THE LINK - Production Thread

Keegan Posts: 287 Just Starting Out*
edited May 2014 in Practical Filmmaking
Hey guys! I've been a busy bee, working on a couple feature films and web series' over the past year. One of which is one that I am both writing and directing, called "The Link", which is a sci-fi action series set in the near future.
I am releasing it in 4 parts. The Prologue and Acts 1, 2 and 3. Hopefully it will culminate to a form a 30 minute short film. Since this is a VFX-heavy short, I decided to post it here, as Hitfilm Ultimate has been instrumental in the film's production. 
Anyway, enough Jibber-jabbering, I'll be updating this thread as the different episodes are released. Let me know what you think!!!
Jeez guys, sorry about the typos. I typed this topic up while suffering from a fever and I guess all attempts to proofread or obey the laws of grammar went right out the window! My bad!


  • Marshall2000_uk
    Marshall2000_uk Posts: 185 Enthusiast
    Nice. I enjoyed that. I'm really looking forward to the rest.
  • spydurhank
    spydurhank Posts: 3,156 Expert
    Nothing but awesomeness right here!!!  :) 
  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,190 Power User
    Very nice! A tiny detail that looks VERY good is your bullet ejections. Looking forward to the rest of this.
  • KirstieT
    KirstieT Posts: 1,262 Staff
    While the prologue itself is great (and I love the planes flying overhead at the end), what I really liked about it was the title sequence (at the end). Really intriguing and to me looks like a professional production. I especially like the audio of all of the small beads clicking into place. Was that part created within HitFilm and what technique did you use for that?
    Look forward to the next part :)
  • Keegan
    Keegan Posts: 287 Just Starting Out*
    Thanks guys! Part 1 is filmed and parts 2 and 3 are in production as we speak!
    Triem23 -  Thanks, man! I tried really hard to make them look good, but I felt I never quite got it right. Maybe I'm just being too critical of myself? haha.
    KirstieT - For the visuals, I used the AE plugin, Element 3D. I specifically had what I wanted the "Link Core" to look like in my brain and I knew exactly how to do it in element, so that was nice. For the audio, I used a plethora of audio files from, some foley I did (Glue some marbles to your fingers and tap stuff. It sounds so cool!) as well as a few free sounds BOOM libraries gave away this winter!
    I used Hitfilm for the muzzle flashes, ejections and other miscellaneous stuff that takes longer in After Effects. Hitfilm is so quick and looks so good. OH! I also used Hitfilm to composite the jets into the last shot! Rendered them in 3DSmax, used the sky as a matte and popped 'em in. Camera shake to taste :)
  • GodofThunder
    GodofThunder Posts: 190 Enthusiast
    Looks great!

    Plot wise I was confused why the yellow suited gunman was unable to figure out where the sniper was, surely the muzzle flashes would have given him away. (Sorry minor quibble, but it drew me out the film a bit).

    Fx were well handled!
  • Keegan
    Keegan Posts: 287 Just Starting Out*
    Mark Brown-
    A fair criticism. What's funny is you actually COULDN'T see anything with those damn masks on because the water vapor from your breath would accumulate on the eyeholes and blur everything. Unfortunately, you couldn't really tell and it gave off the impression that Wolf and Hammer were just two blind idiots. Perhaps if I had put a muzzle flash suppressor on the bad guy's gun, it would have made more sense? What do you think?
    In a week or two, once I am able to actually start editing the first episode, I'll post some production pictures for you guys! Thanks for watching and I promise there will be some mind-blowing VFX in Act 1!
  • Keegan
    Keegan Posts: 287 Just Starting Out*
    Hey guys! Updated the main post with ACT I
    Honestly, it's a miracle this is still going. More than half of our actors flaked out on us and I lost a good portion of my crew during production. On top of that, I lost a whole card full of footage and stepped on a nail during a shoot, leaving me useless for a week. The end result is a poorly planned, shot and edited episode that, honestly, I'm not very proud of. The entire script has been rewritten and we are proceeding as planned with Act II and III
    (At the end, you can catch a little preview of Act II, which I am super pumped for!)
    As I said, I am not proud of this and I might go as far to say this is one of the worst shorts I have put out in a long time. Regardless, I'd love to hear your criticisms and all the stuff you guys would have improved on. Your criticism helps me a ton and makes me a better filmmaker!
    Thanks, love you all. 
  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,190 Power User
    I think you're being a little hard on yourself, Keegs. If you hadn't given the massive disclaimer above, I'd never have thought that the shooting and editing wasn't anything other than solid.
    Tone wise, it's a bit similar to the Prolog, in that we're again following two rebels/soldiers/spies attempting to sabotage a LINK relay without much solid exposition on what the factions and motivations are.
    My main critiques are on your audio edit--obviously, you used mostly production sound. I don't know if you're grabbing "wild" or ambience audio on location, but, right now I'm really really hearing the audio edits--especially when there's a pan or camera move to bring the actors in frame, then the BG noise kicks in. Ambience audio will give you raw BG to help smooth those.
    My second main critique is I'd like to see you repaint your airsoft guns. You've got some red barrel showing, which is a giveaway, and, overall, they're still really looking plasticy. A little dark wash to pick out shadow details and some drybrush to pick up highlights will help kill the plastic look.
    Otherwise, I'm looking forward to Act II, so, hopefully your re-jig will give you result you're happier with.