Sunday, June 10, 2012

Making a movie (pre-production)

I just started working on a short film that I've wanted to make for about the last 15 years of my life.  It's a post apocalyptic samurai movie; sort of Road Warrior meets Yojimbo.  No matter what I was doing, it's always been there, like a worm in my brain, chewing and squirming around for over a decade.  I'm finally going to get in there with my fingers, dig it out, and share it with the world.

I'm making a 10 minute short film first, and if it's successful a feature length will follow.  After typing that it seems like I should put the "if" in bold capital letters, in a 50 point typeface.  That's a pretty big if.  I digress.  I'm submitting the short film to the Guam International Film Festival for starters.  The deadline for submissions is July 1st, so I've got to work fast.  I'm taking the first 2 weeks of June for production, and the the last 2 weeks for post-production.  I'm officially in pre-production.  "What does that mean?"  That means I'm pulling all of the elements together.  I've got to draw hundreds of storyboards, get props, make costumes, choreograph a sword fight, make about 20 gallons of fake blood, find a way to hang people without actually injuring them, and find a beautiful island woman willing to take her top off on camera.  And I need to do all of this before June 2nd.

I'm not a rich man.  Making movies costs a shit ton of money.  The only more expensive art form than filmmaking is architecture.  So in terms of architecture, how do you make an interesting building for less than $2,000?  I mean, that's maybe a tool shed at best.  No one would pay money to see a Tuff Shed.  "Hey man, give me $8 and you can check out where I keep my lawnmower."  Please.  But what if it's a tool shed on a tropical island next to a cascading waterfall, smeared in blood, with naked women inside?  Now that's something someone might pay money to see.  That's the posture I'll be taking with my films until the day I start using other people's money to make them.

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