These fellas know I love them. I know they'll be reading this. Bless them. All of them. This film is barely a musical and barely a fish out of water movie. Tight production values (far and away the tightest *looking* film out of the high school entries I've seen) and a cohesive edit bring it together but it only barely scrapes through the genre specifications (and, on that note, the ULTRA). As a short film of its own, it's fun - as one judged against the 48hrs specs of this year, not so hot.
The film while funny was a very generic 48 hours entry that took no real risks. The editing was nice for the most part, but a little janky at times (same with camera work).
Really great sound design and intentionally terrible music sections. It drags a little bit in the middle, feeling quite repetitive at times, but pulls it in a bit towards the end.
This team is so self aware it's great.
The first I saw of many documentary type shorts.
What I liked: The end video shoot where the aspect ratio changed, showing the difference between the intended final music video shoot and the outtakes.
What I disliked: Some of the actors seemed a bit young for their age. Maybe next time, if you can't use older people, perhaps mask their face or have adult characters out of focus/frame.
Having once competed in a team in polytech I was seriously impressed with Dolphin this year. Make no mistake, this team has developed quite the reputation over the years and even got a shout out as the lone school ultra team(which is extremely brave of them to opt into). Though this team seemed to have lost their way in story telling in previous years they have always taken on criticism and learned to where they have made their most full and complete film. The story telling of their first years and the insane production of the last two all culminated in this short. A unique and funny story that has swapped the classic extreme wackiness(crazy eyes and ball jokes to a suit, cross dressing to a rapper..) with smart and perfectly timed comedy. Though only just making it across the line as a musical, the story itself had no loose ends and had been crafted perfectly. The acting was the best of the heat with every character bringing their own style and charisma.
Having the heat start with a team tag that later proved to be better than some of the other shorts was impressive. Another area of insane improvement is production! The days of out of focus shots and terrible audio seem long gone as visually this could've competed(and beat some) in an adult heat. Crisp audio and autotune and best cinematography of any school team i've seen. This team I imagine are at the end of their days as a school team but have proved themselves as one the smartest and unique school teams I believe this competition has seen and if they continue to compete and learn they will prove themselves to be a serious contender in five years time. You guys should be proud of what you've achieved and the legacy you've left in the school comp.
Truthfully I can't identify much of a difference between the songs you wrote for this film and todays most famous mumble rappers.
Thought it was neat how you got to go to some cool locations.
A bit too much writing at the end summing everything up, give the audience time to take in the ending.
Loved your team intro :P
A behind-the-scenes look at a troubled rap music video.
The idea behind this could have good but really there was too much faffing around for this short to have any lasting appeal. Doing one rap was a smart way to get around the musical "issue" but it wasn't a good enough rap to carry the film.To your credit there were some funny lines and the guy playing the manager always delivers in whatever role you throw at him. I have to say though for a team that has been around awhile this was a step backwards in terms of story and tech. Loved your roasting of Rowan Strang in your intro though. And you won the audience vote - good to have friends.
You guys at Dolphin have been somewhat of an illusive urban legend for my personal experience with 48Hours.
I remember hearing great things about your 2014 film, but I've never been able to track it down, and now, after looking at the review database history of your films, I actually think "Versace Flows" might be the first actual film I've seen of yours.
The sense of humour is definitely the strongest part, you guys look like you constantly make each other laugh, and you made the audience laugh. Great take down of mumble rappers, with a few on the nose references to the culture ("You ain't got the answers!"). However, as others have said the story leaves a little to be desired, and with the plethora of mockumentaries we got this year, this one doesn't quite pop as much as it would need to for it to justify going the mockumentary route.
Also, I gotta tell you guys, I'm a little disappointed that you managed to do Ultra as a high school team, and then practically ignored it since you qualified as underage anyway. Had I been on your team, I'd have insisted we either go with animals or younger kids so that we're still playing the game, so to speak.
On that subject, you should know that a more brutal city manager could disqualify you, as the Ultra mandate this year said only your CHARACTERS had to be children or animals, but the actors could be adult humans, and inexplicably, despite jumping through the Ultra hoops that are 1. Doing Ultra as a school team and 2. Already being 'children', you then featured characters who probably should have been played by adults! You get by on the technicality that, I GUESS a 17-year-old could be a rapper's manager, but you cut it pretty fine.
If you do Ultra next year, I encourage you to actually lean into it and stand up to the challenge instead of ignoring it.
Also, work on your storytelling and character arcs, and I think you'll really shine.
As for your title, "Versace Flows" has a really slick ring to it. I like it, though I don't get the reference.
P.S. please put this review in your team intro next year
I really liked your cinematography, some of those shots looked fantastic, particularly the interview ones looked extremely authentic. Unfortunately there was the odd shot where the boom mic came into shot which broke the immersion.
A suggestion that would improve your film is to check your sound levels, particularly the bass seem quite heavy at the beginning. If you opto to continue I think you have a whole lot of potential