So some friends and I have been working on a fan film for a while, and it's finally done. It's about the origins of Kylo Ren.
the film is done, but I'd still love to know any thoughts about it, for next time. Thanks!
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Overall, it's nicely done! The most important thing -- the story -- is pretty clearly laid out, showing Ben starting out in Jedi training, the tension that he feels about this dark force that's pulling at him, and finally his turn to the dark side.
Some transitional story elements could perhaps be more clear, though. One example is the battle with his fellow students. He leaves training with the students still in the classroom. He follows the pull of the dark force and apparently goes to get his lightsaber. Next he's seen running with his lightsaber toward what we assume is a cliff. Now his fellow students are standing behind him, igniting their own sabers, and preparing for a fight. What's not clear to me is why they feel the need to fight him. He didn't threaten them or have any kind of conflict with them that would obviously lead to a battle. He just left class, and left them behind. They're not chasing him. So why does he go from walking out of class to running away, and why do they want to fight him?
The lightsaber effects are pretty well done overall. The moments where the saber blades ignite from the handles are pretty well tracked, though there are a few slips here and there. The floating crystal was okay, but could've used a little more work to make it really fit into the scene. It needs to be a bit more washed out by the light. It felt too clean and perfect compared to everything else, and the fact that it was just a still image didn't help. I saw some mention in the credits of 3D modeling, so why your modeler didn't make a simple loop of a rotating 3D crystal is a mystery.
One final FX comment is re: the opening space shot. The camera movement is linear right now, which doesn't work well. Very few things should ever have linear movement. Imagine that camera on a tripod with a fluid head. It would gradually ease into the movement, and gradually ease out as it stops. To do this in HitFilm, simply change the keyframe interpolation type to Manual Bezier. You can play with the handles in the Value Graph to fine-tune the ease, but simply changing to that interpolation type would be a huge step in the right direction.
You did really well choosing music for this piece. It definitely works well with the flow of the story. Editing was also very well done overall. Some edits could be tighter, and there's at least one minor jump cut I can recall, but for a piece of that length it still flows well.
Acting was pretty good for kids your age. My biggest beef was with Ben's mom, who felt like she was rushing through her lines.
Bottom line: yes, there are issues, but I'm seeing lots of great potential in this piece. Take what you learned and work that much harder to make the next one even better!
Really good story and sense of location. I agree with @jsbarrett about the crystal plus the lightsabers were a little wobbly but the FX were generally good.
Two things that caught in my mind :1) The cut to black. Too many of them and they lastest too long. A quick fade, straight cut to the next scene or even a cut with a pan into the next scene might be better.2) The location/sets were fantastic. I really felt I was in a Jedi camp on some far off Star Warsy type planet.... except for the radiator
Overall I really enjoyed it and agree that the acting was good as well.
Thanks so much you guys. That's really great to hear, and helpful as well. The biggest takeaway for me was that we should take a little more time while doing the VFX, and making sure everything is coming out well.
Someone mentioned the music, it's mostly from the Triune Store, if you're interested!
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