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Demo Reels : Trailer : Samuel Hall's Videos : MOTHER SUPERIOR: LET THERE BE LEAD - film trailer

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on Dec 17, 2009 at 2:49:17 am
United States
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When Sister Mary Charlotte, a young nun, discovers the priest in her church has been smuggling guns, she embarks on a holy quest to stop him, using any means necessary.
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Fair enough...
by Scott Keck
Samuel - good response, and fair enough. I do give you points for the 70's-esque exploitation, someone besides Tarantino has to figure out a way to do this and do it well (sorry, Quentin, but you just bug the hell outta me talent notwithstanding). I noticed the construction lights in the edit as well, wasn't sure what that was all about. I'm guessing that by totally upping the "cheese" factor and making some tweaks you could really change the overall feel and direction of this trailer and have a Midnight Movie hit on your hands if you work it right....
OUCH! Your LIGHTS are in the SHOT!!!
by Brian Berneker
Wow I was really trying to like this, but someone's earlier remark about the rope belts kept running through my head, and it just felt too "camcorder". The edit seemed a bit chopped together and a bit haphazard, with nary a thought to color grading either.

I've seen other trailers on here over-done, but this one looks like it was glossed over a bit too fast, rushed perhaps? So many cool things could have rescued this one, even a bit of time remapping or some flash cuts or any number of toolbag tricks.

The set seemed to be suffering occlusions of various background distractions and finally, the shot with the hardware store halogens ON CAMERA really blew my mind! If this is serious, HUGE mistake!

If it's meant to be more tongue in cheek like a monty python/nuns on the run thing, then the trailer tone is too serious. Sorry man, but I gotta give this a "less than neutral" rating!
Re: Another trailer hamstrung by clumsy VO
by Samuel Hall

That's an interesting point about the VO. I'm a big fan of showing rather than telling and it might have served the trailer well to have gone in that direction.

In defense of the lighting, this trailer was put together rather early on in post-production and isn't necessarily representative of the final look. I encourage you to watch the final version and if you still feel the same way then I'll just have to live with that.

You really hit the nail on the head with your final comment. There were a lot of discussions throughout the project as to whether or not we'd gone over-the-top enough with it. While I do stand by the film as being fairly close to what we set out to do, I'm not sure that what we did was ridiculous enough to sell the joke. The overall tone is a bit accidentally ambiguous.

Thank you for taking the time to watch and comment.
Another trailer hamstrung by clumsy VO
by Scott Keck
Over the top, yes, but in a tired and formulaic way. Ditch the VO entirely. You're telling us, in ham-handed fashion, exactly what we're seeing on the screen. No need for that, the images should be speaking for themselves and making us guess/wonder what is happening, so we'll WANT to see the whole film.

Come up with a one-sentence tagline and put it in at the end of the trailer.

I'll disagree with the "great lighting" comment, as several shots of the nuns' faces with FX makeup on were far to harshly lit for the makeup to look real.

I do like the camera movement, especially in the opening shots.

My main complaint is that this trailer (and film?) can't make up its mind. Either GO FOR IT and be the over-the-top Grindhouse exploitation film, or go the other way and be the pompously serious mainstream action flick. There are too many great examples of each for you to not copy them well. Walking down the middle as it appears you're doing here, doesn't serve you well.
I'll get back and take a look soon
by Brian Berneker
Now that I've seen some of Loretta's remarks, I feel safe that I'm not going to be the harshest critic on here! I may even be heartened to be more frank with my comments. I can be critical, but I always try and back it up with an explanation at least..

From the title frame, I expect this film to be over the top and pretentious, but so is almost every Tarantino film, and he's doing VERY WELL. I consider the job of a trailer critic is to assess the effectiveness of the trailer to "sell" the movie to its target market, regardless of personal taste (although if you can sell me a genre I would otherwise dislike, then all the more kudos to you).

I may or may not like a given format, but will honestly convey my views on how well it was executed and if I believe it will work for the intended audience. I'm looking forward to watching it properly now, if even to just weigh in on it.. too bad about the transfer issues..


P.S. 3/5 is my default neutral rating for something I haven't seen. below 3 indicates something wrong, above 3 indicates something good!
R U Kidding!
by Loretta Billingsley
Good luck on release. Crappy lighting...ropes for belts on the nuns? PLULEEZ!!!
Among my favorites anywhere in the site
by Tim Wilson
Wow, this one overwhelms me in nearly every way. The cinematography is gorgeous - lighting that's right for every scene, and wonderfully dynamic camera motion. I'm floored that so much indie cinema is so locked down. Here, the action in each scene is underscored by the camera movement.

Speaking of scores, the one for this trailer is the first I've heard in the Cow that sounds like it's for a trailer...and that it's for this trailer in particular. The visual and musical beats are in perfect sync, building the tension right up to the climax at the end.

In short, great lighting, shooting, blocking, editing and music. I can't imagine how to improve any part of this.

Looking at your account sig, I'm curious - did you do all of this? Were you working with others on parts of this? Do tell! I'm also curious if the film has been completed.

Samuel, this really is wonderful work. I would hate for anyone who finds it as funny as I do...and it really did make me laugh, starting with the simply stop at the laugh, while missing just how strong this is.

I've only got 5 Cows to give, but you've got 'em.
Re: Among my favorites anywhere in the site
by Samuel Hall

Thank you so much for you kind words. This movie has been a labor of love for the past year.

I hear what you're saying about indie cinematography. I think that all too often, people are afraid to take a risk and do something with the camera that they can't take back.

I served as cinematographer, editor, visual effects supervisor and music composer with my good friend Matt Johnston serving as writer and director. While I did score the actual film, I can not take credit for the music in the trailer. The song I used is Unstoppable by E.S. Posthumus.

The film has been completed! You can watch it here: I'm currently putting the finishing touches on the DVD. I can send you a copy if you're interested.

This movie was a big first for us in many ways. I can't tell you how much it means to have it be so well received.

Thank You.
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