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The Haast and The Furious

by Meme Teme


Alright meme teme, you asked for it, so heres a brutally honest review.

In a lot of ways, I think this was a good 48 hours short. I think this film would have done really well in earlier years of the competition, but its 2024 and things are different now.

The positives. I think there is a clear step up from your 2022 worm film in terms of storytelling, scope and audio. You set up the characters and premise quickly. Im glad we see the drone guy in the first scene, because that makes for a good set up and pay off. I also like that the bin was acknowledged early on, because its such a huge prop that its hard to ignore. Most of the shots around the bush look really nice, and it seemed like a classic Invercargill grey day, so you did well to pull as much nice lighting as possible. The sequence where they first catch the bird is pretty funny. Love the use of the drone shots here. I also think this leads to my favourite joke in the film, where the Texas Trophy Hunter shows his list of animals hes killed (probably should have held on this shot for longer) I also thought the kick to the head was great. The best shots of the film are right at the end, after the car chase, when they let the bird free. There's some really nice depth of field and the trees are glowing with the last of the daylight. And then theres the big final joke with the foreshadowed drone pilot, which is a great way to finish off the film and I loved the use of sound effects plus the bird feathers (probably should have used the feathers more throughout the film) Overall a really charming little story that fits perfectly into this style of competition. I also think the name is GREAT, but im very biased because I love the Fast movies and Fast related jokes. I also think that you NAILED the genre in a way that other teams didnt. Most teams just made vaguely 'animal' related films, but this felt like a true animal adventure. Theres a lot of be proud of here :)

But then there are the negatives...and theres a few. I didnt like how the opening shot was completely silent, until the characters bump into each other. Then, the sound of the jackets rubbing against the microphone start, and they stick around for the whole movie. Audio is really tough, and I think you got very unlucky here. Speaking of audio, the Texas accent really threw me off and was hard to understand on first watch. Im also surprised by how unsure our main character sounds when she explains whats shes doing "im on a quest to find it?...uuummmm...i need that cash?" and this is always a concerning thing to see in an opening of a short film. You need your actors to bring some energy in a competition like this. I think the 2022 worm film works in this regard because the opening scene with the lady bullying the worm boy is so mean and funny. I also think we should have seen a shot of the drone fly past the characters, because the sound effect on its own was a bit distracting. The match cut was very safe and forgettable, could have been much more creative. The drone shot after the match cut was ROUGH and shouldn't have been included. The net in the face gag was also a bit dull and probably could have been cut. The reaction to finding a dead body was shockingly dull. I think this was a bad choice to include, because it isnt brought up again. We later see that the eagle is easy to catch. Why would they let it free if it was killing people?? also the shot of the foot prints didnt work at all. I could barely see them (check out 'The Hatchling' from Wellington for how to do this effect better) I also couldn't understand what the guy says at this point because his jacket is hitting the microphone (something about big foot???) Again, catching the bird was actually pretty great, but following it up with the world slowest car chase sequence was an odd choice. Was it supposed to be funny? or energetic? The awkwardly long shot of the girl opening the boot threw me off (the music cuts out so i guess it was supposed to be funny?) The stand off with the bin was nice, but the bro fumbled his line so hard at the end "i do wish the, there were a few more big foot that i, that i could get". And then it ends. You really need to work on your audio for next year. The sound effects were all over the place in terms of volume, and the background music wasn't loud enough (and was pretty dull even when it was there) The lav microphones are a tough one when charcterts are moving around, but sound great when characters are still. I think this film lacked some much needed energy from our main actors. I also think the film needed a cheesy CGI bird, or a silly bird prop to help tie it all together. If the worm film didn't have a worm, it wouldn't have worked. Remember, its a 48 hour film. Its supposed to be fun, and a big ugly bird prop would have fit in so nicely (in my opinion). I really think you should watch 'The Hatchling' (it didnt make the short list so its on the screening room) and take some notes from that. Its like if the worm film and this film had a baby.

There's clearly a lot of love for this competition and filmmaking in general in this entry. I appreciate how funny your posts have been in the chch 48 hours page. Clearly you're improving at a fast rate, and I have no doubts you will make it to the city finals and win a ton of awards in the future. Please please please keep making films and entering the competition every year meme teme 🦅🦅🦅

Some really solid audio in parts! I think with a little more visual flare (beyond some impressive drone shots), and a bird prop, this would have been a great story.

Standout performance from Cameron Richardson; really enjoyed the energy there.
Sensed a bit of "too many cooks" scriptwise. The ending, while thematically cohesive, undercut the character journeys for me.

Overall, a really promising submission; this team is one to look out for going forward!

What I liked:
On a technical front Meme Teme have never been stronger! Cinematography especially is looking the best it ever has.

What I didn't like:
The premise was interesting but I would have liked to have seen more moments of creative filmmaking with the Haast eagle itself.

Something else I liked:
Loved the yellow wheelie bin as a prop, what an iconic thing to take with you on a journey.

Meme Teme, and Samantha in particular, are huge fans of 48HRs and have been doing the comp since their school days. Their 2024 short really is their best yet and feels much longer than the 5 minute run time in a good way - there's just a lot going on! Good plan to do an animal adventure without actually seeing the animal - sound did the heavy lifting here along with some well used drone shots. So technically very good and I think I only saw a lapel mic once near the end. For me, I think I'd have liked more of a dynamic between the leads, more conflict, more cat-n-mouse over possession of the eagle - really playing into the comedy aspect. Apart from that I think it was a good little story and the wheelie-bin prop was inspired.

Great job! So proud once more of you people.

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