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Perceived.

by Off Demand

Reviews

Post-apocalyptic beach lifesaving film where the aftermath is that almost everyone has turned invisible other than our champion lifeguard patrolling the sandy shores.

I am not usually a fan of narration in this comp, but I can appreciate why the team felt they had to use it in order to explain the unique situation. It allowed some nicely done physical acting, and a darkly comic payoff when lust is the first emotion to come into play for our lonely lead when another visible person turns up.

I did find the story quite light, but I appreciated you taking the invisibilty element asked of you and absolutely going for it. I also liked that you got outside to the beach, and shooting in water is never easy so commend you for that. If I was to highlight where I think the film could have improved, I would probably say to try and provide some stronger story beats. For example, the ending was dark but by ending things with a smirk it made things feel a bit flat personally. Or even things like gasps of air for those needing saving from drowning to hammer home her role, because by not getting a reaction to her actions it came across more like she was miming than interacting with invisible people. And whilst the narration did kind of work overall, I felt that it covered up some of the edit with the story simply moving from one described passage to the next until a second person arrived.

Story: 1.5/5
Technical: 1.5/5
Elements: 3/5
Overall: 2/5

"Perceived" sets up a really fun concept - that some event has rendered most of the population invisible, leaving our visible lifeguard heroine to attempt to save the lives of people she can't see. It yields a couple good gags towards the start as she lifts invisible folks out of the water, and it drives the subsequent conflict quite well also.

As steelpotato has noted though, the story's a bit light, basically all hinging on one exchange of dialogue towards the end, after quite a protracted setup. There's also a tonal issue at play: while I think the team was going for devious humour with the main character leaving someone to die (? am I remembering that correctly?) in order to score with their partner, and it DOES get some shock-laughter, it comes across as a little predatory upon basically any amount of further reflection. There's no reason why that plot turn can't happen - it just needs to be supported or refuted by further story developments. Digging in to the consequences of that action, positive or negative, would frame it better, and better clarify what tone you were going for and what kind of story you were trying to tell.

Something I talk about often in storytelling is "gear changes" - where the story shifts gears into a new or escalated place, raising the stakes or offering up character reveals or changes. That'd be my principal suggestion for Off Demand moving forward: with a couple more story turns, this could've been quite a strong wee story.

Hilarious concept behind the difficulty of locating and rescuing invisible drowning people. Fascinating concept of everyone being invisible, except the main character, as typically it's the other way around. Open ended question, how is the blind lady going to find her shoes?

A really fantastic premise here, which resulted in some great visual gags, though feels like it struggled into developing its world into a full fledged story.

I loved seeing all the beach towels and stuff, and the scene where the hero saves the person from drowning was great, I genuinely was able to buy in and believe these were all invisible people.

As other have said, when we do move past the mini sketches used to set up the world, the rest of the story does feel kinda creepy, which is a shame because I think something really cool could have been found, love story or not, in this concept.

Things you got right: A genuinely fresh idea using the compulsory elements, and some A-grade world building scenes

Thing to work on for next time: Creating a story within an established world that works on an emotional level.

What a fun and interesting story.

It fell flat for me for many reason. Shots could have been better, was shaky in lots of parts, could've used better white space. Audio was poor. The ending felt.. weird... lol - didn't quite get it to be honest.

The concept of the story should be applauded, I feel like it was something new and kept me engaged. But a bit more attention to resolving her issues could have helped the story conclude better, rather than throwing in a brand new idea (character) which to me felt like the story was trying to squeeze in the rom-com element in the last minute - but meh.

All round - good effort team!

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