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"Harmony has minions?"
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May 07 2007

New Into the Black trailer. The Vancouver-based Firefly fanfilm project has unveiled a new trailer, "hopefully the last thing we release before an actual episode".

Looks pretty cool, and for some reason I LOVE the name Samsara...

God, I wish I had a little bit of creative talent!
I don't want to be mean and I think it's great how devoted these fans are but I have to say it - I started laughing because this looks so very, very bad.
That's some powerful love. I think it looks awesome.
kerfuffle - to each their own. All we ask is that people not judge it too harshly before it's finished, and that they at least give it a chance. We know there's people out there who aren't going to like it no matter what, and will feel the need to be quite vocal and negative about it. We just hope they're in the minority :)
Ah, I thought it was sweet. And it had beautiful, built-in lens flare, just like the original.

I have a lot of time for people who... do stuff, at whatever level.
Are these guys affiliated with the Mosiquito people in any way? I recognize some faces.
Nope. Not related to any of the folk from Mosquito. Maybe we just look a little like 'em!

[ edited by Zeppo on 2007-05-08 03:41 ]
I'm mainly having a difficult time hearing what anyone is saying because the sound mix on that clip is a little... unbalanced.
I just think it needs a little Final Cut Pro lovin' to give it some stylized look and it could be awesome. It still has a very fan-vid feel to it, but that's easy enough to fix. The acting and such was great. The CGI was cool!
We know there's people out there who aren't going to like it no matter what, and will feel the need to be quite vocal and negative about it.

To be fair here, it's possible for people to critique a work without being people like you describe there. Heh.

Myself, I adsmit I have mixed opinions at this early stage, but that hardly means I'm not going to sit down and see the final product or assume my mixed feelings will remain.
Whenever I see Samsara, I think, that's a good Buddhist/Hindu name for a spaceship :) Then I think of Stuart Davis' song "Savoring Samsara". Fun. Even if its not for me (I'll wait to see an ep 'fore I decide), congrats on all the hard work you've obviously put into it.

kerfuffle - I'm sure there's a nicer way to say what you just said. Next time, please look a little harder for that way before posting.
Sorry Bix, didn't mean to lump everyone together. Absolutely there will be some who don't end up liking the final product, and will either say nothing, or offer constructive criticism. But there will also be some people who decide to try and cut us down, without offering anything usefull. We know we're not going to please everyone, but that's the chance you take :)

I hope we're able to allay those mixed feelings for you.
zeitgeist he probably wasn't aware that he wasn't allowed to write what he thinks but only allowed to post enthusiastic positive messages (and he was very polite)
Can't wait to see an actual ep. And I really, really, love the music. I would say it strikes just the right note, but it's too early here to pun.
Being one of the people who tried to go with honesty AND constructive critisism when I saw the first trailer i feel compelled to say the following:

This one is WAY up from your first trailer. There are some nice CGI shots and the ship looks really good. On the down side, there are still some issues like editing, acting and audio mixing - as you no doubt know.

But youre getting there, you really are. Overall, it is starting to "feel" good. I'm looking forward to seeing the end product.
Well, as for the acting, you're pretty much stuck with it, as there isn't much we can do now! Just remember, we're amateurs at this. ;) So grin and bear it!

As stated however, the editing can use some work. I think the audio is the biggest fix. However, without access to highfalutin equipment, we'll do the best we can.
Pumps - he can certainly post what he thinks, I was merely suggesting that he could have said it in a less harsh way. If you further comment on this or anything else related to the rules, feel free to email me. Ta!
I'd hate to be one of the aforementioned negative nancies, but does anyone else appreciate how unintentionally funny "Savoring Samsara" is?!

It probably should be mentioned that, as one of those billion or so people walking around with names like, well, ajay, that any of these random out of place appropriations just comes off as silly. I mean, would you think about calling your theme song "Savoring Communion"? Well, actually, now that I think about it, that's even funnier. These things always just sound like "neato, what a cool sounding exotic word I can use!... I wonder if it has a meaning. oh well, dont worry about it..."
Ajay, was your comment directed at Into the Black, or the Stuart Davis song? Because the two are completely unrelated - with the exception of the fact that our ship is named Samsara (which in our case was intentionally chosen because of what it means).

[ edited by Zeppo on 2007-05-09 05:56 ]
I can't wait to see the finished product! Yeah, like some of the others, I wonder how it will turn out, but I have a policy always to wait for the finished product before making judgments... and that music was so good!
Ajay42 - it should also be noted that there is nothing unintentional about the use of the phrase Savoring Samsara. Stuart is a longtime practitioner of zazen under Genpo Roshi. The song is about getting stuck in ego-centric celebration of the physical realm in denial of one's higher spiritual self (leading to an endless cycle of reincarnation). That is entirely in keeping with the Buddhist and Hindi etymologies of the word as I understand it.
To Zeppo and the cast/crew of "Into the Black": thanks for sharing the project so far!

Fan projects are easy to be attacked and skewered, regardless of how much heart and effort that goes into it. (Or money even. I've heard people that also tear apart "Batman: Dead End" - the expensive semi-pro fan film - as a waste of time. Nobody gets out unscathed who tries this sort of thing)

Bottom line: my own feeling is that you started this, continued with it, and completed it. That's a giant accomplishment in itself, moreso if you aren't incredibly rich or famous.

Looking forward to the episode and don't forget to have thick skin with the project... to you and the people who worked on it, it may have been a labor of love, but to the rest of the world - it's all about whether or not you met their expectations, and that can vary a lot from person to person... and the expectation level will be probably be even higher, moreso - not less so, because they're fans of the show it was based on.

("Are the lines as funny as 'Firefly'? Is the acting on par with the professionals? Are the production levels equivalent to the movie or the tv show?" etc. etc.)

Expect a tough crowd. But maybe handling the tough crowd is where the real test of filmmaking begins. (I'm learning myself the hard way!)
Thanks Harvey, we're prepared for people's response to the project, good or bad. Yes negative criticism will be difficult to take, but we only ask that people be constructive in their criticism. But some people will flame us and make it personal.

It will be hard to live up to the standards set forth by Joss and the cast and crew of Firefly/Serenity, but we're giving it the ol' college try :)
While I appreciate the right for anybody to make negative criticisms, I think that irrespective of the final product, the very fact that there will be, definately, a final product, is something to consider. To have so many dedicated amateurs and skilled professionals band together and pool their creative vision and talents for ANY creative endeavor -- and pay for the privelege -- well, folks, that's Art, pure and simple. It might not have the technical perfection we've come to expect from broadcast and cable pros, but you know what? What point is there to a technically adequate production that has no script, no heart, no soul?

ITB is its own thing, part homage, part creative exercise. But it is its OWN THING. And it's ART, of whatever caliber. No paychecks and no hope for paychecks. No great celebrity from starring in a pro-am spin-off of a long dead show that didn't last one full season. There are only two reasons why such an impossible task is undertaken without payment.

The first is pure creative expression, and hence, the art of the thing. Its show business, however small -- and I guarantee I've seen worse summer stock and paid money for it. These people were involved in every gorram aspect of the show, because they had something to say and found a way to say it in their abundant free time.

The second reason is one that resonates with all real Browncoats: Glory. Not celebrity, being well-known for something or other, or fame, which is being known by a lot of people. Glory. The feeling of pure achievement, possibly shared by like-minded people, when the very difficult has been accomplished in the face of overwhelming odds. These people had the guts, faith, and balls to sacrifice a year of their time and a tremendous amount of personal energy to turn this thing out, and no matter how bad -- or good -- it is, it is Glory, and nothing less, that they have achieved.

Criticize their technique if you must -- but don't spare them one microgram of the Glory they have rightfully earned. They put their money and time where there mouth was, tackled a gigantic challenge, and by Buddha's Hairy Ears, they'll turn out the best product they can. And for that, if nothing else, they should have our praise as Browncoats, for they are Mighty among us.

So fix the sound, if you can, and whatever else your art dictates, but get that puppy out so I can start REALLY heaping on the adulation. Remember, movies are not finished, they are abandoned. :)
Re: sound problems.

Have you considered re-dubbing the scenes with critical sound ? I know it's a pain and it will draw out the process even more but it may acutally be worth your while and doesn't necessarily need high end equipment. Hang some thick curtains to create a soundproof zone, set up a normal tv so the actors can watch their lips and have them wear headphones on wich they can hear themselves. Record it on a good DAT machine wich you may be able to borrow from a Browncoat-friendly person or even ask a nearby tech university or something.

I had to resort to this avenue myself and it worked pretty well. You might want to try it out maybe just for the trailer and see if you think it's worth it.

Anyways, good luck !

ScrewtheAlliance, that was so darn purty! Thanks.
Bad Karma - yeah, the sound thing has been an issue for a while. We don't have the best sound equipment at present, and may have to end up doing some ADR. Once the final cut is done, we'll see what we have to work with. Thanks for the suggestions :)

[ edited by Zeppo on 2007-05-11 06:25 ]
You're welcome Zappo - good luck !

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