I sat next to this bunch and they're a nice bunch of guys. A young (but not that young) team with an eye for locations and an ear for stories. But maybe too *many* stories! 'Time of Legends' tracks down and catches up with three urban legends and asks: what do they do now? But separating its actors makes it hard to engage despite characters rife with flaws. Still, this is well made for a young team with stacks of good content presented in flowing montages and effective use of some advanced techniques like ADR to troubleshoot sound issues. If they'd recorded a buzz-track in the narrator's location that could have been even better! The team is still learning, but it seems like they're working things out well for themselves. They should hang with some other crews, learn their tricks and be back to impress us proper next year.
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Hey, what a sweet, chunky, arty and watchable film! The establishing shots here gave way to some breathtaking locations. I love the idea to set a fantasy film to start in the aftermath of a big party. This film had subtle and elegant use of special effects - original at least in the context of this competition and completely right for the film. The follow-the-balloons sequence was mystifying and lovely, but highlights the film's only failing in that some of the actions seem disconnected from others. The actual plot driver arrives late in the piece, so the big picture is a bit confusing (or maybe I missed it). Regardless, this is a gentle and magical film that the whole team can be proud of - art department, lighting, sound, actors and directors. Plus it got huge appeal from the audience - deserved!
Can't stop laughing. This is perfect Kiwi piss-take humour with a good heart and a ridiculous premise. They took the text-book expert approach to the genre and made an incredibly sweet film from team-intro (amazing!) through to credits (the kind you'd stay in the theatre for). It's got science and action and a variety of locations and completely adorkable actors. Mega-cool, probably heaps of fun to make and I can't wait to see it again.
An up-to-date take on the romcom genre with a poignant premise. While slow at times, the film progresses with good production values and excellent sound, and it's memorable for its deeply troubled characters. I would have liked to see them develop a little more, and things seemed to work out a little too easily for them. The fun is in the chase! But Boats n' Hobos is a totally capable team and I know I'll enjoy what they serve up next.
Pirates storm the beach and take to the forest in search of treasure. Didn't this team turn up as pirates last year too? Whatever :-)
The plastic sword really let down the full (but slightly too clean) costumes in this piece, but the sword was made up for by some lovely shots and great use of sound. If a little wooden, the film effectively tells a nice little straightforward story with a minor twist. Rr.
This is encouraging! Blank Pages are a young and clearly new-at-this little crew. And they drew musical - not a forgiving genre!
But the girls got straight to work with a proper attempt to create the best film they could, and though the production quality left plenty to be desired, it's delightful to see what they got right.
I also have to say that the line directly following the friendship-song had the WHOLE cinema in hysterics, maybe the biggest laugh of the night. I thought I was going to cry with laughter.
And it's clear that the team used the right process to make the film. Create the music, record the video, combine. So cool! Well done, it might take years of practice but you've definitely shown that Blank Pages has got what it takes.
Disappointed in Big Red Firetruck this year. A team of proper grown-ups with access to some pretty amazing locations, costumes and props, but underutilised. Seemed like a bunch of guys with guns doing things that are a bit boring! It's not that they ever need to fire, just that the tension of their situation could have come through a lot more. But that's the plot, it seems, good-for-nothings go bush, then everybody dies. Too bad the characters seemed as surprised about the plot occurring as anyone else (what was with that?)
I want to see more refined (not necessarily serious) work from Big Red Firetruck, maybe next year.
There were a few familiar faces in this team and if I'm remembering them right, they're getting better every year. This was a fairly straight-forward alien invasion achieved with a small cast and some legit visual special effects. The voiceover was effective and the lighting effects were rather convincing! The team knew their genre well and seem to have got exactly what they wanted, and that's commendable. From here I'd say further technical practice and fine-tuning their writing practice will make the team one to watch out for.
Wow! What the fuck, this was too good!
Don't get me wrong, there was plenty of footage I'd suggest cutting back. I just _really_ hope this team wasn't disqualified for being too long.
Despite limited equipment available, this team uses amazing cinematography and camera techniques that set up scene and character - better than I've seen from any other school team. This team shows great knowledge of the genre and makes use of several Action tropes early on, but sometimes at the expense of pacing. But it gets really strong in the third act, with a menacing/annoying/despicable bad guy and some side-splitting and satisfying moments of slow-build humour. Then a stonker of a fight breaks out, like it has to. Perhaps the best fight I've seen in the heats this year! And then wow! That slow-mo shot! Where did that COME from and how exactly did you do it? Best technical use of slow-mo from a young team yet, and dropped with perfect timing. Boom!
I loved it. This whole team should stay together even if they're leaving school, and don't get freaking disqualified next year.
Man, this angry chick sure is angry about her bracelet. Almost too angry. Risks destroying the film for how seriously she's taking it.
This was pretty well executed but I didn't think it a likely story. I think they had fun making this, and the team probably got exactly what they wanted. Tense at times, and makes you wonder what you'd do in that situation. A tale of "what if" with a MacGuffin and a strong one-dimensional antagonist.
"Warped" is right. I want to give this film a terrible score, but I loved it so freaking much. They will *not* be getting back the bond on their rented costumes, oh no. This film smashes through location after location with deliriously sloppy editing and a completely unconvincing cast. But you CAN NOT LOOK AWAY. To add insult to injury, it's a horrifyingly long ordeal to sit through. I clapped my little heard out when it finished, and the crowd was already talking excitedly. Could this be a contender for "best bad film"? I sure hope so.
Afterwards between the sessions, I went for a piss. And who should be in there but the star. Peeing beside me, he triumphantly announced that it wasn't always him in the film. He would swap out with his twin. Dick-in-hand, I told him to keep on making movies. And he nodded, proud. This crew's got a lot of energy and they'd benefit from a good course on film production techniques. This was a highly enjoyable spectacle and I hope we get more soon.
DaBalance did really well. The film cut *straight* in to the conflict and action of the story, then presented a packed-full film that was always opening new plot threads and things to remember. It's a party where everything's going wrong, and things go *really* wrong. Good use of tropes around the vampires and action - *inviting* Lucretia in to the house etc. The team made great use of sound for a young crew, and I suspect the only limitation in that department was their equipment. This is an ambitious and action-packed single-shot with good use of slow-mo, a make-up change and an always-moving camera. Great work!
The best commitment to found footage we've seen in the competition so far. This team used limited equipment and a sweet location to tell a complex but awesome story. I wish the story had come a little sooner in the piece, it felt a little like the crush plot was a bit of a red-herring for what was to come. When it happened, it was masterfully executed (mirrors! The door!) and set my mind spinning right back through the whole film. The editing was pretty slick and flowed well from one shot to the next but I'd still like to see the team take another crack at making the same movie without the time constraints. More time for the actors to explore and develop the portrayal of their characters would have, I'm sure, grabbed the film an extra star or two.
Lost big points with me for whatever the technical problem was that prevented the proper resolution from being presented. Sort it out!
This is an aspiring film crew who are up-front about wanting to do more work. And they should! They have a good sense of framing despite limited equipment available, plus a reasonable idea for a dance film and the ability to bust out some sick moves. Despite the potential, this crew will need more practice and attention to detail - I just really hope they get it.
There'll be no shortage of people who love the fuck out of this movie, which includes explosions, pain and make-up effects among other things. Great pace, fabulous dialogue, and brilliant use of limited equipment. Won't be surprised if this ends up in the Auckland finals, simply for how enjoyable it is to watch. It's funny and it's tense and it feels like you're hanging out with some mates, and despite being short it has a more-ish episodic feel. Battlesoup know what they're doing and it feels like this film is a great success.
Battlecam might be new on the scene, but if they're not I'll be remembering them from now on. This team has some flare and pizzazz, and I can't tell if that's coming from a writing team that work well together or perhaps just from the overclocked wardrobe of actress Nicky Shannon. Wherever it's coming from, the look of this "supernormal" crime is distinctive with fresh cinematography and funky presentation of its material, following two private investigators (who happen to be the most obvious people in the town) as they watch their mark. The clarity of what's going on, and perhaps its unnecessary subtext swings at "what's normal" let the film down exactly where it should shine, and the ending is a bit unsatisfying if you're looking for a suggested future for these fairly engaging characters. Still, it's a fun ride that doesn't fail to engage on several levels simultaneously. Lots of mystery, lots of jazz, and the dissonance may be exactly what they're trying to point out. I'd like to see what else this team has done.
Hey, some grown-ups! This film will be very popular, and with good reason. It's full of nice montages, incredible camera-work (amazing steadycam?), brilliantly sourced and utilised locations like Victoria Park New World (seriously) and several beautiful shots in the turbulence of the foreshore.
At this level I have to be kind of hard on some of the basics, though. I never believed the well-composed and dignified star had a dead-end job with a shitty boss. The sound in the supermarket scenes left a *lot* to be desired, and the story told around them was a vague mash of fantasy tropes rather than a compelling and character-lead fable that we've seen other teams engage in with the fantasy genre. There was a beautiful setup for a forest nymph, but the way she was portrayed, I think, was more in the actress' mind than what ended up on screen. With detailed cameras in high-def, you need your make-up and costuming to be excellent, and that magical character always seemed to be slightly out-of-sync with the rest of the piece.
As the focus returned to our protagonist and his OTT boss (who also doesn't carry either the people-skills or the social flaws to have his job), the protagonist does something unexpectedly heroic. But I didn't feel like I cared about him at that point, and when he met the woman on the stairs (a predictable trope), I didn't care for their potential relationship.
This is a beautiful and flowing piece of film with an eye for Kiwiana and locations, but it's one that I like less and less. The Band' is definitely a team to watch out for from now on, I just hope they're not afraid to take risks.
Lots of music, no attempt to take themselves too seriously and lots of bizzaro variety. Laffs for zombie in choir, laffs for zombie being main character, hokey dance n' song number, a glory hole accident in full view, and a simple story gets told. What more could you want? This team will need a lot of polish but they have all the creativity they need.
I was quite charmed by this mix of genres and emotions. A one-shot film that made quite excellent use (eventually) of a moving camera, special effects and even a make-up change. This was short, but well prepared and perfected for the screening with internal dialogue, sound effects and a fantastic bassy sound-bed in moments of building tension. Scary, funny, serious, great! More.
This was an arty and slightly philisophical film with a focus on an introspective lead character's "last autonomous day". There were some highlights here with the use of time-lapse and a good use of the required line at a dramatic moment... but it felt like the team needed more time to edit and perfect the stitching together of its "moments". Would have been nice to get a story that matches the ambition of the introspection, but again that may be a time factor. I hope the team don't regret setting up so many nice shots as well! Strong acting at times and what could have been a nice film if it weren't for that ticking damn clock.
This little end-of-the-world features a documentary about the aliens that are about to invade our precious little Earth. It's got a vintagey feel despite contemporary content and a characteristic narration style. It's cool! The team should be proud. I'm not quite sure it's an end of the world film. But it's got some funny moments, it's got a variety of locations and it's got a screamingly great use of slow-mo. Great practice for a small team to hone their craft.
I have to stand back from this slow-building action flick and say "woah. Nicely shot". This film would really benefit from a gripping story that ties it all together - despite such incredible camerawork the opening montages were a bit empty for me emotionally. But it is a thing of beauty, despite some apparent limitations of equipment and experience. The film includes a location-changing montage, time-lapse, a stupendous slow-motion gunshot, brilliant use of weather and even an underwater shot! All tied together with savvy editing. If all that gets tied to a character and their trajectory, I am so sold by this crew.
A friend of mine has a real soft-spot for 15-year-olds playing hardened detectives.
The dialogue in this was fantastic, and it was a straight-up detective thriller with a young cast. I think the velocity of the action would have continued in to the later parts of the film with a good whack of music in there. The movie felt quite short, I think this team would be capable of engaging viewers in a decent length story. I'd like to see that!
:-O OMG CARLILE HOUSE!
I have an OBSESSION with this place and it's barely healthy. There's not much about its alleged curse floating around, so this was the perfect choice of film to make. It could really add something to the legend!
Since I knew the subject matter, I was sucked in immediately. Others may not get that, but they may be engaged by the balanced and appropriate cinematography and excellent close-ups. It even handles on-screen information well. The great close-ups continue as the film inevitably makes its way to the spooky and haunted Carlile House, and yes - goes inside. And then tags the freaking wall! There was a lot to like here for the Carlile enthusiast, but I thought perhaps the legend itself could have been better introduced - or the story told in a non-linear format. Maybe you guys can extend the film and make something of a documentary over the top of it! That would really go down well online.
Rarely have I felt so old.
A well-dressed kid is the target of some crime-fightin' superkids when one of them discovers he has "douche!" superpowers. Ultra cute moment in the dairy. But the film's kind of cute-all-over. Everyone remembers being this kid and wanting to do exactly this. How is it, kid? Living the dream?
I was surprised by this film! Hungry Lion clearly moved at great speed and reaped the benefits. It's a tale of the first zombies in an apocalypse, and it's a packed full film that feels like it was made with all the time in the world. Right from the start we see effective use of lighting, adherence to the expected horror tropes, and an inherent understanding of shot-building. The film is fast, seems to burn through an endless stream of appropriate location changes (including a blisteringly funny scene on a bus), and takes us through a lot of emotions along the way. High hopes for Hungry Lion, these guys are masters in the making.
*Does* it really matter? Question brought up through an interesting but repetitive fast-forward and slow-mo long-take of a walk to the local shops. Internal monologue is raaaather teenage angst, and will be seen as a bit petty by many. Still, this is an interesting way to explore some rather abstract theories and philosophies around alternative futures and ways of being. Only subtle changes in style through the options shown. Seemed incredibly long, and the audience did lose patience towards the end, but it is nevertheless a very ambitious thing for a young team to produce. Keep on studyin'.
This film has a dreamy quality that I think the team can be quite proud of. Despite obvious limitations of equipment they were able to use the camera in artistic and professional ways - backed up by a strong sense of timing in the editing department. There were some really difficult shots here that came off beautifully, especially scenes shot on the beach and running on the street. I have to admit that I didn't find the film especially inspiring, and although that's hard to do, the first thing is to have a story that's easy to follow. Still, the rising and falling action does add to the dream-like nature and voice-over narration of the whole piece. I'd like to see what these guys could do with a couple of months on another film.
Not a bad effort from a young team who managed to make a serviceable end-of-the-world film. Despite being pretty melodramatic, this short had some great mood-setting long shots of empty atmospheres, lifeless scenes and nature continuing without us. The storyline seemed to be that Nicky accidentally littered at the beach, and somehow caused the end of the world ("unlucky"). This team has proven that they have a strong visual language, the ability to convey story through abstract images, and a pretty good sense of timing. I *believe* they'll have a strong original story next time too.
A proper fantasy film! With original and purpose-made music, appropriate shooting locations and charming presentation that kept me watching. I couldn't believe how well shot this was, however, something went very wrong in the technical chain and *somehow* the whole film and the intro came out in low resolution. A heartbreak considering the effort that clearly went in to careful lighting, effective story-book framing and attention to detail the team paid. Nice to see a legitimate fantasy film in a modern context with a fairy-tale feel and lots of creativity. Keep practicing this, and taking risks, and Fermented Films could be a name to look out for.
Good on these guys for attempting a serious superhero film. It shows some excellent storytelling devices and for the most part it is excellently shot. I was impressed by the use of special effects in ways that are both simple and more comlex, but at all times effective. This is one I heard people talking about afterwards - using words like "beautiful". I did feel like the acting (it may have been the accents) let this one down, and the difference could have been two extra stars on an already-strong film. A nice technique to present this story as a retrospective and good use of motif in telling the story.
Perhaps the ballsiest film I've _ever_ seen in 48 Hours. Here's a team that knows what they're doing, and is not afraid to challenge you a bit. It's technically excellent, and at times difficult to look at for how far it goes with certain cinematic techniques. But it's on purpose! 'Brothers' has an original score, visually spectacular execution of its bold and dynamic photographic imagery that sets it way apart from anything we've seen before.
To state the bleeding obvious (spoilers?), the shots portray with remarkable accuracy the poignancy and clarity but lack of action details we experience in *memory* - and it's that trick along with a painful but perfect sense of timing that sets off the emotion and buy-in that it seems only this approach could deliver. I found the film-maker afterwards and shook his hand, this work is gold and not everyone will like it (can be hard to follow) but those that love it simply won't care.
Can I just say - this team intro took me by surprise and made the whole cinema crack up laughing. And it went on for exactly the right amount of time. Had high hopes from the start.
And they were met! This was a genuinely funny heart-warmer with ingenuity and class. The film engages quickly with the audience through some clever but unnerving good-acting. Then *something* happens (I'll forgive it) and our hero returns to the leaf-motif (it's screamingly funny) and sets about his life-mission. It's a charming and fresh take on a simple idea, lovingly executed by a small cast. Kiss ALL the girls! But only one can win his heart. Ticked all the boxes and made for a cinematic storytelling highlight. Fairytale-esque.
Applause! Wow, there's some choice work that's as Cormack McCarthy as it is Peter Jackson. This film opens with some rough & raw close-ups and it keeps the good hits coming. The colours in muted tones, the fabulously suggestive isolated location, and wow the child-acting. Dare I say it's better than the film's only speaking adult! This one's got great cinematography, tense dialogue and timing, smart but insidious kids and totally believable special effects. A treat to be made in this much time and clearly a genre curve-ball that took the team off-guard. Here's the zombie film we ALL want to make where the tough survive and who that is might just surprise you. Loved it, got the cinema murmuring before the applause. Beautifully balanced.
There were plenty of things to like about this film, and it started the heats off with some of the mixed successes of a rushed and stressful competition. The (end of the world) film starts with a "found footage" feeling which is totally the right thing for this team to be doing. There's some good shots - brilliant shots - from the guilty man's use of line to the marvelous ending shot through a pantry door. This film's got forced acting, awkward cuts and a serious under-utilisation of a fabulous location. But essentially it's the zombie film we _all_ have to make at this stage, and I applaud ASHS for doing it with more style than I ever did. The tension builds with character death, and to make a semi-serious short with zombies in it and some attempt at a story arc - that's commendable. Well done guys and I would like to see more.
Stop-motion, always an impressive and difficult choice.
This is a beautifully made set with some good life between the two (alive) characters. I do like the early shot of the plane flying by the full moon - sets a scene and introduces a fairly tense premise: a whodunnit on a plane! Alas, it's missing the engagement and grit of a good crime film, and fails to keep its location interesting by cutting away. Didn't catch the slow-mo, too bad. Good additional sound.
You Only F(?) Once?
I really liked this movie. It was a young team in a heat of young teams, and I had my doubts. I leaned back in my chair, and YOFO surprised me.
From the captivating and brilliantly executed printer-installation montage through to the magnificent sharp-turn-towards-evil, YOFO had me guessing and mystified. This film is not as tight as it could be, and the acting is not consistent across the cast. But there are moments of wonderful imagery, whole scenes of engaging storytelling, and the timing (for the most part) is masterful beyond the young crew's years. I scrawled down that the use of prop was excellent too, but I can't quite remember why. Whatever it was, Printivity left a mark in my memory and I hope to see more of this team soon.
This one stands out. It's a cute but incredibly well-supported film with a few original ideas and mind-bogglingly stupendous cinematography. Seriously. Who shot this movie? It's amazing. I have to wonder with the young cast if we have a young
Now that's said... I can't have been the only one that felt that "dance" was a bit of an add-on here. The challenge of dance/musical is that it completely upends the production process, and it would have been nice to see some more ambition and effort in that department.
I have to wonder how late things went to get this film disqualified, but the fact remains that shooting and editing this in a week would have been quite an achievement. The action flows beautifully from one shot to the next, and the timing as comic elements are revealed is bang-on. Would be great to see this top-notch production take on the finals next year. Make another movie!
I'm a sucker for a training montage.
A young team with an immature plot but a knack for storytelling. A lovable main character who evokes all shades of emotion from the crowd, great work with building up our appreciation for him then destroying it, and more than one time. Use of line executed with remarkable timing. Guys! Keep making films!
I'll be honest. This film's team-intro is the best I have ever seen. It's amazing. I could not look away.
Combining 'One Shot' with 'END OF THE FREAKING WORLD' is an ambitious goal for any team. Ten trucks has a few years doing this behind them, but I still *had* to wonder if they were up to it. And yep, they are.
Ten trucks are always funny and they have a knack for timing. Some of the timing skill didn't translate to the ruthless challenge of one-shot, but hey - some of it did! Our unlucky protagonist has a great moment of almost getting lucky... then, of course... spectacular unluck.
A strong, captivating and unapologetically ambitious film. I'd have loved to see a location change, but the team did well with what they had.
And the intro was spectacular.