This story was incredibly personal, born out of imagining what I’d be feeling if this were really happening, and finding a high likelihood I’d be at work, possibly over an hour from my kids. I actually had nightmares. So I was a little apprehensive that it might not come out how I pictured. I needn’t have worried – each of the three filmmakers was truly passionate about their vision for the film, and each vision was different from the last. For me, the opportunity to see my script interpreted several times has been a unique learning experience, and I’m both lucky and grateful. What I love most about this version is the cinematography, and Enni’s team’s desire to add their own touches (perhaps because I knew there were already two based closely on my scripts, I felt good about a different version). I could see Emma coming to life in a slightly different way, almost in a different genre, especially with the addition of those flashbacks. I think the soundtrack and acting are excellent, and the drone shots stunning. Well done all, it’s a great job.
Thank you @traceyparsons it was great experience working with you. For me it was a debut of how a producer can work with the writer, because before this film I was "working" only with myself )
This film had a great overhead circling shot at the outset which immediately gives the viewer a setting for the film. The cinematography is great throughout the film clip and the acting is great. What I didn't like was the total silence at 0.30 - 0.45 and 2.44 - 2.50. Maybe some ambient sound effect is needed at these points. Overall a great job which I would be pleased to see at an Odeon cinema. Well done.
I loved this film; It reflects beautifully and powerfully how a mother would feel away from her children at such a time. The actress is fantastic! I actually think it's quite affecting that she's not singing in sync with the kids as she is obviously suffering and they are not. I also agree it would be more affecting just to have the first boy saying "Sing Mummy" rather than the repetition. Maybe it was my broadband playing up but it seemed to me the boys' mouths weren't quite in sync with their words? I love the last shot rising up from the crashed car with the music and the miles and miles of forest and road stretching away. Maybe ending before the sunrise/white out would be better.
@mozzer60 thanks for your feedback! As for the silence in the end - it was director's intentional vision of how the mother feels when she actually sees how her kids die. It is like total silence. Her world is dead even before she herself is dead. We'll discuss this moment more. As for 00-30-00-45 - I don't quite understand. First there goes title card (which I feel now we need to do shorter) - that is why it is silent. And after that there is a sound of how she tries to start the car. Just the sound is heard from inside the car that is why outdoor sounds are not heard until she opens the door and runs out.
@stephanie-ginger thank you for your feedback! Yes I also see this problem with being sync with lips. We were recording another children to sing the song, that was hard to sync actually. But we will try to work around. By the way - it was supposed to look like a blast wave, not a sunrise in the end )) But it was made from sunset.
This film is visually great, some really beautiful shots and the edit seems to flow smoothly to me. I like the choices made where the sound is either muffled (inside the car) or total silence, at the end in her grief. The main area of improvement for me would be the sound matching. Currently the audio feels detached from the action, but I'm sure this is something that can be corrected in the later edit.
I liked it a lot. But I do agree on the signing being a bit off from the tempo of kids. It’s understandable, but a bit gets into viewing thinking that she’s signing with an old recorded video and not live one. Other than that - acting is amazing!!! Movie clearly shows desperation. Ending is great. No other criticisms necessary;) love it!
Great cinematography here as well as acting! The setting and wardrobe is really complimented well by the fab grading and overall 'look'. The lead actress is brilliant and very convincing. The sound syncing did jolt me a little bit from the naturalistic feel to the film so maybe there's a way you can get it be to tighter? I really like the end aerial shot as it's a nice bookend to the opening but I feel it's a bit long/slow for the overall film - it'd be fine for a stand alone version though. Great job! x
Thanks one again for all the lovely and helpful comments! I really have a better picture now of how to inprove the film. @RachelWelch & @tatianapaje - yes we are going to spend more time on sound, this was our first and quite quick version. @cerarose yeah, the same problem with me about the last shot. I love it so much and love the music there, if we cut it away we will lose both - beautiful shot and music and will lose the sense of the first aerial shot as well. But I understand what you mean as it is really the longest shot in a quite dinamic film. I have mixed feelings about it still...
First thought - ‘Wow! A drone?” Well produced, in fact when Emma/Irina was running up the road I felt like I was watching a scene from an actual big-budget thriller - such was the framing, performance and the score between (0.54 - 1.05). I wasn’t sure about the pan up from the boots though. Nice touch of the ‘deafening silence’ in her most painful moment and the building of the wind in the trees prior to this moment. Great affecting music at the end too - love a good bit of music! Strangely uplifting. Nice believable performance. Very watchable, well done.
I think I have to agree with something Martin suggested... show the title (or just black screen) and hear the tire explode and the car crash before we see anything else. As the title (or black screen) goes away, we find Emma coming back to reality after the crash, and then take the film off from there. The opening is nice if you want to look at the scenery around her, but this isn't about scenery... it's about a mom whose car breaks down and she can't get home to her kids. We need to get to the kids on FaceTime sooner. And, as others have mentioned, the sound sync is a little bothersome in the spots already indicated. There are ways your editor can work around some of that, though. I disagree with the comments about the ending shot being too long, but I'm conflicted at the same time because Michele's suggestion really makes a lot of sense to me, too. If I were sitting at the editing station with this, I'd be torn as to which approach to take. I think you are faced with difficult decisions, but I feel confident you'll figure it all out. I'm looking forward to seeing the n ext version after you've done some work on it. Of course, everything I just said is all just my opinion... if any of it's helpful, great. If not, just ignore it. Good luck.
Enni and team, oh, this one really tugs at my heart. Very moving, haunting and superb atmosphere and location. The drone shot really gives us an insight into the isolation. Your actress is incredible, I loved her. When she sang putting that brave face on for her children it was heartbreaking. Loved it. I don't see anywhere you can improve.
Lovely cinematography and I felt her pain. I think only a couple of minor things for me. When she got out of the car and sort of fast walk then collapse. I would have expected more of a frantic run the collapse from exhaustion or pain. But maybe I misunderstood and she stopped when she realised the futility of it. Other one was the silent scream actually got me to check I had not accidentally turned my sound off. I think because it was completely silent. Could white noise reduce that effect I wonder? Very moving.
Really well done. As a mum myself this just makes me cry. As others have said, the nice scenery at the beginning is not needed imho. The silent scream is fantastic and contrasts brilliantly against her crying at the beginning. But because the silent scream is so good and so on point, the singing afterwards of the song really jars for me. It feels like it's there to fit the title, rather than the story. Overall though, great job!
What a moving piece! Her expression when she lost contact with her children was just so heartbreaking. Whilst I absolutely loved the cinematic shots of the forest at beginning and end, I'm not convinced they are strictly necessary for this tale. One alternative might be to start with the scene of her car crashed into a tree with her singing, then flash back to the trip home, accident, callous abandonment by a stranger, and singing with her children, ending with the silent scream... this could almost halve the length of the film. I also felt the scene with the red car could be a little shorter - I don't think we needed to see it go round the corner to appreciate that she was in the middle of nowhere, and the car wasn't going to stop. But they're just some immediate thoughts. You've done a really great job, with an amazing leading actor, and produced a very emotional film!
Thanks everybody! We are now working on the list of changes for the next cut and many comments here are very helpful! We are grateful you've found time to watch the film and to write a comment!
A very cinematic film, and so heart breaking when she sings along with her boys. I liked the silent scream. I thought the ending was maybe a tad too long. The actress was amazing!
In the new cut we've cut away the opening shot (we will bring it back in the stand-alone shot), made some tweaks in the middle and cut away mother's song in the end (we left it though subtle in credits). We also cut away the Impact moment, as I thought that it can be easier to place the film inside the longer one in time. It is already obvious from aerial shot that she will be there till the end whenever it comes. We also worked a lot on sound design, carefully checked all the comments here and tried to work on them. The film is a almost minute shorter now.
Very moving, great job, looking forward to the final edit.