FOR FILMS IN CHARGE OF CHANGE
RAISING THE FLAG
directed by Reet & Tom Mae
The story of "Raising the flag’’ unfolds with a voiceover building up a short background for what is yet to come. The introduction seems a bit too short, therefore unbalanced with the interview that follows it. It could have been more consistent in order to prepare the viewer for the amount and type of material that shapes the short documentary. Preparing the audience in terms of mood and atmosphere is important, that’s why it could have been visually covered with more illustrations in order to lead right into the story. In today’s cinema, crystal clear picture quality is a standard, therefore the look of the interview doesn’t stand out at this category, and doesn’t help blending in the animation elements with the story told by the main character. Will we remember this film tomorrow? Will we feel any sort of emotion after we finish watching it? These are just some of the questions that should arise while beginning to create a film.
A main piece that is missing from this structure is the basic emotional layer. Putting technical elements aside and the quality of the material/image/editing/animation etc, it’s crucial for any film, no matter the genre, to succeed in moving its viewer. Emotions are mandatory, whether it is laughter, anger, joy, sadness, it should get you to a point where viewers become interested or engaged enough with the plot in order to remember it, to connect with the main character and his story. Reasons for this gap are pre-production elements, but also the filming and the structure created through editing.
The film needs a memorable shot. The element that attracts the viewer’s attention from the very beginning and keeps him entertained, is the animation. It has an interesting texture and a unique look that could have been used even more throughout the whole film. Perhaps working a bit more on the non-animated shots as well as choosing a warmer voiceover could have changed a lot for the better. The animation is the key element of the short documentary that makes it stand out in this particular version of the film.
We appreciate the initiative of taking one episode of this man’s story and choosing to make a short film based on it. The storyline is truthfully presented and the animated sections stand for a beautifully crafted illustration. Our main concern, though, is the fact that the viewer may connect more with the animation instead of the shots with the man speaking. One of the main causes might be the way these shots don’t seem to blend in with the whole film concept.
All in all, good intentions were appreciated, although we do care about the technical aspects and the post production of any film. They represent one of the most important interfaces between the creator and the audience. Any film should be a dialogue between these two parts, so we should never lose from sight the way viewers perceive our work. Because this should be one of the targets always leading the way of a film beginning with the development process, all the way to the cinema premiere. We wish the best of luck for your next film project to come out and we look forward in seeing a fruitful evolution.