter started very well (the sudden burst through the back door) but really should have been much shorter. This would also reduce the time we have available to evaluate the acting. Three or four key shots are all that is required.

    Quite apart from the beast smashing the window and the bursting throuh the back door, you have clearly studied and utilised many of the standard techniques of the genre - the "wolfman" shadow, the cutaway of the moon are a couple of examples. Some didn't work so well: the external shot of the window seemed to add nothing - perhaps we should have seen the lead looking out?

    Technically, the composition of the shots was varied (more so at some times than others) and imaginitively. I didn't notice any wobble or peculiar angle shots so well done for setting them up on squared off tripods. However the camera seems to have been set on auto for just about everything: The shot where you enter the kitchen and then turn the light on was a good idea (my first thought was "it's too dark" then you turned the light on and all was revealed - but - you should have set the colour balance for after the light was turned on so we had a poor underexposed shot leading into a good shot when you turned the light on.

    Similarly the shot from within the car boot was a tried and trusted "alternative viewpoint" shot, but really it required you to fix the exposure. What hapened here is we got "bloom" as the auto exposure tried to catch up with the rapidly changing lighting conditions. Practice working with manual exposure or AE lock.

    Sound: You clearly made an effort here. Some of iot worked better than other bits. Fantastic sound of the cutlery/crockery etc when making the cup of tea, but, to be honest, unless you were making a film about cookey or one of the knives was about to be used as a murder weapon, this was on einstance where I thought there was too much good sound - it focused us on the wrong things. Whilst this opening scene contained a good variety of shots and the aforementioned great sound I felt it far longer than it eeded to be to set the scene. Nothing in it added really anything to the film.

    The music was generally used very well, but the fluet concerto bit seemed a very bizarre interruption to the proceedings. I can only imagine you were trying to suggest the lead had moved through pain into some other pane of consiousness. Sorry, it didn't wrk for me.

    I didn't really like the look of the shooting day for night, but I don't know of any other way that we amateurs can hope to get a realistic look.

    All it all I thought it was a good effort with lots of intentionally used clichés from the genre: the ending was predictable in its unpredicatbility.

    In summary, my main advice would be to look into the manual settings for your camera and "less is more".

    Thanks for posting.
    Tim

  7. Default

    Wow, thanks for your lengthy constructive criticism.

    As you have probably already guessed, we are fairly new to Film Making.
    Buying a Canon HV40, with an attachable Rode Microphone we set off and made this film for a competition. We didn't really do any test shots using the camera, and it wasn't until putting all of the footage onto the editing software that we realised our first BIG mistake, Auto Focus.....Lesson learnt.

    After uploading to Youtube along with entering the competition, I can see parts of the film that really needed sorting out. I also feel the attack scene is too long, and the 'classical' music on the radio could of been scrapped altogether.

    Day for Night caused more problems than anything having to get up early before the sun came out, also making sure it was overcast. I will be very reluctant to use it again.

    Anyways Tim, Thanks for the Crit.
    I shall be passing this on to the others involved.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShoeString View Post
    Buying a Canon HV40,
    A fine camera. And HDV is so much easier on the PC for editing.
    Quote Originally Posted by ShoeString View Post
    with an attachable Rode Microphone
    at least you got reasonable sound out of it.
    Quote Originally Posted by ShoeString View Post
    We didn't really do any test shots using the camera,
    But now you have. And it's a real life test which is often better than mock up shots.

    Just one more comment - as you probably realised, I didn't realise the concerto was meant to be coming from the car radio, even though I wondered why you kept showing the radio. This was because it sounded too clear and up front. It really needed some EQ to cut a lot of the bass and probably boost the mids a bit as an absolute minmum, just to make it obvious that the sound is supposed to be coming from what we're seeing.
    Tim

  9. #9

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    Thanks Tim for not leaving very much left to crit on.

    Something Tim didn't touch on much is the continuity with the lighting/colours. You seem to jump from day to night very quickly without a good transition of time or indication in the video that time had passed. The worst example of this was around 7:10 when the brother of the victim talked to the drunk in full day time light, then he ran off into the wood it suddenly went into the day for night. (I'm glad you have decided not to use again, I'm not a big fan of it). I presume you were trying to convey that the wood was dark but this didn't work for me. When you first come into the house I think you should have set the white balance for the kitchen with the lights on. Another inconsistency was the flashes of the cattle mutilation Day time but time supposed to be night.

    OK that's enough of the negative. On the positive side you had a good number of varied shots and apart from the fact that the whole thing needs to be shorter, ie each scene could have the editing much tighter, was quite good in that you didn't liger on certain shots that needed a quick cut. In the action scene, when the wolf first attacked the lead actor, you need quick cuts of different angles although there was some, in my view not quite enough or fast enough. I liked the bending down to pick up the keys, back up and there was the wolf shot. The breaking through the car window looked very good. The thing I would most like to say is that you have made a big effort to produce a serious horror movie and I take my hat off to you for attempting that It's not an easy genre to do convincingly and I thought you made a good effort.

    I'm sure as you produce more and more movies you will get more polished results and I look forward to seeing them.

  10. Default

    Thanks for the positive feedback Midnight Blue.

    Sadly as we were making this for a competition, we were limited on content and running time. The Day for Night scenes as you can imagine was very hard to do effectively. We only had certain periods of the day that we could film, relying on weather and right conditions.

    In hindsight, we are pleased with our first short narrative. We have learnt alot from our mistakes, but hopefully it will get some good comments and ratings on Youtube aswell as on here.

    Cheers

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