View Full Version : Abandon Hope

09-26-2013, 06:58 PM
It's been a while but I'm in. Hope I can finish in time; script is half way there.76860

Leads: Matt Gleeson to the left and Kumar Jonnalagadda to the right.77419

Finally submitted. Took us 32 days to turn my rough script into a 9 minute film. It has been a fun ride.
Thanks for the kind words everyone. Good luck to all the entries.

We used limited equipment but I did build a simple slider for two shots.

Stephen Mick
09-26-2013, 07:05 PM
Whoa. Love the imagery. Can't wait to see this!

09-26-2013, 08:37 PM
Very cool. Welcome!

Matthew B
09-26-2013, 08:40 PM
Only about a month to go. Better get cracking. Nice poster BTW.

09-26-2013, 11:39 PM
I like it! Please get this done....can't wait to check it out. Space is a scary place!

10-14-2013, 01:09 PM
Love the poster! Really look forward to seeing how you film this one...

10-14-2013, 05:51 PM
Good luck! Love the poster!

10-16-2013, 08:37 AM
Added a shot of the two leads in wardrobe. 2 more filming days before I can finish editing. Can't wait to see everyone's entries.

Marlon Ladd
10-17-2013, 11:17 AM
Good luck, guys. When do you film again?

10-30-2013, 06:28 AM
Missed your message until now, Marlon. My last film day was 10/25.

32 days from script to screen. It's been a lot of fun and a lot of work. Looking forward to all the entries.

Hawk Teflon
11-03-2013, 05:06 PM

What I liked: The opening shot was fantastic. Really great stuff there. For the most part, the storyline was good. I think the ending dialogue was good, as well, revealing how the sickness (or whatnot) could set up for more of a story.

What I didn't like as much: I think what hurt the most on this was the acting. It felt as though the main guys were just kind of reading a script. There wasn't much emotion to what they were going through. It also seemed like they were just firing shots here and there at something, but we aren't even sure what it is that they're firing at. The orange triggers on the black guns instantly made me think "Nerf," too.

Matthew B
11-05-2013, 02:14 AM
Once again, Hawk has covered pretty much everything I wanted to say.
The acting and dialogue was definitely very wooden and forced.

I absolutely loved the opening shot, reminded me of Aliens.

11-06-2013, 10:13 AM
Thanks for the feedback, guys.

The lead researcher is new to being in front of a camera. His first time actually. I feel like I can coax more emotion out of my actors with a more stern directorial hand. It is sometimes difficult to handle cinematography and directing even if it is your own script.

Thanks for the compliments on the opening shot. I'm learning more and more about AE and using the amazing plugins and tutorials from Video Copilot to achieve the look I want. I cut everything in Premiere and did all post, special effects, and coloring in AE. As I improve my cinematography, I hope to bring my writing and direction up to par.

Bring on the critiques, everyone. I have a thick skin; let me have it.

11-06-2013, 01:16 PM
One thing I think you might consider is improving the VFX of the ship landing. It's kind of weak, but doesn't have to be. My advice, get a copy of DAZ Studio. It's free. Mac and PC. It reads Poser models, which there are thousands of very-high quality TV/Film level models available. Yes high end 3D users might laugh at you, but they are just kidding themselves. It really is the best low-cost filmmaking tool out there today.

Get the software here:

For your film I'd consider buying this 3D model, I think his art style goes with your outfits and intro effects:

$20 for a very detailed 3D model is a bargain.

The only drawback of DAZ Studio is it doesn't support animated backdrops (yet), so it's a bit tricky to create renders that need a movie in the background. But it will render out the frames just fine and you can assemble them in AE or Premiere or Whatever.

As for the rest of the film, it would have been nice to see the creatures attacking. But that's a tough one. I didn't really understand why there was a building on an unexplored planet. Might have made more sense to go to a cave. Or maybe some sort of tent/camp? Not sure on that one.

Still I enjoyed the sci-fi theme, it was a nice change from the rest of the shorts.

11-07-2013, 12:38 PM
Thanks for the critique, Matt S. I started making the model of the landing ship as part of the main ship that was shown in the beginning. I wanted to paint it and give it more detail and add actual atmospheric effects to the animation but ran out of time. I do all of my modeling in SolidWorks since I am a design engineer in my spare 40+ hours a week, haha. Can I paint .obj files in daz3d? Element3d is great but limited when it comes to texturing your models.

I originally wanted to build upon the fact that there was a man made structure on the planet. Hinting at the fact that the "infection" turned all intelligent life on the planet to mindless animals, but I decided to leave out the complexity and allow the viewer to ponder why there would be a man made structure. I feel like I should have built up the reveal of this a bit more.

11-07-2013, 03:47 PM
Can I paint .obj files in daz3d? Element3d is great but limited when it comes to texturing your models.

DAZ is only a render/animation package. It has no modeling or texturing features. You have to build (or buy) your models with something else. I mostly just buy models. The commercial Poser marketplaces are pretty amazing, very low prices (compared to most high-end 3d model stores) and ridiculous high quality (textured, fully rigged animatable models for a few dollars, licensed for pretty much any film/video/cinematic use). It's a great shortcut if you don't have a team of modelers and texture artists to make things.

For modeling I use Lightwave and ZBrush. For textures Photoshop mostly, though I hope to use ZBrush for that someday. But the learning curve on ZBrush is kind of high.

Poser models (which work in DAZ Studio) are .obj based and in theory should work in Element3D (which I don't have but think it looks pretty cool). DS will also export models as .obj (if they aren't in that format already) which can be very handy to using them as starting points in Lightwave. I suspect they could also be used in Element3D the same way.

11-08-2013, 03:36 PM
Loved the opening and heck the ending was great. The acting wasn't so great. The human buildings kinda killed the feel it was on an alien planet. But damn I like me some sci-fi! Good Job!

11-09-2013, 12:21 PM
Two words (quietly): Pew... Pew...
I felt the problem with this one was there was no intensity to it, something it definitely could have benefitted from. The actors seemed like hey were just reading the lines and half-heartedly blocking out the scene as they went. I felt with some better and more clear directing, this could have been a more solid piece.
I do appreciate though that you went for sci-fi, that's always a tough one to pull off, and one I havnt tried yet. Plus the camerawork was nice and clean.
Thanks for sharing and best of luck with the next one! :)

Jack Daniel Stanley
11-11-2013, 10:16 PM
What an opening - is George Clooney in this? Great space shot.

Nice desperate vibe on the planet.
Classic Scifi Twilight Zone feel - 2 or just 1 guy alone on a planet talking to tinny voice from a distant ship or Earth.

One suggestion on the unseen critters - maybe do a POV shot from one of their perspectives - rushing up to bite Sanjay on the leg then cut to him falling and the other guy shooting.

The critter POV could add a lot when he has to run off and leave Sanjay, motivate it well, add action suspense.


Didnít see it coming when Sanjeev showed up at the end. Nicely shot and revealed when he just steps out of form behind the other Research in his closeup. Real Oh shit! movement.

Like that he tries to kill himself but heís out of ammo.

END VO suggestion - after you cut to black - they donít have confirmation of survivors, guy says he has a visual. Then we hear the red headed researchers calm measured voice confirming heís OK and ready for pickup. So the idea is that the horror will spread to the ship etc. Not exactly sure what these creatures are and if they can talk or reason but maybe that could be cool?

Nice job!

12-20-2013, 04:53 PM

Abandon Hope... so from the darkness emerges our rather elegant titles and a cute little FX shot! It's convincing and kinda cool then BANG!!!! We're slammed with the two most relaxed office/IT looking workers imaginable, firing their pistols with the same intensity as a drunk couch potato flicks through cable stations.... "Oh yeah the food network..." BANG.... "Oh... is that Ross from friends?" BANG

Each of the actors hold their pistols like limp penises, as a Caucasian male in his 50s might at the Bunny Ranch before an impatient looking prostitute.

That is what you did to my eyes! Then Sanjay... says “find shelter... FIND SHELTER” channeling the ancient spirit and voice of Kermit the Frog! Yep that's what was done to my ears, spoken with the relaxed indifference that can only be achieved usually by working in the British civil service all your life. ;)

Or... “I wish that son of a bitch would come down here and get eaten by these things... whatever they are...' with the same level of dread an IT worker might express at the prospect of working ordinary office hours with an only slightly malfunctioning coffee machine... probably just because it needs a filter replaced or something... Nothing feels serious here in fact.

NOTHING SERIOUS! Where is the dread? The terror? Where is the absolute god inducing nightmare of nightmares? In a fight against almost certain death our characters say...

“like uh... what the hell are these things anyway?”

The answer? BLACK FURBIES!

Not to mention the most unconvincing 'collapsing into sleepy exhaustion' scene ever! EVER!!!!

Or the relaxed “Sanjay are you okay” reaction towards the staggering and clearly zomblie-like/infected health risk! Or my personal favourite... the “Bummer dude” reaction poor Sanjay gets from his mate after being bitten and infected... with a death sentence... by the dark furry haggis!

Hehehe so all a bit silly – the performances and the modest effects. It's worth avoiding the use of digital effects (demon face warp / blood particles) in an actual short film unless it looks good.

When your eyeballs were on the edit, did you think to ask your mates over... 'dudes... come around guys... f***ing check out my blood fx shot... this is better than an orgasm right? Am I right guys? Am I?'

Now... the story is actually SOLID as is the concept. It's good and simple enough to work as a suspense sci-fi drama, but where it's let down enormously is the lack of direction/performance/dialogue and cheesy blood effects.

Most importantly, when an actor holds a gun, it's like holding an erect penis, you do it because you have business to attend to... you don't just flop it about like it don't mean s*%t... because... it doesn't look too impressive does it? (Unless it's a lasso at a fetish saloon somewhere!)

So overall bro, I applaud the ambition and liked the concept/premise for the story. It's solid enough, but please, PLEASE work on direction/actors and dialogue for them.

Keep it up man! Thanks for contributing to the festival - your film was incidentally, entertaining.