Friday, 11 February 2011


Hi All

Here are some thoughts on your fantastic film. I have pulled out some of the real strengths (of which there are many) and also one or two areas where you can make improvements with a some small tweks and a bit of planning.

Music is brilliant throughout. I love the way the beat kicks in at the start, straight away setting up for the audience an anticipation that some action/excitement is en route.

There are a couple of problems with the titles.

'CANDI films presents' comes in too early at the start, as does the film title. Remember if you are going for the 'titles over the beginining of the film' structure, then these titles shouldn't get in the way of important contextualising information or action (think of The Stepfather, you wouldn't put a title over the bit where we see the delivery guy cancelling the newspaper order would you? The audience might not get that important info if you did).

In your opening shot the audience have got a lot to take in, where is it set, who are these characters, what are they doing... In this type of structure think about how the titles can fit in around important bits of story information and any action, that way they dont interfere with the narrative and can also be taken in by the audience. A brilliant example of how to do this is later in the prelim, where you have that fantastic dutch angle exposition shot of the canteen. There is the perfect gap in action in the narrative and also the perfect screen space to fit in the text.

 Please also be careful that the colour of the font works on the background, the second one gets a bit lost in the white and is difficult to read (you could also slow the animation down a bit too that would help). I dont mind the font you have chosen, it is quite neutral. Do please remember to give consideration to this choice in your film, think back to the lesson we did on fonts and what they say about the film.

The opening match cuts of the conversation work really well, the acting is fantastic (throughout) and this helps the shots match up well as you get the feeling of an animated conversation. However please be careful with the framing, there is much too much dead space (on the right of frame in the shot of Fatama, and on the left of screen on the shot of Ethel). With the titles let's have one person doing each job too, you wouldn't get four editors working on a movie the pizza bill alone would bankrupt the film.

Footsteps too loud! Much too loud. Subtelty is the key with soundscapes. Take one minute just to listen to the sounds you can here in whatever spsace you are in now...

Cars, background chatter, an aeroplane, a workman using a circular saw on a building site, air conditioning and some footsteps getting quieter as they move away from where I am sitting. Try to build these up in layers in the edit to build a soundscape that feels 'real' you will be amazed at how real this makes the world of the film seem.

Again love that musical change as they walk in, the job is on here we go, perfect great choice. (This is where that perfectly placed and positioned title comes in ('Fatama Begum'). Back to titles for a moment, what is going on with the ordering?? Please refer back to you notes this is small point but an important one there is a very stricly adhered to ordering which begins, distributor, producer, stars, film title, co-stars and so on...

Good POV from Ethel's perspective, and also good cut to the closer shot of what she is looking at. Maybe a bit too close though (or perhaps they are sitting a bit too far away) I think Ethel would need x-ray eyes to see the till that close from such a distance!

The two shots of Amy from behind the till are a bit too similar, try to get more of a distinctive difference between your shot types and angles (as you have done elsewhere). Excellent POV shot looking down at the teacakes, very unusual and original angle which makes it an obvious POV and work successfully. I think you could cut slightly less shots together in this sequence. That POV I mentioned is a perfect shot for the titles to come over well done, but slow down the editing a bit here, give the audience time to read the title over just that one shot.

There is a jump cut here where we have another POV that tilts up to reveal E and F at the tables. these shots are just too similar (shot type and angle) and this is what causes the 'jump'. I think that one POV is enough here, two feels a little bit like overkill, again think subtelty, controlled and appropriate use of interesting angles, effects etc. Less is more in most cases.

Very good use of that metallic sounding drone, which works to build up the suspense, anticipation and excitement. This scene again very well acted, and also some notable match cuts, gun being drawn. (I note that the close up of the gun being drawn is actually across the 180 degree line but actually because it is such a big close up I think it still works, do be careful with staying on one side of the line though this could cause continuity problems if you are not careful).

Props, great you got a gun but you didn't have the takings (cash from the till). I know it's just the prelim, but do note how important these are to telling the story well and make sure you have all the relevant props and cotumes you require for you film.

During the getaway you build up the pace of the editing and also the music to very good effect.

Excellent job on this prelim you have clearly thought about what you wanted to do beforehand and carefully planned the filming to execute on that. Very well edited also, with close attention to detail, both pictures and sound. Please keep focused on the jobs that the titles do and how these are integrated within the opening sequence. Please also keep in mind that you are making only the first two minutes of a feature length film (not a two minute short film) and what functions the film needs to fulfill in those two minutes (establishing location, characters, a (sub)genre, creating an enigma or suspense).

Well done this prelim film is technically good and very entertaining.


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