Watchdogs Inspired Fan Film

I made this in a week as a school project with obviously zero budget.


  • Any thoughts, anyone? 

  • @Vespill ; Pretty good work for only a week.   Nice job doing the tracks!  Also, impressed with the editing (cutting on action was above par for a student project)  Cudos to all. 

    I watched with the sound off and was still able to follow the story.

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    You have good designs for your graphics and overlays, and  solid tracking on most effects.

    Biggest consistent issue is camera focus--there are shots where you're going for an arty defocused look, but there are a lot of shots where you just didn't hit the correct focus plane (a good example is near the end when you have the moody sad shot of your hero where his face is blurry, but the REEBOK is pin sharp). I think I would have liked to hear some environmental noise during the chase along with your overlay sound effects.

    Overall, it's not bad. It gets the story across. For your next project work on hitting camera focus.

    I'd also say avoid fight sequences for now. I'm guessing you kind of shot very quickly and on the fly, but fight scenes, like any other stunt work, need planning and rehearsal to work well, and I can tell you had neither. Film Riot has a few good episodes on shooting fight scenes with some good general tips--key among them is using camera angle to mask a hit. If you were able to shoot over the shoulder of one actor, he'd be able to throw a hard, fast looking punch that's actually a good 6-9 inches away from the other actor and it would work if the other actor times his reaction correctly. Fight choreography is a whole, very long subject that's kind of beyond the scope of the forum.

  • @Triem23 Thanks for the advice on focus.  The fight scene was pulled off a mere 6 hours before the project was due. If I had any more time I would definitely improve on that, as I also thought it was unsatisfactory while I was making it. 

    In the out of focus scene you mentioned I remember leaving my camera on manual focus from the last close up of the phone I did, and I forgot to adjust. Obviously I had no time for a redo. 

    But still, for a week's worth of rushed work, I think "not bad" is good enough. 


  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    Hey, I enjoyed your short more than a lot of very large budget Hollywood films with years of work time that were just terrible terrible movies. The Hobbit (first one only) and Trolls are two examples of films where my time would have been better spent having explosive diarrhea--at least that's MY crap! 

  • Hey @Vespill pretty good, like Triem23 said your cuts where not bad, gave a sense of drama. The fight scene wasn't that bad, but it cried out for some sound effects, there are free stuff lurking around the net. Also I spotted a continuity issues, when you first enter the building you are holding the phone and then in the next shot you are holding a WifiRouter (or advanced scanner device I guess) but then back to the phone with no obvious explanation. Even a shot of the actor pulling it out of a bag would of cleared that up. Also acronyms are cool sounding but they can be annoying if not explained, just say the full name and then the acronym. Lastly remember the theme of the source material, in this case watchdog, I believe that game was more about affecting electronic devices to cause damage or cauious. You could have had your man hack the alarm system causing the bad guy to make a break for the exit but in the mean time your good guy hacks the door system setting it up to electrify him when he opens it. No need for the fight or to see the age of the actor playing your main bad guy. Overall a really good effort, and well done for getting it out there and sharing it. Keep it up.

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    Oops--one more minor glitch I forgot earlier. During the security camera sequence--Make sure you change the label on the camera when changing to a new angle. Security hates having four "Camera 1's."

  • @Andy001z


    Haha well found. I was hoping no one would notice that but I guess it's too obvious.

    I did shoot the hero pulling out the not WiFi router highly advanced scanner out of his coat, but I guess I forgot to include it in the film.

    And again fight scene sound fx was omitted due to time restrictions.

    Although I will definitely keep the advice for future films that will be much much better.

  • @Triem23

    I just wanted to ask:

    Can you understand the story relatively easily? I mean like the whole deal with the bomb outside then the detonator phone explosion 

    Is it too slow? Does it get boring in some of the searching parts?


  • There was a BOMB!! nope missed that, but then I might of skipped on a bit... sorry. I guess that answers you question about speed.

  • @Andy001z

    Oh dear.

    My next film will be faster paced (if it requires it.)

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    I caught the bomb, but I think Andy missed it because the opening voiceover is about redemption and revenge, and the bomb plot element is introduced in your holograms. I think by then Andy was expecting a revenge "you killed my father, prepare to die" story. 

    Overall pacing could be a bit faster. 

  • @Vespill I think in part I speed watch sometimes becuase time is short. But ensuring the drama and pace is there is important, just go watch an episode of 24 to see that (not sure how old you are it's a 15). I think it was something FilmRiot hinted at, the old less is more, let the audience fill in some of the gaps but only the logical ones, illogial ones just make us views mad.

  •  @Andy001z ;

    The acronym CtOS was explained in the opening sequence.

    Anyways it was played in class today and all I'm going to say is that this is better than the movie "someone stole my orange so now I will chase after him" haha.

    I got first prize in the class as well, and my film is just about average. Imagine the utterly cringy quality of the rest of them. Like @Triem23 said, I would rather have explosive diarrhea.

    Thank you all for the constructive feedback and I will definitely apply your advice in my next films.

  • I really enjoyed it. The fight seem rushed but I watched the whole think because it kept me interested. Great job 

  • @maui9

    Yes, I mentioned previously the fight scene was done in the final 6 hours.

    Glad you enjoyed it, thanks for watching!

  • you used Hitfilm Pro right?


  • @LuckyFilms

    Yes, the whole thing was done within HitFilm Pro 2017.

  • Honestly, this is leagues ahead of what I was doing at your age. As someone who does VFX and Directing professionally, you're off to a great start! 

    Looking forward to more!

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    @Keegan you started on Hitfilm, right? 

  • As the great Ryan Conolly once said, 10 years from now we will be hearing how all the great filmmakers of the day started on HitFilm. 

  • Some sound effects for all the punching would be a bit nicer. Also the bomb explosion sound effect, sounded like it would be used for a much larger explosion. And the shot for the first hologram was a tiny bit too long. 

    Overall I would rate this a 9/10. Nice job!

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