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Stage Fright

by The Monkey House


Looks like you had a great time making this.:)

Firstly, well done on the make up.
The comedic parts stood out, especially the corridor scene.
This film touches base with not only people that are finding it hard to find work but a place where they belong.

There were plenty of extras to make the scenario believable but the story lacked a character to help push his development.

Overall it stood out, loved the make up and the acting from the monster was pretty good 👍

Great to see the above reviews but our film hasn't actually screened yet lol.
You're looking for the other Christchurch film called Stage Fright which is not yet on the screening room.

Our Stage Fright is now in the screening room, sorry for the confusion!

DAMN these guys were firing on all cylinders! Beautiful cinematography, fantastic performers and oof you did the thing my team was too afraid to touch and mashed up both musical and possesion! And you did it in one of the best ways too! Slam dunk with the concept, well done.

I think the only thing that I would have liked to see in terms of cranking it up to 11 would be a shift in the musical tone at some point. It's very much a personal taste thing as far as musicals go, it's a good way to help shift mood and narrative (and also ensure it's definately in the musical as opposed to a music video), but it obviously wasn't as cruicial in this film given the whole environment just soaking in thespian style - where the hell did you guys shoot this!? I was absolutely blown away by the set dressings!

A very comfortable finalist indeed and while I'm here I also wanted to say thank you for giving me a copy of Ratman and also I loved enjoying all the films with you guys over the 3 days! You guys have the spirit of the competition and the community in you and I love that so much.

What I liked:
I love how this film looks - Not just in the cinematography but the framing and the general business of it all. In a comp which is often forcing filmmakers to get audiences to imagine their sets look bigger and better than they actually do, Stage Fright feels completely authentic with its packed-to-the-rafters green room and frantic shaky cam. Luke getting hooked on his headphones in the background after Sebastian says "Good luck" is legitimately my fav gag of the comp this year, and I was stoked to see it take home Best Warning - but it's also an example of thoughtful filmmaking and attention to detail which I don't think most teams have time to implement. Everyone is rushing to get across the finish line, there are few films that take the time to set up an out-of-focus background joke.

What I didn't like:
So I think this film lives and dies off how clearly communicated Grandad's goal is, he needs to convince his son that theatre is great so that he can cross over... and I think it took me a couple of watches to fully get this, and I know some others have had the same issue. I'm not sure how this mission statement could have been better implemented, but I know a lot of it is explained in the song, which unfortunately is also a bit hard to parse if you missed the initial set-up like I did. This is not for lack of trying, and the sheer pedantic-ness of this nitpick should give you a clear indication of how much I liked the whole package, but some of those lyrics could have been a little clearer and the shot at the start of Sebastian's reflection in the photo frames completely went over my head the first few times because I think I was focusing on the other old guy who doesn't appear in the film, so when the pull focus happens to reveal Sebastian's reflection, I'd been looking at the wrong old guy and didn't even notice Giles - I think you probably didn't need two photos here, and a photo of Grandad pulling focus to Seb's reflection would have sold this moment better.

Something else I liked:
I was so delighted by how fucking funny this script is, and having worked with this team many times outside of 48Hours, I think we should open up our scripts to more group joke-passes because some of this shit is hilarious. My fave moments were the warm-up joke (brilliant delivery by Keri) and Grandad emphasising Civil Engineering - something about Giles's deadpan delivery of this is hysterical to me, it's such a funny job to have picked for Sebastian's true passion, and I think Giles's delivery feels like he doesn't know its supposed to be funny. And that makes it funnier.

Bonus thought:
You guys are going to lambast me about my incredibly specific criticism instead of focusing on my praise, so I'll end with this: This was, for better or worse, probably my favourite film of the year. Is that because we work together and we have similar tastes in comedy? I'm sure other teams will argue "yes" and maybe they're right. But believe me when I say that I was pulling my hair out after my first watch because the image of me having to hand the Apee to a team that's basically my main film crew was making me feel sick. 48Hours is typically an uphill battle when you're close the city manager because we tend to judge friends slightly harsher, but Stage Fright actually blew me away. Thankfully for me, but not for you, it didn't quite land with the other judges as much as it did me. Which is a great case study for why a judging panel is so important, because even I am not free from the chains of 48Hours biases.

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