Confrontation At Dawn - Witchery short film

SimonKJones
SimonKJones ModeratorWebsite User, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 4,448 Enthusiast
edited April 2012 in Practical Filmmaking
Hey everybody! Over at It's A Trap we just finished a new short film we've been working on for a while that is loosely inspired by the Witcher games. It should have come out earlier this year, but a variety of personal and professional hurdles got in the way. Nevertheless, it's done, and here it is:

The idea behind this project was twofold: to do some test fight choreography, to try out some new camera gear, and to work with DoP Tom Martin prior to the Arms Race web series. On all counts it was a very useful test and I'm pretty happy with how the short came out - it might not be particularly strong in the story department, but it was a lot of fun to work on and is hopefully fun to watch as well.
Next up we shoot the Arms Race web series in a couple of weeks, which is hugely exciting!
Incidentally, The Witcher 2 computer game just came out on Xbox360, so if you didn't get to play it on PC last year - GO BUY IT NOW. It's awesome.

Comments

  • Thelurkerish
    Thelurkerish Website User Posts: 141
    I really enjoyed it, couple of bits where the punches dont quite connect ( around the 2:40) but overall it was a great. Really looking forward to the Arm Race webseries
    I see Kotaku have picked up on your video. its the top story as I post this
  • OrangePekoe
    OrangePekoe Website User Posts: 478
    I really enjoyed this!
    Favorite parts were definitely the arrow disintegration and the pulse wave at the end.
    For the eye color changes did you need extra light directed towards your actors? Which points did you find were best for tracking? I tried a similar effect but wasn't able to track the new layer on top of the eye well enough. Gonna have to take another stab at it now!!
  • SimonKJones
    SimonKJones Moderator Website User, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 4,448 Enthusiast
    Thanks guys! I'll see if I can throw a few tutorials together for the eyes & demon face thing! Both turned out rather better than I'd expected and didn't actually require much work.
    Orange - the eyes mostly tracked just fine as they were, with a little bit of manual tweakage.
  • Aculag
    Aculag Website User Posts: 708 Just Starting Out
    This is really cool. I like the reversal of expectations, with the blue coat guy turning out to be the demon, not the Witcher.
    Also, being a fan of the series, I appreciated your use of "ploughing whoreson". :)
  • SimonKJones
    SimonKJones Moderator Website User, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 4,448 Enthusiast
    edited April 2012
    Hehe, couldn't resist getting that phrase in. :P I wish we could have got someone better to do the narration (ie, not me!) but it wasn't to be.
    Most important thing is that we learned a lot from making this about fight choreography, shooting and editing action, new equipment and some VFX techniques. They should all put us in a good position heading into the Arms Race web series.
    Right, time to rummage up a quick mini-b-t-s on the demon face thing. Here we go:
  • Aculag
    Aculag Website User Posts: 708 Just Starting Out
    I thought that narration was you, but I wasn't quite sure. I think it sounded great.
  • SimonKJones
    SimonKJones Moderator Website User, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 4,448 Enthusiast
    Ah, well thanks. It probably works slightly better for people that don't actually know me and the two actors face-to-face. :P
  • SimonKJones
    SimonKJones Moderator Website User, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 4,448 Enthusiast
    Here's another behind-the-scenes! This time taking a look at some of the CG crossbow bolts:
  • Darren
    Darren Website User Posts: 164
    Good stuff Simon - I also thought the VO was you.
  • Froi
    Froi Website User Posts: 966
    Yeah good job! I watched it a second time and it definatley looks good, and I am liking the music :D
    However, jut my opinion, I am not the biggest fan of the orangey colour grading, but I don't know if that is how the game looks, so therefore that is how the video should look. I prefer a blue tint myself as it just feels clearer, but then again, I guess that is how the game looks?
    I do like the effects alot, especially the cross bow arrow catch :)
    Also I noticed it was you in the voice over, and as you said earlier Simon "ie not me" I disagree. With a bit of tweaking, and making the voice deeper a bit and playing with the tones non what not I feel that the narration could sound awesome :)
    Good job, and I am interested in seeing what the new web series shall be like!
  • mercianfilm
    mercianfilm Website User Posts: 161
    Great stuff Simon- i really enjoyed this! I'm not familiar with the series but i think it's great how you made it easily accesible to newbies like me, whilst still having phrases fans would recognise. I liked the choreography as well- i don't know if it's similiar to the game but it seemed a fresh new style- not quite eastern martial arts and not street brawler.Very cool.
    I also liked the Voice-over , i wasn't sure if it was you but it did fit the character perfectly.
    Looking forward to arm's race!
    Sam
  • TGamel
    TGamel Website User Posts: 81
    edited April 2012
    After viewing your face bruising tutorial, I can see how easy it really is to add small facial blemishes or changes to the eyes that remain on screen for only a few seconds such as the eye changes on vampires in such as the BBC TV series "Being Human" and the American TV series "The Vampire Diaries". Will have to shoot some stock footage and play around with this technique....Thanks again Simon.
    BTW, I never like the way my voice sounds when I do voice overs on my videos. I swear it never sounds like me, but my wife says it does...Anyway knew it was you right from the start having watched so many of your videos, sounded great to me.
    Todd
  • spydurhank
    spydurhank Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 3,088 Ambassador
  • SimonKJones
    SimonKJones Moderator Website User, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 4,448 Enthusiast
    edited April 2012

    After viewing your face bruising tutorial, I can see how easy it really is to add small facial blemishes or changes to the eyes that remain on screen for only a few seconds such as the eye changes on vampires in such as the BBC TV series "Being Human" and the American TV series "The Vampire Diaries". Will have to shoot some stock footage and play around with this technique....Thanks again Simon.
    Something I really want to try next is Wolverine-style self-healing. That should be pretty easy to do with the same basic techniques + some animated masks.
    On a related note, I found this video on YouTube that was apparently done in HitFilm. It presumably uses similar techniques:

    [quote]BTW, I never like the way my voice sounds when I do voice overs on my videos. I swear it never sounds like me, but my wife says it does...Anyway knew it was you right from the start having watched so many of your videos, sounded great to me.[/quote]
    Thanks! Apparently the reason our voices never sound right to ourselves is that we normally hear it reverberating directly through the jaw bone, which obviously isn't the case when you hear a recording played back.
  • SimonKJones
    SimonKJones Moderator Website User, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 4,448 Enthusiast
    edited April 2012
    Here's another quick tutorial, taking a look at the magical shield shot:
  • madmike
    madmike Website User Posts: 135
    Would be good to see as many of the tuturials including the witchery ones on a dvd. I'd certainly pay for that. I remember when I first had visionlab and I would pause the space adventure dvd on my TV and then replicate the effects myself. Its so much easier that way.
    Where did the Tarn nickname come from and why don't you use it on hitfilm?
    Keep them coming you teach us all so much.
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