The Escapist Film Festival 2009: Employee of the Month

Employee of the Month

"Employee of the Month" is a web series created in the style of a sitcom. The location for the show is a video game store that resides between the real world and the video game world. This is portrayed by the customers in the store being video game characters and the employees being humans with video qualities (such as levels, classes and abilities). The premise of the show is based on its title; if an employee receives the rank of "Employee of the Month" twelve times, them he/she gets the title of "Gamer of the Year" and transcends from being a human with video games qualities to being a genuine video game character. Along the way to receiving this title, the characters will level up, gain new abilities, upgrade class-types and get up to some slightly surreal shenanigans.

Unfortunately for us, we were only aware of the Escapist Film Festival four days ago and have been working since to produce the pilot for our idea to send in for the competition. If this project wins the very prestigious Escapist Film Festival, to get the best out of our abilities, the show would release a new episode fortnightly. We guarantee that if we are selected as winners of the competition, "Employee of the Month" will strive to become the highest quality product the escapist has to offer. As well as this, there would be considerable improvements to the equipment/software used to make each episode.

Written, directed and produced by: Jak 'Wesker' Moore, Brock Elwick and Ben Chaves.
Starring:
Jak ' Wesker' Moore as "Jak"
Brock Elwick as "Brock"
Ben Chaves as "Ben"
Mark Leedell as "Mark"
Chloe O'Neill as "Chloe"
Sam Falkiner as "Sam"
Special thanks to Savino Falcone, Joe Novelli, Stephen Henthorn, Mitch Wodcke and Cassiah Joski-Jethi for being our extras.
And special thanks to Mark Watkins and Nick Powell for allowing us to film in our local "GAME" store.

Watch Video

I spent the whole time looking for some kind of subtle humor or satire I was missing.

There wasn't any.

I understand that you had precious little time, but really that was full of tripe, bad shooting, needlessly complicated yet underthought scenario (Without the lengthy text description it's impossible to gather anything about it. It's not important to know the exact primise, but it does virtually nothing in the way of story telling, cohesion informing the viewer. It feels like it's all an inside joke, only to be shown to friends over facebook for the lulz)

Oh, and for gods sake get a proper mic.

i shoulda stopped watching when i heard the elevator music and annoying over-dubbing

LOL. This is pwnsome xDD ! "Lemonade? Lemoonaade? Lemonade!? sdkljhadklfs!! Lemons! Lemons!!! Ahhhhhh!!!" xDD

Since the above two posts gave nothing in the sense of true criticism or positive feedback, allow me to provide both.

This is the most original entry of the competition which I have seen yet.

Yes, the sound quality isn't up to much, but what do you expect? Sometimes it's just not possible to get your hands on a decent set of mics for recording something when you haven't got any form of real budget to back you up, something which you yourselves have already mentioned and the sort of thing that you would be able to rectify with a decent budget.

The humour was in the right place (Yes, well done for putting in "the cake is a lie") and the characters were likeable, if in places a little bit "undefined", for want of a better word. However, I would strongly recommend reconsidering your ideas of having a "Real world / Video game world" crossover. Part of it's appeal for me was how ordinary it was treated that Ryu simply walked in to buy a copy of Tekken, but that loses it's appeal if video game characters are everywhere.

In my opinion, you would be better to try and work away from the "leveling up to become a video game character" storyline to something a little bit different, say for example Sam trying to get to grips with his new job or his drives behind working at the store in which things aren't completely normal. By all means keep the video game references and character cameos as that's why it deserves at home on the Escapist. Just try to keep things as refreshing as possible, as though other entries are equally as good, yours is the only one I feel that doesn't try to draw off ideas from already existing webshows ("Dorian's Quest" is a prime example of something which is very good, but at the same time very similar to "Doomsday Arcade." The same thing could be said for "Pocket Monsters" similarities to "Let there be Brawl.")

I'm glad there are some people in the world that give constructive feedback, like you Nathaniel. It lifts my spirits to see that not everyone leaves feedback that does nothing but complain.

I thought that this video was a very nice and, more importantly, unique idea of those I have seen whilst looking through this film festival. I thought that the idea of a Game store set between reality and the game world was an ingenious idea, and one that I hope is developed on if this video wins the competition.

My main criticism of this video (small a criticism as it is) is that, in my opinion, the stats screens should have been displayed for longer, as I had to pause my video when they appeared to read the stats (Which were funny once I could see them).

For a pilot episode made in four days, I congratulate Mr Moore, Mr Elwick and Mr Chaves, who have made a well rounded sitcom with a lot of potential in a short amount of time.

Thank you Nathaniel and Fashinas for those fantastic, encouraging words and constructive criticisms (my apologies if that sounds sarcastic, but I do genuinely mean it). As for Fashinas' comment regarding the lack of time to read splash screens, that was a problem that the editing trio found rather frustrating; originally, there were going to be brief statistics about the characters, but the 5 minute time limit meant that we couldn't fit in too much data, but instead simplified the information and would expand upon it in later episodes if given the oppurtunity. Also, in regards to microphone / sound, the first thing on our list of equipment with a budget is a boom mic.

Thank you both for your support.

I say i liked it. Got my vote. The voice dubbing was fairly annoying though, i would liek to hear the actors real voice, shows a bit more emotional and gets the audience involed i find. I lol'd at the shoot & miss joke

Okay, now that I read the OP, I know what was going on. I'm mildly interested.

I really, REALLY love the concept of this, each clerk having a level/class and them levelling up seems great.

As you're probably aware, and I can understand you had next to no time(props for pulling this out in 4 days) and I would think that with proper time, you could make it much better; e.g. the stats for each person were at places unreadable, and the overdubbing is something that I dislike - you sacrifice actual speaking for voice volume.

However, I see this having a lot of potential.

I agree with the above comments, lots of potential, well thought out, and brilliant for 4 days work I must say! Won my vote!

For some reason I can't quite put my finger on, I really liked the overdubbing.

I say.That was good.

Ok, sound to one side as I'm sure you've probably heard enough about that.
camera work could use some improvement, and your effects are overused (the drop downs were really glaring, which you actually made a joke about).
The concept is good and I could pick up on the general half game setting (although some character types other than WOW and D'n'D would have been nice).
You've rushed this out as you said so that explains most of went wrong.
Pace the scenes better, perform lines to actions, the acting needs improvement but that's probably again due to the re-dubbing.
In all honesty this wasn't great but if you had more time and resources it could be, especially as others have had those benefits and made stuff a lot worse than this.

I liked the jokes but the dubbing was terrible. Good luck to you.

Of the videos i have watched, this seems like the only one of the few that isnt trying to be like something we have already seen, i mean, i seen quite a few that weree just tyring to be like doomsday arcade or there will be brawl.
Its also the only video i have seen that looks to have the potential to be an actual series, not just a one off. Something i think many entries have forgotten.
There are a few problems though. e.g the already mentioned over dubbing. I think the writing could use a little work too. It was entertainiing, but not quite the standard i have become accustomed to here at the escapist. Maybe try and make it a little funnier. And the acting too needs a little work.
In terms of story, i think the original premise is good, but i think as a long term story it may seem a little disjointed. I think you should try and prevent each new episode just being something random with very little link to the last and with this whole employee levelling system seems to me to require something like this, but hey i'm not a mindreader and you probably have soemthing planned right? And i dont thin you should restrict yourself to the store. You could probably create some very funny episodes going around town. but now i am just rambling so i'll finish.
I think there are things you could learn from doomsday arcade in terms of story and acting without actually being like it.
I think these are all things you could overcome with a bit more time and maybe a little more funding, things you would get if you won.

Anyway, you have my vote and i hope you win. I thik this show has some serious long term potential.

I think it's safe to say that a formal apology is needed for the dubbing: I am genuinely sorry for the quality of the dubbing. The microphone we used cost 3.99 at my local "Poundstretcher", and I promise that the sound quality will drastically improve in the future.

Hey guys, I'm the one who played Ben (yes, my name IS Ben :P).
Pretty much, thank you for the kind comments, much appreciated! =]
And yeah, Jak has covered everything tbh. The only thing I would say is that the camera we had picked up the sound INCREDIBLY poorly, leading us to need to overdub it, but with funding we GUARAN-DAMN-TEE it'd be to a MUCH better standing. So vote for us!! XD

Ok, video number 5.
I'm sorry guys, but this video just lacked the script writing and the production values of some of the other videos I watched.
I'm off to view more.

LMAO!!!! I loved it personally. Really really good stuff, considering the budget. Got my vote.

(P.S - Jak - I'm pretty sure this hands down beats our '5 Days a Stranger' trailer xD)

...did you record the sound in ventrilo...the voices don't match the lips even a little bit...no vote for you! sorry

I found the characters are very funny. I really wish to see a show here or on other web site (may be own site).
But sadly the editing is terrible.
You should work on editing, lightning and camera skills.
Character introduction screens past very fast, I missed those details.
Other than that, yeah, I really want to see these characters in a show. It seems promising.

Considering the length of time you had to create this video, I am suprised as to the quality of the video.
That being said, there are of course some issues but with the right backing, be it on this site or another, I think the quality will increase sizeably. Well done. Looking throughout the other posts I think it is fair to assume you know what needs to be looked at.
Very well done everyone, you got my vote. Good luck.

Wow, that "Game" store looks awfully close my local one...hmmm...you would've have happened to film this in a place called the "Howard Centre" would you??
Anyways, the content was pretty good, the jokes were ok and the sound was quite poor, but you already explained that.
Nice work and good luck!

Hey it's Mark... I play Mark.
Yes that's one! Nice to see a local supporter, lol.
Thanks for the support =]

 

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