There was some really solid acting in this film, and I thought there was a very good concept behind it. Some of it did not translate very well to screen, and perhaps more could have been done with the cinematography throughout to give this film a little more punch. The sound mix also needed quite a reasonable amount of work to give the film greater fluidity. In general however this was a solid effort, that perhaps only just missed with regards to full audience engagement.
Alright. Here we go. Aoraki Polytech film students on their first (second/third?) 48Hours film...this'll be great!!!! These guys are the future of new NZ film, right?!
After a nicely constructed, (Modern Family-esque Team Intro) the picture rolls, and...hold on...what the hell is this before me?
A bluey, phasing and contrast issues, awful framing and hollow audio, all in the opening minute? Auto White Balance?!?! (audio from the camera mic?) Seriously?! Seriously?!
I appreciate you're students, but these are fundamental errors. Audio glitches too, I swear I heard an off camera voice say 'cut', surely not!
And 'my card' was repeated two of not three times, my ears are old, but not stupid. anyway...casting is difficult when you cast your mates and (I think) your tutors, eh? Meh.
A nervous, sleep deprived lad is given a new, technologically advanced sleeping pill in a trial (the awfulness of the dialogue, setting and props I simply cannot describe) and we're off....downhill...at speed. He is watched and monitored by cameras (that magically disappear!) and satellites (oh god) so he'll be fine. Of course he's not. This couldve been so much more, but anyway...lets plunge ahead. Suddenly, there are unmotivated Girl Guides in the film. Girl Guides in a film usually mean hostage drama about to unfold or serial killer bait. Sometimes other nasty stuff, but usually the former. But no, they escape with nothing more than a hasty slam of a door. Nothing else.
Then...jumpy, jumpy, jump cuts, and we're in a trippy prison of vertical phasing(!) (MC Storey even asked if it was deliberate! I'm sure he was just being overly kind.)
And we're back with the nervous lad and Dr Strangelove asking odd questions about Mum, which sets the lad off in a homicidal rage.
The good Dr (Agent) is killed (kudos to makeup, a good wound by the way,) and...ah, look, the rest of the film was also a collection of what-not-to-do's, with half the crew as contributing writers, it was a slow motion trainwreck looking for a fast approaching credit roll.
If this film was representative of Aoraki, and I belive it is, then lighting, audio, camera and storycraft all demand serious attention. This was disappointing, very disappointing.
Expected a hell of a lot more from this group considering last years "Scumblood" had some great writing and shot beautifully. It seems filming was rushed as well as editing. It should be been tighter and the camera work should of been more cinematic and less ENG. With more resources than most other teams, I expect a solid effort.