Colin Levy's Skywatch

strange that nobody has posted this yet:
it’s very impressive! hopefully it gets turned into a full movie. :slight_smile:


So well done. The cinematographic (or how you say it) is amazingly done.

Yes I was surprised no one opened a thread before!

I loved it… And Jude Law in it! Wow! I hope there will be more!

Well, as far as screenwriting, acting, mis en scene and cinematography are concearned, this is great, I agree.
If I look at the plot as a whole (as in general underlying concept or idea), not so much. In fact I feel it was a bit shallow.
I mean, come on, everyone has seen this exact story numerous times before. If one would edit a few scenes from e.g. ‘I, Robot’, 'Next Gen and say ‘Ready Player One’ together accordingly, it’d be basically the same thing.
And on a sidenote: A gasmask which doesn’t cover the eyes protecting against what is most ceartainly supposed to be teargas-grenades is much more of a plothole than I’d have expected from someone of Colin Levy’s experience in movie-making.

So it boils down to great craftmanship, a not exactly original plot and a notable plothole.

greetings, Kologe

What most impressed me was that I didn’t notice that the apartments weren’t real at all. I knew the add-ons for the drone delivery machine had to be digital, but after watching the making of I discovered that nothing was :laughing: awesome!

It’s a very well crafted piece and a good story! Loved it!

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I think all the stuff you mentioned as well done in the short, is lacking from the majority of big budget productions nowadays. This is the proof that you can make a simple idea fun and engaging, and I prefer this to an amazing plot on paper, brought on screen without the proper work. Obviously, I also love an amazing plot, don’t get me wrong, but all the rest still needs to be done properly.

Hey guys, chiming in to say thanks for checking out the short and for the comments! I actually meant to post the film here but my schedule hasn’t allowed for it.

Very psyched by the response online and we’ll be posting some Breakdowns in behind-the-scenes stuff soon. :slight_smile: Happy to answer any questions about the making of.

And honestly, the critique is useful too! Lay it on me! (I know, I know – Not the most original plot ever! I’m actually shocked more people haven’t expressed similar annoyance at the cliche.)


My biggest issue was that at a certain point I thought, “A van is going to pull up and a girl is going to jump out and yell, ‘Get in!’” And that’s basically what happened. Personally, I’m more of a fan of short films telling complete stories that were designed from the ground up to be short films. I loved Sintel and The Secret Number because even though they leave a lot for the audience to figure out themselves, all the necessary elements are there.

I did enjoy this one though. The drone system felt very believable in its execution. If such a system does become common I can totally see teenagers hacking into it and hijacking drones, probably in its first week of operation.

I didn’t know the project before I saw the short, but I have to say, it’s amazing! True, the plot isn’t super complex and original, but honestly, it totally worked for the short, because it leaves open the possibily to extend the plot :upside_down_face:. Especially the acting, the execution, the VFX was really good! When I saw that it’s an independent short, and when I noticed that it’s 10 minutes long, I expected crap honestly, because IMO 10 minutes is pretty ambitious, but I was pleasently surprised by the cinematic feel and the overall look. I don’t have much to criticize.

(And yes, please, please, post many VFX breakdowns and generally background videos, how you came up with ideas, how you planned, whether you had to improvise, the sets, the invisible VFX work, I wanna know everything! :wink:)

One for the #featured row indeed :slight_smile:

As I said above, while I definitely love to see original plots, I think that nowadays all the storytelling refinement, careful direction and character exploration is a very rare merchandise, even in much bigger productions than this.

So in my opinion, as long as you nail all those other points, keep it simple! And I believe you guys did a great job at making the simple story flow well, engaging the audience and keeping it interesting.

I don’t care if the plot is not original. I still want to see more of it!

why every blender made film is about killer robots? :smiley:
Fun short film!

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You can just sneak a subplot in there, a reveal that twists everyone’s expectations around about where they think the story is going.

Maybe the whole thing is a dream sequence in Ton’s head while he’s sleeping, after which the movie starts. :smiley: Hey, am I on the clock? :smiley:

It’s actually a love story about two coders working for Blender. Two girls, of course, to draw a bigger male demographic. And then…some explosions and men arm wrestling and drinking beer. And then more robots and explosions. And then a half naked girl shows up, of course, dressed for battle, but with a huge, heaving bosom, so guys will keep watching whenever she’s talking or doing non-sexual stuff.

Don’t stop me now, I’m just getting started. :smiley:

I’m kidding, of course. I really enjoyed your short video and shared it with a few people to introduce them to Blender.

Being a writer myself, I understand how hard it is to avoid the cliche. But that said, I think maybe the avoidance of the cliche’ is maybe overrated?

Because beginning middle and end and all of the narrative elements that come with that are, well, cliche.

One of my favorite quotes from Hitchcock ( and there are many) is that exhibition is the pill that must be sugar coated.

He also hated the cliche’… lol

But here is my take on it. It is all a cliche’. It is extremely hard to make a film that does not reference another film. And sometimes you do that intentionally as a sort of nod.

But you have to reach certain beats in any story. You can play with it, and you can rearrange and you can try to find new ways to do things. But you cant stray too far or you loose people.

And there are a number of things that are done over and over in films because, well, they work. And these things become the language of film. While shots and angles might be words and sequences are grammar. Cliche’s are like paragraphs.

It is all language. It is just a matter of how you arrange them and what you are saying in the end that counts.

One cliche’ can be used any number of ways and in any number of different contexts. As long as overall, you are saying something new.

In my opinion the film delivers in that regard. And I thought there were a number of entertaining points along the way.

I’d give it a thumbs up. :slight_smile:

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Very well done executed short, I´ve enjoyed it a lot.
The drones are superb, made in Blender or did you have used other software as well for modeling/texturing?
What software did you use for editing,compositing?
Great short!

Here is an interview with Colin Levy and Sandro Blattner (visual effect supervisor) for all interested:


i find the plot totally ok for the short but i hope the full movie has a somewhat believable explanation for why they have weaponized the drones (and why the van shows up for the kid). :slight_smile:

vfx-wise the only thing that didn’t work that well for me were the dust effects. the physics looked a bit wrong… but everything else is very impressive. :slight_smile:

My guess is, that it is an evil cooperation and as long as they deliver the stuff it is all nice and good, but if you cross their lines for whatever reason they switch to attack mode in no time,could also be only one person or a hacker.
The people in the van are the rebels fighting against that evil cooperation.

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i think this evil cooperation/conspiracy thing is tricky to make believable though.

why is the kid important to the rebels? ok, right, he can use an “arduino/raspberry pi”. :slight_smile: i guess just recruiting more people is enough of a motivation though.

lol, yes nowadays or in the future, when this is happening you are an expert if you can use a raspberry and some python. Good point.
But if the target audience are teenager/families/no techies, you get away with that easily.

The trailer was great… well performed, story was engaging… no reason why it couldn’t become a full-length feature, so long as the CG is in service of the story and the story’s required elements (ie plot, characters, themes, conflict), not the other way around. Otherwise it will be a theme park ride rather than a movie.

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