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Thread: The Flame

  1. #1

    Default The Flame

    This is a bit different to my usual stuff. It's a bit like Jackanory, if you remember that program.

    Last edited by Midnight Blue; 05-17-2012 at 04:49 PM.

  2. #2


    I forgot to mention I would like comments and opinions please.

  3. #3


    This is very nicely shot and put together. my problem is the subject matter its not really for me, even though Steve does a good job with the narration...... i found it a bit boring especially at over 10 minuets. it comes across kinda like a religious fable or bible story . as i say technically very good just not my cup of tea. Sorry MB

  4. #4


    Thanks for giving it a go. It's suppose to be a children's story I may have made it a bit to moralistic. I'm not much of a writer though. Do you think the animations are a bit lame, I really struggle with animation.

  5. #5


    I found this very interesting. And, as I have grown to expect from MB; it has wonderful looking scenes. I liked the background audio, and there were some pretty animations.
    I sense an issue in the script. Whilst the story and the 'characters' are fine, the text could be edited to make it shorter, flow better; use plainer English; and increase the range of people who can understand the story. Personally, I might want the narration to be spoken faster.
    The narrator does a wonderful job, but I wanted him to stop looking down at the script. Time to buy a telepromper?
    I also advise using a little makeup. No Leichener 5 & 9; just a little powder to reduce the shine off his face; otherwise he looks a little sweaty. For further makeup advice, consult any local woman
    I thought the animations were very pretty. Often, they re-inforce the storyline; but sometimes it was not clear what they were doing; or what there were supposed to be telling me. (However, given my own works in that area; I ought not to appear critical). Perhaps if the rings and things did more movement around the screen, they could give the viewer more reminders about 'who' was talking to 'who' or 'who' was going 'where'.

  6. #6


    Cheers Tim, It's a good idea to make the doughnuts more animated. I struggled a lot with the concept of how you visualise something that can't be seen. At first I just had a blurry misty backdrop and thought I'd leave it to the viewer to put something there, then I saw the flame ring on a website that was giving them away so I downloaded it to use as the Fire Spirit. I made the rest of them just using Vegas with a lot of sparkles and wobbles and masking.

    "I sense an issue in the script". What a great way of saying it's crap. lol

    Thanks for taking the time to watch and critique it.

  7. #7


    Quote Originally Posted by Midnight Blue View Post
    Thanks for giving it a go. It's suppose to be a children's story I may have made it a bit to moralistic. I'm not much of a writer though. Do you think the animations are a bit lame, I really struggle with animation.
    i thought the animation was fine

    what did you use to create the music ?

  8. #8


    I used samples that came with the old cinescore and just stuck clips on the time line where I thought appropriate. There may be clips from other sources as well. The whole soundscape along with the sound FXs and Foley was quite complicated, in fact this is probably the most complicated time line I've ever made. Due to different composition modes, maskings, overlays etc. I know it hasn't gone down well in the forum but I'm please with a lot of the new technical things I learned doing it.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Smalltown, Queensland


    I saw those maskings and overlays lol, and in particular I thought the moon behind the speaker gave great atmosphere. I also noted the narrator looking down, but in Jackanory style, this was acceptable to me- retro maybe lol.

    A story for children? Well I realise they have advanced a lot since my day, but it may be a slightly deep topic for the modern generation?

    I sat through the 10 minutes, mainly to see what happened next - so the story was good in that sense. The music certainly helped keep my attention.

    I thought your animations were fine, maybe those children may get confused, but I swear I saw you 'jog' the Sea as it was talking to the Wind, it felt like it was turning and looking - or maybe I am tired?

    I used to turn over when jackanory came on, I dislike books and reading - but this was fine

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Surrey, UK
    Blog Entries


    I started to watch when you first posted, spotted it was 10 mins and thought I'd watch when I have more time to devote.

    I thought most of it looked great - you got some great shots of the flame (any special technique here?) and the shots of Stephen were lit intriguingly yet warmly (good point by TimA about make-up though). My only gripe with the shots of Stephen were that you had a full moon over his left shoulder and I'd have liked to have seen some "moonshine" backlighting on that side of him so it actually felt part of the same scene.
    I think you should have introduced the doughnuts much sooner. As it is you've been talking about the spirits for a while then the doughnuts suddenly appear and it was not immediately clear to me what they were.
    I also wasn't really that keen on the screens with just the doughnuts showing. I'd have liked to have seen them behind the narrator (Don't want much, do I?).

    I liked the idea behind the script, but I'm afraid it totally failed to engage me. As with making a film, you need to create some sort of empathy with one or more of the characters. This is rather tricky when your characters are Maurice White and friends ***. I don't think the story would capture the imagination of children and I think it was too juvenile for an adult audience. Sorry (I appreciate this must hurt as I suspect you spent many long hours agonising over the story)

    However this is not to say that it was a total failure. I'd certainly try the story telling concept again, but with a different story.

    As others have said, the soundscape was very good. It fitted very well and I found it rather unusual, which is a rarity these days.

    So definitely a worthwhile exercise. Keep working on the story writing - if you progress as rapidly as you have done in filmmaking you won't be getting crits like for long!

    *** for our younger forum members (probably anyone under forty), Maurice White was the founder of a popular music act in the 70s. Google it for the relavance.

    EDIT: I meant to say, perhaps a touch of reverb on the narration would give it more presence?

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