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deadmanwalking
01-09-2005, 08:46 AM
I stopped by HK on my way to Bangkok from the States for the Animation Festival. I've heard of this first animation movie made in Hong Kong, so my colleagues and I figured we should check it out, especially since this is the first ever.

Honestly, the movie is quite all right. There is certainly room for improvement, but a good number of scenes were done excellently; the combat scenes were in fact very impressive. Although the combat scenes were capturing, the regular movements such as walking was actually quite awkward. In fact, it was a bit strange that complicated scenes with a lot of movements were done very nicely, but the regular movements were not. Anyways, I'm not here to talk about the movie, I'm here to talk about my experience at the movie theatre.

I watched the 9.40pm show at Times Square on Friday, Jan 7. Although it was not a full house, there was a decent number of tickets sold. Right after the lights were dimmed, a group of dozen late comers joined in. Everyone was aware exactly when they showed up as they were making tremendous amount of noise as if they were trying to draw everyone's attention that they've arrived. My colleagues and I started to look at each other thinking why this group showed up as if they were arriving at the Oscars??

At first, I thought they were all so excited about coming to the movie. However, instead of finding their seats and let others to continue to watch the film in peace and quiet, they already started bad mouthing the movie very loudly by saying "this is a stupid movie", "let's go home" and so forth BEFORE the movie even started. Then, I started to think if that's the case, why would you come here?

The movie hasn't even started yet and these people sounded as if they already knew what the whole movie was all about. Throughout the movie, this group continuous making a lot of obnoxious comments and interrupting others. They were making unnecessary and childish remarks which had absolutely nothing to do with the film. In short, this group was very obvious and irritating. All they were doing was sabotaging. Then, I realized their motive after overhearing their comments. This group also works in the CG industry, most likely a "competitor". I was stunned!

After the movie, this group started screaming and yelling on their way out, and they were hanging around at the exit, waiting for the other movie to end and started saying things like "Dragon Blade was a stupid "asx" movie, don't ever "fxxking" go see it" and swearing in front of people on the street and others who just got out from another movie.

I have never seen anything like that in California, or anywhere else in the States! All I can say is that I was stunned and very disappointed. I was disappointed not in the movie, but I was extremely disappointed in the quality of the so-called CG "professionals" in HK.

If they are not able to respect themselves as a movie patron and disrespecting the movie and the CG industry, maybe they really should think about whether they should ever get involved in movie making in any way, shape or form. Instead of watch and learn from others, this group went in with a preset mind frame of sabotaging others' work. How else do you think the CG industry in HK would ever, ever improve and make a footprint on the map? This type of sour grape attitude would never get this industry in HK to the world's standards, especially when these so-called "professionals" represent themselves with such juvenile, immature and aggressive behavior. Even successful stories such as Shrek, Monsters Inc, Finding Nemo still have room for improvement. I didn't realize that this group of "dirty dozen" are the best CG animators in the world. Even so, who gave them the rights to act that way? Do they really feel heroic by acting out that way in public?

I am certain that this type of uncivilized behavior has really made an impression on me and my colleagues from the States. Bear in mind that behaving like this in a public place where you have no idea who might be sitting next to you, sometimes would do a lot of damages. I am very sorry to say it was in fact embarrassing to witness that! I hope I won't ever have to come across this group again if and when we have to work with any HK CG company in the near future. Wish I knew where this group comes from so that I can definitely avoid that from happening.

P.S. about the movie, pls visit http://www.dragonbladethemovie.com

P_T
01-09-2005, 02:14 PM
That looks interesting... the animation doesn't look as good as Pixar but im willing to see it, it'll be like FF:AC style of action and pixar style of characters heh.

About ur theater going experience, how did u know what they talked about and that they work for competition? U speak Chinese? kinda hard to believe they would do that if they also work in the industry. HK is small and i imagine the industry there is even smaller.

poly-phobic
01-09-2005, 02:35 PM
That looks interesting... the animation doesn't look as good as Pixar but im willing to see it, it'll be like FF:AC style of action and pixar style of characters heh.

About ur theater going experience, how did u know what they talked about and that they work for competition? U speak Chinese? kinda hard to believe they would do that if they also work in the industry. HK is small and i imagine the industry there is even smaller.
Jeez, u just had to throw Pixar into this....
every CG movie seem to be compared to the monotony that is pixar's work.

anyway the movie looks ok.

moving on.....

dickma
01-09-2005, 02:35 PM
Well, I think this thread should separate to two: one is the Dragonblade the movie launchs in HK. Another thread should be the situations of studios and bad attitudes of CGers in HK.

I didn't see the movie yet and I am not going to see it because generally the characters design are too cute, that is not really in my taste. (I wonder if it is a 3D animated Kung-fu animation, a real proportion of human is much more attractive, see PS.)

Well the another fact that make me not feeling good is about the promotions, it claims the movie, "the world's first 3D animation, showing kung-fu, the highest robust level of computer animation." In chinese sentence structure, it seems like emphasis of the worlds first 3D animation more than it is a first kung-fu genre. Well, we all know that what is the First.

(PS. Do there are gamers here? I really like the character designs, animation and gameplay of Soul Calibur, Dreamcast. I am fasinated to see Kilik and Xhanghua's kung-fu practices running on my game console. I think it is the dominate 3D animation that showing Kung-fu. But why there is no one take this idea and make it to a real cinema movie?)

P_T
01-09-2005, 02:54 PM
hehehe sorry man, it's just that Pixar sets the benchmark for stylised animation, so any stylised characters specially cute ones like these Dragon Blade characters are gonna get compared to Pixar's stuff. Would u feel better if i say Shrek instead? :)

Dick Ma, what's this "PS" u mentioned?

Something like Soul Caliber type of feature length 3D animation, im guessing the interest is just not enough to make something like that, maybe in Asia but there aren't many animation studios that have the resources to make feature length 3D animation.

So far i can only think of an old animation called Alice from some japanese studio, Square's FF:SW and FF:AC (even that's not a theatrical release) and this Dragon Blade. If you know any other, please let me know, i'm always interested in Asian 3D animation.

dickma
01-09-2005, 03:11 PM
No need sorry, P_T. it is about personal taste. I just think those cute characters are not fit with kung-fu. They are too cute and childish with kung-fu. Sometime I thought those character designs are Taiwan's online game openings.

Well what I take Soul Cailbur is an example is that I think it has potentials to develop it as a real cinema 3D movie. Or Dragonblade should take Soul Cailbur as a reference. But SC is successful to show good character design, styling and Kung-fu showing feature. Interesting or not is just depends on the scripts made and acting.

dickma
01-09-2005, 03:20 PM
You should like this link, P_T:

http://www2.odn.ne.jp/~ccs50140/

Kgen
01-09-2005, 04:43 PM
You should like this link, P_T:

http://www2.odn.ne.jp/~ccs50140/ (http://www2.odn.ne.jp/%7Eccs50140/) Seconded, Hoshi no Koe was an awsome short when it came out; I heard it was made bya single artist and his wife? This looks to be just as good;

Nightez
01-09-2005, 07:15 PM
(PS. Do there are gamers here? I really like the character designs, animation and gameplay of Soul Calibur, Dreamcast. I am fasinated to see Kilik and Xhanghua's kung-fu practices running on my game console. I think it is the dominate 3D animation that showing Kung-fu. But why there is no one take this idea and make it to a real cinema movie?) Yea the animation in SC2 is exemplary, particulary when the fighters demonstrate their forms/kata. Its amazing how they managed to capture just the smallest little details in the movements. In comparison Mortal Kombat has a female character doing the same motion captured wushu form, but its no where near as detailed.

deadmanwalking
01-10-2005, 02:11 PM
"P_T About ur theater going experience, how did u know what they talked about and that they work for competition? U speak Chinese? kinda hard to believe they would do that if they also work in the industry. HK is small and i imagine the industry there is even smaller."

I can understand Chinese enough to know what they were talking about, but I can read a little but cannot write. I moved to the States when I was a kid. In this situation, unfortunately, I wish I didn't understand what they were saying. From in between their dialogue, it was quite apparently that they work for "competition" of the movie making company.

You are correct that it was kinda difficult to believe. Somehow, I sense sour grape more than anything. If you are a normal movie goer, why would you even bother to stand on the street to wait for the others to come out from another movie then started screaming and yelling bad comments about Dragon Blade? HK is very small, and I concur that the industry is even smaller. That's why it is very sad to see that CGers themselves don't even respect each other.

I went to this movie with absolutely no expectation. My humble opinion is that the script is ok. Ending has some sort of a twist which is quite interesting. As for the technical side, there is certainly room to improve. Character set up needs more work. Somehow, the proportion of the main characters' bodies, especially the shoulders and the arms are not in proportion. The walking is also quite awkward. Yet, for those characters who have massive muscles, they look decent. I must say they do put quite a bit of work in the details of texture and lighting. Majority of the background is quite detailed. Yet, things that you expect to be good, such as the leaf, was done poorly. I enjoyed the combat scenes the most. They were very good. Unfortunately, the major combat "competiton" scene was a bit too short as if they were rushing for the main character to win. I don't think I should go into too much details especially when you've already expressed interests in watching. Save some surprises for you.

I personally feel that we should not use Pixar as the benchmark for anything as it is simply not a fair comparison. Don't get me wrong. We should always learn from each other and try our best to improve, and Pixar's work is definitely one of the major "source" to learn from. However, unless both films have comparable budget, time, man power, machines, software, support, director, experiences and so forth, how can you compare? I think we should use Pixar or Dreamwork as a motivation, but not using it as a benchmark simply because if we are using them as "benchmarks", what happened to creativity and style then? If we continuously using someone else's work as "reference", then we can just do away creativity. Let's just "modify" from each other and get on with it. Just my humble opion.

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