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April 10 2010

Courage - episode one 'Fight or Flight?'. It's a new Firefly fan web series and more details can be found at www.bigdamncourage.com.

The music is very good and there's enough material to warrant coming back for more.

Good idea, bad writing and dialog. Music could use a little work as well. Other than that...not bad. :)
I think it suffers most from editing. You gotta equalize sound levels and minimize the dead air between cuts before you release something like that to the world. Also a boom mike would help.
I don't understand why every fan Firefly series has to revolve around the same concept, as Firefly. Each one I've seen has a crew similar to Serenity's and all do the same things. If someone does a fan series, I think it should explore a new plot within the verse.
I read the script for this episode a couple weeks back. Clunky exposition via characters clearly either derivative or mashed up (in script form especially, you can hear them writing Badger's manner of speaking for the antagonist). I don't need things to be Whedon or Minear (or Espenson or Matthews or Molina or Edlund...) but I still haven't been able to get past the first two minutes it's so painful. It might cohere as they keep going. I will have to wait and see.
I thought it was excellent, grinning ear to ear here. Would it be too much to ask for an encore? You know, break those leg thingys?
The goram writing was a bit painful, and the sound mixing/editing was also very jarring but its probably better than anything I could get my friends to do. I shan't be watching anymore.
painful.Couldn't last a minute after the intro. Will give another chance later.
It's a fan film. Lighten up and enjoy the ride. Highlights were the music and CGI, and I especially liked the last scene between the Captain and Thomas. Weaknesses include sound [large room scenes] and editing of the fight scenes, but this may likely improve with experience and, perhaps, attracting additional talent. Great fun overall. I look forward to more episodes.
Well I like it very much. I like Thomas the best. Who/what are the women supposed to be now? Not sure...

Love the music, too.
I laughed a lot, but not for the right reasons.
That was... painfully bad.
They need to really look at the sound for this. Also I noticed a few cuts that were separated by a frame of black, which jarred for me, simple things like checking the timeline would improve it a lot. As rocknjosie said, a boom mic and an SQN could really help them out.
I really liked this and will definitely be looking for more. Admittedly, the sound was pretty bad, but the story and characters have potential, I think.
I don't know how people watch stuff like this. I try to go in with an open mind, but... it hurts. I hate being mean like this, but I have to be honest. I couldn't understand half of what they said, and what I did hear was not good. Written or acted. Sorry folks.
I made it one minute.
I've forgotten how tough this room can be with its reviews. And, that's understandable seeing how we've teethed on the works of such greats as Joss Whedon, Steven DeKnight, Douglas Petrie, and Jane Espenson. However, please remember that even they started on a rocky road. I recall that Joss had a similar reception of the pilot of "BtVS".

So, maybe we could lower our standards of excellents a notch or two. Heck, lets be generous and make it three! After all, would hate to see our next generation of Plato get shot down in flames.
Note that Madhatter had nothing positive to say about the show, but only how negative the room was being.

Posting a video with glaring editing problems is like posting a short story with glaring grammatical errors. Those aren't standards they're requirements.
I thought it was pretty bad, but at the same time, I'd hate for them to give up. We all learn from our experiences. I hope they'll take whatever constructive criticism is offered and try again. Attention to detail is the key. Here's my perspective on it:

Editing: There was too much dead air between cuts. Cuts should be quick and succinct. Take a close look at any of the episodes and you'll notice how tight everything is.

Sound: if you can't get everything to sound the same, then it just doesn't gel.

Music: It was too simple with too much repetition. Make the intro faster and more to the point.

Dialog: The dialog needs more depth. Write from the character's perspective, not from the writer's. If you don't have a firm grasp of who each character is, go back and flesh them out. Give them a backstory and let the actors know what that backstory is. Don't just have the characters saying something to be saying something. To borrow Joss, these five people should look out into the black and see five different things.

Acting: I thought the deliveries were rather flat. Vary tone and intensity. Use gestures and facial expressions. To prepare, try to spend a few hours as the character you're trying to play, living in their shoes, reacting as you think they might react. Try to "workshop it", where the actors can interact with each other as their characters.

[ edited by quantumac on 2010-04-12 15:58 ]
Always keep your titles short, as people don't care who you are. Get proper sound coverage. Pull back the music and go for atmosphere. Script script script.
I don't understand how people can go through all the effort of actually making a series, and still having such a bad script. I mean, no joke a 13 year old could have written it much much better. It just needs a rewrite. But I hated the first 10 minutes of Horrible Turn, which I now like and if I hear this gets better I'll start the series from the begining, best of luck to everyone involved.

[ edited by DeezyG on 2010-04-15 02:32 ]
Look, coming from someone who has written short stories, screenplays and the likes and hates it when people say my writing is bad without being specific whatsoever or helping, here's what runs through my head when I watch it, good and bad:

0-0:30 It's not too bad, kinda corny but not HORRIBLE although the line "These? These are our gorram adventures." bothers me, it's not that the delivery is horrible or the line is horrible, but both are bad.

0:30-1:27- I guess it's long as others have said but I'm a Firefly fan and anybody watching this will be, so it's not like people are going to leave during it. It's actually really professional looking and well made, the girl talking on the phone and the guy dropping the knife is a tiiiiny bit overacted, but really not by much, nothing that would shock me to see on tv or a movie (As long as I didn't like the tv or movie much.) But seriously, it's pretty well done. Music's good too.

1:27-1:40 It's not badly done, I mean I wouldn't expect it from a movie or tv show from the 21st century but for a homemade youtube fan spinoff the effects are good.

1:40-2:30 " *Sigh* How gorram long is it gonna take?" - Not written great but would be fine with right delivery. Not right delivery.
"Didn't your mother teach you any paitience?" Written a little worse, delivered a little better but performance still flawed.
"Paitence gets you killed, rich boy." Same thing, writing and delivery so-so.
From best I can tell she's saying "You're barberism mesmerizes me, Z." I had to replay it so many times, you people need a better mic. Still, although the delivery isn't good enough to be... great, it'd not written badly and could be delivered better but not delivered too badly, not wince worthy at all except I couldn't hear it. The music's not a great choice, by the way.
"Mesmerize, you say?" It's delivered so badly, it's hard for me to imagine the line working.
"...wea-pons, not Women..." Written and acted... badly.
"Calm down Z..." This whole thing is just really awkward, based around a joke that didn't work.
"Hey hey hey, hey, you gonna share that for us, or... what?" That sounds like a horrible, horrible ad-lib. Like, really bad.

Okay, I could kinda go on forever, deconstructing each line and telling you why it fails but I'd feel kinda mean (I must sound like such an asshole, but I'm just being honest) but have a huge school project to do so I'm just gonna watch the video and tell you what's good.
Okay, last criticism the actor who plays Z seems really bad, the "Speaking of the captain..." line is kinda painful. Oh, and the "The only business I see..." line is just SO. PAINFUL. Like, acted badly sure sure but the writing is horrible, huge huge plot dump, I mean It's just such an unnatural line to say, and sounds so so scripted and I can't believe it wasn't fixed. Imagine someone saying that. It's actually hilarious. Oh, and a plot dump from Z just talking to himself at 4:38ish. So, so weird and awkward. Okay, only good stuff from here on out.
Although I don't like the music at least there's music, I admit it would probably be worse with no music.
Ohh, dudes name is Zeik not Z. I blame the microphone, or lack thereof.
4:00- Music isn't a bad choice, again it's something a lot of fan made videos probably don't have. And the guns don't look too bad.
4:33-4:35 Cool shot (No pun intended...)
5:13- Girl handing the guy the bottle wasn't bad, kinda funny I guess.
5:52- Camera angle kinda cool.
6:45- Considering how low budget this probably is, that isn't bad. It looks video gamey, I don't know where it's from or if it was made just for this series.
The end seems like the series could become interesting.

[ edited by DeezyG on 2010-04-15 02:35 ]

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