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The Fortress

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  • The Fortress

    Hello there! Our film crew is working on a post-war action drama short. The film has already been shot and it is currently in post-production.

    The film is set in near future Finland, and we had the actors speaking finnish too. This was because we have tried to create films in english before, but they didn't work out so well.. English subtitles will be included in the final film, naturally. We had more dialogue than we usually do this time, which was quite interesting too.

    We had two full shooting days with the acted scenes and one day filming the miniature shots. The production is lacking some foley sound fx and an audio editor person. If you think you could help us, go check our project at

    The story of the film is that a group of survivors is escaping from the Clan soldiers. One of them is injured, and their chances are slim.

    Click image for larger version

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  • #2
    The fortress4 image, how did you get it to be so foggy like that? I have a scene in one of my scripts that looks just like that but I have no clue how to create a foggy scene like that.


    • #3
      Actually, the pictures two and four were miniature shots :) But the key was to use a smoke machine (literally, not a fog machine) and first fill out the background and then move on the foreground of the scenery. We ordered the smoke machine from Thomann online store and paid like 35 euros for one machine + it's liquid, shipping not included.

      On the actual shooting location we did have a minor trouble with electricity, and we only had a very small generator. It could only power two lights or the smoke machine and one light on half power. So we ended up using the natural smoke coming from the fire (since we were outdoors already).


      • #4
        We just recently published a teaser trailer of our short film, The Fortress. The video is in finnish, but there are english subtitles which you can activate. Cheers!


        • #5
          Hello again! This has been kind of an solo speech about the film Fortress, but here it finally is!

          The english subtitles are available in the captions section. Please, give us some feedback on this piece :) Enjoy, and grab some pop corn with you!


          • #6
            Pretty good! Nice firefights. But was the footage chopping in the opening really necessary? Timing was just a little annoying.

            The mask on Deathmask was kinda lame... The lines and some of the acting for the CLAN guys was pretty corny.

            Fight scene cinematography, gun shots, and sound FX were spot on though!

            Feel wasn't very good, though. Kinda ended depressing. Next time, try a sort of ending which strikes pride, kina like Braveheart ot Saving Private Ryan. A story especially a good ending), IMO, is way more important than almost anything.

            Overall, I'd say it was pretty well done other than the story. I'd give it a 5/10. I'd give it more but the ending was just terrible. I think as Indie filmmakers, we've really gotta work on our stories. That's what really sells a film. How it ends. I've seen too many Indie films which end on that depressing note and leave you with a bland feeling. Please, for the sake of the Indie industry, work on your endings, people!!!


            • #7
              Thank you for your honest opinion! :)

              I do agree with you that the ending was quite depressing, and it certainly leaves the feeling that this story must continue or otherwise the struggle was a bit pointless. We'll improve the overall story next time, and especially how it ends... ;)


              • #8
                Don't get me wrong though, you made an awesome short! The fight scenes were amazing!


                • #9
                  Thanks ;)

                  We aim to do better and more original stories next. And also with more professional visuals and aesthetics.


                  • #10
                    Just watched this and thought it was good, of course it's easy afterwards to see what you could have done better, I bet you thought of lots of things!
                    but when you're shooting all that action it's not so simple to get what you want. I didn't mind the ending, they escaped and joined a bigger unit, the injured guy was saved because they had a doctor there, the guy who was killed had a wife who was a nurse there and she took care of the injured guy and so on and so on....


                    • #11
                      Thanks! Yes, there is always a limited amount of time to shoot a short film, due to crew's schedule restrictions. The Fortress was shot during one weekend and we had a total of three shooting days, miniature shots included. It would be nice to spend more time on location, which would be a nice goal for future shorts.

                      That story outline is pretty much accurate to what we had in mind! :D The story was made simple, but it would have been nice to fill out the backgrounds a little more. What happened before? Where do these guys come from? What is the bigger camp (fortress) like?


                      • #12
                        That's good to get all that in three days, I once met an ex BBC presenter and she told me that if they got two minutes of usable film from one days outdoor shooting, the producer was happy! But that was a long time ago.
                        From the miniature scene I thought the look of the fire part wasn't convincing although the smoke part was believable
                        I just remember thinking if ever I did a miniature scene that I'd shy away from flames and just use smoke.
                        All the best for your next part.


                        • #13
                          Yes, it was quite intense two days of principal shooting. The biggest problem with this production was the extremely tight schedule. This short was made with roughly 500+ euros (because we already had the equipment and some of the wardrobe ready). If we would be given 50 000 or even 5000 euros to spend on a short film it would be a whole different deal. Because we paid all the money from our pockets and did this as a sort of a "commercial" for our film group, it turned out the way it did. On a more professional budget we could have had more shooting days resulting in better quality.

                          The fire elements always tend to look a little "modely" in miniature shots. It should have been in bigger scale and we should have used a wind machine or different chemicals, which would have produced a black, thick smoke with the fire.


                          • #14
                            Thanks for taking the time to explain, I'm sure people will get a lot from it, good luck with part 2.


                            • #15
                              Yeah! Thanks for all the feedback, everyone!