Hero Story - Teaser Trailer

AndrewAndrew Website User Posts: 379 Enthusiast
edited July 2013 in Practical Filmmaking
Hey guys! I put out a teaser trailer for my forthcoming short, 'Hero Story', earlier today. Check it out when you can and let me know your thoughts. As I've posted here before, the film is in the vein of Unbreakable and a few other dramatic shorts we've done in the past sort of mixed together, and was our second project to shoot on the Sony FS700.

An Atomic Production   -   www.facebook.com/atomicpro   -   2013


  • SimonKJonesSimonKJones Moderator Website User, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 4,450 Enthusiast
    Looking forward to this, absolutely. This is a pretty decent teaser - it's the 2 shots of Reese looking down at his school table, then the shot of the Marvel comic that hook me in. Those two shots on their own tell me enough to make me want to see the film. Simple though they are, they're bursting with story potential.
    I like the idea of the 'principles' voiceover more than the execution, I think. In context of the movie I think it'll work better, but here it has such a strong focus that it ends up feeling a bit too serious and portentous. That could be more to do with my general malaise for dark, gritty superhero movies, though.
    Looks intriguing. I'm looking forward to finding out where you take the story, given that it's a rode trod many times already - Super and Kick Ass being the most obvious examples.
  • Sci Fi Ecstasy ChannelSci Fi Ecstasy Channel Website User Posts: 48
    It looks to be well shot. I think a little more action might have "Hooked me in", but I'll definately check it out when I see it up on the HF movie wall.
  • AndrewAndrew Website User Posts: 379 Enthusiast
    Thanks guys, appreciate the response. Sometimes I can't help that self-serious, portentous tone, Simon. It's in my blood.  ;) 
    Though for the sake of it, I also wanted to give off more of an 'Unbreakable' feel than a 'Kick-Ass' or 'Super' one with this, so I erred on the side of too melodramatic/dark than go too light with it.
  • KahvehRobinettKahvehRobinett Website User Posts: 443
    edited August 2013
    Great trailer! Although its very much a "teaser" there's not all that much footage to be seen. It does look quite cool though, maybe a bit too overdramatic for my tastes. Very interested in seeing the entire film. Do you plan on releasing a full length trailer?
  • AndrewAndrew Website User Posts: 379 Enthusiast
    edited August 2013
    As it's a short film, it's unlikely I'll do a 'trailer' trailer. It just wouldn't make sense, and I'm more partial to 'teaser trailers' anyway. It's definitely a darker, dramatic effort- something to pull us back to our roots. We try and temper everything we do between a range of styles these days, since we're so ingrained in music videos and other comedic efforts. Gotta spice it up with the heavy-handed drama stuff every now and then for good measure and consistency.
  • SimonKJonesSimonKJones Moderator Website User, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 4,450 Enthusiast
    This is an original Atomic film, which is basically all I need to know. You may recall over the years I've hounded you occasionally to do more original content and fewer parodies/fanfilms/etc. Whenever you've done properly original content, whether for 48hours or otherwise, it tends to turn out very nicely indeed.
  • MatthiasClaflinMatthiasClaflin Website User Posts: 674 Just Starting Out
    Any news on this Andrew? Did you guys release this and I miss it?
  • AndrewAndrew Website User Posts: 379 Enthusiast
    Hey Matthias.
    I've released it a few places to certain people, but there's no live copy uploaded to the internet right now, unfortunately, as it's being considered in a few festivals and being primed to be submitted to SXSW this month, so we decided to hold off on the full release due to conflicts with that. We've always tried to put our stuff out for as many people to see the moment we can, obviously, but in this case we're holding off a bit to test the festival waters.
    Since our timing works out for submissions, and all. Likewise with another short we just wrapped up production on, which I (minutes ago) put a trailer out for called 'Hermanos'. That one will be much more avante-garde than Hero Story, but I hope it works out nicely, as it's easily some of the most beautiful stuff Ben's shot. Check it out here:

  • SimonKJonesSimonKJones Moderator Website User, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 4,450 Enthusiast
    That looks intriguing. Pretty much all the shots are ace, but the diffuse one at about 16 seconds is particularly lovely.
    Also: stupid festivals. :/
  • AndrewAndrew Website User Posts: 379 Enthusiast
    Thanks, Simon. It's more of a visual short than anything else, but it was also (though I wasn't there for production) to my understanding quite an interesting shoot, as it was shot on-location on the Texas/Mexico border. The river shown in it being the divide between the U.S. and Mexico, and being an illustration of its beauty and placidity, and not just the murders and drugs and warring along most of it.
  • SimonKJonesSimonKJones Moderator Website User, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 4,450 Enthusiast
    Sounds great. I love that you're using geographical locations to set a tone for the film. 
  • MatthiasClaflinMatthiasClaflin Website User Posts: 674 Just Starting Out
    edited September 2013
    Looks really good, as always. Definitely looking forward to that one. Will you be submitting Hermanos to festivals too? Or will that one be popping up on the web a bit sooner than Hero Story? What did you guys shoot Hermanos with? And do you choose different cameras based on the "look" you want for your film?
  • SimonKJonesSimonKJones Moderator Website User, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 4,450 Enthusiast
    If we pretend the HitFilm.com forum is, in fact, a festival, can we watch it now? :P
  • BenBen Website User Posts: 51
    edited September 2013
    We've been really backed up on moving out of Austin (at least for the time being) and finishing some work we had out of Los Angeles, so the editing and finishing-up of our outstanding 'passion' projects has been slow; making it easier for us to just push them into hopeful festival releases.
    Although I wouldn't say that Hermanos or Hero Story are particularly the films of ours I'd see going a whole festival run -- I thought they'd play more like quicker web releases -- it has worked out sort of conveniently for us to just run the gamut and see what happens.
    Hero Story was conceived by Andrew whilst I was wrapped up in some paid work for clients, and so I had to sit out a fair amount of the shooting for that. As such, I didn't end up as the DP as I normally do on our Atomic projects. I was able to shoot and light the classroom scene, which I'm really pleased with; but the rest of the film was shot by our friend and colleague Andrew Hajek (another Andrew and two Bens on our crew here, who are we?) who also happens to own a Sony FS700.
    My approach to filmmaking has always been twofold: to try and really do something visually, and to give the film a heart and soul, some sense of feeling. We've been able to capture disparate visual elements for years, and that's often been a point of both praise and criticism for us -- relying too heavily upon our visual skills.
    However, as we've gotten older (and I've been fortunate enough to enough a degree in film) I find myself pushing to try new formats, new lighting styles and new ideas visually; in an effort to really 'conquer' what so many people have lambasted us for over the years. It's one thing if people criticize us being too visual and write off our visual skills as forsaking other areas of focus. It's another thing if we forsake other areas and let advances in the visual area pass us by -- because then we're left behind altogether.
    So, with Hero Story, Andrew looked to capitalize on the use of super-slow-motion and the idea of Hajek, with whom we'd shot this music video on a whim and wanted to explore the camera and its 'look' a bit more. So that's why we decided to push away from DSLRs and use a next-gen camera, in this case the Sony FS700.
    Meanwhile, as you may or may not know, we purchased the Canon C100 and christened it by first using it on our most recent 24 hour film, Promise Worth Keeping. We shot that with our friend Josh and on a new camera and still had to get the kinks out of the totally new shooting process and editing workflow. Since then, we've not had much chance to really focus on the visual elements and advances afforded by our new camera, and so Hermanos was our weekend-long excuse to go on a road trip and shoot something different to 'push' the camera.
    Although Hermanos was conceived with very little script or plot in mind, we set out from the beginning to make it a very visual film. It's exceedingly simple -- there's only one lit scene with dialog -- outside of that, all the exteriors are location and timing choices for natural and practical light sources. Josh, whose brother lives on the border and who has been wanting us to come check out the locale for quite some time, insisted that we approach the project like Roger Deakins on a smaller budget; wherein we make choices for the quality of the narrative based upon what our visual choices are during the production.
    This means we shot a lot at two different sunsets, did about a day of scouting through the night of nightclubs and ambient street lighting, and took the skeletal script and incorporated these elements as motivating factors for the scenes and the plot.
    I've probably explored this ad nauseam here, but long story short:
    It's never been easy for us to get together and shoot anything really 'complete' without taking it super seriously, setting everything else aside, and really doing it. And, at least with Hero Story and to a lesser extent Hermanos, we're experimenting with what happens if we really stay dedicated to making short films whilst doing other paid work, but narrow our focus on such films so that we can really capitalize on specific elements. The result, I think, is 'simpler' work, but work which really gets to stand out in its own regard. Neither Hero Story nor Hermanos are done being edited (although the latter was conceived about two weeks ago and shot the following weekend, so it's a very immediate, straightforward project) primarily because we want to really be able to get the right results out of either piece, even if that means cutting or re-engineering either story.
    So you may watch either upcoming short film (sometime later, I'm sure) and feel like one is short on plot or character; but you'll definitely notice the diversity and experimentation we're doing with the visuals, the narrative, and the complexity of the stories. That's why we're using different cameras and equipment, and that's why we're trying to just do a lot of different things. It's all a learning process, and I think the results -- in some ways more than others -- will really be worth it.
  • SimonKJonesSimonKJones Moderator Website User, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 4,450 Enthusiast
    Very interesting post, ta for that, Ben. Don't see you around here as often as I'd like, so I appreciated that epic smorgasbord of words.
  • MatthiasClaflinMatthiasClaflin Website User Posts: 674 Just Starting Out
    edited September 2013
    Yeah it has been a while since anyone was killed by a falling wall of words... ;) (or is that reference too old?)
    But in all seriousness. It sounds like you all have been keeping busy. I'm excited to see what comes of Hero Story and Hermanos. Should be very interesting.
  • PhilWessonPhilWesson Website User Posts: 241 Enthusiast
    subscribed! I love your visual style!
  • MichaelJamesMichaelJames Website User Posts: 2,038 Enthusiast

    Andrew very nice work.  One thing that people don't think about which impacts if they make it into legit film festivals and beyond is music copyright.  Now I've always been the one on here preaching people to understand fair use laws and not to buy into the hype but music copyright is a big hindrance for indie filmmakers looking to gain attention.  No one wants to distribute work that wasn't whole heartedly created by you or that you have permission to use.  So major festivals screen people out right there when they see something and they are like umm I don't see anything saying permission was granted by Jay Z or anyone affiliated with his label.  Its such a small and stupid thing but don't get screened out over it.  I am sure there are any number of music guys in your circle or on this site who can give you something done on a piano with that same cadence that is just different enough that no one will say no over that.  In some festivals they've let copyrighted material in and then people approach the filmmaker afterwards because they are interested in the project and a major song was used as more then just interchangeable background music.  Then you have companies saying well as soon as you get permission and pay the fees we can do business with you.

  • AndrewAndrew Website User Posts: 379 Enthusiast
    edited November 2013
    Andrew very nice work.  One thing that people don't think about which impacts if they make it into legit film festivals and beyond is music copyright.  

    MichaelJames, I'm not insulted- obviously- because I appreciate you trying to look out for me and my work here. But you should know, for the many many many years I've been a part of the FXhome fold/community, that I've been a HUGE stickler for licensed or originally-created music in all the content I've done (or seen of others)- and that never have I ever used copyrighted music in anything I've been a part of for probably the past 7-8 years. I purchase, I license, or I have it created for my original work. Always.
    The instrumental to 'Holy Grail' by Jay-Z here is only for promotional purposes of the teaser, as the actual short was originally-scored, and the teaser wasn't included in the festival packaging we sent in.
    Additionally, for what it's worth, the beat and instrumental to 'Holy Grail' that's in the video above is an entirely ground-up recreation I had arranged by a musician I contacted online, with the same cues as that of the real song, but not the actual song itself. The instrumental was something I had worked-on and created before the album (or song) itself actually came out, and was pieced-together through listening to the beat in the handful of Jay-Z Samsung ads that came out over the summer.
    While I would agree the territory behind copyright is still murky in those waters, and it isn't something I would hold onto on the actual short, it should give you an idea of how much I value original content and properly-secured music in the stuff I do. Laborious. That's the word that's usually associated with the amount of time and attention I put into finding and securing rights to music I use in things.
    Unless it's an online demo reel, I don't touch copyrighted music. Rookie mistake.

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