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596226 Posts in 45942 Topics by 6104 Members
Latest Member: shawnyadav Forum  |  Movies  |  Bad Movies  |  Make your own B-film! « previous next »
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Author Topic: Make your own B-film!  (Read 8738 times)
« Reply #15 on: January 12, 2005, 03:04:19 AM »

Well, I think this one could be done for under $20,000:

In a small town somewhere in Arizona or New Mexico or somewhere else that there's a lot of desert, an annoying geeky guy in the eighth grade at a school has a crush on the prettiest girl in the class. In his class is an obnoxious geeky girl who would actually be pretty except that she has dyed her long lovely red hair pitch black and chopped it short and is dressing in really ugly clothes on the dubious theory that she's a man-hating feminist. In fact, she secretly has a crush on the popular beefy athletic guy who--unlike the "dumb jock" stereotype usually so common in these things, actually is as nice as he appears to be, and is rather smart. (In fact, he's the head of the class.)

The geeky guy is always fantasizing about surviving a nuclear holocaust (or some such) along with the prettiest girl in the class (who, of course, never has the time of day for him) because with nobody else around, she'd have to notice him, right? Meanwhile everybody, including the geeky girl, thinks he's a total loser, which he is, really. The geeky guy has a rather atrocious family, which is why he's always sneaking off to his favorite hideout: a fallout shelter someone built and buried on his family's  property back in the 1950s. This is where he keeps all of the trashy sci-fi novels which fuel his fantasies.

As for the geeky girl, she's always talking in feminist jargon about how everything a man ever does is oppressive even while she's always looking love-sick around the athletic guy. Everybody thinks she's full of herself, and the geeky guy thinks she's stuck up, a hypocrite, and a phony, all of which is an accurate enough assessment of her, too.  Her idea of a good time is hanging out in the library  all by herself pretending to read stuff by the likes of Margaret Sanger and Patricia Ireland when in fact, she's reading trashy romance novels.

One day, the teacher assigns this geeky guy and gal to a joint science fair project. They're angry that they've been assigned to work with each other and they can't agree on a subject and neither one takes this project seriously anyway. Finally, the guy agrees to let the girl do her subject for this project (a study on how guys are always oppressing the girls, starting with her own lab partner as an example) in return for having her do all the work as well.

Since they're in a small town, he and she pretend to be "working together" by having her come over to his place to pretend to read her radical feminist nonsense there while he catches up on his latest  sci-fi paperback. (Since he's embarrassed to be around her at all and neither of them wants their families to know about this stupid assignment, he sees little recourse but to let her use his hideout for this.)

One day, as the two are doing their usual "work" in the shelter, an atomic blast instantly vaporises the town. For this, we have the cheesy effect  from The Day After in which we show a few people, including the prettiest girl and the athletic guy (who, of course, were also assigned to a science fair project together) freezing in the middle of their ordinary everyday activities, and the screen glowing red, then yellow, and then white.

The guy and the girl, being safe underground, feel a tremor from the shock wave, and emerge from the shelter to find a wasteland (represented by some stock footage of a demolished house with the field from the boy's own house and a bunch of smoldering desert plants superimposed). As it so happens, this nuke was an air burst, so most of the radiation involved has pretty much dissipated already.  (Besides, the nuke was aimed at a major city, and their town's vaporization was merely collateral damage from this.)

The two have pathetically little food (mostly just candy from the guy's stash) and one half of a bottle of water between them. They also have no transportation, since the blast destroyed all of the cars and trucks in town too, of course. Fortunately for them, though, a guy dying of radiation sickness in his pickup truck rolls into view on the road leading out of town, and promptly veers off to coast on the shoulder as he expires, leaving them a vehicle that they can use, though neither one knows much about how to drive it.

From there, they set out to look for food, water, and other basic stuff, finding that everywhere they go, everyone is already dead. No explanation presents itself for why the nukes got fired after the Cold War was over, and they get no communications from anyone else; as far as they can tell, the whole world may very well have been wiped out.

From here, the whole story is basically about how, as they continue down the road to one thoroughly abandoned gas station after another, they have to learn to get along with each other while getting over the loss of the people they knew, especially the prettiest girl and the handsome athlete. I'm thinking this involves a lot of talk about how, if they've survived, somebody else must have, and why they haven't found anybody else yet.

In the face of this dusty post-apocalyptic reality, the girl finds that she can't go on dying her hair black, and has to dump her stupid and impractical ugly clothing for something more practical and pleasant-looking. As for the guy, he discovers that his fantasy is no fun at all with this obnoxious geek girl taking the place of the prettiest girl in the class, and has to learn to love the one girl he really can't stand who also can't stand him, because they really may be the last couple on the planet for all they can tell, and the world needs to be repopulated.

Eventually they find a greener land, and though everybody there is dead too, the land is fertile and there's a nice farm house standing in it where they can live, so they settle down together in a kind of unofficial marriage. With some adjustments, in other words, they get to have a more down-to-earth version of what nearly every enthusiast for post-apocalyptic schlock fantasizes about. The end.

The great money-saver about this film idea is that it's basically a road-trip sequence in which all you need to do for footage is convince a random crowd of people at a few places to clear out temporarily for the filming, leaving their vehicles and so forth in place for the scene. The shelter can be a simple set, with the entrance being a mobile prop. With a little friendly persuasion, a school classroom and a house could be borrowed for all of the stuff that goes on in the town in this story, and you don't ever have to explain most of the dubious science in this flick. You can hire a bunch of no-name actors for the cast, and after a little filming for the first parts, send them on their way while you continue to employ only the boy and the girl. All of this plus the cut-rate catering ("Will that be for here or to go?") comes to your total bill, which I think could be kept under $20,000 if you were really careful with your budget.

So, what do you think? Do I have a good B-movie idea?
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I AM serious, and stop calling me Shirley

« Reply #16 on: January 12, 2005, 09:11:30 AM »

I've always like ghost stories, so I'd like to do a good old fashioned ghost story.  Maybe Yet Another Haunted House Movie, and I'd call it something really lame like "What was that Noise?" or "Noises in the Walls" or "It came from the Walls."

I'd shoot entirely on location (no expensive sets to build). Effects would be noises off camera, things falling over, etc.  I'd play some off the characters fear (did they really hear a noise? was that book really moved from where it was last night?).

The characters would be 'teens or early twenties' but actors in their forties who don't even look young.  I'd work off a minimal script and allow the actors to improvise as much as possible.  We'd work with one camera most of the time, and use mostly old fashioned camera cheats rather than glitzy modern effects.



Professor Hathaway:  I noticed you stopped stuttering.
Bodie:      I've been giving myself shock treatments.
Professor Hathaway: Up the voltage.

--Real Genius
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« Reply #17 on: January 13, 2005, 11:07:35 PM »

>So, what do you think? Do I have a good B-movie idea?

I'd watch it. :)

For a movie that might actually be possible for $20,000, I was thinking of a cross between Death Wish/The Exterminator and Darkman. The star and his wife are expecting their first child and working to renovate a store when they get caught in the middle of the mob trying to buy up all the businesses in the area. When they won't sell, a couple of thugs ambush them, tie them up in the store and set fire to it. The wife dies and the star is badly burned, but escapes.

He recovers, but is left horribly scarred. He dons a mask, puts on body armor under a long coat, arms himself with some large caliber weapons and goes out each night to clean up the city, while trying to get to those responsible for killing his wife. He ends up becoming sort of a hero to the people of the city, although the police want him stopped.

In the end, he finds and kills the guy who gave the orders, but gets mortally wounded in the process. He tells the cop who's been chasing him not to call for an ambulance, and dies.

Not terribly original, I know, but I picture it as being darker and more realistic than most movies of this type. No super-human stunts, or A-Team style gadgets, just a guy in body armor blowing away the bad guys.
« Reply #18 on: January 15, 2005, 04:45:20 AM »

Hey Menard, what sort of stuff happened on set?  I'm actually trying to plan a short film which is a mock-behind the scenes documentary on a dodgy student B-grade horror flick.  I've been trying to come up with situations and things which happen, but I keep falling short of the mark.

I did a short film last year that could possibly be classed as a B-Movie called 'The Pat and Giggles story'.  It was about a toy clown which seduces a friend of mine into killing his two best friends.  It was a sort of animation; freeze frames mostly, with footage that was edited to look like it was drawn.  The clown was a creepy toy clown that a friend of mine found in his garage and was slightly singed from fire.  I just added some evil looking eyebrows and there you have it: one very scary clown [you wind the back and its head moves and it plays a song]

I have also toyed with the idea of doing a graphic novel of some kind.  I personally cannot draw very well but I know two excellent and very skilled artists who would be more than willing to help.

$20,000 can really go a long way depending on what you are doing.  Since I'm converting to Australian dollars, I also get a bit more cash on top of that!! Haha!

It's really a decision to make a really good quality short film or a really bad quality feature length.

Both are excellent options, but both require good plot and writing to pull off properly.
« Reply #19 on: January 15, 2005, 08:11:37 AM »

dean wrote:

> Hey Menard, what sort of stuff happened on set?  I'm actually
> trying to plan a short film which is a mock-behind the scenes
> documentary on a dodgy student B-grade horror flick.  I've been
> trying to come up with situations and things which happen, but
> I keep falling short of the mark.

Interesting things that happen while making a low budget movie, in this case a near zero budget horror movie (they had a budget, of sorts, but the decision to buy a camera rather than rent one, have t-shirts made before any taping had been done, and regular pizza parties re-adjusted their budget priorities), happen on the set and especially among the egos and politicing of those involved with the production.

One of the most obvious problems most noticeable to the viewer an sometimes picked up too late by an unfortunate editor (remember the line, " don't worry, they'll fix it in editing") is continuity, or the lack thereof. The cause of problems with continuity is usually poor organization. Too many trying to make a low budget movie try to schedule scenes as they get to them or try to do too much at once; such as shooting every scene that takes place at a location all at once. Although economical of time constaints, many of them do not have the foresight to see problems with the continuity.

Of course not scheduling a shoot well can cause problems with the continuity. In one instance early in the production, the crew was shooting a group of scenes that take place in the same day (and taking way, way too long to do it). They had to resume shooting on another day which was something like two weeks later. During this time, one of the actors who had two scenes, one of which was shot on the previous shoot, had shaved off his beard. What you end up with is an actor in two scenes taking place in the same day, one with and one without a beard.

One of the major problems that plagued the production was audio. Despite constant advice from someone who more than knew what he was doing, a bunch of beginners thought they knew better. Since there were so many problems with the audio, I will list them seperately:

1) Background noise: No matter how many times they were told to record the background as a seperate track, they constantly tried to use one mike for their audio. Hence, whenever the camera position changes, the audio level drastically changes because there is no constant.

2) During the time they discovered what a boom mike was (borrowed), the mike operator apparently did not know to move the mike according to whom is speaking. The end result was scenes where one actor could be distinctly heard while the other was barely audible, if at all.

3) It does on occasion seem to help if someone checks to make certain that the mike is actually plugged in.

4) There are other problems too numerous to mention with audio, including feedback issues, not using a proper mixing board and over amplifying the background music (again a proper mixer would have helped). Despite film/video quality, acting aside, one of the biggest dead giveaways that mark a production as low budget is poor audio.

One of the standards in obtaining a film or video image is to get the best possible image you can. When dealing with digital video, you would hope someone would understand that they do not need to gel the lights when they can accomplish this in editing. Of course they did not understand this or that using gels on the lights, particularly as dark as they chose, not only reduces their available light but also affects their color balance. Of course this is trivial compared to them reading the light before they added the gels. This unfortunately yeilds scenes that are almost black.

The director of this movie liked to believe that fog was creative. If you are Lucio Fulci or know what you are doing, this can be true. Fog on a sunny day is not necessarily creative. If you use a fog machine and use a fan for wind effect, it is a good idea to use them from the same side. If your fog machine is not available and you decide to use smoke devices instead, it is not a good idea to do this indoors as near suffocating your actors will not endear them to you well.

Even the big studios do this: shooting winter scenes in July is not a good idea, particularly when actors pass out from the heat.

There was a particular scene they wanted to do, which was a newscast. Since their only qualified consultant worked at a television station, the director was told, specifically, that he could bring an actor to do the scene at an actual newsdesk. The director was also told that they needed to be precise on the timeframe so as not to disrupt the operations of the station.

On the day of the shoot, the director shows up with twenty cast and crew, plus friends, to both do the shoot and show off the station. Several of the cast and crew wandered off on their own and had to be rounded up. After the chaos was brought to an end, the director was never again permitted use of any of the facilities.

One of the biggest problems they had was in-fighting. This was largely due to the extreme length of time shooting the movie, over 14 months. Camera operators were constantly changing, and since the director frequently left the responsibility for the shoot in the hands of the crew, styles and consistency varied. Producers involved with the production also split off and tried to do their own thing with others.

A lot of my knowledge of the production is from second hand information as I had to leave before production began due to illness. My friend I had involved with the production as a consultant regularly called to thank me (sarcastically) for getting him involved with these people. Since my information comes from different sources, some may well be embellished, but I don't care since it is still entertaining.

Coming up with ideas for what could go wrong behind the scenes should not be too difficult. Just consider the possibilities of where errors can occur. Such as with poor audio that calls for the use of loops, but someone inadvertantly mixes the loops with the wrong actors or scenes. There are of course costume and set mishaps as well creative differences leading to feuds or outright fights.

Good Luck

« Reply #20 on: January 15, 2005, 08:33:46 AM »

Another one I remembered.

Since this movie made good use of Karo blood, some of the outdoor scenes shot during the heat of the summer would result in actors being quite uncomfortably assaulted by insects.

« Reply #21 on: January 15, 2005, 09:28:50 AM »

; ) I like the way you think... Please do make another rubber monster movie if you ever do get the chance. I would love to see it.
« Reply #22 on: January 15, 2005, 09:32:32 AM »

Dude, I wish that there was some way that you could stream that. I'll bet you'd get a ton of laughs.
« Reply #23 on: January 15, 2005, 09:33:49 AM »

Then get writing my man... I'd be interested in checking it out.
« Reply #24 on: January 15, 2005, 09:35:14 AM »

Kind of sound like the begining to a joke. I'm just dying to know the punch line. ; )
« Reply #25 on: January 15, 2005, 09:36:21 AM »

Hey, that's pretty creative. I wonder why no one has ever thought of that before.
« Reply #26 on: January 15, 2005, 09:38:00 AM »

Ever seen an independent called: "Terrarium?" It's actually pretty cool. Not great but none the less interesting...
« Reply #27 on: January 15, 2005, 09:42:22 AM »

Wow, that would be one heck of a movie to put together.
« Reply #28 on: January 15, 2005, 10:47:26 AM »

Thanks Menard, that contains many a good hint!

Sounds like it was one hell of a shoot.  I guess you can thank your lucky stars that you got sick [I guess a blessing in disguise of some sorts]

It vaguely reminds me of the shoot for my Pat and Giggles movie in which two of the three actors were severly hungover from the night before, and I had only a vague script.  We all sort of just went with the flow, filmed for one day in which the lighting got really bad [since parts were outdoors] due to a thunderstorm, and then just got a few shots here and there to make up the rest the next day.

But thankfully this was one case of ''we'll get fix it in post'' since it turned out much better than the piece of crap I thought it was going to be at the time.

So thanks!
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« Reply #29 on: January 16, 2005, 03:12:29 PM »

A Kaiju flick starring ...MECHAKONG!
Takes place in the Toho universe, but concintrates on the U.S. Version of G-force.
Kong is a Marine Corp machine who kicks ass and takes names...though od corse,everyone wonders about takeing on Godzilla.
New monsters, new cast, new wepons.
Mechakong with a big ass rifle, a shield, and a battleax.

New for the summer of 07.


"Aggressivlly eccentric, and proud of it!"
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