Thoughts on the project and the future

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Thoughts on the project and the future

Post  Styx on Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:40 pm

Now that the video has been out for a few days, I thought I would post a long rambling post about it and try and sort out how I thought the project went. You might not be interested in all of it so you can skip section but I would be grateful for any comments.

I think everyone will be interested in the section at the bottom: "Future".

Before production
Gathering pictures of the set and characters did help a huge amount. It was also hugely neccessary to do a storyboard but I didn't pay a large amount of attention to this. I should have looked at it more.

Before we started anything I posted a video asking for help on my channel. This was hugely successful and continued to bring people in throughout the project. This should definitly be done again.

Pre-production
The set = This stage was done a lot quicker than I thought it would be, especially the external set. It was difficult to get the scale correct and in fact we didn't do it properly the first time. We had to extend the set near the end of the production.

The skins = This took the longest part of the pre-production. It didn't seem possible to get any really committed skinners.

Production
This was obviously the largest part of the project taking the majority of the 3 months. I will split this into what went well and what didn't.:

--Went well--
The smaller scenes with only 3 or 4 actors went very well. We got some very good footage very quickly here.

It was a good idea to split the scenes down really small. I took note of scenes that only included one or two actors at a time and shot these separatly to the rest of the footage. This made managing people a lot easier.

(Thank the creators for the minaptics mod and zombe mod. Without either of these the project wouldn't have been what it was)

--Didn't go so well--
BOATS! Damn you Notch and your crappy boats. I will NOT do a scene again with boats in. This was really hard to do during the productions and the post production was made a lot harder because of this. Furthermore, even though the reception of the video has been very postive, the most negtive comments we have received is that the boat scene didn't look right or looked funny. I have to say I agree.

The external scenes with lots of people. These scenes were hard for a number of reasons. Firstly was organising this amount of people. Generally it worked well with people co-operating but 15 people at one time is probably a few too many. However, in the end these scenes worked well and personally they were my favourite in the whole project. The second reason is listed a bit later on.

--Cameraman/Director--
You would probably have noticed that I acted as cameraman sometimes and Bat did at other points. This was both good and bad for different reasons. For the smaller scenes I think I would have perfered to be cameraman as well as director. I am not saying that Bat didn't get exactly what we needed but sometimes I found it difficult to explain the short of shot that I wanted.
However, for the scenes with a larger amount of people I was cameraman and director at the same time. This was stressful and not the best way of doing things. I would have prefered to be a director outside of the shot and for someone else to be a camerman. It was very dificult for me to get the correct shot as well as keeping an eye on what people were doing and what would look better.

Publicity
As you guys saw I had a list of targest for the video, mostly Minecraft based sites. They were all easy to post on and were very easy to bump in order to get them to stay at the top. My posts never got removed which was good. So publicity for Minecraft videos generally seems to be quite easy, especially if they are good. The one thing that I did not achieve that I was hoping for was to get a Minecraft "celebrity" involved. They have a huge following and therefore it is hard to get noticed. I need to find another way in here.

Post-production
Again, a massive thanks to Bat for this help here, he brought a huge amount to the project, especially in this stage.
As I explained in the BTS video we had an unusual process here. Because Bat filmed the internal scenes the sent me low quality footage of the stuff that we recorded. I then edited this and sent him back the edited versions so he knew what parts to do the post-production on. This was made even more complex by the fact that I recorded the external scenes so I had to send him the large high quality files. Finally, at the end of the post-prodcution he sent me back the high quality finished project. This was a complex process and involved us sending files back and forwards all the time, I am sure my ISP hated me.
Anyway, for future projects I would like to think of a better way of doing this. Making sure all the files are on the correct computer and cutting down the amount of sending and receiving that would be needed. It would probably be best to keep one person as the cameraman throughout the process as well.

Reception
As you guys have been being seeing, the reception of the video has been overwelmingly positive.
At time of writing the video has just over 18k views and 700 likes and 300 comments. These numbers are both good and bad. They are unusual for YouTube. For videos on YouTube you can usually see a correlation betwen the ratio of likes/comments to the amount of views. Our ratio is different. For the relatively small amount of views, we have a large amount of likes/comments. This is both good and bad. It means that people that watch the video find it so good that they actually bother to leave a message or press the like button. However, the video has not had as large an audience as I was hoping for. We will definiflty reach 20k views by the end of the week and my hope now is that it will reach 30k views in a few weeks.

Our timing for the release of the video was unfortunate. 1.8 is coming out which means that the video will probably get buried underneath the piles of crap videos people will be creating about 1.8. It seems that this is also what is stopping us from getting on to Digital Diamonds Sad

Overall thoughts
The choice of movie was also good and bad. When I chose it I wasn't thinking of how hard or easy it would be to do.
It was a good choice because it included an action scene with very little hand to hand action. Fighting in MC is hard to do (as we saw with the Jacob and "Other Lady" scene). Also, gun battles will not work in MC.
It was a bad choice because of the amount of people needed to do the external zombie scene. It was also a bad choice because of the boat scene. In all other respects it was a good choice.


Future
I have been spending a lot of time thinking about what we could do in the future. Without trying to sound too smug, I think it will be a hard video to follow. I don't have internet for a while (I am currently using my phone and going to a pub to get free wifi). But when I do get internet back in my house I will start up a discussion in a private forum (probably not this one) and invite everyone in that wants to help in future projects. The discussion will be about what to do next.

What would be ideal would be to start some sort of Minecraft series. Why Minecraft? Minecraft videos are easy to publicise and will usually have a large audience. Why a series? Series are what bring people back to your channel again and again. With the promise of more videos in the future people will subscribe. The more people subscribe the larger your audience.

With that in mind I have a few ideas (below) for what to do next. Some of these ideas are from people in this forum so thanks to them.

Another movie excerpt - Now we know what we are doing the next movie will not take as long, especially if we choose the right movie. I've had a few ideas of movies:
LOTR - The council of Elrond. The "You have my Axe" quote has become quite popular on the internet. This scene is smaller and contains no action. The skins would have to be very good though.
Fight Club - Ending scene (buildings blowing up) - Not a huge amount of action but very good music and we could do a really good destruction scene with TNT.
I am Legend - The last scene with the zombies/vampires in the basement could be quite a good one but it has been a while since I saw the movie.
Indiana Jones - I was thinking maybe the classic scene with him in the temple at the start stealing the statue and then running away from that ball of stone... or one with the Holy grail where he has to find his way through the puzzle bit

10 movies in one minute - I think this was DaBawsh's idea. Do 10 classic scenes from classic movies in 1 min, 6 seconds a movie. I think this could work well.

These movie excerpts will not be a series though...

Other ideas not to do with movies:

Sleefing Tournament - Set up an internal sleefing tournament. People enter, do a 1v1 sleefing competition. We film it all, edit it up all nicely with commentaries and then release the videos working up to a final between the two last challengers. This could be really good fun.

Tag - Like the speefing tournament but a different mini-game. Tag, two competitors have to run around a map tagging each other by hitting them then running away. The idea needs a bit more work

Herobrine parody - Do a video about Herobrine and how he is a nice guy but shunned by soceity.

Minecraft -> HL2 - I am working on an idea with Bat for this. I will see what he wants to do about it first.

Cowboys in a western shootout - Quite hard to do guns in MC...

Adventures through time series - Could be interesting with different sets and what not, but there is no real story for this yet.

Rebecca Black's "Friday" parody - Someone created a parody song for MC. The video was crap though, only a slideshow of MC scenes. I think the lyrics will work really well to do a music video to.
Video - http://www.minecraftforum.net/videos/view-10600-minecraft-a-friday-parody/

The Man Who Walked Around the World - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NvDev-5qP4 - Bat pointed me to this video because it is the same actor that played Don in 28 Weeks Later. I really like the idea of this long video with no cuts in it and the actor passes point and there are props on the road at the exact time he talks about them. We wouldn't use the audio from this video and we wouldn't talk about Whiskey but I could do a voice over for some story.




So what do people think about the production?
What do you think worked well and what didn't work so well in the final video?
What would you have done differently through the pre-production, production and post-production?
Do you have any more ideas for future videos?



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Re: Thoughts on the project and the future

Post  Styx on Wed Sep 14, 2011 10:13 pm

Oh, I guess I should also post another idea I had in here. Not really directly to do with a video for the future but connected.

I want to start a community of Minecraft video creators. So the community would help out others and post ideas on videos to do. We could offer consultations on how to make videos better. If people have ideas on a video to do but don't know how to go about it, we could offer to direct and edit the video for them etc. etc.
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Re: Thoughts on the project and the future

Post  CutToTheChase on Wed Sep 14, 2011 10:27 pm

You can count me in for any future projects Very Happy I love working with you guys lol
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Re: Thoughts on the project and the future

Post  BatIgor on Wed Sep 14, 2011 10:43 pm

Oh my god, that's a big one. :p
*incoming wave of bad grammar*

I like the idea of making storyboards for different amount of people we have on the server, like this:

  • 1)StoryboardInternal1-3.pdf

  • 2)StoryboardInternal4-7.pdf

  • 3)StoryboardInternal7-12.pdf

Not sure if we'll have any problems with amount of actors, since I noticed that people were rather interested in participating in our future projects.. But we do know - only 1\3rd part of them will actually do something.

About a shout-out video. In my opinion, it should be more exciting to watch, because people don't get paid for this kind of stuff, so we need a way to show them that the whole process is actually quite fun. A good motion graphics video for example, or something like our "ACTION-ACTION-ACTION!" video.

The sets. Since most of the minecraft players are builders (actually, griefers) building a complex set wouldn't be a problem. We need to think about making bigger sets, but not the small, interior ones. Minecraft is very good at handling big areas, so why not take an advantage of that?

As for the skins - we just need more people, that's it. But not people that draw stick figures (or who's aesthetic standards are higher than drawing characters for a machinima (Styx will know whom I'm talking about)).

Minaptics and zombes mods. We should continue to make videos with good cinematography. It's still quite experimental, but people definitely like it.

A big amount of people on the server. Don't think we can do anything about it. As I said, people don't get paid, therefore, no limits for behavior, except for one's sanity.

Directing and filming. Sorry for my GPU failure. I really hope it won't happen again. And as for the filming, the storyboards will probably help us out. Director and cameraman switching back and forwards is not an option, due to the other problem (sending clips all the time).

Publicity. What I think will happen with our video, is that it will relatively slowly grow in views and at some point it will get ultimately boosted by some famous guy retweeting\saying\writing about it somewhere. That happened to my Dramatic Creeper video.

"So what do people think about the production?"
Just said about it Razz

"What do you think worked well and what didn't work so well in the final video?"
The boat scenes sucked, I have to admit it. However all the other stuff was perfect, especially the tense build-up, although the start was kind of slow (it was the movie's fault, so it's all about "movie picking" problem)

"What would you have done differently through the pre-production, production and post-production?"
Make the filming schedule tighter. Also, we could make the whole interior part without green screen, if only I discovered the wand tool earlier :<

"Do you have any more ideas for future videos?"
I do! Maybe.. I think..
The problem with my ideas is that they are small. Like really tiny, because I'm afraid to do bigger projects, because in my experience, I always contributed a lot, and in the end, the project died because of somebody else's laziness. Don't expect massive ideas from me.. just tiny ones... but they will be perfect. xD

---

Also!, The next forum should be invite-only, so that random people won't see our progress.
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Re: Thoughts on the project and the future

Post  GamerDave on Thu Sep 15, 2011 1:15 am

Hey guys,

I recently brought an idea to Styx's table, and he suggested that I also share my idea here also.

I was thinking it would be a good idea to stick on the horror genre but throw some comedy in there too - so my idea was the Record throwing scene from Shaun Of The Dead (link below).

Shaun Of The Dead is one of my fav films and I find that sence somewhat laughable lol.

youtube.com/watch?v=uLquz4Iz-30
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Re: Thoughts on the project and the future

Post  O_N_I_A_C on Thu Sep 15, 2011 2:17 am

Styx wrote:

The Man Who Walked Around the World - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NvDev-5qP4 - Bat pointed me to this video because it is the same actor that played Don in 28 Weeks Later. I really like the idea of this long video with no cuts in it and the actor passes point and there are props on the road at the exact time he talks about them. We wouldn't use the audio from this video and we wouldn't talk about Whiskey but I could do a voice over for some story.


Surprised There is an animal! Well you could use the MobDisguise bukkit plugin and make someone into a cow. Smile
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Re: Thoughts on the project and the future

Post  DaBawsh on Thu Sep 15, 2011 3:16 am

ball of stone..
IMPOSSIBLE!
Tag
So what me and bat did in between shots :3
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Re: Thoughts on the project and the future

Post  O_N_I_A_C on Thu Sep 15, 2011 4:19 am

DaBawsh wrote:
ball of stone..
IMPOSSIBLE!
Tag
So what me and bat did in between shots :3
Hehehe, didn't Bat get mad at one point because people were messing around between shots?
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Re: Thoughts on the project and the future

Post  DaBawsh on Thu Sep 15, 2011 4:53 am

Hehehe, didn't Bat get mad at one point because people were messing around between shots?

WE??!?!?!
Mainly Darth :3
I mean, I did do a bit of fooling, but when they said stop, I stopped.
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Re: Thoughts on the project and the future

Post  Styx on Thu Sep 15, 2011 6:28 am

Very Happy

Yeah, just like what you are Bat were doing between shots. It was that, in fact, which gave me the idea of the game.
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Re: Thoughts on the project and the future

Post  O_N_I_A_C on Thu Sep 15, 2011 6:45 am

Styx wrote:Very Happy

Yeah, just like what you are Bat were doing between shots. It was that, in fact, which gave me the idea of the game.
Oh yeah Styx, I was browsing the comments on Youtube of 28 weeks later video and someone said you forgot their name in the credits... They also said they did the Don skin. I checked who made the don skin and the name matched, kind of. So yeah, whatever...
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Re: Thoughts on the project and the future

Post  DaBawsh on Thu Sep 15, 2011 7:15 am

I saw that too, Styx apologized :3

Also, I say we try and meet up this saturday 4pm GMT?

On like....skype? or even forums
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Re: Thoughts on the project and the future

Post  O_N_I_A_C on Thu Sep 15, 2011 7:19 am

If that counts for everyone I dont have a mic for the pc because I hate my voice. Surprised and what for?
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Re: Thoughts on the project and the future

Post  Styx on Thu Sep 15, 2011 8:01 am

Yeah, I don't know how I missed him off the credits. Although he did only post once and then disappeared. I did say sorry and that he was welcome to stick around and help with other projects if he wanted. He seemed willing.

DaBawsh - I don't really have access to the internet properly yet so a live meeting can't really happen. When I get the internet sorted though, we can start that discussion properly. In the mean-time you can post any ideas or suggestions you might have in here.
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Re: Thoughts on the project and the future

Post  DaBawsh on Thu Sep 15, 2011 8:35 am

Well, the Saturday after you get interwebz.
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Re: Thoughts on the project and the future

Post  BatIgor on Fri Sep 16, 2011 12:51 am

I need a new forum, badly.
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Re: Thoughts on the project and the future

Post  Styx on Fri Sep 16, 2011 4:45 am

I am actually thinking of starting one up soon.... Stay tuned Wink
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Re: Thoughts on the project and the future

Post  DaBawsh on Fri Sep 16, 2011 5:02 am

Get your internet back! NAO, I beg you.
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Re: Thoughts on the project and the future

Post  Styx on Fri Sep 16, 2011 9:10 am

Sad

Won't be for at least another week yet.
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Re: Thoughts on the project and the future

Post  BatIgor on Sat Sep 17, 2011 12:30 am

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Re: Thoughts on the project and the future

Post  DaBawsh on Sat Sep 17, 2011 12:44 am

Very Shiny :3
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Re: Thoughts on the project and the future

Post  O_N_I_A_C on Sat Sep 17, 2011 2:12 am

I like, will the forum be public or private? Oh yeah, I think when planning for a machinima you should make something up so then there will be less people who are coming just to get a peak, I say less because there is no way to stop it completely, and only legit people come?
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Re: Thoughts on the project and the future

Post  Styx on Sat Sep 17, 2011 3:01 am

Shiny indeed. I am trying to think of a proper name for it though.

What I want to do is start it off as a Minecraft community specifically for making videos.

After it grows for a bit, I want to expand it to either a general Minecraft community or a general video making community.

So can anyone think of a name? A lot of Minecraft server are called "something-craft" so I was thinking maybe filmcraft.com or videocraft.com but both of those are already gone. I don't have to stick to having craft in the name though. Any ideas?

(Also, almost 30k views and 1k likes Very Happy )
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Re: Thoughts on the project and the future

Post  O_N_I_A_C on Sat Sep 17, 2011 3:27 am

Does it have to be .com?
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Re: Thoughts on the project and the future

Post  Styx on Sat Sep 17, 2011 3:39 am

I would prefer .com, but .net could be used as well. I would prefer not to do a .co.uk though.
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