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watch The Day After The End (My Short Film)

I just wanted to share my new short film "The Day After The End" with everyone here on Indietalk.com! I've been working on this for several months and I'm glad to finally get it out!

I'm only 16 years old and this is my first short film that I've ever done so hopefully you all enjoy it!!! The film is about a group of people who survived the recent zombie outbreak. They must make their way to one of the several military zones that have been put in place to keep the living alive, and the living dead away from them.

That's a really quick summary of the film, but I hope anyone who checks it out and I'd definitely enjoy feedback on the film as well! :)

Everyone who acts in the film are amateurs and several of them this was their first time every doing any big acting role. If you're wondering how much money we put into the film it was really only about 20 bucks just to do the zombie makeup!

Anyways here is the link so enjoy:) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dyDkPVRZZg
 
Not bad. Seems like one of the best things you've done so far. Although there's room for improvement. I really liked the characters. You crafted them well, and gave them interesting backstories, which is the main thing that kept me watching. There were some really nice shots, and you created a mood that kept me on the edge of my seat. The locations are nice as well. There were some awesome shots, stunts, and scenes such as when the zombie falls into the water. In most of the shots, the blood looked really good. I liked when the zombie around the 12 minute mark bit the kid's hand. The sound effects were nasty and the scene was quick. I liked the way you told the story. Overall, I liked the pacing and it had enough gore and character development to keep me entertained. I liked the soundtrack for the most part as well. Nice title, too. I really liked the bittersweet ending as well.

The first three minutes could have been cut. It really serves no purpose and there could be copyright issues concerning some of the clips and songs used. No, I take that back. The first 10 MINUTES could have been cut. Only because we get into the story quicker, and it is more interesting.
There seems to be some audio problems such as the background noise not staying the same when you cut from one shot to another. That can be fixed by recording better audio, sweetening, doing foley, recording room tone, adding music over it, and sending it to someone knowledgeable about audio post.
The audio overall needs some work. There's wind constantly hitting the mic, and sometimes it is hard to hear what the people are saying. That can be fixed with ADR and/or a deadcat. You also may have to set levels properly.
There's nothing really unique about the story. Zombie breakout ------> group of survivors looking for safe zone ------> personal demons --------> $#!t hits the fan.
Some color grading would help as well. Some desaturation or other elements would help the audience understand that we are following what happened AFTER the breakout. Up until the dialogue, we don't know if we are following a group before, after, or during the apocalypse.
Some of the dialogue needs work. It seems somewhat forced and unrealistic. There's also lots of exposition in dialogue throughout the film. Avoid that.
Costume choice could use some work as well. Not saying that people wouldn't be wearing casual clothing, but I can only guess that their clothes would be dirty and/or bloody? Also, you may want to put them in clothing more *clears throat* subtle. The Batman shirt and others distract from the scenery and character's faces. They look too clean.
Some framing and shots seem a bit awkward.
The day for night could use some work. Shoot me a PM if you ever need shots like that done.
Some handheld movement when he is freaking out might help. It would further show the difficulty and emotional struggle he is facing.
The other character's reaction to that flip out was unrealistic. You'd think he'd shake him to wake him up from the nightmare or yell at him or something.
Perhaps the shot they heard was a gunshot. If you added a gunshot sound effect in, that might have helped show what the sound was.
Some shots seem a bit shaky, which isn't bad, but if the shots are going to have a handheld look, keep that look consistent.
Some scenes need lighting.
I liked the style you had in the opening. I wish you'd have kept that up throughout.
There also could have been consistency in how the zombies walk and attack. In some shots, they are Romero zombies, in other shots they are Danny Boyle zombies (nobody has to correct me on my incorrect undead film terminology. They're zombies ;))
8:43... PRODUCT PLACEMENT :lol:
The gun sounds are a bit unrealistic. Those could use some work.
Some shakier movement/closeups/tighter editing in the intense scenes could help as well.
The film's overall look seems a bit cheery.. again... color grading.
Some shots are over/under exposed.
VFX could use some work.
There's some continuity issues concerning clothing as well.
Occasional aperture changes.
When they were in the cabin, how did he know the beans were fresh? He didn't even look at the can.
Makeup at 12:18 could use some work.
Some jump cuts as well (such as the ones near the fireplace scene) were distracting. Also, we can barely see anything during the fireplace scene.
Some scenes (such as the fireplace scene) end too abruptly.
Some scenes need improved writing. In one scene, a character uses the word "risk" too many times and it just sounds forced.
The voice on the radio seems a bit young.
In some shots, the image needs to be moved around the aspect ratio bars. Such as 16:56. You could move the image UP.
The relationship between the girl and the kid could have been more developed.
Some of the music choices seemed strange. During the zombie attack around 18:30, metal? Really? I don't know if it's just me, but I giggled. There's nothing wrong with metal, especially during "let's go and zombies" type scenes, but it seemed so unfitting.
The failed suicide scene could have been paced better. It was WAAAYYYY too quick. It would have been nice if it had gone this way:

Punch out ------> Gun to head ------> Flashbacks -------> sound fades away, and he pulls the trigger -----> nothing ------> dramatic music fades in ------> characters look at him in silence -------> fade away...

The exposition in the dialogue in that scene drove me crazy. NO, and I mean NO person would say something like that. If you did want the character to say something like that, then you could have shown flashbacks and recurring nightmares he has throughout the film, then show him go completely insane when he tells them. If he had been raging and violent, as well as screaming, that reveal could have been more intense. Or show the attack through flashbacks. Either way, the scene would have worked out smoother.
I'm stunned that they just walked away. Seemed strange to me.
The rolling down the hill could have been better as well. Perhaps some Greengrass style camerawork could fix that! Also, zombie makeup, please :)
Some grisly sound effects when he falls and breaks his arm would help as well.
DEAR GOD! MORE EXPOSITION IN DIALOGUE!?!?!?!?! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!
A few of the zombies seem to have been reused. Am I wrong?
Wasn't she way behind them? How did she catch up so fast?
The sound effects seem a bit over the top in that scene.
Some of the songs are recognizable.
That that supposed to be a bomb? It looked like a kitchen timer attached to something black with duct tape.
How come there weren't zombies when she opened the shed door?
Another jump cut in the field.
How was Tate not bitten?
MORE EXPOSITION THROUGH DIALOGUE!!! AAAAHAHAHAHAjowjrgoiejrog2404n NOOOO!!!!!@O
Did he really pass out from breaking his arm?
Where did they get the tent?
Why is there blood? There was no blood before. Also, why would there still be fresh blood?
Why didn't she just go with them? Why did she follow when she could catch up with them? She also probably could have given him a reason to live (seeing that there's some underlying romantic theme there...).
How did their romance develop so quickly? Watch Zombieland. Is it a perfect film? No, not at all. But it showed a progressive, romantic relationship subtly developing because of how the characters could relate to each other and the time they spent with each other. I'm talking about Tallahassee and Twinkies BTW :D.
"You should probably leave before it gets too dark". Leave to where?
iMovie suspense sound effect? NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!
Why does the rate at which people change differ from person to person?
Credits need work as well.

-----

You seem like a really talented kid doing some neat work. You're improving greatly with each video. While there were things I did not like, the good overshadowed the bad. Keep at it. You'll improve and work your way up to a more professional level as you go.

Best of luck with filmmaking and I hope to see more in the future!

Subbed.
 
Thank you ChimpPhobiaFilms

Thank you so much for checking out my film. I'm glad you were completely honest with everything!!! This was my first time ever doing a short film like this and trust me I've learned a lot from it!!!

I'm working on my script writing all the time, because that's one thing when I went back and watched the film over and over again. The conversations and some of the things the characters say just don't seem realistic! I'm definitely working on that!

Audio is definitely something else I'm working on. I need more crisp sounding audio, when characters are talking, and in the sound effects as well. You'll definitely see me working at that!

To answer a few of your questions and things

1. Why the first 3 minutes? We put that in there simply to show how the outbreak started and to kind of start the film off with a creepy feel to it. I do get what you're saying though with how we could have gone without it.

2. Costume choice I completely agree with what you're saying. We wanted to have casual clothing but we definitely should have made them look a lot more tired and beaten. I'll definitely make sure characters look the way they should for any of my upcoming videos/short films.

3. The awkward shots is another thing I'm working on, if you couldn't tell the movie was only filmed with a single camera! I definitely want to get more than one camera so that we can film longer constant shots so we don't have to do so much cutting.

4. LIGHTING, I agree with you on the cabin part it is really dark. When I did the color correction It cause it to darken a lot more than I wanted. Lighting and coloring of the film is something I plan to play around with so I can figure out to get a better mood and feel with it.

5. Relationship between characters is something else I'm trying to learn and work with so that the audience is more connected with them, and so it makes the movie more believable.

6. The re use of zombies does occur a few times in the film. I had to do this because I couldn't find many people who wanted to help with the film. :( Which does suck but now that people have seen what we made I think more people will be willing to help! So hopefully in the future of my films you won't see that re use of people.

7. Tay in the field passes out both times because of his broken arm, probably not the most realistic thing but that's just another improvement I work on:).


Thank you so much for checking out my film and I'm glad to have such great feedback from you!!!! It really helps me figure out what I need to work on!!! So thank you so much!!!

-Gage
 
Thanks for responding.

Thank you so much for checking out my film. I'm glad you were completely honest with everything!!! This was my first time ever doing a short film like this and trust me I've learned a lot from it!!!

I'm working on my script writing all the time, because that's one thing when I went back and watched the film over and over again. The conversations and some of the things the characters say just don't seem realistic! I'm definitely working on that!

Audio is definitely something else I'm working on. I need more crisp sounding audio, when characters are talking, and in the sound effects as well. You'll definitely see me working at that!

To answer a few of your questions and things

1. Why the first 3 minutes? We put that in there simply to show how the outbreak started and to kind of start the film off with a creepy feel to it. I do get what you're saying though with how we could have gone without it.

While I think the sequence was awesome, the film would have had a nicer flow if that had been taken out, and we had been thrown into the drama. Although you could take out the credits. Leave the opening in if you must, but the credits were too long. Unless you have NAMES attached to the project, or you are making a feature, those credits don't serve much of a purpose if we are going to see them at the end. Still, cool sequence. While the film is flawed, it was an ambitious approach, and you did do a good job. That sequence was an experiment, and you'll improve upon doing things like that in the future, and at some point develop a style.

I think it could have been "fixed" if you had found a clever way to tie in the opening sequence to the lives of the characters. Or something :D

2. Costume choice I completely agree with what you're saying. We wanted to have casual clothing but we definitely should have made them look a lot more tired and beaten. I'll definitely make sure characters look the way they should for any of my upcoming videos/short films.

This can be fixed by writing down elements, props, and essential items for scenes. Then you go out and buy/find those things, and make sure you have them ready when you shoot.

Also, tip: Have extra pairs of identical clothing for characters so that if a shirt or pants get ruined, you will not have to cancel the shoot day because a character's clothing is wrecked.

3. The awkward shots is another thing I'm working on, if you couldn't tell the movie was only filmed with a single camera! I definitely want to get more than one camera so that we can film longer constant shots so we don't have to do so much cutting.

Study up on cinematography, especially framing and composition. There are many free online resources.

4. LIGHTING, I agree with you on the cabin part it is really dark. When I did the color correction It cause it to darken a lot more than I wanted. Lighting and coloring of the film is something I plan to play around with so I can figure out to get a better mood and feel with it.

You can build a DIY lighting kit by making a trip to Home Depot, and picking up some clamp lights if you don't already have any. Then you can make some DIY PVC stands (www.frugalfilmmaker.com)

Experiment. Do tests and really short videos trying to evoke mood and get feelings and ideas across through moving images.

5. Relationship between characters is something else I'm trying to learn and work with so that the audience is more connected with them, and so it makes the movie more believable.

Watch good films that you take inspiration from, and examine relationships from them. Note writing styles, visual elements such as colors that often pop up, use of sound, and pacing of the character's reactions to situations. There is much to be learned.

6. The re use of zombies does occur a few times in the film. I had to do this because I couldn't find many people who wanted to help with the film. :( Which does suck but now that people have seen what we made I think more people will be willing to help! So hopefully in the future of my films you won't see that re use of people.

Not something to worry about! It's great that you even got that amount of people involved. One of the most common excuses filmmakers have today are not being able to find people. I'm not giving names :bag:

The reason I notice things like that is that I like to examine and pick apart films for errors and subtle details.

That problem can be fixed by having characters change costumes.

7. Tay in the field passes out both times because of his broken arm, probably not the most realistic thing but that's just another improvement I work on:).

Oh... Tay, not Tate :blush:

When writing, ask yourself if a scene is logical or makes sense. If not, come up with another way for a character to end up where they are.

Thank you so much for checking out my film and I'm glad to have such great feedback from you!!!! It really helps me figure out what I need to work on!!! So thank you so much!!!

-Gage

You're welcome. It's my pleasure. I like viewing films, good and bad. I think that you did a nice job, and hopefully some other people will be able to chime in and give their thoughts.
 

A.D.

Inactive
I've got to be honest, as much as I wanted to watch this, I switched off only a few seconds after the dialogue started and the voices dipped in an out while being hammered by wind noise.

It's not exactly constructive criticism I know (chimp covered it all quite well), but I think it's a good example of the importance of good sound, and how readily a viewer will grab the remote to change the channel.
 
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