Topic: Perpetual Twilight

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Perpetual Twilight


This is my entry to the Contrast contest on Bricksinmotion.  The main theme was, obviously, Contrast.  I chose to show the contrast between two opposing factions and the reasons for their contrast. 

A huge thank you to Squid/AnnoyingNoises/Harrison, without him this idea never would have made it very far.

Another big thank you to my awesome composer, Moritz Meier.  After a bit of difficulty with the music, I was able to get Moritz to compose for this rather last-minute.  I am so happy with how the score came out, it's great, thank you!

Also, thanks to Squash for organizing this contest and the judges!

Re: Perpetual Twilight

I really liked the lighting, and some of those shots had me really impressed, particularly the one of the gate with all of the elves walking toward it, and the fight scene was pretty cool, albeit a tad rushed.

There are several impressive camera motions here, but I feel that many of the movements where a little unnecessary and kinda failed.  Often times you'd swoosh the camera to another position when a simple cut would have been much more appropriate.  Also, some of the slants were a too heavy.

There were also several points where the dialogue was very quiet and I had trouble understanding what they were saying even though I had read the script because the music drowned it out.

It probably deserved a lot more time in post fixing up the sound levels and adding more sounds, but you were under heavy time constraints so it's understandable.

The most important things is that you seem to have improved vastly since your last film.
With practice, and more time, you could really make an amazing film.  As usual, I'd be happy to help with future projects. mini/smile

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Thanks for your feedback! Yes, pretty much everything is post was rushed (and iMovie made it impossible to do anything) but I'm still happy with how I was able to get it, with the deadline fast approaching.  I could still use work with my audio levels... mini/blankexpression
Some of those camera movements made more sense when I was animating it and thinking about it.  Now some of them do appear to be overdone. 
But I'm happy with it overall, so that's good. 
Thanks for the tips and help with the concept and everything!

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This was amazing. I really loved this.

I think my biggest suggestion would be to slow down some of the areas of the film, possibly have some emotional pauses or give the characters time to think. It felt very rushed, especially during the dioluage in the middle.

I thought the fight scene was PERFECT. Just beautiful. The end of the fight, where the elf stabs the vampire is okay. Instead of the extreme overkill, I would suggest a clean chop of the head. After the head flies of, there is a kind of pause before the body falls back onto the floor with a thud.  I have also heard the "The only way to kill a vampire is a stake to its heart", maybe you could have down something with that next time?

Anyways, enough about violence. This film was awesome. The lighting was fitting, the animation was great, and this is a favorite of mine. Hope you score well

no more brickfilming *sad face*.

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I think some of the shots were bad, in some spots. For example, 0:37 and 1:24 and 1:45. They shifted to really weird camera angles.

And there were times when I couldn't even tell who was talking. Just like in the opening shot with the Elves. I honestly didn't know who was talking. Maybe some more minifig movement could have cleared this up.

Lastly, the storyline was somewhat hard to follow. It felt like I was watching a long theatrical trailer instead of a film.

Overall, the voice acting was pretty good...from some. And, I liked some of the references to Lord of the Rings...especially the name of the Elvenking.

It was an OK entry, though. Keep up the good work. mini/wink

Have you seen a big-chinned boy?

Re: Perpetual Twilight

Thank you!  I agree, much of the film had a very fast pace and I think it would have benefited from having it paced a bit slower.  I had the feel of the scene a little different in my mind where Faeron kills Valron.  It was a hard thing to film and I think the moments afterward took away from it; I was also not entirely sure about the audio during that, it was just a hard bit to do. 
I'm glad you enjoyed it overall!  That fight scene was a lot of fun to animate...!

I understand what it is that you don't like (about the camera angles) but that was my intention.  With contrast being the theme, I wanted to have a clear contrast between the camera movements/angles anytime an Elf or Vampire was onscreen.  So I was trying something rather different; I can see that, to you at least, it didn't work. 
I've never been very good at animating dialog...all I can say is that I tried. 
I'm sorry you find the storyline hard to follow, I thought it made sense and flowed pretty well (albeit too quickly) but that's your opinion and makes sense.  If by "from some..." you mean me, I agree.  I was terrible in my roles. 

ANYWAY...thanks for the feedback guys!

Re: Perpetual Twilight

This definitely has it's strengths and weaknesses. The animation was pretty darn good for the most part, if a bit quick at times, and the sets were quite nice, especially the stain glass window. The thing you need to work on the most is pacing, the film went by way to fast, it needs to be slowed down a lot; not ever single second has to move the plot forward, you need to give the audience time to process what they're seeing. It's usually a matter of an extra second or two a shot. I'd also say definitely tone down the tilted angles camera movements. I like the idea of the Elves being shot straight and the Vampires tilted, but you took it to far. Also, some of the camera movements were well executed, but in the coverage of the Vampires they were to fast, to numerous, and poorly done. Overall a pretty good film, you're starting to show some really nice potential. mini/smile

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I don't know what to add that others haven't already said!

I'll just say that I really enjoyed it and that it stands out as a pretty unique film! Great job, John. mini/smile

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Yes, I definitely need to work on my pacing.  If you watch The Shrouded Past (my other long-ish brickfilm with an actual story) it also has the same sort of issue (though a bit less...that's not good, I'm getting worse at it mini/eek )
I know I rushed the pacing a lot because of the deadline and other personal complications.  I did want it to have a fast pace overall, but it was way too fast.  Like I said earlier, yeah, I probably overdid the angles and camera movements.  Some of them I wanted like that, but it didn't turn out how I had planned.  I wasn't quite sure if I wanted a completely serious film, or if I wanted it to be a bit more like a classic Fairy Tale kind of film with a bit faster pace.  It kind of ended up as both; it didn't work.
And thank you, I'm glad you liked it for the most part!  I certainly hope to keep improving! 

@Walter Benson
Thank you!  I'm glad you enjoyed it and found it unique (I'll assume you mean that in the best possible sense.. mini/tongue  )

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I have to agree, it's generally cool, but is hindered by a rushed plot, odd use of camera movements, overly-tilted angles, and the tendency for it to not be clear who is speaking. There weren't really any slower character moments, and the werewolf sub-plot was so cut short that it might as well have been cut out entirely.

The animation, lighting, sets and general feel were all great, but the plot and pacing hurt it for sure.
I really wish you had another month to work on this, as that would have been an amazing movie.
Still, good job.

Sorry if I'm just echoing everybody else, but I'm just now seeing the thing and didn't really read the comments beforehand.

Re: Perpetual Twilight

Link to the official Soundtrack composed by me:  mini/smile

Re: Perpetual Twilight

Thanks for the feedback Pritchard!  I agree, and yeah, it's all the same issues everyone has noticed (they're not easy to miss...)

One of these days I'm going to have to make a film without a deadline so I've got all the time in the world...maybe then the pacing won't be so rushed. 
Thanks for the awesome soundtrack, Momei!

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Beautiful! I found it very impressive how you were able to make such a great story, yet keep it condensed into a short film. It looked great, and it was highly enjoyable! mini/smile

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the music was a highlight, I liked those off-angles - they were used to a good effect in this case. I wonder why there are these better and worse quality sequences - were you getting tired or needed to rush things a bit sometimes?

I found time to watch and comment on yours, here's your chance to review mine:

Re: Perpetual Twilight

Thank you Reeldangerstudios!

ThaukaFilms, yes, many scenes were rushed a lot.  Also, this was the first time I used dragonframe (the trial version) so it took a bit of learning.  I filmed all the scenes in the Elven courts first, and the very last few scenes I filmed were the ones with the Elves entering the Vampire Castle and Ailen climbing the wall.  The wall sequence I was very happy with, while some were not that great in comparison. 
So yes, some were rushed and some I was really tired of animating, but I'm happy with the end result for the most part.  Thanks for the feedback!