Ever since the logistical issues that we had shooting Pray for Daylight, I've been retrenched. I still want to make movies, but trying to do something that doesn't kill us in the process because it's supposed to be fun.
Part of that decision is to cut way back in scope. Shooting a feature-length movie is an accomplishment, but it's exhausting and frustrating and causes a lot of flared tempers and such. Sticking to short films that can be shot in a weekend or two is a hell of a lot more relaxing and fun. Scoped out, a final run length of seven minutes is about ideal for me; that's a weekend or two of shooting and maybe a week or two of postproduction.
As for releasing it, there's not a lot of potentially profitable avenues for short films. Doing it to make money isn't a happening thing, but doing it for exposure and entertainment is. YouTube and Google Video make getting a potential audience marvelously easy, though you still need promotion to raise what you do beyond the noise level.
(By noise level, I mean the absolute wealth of total crap that's on YouTube-- try doing a search on "horror" and you'll see what I mean.)
There is something different in shooting a short film though. It's akin to the difference between writing a novel and writing a short story; When you write a novel, you can be more careless with your words, more like blasting a bunch of words with a shotgun and some of them will stick. With a short story you need to be precise, almost surgical with your words.
A short film is much the same. You have a limited amount of time to tell the story, so you have to pare down what you show to the essentials. It's harder to write a good short film than a good feature within that context. Beginning, middle, end, story arc, conflict, all that fun stuff.
Okay, groundwork laid.
So in the back of my mind, all of this stuff has been mulling over along with my desire to do something that reflects my interests and polish up some skills in effects and makeup work, as well as keeping to an absurdly small budget. Using locations that I know I can get without too much trouble, all of that. A lot of ideas have been sort of floating around in my brain, mostly bits and pieces, individual scenes kind of disconnected from each other.
Last night, I managed to have a connection between a string of ideas. There's been this couple of bits kind of related but separated by circumstance, kind of like an "I don't know how to get there from here" piece. That got bridged last night, and in a way that really kind of creates a strong turning point. there is a tiny bit of logic that still bugs me about it, but it's a bit of girly-girl advice that I need some input on.
The movie has almost no dialogue, and what there is could be taken out without much of a problem at all. What makes that interesting is that the descriptive screenplay that would be the normal starting point becomes a mostly non-functioning tool. What I really need for the preproduction is a set of storyboards to show the idea of what I want to shoot.
And yes, I am aware of Frameforge 3D.
Never fear, I am well aware that I am already stuffed to the gills with projects. This one ain't gonna start until I'm in a much more relaxed place, but it's one that I'm feeling good about overall.
Don't have a name for it yet. We will see.