Shooting "professional" movie - what genre do you prefer?

Discussion in 'Filmmaking' started by Poki, Mar 20, 2012.

  1. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    So, I've been thinking much about this movie I have to shoot next year. As it's about the most important project in my life so far, I'm thinking on many things even though I have at least a full year until the production starts (the shooting itself is planned to take another year).

    First off, the cameras: I right now own a NEX-5, which we have to use as second camera. The main camera is going to be either a NEX-FS100 if we can get a good deal on lending one (I hope somebody in the team knows somebody who lends these things ^^), a NEX-7 or it's successor. So not top-of-the-line video quality, but with very good lighting and the best possible colour corrections on pp this shouldn't be the problem. Why the NEX-system? Simple - as I already have a NEX-camera as well as the 24mm CZ which will be used for wide shots (a 85mm or, if not available 'til then, the 50mm will be used on the second camera, with the 18-55mm as a backup for weird angles) it's simply the cheapest way to get good-enough equipment.

    I don't bother with tripods and lighting right now. I already looked at some Manfrotto tripods with video head and some studio and outdoor lights with enough power, but that's the things we'll buy at the last month before start shooting.

    Big question is now: Which genre do people want to see? As we don't have much budget (but more than enough friends and family-members as extra actors), we have to keep looking closely to the progress of the script, but before we start a brainstorm and writing, what's your preferred genre? And what's your preferred seemingly low-budget movie?

    I'm open for everything. For example, I pretty much like apocalyptic scenarios like Zombieland (horror-comedy) or Carrier (extremely cheap produced, but a nice thriller). But I also like action movies like Fight Club (probably too expensive and complicated) or horror movies like 'Room 1408' which could be easily made cheap (actually, most horror movies aren't too expensive), of course without hollywood-style special effects. But I'm also open to fables like Pans Labyrinth (love the costumes!). I'm just skeptical at dramas, as in my opinion most share the same core story components, so without a great idea I'd focus on something else.

    As far as duration is concerned, I don't know. Of course I would love a 90 min blockbuster, but in reality it's close to impossible to shoot a 90 minute movie anybody cares to watch in just one year with low budget, so it depends.

    Thanks for your help! Every opinion is important!
     
  2. lapdog99

    lapdog99 TalkEmount Veteran

    219
    Sep 3, 2011
    Colorado
    A year long project will require all the passion you can muster, so I suggest you start with something you really want to do. Look at low cost dollies and keep things simple. A good shotgun mike will be important. Will this be shot in Austria or someplace else. How about a parody on "Alien" using omlettes that pop out of eggs. Oh, and check out the new trailer for "Prometheus".
     
  3. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    Yeah, I'll have to put all my creativity and passion into this project. I know some people familiar with professional sound mixing, so I'll trust them to take care of the audio. And the main part of the movie will be shot in Austria - it's just easier, and I know many great places, landscapes, hidden and lost houses and so on around Austria, so it's not just mountains and snow as many think. ;)

    The genre that I really would like to make is horror/apocalyptic-comedy, but as we're a team I've to look what the others want to do. As for alien, one of our members is the biggest Alien-fan you could imagine, so I'm sure some aspects of these movies will be re-used. :)

    Again, one year isn't too much time, but enough to create something cool like AFK - The Movie (look on youtube - really nice project which was shot within one year).
     
  4. Phoenix

    Phoenix TalkEmount Top Veteran

    859
    Aug 25, 2011
    Melbourne, Australia
    Phoenix Gonzales
    I actually had to sit down and think about it, I have enjoyed a lot of really great low budget movies but I'm thinking of the ones that I consider stood out the most when I factor in the way it was shot and the relative budget used. The Blair Witch Project was low budget (but had extremely good returns), and even the way it was filmed was grainy, lacked editing and the sound was (or appeared to be) not professionally mixed, but the plot, actors, and the way it was filmed made it into a very good film. Cloverfield, Wolf Creek, and Paranormal Activity are some of the horror movies I can think of that are relatively low budget but was done well.

    For horror/ comedy I quite liked Shaun of the Dead, I think the way they filmed it was quite simple, plot-wise and props-wise was quite simple as well, but it was quite a funny movie.

    For just straight comedy, it has to be Clerks. A very low budget movie that was so enjoyable that a major Hollywood studio financed the sequel.

    For my most favourite movie, I have to say it's Lost in Translation, a love story/comedy/drama (yeah...yeah...I know, I'm the mushy type) it's a big budget movie done in a low budget style, filming was quite simple, but the plot, acting, scenes, and soundtrack used made it into a critically acclaimed movie. The DVD special features section actually shows how they filmed the movie and I was impressed by it's simplicity and what was achieved from it.
     
  5. jebuskrust

    jebuskrust TalkEmount Regular

    140
    Sep 16, 2011
    Limassol, Cyprus
    My all time favorite budget movie was "The man from earth"
    One of the best sci-fi flicks ever with no special effects whatsoever. Just great script and nice angles :)

    You didnt mention the reason behind it. If you just want to go NEX all around it, then make sure you bring and use all the NEX systems offers. You are based in Austria, so why not make use of those great images of the Alpes? Couple of short euro-trips around it to Switzerland, north of Italy, Genevea, would prove very fruitful. Whatever you do, if you are going to spend lots of resources on it, please dont just blew it up with cliches :)
     
  6. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    Thanks for your input!

    @Pheonix: Well, the trailer of The Blair Which Project doesn't look too promising, but the Story may be nice - I have to watch this one. As far as Paranormal Activity is concerned - they have done great with just 15.000 USD Budget (where cameras, lenses and accessories normally also counts), but I think another plot suits us better. Shaun of the Dead - I love this movie! But imho it's just so great 'cos of the actors, especially Shaun himself. The movie had some quite funny scenes, but also very creative ways to use the camera, perspectives and post production. I definitely want to adopt some ideas. Budget at Shaun of the Dead was about 5 Million, so I have to make some compromises, though. ;)

    Clerks and Lost in Translation both are movies I never watched. I definitely will watch them within the next few weeks, before we decide what we'll actually do.

    @jebuskrust: The trailer looks really simply made, but implies a great story. That's the thing I'm bothered most - if the script is bad, everything else also will turn out bad. I guess I have to invest many hours to think and write it ... But first, the main questions have to be answered (Genre, Length, Sponsors, German/English as original language, ...).

    The reason is the graduation project of the commercial academy. What actually matters most is the business-part, e.g. how well we cooperate with the sponsors, how well the launch event is organized, how much money we make at the end (42.000€ is the number to beat), the final project presentation and what we do with it afterwards (DVDs, a cooperation with cinemas here in Austria, ...). Of course we could make something simpler - or just make the movie simpler, but my heart really wants to make a passionate, low-budget movie we can be proud of. And with some creative people I'm really happy to know it should be possible to raise the bar for future classes (only the best is good enough to start the rest of your life).
     
  7. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
    Good luck and we hope to see some nice work from you.
     
  8. DazedProductions

    DazedProductions New to TalkEmount

    3
    Feb 18, 2012
    If we are talking low budget movies, how come noone has mentioned Bad Taste? Classic zero budget movie from when Peter Jackson was actually great! If you havent seen it, do (along with braindead)
    There was a making of bad taste at some point, he made a load of his own kit, all the cast were his mates and the budget was tiny, like £50 tiny, or that was how I remember it.
     
  9. Phoenix

    Phoenix TalkEmount Top Veteran

    859
    Aug 25, 2011
    Melbourne, Australia
    Phoenix Gonzales
    Oh Yeah!!! Braindead, I loved that movie! "Your mother ate my dog!!"........"Not all of it".....
     
  10. Dioptrick

    Dioptrick TalkEmount All-Pro

    Feb 4, 2012
    New Zealand
    What about something like "Milo & Otis" (if you have willing pets)... :)
     
  11. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    Yeah, I love Braindead! :D They had a really unusual approach, but the movie turned out amazingly well. Thanks for all your suggestions! I have to watch some of the movies you mentioned, they sound pretty cool.

    @Dioptrick: I don't think I could get pets to do such things... ;D

    Right now I'm thinking about the script. I'll keep you up to date about the progress of the project, but don't expect any footage before the sponsors trailer early next year.
     
  12. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    Little update: The script is in the works. It's a clever mix of classic elements with a setting placed in the near future never done before (as far as I know). No zombies, no comedy, but not too expensive to make. Right now I calculated a Budget of 6.170 Euro (don't includes any licensing fees for the music, pizzas for the friends who we need as actors, etc.) - with a bit sponsor money not too bad. And if we get more sponsors on board, I'll include some more expensive - but cooler - alternatives in the scenes.

    I'm writing at scene 4 right now. I plan to make 9 scenes, but it seems we need one or two extra scenes to explain necessary things (maybe these will just be included on the directors-cut on the blu-ray). Combine this with some extra dialogues I have to think of when the first script is done, it should be possible to get the movie to about 70 minutes length (80 minutes directors cut), which seems just about perfect.

    I hope we can present you the trailer within one year. I love the concept! :)
     
  13. Dioptrick

    Dioptrick TalkEmount All-Pro

    Feb 4, 2012
    New Zealand
    Fantastic! Keep us posted :)
     
  14. jebuskrust

    jebuskrust TalkEmount Regular

    140
    Sep 16, 2011
    Limassol, Cyprus
    @Poki
    Why not make use of the free upcoming talent in Austria? Forget about the language barrier and go for the full artistry of it. Focus on the picture and not the language.
    Let's say.. you go to a newbie rock band and you shoot the whole movie like a third person following them (or joining them). This way you get free actors and they get a nice review and to feature in your movie. Follow them everywhere, in their bus, backstage, signing tshirts. You can get some fiction in there, too.
    Just an idea :)
     
  15. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    Thanks for the input, jebuskrust! That'd be a nice option, too. I also know a pretty cool rock band. I just don't know right now how to cut it to get a 'story' out of it, but that's just a minor problem.

    I'll keep it in mind. I've just finished my own script (well, the first draft), but I have to modernize it and add additional scenes, especially to show the "big picture". Then I'll give copies to some friends to get feedback if it's good for them. If not, well, we'll look at all other options, so thanks again for giving us one more idea!