Alexander Jones

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I think the only way to properly review this film is to do it in two parts, reviewing the film as it's own thing, and then reviewing it in the context of TBALC and their legacy, because other reviewers are treating these like they're the same thing which seems a little unfair.

As it's own thing, "The Spares" immediately struck with it's super clean cinematography, that gorgeous opening shot of Noah's ark on the beach, and the wonderful production design of the animal enclosures. Was this the same set from "New Fish"? Or do TBALC just secretly have access to a bunch of different prisons?

I really enjoyed the acting as well, as with Submission Impossible, I don't know if there is any one stand out, but if there was ever a film that made a case to include a 'Best Ensemble Award' next year, it's this one.

So after setting up a really fun and fresh premise, we get into the story which is paced well enough for it to never feel like it's dragging along despite being set in only one location. I didn't personally see the twist coming, but many others have, and perhaps this is something you expected, as the "how did the platypus get made" joke feels vaguely familiar, like something my grandfather would have told me when I was a toddler. What's the takeaway here though? Make it less obvious? Maybe. Could there have been more characters involved, and by the end the spares are all that are left? I'm getting into retooling, which is bad for a reviewer and a city manager, so these are just my thoughts.

The dialogue is great as well, along with the aforementioned acting, "Does anyone have a corkscrew?" is a line so strikingly hilarious, but at the same time super subtle, that those in the audience who got it could be heard in a bubbling giggle that rose up to surface. Naughty TBALC! Dirty Joke! Please include even dirtier jokes next year :)

In terms of ULTRA, I do think that this was kind of a cheat, as others have said, and maybe this is something I should be talking about more in the second part of this review, but yeah, the animals idea is cool, and obviously you couldn't have used real animals (can you imagine), but for a team as prestigious as you guys it was kind of like "Oh, okay they're doing it this way".

So that brings us to TBALC then as a team.

I'll continue on with ULTRA thoughts regarding this.. While I love all your actors and look forward to seeing who'll take center stage each year, I was more surprised than I was disappointed that this was the route you went down. What I guess I'm saying is I am fascinated by the idea of seeing a TBALC film about kids going on an adventure a'la "ET" or "Stranger Things", this was the heart behind ULTRA being what it was this year, and I guess it's a bit of a bummer that Christchurch's favourite sons (and daughters) didn't dive headfirst into this, and now there'd be no reason to do it again.

You guys were nominated for 7 awards, which was the most out of any team, but as it all ended up playing out, you didn't take home any of them, which is a pain I know and feel (and I know you guys know that I know... that), so I thought, while the wounds (if there are any) may still be a little tender, that this puts your team and its future in an interesting kind of place, because of all the awards you were nominated for, you were probably second place for almost all of them. IS THIS SOMETHING YOU WANT TO HEAR!? WHO KNOWS LET'S KEEP GOING! This is by no means a bad thing, it just means while "The Spares" excelled in so many ways, there just ended up being at least one other that cut the mustard a little more effectively.

What all of this means then, is that you guys at TBALC have settled into a comfortable place, where you make the competition look so easy, but at the same time that comfortability has become a safety net. Do you guys continue to work within your boxes and make great films year after year which, while being amazing are more of a master of none as opposed to jack of a single trade? Or do you attempt something truly striking and different and powerful and grab that Apee for a fifth time?

"The Spares" is wonderfully executed film, and I absolutely loved it, and while I'm not saying the judges are harsher on you guys because you're so good, I am saying that other teams are quickly catching up to your level, and some already have, and a couple may even be surpassing.

I hope this isn't too harsh or mean, I just know how much value you guys put in feedback so I'm trying to be as thorough as possible, and I'm trying to invigorate you to the point where you put me in the difficult position of having to award TBALC with city winner for a fifth fucking time.

As for your title, "The Spares" is great because as soon as we land on them in the panning shot of Noah's ark, we know exactly what game we're playing.

With this film, I defy anyone who thinks Toot Toot won't make it into the finals every year, because rounding out the night with an infectious inside-joke ridden series of sketches which wouldn't make much sense outside of 48hours is something I want to see done every year. It's the equivalent of those comedic openings to The Oscars where Billy Crystal/a Billy Crystal type meets with a bunch of that year's nominated actors from their nominated films and jokes about sexy fish monsters etc.

I mentioned in my "PC High" review what some of my favourite gags of the year were, and completely forgot to mention the sandals slapping the puddle which might actually be my favourite, sold entirely by the sandal slapper eyeing the camera with kind of a "How did it come to this?" expression.

The sandal slapping might only be second to the Slamming The Doors joke which is so insane and so clever that there was never any question over whether or not it would win the award. Absolutely hysterical. What a joke. What a film.

I feel there's not much else I can really review here, I guess I could suggest ways to improve, and talk about how with a less formulaic story the film would have felt fresher, but I kind of don't want to say any of that because the film kind of falls into being exactly what it needs to be and while I'm all for you guys as a team experimenting and trying out new genres and stories, at the same time I selfishly just want you guys to make something similar to this next year. This is your call, I'm sure I'll love it either way.

As for your title "The Wish (hopefully nobody else picked that title)" is so perfect for a film which unashamedly wants to be a self aware and contextualized to the competition as it is.

"PC High" is Submission Impossible's best film to date, which is insane considering it's committing the dreaded Mockumentary sin, which has been very much covered by other reviewers here, though as they've also pointed out, this does Mockumentary right, genuinely feeling like an episode of "Summer Heights High" with zombies.

The best director award was given to you guys here because, while none of your performances were better than each other, the overall collective voice of the piece was consistent and effective. To put it another way, we couldn't choose just one actor to nominate for best performer because they were all so good, so the conclusion then is that whatever creative force was directing each of these wonderful actors was doing a fantastic job, and the same can be said for the overall tone of the piece, the art direction, location and how this entire thing felt complete.

As Nimble said above, the "watch your fingers" gag was probably the single best gag in the whole comp this year (next to "Does anyone have a corkscrew?" from The Spares, or C'larence seeing himself deliver his own pizza in nightmare from "A Slice of You"). "Watch Your Fingers" would have been a great title too, but we'll get to that later...

There are so many elements at play here, and at least two or three story arcs going at the same time, it genuinely felt like a full episode of a sitcom with classic and lovable characters going about their day, and it's absolutely insane that all of these ideas are paced so well in a 5 minute story. Great adherence to the genre too.

If I was going to take any marks of this film, I'd just comment that it feels like it would have felt right at home about 8-10 years ago, more than it does now. As I said, the Mockumentary style is aced here, despite our collective grievances, but then also pairing it with a Zombie story, another element of pop culture that has slowly been phased out in recent years, it was certainly poking the outdated cliche bear a bit, though it never fully woke that bear up because this film is baller.

As for your title, and I've been wanting to say this for a while now... "PC High" is... fine? I feel I'm allowed to be a little harsher on your title because I've just gushed over your film and titles are so superfluous, but I do kind of wish you'd gone with some kind of high school/zombie pun here. Is it called "PC High" just because that's the name of the high school? or is it a play on Politically Correct? If so, the PC element was kinda underplayed here outside of Kate's character. Is there something else I'm missing entirely? Do I just care about titles WAY too much? Let me know in the comments below, don't forget to like and subscribe, and hit that bell icon to be notified whenever I upload a new video.

This film has been a journey for me.

From the first time I watched it alone in my room, to seeing it soar on the big screen at the finals, I've grown to begrudgingly love it for all the reasons why I wouldn't have recommended it was a good idea in the first place.

What summer co/crazy horses/Kawiti and Elliot have down pat is a really effective nightmarish quality to their weirdness. Anyone can be weird or absurd, but these guys do it in a way that feel like there's a Lynchian message below the surface, even though there probably isn't. It's the little touches of "I wouldn't have thought of that" which really sell this film, like making the lover Spanish, or the main character completely changing personalities halfway through the movie.

This is very much a spiritual sequel to "Second Skin", my favourite film by this crew to date, and while I took a little longer to warm up to this one, all of the elements which made their original fever dream great, are all here too, if a little more intentionally silly with that ending. Oh boy that ending.

As close friends of mine, the guys on this team have often lamented to me that they don't have a writer, but I'm starting to wonder if that's the beauty of their style, because when you don't have a writer, you end up falling into way more insane ideas that a writer would have probably just said no to. While the camerawork, editing and performances here are all running at 110%, it's the creative voice of the piece which really allows it to feel like a complete film. My advice for next year would be to keep this team spirit alive, but recruit more team members on board so you aren't stretching yourselves so thin- don't get a writer though.

As for your title, surely there's something better than "in the woods" for this film. You guys need a writer. Lol.

Very confused as to why I'm only the 4th person to review such an excellent film.

Mark my words ya'll, rip focus are the team to watch out for in the foreseeable future of the competition, filling the hole in our hearts left by Pigs Guts' desertion, with hints of TBALC humour, and even a little Les Cousins Dangereux if I do say so myself. Perhaps this is the result of young filmmakers being influenced by 48hour films of the past and learning all the right lessons.

There is so much I love about this film that it's gonna be difficult to concisely put into words.

I think what stands out the most is the subtle but effective world building done in this movie. The film makes you ask so many questions that it never answers, but this isn't a detractor because by the time you've started wondering, we're already catapulted into the next scene. Things like:
-Why are they slurping puddles off the coffee table at the beginning? Why/How are they scoring them? Why was C'larence not as good, apparently, at slurping?
-Why the hell is his name C'larence?
-What the heck is the other guy's name?!
-Why do they all sleep in the same bed?

All of these things and more are hysterically underdeveloped, and I mean that in a good way. This is the opposite of exposition, where we just have to accept that this is the world of the film, and the implications here are so funny and bizarre that I'm still laughing about them as I write this.

Then of course there's the excellent music in this film, which 100% deserved to take home the award for "Pizza Girl", ("I don't order pizza for the pizza anymore" makes my heart sing). I also loved the "Love is a Tasty Feeling" song in there as well, with Sarena's "PEPPERONI CHEEEEESE" putting a stupidly big grin on my face whenever I see it.

The film excels here on the marriage of editing and script, with those quick cuts and hilarious lines of dialogue taking us by the hand and running headfirst into wholesome absurdism.

I have a couple of points of constructive criticism here; as much as I love this film, I really would love to see rip focus do even better next year.

I'd say my biggest problem with the film would be that the story follows a guy trying to get his pizza girl back, so he keeps ordering pizzas, and eventually he gets the right one- not a lot of conflict here, just a devoted lover. If he'd worked out "Oh she only delivers on Fridays" or "Oh she only delivers when you order olives as a topping" or even if he'd defied odds and left the house and tracked her down himself, this would have really energized the story. Of course these plot contrivances are completely masked by the music, editing and humour, but when you watch the film as many times as me, you start to notice these things.

The other way in which I think you could improve might strike a chord, and I hope we can still be friends: I'm not convinced iPhone is the best way to go here guys D:
You seem really proud of this fact, but in the 2018 landscape of the competition, slick camerawork is starting to become just as important as story- and while the shot sizes are great and the focus isn't ripped, some nice juicy dynamic range or 2-4k resolution would really up the cinematic elements of your films.

I'll end on a positive note for your continual journeying into 48hours: I like your comedy more than your drama. While "A Ripple in Time" was dope, "A Slice of You" is something very very special, and I think that comes down to your senses of humour, so my advice for next year would be ignore the pleas that we don't get enough dramas in 48, and instead keep digging into your comedy chops.

As for your title, "A Slice of You" is perfect. I love it.

Hot damn this is a beautiful film to look at.

Production value is off the chain here in every department, from the stupidly good camerawork, to the swift invisible editing, to the professional actors and their nuanced performances, to the motherfuckin' mansion this film is set in. Do you guys just set aside thousands of dollars each year to make your films as high quality as possible?

A couple of other reviewers have echoed my thoughts here; this is definitely the most authentic Technological Thriller in Christchurch, adhering to both the key words in the genre with style and grace, which by the way, if I was in charge I'd just have called it "Black Mirror Spec Script", and this film absolutely leaned right into this.

I would say the only thing I'm a little unclear on/let down by would be the story itself. While the techno is there with the glowing robot eyes and the software components, and the thriller is there because the film is tense, the story kind of just plods along in a way that isn't entirely unexpected or unpredictable, and this is a shame because a more unique and original concept would have bumped the film up a few notches for myself and the judges, and probably would have placed.

So for next year, I'd encourage you guys to really work on that narrative concept. Get yourself a simple and unique story, and there's almost no doubt in my mind that you guys could take out the whole competition in the future.

As for your title, these ominous one word titles like "Isolation" often suit thrillers, and this is definitely the case here, so good job guys.

When I saw you guys got "Technological Thriller" as your genre, I was so stoked, it feels like this genre was made for Dystography Studios.

The end result is as incredible as I was hoping. I've always been more of a fan of your comedies than your dramas, but "Claire" has completely flipped that now as it may just be my favourite film of yours to date. It's a sad nuanced story which has really grown on me, and thanks to those on screen dialogue boxes and data, probably has the most rewatch value out of any 48hour film I've ever seen.

Two things I really loved about this film:

1. You completely subvert the "Techno Thriller" trope by switching the roles around. We're so used to seeing the robot built to protect humans learn that controlling/killing them is the only way to do it, but here, with Claire as our protagonist, it's actually a thriller from HER perspective and not the human, who simply turns her off in the end. A couple of people have complained that the ending lacks a punch, but I think this is only if you consider it to be Josh's story (and because it's Ultra it's NOT, it's the child AI's story). If you watch the film as Claire's story, it's a terrifying ending. A techno thriller where the human is the bad guy and the robot is the one you fear for. What a great idea.

2. You completely subvert ULTRA in a way that toed to line of disqualification to the point where I actually had to send this film to 48hours HQ to make sure it counted! Congratulations guys, probably the most internally controversial Ultra this year. HOWEVER, while the child aspect is really downplayed here (and you could have totally remedied this by having an actual child voice Claire, or establish that Josh is 17), ultimately "Claire" is a child centric story. It's a bout a child watching their parent lose themselves to self destructive behaviour, and despite their best efforts, they're unable to protect them. This is a beautifully tragic child experience, and I'm sure I'll catch a lot of flack for saying this, but while it wouldn't have been the most difficult Ultra to pull off, for my money it's the most conceptual Ultra which put the most thought into how to be clever with it.

Matt's acting is fantastic as well, felt like a very real character, and I'll give the sound design a shout out too. Great stuff team.

As for your title "Claire" is the obvious and correct choice. Top marks.

There's something about the ability to freeze time that feels intrinsically linked to the high school genre- maybe it's because of shows like "Saved by the Bell" which used freezing time as a narrative device, or maybe it's because as teenagers, probably more than any other time in our lives, we fantasize about the ability to postpone, procrastinate and even control time itself so that we don't have to face up to our bogus responsibilities.

Beyond the creative concept, the casting of characters was great too, and well done getting enough extras to convincingly pull off a functioning high school, albeit a frozen one. The extras all do a great job of being paused, I didn't notice any stumbles from anyone, though I wasn't really looking for them. I also LOVE the striking visual image of a school covered in screwed up notes, and I kind of wish the film had leaned into this more and just had an absurd about of these notes falling out of closets and filling up rubbish bins. Maybe Jack has been trying to write this perfect note for years?

There are a couple of plot contrivances/inconsistencies however that I would like to point out, if only for constructive criticism.

I don't necessarily want to know HOW our hero has the ability to freeze time, but the fact that it froze everyone except for this girl felt like it needed a bit of explaining. For someone who has been able to freeze time his whole life, he did not seem in anyway shocked that someone was immune to his powers. I also think the stakes could have been higher here- all they have to do is write a note and Jack can unfreeze time whenever he wants. Some kind of time pressure here would have helped make the film a bit more action packed.

I'm also not sure if it was entirely necessary to demonize Jack's crush, she seemed like a nice girl who lets him down easy, but then the main girl explains that she's actually a cheater and a bad person- and if this is true then it would have been nice to see this for ourselves instead of being told it by someone who could just be lying.

Ultimately, I would say I would have liked to have seen a little more mileage out of the pausing time concept in the film, but hey, it's still a fantastic idea and is A+ in so many other areas that it still feels like it's own little complete piece.

As for your title, "Perpetual Pause" is interesting, it kind of feels like there could have been something that suited the genre more, but this is small potatoes stuff.

This film is GREAT.

A lot of my thoughts have already been said here by other reviewers, so I'm just gonna rattle off some things I loved and a couple of things I think could have been improved.

I love the devotion to the 10 years + genre, which is evident in you guys actually taking home the award. I've seen a couple teams struggle with the problem of needing to age up their characters, so for this film to just follow a couch was a great idea, and it has this kind of weird "I'd never actually thought about this" quality to it too, like yeah, I guess that couch I picked up for my flat from that random trademe user's house would have had a pretty interesting life span up until now.

Great call as well, having all of Cushy's dwellings be different from each other, was a great excuse to take the audience on a journey, as well as give you guys as filmmakers a nice adventure for the Saturday shooting sessions, racing a couch across town to different locations. I love that we end up in a storage unit too, it could have been there for most of the decade plus that this story covers, but we don't need to be told this. Loved it.

I think what really sold the film in the end for me, is the fact that Cushy gets a face by the end, complete with flappy mouth. The film would have felt incomplete without this, without this couch I'd grown to love over the past ten years finally being able to express his emotions. It seems like an obvious choice, to give your inanimate object a face to make them more relatable, but here in "Cushy: A Pull Story" it's just shy of being treated as a twist or a reveal. Excellent stuff.

Biggest things to improve on for next year would be the technical side- particularly camera work and audio, if anything held this film back from the coveted top 3 spots, it would have been this kinda stuff. I think ten years ago, a film like "Cushy: A Pull Story" could have taken out the whole comp, but in 2018 films with a higher quality production tend to pop equally as with story, which wasn't always the way, but in my opinion filmmaking is equal parts story and the technical means with which you tell it.

It would have been nice as well if in the party scene, we had a few party goers loitering just at the edge of frame, everyone in this scene looks kinda cramped into the shot as to not miss anything, but it just looks a touch staged.

Also, that pregnant belly, fwoarr. When she showed up on screen with what was clearly a fake baby bump, the whole cinema giggled, which was a shame because it is a detractor from the film, and it wouldn't have been with a bit more creative effort to make her belly look genuine. A small gripe for sure, but something that I think definitely needed to be mentioned- though I'm sure you're well aware already.

As for your title, is "Cushy: A Pull Story" a pun on "Upholstery"? If it is, then well done, if it isn't, then what the hell is a "pull story"? :P

Fantastic job team, I cannot wait to see what SJGR bring us next year.

This film's biggest strength is it's characters and acting. Both Mrs. Baggins and her typical kiwi wife mannerisms and Mr. Baggins and his beautifully subtle understated performance in the background of the shots, or quietly mocking his wife's end of the world beliefs.

Both performances had the audience rolling, as well as some excellent gags and one liners, which basically tie the film together- my favourite being leaving the dog outside the bunker, so brutal but so funny.

The judge's really loved this one. Mockumentary gets a lot of flack these days, but both "Dumb Cult" and "PC High" get an insane amount of mileage out of this format that I begrudgingly giggle at all those classic Mockumentary tropes like glancing at the camera anyway. This is slick for a 48hours film, Mockumetary or not, and it's great to see the culmination of a bunch of people who are creative for a living let loose and make something as crazy as this.

In a way I think it represents a classic but tried-and-true formula for 48hours successes, and it's good to see No Budget Ninjas continuing to make the finals.

If I were to pick any gripes with the film, I'd say there were a couple plot holes which I found it hard to ignore- mainly around the mechanics of the actual end of the world- I'm not sure why you'd need a bunker if the rapture was your apocalypse of choice, though I guess it was a 'prepare for everything' situation. Overall I'd say the story is the film's weakest link, I'd have liked something a little more original, but as I said, the performances are what makes this film so good, so that's all it needed. Perhaps, going forward, this could be something No Budget Ninjas focus on for next year.

As for your title, I'm not sure if "Dumb Cunt" is ubiquitous enough of an insult for it to be obvious that "Dumb Cult" is playing off of it- I didn't think of it at all until it's bleeped in the film. I'm also not sure if the archetype character of Mrs Baggins is the type of person who'd use this phrase (it always felt like a Lad culture kind of thing to me). I think "LDOPE" would have probably fit your film better as a title, but this is all pretty superfluous stuff in the end isn't it? Great job anyway team!

I have a real soft spot for this film. Knowing nothing about you guys at 1:1 Creative, it really took me by surprise.

Every element of this film is fantastic, the editing, the camerawork, the acting, the narrative. It's all here, and in a lot of ways it sets a great example of what a 48hour film should look and feel like when every base of filmmaking is covered.

It's a shame the art direction award is absent this year too, because this film looked gorgeous with it's vibrant colours, especially in the candy scene- from the giant lollipops, to the rainbow strips, to even the choice of flavours for the soda, it all really makes the film pop and plays into the childlike glee that it's presenting.

The kids do a great job as well, they're young enough for their naivety to be realistic (this is a weird thing to point out, but the old 'age inappropriate casting' problem can sometimes go the other way too). Their grown up counterparts really sell the show, with their actions and attitudes being very clearly children in adult bodies.

It's funny that "I'm Gonna" and "Hero" were the two opening films of the night as well, because both are child centric non-Ultras which use voice over as their narrative and end on a twist that the people presented on screen aren't the people who've been talking the entire time (that's if I interpreted the ending to this one correctly).

This film was the most wonderfully simple and clever idea which really did a great job of kicking off the finals night. Congratulations to the team as well for being the only first time finalists out of the whole 15! Let's hope we see you there next year.

As for your title, "I'm Gonna" is perfect.

What can I say?

Well, a lot apparently.

I absolutely LOVE this film. Every time I watch it, I get more and more out of it. I appreciate the animation, the voice acting, the script, the music, and I still get mad shivers at some of those line deliveries.

Let me just say as well, to anyone reading this review that isn't from Poutine Wolf, I almost wish (lol) this film wasn't as incredible as it was, because as my first year as city manager I felt like a total ass kisser giving the big award to my immediate predecessor. There are a lot of whispers about biases in 48hours (mostly unfounded but still) and here I am, wanting to make my mark as a grassroots man in charge, contributing fully to that bias.

But the thing is, if anything, I was biased against it. You really have no idea how good a film made by someone in Andrew's position is going to be, coaches don't play after all, and before watching it for the first time I did think to myself "Lol this could potentially be really bad, wouldn't that be embarrassing", but... well... NOPE! Instead Andrew has proven how much he has truly learnt about 48hour films by creating what genuinely might be my favourite one of all time. Man oh man do I love this film, and man oh man do I feel like a brown noser.

Of course, it wasn't just Andrew doing all the work here. Both he and Johnny wrote a script SO tight that there was almost no deliberation from the judges on this one. Some of these lines are absolute word porn guys, they're simple when they need to be, they're sad when they need to be, they're epic when they need to be and they're terrifying when they need to be.

Every single element of this story is there, working at full capacity. A lesser film would have featured Utka's brothers and sisters dying at the hand of some other animal or of exposure, but here we see it was that damn evil cat who granted the wish in the first place. This is all to say it's very satisfying to see a film fold in on itself and fire a chekhov's gun you didn't know still needed to be fired. This is a film made by a team who knows what they're doing when it comes to narrative.

I also love Johnny's voice over here. The choice to go Russian was inspired and wonderful (and combined with the Spanish lover from summer co's "in the woods" this year, I'm starting to think that giving your film a foreign flair might be a growing trend we see in the future of 48Hours). The line delivery here is so damn good. In particular, the line that always gets me is "My wish came true. Did yours?"-- the way the evil and despicable reality comes to light with Johnny's pitch shifting for the "did yours?" is fucking terrifying, and demonstrates super effective vocal control on Johnny's part. Theatrical, terrifying, effective.

While you didn't take the award home, I loved the adherence to genre for "Utka". While other nominees like "An Appointment with a Poo" and "The Stile" both got nominated for subverting what we expected for their genres, "Utka" and the film that actually won the genre award "Cushy: A Pull Story" are both excellent examples of the old nail your genre game. "Utka" truly nails the Wish genre, with a "be careful what you wish for message" wonderfully suiting the simple nature of this Russian crayon storybook.

I think it's really interesting to view "Utka" in the context of the top 3 Christchurch films as well- while "PC High" is a rich comedy, and "Hero" is a hard hitting drama, "Utka" comes out on top as being the best of both worlds here as kind of a mix of the two. A complete package: It's humorous in that it's a story about a duck becoming a dictator, but it's also a sorrowful tragedy that leaves you feeling as alone as the character himself. And he is alone.

As for your title, "Utka". Of course. What else would you call it? It's a fun word to say.

"Baby on Board" might be my favourite Dragon V Mouse film to date.

What's great here, is that we get to see that classic TRADEMARK DvM meta humour and sarcasm which was really cemented with last year's bitter ULTRA, but implemented with a lot more positivity and warmth, from a team who actually liked the genres, elements and ULTRA this year. "Baby on Board" pokes fun at the competition instead of flipping the table like it did (wonderfully nonetheless) with last year's "Grisly".

The strongest aspect of the film is that great directorial voice, this is a deliciously simple idea executed to it's full potential, and aided by a witty sense of humour. The titular baby is a fish out of water in more ways than one here; not only is he in over his head in a car driven by a criminal, but he's also a weirdly self-aware 6 month old Scorsese gangster in a world where everyone else is taking things VERY seriously. This is so funny, and if there's something DvM have nailed with particularly their last 3 entries, it's showing our reality through a surreal comical point of view, whether that's the point of view of a New York gangster baby, a cheeky mouse, or a jilted director who REALLY didn't want to have to make a sequel.

Ironically though, both years that DvM have canonballed into ULTRA, they've nailed it, with a healthy mix of adhering to ULTRA's strict guidelines as well as subverting the formats they set up, and as someone who had a hand in creating the ULTRA element this year, I loved that this film stood up to the challenge and actually used a real life baby. Sure the whole story is told in "lazy"(quote) voice over, but that's the joke, and there was still a baby on set there doing his damnedest to be a good wee actor.

On that subject, while I know it was probably only a matter of filming the baby for a while and getting him to look at certain things, the way he, as a character, responds to the events unfolding is excellent, which probably comes down to editing and selecting the shots more than the baby being an amazing actor. But hey, it can be both.

The attitude of this film is so good, so silly and funny, and in every way indicative of 48hours.

Going forward with Dragon V Mouse, it's either a case of "never change" or "drastically change", and that's up to you guys as a team and what you want to achieve. There is a place for you in this competition as the meta wink-wink-nudge-nudge team which continues to make films that dismantle the genres and elements, as well as the entire competition. I don't think anyone will get sick of that as long as the concepts your bringing to the table are as good as this one.

The other way to go would be to change up completely, and try tell stories that dismantle our expectations of your team, as opposed to the competition itself. While I love the self aware stuff, I must say I am intrigued to see what else this team of storytellers can bring to the table.

As for your title, it might be the only thing about the film I'm kind of disappointed by. "Baby on Board" feels safe and obvious, and something more appropriate to the Scorsese style being parodied maybe would have landed better.

When I found out you guys at CRAB CRAB CRAB were doing ULTRA this year, AND you got the Musical + genre, I was so excited to see what you'd deliver, and boy oh boy, did you deliver.

As a team, you've slowly bubbled to the surface of my most anticipated films each year, with "Wheat, Myself and Rye" being the gold standard for how to truly master bizarre in 48hours, and while "Close Encounters of the Bird Kind" is a little lighter in the story department from previous films, it sets a new precedent for being... weird? shocking? terrifying? All of these things and more?

This film is carried by it's amazing songs with gut busting lyrics (I love that you worked the word "Cloaca" in there) and an inspiring and devoted performance from Tim Driver AKA Mr. Penguin.

Every year I marvel at the production quality of the costuming and art design in your films, and while I wasn't as dumbfounded by Mr. Penguin's get up as I was by your bread man or the slug lady, it is definitely the most terrifying character to be inducted into the CRAB CRAB CRAB rogue gallery. Maybe they could all team up next year? That would be a nightmare.

As I said up top, the only way in which this film is lacking is that the actual story feels a little undercooked. I would have liked a little more connective tissue between the songs Mr. Penguin is singing and the little girl watching him- both characters go on arcs, but neither seem to truly affect each other beyond the girl ultimately choosing the penguin life. Maybe if he'd taken the girl by the hand and they actually flew to Antarctica together to witness all the events detailed in the songs (like a fucked up version of that animated Snowman short film from like 40 years ago), the film would feel more like a complete journey as opposed to just a girl listening to a penguin singing.

But, alas, penguins can't fly.

Still, it feels a little pointless to critique a film which is already as amazing as this, but there you go. I love this film, I love this team, and I cannot wait to see what the crabs offer up next year.

As for your title, "Close Encounters of the Bird Kind" is classic, I'm sure there are other more penguin based movie titles you could have spoofed here, but this one speaks to the alien nature of your film, and your team.

Truly incredible film, deeply moving and tragic. Super powerful themes coupled with very high quality camera work, editing and of course acting.

Rico's performance here is so genuine and real- he fit so perfectly into all of these scenes that a lot of the time it's so natural it's almost invisible. I would love to see Rico again in future films, potentially expanding his abilities and trying on different kinds of roles, because I think this kid is gonna soar.

I love how this film is kind of a one-two punch. At first, there's that slow burning realization that our main character's father isn't the man he's building him up to be to his buddy, and then the absolute kick to the guts as we realize it's not even him talking. This is the art of filmmaking at it's very finest, combining visual imagery with implication and revelation- we slowly begin to understand just how truly miserable this situation is without any obvious sign post explaining it to us. This is SO good guys.

Every time this has screened with an audience there has been an audible wave of gasps across the room.

Very much a revered HARD drama, which is pretty rare in 48hours, but whenever there is one that truly hits, it's pretty amazing. I'd recommend checking out the film "Glow" by team Del Sur from a few years back for a similarly gripping drama.

A couple of commenters have said the film kind of feels a bit too much like a PSA or a commercial- with it's short duration and quick visual storytelling, and while I personally prefer more standard approaches to short films, this definitely isn't detractor necessarily- I would encourage you guys at Blood and Bone to actually submit this to as many short film contests as you can- or even see if you can air it as a commercial or a PSA. A few statistics at the end about family violence and you have yourself a pretty effective awareness piece.

If I did have any real gripe with this film, I would say that while it's firing on all cylinders to say what it's saying and get its message across, this isn't exactly a story I haven't heard/seen before, and is actually surprisingly common subject matter across a lot of NZ film. But, with that being said, I've never seen it done with such an effective bait and switch that you guys pulled off.

Really cool to see as well that the top 2 films this year were both "Wish" films executed VERY differently.

As for your title, "Hero" is pretty good and pretty effective. It doesn't quite pop, but it doesn't necessarily have to.

I am a sucker for a sweetly romantic short like this one. I'm such a softy.

Obviously the way in which this film stands out is the clever editing technique of the shadow man interacting with the film's lead, and as others have said, I've found myself really struggling to figure out how some of it was even done.

The lead character is a great casting choice to, she's got that Zooey Deschanel adorkable vibe to her, which really carried the film as she was both a photogenic actress and came across as the kind of social outcast who would find solace in dating a shadow ghost.

There are a couple of 'in universe' issues here though- Sometimes the shadow drank out of glass shadows, and ate with fork shadows, and sometimes we're told he's literally holding a solid fork. Fixes for these small problems would have really elevated the effect of this film.

I also wanted a definitive reason for why the lights were turning on at the end of each date, even if they were just automated I would have liked to have been told that.

As much as I loved watching the couple's adventures continue, I'm unsure why the film continues past the first night, as we basically just see the same thing happen (lights turn on, shadow disappears) again. As with a lot of films this year, I would have liked a more conclusive ending/development/hook to the film which brought everything full circle.

As for your title, "Aurora" feels a little cliche. I think there's a better title hidden in here somewhere.

To echo Nimble, I find this film very hard to review, but potentially for more personal reasons than just it's divisive nature.

It's no secret that I consider you guys at Strang Entertainment to be one of the best teams Christchurch has to offer, and historically underrated with films like "True" and "Pandora's Night: Deleted Scenes" deserving far more acclaim than they got. Now, the issues with "The Marquis de Sade" have nothing to do with it not being my favourite kind of Strang film (the format destroying/DVD menu series), though it is an interesting case when comparing it to those, and understanding the style and angle this film is coming from.

What I love about those Strang films, especially "Pandora's Night" is that it emphasizes the idea that story is NOT king. Strang always have way more emphasis on the other areas on filmmaking and in some cases, the absence of story IS the story. As a 'filmmaker' who basically lives and dies by whether or not their own story is good, I found myself learning a lot about all the things you can do and rules you can break with Strang films.

All this stuff is here in "The Marquis de Sade", which foregoes story for atmosphere and horror. I think the problem here is there is no deliciously cheeky format subversion here to accommodate the lack of story, and so there isn't much else to grab on to.

Of course this is all assuming there is no story to this film, and maybe I'm wrong in that. Maybe there is a story and it just went over my head, but if that's the case it also went over all of the other judge's heads and a lot of the fellow reviewers on here, and in a year where we had such a consistent high standard of film, it didn't make much sense to include this one in the top 15 over others which were more immediately accessible. Maybe that means we're all uncultured idiots, and if that's the case, then I can't wait for Rowan to chew my ear off for years to come with what this film actually is saying, and what it is actually about.

As it stands for me, all I see with "The Marquis de Sade" is a series of events where a guy is abducted, beaten and bruised, and finally put on display as a trophy at a creepy party. There is no closure to this, there are no developments in the story, there is only a descent.

To attempt to illustrate what I mean, at the beginning of the film, we see the protagonist struggling with his zipper on his shirt before he gets abducted. Later on in the film he's zipped up in a gimp suit, and watching this for the first time I was waiting for the twist or the "aha!" moment where he manages to undo the zips some how and escapes- essentially telling us a morbid personal journey of a character who eventually succeeds his goal of fixing his zipper. I'm not saying I think this is that great of an idea, I'm simply trying explain the hook that this film was missing.

I feel like I can say all this as both a huge fan and a close friend of Strang Entertainment; because nothing about this film should make you think you aren't good enough to get back up to the top again next year- I mean you've made it relatively consistently over the past decade, and shit dude a film like "The Marquis de Sade" could have easily made the finals in a year without such a crazily high standard of films. So if nothing else consider that it wasn't that your film was bad, but everyone was on top of their game this year.

Going forward I'd encourage you guys by all means to keep trying stuff like this- "The Intervention" is the gold standard for your team's narrative work. "The Marquis de Sade" is an experience, but not as much of a story as I was hoping.

As for your title, I really like "The Marquis de Sade", I didn't really know what it meant before I looked it up, so it's got a great spooky vibe to it. May even be your best title yet.

While lovable stalkers are a little over-represented in 48Hours, I still found this film really charming and a really good take on the Anti-RomCom genre.

The best part of this film is when Natalie says she wonders where Gregory is these days, and you see his out-of-focus head appear out of the bushes in the background. That and him hiding in the closet at the end. Overall this film's biggest strength is its comedic timing.

I also thought Gregory's characterization was really strong, he seemed like a genuinely sweet guy.

For what it's worth as well, even the backyard of the main location was pretty cool with all the chickens, sounds small but it added some nice production value to it all.

To improve for next year, I would recommend you guys just knuckle down on your camerawork and make a story with higher stakes, as that's all this one was missing.

As for your title, Natlie & Gregory is great because it makes you think they're together from the start, so it plays into that bait and switch at the start.

Ugh. Guyssss :(

Let the record show I voted for this film and thought it was a safe bet for the finalists, but was outvoted by the other judges. So in this review I'll say what I love about it, as well as try to explain what exactly prevented it from moving forward.

Right from the get-go this movie puts a smile on your face, diving headfirst into Ultra with BOTH a child AND an animal. The z-grade prosthetic effects are completely justified by the 50s TV serial aesthetic, I'm a sucker for this kind of thing in 48hours.

The story arc was a little convoluted, but the strong points are obviously the characters, with the kid (...Leo?) nailing his lines with youthful glee and Erik (...the dog?) being a very well behaved pupper- with his voice actor being so clean and crisp and period appropriate it hearkened back to the "Serial Stuff" segment which used to be on "What Now?" in the 90s (this has to be the most niche reference I've ever made in a 48hours review).

I also loved seeing the kid all grown up at the end. Killing the dog was a gamble, it certainly would have made what must have been an excellent finale to this TV show.

Characters are great, Locations are great, Aesthetic is great, Prosthetics are great.

When it came down to selecting the 15 finalists, we really had to start measuring and comparing films on a microscale, which is where the discussion around story began, and for "Erik & Leo -", this is really the only area where we fall flat. Which sucks because this wouldn't have even mattered in other years where the competition wasn't as fierce.

What you've got is simplistic, and it didn't really need to be anything more. I think the need to connect it to the wish genre kind of fell apart here, and a couple of the judges and I weren't actually 100% sure what the wished contract that Erik (the dog?) signed actually entailed.

I didn't quite understand everything that went down in the film's climax. I wasn't quite sure exactly how there was a betrayal between the two leads, and this confusion was shared by a number of the judges. These are such nitpicky problems, and as I said, had it been up to me I would have put this film through, so I'm just trying to clarify how truly close this film came to getting through, and therefore how truly incredible this year's line up was.

I have been following ya'll at JAGBOG since you made "She'll be Right" back in 2011, and I hope you feel my sympathy for you this year as sincere and not in any way patronizing or pandering. I absolutely loved "Erik & Leo -" and I really hope you don't feel so discouraged that you don't return next year, because I can't wait to see your next production.

As for your title, "Erik & Leo -" is clearly the best title- though unsure why the dash is left in there. Haha.

I absolutely loved your film last year, "AvacaDon't" was a welcome addition to the Chch finals, and I was looking forward to seeing what you had up your sleeves this year, and while it didn't quite cut the top 15, I still really liked it.

I really respect the message behind the film, the critique of the 'nice guy' attitude is one that I really enjoy seeing depicted in media.

I did feel though, that this message was a little on the nose, with the main character being a bit of a strawman- I've known a few friendzoners before, and most of them are more apathetic losers who complain about their situations than venomous assholes who are so concisely constructed to be clearly in the wrong. But hey, maybe you've met different people to me.

The cast in this film are all really good, some great performances, though once again some of the lines of dialogue which relate directly to this films thesis were a bit too much. I also really appreciated the different locations we go to in this film- however the school dance at the end, while strategically shot, did seem a little absent.

One of the judges mentioned to me that they felt the film followed the wrong character, and to extrapolate MistaTeas's comment, I think there is something to this idea- maybe a film which followed the 'nice guy''s latest crush would have been more effective. We watch as she follows along with his toxic behaviour, believing he's the monster from the genre, only to reveal at the end that she's a monster and she eats him?

As for your title, "Thirsty" is great, especially when we know it's a monster movie.

The heart behind this film is really really good.

A great approach to the "Over ten years" genre which has proven to be the most self-defining genre of the lot this year as it's not quite as easy to ignore or sweep under the rug.

Ultimately, I couldn't help feel that this film felt more like a commercial, like an extra long one you see at the previews for a movie- a Hallensteins logo appearing at the end would not have felt out of place, but hey, kudos to you for making what I would consider quite a clever and effective ad concept for a clothing store. Great motivation to go out and buy a jacket with the hope that it will become your magical lucky jacket.

As others have said, I would have liked a more clear indication of the difference in time era- everyone looked more or less contemporary.

I think this idea was a solid introduction to what could have been a bigger film, but then you would have fallen into the same story structure as "Cushy: A Pull Story", and the last thing I would have wanted would have been an overflow of ten year movies following inanimate objects.

Really well shot, really well edited, I look forward to seeing what you guys produce in the future.

As for your title, "The Jacket" makes sense, and knowing the genre means you can kind of guess where it's gonna go before you watch it.

Very cool. Definitely the all around best film Everything Sticks has ever produced, which is great to see a measurable increase in quality. This was very close to making the finals, and as I've pointed out in reviews for other films from the shortlist that didn't make the cut, it's not so much an indictment on your film as it is a statement about just how bloody good the top 15 are this year.

The cinematography was what stuck out to me the most, some really nice work here with great wide shots and almost intrusive close ups which phase in and out of focus like some kind of dream.

The concept of this film also really hit me- a very dark and heavy interpretation of the Star-Crossed Lovers genre, and not one I was expecting- though I'm not sure if unrequited love quite fits the brief, as death does not love the girl back, or at least not yet.

There are a couple of story beats I didn't quite understand or follow, but I kind of don't mind this as it plays into the fever dreamy nature of it all.

The acting from the lead is really good and really committed. As others have pointed out, I'm not sure how I feel about the Death character being so clearly a child, but a good decision to not actually see the character in focus. I guess this would have also been a symptom of doing Ultra, as both characters are under 18- although isn't Death technically immortal? Or is he outside of age, neither qualifying for ultra nor disqualifying this film from Ultra?

On the subject of Ultra, while I like that this film shows the dynamic nature of the Ultra rule this year in that the characters are under 18 and this didn't horribly impede the film, it doesn't exactly embrace it either, as both characters could have been played by adults and it would have been more or less the same. This isn't so much a wrap on the knuckles, I just would have been interested to see what Everything Sticks could pull off by trying to tell a child's story.

As for your title, I didn't actually know what a stile was, but now that I do I can see how it fits. Or how it sticks. Everything sticks. Everything's sticks.

Absolutely hilarious, really effective comedy, which while a little predictable and lacks a satisfying conclusion, was still a very good time.

If you're asking yourselves why you didn't graduate beyond the shortlist, it's simply because the top 15 were so good and so top notch- I could absolutely see a film like "Shank'd" making the city finals in previous years, and I'm sure team Cactus? will crack it in the future.

If you are looking for ways to beat the competition though, I'd say it all really just came down to camerawork. The cinematography in this film is serviceable, but if those opening shots before the reveal had been more slick, we would have had a pretty powerful piece. A lot of the shows you based "Shank'd" and "Plow'd" off have some pretty wacky and trippy camera angles as well, and so to fully achieve the maximum effect, it would have been cool to really drill home this style, and to have it be distinctly separate from the "real world" scenes.

I think as well, your storytelling could be a great area to work on, while I definitely don't want you to change up your sense of humour, a funny-but-repetitive formula, or a parody TV show, or a film which is probably 50% just opening sequences (hilarious ones), probably wouldn't cut it above some more traditionally told short films with powerful or engrossing stories- and this is probably more a testament to the difference between a short film and a comedy sketch, the latter of which "Shank'd" more fits into.

All of these rules can be made to be broken, and I absolutely encourage spitting in the face of the formula (see Strang Entertainment's 2012 entry "True" or their 2017 entry "Pandora's Night" to see this at premium capacity), but you still have to produce something that is ultimately a very satisfying watch if you want to find yourself a spot in the finals and beyond.

Even if you do stick with something like a "Punk'd" prank show, a great way to up the stakes would have been to take it beyond "Jury'd". Maybe an overseas country bombs New Zealand "NUKE'D" or God turns up and destroys the whole world "APOCALYPSE'D". Just a thought, haha.

I hope this review doesn't seem harsh- as I said at the beginning I loved "Shank'd" on it's own terms and you should all be stoked with your effort.

As for your title, "Shank'd" is obviously the only thing you could have called this film :)

I gotta be honest with you guys, I don't think I've ever been more frustrated with a 48hour film!

This is sort of a backhanded compliment too- because when your film started, I was like "Oh shit. This is gonna win". I was absolutely enamored with the commercials, and then when the story develops to BTS I was like "Yes! This is so good!" and then when the cat gets taken away I was like "Oh boy, central conflict, here we go..." and then your film faded to black and the credits rolled.

Let me just say that I appreciate how difficult this must have been, but my god the results really speak for themselves- not only did you get a well trained cat, the harder of the two most common household pets to get to sit still, to not only meet its mark for the commercials in such a well choreographed way that they 100% looked like real commercials, but then you even got it to growl and dilate its pupils when the villain turns up! Astounding!

This film had everything going for it; fantastic cinematography, a great premise, a beautiful cat and a relationship we immediately invest in, and then we just end.

There's literally a screenwriting term called "Save the cat" which refers to the act of having your character save a cat, or some other helpless victim, so that we immediately know they're a good person. You can see this is plenty of films from "Transformers" to Disney's "Aladdin", and there's even a screenwriting book named after the technique, which is why I was left so baffled that this film just abruptly ends, and the kicker is the entire duration of the film is under 3 minutes at this point, meaning we have plenty of time for a daring escape or rescue in the non-existent third act.

In trying to figure out what happened here, I have 3 theories:
1. Dealing with the cat was just too difficult, which I understand, so you guys just decided to cut the story short.
(if this was the case, the POV shots from inside the cage were working alright, so maybe you could have kept going along those lines)
2. You got caught up on the Ultra clarification that ALL main characters MUST be children/animals, and you couldn't think of a way to ensure the cat stays the lead- if the Handler saved the cat then this could be construed as her story.
(If this was the case, maybe you could have found away so that while the handler chases after the cat, she gets intimidated by the bad guy, and the cat then attacks the bad guy, in essence the cat doing the saving, or you could have done like a "Finding Dory" situation where the cat orchestrates an escape with a bunch of other movie star animals- which is a huge scale attempt I know, so there's probably a better ending here, but hey, I didn't work on the film so I'm just spitballing)
3. You genuinely felt the ending we got was the best way to go, and wanted this Star-Crossed Lovers film to be a tragedy.
(If this was the case, the problem then is not that there's no happy ending, but that there is no closure- I'm fine with the characters never reuniting, but with tragedies you've got to make it all about the message- so if this film emphasized the conflicting nature of life as a celebrity, or how happiness is fleeting, or even something about animal cruelty, then a tragic ending would have suited- though I would have still preferred a happier ending personally, or a least a longer film)

I've tried to reverse micromanage a few films through my reviews now, so to be clear I absolutely understand how infuriating it may be for the city manager to try and come in and fix what you may consider to be a film that doesn't need fixing, so for that I'm very sorry, but rest assured it comes from a place of absolute adoration for the first 2/3rds of your film, and I'm upset that I felt it didn't reach it's full potential, which could have been Christchurch Winner, National Finalist and would have (and maybe still is) my pick for best use of Ultra purely because of how hard cats are to work with.

As for your title, "The Handler and the Cat" has a great star-crossed lovers vibe to it, there's maybe a better title out there but I've already tried to rewrite enough of your film already so I'll cool the jets. Hahaha.

I absolutely loved this film, and fought pretty hard to have it included in the finals. Ultimately I was outvoted, so this review will be comprised of what I loved and what I think could have been done better to allow for it to truly soar.

The strongest aspect of this film is indeed the writing. The construction of story here was a surprising delight. It really creeps up on you and the ending is so effective it gave me shivers. When we were vetting these films, my mum saw this one and we both absolutely loved it, so props to you, YIKES for making my mum nearly cry :)

Great performance from the lead, great implementation of one of the trickier genres this year, and absolutely oustanding work from a team which is jumping through at least 3 specific 48hours award hoops (Female Filmmaker, Solo/Duo team, and School team among others).

I haven't been able to work out if the older person at the end was her lover from when they were the same age, or her father reminiscing, or someone else, but to be honest I kind of like this. We know he's a loved one, and that's enough.

A couple of other people are pointing out that drawing attention to the date at the end was kind of hamfisted, but having watched this a couple of times now, I have noticed that we do in fact see a calendar at the start indicating it is modern day, so the dates at the end aren't entirely out of place, though maybe they would have suited being in the background instead of the camera floating and focusing on them.

It would have been nice to see this film focus a little more on camerawork and art direction- and maybe this was a symptom of the solo/duo team format, but most of the video entries looked like they had been filmed on the same day. A hair cut, a bit of makeup, or shooting at clearly different times of the day could have really added a touch more weight to the idea that these videos were progressing along.

A couple of the judges mentioned that they would have liked the performances/monologues from the lead to be slightly more understated- more naturalistic I guess, which is something I think will come with time as we see Yikes develop and grow as a filmmaker- which is something you could say for all of the aspects of this film.

On that subject, I am very much looking forward to Yikes's film next year, and any work that may be produced in between. So much promise in this writing.

As for your title, "P.S." is a beautifully tragic double meaning. Perfect title for the film.

Absolutely hysterical. Very cathartic for this to be one of the last films we got to watch for the entire Christchurch competition.

I love how much you guys don't care. A film like this is a touch too low fi to make the finals, but at the same time there's not much I would change about it.

Loved how you straight up smashed a car, love the 'throwing' effects, loved the text messages and the near-kiss, and most of all I loved the quick "My namea jeff" you snuck in there.

Fantastic stuff team, I eagerly await your film next year. You guys and "Aaron's Anal Lube Vacation" are ruling the "we don't give a shit and that's why our films are good" category.

As for your title, "Duck Off!"... sure, it's great.

A really good idea, with some great locations and super solid acting.

I think, as is the problem with time travel, we did end up in the repetitive zone, and it all ended up feeling pretty futile.

Still, a good story arc with a strong ending, and I look forward to seeing what this team does in the future.

As for your title, "Twenty Four Hour Rewind" is a bit of a headscratcher, I get that it's kind of related to the plot, but I think you could have come up with something more creative.

A lot of really coll stuff in this film, and just missed out on making the shortlist.

That is more a comment of the quality of all the films this year as opposed to anything blatantly inferior about this one.

I loved the gags and the effects in this film, though I do wish you'd found an ethical way to use a real cat for those wide shots, as the soft toy was distracting.

The last shot of the film was absolutely hilarious and wonderfully drawn out.

I thought it was an odd choice to open the film with the salesman, as it wasn't really his story.

As for your title, "The Coke, the Cat and the Condom" is funny, but I do think there's something more creative hidden in here somewhere.

Great location, pretty good character arcs and a really good application of the solo/duo team format.

I would have liked to have seen a bit more polished camerawork and some lighting that wasn't so washed out.

The actors in the film certainly knew their lines, but a lot of the time they were loaded with exposition, and had a 'memorized from the script' vibe to their delivery.

You could have just started with the initial experiment instead of that scene where we learn about the character's failing marriage, you learn enough about this through the rest of the story anyway.

As for your title, is it "Stack Overload" or "Stack Overflow"? Either way works fine for me.

Once again, this film came very close to the short list.

The songs were great, the choreography of the dancing really added to the film and its heightened reality where even when you're held hostage you can still dance to the music.

Over all, I feel the story of the film is a little undercooked, and maybe it can be when you get musical, but it would have been nice to see more developments happening, and the reveal that the guard is wearing the mask at the end would have been aided by seeing him survive his attack and apprehending the original mask wearer as well. Also, surely they can still all defeat him again?

Technically a lot works in this film too, it would have been cool to see a bit more framing and care in the cinematography to honour the wonderful location.

As for your title, "Potem Immortales" is the perfect thing to call this, I can't imagine what else you could have called it.

Remember guys, the out-of-sync nature of the film is part of the charm of 48Hours, and when people laugh, it's out of comradery and catharsis, there's no venom behind it.

A lot of potential for this team nonetheless, you really achieved quite a spooky tone so I'll be interested to see what you throw us next year.

As for your title, well "Confused" really hits home.

Clearly a lot of hard work and passion went into this film, and if our shortlist was 30 films long, rest assured this would have been on it. Like I've said for a select few other films, we actually rewatched this film on the judging night, and when we got such a high caliber of films this year, deciding what went on the list and what didn't actually came down to really looking at each film and comparing them on a micro scale. So with this all being said, it might be helpful for me to explain what went down.

First of all let me say, that there are some amazing ideas in this film, and a lot of ambition with a clear handle on story telling and especially dialogue, as well as some great green screen work. I would have liked to have seen a little more action in the story, and driven a little less by just two fly toys chatting. Rowan mentioned he thinks this film could have been half as long, and I think this is definitely part of it, but to build on this, I would say that if you had done away with the ultra long opening sequence and started it with the flies talking, I would have loved to have seen the surviving fly actually try and enact his dead buddy's plan to achieve immortality. It really felt like that was what you were building up to, and so for it to just end with the lead going to enjoy his meal of poop, I was actually a bit let down. To forego the appointment with a poo to honour his friend by finding a puddle and unlocking eternal life (and maybe he could have even tried to bring his friend back from the dead), that would have hit a lot harder.

I understand how frustrating it is to have someone just come in and try rewrite your story, and especially someone in my position, so if I can put it another way, it all came down to the whole "show don't tell" rule of filmmaking. You painted a wonderful picture with the dialogue here, I would have just really liked to have seen this picture take place.

I hope this helps guys, and if this has all left you more upset, then also just consider that the quality of films this year was actually so high and so consistent, that I think this could have absolutely made the finals in a previous year- so it's not that this wasn't worth it or quality on it's own terms. It's a great little piece and you should all be very proud.

As for your title, "An Appointment With a Poo" is a great little attention grabber and really suits the film.

The technical side of this film is clearly the team's strong point. The camerawork is really good, as is the music and the original song got a laugh out of me.

I think you guys fell a little flat with your story though, relatively strong beginning and a banger of an ending but not a lot happens in the middle, which I think is a common issue with romcoms and their sub genres like this one.

As for your title, I like "Velociraptor" as a relation to their star sign (though I didn't know that was a star sign). Not exactly indicative of your film, but intriguing nonetheless.

I agree with Kawiti, I think there's an insane idea in this film of just repeating the same sequences over and over again ad nauseam.
As it stands, I think while there are clearly a lot of creative minds at work here, we fall into repetitiveness, with some strange green screen work and dull locations.

I'm not sure I quite picked up the story either, so my advice would be to work on making sure what's happening in your film is clear.

As for your title, not sure how "Decision Day" factors in.

Probably one of the top tier Splatstick films, and a really good interpretation of Ultra.

I enjoyed a lot of the practical effects with the highlight being Ted himself walking around, but the wigged ball being blown up pushed it a little too far I think.

There's a lot of spirit behind this film and I really liked it. Keep it up guys!

As for your title, "Blood Red Ted" is great, really compelling.

Some really cool ideas here, I really liked the resolution coming from the phone being ran over.

However in this day and age, I'm a little sick of the "Facebook is bad! Social media is false!" message, but I guess when you get techno thriller you do what you gotta do.

As for your title, it's kind of interesting, not sure how much it relates to the title though.

I'm gonna say something real original here: I would have liked to see the characters transposed into the actual fantasy world instead of just staying at the table the whole time.

I realize this would have been 10X more work but it's absolutely possible in 48hours and it would have made an amazing film, and with slightly better lighting and audio I could have easily seen this making the final.

Really good acting, keep it up guys and shoot for the stars.

As for your title, "Interview With A Dungeon Master" is fine but I would have preferred something more related to flatting or a double meaning that relates both to flatting and D&D

It seems like there were 2 or 3 films crammed into one in this case.

A lot of it is really well shot, I really liked the montage of the beginning with the girl on the bike, but then we switch to the teachers' story and I completely forgot about it, only to end on the song sung by the girl from the start.

There are certainly 3 acts here, but they don't feel like they belong in the same movie, and it was pretty odd to see such a comical and silly story end on a weirdly sincere song about how we all need to be getting along better. I'm actually pretty baffled by this one.

For next year I'd recommend working on your editing and storytelling. A lot of the camera stuff is really good though.

As for your title, "Shine On" doesn't really reflect most of the story at all, but I guess it kind of fits the film then, hahaha.

So obviously we have a really funny and absurd film here which got the audience rolling, which is all really great.

That ending though, in the darkness as they look for the ball, was actually a really solid piece of horror- even if it was silly at the same time. It reminded me of the ending to "Rec".

I would say the main things to work on for next time would be camerawork, as this film was a bit low fi.

As for your title, "Swiss Ball of Doom" certainly let's me know I'm in for a good time.

A lot of really really quality stuff in this film.

Great way to technically be a musical without really any music.

As others have pointed out, the chainsaw clearly not actually going in most of the shots was glaringly obvious. If you were worried about safety, I would have filmed around it because having the sound was a great atmospheric addition but it was completely undermined.

Camera work is very nice too, the close up of the 'monster' with his bloodied mouth was very cinematic.

The story I think is where this film is let down, we start off in an intriguing place, but I wish the story had gone to more gripping places. I guess because we start with the bad guy already captured, that would have been difficult.

As for your title, "Pop Goes the Weasel" is effective and creepy.

Some good thinking here on how to tell a story and some key fundamentals of a cat-and-mouse style comedy.

Loved the dad quoting Panic! At the Disco, even if it was a little out of place.

You could have used a little more light in that room too, something to work on for next year.

Connection to genre was kinda loose if I'm being honest, seemed kind of tacked on at the end.

Still, some promising stuff here. Well done team.

As for your title, I'm not sure how "Switch" plays into the plot? Maybe I'm forgetting something.

Some absolutely hilarious one liners here, and an alright plot to boot.

As others have said, Rad Chad was hilarious.

My only real problems concerning the plot would be the subs dropping- when you die you don't unsubscribe from a youtube channel haha.
Also, what was up with the girl grinning at the camera at the end? Was she killing them? Was she causing the end of the world?!

As for your title, "The Last Vlog" is a great mix of epic end-of-the-world nature with some great 2018 nomenclature.

What a strange idea for a school team to base their film around.

As the other reviews say, the development and subsequent deterioration of a relationship between a teacher and a student is pretty uncomfortable to watch, even if the actors looked more or less the same age in real life. I think this idea was picked to play on the whole "Anti" element of anti-romcom, but I'm not sure if it was worth it.

As other have pointed out, could have used some comedy here and there too, but that might have even been more uncomfortable since it's such a risky subject which makes it hard to identify with the characters. Usually these kind of films are serious dramas, this was somewhere in between.

As for your title, on the plus side, I actually really like "Dead Dogs" in relation to the film. I'm quite partial to titles which relate to some random insignificant part of the film instead of anything major.

Absolutely love this film. A very simple story but one told very well.

With some slick camerawork, a film like this could have even made the finals.

As for your title, "The Poppening" is great, maybe not the funniest thing you could have called it but fun nonetheless.

I think this is a pretty strong idea for a Splatstick, it feels like something I would have attempted had I got the genre.

I think what would have improved this film- beyond the technical issues and the actresses remembering their lines- would have been to show all the stories visually instead of just the last one.

As for your title, I like "Stories", simple and to the point.

I'm not really sure what was going on in this film, but the horse head was funny and there was a lot of care taken in the performances and the jokes.

As for your title, "Why the Long Face?" is a classic gag. Good stuff.

This movie had a really great and effective twist at the end.

A good attempt at the Tech Thriller genre, and probably the most original of the school teams who did attempted it.

As for your title "The Simulation" is a spoiler for the film! AHHH!

I would say you guys need to really work on your audio and video to accommodate the stories you want to tell, so that all your work can be appreciated, because I found it quite difficult to follow along your story.

As for your title, I'm not sure how "Machiavelli" fits in.

You guys clearly had a lot of fun making this film.
Lots of good ideas but pretty vague on what the story actually was. But keep drilling away at your skills and you could go far.

As for your title, "Out of this World" is alright, I think there are probably plenty of other short films with this title.

Very cool to see adults playing adults, and actually giving off pretty emotive performances.

Upon the rewatch, I noticed a few misdirects which wouldn't really make sense for Veronica to be a cat, why did she have a place at the table? Hahha

Still, a clear handle on storytelling direction here, so great job because you genuinely fooled me with the twist.

As for your title, you could have gone with something more clever, but it works as it is.

Bizarrely short, but for what it did show was actually pretty promising, some really cool ideas and genuinely spooky.

As for your title, "Never Heard Before" is an intriguing name for a horror, well done.

A team which clearly really enjoys making some stuff, I could hear you guys giggling through your heat (as well as your film in some parts). Put a smile on my face.

I think this might be the most resourceful "we weren't prepared for musical" musical I've ever seen, jumping from music-less songs read off scripts, rythmic dialogue and royalty free instrumental solos - and these landed pretty well with the audience.

I think, beyond a story line I didn't quite understand, my main issue with this film would be the tonal issues- pretty strange to see a movie about a walking/talking bush coupled with serious take downs by his brother (I think?). It's hard to take the drama seriously when the comedy is so silly.

As for your title, "The Life of Brandon the Busking Bush" is great and intriguing.

Lots of ambition on this team, and I absolutely loved the the opening scene in the dark bus stop, and some great camerawork with the puddles, lots of atmosphere here, even though I wasn't sure what was going on.

This extended to the rest of the film where whatever story there was, was fairly unclear for the audience, not sure how this fit the genre. I think if you guys were to employ a really good story for next year, combined with such crisp camerawork, you could really go far.

As for your title, "Crumbling City, Tumbling Minds" is a touch too dramatic for me, something MistaTeas indicated as well. I think this could be indicative of another small issue you guys have, don't be afraid to take your story a little less seriously :)

A lot of the reviews on here have echoed my feelings about this film, but I'll try go in depth anyway.

I'll start by saying I'm absolutely on board with this film's message (though who isn't?), and I think there is evidence of some very talented filmmakers on this team.

Ultimately though, I feel this was very much the wrong forum to execute this message. It wasn't just that it feels like a PSA, but it's also very loosely connecting itself to the genre, which leads me to believe, as others have said, that you guys all decided to make a film about #metoo before the weekend, which isn't AGAINST the rules necessarily, but certainly not in the spirit of the competition- if this assumption on my part is even true which it may not be- but the idea of this team brainstorming on the Friday night and landing on this idea is equally as bizarre.

After the statistics, we get to the poem, which really just drilled down into what was already the burgeoning troubled nature of this film. I think poetry, especially spoken word, can at the best of times be pretty hard to take seriously (I say this having actually dabbled in the art form as well), and with such a serious subject it almost felt like you guys were burying yourself even further.

Both digging up a piece of paper saying "Your Voice" and the lead saying "Me Too" were both pretty heavy handed- and worst of all cheesy, which is exactly the vibe a film about these subjects should not have.

I do respect the attempt to do something serious here, but if this was absolutely the story you wanted to tackle there are better ways of doing it. It would have been heavy, but way more effective if you moved all the spirit and intent behind the stats and the metaphor and the poem into an actual narrative story...

One of the other reviews mentions that showing the lead executing her rapist was the wrong message to send, and I agree that this is quite a dangerous way of thinking about revenge, HOWEVER I feel it's only dangerous because it's such a high concept filmic way of dealing with a rapist, which is then coupled once again with the no nonsense seriousness of the stats and the buzzwords being delivered.

This is all to say that if your movie had just been a traditionally told short film about a woman who escapes from an evil dude, and then proceeds to come back for revenge (maybe she's even saving others still kidnapped), then you have a film that both deals with the message you were looking at (sure the on the surface stuff of a woman defeating a rapist is obvious, but her saving other victims is kind of tactile metaphor for the goal of "speak up" to encourage and empower other women), and it's also a fun and cathartic film for audience to watch- the latter of which I think this film failed in.

Once again, the last thing I want to do is belittle you as a team or the ideas you're putting on the table, and the reason this review is so long is because I don't want you guys to think I'm saying it's bad and cringey and shouldn't have been made, I'm more trying to put across to you that the difference between film and Public Service Announcements and trending hashtags, is that you actually GET to be subtle, you GET to show and not tell, and people aren't supposed to inherently know your film's message. One of my favourite things about film is personal interpretation.

So for next year, by all means I encourage you to deal with the heaviest and darkest parts of life, but do so in a way that acts as a film first instead of a commercial.

As for your title, "Speak Up" certainly works, but it still falls into that cheesiness- though had it been a pulpy horror film or a revenge flick, this would have been a great title.

Man. This film has such a quiet peacefulness to it. I really really got absorbed in the atmosphere.

A really cool take on the genre too, told by the only people who could tell it.

I really liked the scenes of the main girl pretending to swim in an empty swimming pool or walking through the deserted streets. I made a "Last Person on Earth" film a few years ago and it was so hard to make the world look empty, but this one pulls it off way better than mine did. I got some very rich "Children of Men" vibes from this film.

The main thing that let's it down is a rather hard-to-follow story. I picked up that the titular one more chromosome was the key to surviving the apocalypse, but not to clear on where we go to from there. Not sure why the older man leaves the girl and wanders off into the wilderness- though it was very effective visually.

I think of all the films I watched this year, the atmosphere of this one stuck with me the most.

As for your title, "One More Chromosome" is clever, and speaks to the central conceit of the film. Well done team!

A pretty damn creative idea for a heist film- I find it pretty funny that this year we got a heist film about stealing emotions AND a heist film about stealing colour.

As MistaTeas points out, this film falls into a couple of cliche traps, with heist team member nicknames coming up on screen, and a pretty by-the-books sequence of them stealing the goods. I would have liked for something a bit more original.

The opening of the film was probably my favourite part, though at the same time I don't know if we needed to see the emotionless world to begin with.

As for your title... oh damn I just got it! Sick double meaning team.

The art direction in this film is stellar.

I loved the ending with the tribal (?) woman and her army, I would have liked to have seen more of this. The beginning of the story was a little confusing, I wasn't 100% sure what was happening, but damn, it did look good.

As for your title, "Temperal Punishment" seems kind of lazy- and you spelled 'Temporal' wrong :(

I loved your film last year, and while this year's outing isn't quite as charming, it's still really great.

I think you guys remind me of myself when I was younger, but from the audience laughter its clear that it's not only me who enjoys your style.

Probably one of my favourite Splatstick films from what I've seen. While the story could be improved, the sense of humour is so good, as are the various stunts like the baby falling in the river or the character's guts falling out.

I encourage you guys to buckle down into story next year. I could easily see you making the finals in future years, you just gotta combine your great practical ideas with a really quality plot.

As for your title, I absolutely love "There Was a Way" as a title, but I'm not sure how it relates to the film?

Pretty simple story- probably too simple. So simple I'm not sure what else there is to say. I'd encourage this team to go for something a bit more exciting and complex in the next year.

I did actually like the set-up, I think it would have just been better had it gone to higher places.

As for your title, "Address" works. It's fine.

Some really good stuff here- excellently shot and a clear handle on the basics of the genre.

However, the story left something to be desired, I think we saw a lot of Tech Thrillers this year which dealt with very similar ideas, and I don't feel that this one popped. You kind of know exactly where it's going after that first scene, and while Tech Thrillers do lend themselves to this kind of thing, I would encourage you guys to try figure out something more original next year. I also wasn't exactly clear on the science of the ending- how did the VR girl become a physical entity in the real world?

The transitions from VR to RL was really well done, but I do wish we had some more exciting imagery than just this house to accommodate such effective cinematography.

As for your title, I'm not really sure how "Hysteria" plays into the plot in any specific way.

This team has a lot of potential, some promising storytelling skills and a good sense of humour.

Getting a genie because you matched with them on Tinder is a really great idea.

However as it stands, there are a lot of ways this film could improve- I really wish you hadn't filmed a lot of it in a such a darkly lit room.

I also found myself pretty befuddled by the main dude's final wish- of all the ways he could have set her free, was taking her place really the only option?
He could have just wished her to be free, or just not even made the 3rd wish at all. By taking her place, now they're both alone and unhappy.

You could have contrived a situation where he has no choice but to take her place, but that's not how it worked out. Maybe work on higher stakes for next year!

As for your title, "Wish For a Jeanie" is alright, nothing special.

Wonderful make up work here, and a good performance from the lead. I loved the beginning with her getting revenge on the guy who flushed her.

Part of me thinks that was the route you should have gone, made a straight up horror comedy about a fish slaughtering its owner.

As it stands, it was a little difficult to invest in a story about a fish who feels like they don't belong, only to finally arrive at the conclusion that she should just go into the ocean- doesn't seem like a particularly hard decision to come to, and a little expected. If I were a fish, it would be the first thing I would try.

Next year I would suggest you do a story that's a bit more complex.

As for your title, "Fish You Were Here" is a pretty sweet pun.

Really really great stuff in this film, some super funny lines and moments.

Ultimately though, I'd have liked to have seen a bit of closure instead of all of them succumbing to their afflictions in the end- almost felt like we needed an extra act of them finally resolving their issues.

As for your title, "Graded Exposure" works perfectly fine.

When the judges and I finalized the shortlist, this was definitely in the conversation, so feel encouraged that your film was in our top 30 overall.

I really dig the acting in this film- the two leads have a very authentic and believable relationship, and so in a lot of ways I was pretty invested from the get go.

The ending also hits on a bang, the monster is a little cheesy though- I do wonder if you should have hidden or blurred the actual design.

The middle of the film is kind of where it falls away- I think I would have liked more focus on the build up to the monster instead of just a drastic shift in the last minute or so.

As for your title, "The Trees Are Alive!" is a great pulpy title, reminds me of a novel you'd find in a second hand book store. That being said, the film itself didn't feel like this, so maybe it could have used a more grounded title.

This was the THIRD time traveling puddle movie we got this year, and like the other 2, the actual time travel element is only clear because of the genre (although this one was probably the most clear).

A lot of the story in this film was kind of unclear, and as other have said, I know from the credits that there's a future mother character though I'm still unsure on how the timelines work here.

My biggest note would be I'd like to see this team challenge themselves a bit more next year- this film is well edited but not a lot of locations and I would have liked a more exciting adventure.

As for your title, "Make Time" is great- relates to both the time travel genre and the distant mother. Nice.

When I heard that TBALC was splitting off into multiple teams this year, I was very excited, and Team Moon was one of my most anticipated films, knowing nothing about it.

Suffice to say... "Banana Chick and Cat Girl" is not what I expected. It's had an interesting response depending on the audience. Having been in 48hours for so long, and knowing the players on screen, and knowing Scared Scriptless, I found myself really enjoying the film- complete with unabashed "telling not showing" and inside jokes. My mum, who vetted a lot of the films with me, was utterly lost and confused. Had it not been for the clout of the members attached to this team, I don't think I would have given it a second glance (there was a time when this film had made it on to a longer shortlist, but it didn't seem fair to include it over other films which played the game more sincerely).

The film plays to its strengths, and it is an interesting idea to see a bunch of improv artists improv their way through an entire short film- which is such a succinct idea I wouldn't be surprised if this was genuinely always the plan.

It's generally accepted that the film we all got was not the intended film initially, and this would make sense- particularly with the oddly genre-specific team intro. I'm really interested to know what went wrong, and how you all landed on the decision to make what you made (which looks like it was made Saturday night).

As for your title, "Banana Chick and Cat Girl" certainly delivers on what it promises.

A really cool idea, and some really cool costumes.

I think my main gripe with the film is that I don't find a call center location particularly interesting, I think it would have been interesting if this temp agency sent these mismatched revived characters off site into crazier work forces.

The ending is a little expected, but it's a good ironic twist.

As for your title, "Re-Maid" is great, though the main character was more of a Robin Hood analogy that a maid.

The makings of a really solid idea here- though do be careful, as I wouldn't want you guys to do a TV show based on the genre every year.

You have a beginning, a middle and an end, which is a plus, however the format of the film kind of leans into this by default, and beyond eliminations, there weren't really any exciting developments. Maybe someone could have been robbing the actual show while the show was happening?

The last challenge felt a little bit too much like product placement to me. I smell a sponsorship?

As said above, the audio cutting out, while not your intention, is such a welcome addition. Every 48hours heat needs at least one film with a glaring technical issue, it's cathartic for all of us and when people laugh, they're laughing out of comradery not out of mockery.

As for your title, (which I'm pretty sure isn't "Emma Hughes-Martinet", did you guys screw up your online wrap up form?) "The Heist Score" is really clever, did you come up with the title first and base the idea around that? Or was it a happy accident?

I had to watch this a couple of times to fully understand what was going on- though that might be my fault.

Still, I prefer confusing story to no story at all, and you guys clearly have the fundamentals of storytelling down, and good on you for tackling a heavy subject.

As with most time travel films this year, I feel the time travel aspect was a little underplayed.

As for your title, "Two Steps Forward" is intriguing, so it works really well I think, plays into the time travel genre well.

Splatstick looks like it was one of the trickier genres to pull off this year, but at the same time, a team like this were probably the exact right people to get it.

You guys have some great ideas, with the V infection and things like that. I would have liked to have seen this same degree of storytelling permeate through the rest of the film.

As for your title, "Paul's Appalling Day" is a great little poetic title, though I feel Paul' character could have been more front and center.

I love you Mad Scientist.

I feel like this whole year was a beautiful 48hours cocktail for you, from the solo/duo element, to the Ultra, to the genre.

As for the film itself, it is exactly what we've come to expect from you/your team, and that is both a good thing and a bad thing.

It's a good thing because the competition desperately needs films like yours, they're genuinely breaths of fresh air, and you can just see how much you love filmmaking, genre films and miniguns.

It's a bad thing because I think out of the last 4 or 5 films you've made, this one is kind of squarely in the middle for me- I think "One Man Army" will always be your "Citizen Kane", and that is by no means a bad thing.

The question is, how, if you choose to, should you develop? How do you keep journeying down that rabbit hole? How do you make the craziest, most insane film this competition has ever seen? I'm not sure I have the answer for this, but I can't wait to see what you come up with.

Other notes: Technically this film is a mixed bag, the green screen work and clone soldiers are all really great and effective, but I found a lot of the audio hard to make out at times- also not sure what was going on with that 20 seconds of black at the start, but it adds to the charm.

As for your title, I absolutely adore "We'll Just Have to do Things the Long Way", it's so meaty and fun to say. I maybe would have preferred the traditional "hard way" instead of "long way" but that might just be me.

Oh boy, what a great film, and what a genuine tragedy that this was disqualified, I feel for you guys- I've been there too.

A fantastic idea for a story- and executed to such a high degree. The lead is great, so charismatic, and he'd need to be for having such a morally grey motivation. But what a motivation it is!
Dave was also a fantastic guide to purgatory, very good call making him a comedic character. I would have liked to have seen more of him, though I'm not sure how that could have worked with the story already as tight as it is. The leading girl, as well as the medium are both fantastic in their roles too, and I loved the medium's outfit- immediately told me everything I needed to know about her personality.

Really good ending too, great closure/full circle stuff here that a LOT of films seemed to be lacking this year. This would have 100% made the shortlist and probably the final 15 as well. Totally my kind of film.

This leaves me with trying to access what went wrong? What made you late? You mentioned to me at Hand-in that you spent a lot of time on the special effects to give the ghost characters an aura. My advice would be, you didn't need to do this, and you could have kept it really simple, and above all, practical. How about make-up or costume? If you set up a rule in your universe that all ghosts wear flowing white robes or something like that, I'd have never questioned it, and it would have saved you hours in the edit. This also leads me to my next point.....

YOUR TITLE! "My Boo" is a great title, I totally get it, my only comment would be that if the ghost characters had looked more like traditional halloween spooky ghosts (hence my flowing white robe suggestion) this would have been a ever-so-slightly better title.

Still, hindsight is 20/20. Please hand in on time next year guys, you could probably win this thing.

Really breathtaking cinematography, and for better or worse this is the film's biggest strength.

From the get-go I was immediately intrigued, and while there are makings of a great and tragic story here, I think I would have preferred something more original with a bit more meat on the bones, and at least one character I liked enough to invest in.

The killing at the end was fairly jarring, though that may have been the point- I get mad "Heavenly Creatures" vibes from this film, and this story played out like something you'd read in the paper.

My advice would be keep building into your story, and throw in some twists and turns and conflicts in there. As it stands, this film is basically just one character's descent, so it would be cool if there were a few more complications along the way.

I can easily see this team making the finals next year and beyond with cinematography as good as this.

As for your title, "Boy Meets Girl" is deliciously tragic and simple.

I admire the full on attempt at musical here, and the story ain't too bad either.

I guess I'm just not sure if it's supposed to be a comedy or a tragedy?

The suicidal ending combined with the mother's rap god tattoos kinda made the film a touch tonally confusing.

This team could easily go far in the future if they hone their craft because the basics of storytelling are already there.

As for your title... Hmmm, I'm not sure I get why you called it "Consequently".

Super funny idea, great interpretation of the genre.

I admire this film for sticking with it to the end, and the end was actually pretty satisfying and full circle.

My main gripe would be that not every attempt to murder her friend was really an attempt at all, she can't have planned for her friend to choke on an apple after all.

Still, good stuff, and as for your title, "Death by 'Natural Causes'" is pretty cheeky.

This film kind of feels like you guys gave up on it halfway through and just decided to film a vlog.
Interesting way to start a film, but any kind of story elements kind of fall away, beyond that other guy who was left out, but there's not really any closure to this.

I would have liked to have seen a little more commitment from the actors as well, I didn't really believe the main girl had cancer, and she didn't seem to be very upset that she only had a day left to live.

As for your title, pretty on par for a Last Day on Earth Film. A little more originality would have been welcome here.

A lot of promise for this team. The story was a bit of a mishmash but the energy is almost intoxicating.

Probably the epitome of the "you guys clearly had fun making this" kinda film.

The story works for the most part, but the characters are clearly the strongest element of the film.

Some great pieces of comedy too: The girl calling her dog only for it to run past her, the drool, the donuts, the gunshot. Good stuff.

As for your title, I'd have preferred if it was titled something a little more relevant to the story or the heist genre, but "The 3 Undateables" it is.

What stands out about this film is that the team behind it clearly have an understanding of story structure. There's a distinct beginning, middle and end in this thing, which is more than you can say for a lot of school teams.

That being said, while the foundations of the story are in tact, the actual specifics of the beats could use some work. Mainly, as some other reviewers have pointed out, playing UNO correctly isn't exactly something you should be mad at your friend about, and if someone didn't want to be my friend coz I kicked their ass at UNO, I probably wouldn't want to be their friend either. This is all to say, I think whatever the main character did to piss off her friends, it should have been something a little more hardcore- stealing from them or ignoring them or killing their cat or something like that. Her sin was being inconsiderate, and you can show that in many different ways.

I was also little confused with parts- this is the 2nd of 3 time traveling puddle movies where the time travel is only obvious because that's the genre I know it is. I also didn't really understand the scene at the end until it was explained to me.

Still, this team shows so much promise. The ability to write a great story is there, the camera work is mostly acceptable (aside from a few odd shots), and the editing is GREAT.

As for your title, I think "Ripple' is a little cliche for a time travel movie. I'd have called it like, "What did I do?" or "Why you mad?" or something. hahahahh.

Hmm not sure about this one.
It seems like you kept changing your idea every couple of minutes, and I'm not sure what any of those ideas were actually about.

"What are you doing in my swamp" got a good laugh from myself and the audience, so well done for that. I think a lot of your humour was lost in how confusing the movie ended up being.

As for your title, "Keeping Up With the Kill Slashians" is hilarious, I love it so much.

This film is a bit of a cluster, but don't let that dissuade you.

The team intro suggested to me there's a lot of love and enthusiasm in the team, so just keep tapping into that and as long as you're making films you love, then you're succeeding

As for your title, "Across the Galaxy" is kinda unoriginal in my opinion, though it fits both the alien plot and the star crossed lovers genre.

A pretty cool story, you guys should be proud of what you made, even if you didn't get it in on time.

Great comedic performances from the male technophobe too, I laughed so hard at him reacting to the door beep.

Keep working away at those storytelling skills, and maybe next year try come up with an idea you think nobody else with your genre will think of, because this kind of felt like you went with the first and most obvious idea.

As for your title, "Tech Support: Don't Call For Help" is pretty intriguing, I like it.

Oh man, first of all, the ending to this film is so haunting, with the two characters talking in the bathroom looking at each other in the mirror. "Do you love me?" "Do you want me to love you?", while maybe a touch heavy handed, is such a great little piece of acting from both the leads which really tells you all you need to know about the tragedy of the film's leading man.

It does take us a bit of a slog to get to this poignant ending though, and the generic romantic montage in the middle is saved only by the emotionless woman robot subverting the trope.

Still some really slick stuff, and some really promising ideas. A lot of restraint in the directing for a school team, and also maybe the only "filmed in a dark house" movie that actually kind of worked.

As for your title, '"Woman in a Box" or "Objectification"' certainly grabbed my attention.

GEESE!

Lots of wonderful moments of comedy in this film, especially the double hitter at the end with Charlotte's new boyfriend and then the main character himself looking in the mirror.

I agree with some of the comments above, there was a lot of unnecessary mucking around in the beginning, which ended up having very little to do with the films plot.

I would have also liked to have seen a bit more development in the story, but all this is stuff to work on for next year.

As for your title, I'm not actually sure how "Cold Turkey" fits into the film? Is this another geese reference.

Keep practicing geese. And please keep including photos of geese in your envelope.

I'm not quite sure what this film was going for, and the ending was really sad, but effective.

My two big notes would be to find a way to be a little more clear with your storytelling, and to remember that closure is important. Your film doesn't have to have a happy ending, but it should feel complete.

As for your title, I'm not really sure how "Brute" fit into the story, nor if it should have been called that, but that might just be because I wasn't quite understanding the story.

I actually really liked a lot of what I saw in this film, and I think the team definitely shows promise.

The obligatory drone shot, as obligatory as it was, was actually a really stunning shot so I almost don't mind.
(By the way, what people mean when they point out your drone shots as being obvious, is that often the cinematography of a film should be consistent, and actually somewhat reflect the film's identity. Horror movies use a lot of shakey shots to make you feel uneasy, dramas use close ups to focus on emotions, for example.
So in your film, which is partially found-footage, really didn't have any business having a drone, in theory. But, as I said, I actually really liked the shot.)

I think your editing could have been tighter, the improvising actors clearly run out of dialogue in parts, and so cutting around those pauses would have solved the problem.

I really like the idea of the bullied character leaving, and then all the other characters getting eaten by a monster, but if that had been at the top of your film, the rest of it could have all been about Geoffery escaping, being that the film is titled after him, I was expecting it to be his story, but I'm not sure if it was.

This of course, brings me to your title, which would have been great had the actual monster been named Geoffery, or as I said, Geoffery had a more central role.

All in all I'd say this team really shows a lot of promise, just focus more on your story telling- beginning, middle end, intro, conflict, resolution, all that basic stuff.

See you next year Em Cats!

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

Jeepers creepers.

For as much as this film tries to look like a low budget affair, the amazing practical effects tell me there are some very talented filmmakers on the team.
Best parts:
The eye papercut
Accidentally chopping off all the fingers
The car inexplicably crashing through the wall, I must know how you did this.

Even the story is pretty good, though it may have benefited if these guys went out on the town to fulfill the red cards instead of staying on the set.

A slightly stronger execution of the story, some higher quality image and sound, and not using a copyrighted song by the Vengabois would have guaranteed a spot on at least the shortlist.

As for your title, "My Cousins Missus Carpooling partner and the Red Cards" is absolutely perfect. I'm in love with this title.

A really good performance from Stan, great opening, highlight was Stan's expression while hugging the girl from his office.
This film is everything it needs to be aside from the continuity errors, but my advice for next year would be try tell a story with higher stakes- I know Stan is under threat of being executed by his galactic overlord, but it would have been nice is this tension was felt in the character's performance because he didn't seem to care too much.

As for your title, "Last Day for Stan" is perfectly fine, nothing outstanding.

Absolute madness and High Water Mark doing what they do best.

I'd have loved for our finals to feature a film as insane as your one last year, but selecting the top 25 and top 15 was an absolute dog this time around.

Comparing this to your last film, I feel this this year's one isn't quite as tonally consistent, and the story is not quite as compelling.

If you want to stick with your house style I'd say you should probably head more down the rabbit hole no matter your genre, I know Anti-Romcom can be rather subdued traditionally, but it doesn't mean you have to be.

I want you to take me on another kick-in-the-nuts baffling adventure again next year please.

As for you title, "Ghosted" is great.

The idea of a world with no colour is one that feels so high concept that I do wonder if the team had settled on the idea beforehand and just adapted heist to fit in with this story.

Some good stuff, the jumping out the window scene was hilarious.

A little confused on the ending, not sure what was going on.

I do feel like this film also suffers for the old 'age inappropriate casting' problem. It was kind of weird to see people in their early 20s as high up powerful villains.

As for your title, "The Full Picture" is the obvious choice, but the right one.

This film slayed me guys.

It was already funny enough with just how bizarre everything was; the old person make up, the adopted daughter, the casual mention of the fountain of youth as if it were just a new cafe that opened up. So funny, and for a while I wasn't sure if you guys were in on the joke, but then that ending, oh boy.

I've seen the whole "character watches and laments over their own 48hour film" plot twist in this competition before, but this was the first time I've seen it actually still stay true to the genre, great stuff.

As for your title, "Stanley & Mildred" is simple and obvious, but perfect. Come say hi to me at the finals/whenever you see me next coz I wanna shake your hand(s).

Absolutely hilarious stuff, and the idea on paper is a sure bet for the finalists, so all you need to work on is your picture, sound and editing, because your sense of humour and story are VERY solid.

As for your title, "ouch" is great. Simple, indicative of the film's style, and immediately puts a smile on your face when you see "Splatstick" as the genre.

Ughhh. Guys. SO close to the shortlist.

I don't know if that's something you do or do not want to hear, but this film was definitely in the conversation, and all the judges including myself really loved the film.

I'll get the bad out of the way: A couple of visual glitches in the beginning, which thankfully faded out as the film went on. The story starts really strongly, and as much as I loved the various sketches, they didn't develop or build as we go towards the end. I think the ending with burying the lamp was really good, but I would have still loved some closure. Had this film been as technically and narratively strong as the lead character's performance, I think it would have cleaned up at the finals.

On that subject, the performance in this film is incredible, the lead girl clearly dove straight into playing the dog, and she does a great job, as does the dog which amazingly responded to so many of the story's cues like not wanting to go on a walk or typing on the keyboard.

When we were vetting the films, I watched this one with my mum and she loved it and said it was her favourite, so you get the unofficial "AJ's Mum's Favourite Film" award.

Also once again, well done for doing a voluntary Ultra. Mad.

As for your title, I'm not sure about "K9 Catastrophe", 'canine' has no reason to be spelled like that and even then it's a pretty simple, easy to think of title. I'd have loved a pun or a double meaning or a portmanteau for the title, or something like that.

Had this film been as good as its first 30 seconds or so, I think it would have definitely made the shortlist and probably the finalists too.

The BLAIR WITCH vibes were obvious, but I don't know if I've seen it combined with the youtube vlogger format before. There's a really compelling idea in watching a Logan Paul character and his douchey friends get eaten by a monster during their vlogs, and if you'd gone this direction I think this might have been one of my favourites of the year.

Unfortunately though, after the set up, I feel like you kinda dropped the ball in any kind of pay off. We sort of just watch the characters scramble around the forest for a bit and then there's a monster, and then they leave.

I think the monster maybe got a little too much exposure and I could clearly see it was just someone with facepaint on, and if you can't go big, don't show the monster at all. You could have done a lot with the darkness, noises, the flashlights and silhouettes in the forest.

Also the characters should have all died.

I apologize for doing a point by point breakdown of your film hahah, I'm only doing it coz I felt it was so close to greatness and I'd love to see you improve and make some dope ass shit next year.

As for your title, I'm not 100% sure on what "Knight Vlogs" means, I would have called this film something really clickbaity like "THERE'S A GHOST IN THE FOREST?! (Not Clickbait)"

Jarring technical issues be damned, the concept for the film is really strong, though it's such a tried and true formula in 'deal with the devil' stories that it feels like it's been done before.

Had this film been as good technically as its story, I think it could have stood a chance against the best of them.

As for your title, "The Trade" is ominous, but I think you could have thought of something darker or stranger.

Reading your team comment, I gotta say I didn't pick up on the mental illness plot at all.

I really liked how the film started, and while I'm sure it's been done before, or by another team in another city this year, someone checking off humorous things from their bucket list on the last day on earth is a charming idea.

I feel like you ran into the problem of "so where do we go now" though, and I'm not sure I have an answer for you.

As for your title, "Radio Dead" is intriguing, I like how it isn't grammatically correct and kind of jarring.

This team obviously have a really good handle on tone and atmosphere, and while I didn't quite follow the story as much as I wanted to, there is clearly a lot of thought and care put into whatever the story being told is.

As for your title, I'm not really sure how "Persecution Complex" works into the story.

There's some really awesome stuff here. A really well thought out story which is just as much Anti-Romantic as it is Anti-Comedic, and really improves upon a second viewing where you know what and how and why everything is happening. It's a really cool journey to take the audience on to have them initially dislike a character only to discover we've misunderstood the situations and he's actually a nice guy.

I think what let's this film down the most, would be the performances from the actors fall into a few pitfalls, it's hard to show a character talking to themselves, which our bride does throughout. People don't usually talk in clear exposition filled sentences when they talk to themselves. I also felt that while the two leads do a good job, some of the background performers could have stood to go for slightly more natural performances (the friends in the bar in particular had some pretty exaggerated facial expressions when listening to the lead's stories).

I also found myself wondering small nit-picky things like, why would someone deliver flowers to their sister (I think?) or run any sort of errand on the day of their wedding? Why did the bride stay at the wedding when no one else did?

All in all though, a solid short with some great ideas.

As for your title, "Altar", while minimalist is also perfect.

A lot of talent involved in this film, I think what sticks out to me most about it is its atmosphere. There's something very uneasy about this film, so I hope that was the intention.

I found the story pretty confusing, and it ended up being the first of 3 time travel movies this year which used a time traveling puddle, but incidentally, in all 3, the time travel element is pretty downplayed and if it weren't for the genre I wouldn't have registered it as time travel.

My advice would be work on making sure your storytelling isn't too vague- we talk a lot about not using too much exposition, but the opposite problem can happen too.

As for your title, "Total Internal Reflection" is pretty memorable, though I'm not entirely sure what it is referring to.

This film juuuuust missed out on the short list, so congratulations on making it to that exclusive club!

I really liked how the film started, the characters genuinely speaking Italian was actually really different and creative, and it showed a lot of promise.

However, after that scene I have to say, I wasn't really able to follow the set up for the film as a whole, and was left a little lost on the characters' motivations behind stealing a painting.

The montage of the characters doing the heist in the art gallery was funny, though I do feel it overstayed it's welcome and feels more or less like the meat of the film.

With a stronger story and more variety, I could easily see this team going far in the future.

As for your title, "The Italian Connection Job" is a great mishmash of heist film titles and buzzwords. Good job.

I agree with the above reviews that say this feels like a larger movie cramped into a short film.

I would also say that it seems like the obvious first choice when you hear the words "Techno Thriller", so I was hoping for something a little more original.

I think there's a lot of potential for this team, the writing shows promise and I'd encourage you guys to maybe focus on smaller stories than global pandemics for next year.

As for your title, I can't imagine there would be a better title for this film in particular :)

I'm not quite sure what the plan was for this film, and I could be wrong, but I wouldn't be surprised if you guys lost all your audio behind the scenes and opted for the old silent film 'word on a separate screen' approach.

The story is a good idea and you had some pretty sharp imagery (those silhouettes too, ohhhh baby so good), but ultimately I don't think the idea was realized entirely to its full capacity.

As for your title, 'The Silent Coven' is more or less an accurate description of the film, but I would have been more intrigued by something a little more contemporary and eclectic. That's just me though!

This film was an interesting one, some really really top notch character work- more so than your average 48hours team, everyone does a great job and is really funny, albeit a touch too old for High Schoolers.

As others have pointed out, the reveal of the crocs at the end felt kind of lackluster, and if you don't mind I'm gonna attempt to dissect what didn't quite work here for me...

I think number 1, we didn't get to see the crocs. It's one thing to describe how ugly and garish they are but it's all nothing without a visual reveal, combined with the guy saying that they were his exact style reinforces this missing element because we don't see him wearing them either.

Number 2, I think we needed to actually see a misdirect at the beginning which leads us to believe the students have witnessed a much more serious crime, perhaps you could have used silhouette to make it seemed like they walked in on the Janitor having hanged himself, or a murder, or theft or whatever, so the whole movie we think they're building up to discovering the dead body or whatever, only for us to return to that scene at the end and discover the thing they walked in on was in fact just someone wearing crocs.

Lastly, we don't see enough people! We don't even see the person wearing the crocs, the characters just stare off into the closet. I'm guessing you guys may have been strapped for actors, so my big improvement note for next year would be to recruit some more extras for standby!

As for your title, I feel like there are a hundred short films called "The Incident" so it doesn't quite work for me.

As soon as you guys registered and I saw your team name I was waiting with bated breath.

'Cooking with Sea Men: Monsters of Rock Special- Featuring: Kitty Chow' is exactly the kind of film I was hoping you'd make, and I appreciated it as an exercise in how loosely you can follow the 48Hours requirements and still technically coast by:
It's hardly a monster movie- it wasn't until my second watch that I realized how you were justifying it
It's hardly an Ultra as while the main characters are cats, that barely factors into their characterization or the story
The elements tacked on at the end, and the shadow wasn't an actual shadow

All of the above read like criticisms, but rest assured they are not, if you're gonna do one requirement 'wrong', you gotta do them all 'wrong'. It's a real pleasure to have films like this to break up the flow, or maybe start eating the flow from the inside out?

I don't know if you guys are looking for feedback or a way to improve- I agree with the other reviews that I don't really want you guys to change...
BUT with that being said, if you guys upped the technical side, and maybe constructed an actual narrative arc, but kept the costumes, nudity and crass humour, there's no reason something like this couldn't get further in the competition.

As for your title, "Cooking with Sea Men: Monsters of Rock Special- Featuring: Kitty Chow" is exactly the kind of title that puts a smile on my face seeing it on screen. I love ridiculously long titles. Next year I challenge you guys to make a title that is a hundred words long.

Good LORD the choreography and camerawork on that opening song was incredible, it was top shelf quality, it was a classroom that was actually full, and the actors all confidently delivered their lines.

After that though, our story does kinda just fall flat, and we never really jump back into a musical number as strong as the beginning.

I found myself picking a few holes in the plot too, mainly that it's a singing based high school (the best one around in fact) and yet it still has normal subjects?

I was also let down by the main character's best friend turning on him for seemingly no reason, he's such a supportive guy in the beginning, but then he tells him he doesn't want to be seen with him anymore after that "stunt" he pulled yesterday- is he talking about singing off key? Because they were still shown as being fast friends for a couple of scenes after that initial one- felt like a plot contrivance so that character could sing the "He can't do it" song, but I think I would have rather seen the best friend stick by the main guy's side, and maybe that would have helped stick the landing as well, as even if the hero does or doesn't get the girl, he still has his friend.

Haha, sorry for being so critical, I'm only doing this because I 100% know this team is capable of something incredible, and I really really would love to push you guys through to the finals next year and beyond. My main note based on this film and your film last year is that you've got to hone your story arcs- that's basically all that's missing as technically this film is super tight. Maybe find a new team member who can be a dedicated script writer, because with a little narrative direction, you guys could achieve that bubbling potential we can all sense below the surface.

As for your title, there's certainly some thought gone into it, and "High Note High" is pretty funny.

I'm not sure why there was a grave in the middle of a school, but it was sure effective.
Clearly you guys had heaps of fun making this, and it was super entertaining to watch.

If I wanted to be critical, I'd say your film could have used a more definitive main character, as it just kind of jumps around a lot, and it would have helped land the ending if we'd been following one character the whole time.

With that being said, this was still a great film and I wouldn't change a thing about it.

As for your title, "Science Fear" is a great pun, though probably an overused one.

Some really great production value for a school team, the supermarket looked 100% genuine so well done for scoring that location, that's what we like to see in 48hours.

I found the story of this one pretty hard to follow, so maybe work on that for next year, a lot of potential for something great.

As for your title, I find "The Game of Life" a touch trite, would have preferred something a little less grandiose.

A really great and on point interpretation of Anti-RomCom as a genre.

The main thing I marked this film down on is that there's a lot of filler in the middle, I would have liked to have seen something more developed before the end reveal.

Great job though!

As for your title, "Balloon" is simple and elegant, it serves the film fine.

Well I for one thought this film was pretty strong.

Some really great comedic timing from the two leads, and the "I'm gay" reveal at the end was actually hysterical.

My only negative comment would be I was a little disappointed to see such a female driven film focus on trying to get a boy!

I'm really looking forward to seeing what you guys deliver in the future- I'd love to see what you do with a more difficult genre or a more nuanced story. I encourage you to keep working on your filmmaking skills.

As for your title, "An Unfortunate Development" is fine, if not a vague spoiler for the end, I think you could have picked something more creative ;)

A clear understanding the basic storytelling foundations in this team, with a really solid character arc and relatable motivations for the characters.

That being said, I do wonder if there was a more interesting way you could have utilized time travel to tell the story- maybe he could have actually traveled back somehow instead of inexplicably being stuck in a time loop?

I did feel the lead was a touch too naive at times, it seems weird that on his second or third redo of the date that he'd make such bonehead decisions. A bit too much of a strawman.

As for your title, I actually hadn't thought about it until now, but "The First Date" is actually a great title for this film, as it really isn't what you'd expect from the outset, and we'd all love the chance to redo a first date that went bad- so in that area the title, and the film as well, actually deals with a great little relatable fantasy.

It's a shame you guys had all this technical trouble!

As it stands, there's a lot of great stuff in this film with a clear understanding of both splatter and slapstick as genres, as both are implemented in parts, and come together as well.
The story was a little confusing and the camera work a bit dodgey, but If you guys hone your craft I could easily see you going far in the future.

You had the audience laughing away after all!

As for your title, "The Sleepover" is a fine, intriguing title, though I'm not sure I remember that element from the actual film.

Really cool idea, if a little derivative of READY PLAYER ONE, but that's okay.

Probably one of the best overall story arcs I've seen in a school team this year, with a nice punchline to end on.

While the castle was a great location, it would have been nice if all the others were of this caliber, I know that's no easy task, but it was a bit weird that this online game had very simplistic and banal locations like paddocks and beaches.

I'd work on your technical side for next year team, and your storytelling skils are nearly there too.

As for your title, "Connection Issues" is a fantastic double meaning, really stands up well, and knowing the genre makes the joke clear even before you watch it.

A really cool take on the techno thriller genre- the set up of dropping your phone on your face while lying down is a very relatable cautionary tale.

I'd say not much really 'happens' in this film beyond the character killing his friends, and maybe that's enough, but a more in depth story could be a great goal for next year.

Loved the ending with the cameraman being targeted, felt like you were coming to kill us!

As for your title, "Installing" is great and takes on a new meaning after watching the film.

Alright, this film was one the vetting party insisted on replaying just because the performance of Akshan was so silly and so funny (though as with "Cousin Jimmy" falls into the vaguely racist camp).
Things to work on:
As said above, L I G H T I N G! It was so dark in that room, and it really encapsulated the worst way a film can look. If you gotta shoot in doors, flood that place with nice, bright light.
Also, your story didn't really go anywhere, and it seems like you ran with the baseline simplest idea around the wish genre as you could, I'd encourage you to be more creative in the future. We got a lot of genie movies this year!

As for your title, "Akshan" serves its purpose, it's a good title, considering the name of the character.

You guys clearly had a great time making this film, and your performances show this.

I would recommend thinking more about your story, as it stands the film is just a series of sketches.

The pooping in the garden scene was the stand out, very funny stuff.

Cousin Jimmy's accent, while a little racist, was also kind of inconsistent, I'd recommend fine tuning that.

As for your title: "Cousin Jimmy" is a great title which immediately fits in the Fish-Out-of-Water genre. Maybe would have preferred something like "My Cousin Jimmy" but that's just me.

WOW! A lot of wonderful pieces of filmmaking here.

The cinematography is the stand-out. It's so clean and wonderful to look at.

The acting is really beautiful and understated.

The set is minimalist, but it totally works.

As for that voice over... I'm in the minority here as a lot of people loved it (including the judges ;) ) but it's not my style, I think the film is made or broken depending on how you feel about the monotonous tone. I think there's an interesting idea in doing this film in half its run time with a snappier and more comical narration, kind of like the film "I'm Gonna" by 1:1 Creative which joins the ranks of narration driven films this year. That would be a film that I would like, but clearly not the film you want to make, so you keep doing you!

I could easily see the team behind this film getting into the finals as soon as next year, just work on your craft, create bigger and better stories.

As for your title, "Mr Morris" is a nice simple title, and I can't imagine anything else this movie could or should have been called.

Oh boy oh boy, this film, being the first 48hour film I watched as city manager, was absolutely bananas.

I think this film wins my unofficial "Fever Dream" award, or it's at least a nominee! Your film, whether you intended it to be or not, was HILARIOUS, I love the style, I love the blackface shadow, I love the ominous voice over at the end, all of these things made this film insanely enjoyable and entertaining, and really put the competition into perspective.

IF you would like to hone your craft and climb the ladder to be one of the greats, I would recommend working on your technical skills, as well as getting a touch more naturalistic performances out of the actors- nothing sticks out more than when a character's line is cut off by someone else in the script, and the actor delivers it verbatim ("Wait, that means its a...a..."), I would recommend either not scripting lines like that or having their co-star cut them off before they even finish their line.

I would also recommend working on your story arch, this film ain't too bad of a story for a school team, but it would have been nice to see some more developments in the middle of the story (hey, middles are difficult).

I agree with the reviews above, in terms of a narrative device, if you open with a video interrogation, you should probably close with a video interrogation, or at least don't switch narrative devices entirely, as you ended the film on narration.

Lastly, a quick wrap on the knuckles for you- the USB you handed in had your incredibly large file zipped, and it took me a few hours to actually get it in a form in which I could watch it. A more brutal city manager would have just disqualified you so please be more careful next year!

As for your title, "The Black Phantom" is nice an ominous, if a little cliche. Maybe something more subtle would have been spookier.

Really well shot and an original idea for a school team with such a dynamic genre. Dani dying and coming back to life was a great narrative device, and while you got a bit of mileage out of it, I would have liked to have seen it only go bigger and grander, as it stands it just kind of fizzles out. Still, there's a clear understanding of story structure here, with her deaths relating to her brother's anxiety- and they kind of learn to solve both their problems together- I would have liked to have seen more chemistry between the brother and sister, as this is a seldom seen dynamic in 48Hours and sibling bonding could be really touching.

I'm in the "why does this have a laugh track?" camp, I hate laugh tracks at the best of times, and I really wish you guys hadn't included it in this film, because it only took it's quality down. It feels like it was decided on in the edit, and the original vision for the film just played out normally? I'm making an uninformed guess that maybe the editor wasn't confident enough in the jokes and thought they could zhush them up a bit- but the jokes were great on their own! The laughs and awws felt like they were pretty pointlessly inserted whenever there was a break in the audio.

Keep plowing away, I could easily see you guys as regular finalists in a few years. Work on your technical side a little more, and make stories with larger stakes which go bigger and deeper.

As for your title, "Don't Die Danni" is great, it's provocative and gets me interested in what the story could be. Nice bit of alliteration (or assonance...?) to boot.

Lots of great ideas in this film, I'm not sure they all reached their full potential, but there was enough in there to be a real crowd pleaser for sure.

A very fun short with some great acting and a lot of laughs.
I would have liked to see the story go to a few more places, up the stakes etc. But it still works as what it is.
Fantastic Wilhelm Scream too.

Fantastic. Strong directorial voice carries this tight little animated piece very far.
Probably my favourite Z-Grade of the year, and an interpretation of the genre I don't think anyone else has done.
It'd be so hard to toe the line with intentionally bad animation and just unpolished animation, but Team Sprinkles manages this expertly, with the grainy filter and random cuts in the audio adding wonderfully to the aesthetic- the eloquent description of the apocalypse once it hits is also a nice touch and a great way to end the film.

Hilariously dark story with some awesome acting and awesome make-up.
I love the premise of this film- probably the most authentic Bad Seed film of the year.
The ending is great, and the perfect send off to the film.
With some higher quality cameras, and slightly better lighting, I could easily see Southern Belles winning the entire competition with a film like this.

Great stuff here. Probably my favourite use of the Christmas genre that I've seen- using it as a backdrop and not having it as the driving force of the story.
Beautifully shot, awesome acting, heavy ending.

The storyline of this film really went over my head, but I blame myself for this and not the film as the judges clearly loved whatever it was I was missing!
Great job team.

Like many, I'm not really sure what was going on in this film, but I still loved it.

From the moment we see the fish 'come out', I was hooked... Though the lack of coherency with the rest of the story did leave me feeling kind of unsatisfied- I would love to know what this film 'means', if it does mean anything.

Great looking film, awesome premise and awesome acting.

Would have liked to have seen a little more conflict to draw the characters closer together, I could definitely see this being a longer 20-minute piece!

A hilarious Christmas film being exactly what it needed to be.

The effects, the acting and the story may have fit better when combined with Z-Grade, but there's no rule against combining genres off your own volition!

Looking forward to seeing more Toot Toot in the future.

POLAROID 2 is Submission Impossible's BEST film to date, and managed to do what no other Ultra sequels did; close a loop left open by the original.

The subject matter of the story is crazy emotional, but it's handled with class thanks to the tremendous acting.

My only confusion lies in something that has eluded both films in this series now- Are we assuming that at some point in the future, time travel becomes possible? As both films have had messages sent and intercepted from the future- within the characters lifetimes- yet both present day stories are pretty grounded in reality. Perhaps a Polaroid 3 will clear things up? ;)

As a whole, one of the best Ultras I've seen in terms of continuing the story (and surpassing it imo), though if the original isn't fresh in your mind, I can imagine this one being a little difficult to grasp.

Good lord the production value is in this film might be unprecidented for a school team in Christchurch!
Sure, you can easily get access to a school, but the fact that it looked full and operating, with legitimate crowds of students, is something more accomplished 'adult' teams probably couldn't pull off if they tried!
The cinematography is great too, and the acting from the douchebaggy 'lads' was authentic, and Millie in particular was very understated and effective.
The only thing I can really fault this film on is its story, which was a touch uninspired and dull- and that could be completely to blame on getting Bad Seed as a genre.
I fully expect Yo Banana Boy and Planet Fox Films to be two of the teams dominating the Christchurch city finals in 3-5 years time, two of the most promising school team I've seen in a while.

If Planet Fox Films don't make it into the city finals at least once in the next year or so, I will eat my hat.

I watched this film after seeing two hilarious exerpts in the nominations during the city finals, and "No I don't want to go space Malcolm!" was such an intensely funny line, I knew I had to check it out.

Great performances in this little movie, with the self aware young actors on the edge of cracking up at their own absurdity absolutely adding to the charm of the film.

Keep it up guys, I'll definitely be keeping my eye on you for future films.

My legitimate pick for Ant's Risk award.

What I love about Strang Entertainment is that they always seem to be trying to eat the competition from the inside out by creating short films that maybe aren't actually short films at all- and this is the most ambitious attempt yet.

In previous years 'Story is King' has prevailed over the competition, and with it being thrown out this year and teams given an emphasis to try something different, Strang really devoted themselves to this ideal to make a film where the intense lack of narrative IS the narrative itself.

It might take a couple of rewatches to fully understand the nuances and implications of the scenes that were deleted, but even if you don't follow it, the ingenious ending is enough to push this film into the grand finals alone.

Promising stuff from this team, though the story felt a little unclear at times, they've certainly got their style down and I'd love to see what they can do in the future.

Let down only by its slightly less grounded storyline than the original (and I guess the fact it wasn't handed in on time), DISABLED ACCOUNT 2 is characteristically the best 'straight sequel' ultra I've seen this year.
Joe and Ben are the funniest they've ever been, and their banter is just as good as the original, specifically the scene of Joe spluttering up blood and complaining about the Hospital bill (with the added punchline of the smash cut to Joe simply holding frozen sausauges to his face)- award worthy comedic performances- if only it wasn't disqualified :(
My favourite aspect of this sequel is that it still revolves around TradeMe in a way that felt really organic to the story. It would have been a shame to see what is essentially the story's main theme be ditched in the follow up.

Great job guys. Keep it up. Proud of you.

Very cool ideas here, an overbearing mother haunting her daughter is a fantastic concept and a great interpretation of the Horror Comedy genre.

My only gripe would be it felt kind of jarring to go straight from comedy to emotional drama without any kind of lead in.

I get the feeling No Budget Ninjas were not quite ready to tackle action, and the way they pulled it off is what I love about this film.

The central premise of a gravity bomb pulling everyone closer into the ground is not only a great way to get around the typical fast paced nature of action film, but it's a great concept anyway.

Hilarious performances all around. Great job.

Some great stuff here. Maybe it should get the risk award for having the balls to do a Mockumentary in 48hours 2017? :P I kid I kid.

I loved the all-too-relatable BTS drama from the film crew and the Soundy with his phone not on silent.

The main Santa was great too, very nuanced performance and very deserving of the best actor award.

A great palet cleanser and a great film.
Fantastically cheesy performance from the lead actress.
I'd love to see High Water Mark be regular finalists with this kind of thing every year.

SPLIT SIBLING DECISION is what happens when you smash together several very talented fimmakers with great synergy and teamwork.
The rare 48hours drama- while not something I'm brave enough to tackle- is pulled off here with probably the highest level of success a team can hope for.
The make-up for the last timeline was great, and the cinematography and editing really helped create what could be a confusing concept easily clear. If a less experienced team had tried to pull this off, I'd doubt they'd have even made the finals. So well done Free Chicken for achieving a seemingly impossible task.

I'll throw in one thought here regarding MistaTeas's comment about SPLIT SIBLING DECISION being an awful name- I tend to agree, especially since the whole film is quite serious in tone, having what is essentially a pun (and not even really a clear one) as a title seems kind of a cheesy choice. But hey, you guys still took home the big prize as well as several others, so I have to fault you on something ;)

A great film from a great team.

I was looking forward to finally seeing this film. After Dystography's numerous hard-hitting dramas I was interested to see how they'd handle returning to their comedy roots.
Probably the most succesful Z-Grade I've seen that has managed to still clearly be a well made film that was intentionally 'bad'. It's a tough line to find, but Dystography found it!
I loved all the weeaboo-esque influences here, what's great about the film is that all the creative decisions actually develop and idea of the imaginary Tommy Wiseau director behind the film.
I really loved this effort team, and dare I say I hope you guys get to tackle Z-Grade again in the future.

Probably my favourite script from the Chch finals. The meta approach (and somewhat middle finger) to not only 48Hours, but the trials and tribulations of ULTRA itself, creates one of the cheekiest 48hour films I've ever seen.
Maybe this should win Ant's risk award purely because of it's gaul and smartassery.
I really like GRISLY's approach to Ultra and it may be one of my favourites that I've seen. Out of all the sequels I've watched this year that required intimate knowledge I don't have of the original, GRISLY does the right thing by assuming you have no recollection whatsoever of Mr Bearly's previous adventures, and pulls no punches is making fun of itself, making fun of you, and making fun of the competition.

While I'm a little sick of everyone talking about Millenials and avacados, Cruel World Productions establish within seconds that they're the perfect mouthpiece for this societal issue.

AVACA-DON'T is an awesome musical, with great catchy songs and a real grasp on storytelling.

There's a lot of great stuff in this film, and I fully expect to see Cruel World in the city finals a few more times in the future!

CRAB CRAB CRAB are one of the most reliable and consistent teams in Christchurch, and SLIME OF PASSION fits nicely into their filmography.

The acting is hilarious, and the effects are thankfully on brand for the team.

I'm a touch confused by the combination of story elements- It seems to me the WEEKEND AT BERNIE'S style story and the quest to destroy a giant slug couldn't be further apart, and I'm not sure how well one informed the other, as the two concepts feel like they're from completely different stories.

However maybe that's the point, and I look forward to more absurdist stuff from the Crabs in the future.

Fantastic atmospheric piece with some really nice special effects and a super satisfying and wholesome twist at the end.

Basically Rowan covered everything I would have said about this film, but nonetheless I'll throw a couple more thoughts in.

Camera work and acting are the slickest elements of this film, and are just as up there with TBALC's other films. I think it's the story and editing which let it down, and create an air of confusion which is often prevalent in 48hour films, but almost never in TBALC's filmography.

As Rowan said, I think Ultra was a big ol' kick in the nuts for this case- as 48hour films are by definition very disposable and rarely ask for a sequel.
I do wonder if ultimately, DOWN TO THE WIRE was the best choice of film to do a sequel to, sure the characters make sense to be transposed into a Thriller, but maybe it would have been better to pull an ARMY OF DARKNESS and just jarringly bring Scary Barry or someone into a thriller.

As it goes without saying, obviously this is an awesomely made short film, and I suspect even the judges judge TBALC on a slightly different plane to other teams.

Some really nice acting and a really cool story arc, a lot to like here.
The editing got a little silly though during the climax- it had seemed very grounded up until the (sadly obligatory) wilhelm scream, and then changed to a (sadly obligatory) Edgar Wright style. The stiletto through the hand seemed a little needlessly gory too.

I just watched this in the screening room and was BAFFLED that it wasn't a finalist, only to come to the reviews and find out it wasn't on time :( I guess that's better than it getting unnoticed!

The locations, the acting, the characters and story are all top notch in this film, taking us to VERY surprising places, and Kevin the elf saying "Very much so!" got a huge chuckle out of me, as did the various assortment of people you'd dressed up as elves. What a great set of ideas, executed to their absolute full potential.

I would say my only real gripe would be the pacing, I think I would have liked less time in the set-up (all we need to know if the elves are unhappy, and jump at the joy of being able to deliver to Hamilton- you could have shortened or cut that whole first scene all together), and more time in the grizzly meat of the story with Santa slaughtering a bunch of evil elves.

Great work guys! What an awesome film.

The best 48hour film of the year, maybe ever.

This film didn't play in our heat, but it gets full marks for its hilarious title.

I wonder what it's about.

EDIT: Just saw it in the city finals.

Really awesome work here, from the snowy aesthetic, to the rhyming narration, to the art direction, Permanently Confused really embraced the Christmas genre, and absolutely deserves the full 7 stars I prematurely gave it.

Next to Pickle Thugs opting for a spin-off approach to Ultra, Prime Rib going for a heartfelt nostalgic feel might be the best use of Ultra I've seen so far.

I haven't seen the original BOOKCASE, but all I needed to know was that ten or so years ago, Prime Rib had a lot of fun during a weekend where they shot a 240p film with baby faced actors. From "I love books", we smash cut to a glorious 4k "I still do" all these years later, and we follow on into an amazing location with beautiful shots and hilarious characters.

The story was good for the most part, though in comparing it to last year's GHOSTFISH (one of my all time favs), I don't think the concept or script was as airtight, and while I wouldn't say it ever lost me, I certainly didn't find it as gripping.

Still, a sure fire for the city/National finals, with a good chance of taking out the ultimate award, and one of my top picks for the Ultra award as well.

ON THE BEAT might be one of the best approaches to Ultra in the competition, which from what I've seen has managed to trip up almost every 'established' team who've taken it on.

ON THE BEAT is the BETTER CALL SAUL to ROLLERS' BREAKING BAD, and I think the 'spin-off' method is something a lot of other teams maybe should have done as well.

The songs are great, the story is gripping and it was genuinely a treat to see the best Charlie Flowers from last year back on screen, though as Richard mentioned, he didn't quite have the same charm of thoughtfulness as he did in ROLLERS, which would have been nice to see. Reminds me of how much Jeff Goldbloom's characterization changes between the first and second JURASSIC PARK films.

Still, far and away one of the best 48hours films I've seen this year, will definitely make it far and could even win.

Phrasing have a lot of potential from what I can see, but this film didn't quite do it for me.

It's tough because all the elements are there, the camera work and editing is great, the acting is great, the art direction is great and the story is great too- just maybe a little ambitious.

If you're reading this guys, take heart because I think in order for you guys to improve you just need to adjust how you tell your story, to ensure it will fit into the 5 minutes 48hours allows.

What a nightmare.

I've seen a lot of 48hour films which feel like I'm watching a fever dream, but this one made me have to actually check I was awake.

Not sure what you guys were going for, especially with the narration (?) being the same volume over the dialogue.

It seemed like this fresh hell would never end as well, as we moved from what I managed to gather was a Dentist's office to a forest.

I guess well done for eliciting genuine emotion out of me. Hope you guys had fun!

Initially this film got nothing out of me as it began, I'm a little sick of seeing white walls and the lead actor seemed to be delivering all his lines like he didn't want to wake up everyone else in the house.

However, soon enough I was in on the joke, and despite the sub-par cinematography, this film's script is something really special.

Hilarious story with great performances and an excellent ending, might be my favourite smash cut of the year so far.

I would love to see this film make it to city finals, though perhaps the camera quality/amateur cinematography will keep it at bay this year.
Hone your craft guys and with a sense of humour as sharp as yours, you could take the Nationals by storm.

Some good meta laughs here.

Seemed to promise a great art heist story which I'm not sure it quite delivered on, but it was still great nonetheless.

I worry this film took itself a little too seriously.

The story and characters were great, but I think it would have benefited from the actors being in on the joke.

Not quite sure what to make of this film, I followed the story well enough but it could have used some better camera work and editing.

What a roller coaster! From the team intro, I was expecting a humble, charming made-by-kids-for-kids film that would leave the audience smiling.

Instead we got a shockingly morbid and depressing account from inside the 'prison' or school, and I loved every minute of it.

This whole film really tickled me pink, very much my sense of humour, would love to see it travel further in the comp.

Genuine, hilarious, super fun.

This is my favourite kind of 48hour film, where the lack of technical prowess really doesn't matter as the film still shines as its own weird thing regardless.

It's hard to know what to say about this film, as the inaudible characters and single location didn't really suggest any kind of story.

Still, I think I can tell there was a story there, and so I'm lead to believe it's just the technical aspect that was let down.

Better luck next time team!

A great film to end the night on.

While technically this film commits many sins, that's also its charm, the inclusion of cutaway shots to Janine was my highlight. Janine4lyf.

I also really enjoyed watching the actors legitimately start laughing and breaking character, I would love for a lot more 48Hour films to utilize bloopers into their actual story.

HERE is a great showcase for a film which emphasizes acting and performance.

Story was a little unclear though, and I think it could have been half the duration it was.

Really cool effects, attention to detail in the art direction and world building, and a really cool idea for a story, I'm just not sure I fully comprehended what was going on.

Wasn't really sure what was going on in this film, but the actors involved clearly loved what they were doing, and that's all that matters.

A lot of good stuff in this film, and the comedy of the situations were a nice counter balance to the shoddy camera work.

Nice use of gratuitous cameo.

Hilarious and unexpected, let down only by the fact that it seemed to rely too much on what I assume was the acclaim of the previous film.

Fun use of genre, fun use of practical effects, and even the Wilhelm Scream had a good turn this time around.

Action is the genre you guys were made for.

I loved this film, the characters are great, the effects are great, the acting is great, and the story is as elegantly simple as it needs to be.

I hope PIZZA MONEY gets recognized nationally, coz Jovial Entertainment absolutely deserve it.

DEADLINE plays to its strengths, embraces the weird and amateur nature of the comp. Well done team.

This might be the most depressing use of the survival genre I've seen! Too real!

A lot of passion behind the scenes here though, I look forward to seeing what Illegal Immigrants bring forward in the coming years.

I Love Loops are a team I look forward to every year, and I often lament their frequent exclusion from the finals.

I admired their ambition this year by taking on a different subject matter than their usual space opera aesthetic, but I don't know if this is their strongest work.

FOR EVELYNN suffers mostly from a story concept which takes a little long for the audience to understand and become fully on board with. I think a little dialogue may have helped here, but I understand if that's against the team's rules.

Other than that, I still really enjoyed what was brought to the table, and the format of their films continues to inspire me.

A lot of hard work and effort put into this film, and it really shows.

Didn't really do it for me though I'm afraid. It seems like the story was just the breakdown of a relationship without any closure of developments to project the story in any way towards the end.

Technically, this film is a masterpiece. The cinematography, the editing, the sound design etc. are all top knotch and really powerful.

I do feel the acting and delivery of dialogue let the film down though, and once again I have to point out how lost I felt having no knowledge of the original film that this one was a sequel to.

DELIVERY FOR DEZ is right on the cusp of greatness, which is a shame because what it does well it does really well.

The art direction, costume design and acting were all really awesome, but the story wandered from vague and confusing to predictable and easy.

I think Guano have a lot of great people on their team and I'd love to see what they can offer in the future with a stronger script behind their film.

Really cool costume work, really nice drone shot at the end.

I wasn't really into the story, no one to identify with, and felt a little too weird and dark for my tastes.

Not really sure what your film was about, but your team intro was hilarious!

The all-too familiar BAD TASTE style of gross out filmmaking in its full glory.

I really liked this film, great story idea, amazing practical effects and hilarious acting, could have used a bit more polish in the edit, but it is what it is, and what it is is awesome.

The claymation here was really spectacular, and as funny as the jarring cuts and bizarre lines of dialogue were, I couldn't for the life of me repeat back what this film was actually about.

The bananas in the gun were great.

Awesome use of Z-Grade, felt like a bunch of great genre tropes and ideas strung together with a pretty good plot.

This movie really flipped my opinion on Ultra.

I was starting to think the idea of doing a sequel was a real bust. So many ultra films have required me to understand the original film intimately, and the result has been a very masturbatory year for the competition.

This film is no exception, but I kind of liked that about it, because I get the feeling this film was gonna be intense and obscure anyway, and adding the fact that there's a whole other movie I need to see on top of that really created this surreal experience.

Pushing teams to do sequels really encourages a new kind of creativity, and I think this film was a really great example of this.

Hilarious, even better than the first I AM BALL.

I voted this for my audience favourite, loved the use of cut-out style animation mixed in with live action moments, and possibly the best smash cut I've seen this year yet.

I haven't seen the original MORGAN'S TIME, and I'm not sure the 'previously on' segment helped clear anything up...
I think I would have rather seen that time spent filling me in on what happened last time used to flesh out the actual story to the point where seeing the previous adventure wasn't a requirement.
Still, that's the catch 22 of Ultra this year, and I feel like I'm reviewing too many Ultra films harshly because of the same problem... Though maybe that just means Ultra is doing its job.
MORGAN'S FATE is shot really beautifully, and paired with the acting make it quite a visually appealing entry. I'd love to know if the lead actor kept his mustache this whole time or was just able to shave it back for the sequel!

Cool locations, some really nice shots (mixed in with a bunch of other amateur shots for some reason) and a really nice use of the At Night genre.

I felt the story could have used some fleshing out, but the initial concept of a stir crazy late night radio host has a lot of mileage.

There were a lot of good ideas and funny moments in this film, not sure if the young talent wanted us to acknowledge they weren't playing age appropriate roles or were intentionally drawing attention to it with their oversized suits and that one guy who calmly ordered shot after shot of Vodka like it was chocolate milk.

Pacing was a bit of an issue here, it seems there was a lot of fluff in the beginning, only for the twist of the film being shoved into what must have been the last 7 seconds.

Lots of great gags in this film, it's unabashedly funny and unabashedly Z-Grade.

Great acting too, lots of lines and facial expressions from the leads which made me laugh.

Really charming young team pulling off a great little story which, as others have said, I would have liked to have seen a little more of.

Despite the team name being "Big Boys", KNIFE JOGGER has some really good female characters, which is nice to see with the competition's emphasis on that this year.

A lot of cool ideas in this film, which were maybe taken a bit too seriously. Would have liked to have seen some comedy to ballance out such a thickly serious and tense situation.

Good locations. Good actors.

I didn't really understand what was happening in this film.

Being a sequel, I'm guessing it relies heavily on knowing the original film, which is a shame.

That being said, what I could see was a lot of passion behind the scenes, I think you guys clearly loved and cared what you made, I just didn't really follow any of it.

Some really cool ideas in here, from a team which clearly puts emphasis on storytelling and character arcs.

I think the story may have dragged on a bit too long, as by a certain point the ending became inevitable, the girl in the storm drain seemed like she could have got out of their easily as her injuries didn't appear to be that severe.

The strong point of this film is the lead character's journey of finding purpose. This was just all crammed into the last few moments instead of signposted from the start.

Very weird. Taking a risk?

Art direction was great. Costume design was great.

I'm not necessarily adversed to these weird surreal films, but I think they're enhanced greatly by a clear story arc, which this didn't quite have.

The hilarious team name here prepared me for something that was maybe a bit more serious than I was expecting.

I really like the idea of a Musical focusing on unrequited love/a mystery girl at a party, but it's such an inherrently cheesy concept I think comedy may have helped.

Ending was full circle, thought a bit of a bummer. I was invested in the hero's story!

Lots of ambition on this team, would be cool if you could match that with your technical abillities, as there were some solid ideas here let down by editing/camera work/sound design.

Not sure how much i was supposed to identify with the lead character, as she wasn't a stalker in the 'fun' or 'wacky' kind of way, she was just a genuine stalker, which was kind of creepy.

Maybe that was the point!

There's a lot to like about this one.

The sense of humour was very present, and I can tell you guys had a lot of fun making this film.

Acting from the lead actress was really good, I really liked her shocked expressions as she's catapulted through all the various scenes.

Not a lot of younger teams focus on these super conceptual ideas like movie trailers, so well done to you guys for jumping in the deep end with an uncommon narrative device.

A bit confused by this one.

Was the moral of the story that all lesbians are weird because they all have an alien puppet master?

Other than this, there was some pretty decent acting, and I like that you guys clearly have a narrative in mind. Keep getting better!

Almost as jarring as it was funny. Looks like you guys had a good time :)
Knuckle down and hone your craft and you could go really far in the future.

A lot of cool stuff in this film, and the first z-grade I've had the pleasure of seeing.

I love all the small moments of faux-bad filmmaking, like the out of focus shots, the boom creeping its way in, the hammy acting and the bizarre story with an enigmatic ending, I hope the judges and audience will be able to recognize these elements as intentional and not as genuine mistakes!

I love love LOVE the concept for this film.

Sequel or not (I haven't actually seen the original MIND CREEP), I really got into the idea of a "Twilight Zone" inspired anthology show, and having it presented by a past character is the only way to do it!

HOWEVER sadly I do feel a lot was sacrificed in order to make this happen; the actual story-within-the-story was pretty unclear in places, and I sense there may be a more lucid 5+ minute original on the cutting room floor. It felt more like a fully formed and well made idea for an original short film that was sandwiched in between the Morgan Foster narrative device as for it to technically qualify as a sequel. Both story layers are great, I just feel the ultimately didn't merge as well as Chess Club probably hoped.

Still, I found it very endearing and entertaining, and I'll be damned if the use of the Wilhelm scream in the opening credits for Morgan's show isn't the most natural and best use of that stupid sound effect we'll see in the rest of this year's competition.

I'm of two minds about this film.

On the one hand, the attention to detail in continuity is spectacular, the costumes, the lighting, the make up, all make it truly feel like this sequel takes place only moments after the original, and the way the story continues, it almost seems like Chillybox always intended to make both films, as they compliment each other quite nicely.

However, I can't help shake the feeling that I would have liked to have seen Chillybox do a completely new movie, and while TIME TERMINAL carries on seamlessly from TIME TRAVEL CENTER, it isn't necessarily a story I wanted to see carried on. To me, this is perhaps one of the first big victims of Ultra, as it seemed like the writing process was funneled into making the sequel as opposed to exploring new stories.

I love Chillybox, CLEAN GETAWAY is one of my favs of all time, but for me, this is a very well made, though ultimately unnecessary sequel.

Very cool film, far and away my favourite of the heat.

As others have pointed out, this feels like a full on seed funded short film, both in its design and in its story.

The acting from the two leads was great, they both felt like real people who wound up hanging out.

Nice subtle use of the brazen Wilhelm scream.

Only think I would have maybe liked to have seen was the two buddies travel on some kind of small journey together, or achieved some mutually beneficial goal. Then again it's a slice of life, and maybe that's all it needs to be.

Damn! There almost needs to be a separate competition for 48 hour animated films, because there are always so many good ones and they almost always get kind of overlooked with the big awards, in favour of the more "real" films.

CD ROM COM was great, a solid story with a strong protagonist, and I'd love to see it in the national finals.

Awesome on all fronts, a very polished film. I didn't really understand the story, and it went to some pretty strange and random places, but that's kind of what I liked about it the most.

As someone who has been playing 48 for many years now, there's always this bitter feeling us nobodies get when the 'celebrity' teams do well and take home the big awards. I guess it can kind of feel pointless, and tbh, I would say they often don't deserve it.

As frustrating as it can be however, I would not say this is the case with GHOSTFISH. I hate myself a little for how much I loved this film and as soon as it finished I knew it had to win, and any other result would be a travesty.

I think what I liked most about this film, aside from the glitz and glamour of the 10/10 cinematography/sound/editing/acting/make-up/special effects and celebrity star-power, was how it stuck to its genre in a way I wasn't expecting. Knowing it was a horror, I merely thought this team of comedians were gonna make a comedy about a ghost, add a bit of blood, and hope that passes the test, but the way the story ends, with Charlie's murderer returning home, actually delved us into a pretty tense story with legitimate horror power to it.

Plus, the ending with both characters being ghosts was perfect. I couldn't disagree more with the reviewer above me who thought it was a dumb punchline to a long joke, it was the absolute only way to end the film.

So yeah, part of me wants to roll my eyes and be like "Oh yeah the professional team of professional actors and professional filmmakers made a professional film, big whoop", but all that went away watching you guys graciously accept your award with big smiles and warm laughter, and the sincerity that came across was something I didn't expect. Famous people deserve happiness too. You guys deserve to be as stoked as you looked on the night. No doubt you'll make it into the national finals, and may even win the year.

I loved almost everything about this film.

The characters were great, the black-and-white style really added to the overall tone, and the story is a really good interpretation of the cat and mouse genre.

My only thought is that I would have liked the ending to have a bit more finality to it. The main characters just kind of lose and concede to putting up with Rodney's shit, which they'd been doing the whole film anyway, so it didn't really feel like much of a conclusion. Maybe the three friends should have teamed up and tried to kill him or something? Two Cat-and-mouse stories in one movie?

Great work guys!

I really liked the concept of this film. Super original and have never seen it done before.

Another solid entry from Chess Club, and though I doubt it will reach the same heights as last year's monolith, it still reached the audience on a much more personal and touching level this year.

Fight Club ftw.

This film really impressed me a lot more than I thought it would! The initial Mockumentary style kind of put me off, but your story is awesome and the ending nearly had my rolling on the floor of the cinema.

I really liked the idea that this film brought to the table. An Alzheimer's patient who only communicates through puppets is a great concept, and it could have gone in a lot of ways.

In the end though, I feel as though FINEST CREATION kind of stays put in the middle line, and doesn't venture to either the extreme silliness of the wacky puppet genre, nor the soul crushing tragedy of the subject matter. I would have liked to have seen Sarah enter a more goofy phase to try and communicate with her father, forcing herself to let go of her inhibitions and completely absorb herself in her puppet character, with a silly voice and everything, which is something I thought was being hinted at by the carer's initial puppet performance.

Also, seeing as hugs don't actually cure Alzheimer's, it may have been a more appropriate moment of closure for Sarah to decide to come see her Father again now that she has a way to talk to him, instead of the melancholy reveal the film does end us on.

Sorry! I know it's lame to have someone rewrite your story for you when you didn't even ask, but I just thought I'd send in my two cents. In the end, you guys made the Auckland final so you're already doing better than me, and I probably don't even know what I'm talking about.

Chillybox turned in one of my favourite films last year, and so I was excited to see what they had to offer this time around!

A very slick and professional looking/sounding short, and the acting is great, and reminiscent of the writing style they've established before.

I think the most impressive thing about the movie is how accurate and convincing both the writing and delivery of the callers lines were. Like it felt like I was listening to 40-something New Zealanders ringing in about their time holiday, it added a layer of authenticity which I really appreciated.

The film kind of ends in an odd place, it kind of felt as though we were owed a more clarifying ending, as my mind couldn't really make the leap over what horrible tragedy was about to befall Auckland, and what it even had to do with the time travel story.

Absolutely incredible film, great characters, tight script and hilarious twists.

PickleThugs could have not have wound up with a better genre than Comedy of Eras, and this feels like the film they were born to make.

I absolutely loved Charlie Flowers in this film, Jared Tito played a very fun and very charming character and absolutely deserved the best actor award on the night.

My favourite piece of storytelling in the film was the nice little full circle moment of the Thief getting hit by a car (driven by his buddy) and crippled after escaping his whole debacle. All your chekhov's guns were set up and fired wonderfully in the movie, which gives it this nice rounded complete feeling that too many 48 hour films lack.

I'd love to say it was robbed of more awards on the night but the competition was truly fierce! That being said, I would expect it to make the National finals. Fingers crossed!

As the film started, I thought to myself how clever of an idea it was. But the very simple approach of a guy rewinding time to grab essential objects he needed could have only gone so far before it got boring, and I would have liked to see some kind of twist ending to raise the stakes at the end of the film. Perhaps the last object he needed ended up being the ball of wool he repeatedly threw away?

Good job team!

A very funny and cool idea guys. I really enjoyed it.

I could expect to see it make the finals, despite some sub-par cinematography and a couple of editing and style issues, but you lose a star from me for the horrendous GAME OF THRONES spoiler in the middle of the film without warning :)

Just kidding, best of luck to ya.

THE BIG PUSH is a very cool idea for a REAL TIME film.

The concept of the drive to the hospital during labour is one I could definitely see myself getting into, and the rehearsed one-take really added to the mystique.

While I wouldn't be shocked to see this in the city finals, I do think it falls just short of greatness. The acting and story is awesome, but the film could have used a better camera and colour grade to really push it to the next level. I also think it kind of lacked an ending, and even with the photos appearing at the end, it would have been nice to somehow hear or see the baby on screen.

The shoddy editing, camera work and sound really held this film back from being one of the better entries I've seen this year in the comp.

I loved the concept of PEENOCCHIO, and I can totally imagine you guys coming up with the idea in the wee small hours of the morning after being blasted with the puppet genre.

However, I do feel this was a wasted opportunity, with the aforementioned technical side of things kind of falling apart. I also think you should have gone with a more simpler approach, and told the story of the two lovers getting ready to have sex, with the protagonist continually skipping off to the bathroom to plead with Peenocchio to behave himself.

If you guys step up your game in the technical department, an idea like that can carry you far in the competition. Good luck for next year!

First of all, I'm very sorry to hear about your bad luck on the competition! I guess it makes for a good story! Though I was a little confused why the following film didn't even take place on One Tree Hill?

The film itself, I found a little confusing. Were you trying to make an important statement on what a punk looks like? Is punk important enough of a subject to highlight the victims of mislabeling within it? Or were you parodying the more serious and similar social justice statements about how we judge people by their outward appearance?

As it stands, I felt a little like I was being yelled at about a fallacy I'm not completely sure actually exists.

On the flip, your lead actress was great, and I hope to see you guys move onwards and upwards in the next year!

A serious contender for Best Bad Film, and I mean that as a compliment.

I LOVED this movie. It's so brazen and silly, and I can tell the crew (of which I assume is just 2 guys) has as much fun as they could have in the competition.

In a world where laughter equals success, I could see this making the finals. If not, I hope it still develops the cult following it deserves.

Wooooooo!

This film was AWESOME. My favourite of the heat, and I'd love to see it make the city finals, and maybe even the grand finals beyond that.

What I loved about it was it was so unapologetically bizarre, and it completely works in spite of itself. I can't imagine the script made a lot of sense, and the fact that you guys produced an A+ film out of that is something I admire and greatly envy.

Your casting was great, your direction was great, your sets were great. A total package.

Definitely the best meta 48 hours film I think I've seen.

I always cringe a little when a film opens and appears to take place in the competition itself, but the set-up and punchline of this particular piece was very appreciated by myself and the audience, albeit a little on the brief side.

I'd love to see it go further in the competition, but alas, the sound quality let the film down somewhat. I hope to see the same effort and loved + better sound poured into your next film!

Very well shot, definitely the film's biggest strength.

The characters and story were pretty good too, though you don't really come out the other end liking either of them all that much.

The mood is very tense, and I think this team definitely has the resources to go far in the competition.

I wasn't sure about this film as it started, having just watched the fantastic animation from I LOVE LOOPS, I didn't think I could get into the more simplistic design of A BAAAAAD HABIT.

But, the film kept me guessing and the story kept raisiing the stakes just as I thought it was nearly over, and the shock ending probably gave me the biggest laugh of the night.

Great film guys!

I love I LOVE LOOPS. The gratuitously long title alone had me laughing out loud.

Each year you crank out great (yet for some reason overlooked) little animations, and this year is your best yet. I hope to see it make the finals.

My only note would be that CAPTAIN FLOWERS followed a similar trajectory in terms of journey as your film last year (both being stories about a protagonist escaping some kind of facility). I'd love to see you guys be more adventurous with your narrative while still keeping the slick sense of humour and impeccable animation.

Holy crap. Probably my pick for the overall competition winner for 2016.

When the Puppet genre was chosen (I guess to replace musical), this is the film I bet the festival runners were hoping would be made. From the ingenious title, to the consistently inconsistent dystopian aesthetic of the puppets (I honestly loved how there was no constant species or style of puppet, they all were just random junky looking things), to the dope one-liner the Monkey puppet drops at the climax, this film is a wild ride and I'm stoked to have seen it this early in what will be a long run in the competition.

This looks like it would have been a lot of fun to make. The production quality was too low for it to find a place in the finals IMO, but that's also kind of what was so cool about it.

One of my favourites of the night. Beautifully filmed with a fun little story to boot. I'd love to see this one make the finals.

The title of the film made me laugh out loud, and the acting of the two leads was incredible stuff. How did you guys manage to cast Maisie Williams?! :P

I'd love to see all the effort that was poured into this film used on a more exciting story than just searching for a house (though I fully relate to that situation). The story was very sullen and still, and I would love to see you guys be a bit more bold in the future!

This team shows a lot of promise with their control of tone and atmosphere! Keep up the good work, focus your craft, dig into your story telling skills and you'll surely find yourself in the finals soon enough.

I really like the idea that Mad Scientists just kind of make the same movie every year.

I mean, WRONG TARGET has a lot more depth and detail going for it than ONE MAN ARMY, but all films by this team are just big ludicrous shoot-em-ups, and while I would argue this to be a bad thing for any other team, I truly hope you guys never change.

Keep making these delicious pieces of schlock, and you'll probably end up with more cred than the finalist regulars.

This film looks gorgeous, something to be expected of the NZBS.

While the story is not the most original concept that has cropped up around the ideas of time travel, the acting and delivery is awesome, and I would expect to see it make the city finals.

Not your typical TBALC fare, taking a more dramatic approach for what could be the first time in this team's long and illustrious history.

Ignoring the fact that doing two films in one weekend is pure insanity, WINDOWS is a great stand-alone piece, with some really simple but creative camera work.

I'd say DOWN TO THE WIRE is the stronger of the two entries, but I would be very surprised if both films didn't make it into the city finals.

Top marks all around.

This is the type of short film I love; a window into the lives of people doing something out of the ordinary and having an in-depth discussion.

The acting and the humour in DOWN TO THE WIRE is great, as is the acting and the questions it asks about life, existence, and netflix.

I also loved the way you guys acknowledged the Bechdel test, and your use of the line gives my team a run for its money. You guys will probably win best use of line, which is a small award, but a strangely sought after one as well.

Without a doubt a city finalist, and I'd love to see it in the grand finals too. Maybe you guys will one day win the grand national prize, like you probably should have done three or four times already by now :)

Hot damn! The camera work in ROOKIES is insane! Probably some of the best I've seen in the competition, though with those sweeping drone shots of cars driving away, I did get the feeling like I was watching a commercial.

My only notes for you guys would be to improve your writing/storytelling, and improve your time management skills so you can hand the damn thing in on time!

:)

While not Submission Impossible's finest Submission, it would be impossible for anyone to not submit to this film's charm.

I loved a lot of what you guys did with the idea of a real time film. The tea kettle going off was a nice touch, and the ending was great too, though I think it would have been made stronger had the protagonist not already been asked to leave the house in the first place.

Oh boy!

In a way, this is the perfect example of a 48 hour film. It embodies so much of the madness and craziness that the comp is known for, and combined with Strang's legacy, it really holds a lot of weight and has a lot of buzz surrounding it.

This film- or rather trailer- is utter chaos, and it will be interesting to see if the judge's consider this a good thing or a bad thing, because I truly have no idea.

This film took me on a journey.

Seeing The Eh Team share our heat was both an honour and an omen: Probably the biggest threat in for the coveted audience favourite award.

Half-way through I found myself thinking maybe our little film still had a chance, even though you guys used great cameras, dogs, and the unstoppable force of charisma that is Hamish Parkinson.

But as soon as that damn dog started driving the car, I knew it was all over, and I happily concede to you guys once again.

Probably the best film I've seen in Christchurch, and I'd pick it to win the city and stand a pretty good chance in the grand finals.

This is the kind of film which stands out because you can tell the people who made it had a lot of fun, and that's really what it's all about.

Part of me hates this film because it played right before ours, and the energy of our film was completely usurped by the absolute weirdness of MY PET EARTHLING. You warmed everyone up for something really strange, and we failed to deliver with, what by comparison was, a very normal movie.

But, I don't want to be a poor sport, and if I'm honest, I completely loved this approach to the Bechdel film, which passed the test by having no one else really even talk (if you don't count howling and moaning as talking).

I love the style and atmosphere this film brings you into, and the art direction and make-up is second-to-none. I would expect to see Knawtra win some awards, while also possibly having a place in the city finals.

A couple of years ago, you guys cranked out The Placebo Effect which I really liked. This year, while I don't think you quite delivered in the humour department, I can definitely see your skill set getting better when it comes to your camera, sound and editing work. It's not quite there yet, but I truly hope you guys continue to hone your craft so you can one day take out the whole competition:)

A very complete and sweet Rom Com. The strongest aspect of your film was probably your set, which looked very impressive!

Oh and of course, your original song :)

Hahaha, no matter how the film itself is received, the hilarious team intro you guys did this year really tickled me pink, and I hope you win the award for that just alone.

WIRED works great as a real time film, watching two characters start out as oppositions and become allies by the end to defeat a greater threat. The story is great, and I'd love to see you guys up your game in terms of camera work for next year, as I think that is the only piece of the puzzle missing.

Oh boy. No one does drama in 48 hours quite like Dystography Studios (though my favourite of your guys' films is still your shock ending comedy from a couple years ago).

FROM, CHARLIE is very tense, and of course, mysterious... Maybe a little too much in some places, as my overall grasp on what actually happened is a little loose, but that could just be my fault.

I'd expect to see Dystography once again grace the city finals with their presence!

Very cool ideas in this film, accompanied by some very convincing and authentic acting from the 3 main actresses in the piece. The way they interacted with each other before and after they got in the car felt very real and casual, which is something which is very hard to pull off in amateur filmmaking.
The terrified acting later on in the film was also very authentic, and the twist was one I truly didn't see coming and I really appreciated it.

I did wonder why the girl who escapes the house would go back in alone to save her friend instead of calling the police, or even just for help?

Technically this film was let down a little in its sound and camera department, but I think you guys are definitely on your way to creating something very polished. Here's hoping you impress even more in the future!

A lot of good stuff in this film! The high point definitely being the ingenious title haha. I loved the grungy camera filter, it really added to the film and made it feel more 'punk', and I suspect probably covered up a lot of issues that could have existed in the colour grade.

In terms of story, I would have liked to have seen Charlie overcoming more of an obstacle before realizing being a punk like her sister is the wrong path. I liked the set-up, and where the story went, but in the end, Charlie just made a good decision with ease.

Keep up the good work! I look forward to seeing your future films!

One of the most original takes I've seen on the Cat & Mouse genre, yet somehow such an obvious and simple approach. TRAP is great from beginning to end, and doesn't outstay its welcome. I could see it getting into the city finals, though I wonder if the POV approach with the camera movement could be seen as low quality work, which this film definitely was not. It's a yes from me, but we'll have to wait for the judge's call.

Kicking off the night with a fun and hilariously contemporary film about an all-too-real subculture in today's society. While your technical side let you down severely, the sense of humour of your story telling shows a lot of promise. So study up! Learn how to craft the technical side of a film, and you could see yourselves going far in the comp.

A very atmospheric and tense film from a school team who shows a lot of promise. You guys have got your tone down, and I'd love to see you focus on more of a story in your future endeavours, and eventually drop the phoney American accents :P

"Sound Sleep" was incredible!

The post-finals time of year is bitter sweet, because you get to see some of the best films the competition has to offer but it's sad knowing their journey has probably stopped here.

Slick cinematography, awesome acting, and a really haunting reveal. As it begins, the dreamlike atmosphere is a little confusing, but not in a 'stop watching' kind of way, more intriguing and wanting to see it through, wanting to see what the sound was.

I loved the informercial scene as well, delightfully creepy.

One of the better films I've seen this year, but this level of quality is to be expected from Traces of Nut.

The more I think about this film, the more I love it.

It starts out kind of slow, but then this concept is completely ditched and replaced with some of the funniest banter I've ever heard between two hillbillies. The one guy telling the other to 'shush' constantly nearly had me in tears, It had the same energy as an improvised scene, but the dialogue was so informative while also being hilarious that it had to have been scripted.

This could be my favourite Chch city finalist, just because of it's bizarre progression and almost downright upheaval of storytelling structure. It's simply good for a laugh.

How embarrassing it was to discover another film in the city finals next to ours who used Harper as a ditsy bimbo forced to be a hero, right down to the paleo parody.

Oh well! I can't really complain as this film is a slick stop-motion ride that is as hilarious as it is clever. Much better than some other similar styled films I've seen in the competition before.

The story was a little out there, but I guess it's able to be with lego.

Beautiful music and beautiful scenery accompany a great short with a cool concept.

I think your initial idea, the last person on earth listening to the recordings of her lost family, is a great concept that maybe wasn't delivered in the best way, and by the time the twist is revealed, we all sort of guess what is going on.

The final shot, as other reviewers have said, really took me out of the experience, and maybe Harper simply diving off the cliff to meet her family in the afterlife would have been a bit more impactful.

Once again you guys deliver a great drama though, destroying my theory that only comedies make it in this competition.

The Eh Team once again give us astonishingly breathtaking cinematography and performances from two of the most hilarious 48ers. I look forward to The Eh Team every year to see what new ways Dan and Hamish will make me laugh.

The make-up on Hamish is hilarious in this film, as is Dan's lowly protagonist.

That being said, I do feel like the story was somewhat lacking this year, which was a similar complaint to last year's Eh Team entry. I only call this out because I've seen past Eh Team films wow me away with the storyline (Day 6 is awesome). I think the basic plot of The Impotence of Hard Times is great, a story about erectile disfunction can go anywhere, but the execution leaves something to be desired.

Editing felt a little shoddy this year too, as the transitions between certain scenes were a bit awkward or out of place.

But at the end of the day, The Eh Team are still one of the only teams to consistently deliver entertaining pieces year after year, and I can't wait to see what's next. Well done!

I can't believe that score was original! So good!

And the rest of the film is spectacular also, I loved that you based it all around the one "Oh really" line, and the action scenes were really well choreographed too.

The coolest thing about this film is that it is fully true to it's genre (mystery) as it kept me guessing and slowly piecing together what could be happening, why these people were fighting, what Harper had seen in the trash.

Well done guys!

Haha I love you guys. This film has a such a strong personality, that the sheer fun and enjoyment I know you would have felt making this film really pops off the screen.

My favourite part was the little kid half-heartedly skipping.

You guys have evert aspect of filmmaking down, from your camera work, to your writing, to your editing and especially your acting, every character in this film is so enjoyable to watch. All I would say is keep honing those skills and creating even better films in the future.

Strang Entertainment once again delivers a film with a jarringly different tone to the rest of the finalists.

Knowing this is a shock ending film, I was trying to figure out the whole movie what could possibly happen. Safe to say I wasn't even close to guessing.

That being said I didn't entirely understand the ramifications of the twist ending, I'm guessing Harper's friends were doing some sort of temporal time travel spell? Still, the tonal shift is masterful.

The one place this film really suffers is it's sound mix, with the noise of nearby traffic constantly cutting in and out, though I'm not one to talk on this subject because we had the same issue.

This film starts out a little slow and janky, but quickly slips into a hilarious bout between two gentlemen callers.

The cinematography was awesome, and the macabre dishevelled line delivery really gave this film it's own feel.

I loved the match cut, though I was a little upset at who won Harper's heart at the end of the film, as I was definitely routing for the underdog.

This was great. The use of both the prop and the line of dialogue here were the best I've seen this whole year.

Characterisation was awesome, and while God entering the scene was a little left-field, I thought it was really funny nonetheless.

Harper's transition from saint to sinner was a little jarring though, I would have liked to have seen her descent into debauchery a little more subtle and progressive.

One of my favourite city finalists.

I had you guys pegged for the top 2, but sadly the judges felt differently.

That being said, the audience loved you guys, and I did too. The Mr. Bread costume is one thing, but on top of that the world you set up and the soul-crushing atmosphere that absolutely swamps the world of the film are impeccable. It takes a lot of skill to achieve this kind of stuff in a film and you guys did awesome.

This was awesome. Such a great concept, taken to it's full potential.

Everything was kept close to this central idea of outer-inner-monologues too, as the villain is revealed and defeated due to her thoughtlessness.

Well done guys, absolutely deserving of your city win, hopefully you win Nationals!

Cool ideas. Really creative set and props but the story could have probably used a bit of a self-aware sense of humour to forgive the shoestring budget cardboard feel.

The story is okay, clearly borrowing from a few modern sci-fi films like Interstellar, but the visual look is far more the winner of the day as opposed to any sort of clever plot. I can tell you guys had a lot of fun making this film, and with such a small crew, all power to Ya.

As I said, my only note would to be to incorporate a bit of comedy should you attempt something as ambitious as this in the future. Well done!

Lots of really cool ideas and elements in this film result in a charming wee comedy.

You guys are great, I bet you had a lot of fun doing this. I thought the characters were great, loved that Harper was a slimy Brony and the Maori Grandma made me chuckle.

While your storytelling and dialogue is good, albeit the delivery from you as actors could be a little improved, I think you should work on your structure, because I didn't find myself wondering what would happen next, more just watching events unfold, and ultimately they didn't end anywhere unexpected anyway. That being said, a story about politics never ended up boring me, so you must have done something right!

Love the title btw, "Us... But Mainly You" is intriguing and relevant.

Drone shots probably weren't needed, but I'm sure it was fun.

I could easily see you guys going pretty far in this competition in the future if you put a little more work into your technical work, especially editing. Perhaps expanding the team to three people?!

Giles sort of touched on my main feeling about this film: The easygoing thoughtless Harper being shockingly cavalier about her abducted child could have actually been played off as really funny, and a whole movie based around a mother trying to save her child without being really bothered one way or the other would have been something original that I would have liked to watch, but with the 'serious' acting thrown in, it's clear that this film only gets half-way there, and I don't think it was intentional either.

I didn't quite understand parts of the story, why she couldn't call the cops, what her business was, how she got the money, who had kidnapped the child and what the last scene was meant to imply. If the mother of a kidnapped child simply has the money lying around, and the bulk of the film is her easily collecting it and then just paying the ransom, then there's not a lot of tension in that story, and it's kind of a bummer too, that the kidnappers just win and get the money. I feel like i would have liked to have seen Harper outsmart her enemies, though I get the feeling the ending I didn't understand is meant to imply something to that effect?

I thought the characterisation of Harper was really good, and as the film started out I was actually quite hopeful as she leaves the branch to thwak her son's face as he follows behind her. That whole first scene with the kids was really well shot and the kids did a pretty good job of acting too, though as a whole it was a bit long and seemed to just stall the rest of the movie. I actually thought the game of Hide and Seek they were playing was gonna be the meat of the story, which was a good idea and... wait what's this film called again? "Hide and Seek". Oh man. Did I totally miss the point?

I need to sleep.

This was a very well shot film, awesome cinematography, awesome lighting, awesome framing, awesome scenery.

The idea for the story was good, but the execution was a bit awkward. The acting had its ups and downs, and there were some funny lines of dialogue but a few beats felt confusing.

Why was the wife not speaking? Was she just not speaking to Harper?

All in all, I'd say you guys have your techincal side completely down pat, focus a little more on the writing and characterization, and I think you'll fly.

I didn't quite understand what was happening in this film but I really liked parts of it.

The opening scene was AWESOME. A really cool idea and my favourite part of the film. As we rushed from civilian to civilian (kind of) hearing their thoughts, it was really effective. I'm even glad the audio effect made it difficult to actually decipher the words they were thinking, because it made me wonder if that's what reading people's thoughts would actually sound like, kind of inaudible and hollow.

The rest of the film certainly delivers on what was probably a cohesive idea in the minds of the filmmakers, but to the audience, nothing really makes sense. Why is he hearing voices? Why is he typing out that note? Why is he smothering that girl? A bit more explanation could have turned this spooky film into something better.

The lead actor was pretty wooden, he didn't really seem like he wanted to be on camera, but maybe that was the intention.

Loved your team intro too, it made me laugh. Maybe the rest of the film should have kept that same light heartedness?

Hmmm. I think it's hard to tell a story where your protagonists are incestuous lovers because it's not an ideology people can route for. Unless they are also boning their brother/sister. Maybe even then. I don't know.

This seems like an idea that was brainstormed and run with, and the team fell down the rabbit hole a little too far without realising that it's an uncomfortable watch. Or maybe you guys were completely aware of this and that was your intention, in which case, bravo. It felt weird.

Other than that, the progression of story was good, there were clear beats, though some of your editing could have been tightened (Brother walking into house saying"Hi!", then cutting to him walking up to behind sister and surprising her... did she not just hear him say "hi"?). The characters seemed to change their minds quite a bit to fit the story too, going from supporting their forbidden love to grappling with it, to even as far as explaining why it's wrong to their THOUGHTLESS mum. This bothered me a bit because them changing their minds didn't feel as much like the internal wrestling that one would feel in this situation, just more like ham-fisted exposition, and because of this some of the acting suffered: the scene where they talk about moving to Gore/suicide pact was hilarious dialogue, but it was completely undermined by the awkward performances. You see this a lot in 48 hours, actors reading out lines that someone else clearly wrote.

The film ends with the couple finding out they're not actually related, and everything seems fine after that... But... would it be? Is the desire to commit incest just as bad as committing incest? Is your adopted brother still too much like family to marry? These are the haunting questions this film left me with, and I'll be thinking about them for years to come.

Clever set-up with the USB gag that didn't really end up leading anywhere special.

Art direction and locations were good, and the premise, which I'm guessing was pitched as 'last man on earth tries to create a woman a'la frankenstein' could have been a lot stronger and pushed more forward as Harper's main objective.

The unlicensed music really took me out of the film too, would have really liked to hear a more ambient score.

I feel like you could have done a lot more with this idea. I loved the concept of an expired ham sandwich teleporting it's consumer to different dimensions, but nothing much happened.

The other dimensions themselves weren't other-worldly, and as such I'd argue whether this fits the genre at all.

There was one dimension where someone tried to take Harper's sandwich, and I wonder if maybe you should have made that the focus of your story; Harper trying to get back from this new dimension after someone takes his sandwich and teleports to his.

The line delivery for both characters was very wooden too, Harper's wife sounded like she was reading lines off a script, and being removed visually didn't help this either.

Technically this film was great, the camera work and editing are awesome. I'd say y'all just need to work on fleshing out a story, because you treated the concept like a one-trick pony, and I feel you could have been far more creative with it.

Damn the dialogue in this film was incredible, but a promising start to the film soon fell into the bizarre etherial underworld of shoddy editing and alienating comedic timing.

The story of 3 fittingly-heavenly-creatures-esque girls trying to kill Peter Jackson is an awesome idea, if not a little too esoteric from a competition which year after year features dated social commentaries (seriously, so many ponytail tugs this year).

If this film had been well edited and well shot it would have been finals level I reckon, but as it stands, a cool idea about mentally disturbed PJ killers actually ended up feeling a little TOO real, which is a bit concerning.

The actors were great, and as I said I actually really liked the dialogue, especially in that opening scene where it sounds like they're talking about sex and virginity but it was actually about body mutilation.

The Social Justice Warrior/Tumblr feminist elements were pretty accurate too, and I don't know if that's a good or a bad thing.

Classic 48 hours fever dream feel, but the animation felt a little lazy and the story was non-existent.

Not good enough animation to be interesting, not good enough of a story to be forgivable.

AWESOME match dissolve in the beginning. I liked the concept and parts of it worked really well.

Actors were all great, and the lead was hilarious. The reveal at the end that he wasn't how he thought he looked was an awesome joke.

The trope in Mistaken Identity genre of the lead being mistaken for a celebrity is probably something I've seen a few too many times, but that's the danger that comes with such a niche genre.

A few of the beats felt a little unclear to me, I didn't really work out what he was doing in the bathroom. I get he was pulling gum out of his pubes, but I thought initially that he'd peed into his condom (and that was what he'd pulled up after he peed), having forgotten to remove it before he'd peed. I think what doesn't work here is that the gum scene felt like a completely different story to the rest of it all, there was no organic flow from this beat to the next. We hadn't seen his lover chewing gum beforehand or anything like that. Perhaps that's why I assumed it was a condom because it felt like a more logical step.

A lot of technical work on this film was wicked, as I said before the match cut was great, and the camera work was pretty awesome too. I think if you guys worked a little more on defining your story, you could be stronger in the future.

From the team intro to the terrifying boogeyman emerging from the darkness, this film was an absolute pleasure to watch. I loved it.

The animation style changes every time the protagonist walks through a door, and while a couple of times it was reduced to still frame storyboards, other times we were treated to beautiful cell shading and extremely smooth cartoon work.

The necessary elements of Harper Harrison's thoughtlessness and the "oh really" felt a little shoehorned into what could have otherwise been a completely dialogue-less film. But I guess that's 48 hours.

This was my favourite of the heat by far, and it's a shame it didn't even rank third with the audience, though I feel it probably had something to do with the size of the other groups on the night voting for themselves.

I would love to see this make it all the way to Nationals, what a joy to watch. I hope you guys return next year.

Great concept, and the best looking film of the heat, though the end result probably wasn't as poignant as I think Grand Cheval were expecting.

The film seemed to lack a clear direction of where it was headed, but the dialogue was funny and my goodness those practical upside down effects were awesome and must have been really fun to work out.

Why was there a dildo in Bradley's bag?

You guys should have made the whole thing an infomercial haha! That was definitely the strongest part, and a 7 minute infomercial isn't a bad idea for 48 hours if it's done right, and with the Shock Ending genre, the possibilities are endless.

The rest of you story seemed to just spiral down to what was, admittedly, a clever ending with the cocaine. I think the actors were all probably a bit young to pull off a convincing office environment. Still. In another life, that hilarious 7 minute infomercial could have made it pretty far in the competition.

It's a shame that the team intro was so professionally animated, because it made the following stop-motion, which I would have otherwise found incredible, a bit of a downer.

I got a BoJack Horseman vibe from more than just the protagonists' similarities. I really loved the other dimension you set up, in the world of lego there are no rules to what everyone has to look like.

Story ended pretty abruptly however. Just like this review.

The two hilarious leads really owned this film. Every other reviewer has pretty much said what I thought: Production value and story pacing were completely worthy sacrifices for everything else this film gets right, every actor is great, and the dialogue is hilarious.

Really great idea. I can see you guys coming up with this on the friday night when someone piped up and said "What if Harper was actually thoughtless? Like... braindead...?"

Overall the idea played off very well, but the execution of the story fell apart in some places. The ending of the film, where we see Harper enjoying all the adventures he's been having wasn't explained as clearly as it needed to be, but it was still very sweet and emotional, which is something not a lot of 48 teams attempt.

My favourite film I've seen so far out of the 4 or 5 heats I've attended.

Coming into this film after a school's heat was exactly the kind of pick-me-up I needed, as soon as the beautiful letterboxed cinematography blasted onto the screen I let out a sigh of relief, and on top of that the acting was INCREDIBLE and HILARIOUS, and the story fit the black comedy genre so well.

I loved the part where one of the girls nearly throws up, not because of the dead body but because she remembered the wet bread. My friends and I were quoting that back and forth to each other all night.

The two actresses really owned their roles, and as characters they were both very different people so it felt like a really genuine dynamic.

The make-up on the dead guy was great too. I definitely expect to see this in the city finals, and probably Nationals too. Hell, I hope it wins. Peace out.

This film was great! City finalist for sure. Maybe even Nationals. In the same vein as last year's overall winner "Pants on Fire".

The songs were hilarious, as was the acting, and the camera work and editing were spot on. I loved the Les Mis vibe, especially when both actors started singing their own parts back-to-back. I bet you guys had a lot of fun doing this.

I think the only thing that let this great Musical down was its story, but everything else compensated so hard for this that I don't think it even matters.

Really cool film, and the type of movie that this competition seems to love.

Focus seemed pretty soft all the way through though, and the shaky camera didn't help. Acting was hilarious. Story wasn't very original but it was funny.

REALLY cool vibe. Very old school Japanese horror a'la The Grudge or The Ring, and the story concept felt very similar to Death Note and other popular anime shows.

Sadly the editing really let down what was an extremely creative idea for a Horror, from a team who seemed to be absolutely ready for that genre. A box that turns blood into money. Damn that's a good idea. But the audio quality, colour grade and overall cut really destroyed all the great acting and writing.

This film, sadly, was probably one of the most frustrating I've seen in the whole competition....
BECAUSE I LOVED IT. The story was great, the acting and dialogue was IMPECCABLE ("Yeah! Hiss at him" or the monologue about which parts of Auckland the Gunman controlled). The last shot with the lead just shoving rotten bread into the girl's face, hahahah! It was so full of GREAT elements, elements that could win the entire competition...
But that camera work and editing really left something to be desired and I fear it has cost the Brothers in Crime any placing in the competition above (third?) audience favourite. There were so many good ideas in this film, great ideas even, but all those jokes and performances seemed to be wasted in sub-par cinematography and what seemed like a first cut.
I hope you guys return next year with a more effective crew, someone who knows how to set up a shot and someone who knows editing, because you're scripting is some of the funniest and cleverest I've seen in my 6 years of 48 hours. All the best!

Pretty funny. The style was really nice, from the animated dildo title sequence to the hand SLAPPING down on the mashed potatoes. The camera work was really great, and the concept as an idea was really good too. I think the middle of the film really let it down though, I didn't like that the dildo was just magically turning up in places, I felt like it would have been more effective if the dog had actually ran off with it, and she spent the film trying to retrieve from the adventures the dildo went naturally through case and effect instead of it seemingly having a mind of its own and turning up in the fridge by itself.

Dinner scene was excellent, ending scene was excellent, I can't imagine it would have been a comfortable conversation with the actress playing the mother when you told her the story idea.

Probably the best film overall in the heat. It definitely felt the most polished, unlike a lot of others which didn't seem finished. The young actresses were hilarious and looked like they had a great time doing it. The story was a little weak but I liked the end message about inventing time travel.

My favourite of this heat. I'm gutted to see it didn't make audience favourite, but at the same time I'm not very surprised. This film was weird, alienating, uncomfortable and hilarious in all the best ways. The camera work was incredible, and is probably was made this film an intriguing fever dream instead of a garbled mess. I didn't follow the story at all, but the rock saying "I'm a rock" and the naked heater-dwellers at the end really made this film feel like something special. I love this style, maybe next year try be a little more clear with your story.

There's a lot of talent in this team. All the actresses were VERY funny, and the camera work wasn't too bad either. I think next year y'all should find a better writer and a better editor, and ditch the at-the-time-topical political jokes, because they age VERY fast. If you put more effort into a cohesive story and kept the hilarious performances I think you guys could make it to the city finals.

There is a bit of bad blood between Sneaky Horses and Les Cousins, which was why my blood boiled as I watched this film for the first time and was completely at the mercy of this terrifying story and it's immersive style.

This one was a bit of a mix'n'match.

On the one hand, you guys had a pretty cool story, pretty sweet locations and a really funny and really strong opening number.

Sadly on the other hand, the editing let you down quite a bit, none of the following songs were as good and the entire thing went on probably a few minutes more than it needed to. It's a shame because all the right elements were there and I could see a lot of promise in the idea as a concept, but the execution was clearly met with a bit of trouble.

Well done, though. I would say something like "sorry you got musical", but that didn't actually seem to be the problem here as both the songs and dancing were pretty top notch, though I guess they could have wasted a lot of time.

You dudes are hilarious.

As a film, the jarring editing, the bad sound and poor camera work unfortunately knocked this down quite substantially from what it could have been, and the story wasn't much either, though it could have been strong enough. Essentially this film was an exercise in after-effects for beginners.

However, I spent the whole movie laughing, and I totally respect you guys for making a film while still in High School (how old are you guys actually?). Sure it was made poorly but you still made it and you guys are so so funny. So many of the one-liners and jokes in this movie made me think that you guys totally have potential. I hope this reaches you, because I want you guys to really consider investing in some better gear as well as learning how to use it, because you guys have the comedic chops to take home the competition in future years, if only your film work improved.

Criticisms aside, it warmed my heart to watch because I could completely see and relate to the fun you guys had during the competition, which is what it's all about.

Hope to see you guys again in the coming years.

This was a breathe of air in a sea of atrocious films I was drowning in, in this heat. After watching about 10 terrible films and only one good one (The Butterfly), A Series of Unlikely Events managed to deliver a hysterical performance. Well done Zebras.

By far the best in its heat. Lol. The quest film was also pretty good but The Butterfly felt more authentic.

I think, if the film had ended with a zombie with a name tag saying "Bobby Young: Ex-Bully", holding a bent piece of wire screaming "WHAT HAVE YOU GOT?!?" to scare the living sh!t out of the unsuspecting audience, then this film would not have been disqualified and would have been my favourite.

Odd. The film itself was pretty... well, awful, but the team intro and the atmospheric, echo-ey credits music was pretty cool.

I agree with Kawiti. I'm sure the script is fantastic, but the film itself failed to deliver with its use of many different cameras which vary in quality, dialogue that goes unheard and some pretty awkward acting.

I think you guys had a good idea. The body-switch is a blatantly unfair genre to get, so a lot of the plot problems are understandable.

But that being said, I didn't dislike the plot. It wasn't amazing, but it wasn't bad. Only the execution was bad.

Awesome film, was very impressed, particularly with the acting of every person involved, they all felt extremely real and true-to-life.

I can't decide whether or not I liked the use of Bobby being an ex bully(a throw-away line during his revenge set up where Bobby mentions to himself that he used to be a bully in school). It was original but at the same time felt a little desperate.

But it was still very enjoyable to watch, and I hope that I can make films like this one day.

I agree with daniel, your use of Bobby as an ex-bully was the best I have seen in the whole festival.

Such a shame you guys got DQ'd, as this film had a reasonable chance at winning overall IMO.

Lol, I loved Karen. Those costumes were amazing, and the acting was superb.

Great film guys, very original and well made, and well cast too.

My only criticism is the ending, whilst funny, the line "I'm gonna jam my finger so far up your anus" was quite an abrupt way to conclude the film, and I felt like a happy ending would have suited the story more.

Started out promising, but then just felt like an amateur porno. The two girls kissing was the turning point in the its quality, and wouldn't have been so bad if it hadn't of gone on for so long, blatantly just to stir a reaction with the audience. Pretty pathetic guys. The nudity was at first tasteful but the blooper at the end with a full on boobage shot again just felt like it was in there because sex sells.

I was very impressed with Cornchip and The Gentlemen's Agreement. The story was an awesome spin of the noir style, having only the lead character being part of the gritty surrealism that is inside his head.

The acting and use of narration was amazing to, I really enjoyed it.

I voted a 3 for it, and was probably my favourite film out of the 3 heats I saw.

"Naughty Man" was badass. Well done guys.

My only real criticisms are that the bent piece of wire was extraordinarily out of place and unexplained, and that the lead characters beard detracted from his character completely... It's nothing against this individual with a beard, but his character (portrayed as your average, stereotypical suburban parent) probably shouldn't have had a brutal spartan beard.

Other than that though, the acting was great, and I loved the phrase "naughty man", it made it really disturbing.

I did not like this film. It's had a very high production value and all(a huge mansion and section, + 18th century costume, guns etc.) but what became increasingly obvious, was that Pressure Productions had came up with this idea completely before the contest started. Their genre is barely recognizable(fad), which was conveniently explained to the audience through the poorly delivered line "this FAD has gone on long enough". The character and line of dialogue were easily slipped in, and the bent bit of wire was probably written in the script as "object X" as the fact that it is a bent piece of wire is irrelevant. It could have been '10s broken toy or the rock or any other previous years' prop and had exactly the same effect.

The acting is average, which let the 18th century feel down a bit.

This film got third in it's heat, which I am disappointed in, just because a film is big budget and looks good, it does not mean it is a great film.