|Not gonna lie, this would scare the shit out of me.|
|THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT! No wait! THE EVIL DEAD! No wait! DELIVERANCE! No wait! HATCHET! No wait! CABIN FEVER! NO WAIT...|
|Dressing your set = important. ANTIVIRAL proving less is more|
It just feels like a lot of these independent filmmakers think that because they have a camera, or because they know someone who knows someone who has a RED, that they're set on making a great looking horror movie. As we all know, that's just not the case. My biggest pet peeve about the independent films I've been sent is a lack of set dressing. So you're doing a scene in a living room that is owned by your sound guy, AWESOME! Well, does your sound guy have the same taste in art as your character? Is the furniture arranged in a way where you can shoot your scene and not have the boom mic end up shown in a mirror in the background? The way we behave in a classroom is differently than the way we behave in a doctor's office or a roller rink. Your set is the world of the movie and you always want to make sure that your characters are living in the same world (or not at all, if that's what you're going for). Just throwing people in a set and praying it works isn't going to cut it. You've gotta shape and mold your world, or else you're not doing your story justice. That, and you're making a lame looking movie.
|I want this shot framed on my wall. HOUSE OF THE DEVIL is friggen' GORGEOUS.|
|Who needs an ending when you can just post a link to a website, AMIRITE?! *puts gun in mouth*|
Perhaps most importantly, is a solid script. Without a shadow of a doubt, the biggest problem independent horror films suffer from is a poor script. What is with these insanely asinine stories that are being produced every time I turn around? A script needs to tell a story, convey a message, do SOMETHING. If you just think "How crazy would it be to rape a 12 year old with a knife?" and try to write a story around it, you're failing. Nothing infuriates me more than writing shock for the sake of shock. I think it's cheap and uninspiring. The SAW films may have tons of gore and killing, but even SAW VI gave an insight to the fractured American medical insurance industry. Look for different voices to be heard in the script. Characters are brought to life on the page first. If you have concerns about what is written it'll show up in the final product. Please, re-read what you write. Can you ever hear people talking the way your characters are written to speak? No? Then re-write it. Are your characters the kind of people you'd be invested in watching? No? Then re-write them. If you yourself wouldn't want to watch a situation with the characters you've created, then you can't expect anyone else to want to watch them either.
|Your Oscar can't protect you from TCM: Next Generation on your resume, Renee Zellweger...|
Finally, a message for the actors. What are you gaining by performing in these shit-house horror movies? Horror is the jumping off point for the careers of many actors, this is true, but you're allowed to be picky with the roles you accept. So you're going to play a bloodied up set of tits in booty shorts without any rhyme or reason to be in this outfit and you aren't being paid and there's no closed set or safety release forms involved? Yeah, sounds perfectly legit. There's a lot of sketchy people out there and as much as I know people want to have a wide range of roles on their resumes or reels, at what cost are you willing to sacrifice your time and talent? I get needing the money, but a lot of these independent gigs pay very little. In that case, is it worth it? If you're sent a script you find zero merit in, don't get involved. If you audition for a part that requires you to do or wear things you're not comfortable with, don't do it. These vile pieces of horror garbage aren't going to skyrocket you into fame, and showing your tits on camera doesn't mean you're a "dedicated" actress. Trust me when I say, people don't forget the gross films you did before you were famous. Especially in the age of the internet, I would never do something I wouldn't be proud to talk about performing in on a panel at a festival. Why do you wanna do this project? This is a legacy, a body of work. Is this something you'll be proud of in a year? 5 years? 30 years? If not...don't do it.
|Horror, just sucks you right in. WAKKA WAKKA.|
Horror gets a bad enough rap for being violent, vulgar, vile, and exploitative. With all of these stigmas already attached to it, why would you want to make a movie that was anything other than well executed? If you don't do these things you're taking advantage of the one film genre that seems to welcome every filmmaker regardless of skill or talent. This perpetuates the stereotype and the stigma associated with the fans and their audience, that what we like is a low form of entertainment and easy to make. You're taking advantage of every actor or director or designer that ever got their start in low-budget horror with your thinking that you can do better but failing to do so. Unfortunately, filmmaking isn't for everyone. It doesn't matter how much you love watching movies, making movies is an entirely different beast. Just because you have a camera, doesn't mean you can make a good movie. If you enjoy the creative process, perfect your craft. If you just want the attention or the fame, stick to recording your niece's dance recital and stop diluting the watering hole for those that actually care.