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  • Can you make a film in 21 days?
    Indie of the Month May

watch Enigma: Our new Sci-fi Film!

Hey everyone!

I'm new to the board and just wanted to introduce ourselves and our film "Enigma"



Check out the trailer (Youtube)

and the website (www.enigmathemovie.com)


Its been a project of ours for almost 5 years! Had to work it around our full time jobs! We just started playing festivals. Our Debut Fest (Dances with Films) was at the beginning of June and we ended up winning Audience Choice for best short which was a wonderful way to start the festival run. The next screening at the moment is Dragon*Con at the end of the summer, which we are really excited about!

Nice to meet you all, and let me know if you have any questions about the film!

A few quick facts...

*42 mins long
*HD (Panasonic Varicam)
*225 VFX shots
*9 day shoot

-the Shumway Brothers
 
I would love to see this. Your costumes, sets and effects are very good, as is the lighting and shots. Can you give us some details as to how you did your sets, etc.

I just made a 32K sci-fi feature. My sets are a little cheesy, but I'm curious as to why you didn't shoot 30 more minutes and make a feature you could sell? 42 minutes is such an odd length. It would be good for an hour slot on television, if it was part of a series.

Looking good, though!
 
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Thanks agcamerasound!

Scoopicman: Thanks, and yes very odd length. Well, a couple reasons really...It started out as a 22 min short, and after shooting it realized it was a little longer story. However, not really ever meant to be a feature, the story structure wouldn't be conducive to a feature. In the end, We let the story tell us the length, padding wouldn't help it, in fact, it would take away.....sooo yeah, it ended up at an odd length. Every hour long tv episode is about 43-44 mins long, so its really not that strange for people. Its really only strange for festivals because it is hard to program...but so far we are doing ok with that.

Also, the film was never intended to be sold. It was meant to be a calling card for us. To get us a paid feature...at least that is the hope. It also allows us to pitch it as a series.

As for the costumes and sets... I designed a few of the costumes, others we rented. The set was a mix. Part of it was a standing Space ship set out here in LA (lcstages.com), others we built on a green screen stage, others were computer generated. A real mix of things. We tried to use the practical set as much as possible.

We are gonna post a few scenes online soon...I'll update when its out!

-SB
 
In the end, We let the story tell us the length
That really is the best way. If it was my flick, I would team it up with another movie, as a double feature. I'm a huge fan of the old horror/sci-fi movies and a lot of them were an hour - hence the double bill. I actually get mad if a movie runs over 2 hours (exceptions being ALIENS, T2 and HEAT). I refuse to see many of the 3 hour movies, like GHANDI and many others.

I would really like to see a return of the double feature. If a movie is bad, then it's not for that long.



Its really only strange for festivals because it is hard to program
Exactly. Bad films of this length (most of them) won't get seen. I host The Las Vegas IndieMeet (every Memorial Day weekend) and we watch a lot of indie movies, but I discourage showing anything over 20 minutes, because a lot of people bring movies. With yours, based on what I have seen, I would definitely make the exception! (I'll make this my offical request to screen it.)


Also, the film was never intended to be sold. It was meant to be a calling card for us. To get us a paid feature...at least that is the hope. It also allows us to pitch it as a series.
Good luck on that happening! If it doesn't, there are very few indies who make sci-fi, so you should give it a go. If you keep the budget low enough (5 figures), you shouldn't have a problem getting that back. With a higher budget, put a name actor in there.

My buddy, Christian Viel, does pretty well with his RECON 2020 series. His first movie returned 7 times its budget! He is getting ready to make the 4th in a quadrilogy. We've screened all of his RECONs, at IndieMeet. We usually have room for 2 to 4 features, which is why the length of the shorts was an issue.


As for the costumes and sets... I designed a few of the costumes, others we rented. The set was a mix. Part of it was a standing Space ship set out here in LA (lcstages.com), others we built on a green screen stage, others were computer generated. A real mix of things. We tried to use the practical set as much as possible.
Nice! I have to admit that I was very intrigued with the white faced being, on your poster. That looks like a cool angle and I'm very curious about her.



I'll update when its out!
Please do! I would be more than willing to trade EXILE for a copy. Review HERE.

DVDs should be ready, next week or so.
 
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Looks like a pretty sweet flick, judging by the trailer. :cool:

You have a brief rundown on the "project for almost 5 years" vs. 9 day shoot? (ie: how much was pre & post, etc)

Will it be playing near LA? I'm always looking for excuses to visit film-fests. :)
 
Wow wow and more wows.

You guys did a fantastic job on a limited budget. Excellent work all around. The cinematography is beautiful, the image is great, the camera work is fantastic. The CG is very high quality. Man, you've got a great CG artist/s on your hands. They can be worth their weight in gold, let me tell you. I know some people are practical effects snobs...but man...it's nice to have quality CG once in a while.

For sci-fi fans I think this is going to be a great watch. I see this getting picked up for sure...I'm super impressed. (EDIT: realizing it's a 40 minute movie, I'd say it has less of a chance for standard distribution. But you may be able to sell it to a compilation disc set if one is being put together). I think this will do well as a calling card though...

The makeup is also great. Your lead Enigma girl...awesome job on her. :) I love the scene where she's dodging laser blasts as the scene is lit by the blasters....very well done.

The poster rocks BTW...great initial attention grabbing factor. Really cool design.

I particularly liked the shot of the Enigma girl being put in the white chamber...that I imagine was the rented space craft set...well worth the time and money there...it has very high production value.

I'd really like to see this.

And as an actor, I'd really like a chance to work with a tight team like this. It's right up my alley, and I'm sure to be contacting your production office.

I'm going to spread the word on this one to my friends, colleagues, and social networks.

Take care.
 
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Thanks all!!

Scoopicman- We've talked about matching up with another film and trying to sell it...we've actually had some interest for that from some foreign distributors. The trick is just trying to find another film that complements ours and matches quality. As for the Fests, so far its been ok, in fact the last one we were in actually programed a whole vfx panel around it. So it was pretty cool of them. We know we are making it tough to program, but people are liking it enough to figure out how to fit it in. Hopefully that trend will continue! We'll see...we are just starting our festival run. We are putting together the dvd right now...should be ready soon, I'll let you know and we'll trade films!

Zensteve- seems to be a large gap huh! 9days to 5 years! Yeah, we totally didn't expect that...but really life just kinda got in the way. We had about 6 months of preproduction, the shoot itself was a 6 day shoot with a couple days of prep/cleanup. We did 3 days of pickups a few months later. Post production lasted about 4 years. The main reason was the large amount of complex VFX. I'm an animation supervisor for feature films, and My brother is an Editor for Television. So we had to fit it in around our jobs. It was sometimes very difficult to work all day, then go home and work some more...but you just push through it. Also, we didn't have a lot of money to pay people, so all the other depts were just fitting in time when they could too. So it did take a lot longer, but as the old triangle goes....cheap, quality, fast...pick two. We wanted cheap and good...so we paid for it with time. As for playing in LA, hopefully again soon! We just started submitting for fests, so we should start hearing back towards the end of the summer. We love to play here because we can get all of our cast and crew to come out. I'll keep you posted.

M1chae1- Thanks for the nice words! The makeup was done by Liz Pisano and we couldn't be happier, she really knocked it out of the park. I headed up the CG, its what i do for a living so I had tons of wonderful people to ask questions to if i needed help. Thanks about the poster too, its actually what we were going for. We wanted something that would grab your attention when set up with a flood of other posters at festivals. You can always drop us an email at info@frontier-studios.com about future projects and stuff. Thanks again!
 
Cheap, Quality, Fast: pick two. I love that phrase, and I hear it on set all the time.

Ahhh...so you're the CG guy. Excellent work...really quality stuff. I've been dabbling in CGI for around 15 years now...just as a hobby. I'm familiar with Maya, Max, Softimage and Lightwave...my favorite being Maya. I'm not a character modeler, rigger, or animator--I wish I had that skill--I'm more of a static still life guy...I admire those that can do it all. Your work is really clean...both the environment stuff, and the small bits I saw of the mini alien character...great work. For future reference, would you take a job doing minimal effects on other projects (ie. 10-20 FX shots)? I know around 7 or 8 different production companies that may need a talent like you...depending on your price of course. :) Right now we have a guy we use who's practically free...but he's not at your level...I mean he's good, but not as pro as you.

Thanks. I'll certainly be shooting you guys an email about future (no pun intended) productions.

Great work and good luck.
 
Official Selection!

Thanks MavenFilmStudio! Very nice to say!

For those of you in the Los Angeles area, we have just been Officially Selected to screen at the "Action On Film International Film Festival" at the end of July in Pasadena. I will post screening times when I get them. :D
 
Hi benj09! We are actually trying to get a feature going. We have a few scripts we are working on, but we are always up with working with other writers. Just drop us a note at info@frontier-studios.com. The budget for Enigma was just under 50k.

Hi Godchoo! Thanks for the nice words on the CG. I'm taking a break from freelancing and just enjoying Enigma. But you can always drop me a note at vfx@enigmathemovie.com. I may be up for stuff in the future.
 
Hey everyone! We just posted 4 clips from the film on YouTube. They will be available on Facebook and for download off of the website later tonight.

I highly suggest you hit the "HD" button under the clip, the low res tends to drop frames...plus the HD looks much nicer! (o:

Hope you enjoy them!

Enigma Clip 1: Opening of the film

Enigma Clip 2: Wyeth's encounter
Enigma Clip 3: Explosions rock the Genesis
Enigma Clip 4: Kyleigh vs. Eidolon
I'm going to go masterbate now. Thank you for this. Damn I love you guys. Hire me!!!! lol.
 
Hey guys,

I just checked out your clips, and I was very impressed. I actually knew about your film before you posted on here because I work with Iris, and she has been telling me to check it out since the premiere. I have to say, from the look of the clips, my interest is peaked. I really liked the opening clip. Beautiful, clean shots, and a really nice set up for the world of the story. Very cool.

When you guys need actors for your next flick, keep me in mind. You can see me in Wayne (http://www.vimeo.com/4623731). It also can be found in a thread in the narrative forum. I play Wayne.

Keep up the good work and good luck in the festivals.

Dave
 
M1chae1:
We'll consider using that quote for the poster! haha! ;)

Mr. Weirdamour:
What a small world! I took a look at Wayne and really liked it, nice job! Well acted and nicely shot. What are your plans with the film? Is there any issue doing a copyrighted character like that? I like the ears!

Benj09:
Well, there's nothing too fancy about our script. I would suggest getting the book "save the cat" and a copy of "Final Draft" and you are set! There are a lot of good books out there. Honestly, I would have to hunt down are script...haven't seen it for 4 years! too long in Post!
 
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