Thunder - Production Thread

Keegan
Keegan Posts: 294 Just Starting Out
edited July 2012 in Practical Filmmaking
Hello, everyone!

IT'S OUT! HERE IT IS!!!
For those of you who just want to see the Hitfilm action scenes, just watch the first 6 minutes and then the last 10 minutes :)

I have been sort of absent from Hitfilm and Youtube content-wise the past couple months and that is because I have been working diligently on a 30-minute short film titled "Thunder"
"Thunder" was originally conceived about a year ago with plans for shooting in the fall of 2011. Due to unforeseen circumstances, the actual filming of what we had already named "Project Thunder" had to be put off for a time. Though the actual production of Thunder was postponed, my ideas kept coming. To keep the vision alive, I decided to make 3 prequels, all of which led up to Thunder.
The first, Senty, follows an elite scout who recieves a transmission that his base is under attack and quickly sets off back home.
The Second, Broken Veil follows a young Transport Assistant who wakes up in his crashed supply truck after what appears to have been a large battle. Scavengers quickly find him and he escapes with his life.
The Third and final prequel is The Breach. This one follows Cpl. O'Brian as he fends off his bunker from a Phantom assault.

Trailer:

As always, all of the VFX were done in Hitfilm. The 3D models were done in 3DsMax. Sound/Cutting/Color grading done in Sony Vegas Movie Studio 10. :))
I'll be uploading bits and pieces of the score on Sound-cloud. The Epilogue-theme, "Hero's Respite" is up for free download right here!

Comments

  • Keegan
    Keegan Posts: 294 Just Starting Out
    A few Updates:
    -Total run time is 31:16.
    -Release is scheduled for Sunday, July 29th. (On Youtube. Local screenings happening earlier in the weekend).
    -The track "Thunder" featured in the trailer will be available for download on Saturday, July 28th. (The day before release). Again, the epilogue song is available for download already right here!
    I hope some of you are as excited as I am. I am not aware of any user-made, hitfilm-driven film this long! I certainly have never made anything like this before. Be ready :P
  • Froi
    Froi Posts: 966
    How do the first three link in together? It's kinda confusing for me.
    Also for the second one, i would add smoke and stuff to the truck to show it has crashed, as it looks like he has just woken up from a sleep in a a random abandoned truck.
    But as your films have progressed they have gotten better and that is the best thing to see! And your trailer does seem rather cool! I will definatley watch it.
    How old are you? As if you havent made many films It is risky making a half hour long short now.
    Most people make many short films (1-3mins) so they can learn from them, so when they make a long short film it will be the best it can and therefore keep the interest, of the average viewer, through out the whole film. As longer short films are harder to keep people captivated, because 30mins is a long time to watch a video for on the web (as Ryan Connolly said on fill, riot, that is why he was worried about tell, as it was so long and people may get bored of it) so it will be interesting to see how well you do that :) I am looking forward to it I must say!
    Good-Luck :D
    PS:
    I am also making a mini short soon (4ish mins), so watch out for that! ;)
  • Keegan
    Keegan Posts: 294 Just Starting Out
    Thunder brings all 3 prequels together, I promise xD
    I have made probably over a hundred short films by this point. None of them great, but all of them have been fun to make.
    I agree that 30 minutes is risky business when making an amateur film. I actually made the decision to make it a long-form story when my friends said they wanted longer, more serious films. They felt that the action was great but they also wanted some more story in there. From the general audience (i.e. not my friends) this probably won't garner many views, as it is zero budget, very long (for something on YT) and everything in pre and post was done by one person (me), so its bound to be clunky.
    Regardless, its a story that needed to be told. The final action scene is really fun and its sad that most people won't see it because they've already gone on to the next video :))
  • Froi
    Froi Posts: 966
    Well if you have made many films before this one should be good!
    Well views don't matter to much, it is whether the people who watched it like it it. There could be brilliant film out there with 100 views, and a bad one with 100,000 views. Just the thing you want is for the peopl to watch it to be people who have an interest it short films, so you can start to gain a good reputation with other short film makers ;)
  • Keegan
    Keegan Posts: 294 Just Starting Out
    This is true.
    I like the views because it brings in more opinions. More opinions offer better criticism and make the future stuff better. The films I made a year ago were terrible compared to what I'm doing now. I want to be able to say that every year. I never want to stop growing :)
    THATs why I like getting views :)
  • OrangePekoe
    OrangePekoe Posts: 478

    This is true.
    I like the views because it brings in more opinions. More opinions offer better criticism and make the future stuff better. The films I made a year ago were terrible compared to what I'm doing now. I want to be able to say that every year. I never want to stop growing :)
    THATs why I like getting views :)
    It's great to hear you so passionate about this field! That positive attitude and open mind to critique for future development will take you a long ways :)
  • jonesbros
    jonesbros Posts: 54
    Can you give us an idea what genre this will be? Sentry and Broken Veil seemed to be straight action type movies, but The Breach had more of a sci-fi feel to it.
  • Keegan
    Keegan Posts: 294 Just Starting Out
    The over-arching genre of this series of films (Sentry through Thunder) is most definitely Sci-Fi.
    Thunder has elements of sci-fi, war, and post-apocalyptic themes, but is mainly focused around a group of young, under-trained soldiers and their many trials and challenges.
    You can expect loads of action and a lot of mystery. A lot of the details are ironed out in the film, so I am not going to be over-zealous about laying out exposition. All three films introduce the key players and events in Thunder.
    Its really hard to explain at the moment because I have given you the puzzle but not all the pieces. Just know that everything is pretty tightly connected. :)
  • Keegan
    Keegan Posts: 294 Just Starting Out
    edited July 2012
    Thunder is out! I updated the original post but if you don't feel like scrolling up, here it is again!

    For those of you who just want to see the Hitfilm action scenes, just watch the first 6 minutes and then the last 10 minutes :)
  • jonesbros
    jonesbros Posts: 54
    Pretty good! The acting and editing were well done. The pacing was good; I was entertained throughout. I do wish the guns were handled more realistically(no sights on the rifle, guns clicking when they malfunctioned), but it didn't detract too much from the film. Overall, a good action movie with just enough hints of the back story to keep the viewer intrigued.
  • Keegan
    Keegan Posts: 294 Just Starting Out
    Totally agree with you there. Teaching actors how to handle firearms in a realistic manner is quite difficult if you're starting from scratch. Truth be told, I never even noticed the lack of sights on the rifle until someone posted about it on Youtube xD
    The clicking sound, though unrealistic, is kind of important to show the viewer that there has been some kind of jam or malfunction. Lots of movies do this so people who don't know much about firearms can figure out whats happening.
    Thanks for the feedback! Definitely things to be improved upon! :)
  • ESPictures
    ESPictures Posts: 533 Just Starting Out
    Overall, it was pretty good but there are a few things I noticed:
    1. The sound was uneven. When someone was talking you'd hear a lot of static and then when they stopped talking the static went away. The volume would go up and then down and then back up in the same scene when you switched camera angles. It kept pulling me out of the movie.
    2. At 3:44 a shell explodes and leave debris everywhere. But then the debris and the hole in the ground left by the detonation vanish.
    3. At some points the phantom's faces are blackened out under the hoods and at some points they aren't and human faces are revealed. It leaves me unsure what I should think about them. Are they supposed to be human or not human?
  • Keegan
    Keegan Posts: 294 Just Starting Out
    1. Sound was a huge problem. our audio equipment failed us, so we had to use in-camera sound and it was all bad xD
    2. I noticed, but I don't have any 3D tracking software. Otherwise, I totally would have put that in :P
    3. Depends on the shot :P Some of them are intentionally human faces, others were shots that were literally impossible to mask correctly without spending more time than I had. Its all about trade-offs. I could have spent another 2 months editing this, but then I wouldn't be able to move on to any new projects! B-)
    Thanks for the feedback, everyone!
  • Froi
    Froi Posts: 966
    I notice on all your stock footage there is a darker coloured rim around them. EG. Your muzzle flashes have a darker red/yellow colour around the edge of the flash, and same with some of your explosions. I am guessing you didn't change your blending mode to ad for these elements?
    It makes the action feel less real and not as good a quality as it could be.
    But i do like the film, especially some of the camera shots you used, there was one near the start which was awesome, following people whilst being really well stabilised, making it look cool.
    I agree with the sound, mentioned above. In my short film i fade in the sound from start and end of clips so the white noise will not suddenly appear and disappear. Unless there is someone speaking, then i just cut to their voice leaving out all the white noise before it (but i only do that when they speak instantly or it will sound weird, "no white noise, speaking, white noise".
    Also, a tip for next time. Take a light (a battery powered one as you can't take a film light into the woods, no power). I say this because sometimes your actors faces are dark and the surrounding area is brighter, so if you get a light you can shine it in their face and make them more visible and easier to see, but i must say lighting is quite hard in day time haha!
    So there is some constructive criticism. I hope you liked it. If not, I'm sorry haha :P .
    Thumbs up for the film!