Topic: Welcome to Darkmoor

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Welcome to Darkmoor

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You will receive no welcome here.

Last edited by Squid (October 2, 2019 (05:21am))

Re: Welcome to Darkmoor

Masterpiece mini/dizzy

Re: Welcome to Darkmoor

Wow.... mini/jaw

That was worth the wait a thousand times over.

The engrossing plot, incredible animation, haunting visuals and lighting, and fantastic audio all come together to create this memorable masterpiece. Also, the effect of the red light against the gray scale "colors" is incredibly striking and a time-consuming effect that seriously paid off. The film looks amazing in a way that neither B/W nor full color could replicate.

You have perfectly channeled your unique style into a film that feels like an ANP film, yet also feels very unique among your works. The slowly building plot and subdued wackiness contrasts nicely with some of your more fast, funny, and frenetic films in a way that retains some distinctive marks, yet channels them into a different direction and to a different effect. You did a superb job adapting to this film and its needs, honing the script, cinematography, and animation to all pull together towards the final magnificent result.

I wouldn't be surprised to see a BiM award heading your way soon.

"Fantastic."

Re: Welcome to Darkmoor

Stupendous film! Wait was well worth it!

"BRAWL 2019" EntryYouTube Channel •                                         
I voice act
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Re: Welcome to Darkmoor

This is phenomenal. Your hard work has definitely paid off.

Formerly "UnknownBrick Films."
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Re: Welcome to Darkmoor

Don't mind me, just leaving my place in brickfilm history.

Yes, it's homemade, fresh from the toaster oven.

Re: Welcome to Darkmoor

Thanks for the kind words, everyone! Especially Pritchard.

I actually was worried that it'd only appeal to a small percentage of viewers. I thought that it wouldn't really work for everyone. I'm surprised with the feedback I've gotten. Absolutely blown away.

I think that without Joshua coming out of nowhere to volunteer to compose for this is probably the best part of this. I don't think it'd be nearly as good without the score. It really sets the tone in a powerful way, and complements the visuals so well.

Re: Welcome to Darkmoor

That was absolutely flawless! So many great elements (the voice acting, the animation, the score, the set design, the story) - I will definitely re-watch this multiple times as we get closer to Halloween! I imagine there are quite a bit of small details I missed on the first viewing too.

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Re: Welcome to Darkmoor

Five years later, and here we are!

First I'd like to say congrats, Squid. You stuck to it and finished when most people would have quit. I'm pretty sure I would have. And to maintain a pretty consistent level of quality is quite a feat. You should definitely be proud of sticking to it, and of the film.

Now let's delve into the film itself:

The Pros:
The story. I really like the overall story, and how the psychological aspects of Welcome to Darkmoor affects people. This is a great introduction to that world, and this story has the potential to be fleshed out even further in a movie, for example. Like I would love to know more about the protagonist and what she was coming from and what her memories mean to her. But based on the time restraints of a short film, you did a great job with it.

The set design. I would love to see behind-the-scenes photos of those sets cause there's some incredibly clever detail to it that I'd like to see more of. From the detailed cliffside to the tall buildings, it was really cool to look at.

The voice acting. Solid voice work pretty much all-around, and all the characters worked with the writing.

The dream sequence. Genuinely creepy and well-edited stuff. That whole section is the highlight of the whole movie for me, the imagery is perfect for what you're going for.

The music. Fantastic music from Joshua Mitchell. It's next-level stuff that you don't hear from many other brickfilms.

The Cons:
The sound design. This might just be something in your style that I'm not a fan of, but I don't particuarly like how a lot of the sound effects sound like plastic. For example, the Sleep Monster's claws tapping on the rooftop. That sound should be HARSH and scraping to sell that intensity. But when it's just a light tapping of LEGO bricks, it really undersells the power of what that moment could be.

The cinematography. I feel weird putting it in the "con" category because it's a weird nuanced opinion. Essentially, I thought each of the individual shots were very well-shot, but the shots didn't work together to advance the story. Divorced from context, you could take each frame and it be a well-composed and executed shot, but the film overall didn't flow in terms of cinematography.

This particularly became a problem with scenes of back-and-forth dialogue. Most every shot in those scenes was a shallow 1.8ish aperture medium-shot or close-up. For the entirety of the dialogue. An example of how this is a detriment, the whole story is about how bizarre and weird the town is. But when close to every shot is a medium-shot or close-up with a really shallow depth-of-field, we can barely see the environment that is so essential to the story.  If you want us to feel how bizarre the town is, then show us the town and let us soak in the environment alongside the dialogue. The set design is so good, and you're hiding it from the audience too much, you should want to show it off!

A medium-shot/close-up shot can convey so much when utilized at the right time. It can relay feelings of intensity, focus, even just to signify to the audience "THIS IS SOMETHING IMPORTANT." But the problem is when it's used so freuqently, it doesn't mean anything anymore. It's the classic Syndrome line, "when everyone's super, no one will be." When every shot is intense and dramatic, none of them are.

I just feel there should have been more variety in the shots/depth of field, etc. You clearly have the skillset to create excellent-looking shots, so have them work for you and the story beyond what's on the page and on the set.


I know that con section probably seems a lot longer than the pros, but that's just cause some stuff needs explaining. And everything I had a problem with, it's because the story itself and the storytelling works. Besides, the things I believe you could improve on is stuff that's miles ahead of most brickfilmers, who have to worry about animation, set design (I really have to worry about set design...), editing, on the most basic levels.

Overall, I really did enjoy Welcome to Darkmoor as a whole. There's a lot to love about it. It was very clearly your distinct vision and voice that you poured your heart and soul into, and you should be proud of it. Looking forward to what you have next. mini/smile

Last edited by Chris W. (October 3, 2019 (12:24pm))

Re: Welcome to Darkmoor

Chris W. wrote:

Five years later, and here we are!

First I'd like to say congrats, Squid. You stuck to it and finished when most people would have quit. I'm pretty sure I would have. And to maintain a pretty consistent level of quality is quite a feat. You should definitely be proud of sticking to it, and of the film.

Now let's delve into the film itself:

The Pros:
The story. I really like the overall story, and how the psychological aspects of Welcome to Darkmoor affects people. This is a great introduction to that world, and this story has the potential to be fleshed out even further in a movie, for example. Like I would love to know more about the protagonist and what she was coming from and what her memories mean to her. But based on the time restraints of a short film, you did a great job with it.

The set design. I would love to see behind-the-scenes photos of those sets cause there's some incredibly clever detail to it that I'd like to see more of. From the detailed cliffside to the tall buildings, it was really cool to look at.

The voice acting. Solid voice work pretty much all-around, and all the characters worked with the writing.

The dream sequence. Genuinely creepy and well-edited stuff. That whole section is the highlight of the whole movie for me, the imagery is perfect for what you're going for.

The music. Fantastic music from Joshua Mitchell. It's next-level stuff that you don't hear from many other brickfilms.

The Cons:
The sound design. This might just be something in your style that I'm not a fan of, but I don't particuarly like how a lot of the sound effects sound like plastic. For example, the Sleep Monster's claws tapping on the rooftop. That sound should be HARSH and scraping to sell that intensity. But when it's just a light tapping of LEGO bricks, it really undersells the power of what that moment could be.

The cinematography. I feel weird putting it in the "con" category because it's a weird nuanced opinion. Essentially, I thought each of the individual shots were very well-shot, but the shots didn't work together to advance the story. Divorced from context, you could take each frame and it be a well-composed and executed shot, but the film overall didn't flow in terms of cinematography.

This particularly became a problem with scenes of back-and-forth dialogue. Most every shot in those scenes was a shallow 1.8ish aperture medium-shot or close-up. For the entirety of the dialogue. An example of how this is a detriment, the whole story is about how bizarre and weird the town is. But when close to every shot is a medium-shot or close-up with a really shallow depth-of-field, we can barely see the environment that is so essential to the story.  If you want us to feel how bizarre the town is, then show us the town and let us soak in the environment alongside the dialogue. The set design is so good, and you're hiding it from the audience too much, you should want to show it off!

A medium-shot/close-up shot can convey so much when utilized at the right time. It can relay feelings of intensity, focus, even just to signify to the audience "THIS IS SOMETHING IMPORTANT." But the problem is when it's used so freuqently, it doesn't mean anything anymore. It's the classic Syndrome line, "when everyone's super, no one will be." When every shot is intense and dramatic, none of them are.

I just feel there should have been more variety in the shots/depth of field, etc. You clearly have the skillset to create excellent-looking shots, so have them work for you and the story beyond what's on the page and on the set.


I know that con section probably seems a lot longer than the pros, but that's just cause some stuff needs explaining. And everything I had a problem with, it's because the story itself and the storytelling works. Besides, the things I believe you could improve on is stuff that's miles ahead of most brickfilmers, who have to worry about animation, set design (I really have to worry about set design...), editing, on the most basic levels.

Overall, I really did enjoy Welcome to Darkmoor as a whole. There's a lot to love about it. It was very clearly your distinct vision and voice that you poured your heart and soul into, and you should be proud of it. Looking forward to what you have next. mini/smile

From what I understand, Squid had issues with his camera that didn't allow him to change the depth of field, hence why most of the movie has the same depth.

Re: Welcome to Darkmoor

sebas wrote:

From what I understand, Squid had issues with his camera that didn't allow him to change the depth of field, hence why most of the movie has the same depth.

Correct.
Before filing this film, I found a way to jam my aperture, which greatly mitigates flicker (although, doesn't not completely negate it).
As such, the aperture is unchanged for almost the entire movie. A small price to pay.

As for not showing the town that often, it was a conscious choice to not show it that much. I did consider showing more wide shots, and I even set up a few at some points, however, I found that I didn't like these because I felt like they distracted from the story and characters, and they're only used when I thought it needed because I didn't want it to get old. But perhaps I might have leaned too far in that direction. The town itself isn't actually very strange in appearance as it's meant to be roughly realistic (albeit a tad small for a real town, just abnormally large for a brickfilm).

I do agree that my shot progression needs work. I really did make a mess of some of the dialogue scenes. There are a few shots that cut to a different character who is from roughly the same angle and in the same part of the screen, giving this weird impression.

For the claws, I actually was looking for something closer to what you're describing and spent a lot of time on it, however, I simply failed to make anything convincing, I replaced my metal sounds with some bricks, and I found that I liked it slightly better.

Re: Welcome to Darkmoor

Darkmoor was awesome! very well done lighting, voice acting, sets, everything was top notch:)

MysteryBros Films

Re: Welcome to Darkmoor

Loved it, so much of it was like watching a professional-made film, it’s top quality (and deserves more views)
I think its perfect for a Halloween showing.