Topic: The Long Way Home (an adventure in cinematography)

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The Long Way Home (an adventure in cinematography)

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A minifigure finds his life spinning out of control after taking the long way home.

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Last edited by animationIsaac (December 31, 2015 (10:18am))

Re: The Long Way Home (an adventure in cinematography)

I have been following your production topic for this film for quite some time, as I'm sure others have as well. All the behind the scenes material heightened my excitement for the release and after just watching it, it exceeded my expectations. Outstanding work, Isaac. There were a lot of great brickfilms released this year but The Long Way Home takes the cake for me. Definitely my favorite brickfilm of 2015.

The minimal use of dialogue is very effective. And I like the way you implemented texting and email. That's a technique I've never seen used in a brickfilm.

The animation is nothing short of excellent. All the characters have unique personalities through their movements. This film really inspired me to brush up on my animation skills mini/smile To the animation table!

What really drew me in though, was the atmosphere that you created. The sets, lighting, and cinematography really made for an expansive world and created a delightfully eerie mood.

Can't wait to watch this again and I look forward to you work in 2016!

Re: The Long Way Home (an adventure in cinematography)

This is one of the most interesting brickfilms I've seen in a good while! I really enjoyed the way set design, cinematography, music, and sound worked together to create a distinctive and haunting atmosphere. There's some really nice technical work in here; I especially liked some of the shots where the camera follows behind the protagonist. This looks like it must have been a great undertaking; the scope of what you've accomplished is really impressive. I feel like this kind of film could do well in festivals if you found some smaller short film festivals to submit it to.

I'll admit, I could not tell if there was a coherent plot being communicated in the film. I know it has a dreamlike, disorienting quality, so I'd say that if you wanted it to be possible to figure out what the story was, maybe there could have been a few more clues or it could have been conveyed a little more clearly, but then I'm going off of one viewing here.

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Re: The Long Way Home (an adventure in cinematography)

I'll admit I probably got a little too excited when I saw this in my subscription feed this morning. It's a really impressive film; technically well made and very pleasing to look at. It's beautiful in a cinematic way while also maintaining that charming, beat up old LEGO feel that many older brickfilms have; I'm not sure how you managed that, but I like it. I noticed part way into watching that despite the whimsical nature of the film, I had a good spacial sense of where the character was; I wasn't lost because of excessive closeups or poor coverage. This is something even Hollywood directors mess up, and I think it says a lot about you as a filmmaker that you were able to get it right with such an abstract film. It felt like there was a story hidden under the visuals, especially with the ending, but I wasn't able to figure out what it was; I have no idea if that was intentional or not. I agree with Smeagol that if you did intend for there to be a story, it would have been nice for it to be a little more clear. Fantastic film, and congratulations on completing such a large project. mini/smile

Re: The Long Way Home (an adventure in cinematography)

Nice film, Issac! I really enjoyed the animation and visuals. That's got to be my favorite part. The cinematography was great, camera angle wise. However, I did notice some times when I got confused because the character suddenly was facing a different direction or a change in set did not continue the previous action (for example, quickly jumping into a door, yet standing completely still on the inside). That does not change the fact, though, that it was well done.

Storywise.... you lost me. Unfortunately, I couldn't follow. It was seemingly random to me. The little bit of dialogue included didn't really make much sense to me, considering the rest of the film was silent. That's a minor nitpick though. If I watched it again, I might understand it more. I do applaud you for making an abstract film. It is definitely your style. I enjoyed seeing all the locations in the film and the action within those locations, but I couldn't find much unity (again, it's only a first watch).

One more thing I did notice (sorry, this is kind of an essay here mini/tongue ), is that the sound design was inconsistent. Sometimes he had footsteps, and sometimes not. Unfortunately, this caused me to lose the attention a lot. A lot of it felt far too silent. But the sounds that were in there were exceptionally good!

Keep up the great work! I really look forward to what you come up with next. Your films are always good, because they make me think. mini/wink

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Re: The Long Way Home (an adventure in cinematography)

I have to concur with everyone else here. I couldn't really follow your story, but the visuals, atmosphere, technique, and animation were phenomenal and made up for it. It felt ultra artistic and experimental. I really like the direction your work is going in.

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Re: The Long Way Home (an adventure in cinematography)

Thank you everyone for your feedback, I really appreciate it.
@Sméagol:
I realised myself in the editing process that the clues that I had left in animating were so small that at some points I had to stop and remind myself of what I was trying to create! I am very interested by the idea of films like 2001: a Space Odyssey which show a series of images and then leave a blank canvas for the viewer to come up with their own ideas as to what happened leaving clues on the way and tried to replicate that in this film.

Rioforce wrote:

However, I did notice some times when I got confused because the character suddenly was facing a different direction or a change in set did not continue the previous action (for example, quickly jumping into a door, yet standing completely still on the inside). That does not change the fact, though, that it was well done.

Although I'll admit some of these were continuity errors, there were times where I did it intentionally. In the scene you mention; although I had footage of the minifigure entering the coloured corridor, I decided not to use it as I wanted to add as much contrast as possible between the quiet scene before it and that scene to give a feeling of lack of control and chaos.
About the quiet sound, I noticed that as well but when I tried listening to the soundtrack through different speakers, I found that they all sounded different. My suspicion is that my computer is automatically levelling my sound but I'm not too sure.

Re: The Long Way Home (an adventure in cinematography)

Isaac, I want you to know something right now.

You thoroughly inspire me.

This was over the top phenomenal, absolutely fantastic. You nailed that atmosphere that I've learned to wholeheartedly  adore in all your films. It was creepy, original, exciting, and just all around a very, VERY well made film. Something about the way you inject emotion and character into your films is so, so stimulatingly powerful and unique. I know some people have their qualms about the plot and all, and I can totally see where they're coming from, but in all honesty, I love it completely the way it is. I don't know if you were going for this at all, but I felt the sort of ominous feel you instilled really gives the audience a chance to sit back and interpret it through their own perspective, yet still come out with the same excitement, insight, and admiration.

I'd like to thank you Isaac. Coming home from a long day at school, sitting down and completely throwing myself into this riveting world you've created with this film was just what I needed. Honestly, I got more out of this film than I got out of just about any other blockbuster I saw in the theater this year. The last time I animated was August, and due to my live action focus I haven't been into animation really, but after seeing this inspirational beauty, I'm most definitely coming back.

Oh, one more thing...

Well, well done.

Last edited by GHB (January 6, 2016 (06:30am))

Re: The Long Way Home (an adventure in cinematography)

I failed to notice that this thread had been updated. Thanks GHB, I'm pleased that you liked it! I really like your films as well so I will be interested to see what you make next. I did particularly try to focus on creating a powerful, ominous feeling so I'm pleased it seemed to work.

I only realised after I had published the film that the release date was so badly timed (a day before THAC).

Re: The Long Way Home (an adventure in cinematography)

I finally got around to watching this and, WOW! I'm impressed. Probably my favorite part of your films is how you nail the eerie atmosphere, when most brickfilmers are not able to, or choose not to attempt to do so (I mean, we're using a toy, which is generally depicted in a bright, happy way).

Like others, I found it difficult to pinpoint a plot. However, this helped me focus more on figuring out what the purpose was in making this. In such a way, and through seeing certain similar shots repeated, and the choice of the title, I began to have a few themes come to mind. None was right there, in my face, but that just helped emphasize them even more. For example, "the way in is not always the easiest." Seeing the locked doors and frantic reactions repeatedly, emphasized this, showing the desperation that some go through in order to succeed. This is probably the most obvious theme, as I saw it, yet there were a number of more subtle ones.

Aside from that, my thoughts have been mostly covered by others: amazing sets, lighting, scale, decent sound, etc. Overall, I loved the film, and may have to watch it a couple more times, to try to get more out of it. mini/wink

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Re: The Long Way Home (an adventure in cinematography)

Wow. This was fantastic. Every, single, frame could be hung up on a wall. The atmosphere you created was, by far, the best execution of such feel I have seen. The animation was a mile ahead of nearly everything I've seen, it situated itself perfectly among the feel of the film.

Although others dislike your vague themes and story, I felt speculating the story was one of my favorite parts in watching it, it gave it a sense of wonder many films today lack. On that note I loved the church sequence, I thought he would get trapped in the room for more times once he opened the door and discovered the same room again. Little (little to us) things like this built up every theme shown to higher measures.

Well done.

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Re: The Long Way Home (an adventure in cinematography)

Thanks again for the feedback.
I just thought I should finally add that yesterday I managed to get this film screened at a small local cinema here in Bristol. It was so strange having an actual real life audience watching it on a big screen. I might see if I can find any local film festival to submit the film to.

@Legoguy501
I'm pleased you picked up on that theme. Its really great to see people interoperating the film in these different ways.

@Randomboaz
Thanks. I really like films like Blow-up, Alphaville or other early art house films where at the end of the film you are completely lost as to what you actually have seen. I guess that's what I tried to create here.