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Indie Horror Film Shows What You Can Do (And Get) For Free

timothy posted about a year ago | from the very-few-academy-awards-so-far dept.

Movies 109

Wescotte writes "The Amateur Monster Movie is the first feature length film by King's Tower Productions and writer/director Kyle Richards, all filmed within an hour of Milwaukee, WI over the course of 57 days during the summers of 2009 and 2010. It was shot as a 'no-budget' film and the entire cast and crew worked for free on owned or borrowed equipment. After a few film festival appearances, highlighted by the Wisconsin Film Festival, and — a cast and crew favorite — the Oshkosh Horror Film Festival, Richards decided to release the film for free online, a move intended to encourage more movies and media to do the same and allow free media access to everyone online. The film can be streamed from Vimeo and YouTube or downloaded via torrent at Pirate Bay, KAT, and magnet link. More information and production stills can be found at the Facebook Page, and IMDB." The acting is straightforwardly campy, but (promise or warning) the gory, zero-budget special effects start about four minutes in.

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109 comments

frost pist (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43129753)

!!!! party like its 2001

Re:frost pist (-1, Offtopic)

Adult film producer (866485) | about a year ago | (#43129815)

Frostless piss to the schnizzle nizzle!

For free? But... but... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43129765)

...but that would be straling the publisher's HARD WORK!

THINK OF THEIR CHILDREN!

oh, wait...

Re:For free? But... but... (2)

Farmer Tim (530755) | about a year ago | (#43129955)

"It's not straling, it's copyright infringrmrnt."

Vodo (5, Informative)

arnodf (1310501) | about a year ago | (#43129791)

I'll leave this here: Vodo [vodo.net]
Great stuff there

Re:Vodo (1)

Wescotte (732385) | about a year ago | (#43129973)

Thanks for the link. This is a pretty interesting service I was completely unaware of. Have you submitted work or just a user/viewer?

Re:Vodo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43136095)

just a viewer.

Try L5 and pioneer one if you're into scifi.
There was a bundle of interesting independent scifi shortfilms but I can't remember the name of it.

The tunnel is one of the best horror films I've ever seen.

check out their list of most popular films and series, that's a good start

Re:Vodo (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43131147)

Vodo is a fantastic service. I wish it would get bigger.

The quality of some of the shows are just above average, like around 60-80% score area, but the story and even settings? 100% just got put out of business, 200% is the new guy in town.

I'm hoping the internet becomes the place to go to for niche audiences since TV production companies still rely on stupid crap like Nielsen ratings without even considering the psychology behind the popularity differences and fan-groups of shows.
Case in point, people more open to be a view-count are those who watch reality TV, music, sports, and considerably less likely to be those of horror, sci-fi, future, architecture, learning, history and similar. (with some notable exceptions, like a live body dissection or finding Richard III' body under that carpark)
Likewise, they also chat far less than those in the former groups online, which is increasingly becoming a view-count these days. Those, again, likely to chat about it, most times have accounts set to private on social sites, or don't even have one at all and just chat on forums, anonymous communities and chatrooms.
But as you can see already, it is HEAVILY skewed. This is why TV is now reality TV, comedies, sports and informercials.
I know I am exaggerating a little bit, but you can see where the huge problem lies with estimated viewing systems.

I've funded a few shows on there and was very happy with the results. Stories like that just plain wouldn't be funded on TV these days because of the skewing of viewing numbers.
Sci-fi heavy, aliens, shows about corrupt futures where a "drug-tester" helps people feel pain because they have been engineered to be happy all the time by finding old drugs that are past their expiries, eye-opening shows, fan-productions, etc.
Nope, gotta show people being scrubs on TV, trying to sing and generic comedy 5 billion and 53.

Vodo is pretty much the TV version of Kickstarter. And it has worked pretty damn well in my opinion.

Magnet link broken (4, Informative)

emj (15659) | about a year ago | (#43129797)

So the magnet link was broken, but tinyurl supports magnets [tinyurl.com] , because slashdot mangles magnetlinks [magnet] .

The makers are on slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43129805)

He posted a link to this movie in a piratebay article earlier.
I watched it then, I'd recommended it now.

Re:The makers are on slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43129823)

Is it the filipino horror movie guy? I've seen his sig since, I don't know... forever?

Re:The makers are on slashdot (3, Funny)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about a year ago | (#43129837)

You're thinking of circletimessquare. I think he changed it a while back. Dunno what ever happened with the film he was supposedly making.

Re:The makers are on slashdot (1)

MMC Monster (602931) | about a year ago | (#43130957)

Too bad. That guy was a part (is still a part?) of the /. community forever. I would watch that movie just for that. :-)

Re:The makers are on slashdot (1)

Ginger Unicorn (952287) | about a year ago | (#43136519)

he posted today [slashdot.org]

If you really want zero budget... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43129819)

...see Jiggly Baby 3 (http://youtu.be/PX92BOIkBs8 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2278686). And yes, it really is the third in the series.

Re:If you really want zero budget... (2)

Wescotte (732385) | about a year ago | (#43129907)

You might interested in watching The Time Machine (I found at a yardsale) [youtube.com] . It's by far the worst movie I've ever seen and I can't tell if it's a joke or not. I mean The cost of renting the camera they used in this film for a single day was at least twice the shooting budget of The Amateur Monster Movie for all ~60 days in production!

Either way if you enjoy watching train wrecks it's a pretty interesting film. The "orange juice" scene at ~5:30 is particularly amazing. Also if you don't make it in far enough to notice.. After about 15 minutes the entire rest of the film is green screen work.

Re:If you really want zero budget... (2)

Wescotte (732385) | about a year ago | (#43130743)

Just watched the entire thing. It's not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. Sure, the premise and story is silly but these guys clearly have a fundamental understanding of how to make a movie were The Time Machine probably do not... I think given some money and the desire to do it these guys could probably pull off an actually watchable film.

Is it a low-budget, Filipino horror movie? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43129835)

Preferably one set in NYC. I hear there is a *huge* demand for that genre.

Maybe I should start advertising for it in my sig...

Re:Is it a low-budget, Filipino horror movie? (2)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about a year ago | (#43131855)

OMG, I wish I had Mod Points. THIS!

It is true (1)

Dirk Becher (1061828) | about a year ago | (#43129839)

Death is cheap.

You see, problem with free movies is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43129849)

...that 99% of the time they are utter shit

Re:You see, problem with free movies is... (2)

popo (107611) | about a year ago | (#43129855)

Most of them are utter shit. And this one is really no exception. The issue here is that people grant enormous amounts of leeway for something that is "no budget", because they recognize that it's difficult. Lighting and good cinematography can be expensive. But there are workarounds.

There are also certain areas where budget shouldn't matter: Writing. Dialogue. Acting. Etc.

This film is particularly weak on those counts. This isn't a "support group" like most film festivals are. This is the real world.

The film is amateurish on countless scales which have little to do with "budget".

Re:You see, problem with free movies is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43129875)

To summarize - It is Straight Up Awe-full

Re:You see, problem with free movies is... (2)

Zumbs (1241138) | about a year ago | (#43129913)

There are also certain areas where budget shouldn't matter: Writing. Dialogue. Acting. Etc.

Seriously? Writing and dialogue does not need any budget? Getting both right requires a great deal of time and work, which, incidentally is equivalent with money.

Re:You see, problem with free movies is... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43129921)

Don't forget about casting/acting.
A character is usually cast from a list of thousands of actors. In a no-budget film there are usually no more then a couple of candidates for a role.

Re:You see, problem with free movies is... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year ago | (#43130351)

How odd. I've read a good deal of very good stories for free. And legally so, I might add.

Time does not equal money. One may sell his time, but there are quite a few who will give it to you for free.

Re:You see, problem with free movies is... (2)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about a year ago | (#43130487)

Time does not equal money. One may sell his time, but there are quite a few who will give it to you for free.

Of course time equals money. Even when it's being given away for free the author usually hopes to build up a portfolio or something similar. Good writers are hard to find, and get paid well. My time isn't free either, so if a movie sucks I'm not going to put my time into watching it, free or not. It's hard to find unbiased reviews however.

Re:You see, problem with free movies is... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year ago | (#43133925)

There are actually people out there who do something because they like doing it. Ya know, for their own entertainment. I, for one, do actually write short stories. Without any chance of ever making money, at least I certainly don't think I'll ever bother to try to milk them. I put them out for people to read, and if they do, and enjoy them, I am also happy.

I have enough money to get by. I don't want to be rich and famous.

Re:You see, problem with free movies is... (1)

tehcyder (746570) | about a year ago | (#43136759)

Well lucky you for already having a welll paid job so you don't have to bother about getting paid.

This was pretty much the situation with artists prior to the Nineteenth Century: they were either independently wealthy members of the upper class, or they got a patron to support them.

It's funny how everyone on slashdot is all for the free market, but when it comes to art, it's back to the fucking Middle Ages.

Re:You see, problem with free movies is... (1)

TheSeatOfMyPants (2645007) | about a year ago | (#43134187)

Actually, good writers *don't* get paid well, unless they're among the few Hollywood elite; it's now rare for even writers with multiple NYT best-sellers to make enough to quit their "day" job.

As far as volunteering for a massive project like that is concerned, that's the sort of thing that a writer would do in their spare time as a teenager or college student, because the impact of the quality of the actors, music, cinematography, directing, etc. is so great upon the end-result that there's far too great a chance that the end-result will reflect badly on the writer. (Also, screenwriters are, as far as I've ever read, judged on how well their past work sold or fared at a major competition/festival; the potential buyer or employer won't usually sit down to watch things the individual contributed to in the past.)

Re:You see, problem with free movies is... (2)

tehcyder (746570) | about a year ago | (#43136793)

it's now rare for even writers with multiple NYT best-sellers to make enough to quit their "day" job.

Most serious professional writers do have to earn extra money by doing lectures, journalism, or whatever. That does not mean they don't still spend most of their time writing. They're not working 60-80 hours a week as lawyers or programmers.

Re:You see, problem with free movies is... (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about a year ago | (#43131879)

Except in the wonderful genre of PORN! Where there is usually just enough dialogue to get to the "scene" of importance. And people pay huge money to watch porn and not for the dialogue.

Or ...so I'm told .. ahem

Re:You see, problem with free movies is... (1)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about a year ago | (#43132789)

Seriously? Writing and dialogue does not need any budget?

This is Slashdot - All content must be free, created by artists working for free. The smallest nods might be given towards costs for hardware to create, but NEVER towards funding creativity. That flows 'freely' out of the hearts of the creators.

Re:You see, problem with free movies is... (2)

Gordonjcp (186804) | about a year ago | (#43130383)

Most of the commercial, professionally-made films are utter shit too.

How often do you need to see Bruce Willis/Nicholas Cage/Vin Diesel/Other Replaceable Hero running away from a CG explosion/plane crash/earthquake/tsunami before you realise you've just paid a tenner to watch a bunch of video game cutscenes strung together?

Re:You see, problem with free movies is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43130599)

Or all the military style movies that have guns but always have to stop and have a fist fight sequence for no Fucking reason. The stuntman union must be strong.

Most movies suck. The fact that this guy did at least as bad if not better (have not seen it) than Studios should really shame the studios. I am sure SyFy will try and obtain the rights to this.

Re:You see, problem with free movies is... (2)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about a year ago | (#43132799)

Most of the commercial, professionally-made films are utter shit too.

You can easily avoid these if you spend 10 seconds reading a review before you head to the theatre. Lincoln, Life of Pi, Skyfall - All were excellent "commercial, professionally-made" films made by people who were paid for their work.

Re:You see, problem with free movies is... (1)

tehcyder (746570) | about a year ago | (#43136987)

Most of the commercial, professionally-made films are utter shit too.

Yes, but not all of them are. That's the difference between professional and amateur art.

Re:You see, problem with free movies is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43130589)

I may be Anonymous, but I'm no Coward! I can call a spade a black dude anytime I want!

Kidding aside, low-camp/no-camp videos of this genre are often hilarious, brilliant in certain ways (witness Peter Jackson's early efforts such as "Bad Taste"), and often worthy of supporting just so we keep the big studios in check and provide support to emerging artists.

Re:You see, problem with free movies is... (1)

tehcyder (746570) | about a year ago | (#43137071)

No, you shouldn't support crap art just because it's not made by a big studio. Bad art is bad art. There are plenty of good low budget films to patronise.

Re:You see, problem with free movies is... (1)

ultranova (717540) | about a year ago | (#43132907)

There are also certain areas where budget shouldn't matter: Writing. Dialogue. Acting. Etc.

Money is a convenient way of abstracting resources. Time is a resource. The phrase "time equals money" simply means that you can substitute one for another (do something yourself or hire someone else to do it for you) and you only have a limited amount of both.

Good writing requires an investment: either you hire a good writer to do it for you or you write, edit, proofread, let other people read and criticize, rewrite accordingly, etc. Every project has a limited budget, and writing comes out of it. And that means that budget matters for the quality of writing.

I have no idea why you would even suggest something that obviously false.

Re:You see, problem with free movies is... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43130057)

You see, problem with free software is...
...that 99% of the time they are utter shit

Re:You see, problem with free movies is... (1)

flimflammer (956759) | about a year ago | (#43130159)

That's not limited to free movies.

Re:You see, problem with free movies is... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year ago | (#43130345)

And that's in what way exactly different from Hollywood?

The main difference is that you now don't have to shell out 15 bucks for wooden acting, overblown special effects and scripts that fit on a bar napkin.

Ok for free (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43129859)

It's ok for an indie zero budget movie, but for real quality [wikipedia.org] , you need to spend at least 50 mil.

Re:Ok for free (1)

Wescotte (732385) | about a year ago | (#43129887)

Unfortunately, Affleck probably wouldn't have been interested according to my brief conversation with Kevin Smith [uwm.edu]

This movie... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43129863)

Sucks ass

Free YouTube movies on Boxee (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43129865)

Don't care what the reviews say about this one, it can't be any worse than Dorm of the Dead.

I am the filmmaker (5, Interesting)

Johnny Mason (2861797) | about a year ago | (#43129897)

Hey everybody, I made this movie. I was the writer, director, producer, co-editor, and an actor, and I did a bunch of other shit too such as remove hiss from over 900 individual audio clips! It was awesome. If anyone is interested in knowing anything about this great film please ask me and I will be happy to try and answer. Thanks for giving the movie a watch, I'm happy to have your support!

Re:I am the filmmaker (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43129957)

*yawn*

Done tooting your own horn?

Re:I am the filmmaker (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43130037)

Well you can go and toot your boyfriends horn.

Re:I am the filmmaker (2)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43130251)

*yawn*

Done tooting your own horn?

Typical cynical comment from those slashdotters who perpetually criticise and expect entitlement while doing nothing creative themselves.

Re:I am the filmmaker (1)

MrTester (860336) | about a year ago | (#43132083)

*yawn*
Done being an ass?

Nope. Didnt think so.

Re:I am the filmmaker (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43129967)

I'll give it a go out of curiosity even if zero budget horror isn't my thing (strangely, no budget movies seem to be more often of the campy horror vibe than more general dramas).
In any case you have my great sympathy for all the hard work and dedication to bring this to a successful end, that is awesome in itself.

Re:I am the filmmaker (1)

Wescotte (732385) | about a year ago | (#43130499)

I'd consider The Amateur Monster Movie more of a comedy than horror. It just takes place in a typical horror movie universe much like Shaun of the Dead. We have a second film in post production right now (hoping to release in a few months) called The Wayward Sun [spadeheartclub.com] that would be classified drama. It's kinda a hard film to describe but it has a lot of similar elements to a film like Gerry [imdb.com] .

I think the reason for so many low budget horror films is it's just really hard to do anything else. Horror fans are typically more forgiving of issues that would normally break credibility with a typical film.

Re:I am the filmmaker (1)

Farmer Tim (530755) | about a year ago | (#43129979)

First question: why?

Second question: dear God, why?!?

Third question: would you mind it being shown on Australian television?

Re:I am the filmmaker (2)

Johnny Mason (2861797) | about a year ago | (#43130139)

First question: I guess because I thought it was all in fun and games...

Second question: oh god wait...

Third question: I would not mind at all if it were shown on Australian television, it would be a great honor. Message us through facebook or our site with any inquiries regarding that.

Re:I am the filmmaker (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43130047)

Hi! Your movie is a lot of fun. What software did you use for editing and visual effects?

Re:I am the filmmaker (2)

Johnny Mason (2861797) | about a year ago | (#43130173)

Thanks! We used Final Cut studio for most of it (Final Cut, Soundtrack, Color, and DVD Studio for the DVDs) and After Effects and Shake were used for the visual effects.

Re:I am the filmmaker (1)

paiute (550198) | about a year ago | (#43130899)

I will watch it if you promise there are no frigging zombies or vampires. Are there frigging zombies or vampires?

Re:I am the filmmaker (1)

Johnny Mason (2861797) | about a year ago | (#43131063)

There are no frigging zombies or vampires, just fuckin' zombies and a werewolf. Maybe you watch half, eh? (Fuckin' zombies are a little different than friggin zombies btw--but no time for details on how!)

Re:I am the filmmaker (1)

paiute (550198) | about a year ago | (#43132263)

Sorry, no. That's a dealbreaker. I'm sick to death of the zombie theme. Why on earth couldn't you put ten minutes into coming up with something original?

Re:I am the filmmaker (1)

Wescotte (732385) | about a year ago | (#43132557)

If it persuades you to watch the film... There is probably only like five minutes of screen time for zombies. It's a comedy that just happens to have zombies (and a Werewolf) in it. But if you're dead set on not watching it maybe become a fan of our second film currently in post production called The Wayward Sun [facebook.com] . This way you can stay informed when we release it later this year as it has nothing to do with zombies.

Re:I am the filmmaker (1)

paiute (550198) | about a year ago | (#43133895)

Okay, I'll do it - as long as you promise to name your third movie It Has Nothing To Do With Zombies.

Re:I am the filmmaker (1)

Wescotte (732385) | about a year ago | (#43134075)

Damn, unfortunately our third film is already named and it's called Bird Land [spadeheartclub.com] and is in preproduction right now and looking to be shot late this year.

Re:I am the filmmaker (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43130981)

hahaha the cat shit scene was awesome.

Re:I am the filmmaker (2)

Woogiemonger (628172) | about a year ago | (#43131613)

If anyone is interested in knowing anything about this great film please ask me and I will be happy to try and answer.

It might be because I'm watching on Youtube, but the blacks seem very clean (non-grainy) for a consumer-level camera (Canon Vixia HV30) ... how did you achieve that?

Re:I am the filmmaker (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43132291)

He offered them free ribs and Purple Stuff if they'd stay off the crack cocaine for the duration.

Re:I am the filmmaker (1)

emj (15659) | about a year ago | (#43132319)

The guy behind the camera/postprocess did an amazing job imho.

Re:I am the filmmaker (1)

Wescotte (732385) | about a year ago | (#43132585)

If you have any specific technical questions I'd be happy to answer then but long story short we had a pretty damn talented DP/Camera Op [imdb.com] and Colorist [imdb.com] who did an amazing job. We have a ton of production stills on our Facebook Page [facebook.com] that might provide some insight.

Re:I am the filmmaker (2)

Johnny Mason (2861797) | about a year ago | (#43132593)

Our colorist did a great job with the grainy footage and deserves most of the credit, but I believe reducing the quality of the footage from 1080 to 720 also helped in our case. The HV30 was pretty adequate in low lighting, so it usually left us with a decent amount to work with. A lot of the night scenes are much brighter, noisier, and more colorful in the raw footage, so reducing the saturation and brightness to try and better represent what you see with your eyes in moonlight naturally helped hide the grain as well.

Re:I am the filmmaker (1)

Woogiemonger (628172) | about a year ago | (#43132715)

Our colorist did a great job with the grainy footage and deserves most of the credit, but I believe reducing the quality of the footage from 1080 to 720 also helped in our case. The HV30 was pretty adequate in low lighting, so it usually left us with a decent amount to work with. A lot of the night scenes are much brighter, noisier, and more colorful in the raw footage, so reducing the saturation and brightness to try and better represent what you see with your eyes in moonlight naturally helped hide the grain as well.

Thanks! I didn't realize how involved colorists were with picture quality, but it makes sense. I see they have to choose a balance between brightness and noise, demonstrated here: http://aaronwilliams.tv/2010/12/colorist-tip-9/ [aaronwilliams.tv]

Also, the HV30's 1/2.7 inch sensor size seems considerably better than my HF200's 1/4 inch sensor size, which probably also helps a lot. Just as a side note, a lot of people here might have DSLR's, and those.. especially Canon 5D Mark 2 and 3's, are very good for low light video, as long as you don't let the thing overheat and... I think you need special equipment for the focusing too.

Re:I am the filmmaker (1)

Johnny Mason (2861797) | about a year ago | (#43135305)

Indeed. For my second film I purchased a DSLR (Canon 60D) and using a prime lens that could go down to f1.4 allowed us to shoot in firelight without needing any other source and it worked out great imo. It was a very worthy upgrade, although live zooms became next to impossible to do smoothly with the DSLR zoom lenses, that was really the only significant drawback. We were filming in 100 degree weather and were able to keep the camera shaded enough to never have any notable problems with overheating luckily.

Tell us how you scheduled your day to do all that (1)

elucido (870205) | about a year ago | (#43132551)

Hey everybody, I made this movie. I was the writer, director, producer, co-editor, and an actor, and I did a bunch of other shit too such as remove hiss from over 900 individual audio clips! It was awesome. If anyone is interested in knowing anything about this great film please ask me and I will be happy to try and answer.

Thanks for giving the movie a watch, I'm happy to have your support!

I would love to be as productive as you, and to make a film like you did even if its released for free. How did you schedule your time to do it all so quickly and how did you avoid costly mistakes?

Re:Tell us how you scheduled your day to do all th (1)

Johnny Mason (2861797) | about a year ago | (#43135379)

Thank you. It's not easy to find time to do all of this that's for sure. The main thing is, as the director and/or producer, you need to make yourself available to shoot at nearly any time possible, then you can adapt to the ever-changing schedules of your peers. I was lucky enough to be working a part time job that only required me to work during lunch during the week, so I had weeknights and weekends free while we were shooting. I used weeknights to schedule with the cast and crew and weekends to shoot. During shooting months, I basically had no social life. It can be incredibly difficult to schedule that many people for free, I don't recommend that large of a cast to start with! :) But in the end, it was that, honestly, unless they've all been BSing me, everyone who was working on the project in any significant capacity really seemed to care about finishing and really seemed to like the material.

Costly mistakes did happen. I was 19 when we started production, 21 at the premiere, and 23 when the DVDs were finished (now). I originally thought it would take me less than a year haha! The worst setback was that we went through 2 lead actresses, the second of which filmed about 90% of her scenes before randomly deciding to never show up again, and it was tough getting everybody behind reshooting with a third actress, but it happened, and we're all happy it did as we have a much better movie because of it. If you are determined enough and give it the thought it requires, you can do almost anything. Make lemonade out of life's lemons and other such cliches.

It often came down to me saying "I will be damned if this doesn't get done, even if I have to do it myself!" ...and as you can see, that's often what happened :)

Re:I am the filmmaker (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43132711)

I can't believe how good this is, especially for a no budget horror. Whether or not you intended it, you actually have symbolism contained within the first 14 minutes of the call to action with the main character holding the world in his hand (his bicycle wheel, e.g., a spinning wheel is a symbol within a picture of Gandhi done by Ansel Adams [gstatic.com] for the world while Gandhi is studying, but this is a more active grip on the world, whereas Gandhi was passive). You actually mention gay issues in a way that is interesting. You build a plot, which goes above and beyond most Hollywood films. In the past, many of the films that have been created in Milwaukee are experimental films, so they don't receive as much attention, but it is good to see a common genre with unique quality.

Re:I am the filmmaker (1)

Johnny Mason (2861797) | about a year ago | (#43135401)

That's very interesting, the symbolism you bring up. Although I am an admirer of Gandhi and I love trying to include/find symbolism in my movies, this was not something I intentionally did. I do appreciate your take on the film and its deeper qualities. Out front and center it is a goofy comedy, but I tried to make it a thoughtful one and I'm glad to see that come across to some. Thanks for the comment.

Yup (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43129901)

Cheeseheads.

Re:Yup (2)

Ol Biscuitbarrel (1859702) | about a year ago | (#43131501)

I wonder if the auteur is familiar with the work of Bill Rebane [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Yup (1)

Johnny Mason (2861797) | about a year ago | (#43132623)

After reading, I am a bit ashamed to say I was not familiar with his work despite our shared Wisconsin roots, but I am happy to learn about him, thanks!

The Haters (3, Insightful)

DaMattster (977781) | about a year ago | (#43130169)

I don't know why "the haters"are coming out lock, stock, and fold. For one, this is an attempt at reclaiming the art of movie making from the big budget, mafiaa studios. Instead of judging the movie by comparison to these big budget studios, watch it for what it is and enjoy the fact that it was made by some everyday, above-average joes. I'm going to watch it now.

Re:The Haters (1)

skine (1524819) | about a year ago | (#43132877)

You are acting like low-budget movies are rare or even a brand new concept.

However, I would be willing to make a significant wager that low-budget horror forms the plurality of movies made today. Hell, they're not the only group of people making low-budget horror films in Milwaukee that I know of (RedLetterMedia and Mark Borchardt from American Movie).

Also, it's easy for an aspiring film maker to start with horror, since most horror movies use a very simple plot and rely on standard cliches. Plus, they've seen a lot of famous directors get their start by making low-budget horror, and hope they'll get the same break.

Personally, I am a huge fan of the genre. Sure, most of it is laughably stupid, but it can be awesome when you find a certain creativity that would likely get shot down if the filmmaker had to answer to anyone. If it's a shitty movie, though, I will call it a shitty movie. It doesn't matter if they were able to make the movie for free, or whether it cost a billion dollars.

I haven't seen the movie, but I find it incredibly odd for one who has also not watched the movie to complain about people saying the movie is bad. It probably even is a bad movie, but I'll still watch it in hopes of seeing some creativity or maybe a movie that is done so poorly that it's funny. I don't expect most other people to enjoy that though, and don't look down my nose at them for preferring movies that are more polished and professional looking, with actors that can actually act.

Re:The Haters (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about a year ago | (#43133473)

Uh, yeah, average joes are what moviemakers totally hate. Did we not know that? For more information on this topic please consult peopleofwalmart.com. Then, come back and tell us how the average joes are OK. Hint: they're not.

Re:The Haters (1)

chrismcb (983081) | about a year ago | (#43134093)

For one, this is an attempt at reclaiming the art of movie making from the big budget, mafiaa studios. Instead of judging the movie by comparison to these big budget studios, watch it for what it is ...

I don't quite understand your comment. You are saying, this movie isn't as good, because it is a big budget (and criminal) movie, but we should appreciate it anyways? If it isn't as good, I don't really care how much they paid to make it. I tend to like big budget movies because those movies ARE good. And if this movie isn't as good, then they did a poor job to "reclaim the art"
I haven't actually watched this movie, so I don't know how good it is.

Looks fine so far (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year ago | (#43130581)

Ok, I managed to get through the first 30 minutes, laughed my head off and feel generally quite well entertained.

Remarkably well done for a zero budget movie.

Seems like the B moives you see on the syfy channe (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#43130815)

Seems like the B moives you see on the syfy channel the that are so bad they are good.

Re:Seems like the B moives you see on the syfy cha (1)

rochrist (844809) | about a year ago | (#43132123)

Actually, I'd say much better than run-of-the-mill Most Dangerous Night on TV SyFy originals. This movie doesn't take itself seriously. Those do. Plus, this one is better lighted.

Philosophical debates... 2001 A space odessy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43131177)

Are best suited to low budget. Leave the shiny gore FX to the studio's

You can produce good low budget sci fi with simple props. Hell even have windows 8 tablets for touche screens. Cell phones for communicators.

Play acting is some what part of the art of suspending disbeliefs with simple props and its always done well at the Ren Faire, can be done well on youtube. Or others.

See Pioneer One.

One has to just learn to write the setting around the budget instead of writing the budget around the setting.

Drunken Gamers Radio (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43131687)

Drunken Gamers Radio [robotpanic.com] , a group of people who run a gaming podcast, are also making an indie horror movie around Wisconsin as well. Can't wait to see how it turns out. I'll also check out this movie, looks good.

About SAG-AFTRA (2)

Woogiemonger (628172) | about a year ago | (#43131779)

I'd like to just get my two-cents in about SAG-AFTRA, the main actors' union filmmakers have to deal with these days. I make films too, and while I submit them to film festivals, just like this film I prefer to release it free online when it's out of the film festival circuit. While SAG-AFTRA does have accommodations for no budget films, where you don't have to pay the actors professional rates (actors, both union and non-union, often will work for free or very low compensation, mainly for the experience), they have a seemingly arbitrary limitation on how you can distribute the film afterward. A SAG-AFTRA rep told me that I could show my films in film festivals, or online (new media), but not both. If I distributed the film on both, they require me to adhere to the laundry list of standards enforced on big budget productions, including compensating each actor at $100/day. So basically, if you recruit a SAG-AFTRA actor for a no budget production, your film will get swept under the carpet after it's out of the festivals. My advice to indie filmmakers... do not consider union actors. Hold longer auditions if necessary.

Re:About SAG-AFTRA (1)

Wescotte (732385) | about a year ago | (#43131935)

I know for ultra low budget/student contacts with SAG they have fewer restrictions but are these distribution clauses still included in those contacts? If so that's pretty crazy.... Thanks for the info I'm going to have to do some research.

Re:About SAG-AFTRA (1)

Woogiemonger (628172) | about a year ago | (#43132445)

I know for ultra low budget/student contacts with SAG they have fewer restrictions but are these distribution clauses still included in those contacts? If so that's pretty crazy

Yes, ultra low budget/student contracts with SAG (now SAG-AFTRA) are exactly what I'm talking about. It really is that bad.

The ameteurish horror film (1)

Grayhand (2610049) | about a year ago | (#43132079)

Sorry but it is tiresome, I constantly hear how much better fan movies are than Hollywood movies but they always have the same problems, lousy script and terrible acting. There have been a few exceptions but even Iron Sky had the problem of a brilliant concept that they didn't know what to do with and they had a substantial budget and lots of free labor. Also camp films are played straight not played for laughs. It's the ridiculous qualities that make them camp not over the top acting. Fan movies will only come into their own when people take them seriously enough to put the effort into making them professional. A few sneak through like Primer. All it really involved were a couple guys and a camera with generic locations. The story got too confusing but otherwise it was good. One of my favorite films in the last ten years was something called "The Man From Earth". It's on Netflix and highly recommended. The whole film involves a group of middle aged friends in a cabin talking. The actors were unknowns but the script was brilliant. Pure storytelling. It was the last thing Jerome Bixby ever wrote, one of my favorite writers. Can't write? Here's a thought, there's an ocean of classic novels and short stories that are public domain. Don't try to "fix" them just lift the dialogue directly and the story is all there. Most of the public domain works don't involve expensive production values like sets and special effects. Look at Lovecraft. He rarely shows anything in his stories they are often all sounds and mood and yet no one has tried to do a literal adaptation. There are hundreds of others he's just an example. I never understood people taking a brilliant story and trying to fix it. I saw one lately based on the Call of Cthulhu only they tried to do it as a silent film. The opening titles were excellent so I was excited. Sadly it was all in video and little was attempted to make it look silent. I fast forwarded to the end to see what they did for the big ending. Probably the best attempt in the movie. Big cheesy sets which weren't a problem but the goofy animation kind of stood out. It did get me thinking about doing a modern silent movie. Sadly it begs to be shot with an old hand crank camera. There are ways to mimic the degraded film look. I read something a while back of a guy who took some badly scratched up white leader and had it scanned and used it as an overlay which worked really well to get dust and scratches. Just find some one to scan a minute or two of damaged leader and just either comp it in After Effects or even try keying out the white in your editing software. A vignette mask is easy enough to make it's mimicing the speed changes and jumping, the oid stock had oddly sized sprocket holes making it unsteady. Just a thought but if you don't have money be inventive and creative and if you can't write borrow a classic. There are thousands of brilliant short stories and novels free for the taking just have the sense to leave them alone. If you can't write a script then it's unlikely you can improve a classic. One of my favorite film quotes is from Magnum Force, "A good man knows his limitations". There's nothing wrong with not being able to write but a good film makers knows his strengths and weaknesses. Even pros have used iPhones and Canon still cameras to shoot professional films so put the effort into learning how to do it right. Learn how to do "L" cuts in dialogue and to shoot coverage. Video is cheap. Actually shoot masters, twos and CUs. Always get a good take and a safety. Even a good take can have technical problems. Sound is the biggest thing that separates the men from the boys. Foley clips are like gold. I personally follow the rule that everything has a sound. Always add a room tone or ambient sound. If some one moves quickly add a sound for it. I'm not talking chop socky sounds I often take them down to where I can barely hear it then drop it one DB. Believe it or not even something that faint adds color to the sound. Creative is only half the battle you have to be able to master the technical if you want to make a professional film. Film school is a waste of time, watch lots of old films and there are good books. Watch Citizen Kane a dozen times in a row. Brilliant deep focus shots and some low camera angles where they had to cut holes in the set. Just look at the style of the film and you'll get hundreds of ideas. He was the composition master of his day. Look at everything I just said and what of this can't apply to no budget movies? Can't aford foley clips then do your own. The best cricket track I ever had I did myself. Foley recording can be half the fun of the film. I once set up a box with a towel inside to dampen the sound and did things like eggs cracking and sticks breaking. Like I say be creative and have fun. I'm not trying to be harsh I just say if you are going to spend a year or two on a movie then make it the best you can. If you are shooting weekends then spend the week planning every shot. Do stick man storyboards and do rehearsals and walk throughs. If your actors can't act then avoid dialogue like the plague. Long dialogue scenes just show off your shortcomings. Learn to make your weaknesses strengths. Jaws is the best example of that I've ever seen. The shark sucked so you rarely saw it until the end and the end was the worst of it! The film was better when it was an unseen threat. I just saw a film called Hypothermia. The beginning was really promising. It was above average for a low budget and I was hopeful. Then they showed the monster. It was a dude that looked like he was in an S&M rubber suit with a cheesy fish head on top and spandex wings under his arms and he was always running towards the camera. It was the worst monster in the history of film. They had a great little film until the showed the monster. The stuff where you saw flashes of fins in the water worked it was just when you saw the full monty monster that you howl with laughter. Better to have never shown it. Like I say a good man knows his limitations and they can be made to work for you.

Re:The ameteurish horror film (1)

chrismcb (983081) | about a year ago | (#43134155)

Fan movies will only come into their own when people take them seriously enough to put the effort into making them professional.

The problem is, for the most part, that takes time. A lot of time, time people don't have if they also want to eat, have a roof over their head, AND want to afford the equipment for the film.
Can a fan film be good? Sure there are some talented people who will put in their free time to make something cool. They'll do it, just for the fun of it. Just like some street musicians are very good. But this is the exception not the rule. People need to eat.

Re:The ameteurish horror film (1)

gmhowell (26755) | about a year ago | (#43135155)

While people are learning things, may I suggest learning about paragraphs?

RTFA becomes WTFM ? (1)

captain_dope_pants (842414) | about a year ago | (#43132537)

It's in the subject line, the comment is redundant but I had to type something ;)

Re:RTFA becomes WTFM ? (1)

Wescotte (732385) | about a year ago | (#43132851)

Perhaps I should have included a link to the trailer [youtube.com] when I submitted the story for the lazy.

Doing the same thing in Michigan, but with nudity! (1)

Jonah Hex (651948) | about a year ago | (#43132827)

We've slowly been working on a Cthulhu/Lovecraft style universe with erotic story aspects but thanks to the collapse of film making in Michigan it's slow going. Anyone interested check out http://www.hex.xxx/ [hex.xxx] we've got some short YouTube videos up and are looking for interested folks both here and online to participate. - HEX

What license, bitches? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43133077)

It's the single most important detail and omitted from the summary... way to go!

Mark Borchardt makes a cameo! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43133193)

Star of "American Movie"... nice to see the midwest indie film scene represented...

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