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Badmovies.org Forum  |  Movies  |  Bad Movies  |  Make your own B-film! « previous next »
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Author Topic: Make your own B-film!  (Read 6032 times)
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« Reply #30 on: January 16, 2005, 03:58:54 PM »

So, kind of like Punisher with a more ambiguous ending? I guess I could see that, although getting the fancy guns for the movie might cut significantly into your budget. Also, you might try playing around with the details a bit: guys who are buying up the businesses in the area are fine, but a "protection"  racket might make more sense in a low-income area building like the kind you're likely to be able to get for a $20,000 flick. Most of the burning would have to happen offscreen, since the equipment for simulating a burning house and a burning man probably costs a bundle, so you might try a vandalism-and-brutal-beating scenario instead.

The part about bringing down the villain in a big fight at the end makes me think of a little area in which my memory misled me when I was trying to figure out the name of a movie which turned out to be Dudes. I thought I'd remembered that the movie had a teenage kid and his pal trying to avenge his murdered parents, but the movie Dudes actually has two punkish friends trying to avenge the murder of the third member of their trio.

I think the plot would work just fine the way I misrecalled it, though: the adventures of a teenager out to get revenge on the guy who murdered his parents would be great, especially if he were a little too young to have a license to drive, and had to get through one "grown-up" situation after another on a lot of bluffing and quick thinking.
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peter johnson
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« Reply #31 on: January 16, 2005, 05:35:39 PM »

I only just now read Menard's very lengthy posts on this topic, and find I have surprisingly little to add --
I had occasion to be rewriting my resume recently, so that it fits neatly on the back of my headshot, and I currently claim association with an odd -- and I do mean odd -- 27 films, though the actual count must be nearer to 50 once you bring in the misfires, the partially-shot, the absolute disasters, etc. etc. etc, ad infinum . . .
What I would add to Menard's observations is LEARN FROM OTHERS' MISTAKES!!  There are a number of books out there on shooting low-budget/no-budget pictures, and most of the ones I've picked up have at least SOMETHING you can take away from the reading.
Making a film is a lesson in fundamental Murphology:  If it can go wrong, it will.  Never assume that anything is going to work as planned.  
Rehearsals before you actually get on set and roll film are an extravagant waste of time and resources.  
Once you're ready to shoot a scene, it may or may not help to do a single "dry" run to see if the camera can get it all -- "Do it once for camera" -- , but otherwise point and shoot!  You may never get another chance.
Someone must be in charge.  This someone's word must be law, right or wrong.  
As in Formal Logic, however, be very aware of the fallacious Appeal to Authority, eg:  Just because someone has some experience as a film writer, grip, producer, etc., this does not preclude their being an idiot director.
If the someone in charge shows him or herself to be an idiot and not know what they're doing early on, leave as soon as good manners allow.  Jump ship.  Run!!  DO NOT under any circumstance attempt to either a)  Take over and direct the shoot yourself or b)  Stick around and hope you can salvage something from the project.  Remember the old joke about teaching a pig to sing:  Don't.  It wastes your time and annoys the pig.
I had a very painful association with an Old Hollywood guy who had written for many a TV Western & wanted to direct a murder/cops/kidnapping thing.  He understood nothing about lighting a shot or remote sound.  Menard's notes on the booming errors here brought that all back.  Thanks Menard.  Jerk . . .
Karo blood syrup tastes godawful, and nothing you add to it will change that fact.  Consider this before storyboarding those great Hammer Horror shots of the victim or vampire gooshing blood from their mouths.  See Menard's notes on flys as well.
However, I think of another old joke:  This guy is sitting in a bar when another guy comes in & sits down next to him.  The new guy is covered in cuts and bruises and is bleeding & his clothes smell like hell.  "What happened to you?"  "Well, you see, I work for the circus.  My job is to go into the lion cages & clean up the lion crap.  However, the lions hate me & claw & bite me whenever I try to do my job."  "My God, ,man!  That sounds like the worst job on Earth!!  Why don't you quit?"  "What?!  And give up Showbiz?!?!"
. . . ain't none of us going to give it up, once we get bit.  As dat all dere is . . .
peter johnson/denny crane
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Menard
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« Reply #32 on: January 16, 2005, 06:42:19 PM »

peter johnson wrote:


>
> Someone must be in charge.  This someone's word must be law,
> right or wrong.  
>

That is an excellent point, which I failed to make as I was pointing out things that went wrong with a shoot. However, a good bit of what went wrong with the shoot is directly attributeable to the fact that the director was trying to delegate responsibility rather than taking the reins. There is no problem with delegation of responsibility if the people to whom you delegate actually know what they are doing and they are still following a strong lead. Neither was the case in this shoot.

Of course, as they got their feet wet, and he began to see that he needed to take charge, things began to pull together; just before they fell apart again. In letting his crew have independence and then trying to take that away, some fell away from the project.

I constantly heard reports back from the consultant (who was constantly ignored) that the director needs to take charge,; these people don't know what they are doing. My reply was, " Neither does the director."

The lack of taking charge at the outset brought about several members of the crew splitting off due to creative differences or outright feuds.

It is truly a darn shame that they chose to ignore the advise of a consultant who works in video production every day because some of them owned a camcorder or read a book and thought they knew better (yes, that was a little mean).

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Drezzy Mac
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« Reply #33 on: January 16, 2005, 09:28:55 PM »

Tons of zombies. With guitars. And random battlemechs and wire-fu fights between humans and zombies.

And it'd be called "Ghandi The Jesuit."
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Ozzymandias
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« Reply #34 on: January 17, 2005, 12:05:07 AM »

There is a legend in Springfield, MO, about this family who owned a very beautiful mansion and farm outside town. They slowly went mad. A son committed suicide and the two sister lived to be quite old but never married. They eventually hire an albino to work for them. At night he patroled the road up to the mansion with an axe. I see this as a cross between GHASTLY ONES and WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE?.
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dudeman
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« Reply #35 on: January 18, 2005, 06:24:48 PM »

With $20,000 I'd try to make the goriest action/comedy flick where I destroy a whole army of mimes, gawths, and wangsters. It would be like Cannibal the Musical meets Braindead.  I'm making a movie kinda like this now though with a budget of like $25 so far, if anyone wants to download it, here it is http://www.crudedude.100megs32.com/untitled.zip Man, if I had $20,000 I wouldn't have to use a pine cone covered with fake blood as a heart.
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peter johnson
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« Reply #36 on: January 19, 2005, 12:42:26 AM »

$20,000 would mean that it would have to be 20min. long, based on the still-current industry standard of about $1000 a minute for 16mm, so it would have to be a short.
I would want to shoot in actual 16mm film, because I don't care who says what about digital video, digital video looks like video tape, and film still looks like film.
It would be a Hammer ripoff, pure and simple, about a young couple who has a picnic near a local cemetary -- with maesoleums -- at night because her beau is an astronomy freak & he wishes to watch the stars (It's a period piece, of course -- 1880's or 1890's -- plenty of houses to use around here of that era.  Also lots of coustumes available from local theatre companies.).  So, she gets bit during the outing & there is a sad funeral for her passing.  Of course, one of the locals isn't fooled & knows what she is to become -- either an avuncular Van Helsing/Cushing character or an elder clergyman.  He tries to persuade the beau that his beauty is the Undead, but of course beau don't listen.  He returns to the cemetary to look at the stars again & encounters his love, who invites him into her maesoleum (Suitably diaphronous gownage here -- have to shoot on a warm evening -- need nubile young actress willing to show cleavage).  As she is ready to strike, avuncular fellow appears & stakage occurs.  Much gooshing of blood.  Shocked beau allows self to be comforted by former lover's sister.  The end.  Original vampire still around -- oooh!  A sequel!!
All atmospherics & fog.  Fangwork by local dentist for film credit.  Show at all local festivals.
peter johnson/denny crane
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Kory
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« Reply #37 on: January 19, 2005, 04:12:58 AM »

Have you seen "The Independent" with Jerry Stiller?   If not, it sounds like it would be right up your alley.
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dudeman
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« Reply #38 on: January 19, 2005, 04:49:49 PM »

>"$20,000 would mean that it would have to be 20min. long, based on the still-current industry standard of about $1000 a minute for 16mm, so it would have to be a short."

I'd use a mini dv camcorder, quality is cool with those things, that would save thousands of dollars, although the hypothetical studio executive might not approve
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Menard
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« Reply #39 on: January 19, 2005, 07:49:43 PM »

dudeman wrote:

> >"$20,000 would mean that it would have to be 20min. long,
> based on the still-current industry standard of about $1000 a
> minute for 16mm, so it would have to be a short."
>
> I'd use a mini dv camcorder, quality is cool with those things,
> that would save thousands of dollars, although the hypothetical
> studio executive might not approve

Digital Video is inexpensive compared to 16mm (okay, outright cheap when compared to it). What Peter was pointing out is that video looks like video and film looks like film and the difference is quite distinguishable. I myself would work with digital video for a straight to video objective. If I had concerns for showing the work on a screen, then 16mm is far superior to digital video for it has greater image quality.

THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE was shot in 16mm, and we can see what kind of quality they obtained. Of course it did not hurt, except in poorly lit scenes, that they used 25 speed film which gave them excellent image quality

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Sugar_Nads
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« Reply #40 on: January 20, 2005, 09:57:46 PM »

Peter & Menard;

Man, it sounds like you guys both had your share of bad experiences on the set.

None of those things have happened to me so far and I thank God for that.

Then again, most of us know what were doing and neither of us have egos the size of Texas.

Perhaps we can work together someday, who knows?

I'm not an A-hole and I don't bite but I do flatulate alot. ; )
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peter johnson
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« Reply #41 on: January 21, 2005, 12:29:26 AM »

Dear Mr. Nads --
Flatulation is an actual positive in Producers, especially if possible by mouth --
You know, it is a funny thing:  Yes, the experiences -- some -- have been not so good, but many of the experiences have also been the best ever, especially when it all falls together -- it is that glimmer of hope that keeps one in it, I think.  And hey, in ROBOCHIC, I got to work with one of my all-time heroes:  Phil Proctor.  He can tell showbiz horror stories that can straighten your pubic hair, yet he still does it too.
You do vat cha gotta do -- dis is showbiz!!
peter johnson/denny crane
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Menard
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« Reply #42 on: January 21, 2005, 12:37:48 AM »

The first time I was involved with a video project was in 1981. We shot a full length movie on 3/4 inch video. The writer/director/main cameraman was very organized and divided the scenes into locations for the shoot. The majority of the dialogue was improvised with some guidance (since the movie was about a rock band and most of the players were members of a rock band, you really didn't need to tell them how to act like themselves). The shoot was completed in two weekends without incident. We continued doing small video projects with a few basic guidelines: adapt your script to your locations (work with what you have); and use guidelines for improvised dialogue (if you give a non-actor dialogue to read, that's how it comes off; if you tell them what you want and let them be themselves, you can get acceptable and good performances). Of course it did not hurt that the director/cameraman was also a band member who developed a habit of always checking equipment for functionality (a habit he took with him as a director/producer in public television). Another standard we followed was whoever's project we were doing was in charge period. Many of the things that plagued the production to which I have refered in a previous post was: lack of someone being in charge; poor organization; trying to shoot above their capabilities; trying to get people to act above their capabilities (no coaching what-so-ever); and presuming they knew what they were doing. When we made videos, it was usually a short subject done with no budget in as short an amount of time as possible (trying to get people to commit to a project becomes increasingly difficult if it is drug out too long). Frequently, though, we were shooting for public access broadcast or just for fun (we were experimenters not professionals). Since my time now is very constricted, I have not been able to do any projects. With luck, we may be able to get together for another project within the next year, but it is me who is preventing that from happening at present.

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Sugar_Nads
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« Reply #43 on: January 21, 2005, 09:13:06 AM »

Wow Peter, you worked on ROBOCHIC? That's pretty cool...

What's the most bizarre or grim tale that Mr. Proctor has shared with you?
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peter johnson
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« Reply #44 on: January 22, 2005, 03:17:19 PM »

Most of Proctor's horror stories involve things like turning down a job in order to keep yourself free for a really good project that was promised to you & then having new producers come on board at the last minute who don't want you, so instead of 2 great jobs to choose from you get nothing.  Last minute changes that cut you from the project after you've already moved out to the location shoot site.  Dipwad casting agents that don't know who you are & treat you like you've never done anything in the business before.
If you subscribe to Planet Proctor -- see www.firesigntheatre.com for link -- he sometimes shares tales of Bad Showbiz -- his own and others -- along with the usual gags & puns & funny stuff.
Hey, even if nothing else happens, I did do that project -- I have to remember that!
peter johnson/denny crane
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