Excellent animation. :D I'm a little confused how you got daily 5th and yet so little reviews here.
Yeah, I don't know why either, it kinda sucks. Thanks for checking it out :)
Wtf am I watching?
I'm going to post a review I got from reddit:
"This is one of the most exciting animated shorts I've seen in a while. The opening with the screaming, shooting and the hanging train with a hand on top of it is brilliant. It transports me instantly far away from reality and challenges with something that couldn't exist in real life.
I have to make a confession in here and say that when I made a test to determine what are the aspects in films that truly matter to me as a viewer the top three was: Characters that are mysterious or behave in unexpected ways, plenty of imagination and long atmospheric moments with music. My favourite film is Spirited Away which includes all of those elements and I wholeheartedly agree with those three aspects. That being said, I might be slightly biased as this film strikes many of the chords that I love to death in films.
I love how the opening creates a lot of questions. What is that hand thing? Who screamed at the beginning? Where are we? Where is this thing going? Seeing an opening scene like this is such a welcome breath of fresh air after seeing film after film that begins when the main character wakes up and gets out of bed. In your opening the tension and pace is already up! We don't start at a complete halt, we start in the middle of something important.
I love how the world is imaginary and not reality. Why are so many animated films based on reality? If I want reality I wouldn't go see movies in the first place, I would just look outside the window. THIS is more along the lines of what I want to see when going to see a film: Something that doesn't exist and preferably couldn't exist in real life.
Seeing the cat creature, the bleeding corpse, the eye creature and sack boy without explanation is another breath of fresh air. So many films that begin with a bundle of promising mysteries and questions give their game away by then answering them instantly, usually by having someone explain how it is possible the X happened. It's wonderful that you didn't explain it. Instead you gave pieces of an intricate puzzle to the viewer and now the viewer has the pleasure of fitting them together.
There is one thing that bugged me when watching this. In 1m 13s there is a scene comprising of a couple of shots where the eye thing looks at sack boy and then the scene ends. What is the purpose of this scene? Is it necessary in terms of the story to know that sack boy slept during some part of the journey? Do we learn something new of the characters? Does the setting change? What is the point of this scene?
The next scene begins brilliantly with a traditional establishing shot in a really imaginative and vibrant setting. I love how the world looks. I also really love the eye creature's voice actor. He does a marvelous job. I really enjoyed the conversation with the computer face the first time it happened as it seemed to give answers or missing links to this mysterious world, but on second viewing it seems a bit pointless too. At least in this short film. We don't really gain any new information in terms of the story in knowing about the Aristocrats or the wraith kind. Maybe later in the story, but right now the computer might as well have talked about how to properly cook potatoes.
The 2D drawing appearing at 4m51s is really odd in the sense that it adds another mysterious puzzle piece which is then never returned to. What was the point of him also? It was a brilliant idea to stop them from getting into the mall. It gets a bit boring after a while if characters continually get what they want. In this case the characters didn't get what they want so the eye creature found a way to get around the obstacle. That's a good moment in the story.
The way the band is introduced, on second viewing, is really interesting. Not bad at all! The introduction is enough to make me feel unease around them. I kind of wish you hadn't hammered in how ominous they are with the following shots of them looking at the visitors with evil stares. I think it would've been more effective to do the spooky intro you did but then show them present far in the background as the main characters approach. We would then get the extra tension of knowing that those characters in the background probably mean harm.
Another thing I would rewrite is when the eye creature says "I have a bad feeling about this". It's not exciting to hear people describe how they feel, but it is exciting to put yourself in their shoes and truly experience their emotions. In Star Wars when the Death Star's gravity pulls the Millennium Falcon in, Luke says: "I have a very bad feeling about this." It's more like a comedic add. We know perfectly well that this is not good. In fact it is really bad so hearing the characters say it, doesn't really add anything but it is funny to hear. In here I think what the eye creature says takes away some of the pleasure of experiencing their fear. I think it is more effective to show a character cry than to have them say: "I am very sad".
The ending of the film turns into a horror movie commercial which is interesting. I hope you continue this or keep on making films. You absolutely should keep making films. This is really, really amazing. You rock! Keep on animating!"
JMartin97: Wow, thanks so much for this detailed write-up, it's been super-frustrating to not get any feedback. I agree with your take on some of the dialogue being a little to explanatory, and will keep that in mind for my next project. Thank you for being so thorough, it gives me a lot to think about and thanks for taking the time to write this :)
Here's another review from reddit:
"Some nice camera work there, great atmosphere, love the setup. But animation needs alot of work, editing needs to be tighter, the slow lingering shots takes up too much screen time. Rule of thumb, the longer the anticipation, the better your payoff has to be. We're not talking quick action cuts, but even to establish atmosphere it's a little slow."
JMartin97: Thanks for the comments, in the future I'll try to keep things cleaner and faster when I can. Thanks for checking it out :)