View Full Version : In The Machine

03-04-2007, 04:42 AM
+++++++ EDIT: December 30, 2007. Here's a link to the final film, 52mb. http://blip.tv/file/568565/ ++++++++++++

++++++ We'll here's my entry, missing shots, fx all kinds off stuff. this is only about half way done, haven't even cc'd. Guess i'll have to wait to next fest now.


############ SCROLL DOWN FOR MORE SCREEN GRABS ############


Director: I. T. Wills
Editor: I. T. Wills
VFX: I. T. Wills
Camera: I. T. Wills
Sound: Stephen Holland


Bobby - Damon
Ray Jnr - Jim Kelly
Johnathan - Ric
Brick - Dane
Ox - Matt

To be shot on HVX + Brevis35 CF3 with Canon Fd lenses. Will vary between tripod/skateboard/wheelchair/handheld (haven't made a damn steadicam yet!).

Sound: Oktava MK012a (99% of it) + Sony ecm shotgun.


03-04-2007, 04:45 AM
Ok I'm finally getting off my butt as March has just passed me by. Will have script locked in next couple days. Looking at actors in the next week or two (probably using some fellas in town that do mixed martial arts). This movies' GONNA HURT to watch!

-- April 6, 2007. Script is complete, very happy with it. Storyboarding like a madman now.

-- May 5, Shot for about 4-5 hrs. Got most the movie done, have to schedule about another 3hrs in the next few days. Almost the entire cast, save the 'older' man Jim, playing Ray Jnr were cast either on the day of filming or 2 or 3 days out. Thank god for friends of friends.

Filming went pretty well. We went with a VERY basic (not quiet enough!) lighting setup. Pretty much using fixed 4 x 500wt lights and 2 fluros as practicals and one or two more 500wt lights for fill/backlight. I couldn't be fussy, I just had to get the shots. No expense was spared on effects either (1 bottle tomato sauce). And, as per usual, I threw my storyboards out the window. Hopefully will get to use my wheelchair dolly when shooting the next part, which works out ok as the start is more handheld anyways. Here's some pics, basic cc'd.

-- That's Damon top left then clockwise, Ric, Ric with Jim, Matt, Ric.

Norm Sanders
03-04-2007, 05:54 PM
Ooooh, the Brevis ... I wanna see what this adapter can do in the right hands. I've heard good things, very good things. Best to you on this, tmnt!

03-04-2007, 07:55 PM
Thanks mate, it should look very nice. I'll be doing vfx in after effects too. Spyfest - what a cool theme!

-- That's Dane playing character 'Brick' bottom left and yes I won't use this take obviously! And yes, it was THE BEST TAKE.

03-13-2007, 03:14 PM
Anything? The Teenage Mutent Turtle Ninja movie thing is coming out soon.

Tom Marshall
03-13-2007, 05:13 PM
Hey tmnt, good luck! Make it about a guitar player... :)

03-15-2007, 07:28 PM
Can't wait for the turtles movie, man it's gonna be good (pitty bout transformer though, may be bad). I'm 25 and still collect turtles figures. Damn you eBay.

Ha, yeah Tommy. Maybe the spy has ESP and his code could be M350. Tommy, aren't you doing a flick?

Looks like I might go with a harda$$ spy for this one, trying to get my lead now, have someone in mind. I've never shot action so can't wait!

03-15-2007, 07:50 PM

Good luck. Hope your find the perfect leading role actor. I know how tough if is to get good help. Especially if you're like me and paying them with just a thank you.

I envy your Brevis. I want to get one of those. How do u like yours? how is the barrell distortion on the edges of the picture. I've seen some of them that look pretty noticable and some are not so bad. From what I've investigated, Looks like the brevis is the cream of the crop! Right?

03-17-2007, 09:38 PM
Yeah rip, I'm in a pretty small town when it comes to film interest so hopefully this lead will work out.

The brevis is awesome, played around with it for a couple hours yesterday trying out different lenses. I have a 24mm canon fd and it gives a great picture with no real distortion. My 200mm zoom lense vignettes but I have to finetune the ground glass much better, it should be pretty useable then. Brevis is very quick to set up.

Dennis Wood
03-17-2007, 10:10 PM
Tm, we're about 2 weeks from having our next-gen CF2 and CF3 imaging elements in stock. These will seriously improve performance of the adapter with your 200mm :-)

03-18-2007, 11:14 PM
Hey Dennis, hope things are good. Yeah I have the CF3, hopefully I'll do it justice! I'm surprised by my two zoom lenses, they're nothing special but are very useable. What's your thoughts on zooms?

05-07-2007, 09:02 AM
Please post, I'm lonely.

DJ Lewis
05-07-2007, 10:47 AM
Lonely? I'm not sure why with all those killer grabs you've posted. I have to admit I'm a bit on the jealous side.

Ted Arabian
05-07-2007, 10:51 AM
haha! I'll post!

I like your screen grabs... especially that one of the gun (in the bottom of the first set).

05-07-2007, 11:11 AM
Thanks dudes!

The films cutting together pretty well, I'm going to try and fly thru it. There's spikes of light in some shots which is to be expected but it doesn't really detract at all from it, kinds of adds to the 'down and dirty' feel.

Hey Theodore, it's impossible to have a gun pointing at someone and not do that 70's kind of shot!

Mark T. Aro
05-07-2007, 11:38 AM
TMNT... good looking thread. I really like the overall look and feel! :thumbup:

Norm Sanders
05-08-2007, 01:09 PM
Hey Ian, looking forward to this ... sorry the thread got lonely for a while ... I've learned there's a bit of an art to keeping folks checking back on yours with little updates, teasers, etc. I learned that stuff from the pros like Jack, Ted/Mark, etc. :) Looking forward to seeing this ... looks like it'll be fun from what I can see in the grabs. :thumbsup:

05-09-2007, 02:21 AM
Yeah Norm next fest I'm going to do a teaser poster and keep people updated.

How long is it normally between fests? I reckon next one should be 'buddyfest', think die hard 3, coen and tate, e.t.

05-20-2007, 01:24 AM
Looking good. Can't wait for this one.

05-20-2007, 01:43 AM
Thanks D, we just shot a little more footage a couple days ago, I've still got some more to get so I'm running very much out of time. 1 of the actors I need is out of town until the 28th so I'll just clean up the edit as much as possible and whack the shots in there. There's a bit of VFX stuff to do also so I'd better start drinking coffee.

05-22-2007, 10:42 AM
Computer went stupid - lost a night formatting and putting my programs back on. Full steam ahead again.

05-22-2007, 03:04 PM
Glad it wasn't a total disaster. I take it your media drive/s weren't affected, and hopefully you have your latest edit/project file backed up.

I do a save in FCP about every 5 minutes. Seriously.

05-23-2007, 12:49 AM
Yeah everything was saved on ext. drive, I do it religiously too and also back up that save file to another drive. Such a pain in the a$$ though to put all programs back on.

DJ Lewis
05-23-2007, 11:46 AM
Glad you got everything back online... feeling the deadline crunch yet?

05-23-2007, 01:38 PM
Oh yeah, I'm feeling the deadline coming fast. I really need another after deadline but I'll see how I go. This short was good for me as it's the first time I've really done something with the hvx and brevis. Can't wait for the next comp now though because I'm going to put a lot more time in and I'll shoot it so all lenses are at their best and with good lights, that said I still think my entry should be alright.

Good luck to everyone - make that deadline!

chris f
06-04-2007, 07:43 PM
Standard Disclaimer: I have yet to see a bad film in this fest. Congratulations to every film maker, everyone did a great job. All my comments and criticisms are meant to be constructive and helpful and in no way am I trying to take anything away from what you accomplished.

Good: The older guy did a good acting job. I liked the way you jolted right into the film with some action. Really liked the quick dolly shot onto the guy's face. Enjoyed the accents.

Not as Good: Some technical stuff (audio dropouts, interlacing/ghosting, the tape on the guy's mouth wasn't all the way on in one shot, etc.) I thought the older actor was the best part of the film, but wearing blue jeans took away some of the believability/ officialness of the character. Things seemed a little too easy for the main character seeing as he was in handcuffs and others had guns.

06-05-2007, 02:19 AM
Hey chris f, thanks for your comment, really appreciated.

Yeah the old guy, Jim Kelly is quiet a good actor, I'm sure I'll be using him in the future. And you're dead right about him wearing jeans, my bad though, I didn't tell him exactly what to wear.

In regards to interlacing, the film was shot 1080 24pa, I just haven't had much time to play with getting compression ok yet.

I'm color correcting as we speak and getting those light spikes to look pretty decent. I'll post a final version in a couple weeks in the user films section, I think it'll come up pretty good.

Noel Evans
06-05-2007, 04:57 AM
Hey mate. Well done on getting an entry in. Still some work to do on the audio and cc, youll get it right.

Was Jonathan meant to be comic relief? As an aussie - the way he spoke etc and his lines - "then all of a sudden whoosh a big fn bird..... " I laughed.

06-05-2007, 05:54 AM
Good to see a fellow aussie. Nah Jonathan wasn't supposed to be comic relief but I'm going to get his voice over work and the line where he says 'you broke my nose' again (as well as another filler line there to make the scene work). The person who played him was out of town and got back after entries had to be submitted so I just had to put whatever I had in there. That flashback to the swamp will also become 1 steadicam shot now as I just got my glidecam 4000.

Only the old dude was an actor, all the other guys were friends of friends with only a couple days notice so they did pretty well.

How's Tokyo going? I'd love to go.

Ted Arabian
06-05-2007, 07:43 AM
Good job on your film. I liked many aspects of it though I was confused by the "repeated" sequence.

I thought that the fight sequence had some great work in them but lacked sound fx. I wanted more "wham" in those hits! I also thought that the first guy to take a blow (with the head butt from the rear) needed an insert shot showing us a close-up of this. I missed it the first 2 times.

I like the sequences with the guy in the chair. Some nice shots there!

Liked what you did! Would like to have heard some lines better.

Good job!



06-05-2007, 08:15 AM
Right on Theo, all you're comments I'm working on. For the 'repeated' sequence as the hero is about to disappear into the night I'll do maybe a butterfly effect kind of effect where the background shakes and then reverse footage, pausing on some frames.

I did have an insert of the dude that gets headbutted, can't remember what happened to it, maybe shot was a bad take. Come to think of it I might actually get that insert for the final version as I have to get that actor back for v.o. work anyways. Where the hero gets hit with the butt of the gun and we cut to black is also pretty bad/confusing but it was the best take I had.

I have a few new inserts of the dude in the chair that I'll throw into the final version that look pretty nice too.

Matt Sconce
06-05-2007, 09:32 AM
I loved the potential in this movie. The starting jump knee was a cool touch. I also liked the way the character got a hold of guns. At first I was wondering why he made a lame excape attempt and then I saw what he had really done during it. Very cool.

I can tell this is not finished and it will be nice to see it when it is. :-) I would sweetne and raise the volume of the audio, add sound FX, and deinterlace, drop some color grading and it will rock.

06-05-2007, 09:45 AM
thanks dude, yeah that flying knee is pretty cool, it's 48f then 60f then back to 48f in the same shot. In the final version I'll slow down the preceeding shot to the 48f or so and maybe instead of going back to 48 maybe got straight to 24. If you look closely the actually jump with the wrong knee but you don't notice on the first viewing ;)

The three younger guys in the movie are all into mixed martial arts so I'm going to have to do a kick a$$ fight scene with them all. Out the back of my place is a garage with a cement roof, I'm thinking of shooting it at night with just highlights hitting the fighters then comp that with a skyscraper or something.

So glad you got how he pick pocketed the guns, the bad guys make reference to him pick pocketing so they should know better. Wasn't sure if it came across ok.

Michael Anthony Horrigan
06-05-2007, 09:58 AM
Some nice shots! This just needs some polish, especially on the audio.

I would love to see the finished product.



06-05-2007, 12:16 PM
I didn't notice the pick pocket till I read about it. Rockin fight choreography! Loved the fight scenes!

06-05-2007, 01:05 PM
Good fight sequences. I think those just need to be cut tighter to make them really fly. Obviously you are still working on this one, but so far so good.

Thanks for screening.

06-05-2007, 01:25 PM
You have all the elements here and are well on your way. I'll echo John's comment above that I felt the opening fight scene could be cut tighter. I felt there were too many pauses in between punches/kicks/etc.

Let us know if/when you've done more work on this. I'd like to see how it evolves.

06-05-2007, 01:42 PM
Thanks guys. When I put some killer sfx in for the fight scenes (ie. breaking celery) it'll help a lot too.

For those wondering, when bobby kicks 'something' toward the big guy (ox) which apparently hits him in the face - that's going to be a CG baton (the one that hit the floor earlier).

06-05-2007, 01:46 PM
Thanks guys. When I put some killer sfx in for the fight scenes (ie. breaking celery) it'll help a lot too.

For those wondering, when bobby kicks 'something' toward the big guy (ox) which apparently hits him in the face - that's going to be a CG baton (the one that hit the floor earlier).

That's cool! Phew, now that I know it's a baton, that makes a lot more sense. I thought maybe he had kicked some greasy sand in his face, which was kind of funny. :)

Noel Evans
06-05-2007, 08:23 PM
Nah Jonathan wasn't supposed to be comic relief

Don't get me wrong. From an Aussie perspective his speech etc is quite natural for a particular kind of character. Caught me a bit by surprise also as I havent heard anyone talk like that in a few years (since I came to Tokyo).

06-05-2007, 10:33 PM
This entry held my interest. The beginning action sequence was pretty sweet, although i was a little confused by the double-take before the credits.

i like the camera work and the action.

the interlacing was a bit distracting.

oh, and i think the audio needs much work.

but as it's been said this is a work in progress.

i'd be interested in seeing a finished product sometime.


06-08-2007, 12:37 AM
Thanks aravance, I'm getting closer to a finished product. Mostly done CCing then I'll shave a few frames off the fight sequence and clean up the audio, among other things.

06-09-2007, 04:57 PM
This was yet another beautifully lit entry. Maybe some of the best acting in this fest, every actor was absolutely convincing. I'm assuming these actors are professionals? Their deliveries were perfect, I could have been watching Law & Order or some big TV production. Good dialogue, too, good script.

A couple of negatives: I was glad to see audio that wasn't obviously ADR'd, but at times it was hard to hear the dialogue. The other thing, and this has nothing to do with the film itself, is that the compression leaves much to be desired - it was jaggy/interlaced for me. No other shorts have suffered from this, so I'll assume it has to do with the codec you used?

Anyways, great short, great atmosphere, and using lights as part of the scene was very clever.

06-10-2007, 02:10 AM
wow, thanks garriel, made my day.

I'll definately tell my mates you thought the acting was great. The only actor in their was the older guy. The rest of the dudes are mates or friends of friends. They only had a week or in a couple of cases one day or the day of filming to 'prepare' so they all did great.

I'll let you know when I have a final version of the film.

06-10-2007, 11:34 AM
My Thoughts:

hehehe I thought that guy was having a herina. :) I wasn't a big fan of the zooms and the action sequences needed a little more work to make them believable. For instance.. the guy is holding his nose with a gun and the duct taped dude stands up and uses his elbow to swangle the gun away. It just seemed like they were just playing in a basement with a video camera.

Acting. ouch. I did however dig the Pirate guy.. "Hello Bobby.." Thought he was bout to to say.. "Ehhllloo poppet.." :)

Sound.. GIVE Those guns some UMPH! Crank it up right up with the music and that last scene would have been sold.

looking forward to seeing your next entry.


Norm Sanders
06-10-2007, 12:00 PM
tmnt, I only read the posts on this page, and saw immediately that this is still a work in progress, so I understand that many of the things I'm going to address may already be fixed in your edit, or are going to be addressed ... that said, I'll still give you my impressions after just watching this.

Oh, and I see the opinion on the acting is WILDLY different, as one person is raving about the performances (every actor in it), while others not to much. Wow, this stuff is sooo subjective!

This film has SO MUCH FREAKING POTENTIAL!! The premise is great, and the story/script didn't seem too bad either. But the acting absolutely killed it for me, followed up by the editing. The best actor by far (and actually pretty good) was the older man, who appeared to be the leader. The other, however (including when we didn't see him & it was only his VO) needed serious work, sorry.

The editing could have REALLY increased things here. Aside from the distracting interlaced issues that have already been noted, look at BATMAN BEGINS for examples on how to make a fight scene extremely visceral. Don't show us the entire fight move unless it is EXTREMELY spot on & professional. If you DO show it, then try speeding it up 20% or more in post ... not enough to make it unrealistic, but enough to speed up to look quick & agile. Another cool thing you could have done was to really play with the velocity here ... just as he goes to make a move, CRANK the speed up to 500% or something, and then as he's in the middle of the move (or near finishing it), SLAM it over the course of one frame back to half speed, etc. This will make the action pop that much more & make some of the moves more believable, aside from just really cool to watch.

The double thing at the beginning also bugged me, as I thought something was wrong with the player. I also didn't understand that we saw him escape in the beginning, but then he's caught again? So was the beginning actually the end? But if so, why is he in cuffs again, and this time with tape over his mouth?

Lastly, the CC ... seemed too washed out for me. If you're still going to CC, see about doing a 24P conversion to this (or even 30P), just to see if you can get rid of the distracting interlaced issue.

Again, STRONG potential with this ... very strong.

06-10-2007, 01:42 PM
I agree that their is a lot of potential here but also agree that the acting with the exception of the older gentleman, the sound, and the interlacing were all highly problematic for me.

Also confused on the double take thing at the beginning. If that is supposed to be what he imagens happening and then what actually happens then you need some sound design and clearer understanding / implementation of the vocaubulary that tells us that someone is just imagining what we just saw - namely you have to begin and end with a medium or cloesup of the imaginer ... if you just cut back and loop the sequence again beginning with the shot of the guy saying "you broke my nose" you don't give us any clue there as to what is going on. But if you cut back to the main guys closeup or POV then we know it is something he saw or is imagining ... it might help to push into him a bit before the whole sequence starts to further suggest that it is in his head. Depending on how far you want to go there are also flash dissolves and swoosh sound design FX that can assist you as well.

I liked the raw lighting look and flares and with some CC pushing the blacks down into black (which will help the noise as well) or even crushing the blacks, then you will have an exceptional looking piece.

Gotta get that interlacing outta there. I saw you shot on an HVX and I'm curious as to how you managed it actually. Did you shoot 60i? If you post back with what you are editing on and what mode you shot in I can maybe direct you towards some plugins and stuff for the interlacing and CC.

But mostly I appreciated the gritty feel here and enjoyed the ride.

Thanks for screening this bad boy :beer:

06-12-2007, 10:43 PM
Hey thanks guys, everything you've mentioned I'm working on.

Edgen, good call with the pirate line, that's exactly what I thought.

Hey Norm, really dig you sig. I'm working on a little speed ramping but there's not much speeding up I can do as the action just won't register with the viewer. I did chop a few frames out the fight scene.

Keystoned, I shot 1080 24pa but the interlaced is nothing more than bad, bad compression, I just ran out of time to do it again.

I've mostly finished CC'ing now. I darkened it a bit with contrast/brightness controls in edius and have given it a slight green tinge, I shoulda went with a clean white/blue but alas, I've come too far.

Looking forward to showing you all the final cut.

Robbie Comeau
12-30-2007, 11:07 AM
Cool little short, nice coloring.

I liked the shots also.

Cool fight scenes to, looked awesome!

12-30-2007, 02:11 PM
Thanks a lot Como. The CC could have been much better though as I only started playing with curves after I finished it.

12-30-2007, 07:47 PM
liked the cinempotography but the sound needs some major work..... at almost every cut i could hear the audio cut or pop out... it was really distracting and took away a lot from the atmosphere that you were tying to create. all you need is some room tone and cross fades and it should fix the audio problem....

some of the action shots were SICK! but most of the action shots seemed really slow and unrealistic, take for example at the end when he shows that he got the handcuffs off... when they reach for the guns it looks like they are casually looking for the guns... it was missing the urgency that i feel would be present in that kind of situation....

the acting was sub par....

but i did really like the shots an rack focuses

Tom Marshall
01-01-2008, 09:16 PM
Hey man, good to see you got this one made! :beer:

I like the story. Good job with the script. The only performance, acting wise, that bothered me was the one guy who said, "You broke my nose!" The older guy did a good job and the lead wasn't too bad.

The things that I would work on is lighting and sound, but that's been mentioned. Is this your first short or no?

01-01-2008, 09:31 PM
It's my first short with the hvx and was more of a test than anything. It's my 3rd short overall (the others were years ago). Just wish I could get some motivation and keep going. Maybe doing a lovefest entry so I'll see what happens.

Thanks for the feedback guys.

Michael Anthony Horrigan
01-03-2008, 07:16 AM
Some really great shot in this one! Some really nice "WOW" moments. I would speed up a few of the action shots and clean up the audio a tad. Definitely a winner.

Loved the transition near the beginning as well.

Nice work!


01-17-2008, 09:54 AM
The fighting shots all seemed way to slow and casual. They seemed really well choreographed, so it would have been exciting if they were fast and frenetic. But instead it feels more like watching a slowed down rehearsal of a good fight scene. When they throw punches, have your actors really try and hurt the air when they punch. I think the shot when the main guy slides his arm up around the other guys gun arm and slams him into the door frame would have been really cool if the movements were fast and the actors didn't look like they were trying not to hurt each other. Do your next action movie faster and you'll get a lot of praise I think.

P.S. in the beginning when the big guy with the baton gets hit, he looks like he's just standing there waiting for it. He should look like he wants to hurt the other guy, or at least like he's trying to block the hit, but just isn't fast enough.