The Movie in Question

Posted: August 18, 2011 in Entertainment, Movies



The movie discussed in the post here, in case anyone has the good taste to be curious.





Screening at festivals, conventions and single location theaters now. Hopefully on DVD by the Christmas shopping season.

  1. Sean says:

    I can’t wait to see this.

  2. jjchandler says:

    Yeah, it’s actually pretty fun to watch. Plus you can see where everyone’s abilities with film making have taken leaps and bounds since the last full length film they did. The only thing that bugged me (and that term is overstating it quite a bit) was the action scenes. Fight choreography is a bit like dancing in a way and you really, really have to get the timing as perfect as you can in the fight and you have to be able to get the action from the right angle and in the right way for it to really sing. It’s such a specialized art, both the fighting and the filming of it, that it takes a lot of time and practice and the production rarely had the time it needed. But what is there is pretty good nonetheless.

  3. Sean says:

    Thinking some more about this whilst being awake waiting to do a radio show. Fight scenes can be done as long as there aren’t extensive shots of the combatants speaking. You act out the moves in slowish motion, then increase the speed from 1.0 to about 1.4ish in the editing computer. Either mute or chop the soundtrack on the clip you increase, then run either ambient noise or foley underneath it. The only time it gets complicated is if there’s fluid spurting out of parts of bodies or motion in the background. Even then, you could film the background, then film the fight, then composite them together later.

    I think too much.

    • jjchandler says:

      When helping some friend’s younger siblings with film projects in school, I found that you can make almost anyone look like Bruce Lee if you film the action four to five moves at a time. You have someone study the entire fight so that they understand where they’re going, but you actually film it it short bursts.

      By keeping the sequence to so few moves, even people with minimal fighting skills can look good because they’re not trying to build the entire fight scene from move one to move twenty. It also allows you to cover some actor’s weak points as a fighter by being able to shift to a new camera location every few beats. I’m not talking MTV jump editing here, just using the last strike of each sequence to cut to the reaction shot of the person being hit. But even then, the actions scenes came still look a bit sluggish if you film them too tight.

      It’s easy, but it’s not something that could be done here with a number of the fighting scenes. You had multiple attackers against multiple good guys in several scenes and you had a few people working with weapons (including a real sword) who had very little background with them. Ted did a great job getting everyone up to speed as much as possible, but realistically there would have to have been a lot more work done for what was needed.

      One of the things you just have to live with in indie and low budget filming is that you have what you have. To do what was being done here with a larger budget and actors and extras who didn’t have day jobs, Ted would have had everyone in a training camp for at least six weeks and five or six 8 hour days out of each week. Everyone would have been run through the techniques first and then specific fights would have been blocked out and rehearsed.

      We didn’t have that. All in all, everyone performed very well and the scenes look good. But I’m as big of an fight choreography geek as I am a horror geek, so I just can’t help but to deconstruct any fight scene I’m looking at and, in this case, just keep thinking about what we could have done with more time and work at them.

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