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Thread: The Irredeemables | S.T.A.L.K.E.R short film

  1. #1
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    Default The Irredeemables | S.T.A.L.K.E.R short film

    Hello everyone. It's finally here.

    The Irredeemables is a film that has been in production for many months now. It was shot last year, but scheduling with out composer proved problematic and soundtrack couldn't be finished until now. I made a thread about this earlier giving some basic information, so I'll quote myself;

    "Whether you have noticed it or not, I have always tried to incorporate the feedback you have given me to the next project I'm working on. Around the time of Doppelgänger you mentioned it might be time to ditch the non-verbal narrative and try to bring back vocal acting. Other thing that has constantly been mentioned is getting other people involved in the projects, aka getting more actors. Among other things that have been popping up is giving greater emphasis to plot and lesser to VFX. I have tried improve many of these aspects with The Irredeemables.

    The Irredeemables is roughly 11 minutes long short film inspired by The Roadside Picnic and especially it's deriative works (S.T.A.L.K.E.R game series). For those unfamiliar with the setting, it takes place after fictional "second" nuclear accident in Chernobyl area, essentially bringing some supernatural elements and whole bunch of human greed together in a bit like modern wild west setting."

    That should be all you need to know prior to seeing the film. I would like to thank everyone in advance, your feedback in the past has proved valuable and had an effect when planning this film. It's a bit longer than my usual shorts (rougly 13 minutes with end credits), hope you manage to sit through it. All feedback is welcome and I'd once again like to hear your opinions. Feel free to ask questions.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33A3nSYAIw8

    Thanks for watching.

  2. #2
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    I think you captured the mood and pacing of Tartovsky's film (Сталкер) but I don't remember a lot of shooting in it (although it's been a while since I saw it)

    Very well filmed

    the dialogue would have been more natural in Finnish than in English - add subtitles if you feel you need to

  3. #3

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    The first thing I noticed is the production value seems a lot higher than some of your earlier movies. I don't know if this was down to having a larger cast or the locations but to me it just felt an over all better quality.

    I can't say the story gripped me but I'm not really the right demographic for this sort of film. I thought the whole thing had been well shot and looked good. The audio was also well done especially the Foley fitted in very well with the images. The only thing that would have improved the piece would be a more neutral sounding VO I was conscious of hearing room ambiance when I first heard it.

    The visual effects all worked with may be one exception the very round bullet holes in the floor at 7:25.

    All in all a very well produced piece. Well Done to all involved

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    Thanks, Zam. The shooting part would be more relevant to deriative works (S.T.A.L.K.E.R game series were somewhat action oriented). There is kind of division among the crew when it comes to which Stalker works we prefer; me and Viktor (actor portraying Rex) are more fans of the games, Uine (AD, camera operator, The Mother of All Men) is fan of the 1979 film and Tommi (Drago) is not too familiar with Stalker, but enjoys post-apocalyptic settings.

    I'm hoping our english was not too bad. It sounds like eastern accent to most native speakers, but not exactly the right eastern accent for the location of the film. I have never really written Finnish narration or dialogue; I consider writing english to be a lot easier in film. There is enormous difference in spoken Finnish versus written Finnish. Spoken Finnish doesn't really fit characters I create and written Finnish sounds too dictionaryish for anyone to speak and still remain respectable character. I have great respect for those who write films in Finnish and manage to remain convincing, I consider it a hard craft.

    Forgot to mention in my initial post; our composer was David J. St-Hill. He is a composer for film, television and video games, based in South West of United Kingdom. This is my second collaboration with him. I feel his music has added extra value to my films, it's always privilege for amateur filmmaker to work with a real composer. You can check out his website at www.djshmusic.com or hear samples at his Youtube page (http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbKJmVF2cpGqkoPUfEmDYhg).

    '*EDIT*

    Midnight Blue managed to post while I was typing. Thanks for the feedback! I was worried about the quality of the voice over, we ended up using less-than-ideal equipment while recording it. I can clearly hear the static noise in the recordings, but you are the first one to point it out (which has been a bit of relief for me).
    Last edited by SSCinema; 02-21-2014 at 10:39 AM.

  5. #5

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    I liked the character introduction and their properties that made them easy to differ.

    Unfortunately you had some reverb in the sound recording (and I noticed this before reading the other comments). A room with more cloth might have given you a better sound but it wasn't too bad. I recently put my mic into a cardboard box with some T-Shirts and I was quite satisfied with the result.

    Furthermore did I miss at least some spoken words by the characters. The "I want him alive" was really refreshing when it finally came but the scout in the introduction e.g could have said something like "This way" or "Only one hour ahead".

    Gun VFX would have looked better if some fake recoil was acted and the blood effects could need improvement (use some "real" fake blood).

    A short expalanation why he was in that building (searching for something, in need for shelter, ...) would have been nice. Give the story some motivation.

    I didn't notice any bad accent in your English but I am not a native speaker myself ...

    The "you have to be quick" flashback and how it turned out was nice. Overall I really enjoyed the video. You really imprived. Thanks for sharing.

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    I'd agree with the positives that have been posted above. I didn't really mind the accent although the voice did appear a little fake - in that he sounded like he was trying to speak in a deeper voice than he would naturally.

    The effects were OK although the ceiling fell in rather slowly!

    Sadly the film failed to grip me. Don't get me wrong it had it's moments - the "flashback" as XXLRay put it really caught me out - the protagonist being too slow and getting shot was a surprise and then you gave us the second twist - playing dead. Nicely done. The other bit I liked was the woman appearing. This worked well. Why? Because it added visual interest.

    For an awful lot of the film nothing happens. We see some characters and you tell us a lot of background, but all the exposition is like this. This is film/video, its a visual medium - the old adage "Show, don't tell" applies. So, my problem was with the plot/script rather than the filming. I agree with the comment above that the first live action spoken line came as a breath of fresh air.

    I loved the location. You seem to find many like this. Is Finland really all abandoned concrete monstrosities?

    I also liked what yo did with the credits. Apart from repeating yours and Uine's names several hundred times. I'm sure you did all that stuff but it looks like an ego trip. The general assumption when watching a small group production such as this is that anything not specifically credited is handled by the producer and/or director.
    Tim

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    Ray, good to hear your opinions. I'd say you're right about there being too much narration from the Prophet vs too little vocal effort from the bandits. We tend to be somewhat self-concious about our english pronounciation and the person doing the voice of the Prophet (Elias) is usually considered to be the most fluent among us. In the past that has lead to scenarios "ok, we'll let Elias do most of the talking and other ones don't really have that many lines". I'd guess I reverted to old habits here, with Rex and Drago only having two lines. (Tim, you might be surprised how deep the narrators voice really sounds, that was pretty much his normal speech pattern)

    Blood is something that is problematic. We've had many talks about using some kind of fake blood instead of VFX, but it often boils down to questions of practicality. There were only two actors portraying bandits and there were only two "bandit uniforms" which we altered with different weapons, backpacks and masks. Messing one up with fake blood meant every bandit would be bloody from that point on. We could of course wash the clothes and continue on another day, but it was surprisingly hard to schedule all four of us on abandoned factory on the same day during daylight. "Real" blood might have added value to the end result, but it would have also doubled our scheduling problems and budget.

    Quote Originally Posted by TimStannard View Post
    For an awful lot of the film nothing happens. We see some characters and you tell us a lot of background, but all the exposition is like this. This is film/video, its a visual medium - the old adage "Show, don't tell" applies.
    Tim, that's perfectly valid point and has been even worse in some of my films in the past (in times before finding this forum). I obviously write the narration and dialogue prior to the filming, but sometimes I find myself with piece of narration that doesn't really have anything useful going on on the visual side (but still don't want to take that part out of the script). In those times I find myself making a short scene longer in order to fit all vocal narration in. Most don't find it all that cumbersome, but I do see your point.

    I too loved the location. For me it was just perfect for this one. Everything was trashed, there was glass and debris everywhere and many rooms to choose from. It used to be old gasplant, I believe, but has been abandoned for the last ten years. I wouldn't say Finland is full of these, but every country has abandoned locations if you know where to look from. I've seen videos of some pretty majestic looking abandoned buildings in the UK. This one I simply spotted while sitting on a train (the sound you hear as The Prophet prepares to turn around and shoot Drago is actually a train passing by, not a sound effect).

    When it comes to credit... Well, I'd guess I'm guilty as charged, but it's not simply egoistic reasons. I like to give credit where credit is due, so I take great care in listing what other people have done for me. When I have people credited for all kinds of (sometimes little) tasks, it wouldnt feel coherent to just list me as director. Other reason is that I like to list my films on IMDb under short films and there you should only credit people as they were credited on the film. Minor reason why I mention things that might not otherwise be worth mentioning. But I'm glad you found credits visually interesting. I've always had assumption people simply click away when white text starts rolling on black background, so I try to make them more visually interesting. David's music doesn't exactly hurt either.

    Thank you both.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by SSCinema View Post
    We could of course wash the clothes and continue on another day, but it was surprisingly hard to schedule all four of us on abandoned factory on the same day during daylight. "Real" blood might have added value to the end result, but it would have also doubled our scheduling problems and budget.
    No need for excuses. I am not blaming you and know such difficulties. It was just an idea to add some improvement. Maybe just think about making the last shot of the day bloody or a close-up of fake blood hitting the wall.

  9. #9
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    I've had this habbit of creating visual effects breakdown of my films. The Irredeemables was relatively light on vfx usage, but I did one nonetheless. It might not offer that much to you guys (mostly basic compositing like cloning and ejected shells), but here's the link anyway:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lmz2VlLffQc

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