New Short - Snowblind

SNOWBLIND 2 by StrikeEm, on Flickr
We had a fair bit of snow fall recently in the UK, so a friend of mine wanted to do a bit of practice filming in the conditions, we've been needing to get back into the whole short film creation for a while now, we didn't really have any prior planning other than a rough outline for some actions or shot ideas.

(Some violence)
We filmed in a location I had been to the previous day to do some photography (you may have seen some of the shots I took in the post your photography thread'). It's a beautiful location that i have used in a short before, but the Winter Conditions gave the area a completely different look.
SNOWBLIND 3 by StrikeEm, on Flickr
Unfortunately we were unable to get hold of anyone to help with acting, so we ended up having to multitask, so some shots aren't as well framed or dynamic as I would have liked them to be if I was behind the camera the whole time.


  • SimonKJones
    SimonKJones Moderator Website User, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 4,450 Enthusiast
    Nice. While the story is fairly generic (I've lost count of the number of times I've seen a random sniper kill a random dude in a forest), the style and tone is well crafted. The end in particular, with the pace slowed right down leading up to the kill, is quite chilling and unexpectedly affecting, given the lack of any actual characters. The headshot VFX were also handled nicely - how much of that was practical?
  • StrikeEmStudios
    StrikeEmStudios Website User Posts: 224
    Thanks Simon, Yeah the story is something done millions of times before by amateur filmmakers/effects testers; we knew that and joked about it when we were throwing a few ideas around before we set out for filming - I'm actually quite critical of and knowing of clichés and stories that seem generic, but sometimes you just have to run with it, be it for a bit of practice or to set up one of those action sequences that are so common on Youtube. Since we only had myself and my frequent collaborator Dan on this project we couldn't do anything too extravagant.
    I wasn't 100% sure on what the shots Dan was taking would look like, or the style which he had in mind for post, but I had a eerie, atmospheric idea in mind for all the shots I set up (wide shots/ ending sequence). It being so cold, and having to roll around in the snow so much meant we sometimes missed a few shots that would have improved continuity in places, and setting up shots to have two people in frame can be fairly difficult to set up with a single person.
    As for the blood and gunshots, it's all 100% digital, mainly from Action Essentials 2, and a few elements from Rodypolis' stock pack. The sound was part foley and part library, and i think the sound editing sets the atmosphere, and in a way makes a few of the shot's i'm not too impressed with more forgivable. It's really great to know you thought some of it was practical, as i haven't actually touched any compositing since January last year.
  • SimonKJones
    SimonKJones Moderator Website User, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 4,450 Enthusiast
    It's the splatter on the floor that sold it for me, works very nicely indeed. Plus, of course, the gunshot and splatter is all very, very fast; something that is often overplayed.
  • StormyKnight
    StormyKnight Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 2,729 Ambassador
  • Keegan
    Keegan Website User Posts: 294 Just Starting Out
    I think the place where this film excels is in pacing. Even though the story was generic and the white balance looked funny in some spots (probably just thr 480p messing with me), I was completely sucked in. I literally jumped when the sniper laid down the killing blow. Great work. You're going places.
  • TomMc
    TomMc Website User Posts: 112 Just Starting Out
    I thought the way it was shot and edited was excellent. There is definitely a tendency to always go for rapid cuts and shaky hand held styles when making action based sequences, but the pacing and static camera shots create a real feeling of menace - it reminded me a little of a Hitchcock style setup! I also thought of Fargo, but that may have just been the snow...
  • StrikeEmStudios
    StrikeEmStudios Website User Posts: 224
    Thanks Tom and Keegs, that is some really unexpected praise for such a simple and quickly filmed short!
    The style is something that was definitely influenced by the weather conditions, and by the fact only 2 people were on the shoot - but i wouldn't have filmed it too differently if i was behind the camera for the entire shoot, in fact i would have attempted to use my Steadicam and would have used more drifting movements rather than handheld shots.
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