I just stumbled onto this video, a couple days ago and I am just now getting to write this up. I am not normally into the whole fan film scene, so let’s jump right to the film:
What I Liked
I like the stop motion effects, film making, music/sound, and the acting.
CGI is really overrated. People are discovering the stop motion and practical effects are more desirable than CGI these days. While stop motion is immediately apparent, it does not bring down my suspension of disbelief.
Every aspect of film making here is well down, including camera angles and editing.
They did use honest sound effects from the movies, but they effectively used Gustav Holst’s Planet Suite for the music. Well done!
The acting by the two amateur leads was by far the best. I honestly believe the Rebel pilot and Snowtrooper, was a Rebel pilot and a Snowtrooper. Thumbs up, all around!
What I Didn’t Like
The writing. Don’t get me wrong, I love the concept and the writing overall. As someone who has been doing 100-word short fiction for some time now, I enjoy a pithy story.
My only problem is that structure of the narrative. Yes, I understand everyone hates the three act structure. However to jam four acts into a short film is maddening. The pacing suffers as a result of this and I will explain why this is the case.
In the first (and longest) act, the pilot wakes to discover he is now all alone on Hoth. The second act is all about the Rebel pilot finding the injured Snowtrooper. Next comes the third (and quick) act of the pilot searching Hoth and almost taking his life. The fourth (also quick) act is the sort-of twist ending that everyone thought the Rebel pilot should have done to begin with.
If I was writing this film, I would have combine the first and fourth act together with some tightening. Then I would have kept the second act intact, with the exception of cutting before he lowered his gun. Then with my slightly expanded third act, I would hit people over the head with the twist ending.
I do liked this short fan film, but I do not love it. I will give these guys lots of praise for making this with their own time and money. You guys get a personal thumbs up for doing such an amazing job. I would not be sharing this on my website if this film was completely unredeemable. Do not give up on your dreams of being film makers.
But I have to be honest, the writing just falls down. A few more rewrites with a 3rd-party critical eye might have been helpful. I hope you take this constructive criticism and use it for future projects.
Overall Rating: A solid 7 out of 10. Recommended.
May the Force be with you, always!