***LCC IX Voting and Reviews***

Discussion in 'Fan Films, Fan Audio & SciFi 3D' started by ObiJuan2080, Sep 10, 2011.

Moderators: AdamBertocci
  1. ObiJuan2080 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 31, 2004
    star 4
    You can place your popularity vote here:

    LCC IX Voting Page

    I just want to thank Phi for the page and her continued support of the LCC.

    You can use this thread to post your reviews. It's always good to read who and how certain people will disagree with the Judges this year.

    One last little goodie this thread will also offer and that is constructive criticism. Entrants and future entrants can take these criticism (if any), and use it to make your entry in the LCC X a lot better.

    Also:

    I would like to thank the DIF crew for their invaluable input and critiques of the entries, Teague for working with me to organize this (although most of the work is done by the DIF crew). DIF crew again for putting up one half of the prize and of course Ryan Weiber for putting up the other half. You guys rock.


    Have fun guys.
  2. G-Unit Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2004
    star 4
    Well I must say it was fun to watch all the entries. A special treat for me was seeing Phi and Spiff return to the lightsaber scene. And I must give a resounding bravo to Whitley who finally made next to SABER the best female lightsaber duel I have seen. It had me laughing through most of it and it was a great little story. Best of luck to all.
  3. Sith-Man Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 19, 2004
    star 4
    When will they be up in the archive for download?
  4. SilentBat Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 28, 2006
    star 4
    *I am critiquing based on choreography. Production value and all that I'll mention but my choices are by way of choreography (performance, camera, editing). To the entrants, if you'd like me to elaborate on anything I've said let me know.*

    ENTRY 1 - The Glove



    HIGHLIGHTS AND ACHIEVEMENTS:

    Overall this may be my favorite entry. Like Eclipse, the moves are deliberate and fluid though there are more swings in this entry than Eclipse. I'm a big fan of the execution of the moves because there actually isn't that much going on with the choreography but the moves were solid and concise, especially the slap at 0:43 (lol). Not to mention the bits with the inverted grip seemed very natural. A lot of the choreography in this piece reminded of the original Old Republic [link] trailer duel between the Sith and Jedi, also very purposeful and elegant. That's the word I've been looking for: elegant. Spiff's choreography has always been very elegant to me.

    OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT:

    - I think the only gripe I have with this is perhaps it's too short, ended abruptly/oddly and I wanted more (that and the cores of the sabers could have been feathered more!).
    - There were a few moments where there were shots locked off and then handheld that were a bit jarring.
    - Some of the sense of humor fell flat for me.

    WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE:
    Rank #1
    I think this entry is sort of the epitome of this particular LCC. Less is more. Not only in its runtime but in its economy of choreography and movement. Less flashy twirls and more deliberate strikes.



    ENTRY 2 - KingKool

    HIGHLIGHTS AND ACHIEVEMENTS:

    Some creative moves in there and some funny little moments as well as a creative death at the end.

    OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT:

    - A majority of the choreography is played out flat footed.
    - Most of the performance feels like a rehearsal.
    - There were some stage line breaks that felt more amateurish and less artistic.
    - I wish you all moved out of the open space of the gym.
    - Could have made more use of cuts to sell some of the action.
    - Some of the action could have played itself outside of the standard two-shot.
    - Would have been better with more dynamic camera work.

    WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE:

    Not to seem like I'm kissing up to Spiff and Phi but I think this entry could have been better had the moves and performances and cutting been more concise like their's was.



    ENTRY 3 - Trapped

    HIGHLIGHTS AND ACHIEVEMENTS:

    I think you guys do some nice things with jump cuts to convey the desperation and sporadic mindset of the fighters at the beginning but it could have been loosened up. It's much more effective at the end. This duel is certainly unrelenting though, kudos for that.

    OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT:

    - Too much time spent on the lighting lock. Nothing about that part felt very dynamic. I wouldn't mind it if it were inter-spliced with some lightsaber action or you guys were moving around and throwing with different hands [i.e. last year's winner ;-)]
    - 1:05 Cool move but a little incoherent.
    - The stuff at the wall would have made a lot more sense with some effects, even something temporary.

    WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE:

    Perhaps a little too jumpy and tight. The fight needed some time to breath if even shortly. I can see some improvement going on in the future for you guys.



    ENTRY 4 - Tala-Naar Dotar vs. Lord Rodern

    HIGHLIGHTS AND ACHIEVEMENTS:

    Fast, unrelenting and fluid choreography. The performances of the moves were well executed and well performed.

    OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT:

    - The camera could have gotten a little more involved with it all. It would have been interesting to see some low angles at play as well as some of the high stuff you already had.
    - Some 180 breaks that made following some of the action hard.

    WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE:
    RANK #3
    Great energy but needed more involvement with the camera in terms of angles and moveme
  5. ObiJuan2080 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 31, 2004
    star 4
    I would like to congratulate the winners of the LCC IX:

    1st Place: Spiff and Phi

    2nd Place: DX6Channel (We swear it wasn't the Light Whip)

    3rd Place: Radek Smetana

    Congratulations to Spiff and Phi for winning the grand prize.
  6. Whiteley79 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 2006
    star 3
    Had a great time today. We were just going to take the year off with the idea to get ready for LCCX, but the girls wanted to do a fight and we wrote up a little story for it. I was actually pretty proud of the effort, but man that was a bit rough. True though, all points were valid and I hold no ill feelings to the entry at all. It makes me laugh at least. I know this will just make next year better.

    Thanks to the DiF crew, Teague for moderating, and ObiJuan for organizing. Another successful year!
  7. Teague Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Apr 9, 2006
    star 4
  8. -Spiff- Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jun 9, 2005
    star 4
    Congratulations to everyone who submitted an entry, and thanks so much the DiF crew for getting together to review. I think this year was one of the strongest ever. While there weren?t so many entries, every single one of them was watchable the whole way through, and demonstrated a significant film making effort.

    As one may expect, it?s a great feeling to win one of these, and I really appreciate the prizes donated by DiF and Ryan. Since Phi and I purchased Novii for filming our duel, we decided to split the prize (2 Novii) with DX6Channel. Our saber will be going to my opposing duelist Sabeel who dedicated quite a few weekends to this project, and did a fantastic job.

    A few comments about The Glove: Part I. We used our Canon T2i with a 24 mm prime lens & Majic Lantern, a CPM Film Tools rig and Ryan?s Novii saber props to do the shooting. I?m the guy with the green saber, Sabeel used the red saber and Phi did all the complicated camerawork.

    We originally conceived this as an ad for Novus sabers, with Sabeel having purchased them and wanting to find someone to duel (what else our lightsabers for, anyway?). Since he needs someone to be armed in order to challenge them, he hands the saber, slaps them with a glove, and is good to go. My character is meant to be surprisingly competent for a random guy, but doesn?t really want to hurt anyone.

    The second sequence of this is the long take. This sequence was extraordinarily hard to do right. Normally when you do a shot like this, you do the tricky stuff at the start. In this case, the tricky stuff is all the stepping over sabers? and it?s in the last 3rd. The take took us several weekends to get right, and I think we ended up with about 5 viable versions of it. The take we went with is shorter than the longest take, with all the same moves, by a whopping 15 seconds. The actual take is 16 seconds? so we sped it up by nearly a factor of 2!!

    The ending gag showing that force powers don?t work in our universe seemed like a happy way to end it. I let Sabeel live, keep one lightsaber, and leave him to pick up The Glove and challenge me again in Part II.

    In terms of chorography, we were always trying to stay character focused. I try not to attack until pressed into a corner, and once I do, I?m pretty much trying to end it. It?s probably a little bit out of character when I walk into attack after the sparks, but at least I don?t kill him once he?s disarmed. In every other lightsaber movie I?ve done, people die. I think my Mom likes it better when everyone emerges unscathed.

    We decided not to go with any music on this, not so much out of laziness, but rather because we didn?t want to ?imprint? the film with any connection to any other material. This meant that we needed a full sound scape, so we just went with the on-set audio and removed the ?clicks? as the props hit. Other than the lightsabers, there are only two sound effects: when I kick Sabeel in the groin, and when I punch him in the kidneys. Those sounds are actually me sitting by a microphone hitting myself in regions a little less sensitive. Both slaps (the glove, and my hand on his face) are on-set audio, and not faked.

    Lastly, I propose that those of age who liked our entry challenge themselves to ?The Glove Drinking Game?. The rules are simple:
    1. You watch the background for car continuity.
    2. You take a drink each time you notice a continuity error.
    Or you can skip ?The Glove Drinking Game? and simply chug a drink for every cut :p

    My next post will be about the other entries.

    -Spiff

    P.S. When choosing costumes for a duel, just because it's cold the first day you shoot, don't fight in a sweater. You'll regret it when it gets warmer.
  9. -Phi- Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 27, 2002
    star 3
    I enjoyed the DIF judging today. Grayson is adorable. I think my favourite parts are the general advice from experience. I know we took a lot from last year in terms of the process of filming fight choreography. Also, Spiff, Sabeel and I are chuffed that the judges ranked us first. Spiff just posted something massive so I'll leave it at that.

    FYI for the voting: The first eight votes received error messages due to [no one cares] but it's fixed now. The important thing is that those eight votes were not lost but dumped to my email and I'll be adding them to the database manually. If you have concerns, feel free to PM or email me with your IP address and I'll confirm that I have your vote.
  10. Teague Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Apr 9, 2006
    star 4
    By the way, I might have missed it, but I don't think anyone has ever thanked Phi for her work archiving and dealing with polls every year.

    Thusly, I dedicate this smiley to Phi, and for the whole thread everyone should throw out a "thank-you-Phi" deformed green Mickey.

    [face_alien_1]
  11. DarthOmnious Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Feb 8, 2011
    Next year I'm so entering, cause every year I tried to and to no avail nothin' so next year I'm gonna do it!
  12. tumblemoster Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Dec 1, 2000
    star 4
    LOL so classy calling me out in your broadcast (I watched until that bit)...

    I stand by my offer. I'll also get some actual choreography experts lined up to judge the contest, so you're not ripped apart by fanboy wannabe's....
  13. VaporTrail Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2002
    star 6
    lol.
    I had the opposite problem for an older duel, we started shooting one day a week in the fall, so by the time we finished it was winter. I'd take your sweater over my long sleeve t-shirt any day.
  14. Whiteley79 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 2006
    star 3
    Eh, I actually hold these guys opinions in high regard. Even though they shredded me on the edit and pointed out the fact that my fighters had zero experience, they were still able to pick out the choreography and say some nice things about our ideas. I'm not a filmmaker at all, nor am I a fight choreographer. With the DiF crew, I learn alot about both.
  15. Ricky_Calrissian Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 17, 2008
    star 3
    This again... Can't we just move on? What separates you and your experts on the saber dueling (you know, that fictitious form of fighting they are all doing) from these "fanboy wannabe's" you're talking about? I think I can't understand why you insist on continuing to bash us and this competition. If you have this grand idea: go out and do it. Right now its a lot of bold talk.
  16. -Spiff- Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jun 9, 2005
    star 4
    I've excluded my own entry from this ranking. Below are my mini reviews:

    Entry II ? King.Kool

    The story in this seems to be a prude does?t like a guy smoking up in a school gymnasium. The prude must have anger management issues, because the toker stops when commanded. Moreover, it?s a lollipop. I think the sucker should have goaded the prude a little more to get him going.

    There are a lot of creative gags in this and I think a lot of the movements are interesting and fairly complicated. Unfortunately the film making falls flat for me. There are a lot of cuts where there?s little to no dramatic reason to do so, which makes it look like they?re covering performance gaffs.

    I think this may because the choreography, while interesting, is too hard to do well because it doesn?t flow. To improve on this, I would suggest trying to focus on footwork. In terms of film making, I would work on both framing and lighting. The environment you have is very diffuse and low contrast. It?s hard not to just see two guys in a gymnasium. There?s nothing wrong with a gym, but with some select lighting it could look a lot cooler.


    Entry III ? Christian Gayle

    This entry starts with two guys hating eachother, doing the lighting thing and then fighting. The energy level is very high and without any additional context, this plays like the final battle in some movie, with epic music galore, next to zero humour, and sadistic beatings. Then suddenly after giving some wall rash, one guy runs off, only to be chased and forced to finish the fight.

    My problem with the choreography is that I?m given no context. Neither person is being particularly humane, so I have no idea who to root for. I have a really hard time differentiating the personalities of the characters through their movement. Even if a fight is envisioned as being part of a ?bigger picture? it?s not even a ?scene? until it?s appropriately bookended.

    I tip my hat to whoever photographed this. The framing is consistently dramatic, close enough to get the expressiveness of the performers, but far enough back to that you can tell what?s happening. My one preference would be to open up the shutter to 1/50 to get some motion blur (use ND filters if too bright). The staccato aesthetic just doesn?t work for me.

    This is my #3 pick.


    Entry IV ? Radek Smetana

    This one opens with characters who obviously mean to engage. One?s in black so he must be bad, the other is in earth tones and must be good. Black seems to be consistently more aggressive than Earth Tones who blocks most of the time. There is a lot of spinning. At some point Earth Tones starts to counter and basically wins until he?s pushed through a shockingly thin catacomb wall.

    The physicality is quite good, as is the energy. However, the fight never goes in for the breather moments, and never communicates anything about the characters other than ?go go go!? As a result, this doesn?t really work for me.


    Entry V ? DX6Channel

    This one gets some grief for the opening, but I appreciated the ambition. I always wanted to do a ?competent fighter massacring the plebes? duel. My reason for doing one is because in most duels you only get 1 kill shot. Since there are so many groovy ways to end someone with a lightsaber, I view this type of opener as a great opportunity for exploration. Alas, the kills aren?t interesting enough to make this one work. The hockey ball blowing up reminded me of something I just can?t put my finger on?

    Once we get into the meat of the fight with the Boss A.K.A. Skeltor the effects are solid, the lighting is great, the costumes and acting are spot on, there are some interesting moves, and an awesome light whip. Alas, I just can?t understand the reason for the conflict. I keep expecting some kind of payoff, and it never comes. I feel like the fight was going somewhere and promised to tell a story, but didn?t live up to that promise.

    This is my #2 pick. It would be #1 if it finished it in a satisfying way.


    Entry VI ? Joel Loukus ? Inversions

  17. tumblemoster Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Dec 1, 2000
    star 4
    What separates me is two things: First, I'm a professionally recognized expert by many experts in the field, and; Second, I recognize and acknowledge that we're all judging the entirety of an entry, not just the "choreography", because despite what you say you're all judging "choreography" actually encompasses the whole thing.

    Mainly, I think it's petty to call me out like a punk on your broadcast. You guys have seen my work and thought it was great, you just don't want to admit it publicly. Havoc, yeah?

    edit:

    I'm not bashing this competition or you at all. Quite the opposite, I love this competition. I wait every year for the entries to be posted. I get tired of being bashed for my opinions. I'm not saying anything Whitley isn't saying, it's that when I say it, it's wrong. It's a punk move, it's unprofessional, and it's always coming from the camp with the fans. I shouldn't care, really. But I am the kind of guy that keeps trying to help. I'm a teacher, and when I'm an expert in an area I advocate for the right way to do things, even if it's not commonly accepted. You don't see me bashing saber effects do you? I'm not a VFX guru, so I don't chime in. I am an expert in the choreography and stunt area, indisputably, in the real world, not just an online forum. Unlike some in my industry, I'm happy to offer my knowledge, because I'm not afraid of competition. I started my film career on this board. Ironically, this is the only place where people constantly attack me for stating the obvious and/or offering my advice. ****, I get attacked for offering cool prizes by the bigshot judging broadcasters, WTF is that? It's petty and amateur. I make good money doing what I do and can and want to give back by offering something up-and-coming filmmakers could really use and that's somehow wrong? Seriously, WTF is wrong with you?

    What really bothers me is that I'm actually starting to give up on this community, the one that got me started. I feel like a guy who made good, someone who really got into the industry. So many other people do the same and forget, or worse, remember and take advantage of where they came from. I'm just trying to help the ways I can. It is frustrating, and I've no doubt my frustration shows. I see so much potential wasted and so many arbitrary limits imposed, and worse I see those limits defended. It's frustrating and absurd and you need to aim higher.

    So yeah, this again. Until I give up on you. It won't hurt me, at least not my livelyhood. It will definitely damage my worldview.
  18. tumblemoster Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Dec 1, 2000
    star 4
    PS: To the entrants this year - Great work!
  19. Teague Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Apr 9, 2006
    star 4
    I'm not sure how this is calling you out like a punk, and I suppose if we have different understandings of that expression it's my own fault, but I can tell you that on my end I certainly wasn't calling you out. I was cued off of Ryan referring to the possibility that someone might already have a couple lightsaber props, because in the other LCC thread there was a conversation about how someone would rather have saber props because they already had a computer. You came on very strong at that time, and it stuck in my mind. When Ryan speculated on the opposite of situation unfolding, I was just making an inside joke because I knew everyone on the panel and everyone watching would get a chuckle out of the familiarity of the reference. I'm sorry you were offended, because it truly wasn't my intention.

    Now, I can't speak for the others, but I have absolutely no association of the user Tumblemoster with anything fight-related I've seen. We weren't judging before last year, and you didn't have an entry last year - and prior to Down in Front doing the judging, I didn't set out to watch lightsaber fights unless they were made by someone I know. So I haven't seen your work. The only thing I recall ever seeing from you - not that you haven't done things, I'm just not aware of them - was a wirework demo you must have posted some time years ago.

    In other words, I'm not avoiding praising you publicly because it doesn't fit into my pre-determined Tumblemoster narrative, I'm not praising you publicly because I have no idea what I should be praising you for. All I do know is from your own words - you apparently absolutely rule. You keep telling us. I can't agree or disagree because I have no other points of data to compare the words to.

    I understand that you feel ridiculed and set aside, and that you feel it's extremely unfair given your various (numerous?) contributions to the board, but my only impression of you, and this is coming from someone who has been a regular since 2002 is "he's the guy who comes into the LCC threads and casts aspersions and puts words into my mouth." You might be making the same points as Whiteley, but as a matter of tone, you're making a substantially different impression.

    I think we have largely the same hopes and goals for the continuation of this competition, we probably agree on what we'd like to see. I'm just not sure what Down in Front has done to deserve your unkind words, and why the conversation always seems to end up heated.
  20. NateCaauwe Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2005
    star 4
    I was about to comment on how I felt things got out of hand before, and that I have nothing against you, Jason, but then you kept going on and on and reminded me of what irritated me so much. I think it's just a motivation thing. See, not everyone is so enamored by pricey material possessions. And that has never been what has driven this contest. So most of us, I believe, are opposed to turning it into something where people get excited about prizes instead of just wanting to further their skills. Personally, I think the DiF judging has upped the ante more than the Novii prizes. The discussion they provide is far more valuable for people intending on entering again, or at least going on to make more films, than a MacBook Pro or something along those lines could ever be.

    I'm not going to make AvN2 that much better because someone is offering me something I can even potentially sell on ebay for a quick $2500. Hell, that won't even offset what we're already expecting to pay on equipment rental. So really, I don't care. I wouldn't even care about winning the sabers next year since we'll be purchasing some Novii for the film in the first place. What is driving the end result of AvN2 is what I have in my head, and my constant drive to become a better filmmaker. I don't think anyone can provide any external motivation that will top that. My point in the end is that bigger and better prizes won't produce higher quality entires. Peoples' desire to make higher quality entries will produce higher quality entries. I think the best stuff comes from filmmakers who want to see something that no one else is making, so they make it themselves. When money (prizes) drives it, you get the crap Hollywood is churning out these days.

    As for your skill set... cool. Good for you. Isn't Eddie on the panel because he too has professional fight choreography experience? Personally, I'm not impressed with you waving your resume around until we sit in awe. If that were the case, I could bust out my IMDB, with more roto experience than anyone here can shake a carbon fiber stick at, and expect everyone to bow down to what I have to say about each entry's lightsaber roto. But I don't flaunt around with how much I know about this aspect or that aspect. Even Ryan and Dorkman hardly talk about the effects in the DiF judging, but you wouldn't know that if you turned it off as soon as they made a tongue-in-cheek reference to you on a live show. That right there is simply childishness on your part. And childishness is about as far as you can get from professionalism.



    Anywho, good show this year. I hadn't noticed that Whiteley went over the time limit again. In that case, to Eric I say: "what the hell, man?!" :p And to correct Dorkman, he was 3 whole minutes over the time limit last year, not 30-60 seconds ;) At any rate, he and I settled our differences long ago and may even find ourselves on each others' sets for LCCX.

    I'd like to get some thoughts in the thread on the entires this year, but that'll have to wait a couple more days. Looking forward to the ensuing discussion.
  21. Penitio Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2002
    star 3
    After writing a super long review for all, I've decided to toss it out and go with my usually more positive one line opinions. I'm sure all those that entered know their short comings and deserve more a pat on their back for their hard work than harsh critism from a fan girl.

    ENTRY 1 - The Glove - I love this one as a wonderful comedy duo, Spiff the straight man and the amazing Mr Ansari whose reactions reminded me of The Tramp. (I meant the last as a compliment.)

    ENTRY 2 - KingKool - I enjoyed the humour added here, more than a simply fight.

    ENTRY 3 - Trapped - Beautiful set up boys but you lost me once you hit homage-ville. Please keep your intensity for your next entry as that was most refreshing.

    ENTRY 4 - Tala-Naar Dotar vs. Lord Rodern - Holey ruins, Batman! Love the setting and costumes; I don't normally advocate any use of ShakyCam(tm), but it might add some spice to the footage next time you do it.

    ENTRY 5 - The Fight Inside - I loved the film-noir style of this entry and OMG lightsaber whip!

    ENTRY 6 - Inversions - I have never come across another fanfilm or LCC entry that reminded me so much of Art of the Saber, Kudos.

    ENTRY 7 - Novices and Novi - As per usually, I had to chain up the feminist for Whitney's entry and was rewarded with some highly entertaining sequences.

    ENTRY 8 ? Devon Peet - Ahh the good old woods, how I've missed you in the fanfilm world of late. I appreciated the agility of the fight (you guys showed up all those older fighters easily in that category).

    Small turn out this year, but the old adage seems to hold true quality over quantity. All the fights deserve a viewing or two, all had impressive moments. Some I noticed focus more on cinematography over choreography. Not a bad thing in itself, but for a contest where the first C stands for choreography... that aside, thank you for the free entertainment. Keep it coming guys.
  22. Ephisus Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2003
    star 4
    Thanks, art of the saber was inspiring for us, too.

    Also, we're of the opinion that, contrary to the stated sentiment of many around here, most are more interested in seeing PT style fighting than CT style, and that's why there are all these calls for flashier choreography in Inversions.

    -

    Inversions is posted up on vimeo at higher quality now.

    http://vimeo.com/28877777
  23. -Spiff- Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jun 9, 2005
    star 4
    The cinematography really shines in HD there Ephisus! :)

    -Spiff
  24. Ephisus Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2003
    star 4
    Thanks spiff- eclipse is a gold standard for us in derivative work.
  25. kuatengineer Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2008
    star 2
    Congrats to Spiff and Phi! I thought this was a good crop of entries overall, and it was good to see another round of new ideas. Aside from the winning entry, I thought the lightwhip was a great touch, and Whitely's entry cracked me up. Another enjoyable year for LCC...
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