melpentecost

About me: 
Contributing to the spirit of 48hours! Aiming to review based on how teams approached the challenge, not just the final quality of the films. twitter: @melpentecost

History

Member for
5 years 9 months

A Hal-like computer system (represented by a metal circle on the wall) is becoming a nuisance for the lady who lives in the house. He’s full of facts and often pipes up at inappropriate times. Some nice shots in this film, (I spotted some cool focus pulls) and nice performances from the cast. I can’t remember the ending though. Did she just unplug it? The team certainly has some skills.

Hey, cool ending. I didn’t see it coming. A guy is just sitting on the couch in his house. His sister says something about him not doing anything. Hard to say because as already mentioned, the sound was difficult. Some ladies come to visit and gossip about their night out. A chair randomly appears on the stairs.

Am I allowed to say what the shock ending is? I’m gonna. Turns out it was the Sims! It was a shame about the sound, especially since the track they used in the background was incredibly repetitive, presumably because that’s like the music from the Sims. Look forward to seeing what they do next year.

OK. I’m writing this after i’ve read the team comment, so I’ll save on any genre thing. What I will say is that the editing was pretty damn tight and the use of breadsticks was… constant. I did wonder halfway through if I was watching sweet skating tricks and just don’t have the street nouse to know that. Maybe? If so. Sweet.

Tiger Mom wants her daughter to be internet famous and there’s a gap in the market for death metal kids. Nice to see a short where the women shine. Both tiger mom and dance teacher gave some excellent performances and delivered some sweet comedic writing which really made the film work and the kid was delightful. Yeah, it went down the mockumentary road (and I get the feeling a lot of other teams will do that) but it did so knowing what a rockumentary is. A solid effort from a solid team

Nice team intro. The film seemed like a pretty standard 48hour interpretation of romance but right at the end it turned icky as it turned out the pair flirting in the waiting room were at a venereal disease clinic. Not a lot of dialogue, more cute interactions between the pair.
RomCom is hard in this competition- realistically it’s not like the audience is going to actually be invested in the relationship, let alone find it funny, unless you twist it somehow. The team made a clever decision to have most of the action unfold in one location and in a short space of time, but the real laughs happened when the (beautiful) credits rolled and we watched our lovers’ happily-ever-after manifest into festering sores. I felt that they had nice twist but it just happened too late in the story.

A cute kid messes with an AI system and everyone dies. Kid grows up to become a gnarled tracker-type seemingly destined to live on the earth alone. But the AI system is lying to him. This is shaping up to be one of the best genres in the competition. We all know the premise but how each team makes that into a story is really interesting- and this team had a cool interpretation, if a little ambitious. The film needed a bit more music and more imagery to convey isolation which would have helped when we got to the climax. The ‘soylent green’ ending was pretty cool.

A had a pretty good chuckle at this one. Two guys find a girl’s body in a clearing and proceed to ascertain the cause of death. They go through a few theories when the girl wakes up. Turns out they aren’t actually professional crime solvers, just gardeners. Nice comedic acting, tidy cinematography and quite popular with the audience.

Three cash-strapped flatmates are playing video games when someone comes to the door asking to buy drugs. They don’t have any drugs but need the money and so end up selling oregano. The herbs are popular and pretty soon the flat has quite the enterprise. The funny storyline was supported with a variety of well-framed shots, including a sweet one-take scene. when the flat frantically tries to dispose of their stash. Although the ending didn’t really fit with the story they built, it was a tidy effort from a team in a pretty strong heat

A thickly kiwi accented voice waxes lyrical about the beauty and horror of life, mostly to a black screen. We were warned about strobing for this film, which came mostly from series of quick cuts of images. A duck. Some flowers. More black screen. Then the images get notably darker in nature. Man with bag over head. Flesh sliced. I don’t know what the film was called because it was in Japanese- which kind of made me expect a film in that style. Certainly different from any of the other films. My interpretation was that we were entering into the mind of a Saw-like villain. Could be wrong.

Creeped out by dolls? Probably not the film for you. A guy is looking up how to open gateways to hosts and attempts to do so himself but is interrupted. He visits his friend but is followed by a creepy ghost girl. Some beautifully framed wide shots added to the tension and overall scary vibe, but I got more of a horror vibe than Cat-and Mouse. Still, damn, that last shot actually made me jump

A man is piecing together some kind of conspiracy. There are flashbacks to him discussing his theories with a therapist. There is a book called ‘Thoughts’ by Harper Harrison and it contains an image of footprint. Which I think was important because the guy found a shoe. And it turned out he was being filmed all along. Maybe the team got a bit overwhelmed, maybe they didn’t read the genre right. Either way, I thought the cover of the book looked pretty swish and a lot of effort went into the conspiracy board.

Two professional men work on jobs collecting packages. Drugs? I don’t know for sure. The film opens to Harrison lying on his back probably near death and he shares a smoke with his friend. We learn that they used to be a good team until the friend got a girlfriend. We return to moments before the opening shot. It’s a job. Turns out there was a screaming-female-hostage-that-is-not-a-package tied up in a closet. Harrison is about to shoot her when the friend jumps in, wrestles the gun and gets shot himself. Harrison gets up, shoots the screaming-female-hostage-that-is-not-a-package anyway. Pretty dark ending with a good performance from the lead. It felt like they really wanted to do something Tarantino-ish and squeezed a considered storyline into the buddy genre. Some good technical ability. Look forward to seeing what they’ll do next.

We open to two friends sitting in a lounge littered with tissues, moisturiser and a copy of the Fault in Our Stars. They log onto a live “ogling” site and see that a hot girl has been attacked with a bread bag. They decide to save her cos she’s hot and get their nerdy friend to help them find her, which he does. After some skateboarding they end up at outside Nosh where the villain pretty easily fights them with bread. The girl manages to fight off the villain, but alas, she likes girls.
The match shots were really nice and the group looked to have a lot of fun. Despite the teen-boyishness they managed to get a good little story together.

A woman is interviewing the former flatmate of a crazy scientist and they are trying to get to the bottom of a terrible event. The footage that remains is of the scientist’s video logs as he documents his creation of a superbeer. He drinks his creations and surprisingly the drink results in him shitting out different types of bread. Then the beer explodes and takes over the world. Not really on genre but the bread stools got a few laughs.

One flatmate is annoying the two others and the last straw is when she eats the last slice of toast. Annoying flatmate is stabbed. To death. The surviving flatmates figure they have to hide the body. I can’t remember where they actually hid it though- was it just upstairs? The non-murdering flatmate starts to go crazy and suggests a change of scene. End film.
Good effort and fun performances from what appeared to be a small team

Um, do I need to preface this with a spoiler warning?

Let’s get this out in the open. We know a shock ending is coming so it’s going to super-hard for any team to pull off an actual shock, right? It would be unfair for anyone in the audience to judge team’s film by whether or not you were surprised. But you can look at how well they string people along and fool them into following an alternative storyline.

They way this team did that was to create a heavy-handed sitcom style to distract us. Good move. Harrison wakes up, greets his family downstairs before heading to work. Fake laughter, saccharine dialogue, over-the-top characters and even a cheesy opening sequence all add to the sitcom we’re invested in. Harrison gets to work and we start to get a sense that all is not well. By the time Harrison gets home again it appears he’s in debt. The film ends with a zoom out of the sitcom playing on a monitor hooked up to the real Harrison, unconscious and surrounded by his worried and real-life family.

Overall, a clever strategy, but the film started about 3 times (he wakes up, he goes to work, the sitcom sequence starts), and the fake laughter was too annoying too quickly- although I presume that was building up to the ending. Despite that, I enjoyed the teams approach to the challenge. Even if we couldn’t be ‘shocked’ I doubt people would have accurately predicted the ending.

Guy makes bread. Bread is evil. ‘Oh yeah’ we think. But wait. Turns out this is the opening sequence for a video game! We cut to an 8-bit title sequence and must now battle a series of breadators- streetfighter style. Near the end, the hero flashes back to when his celiac family is killed from a mass gluten poisoning. He gains the strength to defeat the last breadator. Super fun and super puns. So many puns! Nice work putting the 8-bit sequences together and well received by the audience. Liked the team intro too.

An Asian hotel worker is insulted by two basic white chicks. She seeks revenge after consulting Kim Jong Un and lures them to a poisoned nutella sandwich with a trail of starbucks. It’s a hard genre to nail is ol’ black comedy. Comedy was definitely there “converse? keds? instagram?’ but the darkness not so much. Props to an all female team who could go far with some more technical experience. Plus -first Gloriavale reference in the Auckland heats.

A British wannabe journalist/wannabe groupie finds a Beatles cover-band and gives them a rock make-over. Great performance and commitment from the leading character who finds herself interfering with the career of the band rather than objectively reporting. A little too long and the team went straight to subverting rockumentary into mockumentary (it will be interesting to see if other teams do the same) without really respecting conventions. Still, a good knock at getting a story in place. I hope they keep entering.

This art-school (I say that with love) piece featured an Eraserhead-eqsue score, bold cinematography and hand-written text in place of dialogue. Pretty sure the story was that a man is mistaken as the leader of a bread-cult, maybe because he kept eating sliced bread from the gutter? He is followed by people wearing mumus. They eat unsliced bread. Featured a cool time lapse of pigeons eating bread off the leader as he lay on the ground. Maybe not on genre, but I appreciated the style and guts required to get this film made on time.

Harper is filming a video diary and posting them to YouTube- not that anyone’s watching. He feeds ducks, marks the time passing using breadbags and a stapler, and works on his personal theory that the ‘dark beast’ is the reason for the mass extinction. About the time he discovers he is immortal, he gets a view on one his videos and a message to meet him in ‘the clearing’. Turns out some aliens are coming to abduct him back home because he’s been so useless.
CUE DRONE SHOT OF ALIEN LANDING! While it could have done with different locations, it looked like the team had a heap of fun making it and there were some nice performances and jokes.

A man sits in his living room wearing a wife-beater. A creepy child places a red sticker on a window. Over the course of the film, these red stickers pop up everywhere and the man becomes increasingly stressed out. A final red sticker is picked up off the road and we hear sounds of a car crash. Not sure why the lead actor’s lines were subtitled. Some nice tracking shots and lighting, plus a clever idea of burning/haunting ‘oh really’ into the toast. Tension built up throughout and it was pretty creepy- perhaps just a little long.

Noir was the style of this tidy animation. Is the breadman cheating on his on his croissant lady? She complains ‘you never spread me like that anymore’ but it turns out he’s always loved her. I think that was the story at least- mostly I was in awe that this was a lovely animated piece. In a short space of time they celebrated noir with accents and music that the audience clearly enjoyed.

Part 1:
This was audience favourite and with good reason. We laughed. We were grossed out. We cared about the characters. We totally felt the time pressure of the genre. The stress ball was used effectively. Nailed. It.

Our leading lady is told by a doctor that her fertility depends on her unusual superova which will explode in -exactly- 24 hours. So she set about getting pregnant.

Absolutely the best acting I’ve seen so far. Lovely, lovely, lovely cinematography punctuated with clever editing tricks. (That last part where you could see the clocks above the ladies in the waiting room? Sweet.)

I really appreciated the city setting- a nice break from the flats and suburbs. They took that genre and owned it. Solid story and script. Nice twisted-twist ending.

Part 2:
I’m separating this part because I don’t want to take away from the merits of the film overall. Here goes…

So it was pretty rapey.

It didn’t put rape in a positive light nor promote it, but it did justify it. Afterwards people outside were discussing their voting and I could hear that people were a bit conflicted.

(Full disclosure: I voted for Chess Club first -because I assisted their team-, Eggspiry second because it was a great film, and I truly can not remember now what I voted for third)

Now Cranklespank are obviously smart and talented people. If it was just one rapey bit then maybe the audience wouldn’t have minded, but the motivation of the characters depends on non-consent. We aren’t made to laugh AT it but it is there.

The problem I have is this: The film is going to go far. It’s a great short and it deserves to. But there are hundreds of 48hours teams with varying skill levels, abilities and most importantly- maturity. Some of those teams are school aged. The film will more than likely end up on YouTube or similar online screening room.

Should a team with less ability/skill/maturity see Eggspiry Date succeed and then conclude that rape is an ok subject matter to deal with then it gets messy. Personally, I don't want to see rape irresponsibly handled on screen and I really don’t want younger teams spending a weekend filming shit like that.

This isn’t Crankle’s problem. It rests on the judges.

Alright, I had to say that… thanks for reading.

These guys showed some serious scripting potential. I’m assuming this is a school team that approached the weekend by attempting to use a story and conventions which are classically seen in longer film.

It’s hard to do that with a film conceived and created in two days. Our main character is having a hard time. His sister keeps telling him he’s dumb and draws a sad face on a ball. The ball becomes a life coach. Cool.

There is something at stake and there is some actual exposition.. He wants to enter an academy for gifted people and receives a letter saying he’s got an interview. We want really want him to get in. Plus his hero is superman so when he finds out that he is in, he runs down the street in a cape.

I hope they keep entering. There are good instincts here and I would love to see them nail a story pace that fits 7 mins or less.

Morgan is a type of jester with a magic ball. The ball does special effects. I think he recruits people on an adventure but then he disappoints them. There were some playful sequences of people-and a dog- following Morgan like he’s a pied piper.

Oh my god though, I thought the music was annoying. There’s something about having a music supplier for the competition that gives teams a false confidence. You still have to think about how all the pieces fit together. Maybe something went wrong with recording sound on the day? Who knows. Cheese and Quakalacas did attempt to break it up with two tracks.

But a damn good crack at the genre. And some sweet credits.

Well this is interesting isn't it! I am a little late entering a review and I am surprised to see this film is rather polarising.

We begin with two girls reading a book, so I’m thinking to myself “oh hey, princess bride is a cool way to handle fantasy’ but then this is Mystery or Puzzle and a parallel story narrative is more Film within a Film. Then we get into a CSI story, which somehow related to people running around Auckland in costume. I was confused. So many genres. That’s why I’m not rating it as highly as other people here.

However, big shot outs to a team that had the spirit to utlise locations and sweet costumes. This looked like a fun project to part of. They should totally enter again. concentrate on genre and on making a clearer story we can follow.

This was bold. Like, art school bold. Rad.

Mistaken identity was handled well. Tilly Peel has some sort of inane made up job where he has to wear a name badge, but Morgan Foster wants his job and simple swaps name tags. The ‘arty’ stuff was seen in the playful, neon-ish costumes and attempted set-dressing. Maybe more time could have spent on harmonising shots and script and less on edits.

Ok, so it needed better sound and it felt extremely long. I’m sure some people thought it was weird, but I totally dug the modern aesthetic and surrealism of it. Films that are brave enough go off the beaten path should always be a part of 48hours.

Afterwards I was compelled to entered ‘Tilly Peel’ into an anagram solver. Nothing came back though...

A nice interpretation of the genre. Morgan is a John Campbell type presenter of a Target show. He hires an actor on the pretense that he’ll just be filming reenactments. Except, that the actor is actually set up as the target of a false story. Clever.

I sensed the team felt defeated a by the Film within a Film genre, but the result was entertaining albeit heavy-handed. The ‘blokey’ characters felt real and the TV presenter was sufficiently sleazy. Also, an actual ECU- Boom.

A ball gets kicked. Turns out it has feelings and googly eyes. So it sets out to use one of two flatmates to execute revenge.

Cats Behind the Camera are a team that could kill it with more experience and practice. There was some really nice timing, a solid script and solid acting. I dunno about the Revenge genre though. There was a vengeful character for sure, but it needed more genre nods to get to the next level.

They really seemed to think about how they could actually entertain the audience. I had genuine LOL’s. It would be really interesting to see these guys get some confidence and technical ability-then go big.

Alice in Wonderland-esque, we follow two main characters who for some reason absolutely have to give the queen a thing. And rhyme. A hippie caterpillar in a car cocoon asks why, but I don’t remember the answer.

The film got some laughs with the caterpillar and I thought that using the liar character as a riddler on the journey was clever given the theme the team went with. I don’t mind that they went boldly on a theme because even though they didn’t nail it, they stuck with it. Why not I say. It looked like people had fun playing weird characters and editing a creepy-ass dinner sequence.

Turns out the queen (who is blue, not red) wanted the thing for her table. But here the film got long and you could tell the filmmakers were themselves in a race against losing light. Perhaps messy and confusing but some pretty decent performances and nifty costume use.

Wait, ‘rhyme’ rhymes with ‘time’. Did I get it?

Hey cool, a film with actual character development! Shout outs to the scriptwriters.

A sullen kid has to stay with his uncle who dances all over the farm. We watch the kid, (and we do watch him because of a skillful use of wordlessness) as he grows fond of his uncle.

A key scene takes place where the kid listens to his uncle’s headphones at the dining table. When the audience finally heard the music you could sense everyone bopping along. Nice.

The film was set up with a decent beginning and a middle, but not the ending we needed. The kid just leaves happy. I was hoping for a… prom night. The audience was with it the whole way but we didn’t get that final dance genre pay off.

Great use of location and a super-good crack at building a story for a dance film.

Teens and horror are a pretty good combo and I get the feeling this team had a great time making this. I’m going to assume this is school team.

The story is set with an outcast teen being rejected by the ‘jock’ basketballers on the courts. Our main character takes his own life and horror ensues as he then takes out revenge.

This had sort of a weird ending and I couldn’t quite follow what actually happened, maybe because the sound levels were off. The horror bits were sufficiently creepy, but difficult to read and the film would have lifted into something special if they had used better music to amp it up. For example juxtaposing music would have helped move the plot along, cemented the characters and made the scary stuff pop.

I hope these guys keep entering. I got a sense of real technical potential and enjoyment of exploring a genre. Sweet team intro and were one of the few teams that had actual ECU.

Ah Rom Com. Romantic comedies need time to build tension between characters, which is hard to achieve in a short. Plus you have to make it funny, you know, if you want it to be a comedy. Full disclosure, this is always my least favourite genre to watch. Teams seem to fall back on cliche and stereotypes.

But not these guys! Mad props for attempting to subvert this genre. I appreciated it.

“Meet me at the altar” turns out be a pun because our couple are not getting married. No no, they are just casually sacrificing people which drew some nice laughs from the audience. The sacrificing goes awry and instead of summoning the demon they intended, they get they underworld god of lies.

I wished the team had filmed outside of the one location, but overall, sweet and satanic with a nice performance from the demon.

The recipe for the treatment of the time travel genre in ‘Letters in Regret’ combined flavours of both Momento and Early Edition.

The film opens with Morgan writing to himself ‘Don’t let her leave’ and we see him and a lady argue. She seems to die. Is it his fault? Probably. Someone is leaving notes on his doormat. Is it is him from the future? Ah yes, that would make sense.

The genre was handled well given what looked like a film made on limited resources. Sound issues let it down as the audience couldn’t quite hear the crucial exposition of the story. I wondered if these guys felt like genre was too hard for them, but the team should feel pretty proud of how they tackled it.

These guys took out the school prize last year with ‘Good Intentions’ and this year they showed some chops again, especially in the photography department, with some beautiful focus pulls and well composed shots. Set largely in one house, the main plot was centered around a guy (pretty sure that was Morgan Foster), taking pills and confusing his claustrophobic reality. Sound was used to convey the main character’s confusion in a similar fashion to the movie Pi.

I was totally impressed with these guys and I hope they keep entering. The fantasy genre is hard and I think that got the better of them (nailing genre is a big factor in my ratings). But add the great technical intuition they have with solid scripting, confidence and better understanding of genre beats, and Bootypoppers should easily move out of the category ‘a school team’. Also, sweet credits.

http://www.mediadesignschool.com/blog/entry/bootypoppers-take-school-pri...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pi_(film)