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Lights, camera...

Massage was nice, but too short. I have some pretty severe knots in my
back, and this basically took the top layer. And my legs and arms need a
good workout too, which they didn't get. I really need to get a good
deep tisssue full-body massage


My original goal of making a movie by my birthday is shot, but it was
kinda shot to hell by other circumstances, not the least of which was
the renewal of my contract here. I'm not too overly miffed about missing
it, though a year having gone by without having at least worked on a
film is a bit troublesome.

Of course, things will be hot-and-heavy almost immediately after getting
back. It feels good to be stepping back into it; it makes coming home
more real.

One of the film projects that was slated has pretty much collapsed for a
few good reasons. Lack of funding was one of the biggest, though it has
a lot to do with available energy and where to put it. There still may
be a project there, but it won't be happening for a while. Which is
really just fine, since I have a lot of irons in the fire already.

But as much as I love working on other people's projects, I need to do
one of my own. Not to say that I don't need help doing it-- because I so
very much do-- but I need to write, produce, direct, shoot, and edit
something that takes me into the places that I want to go.

The ultimate goal is to make movies that don't require a context
to be enjoyed by a wide audience. A really good example of this (thanks
for reminding me jmanna is Van Helsing. This movie
has been described as utter crap, and perhaps that is a generous rating.
But if you don't expect anything but a fun little ride for a Saturday
afternoon, I think it fits the bill nicely. If you know that going in,
it puts the movie in context, and can make it much more enjoyable. But
very few viewers will go into a movie with a context in mind. And when
you're working with extremely low budgets, context becomes hugely
important. In a theater, nobody cares that I made this movie for twelve
dollars and spit, they're gonna put it up right next to movies that cost
millions to make. Nobody cares about budgets when they watch a movie,
they just want to be entertained.

There is a bit of an exception to this: genre films. Things like kung fu
movies, low budget horror, B movies. The people that enjoy these genre
films expect low budgets and cheesy effects, and often they
become a part of the film experience. But within the genre, again
nobody cares how much it cost to make your movie. Your movie is
still going to be compared on an even keel with movies that cost
millions to make. And believe me, shooting a feature costs money, even
if everybody works for free.

So I'm focused on doing a short film. Short to me means less than 30
minutes, ideally somewhere between 10 and 20. Because I'm very
interested in mechanical and makeup effects, I'd like it to be
effects-heavy to kind of "show off" a bit. And I'm definitely a sucker
for low-budget horror so that's likely the genre that I would exploit,
and because of my great love of animated corpses, it's most likely gonna
be a zombie movie. Beyond that, it's wide open. It could be suspenseful,
it could be a comedy, it could be action. It could be more Argento, or
more Romero, or more O'Bannon.

Some finer points: I want to do practical effects because I have a deep
interest in them and I know how to do some of the stuff extremely well
on a low budget. However, from an audience standpoint, the effects must
be story driven or it just becomes masturbatory. There needs to be a
reason for the exploding head.

And we've pretty much established in previous discussions that
story and character are critcal to the enjoyment of a
movie.

So what I need is to develop a story for a 12-minute zombie flick with
good characters and beautiful effects.

Should be a breeze.

Comments

jmanna
Apr. 28th, 2005 11:11 pm (UTC)
But if you don't expect anything but a fun little ride for a Saturday
afternoon, I think it fits the bill nicely. If you know that going in,
it puts the movie in context, and can make it much more enjoyable


That's just it. I don't have very high standards. There are plenty of movies I love for being boring Sunday afternoon movies. This movies was shit. It was the worst thing a bad action flick can be. It was boring.

Underworld was very very very pretty with a flimsy plot and crappy dialogue but I enjoyed it. The people were pretty, the scope of the roof tops scenes was fun. The costumes were yummy. And the story was at least a little bit interesting.

I actually enjoyed Elektra for the fun it was on a Sunday afternoon.

Van Helsing was...boring. The actions was so so. Not that many Wowie incrediable move action fights. Not enough cheesy jokes. The lighting was shit. The costumes were uninspiring. The makeup was stupid. (And in the case of Igor, BAD. He looked like a botox victim with too much base on.) The sets were boring and with the exception of the masquerade the scenes lacked over the top grandious scope that makes up for crap plot. None of the characters we likable. For big names and big budget I expect at least impressive explosions, more suspenseful fight scenes and at least a few silly quips that are quotable.

I've sat through a lot of movies. Piles. And this one was so boring I couldn't finish it. There are very few movies I don't finish.

I think it's missing the charm that B movies have. B movies know they have a crap budget. They sell their ideas by buying into their own concept whole sale. That was the charm to Ed Wood's insanely bad flicks. He belivved. And he sold it like a drunk tap dancing on a corner to avoid getting his ass kicked. There's a desperate need to it that drags you in. But when a big budget doesn't get that allowance. it's like a kid at a mall in Abercrombia clothes begging change. The kid can do better and I have no sympathy because he won't even try.

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