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Slick as climbing glass.
Pretty much perfect. Goosebumps on the skin and not a moment of fat to the storytelling. Incredible sound mix, foreboding and gripping unique original vision. Touche.
My apologies for the late review but the calling out of judges not appreciating subversion by a bunch of 7 star reviews for this film did not go unnoticed.
Over half the film was spent on speed dating where attempts at insightful comical humour were made however to me the self depreciation of the average kiwi male did feel rather cliched. I'm a huge fan of Takashi Miike's fan AUDITION (in other words I'm a huge fan of slow burning horror) and so whilst dating has been massively overdone in 48 I still did like the ability to hold the frame during the dates.
Building to a cold drab murderous mean spirited factory/warehouse conclusion was not unexpected unfortunately. There was a fine musical score in the 2nd half of the film however the plot development in terms of any story was for me a massive problem. Acting fine, technically fine in particular camerawork. Shit even editing was fine but at the end of the day there was a story that to me personally was simply not engaging.
What I liked about this film: excellent audio, steady camerawork and the moments where the 'lovers' were genuinely on the run (well into the 2nd half of the film) such as the car chase vs the gang of EYES WIDE SHUT masked assailants featured really strong cinematography.
I did find that the script felt a bit stilted however and whilst I would never expect or want people to replicate BADLANDS/BONNIE & CYLDE/WILD AT HEART etc I was surprised with the narrative arc taken. I liked the subversion attempt but struggled because I personally felt there was only really one lover on the run - the pet to me didn't really count (and yes I did see it noted in the film that pets provide love and companionship - it still didn't make her dog her lover in this film)
Heavily saturated subtitled peacocking kung fu love quest. Acknowledged the sappy but kept the film wuxia where they could. Populist humour produced the best laughs here eg pop culture references and bad dubbing, as the send ups/nods to HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS and ZU WARRIORS OF MAGIC MOUNTAIN were quirky but for mine a bit ambitious. Certainly memorable but pacing a slight concern as did follow largely the same angle throughout.
A genuine race against the clock to save a perfect first date when a bathroom break doesn't go quite as planned. My goodness me this was an urgent film, never boring for a second with flash cuts, split screens, blockbuster camera movement and a pulse-pounding score. Really threw all the editing tricks in the book at the screen and stood out for the better because of it. Comedic timing was bang on and to me an absolutely charming film with terrific acting performances but at the end of the day your enjoyment of the film will hinge on how much you enjoy toilet humour.
With a strong dystopian foundation laid out (animation was a massive advantage to be able to show a decrepit Wellington) this morbid and charming effort by Lovely Bongo Drums brought a smile to my face from ear to ear. Felt like what Tex Avery would have done if he had access to flash software back in the day. Also reminded me of Courage the Cowardly Dog but instead of terrified protagonist the lone survivor eternal optimist welcomed their new friend, even if said new friend is a death-bringing leper/ghost type creature. Oh and I can't forget the fan-service to your own 48hours films - love it! ps those long lasting cans = puuuuke hahaha.
Incredibly strange MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE piss-take that had me chortling from laughter at its over the top melodrama. I also noted an absolutely stupidly good rack focus here; shame there's actually no award for that requirement in 2016. The deliberate dim-wittedness and clever winks to the Wellington coast line made this an enjoyable short. Loved the ridiculous subversion and know that short films are your guys' 'thing' but a little more substance would have made it even more awesome.
From a camera's POV; Film within a film for 60 seconds before coming off the tripod at running/car speed leading to the titular punchline. I can see some potentially giving a pass card to the camerawork given the plot development and there was a great use of the wool prop but I personally struggled to stay engaged; the car seat lost it for me.
Is our destination really the stars, a road trip with some bros or a quick stop at the dairy for a meat pie (no potato top of course)? ICW asks the hard questions with an existential effort that is simplistic on the outside but earth core deep on the inside. Subtitles for general grunts have worked well in the past in this competition with a famous former winner coming to mind, but here the translations play a bit differently than feral instinct. The irony and self-awareness to explore masculinity in such a simplistic yet fascinating manner that 'Bro' does has already got me coming back to re-watch multiple times and it definitely works very well on repeat viewings.
Also technically hard to fault; car-based films can be tricky for keeping momentum but that was managed with aplomb, camera angles were engaging and sound crisp...and Gavin Rutherford steals the whole fucking movie - whew!
'Interdimensional Wool Courier' says it all doesn't it? especially when that story is told in psychedelic hues of blue, purple and yellow with such artistic brilliance that any frame could be a painting.
My understanding of this film was that Arlo Edwards simply said "I'm going to have a lot of fun and throw a shitload of effects at the film" on the 48Hours weekend. Mission not just completed but the trippiest film the competition has ever seen may well have been created. Sometimes films are just about feeling and this one hit me with all sorts of warm fuzziness. Yet whilst you could just sit back and be gobsmacked in the eyeballs the film works on many levels. Yes it speaks of the futile nature of human existence being on only one dimension. Yes it gives the impression that forced harvesting for whatever reason is distressing to the animals...I may be reaching on that one. Surreal, oneiric, futuristic absurd cartoonish sci-fi that quite literally pulsates with a plot that to me seemed very open to interpretation. Very special, thank you.
Weekend at Bernies 3: Bad Taste. Hard to be more succinct than that as a group of home-owning friends ignore their recently deceased friend (I'm assuming this team are a fan of WORLD's GREATEST DAD) to present their lovely home to a potential buyer and real estate agent. Well, not ignore but string up as a human puppet for a series of physical humour jokes. Black comedy can be very hit and miss especially in 48Hours however using visual gags not just dialogue can well be to your advantage. I noted very very few shots in the film and whilst it created a madcap THREE STOOGES tone to some of the film as the corpse had to be quickly moved around I personally felt it made the film quite disjointed.
Stoner crook punks joke about LG and grab what they can leading to an awkward heist of an urn. Solid interplay between the two lead actors but to me they came across as slackers more than anything.
Technically solid directing with some unusual but interesting camera choices however sound could have been more clean.
Moments of artistic genius when the rhythm of the film matched the synthetic EDM playing in the second half of the film. However I personally found this incredibly frustrating to watch as the whole film plays out through heavy duty strobing with 3 or 4 images/videos showing at nearly all times throughout the film. Appeared to be quite a few memes and inside jokes but I found the plot indecipherable and I have watched 4 times now. Definitely a team with talent but would have been a stronger film if had held back a bit to allow the plot to come through.
Like the best horror films, creates its own lore with a sinister Painter comparable in many ways to Fulci's book of Eibon in THE BEYOND (but could not be more different than that masterpiece by Italy's Godfather of Gore). Seemingly simplistic vfx but really not given made over a single weekend those eyes will haunt me whenever I look back at the film.
Possession? Haunting? Curse? Hard to say but a bloody fun time - pun intended as Nova Waretini-Hewison gives another star turn aided by a Linda Blair-like demonic voice. Shocking stabbings, a shrillseeking fantastic music score and the catchiest little song you will hear this year round off this little outside the box beauty.
"A L I V E - so good to be!"
See now this is how you subvert dystopian but still keep well within your genre. After a start that felt like a Captain Exposition joke (but carried by the oh so most wonderful bubby electronic score) covering the resistance movement against the government machine the film settled into a classic kiwi comedic look at taking down the system armed with a 2 person rising and a very thoughtful getaway driver. Strong mis-en-scene throughout I felt the team here played to their strengths of good actors, solid camerawork/editing and particularly good music.
Suicide cult/pact gone wrong that honestly played more like a comedy of errors (arguably even one location as almost exclusively set in a car) than a cat and mouse film however there were some points to the film that I particularly liked. For one I'm a big fan of taking films off the beaten track as abandoned roads and morbid plotlines are often a fascinating mix. Decent black comedy in particular the lines with anti-freeze were humorous however I feel the team swayed quite far away from the genre to the point where I am struggling a little to id the cat and mouse elements. Loved the intro!
Not just good lighting - absolutely EXCEPTIONAL lighting in this film; I'd be genuinely interested in what tips and tricks were used to keep every image crystal clear in an old abandoned ghosthouse. Thank goodness someone in Wellington went bechdel and passed the test with flying colours!
Centred on an exceptional turn by Iris Henderson the team turned nancy drew on her head with a film heavy on dark spooky atmosphere but with a fun bent. Ouji boards and Stranger Things are indeed a little overdone at the moment but who can ignore a dead cat with something to say? Some great one-liners and whilst your lead actress stood out the rest of the crew also had solid screen presence. I did note a couple of audio spikes in the mix however it did not detract from the overall enjoyable film at all.
Genuinely chilling minimalist but still incredibly tight film set in the back of a van. The steadiness of film-making prowess behind the film is very impressive as a planned heist/holdup wears its influences firmly on its sleeve (most obvious to me being Michael Mann and QT a given because of the suits) driven by a yes dialogue heavy but very high quality script.
Also keeps it very real in terms of character motivation, essentially asking the question of whether you could dance with the devil in the pale moonlight with a powerful resolution. One of the key reasons I particularly loved this film was the restraint and pacing being so spot on. I made a grave error publicly saying this team had poor sound which I apologise for - the sound issues that I personally had were what I found to be a very quiet mix for the dialogue. Some of the actual sound design (boot slamming, rain folley etc) was exceptional.
Genuinely jawdropping 3d animation the likes of which I have never seen before in 48Hours, this absolutely fucking amazing film plays like something you would showreel to Pixar and get hired for on the spot. However it was done I don't really care it instantly reached the absolute upper all time echelon of this competition, and did so without a word being spoken by the characters. Move aside Charlotte by the Linemen (2009 National Champion); there is a new best animated 48hours film for all to marvel over.
Effectively inspired by WALL-E, WALKABOUT and the video game JOURNEY the film represents the quest for love that is in all of us; big or small, short or tall, robot or tumbleweed. It could have also fit into dystopian given the vast abandoned desert which may seem some instantly lumping it with Andrew Stanton's film. However the film-making rhythms and beats are so pitch perfect across the less than 4 minute run time that you realise this really is about the search for embrace rather than just for friendship. Beautiful, quirky, charming, melancholic and touching with a spine tingling score that seems to go from Clint Mansell sonics to Thomas Newman delicacy in the blink of an eye. Nevermind the incredible sound design!
This might be a huge call but this is possibly the best 48Hours film I have ever seen.
MARRIAGE GROUNDHOG DAY where our hard drinking lead is in a ferocious battle with his mother in law, and to be fair, his own comedic mistakes. Whilst the would be mother of the bride does not approve of the leisure centre manager he discovers an ability to turn back time to the aftermath of his bachelor party through a simple phrase. Excellent star turn by the lead actor and a real vibrancy to the proceedings however a bit rough around the edges at times and final payoff not quite as rewarding as had hoped.
Oh come one everyone this was not a 1 or 2 star film you mean pricks!
Sian Reynolds as a socially awkward girl falls for a socially awkward boy the only problem is that their connection is through the puppets that live on their hands and he still struggles to see her. This explored the concept of being an introvert very well, and I thought the inclusion of the puppets to allow the characters to be someone who they were actually not was a clever idea as well, because extreme introverts often look to their outward appearance for more bravery. I feel the ending of this film was a bit heavy handed and mean spirited however also felt that camerawork was very solid. The sound design had moments where it was unclear who was talking due to not using separated channels for the puppets but there was definitely promise in this film that was just slightly unfulfilled.
I really really love the way that you presented the bedroom scene here; honest, raw, believable and most of all showing that the characters in the three-way genuinely cared about consent and what the other people in the bedroom liked. If more people could present sex like this society would be better as a whole. The converging storyline with the drumming lesson down below gave the film its heartbeat and whilst low key was endearing. I do think the dramatic arcs could potentially have come together but on the other hand this was a 5 minute slice and that plot would be better suited for a longer film so was not needed. Great performances and definitely a film that stays with you.
Anarchist cyberpunks who believe only a true state of anarchy is achieved when removed from the system set out to rage against the (library fine) machine. The D.I.C.K.S are presented with a hellbent determination to take down anyone deemed a fascist or conformist and Puppyguts produced a really good looking short film here. Really went with the idea of punk ideology of being anti-rules and ran with it, with a particularly strong performance by the woman with the nose piercing as she showed vitriol and spitfire like a true punk. I do think the story could have been a bit more streamlined as we moved from live gig to group formation to multiple botched kidnappings to a techno thriller. Also was a key plot point not that a certain action needed to be done by 4pm and completed in an office that showed dark night time through the windows? If I have that wrong I apologise. Overall really presented a punk ethos well and was very well made. Points also for Reagan's disguise!
Darkly comic or a malignant bent? It was hard to tell but did have some fantastic moments as a young couple trekked through a hospital to find dad for what they think will be a strong comic punchline. The receptionist misdirection set the scene and the cameo was hilarious. This team has been guilty of average sound in the past but was crystal clear here which was pleasing with fine craft displayed behind the scenes, paying close attention to minor details such as using real hospital bandages. I really liked how open ended this was with unclear motivation - financial, revenge and just wanting to meet the guy all occurred to me as possibilities. If I could give a 5.5 out of 7 I would.
As a fellow DnD player in a past lifetime I think I get what you were trying to achieve which was the fact that the game is about being taken off to other worlds whilst being located within one room. However the playing party each making different choices about what to do such as an intelligence test or search for traps missed the mark a bit by failing to produce any clear narrative arc. The montage at the end showed promise that it might lead onto something more engaging but then the film ended without having really got started. Whilst this was a difficult genre it was also supposed to be mapped up with any one of the other 14 genres and had you done so I think you would have had a better starting point.
I was pretty sad to see no Cinema in Decline entry for 2016 but was thrilled to see Alex Greig turn up on screen, in this star turn as a detective for a team that I was very much rooting for given the backstory. To mine you handed in a really good film so well done Petra!
Onto the film which was an investigation into a slain star-crossed lover. I understand going for the hard-boiled look via shooting in black and white but as the contrast was not really strong or shadows/lighting utilised this could just as easily have retained colour. The stitching together of the clues was well done, and the collection of Greeks named C/Kostas were particularly entertaining. Whilst a tad predictable the touches of melodrama were nice and this film probably had my favourite use of the required line so far in the competition "KISS ME AGAIN!..."
Easily Nutbar's best 48Hours film I was impressed by the significant improvements made by the team to produce this 2016 entry. Relaying the dark thoughts of meandering office existence that I am sure many people have thought, a magical toy troll sets the scene for a frantic explosive low budget gore finale. Practical effects were worked well and the wild (but very well handled) camerawork was reminiscent of early Sam Raimi. Playful and funny but still disturbing at times nothing was left on the table - the spaghetti brains made it to the microwave!
Fucking amazing meta puppet film. Made me giddy.
3 October - as a judge I am so so so sad this was DQ and hence not in finals despite the almost unanimously deserved 7/7s. Sigh :(
A tricky one for me as the story arc felt very much like a utopia that became unsettled but I would have found it hard to classify the film as dystopian in terms of genre. After getting that out of the way, I found this a playful film that quite literally speaks for the inner child in all of us. I mean, I know for sure that I pitched a blanket fort in my lounge every weekend. The wide ranging ensemble of characters allowed for some great humour especially the mum jokes. Well edited like always by this team and utilised a soundtrack that strongly evoked Tangerine Dream for the better. It's just my 2c but I wish a genuine dystopian tent had been explored here.
EDIT - initial review up there by me missed the mark. Obviously escaping from a dystopian reality into this fort. Bumped a star to reflect.
Absolutely GORGEOUS film, with my friend sitting next to me commenting that a couple of shots could be framed as photos. Spot on camerawork as well. I will be re-watching this as have been told by the team that sound at the Paramount was overblown resulting in dialogue not being as clear as it should have been. Essentially a dark retelling of the Goldilocks/3 Bears story with an ambitious attempt to look at the psychology of the girl. I feel that this was a film directed with a very sure hand behind the scenes, but was slightly thrown by the very young actress smoking a cigarette. Minor as I understand it was showing her being from the bad side of the tracks. The deeply saturated black and white photography of the film provided a classic Sam Fuller look to the film and to me worked well as a metaphor contrasting the reality of the goldilocks story and the fairy tale. Due to the reliance on narration it did make it a little hard to follow at the heat with score being much louder than dialogue hence I will re-watch but most definitely enjoyed.
Wrong place wrong time and the chase is on in Naenae. Clever camerawork including a good drone shot to highlight the comedy of a scooter and a bike respectively chasing a runner. The quick wit of Charlie Flowers was a good way of utilising the thoughtful element of the character, the jandal throw was hilarious and that was some seriously slick rhyming and flow that you dropped at the end of the film although the sound outside of the musical sequence could have done with some more polish. Nice work.
Bro puns galore like I have never come close to seeing before. The first few minutes of the screening did come across a little awkward with the audience not buying the humour but I did note some good laughs towards the end so well done on sticking to your guns and running with the idea like nobody ever has. Essentially a tale of a lonely obsessive who has had his vernacular developed to the point of only being able to speak in said puns and how he deals with rejection. The story itself was stock standard and from a technical pov quite flat but memorable for 5 minutes of non stop inclusion of the word bro into every word/sentence imaginable. The Leo joke was pretty good.
Boy oh boy this started with a hiss and a roar with a pulsating beat and pumping flexing glutes before calming down to examine the real reasons that people pay for professional exercise. Of course given the vast discrepancy between the toned lead and his students it was important to make sure they were eating, drinking and cleaning themselves correctly and this was done through some sort of time travel device. Your energetic lead was brimming with confidence and very entertaining. My biggest suggestion for this team would be to work on utilising camera angles that are more engaging; whilst the William Friedkin rule to not move the camera unless your actors do generally is a great one, I also feel that a gym class based film could have used more movement as the whole thing was a bit static other than your lead.
Quirky romcom centred on a shy scooter-armed florist questing for love. This was particularly endearing and relatable as romantic advice was sought from a colleague/co-worker, and a sense of genuine interest and chemistry was provided between the lead and object of his affection. Slightly formulaic tendencies but some standout jokes that broke the mould such as the killer 'fanny' line and an excellent payoff.
Waking up with little recollection of the previous night tightly bound in a straightjacket and ballgagged to be greeted by a lamb, immobilised Charlie Flowers needs to work out what the fuck is going on before his mother and law and wife arrive at his house. This played more like a comedy of errors than a real time film but that is not necessarily a bad thing more of an observation on my end. The fast jazz drum soundtrack worked to provide a sense of urgency throughout and the lead actor really stood out which was impressive given his bondage limitations. I feel that with slightly more plot development this would have been a really strong film.
Interviews can be a ridiculously stressful situation but an apparent parallel storyline resulted in something quite different to what I expected based on the initial character interactions. Very striking visual imagery and a strong incorporation of the puppet element rather than seeing it as a technical restriction like most teams. Kind of loved the sinister way the film ended up going however there was a 30 second stretch that badly let the film down when all 3 puppets were arguing at once which came across as annoying rather than clever. Overall though a solid film.
Set in the parked car of a group of crooks with a focus on the restricted license getaway driver, this mainly narrated film took a light comedy approach. Covering the thoughts and actions of the waiting driver when they had a particularly long amount of time to kill allowed for some quality comedic scenarios such as ordering fast food and playing around with weapons - the deflated tire being a particularly memorable highlight. Said driver carried the film well but I was a little thrown by accents that appeared to change throughout the course of the film and what appeared to be a KKK joke which has resulted in me dropping my rating by 1 star.
Genuinely sick local buddy detective film dealing with the aftermath of a suicide. With knowledgeable capital humour and a propensity to really go to dark places this produced a mix of laughs and sighs of disgust from the audience. The titular Dazza and Bazza produced a farcical array of dad jokes whilst investigating grisly crimes, with the bizarre tint kept going through air horn and auto erotic machinations. Double browns rightfully earned their place in the spotlight and whilst the tar black comedy was not everyone's cup of tea I frigging loved this.
Offbeat humorous take on a the plights and perils off master and apprentice in a tv knitting show where hard work behind the scenes goes uncredited. With over the top green screen, delectable camera angles and a western swag because the bar is not big enough for the 2 of them, this built momentum throughout the film. Excellent use of literal sleight of hand as well however the film felt a little disjointed to me personally with tonal jumps from shock revelation to silliness.
Barely animated surrealistic cartoon by the inimitable Simon Insoll delivers all the trademarks of a quality Gurgler Production. Cops talking shit, a bevy of anthropomorphic animal miscreants and a whole lot of don't give a fuck attitude. I was promised some quality trash dialogue before the weekend, and it was delivered in spades - perhaps at such a rapid rate that some of the audience missed the z-grade black comedy gold they were being treated to. The bait and switch of the office accountant was an excellent way to adhere to the 'mistaken identity' genre giving it all the lip service that it needed. Personally I had the British Bulldog picked all the way as the likely culprit but I guess I was wrong! The only thing holding back a 7/7 is I would have wanted to see the mouths actually move when the characters were talking ;)
***For anyone trying to objectively read this review please note this film was by my best friend***
Farm romance runs awry after a hit and run or two. A very kiwi sense of humour and I liked the fact that clearly no animals were actually harmed in the making of the film (the dead sheep just being a pile of wool for example). A tough genre but the actress playing Charlie Flowers had a solid on screen presence.
Threw out all the stops to provide several vfx shots and whilst none were perfect I definitely commend you for the effort. Odd creepy little film had a book of the dead or something of a similar note summon fairytale demons and lull victims into a false sense of security. The tiny axe of the woodsman provided a good laugh and the tears of blood were a nice touch that added a nightmarish feel to events. I feel that a key element of horror is caring about the characters that are under threat so if the main girl being attacked by riding hood had been fleshed out a little bit more this film would have been stronger.
[DQ] Oh man I feel for you guys as this was the best high school entry I have seen in years in Wellington but understand was late due to rendering issues. Sigh...
Moving on to this brilliant film; a couple of survivalists raid wherever they can in the search for supplies in particular food and medicine. The medicinal aspect of the film was a very important one as with one party in very poor health it meant reliance on the other where scavengers shoot on sight ala THE ROAD was everything. Yet genuine love and friendship was provided eg, through the literal warmth of a campfire story tale. This took a less is more approach in terms of lore but still presented danger and dystopia to nail the genre. Rock solid acting, absolutely exceptional cinematography (whoever was your DoP needs to pursue film as a career if they don't already) and a gorgeous musical score tied this together beautifully. Never saccharine either as you always believed the characters would do whatever they had to do.
EDIT - I am a Judge and Judge's comment removed re: Desikiwi by me - I had nothing to do with this film. Play nice :)
Murder cover up that appeared to justify self-defence and was really well shot with strong contrast and evening shots in particular popping off the screen. Chemistry between the two friends looking to cover up the murder was palpable and the fake blood was visceral and believable. Went over some dark concepts such as stalking and locking yourself away from the world. I would have loved rather than liked the film if the conclusion had not been foregone and perhaps tried something different such as subversion of expectations.
Used the 2015 trait of a thoughtless character to provide a cannonball comedy of events that fit will within their required genre. After attempting to become besties with a bunch of burglars while being robbed our lead shows a genuine ineptness at everything he does even for simple tasks such as returning a found wallet. This contained one of the best comedic uses of wool so far seen in the 2016 competition. Good audience response although it seemed half loved the screeching voice and half kept quiet throughout the film.
Played the one step ahead angle of this genre rather well when it got to the chase, which was based around an independent young woman telling her mother not to worry about her on a dark and gloomy night in a large seemingly abandoned building. The camerawork was generally solid and some of the editing was absolutely on fire in this film however the narrative arc could have used some more development as cat and mouse is expected to be a two way street. I did like the film though as it seemed very believable.
A solid idea in terms of subversion as a woman tries to join the bro club/council but first she needs to learn the rules such as no pyjamas. The film had a golden moment where it seemed to be breaking the fourth wall and with the earlier subversion I was hoping that they might be audacious enough to cover that angle but instead went with a standard quest scenario. I understand that it may well have been through no fault of your own but the windowboxing and interlacing of the film were jarring to me from a technical point of view.
Utilised the pouring rain well into the sound mix at the start of the film and set the scene really well for a dark and gloomy night adventure, however quickly turned into cheesy VR time travel. Whilst I appreciate that VR is no doubt the way of the future I felt that the first person JOHNNY MNEMONIC style adventure that showcased the little old lady could have used a bit more clarity. The script had some nice moments and as advised the team was definitely technically strong so I think those are areas that you should focus on promoting going forward.
Even the most outwardly confident use online dating as explored by this film, which depicted a swag skux in the high school hallway struggling for friends and turning to Mashley Addison to find the woman of this dreams. Put through the ringer to see if he matches the criteria of one of his likes, Baaadgirl69 presents a series of challenges that have the audience wondering catfish. I felt this was a solid simple story with a couple of pieces of comedy gold however production values could have used some improvements. I appreciate the time constraints but stronger contrast, use of lighting and potentially even a grade are elements that will make your film pop in future and I would recommend this as the look of the film was flat. The camera work was also fun at times but slightly jarring at others.
GREAT team logo. Haha. Nice effort with special effects as talking toast battled the lead character who was determined to get his breakfast perfect for the first time ever. The barrage of puns was good cheesy fun and I liked your commitment to verbal sparring however would have liked to have seen more explored than the kitchen battle between man and his food.
One of the darkest 48Hours films I have ever seen in terms of subject matter as an abusive domestic relationship was shown through the abuser treating his partner as a puppet. Phone calls and access to friends are stopped and emotional abuse is hurled at the victim. This presented a really tough subject matter and subverted its genre however whilst a strong story the actors did feel a little bit like they were reading lines other than the friend who was concerned about the abuse, and stood out.
Juvenile Delinquent opposite of CROSS AND THE SWITCHBLADE as a young girl struggled with the choice between her conservative family upbringing and the freedom of a runaway punk cult. I liked the fact that you showed that joining the punk movement can be a part of joining a collective and belonging just as much as rebelling. I think the scope of the story however was one that needed more than 5 minutes to comfortably fit as ideas felt rushed towards the second half of the running time.
Tense boardroom thriller focusing on a group of directors contemplating a button that could present them doomsday or paradise. Played like a minimalistic take on the 'what the hell does this do?' concept of both CUBE and THE BOX I was impressed by your ensemble of actors and strong ability to focus your shots so that attention was brought to the key elements of every one of your shots. Framing was also excellent and represented the claustrophobia and paranoia of the situation well especially when a full understanding of the filmic situation had been developed. My only two minor negative points were that the art direction could have done with slightly more work and I felt like a couple of the actors delivered their lines the same way throughout whereas giving more emotion towards the end of the film would have had more impact.
After a night on the vodka the search is on to find out which friend/flatmate ruined the bread in a tense post-hangover house. This got some fantastic laughs from visual sight gags such as sweat pouring like a waterfall and the bizarre eyewear. The didactic house leader had a very strong screen presence and the humour had tinges of both John Cleese and Chris Farley albeit a bit rough around the edges.
[DQ] Perhaps the most F-bombs ever rattled off in a 48Hours film. No mean feat when previous years have had 7 minutes to do so. Ignoring the lines of cocaine...actually no I can't; this film tried its best to outdo the grotesque parts of MEET THE FEEBLES. The main problem was that it felt like a film of two halves. The first half focusing on the couch of f-bombs as two puppet performers cursed the world and their manager, whilst the second followed their previous history as devious puppet criminals. The second half of the film was significantly better than the first and I think if the team had committed to a storyline of criminal puppets it may have been better for it, as the 2-3 minutes listening to repetitive f-bombs felt like it could have been trimmed.
OK so this is the sort of genre subversion I was hoping to see when "Punk" was announced as a genre in 2016. It's really all here; the look, the music, the attitude and with some bloody good unspoken (obviously) chemistry between the two leads. Fast paced and snappy, this moved from one joke concept to the next with just the right necessary urgency. I love heaping praise where it is deserved and so I will continue; what I liked most about this film was that it was genuinely believable. Many of us have been there and done that; moshing or fight dancing with a new best friend or potential romantic interest, but I cannot remember it being told this way. Sure there was THE TRIBE but the subtitles are necessary here [the different colour schemes again another great choice] and after watching I just felt like thrashing my head around with someone I love.
Reminded me of the Fred Savage film LITTLE MONSTERS but rather than having a friendly horned chum our lead was best friends with a terrifying closet dweller that looked like it was straight out of INSIDIOUS. Played straight for some quality black comedy in my book this explored the theme of obsession and jealously rather well only with a very skewed angle. Fred Pokai has delivered some quality performances in 48Hours over the years and stepped up again here although the knitting demon was also an excellent on screen presence + the girlfriend actress also played her part well. Seemed like some audience members found the whole throat stabbing the stuff of nightmares but to me the crowd reaction showed that they had bought into your film completely. Well done.
What if Austin Powers was a buddy movie? And what if those buddies were Sherlock Holmes serious types? Well mix that together with a penchant for quaint 1963 romance that carried through from time travelling that falls desperately out of kilt with tinder in 2016 and you kind of have this film. As always this team have delivered a very slick film with only a couple of minor issues; the film genuinely takes about 2 minutes to hit its stride, massively subverts the "mystery" genre and with most of the film narrated some may not like that approach. Personally I can overlook the narration and the slow start as we actually get inside the characters and are rewarded with a huge payoff.
Previous best worst "winners" Confusers are at it again with a mockumentary (no talking heads - hurray!) about the newly discovered Placeholdersaurus, delightfully narrated by someone giving their best Richard Attenborough impersonation. Now this might have been an entertaining short in another team without an incredibly strange bent, but in the hands of bizarro masters Confusers we got paper mache Dinosaur head weird all for the glorious better. Who is really at the top of the food chain - humans, dinosaurs or felines? I guess it doesn't matter when you have a green screen and not just one but two paper mache Dinosaur heads. Got some seriously huge laughs at the heat but could have cut down by perhaps 1 or 2 jokes for pacing.
You made my head hurt a bit which is both good and bad, because the best parts of this gave me chills which is bloody rare for a 48Hours film. I loved the disjointed evil fragmentation with a strong attempt at producing your own lore - some of those shots were textbook Obayashi by way of Mario Bava as I could see a sure strong hand was behind this film. However both my notes and memory are struggling to discern a clear plotline for the film but it seemed like the evil was wanting to shape its own reality? Had the plot been a bit clearer you could have had a contender.
This optimistic lone survivalist adventure could have been hampered by the rain, but instead they utilised the poor weekend weather to their advantage with a focal goal for the motivated character of getting to a certain place. The trek of course being off the beaten path leads to potential perils and I have to hand it to the lead for the very believable performance they provided when it looked like they were facing genuine adversity. To me covering your genre bases by providing exposition of viruses and plagues is all well and good, but after thinking about this film I was wondering where the "dystopia" was? This is a different genre altogether from End of the World which is what I found the team to interpret it as.
Beautifully shot with nary an issue with the deeply saturated strongly contrasted film from a technical point of view, and every last cent was rung out of the amazing old house this team had access to. Plus they had a beautiful orchestral score. The film itself investigated a murder with several suspects from a tightly knit family. But unfortunately to mine the plot was disappointingly flat and some 48Hours tropes that have been a bugbear of mine for many years reared their ugly head (in particular violence towards women in crime/horror films especially any promiscuous women).
Took the 'Comedy of Errors' genre quite literally with a film about a theatrical audition and a Shakespearian focus. This presented a strong setup to showcase the required elements of the genre but being a film centred around an audition it meant the whole thing relied on verbal humour. Because the film was so static (I can't remember any camera movement) it meant that to deliver on a comedy of errors the look and sound needed to be on point, but in my opinion the cinematography was a tad flat, and the sound mix was variable to the point where I think I missed a couple of punch lines. I think some foley for the sound would have helped immensely because the cavernous audition hall did create an echoey feel due to using live sound.
[DQ] I really liked the camerawork on show here and combined with the sawmill tingling violin score I felt a genuine sense of unease throughout, however I was also a bit confused. To explain, the fencing in Island Bay had me enthralled as the characters parried away with their foils only for one to be apparently bee stung. Or was it that being struck during the match took them on a flashback? But either way the action moved away from Cat and Mouse parry-riposte action to a singular character forest exploring Blair Watch inspired creep out. Whilst I personally loved the tone of the film I felt a slightly stronger structure given the genre would have been to the film's advantage.
My first piece of advice to this team is to not allocate valuable time of your 48Hours short to characters waking up and doing housekeeping before committing to the storyline, unless it serves an absolutely critical function for your short (which I cannot think of for any 48Hours films ever). My second piece of advice is to pay close attention to your 50/50 line especially for conversations between characters based in the same room - I was thrown by the lounge scene that had this technical flaw.
I do apologise for starting with negative comments because I could see a real commitment to genre, and the two leads gelled nicely on screen. Injuries and disabilities have been played for laughs many times but you instead showed a strong sense of friendship and support through the quest for the long time mates to get to the Roses N' Guns concert. I think you had a couple of really nice outside shots and would have loved to have seen more exploration outside the apartment as staying inside created a reliance on exposition.
Blowfish's animations always have a wicked sense of wit like the kind of sneaky prank you might play on a grandparent. 'Strange Pursuit' continued this vein for the better and produced a fast paced cat and mouse forest game of deer versus hunter with a timelord in the middle. It also may have been the shortest 48Hours film ever? I haven't checked but it felt barely over 60 seconds and whilst I get that shorts are a slice and not features there could have been just a little bit more to the film than the one joke payoff.
Charming tale of a widower who had the perfect wife on a quest to find/buy love one more time. A Russian mail-order bride from a less than reputable company (found through searching on 'googol') leads to a LARS AND THE REAL GIRL inspired payoff. Made great use of setup and payoff through several repeated comedy vignettes. Also pleasingly made use of the small gaps in the weather on the weekend of rain that Wellington had to showcase the waterfront. I felt that the lack of dialogue worked for what the team was trying to achieve but that it was slightly let down by a few flat shots.
Had me worried for a second when I realised the film was set in the deathknell of most 48Hours films, an apartment...but my worries were completely unfounded as a fridge to another dimension offered perhaps the best special fx shots I've ever seen in this competition, yes right up there with Sinistral's Auckland-winning effort from a few years ago.
Not only that, but all the required technical elements were used well and what I particularly liked about this effort from the previous competition winners is that they let the film breathe with a beautifully developed story arc. Built a little slowly with inside fridge shots but the payoff was more than worth it as the 'other dimension' came to effect in a blaze of eye popping baseball-bat swinging glory. Central characters were kept to a minimal but memorable 3; the gross out flatmate, annoying nitpicker who doesn't want her food stolen, and everyman willing to battle alien fiends from a parallel universe with whatever utensils are available.
Not only were the fx shots jaw dropping (I literally let out a non-deliberate 'holy shit!' at the money shot and hope to experience this again at the Embassy) but the film was technically sound generally with a solid colour grade although a handful of shots seemed ever so slightly compressed.
Just overall a great short and genuine contender.
PC master race film that ironically was technically pretty rough. Basically a virtual reality short film game that looked to blur the line between the game and reality, carrying itself on traditional WASD/Mouse movement and character command jokes. Not getting into PC vs console wars on here, I hope you enjoyed making the film as the story was lacking.
I really liked the tone on this film. Forelorn and sardonic with a sense of acceptance regarding mass organised killing to appease a minister's call for societal reduction. Bleak and dark it reminded me of an incredibly low budget version of a book that Evelyn Waugh never wrote. Like there was really not much to the film, just a darkly comic acceptance of those accepted to die that they will, but sometimes the simplest ideas are the best. Work on the technical side of things a bit guys and I look forward to seeing what you come up with in future.
Ok so I give in, this year they finally officially have let teams make mockumentaries through the 'rockumentary' option. However I STILL have a massive issue with an over-reliance on talking heads that do nothing to develop a story arc, and the film makers felt like they took the safest route possible on this one about the third most popular band in Newtown in the 80s(?) looking to recreate a new generation version band through their kids.
Some nice comedic touches through the use of the old mulleted and moustached photographs, but did nothing to stand out from the crowd.
A student very suddenly is apparently presented as the last person on earth, with the main link to this discovery other than a body in a shopping trolley being found footage on a camera that she watches in her uni dorm. I perhaps missed jotting down exactly what the broadcast at the start of the film was saying, as I believe the population was being culled.
I felt that the film really had the opportunity for redemption through our sole survivor, rather than the other girls simply getting their comeuppance by not being the last person left alive...
Unfortunately I've got to say that this is a genre that doesn't need a great deal of work to be believable given we have massively isolated areas within minutes of the city, so to use fully powered university dorms and have shots of the 'abandoned' city showing plenty of lights did make me cringe. I liked the found footage element to be honest, I just thought that there could have been a sense of resolution for our lead, and more of a sense of desolation to showcase her scenario when everyone else was gone. It just had no real dramatic punch.
Very impressive sound design indeed, and a creepy as hell sound track had the audience genuinely squirming in their seats which is everything you'd want from a horror film that bravely played it straight and did not go for laughs.
Reliance on mood and tension had my attention as a cursed loaf of bread caused our lead actress some high levels of grief whilst she tried to keep her daily life in order. The main things letting the film down were a lack of a polish from a cinematography point of view, and the curse afflicting hobo was a bit off in his performance tone. However I was able to overlook that and found that your strong lead actress and disturbing nightmarish soundtrack really knocked me over. Well done.
Age-inappropriate casting as a mother gets put under extreme duress from a kidnapping threat following a picnic trip to a war dugout with the young gang. It seems like there was a good deal of activity thrown into the film to try and keep it interesting, but I felt you over-thought the plot a bit too much and in the end this resulted in a predictable film.
Don't get me wrong, swearing can be great for punch lines (I'm a huuuuge fan of SOUTH PARK: BIGGER, LONGER & UNCUT) but this film showed an over-reliance on the cursing and fell flat after the fifth or sixth eff this/eff that discussion. Unfortunately my suspension of disbelief was ruined by said age inappropriate casting and it felt more like a weirdly two toned thriller than a mystery given the obvious comedic payoff.
A 'Rainbow' style puppet kids show host loses the plot when his role is taken over by a cardboard cutout of himself. Good use of the required prop and perhaps a better unintentional black comedy than several films that got that genre. My main grip with the film was the lack of a strong story arc and any sort of dynamic film making. Short films in particular can work with simple camera work, even static as the case may be and this can even translate well to feature length cinema (Ceylan, Tarr, Tarkovsky etc) but for a simplistic film such as was presented I would have preferred a dramatic arc that gave us a clearer beginning, middle and end. The way the film presented suffered from the randomness of evens presented. Your lead clearly gave it his all which I commend.
A bit torn on this one as it was actually a genre I personally suggested a few weeks ago so was absolutely thrilled when it got announced at launch. Some really energetic camerawork abounded as our lead obsessed over a pretty girl bumped into when getting a coffee to go, only a girlfriend to go doesn't come about quite so easily.
I guess my main concern with the film is that it made an excellent chase film, an excellent slapstick film and a decent romcom, but this high concept genre is one that is seeming to be quite difficult to subvert or even nail in a standard manner given the time constraints of the competition. I hate to single teams out but I personally thought that the unintentionally outwitting of our chaser was borderline note really meeting the genre requirements. I wouldn't mind a second watch but whilst solid film making and entertaining I was scratching my head a little bit. Your lead actor had great physical screen presence it must be said.
Ok guys, so we get it, you were pretty excited to see yourselves on the big screen and I appreciate you actually have some skill with a camera and your general comedic timing....but boy oh boy were you incredibly rude and obnoxious cunts to have three quarters of the team disappear after your short, talk to yourselves (yes, I could hear you - being in the front row didn't mean you were not viewable or audible) whilst other films were still screening or flash your cellphones around as though you were having a pyjama party in your own fucking living room.
In terms of your film I genuinely liked your subversion of the Science Gone Mad genre. It made me appreciate why Ant Timpson had selected this carefully worded phrasing as opposed to "Mad Scientist" that got used back in 2004 [it would probably pay to do some research on this competition and realise you have severely broken the number one rule that is all we really care about at the end of the day - DON'T BE A DICKHEAD].
The short was a nicely framed video diary descent into madness set in a mental institution with some dynamite comedic performances and gonzo camera work, which was necessary given the set design was relatively bland. Your lead actor was fantastic and with some better audio you could really have made a film I really enjoyed. As it stands you can either ship up next year or ship the fuck out.
Great start, and the film built steam in Act 2 as a time traveller used his future knowledge to fob off a lotto win for his younger self. Face paced dialogue throughout but camera work and cinematography was not great, with a very weak third act to the film that felt like a predictable anti climax. Doctor Harrison was uproariously funny though.
Best actor nominee? Whoever he was, he was terrific! And your use of the line was also fantastic. Pretty low budget and gonzo and I'm really not a fan of films set in apartments...but you pulled this off. A bread pun spectacular as a mother sent her son to infiltrate a flat on a secret mission to uncover a mystery. His weirdness provided a spectacle where my eyes were glued to the screen - txting mummy versus down to earth herbal ciggies anyone?
I've seen a few romantic stalker films set in the Botanical Gardens over the years in 48 Hours, but I'm not complaining. Your lead actress was excellent and solely through body language conveyed the concept of someone genuinely in search of love. Over the top and desperate for love, but it was still well conveyed. Very slapstick in nature I felt you needed a bit of a stronger story arc.
Demon-hunting men of the cloth struggle to come to terms with the fact that the so called evil spirits they identify are nothing more than bums and pregnant women, so turn to their own alcoholic spirits for guidance. Some really great comedic beats such as the fingers coming together, but the sound was let down in a few places. I also understand that you may have deemed hunters to fit your genre bill, but the whole concept of Cat and Mouse is that it is a push and pull/2 way concept and to me the Demons just never gave the idea of being ahead in the chase. Basically you made a good buddy film but not a great Cat and Mouse film.
Got science gone mad, made a horror movie and a woman being tortured at that. Very effective at least as the audience squirmed and gasped due to your realistic wound makeup. Honestly just lacking anything scientific, with the threat of a syringe by a 'scientist' being able to be interchanged with any weapon you could think of and the film would have still had the same effect.
More awkward acquaintances than buddies, this also seemed to be more of a revenge film than anything as a couple of hockey players eyed up an opportunity to get someone back whilst grabbing a sandwich on the way. Quite mean spirited and reasonably short without much depth, let down by awful sound. I would have highly encouraged trying to make a more positive film given your genre and wiped any sound that had wind on the take.
Shot in black and white, from what I gather to give the impression that everything we do is 50/50 in terms of our choices? Seemed to have an alien sent down to present doors to dimensions that showed everything we do is just a big gamble and linked to the cinematography being a metaphorical allegory of this. I might have it all wrong but the rest of my team was also confused by the whole short.
Never a dull moment in this one as a couple of dodgy detectives investigated and interrogated a brutal surgically precise murder. Overall I guess you could have called the tone manic bad taste, which is good enough for me in terms of being black comedy. Cynicism, sarcasm, and cancer jokes, nothing was taboo and the film benefited from it. The epilogue was a bit unnecessary, and cinematography definitely the weak part of the film as lighting was lacking. However for parodying David Caruso/CSI you have my respect.
Pretty sure even the team intros need to not infringe copyrighted material (the team used the 'Friends' "I'll Be There For You" jingle just with different lyrics)...Onto the film this was clearly a team that probably dreaded getting musical but kudos for giving it your all and actually singing when alternate options were provided this year. Played it a little safe being an inquisition into which flatmate stole a sandwich, and the songs were quite pitchy but the sunglass wearing jacketed flatmate was comedy gold.
One of the better uses of Harper Harrison as thoughtless so far, although verging on dim-witted for mine. An engaging short as a supernatural notebook conversed with our simpleton jogging lead entirely through the written word. Played the hot blooded male card for a decent resolution. Editing was solid, cinematography had some great shots but could have used some areas of polish and to me it felt like the required genre was a little bit tacked on. Props for trying something different.
A space beam gone wrong allowed for some good old fashioned Trek-style fights with mutants in the bush and very entertaining Klingon-type gibberish (made all the more hilarious with a lack of subtitles). The bad makeup and deliberately ham fisted acting brought a smile to my face, this was short and sweet.
Slick cursed-typewriter type film within a film that had some nice comedic touches and an excellently acted hobo prepared to do anything for food. I liked how smooth some of your transitions were and the dialogue was good. I also commend that the genre was subverted, but unfortunately to me this was done at the expense of a coherent story.
Technically superb with a tremendous sense of dramatic development this nailed the buddy film genre but also subverted it In such a way that I could see it being a serious contender. Two best friends are shown to go through their daily routine in a way that unmistakably only buddies do; all the tropes of young men you could relate to are there such as bacon, sports and driving fast all moved along with just the right sense of urgency to let the film breathe within its time frame but not overstay its welcome. The comedic timing was good, the performances very strong, script even better and score which appeared to be original also perfect for the mood.
Pun-filled bread fighting low budget fx love triangle buffoonery. The kitchen sink and its bakery replacement were thrown at the screen here as two buddies bickered and argued about their bakery and the woman they loved. The jokes ranged from absolutely awful to absolutely brilliant, and the final showdown with bunchucks vs a French bread sword stick was great. I would recommend working on your camera work given this was largely very static medium to long shots throughout, and is something that can also be used as a great film making device to tell a story, whereas the reliance on dialogue exposition did become a little tedious. Very fun though.
Boastfully made in 7 hours and presented in a handful of shots, a patient was tormented by a sinister doctor through a POV shot for most of the film. Very low fi and commendable to get the film in but the lack of time showed in the lack of polish regarding the story. I was impressed by the single longest tracking shot of computer wires I think I've ever seen.
Really really strong opening that felt like a grindhouse version of PARENTS via THE FUCCON FAMILY as a reporter stumbled across a strange suburban couple but this veered slightly too much towards the horror genre to really nail black comedy completely. Having said that I was left feeling uneasy throughout the entire film much like the first time you watch John Waters, and the jokes were cruel/sinister and would definitely fit under the definition of black comedy. The performances solid, technically sound in particular the grading....it just personally didn't generate any real laughs through comedic timing.
Lovey dovey harmonising was the name of the game here as a girl and a baker came to realise their true feelings for one another.. Really positive approach to the genre that covered all the required technical elements well. I actually would have loved to have seen a little bit more, for example one more song or even a scene without singing to break up the action and give it a dramatic flow, but I can't deny this left a smile on my face. Nice songwriting, simple to follow story and technically sound.
Nice comic timing and quality simplistic special effects kept this topical comedy entertaining and got some good laughs from the crowd as a teenage boy unwittingly gets granted superpowers and uses them for mischief. Puke, pony tails...and poofter jokes. Yes you absolutely lost me with a single word. I've made a stand against homophobic jokes in this competition for years and will continue to do so as long as I'm part of it. Good script, performances and editing from a technical point of view, though.
A pretty poor standup (George Clooney or nipple jokes, anyone?) gets the last laugh on earth, only it's really not that funny...This actually had quite a beautiful tone of love and despair. Simplistic in its approach to being the last person on earth with a search for a call and response, the film pulled at the heart strings due to a strong performance by the lead actor. I almost lost my suspension of disbelief due to keeping him camping about 15 minutes walk from the city, but overall this was nicely done.
There were some beautiful clean shots in this film, but not consistently throughout. Icky tone of panic and confusion homaging a rather obvious Christopher Nolan film with Guy Pearce but to me the narrative structure whilst clear and obvious did not fall strictly into the mystery genre. I mean to me if you had added more of your own twist to Memento than playing the Caligari madness/reality card it would have been better. The Doctor was a scene-stealer and I probably would have preferred to have seen the film centred more around him
Classic love triangle that was well carried by a very enthusiastic yoga instructing Harper Harrison. Shooting in an apartment is always a risk in terms of originality for this competition but the team had good energy, dialogue that did not feel forced and some lovely changes of pace such as the dream sequence. The match dissolve was also decent and I'm hoping the Hutt River doesn't turn up in my dreams tonight. Use of bread was very forced but not undone given how over the top it was.
A talky interrogation piece that seemed like the team was more keen on Cyber Thriller or Science Gone Mad than the genre they got. In my book you were way off the mark with Cat & Mouse given the whole concept of the genre is staying one step ahead of the chase; something you can't really have if the chaser is sitting down. The sound was no all clear and some shots were out of focus which also detracted however the film gradually built steam and there was no denying the blinking eyes/sexual revelations got a huge rise from the audience. Just not a Cat and Mouse film.
[DQ] Clearly throwing everything they had at the big screen I salute you for your meticulous guerrilla (very) lo fi production values. Some gonzo camera work as well as a couple of young kids tried to get to their grandfather's lab in relation to a Skynet-type takeover that was detailed through narrative exposition. I was never bored given you went to so much effort, my main point of advice would be to get some decent sound equipment and try and come up with a more original story idea next time.
[DQ] To the sound of what very much sounded like an Eagles guitar line, our lead sings that he is prepared to try anything to get to sleep. This works as a framework for others to give him advise/tips such as working out or seeing a shrink. The Daft Punk style dance-off was definitely the highlight as unfortunately the team did not have any great singers; good choice going with who you did as he was the best of the bunch.
As a family drinks at a bar to mark the passing of a member, the attractive young daughter catches the attention of the waiter serving them. I'm not sure what the mother did or represented to stand in his way, as this developed into more of a horror film than a reunion film. Some of the script was quite good, but the showdown on the roof that led to strangulation lacked any tension.
Those two minutes of uninterrupted dancing at the start of the film were the longest two minutes of the heats. Surely could have been trimmed, and didn't really add much to the plot at all. Once it got going the jibberish dialogue was pretty ridiculous, although the use of the line in audible English made me laugh out loud. Developed nicely into a tale of parents getting upset at their daughter choosing a much older man. Silly but completely random and couldn't stop watching.
I know that it is obviously your team's style, but shooting 9:16 just seems bizarre on the cinema screen. The reason that Hollywood has historical shown more image wider than taller is that most audiences don't care about the lower half of actors, but I don't need to lecture, I'm sure you had your reasons for doing it this way.
It was a fun little film about an English Language teacher being absolutely adored by his class. All lessons try and steer clear of the subject of sleep for obvious reasons, but once his condition is found out it allows the obsession levels to ramp up...Just writing that now I realised that you kind of got the character trait wrong as he was constantly sleeping, wasn't he? Given my own film had a dream with a girl with an umbrella I'm willing to cut your some slack.
Good team intro, good script and a good performance by the lead actress. Due to the fact that a serial killer had been giving calling cards to their victims before death, our lead follows each instruction she receives to the letter in a race against the clock (time limits are given on each card). My only real problem was the massive geographical errors in relation to Wellington which happened throughout the film; 10 minutes to run from Oriental Bay to the Botanical Rose Gardens??
A shame that you had lots of video artefacts/errors turn up in your screening. I was surprised that a few more teams didn't put Immoblised and Insomniac together to get Sleeping Beauty like you guys. You managed to show the streets without activity from others quite well, definitely had an eery feeling. Just needed more of a stronger storyline to tie everything together.
Who remembers the film Clockstoppers from 11 or 12 years ago? Um, I do, and it was a little bit ironic in my view for adults to rip off what was a children/family film. Bit more of a sinister dark vibe, given that the usage of stopping time was for criminal gain by our protagonist as opposed to stopping it in the original film. I thought the leads had good chemistry, but was disappointed that the team had not done something a bit more original.
The last couple of years the team has been pushing the boundaries, and this year drew the dreaded musical genre which had a much harder time being pigeonholed into their cinema verite/Harmony Korineish drug haze style. I must admit the harmonised opening song made me think that the team might at least give it a fairly decent go, but I was mistaken as it descended into sordid drug taking (I can understand others getting upset about the realistic class A use given there were kids in the audience and surprisingly no warning before the film played) and a surreal mess with scattered camerawork and no discernible plot. There was the potential I thought for this to be an original crazy take on sexual discussion, but I was unfortunately proven wrong.
How to deal with an odd flatmate who is keeping you awake at night because they cannot sleep themselves? Join them on a crazy adventure across Wellington, of course. I think this had the best use of the line in the heats so far; cheap but perfect with its timing. Full of bongs, pig masks, dramatic music and mayonnaise. Oh so much mayonnaise...
A foreman who can't sleep collides with a woman who has trouble finding love, and goes on a series of dates that we get to see the comedic result of. Played more like a Public Safety Announcement than anything, I thought if you edited it down it could have been a TV add regarding getting behind the wheel on a lack of sleep. The actress who was looking for love did a great job.
A postie/cyclist (sorry, wasn't clear which they were) tries to move on with his life after getting rejected by a receptionist. Of course, being given a map that should lead to The Heart of Bwindi treasure won't hurt if he manages to find it. Looked like you guys were having a good time making your film, and obviously went for the Indiana Jones route. Just all a bit low budget [eg, terrible sound] and cheesy [fight scenes were not good to be blunt], and it took me a long time to piece together the plotline that I have summarised here; trust me, it is not as clear as I have described.
Just because you included a computer and a digital camera in your film, does not cover your bases for the TECHNO thriller requirement. Also, the uncleared use of a few seconds of Bad Moon Rising by CCR in the background of one shot was a big no-no. Those were the negatives; the positives were that you made a great looking creepy film about a clown mime who is a little bit too comfortable with children. Despite being technically pretty good, the storyline needed development. There's a point where you can leave things up to the audience, but here I found it frustrating. Good work getting a big audience gasp, though.
This felt like a zero budget version of the 80s horror film 'Superstition' with a bit of Paranormal Activity thrown in (I'm guessing that was the much likelier source of inspiration) as flatmates dealt with an unseen menace that attacked quite suddenly, and would not let up. Your POV shot was excellent, but the film was lacking in scares. The watch not being kept was quite funny.
WTF. Yes, you get the honour of being the first team this year to have me actually use that acronym. Sock puppets trash talk rapped (if what they did could be considered so) on the middle of the road. Felt like you had a decent Act 1 if the song was clearer, and just needed an actual story to follow.
Whilst the shot of Wellington Airport with a subtitle of "London, England" may have been the hardest I laughed in all the heat films, there were a number of unfunny homophobic jokes. A jock basically waited around getting frustrated that the girl he never told he loved doesn't come back from England when she said she would. Also sounded like there was piano ripped out of Ben Folds' song 'Not The Same'. The girl who went to England (supposedly) was ok, but yeah the gay jokes were not cool.
Name of Short: "Insomniarama" (Genre: Non Dialogue)
We watched Vic Meyer entertain himself with tedious tasks in his apartment after being unable to sleep, before finally venturing outside. This was tedious and needed a dramatic arc; the streaking out of nowhere was funny but you also had some windy sound ruining a number of takes. At least the line was well used at the end.
At the Ministry of Android affairs, a bunch of new models are tested to make sure they are fit to continue in society. This was very talky and could have used some more cinematic action as it felt a bit tedious.
Excellent performance by Jackson Wood as...himself?? Nice twist on the obsession with an inanimate object contrasted with an actual real developing relationship with a person. Clever script, and a brave performance to go and get soaked on Cuba Street in the middle of May. Zany is a word that comes to mind, I noted minor sound level issues, but the team wore their guerrilla low budget approach with pride.
Took a leaf out of Grand Cheval's book (nowhere near as good as Child Jumpers, though) by doing a mockumentary that wasn't quite in that genre; plenty of talking heads but more where the team trying to save climate change were simply followed around as they tried to save the earth with the impending change supposedly happening in a matter of days. Some nice comic touches such as the email from Al Gore drew a decent audience response, but it was a one joke film and I hate talking heads in 48 Hours.
EDIT 12 JUNE 2013 AFTER WELLINGTON 48 HOURS FINAL. Boy watching this a 2nd time just made me absolutely cringe; your lead actor carries the film with an unrelenting loud in your face to the camera approach which obviously judges liked (but trust me, they all didn't love it by a long shot). The reason that downlowconcept and Grand Cheval mockos have worked in the past is by actually having character development with an emotional story arc. You had some really nice comic touches but this could have been pigeonholed to fit into any other genres.
Contemplating suicide, our lead has brief interactions with those who have mattered to him most in the past ala It's A Wonderful Life. Played seriously, this wasn't really an immobilisation film.
Knocked it out of the park; finals for sure, maybe nationals. Parents try to comfort their young girl about an unfortunate event, whilst she at the same time develops a plan to make $37 after a visit to the local gardening store. Great production values, excellent script and a superb performance by the lead actress. I loved that you basically showed the whole thing from the child's POV with the adults lower halves being shown when we were watching through her eyes. Darkly comic, children with ice creams and swear jars will never be the same again.
Felt like an Argento/Fulci homage given the insane amount of eyeball shots, this tightly shot short had a feeling of claustrophobia which suited the genre well. A creep with plenty of mannequins and what appeared to be a dollification fetish held a woman captive, hoping that she would be the one this time. I felt that if this had a clearer indication of his motives (a few words here and there would have sufficed) you could have been on to a really good short. I did enjoy the style, though.
A prisoner liaises with her councillor/attendant that she has been writing to get over the inability to sleep. This was more about the relationship between the two, and lacked any sense of urgency that the genre required. Well shot, but the storyline was unclear.
Black and White, but actually utilised this feature to its advantage as opposed to just about everyone else this year. A copy with a bit of a meandering job has sudden meaning put back into it when a flasher literally comes across his path, and keeps doing so. Is he delirious or is he onto a case? Only time will tell. Good script, with plenty of nudity, pubes, cleavage and horse heads. Final shot was amazing.
Vic Meyer thinks of all the ways he could try and kill his nemesis, and these get shown on screen accordingly including videogame martial arts fight, sword fighting, or gunning him down in an alley. The comedy comes from the bumbling, but it was neither so bad that it was good other than the "I just need to kill someone line", nor tedious. Just needed a bit more polish as half the film was just silly especially the swords.
A group makes their way into a prohibited area that then leads to a large series of tunnels. Of course, given that their goal is at the end, they have to try and traverse any dangers they can to get there. There were some excellent shots but tunnels despite looking great on screen are a little bit bland unless you do something different. The infomercial at the end was a good comedic touch but felt a little out of place. Loved the control room, though.
[DQ] A woman knows that a man in a coma will get better soon, yet inside his head he goes on surreal voyages every night (dream within a dream?) that lead to possible murders but it is never clear what is reality and what isn't. I think that the storyline was not very clear and this held it back.
A psychotic rugby jock, lawyer, 35 going on 30 physio and one other guy go into house for the new TV series 'Big Poppa'. Half the film was talking heads (which I despise in 48 Hours), and the rest was silly sexual jokes with a random act of violence thrown in. Lacked any real horror.
Clowns teleport to earth and rap/sing about them hoping this planet will allow them to chance to sleep for the first time in 10 million years. A couple of good ultra low budget physical effect jokes (gloves as beards, 'zzz' paper drawn out of a mouth), unfortunately I'm not the biggest fan of clowns and the music was random rather than catchy or melodic.
Currently not DQ, but from what I understand this one is on right on the line given that 48 Hours is actually not generally ok for fair use parodies, given that it is a commercial competition (and that is despite what the law says; there has been quite a hard line on this sort of stuff since a fantastic short in Auckland called 'Discount Taxi Driver' was DQ a few years back).
Trapped in the Closet parodied with subtitled singing about a guy who has just got out of jail [currently in a halfway house] trying to stay clean, who is asked to do one last drug pick up job for his best friend. Beautifully shot, and well sung, I expect it to be kept out of the finals because it goes a bit too far with the 'recreation'. The team apparently recreated the music themselves, but from someone who has watched R. Kelly's shorts an awful lot, this was way too close in my view. Ballsy to do a musical when it wasn't your genre, I would have recommended going by what the 48 Hours page said rather than consulting any legal experts.
Good original score about a sleep deprived man starting to see things without having got any decent REM cycles recently. I thought this was building ominously and actually wanted more, because ending where you did meant you got one good laugh/jolt and could have had a lot more.
Months of work on an android suddenly comes to fruition, and this short examined the repercussions given that not everything was exactly fine tuned yet. Could have been better, as just merging the ideas of Frankenstein and The Terminator without motivation for the killing removed any real tension. It was getting there towards the end in terms of the couple actually being believable, but was just a bit underdeveloped overall.
A one night stand leaves a bit too much of a lasting impression on coffee-loving Vic Meyer, who then proceeded to be the happiest stalker in Wellington. I think you pushed the one joke idea a little too far; it was working great up to a point but just needed to be cut off a little bit shorter. However the barking dog joke was fantastic and the guy playing Vic I can still remember staring intently with THAT smile on the big screen.
Surrounded by cans of V, Vic wonders why he can't sleep. Maybe it's the lack of drugs? Well that's the intuition he acts on and thus goes on a quest to procure some more illegal substances to get a good night's rest. The evil criminal with the skull on his desk was memorable, and I noted a nice original soundtrack.
Actually got the thriller part of the genre completely right as opposed to most who received this tricky genre. A good looking film of intrigue, as our lead delves deeper into something he discovers than he perhaps should, with men in ominous dark soots and a moody electronic soundtrack to boot. The use of google was comedy gold, and the chase sequence was very effect. As I said you nailed the thriller part, but the tech. part of your genre was a little bit lacking, as this is one of the few genres where you actually do need to show things for it to really work.
Vic Meyer keeps finding threatening cards wherever he goes whilst an angry young man tries to come to terms with the Hit and Run death of his brother. A clever short, with some solid camerawork and decent comedic timing.
Name Of Short = "Dear Vic" (Non Dialogue Genre)
Vic goes for a wander to school, only for a Columbine-like recreation to drive her a bit mad. Simple and short, this could have done with some fleshing out.
Frustrated young brats try to manipulate their android babysitter to go from young kid levels of entertainment to adult (3.5 inch disks storing the ability to change, much to my amusement). The plot developed nicely and the android POV shots were quite well done, as was the excellent final shot. I think your young leads did a stellar job, and the choice to go with a darkly comic approach gave the story credence.
I'd recommend working on your sound editing guys, as your levels were all over the place. We followed Vic Meyer down a series of leads into his investigation. I know it was done for comedy, but your tone was a bit off in terms of how you presented the drag queen. The concept of the detective and the drag queen having a mental connection of the same voices in their heads could have made for a great short, but instead this one was predictable.
Nice take on the genre; I'm guessing you saw the Martin Freeman starring world 48 Hours winner from a couple of years back? A mime in Civic Square felt that they were trapped in a concrete cubile, much to their friends' amusement and his frustration. I thought the switch between scenes of reality and the mind entrapment were exceptional, but the ending came a bit abruptly.
Age inappropriate casting = the best sort of casting! This film felt like it was more of a crime investigation than anything, although worked around an upcoming reunion. Focused on someone obsessed on catching up with the person they have been tracking for 3 years. I liked your earnest approach to the film, but finishing with "never leave me DAD" when he was clearly younger than the person saying it was just one example of why I lost suspension of disbelief.
The tension levels were high at the start of this one, as you had me horrified that you had spelt the character's name Vic Mayer, but of course I was relieved that nobody would be that stupid. A nice synthy soundtrack highlighted some focused training in preparation for something that wasn't entirely clear until it happened. Good macguffins with the bomb and the girl. Led itself to a pretty simple payoff that worked because of the physical humour. Just needed a bit more polish.
Vivid dreams and anxiety cause Vic Meyer to call his mates over for some company to reduce his stress levels. Rather than just chilling out though, they chose to watch a My Bloody Valentine-inspired slasher film. The killer with the axe coming through the red door was an absolutely sensational shot, and the film had a couple of ok jokes but felt a bit formulaic on the whole.
Short Name: "Something About Vicky" (Genre: Obsessive Relationship)
A new boyfriend is not much to the liking of a stalker of our lead actress, in this short which had some very funny POV shots (binoculars, hidden in a ditch). You got the element of being watched/obsessed over quite well done, but the relationship between the stalker and the girl would have fitted better into this genre had it been a two-way thing. Instead I'd probably actually put this one more in the horror basket, considering how the plot developed. At least you had a nice red herring with the travelling salesman, and the lead actress did a decent job.
Over zealous friends come to try and help Victoria get to sleep by singing some suggestions that they have. The listed suggestions were many, but it all seemed a bit silly as most of the film was talk-sung in rhyme, with an emphasis on poos and wees jokes. The payoff response from Vic was decent, but the music needed a lot more work. I understand this genre can suck, but it may pay to be a bit more prepared in case you get it next year (it happens more often than you'd think). Also, out-takes in credits are not always necessary; could have done with just the one.
A fake trailer for an upcoming horror-action film that included blood, intrigue, an exorcist priest and guns. First things first; the positives were that it was bold, fun and kept repeating keywords that would hopefully attract an audience if they were to come see the supposed film on release. Also made complete fun of itself ala the fake trailers in the Grindhouse (Planet Terror/Death Proof) releases. The negatives = why fake American accents? Why have part of the trailer scratchy like a film print and other parts in crystal clear HD? Why add a supernatural element with the shot of the priest and have the trailer announcer not mention it when you are promoting a horror film? Also, ambitious long trailers do often give you a general storyline idea without giving anything away and this did not. It was fun, but there were a lot of potential things that could have been done better.
A late night talk show host/a lonely middle aged man/a woman struggling to deal with her teenage son were the focus of this converging storyline effort. I commend you for having three storylines, as opposed to most teams who took the easy route of only going for 2; this has seriously proved to be a difficult genre for 2013. It was well acted, and reflected well on the fact that we as a society should have the right to live our lives the way we want. At least I interpreted that way. It was erring towards homophobia but I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt. Unfortunately I noted a couple of video glitches.
Interesting idea of a hitman planning his revenge in great detail, before trying to replicate what should in theory have been a smooth operation. Given the level of detail involved, there has to be some adaptability, of course. I really liked the concept of the eye technology and your lead held the story together well.
Slightly slow burning (but still funny) start as an office worker suffered the consequences of not paying attention to shutting down his computer in the race to try out a new Turkish restaurant. Ramped up a gear once the story got to prison, which looked great and garnered a good audience response. Fast and punchy, would not have been too out of place in a Spike and Mike compilation.
Now this was a lot of fun. A would be DIY plumber father tries his luck fixing the drains under the house, ignoring the warnings of his daughter whilst his wife and her friends get boozed. There have been a few complaints about the projection darkness levels at Vic this year, but I just have to point out that this one looked fantastic given that the team clearly went to great efforts to shoot under a real house. It wouldn't have been a Squidwig Production without some physical special effects, and this year they looked great.
As the title suggests, we followed seven minutes until theatre curtain, real time. This then worked as a framework for characters to tell stories, and a few revelations. Felt a bit off the cuff, fly on the wall in terms of style. The pacing was good, but unfortunately a number of the jokes simply fell a bit flat. I also feel that other than knowing curtain was going to open in 7 minutes, the short lacked urgency as to what needed to be done before then. It seemed like last minute fluffing than desperation.
Vic Meyer is lonely and horny, and so orders an android to try and remedy her solution. Getting a little bit more than she bargained for, this was a really charming love story, complete with dating montage, good humour and segueway shots of a lovely house cat to vary the pacing. This was going to be a 6 or 7 but then I remembered you used my boy Disasteradio's music in the most awesome fashion as well as having a completely unnecessary star wipe which I was the only person in the cinema to laugh at :)
Childhood imaginary friends returned to try and help an adult Vic Meyer get to sleep. As each represented a different personality treat, they also explained/tried their own remedies and cures. I thought this had some real potential, but was a little bit too varied. If the idea was to reflect Vic's frustrating then you succeeded, but was hard to tell. Getting inside his inner thoughts really got the short going somewhere, but then it ended a bit abruptly.
Great editing as a bicycle riding sandman has his sleeping sand stolen by an insomniac crime lord. Clever dialogue, and good cheesy action sequences. Am I right in thinking that the "Made as part of Rialto 48 Hours" end credit was missing?
A space battle between a hippo and lizard team, and an robot opponent, leads to a crash and exploration of an alien planet. Full of wordplay throughout (some cringe inducing, some bellyache funny), mostly of a slightly sexual nature, it was good to see this team back in the competition.
A comical phone conversation between a French hitman and his boss, who complains about the difficulty of the job and the fact that the corpse is having *ahem* issues. The lead did a good job carrying the film, and he really had to considering there were less than 5 cuts from memory throughout. Kept it simple and got lots of laughs from the audience. Having it in French and dealing with the situation in broad daylight gave it quite a quirky tone.
Stuck to his computer game, this contrasted with some blaring imagery of colourful lights. I get that he was immobilised by online solitaire, but the contrasting imagery did not make sense at all as to what the repercussions of this were.
A woman tries to sabotage her husband's trip to Auckland for an interview that could possibly tear them apart if he gets the job. Due to the sabotage, it becomes a race against the clock to get to the airport. Your sound could have been better, but this was an entertaining domestic take on the genre.
Now this was a really nice film. Contemplative but engaging as a young couple struggle to deal with the guy's obsession, one he has held on to when he should possibly just let go. Had a heartfelt message, both actors did a fine job and the soundtrack was ace.
Well this team certainly had fun, but the guy with the huge HD camera who was apparently a team member recording the screen at the heat = WTF?!?! Anyway this was about the legend of Baldy Dice and how he made his fortune; an android who hid this fact from the public. That was the framework the story worked around but most of it was random conversations between people, trains, and smoking a joint in a truck. Happy go lucky and funny, but your team member is an egg.
Insomnity is a combination of insomnia and insanity, we are told. The rest of the film was a bunch of shots of creepy guys in masks and close ups on the boozy lead's crazy eyes. Well, other than the buzz saw carving with screams. Needed more plot development.
For some weird reason the voting form said musical which obviously confused me until I realised that it was an immobilised film by coming on the site today. Basically a psychological breakdown of our lead was examined, on a camera that gave super clear video; at least as good as the Red ONE from what I could tell. Real shame that you had poor hissing sound in some instances which kind of negated the awesome look for me. However the plot really didn't go anywhere.
[DQ] Piss horse is coming for you...mainly set at a frat house with exploding dicks, more exploding dicks, horse pissing, and a woman giving birth to a horse amongst visual atrocities committed to screen. As per usual this was more about the experience of the visual assault than the storyline, which was slightly weaker than previous years; I understand the revenge but given that a lot of the action had no direct connection to piss horse it made it all the more surreal.
After being let go from an interrogation, a woman and child make their escape through the woods. Meanwhile, a hunter has his eye set on shooting a turkey for some dinner. Deadly serious film, just felt like both stories needed a bit more development.
Vic Meyer's days all blur into one, we hear in voiceover, and then the rest of the film was him doing meandering activities whilst searching for a red sock. Could have done with some more technological involvement, or leanings towards a thriller as per genre requirements.
An Ed Sheeran loving girl falls in love with the neighbours' scooter, much to her mother's annoyance (and fair enough to, having just bought her a really nice car). The flowing hair shots on the scooter were nice, but obsessing over an inanimate object meant that this lacked dramatic impact, especially as we were not given clear reason for the preference when the girl appeared to have it good otherwise.
[DQ] Non dialogue didn't need to mean non sound. Because of the lack of sound or music, this one actually felt quite eery. Well done on the audience for being respectful as we silently watched a woman try to deal with her inability to sleep. Felt like there was something missing to tie everything together, because the note about not forgetting what she had done, whilst giving the film at least a little dramatic movement, was also underdone. Just watching someone sit around for most of the film reading a book and watching a hamster was a tad frustrating.
12 June 2013 REVIEW EDITED AFTER SECOND VIEWING AT WELLINGTON 48 HOURS FINAL (Fact I didn't 'get it' the first time I think points to the fact your film was unclear):
A high school reunion hookup aftermath film with a Tangerine-dream like score, mainly set in a parked car by the beach. A realistic portrayal of regret and hope, as two would be-lovers try quickly to make up for a lot of lost time. Coming in on the action after the drunken party and only letting the soundtrack try and convey emotion for any real conclusion felt flawed in my book. Reflecting now the film had a welcome change of pace right into the action, but I almost feel like Act 3 was missing, but then I'm assuming that you were going for a fly on the wall theatrical-type piece and letting the audience make their own conclusions. I think I "got it" this second time, but being held together by a soundtrack is always a dangerous thread to be hanging on.
16 June edit - drunk emotional irrelevant sections of the review removed.
Ok, so Wikipedia justifies that poetry is music. However the website did indicate with regards to this genre that it did want singing, but I can appreciate what you did. If I wasn't clear just now, the team went with poetry and a disclaimer at the start of the film, as well as choreographing the rhythm in the corner throughout the film for a picture in picture effect. Vic Meyer expressed her thoughts and feelings in some lovely poetry throughout the film, which was just her and nobody else. Some beautiful shots, but the same ideas that were established in the first couple of minutes (insomnia, loneliness) kept getting emphasised. The "count to 24" scene brought a lot of unintentional laughter from the audience. Props for being original, but yeah the organisers did say they wanted singing...
Psychotic flatmates, although the development of this was underdone. With a couple of red herrings such as police investigating a disturbance and one flatmate being presented as creepy, this went towards the crazy a bit abruptly and simplistically. The film worked better at the start with the creepy vibe and would have been better not to veer away.
[DQ] a human puppet takes us through a post apocalyptic Wellington (well, other than a couple of shots where cars were seen moving in long shots) as he waits for their return. You needed to have two separate stories at least, and only gave us one so therefore did not do your genre. Even if you had, whilst there were some nice shots it all was a bit meandering.
A chronicle of madness in the search to find a cure for substance V. Just being a scientist doesn't really qualify for the techno part of your genre. Carried by one actor, the team explored his madness and schizophrenia with focus on eyeballs and conversations with himself, as well as voices in his head. Needed a stronger plot; you could have used this mental descent but didn't really tie it together and it became tedious.
[DQ] and verrry sadly DQ at that, as this was the best out of competition short so far. I was promised an ambitious short, and it really delivered on that expectation. This had such an 80s vhs neon vibe that it was incredible. It was like the punk buddy cop version of Robocop, with our 4.2% cyborg feeling a strong sense of justice against the Mr. Big type character who made him the way he is. Not just vengeance though, but to protect the valuable quantum that scientists have been working on. Over the top and full of action and dodgy special effects [floating buddy robot, anyone?] and one liners, I loved it. Only minor gripe was the use of the same pun a few times but not an issue at all.
Title of Short: "The Since of Kung-Fu" (Genre Action/Adventure)
We are told that kung-fu is more of a science than cheap tricks and fancy moves, which worked well as an opening for this tale of revenge. Deliberately awful dubbed voices and fight scenes worked well, as well as an obligatory montage or 2. It felt a bit derivative of Kung Pow and Kill Bill, but still had its charms such as the hands in the fire and floating heads.
Drug dealers with an appetite for pies contemplate whether to try taking down their crime lord, whilst being on the run from the guy they nicked some special K from at the start of the film throughout. Decent rapport built up between the two leads, and of course hilarious when they got hungry and contemplated mince vs steak and cheese. I thought the story was a bit muddied and the payoff at the end abrupt.
Taken from bed, gagged, and mummified by two masked assailants, our lead struggles desperately to escape. Given the sinister approach those with masks take, it is easy to understand our lead's efforts (great performance by that guy). Tough genre, nice payoff. I liked how you at least tried to build a profile for the guy we followed on screen for most of the film, with the joke about the staplers a particular highlight.
After scanning space, the Earth Defence Force finds out that a threat is on the way which will kill us all in 24 hours. Luckily a super toddler may be able to save us all, reminiscent of 70s film The Visitor aka Stridulum. The head explosion self destruct was funny, but it seems (like last year) that you made a film to appeal to yourselves. This was better, but the constant repeated shots of the toddler were tedious.
Strong electrotherapy to cure insomnia. Sound a bit dangerous, doesn't it? And it proves that way when we are advised that if Vic Meyer doesn't wake up in 14 hours, she will sleep/walk forever. There were a few good lines, and ideas regarding conscious/subconscious behaviour, but I felt that some more character motivation was needed for the actions that we saw on screen.
I appreciate unsettling your audience. For me, to have an effective film that has this with its ultimate goal, you want to start on a level and then build towards the payoff. What this film did; an unpleasant tale of domestics gone awry, was to start negatively and finish in an unpleasant manner. This meant that our lead actor's swearing outbursts and violence felt a bit jarring. There were moments which indicated a more peaceful domestic situation, and his obsession could have been what gave rise to the situation, but the fact that they were only glanced at meant the actions felt unjustified on the whole.
[DQ] Possibly a contender for best soundtrack if you weren't disqualified. Four tales were aurally connected by a tranquil soundtrack. It appeared they all conveyed a certain emotion such as expression (the guitar player), innocence (the girl hugging the teddy bear), self-identification (the woman putting on makeup) and freedom (the jogger). Made you think, but I almost feel like the team was leaving it up to the audience too much, because whilst the experience was powerful, it did not really tell a story, which I feel is the whole point behind the competition.
It makes it hard to review when you're seeing an idea for the umpteenth time in a 48 hours year, having thought the previous teams were original, and yet the later entries may be the best of the bunch in terms of using that concept. This was the case here, with mistaken identity and criminals involved. Almost a double reunion film, it set out charmingly and quickly developed. Some nice visual touches, it was short and to the point.
So there have been some teams in the last few years that have gone very far in this competition making unusual or striking visual choices. This film was also visually very different, but the thing that separates the really good films is that they will still tell a very strong story. A lot of this film was pure eye candy, which makes giving a star rating kind of hard as I'm sure they nailed what they set out to achieve, but it felt like the unclear storyline did not engage the audience as much as it could have. I don't think I will ever forget the cat legs, though. Or the dream dancing with the lion and chief. Music was good, at least, but I personally found it a case of style over substance.
A bong fortune-cookie smoke up film that had major technical issues with the sound. Shot in Black and White for no apparent reason, given that the art direction did not emphasise the contrast that this stylistic choice offers. Seemed like the 'horror' was metaphorical, but the lack of a clear plot meant that this was hard to discern.
A late night infomercial addict, and an infomercial star with a few issues at the local TV studio have their lives chronicled back and forth, which led to some fantastic visual gags. The performance of the lead actress in particular was fantastic, and this had a huge crowd reponse. My only real issue bringing this film down was that I felt the resolution was entirely predictable, although the physical comedy made up for that.
A ripoff of the film Jumper, but done with a local charm. Set in the year 2078, a couple of cyber cops are sent to investigate recent illegal jumping activity [I'm pretty sure; the wall of text at the start was TL;DR]. Kept it real with locations including the racecourse stands, and the local dairy, you got good performances out of your young actors. I liked that you mixed up the tone with the serious guys (ending was a shock!) and the happy go lucky fishing kids. Just need to do an original idea next time.
Shot in Vienna, right? Pretty damn cool to see this, and explained the lack of 'kiwi' accents (if you want to be PC). I love me a good hammy 48 Hours film and this fit the bill to a tee, to the point of being a contender for best worst film, I think. An expert lecturer in Mozart takes the fight to her nemesis who is also looking for the famed lost sonata. The fact he has her husband kidnapped of course means that things are a bit more stressful than she would like, as she only has 3 days to find it or he is dead. Just a little bit too talky for my liking for an action/adventure.
Having said that, if they still had or have a most manic award, then your ginger haired villain would have to be near the top of the list.
From what I gathered, Vic Meyer visited a Tarot Card reader with the intention of curing his woes of being unable to sleep. As each card was presented, the description was then backed up on screen eg, financial troubles. I think you needed to explain what a cunniffe is, because that appeared to be a key plot point which was lost on the audience (I talked to several people). The warm colour scheme was nice at times, but there were also a couple of tech glitches such a director sound remaining in used takes for the final film.
Good script had a couple of guys tied to a chair, sending out a call for help that produced some cracking dialogue between themselves and two farm women. "Txt that you're a little bit kidnapped" = very funny. Exploding sheep and revelations kept the plot ticking along, I was really loving this until the ending, as I felt that your insomniac Vic Meyer was quite weak in terms of the character trait.
After getting bored watching TV (please don't use actual TV footage in future, it's a big no-no under the competition rules), the chance to win $500k suddenly gets Vic Meyer excited and he races towards Wellington Town Hall to try and collect. I sat in wide eyed amazement as our lead shuffled his bdsm gear to the side of the kitchen bench before picking up his keys. Just about the whole thing was shot POV, and whilst there were some nice shots, the editing needed some work especially as geographical continuity errors in Wellington are a bit of a bugbear. At least you stuck to your genre.
Hyper-kinetic warriors must deal with the repercussions of a new companion making their 2 a 3, who grows very attached after their life is saved in the woods. I did not want to peel my eyes away from the screen for a second as the film moved with the pace of a bullet train. Like a comic book come to life, we were greeted with bold colours and daring camera work.
I was reminded of many films; Shogun Assassin, Princess Bride and the 36th Chamber of Shaolin immediately coming to mind but this was an original beast all of its own with that incomparable Moffilaide touch. With some fantastic special effects the quest to return to the warrior's sensei many miles away may just be the best film these boys have made. Fantastic.
Great time lapse shot of Wellington to start; one of the most beautiful images I have seen so far in the competition. From here the team presented a nice cinematic vision (contrast pumped up) of a man coming to grips with the fact that he may not be human. Also nice sound design and the lead actor had good screen presence, although the film ended a bit abruptly.
Ok, I get what you do here by interpreting that monologue did not qualify as dialogue. However in future years if you are given a non-standard genre I would highly recommend reading the website, which gives you examples and often explains what the organisers are looking for/do not want you to do. Narration of non dialogue was clearly stated as not being acceptable.
Ignoring that fact, a non sleeping Vic Meyer told us of how her relationships have developed over the years, and why a particular boy really piqued her interest. I liked the jokes that contrasted her idealised view of him versus what we saw ie, nice small = crooked teeth and date night = Xbox. More of this would have been good, but in a way that qualified under your genre.
Having parted ways following a defeat in a 2009 Tiddlywinks championship game, this mockumentary followed the process of a team reunion to try and take down reigning champ Vic Meyer. I do not like Talking Heads in 48 Hours as it means people can just describe rather than show events. The other issue is that if you describe character traits then you should really actually back that up when said character turns up on screen. I felt this short would have improved without the talking heads as it would have allowed the characters to develop more naturally. The talking got to the point of being tedious.
Big pat on the back for really getting stuck in and giving this genre a go. Obviously you didn't have access to the pro recording gear that some teams may have, but the fact that 90% of your film was sung does get my respect. Basically the head tenant calls a meeting to try and sort out some major flat issues, which get responses of the musical variety. I think there were three key things to this short that would have improved it; firstly, some dynamic action by having actors/camera movement rather than sitting around. Secondly, moving away from your flat as a shooting location, or if you do shoot in your flat then you need to add some eye catching visuals to make it stand out. Third, towards the end when you mixed all the songs together they did not seem to harmonise so perhaps stick to one at a time (although if that had come together it would have been great).
Mental deterioration horror, as the lack of sleep snaps the conscience of our central protagonist. It was more than that though, as the absence of parental figures and sibling rivalry got explored although those areas were both kind of glossed over. I thought you had some fantastic shots into the mirrors with the lead actress playing the duel angel/devil personas really well.
A board game playing syndicate has high stakes, that increase when Vic Meyer arrives to the party. Full of puns on popular creations by the likes of Hasbro, Jenga etc this team simply went with one idea and ran full steam ahead. Some hissing sound distracked, but the guerrilla approach was really entertaining. I think the hierarchial structure and importance of change could have been examined a bit more though, as the convergence of stories was a bit weak.
I'm trying to think of something constructive to say about this film, and I appear to have noted a nice shot regarding blood in the shower, so I'd recommend going and watching some Brian de Palma and Dario Argento before next year's comp in case you get this genre again. I know the team got horror, but given I've seen more than a few of them over the years, it would also be nice to not see a female brutally killed in 48 Hours for supposedly having wronged a lead male actor. The unfunny toilet humour joke that was repeated didn't help things. There seemed to have been some light in his memories of her; perhaps go for the psychological aspect next time without said violence against women? It might have all been a dream, but given so many teams are using the insomnia as a cop out to do this, I'm not buying that.
The best horror films I've seen this year have been creepy or reversed the tables for the women in them. Men going crazy and killing women is just frustrating, not scary in this competition. Sorry I'll stop ranting.
Contrasting stories between 2 crooks on the run and a scientific videographer/tv show naturist. The recent escapees built up some good rapport as buddies, but ended up being quite mean spirited. I guess that's acceptable given how strung out they would be in real life. The guy getting footage of worms had much better screen presence, although the same joke was used a few two many times. The convergence really felt abrupt which is what brought the rating down.
A couple of flatmates try to deal with their issues; one a computer hacker and the other just having had a brain implant to try and help him sleep. Some fantastic camera angles from way up high in the corner of bedrooms, but the spazzing out towards the end possibly could have done with some restraint. I also felt there was great potential for a cross between the two storylines, but it seemed like they just existing alongside each other until the end.
In a way this could have been construed as a returning vet film, given that most of the film was fire and duck/run military action in the woods with the contrast bumped way up on the images presented. Not a lot else happened, and could have benefited with some originality. I also think your final plot point could have been developed or mixed in earlier.
[DQ] Pretty sure I recall this team actually making use of the left/right channels for their sound design which was a nice touch for the voiceover narration at the start, because usually it's a bit of a tired way to get things rolling. This one just got better and better though, full of puns as the case of the missing sandwich was looked into by one flatmate who clearly saw themselves as a bit of a Humphrey Bogart figure. Not just puns but some genuinely good jokes, with the exceptionally long description of the missing food itself a particular highlight.
First film so far where pretty much the entire thing was shot POV. An immobilised child gets taken care of; dressed, fed and even has their birthday cake candles blown out for them...but they long to be free and go outside. I liked the ballsy approach to shoot the whole thing this way but the story really didn't develop as it could have. This was partly because of the whole thing being POV we did not see the negative reaction towards being immobilised.
In Slovakia, Eastern Europe, a couple with access to nuclear launch codes are held tied up and captive by a terrorist who threatens to torture them again unless he gets the numbers he needs for a strike. Clearly shot footage (nothing really striking though, it was mainly shot/reverse shot couple tied to chairs versus villain in the shadows) and a couple of name actors, but not really a Race against the Clock film at all.
OK, I really like what you guys do, but for the second consecutive year (last year you were official DQ and I remember hearing Skrillex - Bangarang, this year your film played and I guess if it plays it stays) you have used copyrighted material in your film. I'm talking the 20 seconds or so footage from the videogame 'Moto GP' at the start. Only docking you to an 8/10 though (would have been a 9)
A cracking trippy start leads to the examination of a polyamorous three-way relationship where both a guy and a girl obsess over Vic Meyer. Bonding over motorcycles, coffee and cinema, this felt like a divine mix between the 60s French New Wave and a modern music video, but with emotional power.
Great audio jokes abounded as a relaxation Android gets unpacked and tries every setting it knows in order to please its master. The actress who played the android did a fantastic job and I have just cracked up again laughing whilst writing this review thinking about those whale sounds.
A deadly serious take on the aftermath of someone passing away. Quite a draining film as one by one friends and family offer up their condolences for the loss. The film looked nice in terms of clear shots and appropriate framing, but the barren flat was bland. The fact we started on a low and ended on a low meant that the emotional resonance was not quite as strong as it could have been had there been cause and effect involved. Nice effort from a first time team, though.
A life of solitude that has been deeply ingrained by social awkwardness since high school. This focused a bit too much on meandering daily activities, and went for the horror/revenge route a bit too simplistically. I felt it had real potential given show sombre our lead was made to appear, so it was disappointing that it all ended so suddenly and obviously.
It takes a lot of care to build a birdhouse, but greedy crows should be careful, especially if the master of the house is a bit of a ruthless gangster with sold skills using a hammer. A brave performance by the lead actor who sure can hold a note. Only really one song, but it sure did deliver. Seemed a little bit lo fi at first with a sinister acapella build but then bust out into a full on Busy Berkley inspired jazz number with blood red being the defining colour rather than black and white.
James Nokise is a funny man, and he carried this film rather excellently. As a government consultant, he is faced with the hard task of trying to raise more money through schools initiatives. Singing about how two birds can be hit with one stone by putting pokies in schools, he gets a conscience attack from old politicians on parliament grounds. All of this is of course conveyed through song, and whilst some of the lyrics were a bit muddied, the gist was good and any time that a line needed to be heard the team made sure it was.
"I'm an insomniac" just sounds funny when adult teams do this. This was about a P.I. searching for a missing girl to reunite with her twin sister. The only thing is, you kind of made the reunion anticlimactic by showing the audience a bit too much. If someone is missing, it pays to keep them missing if the reunion scene is going to be your payoff.
In preparation for his girlfriend's birthday, our lead tries every conceivable idea that they can come up with in order to make her the perfect present, only for him to fail miserably in a comic manner. Made a good fist of the genre by throwing a lot of energy at the screen, the script, for lack of a better word, was a lot of fun. Lead actor had a lot of charm and I noted a nice original score. A couple of minor tech issues and a bit simplistic, but very enjoyable.
Absolutely gonzo camerawork here folks! Having made his money by designing when androids were just coming into fashion, a beekeeper buys his own model to work as a friendship companion. Most of the film was just buddies hanging out, with the insane camerawork like I said. Amazing jump off the wharf guys, so I'm bumping you up a star because of that.
A ghost (everything from their angle told via POV) obsesses about the perfect new guy in her flat, but he doesn't quiet see things the same way and so gets a ghost doctor/Shaman in to try and help him get rid of the spirit. This started poorly but really built well, with some fantastic bright colours highlighting the action when it came time for the showdown. The shaman stole the show with his facepaint and wild acting.
Name of Short: "The World" (Race Against the Clock Genre)
[DQ] A guy plays a videogame where he gets to create the word, but the first time he plays a woman who is a glitch enters the system and won't leave him alone. The relationship develops, but I felt this was more of a techno thriller than anything. Contained some nice early morning shots of Wellington but could have done with some more character development.
This gave me flashbacks to a film called 'The Manipulator aka BJ Lang Presents'. This is not a good thing. After capturing and sewing up two guys and a girl as human puppets, it is time for us to sit back and watch the show put on by the lead actress who is in control of the actors and the cinema audience. The makeup she put on the captives was creepy at first, and the sewn mouth still is come to think of it, but it got tedious quickly.
Best kidnapping for a stag do, ever, says the old timer running on fumes. Apart from the fact that the wrong guy possibly may have been nabbed, he's got a good point. This was just full of energy, short and to the point.
I saw you had some decent gear in your intro, so not quite sure what happened with your motion problems; possibly an issue outputting in 25 frames? There was some excellent comedic back and forthing between a brother and sister 'taken your pills?' - 'nup.' but other than that, this tale of a girl who would do anything to impress her first date (after being stood up the last couple of times) was ok. It needed more action, or more adventure, or ideally a combination of both. You hit some genre troupes such as the one liners and running from baddies but needed more.
Domestics lead into some very dangerous online gambling, because rather than sell the family house or abandon his wife and daughter, our lead decides to partake in a life/death shoot out. I'd probably need to watch this again to make my mind up on your stylistic choices, but by and large I think they worked because it differentiated the gambling from the real world.
[DQ] I came incredibly close to not putting up a review of this film. I thought I missed something the second time we watched it, but if I did then so did the 6 or 7 other people I talked to who also thought the only noticeable difference was a slight chance of pacing at the start and some added music at the end reminiscent of Vertigo. * If you weren't at the heat the wrong file played; the team were in competition but chose to DQ themselves and hand in a 'better' version for artistic integrity and thus we watched the 'correct' version at the end of the heat.
...onto the film...
A young woman on the edge losing her will to live in the present day is contrasted with an old couple who have just received what likes like a standard television set in the 60s (?), but after playing around with the receiver for a bit is shown to be more than its initial appearance. The team went for a slightly meta approach in terms of the convergence of the storylines. Well acted, well shot. I personally think you should have stayed in the competition but appreciate that is entirely up to you.
Nicely picked spacey sounding music selected from Big Bang and Fuzz complimented this short very well, I thought. After a radio report of women going missing, we follow Victoria who is clearly upset by the goings on, and her friend even more so. Ordinarily I hate wake up/breakfast and coffee shots to start films but you had a really good vibe going. Creepy neighbour was suitably creepy. You did a good job of going for the show rather than tell approach, but in this instance the ending was quite abrupt.
Probably the best horror film I've seen so far this year. A sinister looking box has quite severe consequences when a couple of young lads decide to open it up. Why is it full of strange looking photographs? This left a lot up to the audience to interpret and was much the better for it. Neat visual effects and make up, well shot and a creepy atmosphere throughout. Thumbs way up.
Slow discovery for an android that they are in fact an android, and beginning to malfunction the pacing was all over the place but the lead actress had good screen presence. What appears to be a basic website built over the actual weekend was a neat touch. I understand that androids are not human and therefore a negative discovery for them doesn't logically need an emotional response, but I felt you needed to mitigate the anger a bit better upon discovery of the fact.
Well framed story arc of infatuation that neatly showed how young love can easily become a bit over the top through misinterpretation. Cookies, cards and stalking by the dozen. You quiet cleverly had the lead actress borderline breaking the fourth wall, but it meant we saw how singular she was. Thus when friendships had to be examined it actually had some good weighting to it.
I think this might be my favourite script of the entire competition so far. Three days out from her 18th birthday, a girl decides she hasn't lived enough of her life and draws up a pre-adulthood bucket list. This is of course to prevent a midlife crisis in future that is bound to happen due to the human body clock. So what could be on this list? Boys, partying, rebelling...and "exploring self-identification". Just wow. I thoroughly enjoyed this and think you should win best teen film this year; your comic timing is amazing.
I see this being noted as being an 'Immobilised' film but my notes are really lacking anything that highlighted how you explored that angle, and making sure your film is identifiable as its given genre should be one of the first things an audience is able to pick up on with 48 Hours. Friends tried their best to help out a depressed/immobilised Vic Meyer. A great POV shot from the basin, but really needed a stronger narrative arc.
Life is a cycle that is like living an asylum, proclaims our protagonist, a seemingly innocuous voiceover at the start of the film that has far greater ramifications when you reflect on the events that unfold over the rest of the film. DAMN shame about the lights in the theatre being stuffed up for this one; sorry guys! (It wasn't my fault, something to do with an alarm being tripped). I saw in your intro you were shooting on a DSLR and whoever was your DOP did an excellent job + the grading was lovely. We followed assassins with one really strung out due to lack of sleep and determined to get his kill at any cost. Beautiful and took the risky serious approach. A little bit bland though for the most part but worked great when you went into dark comedy near the end and so think it would have benefited to explore that angle a bit more.
Super-hyper start to the film piqued my attention, this had a couple of really fantastic shots and lighting as well as some good stunt work. However it also completely ripped off Hitman. You definitely have a great eye for style, so try and come up with something a bit more original next time.
Videogame addiction altering the ability to sleep, made me worried we were going the exact same route as a number of teams this year but then all of a sudden we had a time travel angle added! Good concept, but felt like you stood around and talked a bit too much. I'd also recommend staying away from windy areas if you are going to shoot on camera sound in Wellington.
We were warned before the film played that the team would take revenge on us for given them musical, so I embraced myself for some cringe and yet found myself really enjoying a charming little film. It was very random and sporadic, as Vic Meyer tried to find a cure to help them sleep complete with some Eyes Wide Shut masks and ballroom dancing. I hate bagpipes but their use was perfect comedic timing. The 'Ron Weasley' credit also brought a laugh.
Cranial muffin does not really sound very endearing, and neither did it to our central protagonist when the very mention of the words took him to some dark, cannibalistic places with his ex in the back of his memory vault. I felt a real sense of unease throughout the film, which I’m hoping is what the team wanted to convey.
This team gave me that feeling of being just a little bit too confident in their intro, however they delivered a good film so I'll forgive them for that. Two soldiers were sent back in time to try and stop a mad scientist from unleashing the prevention of sleep as we know it the world over. A basic framework, but one that allowed the team to essentially make a buddy film full of jokes, although personally many of them fell fat but I still appreciated the jovial spirit presented on screen. One of the better Vic Meyer's so far, with quite dastardly aspirations in fact.
Police try to solve a murder case of a strangled old man whilst an unwell old lady tells toilet jokes to her hospital attendant. The two stories intertwined well, although quite simplistically. Some of the deadpan dialogue brought laughs, such as casually knocking on a woman's door and casually telling her "just here to talk about a recent murder". I think the one thing it lacked would have been motivation for the killer, but that might have made things a bit complex.
A 'breather' prepares to confront 3 Androids, and in preparation tells verrry detailed stories of his previous freedom fighting/cases that he dealt with. I was going to say there were some nice sound design touches but then I remembered that the levels were loud to the point of making me grate my teeth. Definitely needed to show rather than tell much more than it did, I was looking forward to the showdown but instead got one tinny raygun shot before the end.
A martial arts teacher shuts down his dojo after an accidental death under his watch, and the rest of the film was mostly about his mental anguish/fighting other warriors in his dreams. Despite the disclaimer that this would be the most random film we'd see in 48 hours this year I'd disagree as I've already seen my fair share of animal outfits and ninjas this year. It was actually relatively straightforward compared to a lot of other films, with some nice shots, it was just very tedious. Given the martial arts training at the beginning it would have been nice to see some proper martial arts fighting given you had action as your genre.
[DQ] A very bad couple of days are chronicled for our lead actor, who goes from having a girlfriend and thinking he was going to have a nice enjoyable day hunting, to not really being in the same mindset by the end of the film. I understand that the narration came whilst said lead was immobilised, but most of the on-screen action was not in that situation. Difficult call I guess as the genre could be interpreted as being an end result whereas in my mind the idea would be immobilisation for the majority of on-screen action. Technically good for the most part as per usual, and the dog did a great job.
Representing Palmy with pride, this had a great setup of the discovery of betrayal and someone being told to simply run for their life as they were going to be hunted. I love human hunt films as the danger seems so much more real, but after the fantastic start, the horror element basically went missing. Well shot, poor sound but I felt it needed to do more to actually give us some tension once the hunt started (sorry for harping on about the same point)
Fate or obsession? Sometimes a difficult question to answer, as a seemingly innocuous relationship gathers steam pretty damn quick at least on one end. Kept ramping up the obsession at a suitable pace until (in my mind) a homage to 'Heathers' brought things to a fitting conclusion. Both leads were excellent.
A teen team explored gambling addiction here and the distance it can put between people, as well as its highs and lows. There were some really good harmonies in your music, but live on camera sound for singing is generally a bad idea, because the lack of clarity meant I had a hard time distinguishing the lyrics. A couple of neat editing effects.
David Caruso eat your heart out! The POV peeing was one of the best uses of the required shot I have seen so far. This CSI parody followed a murder investigation where the only real evidence they had was shoe registration of the apparent killer. Full of one-liners, taking the piss out of cop show computer systems (zoooooming in and maintaining clarity) this was really enjoyable. The guy with the Murray/Flight of the Conchords voice was excellent, but some of the other acting was a bit wooden and I did notice a couple of audio errors. Yeahhh!!!
A rookie cop experiences her first murder investigation but not everything is what it seems. I understand going for the laugh with him in a very long trench coat and her in a very short skirt, but someone voiced their concerns about this to me and it did stand out in my mind as well. I'm no prude and this would be a tame example, but it is an example nevertheless of the unnecessary objectification of women in 48 hours. The conclusion was really quite creepy, but felt like the film could have either kept going a bit more or tried to give us motivation given the position of the revealed killer.
Really terrific editing, as we had a visual assault to outlay the mental workings of a psychotic patient's mind. But rather than just use this as an excuse for crazy or random imagery, this actually showed the desperation being trapped by mental illness. Definite contender for best teen team, the audience (who had mostly been rudely commenting throughout the heat's films) shut up and watched in complete respect.
A race to stop Vic's girlfriend opening a letter to dump her but let her know that he always loves her, after a change of heart. This was short but to the point with a couple of nice comedic touches.
*This was Obsessive Relationship not horror [although it could have come under either]
A sinister new friend arrives on the scene and quickly builds rapport with Miss Meyer. Despite warnings that everything might not be what it seems, it is impossible to keep the two inseparable. Exceptionally well done sound design; loved the creepy whispering, very poor camerawork with most of the picture being slightly out of focus.
Repeatedly slammed against the wall and bullied, Vic plots away his plan for revenge that will in his eyes make him a champion of the school. This plan is of course a dramatic showdown fight under his new guise of having transformed himself into a robot. Luckily this one actually had a really positive attitude, with the respect and adoration of his peers being his goal ala 'Lucas' (watch it now, you'll love it). Charming robot design and some good comedic timing as well, this had its heart in the right place.
After being denied by a potential date, Vic Meyer's evil conscience really gets in his ear. Of course, things keep getting worse and we see his frustration build. Could have done with a lot more development other than the high school rejection leads to murder as per normal in 48 hours.
Worked with what they had to do a dreamy adventure film. What they had being a cow costume and a nice dress for the two leads to respectively wear. I would recommend really getting to know your camera and workflow before the weekend, because there was some noticeable hissing by using the camera sound as well as some bad white balance levels throughout. The revelatory twist around dreaming/reality was nice but unfortunately ruined by some of your colleagues in the audience talking loudly.
Found a great location of what appeared to be an abandoned school and used it for a gun shoot out, which I'm thinking the team may have tried to do whatever genre they happened to get. Felt very Call of Duty-ish to me, but because it was more stealth based action I guess it could be considered a thriller. Fit into its required element through the ending, but did feel a bit pigeonholed. You did have some excellent shots in there, though.
Tough luck getting this genre as it obviously did not play to your strengths. After literally waking up on the wrong side of the bed (tip, don't spend the first 60 seconds of your film having your character wake up/brush their teeth etc), our lead made their way to school where the consequences of being an insomniac played out. You needed to have at least 2 clearly separate storylines converging, because what you showed on the side was inconsequential and would not be considered a 'converging storyline' film to most.
Birthday-set musical with a creepy psychotic teacher providing some comic relief. Only really a couple of songs but both were well sung, although the story arc was not entirely clear. Appeared to be do with consequences of not putting in the hard work at school, so what I'm saying is that the script needed some work.
Three witnesses to a murder decide to meet up again for reasons unknown. I liked the core story but would recommend sticking to the old adhage of showing rather than telling your audience. You may not have seen it, but your opening POV shot was fantastic and very reminiscent of one of my favourite slasher films from the 80s called 'The Burning'.
A visual tale of someone with aspirations for being a creative writer and a knack for wearing tuxedos, struggling to deal with what people think of him. You managed to convery a neat little story here, obviously you were using the school's gear but with some better equipment I can see some real potential. Nice dramatic touches but go outside the comfort zone of you school as your location next time.
There are other ways to show a screaming match than actually showing a screaming match between 4 people all at once on-screen. However I understand what you were trying to do with a comedic, in your face take based on the ridiculous concept of paralysation from goanna wrestling. Another best worst contender.
The midnight loser of ‘Sketchosaurus’ will have to leave the flat to make way for the beloved Charlie. This framework sets the way for a number of great verbal and visual jokes between the obnoxious flatmate, the generally ignored flatmate, the art painting flatmate and the flatmate whose mother recently passed away. I thought it could have had some more variety as flats are a pretty boring backdrop all up, but it was very entertaining.
Did you shoot this in the Thorndon/Wadestown woods? Sure seemed eerily similar to where my own team considered shooting over the weekend, but didn’t. At a therapy session Vic explains how he met 3 women who immediately became possessive of him. Being as it was his dreams and not reality though this has negative connotations to say the least. Quite a sad film and had potential but the psychiatry/therapy stuff just ruined it.
Detectives at a crime scene riff on each other and go over potential suspects before settling on the janitor of the workplace for examination given his access to everywhere inside the building. Deadpan cop/livewire cop offered a nice contrast but the sound levels were poorly mixed on the whole which detracted.
Definitely adventure more than action as a couple of siblings set out for treasure that they believe their grandfather will have left them after they scatter his ashes. This sparks the sister up as she has been given a 48 hour notice of foreclosure, and so the hunt for treasure represents a chance to save the farm. That description makes the plot far more convulated than it was. The main charm behind this film was its true blue kiwi dialogue and positive energy, which overcame any technical shortfalls it may have had.
Techno as in dance rather than techno as in technology, it seemed given the soundtrack and general lack of modern electronic equipment. We followed a hitman still attached to his dog teddy bear ‘Poundy’. This loveable toy has pretty flimsy body parts though, which throws a bit of a spanner in the mix when he takes on a job to kill a girl. The lead actor had great screen presence, and with a little less inane ramblings and a bit more work on a plot you could be onto a winner.
One man needs surgery. Another man acts like a bit of a prick, outlining that he is so busy that his partner should have known he would not have much time for a family. Of course how the stories intertwine is the beauty of this one. Weirdly it was shot in scope but appeared to be the first standard def entry in the heats so far.
[DQ] New parents have to suffer the horror of a baby that will not stop crying. This really does not help with Vic’s insomnia and so he reaches out for help from friends but gets a reality check. The baby’s screams sounded very real which was quite unpleasant, but for only a few seconds did this approach being a horror film.
Sock puppets again, which I loved last year, focused on two who have been dispatched at the same time to put a newborn infant to sleep. This gives them the opportunity for some comic banter and also framework to sing. I liked the opening original song, but Ba Ba Black Sheep and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star as your other main songs to carry the film were a bit surprising to say the least. There also appeared to be a couple of technical glitches such as crew sound being clearly heard on at least one take. In my opinion it needed more original music.
[DQ] Followed a couple from being very young 8 year old lovers through to how they lived their lives growing up via splitscreen through to looking to keep the promise of their youth when they grow up. I thought the kids did a good job acting, but the resolution of the film seemed quite sudden.
Some super strong sleeping pills pull Vic right into a television where he bounces around between channels with the same nemesis in each. Cooking/Infomercials/Religious/Kids TV were about it. Being whisked away to a parallel or alternate world is a great setup for a non dialogue film, but I would have stayed well away from somewhere that is arguably 50% driven by dialogue like TV. It got tedious.
After 60 seconds of fluffing around following our main character waking up, we then followed his adventures conversing with the girl of his dreams online whilst all the while an overpowering guitar rock soundtrack played. Basic but no glaring errors, just could have been more fleshed out ie, felt like we got Act 1 and 2 but no Act 3.
This is quickly becoming my favourite genre of 2013 as yet another team knocked it out of the park. After an initial Star Trek-ish setup of having been beamed down for shelter during an asteroid storm, our team of explorers soon realise the dangers of having things run on solar power when the area has 5x the normal levels of exposure. Eyeball violence, tinfoil costumes and drill sergeants were the order of the day here in a film that had me in stitches laughing.
Awesome beatboxing, not a lot else in terms of content at first glance but did end up doing a good examination of a couple’s deteriorating relationship. It seemed like we were put smack bang into the middle of the deterioration though, and would have been nice to see plot points having a cause and effect for dramatic development. Because it lacked this it got very tedious.
I don’t like giving away plot points, so I won’t, but something seemed amiss here to me in terms of tying everything together. This is of course not necessary, especially if the whole thing was potentially imagined as it seemed. Quite surreal in tone with bodies falling down windows and laying on railway tracks, as well as eyeball violence [Un Chien Andalou?], we chronicled a “Prime”s resistance to helping out those with more grandiose plans. Enough is enough; she wants sleep, where they can be killed, and they need to keep her awake through any means necessary. I thought this bended your genre too far but would be willing to give it a second chance.
Some of my favourite horror movies are of the haunted house variety (The Innocents, The Haunting) and the key things they do is build a sense of dread by letting the viewer make their own interpretations in a lot of instances. But believe you me, when it comes time to scare, they do not hold back. Unfortunately this short chose to use a voiceover from the ghost’s point of view and give him a flat out mean spirited attitude. What this did was lost any sense of dread right from the start, and the fact that the film was presented in such a serious manner meant that the option of making it an entertaining or funny film was also gone.
I would actually be interested to know what tone the team was going for – was it supposed to be a dark comedy? The score was good but before anyone harps on about how great it looked (which it did), the camera positioning was another reason for the scares failing. This is because every shot that I can recall was wide angle and steady. Movements and zooms are a troupe of this genre that really can’t be ignored, because they unsettle the audience. Sorry for the novel guys, but I’m just clearly saying why it didn’t work for me.
EDIT - I see Dawkward's reviews. I'm not saying that Couch Kumaras needed shaky cams and zooms; there are some amazing steady horror films out there as well. In this particular instance the voiceover just didn't work. The score was beautiful.
Last year’s best bad film winners really did not change their style too much, complete with shooting in Black and White again, but the laughs were more chuckles this time around than belly aches. Starting in 1210BC with a curse on a newy tombed mummy, we converged into the 60s as a tenuous family link was made.
[DQ] Interviewees give their take on a daycare centre teacher who was a bit too endearing to the children, making them more than jealous when the annual celebration of motherhood rolls around. At the start I saw this going in several ways so it was quite engaging, but on the other hands I’m really not a fan of talking heads in 48 Hours. The sinister levels built throughout, although the ending was quite abrupt.
Technically super smoothe, acting performances fantastic and a brilliant take on a difficult genre as our lead was immobilised for hours in an attempt to woo the girl of his dreams. The sound levels peaked a bit high a couple of times but those are minor quibbles. I won’t give too much away but art and pills and provocateurs really do work well on screen together.
New cellphone game takes over lives and ruins friendships, this was short and simple. Started off really well but did lose its way; I think that whilst the effect on others of the obsession was telling, in my mind the ‘relationship’ being with something like a game meant it lost that human dynamic I would have expected.
Locked in at school well past when everyone has gone home, I would argue that you kind of got your genres mixed up here. That would constitute isolation as opposed to being immobilised. Nevertheless a radio announces that a crazed madman with an axe is on the loose and the rest of the film is a series of him appearing to kill our lead, which may or not be real. Got tedious but had a great ending.
Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar? Well, a good question and one that takes us 7 minutes to examine. My main concern here was that almost every segment of the film was gathered around telling simplistic jokes. The big letdown was the fact that you introduced the characters and gave them backstories, and then threw these personality traits out the window. Would have actually been fun to see them behave the way you described. Your camera op has a good eye, but the script really needed work.
Delirious and sleep-deprived, bad boy Vic really needs help from an old friend who does not take to kindly to him given he set her shoes on fire less than a year ago. However we do see a sort of quest after this, to get his briefcase and take down those who are stalking him. I actually really liked where this ended up and felt that even more of a backtrack would have had even greater effect. 2/5 because the action scenes were awfully choreographed and not even in a funny way. If you are going to shoot action, I would say put a bit more effort in to either bring the laughs or pick up the intensity of your film, as opposed to playground level flailing.
Hackers setup a secret network whilst on the run from what seemed like the FBI. I liked quite a lot of the set design in this film, and there was some good framing of the camera as well. However I think we as an audience needed to be more engaged with our leads as to why they were setting up the particular network; just taking it to the man for rebellion as it came across was a bit simplistic.
The problem with using copyrighted music from videogames is when you get someone who reviews your film who has played those games hundreds of times. I was literally gobsmacked to hear a good 60 seconds or so from Capcom’s Resident Evil, never mind the 2-3 minutes ripped from the opening of John Carpenter’s The Thing. This was a tale that questioned whether breaking the law for survival really makes someone a criminal or not. Not a bad take on the genre although lighting needed work and sets could have done with more variety. Please don’t use copyrighted music again.
This was a pretty simplistic idea of the blood of victims apparently being the cure for insomnia, as a character relays the ancient Amarian ritual regarding this to other cast members. Of course with with Mr Meyer being on the brink of losing his mind due to not getting 40 winks, all signs lead to death. I felt you could have really fleshed this out having given the explanation at the beginning. The cyclical nature of the short was decent but a murderous killing spree really needs something more to differentiate it from the others.
Absolutely skitzo but had its heart In all the right plices. Full of rapping, beatboxing, parkour, fighting and…singing? Looked you were having a lot of fun. The only thing is that with musical it would be nice for some of the songs to develop the plot rather than being intros/boats throughout. The haphazard approach almost gave it a cinema verite feel.
Name of Short = "Inconsequential Hallucinations" (Reunion Genre)
Way too dark guys, I understand that you are going for a dark shoot to get an edgy atmosphere but it is possible to maintain detail even when shooting in the dark/shadows. More of a horror take on this particular genre as a group of friends try to get rid of their nemesis, only for it all to backfire quite badly a year later.
Or, Frankenstein’s Robot, this team went all-in and it paid off in spades with a low budget zinger of hilarity. Followed a bullied (but envied for their genius) young man creating a robot with some terrific capabilities, and the gory results of man trying to play god. Z-grade effects brought a high level of laughs after a slow burning start and a genuine contender for best worst film.
Really well shot, like the best shot teen film by far this year in terms of framing and focus. Reminded me of the 80s slasher He Knows You’re Alone stylistically, with the puzzle pieces being kind of obvious and yet the slow burning revelation still having good effect. Nice work.
I have a feeling that this team were trying to combine obsessive relationship into the genre that they were given. Given how difficult the competition is, I would really recommend trying to nail the genre that you get given in future. From what I could make out our Vic here followed his love but it this was somehow a metaphor for love being a race against the clock to get right? A nice oneric feeling but needed more work on the structure.
A.k.a. Tribal crime of passion, which I do wonder if it was a working title. A little bit odd that the team chose to subtitle everything the tribespeople said, and that their dialogue in general was long and eloquent. This aspect did not make much sense to me at all. However other than a couple of unnecessary filters to your shots such as fake film grain/scratches, this thing was actually beautifully shot. The protective husband had a commanding presence but the story was simplistic. Rating 2/5 because of how nice it looked but your story was a 1/5.
[DQ] On a first date at Bats our lead is unfortunately immobilised by accidentally going into the ladies toilets. That was basically it in terms of the main joke of the film, but it seemed like the insomniac got lost in the mix and being locked in a toilet is only funny for a certain amount of time. At least it looked like you guys had fun.
A murderous game of poker that turns bad because our protagonist (?) can’t sleep (?). Would be nice if teams that did not get non dialogue as their genre actually did use dialogue because otherwise we can have situations like here where the plot becomes completely convulated. I mean it looked like a murderous game of poker that turned bad due to lack of sleep, but I’m worried that I was missing the point. Why kill them? It looked like they were playing for chips not cash but oh well…
[DQ] The girl in the relationship decides to take matters into her own hands with regards to her partner preferring to watch Bruce Willis movies than snuggle. Hence grabbing a copy of The Sixth Sense, Die Hard 2 and Bruce Unchained (Yes, you heard right) and practicing her skils with guns in the bedroom. Will the change be too much or just right for him? Only time will tell. A good idea of how people in intense relationships will rapidly change to accommodate someone else, I did feel the humorous ending could have been tidied up a bit more.
A 10 year human security veteran tells his newly recruited robot replacement that he is going to teach him the ropes today. By that I mean he is going to use the day as a means for some excellent comedic quips and observations. Both actors were really solid here as they built a rapport in front of our eyes. A couple of nice special effects touches as well re: the robot.
What seems like a man playing solitaire in an empty abandoned house quickly becomes something completely different. I think this was the most beautiful film of night one out in Wellington, and in my book they absolutely nailed their genre. Perfect example of leaving it up to the audience to interpret a number of things. Played with sound nicely and the on-screen dynamics developed well as the film went on.
A struggling writer searches for inspiration after having lost what made his previous work so great. So far we are seeing some nice interpretations of this genre and this was another solid example, being about a reunion of the self/mind. It was however better played than that simplistic description with several different mental angles, and an examination of the strain writer’s block causes on relationships. Excellent use of the line is noted in my book.
$1 million to help someone get to sleep is the catalyst for a number of potential snooze inducers to promote their claims through song. This is because having tried everything so far, including the ‘Morph Sleep’ we see advertised through an infomercial at the start of the film, nothing works for the boss man offering up cash. A slick film visually, the team threw a whole heap of songs at the screen ranging from Operatic to Industrial in tone. I really felt this could have done with something to mix up the tone in the middle rather than press for the need for sleep the entire time. Also, whilst ‘Lease’ won the whole comp several years ago mixing up musical styles throughout, I honestly think it may have been best to stick with one and then give the story variety around that. But that’s just my 2c.
An existing group of flatmates speculate on the weird activities that their weird neighbours might get up to, much to the audience’s amusement given how the group making this discussion looks and acts. All a bit Stepford Wives in approach until suddenly the switch flicks. Contained a very funny joke about the Andromeda Galaxy, but I thought the horror scenes could have come earlier and lasted longer.
Holy hell this was by far the most flat-out entertaining film of the first night of heats in Wellington. A guy who can’t sleep of course takes a pill only to be awoken by a man with a horse’s head. Well, now we can’t have our sleep being interrupted can we? A violent revelatory mindfuck with a damn catchy little ditty tidying it all together. Nailed the genre and POV shot with aplomb too.
A young couple use their newly installed machine V.I.C to try and make improvements in their life but things go a bit awry from a personal and professional point of view. Owing more than a little bit to Stanley Kubrick, I still like the concept but the sound levels were horrificly set, including some clear background noise off set coming through in a couple of shots and the acting was a bit wooden.
So this would have been a 4/5 apart from the fact that the team sung ‘I Will Survive’ acapella without clearance (as far as I’m aware, please correct me if I’m wrong). Fantastic energy levels throughout ranging from a party to the morning after on the beach to piecing back together the events of the night prior. Said Hangover-inspired quest produced some excellent visual jokes.
So this would have been a 4/5 apart from the fact that the team sung ‘I Will Survive’ acapella without clearance (as far as I’m aware, please correct me if I’m wrong). Fantastic energy levels throughout ranging from a party to the morning after on the beach to piecing back together the events of the night prior. Said Hangover-inspired quest produced some excellent visual jokes.
Black and White can be sweet, but if you are going to take such an approach then you should have a clear reason and I felt this film would have worked just as well in colour, perhaps better even. A bunch of drug-taking friends get a bit agitated that a newly formed couple are spending too much time together, and so the only solution can of course be murder. Some good unintentional laughs due to dialogue.
Good camerawork, horrible sound. This particular Vic Meyer had some serious issues with not only insomnia, but also a newly brought on case of schizophrenia as described by his mum, as well as being bullied at school. Followed the paranoid Vic getting worse and worse leaning to a wander around to try and cure his ails. A weak conclusion and illegal use of footage from the videogame Mortal Kombat. You’ve obviously got an eye for a good shot so get some better sound gear and avoid using things you don’t have copyright clearance for.
Set long after a war of some kind where SD cards have become relics, a group of friends all take an old pill to try and cure their ails, but side effects quickly bring things to a negative point. Very talky for a futuristic film, it would have benefited from showing rather than telling a lot of the time. Also, uni halls/flats without decoration are unfortunately quite bland on screen. You guys seemed to have a decent group of actors, you’ve got potential so try and get outside your comfort zone next time.
Merging stories at 4am between a radio DJ, a girl in an abusive relationship and a general insomniac. The girl in particular delivered her lines with aplomb but I’m not sure if this team really understood their genre. The reason for this is that with a converging storyline, 2 people talking on the phone connecting don’t really count as converging when they meet in person, and if another story does intersect then it should have some dramatic impact on their situation, which unfortunately this did not. But like I said, well acted.
Please sort out your lighting guys, you had some really fantastic shots going on that were ruined by being in almost complete darkness. Darkness can work for horror but if you are going for this approach you really need to improve your sound design; the epic battle themed music towards the end seemed completely inappropriate. Because of the lack of light it was hard to comprehend but I believe that on a walk to try and cure his insomnia, our lead was then pursued by an evil shrieking being.
A poo joke-loving vacuum cleaner takes care of sucking up the office debris until it finds love, but love is never quite that straightforward, and the resulting action lets a bunch of other household appliances sing ala the Brave Little Toaster. The first couple of songs were really good, the visual gags were solid and then the BLT and Toy Story nods were nice too. However the second half songs were much weaker.
Name of short is "Time Capsule" (Reunion Genre)
[DQ] All the friends of Vic Meyer have moved away, but an old-time buddy with some bad habits comes back into the picture. A different kind of reunion film; sinister instead of celebratory with the returning friend showing some nice on-screeen energy. I liked where this headed but felt that the reasoning behind the behaviour could have been conveyed better.
Cards at the start of the film instruct us that guilt is something that stays with us until our last breath. The rest of the film followed someone obviously suffering from such a condition as they were followed by a black masked figure. Presented the idea that we all need some space when we feel guilty, but also made you step back and think about that concept upon conclusion. It was almost there, but the film would have benefited from seeing the lead actor emotionally behaving in a way that matched up with what we were told by the cards.
Big props for the fake ginger-mo, the lead actor had excellent screen presence with his inane ramblings. I thought you presented the character really well without spelling it out like a lot of teams, and the less I probably say about the, ahem, fantastic stop motion toaster, the better.
An obsessive cleaner takes things a bit too far regarding the girl he is into. Shows the danger of falling head over heels with someone based on a fantasy image rather than reality. I would have liked to have seen this fleshed out a bit more with perhaps some drama or comedy. As it was, it simply presented this idea, ramped up the tension a bit when the creep took things a bit far and then ended.
A long intro of dripping leaves and babbling brooks finally sets us to follow a young couple on a walk through the woods, which happens to include a treacherous rock walkway. This ended up playing like the 2005 film Just Like Heaven, but in quite a serious and sad way. Had some strong emotional impact, please don’t fluff about in the first 45 seconds of your film next year guys and you could well be onto something.
[DQ] Wheelchair/bedbound after a spinal injury early in life, the friends of our lead actor try to get him laid as losing his virginity is his #1 wish in life. Anybody will do…and many are tried but it goes for the John Hughes feeling and almost gets there. The script was quite crass on the whole which meant the tone jerked between tenderness and juvenile.
A 5 minute countdown as Vic running as fast as he can through a whole lot of different areas. Basically the clock just worked as a framing device for a number of comedic or bizarre encounters. I’m no great fan of clowns so this almost lost me but has a great bizarro resolution. I would suggest framing your shots a lot tighter (more close ups rather than everything wide angle) in future.
New relationship obsession to the point of having to see a shrink, after what seemed like a weekend hookup at Mighty Mighty. We followed the quickly downward mental spiral of our lead. Good examination of the strain these things can have on friendships, although I personally find that unless you are doing something completely different, psychiatrist talk in 48 hours is a bit tedious. However the actor who played said shrink was excellent.
Whilst the title of the film gave hints, I was actually a bit surprised by where this ended up going. An eery vibe builds from the beginning when a deadpan new flatmate moves in who is a bit too similar to the existing girl. One thing I would recommend is trying to get a bit more visual variety in future
[DQ] Sadly disqualified as this was a really fun film. Although having said that I have played Street Fighter 2 literally thousands of times in my life and those sure sounded like direct hadouken and sonic boom rips to me…Nevertheless, an art history major cannot sleep and so follows his girlfriend into a real life videogame complete with life bars and Double Dragon hearts. Excellent score, nice camera work, would watch again.
Shown from animals on a farm’s perspective for pretty much the whole film, although a couple of switches out here and there for good comedic value; the ‘letter to the master’ being absolute gold. A dog buries his bone and then goes on a quest to find the thing after it is not there in the morn, encountering many other animals along the way with the team putting one running scene to good use about 5 or 6 times. I’ve always been told to never work with children or animals but overall this was a pleasant watch.
Loud, but not in a bad way, there was some really visually striking imagery here. Nice editing touches that kind of seared into my brain as well. Basically this played with the insomnia dream/reality/psycho idea and really ran with it regarding a young lady who stumbles upon a murder late at night. There was a sense of dread and unease but not many frights at all.
Reflecting on the choices we make being pretty much a gamble, this was quite heavy handed in the way it presented poker as a metaphor for life. An elderly grandfather struggling with depression, a young man not really watching out in the dark alleys of night time, and a couple coming to grips with unexpected pregnancy came together. An ambitious short, I think it would have worked better without the black and white scene.
A woman returns after months to her cyber hacking ex with less than clear intentions. I liked the homages to 90s hacker films, and this was well shot by and large but the plot seemed a bit straightforward. I’m not sure if I missed something or if it wasn’t clearly spelled out re: the corporation she was trying to take down and the crowd in Chaffers Park at the beginning.
A meta visual aural assault from the comp veterans, this was (as per usual) a cracking start to the heats. Filled with a scuba swimmer with fighting skills, the neon powered lights of pokies and meshed with random wide angle car shots, just one to sit back and groove on/experience.
I was a bit worried this might be going for a mockumentary approach but quickly realised that we were essentially just focusing on some footage to create a narrative framework of obsession, as a woman from the Leaf Related Crimes Unit sets out to incriminate Nicky Brick who she had seen sully up a nice patch of leaves.
The film followed a tried and true three solid joke structure, as the woman does her utmost to make his life hell, including going to the point of trying to paint him as a pedo. There was some quality wordplay in the script and the payoff was good as there was a feeling of unease created throughout by the driven (obsessed) woman.
At an office our lead actress receives a phone call. However perhaps she is working too hard but with it being so late it gives the ghosts that haunt the building a chance to attack. The woman then proceeded to product a piping set of lungs that would have made any scream-queen proud as she ran in terror.
The expansion of the shadows was another of my absolute favourite shots this year. Just needed to expand the plot a bit more and could have been a much better film. Whoever the lead actress was, good job.
Some different camera techniques were used by this team which was refreshing to see. Some sort of limbo prevents a mother from reaching her son, and everytime she falls she gets sent back to the darkness to be made a mockery of by another woman who has her beloved boy captive.
Again got to state really nice visually and a reasonably straigh edge approach throughout. Good motivation for the character's actions too. I think it was good that we were not hit over the head with exposition in any way shape or form, but the potential of the space travelling stones seemed like they could have been explored a bit more. Having said that, it's a short film and two settings is sufficient.
Nicky is setup on a blind date with a Billionaire, but rather than see this as an opportunity for love she sees it as a money-grabbing exercise and of course takes her best friend Aroha along for the ride to Mr. Stirling's estate. I'm guessing the entire budget went on the plane and petrol it took to get there.
The screamed acapella 5 second songs, the Otaki haircuts and the mentally challenged motivations of the characters were the framework of the film. I'd recommend the team learn how to frame a shot going forward. They went for the cheeky charm approach but something got lost in translation here although several moments of filmmaking that made me laugh and I'm guessing none were intended.
Thank you very much for giving sound reasoning as to why the footage was shot in 1080p. I'm guessing the team had recently watched 21 Jump Street? As took the element of making an extreme new drug as their plot point. Sadly for them the territory they are looking to move on already has established dealers. Guns aren't hard to come by in this country, at least...
I was really hooked in by the energetic start, and then the drug testing I was still engaged with. The film kind of lost its way though when it became a formulaic turf war, although the very ending of the film was really well done and the bullet holes in the windscreen a very impressive effect. Also not sure why sound quality was perfect fine at the start but progressively got worse?
Whilst everyone normal prepared for Y2k, our mad scientist was preparing for the Zombie apocalypse that they knew was coming by getting lots and lots of robots ready. The film was done with static photos throughout set against a green screen and ending with an excruciating 2-3 minutes of blank black screen.
Some of the makeup and costumes looked amazing and I would have vastly preferred to have seen them utilised in a motion picture. Also a wise tip is that if you are late for hand-in probably best to do a full render before hand-in.
Considering I hate the sound of bagpipes this film and I really got off on the wrong foot. Seriously played story of aspiring weilders of the Scottish staple instrument. Unfortunately our weekday worker can't became a weekend warrior due to lack of funds for extracting sound from the instrument of his dreams.
I was thinking hooray! As it meant I didn't have to sit through the sound again. I respect what the team was trying to do and please don't let you think that the prejudice is the only reason I didn't really dig the film. It was also quite static/dialogue based, and the somber tone lacked a payoff or resolution.
This played in Heat 19.
So this just happened. A demonic scatterbrained bloodfilled homage to Trash Humpers, or at least it wanted to be. The ritualistic cultists appear to bathe in blood with an intention to lure in their childhood neighbours on the promise of giving them lolly money. Trust me that's just my own interpretation of the images and sounds I just watched. I think the team might be quietly laughing that someone actually tried to make any sense of it.
Some of the action had a Texas Chain Saw Masacre feel to it, but by and large it was an experience rather than a film. Shame I can't give a no rating option as I'm torn between giving it the lowest and highest possible rating. I'll give it high because its a DQ film and don't see that harming anyone.
A woman and her brother hope to seek refuge at a shelter, but they are told they will only be able to stay if they can find what the military camp attendant is looking for. On their quest for this they encounter several characters who sing songs about their own situation.
A monkey with a guitar, a dirty long haired man and a labourer who is out of work lament their woes which have resulted in them seeking out the shelter. Songs were painful and only the military officer held the film together with any sort of acting skill; I would have suggested having a few more goes at nailing your one shot and probably doing the music off-camera. A real struggle because of the lack of polish.
Mostly based on a true story apparently, our lead has 25 minutes to get his IVF specimen to the clinic because he chooses to go with the do it at home approach to save on the $80 it costs if you wish to rub out your specimen in nicer surroundings.
Of course a tale of things getting in the way, in particularly their fellow Xbox playing flatmate who has a very relaxed attitude about the whole thing. What would a good action movie be without a ninja, too? And what would a good ninja fight be without it being against a pirate? Some of the little random acts were really well done but the lighthearted tone meant that it did not have too much actual action.
Our Nicky has a real problem; they keep ending up with all the odd socks that everybody loses. Unfortunately for them the cops think he has actually been stealing them and so look to take him down. His vegetarian girlfriend stands by him but the crime scene evidence does start to all add up.
Few good laughs at how harsh the team is to Nicky but the acting was a bit theatrical. Could have done with some location scouting as largely being set at their flats was a bit boring. Quite a lot of effort put in at least by the actors to try and sell the story but it was too silly for its own good.
Another team that wasted 30 seconds to establish a character waking up/going through their morning routine (yawn). Could have established that we were looking at a parking warden a lot quicker than that without compromising the story at all.
Off for his daily quota, he is one of the nasty wardens who will get you even if you park in the wrong area for 2 minutes. A parallel story runs as a group of crooks prepare to pull of a heist and a quick getaway only their fates are set to intertwine with the council employee.
Due to the editing and confusion over who got clamped (the cop or the robbers?) the film's big dramatic moment lost its impact unfortunately. I know there was also a twist but the editing meant this was also not clear either. A bit strange as the film was entirely clear in structure and working towards a nice payoff until the final 30 seconds.
'Rocket Man' by Team Fade In, which played in Heat 19 due to sound issues I think on the night they were set to screen. This was a superhero film with a gossip magazine vibe; Rocket Man having saved so many people's lives that his heart might given in if he saves any more.
So he instead looks to gain employment in the real world which is a lot tougher to deal with for our titular character. I'm guessing the team had an enjoyable weekend as I'm assuming all the alcohol bottles on display weren't exactly too old? The film did get quite tedious with only a couple of funny moments.
A Korean man is desperately asked for help by a Korean woman on Cuba St, and he charmingly obliges given that she seems quite frazzled and shaken and there appears to possible be some chemistry between the two. He continues the gentleman approach only for her dark past to be revealed.
The film was dialogue driven but it was good dialogue, and they went for the thriller approach to the genre. Quite restrained in what they showed/didn't with a sinister twist to proceedings as well.
I've got this listed as "3.00P.M" on my title sheet, and from memory that makes a lot more sense as to the title of the film. A cop on an undercover mission lets his superior know that he is going for a big takedown of some villains, with time and location given to nab them all. Unfortunately he gets taken out by said baddies, and tied to a chair opposite his wife to be tortured or worse until he will spill the beans.
Good performance by Carter Nixon as the lead who refuses to be a snitch and suffers pretty heavily for his stubbornness too - the gore effects were great! Little bit of a see-it-coming ending but mostly well shot and scripted.
Superbly acted, the film nailed the concept of a urban legend where it is possible to give a slightly different tale of events based on whatever hearsay the storyteller has heard. Set in a lecture theatre, a list of possible discoveries, motives and ways Nicky Brick was killed at an observatory in 1971 are well examined.
Some say he saw a giant meteor, others that there was a conspiracy to kill him and yet a different take is that it was suicide. Our lecturer of course provides the calming hand to our students' wild speculations. Some sweet visual touches and completely engaging.
After hearing that Greece might be sold to a shady businessman to become Southern Germany, a patriot goes an an action packed recovery mission to stop the deal from going down. Before doing this I might let you know that they happened to come out of the harbour dripping wet in some tight togs, which set the tone for the film's style of humour throughout.
Not realistic that he will go it alone, he gets a sexy French sidekick in on the act with her being proficient at using baguettes as weapons amongst other talents. Chock full of one liner puns the plot was formulaic but delivered with aplomb.
'Armageddon' spelt backwards = a typical Cranium challenge. However given how drunk a group of friends are it operates as an opportunity for each to describe how they would survive in a post apocalyptic world. This was a simple setting and not much happened but the editing improved the film compared to what you might think of the original premise.
Barricading oneself or turning into Mad Max and getting a badass sword to do with would be evil-doers are some of the ideas put forward. The Max costume and story probably the highlight. Puzzling little twist at the end, too.
Survivors wonder where their renegade friend Nicky Brick may be, with both pretty confident that he has risked the raving savages that rove the post-apocalyptic wasteland once again. Having a car involved in the piece seemed only out of place given that there seemed to have been early important dialogue about a lack of rations, and yet petrol can be used for the commodity of moving something on 4 wheels? Odd.
Be that as it may this was a mainly sit around and talk end of the world one shot film. I would have personally tried to cover more sparsely populated areas but that’s just me. A lot of wind sound was very distracting, please watch out for it in future.
Using a very blurry camera (I’m guessing standard definition) and plagued with windy sound, this team did not let technical limitations get in the way of their imagination. Used the tried and true formula of taking the genre they received this year and mixing it with an obscure genre from years past – in this case Body Swap – they made a film that showed some promise but which technical aspects did have a negative effect when viewing.
In a startling turn of events a paraplegic is swapped into the body of an able bodied person and presented with the chance to walk again. They are not the only person who has swapped personas however with the whole world seemingly switching freely between each other. A good partnership developed between the main actor learning to walk again and the one who had been a young child.
Right, so this was actually really good and touching. Just getting that out of the way first of all because it was a reasonably formulaic plot line of a couple going through a break up and memories reminding them that things could have been so much different if they had changed or tried a little harder.
Sorting out who got cookbooks and who got what DVDs was an excellent plot point to allow us to view these important events in the couples' lives. Missing dinner, going for a mates approach and screwing up trying to be romantic were all shown. Had a reflective feel and well acted.
Promising title but did not quite live up to its promise with music that could have been considerably improved. Perhaps dance next time if you draw the genre of doom? Having said that I had a good hearty laugh at your song about Fruit Loops.
The aftermath of an Earthquake leads to NB being in hospital, but she also dreams and has to get away from guys with malicious intentions. There was the opportunity to do a lot more with the parallel worlds but it didn't quite add up.
The SPCA, Bartending and Busking amongst other jobs have all failed for our lead, who just also happens to be a conjoined twin. Their bro has been the scourge of all their problems for quite some time particularly with women and employment, but that is nothing compared to the leaf monster they create when an experiment goes badly wrong.
The two guys sharing one outfit for the twin effect really played off on one another well. Not a scary film by any sense of the imagination but more an ode to cheesy 50s/60s bad monster flicks which in my book is not a bad thing at all - Sting of Death and The Thing With Two Heads immediately came to mind.
Catty flatmates are convinced that there is something up with their flatmate, and they have reasonably good reason to think so given that they found a toilet covered in pink glitter and when they try and enter his room it seems like they are crossing a magical forcefield. This leads to the setup of some hidden cameras to try and catch what he is up to, only what they find is perhaps a bit different to what they may have expected to.
The film took the piss for the most part, and really got into some funny weird territory when we got to see the camera footage. The 'wizard' and horse head/mask wanking for example brought the LOLs. In fact several memorable visual moments...being soaked in milk being another...probably a better found footage film than most who got that genre this year.
In October 2010 students disappeared from their flat but somebody has found the footage and we get to see what transpired when popular ole' Jeff gets back to Wellington after spending a decent amount of time up in Auckland. Something isn't quite right though as he just wants to sleep and miss out on his own party.
Queue the mash up between Paranormal Activity and Invasion of the Body Snatchers. The lack of explanation lent itself well to the genre. Performances were solid in terms of conveying what they were. Being a mashup though it wasn't exactly too original. A couple of creepy moments, though.
My lack of well known classical music again comes to bite me in the butt as I should be able to list what this team used as its centrepiece plot point but I'm not sure. Maybe Mozart? I'm stabbing in the dark. Yet whatever it was it was used to good effect in this serious effort.
Nicky works as a musician for hire in somebody else's private home, playing the music that they request but unfortunately this is restrictive dreary stuff and does not allow them to be themselves. The fact that they even play at all is what gives the film its inspirational weighting; but on that note it might have worked better as a reveal towards the end rather than relatively early on in the piece
The person who gets them to play is quite a pent up individual, but there are others who are happy to share their thoughts about creating music. It doesn't matter if you can't read sheets, right? The film would have passed quite well if they got Drama as their genre in previous years. Really a little morbid overall despite the positive messages. Very well shot.
American spies from Virginia come to infiltrate the Beehive and report back to their government. However when caught they must try and prove to their captors that they are true blue Kiwi blokes and not Yankee infiltrators like appears entirely obvious.
Songs such as 'Greatest Spy Alive' and some classic tongue in cheek humour were thoroughly enjoyable in how they made fun of Kiwi sayings and doings. The songs not so much for their musical sound which could have used a lot of polish but more for their crack up lyrics. Just seemed like the team had a really good time on the weekend and put that on screen
A heist goes horribly wrong in more ways than one due to some really unfortunate circumstances. Funny what money can do to people, eh? Hoping for a smooth exit as it appears our crooks had run a long way to get to the getaway car, yet they get anything but when Nicky trips over...but does recover a black bag and then the paranoia ramps up when they realise a name may have been said a bit too loudly at the scene of the crime.
Excellent camera work but the storyline was very predictable. Having said that the physical violence definitely got an audience response and the actors played off each other well. Not sure if you were going for laughs or shocks to be honest as the film treaded a fine line between the two.
A drilling exercise at some sort of mechanical or construction workplace goes horribly wrong for a girl, who then proceeds to haunt/stalk the building. This had some really great visual moments including a nightmarishly creepy shot of an eye through a keyhole ala Dario Argento.
The stalking/death was a bit predictable but the film built nicely once the horror action kicked in as a group of people went in search of a missing body. The ending could have done with some work for example I know it would have been a bit predictable but a final scare would have worked well in my book; right now the fim just meanders to the credits after all the hanging/blood/powerdrills etc.
An impartial review of the film I was part of for the weekend...why yes I am actually going to do my best to do this. I hope that my introduction to what was missing from the film might give clarity; basically the film was supposed to open with a title that 'There is an Urban Legend that if you leave a freezer door open in Wellington in can push the house to a level of coldness where you will actually freeze to death' (or something along those lines, so a little frustrating it was taken out in post and the people I've spoken to not involved with the film said it would have made a lot more sense with it in).
Anyway a bunch of flatmates bicker over a grocery list whilst the conspiracy theorist amongst the group puts forward some urban legends that the others simply find are annoying statements. This acts as an opportunity for three shorter urban legends to be told with garage [pop rocks and coke], bourgeois party [leaf concotion to restart a heart] and camping [wood nymphs] settings being squeezed in. Death around the corner for Nicky at every stop, of course
The film could have done with some more coverage as a few jump cuts left confusion as to the films progression, and the lack of dwelling on aspects meant the film had a bit of a sporadic nature. Some jokes also fell a bit flat in the cinema.
The postive aspects of the film were a solid original soundtrack which could have been used more, and some good interplay jokes between the flatmates. The urban legends themselves whilst quick probably enjoyed enough time on screen and the audience appeared to give a positive response after the slow start. Also kind of frustrating ADR at times, more so for a team member given that most of the microphone dialogue captured seemed perfectly fine at the time...
Looked like might have been colour graded? A couple of scenes at least had some real depth to them whether touched up in post or not. A psychiatric ward presents us with the opportunity for Nicky to escape through her dreams, and this freedom acts as a catalyst to get out of the surrounding dooming isolated confinement of the ward.
I believed the escape aspect in terms of how desperate the character seemed to be to not be restrained, but I felt like the film could have done with just a little more grounding in motivation for the characters.
One actor carried the suddenly coming apocalypse film reasonably well, although I was a bit perplexed by the decision to go black and white? It looked like he was sporting an impressively patterned woollen jersey and I was a little disappointed that didn't get the screen time it would have otherwise.
Still, the team hid their lack of thespians quite well through sound design. We got inside the heart of the character as well by being introduced to a get chunk of their daily routine and surroundings. Was a bit rambling in style but probably deliberate.
Spandex suits with the 'superhero' eradicating crime but turning those he saves against him, because his moral guidelines are whack and hence the laws being broken may not be as such in terms of actual statutes. Only issue is, the hero in question is the father of the Nicky Brick who has aspirations to dance.
This film didn't bother taking itself too seriously which lead to some nice dark humour; the actor who played the senior Brick Barry, was particularly memorable. A good level of colour on screen mixed it up well and whilst some of the jokes fell a bit flat I was engaged. Taking over the family business is never a smooth process if you don't believe in the product.
The team tried to really throw a lot of different ideas at the screen, but the film may have benefited from streamlining their plotlines. As it was we had bit of a display of life in balance between good and bad with our lead girl having to choose how she wanted to go basically by choosing between two dudes. The sound unfortunately cut out a few times and dubbing also a little out.
Film was building nicely towards the end as the darkside appeared to be making headway with a elevator that had a 'to Hell' option. Technical issues were a distraction, however, and character behaviours were a bit illogical.
Well well well this was a surprise. Two films that only really make full sense when played back to back (this goes with Team Cupcake Go! 6.9 which followed immediately before at the Heats). The only time I can ever remember something similar was when a team basically paid the entry fee to put on some art wank they shot over the 14 minutes that two slots would allow them.
This team/s actually had the best intentions at heart and so the daring move gets a thumbs up from me. Both films have basically the same start with Kevin and the girl he's interested in + her daughter saying goodbye as the girls head off on a date whilst he heads off to the TAB.
The date with Roger for the girls starts promisingly enough with talk of sports and then the decision is made to have a go at rollerskating given that he was apparently a master skater back in the day. Of course this is a bit of a flat out lie and allows our main female actor to reflect on things with the other guy.
Whilst this goes on of course Kevin has a whale of a time inadvertently entering himself in Big Ben's Big Bean Challenge by breaking the record for eating a vast amount of beans in a short space of time. Having lost the girl once he holds onto the idea tight that the competition might actually show her that he can amount to something.
Of course the reigning champion is not going to give up their title without a fight, especially when they could have passed for the spitting image of Helen Mirren, only with tattoos. The inspirational side of things comes to the fore when we're shown that playing a good clean game will always grant you respect whether you win or lose.
Also the same ending.
The films themselves were decently acted but the production values were mid-range; having their moments in terms of good crowd scenes and a well framed camera most of the time. I guess that's understandable given the rush to effectively make two films.
Well well well this was a surprise. Two films that only really make full sense when played back to back (this goes with Team Cupcake Squidwig which followed immediately afterwards at the Heats). The only time I can ever remember something similar was when a team basically paid the entry fee to put on some art wank they shot over the 14 minutes that two slots would allow them.
This team/s actually had the best intentions at heart and so the daring move gets a thumbs up from me. Both films have basically the same start with Kevin and the girl he's interested in + her daughter saying goodbye as the girls head off on a date whilst he heads off to the TAB.
The date with Roger for the girls starts promisingly enough with talk of sports and then the decision is made to have a go at rollerskating given that he was apparently a master skater back in the day. Of course this is a bit of a flat out lie and allows our main female actor to reflect on things with the other guy.
Whilst this goes on of course Kevin has a whale of a time inadvertently entering himself in Big Ben's Big Bean Challenge by breaking the record for eating a vast amount of beans in a short space of time. Having lost the girl once he holds onto the idea tight that the competition might actually show her that he can amount to something.
Of course the reigning champion is not going to give up their title without a fight, especially when they could have passed for the spitting image of Helen Mirren, only with tattoos. The inspirational side of things comes to the fore when we're shown that playing a good clean game will always grant you respect whether you win or lose.
Also the same ending.
The films themselves were decently acted but the production values were mid-range; having their moments in terms of good crowd scenes and a well framed camera most of the time. I guess that's understandable given the rush to effectively make two films.
Interesting take on the one-shot genre, with an actual attempt at character development as an outcast is followed by her schoolmate from History at school who has never talked to her but sees now as the perfect opportunity.
Everything seems to be going swimmingly with smokes offered and stories told to look to get each other onside as friends, but it seems like Mrs Gilbert at the high school has stirred up a few things and this leads to a daring conclusion.
The film developed nicely and the young leads conveyed emotion well without dialogue. I just felt the camera work was not quite at the level it probably should have been for this to go from good to very good.
This played like a Bogan version of the Twlight Zone classic 'Where Is Everybody?' with our bearded lead being blissfully unaware the world has ended, but not seeming to really give a shit that it had. To him it just seems like another Sunday (or Monday or Tuesday) hangover.
Quite a sexist streak shown at a party by our drunken lead prior to the world ending, but this sets up a nice finish to the film. His stereotype is only further reinforced once the apocalypse hits; not something that should stop him getting his smokes and booze, right?
I'm guessing you weren't the biggest fan of the sponsor's product but the film had a nice script and excellent lead performance.
I'll copy Dan Slevin and mention the Tarantino-esque plot structure. Very young team but showed up a few of their adult peers with unmatched energy on screen. After refusing to throw a race, Nicky is up against it from a mob boss who has a sniper in his arsenal to look to ensure he collects the betting money.
Guns, ninjas and ridiculous fighting throughout. Was that a flashback within a flashback that I saw? Because that is my favourite nonsensical plot device of all time. The times that the characters did open their mouths for dialogue just about always hit eye opening levels of ineptness with regards to the human language but the film was alll the more better for it. The over the top violent results of injuries and gunshots were memorable as heck. I commend you for getting the audience to applaud you a couple of times before the credits rolled.
Yuss more puppets. And I'll tell you what, if you read the instructions given for Urban Legend on the 48hours website this was actually one that came closest to what the organisers were looking for in their description. The team took a well known urban legend (licking a frog will make you trip balls) only they told it almost entirely visually rather than relying on a Captain Exposition or 2 to establish their legend like most teams.
Having tripped out our lead puppet/actor enjoys some scattered flashing leaves in his vision, is treated to some saxophone in the forest and finally gets transported to the human world. Ok so the setup was fantastic based on the genre requirements and the rest of the film was a little thin plotwise but it was still enjoyable.
Kind of hard to review without mentioning them as a Lego team and I guess I already have. Luckily it wasn't just static activity, however, with the characters' faces having computer generated mouth movements/facial expressionss where need be.
We follow a trio of brothers sent on a quest by their Queen mother. One tall and handsome, another also tall and handsome but with the ability to crack open nuts with his butt and the third a bit of an underdog who survived a piano falling on them. Only there are obstacles in the way such as giant frogs and a crazy woman.
Enjoyable, but some of the jokes fell a bit flat.
There were some startling images on display here, and we got a very creepy build with a sense of unease throughout. Medical students obviously have a very good cover for anything that might seem odd related to human anatomy, but that doesn't stop our lead actress from thinking it might be a bit more than just in her head. Reminded me a bit of underrated German horror ANATOMY (rent it out if you haven't, both that and this film are worth a watch)
Art direction was really good on this one and whilst the finish was gross it was not too over the top and hit the marks of a horror film really well. Being a new flatmate it does seem quite odd that the established house dwellers take such an interest when she chops her finger...The main thing I could fault was a strong start and end were matched by a not quite as strong middle portion for the film. Played to your visual strengths though which was a good idea.
Nicky Brick always knew he wanted to be a fireman, but there's no reason to make a song and dance about it is there? Oh well he does it anyway as does the rest of the cast in this decent take on the genre. Unfortunately having bad luck and cooling off situations where burning flames are at hand don't really go together.
The action was decent, and music pretty well composed as well. A couple of technical issues with the video skipping, but on the whole looked pretty good. Sah-weet slow mo on the pumpkin with the axe as well. The training montage felt a little generic but it still worked for developing the plot. I understand not coming to your heat if you're DQ but only one person turning up from a team of this size seemed a bit turn your noses up-ish.
A surveillance truck focuses on what appears to be an international art thief lounging about at home through a hidden camera, looking for any clues based on his activity that may allow them to incriminate him if indeed they have their right man.
Just about a one-shot film as well, the film was fairly straightforward with quite an obvious twist and needed something different happening on screen to spice it up. I got a little frustrated watching our possible crim just relaxing on the couch and smoking a ciggie. The opportunity did present itself to do a lot more inside the truck itself as just commentating was a little bland.
Or, how to crack as many jokes as you can in an elevator with a focus on one character hating the profession of another which is given reasoning in an over the top reveal.
Shot at trademe HQ, we get 4 unlikely adversaries stuck in the lift when the power goes out because a bus crashed into a big green transformer (Those bloody Decepticons...). The group dynamics work well as our lead has decided to document his daily adventures on film, with the stressed out smoker in particular giving a memorable performance. Little bit too slick for the genre but lots of laughs.
A cowboy type strumming their guitar on the beach works as a nice introduction to this tale that happened once upon a time when Nicky Brick who had no friends to help him out on 48 Hours went on a bit of a quest.
Very clever lyrics and well shot for the most part (although at times a bit music-videoy which is a backhanded compliment, but the fourth wall singing could have been toned down a little in my view), this was probably a better fantasy adventure film than most of the entries in that genre so far despite not having too much mystical going on. Solving riddles, questing for the leaf of luck and dealing with a curious old man with a beard warmer made this quite a fun watch.
Narnia-lite with a box full of memories being used as a transportation device to magical worlds; a couple in fact with one having an Alice in Wonderland flavour and the other more medieval. The cardboard sword fights were well done and the tea party ala Alice was particularly warped.
As a family make a move, the young boy must rifle through his collection of childhood memories one last time as they pack up boxes...
I just felt the film needed a bit of work on its narrative. I was trying to make head and tails of the rainbow flag and whether this film was trying to be metaphorical but decided to just go along for the ride through the box as the film was more or less an ode to coming of age.
An anthropomorphic black cat follows home Nicky Brick, leading to some pretty severe consequences. Well written dialogue and good awareness of the genre, with characters stressing just how unlucky it is for an animal such as this to cross your path and going to levels such as claiming they caused the economic crisis.
A friendship develops and our Nicky seems fairly laissez-faire about the whole thing, but the negative things that happen to him do snowball and then we get a nifty little resolution; the actress who played Bloody Mary in particular impressive for the few seconds they were on screen. The whole thing was a little scatterbrain but it also made me long to ride those Croc carts/bicycles along the waterfront next time we have a sunny Sunday and I'm sober enough to get out of bed before 12.
Please get a better camera and sound equipment. I liked your energetic dedication to your film with barrel rolls down hills and thrusting pirate fighting, but it almost felt like I was watching youtube on the big screen tonight.
A tale of creating your own luck in order to get the Russian mail order bride by fighting your way to the top. Not sure why most shots were extremely wide? If you are shooting an action film you want to get as much coverage as you can, sure, but you also want to have the framing as tight as you possibly can.
Lots of fighting through secret Pirate coves and a Governer's henchmen, and the over the top punch sound got a laugh out of me, but it had me looking at my watch when used for the tenth time. I'd also suggest overdubbing completely if your recorded footage plays back any wind sound in future.
Kicking myself for not paying attention as to whether this was an original score or not. If it was chalk it down as a front runner for the Wellington award. If not, very well selected indeed.
A couple of guys who very well may be the last men on earth bunker up and grow increasingly paranoid of each other every day, leading to drawing straws for who stays and who has to fully don their radiation suit and face the outside world once the supplies have run out.
Excellent post-apocalyptic feel and again that saturated Tangerine Dream-like soundtrack fitted perfectly. Unfortunately I am marking it down a point for a shot taking me out of the film where vital information was missed and it no longer felt like the end of the world. Good open ending, too.
Tracking up a car we get to a man sitting poised at the wheel in Wellington city. What seems to be a bouqet of flowers in the passenger seat gives the audience a sense of anticipation and the radio announcements break up the flow nicely.
Excellent lighting and appropriate soundtrack, this was a good example of a largely static shot doing the genre well. It doesn't HAVE to be 7 minutes, people!
Stylish panning/tracking shots to start off with; fairly sure they used a dolly in there at some point? A film focused on the hardships of life but didn't seem to have too much of an inspirational message, or if it did then I missed it so clearly the script needed a bit of work.
A pickpocketing hitchiker gets picked up by someone just trying to get away from it all in particular their sister because they don't want to be a disppointment. The film tried to be heavy but it was so focused on dialogue that it failed to draw an emotional response. The radio announcements were also quite distracting. I understand the want, perhaps even need to do something a bit different stylistically but story is king and having built a nice setup I was left wanting more of a resolution/reason to feel inspired.
Came across as a bit of a PSA for practising safe sex, which was funny when I think about it now given that the team did an unrelated PSA as their intro before the start of the film. Twisted as always but with more of a narrative framework than usual from Readers' Wives at least in terms of having a three act structure. Also didn't make me laugh like normal but I still dug it.
We focused on Noah's ark and his ghetto fabulous girlfriend who have domestics. Noah doesn't deal with this too well, and the situation on his boat doesn't get much better when the inhabits are the most raunchy bunch of animals ever known to man. The pressure of his ghetto booty lady means that the opportunity for love with someone else is always there, but in the days before protective sex there is the chance for something to go (horribly) wrong.
Randomly flashing disco floor lights, a Dinosaur DJ and the shots of the ark rollicking through the high seas were visual highlights. Song was sweet too and stuck in my head now "...Got the Hiv"
Title stands for an acronym I won't give away, but this was a mockumentary with too many talking heads for my liking. I'm not going to comletely rag on the team as you had a couple of lines that made me laugh hard, but my feelings on doing this sort of film are pretty strong. I think mockumentaries are a genre cop out as they can be pigeonholed into any genre. Throw in some interviews with intercut footage of the jokes said participants are discussing and voila you've got a film that's likely going to get a positive audience response. Its not jealousy I know for a fact there are many regulars to the competition who feel the same way.
The jokes that made me laugh were not the crude sexual humour, or comments by recovering superheroes about other characters which were visually obvious anyway. No it was the stuff about the rugby and harshness towards little 'Fly Boy'. This got a good audience response initially but seemed to run out of ideas.
Needing a large amount of cash in a short amount of time, Nicky Brick gets desperate in their quest to raise funds to help our their brother who suffers from McGuffin's disease. Luckily with the help of his female accomplice friend they come up with an idea that does seem a bit all too easy in its execution.
Loud clear dialogue, with an emphasis on the first part of that sentence were the order of the day. I know you were trying to play it straight and perhaps crooks don't show much emotion, but I would have appreciated at least a few facial expression changes in the film. Couple of good unintentional laughs though. Very well known local locations don't really lend themselves too well to be disguised as others eg, Vic Uni foyer only ever really passes as Vic Uni foyer in 48 Hours Wellington...
Particularly unlucky or a victim of coincidence? Either way Nick must feel unlucky at the beginning of this film as they take the blame for some serious criminal accusations at their school. Pens are in fashion with one teacher taking a particular liking to the biros, hence being outraged when a student steals them.
Or so it would seem with a private investigation by our hero following suit, trying their hardest to put together the pieces of an intricate puzzle. Low budget with poor sound but enthusiastically acted.
Applied some heavy editing effects to give their film a comic book look which were a little bit jarring although kind of hard to tell as I was sitting in the front row for this heat. This followed the old tried and true approach of powering up on V, becoming a superhero - in this case 'PJ Man' with costume design probably the comedic highlight - and looking to defeat an arch nemesis.
A positive film, but could have used some work on the script to come up with a few more original ideas. You've shown that you know your genre troupes this year, so maybe next year try and mix it up a bit? Cheers.
A girl lacks both friends and food in her fridge although I guess salsa, v and microwave food would have been the stable diet for a lot of teams on the 48 Hours weekend. They do not however lack for imagination with photoshopped images of them at landmarks dominating their facebook photos, and also acting as a plot device to get into the fantasy aspect of the genre.
Had a bit of a low budget cardboard cutout Heavenly Creatures vibe. Didn't overstay its welcome as was very short. Could have used a bit more of a narrative, however.
Worked well with your resources of not having a female actor, or at least not one who was willing to appear on screen for the romcom genre that you drew. Excellent energy and I actually bought into the believable performance of whoever was wearing the curly orange wig and spouting off about pwning n00bs.
After stumbling into each other, a serious of unfortunate events cause Nicky Brick to give the impression that she is leaving her boyfriend high and dry stranded every time they try to have a romantic rendezvous. Clicked along nicely with a solid script.
Your intro seemed to indicate that you were using quite a decent camera to film this one. I'd recommend looking to get some decent lighting or take the action outside of the familiarity of the classroom in future guys; the cinematography will be better for it (trust me) and some solid angles indicated plenty of potential for this. In particular I liked the high angle circular slow mo that had a really great Wicker Man feel to it.
In studying Dryads, a group of classmates/friends are warned not to harm a particularly historic tree which has a history of doom for those that don't heed the advance notice. A few too many characters came to the party and the action got a little formulaic towards the end with the whole horror = people die approach. Not bad, though.
Followed a decent structure of equilibrium, fall and development and new equilbrium with a couple of decent performances on display. A little direct/rough around the edges but handled the queer aspect (unfortunately) realistically in terms of how young people often react when their friends come out ie, harshly.
It was clearly well directed and had a good message that there will always be people who understand and accept you for who you are. Glad that the rugby team realised that you shouldn't lose a friendship just because someone has come out. A few too many long shots for my liking but on the other hand there were some sequences which were edited really well.
When the end of the world is announced as coming a mother goes to her two children and their playdoh collection for relief. The film rambled a lot until the frog that is created comes to life, just in time for the world to finish.
Good ending shot, the film could have benefited a lot by focusing more on the pending apocalypse or even post apocalypse as this was decent footage. As it stands currently the film is frustrating due to its lack of any real plot.
What a location! Reminded me of the nuclear factory at the beginning of trash Italian zombie classic Hell of the Living Dead. We followed a tour around the facilities where they make the latest craze, the 'Fetus 500'. The key elements of the product being highlighted with some scripting/comedic timing that was outstanding in particular our tour guide. Where do you get the finest specimens for injecting pregnant women? Watch the film and find out :)
Of course what's a tour without a demonstration, right? Luckily there are specimens close at hand who are ready to give birth with the help of the F5K. 200 litres of injected fluid and a flying demonic spawn baby follow with a couple of jaw dropping moments. Again, do have to reiterate that it was a good idea for the pregnant Wellington judge not to come to the heat...
The battle between the demonic spawn and the scientists/progression of the footage as the situation disintegrated was excellently done I thought. Given what it was the production values were almost perfect, with just the one repeat shot dragging things down ever so slightly.
What a bizarre coincidence...the second inspirational Wellingotn film of the night called 'Yolo', although this one didn't have to spell out the number of times you live in a life time like the high school team who chose the same name (hint: once).
At a books store a couple of brothers have a discussion about how hard the outisde world is - its so dangerous for unlucky Nicky that he needs to wear a helmet at all times. Of course their daily routine is broken up by a female customer who queries their thoughts on friendship.
Didn't put enough of a positive spin on things for me to really feel inspired. Tough genres but at least this one shot had a nice sense of claustrophobia inside the shop crammed to the rafters with books.
I felt your pain in your intro guys. At least you gave it your all with a couple of songs and a dance. Not a lot happened at first as Nicky sang about his morning routine and the bad curry he had the night before. Unfortunately his day goes from bad to worse with a shark attack involved and his friend has to deal with the aftermath.
The Nicky Prick? joke was well done by the pizza girl. Thanks for the effort at least. Hopefully you don't get the genre again. I'd suggest making a dance film if you do though, they're actually a lot of fun to make, not saying that this one wasn't.
Most definitely inspirational and a bit of a surprise that athletics or sports in general hasn't featured more this year in the genre given that it is an area with such clearly defined goals.
The smart money is on Flash Wilson to clean up at the Wellington athletics meet, but Nicky Brick never stops running for lack of trying. The motivational coach was an excellent supporting actor trying to get it into our undead lead's head that having heart is more important than having brains when running a race. Of course brains help too, if you're a zombie at least.
Excellent use of slow motion too. Couple of moments where the production values could have done with a bit of polish but minor points really as I think they were probably deliberately done that way (I'm talking about the floating heads and zombie make up in general)
This Wainui-based team didn't come to their screening. Boo-urns.
Anyway I must admit that I was a teency bit excited we might get a bit of a DEADLY PREY homage as a couple of newly acquainted renegade soldiers went off into the woods, but my excitement was relatively quickly scuppered by this team of brothers.
The film took an absolute age to get going, as they were trying to form a bond with dialogue and montage, but the connection between the two was strange. Bit of a tough one to get given that you're family, so I'd pretty high recommend having a girl or 2 on standby in future just in case, hey?
The funny bad effects and action once they finally got to fighting bad guys saved this from falling into complete mediocrity...so it gets 2/10 instead of 1/10. I'd also try and get more coverage, there's only so many medium to long range shots of two guys standing talking that is watchable before the action gets tedious.
Anyone else get the impression that this team was going to make a war movie no matter what genre they got? Ok, must have just been me and the other 200 people in the cinema at this heat. It started really promisingly with a bloodsoaked Doctor finishing off an operation for a patient who stares first person at his scalpal. Of course after seeing the film that followed I wasn't surprised that they kind of wanted to showcase their pretty incredible wardrobe of military outfits.
Said superhero becomes basically the key weapon for the allies in the 1930s against German. There were a couple of moments within this film that really seemed to be on the right track in my book; the shaking-face mind concentration for one, as the rest of the action came across a bit as boys and their toys with strong jaws.
PEGASUS NOW by On The House.
Um sorry guys but knowing the far more common use of the word pegging I unfortunately found it hard to take this film seriously. Which is a shame because a couple of the acting performances were really solid. If you were taking the piss out of the real term I commend you but it certainly didn't come across that way on screen.
'Pegging' in this film actually refers to the concept of sticking clothes-pins onto somebody else. Makes me wish that fad had come back as a genre this year as would have fitted will with this film.
Anyway being an Urban Legend the activity is actually a secretive one carried out by a group of friends who have taken the activity over from previous generations and now operate from a Mason-like residence. The only thing is, they need some new blood for an important upcoming activity and so their cleaning delivery is brought into the mix for assymilation.
Lost its sense of structure towards the end but certainly showed some promise.
Thanks for the quotes in the intro guys, you're free to use what I say for your films any time hehe. On to the film which showed a more restrained hand in terms of developing a plot this year, before the usual gonzo incredibly strange action kicked in. Probably lucky the pregnant Wellington judge wasn't here tonight as the baby kidnapping and dropping was pretty twisted.
Taking an infant is easy money right? And whoever has their newborn removed from their care should be happy to pay to get their beloved back right? Probably a good plan, if only it all doesn't get ahem bloody messy when Nicky Brick is in the mix and not exactly a lucky Irishman.
The ransom note was quirky and impressive moustache was impressive. Mean-spirited and there were moments that could have had some more script development (the criminal buddies had good chemisry for example), but enjoyable again at least for me.
Some nice camera work as an outcast tries to prevent having to take 'The Leaf'; a drug which has turned most of society into mindless slaves who work for the greater good powers that be.
However the drug has not worked up to this point hence our heroine being on the run when the film opens up. The world the film creates seems quite desolate and unforgiving, definitely not one I'd want to live in. Whilst the camera angles were great I just felt like it needed a bit more action in my book. What I mean by that is that I didn't exactly come out of it feeling like I had watched an action film, more a feeling I had watched something with sequences of action within it.
Having broken a statue, our Nicky Brick has cancelled the force field holding the dragon's back from attacking Earth, and so he only has a couple of hours to make things right. With a lack of superglue and some powers that be actually wanting the mythical creatures to arrive, however, it is quite a quest that our Nicky Brick goes on.
Only this quest was more urban Wellington than magical, with supermarkets and petrol stations replacing castles/caves. The showdown in the school hall was cheesy and entertaining and I'm guessing the team may not have had access to much fantasy adventure costuming or effects? Meandered a little and could have done with an attempt to at least show a little bit of magic on-screen.
Definite contender right here, folks. I've heard a few are popping up around the country and its not different in Wellington either with a number of films told from the zombies' perspective for once. However until you've seen this one I find it hard to explain just how original it was.
Just really damn good scriptwriting I guess, stomach-churning gore and make up effects, and a strong knowledge of the undead. From the first 'Brains!' groan of the film the film makers immediately had you in the grasp of their hand. So much so that by the time it ended I had completely bought into the character dynamics of four supposedly not living creatures and found it quite touching.
FORM A PACK. Well done, guys :D
Edit: On second viewing I'm bumping this up to a 5/5. Holds up amazingly well and even better with a massive crowd.
This was supposed to play in Heat 9 wasn't it? Anyway glad we got to see this team who are long-time veterans of the competition. It seems to me that they possibly used this year as their opportunity to really make something weird for a change with the canned laughter and jokes along the lines of murderous leprechauns.
The dynamic between the husband and wife was nicely subverted, not to mention a bit deranged as they set out to create names for themselves as urban legends. Black comedy can be really hard to pull off and whilst this one had its moments the canned laughter in particular felt quite forced and affected the flow of the film in a negative way.
Bit of a shame this was DQ as I'd have it up near the top of my cinematography finalists shortlisted to this point. Not only that but the use of the line was a moment which was coming for a while, but still delivered with aplomb. A creepy rhyming tale of three lovely young ladies and a nasty murderous man with cannibalistic intentions.
The more I think about it the more I liked it. Far more old school fantasy adventure style that reminded me of the works of the Brothers Grimm. Artsy and bold our narrator gave a really fantastic performance. Get ya bloody film in on time next year Tim! :p
First animation this year? Not sure what's happened as we used to get close to 10 most years in Wellington. Found footage at that which was quite an interesting take on the genre I must say. We focused on the work of a Doctor at a mental asylum, in particular the effects of playing repetitive children's music for hours on ends to patients who were already at least a bit unstable.
Short and sweet this didn't overstay its welcome by any stretch of the imagination. I liked where it cut off as open-ended is probably the perfect way to resolve a film in this genre.
Felt like quite a believable urban legend, as we focused on a local one that apparently should be of great benefit to those who have issues with luck - which I'd say three missed opportunities down the altar definitely qualifies as. Played it straight on the whole rather than using the previous tragedy as a comedic opportunity like a lot of teams would have.
Good use of the required elements but the voice over taking over gave it more of an after-school special than filmic feel in my book. Still, it set out to tell an original urban legend and achieved that. I would have just personally liked to have seen more a story developed by characters actions rather than essentially being described by the voiceover.
A bunch of guys have their roles defined very clearly ala Reservoir Dogs for the job that they are about to pull in this film which seems needlessly shot in black and white first of all, but eveything becomes clear as the film progresses.
Bit of a double-take film, although our plot development felt underutilised in my book, with far more focus on the 'crime' meaning that the chemistry between the guy and the girl was almost non-existent.
Our busking lead needs to come up with two grand in a weekend or else he's toast. His only real option though is dancing in a monkey suit and only Wellington zoo will grant him a (expensive) license to perform. Doesn't really help when their previous primate with moves was the best they ever had.
An enthusiastically acted but mean-spirited zoo director and female zookepper all too willing to help through a dance training montage [think F*Dance a few years back] kept this one kicking. Some really solid dancing on display, and a very cheeky sense of humour in general.
4 years in the future a virus attacks the whole world, and so people decide to make the most of their last time by spending and sharing time with friends and family/sharing video and skyping.
Started off cringe-worthy and got better...and better...and better until I was literally crying from laughter at the stupid things our narrator would quip on. I mean a young boy with a slingshot? Yeah ok. Drinking mate with a BBQ? Good to reminisce I supposed.
But yeah the team just snapped and our narrator came up with some goldmines of dialogue. "Go Nick Go" "Alanis Morissette isn't ironic, she's just inept". So yeah in other words another best worst contender.
Halloween 2011 the virus struck that ended the world. Zombies are the survivors and have plans to deal with those pesky humans that hunt them.
I kind of like a decent dream-within a dream film, and the zombie subgenre has my favourite example of this of all time - queue Nightmare City. However this didn't really go anywhere or if it did I was distracted by the obnoxiously loud alarm that ran for most of the film.
However props for taking a swim. Does nobody else remember how fricking freezing it was that day??
My favourite high school entry in many a year. Top stuff guys.
Our lead has a his breath taken away by the girl of his dreams, but lacks the funk she's after to let him stick it in her (I shit you not, that was the first song and it had the audience in stitches). Not only that, but there are wayfearer/leather jacket rivals who hold a lot more coolness at the start of the film.
Of course what's a good love story without having a progression to allow the chance to win a lady back/at least vye for her attentions again? And what's a good 48 hours film without a manic as fuck rainbow tight wearing funk guru?
The costume designs were tremendous, montage superb, the camera angles sublime and the pacing was like a runaway train. I wanna go listen to Maggot Brain now. Oh and you had the best use of the prop in the whole competition so far. Badass film on the whole guys, would watch again.
The whole she doesn't know I exist/have to somehow overcome her rivals teen film. Given the title not exactly Pretty in Pink, but a much different vibe compared to what I expected also. Quite charming, even.
Our polyamorous female lead enjoys the company of boys quite a bit, although there are several interested parties at the library. A jock, a smooth operator who takes her out to dinner, and the underdog that gets the audience on their side pretty quickly by taking an impressive tumble out of a tree.
The montage of competition was handled well and the script was solid with good comedic timing on the whole.
I could tell this team worked hard on their dialogue, and seemed like it might have taken a few efforts to get those long expository shots bang on? Nevertheless a reasonably original idea following a journalist investigating a murder as their one last chance, with some nice shots and good dynamics when actors/actresses were paired together on screen.
It came across as having a bit of a dream-like feel to me, with the distanced chase that had no real sense of urgency, and then a solid little twist to finish. Made sure that each shot was well lit from what I remember so I'd probably play to your strengths of camera work in future and maybe be a little more ambitious with the plot.
Very shouty film that was one for the greenies out there, as we followed an activist group of hippies and their plans to make the world a cleaner place.
Age-inappropriate casting probably the highlight in terms of entertainment - "SHIT JUST GOT REAL!" (the cops alone saved this one), although 'the city' being the local college out in Pram also made me chuckle. Almost a Guyana: Cult of the Damned feel to this one, but if you're aiming for Rene Cardona then your sights aren't set too high in terms of directors to aspire to.
This team did their best to overcome the technical limitations of the gear and genre that they obviously had with some nifty editing. A film of a film shown through a day in the life of our lead actress felt episodic but had a good level of energy to it.
I believe they also went for Found Footage as their genre so that also gave the film's look and sound a logical feel to it. I sensed some good cameraderie between the team in the intro, perhaps have a go at some character dynamics or relationships in future? Little bit too self-congratulating and lacking in story structure in my opinion. Made sense for found footage but as a film a begginning middle and end would have been a better approach to take.
Good take on the genre that actually spent some time on character development and a resolution that was tonally good. Some real angst on show, and whilst the script was raw the lead actor showed some real potential. Basically a loner lashes out at anyone that tries to be nice or care for them.
Having said the script was raw I'm not actually saying that was a bad thing. You laid out your jokes and went for it which I commend you for eg, the don't-give-a-shit laugh was excellent. Pacing was decent too and the closeness of the domestic situation gave the film's ending impact.
Walked in on the end of this one which had some good toilet humour and fencing on show, with strong audience laughter. Will update the review once I see the full film but liked what I saw.
Edit: this team is behaving atrociously. Had given the film a 7/10 based on what I had seen which made me laugh, but now cannot fathom giving it a positive rating of any kind. Behaviour will be brought to judge's attention, probably the school's if it continues.
A reasonably straightforward, take on the Bloody Mary urban legend, but shot with a good camera, decently paced and sound perfectly clear for the audience to hear. Bloody Mary herself was given just the right amount of limited screen time to come across as scary, too.
The film had a sense of foreboding doom from the beginning; you knew that as soon as they even mentioned the legend that the path they were going to travel down was likely going to be one which caused bad things to happen. Of course urban legends are legends for a reason, right? Hence when watching the film and putting yourself in the characters shoes (at least in my case) I thought I'd probably have done exactly the same thing for shits and giggles.
So yeah a well made film hard to fault technically. Perhaps a little more script work as it was a bit descriptive/predictable as soon as the first couple of characters spoke for more than a few seconds. The acting was a little wooden and fact that the legend worked as soon as the name was spoken the third time was fairly anti-climatic (although good sound design covered this).
Didn't come to the screening or didn't identify themselves with the film...
Film within a film with a very angry director getting quite over the top at his cast and crew and their apparent ineptness, particularly with regards to wasting the fake blood.
There were some creepy moments as the house obviously came to life, but the angry director was jarringly annoying and I think the film would have been improved had their been some explicit payback for him given how he mistreated everyone else.
2 guys are held hostage, needed in order to get money from their fathers on behalf of a gangster. Both sing songs; one sings about drinking tequilah because of the pressure he felt at a wedding, the other sings about his life as a pizza delivery boy.
Sorry you guys got stuck with this genre as its a pretty tricky one to pull off unless you have composers on the team. No offence intended if you did, but the songs were average. Nice combo with crime for the genre, essentially, though, although the dialogue between captor and captors could have done with a couple of script re-writes.
Also a bit confused as to why some of the swearing was bleeped out when most of it wasn't...
Warriors fight for the right to marry the Princess Junkadia (sp?) on Planet Falcor, but she wants to marry for love and not just who is the strongest and therefore flies off to Planet Earth to get away from the barbaric tradition of her people. Running into an Earthling who can show her our ways of life is of course a refreshing change, but the warriors also possess the ability to fly between planets so could catch up with her at any time.
Effects were great as always but I also thought this was verging on being more of a Fantasy Adventure than Rom Com with the whole 5th Element meets Superman 2 vibe that I was getting (and a lot of the ideas being the same as those films). The laughs are more based on character expression and some 'oh shit didn't see that coming!' [usually from the outstanding fx] than script based dialogue that I've come to expect to entertain me from this team.
Having said that the chemistry between the two leads is decent, and her stalking him is a nice change-up to the standard romcom formula. But yes the ending dare I say it did feel quite formulaic and forced, even. Hard to rate this one on its own terms knowing the team's fantastic body of work but not quite as good as previous years apart from the fx improving even more.
A welfare beneficiary is going to have their benefit cut off and needs to come up with a plan in order to keep their cash flow going. The film shows the reason that their previous jobs have not worked up, and the plan they come up with to bring in the moolah moving forward is sick and twisted but also makes a lot of sense within this film's universe.
Of course when the reasons for previous failure include death, extreme burning and woodchipper injuries (was that a nod to WOODCHIPPER MASSACRE?! fucking mad props if it was) you can always use your own bad luck to your advantage going forward, right?
Well paced and sickly funny, although could have probably been extended just a little bit more.
This team learnt how to use their camera and editing software only on the shoot weekend, they claimed in their intro. I don't really care if you were saying that as a joke or not, but the end result sure did come across as though that were true.
To be honest I'd worry more about practising writing a coherent story than worrying about your gear. From what my notes have gathered, four friends (two guys and two girls) meet to discuss the End of the World. One of them however is a politician and uses their loud Ministerial voice to dominate/veto the conversation. Of course when everyone has had a drink or 12 they don't exactly take a backseat to this approach and so need to get their words in edge wise as well.
If only it wasn't typically 2 or sometimes 3 characters talking on screen at once I might have enjoyed this one. As it was the joke labellings put over characters as they made stupid or sexist comments were the only thing that kept me interested. Oh and counting the squares on the minister's shirt. I think I counted about 100 before I got bored.
One for the pun enthusiasts with the film focused on two sets of characters; would be fruit smugglers and those would prevent them.
The film started slowly with the first half script being a bit cringe worthy with all those puns, and for some reason the acting not really picking up until the second half of the film. The climax of this one though, is indeed terrific.
Pushing boundaries for where bobbing for apples have never gone before, the visual action improves as the two groups come head to head. A manic foul mouthed dealer definitely the acting highlight, the clearest area the film could have improved was audio which seemed to be mixed raw and loud. Perhaps have some more music next year?
You know how sometimes you get eager supporting cast members who just completely steal the show? Well the bearded dude with the bow and arrow took it away right here. From his eagerness to hunt down our lesbian female lead through to his ability to thread an arrow between a physically impossible angle that dude made the film for me.
At least part of it, anyway. Played completely straight faced and set in medieval times, one woman is put to trial for falling for and seducing another woman. Her prosectuors argue it is an unholy sin, she argues that would not have done it if were not God's gift to love who she wants to.
The film titilates a little but never really pushes beyond a PG rating. The staggering level of deadpan though gets funnier and funnier as the film progresses; an unintentional black comedy classic by the end as swords are clanged across trees, star bearded extra steals another frame here or there, and Nicky who? Our lead character has some amazing name like Catherine Valet du Boumont [I did not have time to write it down exactly as it only gets mentioned ONCE at the very end of the film]
A post apocalyptic struggle for survivors of an outbreak had some nice art direction set mainly in a desolate concrete jungle where blood is never too far away. Despite the outbreak seemingly having happened quite some time ago it seemed like the virus took a long time to take effect once you had contracted it.
What the film focused on what the story between one scavenger and another who is less mobile, and whilst you may think that being possibly the last two people on earth would bring you together, there is obviously also the possibility that it might tear you apart.
Contained a very well done body horror effect to finish off the film.
A story that uses fantasy as its framework for getting over a relationship breakup was an interesting take on the genre. I don't know where this team shot the film but they found somewhere with some truly majestic overhanging forest trees and a large clearing with no houses or technology in view of the whole horizon, meaning the tone was well set.
Coming up with their own fantasy terminology - it was 'Phanthom' wasn't it? was a bold move, although the final battle was a teency bit underdone (the team did the best they could though and the makeup effects on the villanous Phanthom more than made up for not having any real effects or spells).
So a group of friends have a camera which has some pretty important found footage which they realise they all need to see. It appears that it is related to their friend they all grieve for who has a grave(?) in the forest.
...However we are never shown the found footage! It was a really nicely shot film (although if what we were watching for the most part was found footage I'd like to know who waives around a DSLR for a group trip to visit a grave?!) and seemed possibly quite personal.
A lot of plot points were not given real explanations and whilst really nicely shot a lot of the footage did not progress the story in any way shape or form. No idea why no found footage was shown unless I completely missed something.
A flat recovers from an End Of The World themed party they held the night before.
Simple idea done really well in terms of set design and characters hitting their marks. The aftermath really did seem realistic and whilst it was obviously all scripted it still gave the impression that actors were playing it off the cuff like they actually would on a lazy hungover Sunday.
Some memorable animal imagery as well with a hungry goat and a chicken in a bathroom. The team fit in more than one end of the world idea as well, with the winning lotto ticket being missing as the film's key plot point and the characters being desparate for the money that would result in.
I know you were disqualified for some other reason, but do you reallly think having Bangarang by Skrillex play would have meant you would be able to keep going in the competition? Hard to say when a team made it to the grand final and got away with Billie Jean last year, but yeah...
Its actually a shame that you were DQ because the editing on this was cut tight as heck. It might have seemed like a random set of collages/happenings in the city initially but everything came together and formed a real bond for the three focused on actors by the end of the film. Also gave introspective into city life; seemed like the team had some pretty badass lenses for whatever camera they had.
As breaking news of the world ending comes in, people gather together their family, friends or loved ones and try to get away. Some look to enjoy what they love one last time, others prepare signs such as 'Aliens go away'. Like I said earlier it is a real collection of images but three friends look to make the most of Wellington one final time before the end. Tugged at the emotion strings a little.
Nicky (The) Brick, The Foreigner and Todd our lead actor as well as some other shady individuals play some high stakes games of poker in somebody's basement.
The film appeared to be about a new recruit to the criminal scene but most shots were unneccesarily long and the script needed some fleshing out. I mean hey the team did really live up to its name with regards to lack of taking but what I'm referring to shot wise was a number of cases the shots did not really develop the plot. So a character is holding two cards in a poker game? And it doesn't develop the plot? Great, next shot. You don't actually HAVE to make a 7 minute film in this competition. I did not check my watch as to whether this was or not, but it sure felt like it.
Revenge by murder for being dumped and hitching up with another, perfectly sane person. Perfectly normal fare for 48 Hours, right? Yes it is, but I really don't know how we can possibly get the mindset of participants in general to come up with original ideas around this concept.
I mean this film had some stylish night-time driving and an open ended resolution, and the close-up on the eye through the door was one of the most memorable shots I've seen all year. However we've seen all this before.
A couple going through a bit of a tough period due to busy schedules (they plan their first date in 3 weeks) have it made even harder when a close old friend comes into the mix as he has not been around for years.
It was fairly obviously plot development with the girlfriend misinterpreting the wording between the 2 guys as them being possibly closer than just friends when she calls her boyfriend eg, its tight/get the ball in the hole. Some sound advise about love was given in the film.
Having said that I seem to remember having quite a go at this team last year for some quite immature homophobic content. They've cleaned that up to a large degree but I was still concerned that this sort of humour appeared to be the team's fallback option. Much better though with the love between the boyfriend and girlfriend being genuinely heartfelt and the film having a solid resolution.
So I re-watched CLUE for the first time in a while the other day, and that film still stacks up superbly. This pun-filled quest to be the first Cluedo character in the house to kill someone else, however, did have a number of flaws... although your enjoyment of the film would likely depend a great deal on how much you like puns, board games and board game puns.
An underutilised Nicky Brick does luckily break up this barrage of jokes and one on one fighting with candlesticks/revolvers/spanners by Colonel Mustard, Rev. Green and the like, but it one essentially a one joke film that could have done a lot more plot-wise than just ham it up.
A Psychopathic housewife goes on a bit of a murderous spree with regards to servicemen, taking out a plumber by choking them to death and heavily hinting that the same fate may await the internet service man due to come around in the near future.
Luckily we are given motivation behind this behaviour with a backstory of mistreatment by her ex and how her current beau essentially came to her rescue as a white knight. There were a couple of nice shots for example the hand in the oven, and I squirmed at least a little whilst the plumber was choked.
The film did appear however to go for more of a dark/disturbing approach (also included chainsaws and blood, for example) than any sort of tension which is what I view as a key element to horror, and the production values were average.
Here's a tip from doing 48 Hours for quite a number of years; don't waste the first 45-60 seconds of your film showing someone waking up out of bed etc as its precious time that can be used on jumping into your story and engaging the audience.
The film itself was ok, as a girl deals with the horror of no 'Mermite' in the kitchen pantry by scouring around the house with a chair held over her head Benny Hill style, and then ending up in a fantasy world reached through leaves where they are promised this condiment by a mysterious mystical girl. I noted good use of sound effects throughout such as rustling leaves and running water for the river, as well as being drawn into the world of the film. The fact it had me thinking of more questions re: the fantasy world was probably a good thing.
One of the youngest teams I've had the privlege of viewing on the big screen in 48 Hours. Not bad guys, with a camera documenting the action only for the actors to realise they are being watched (well, stalked, in fact). I know the actors on screen may have been the only ones available at your disposal for the weekend but an older actor would have made a much more convincing menacing threat.
Ps yes I know the film is called 'Killer Klones' and therefore using an older actor would have kind of defeated the purpse but on that note this aspect of the film was not really highlighted in the film at all. So perhaps a bit more clarity scriptwise in future would be appreciated.
So apparently Superhero was made an option in case High School teams drew Erotic Thriller? Well, nobody told MSC Productions as they went for it with short skirts, heels, lipstick, flirty behaviour, spin the bottle and some behaviour which could definitely be described as more than flirty and bordering on erotic.
It played out as two acts with the 'thriller' part coming later as two girls confronted each other about killing themselves or not. So both bases of the genre were covered but the acts actually jarred against each other a bit. The dialogue showed promise and it might have been that the team were going for a headfuck, but it still needed a bit more narrative polish.
I cracked up at one the songs in this one actually having a line sung for "crouch, touch, pause, engage" as we followed the exploits of a young rugby player who actually had dreams of being a musical star.
Overcoming self-doubt was well conveyed in the film, as the lead character's father had passed away and so he had to learn to follow his dream rather than play the macho type.
Don't mean to be too much of a dick but why was he playing piano if auditioning for Billy Elliot? Is that not a dance based play?? Please correct me if I'm wrong and I will amend the review but it was a major plot stickler for me. I also appreciated the piano talent on display, as well as the singing, but having the characters sing rather than the songs play over rugby action would have been much better in my opinion.
A group of lads go off on a dark night in search of a body they have heard about on the news with the notion of becoming media heroes. Luckily it has been reported as possibly being located in a local area that they possess good knowledge of.
There seemed to be a decent amount of in-jokes for this entry but I'm pretty sure the team didn't turn up to the screening? Also toilet humour and some shonkey camera work, but the ending was actually very creep so that gets points from me.
Are kids these days really too lazy to not even say a full W for this acronym? I guess they apparently are. Be that as it may, this was some entertaining young queer cinema that sent a positive message about coming out/being accepted.
Realistic that the girlfriend was taken back by her boyfriend understanding and embracing this, there were some good physical humour jokes and the effort of actually jumping into the Wellington waterfront on the weekend means I'm giving the team a higher rating than I would otherwise.
It was a little talk-heavy and the editing could have done with a bit of work, but enjoyable nonetheless.
Labelled as Inspirational on the voting sheets this team actually drew musical (there was a mixup with some of the genres for Out of Town entries)
A loner who has stuffed up previously decides to give music a second change, firstly by singing I Dreamed A Dream for theatre, and secondly by entering the SmokeFree Rockquest, which looked like it was actual footage of the competition which must have fallen on the shoot weekend.
I would have liked to have seen more development of the idea as to why our lead picking up and playing drums again was potentially an issue. As it was it was mentioned in passing it was a problem previously but they seemed to rock out all too quickly.
We open on our lead actor bound and gagged to a chair, and then his friends/possible acquantinces are brought in for questioning about their plans in a conspiracy against the government in an attempt at framing. This was supposedly End of the World and One-Shot? Because honestly I felt it made more sense falling under the Crime genre.
If it definitely was EOTW then I'd recommend doing your genre research in future; a totalitarian government would not come under this category. Post-apocalyptic potentially but it felt like vital information was lacking. When it was a film based on interrogating someone because of the existing societal situation we as an audience really needed that grounding.
Obviously a difficult genre as well, but with the camera being static the film would have benefited immensely from giving more colour or information to that static frame. Also I'd suggest investing in a decent microphone next year if you do decide to use as much expository dialogue again.
You're right guys, your replica guns were pretty impressive. Also on display were some excellent camera angles and action which felt similar in tone to a Peter Greengrass film.
The plot was a little weak, basically just setting targets up for chases to get paid and then playing cat and mouse. Good style though.
Not a lot going on in this film; there was a crime committed and a lot of darkness as well as running through Palmerston North. It seemed that the lead actor was a bit of a schizo being normal by day and a psycho murderer/criminal at night? Not clear at all sorry guys, please work on scripting in future.
Hooray! The first Wellington Bigfoot/Sasquatch entry this year and luckily it was a real goody. A couple of DOC workers are queried as to how their daily activities had gone with regards to snail sampling and cataloguing; only thing is, we are presented with a couple of completely different stories.
This had a witty script and excellent performances. Knowing how limited the light was on the Saturday of the shoot weekend in Wellington I was impressed by the coverage acquired in some deep forest areas. I honestly thought a lot more teams would take on this popular urban legend so it put a big grin on my face to see some big hairy man action as it is one of my personal favourite sub-genres.
Not many films have managed to do it this year, but this was definitely verging on WTF territory for a good portion of its running time.
A beer-swilling tattooed ginga with an electric pink scooter decides to have himself a day out at the beach with some delicious bananas ready for when he has tired himself out against the crashing waves. Bananas however are a pretty handsome commodity to have at the beach and so it turns out he must deal with a rival for the opportunity to chow down on the fruit.
Shame it was disqualified as the butt cracks and 'fighting' alone would have made it an Incredibly Strange contender.
So instead of the end of existence of life on Earth as we know it, 'The World' was actually a person; the reigning regional darts champion to be precise. If it had not ended like it did I probably would be giving it a negative review as that's taking subversion a little too far in my book...kinda like the year a team made their M Night Shymalan Big Twist film be all about M Night films...
I'm not going to, though, this had a nice fly on the wall feel to it with some entertaining crude humour. The main area I'd recommend working on would be sound as it was a bit of a mixed bag in terms of being able to clearly hear dialogue or not.
Well this team were obviously going to film something with ninjas no matter what genre they got. I kind of wished I had access to a controller as a video game romp was what unfolded on screen, with the team choosing Fantasy Adventure as the grounding for their one-shot effort.
It lend itself well to the concept of rescuing a princess and the location they secured for this allowed them to create some really elaborate framing as we panned through doorways, around concrete walls and up stairwells. Also a couple of self-referential jokes thrown in for good measure. Despit the ambition some of the choreography could have been tightened up and the team could have tried to at least come off with a couple of original ideas.
A drought of inspiration across the country results in a new profession being created; that of the travelling salesperson of liquid inspiration.
Being Nicky Brick of course they don't exactly hit the jackpot selling door to door, and the liquid nature of the product they are selling means that it is all too easily lost. This film came across as low budget but had its moments for example I could see that the team really tried hard to come up with an original concept, and we got into some solid strange dark territory towards the end when a new batch of inspration was being cooked up/flatmate went psycho. More work on the script and a better camera next year would work wonders.
After wine bottle correspondence ala Message in a Bottle, our lead actor has a fragile courier package arrive at his doorstep that he expects will make his dreams come true. However instead of a beautiful loving wife to order he encounters a rampaging pirate woman who believes him to be a scurvy land lubber and therefore chases him with her cutlas at every opportunity.
Corny jokes and split screen editing for no apparent reason so not the most polished film, but the actors seemed quite enthusiatic throughout. The ending let the film down a little bit in my opinion as it was an abrupt change of pace that could have used some development, such as detailing the contents of the notes in the bottles.
Nicky Brick and Joseph Marlin are in the process of recording an audition tape for 'Wander in the Wilderness' and giving it a New Zealand spin with focus on our local floral fauna and how they are used culturaully for example as healing plants by Maori.
However both leads dispute how they should shoot, who should do what, and the lead actress also happens to have a troubled past that links to the forest they are exploring.
Very much a Blair Witch vibe but also one of the more realistic films so far in terms of actually believing someone could have stumbled upon the tape. The lead actress gave a believable performance. More in future, please.
An ambitious title for a film which did not quite reach that lofty height but good on you for trying. Each character sung to the camera of how their life currently was and/or their personal traits at a speed dating event.
Some ambitious ideas with good match-offs at said event, and the numerous family members playing the same actor was well done. I know that you were trying to encapsulate each characters' take on what perfect love meant to them, but I'd recommend in future if you are trying to build backstory to limit this to 2 characters max. Raw production values but still made me smile.
A good genre subversive effort on show here, well edited and having its own unique sense of style with the only dialogue of the film coming from radio talkback commentary.
A young group of friends look after the estate of Nicky Brick over the weekend in the country and entertain much revelry with dancing, drinking and guns. It encapsulates a sense of freedom from the outside world with efforts made to stop people from using their mobile phones as well. However the explicit aftermath of the partying of the good looking young cast builds in the creepiness scales with solid sound design throughout.
This team didn't come to their screening which was a shame as there were some good laffs generated and a genuinely shocking ending that I would have made every effort to see the audience reaction of were it my own film.
A patient diagnosed with psychomentriosis (sp?) basically trips out in his mental health ward cell/room, to a fantasy world. Think toy horse = wild stallion riding, climbing the walls = climbing a mountain etc.
A horse riding couple stumble upon a drug den and when things turn pear shaped it is up to Nicky Brick to get revenge.
This had low production values but that probably added to its charm. The editing could have done with a bit of polish as there were times where shots did drag such as the opening shot of the horses being parked up. Having said that the action was enjoyable to watch with a couple of the grapples/flip releases particularly impressive.
A hobo lives the life of a bum around Wellington, ignoring the advances of a guy handing out flyer for wi-fi every day until his situation turns worse.
As to whether that was a good idea or not, only time will tell.
The script needed a bit of work as did the narrative structure because quite simply a hobo's day to day existence is not exactly entertaining unless said hobo is played by Rutger Hauer and/or they have a shotgun.
I really liked this film which was a good 2 minutes max in length made up of less than a handful of shots but covered everything it needed to.
A couple of Wizards/warriors, I wasn't sure which they were and it didn't really matter, the point was they had impressive beards and costumes, discuss the war which they are currently engaged in. However due to the battle finishing soon one is sent on his way to deliver news to the castle.
The timing was perfect, overdubs solid and moving the framing from super wide scope to 16:9 was an inspired touch.
This is for Die Blutsbruder by Great White Buffalo. Review database seems to not have this listed under its full title.
Think Man Bites Dog meets Boondock Saints but done silently with any dialogue spoken just having the subtitles flashed on screen, as two Blood Brothers look to kill off anyone they still hate that they went to school with.
It certainly was artistic but death and killing =/= horror. I'd suggest building a bit of tension or even looking to scare the audience if you receive this genre again. The final girl was a bit disturbing, and may have been better having her as a more central story arc.
Jazz singing as a group of friends/associates converge whilst they await Nicky Brick, who they are hoping will have the talent to bring them riches.
Nicky is looking to make it big so that she can stop being whore (I apologise if I misheard the lyrics but it seemed to be what she was saying). The original guests of course are obnoxious to the point where there waiter feels he has to do something about it, with dire consequences for Nicky.
Looked like the team had fun as they sleazed it up a bit. Tough genre to get for this team as there songs could have done with a lot more work.
Oooh errr my this was nicely shot. Simple, easy to follow story that opened itself up for several jokes and developments, including an excellent final confrontation when the body hammering away in the boot has made one annoying bump too many.
The story revolves around the idea of a couple of crooks; one new, the other a grizzled old-timer, and their need to cover up their tracks. Hence a car is driven out to the middle of nowhere whilst they hatch a plan as to what to do with the child witness they have shoved in the trunk. I'm not going to give anything away as this will probably be in the Wellington final.
Solid performances, technically good (I could hear every single line of dialogue crystal clear, for one) and entertaining fare with a surprising amount of blood. Thanks.
Now that was a long 30 second intro.
A regular Casanova with magic hands manages to work his way his way into the hearts and tongues of quite a few young women across the course of the film. However treating them as things to be used is obviously not an acceptable way to act, and so a plot is set in place to look to stop those hands from working their magic any further.
The ease with which he hooked up with anyone he wanted got some good responsive laughs, but it also meant that the plot was a bit thin.
This team apologised for their audio before the film played due to having to use a backup mic, and to be honest guys whilst the levels were a bit loud at times, it was nowhere near the worst I've come across in 48 Hours. Probably better than half the films this year anyway.
A blind or internet date goes fairly horribly wrong for our Nicky Brick when he is knocked out and handcuffed to the bed with a satanic sign painted on his chest by his potential date for her coven (and garden). What follows is a good level of interplay between the two, as well as another particularly energetic supporting actor.
The virgin jokes were clever (not sure why they didn't get more laughs) and the both leads were really good. The woman who played 'Storm' was quite a stunner.
NAILED IT. Like out of the park in my book got your genre absolutely picture-perfect spot on. I've always been a bit of a puppet fan and having watching The Lady from Sockholm earlier this year I was pretty pleased to come across some getting the big screen treatment so spectacularly.
Our lead actress feels empty, although they acknowledge that with Hamlet coming up that an opportunity to re-gain their passion for acting may be able to come through. The only problem is that they can't cry. Nicky Brick tries to ignite this passion for them, suggesting a multitude of scenarios that ultimately hit home a lot harder than anyone would care to imagine for our lead.
Set design was superb and the puppets were simply beautiful. Not just play with for Sunday school type stuff either. No, this team put a huge amount of effort in with differing facial features to actually convey emotion. Big time payoff to the point where the audience was clapping before the end credits rolled.
A seriously done mix of the world ending (through flashback) and world after the apocalypse has come. I thought that the urgency was really good as our leads tried to get away from a quarantine - where did you get those gas masks from?! The wasteland of Tawa also leant itself well afterwards to show a disparate land.
The roaming gangs were done well in terms of their marauding style and there was a decent resolution. I guess I really liked the fact that they captured the mass hysteria of the word essentially ending rather than just having a select few after the fact, or bothering with anything philosophical. It was happening and so shit had to get sorted.
Having said that they would start a family together, a girl then has to deal with the interrogation over her missing partner as she is the prime leading suspect.
There were some strange stylistic choices such as applying computer effects to the characters in the opening scene for no apparent reason, as well as at the meeting for coffee. Oh well, you did warn us before your film played. I mean it wasn't offensively bad or anything, just needed a lot more work on the actual script/dialogue.
Well this was a tantalising little film that left me wondering what would happen next, capturing the erotic part quite and the intrigue it created at the end being enough to satisfy me re: its thriller quotient.
Having been texted to cum ova 4 a feast, might get luky, our Nicky does exactly what he's told. And given the apparent interest shown in him as soon as he walks in the door, who wouldn't, right? Of course blindfolds and restraints aren't always the best things to have applied when you soon realise that a party of 2 might never have been the intended course of action.
I would have liked a little more dialogue but appreciate keeping it up for interpretation.
I'm not much of an animator myself so I'm not sure if I'm using the right terminology but appeared that just about this whole thing was fairly garishly rotoscoped with plenty of colour throughout? It did give itself a unique sense of style by doing this, but also meant it was hard to focus on what was happening story wise.
Not that there was really much of a story, with a rambling rap about the bad aspects of New Zealand and how a lot of culture/social activity occures being commented on. Of course what would a rom com be without a romantic subject, right? Although doesn't really work if the romantic subject is a place or metaphor, in my opinion.
It was a daring film but the lack of an actual story or structure and that fact that the rapping was really bad meant I did not enjoy it.
Seriously done inspirational film that seemed like it could quite possibly have actually been based on a true story?
A widower and a stoner meet at a bus stop to essentially discuss life and how things can improve even when they seem at their lowest. Hard to pull off serious but the film did it well.
A reasonably lusty scientist conducts a number of experiments in order to create the ideal specimen for attending to her needs ala Rocky from Rocky Horror. However none quite seem to make the grade.
The team really crammed the screen with about as much visual information as it was going to be able to take at once; test tubes on a table, pictures of beautiful celebrity men on the back wall, and a bed hooked up for new male specimens to be created through on the side.
Quite a manic film to be honest. Cue the squirrel fast forward to give it a bit of variety worked well at first, but got a little old by the third time the technique was used.
Oh and they slipped some penis on screen. Just saying.
Some unpleasant shots of dead animals had me thinking we might get a more despairing post apocalyptic take on the End of the World genre, but luckily at least in terms of entertainment value our two wanderers were greeted by an energetic young lass.
This made me think to myself what would I miss myself if the world actually ended? Good comaradarie amongst the actors made it quite enjoyable, whilst the sanitation joke was foul and effective in terms of getting a response.
Faced with a lack of time and other hurdles in the way of getting his pretty important package through, such as an energetic thief, this film moved along at breakneck speed for the most part (to be honest the restaurant/jokes were a nice breather after the action requirements were covered in the first half). I was very impressed with the silly yet well choregraphed chase and fight through the park.
Well acted as always by this team, they probably had the best one-liners out of any action film in the heats I've seen so far.
Couch Kumaras :( Poor, poor Couch Kumaras :( Please get your film in on time next year! You would actually have been a genuine chance to defend your Wellington title (although a little birdy tells me it was the amazing effects in the final cut we saw which did cause you to be late...) had this been eligible. Also loved the big-headed NBA Jam stle intro, guys.
Swords, capes, rangers, warriors, spells, swordfights, protection spells, family vengeance, magical objects. Yep I think you had the required tropes of the genre down pretty pat with this one. Also another majestical soundtrack. Really well acted too. Sigh...
Thank you to this team for just giving it their absolute all in this loved and hated genre.
We follow the exploits of a submarine team as they cruise around the ocean, always on the alert for whether they will have to self-destruct or not. Whether they do or not, is another question...
Anyway music and dance wise it had everything it needed. A captain standing up with just himself and his guitar, going for and largely hitting the high notes as a climax. It also contained possibily the most amazing group shoulder bobbing dance collective you will see this side of a toilet paper roll-made periscope. Definite contender for best worst film in Wellington this year.
Priests and churches sure seem to be popular this year. We get told/shown the story of a camera documenting someone having a fairly wild weekend. How they came to acquire said camera however provides a good story point.
It must be a bit frustrating to clearly have some quality HD gear and then get this genre, as the time off the low budget camera was fairly crisp indeed on screen. Anyway lipstick on the forehead, seduction at a poolhall, the aftermath of a party and confessions at a church all get good screen time.
The standard definition camera that this team clearly shot their film on actually helped itself immensely to the genre that they were provided. The fact that the whole thing was found footage also gets a big thumbs up from me.
Holed up in a barn that the group of friends jokingly pronounce as haunted, things quickly go fairly horribly wrong. This felt quite claustrophobic but had just the right level of pacing to avoid any shaky camera issues. The darkness often seen on screen kept you guessing at all times as well.
A French game show hosts auditions new contestants for their chance to become the next champion of Dance. There were some seriously excellent moves on display with again a good structure to the proceedings. Krump, latin/tango and freestyle were all covered well.
I made a note that this had some absolutely excellent use of slow-mo through the human body flop/flop back up dance move that our Nicky Brick could provide with aplomb.
Nightmares, revenge and redemption were the structure of this one with a particular emphasise on trying to produce some oneiric imagery of a creepy killer who haunts our leads dreams.
It felt quite disjointed which I guess it how dreams should be conveyed as it is more realistic. It did lack the tension that I hope for in a horror film but it was still entertaining, with some genuine guffaws towards the end when the girl climbs rather awkwardly on top of the guy. Surprise ending gave it a dark flavour overall.
I got quite a Highlander 2 meets The Matrix vibe with this one with the whole bad cloaked dude coming in and spouting prophecy + love interest being used as torture bait.
What I'd recommend to this team more than anything would be to make sure they use better lighting going forward. A little grain and shadow here and there is obviously ok, but it felt like enough detail wasn't paid to these areas in a couple of key scenes.
I do have to say that this wasn't exactly an urban legend with the whole being set in a forest thing going on, felt more like a Hans Christian Anderson tale. I won't hold that against you entirely though, as a legend was still told well enough.
The two brothers(?) collecting wood and stumbling upon a thing of great importance was well framed, and the tree climbing/leg break definitely made me wince.
Oh so short but oh so much action. I think this would actually be touch and go whether it met the 60 second requirement. An all out assault on the senses and each other as the film was basically a big brawl in a carpark as they all fought for their "last chance" that included a couple of neat night vision shots.
Finger guns have been done before but it established the film's own little universe well. Good example to be honest that bigger is now always better as I'm not really sure what else could have been said outside this framework that would have matched the intensity displayed on screen.
A more serious effort here this team looks like it could have quite a bit of potential for future years if they decide to stick with the competition. A little talky but good ideas regarding the end of the world being potentially having been caused by someone but also giving them the potential chance to put it right.
Ended on a cliffhanger race against time but yet again a good script, and being a short film it was probably good that we didn't get closure either way.
A one-shot mockumentary which usually earns my ire but this fell in line well with the required elements rather than shoe horning them in.
A focus on the 8th episode of a show regarding over zealous leaf collectors in search of rare shrubbery gave had all the actors hit their marks, had a beginning middle and end and got some good audience laughs especially the strong boyfriend taking offence to thinking our female lead was checking out his "missus". Taking a show and giving it the feeling that ordinary people wouldn't just turn tricks for the camera was well conveyed.
A lot better take on the genre than most of the adult efforts I have seen so far this year, again with a solid script, good pacing and performances and even a really nice twist that actually created the inspiration I was searching for.
New workout routine sounds good to our lead actress, who trains rigorously to overcome a personal challenge of climbing a tree that may seem quite straight forward but we actually realise is quite impressive given the situation. Nice workout montage, good little story.
A tale of rejection turning to narcissism, but more through self-love than vanity as our Nicky Brick literally falls in love with their own shadow.
As I said they used this as a plot framing device to focus on the comedy aspect of the genre through some physical humour at the Botanical Gardens. A solid time lapse was included and the idea was ok but I felt it could have been padded out a bit more.
Adam and Eve contemplate leaving the garden of Eden and bringing the word of God to the modern world, whilst Nicky Brick continued to show signs of being awfully unlucky before said two deities unleashed their superpowers of enlightenment.
I've got to say I was impressed with the High School teams this year; it was obviously they poured a lot more effort into actually scriptwriting and the coherency displayed has been excellent. This film in particular had some great quick witted puns and inventive camerawork.