Fan Film Corner: "City of Scars"

“City of Scars” by Bat in the Sun productions, the makers of our previous selection “Patient J” is this week’s selection of Fan Film Corner


When the Joker escapes from Arkham and murders the parents of a young boy, Batman recalls the pain of losing his own parents as a child. He is pushed past his limits to the point where his focus becomes revenge on all who stand in his way, including many of Gotham’s underworld. Finally, Batman is forced to look at the psychological profile of his own mind and accept the consequences of his life to find resolve.


A child’s parents are brutally murdered, similar to what happened to Batman. The man behind it is the recently escaped Joker, who, along with Harley Quinn, are treated to one of their most hauntingly creepy depictions ever, and not only of this medium(counting The Dark Knight). Best moment of it? He’s sitting by a mirror, we don’t see his face, and he is mumbling incoherently to himself. You gotta see it to believe how effective it is(and note that this is currently available on YouTube). The performances in general are great, with only brief exceptions. Bruce Wayne’s alter ego has a rock-hard face and a spot-on voice, and his narrations has him questioning if he’s doing the right thing, something too many fan films forget. Unfortunately, those portions do suffer from occasional uninspired writing and bad reads. On the whole, the script is marvelous, if I can’t for the life of me make sense of the moral(best I can tell, it’s frankly a complete betrayal of the canon of the hero, and I can never stand that, if you want something different, make a new one, don’t change something established to fit what you want if it goes directly against it), and the ending is, as someone in this notes, anti-climactic.

The production values are quite high, with several large locations(a carnival, and a totally absolutely in no way not at all utterly gratuitous strip club with tons of cleavage, skin and butt shots), dozens of extras, and nearly flawless cinematography, make-up, props(the one obvious thing is the grappling gun, which might as well be neon colored), filming, editing and lighting. Action is sparse(I’d call this a thriller, genre-wise), well-choreographed, swift and really hits the mark(the hand-held camera is arguably excessive). The tone is relentlessly bleak throughout. There is a lot of disturbing content and a little bloody violence in this.


Being a fan of the Batman films and cartoons since I was a boy, I was happy to find a new chapter in the on-going saga. There is no sense comparing this to Nolan’s work, or indeed any of the films, and it has a very different feel to the cartoons.

I recommend this to comic book readers, as it will satisfy many of them(and it includes a few more well-known characters), without any of them being out of place, forced in or poor adaptations of the source material(suits, personalities and basic appearances).

The direction the whole is not bad and there are some great shots. However the steady-cam or perhaps just plain hand-held crowd scenes and other action scenes throughout are just a little to shaky.

The score was good, as was the grading of the film. I really liked the look they have gone for. The choice of materials for his suit harked back to the Adam West TV show, and after the slick carbon looking suit of TDK and BB is a little hard to deal with.

In conclusion most of the performances are fine and move what is an interesting story along nicely, and there are no major issues in my opinion, fans will enjoy it others might be more difficult to please.

4 templar crosses out of 5




Directed and Written by Aaron Schoenke
Original Music by Sean Schoenke
Kevin Porter as Batman
Paul Molnar as Joker
Madelynn Rae as Harley Quinn
Guy Grundy as Zsasz
-Brian Lansangan
follow me on Twitter @MrSnugglenutz84

"Assassin’s Creed" Film to Star Michael Fassbender

The big screen adaptation of Ubisoft’s video game franchise: “Assassin’s Creed” has just signed Michael Fassbender (300, Inglorious Bastards, Prometheus, X-Men: First Class) to produce and star.
“Assassin’s Creed” is the duo’s most high-profile project, given that the game is Ubisoft’s biggest franchise, selling over 30 million units since 2007. A third “Assassin’s Creed” game bows Oct. 30 and is set during the American Revolution. First two take place during the Crusades and Renaissance. Altogether there have been a total of nine games released across various platforms.

Plot revolves around a man who learns his ancestors were trained assassins after he is kidnapped by a secret org with ties to the Knights Templar, and sent back in time to retrieve historical artifacts.

“Michael Fassbender was our first choice” to play the franchise’s iconic hooded hero, said Jean-Julien Baronnet, CEO of Paris-based Ubisoft Motion Pictures. “Michael (Fassbender) is an extremely smart, talented, versatile and committed actor.”

The plan is to hire a writer and director before reaching out to movie studios.
Ubisoft sees adaptations as a way to turn its games into larger brands that will get the titles in front of more consumers while creating lucrative new revenue sources for the company. One of its first projects is an animated TV series based on the “Raving Rabbids” franchise that will air on Nickelodeon. Ubisoft chief Yves Guillemot also wants to develop films for the games “Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell” and “Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon.”

Check Out our previous post on anything Assassns Creed by clicking the links below:

AC3 Gameplay Teaser-Brian Lansangan
follow me on Twitter @MrSnugglenutz84

Fan Film Corner: "TETHER"

Welcome Back to Fan Film Corner: Today’s film comes from the mastermind at Corridor Digital titled: “TETHER”

Lowdown: Enter the mysterious world of Tether; a post-apocalyptic setting where mankind is slowly rebuilding from a virus that decimated the world a century ago. Now, mysterious cables are dropping from the sky, revealing an isolated world long forgotten.

“TETHER” is a pilot/concept piece for a web series that Corridor Digital has been developing over the past few years. The future of the project is still uncertain, but the fan faithful are lucky enough to get a glimpse of the great work that Corridor Digital has done so far.

Review: Corridor Digital brings back their “TETHER” idea to the fold and I have to say it shows great potential with mystery, action, and Scifi. The chase scene is very interesting and the special effects are awesome as always by Corridor Digital. The biggest hook for the “pilot” is the mysterious alien that emerges from the tether and strolls around with a mini-gun…it is awesome!! I can’t wait to see if Corridor Digital has to unveil in the possible upcoming possible web series.

Overall: With just the right amounts of action,sci-fi, drama, suspense and special effects, Corridor Digital has created possibly one of their finest work yet. Above par performances all around which is expected in a fan film or fan series, superb special effects, and an interesting story with a splash of wanting more.

4 templar crosses out of 5
Deserves a Peek


Explanation of “TETHER” by Corridor Digital

Original “TETHER”


Story and concept created by Sam Gorski, David Lovett, Niko Pueringer
Directed and Shot by Sam and Niko
Produced by Jake Watson, David Lovett
Production crew – Joe Tarczon, Joe Moore
Art Design – Josh Newland
Horse trainer – Amanda Fagerlund
Spaceman Costume – Dave Weimert

Jim: Ron Menzel
Hayley: Rachel Weber
Lyle: Steven Luke Schuetzle

Barker: Sasha Adreev
Davis: Nick Hansen

Horseman: Jake Watson
Frail Woman: Larissa Gritti
Spaceman: Niko Pueringer
Earl: Joe Torczon
Father: Eli Coats
Daughter: Kathryn Doers
Son: Jasper Morgan

-Brian Lansangan
Follow me on Twitter @MrSnugglenutz84

Fan Film Corner: "Beyond Black Mesa"

“Welcome to Fan Film Corner” Featuring the first fan film on our list: “Beyond Black Mesa”.

Fan Films are movies based or inspired by anything from movies, tv, and video games created by Fans for the Fans. CHECK IT OUT and ENJOY!!

DISCLAIMER: We don’t own any of the rights to any of the movies shown or the titles/ideas that they are based on. We simply are just showing our support and spreading the word of these great movies made by the people behind it.

Halflife: Beyond Black Mesa

Lowdown: Beyond Black Mesa is a short fan film based on the Half-Life Video Game series. It centers around Adrian Shephard and a band of resistance fighters struggling to get out a warning about the impending invasion.

Review: Great Action, awesome Special Effects, Superb Costuming, acting was so-so but expected for a fan film. Also it was great to see the half-life world from the view of the resistance fighters as they struggle to survive the invasion.

Overall: For only having a $1,200 dollar budget…this movie is pretty amazing, and enjoyable

3 templar crosses out of 5
Worth Checking Out!!!

Directed by Brian Curtin
Producer: Matt Hall, Mat Powell
Actors/Grips: Joy Gravel, Walt Thomas, Andrew Gothard
Special Tracks: Nate Quarterman
Narrator: Taylor Robinson
Audio Mastering: Eric Chapman

-Brian Lansangan


Sony FS700 & BMD 2K Cinema Camera

Looks like the cameras indy filmmakers will be using are only getting better and cheaper by the year. What started with the Canon HDSLRs are now transitioning to full 2k and 4K feature rich digital film cameras by both industry titans and new comers. With these soon to be released tools, not only are we getting the filmic look that indy filmmakers want but are getting an incredible dynamic range for full color control along with the highest of resolutions used by big studio productions.

With the successor of the Sony NEX-FS100, the $8,000 FS700 will no doubt make some waves with such features as super slow motion full-1080p (i.e. 240fps), built-in ND filters, XLR input, 3G-SDI and Super35mm CMOS sensor capable of producing full 4k RAW footage via a future (software) upgrade. 

The FS100 caught my attention probably not as much as it should have. But the FS700 is a head-turning, affordable beast of a camera. Now, the only thing that has me worried is… the quality of the 4K footage that it’s suppose to produce. I’m just a little confused as to why Sony didn’t just release it 4K out of the box, instead of 4K-ready. Just seems a little odd. There could very well be nothing to it. But still it’s questionable.

Here’s sample footage:

But Sony isn’t the only one shaking up the indy world. The company most famous for there coloring software, DaVinci Resolve are breaking new grounds with Black Magic Design‘s very first, 2K Cinema Camera. I was shocked at first when I heard the news… a software company making a camera? After grasping that concept I realized… holy crap… it’s 2.5K out of the box… for $3000!!!! My mind was blown, how is this possible? I was excited to say the least. 
It’s possible because BMD CC is aiming at indy filmmakers who’s budget lay between a mid-level DSLR and say Canon’s 5D Mark III. The Cinema Camera sports a capacitive touch screen LCD for camera settings and “slate” metadata entry and records in 24, 25, 29.97 and 30 fps and features an odd sized sensor that sits between a Super16mm and a Micro 4/3 sensor, which automatically brings up questions of low-light performance. The crop factor of that sensor size will roughly be around 2.4, appose to most popular DSLRS which is 1.5. Something to take into consideration as far as your existing lenses are concerned.
When BMD was designing the CC they had workflow in mind, along with 13 stops of dynamic range, 12 bit RAW uncompressed, you can record directly to AppleProRes, AvidDNXHD or  Quicktime formats. The CC completely uses open standards. Thunderbolt connection for live scopes (and charging), removable 2.5″ SATA SSDs (Solid State Disc) for on-board recording, 1/4″ inch microphone inputs, compatible with ZF and EF glass, BNC 3 Gb/s SDI out,   and… DaVinici Resolve 9 software thrown on top. So it’s a $3000 dollar camera with $1,500 worth of free software. 
Here’s some sample footage: 

Ultimately every Filmmakers need is different. And if the FS700 holds true, it will be perfect for me because of the possiblilities it will give me with special f/x. Also, I just like having more options on hand, I’m one of those guys who over compensates :). I will hold out for the Sony FS700. But without a doubt BMDs Cinema Camera looks to be an amazing tool, certainly for any curious would-be filmmakers out there. I’m all for variety and these cameras exhibit exactly that.

-Eric Chacón

Young Filmmaker gets serious about FCPX

If you’ve kept up with the latest editing software you are well aware of the craziness Apple stirred up with Final Cut Pro X a year ago. Personally, I was taken back by FCPX at first. My initial reaction was… “iMovie pro?”. It wasn’t until FCPX ver 10.0.2 that I threw caution to the wind and jumped into the infamous NLE to see what it was all about.

Read more

Google Drive + WeVideo

“Come gather ’round Non-Linear Editors, Wherever you roam, And admit that the waters, Around you have grown, And accept it that soon, You’ll be drenched to the bone. If your time to you, Is worth savin’, Then you better start swimmin’, Or you’ll sink like a stone, For the software we use are a-changin'”

I know that’s not how the classic Bob Dylan song goes but that’s what I sing to myself every time I hear about new editing software. Since FCPX was release followed by Avid MC6 and Adobe CS6, it seems that the world of editing has been in a state of constant change. And it appears that this story is no different with Google further changing the landscape of NLE’s.

By now everyones heard of cloud based storage services like iCloud and Drop Box, so when Google Drive was announced I wasn’t overly excited about the news. But when I heard about Google Drive integrated with Google’s new video editing app, WeVideo, it really caught my attention for a couple of reasons. Besides that it’s a free Chrome browser based app, it’s full integration with Google Drive is fascinating when you stop to think of all the different way’s you can use it. Here’s a quick demo.

Pretty cool, right? It’s fair to say that the UI in the app is fairly simple. Almost identical to iMovie. But the real differentiating factor is that it offers a cloud based video editing workflow where multiple editors can collaborate and edit footage simultaneously… from anywhere, for free (essentially)! It’s pretty amazing to say the least.
If I was a kid in middle school or someone curious about producing videos this would be a great way to test the waters without any out of pocket costs for editing software. I can’t wait to see what people do with WeVideo. I’m sure there will be some rough edges at first. Like any new software (i.e. FCPX), WeVideo will need time to mature,

In all honesty I don’t think i’ll be using WeVideo because I love editing on Final Cut Pro X and Adobe Premiere CS 5.5 (aka Final Cut Pro 8). Granted, I know both of those NLE’s don’t have cloud services and I’m aware that Adobe just introduced CS6 Production Premium (full $1899 and the upgrade for $375) with the Creative Cloud but since this blog is aimed for the “micro” budget filmmakers, spending $2k for new software wouldn’t be a viable option. So I was left to wonder if Apple would take Google’s lead and expand FCPX with an update or a FREE plug-in for Drop Box or iCloud, just imagine the workflow options that would open up! You could start to cut together a rough cut on your iPad, save and continue on your Mac.

I applaud Google for further democratizing video production. Anything to put creative tools in the hands of curious and budding artists for free is a good thing. 
What do you think about  Googles new app? Would you be using WeVideo?

Eric Chacón