Fan Films and Amature film making

Gideon Stargrave

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I wasn't quite sure if this belonged in the Movies thread or not...so I'll just be playing it safe and putting it here.

As an aspiring film maker myself, and (admittedly mediocre) creator of fan films, I felt that a thread appreciating all of the hard work that goes into movie making without a budget was deserving of creation. Much following the format of Random's internet cartoon's thread, this is just a place to post your favorite examples of Amature film making.

Some of my personal favorites have always included This fan-made trailer for a fictitious Metal Gear Solid movie, which, as far as I know, never went into production, and is just for fun. Of course, this trailer for a full-length Zelda movie, that kind of fell through at some point in the development phase, is still visually stunning, though Link looks very stupid (I can't imagine anyone actually dressing that way and looking cool. The best Batman themed ones that I have ever seen have been Grayson and Batman: Dead End, though everything on Bat in the Sun is worth checking out. This Batman/Superman is very impressive, and you have to wonder where they got the money for this, and if it's ever going to be more than a trailer. I've always loved Ultimate Eye for the Vertigo Guy and find it to be the funniest attempt at comicbook-based humor on the internet.

I believe it was Planet-man who originally posted Superman Reborn, which is a marvel of amature video editing and the other day Random introduced me to Blinky Productions, who have several short films that every Superhero enthusiast should watch. fanfilms.net hosts a variety of films that range from abysmal to brilliant.

Now, when watching these, I think it's important for everyone to remember that they have been spoiled by hollywood; most of these guys have little to no budget and do not plan on making any sort of profit out of this. They're doing this for fun. I'm not asking you to love all of this, but just to be fair in any criticism you plan on dishing out. Of course, any contributions would be welcome.
 

Random

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Now, when watching these, I think it's important for everyone to remember that they have been spoiled by hollywood; most of these guys have little to no budget and do not plan on making any sort of profit out of this. They're doing this for fun. I'm not asking you to love all of this, but just to be fair in any criticism you plan on dishing out. Of course, any contributions would be welcome.

That is a very important point, you can't expect everything to be top quality, you have to take in consideration whether it was done by a professional film maker or by some friends trying to half fun. I always try to look at the attempt more than the final product, cause not everyone has the money to buy decent costumes or the time to work on it. I recall The guy who made Grayson say it took two years to make and he used it more to get directing jobs.

I look to see how original it is, the use of angles and dialogue, if its not some kid going "I'm batman" a bunch of times. Like here's a good example of a low budget, very short but very well done Green lantern Teaser. The way they did this was just great. And here's an example of just a group of friends having funny, it clearly shows some of them cant act but its entertaining none the less (because they realize it is crappy)

Also I have to say one of my favorites at Blinky productions is the Protector, clearly professional level work
 
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Gideon Stargrave

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That is a very important point, you can't expect everything to be top quality, you have to take in consideration whether it was done by a professional film maker or by some friends trying to half fun. I always try to look at the attempt more than the final product, cause not everyone has the money to buy decent costumes or the time to work on it. I recall The guy who made Grayson say it took two years to make and he used it more to get directing jobs.

Again, most people don't appreciate the difficulties of shooting, editing and working with amatures who usually don't know anything about acting. I'm lucky enough to go to a school that runs one of our local news channels, so I have access to a lot of good equipment and software, so I usually find that the most difficult thing is finding people with usable skills who are interested in participating. What makes me angry is when people look at what clearly isn't professional-level stuff with a critical eye that should be aimed at Hollywood.

I look to see how original it is, the use of angles and dialogue, if its not some kid going "I'm batman" a bunch of times. Like here's a good example of a low budget, very short but very well done Green lantern Teaser. The way they did this was just great. And here's an example of just a group of friends having funny, it clearly shows some of them cant act but its entertaining none the less (because they realize it is crappy)

I actually hadn't seen that Green Lantern one. It's, of course, as you mentioned, short, but nicely edited together. Often people will ruin otherwise shorts like this by adding too many scenes that don't flow together nicely.

Also I have to say one of my favorites at Blinky productions is the Protector, clearly professional level work

I just finished watching all of the installments thus far of their The Question series of shorts, and the guy doing the The Question is one of the best that I've ever seen in a fan film. It's very well written and has surprisingly high production values. I can't believe I'd never heard of these guys before.
 

ProjectX2

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I have a whole folder filled with clips I've done. They're all random type stuff and pretty much all under a minute. None of you will ever see them.

Though I did film a mock trailer documentary thing about an imaginary cooking show where the host was this deluded psycho, and I even posted it here, but only Ice and TOG watched it because I told them to.
 

Planet-man

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My friends and I made a 5-minute long Sci-Fi Musical in 8th Grade. The teacher said musical. Most other groups lip-synched to various songs while doing interpritave dances. We wrote and performed our own. The three of us found the tape this year, and looking back, it's still awesome. I'm currently planning to load it onto my comp so I can Facebook it, but might post it here too.

In terms of Superhero fan films, Wade mentioned Bat In The Sun already, which is the best source, namely for one film in particular.

All credit goes to Gothamite for finding this about a year ago.

Patient J

Just go to films, then scroll down and click the Google Video link, and get ready for 34 minutes of unadulterated, live-action Jokeriffic awesomeness. It's easily the best Comic Book Fan Film I've ever seen, and one of the coolest looks at the Joker ever. The guy playing him really grows on you.
 
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Gothamite

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The Batman Returns music is under-rated.

Yeah, I like me some Patient J and I recently re-watched Batman Legends and realised it wasn't that bad, but the accolade 'Dead End' gets just annoys me. It's really nothing but mindless action and a dime-store Batman/Joker exchange. I can't believe Kevin Smith called it "the definitive live-action Batman," or whatever it was he said. Batman is too short in it and he just looks like my Dad the whole way through. Plus, the way he keeps spitting is just really weird and annoying. The cape and cowl are pretty cool in it, I'll give them that, but is there really a need for a grey-suited Batman?
 

Random

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The Batman Returns music is under-rated.

Yeah, I like me some Patient J and I recently re-watched Batman Legends and realised it wasn't that bad, but the accolade 'Dead End' gets just annoys me. It's really nothing but mindless action and a dime-store Batman/Joker exchange. I can't believe Kevin Smith called it "the definitive live-action Batman," or whatever it was he said. Batman is too short in it and he just looks like my Dad the whole way through. Plus, the way he keeps spitting is just really weird and annoying. The cape and cowl are pretty cool in it, I'll give them that, but is there really a need for a grey-suited Batman?
I think he meant in terms of style and look
 

Gothamite

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I think he meant in terms of style and look

Yeah...well I disagree. What works in the comics doesn't work in live-action.

Personally, I think fan-films work best when they don't try to go for the 'epic' look, because it just always ends up looking silly and camp. I prefer the grittier, rougher ones like Patient J (even though it suffers some mediocre acting from the supporting actors sometimes) because the fact that it's shot with a sub-par camera with creaky music actually helps the atmosphere.
 

ourchair

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Yeah...well I disagree. What works in the comics doesn't work in live-action.

Personally, I think fan-films work best when they don't try to go for the 'epic' look, because it just always ends up looking silly and camp. I prefer the grittier, rougher ones like Patient J (even though it suffers some mediocre acting from the supporting actors sometimes) because the fact that it's shot with a sub-par camera with creaky music actually helps the atmosphere.
I agree with this.

I think fan films aren't supposed to look like Hollywood affairs, and the fact that they just don't have the money to do so means that they can't, and that's refreshing because Hollywood already influences many of the world's cinemas in ways that can be homogenizing.
 

Random

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It's amazing what someone with no life can accomplish

[youtube]fb50GMmY5nk[/youtube]
 
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moonmaster

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Yeah, they posted that on Videogum. It took a year to make. A YEAR. Seriously, nerds are crazy.

And you would think that during that year, someone would've pointed out how horrible and ridiculous all the Snarf parts are.

"SNARF! SNARF!!"
 

Frapalino

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I don't understand why guys like that spend their time on fan films. They should make something they own and can distribute, instead of giving free advertising work for huge companies.
 

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