The Splinter Cell - Full Live-Action Short Film

Andrew
Andrew Website User Posts: 379 Enthusiast

Hey guys,

So yesterday evening we finally released our project, 'The Splinter Cell', which some may remember was a throwback passion project to the days of the original Fxhome forums and cinema almost a decade ago. With the release, we've heavily marketed and hyped the project, which has thankfully paid off with a warm reception that could've, given the attitude of gamers and videogame franchise lovers online, been much, much more negative.

Anyway, it's out now. And I'd love for everyone here in this community to check it out. Though it acts as a standalone short, this project is indeed something- given the right budget and time to complete- like to continue into a multi-part saga, so do let us know your thoughts and if/what you'd like to see in the future.

Comments

  • rgbii
    rgbii Website User Posts: 965 Just Starting Out

    Nice!   I liked node to Texas in the Berlin warehouse :)

  • TimLan635
    TimLan635 Website User Posts: 52 Enthusiast

    Nicely done!  Felt like a "real" movie or TV series.  The aerials of the pentagon fit in nicely with the already great production values. 

    So, I'm pretty sure I recognized the kid in the photos -- or at least could guess his name in two tries...  However, I'm not really familiar with the characters in the games or the novels, so I have to ask: is "Nikola Gorski" a nod to a couple of other, early FxHome alumni.

  • Andrew
    Andrew Website User Posts: 379 Enthusiast
    edited December 2014

    That it is, Tim. Sam Gorski and Niko Pueringer, aside from being our pals in real-life these days, are longtime friends from the early 2003/2004 days of Fxhome.

    So, in 2005 when we initially made our first little Splinter Cell project, we named our villain 'Gorski' as a subtle in-joke to the community. Then, this year when we were expanded on that villain, I gave him a first name. 'Nikolaj'.

    So, yeah. 'Nikolaj Gorski'. A not-so-subtle nod to some old friends that maybe some people will get and some older users will appreciate. And if not, hey, no big either. Still a cool fictional Russian terrorist name. 

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 19,022 Ambassador

    Nicely done, Andrew and Ben! Incidentally, I posted this last night in the Camera Projection thread right underneath the Camera Projection mini-tutorial Simon Jones did (which used a shot from your film as the example). 

  • SimonKJones
    SimonKJones Moderator Website User, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 4,450 Enthusiast

    This came out really nicely! You maintain the mood throughout, it generally looks lovely, and your actors do a fine job. As I mentioned somewhere else, the interviewer does a remarkable job because his dialogue is almost entirely exposition, but he manages to make it work. No mean feat.

    Cool music, too. Was that specially composed?

  • Andrew
    Andrew Website User Posts: 379 Enthusiast
    edited December 2014

    Yeah, the interviewer- an actor named Todd Gable- really was fantastic. He was somewhat of a gamble,  as our initial actor to play his role grew out his hair and a beard for another role (he's the ending baddie in the short now, instead), and suggested a handful of actors to replace him for the position.

    Of all of them, the one Ben and I liked best was Todd, so we hired him sight-unseen and the first time we met him was our initial encounter on-set, after-hours at like 11pm at night. Because he shot in an operational office building, we'd move stuff around and shoot until way into the morning for both the warehouse and office stuff. Until 8am, one day. But Todd was a trooper. Stuck through it, delivered a huge amount of one-sided exposition, and did so pretty much pitch-perfectly in my opinion. Definitely 'got' the vibe and cross-cutting style we go for right off-the-bat.

    Likewise, the music was originally-composed for this, too, yeah. Our composer's name is Matt Bukaty. He contacted me this past summer following one of our shorts screening in a festival that he attended, and we've used him for everything we've done since. Extremely talented guy. Though he's scored three of our projects that have been released now, and Splinter Cell was the last to premiere, it was actually the very first he started work on.

    Incredibly talented, fast, and patient. I am so heavily reliant on music in my head to set a mood and work through an edit, but I'm also terrible terrible terrible at understanding music theory, sounds, tone, or melody. It's hard for me to even pinpoint the difference in piano versus guitar I hear, or articulate precisely what I want. But Matt figured it out. We went through probably 2 solid months of email and phone tag with notes every now and then of little changes, flourishes, how to pace the different parts, and rearranging segments for the best flow. But it got there, and is really amazing-sounding because of Matt.

    Likewise with VFX and you, Simon. I can talk and edit and produce all day long, but when it comes to music and VFX- I'm totally lost and don't always have the right words to describe what we want. I'm quite lucky to work with such accommodating and talented people that work through this, nonetheless. ;)

  • SimonKJones
    SimonKJones Moderator Website User, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 4,450 Enthusiast

    I might be overstating it a bit (almost certainly, in fact), but some of Todd's line deliveries are almost Spielbergian, I thought. By which I mean that he elevates apparently ordinary lines into something that sounds semi-iconic, simply through intonation and pacing of his speech patterns. You know, that's how lines from Jaws and Jurassic Park and Indiana Jones are part of the pop culture lexicon, even if on the page they're nothing special.

    So yeah, I'm probably hyperbolising there. But there were definitely a few moments where I felt he was doing something quite special with his lines.

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 19,022 Ambassador

    Your actor delivered his lines so well, I never consciously thought, "My, there's a lot of exposition!" As noted, this is very very difficult to pull off. 

  • Andrew
    Andrew Website User Posts: 379 Enthusiast

    Yeah, Todd really nailed it. The cinematic, moment-of-truth-y vibe we were going for in the pointed, single-line style (all the way down to the dollying-in on every bit of exposition) he really latched onto well.

    Really made handfuls of words that could've fallen by the wayside much more meaningful. Especially "I ask Langley for a team. They give me a name."

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