'Witcher Grove' by NITRO

Heat: 
12
Film name: 
Witcher Grove
Team name: 
Genre: 
One Shot
Average rating: 
3.4375
Your rating: None Average: 3.4 (8 votes)
8

It is a shame this one came in late. It was really good. It used the one-shot method to good effect. I liked how the rhyming narrative pushed the boundaries of how far you can twist the English language without getting busted ("Nicky Brick was asleep ... the kind they call fast.") I also liked the feather blood effect and the very effective use of the "I did that" line to finish it all off.

8

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

5

nitro's version of the three little pigs. and out of sync. a typical nitro film LATE! but you kind of expect that with nitro after 8 years in the comp :)

5

This 'scary tale' exploited the one-shot format well to keep up the tension of the story. I'm not sure if the story would have stood up that well, if shot more conventionally, but I guess the one-shot genre was always going to be tricky to deal with and likely to take over a film. I thought the team did really well to sync the voice-over narrative with the action on screen as well as they did. I loved the red flower petal blood; it was very visually in keeping with the tone of the film. The film makes use of a very simple location, but manages to turn it in to a fairy tale world. Nice use of the required line at the end of the film. It's a shame the film wasn't eligible for competition; I'm sure the audience would have rated it well.

8

*Viewed in Screening Room*

This was a very cool way to pull off a one-shot film! Makes me feel like all fairytales/nursery rhymes should be told in one-shot! Really well shot with some excellent lighting - something which could have tripped up a one shot film. All required elements used well, especially the line. The only thing wrong really were the audio levels - I'm not sure how it came across at the heat, but some of the narration was played out in stereo and not always centred, and the music was too loud to hear the narration in a lot of parts. Otherwise the narration I did hear was performed really well. Great job, sad to hear it was DQ'd. 8/10

7

[Watched in the Screening Room]

Another good entry from NITRO, pity that they were DQ'ed. The short has an interesting start with a team intro which is also one-shot and appears to contain all of the elements (assuming that the kid was supposed to be Nicky Brick).

The actual short is a one-shot fable which appears to be based on the three little pigs story. Rhyming narration is something which is becoming quite common in short films and it worked well here. Can't really fault the story or the cinematography which were both good, especially the cinematography as it must have been really challenging to keep consistent lighting in what appeared to be one long take (pretty sure I saw a cut between the second and third houses though).

The audio had a couple of issues in the version I saw: the music is not quite balanced properly with the narrator and there are also a couple of synching issues (then again I really shouldn't complain about synching) and at one point the narrator briefly switched from the center to the far right which was a little weird but overall the audio was pretty good.

The elements were well integrated especially the line which was very effective even if the reveal wasn't exactly a surprise to the audience. Overall a good entry.

8

Such a shame this came in late. Would have probably topped it for me if it had - I did find the out of synch audio a bit jarring, but was so blown away by what you achieved with a very tricky genre. Very nicely done. Always be ambitious! Even if you end up thwarted by traffic lights :)

6

Good stuff team NITRO - Very ambitious try in the real spirit of v48hours..

Shame that you got traffic troubles (I sat next to you in heat Tim) to hand over this little gem one shot..

A narrated little story.. with relatively smooth flow and integrated elements.. with great location use.. and wonderfully timed execution... and girly girls were truly girly girls.. so nice detailed touch with AD & wardrobe all over the place!

It should have shown a bit more action though of what happened inside.. the large windows definitely helped but could have improved a bit there..

The flow:

Though there was an obvious cut (to me) in the middle where the line was crossed... EXT. lightning changed and suddenly the man was sitting on the right instead of left.. though the lightning could add to the story progression.. dunno what was the intention.. but the whole thing wasn't majorly obstructive though.. and most people I bet didn't notice it that much so overall still serves story okish..

.. as the cut that crossed the line (rules are meant for breaking hehe especially on this!).. was well transitioned with dissolve & diverted with girly girls passing.. to make it work for the one shot.. despite the sub-confusion.. perhaps intention was to add to story again as the narrator's role was supposed bit mystery till the end I guess..? stuff happens..

I loved those small details such as the feathers blown in the ending too... the slow motion from this was not too obvious.. good thing.. and "I did that" line really came at the ending as well but it could have been even more cunning ending as we saw where it was going to from start..

Technically it could use some work.. really needed some details there as I found it a bit sterile especially regarding the sound design..

Sound & VO Narrator:

Though it might have added to it's charm - the sterile and out of sync low key VO that the visuals were integrated nicely to narrator otherwise..

The guitar rhymes worked well but it could have had some progression with the story instead of staying the same tunes... I guess this was rushed thru can feel it.. progression in score side would have added a lot here!

And no SFX? I'm sure you know as you always distribute those effects to 48hours people every year.. perhaps there was no time and this was rushed.. shame.. I'm sure you know that this could have been brilliant with some effects going and made it a bit fun! ofc. should not overload it with effects but could have kept it less "contained" or "sterile" with the details from small SFX use..

Overall VO/SFX .. Needed less talk & more effects !:) The talking was little bit hard to digest though it added to it's overall charm as it was consistent.

Cinematography & Grip:

This one is sure hard to pull of with a DSLR.. I guess you didn't have wireless follow focus/monitor to do this rigged to some nice grip so you had to live with limited support.. it was a bit shaky at times and I could see the (auto) exposures changing when the window was approached.. some shake too but nothing that completely said to me that stop following the story.. there was a moment when the focus was lost to narrator quite obviously..

INT. Lightning served the story well but the EXT. especially in the night scene I saw cameraman shadow... where we also had the axis thing..

Overall the biggest technical distraction was the lack of score & sound.. or say rushed sound & score perhaps? Would be glad to see director's cut for this later!

Story attempted tension driven by narrator.. but could have been more if we saw the action & reactions better..

Nice try for the genre and was good to see this.. gave me some inspiration..