Cold Hearted

Average: 3.1 (7 votes)
The Nature Run Amok Movie
Christchurch > 03

Loved the cinematography! Loved how the characters would look into each other's frames, and how the two men were talking to each other from their frames. Nice twist at the end.

Good use of split screen, although there were some moments I thought were cheating, especially when it was 1 main cut with 2 still empty frames up the top.
Good script, easy to follow plot
I liked the acting, especially during the argument. It was believable.

the split screens strong at many points pointless at others, forth wall break at the end weakened the movie

Really well shot! Ultra was a bitch and you handled it well.

Some bits were stronger than others, the highlight for me was the tension + kettle boiling stuff I thought that was really well done.

The 4th wall break while I get required to pass was probably a bit much.

Your snow particle simulator made me giggle.


Four people debate who will go out into the blizzard to get much needed supplies.

Dystography Studios have zero problems with any of the technical stuff and again this film looks great. Story wise, it's kind of bland though with a very ho-hum scenario that reaches an unsurprising conclusion. The actors give their all though and deliver confident, believable performances. Boy, does ULTRA mess with this film. Having all four characters in split-screen doesn't add anything as for the most part we just get a head 'n' shoulders of the conversation they're having. I would have loved to have seen some different perspectives in the room of the chat they were having as what we got, was more "confession cam" style. Likewise, the 4th wall breaking took us completely out of any sort of "moment". Damn the 4th wall!


I'm a little torn here because I think the prompts this year were particularly onerous, and then the Ultra level made it worse, but at the same time I don't think this quite landed for me. Yet with 7 tough requirements to juggle, you gave it a good crack. I thought a lot of your split-screening was quite beautiful, particularly when widening for the kettle, even if the garage exit shot felt like a bit of a cheat up top. I was impressed with your technicals, particularly in dialogue timing and visually crossing between splits, but narratively it somewhat petered out for me, even if performances were good. Hopefully you'll have a more balanced set of prompts next year that you can whip into a tighter shape!

Four people stuck in a garage waiting out a mega storm.

a game of lifeboat begins.

the story is solid, nothing flashy, it’s a fairly tried and true concept at this point. a good excuse to let the actors drive the film. where this film sings is in the execution of ultra. the delivery of the spit screen format is darn near perfect*. I’m looking forward to seeing it again to catch some of the clever ways the format is implemented. either the team lucked their way into some cool moments while editing, or they did a lot of planing and storyboarding to make this film work. (I’m guessing the later) eye lines work across the split screen. and the split screen merges in one very cool moment.

what could have been a real mess to try and follow flows really clearly and coherently. some Ultra’s this year work in spite of the requirement, this film works because of it. so well done to the team to taking ultra head on and coming out the winner...

except ultra this year was a real F****** B**** the split screen stuff is great. GREAT. but for me. the forth wall break at the end of the film just undid the whole thing.

i’m gonna lay 90% of the blame here on ultra. the 4th wall break either has to be so subtle that it can be ignored (Pizza Wolf) or it needs to be done in comedy for it to not derail the whole film (basically every other ultra). but this team wasn’t making a comedy, so it’s extremely unfortunate that the film had to end with a forth wall break. (film is subjective though, your mileage may vary) I will commend the team for not shying away from any of the ultra elements. and finding meaningful ways to work them into their story.

safe bet for city finalist.

Alexander Jones
city manager

It's great how different all the takes of Nature Run Amok were this year, but none of them are quite like this film, a more serious approach on a genre which probably immediately conjures up comedy for most teams.

I think this is a great window into the larger story too, a lot of the best 48hour films are just that, a fun slice from what feels like a larger world.

The location is great, the snow pouring in when they open the door is effective (how???) and the editing/split screen is so damn cool. This film has a lot of rewatch value just because of the editing alone - although don't think no one noticed that one of the screens takes a little longer to appear at the start than the others, because I noticed. Me. AJ.

While the concept is great and the arc we go on is really cool, I do feel the actual dialogue and some of the performances are a little undercooked, it's pretty difficult to write your way around all of that because you kind of need to bake a lot of the exposition into the film. You opted for characters saying some pretty heavy exposition to each other, which as we all know and wrestle with, feel disingenuous because they're reiterating things which the characters already know. What's the solution to this? A bit more subtlety? A few more hours in the scripting stage? One strategy I've used before is removing anything even vaguely expositional and then adding stuff back in if it really needs it. For example, do we need to know how long the storm has been going? Do we need to be told Michael never wanted Tara there? Often you'll find you're answering questions the audience isn't even asking.

Lastly, I'll touch on the most controversial part of the film, the infamous 4th wall break which I know is somewhat of a soft spot for some of you. Does it "ruin" the film? Hmm. Maybe, but I don't think you were as backed into a corner as it may have seemed. The problem with your 4th wall break is it feels like it's out of nowhere, and the solution to that is to bake "breaking the 4th wall" into the language of your film. So maybe all the characters break the 4th wall throughout the film? Maybe they all secretly turn to the camera and reveal their desires and motivations, with Tara's more devious one being saved until the end? A fundamental change? Maybe, but I do think this was the fix you guys needed to what sounded like a pretty frustrating challenge.

TITLE REVIEW: Nice. Good play on words.