Re: Picturesque

The Duke wrote:
Night Owl wrote:

the score (which sounds like a Hans Zimmer parody) pointlessly blares over meaningless scenes while barely having any impact at all during moments of tension and excitement where it's actually needed.

Hmm...I'd be very interested to hear which Hans Zimmer score you thought this sounded like...very interested. And I'm very surprised and a little put out that you didn't even catch the blatant references to John Williams in the action cues. mini/confused

I should say that I'm not a fan of Zimmer at all (except for maybe the Thin Red Line score or other times where he goes into the abstract), so I wasn't really trying to be specific. The score just sounded bland to me; the chord progressions were derivative, and the percussion sounded like more of an afterthought than an actual part of the piece. The whole thing came across as rather flat, with no surprises, both musically and in terms of originality.

Re: Picturesque

Well, I appreciate the critique, and I can't disagree with much of it. mini/smile

Re: Picturesque

Wow,

we are talking major league here. I guess I know about 10 films that are visually as good as this, and I am very happy to see how brickfilming developed over time to reach this level. I read all the comments above, and I am surprised that nobody was able to actually pinpoint why this is only feels like a 9/10 and not a 10/10? Most of you were talking about timing and story, but there is a much simpler reason. I guess the film suffers from "optimization". What do I mean with that?
I surely don't talk about the graphics, they are amazing.

But there is this little feature we know from animation that is called a "hold". If you animate something you once in a while make the figure stand still in order to stress the importance of this moment. Imagine a person in love making coffee... Once in a while we would let the minifig glaze in the distance thinking about something, letting the figure freeze in time for just this litte moment. We highlight the animation by making a stop. The audience expects to be visually entertained and this little split second break tips on our brain and makes the audience think. This creates depth.
The same is true for a dialogue, a little break emphasises a certain line. In this film everything appears to be highlighted. Almost every sentence has a break after it. And sometimes that doesn't make sense. And the same happens with the animation sometimes. In the fightscene there are holds that interrupt the flow just this little bit to make our brains to be distracted enough that we constantly wonder what is going on.
The voice actors deliver their lines beatyfully, but due to the micro breaks they are over emphasised, making the dialogues feel pointless.
If I might make a suggestion: Try to cut out these holds in the dialogue and maybe in the animation as well, which will make the film 30 seconds of a minute shorter, and you will create a totally new much more exciting experience for the audience. Making this one a 10+.
This is the only example I know in brickfilming where less would be more.

Again, I am more than happy to see on what level we arrived and about what kind of things we talk here. Very good job, very easy to fix in my opinion, and I would love to see a comparison.

And the topic is wide enough for a sequel anyways... mini/smile

Cheers Arend

Re: Picturesque

ahnt wrote:

I read all the comments above, and I am surprised that nobody was able to actually pinpoint why this is only feels like a 9/10 and not a 10/10? Most of you were talking about timing and story, but there is a much simpler reason.

Wait, don't act like (a) everybody gave it a 9/10 and (b) they didn't know what they were saying.

Re: Picturesque

Night Owl wrote:
ahnt wrote:

I read all the comments above, and I am surprised that nobody was able to actually pinpoint why this is only feels like a 9/10 and not a 10/10? Most of you were talking about timing and story, but there is a much simpler reason.

Wait, don't act like (a) everybody gave it a 9/10 and (b) they didn't know what they were saying.

feels like a 9/10 and not a 10/10 - is not a statement about what everybody voted or did, it is a statement about how it feels. And since feelings are always subjective I must have been talking about my feelings. And I was hoping that people might be able to connect to them... you might call it a figure or speach.

And secondly, the next sentence was:
Most of you were talking about timing and story, but there is a much simpler reason.

Even if timing as a reason is very much close to the point, I indeed was missing constructive critizism from most (maybe all) of you. Everybody can point to something and say he/she doesn't like this or that, but in my opinion nobody was able to explain how it can be done better. And that is what surprised me a lot! Normally I always learn something when I read posts even about very good films, but not this time. Hence the sentence:
I am surprised that nobody was able to actually pinpoint
I admit: I should have added : "what is wrong about this film in my opinion!"

a) I wasn't generalizing about what people voted, and I didn't act as if, this feeling must have emerged on you end
b) I was indeed disappointed about the lag of constructivism - not that there was none, I just wished that there would be more.

Me finishing with the sentence:
I would love to see a comparison - means that I am also not sure if my suggestions will actually improve the film, I might be wrong, but my idea is at least testable.
This might convince you that I don't think that I know it all, I made a suggestion.

If you think I was critizising you, and want to take is personally, be my guest, read your post, which ends with the line:
"Sorry to come down on it hard, but I want to give an honest critique."

And yes you critizised, but in my opinion failed to be constructive. Do you think that what you said was the truth and totally objective, or were you stating an opinion? Because if you think that what you said wasn't an opinion, or if you read something from someone else and don't think of it as an opinion, you take things way too serious.

But I basically think you are overinterpreting what I said, and if it offended you or anyone I am sorry, that wasn't my intention at all. Again what I say is my opinion, and nothing but my opinion.

Cheers Arend

Re: Picturesque

I really disliked this film but it was really very good. I suspect most of my feelings are only permutations of what has already been presented in this thread, so I'll be specific.

Too many directors seem to fall into the trap of making "epic" films fit into a brickfilm box. There have been some valiant efforts and this ranks highly among them. Still, I am far from convinced that this is a realistic goal.

The voice acting and music were both poor in comparison with the visual polish. That said, I was surprised to notice a few effects which were still a little rough around the edges. These were few and far between. Please take it as a compliment that I am able to dislike your film as I would dislike any given hollywood picture; the technical aspects were generally jaw dropping. You are well on your way to a career in filmmaking if you so desire.

-

Following Arend's lead, I will make two constructive suggestions:

I think that some directors here, including Mr. Durron, are at a level where it would be worthwhile to seek assistance outside this community. Voice acting and scoring are both tasks which could likely be "outsourced" to more qualified and practiced individuals, individuals whose skills are on the same level as said directors. Finding a core story may also be something which could be mined in this fashion, since Mr. Durron (among others) seems to be able to tell a story relatively well, though struggles with coming up with what I would consider a compelling idea (although this probably isn't due to inability; I was very impressed with his chef movie awhile back).

Secondly, I would like to see directors embrace simplicity. I'm well-conditioned to these films, but to many viewers it is downright laughable to see a movie like this with "lego guys". Robota and the Magic Portal are two examples of films that utilize the medium advantageously. Picturesque is a prime example of the opposite. Now, we should not confuse this proposal with eliminating "seriousness" from films. The best brickfilms actually force the audience to become divorced with their preconceptions about the toy actors and to empathize with the plastic. As hollywood directors, you will probably reuse this skill with airhead actors and actresses! The key is that these films create emotion through motion and cinematography; they make the inanimate objects not only animate but living and FEELING. You don't need to forgo dialogue, seriousness, or action, but you should put yourself in the place of an outsider; someone not accustomed to giving a director license to use minifigs as real people.

Re: Picturesque

First things first: Congratulations on making an epic 23 min. long brickfilm!

The first thing you notice in Picturesque are the amazing visual effects. I am not a big fan of visual effects, but I appreciate them when they blend in well with the film. This was done well, although there were some places where I thought it could be done by animation which I would have preferred but that's just a matter of taste. Point is that they blent in well in the film.
The cinematography was good, I have seen brickfilms with better cinematography, but in Picturesque it was much better than the average brickfilm here on the forum. There were some flaws against the 180-degree rule, which I recommend using because in the car scene I couldn't really tell who was sitting where and who was talking to who. Using it also shows you have a basic knowledge of cinematography. But nevertheless, the cinematography was very well executed.
I would also like to compliment you on the production design, it worked really well. The world you created worked perfect for the story.

My biggest critique is the story. Although the premise was good, I had the plot figured out by the middle of the film. The characters were 'cold', I had no feeling or so with them so I wasn't touched by the twists. I thought the dialogue was cheesy and lame, but in some way the movie got away with that.
The voice acting was average, it wasn't mind-blowingly awesome it wasn't horrible either. I suggest you look for people outside this community and with some experience for you next projects.
The soundscape was decent but I thought the music was too boring. I was expecting a bigger, louder kind of score to the film, this score doesn't add that extra emotion to the film that a score should do.
One last remark: The mouth animation really annoyed me! I'm sure it took a long time to make it, but it looking really fake and took some of the magic away for me.

Overall: A very good brickfilm, not an epic evergreen brickfilm classic but one that will stand the test of time as one of the 'better' brickfilms on the net. ****

Infurno is now on facebook

Re: Picturesque

Thanks for the feedback, guys. I know this film has a lot of flaws, and after two years of working on it I was starting to feel kind of burned out. Part of this was because I was aware of most of the issues and realized it wasn't turning out as well as I'd hoped, and part of it was because two years is just a long time to keep working on one project.

Ahnt, I really appreciate that you've giving constructive criticism. What you talked about in your first post is something I've considered and I'm glad someone else thinks the same. Regarding the criticism by others, I don't mind if it's constructive or not. It's helpful either way really.

Nice suggestions as well, Logan. About the seriousness, all I can say is... yeah, this film is too serious.

Re: Picturesque

Well, I would like to comment on the seriousness of this film. I completely disagree that it was "too serious". It was as serious as I was hoping it to be, with a few mild jokes. The thing that failed in the film is the type of seriousness it had, and not that it was serious. You set up a story that should of had more emotion to it.  It should have made the viewer feel for John West. It should have made the viewer feel sorry for him, happy for him, etc. I can see that being a little hard to do in this kind of story, but it's possible.

Funny thing is, you had a good chance to get this emotion when West's died. But instead, it was almost like he didn't really care that much (or the voice actor just failed). It made him seem emotionless. As the great animator once said, Smeagol, acting should be believable, but it usually should be a little more dramatic then realistic. Like, for example, when West's friend got shot (and I don't think it should of been a head shot), you should of had West go down with his friend while he fell. Then have some intense slow music and a few deep words or something. Make the viewer feel for these people.

So, anyway, hopefully you get what I am trying to say. The seriousness is very good. You just have the wrong kind. As for the rest of the film, it was very decent. Good effects, a decent story, great animation, etc. Voice acting was a little weak, the film seemed to move just a LITTLE slow at times, it didn't really have a mind-catching soundtrack, the sounds were pretty good.  I was disappointed with the overall story, however. I mean, you came up with this rather brilliant idea of pictures that can transport you anywhere, but instead of acting on that, you make some kind of cop movie. The plot of this cop movie is one no one really cares about. I mean, why not just set the film around some kind of adventure with the pictures? Heck, you could of even had the same plot an adventure. Like Mr. Painter could of drew a painting of his house in the past before the bad guy came, then they could of jumped into that picture to stop him. Then during the chase scene in Mr. Painter's house or something, you could have had them find a room full of these Picturesque. Then you could of had the bad guy jump into one of these, followed by John West, his friend, and Mr. Painter (since Mr. Painter would be their way back). And just pick up an adventure/fantasy/sci-fi/action/crime story from there.

Anyway, overall, with everything included, this is not a bad film at all. I thought it was very entertaining at times. I can tell you put a lot of hard work into it, so great job. My rating would be a solid 7.5/10. I will be looking forward to more films from you. mini/smile

Story: 5/10
Effects: 8.5/10
Voice acting: 6/10
Animation: 10/10
Cinematography: 8/10
Sounds: 7.5/10
Music: 7/10

Yep, great work!

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8180/7904765754_a766f0e523.jpg
Into the darkness once more. I walk into the unknown. To a far better life than I've ever known.

Re: Picturesque

that's what I'm calling a review mini/wink

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

Re: Picturesque

ScypaxPictures wrote:

As the great animator once said, Smeagol, acting should be believable, but it usually should be a little more dramatic then realistic.

I don't remember saying this, I don't really agree with it.  Acting can be melodramatic in a sense and still be good within the context of the film (which I think I was saying about the acting in the original Star Wars trilogy), but it depends greatly on context.  Often, less is more.  I don't think heavy-handed attempts to manipulate emotions are always the best approach.

http://i.imgur.com/wcmcdmf.png

Re: Picturesque

Sméagol wrote:

I don't remember saying this, I don't really agree with it.  Acting can be melodramatic in a sense and still be good within the context of the film (which I think I was saying about the acting in the original Star Wars trilogy), but it depends greatly on context.  Often, less is more.  I don't think heavy-handed attempts to manipulate emotions are always the best approach.

Oh, sorry about that. I must of misunderstood you on what you meant.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8180/7904765754_a766f0e523.jpg
Into the darkness once more. I walk into the unknown. To a far better life than I've ever known.

Re: Picturesque

ScypaxPictures wrote:


Effects: 8.5/10

Only a 8.5! That's outrageous!... unless, is there another film with good special effects. Other than Unrenewable.

Re: Picturesque

michaelsmovies wrote:
ScypaxPictures wrote:


Effects: 8.5/10

Only a 8.5! That's outrageous!... unless, is there another film with good special effects. Other than Unrenewable.

No, sorry. Unrenewable and Picturesque are the only two films out there with good special effects. All the other films have crap effects.

- signature intentionally left blank -

Re: Picturesque

BertL wrote:
michaelsmovies wrote:
ScypaxPictures wrote:


Effects: 8.5/10

Only a 8.5! That's outrageous!... unless, is there another film with good special effects. Other than Unrenewable.

No, sorry. Unrenewable and Picturesque are the only two films out there with good special effects. All the other films have crap effects.

On my scale, 8.5/10 is pretty high.

And in my humble opinion, I do not go by what has been done, I go by what hasn't been done. I rated the effects on how they look, as far as how real they look. If I were to rate them on "How good they are for a brickfilm" I would of said 10/10.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8180/7904765754_a766f0e523.jpg
Into the darkness once more. I walk into the unknown. To a far better life than I've ever known.

Re: Picturesque

Finally got around to finish watching it. I liked it, it was very original. Not the best film I've ever seen though.
Like a few things went a bit differently than I expected near the end, not really in a good way, but I still really liked the story. Great animation too, of course. Nice work.

4/5

Re: Picturesque

BertL wrote:
michaelsmovies wrote:
ScypaxPictures wrote:


Effects: 8.5/10

Only a 8.5! That's outrageous!... unless, is there another film with good special effects. Other than Unrenewable.

No, sorry. Unrenewable and Picturesque are the only two films out there with good special effects. All the other films have crap effects.

No, Leonardo all the way!

http://www.majhost.com/gallery/BGanimations/Signatures/final_400x100.png

Re: Picturesque

That was one of the MUCH better films I've seen in a while. Even though I knew who it was a good halfway, I was hooked by the story. The characters had similar personalities in my opinion, but still....

9.5/10

Re: Picturesque

Very beautiful film which gives me desire for making brickfilms.

Re: Picturesque

BGanimations wrote:
BertL wrote:
michaelsmovies wrote:

Only a 8.5! That's outrageous!... unless, is there another film with good special effects. Other than Unrenewable.

No, sorry. Unrenewable and Picturesque are the only two films out there with good special effects. All the other films have crap effects.

No, Leonardo all the way!

I think BertL was being sarcastic. Like always

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