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by National Hero, Disqualified Tim


Well, I liked it.

Time and again Tim Hamilton raises the bar of what is seemingly possible in a 48 Hours weekend, this time creating a mesmerizing ocean floor experience of a cable diver desperate first of all to get home early from his assignment, and then the assignment becomes a bit of an afterthought given what is lurking in the depths below.

Honestly my jaw dropped at so many of these lush literally unbelievable dreamlike visuals. From the get go with the perfect orange and blue lighting hues, to us hitting underwater, where the visuals that added sea debris had me absolutely immersed, I was thinking holy moly these visuals have never been topped in 48 Hours...and then you ramped it up again with the sensational shots of the Civic, the CAR GETTING TURNED. THE CREATURE. Just breathtaking.

Where the film really hit its stride and high points I felt from a filmic and story point of view were where we saw the desperation of your protagonist to escape. Whenever they were on screen they produced just the right emotions to sell their character arc, from the one more time before diving, through to wonder at the beauty of the ocean floor, through to completely selling the tension of the race against time to get the hell out of there.

That production design just amazes me every time. Having said that I may need to do my research on how the ocean floor works but there were just a couple of times where it felt like the stillness belied the fact we were underwater, but only for a couple of seconds at a time. The fact I had to remind myself that a few replicas weren't the real deal in terms of your set shows just how damn great that set was, by the way.

Liam Reid's score yet again absolutely on point, note perfect and impactful to elevate proceedings.

Only element that wasn't strongly used to drive proceedings I think was the whisper? All others really strong particularly the imposing gatekeeper. If you're going to be figurative there, why not go big or go home!

Story-wise it worked for me, we had purpose given for the sojourn and ultimately a tale of survival wrapped up in a dreamy blanket of oneiric cinema. Really refreshing seeing a slight change of pace to the editing as well, letting the film breathe and holding exploratory shots for longer to showcase the watery surroundings. It's a genuine pleasure seeing you make films in this competition, team.

Story: 4/5
Technical: 5/5
Elements: 4.5/5
Overall: 4.5/5

Who was the protagonist we were rooting for again? Bit more face please. Award for VFX fo sure. Bust the hollywood and wellywood sign moment with the destruction of the Auckland civic 48Hours finals location! Very meta. Story elements in need of elevation beyond popcorn. Still popped a few corn though.

I particularly liked the sound design.

DQ Tim films over the last few years have been very much about the spectacle, the grand scale and the sheer ballsiness of it all. As others have mentioned, pulling some of this stuff off inside 48HOURS is something most of us can only really dream of; and aptly the ambition of it all does make me tired.

"Deep" establishes an effective claustrophobia early on and for those of us unnerved by the ocean or even being submerged this film will be pretty uncomfortable viewing. Storywise it's all pretty basic - protagonist in danger; needs to escape. We learn little about the main character or anything really about the events that lead him to be in the situation he's in - it's just his job. This doesn't help me care about him much. Likewise, the creature is just the creature doing its job in a very Limboesque way. The effects and staging in this short are both a strength and a weakness. The opening shots including the initial submersion are awe-inspiring. The scale that is established is outstanding and I found myself sucked into the environment. However, then a ropey-looking jellyfish floated by or I noticed the cars were a bit too toyish or the buildings seemed rather cardboardy, and the illusion was broken. I half expected to see that this was all just some kid playing in the bath with their toys.

"Deep" is very rewatchable, (my main review yard-stick within this comp) just more style than substance. But if you put that aside, "Deep" is once more a phenomenal DQ Tim production within the time, resource & imagination limits of 48HRS.

This film FUCKS! Absolutely loved it!! The ambition is extremely inspirational and exactly what I want to see from a 48 hour competition. The ONLY criticism I can think of is a few frames of the greenscreen, and the hands controlling the creature, but I honestly think that adds to the charm of a VFX project like this. 99/100. This sets the bar for me

This film is sick. Its quite inspiring for up and coming film makers to see how far you can take 48 hours. Its a massive spectacle. The music and sound design was award worthy and it carried a lot of suspense. That jellyfish tho. The only things I would work on is the story. If there was more of an established relationship with the main character, I feel that I would've been more hooked. I love to see Tim pushing the boundary of what's possible. Give me something to look upto!
Overall 8/10

Probably the most ambitious film I've seen in such a long time.

So much visuals with your miniature model town you built. Lighting is fantastic and your water effects actually look convincing. Dystopian underwater Auckland in the future? Ok,

I'm sure you rocked Peter Jackson's socks off and feel that you will definitively either be a PJ wild card or a National Finalist.

My pick to win this years 48.

Once again, Tim has planned and executed a vision beyond what most people or teams in the competition would even ever dream of. The ambition is huuuuge! A fellow viewer (superb film maker in his own right!) described one of the shots from this film, simple with the words "Jesus!".

The planning and art dept, shot choices are superb - yeah there's the odd evidence throughout its a miniature set , which took me out of it a few times and the odd hand turns up... and yet the thought that went into this is epic. Will be interesting to see how it fairs on a massive screen? will the illusions hold? Now equally... especially for such a tiny team, I have to honour anyone who puts as much prep into the competition, as Tim does... preparation is the key to success in this game, and he's proven a few times now, how it leads to a win! The execution is superb, the sound design / post work and VFX just takes it up a level - brilliant stuff... and the ambitious world building visuals, for Tim, just seem common place for his films now.

Now, story wise... hmmm, well personally I would love to see some more 'heart/ personal' elements in the writing.. have some thing to say beyond just the spectacle of the imagery or here's an epic experience you've never seen... and I'm not dismissing the spectacle experience either here, as we've all seen... it's not simply your average Joe visuals to be fair... its huge, epic and mind blowing... it's just... I want... to be able... to CONNECT with the characters/film and care, be more involved, learn something, experience something that the film maker has to say etc. I've personally always treated the competition as a training ground, i.e. what more could I do to practice, learn, experiment, what toys could I play with, all within 48hours... what's possible etc?... all, though, through the lens of one day knowing, I could walk in to the larger industry prepared and practiced... and the longer I've done it, one thing has shone through - all the techniques in the world are worthless, when story is king/queen! ...write what you know, be authentic, find your truth and let that shine through! If Tim adds that into the Mix?? God help us all! lol

Anyway, sure bet for Finalist both regionally and nationally... Awards a plenty, I predict! Possible winner!

Concept / Story: 3.5/5
Production Design: 6/5 (he had a miniature set FFS)
Cinematography 4.5/5
Sound: 5/5
Editing: 4.5/5
VFX 4.5/5
Acting: 4/5
Overall 4.5-4.75/5

Umm what the actual...

a romp into a post apocalyptic submerged world........ W all around

tim and his team really leans into their strengths on this one. No-one can say that the effort and execution of the set wasn't topnotch.

great film, much cinematography, such production design

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