Amount:

Sparks

04 Nov 2014 04:35 - 04 Nov 2014 05:55 #38836 by castor
Sparks was created by castor
Wanted to bring a movie to the group attention.

Sparks was a movie recently released to DVD in america-its a low budget superhero crime drama set in the 40s and 50s. Its about a young man(Clancy williamson who becomes a superhero of the movies title. And his dealing with fellow Hero Lady Heavenly(Ashley Bell) and an extrodinarily complex plot around them



Its not the best movie in the world, but after a rant the other day about low budget filming its worth it. Its a good looking movie-better then a lot of stuff you see in the theaters. Its 50s is obviously set deep, but its striking for all of it looking a lot like movies of the period.

it obviously uses complexity(perhaps overuses it) to make up for its lack of special effects but it is generally well written . Its better i think in someways then Watchmen in that regard movie wise, which this movie is obviously copying.

And-Bell she is a very pretty actress(she done some mainstream horror movies). She handles herself well in her action scenes. And when the camera focuses on her you can see why her in her world she might do something like this, if sparks can't. Her plotline goes into unconfterable places, but it does go there, which in this genre is worth something.

I can't find the exact budget but i am guessing probably no more then 500k. And for those who make movies on here, this is defentily something to see. As a filmmaker something like this i fell like i should get behind. I am finding this on the tail end of its avalibilty in things like Redbox but if you see this on Cable, Amazon or in demand its worth your time looking for it.
Last edit: 04 Nov 2014 05:55 by castor.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • castor
  • castor's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Uberposter of Distinction
  • Uberposter of Distinction
More
04 Nov 2014 05:42 #38837 by TwiceOnThursdays
Replied by TwiceOnThursdays on topic Sparks
Seemed nice, and then Clancy Brown. Sold.

Found on Amazon. Woo.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • TwiceOnThursdays
  • TwiceOnThursdays's Avatar
  • Online
  • Uberposter
  • Uberposter
More
04 Nov 2014 06:34 #38838 by castor
Replied by castor on topic Sparks
Its got a good cast. Also Clint Howard is a werid looking actor but hes good as the second guy in the room with the narrator.

Its one of those movies i wish they did with a female lead-Even Bell. Looking at some reviews people can dislike her..but yeah there is something here and kind of underplayed.. if they made a real movie about her, it could be fantastic.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • castor
  • castor's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Uberposter of Distinction
  • Uberposter of Distinction
More
07 Nov 2014 00:57 #38906 by TwiceOnThursdays
Replied by TwiceOnThursdays on topic Sparks
I just finished watching this after picking up the DVD for $12 or so off Amazon.

Nothing surprising in the plot, but the movie was well made. It has a nice noir atmosphere, dark and murky.

Some spotty acting here and there but even the worst acting was still acceptable and overall well done, including some good character actors (Clancy Brown, Clint Howard). The main stars do their parts well.

Some of the Green Screens weren't the best, but the effects do what they were supposed to do. As someone raised on old BBC Dr Who -- I know when to let the effects just do their job. And these were FAR better than anything you'd get in the old Dr. Who, but probably not up to the current BBC Dr Who Production -- but it's likely the per-episode budget for Dr. Who is higher than this entire movie. (I couldn't find a reliable estimate for Dr. Who, but it seems to be somewhere around 1 million GBP or about 1.5 Million USD).

I also suspect that they (rightly) spent the money on actors, costumes, and production values (writing, sets, etc) and not on a lot of CGI. And I shouldn't knock the CGI too much, some good flame effects and some good shapechanging (if done quickly, it was still done). I can't knock the production values here, they obviously did very well with what they had, and made an impressive movie.

I did like Even Bell. She does what she needs to do well, and looks somewhat fit (nice abs, when she flexes her one time, she has a very slight biceps). She handles her fight sequences pretty well too. My only complaint is that the murky film noir aspect often put her in shadows...

She's also a far cry from the superwoman we'd like her to be -- but we take what we can get. A beautiful woman beating up on a bunch of thugs, and referred to as strong a bunch of times is more than we normally get. (Though not quite put to Caity Lotz' Sara/Black Canary doing the ninja warrior ladder thing on Arrow, we need to see more of her on screen showing off her training and fitness. Though check her out in The Machine.)

I've love to see more movies of this quality made, and maybe toss in a super femme. This is a good example of what is possible these days. Several actors with real IMDB listings, reasonable effects, good costuming, and an actual plot and story.

I hope that one of the fallouts of all the super hero movies and TV shows, are even more people skilled at making various super power effects, meaning movies like this are even easier to make. I do think it helps that pretty much every TV show uses Green Screens these days.

I'd say this is worth picking up.
The following user(s) said Thank You: castor

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • TwiceOnThursdays
  • TwiceOnThursdays's Avatar
  • Online
  • Uberposter
  • Uberposter
More
07 Nov 2014 01:42 - 07 Nov 2014 07:25 #38908 by castor
Replied by castor on topic Sparks
As a writer i can respect the fact that its an actual script. It felt a movie around an actual idea for a story-not the most original story-its a noir tale of beytral-but a story that uses its super stuff for good effect when you see it, and does a good job of papering over its issues of budget

Just watched the Winter Solder today who people i respect say is the best movie of the year-i am going to imagine that there are 30 seconds chunks of that movie that have a bigger budget then this entire movie...but i don't know it felt a lot better. When the special effects happened they effected people. Sparks looked like he was hurt, and realized he was in danger- Which is something Chris Evans never conveyed. Bell looked as if she had thoughts and feelings-things that her lover maybe misintepreted Scarlet Johnson was trying a bit with her chipper persona-but it felt flat. It all melted off in plastic. Spark sold stakes-and its world maybe fake-but it felt more real then its kind of take.

I would love to see movies like this. But i would also comment that i would hope to see more then "lets give an unkown or semi known actress a costume" type things. You saw a couple of those in the 90s.....and ahh. You have to do more then copy bigger budget movies. Try to be a little ambitious in terms of plot, characters and making some depth. Sure you can show off those abs-but give it a little of depth and meaning to it story would do a lot better in my book. Thats what makes these kind of lower budget films better-they can take chances.

So agian . Recomend it. I doubt where at the point the producers are going to make any more money off it-but hope it made money.

Castor

PS for the record, i thought Winter Solder is pretty good, and can get credit for trying a kind of political thriller plotline. That said as i mentioend above-the performances weren't wooden-but they just didn't feel quite right for it. .
Last edit: 07 Nov 2014 07:25 by castor.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • castor
  • castor's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Uberposter of Distinction
  • Uberposter of Distinction
More
07 Nov 2014 04:26 #38912 by TwiceOnThursdays
Replied by TwiceOnThursdays on topic Sparks
Yes, Sparks didn't "just put some actress in a costume". They chose wisely, and also had a good character for her to play, and a story for her to inhabit.

It's a lot easier to take those risks with a smaller budget. I wonder with DC/Marvel tossing out 100-200M movies, if someone is going to take a risk on a 20-50M movie, filmed cheaply, and using just the right story and effects.

Considering how much a movie costs -- and what some writers make -- I always wondered why movies don't have better writing. If you drop 100+M on a movie, why not pay the bit extra for a good writer?

That said, a totally different kind of Super Hero movie. As Sparks is a Film Noir Super Hero movie, I remember enjoying Alter Egos (streams off Netflix). Like Sparks is a Film Noir Super Hero movie, Alter Egos has it's own tone.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • TwiceOnThursdays
  • TwiceOnThursdays's Avatar
  • Online
  • Uberposter
  • Uberposter
More
07 Nov 2014 15:27 - 07 Nov 2014 15:27 #38924 by castor
Replied by castor on topic Sparks

TwiceOnThursdays wrote:
It's a lot easier to take those risks with a smaller budget. I wonder with DC/Marvel tossing out 100-200M movies, if someone is going to take a risk on a 20-50M movie, filmed cheaply, and using just the right story and effects.

Considering how much a movie costs -- and what some writers make -- I always wondered why movies don't have better writing. If you drop 100+M on a movie, why not pay the bit extra for a good writer?


Ahh there paying there writers pretty good actually-its just they with 100 million there is an incredible urge to market test and flatten everything until its a fine pulp. They hire writers who are good at that. It becomes incredibly risk averse. To use Winter Soldier again-its a witty movie. They get fine comedy out of it- i can't say the writing was bad....but.

In the 90s actually the big story was they hired writers who where critical darlings wrote academy award winning scripts(also Kevin Smith). The story one would here that at some point in the writing room after a million notes, and forced rewrites they would walk out in disgust. This is also the era of the million dollar screenplay-the big budget script that would revolutionize the industry-these produced movies like Showgirls. Since then the trend e just keep wanting to make the action scenes exciting(usually by pumping in special effects), and have enough plot and some character bits so it makes sense.

That is a touch unfair. A lot of people like the writing in things like Guardians of the Galaxy or the Avengers. There are movies that do a try a lot to make stories. Man of Steel isn't a great movie, but i get that they tried with the script for ambition- i think in part it failed was that a lot of the actors and direction didn't live up the script(or special effects which where amazing)-but part of having a script that takes risk is the fear of loosing.

That said, a totally different kind of Super Hero movie. As Sparks is a Film Noir Super Hero movie, I remember enjoying Alter Egos (streams off Netflix). Like Sparks is a Film Noir Super Hero movie, Alter Egos has it's own tone.


Ahh, i can respect it but to me it feels part of the trend of movies like Defendor or Special that plays the idea a bit much for mocking humor. Thats a method to use but i think that joke (silly people in a costume) can feel a little lazy in movie. The one thing i can say about Sparks well-is i doubt it has a budget of Defendor(A Low budget Woody Harelson movie where he plays a mentally challenged superhero) but it feels a lot more fleshed out as a superhero movie.
Last edit: 07 Nov 2014 15:27 by castor.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • castor
  • castor's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Uberposter of Distinction
  • Uberposter of Distinction
More
07 Nov 2014 22:07 #38926 by TwiceOnThursdays
Replied by TwiceOnThursdays on topic Sparks
*sigh* the urge to market test and flatten everything.

I have referred to Star Wars as "the best B movie". Because it has that funky character bits that are unexpected, where the studio left the movie alone, but it had a huge budget.

I like Winter Soldier -- but one of the reviews that i thought summed this up well (personal not professional) was: you know how some movies are just so bad that they are fun and entertaining? They work, entirely accidentally. Winter Soldier is the exact opposite of that. It's a huge budget, and it's all slick. All the actors are well cast and do their jobs right. But there is very little in the movie that is unexpected, fresh, or new. But it does get props for being a spy thriller super-hero movie. We need the movies to have a different tone, or people will get burned out.

You could level this against Avengers or Guardians -- but I think each had enough character humor to rise above that. And Guardians had enough of that weirdness to earn it's spot. You can see spots where it could have been even better -- but nothing is perfect. I think it 'll end up with a much higher re-watch factor than Winter Soldier.

I still haven't made my mind up about Man of Steel. It's a good movie, great effects. I generally sum it up as "but I don't think the people who made the movie actually like Superman". But I give that they took a risk, and sometimes people won't like what you do when you do that. I have plenty of comic geek/superman-loving friends who loved the movie. i've yet to watch it again, I probably need to. (OTH, my friend who is the biggest Superman fan will start spitting venom when you mention the movie.)

Sparks certainly takes it's story seriously, and that goes a long way.

Alter Ego did have a bit of the "look at the guy in the costume" but I thought it rose above that. It had a story, world building, backstory and explained why people reacted to Super Heroes the way they did. I enjoyed little things like the TV/radio bits for backstory.

Though I have to admit, Brooke Nevin might be half of the reason I like the film.
The following user(s) said Thank You: castor

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • TwiceOnThursdays
  • TwiceOnThursdays's Avatar
  • Online
  • Uberposter
  • Uberposter
More
06 Jun 2015 19:41 #42654 by TwiceOnThursdays
Replied by TwiceOnThursdays on topic Sparks
I just got email from Amazon saying that my review helped someone shop for the movie Sparks. I thought that was great. Also, a great way for Amazon to convince me to keep reviewing things.

So, just little aside that if you like certain kinds of media, especially if it's not wildly popular, you should try to take the time to post review of it various places. I bought it from Amazon, and it was easy to do there. I don't review much of what i buy on Amazon, a lot of time there are already a lot of reviews and it won't make much difference. But, if I have some edge case, or less known thing, I go ahead and make sure I chime in. (If I wondered how some computer device worked with OS X, and took a chance, I ALWAYS post a review saying how it worked. Again: I was an edge case, so I feel like it's my duty to give back to the others who might be like me...)

For example, People talking/responding to the Wicked City Girls movies got me to spend money on them, I'd always avoided such as I never knew the quality. Hearing people talk about them made me take a gamble, and Ive really enjoyed them. And I wonder how many extra copies talking about them here have made them. I know it's at least a few (all the ones that I bought). Also, it was Castor (I think) talking about Sparks that made me go get it.

Small thing, but It does go a long way.

Similarly, a small note/IM/Email to an artist/writer you like can also go a long way. If you are on DA, and see some art you like and there are like five comments? I can GUARANTEE that the artist will be ecstatic to get anything, and overjoyed if you take the time to say something longer/positive. And guess what? You just increased by a large factor the chance the artist will feel like doing something like that again. It's not even "to make people happy", it's that the little dopamine trigger in their brain got a hit, and Doing X -> Feel Good. I really wouldn't want an artist to pander too much directly to me, and even encourage artists I commission to wander pretty far from my idea, to make sure that the artist puts themselves into the art. But what I'd want is artist to be encouraged to keep creating, and if possible, keep doing that stuff I really like. And I sometimes this falls into why I commission too....

So, forgive the bump of an old thread, and the friendly reminder. This movie was fun and worth seeing!
The following user(s) said Thank You: five_red, castor

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • TwiceOnThursdays
  • TwiceOnThursdays's Avatar
  • Online
  • Uberposter
  • Uberposter
More
07 Jun 2015 13:15 #42658 by five_red
Replied by five_red on topic Sparks

TwiceOnThursdays wrote: Similarly, a small note/IM/Email to an artist/writer you like can also go a long way. If you are on DA, and see some art you like and there are like five comments? I can GUARANTEE that the artist will be ecstatic to get anything, and overjoyed if you take the time to say something longer/positive. And guess what? You just increased by a large factor the chance the artist will feel like doing something like that again. It's not even "to make people happy", it's that the little dopamine trigger in their brain got a hit, and Doing X -> Feel Good. I really wouldn't want an artist to pander too much directly to me, and even encourage artists I commission to wander pretty far from my idea, to make sure that the artist puts themselves into the art. But what I'd want is artist to be encouraged to keep creating, and if possible, keep doing that stuff I really like. And I sometimes this falls into why I commission too....


I second that. There's certainly a minor dopamine kick when you sign into DA and realise 20 people liked an image of yours, and an even bigger kick when you find out someone has taken the time to comment.

I'd like to add this: if you happen to come across an opportunity on some other forum or social network to point people towards some fan made works, then please consider doing so. It helps spread awareness. For example: there's been a lot of chatter about the Melissa Benoist Supergirl lately that has spread far outside of our usual superheroine circles -- if some casual tv viewer on Facebook happens to mutter "I'd love to see her using her powers for everyday purposes, like the Bionic Woman did", and you happen to know there's a really great fan cartoon of the CBS Supergirl heating up Cat's morning Latte with heat vision, why not post a "you might enjoy this" link in reply? It gets artists a little attention, and helps their work be discovered by a larger audience than might usually frequent niche forums like this.

(Obviously you need to be sensible about this -- I'm not advocating you spam Twitter with other people's work, and always be mindful that there's a lot of "inside baseball" stuff within the fan community that might not be understood by a casual audience.)

The bottom line is this: we're all responsible for helping this community thrive. The artists, writers, video makers, etc. for producing the material -- but also the consumers for supporting the 'creatives' and helping to spread the message into the wider world when they see an opportunity.

I recently turned on Google Analytics for my DA page and was shocked to discover a large percentage of my page's incoming traffic originates on Facebook. I'm not a FB user, but someone somewhere is directing people into my site, and I can tell by the traffic flow that those visitors are then going on to explore other parts of my gallery. I've no idea who's doing this, or where the links are being posted on FB (haven't figured out how to get the exact referral URLs from GA yet), but I'm grateful. Whoever is doing this presumably isn't an artist themselves, but they are helping to support artists, and that's what counts.

While we're on the topic, can I raise a related topic that has been bugging me...Sentiment varies from artist to artist about having work reposted -- some artist like to control where their art is posted online, while others are quite happy to see their work float freely across the interwebs. (Most artists are happy to see some reposting, because they understand that reposting is the nature of the online world.) Personally, providing you're not profiting from (or otherwise charging for) my work, I'm quite happy to see it reposted on Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, forums and elsewhere. But here's one favour I'd ask in return: I'd appreciate a link back to the original DA page where possible. The reason for this is not gratuitous self promotion (although I suspect it helps), but rather I'd like visitors to be able to download the original high-res version. Too many social networks treat images as just eye-candy fluff that can be resized or otherwise hacked-about with, so a 'backlink' to the original not only promotes the artist who slaved (for free!) to make the work, but allows visitors to get the true version of the work.

Likewise, if you see someone posting work without some means to find the original (other than a brute force Google Images search) then please kindly ask them to provide their source. It's respectful to both the artist and the audience.

Finally (and I'm sorry to end on a sour note) I want to vent about one guy on Tumblr (who shall remain nameless) who for me typifies the most disrespectful aspect of the fan community. He (she, it?) has been reposting my DA pics... not only without a backlink, but cropping and hacking about with them such as to remove the tiny "R5" tag I place in the corner as a signature. If you absolutely must mutilate other fan's work, at least be courteous enough to provide a prominent link to original. Yes, I know I skating on thin ice here because my work borrows heavily from publicity photos etc. for shows like the aforementioned CBS Supergirl, but I'd argue that official promo materials are fair game for 'reinvention' by fans If fans start to disrespect each other's work (particularly when they aren't adding anything new or creative, just slicing them up) then this can only lead to ill feeling in the creative community, and ultimately I'm sure will cause some to reduce where and when they make work available.

Thanks for reading...

This image is hidden for guests.
Please log in or register to see it.




R5

Supergirl Pre-Crisis Chronology: www.superwomenmania.com/supergirltl/
Supergirl: the Life and Times of Kara Zor-El: maidofmight.wordpress.com/
DeviantArt: 5red.deviantart.com/
Blog: x5red.tumblr.com/
The following user(s) said Thank You: inactive, Albais

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
07 Jun 2015 22:07 #42668 by TwiceOnThursdays
Replied by TwiceOnThursdays on topic Sparks

five_red wrote:
While we're on the topic, can I raise a related topic that has been bugging me...Sentiment varies from artist to artist about having work reposted -- some artist like to control where their art is posted online, while others are quite happy to see their work float freely across the interwebs. (Most artists are happy to see some reposting, because they understand that reposting is the nature of the online world.) Personally, providing you're not profiting from (or otherwise charging for) my work, I'm quite happy to see it reposted on Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, forums and elsewhere. But here's one favour I'd ask in return: I'd appreciate a link back to the original DA page where possible. The reason for this is not gratuitous self promotion (although I suspect it helps), but rather I'd like visitors to be able to download the original high-res version. Too many social networks treat images as just eye-candy fluff that can be resized or otherwise hacked-about with, so a 'backlink' to the original not only promotes the artist who slaved (for free!) to make the work, but allows visitors to get the true version of the work.

Likewise, if you see someone posting work without some means to find the original (other than a brute force Google Images search) then please kindly ask them to provide their source. It's respectful to both the artist and the audience.

Finally (and I'm sorry to end on a sour note) I want to vent about one guy on Tumblr (who shall remain nameless) who for me typifies the most disrespectful aspect of the fan community. He (she, it?) has been reposting my DA pics... not only without a backlink, but cropping and hacking about with them such as to remove the tiny "R5" tag I place in the corner as a signature. If you absolutely must mutilate other fan's work, at least be courteous enough to provide a prominent link to original. Yes, I know I skating on thin ice here because my work borrows heavily from publicity photos etc. for shows like the aforementioned CBS Supergirl, but I'd argue that official promo materials are fair game for 'reinvention' by fans If fans start to disrespect each other's work (particularly when they aren't adding anything new or creative, just slicing them up) then this can only lead to ill feeling in the creative community, and ultimately I'm sure will cause some to reduce where and when they make work available.

Thanks for reading...



R5


Links back are awesome, and should be encouraged all the time.

Never ever ever remove the watermark from an artist's works (no matter who you are, the only person who gets to do that is the artist). And if you are forwarding it from some place with attribution, add it along. Sometimes we get things from unknown providence or we didn't save where we got it when we picked it up, so when you reshare later you don't have the information. That's not what is being talked about here. Seriously, I think one of the lower rings of Hell is for people who remove the watermarks from images....and doubly so for the horrible people who add their own after that!

I've seen Facebook posts for a STORE, and the store is posting art. above the art, is a LIVE LINK to their store. And (if you are lucky) some TEXT with the artist's name (but usually not even that). And most of the time I can tell (because it was new to DA) that this is something that they just got from DA and are using to drive clicks to their store. It's inexcusable that they didn't at least link back to the artist (doubly so when the artist takes commissions and you are not only cutting them off from that recognition but possible customers for them). By how it's being used, this is "commercial use". It's the link to their store RIGHT Under/Over the art, making sure it's visible in the preview, so people can't share without sharing an link their store.

People I don't mind. The threads here with lots of art, that's people sharing with other people the art they like in an open forum. Unless the artist has specifically said "please do not share this", it's all good.

Also: if you got an image from a colorists or inkers page -- it is polite to credit them, and not just the penciler. They're artists too, and I kindly note you aren't sharing the penciled version....so it added value.

For my part, I'm pretty much a stickler for trying to post links back to the original art -- If you notice in my DA Gallery, just about every commission I post is "posting with the permission of the artist" (sometime I forget to post this, but I did ask the arist). This is because I worked at an advertising agency and now the very littlest about copyright. Just because I paid for the commission, doesn't mean I own the copyright and can then share it as I want, print it, etc. That is something you negotiate with the artist in advance (and sometimes pay for, and doubly so if it's commercial use) or you ask, and being polite if the artist says "No", as they are perfectly allowed to do, except no artist has EVER said no when I asked. I've had one who said that he hates people sharing his work, but I was the first person who had asked -and- I had paid for the commission, so he was quite happy to say yes to me (and that the closest I think any artist has gotten to saying No.) Also: I would not cancel/alter/change a commission solely because of this, but I might if the artist didn't share the art themselves. (I commission so there i more art in the world, if only two people get to see it,there isn't really more art in the world).

And I will say this, I have ABSOLUTELY sent work to artists by proper attribution and in my description saying what it was like to work with the artist. I've gotten a few thank you notes from artists who were happy I sent work their way. Most comment on my posts as they really like that I took the time to comment when I posted it. (It's just what I do.)

So yeah, be responsible. Just a little bit can go a long way to sending work to an artist...let alone maybe netting them a comment so they know that people are out there appreciating their work.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • TwiceOnThursdays
  • TwiceOnThursdays's Avatar
  • Online
  • Uberposter
  • Uberposter
More
Time to create page: 0.103 seconds