Topic: STAR: Crisis Reverted

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Crisis Reverted [STAR entry]

http://www.stopmotioncentral.com/ancientbricks/crisis_reverted/images/cr_pstr490.jpg

Vimeo [1500kbps WMV source]
YouTube Playlist (3 parts) [1500kbps WMV source]

Here's my and PWC's entry for the STAR contest [April-July 2009].  It was our first co-production, working across the Atlantic [USA & Netherlands] which seems an amazing feat to an old guy like me.  The film takes place in essentially two different locations which made divvying up the work easier.  I animated the 27th Century scenes while PWC did the 33rd Century.  PWC doesn't have the "Conan O'Brien" hair, so we had to write a bit into the script about the Cadet needing a haircut to better look the part of a 33rd Century crewman.

This film was inspired by Isaac Asimov's novel "The End of Eternity" (c) 1955 which I had just begun reading when STAR was announced.  In homage, there are 7 references to planets or characters from Asimov's novels in this film.  Any Asimov fans want to try to list them?  There's also a reference to 30 Rock and Seinfeld.

Thanks, Smeagol and team for pulling off a cool STAR Film Festival to premiere all the entries.

Given that the end credits are a bit hard to read in the film, here they are: 

Crisis
Reverted

Written and directed by
AncientBricks
&
PdoubleyouC


Story inspired by
Isaac Asimov’s
novel
“The End of Eternity”
© 1955


Starring
========
AncientBricks
as
Administrator
Buchanan

PdoubleyouC
as
Cadet Spaceman


Also Starring
=============
AncientBricks
as
The Thirsty Crewman

Dr. Lovely, M.D.
as
Rose

Dr. Lovely, M.D.
as
33rd Century Ship’s Computer

Dr. Melissa, M.D.
as
Time Lab Countdown


Film Editing &
Sound Design by
AncientBricks

Trailer Editing by
PdoubleyouC

Casting by
AncientBricks


Filmed in
=========
The U.S.A.
(27th Century footage)
  &
The Netherlands
(33rd Century footage)


United States Crew
==================
Animation by
AncientBricks

Set Design by
AncientBricks

Set Construction by
AncientBricks
NewBricks (Ethan)
Olivia
Madeline

Patience by
wife & kids


Netherlands Crew
================
Animation by
PdoubleyouC

Set Design & Construction by
PdoubleyouC

Camera Provided by
Dad

Patience by
Parents,
Katherine &
Mieko the bad dog


Title & End Credits Theme:
“No Man’s Land”
(Title and End Credits)
Written & performed by
Alpha Wave Movement
From the album
“A Distanct Signal”
© 2001
Available at CDbaby.com
Used with permission.


Sound Effects from FreeSound.org
(Creative Commons Licenses):
•Time Travel by aarondbaron
•Footsteps by petrasound
•Intercom Beep by HerbertBoland
•Metal Thump by jobro
•Squeaky Cart by FreqMan
•Alarm by Regenpak
•Metal Creaking by epolk & sonsdebarcelona
•Breaking glass by mikaelfernstrom
•Future Computers by suonho

All other sound effects by
AncientBricks

Explosion fireball video clips from
DetonationFilms.com

Saturn painting courtesy of NASA
(public domain image)


Special thanks to these creators of free animation & video software:
-Martin Prince [HeliumFrog]
-Avery Lee [VirtualDub]
-David Perry [MonkeyJam]
-Stefan (YellowHead Studios) [Scroller]
-Stefano Cinque [MPEG Streamclip]
-Hauke Lasinger [CSMC]


Thanks to God the Creator, Melissa, Charlie V., Smeagol, Gregory Kyryluk, everyone from the BricksInMotion.com forums, Zorg O. at StopMotionCentral.com, Alan Silberberg at You2Gov.org, Leo, Rubino’s Pizza


This film was inspired by and made for
BricksInMotion.com’s
STAR Animation Contest
(April 13 - July 26, 2009)


Crisis Reverted
by
AncientBricks & PdoubleyouC
© 2009 
All rights reserved.

Last edited by AncientBricks (September 10, 2009 (04:12pm))

Re: STAR: Crisis Reverted

Another strong STAR entry  mini/smile

Technical aspects were great, your sets were particularly impressive.  The best part of this film I thought though, was the story and script.  Out of all the time travelling films made, this one was the most clear and well thought out.  The only problem I had was with the pacing.  Pacing is hard for any film, but especially one that is a significant length like this one.  It felt pretty slow at some points.

But I think this is one of the most well rounded of all the entries.  BTW I loved the sound design for the ship exploding mini/lol

Re: STAR: Crisis Reverted

I was waiting for this one the most, funny yet I felt sad when the spaceship blew up, the first brickfilm I have seen that changed my emotions.

welp
Formerly LegoDudez

Re: STAR: Crisis Reverted

Yes the pace was a bit drawn out, but try watching 2001. Very enjoyable from the opening titles to the great sets.
I didn't like the trailer much for this (it was good but not my taste) but the film was terrific.
Special mention to the awesome mouth made sound fx.
I really liked this one. Great work people, well played!

CrimStories

Other:  DOTBW      Take Out      Crime Stories      Cyclic     YouTube

Re: STAR: Crisis Reverted

mini/smile

Really great work, i absoloutely loved it. Or most of it.... Can i have a link to part 3 please?

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Re: STAR: Crisis Reverted

The Time machine had an awesome design . And the thirsty crewmans pretzel bag had no reflection of the camera. Pretty much everything was great. Another great STAR entry.

Re: STAR: Crisis Reverted

I know a lot more people who are working across the ocean (Filmyguy and Me for example)

''You don't have to tell him how great is coffee is man!''

Re: STAR: Crisis Reverted

I love it...that was awesome...good job...

Re: STAR: Crisis Reverted

Love the Asimov (not as much as the Heinlein, but close enough).
Excellent film with good pacing.
And I appreciated test results list mini/wink

Re: STAR: Crisis Reverted

Thanks everyone for the kind comments.  I'm glad to hear people are enjoying it.

The slow pacing was a conscious choice, to make it feel more like an old fashioned TV sci-fi show, like a Twilight Zone or Alfred Hitchcock.  I often feel that many brickfilms, given the challenges of stop-mo, often fly by too quickly.  I was going for the opposite effect, very relaxed pacing, let you sit in there and soak up their world a bit, enjoy being there for a while.   

I also wanted to make a film with a storyline and plot you could sink your teeth into, and with plenty of dialog to allow a little character development.  So I'm pleased to hear that some found the story and the script some of the film's best points.  Obviously, the visual effects are pretty simple, so as we were making the film, we were hoping the strength of the story would carry it.  And hopefully the animation was just good enough not to detract from the telling of the story.  Our 13 pages of script turned into a 15 minute films (almost exactly 1 page per minute, isn't that like a rule-of-thumb?)

Glad to hear someone liked the explosion sounds, I was hoping they wouldn't sound too obviously "mouth made".  mini/smile

Leftfielder wrote:

Love the Asimov (not as much as the Heinlein, but close enough).

I've never read any Heinlein, may have to take a break from the Foundation Series and give him a try.  I must admit that I prefer Asimov's Robot series to Foundation.  And I loved the campiness of iRobot. 

Leftfielder wrote:

And I appreciated test results list mini/wink

Ah, you recognized some of the names on the list then?  mini/smile  Cool.

Re: STAR: Crisis Reverted

AncientBricks wrote:

I often feel that many brickfilms, given the challenges of stop-mo, often fly by too quickly.  I was going for the opposite effect, very relaxed pacing, let you sit in there and soak up their world a bit, enjoy being there for a while.

Despite that, I felt the begin could have been done a little differently, like a narrative rather than a reading of text.  Had I not been patient, I'd have closed the video at the 2 minute mark out of lack of interest.  But after all those backstory stuff, it got me interested.

http://i59.tinypic.com/30wukua.png

Re: STAR: Crisis Reverted

My friend Chuck D decided to share the following ideas with me about where CR went wrong and where it could go for a sequel or prequel.  I thought it was pretty genius and hilarious:

Chuck D wrote:

Could they train a dog to take the Coke can off the counter and throw it in the trash?

And what was Spaceman planning to do when he left the room? Mingle with the natives? "Hi! I'm from the past. My life-altering mission was to move a can of Coke 4 inches to the right. What do you do?"

And when they send the Elijah guy next, will Spaceman still be there prior to the meltdown? If they failed attempt after attempt, would there
ultimately be 40 cadets in the room when they continue to make efforts? At that point, the machine would be stopped by running into idiot cadets and the meltdown averted. Either that, or the machine is strong and powerful enough to gore through all the bodies into a blood bath. I'd watch that!

What I really want to see is the Spaceman Files. A volume of episodes about what Spaceman does in the future once the crisis is actually averted and he spends the rest of his life there. When is that release?

You know what Buchanan should do? Deliver fresh pretzels. Oh, but the can was already there. And crisis remains unreverted. Dang!

Why doesn't Buchanan send intercept for the stray meteLEGOr that hits the ship? Can he find someone to blow it up? Or alter its path?

I also want to see the prequel...Spaceman Flunks Astrophysics: The College Years

So many possibilities!!!!

Re: STAR: Crisis Reverted

Loved that, it was excellently paced, unlike some other Brickfilms that seem to go by in a flash. The only thing that annoyed me slightly was that some of the character dialogue involved no animation for several seconds, and there was the odd bit of light flicker.

And could your friend get me some signed albums?

http://www.brickshelf.com/gallery/COTB/FunkyJunk/RUMBLE/1.jpg

Re: STAR: Crisis Reverted

Rich wrote:

Loved that, it was excellently paced, unlike some other Brickfilms that seem to go by in a flash.

That's exactly what we were going for pacing-wise.  Glad you liked it.

Rich wrote:

The only thing that annoyed me slightly was that some of the character dialogue involved no animation for several seconds, and there was the odd bit of light flicker.

I admit that animating the long dialog scenes was quite challenging.  Some of the dialog really suggested some movements, but much of it didn't, and I didn't want to err in the direction of too much arm waving during dialog that can show up in brickfilms.  I'm still undecided about the "small shaking" approach to dialog in a brickfilm, where the minifig sort of wiggles around a tiny bit while he's talking, whether I prefer that approach to dialog over a still minifig.

As for the light flicker, don't forget there was a gyrating warp core on the other side of the room that was bound to flash and flicker constantly.  That's a plausible excuse, right? mini/smile  Perhaps animators who really struggle with light flicker should just have all their films set around warp cores or bonfires so the flicker actually works FOR them, not against them.

Rich wrote:

And could your friend get me some signed albums?

Are you asking for signed comedy records by my friend?  I'm afraid you lost me.

Re: STAR: Crisis Reverted

Another great STAR entry with a great plot.
Well done although PdoubleyouC hardly did any animation for this movie.

Re: STAR: Crisis Reverted

CRAP, I forgot to post how awesome this film is!
I loved it so much, the voice acting was great. I loved the special effects. The animation was great, too.
This has a good chance of winning.
Awesome job. (BTW, I loved the trailer.)

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Re: STAR: Crisis Reverted

HomerBall wrote:

...although PdoubleyouC hardly did any animation for this movie.

PWC did all the animation in the 33rd century ship.  Quantity-wise it was less than the 27th century scenes that I did, but difficulty-wise, I'd say his shots were more challenging to animate: shaking room, rotating and falling can, cart flipping over the rail, broom flying into the warp core, warp core melting down.  That's arguably more difficult than animating walks and a lot of dialog, which is mostly what I did.


JKAnimation wrote:

CRAP, I forgot to post how awesome this film is!   I loved it so much, the voice acting was great. I loved the special effects. The animation was great, too.  This has a good chance of winning.
Awesome job. (BTW, I loved the trailer.)

Well, we didn't win, but were excited to come in 3rd.  Glad you liked it, JK. mini/smile

Re: STAR: Crisis Reverted

Saw this flick today. It absolutely blew me away! I thought everything was stunning. The script was brilliant, I thought it was one of the best Sci-fi brickfilmstories I've ever seen. The animation was smooth and the set design was great! I also loved the opening and ending titles.
Amazing job! I think this one should've won!

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Re: STAR: Crisis Reverted

This was honestly my favorite entry besides Time and Space
The story was brilliant and the intro and out tro  were amazing and near perfection i could see some obvious green screening in the beginning but i really like the idea of the book opening
the whole story kept me interested the whole time and the sound design was pretty good in some difficult spots but you seemed to have pulled it off nicely
the animation in the third pat seemed a bit choppy and unrealistic in some parts and i thought the camera angles and lighting could have been better executed but that is just me
But then i guess i didn't take into consideration that you were working with someone in a different country
so yeah overall this film was great except minor flaws i saw every now and then
Great job
Congrats on Placing in the top three
-Mutuceba

Re: STAR: Crisis Reverted

Thanks so much for the kind comments.  I'm especially happy to hear that the story kept people's interest, despite the lengthy dialog scenes and minimal special effects.

I've recently updated my "studio"'s web-site with a little additional info about the making of this film.  It's now hosted on StopMotionCentral.com which I'm really happy about.  Goodbye forever to mediocre, ad-annoying, soon-to-be-closing Geocities.

http://www.stopmotioncentral.com/ancien … index.html