Extreme Horror Cinema

EHC Interactions => The Filmmakers Chamber => Topic started by: JethroClemson on February 29, 2016, 02:03:42 PM

Title: Aspiring Filmmaker Here Looking For Help
Post by: JethroClemson on February 29, 2016, 02:03:42 PM
First off, I'm sorry if this is in the wrong section. I don't want to put any of the mods or admins here through any trouble if they have to move it somewhere else. I'm also apologizing upfront if any of this sounds like it's all over the place. I'm not the most eloquent person out there when it comes to jotting my thoughts down. Anyway, here's what's going on.

I won't go into a whole lot of the details, but basically I introduced a good friend of mine (who is also an aspiring filmmaker who has already worked on some projects) and my partner (who is a makeup artist who has experience with photography) to a short film idea I had, and the two of them loved it. Fast forward to now and a rough draft for the script is about 55-60% done, and I'm hoping for us to get things in the pre-production stage by the summer or fall if all goes well. My buddy (the aforementioned one who will be co-directing this with me) said this will be the biggest project he's worked on to date, and said for this being my first project, it's super ambitious and it's going to be something great.

I also have a few questions and I'd be so grateful if anyone has advice:

1) While I don't know what our budget will be like, do you think it would be smarter to make our own gore or to patron a local butcher for some of the things we'd need? I'm all for actual viscera and guts being on the set, but I'm worried about storing them in a way to where we're not going to have to deal with the small of it going bad, and making sure nobody gets sick if they mess with them too much. If all else fails, I'm fine with making my own--but again, cost saving measures and wanting everything to be as realistic as we can get, even if this is going to be a short movie.

2) This is a more...unusual question, and if anyone has advice, then that's amazing. It goes back to wondering if turning to a butcher would be for the best. Without going into too many details to avoid potential spoilers, do you have advice on what's the closest thing to human meat that we'd be able to find? I always see pig carcasses being used in various science tests because of how close they are to us, but I'm wondering if that goes for passing as "the real thing". If this is the case, do you have recommendations or advice on specific cuts of meat?

That's all I really have for now. Thanks so much if anyone can help out.

- AJ
Title: Re: Aspiring Filmmaker Here Looking For Help
Post by: woodenheart on February 29, 2016, 04:53:53 PM
Oh WOOW! Best of luck! I hope you keep us posted on your progress and I am sure a filmmaker will stop in your thread to give you suggestions. Exciting times.. : )
Title: Re: Aspiring Filmmaker Here Looking For Help
Post by: JethroClemson on February 29, 2016, 05:30:09 PM
Thanks, and I will.  :azn:

I'm hoping once the script is finished, I'm able to pitch the idea to a really amazing person both me and my friend have had the honor of working with in the past. She's a terrific special effects artist who loves creepy, gory, and weird shit, so I'm sure this will be right up her alley. So that alone has me super excited to see what she has up her sleeve. While I'm not expecting to have a lot of luck here, I'm also sure it won't be too hard to pull some strings to get filming permits; with said friend having connections to people in the area, and I know the mayor (who, funny enough, used to be my karate instructor). That's going to be the fun part.
Title: Re: Aspiring Filmmaker Here Looking For Help
Post by: A. Baez on February 29, 2016, 06:55:33 PM
Your shots is what sells the gore... if you want the fantasy german splatter thing then fake guts... you want this real in your face I recommend going to the butcher, unless you have the knowledge of making realistic things (again costly though). However, personally I'd ask your actors first what they prefer and work with it... with my short I wanted to use real entrails, but one of my actors was a vegan the other I think a vegetarian it wasn't worth it... It didn't NEED to be SUPER realistic. You want real and can do it, go with real... but it is messy, smells and I'd ask the butcher or whoever you buy it from how he/she stores it and just do the same...
Title: Re: Aspiring Filmmaker Here Looking For Help
Post by: splat on February 29, 2016, 07:43:14 PM
This is the perfect place for your thread : )

As for the question of gore maybe pig is the way to go. As mentioned, in so many ways they are similar to us. From memory one filmmaker used lamb.

To me though pig seems to make sense.
Title: Re: Aspiring Filmmaker Here Looking For Help
Post by: JethroClemson on February 29, 2016, 07:53:50 PM
Thanks for the advice, guys. I'm pretty sure if all else fails, then the one tutorial I found might be the best option. The supplies are super cheap, and I'm sure I'd be able to make big batches of the stuff for maybe $20-25.

Here's a link to the video for what I had in mind. If you know of better ones, let me know: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZxZGOQRczfo (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZxZGOQRczfo)
Title: Re: Aspiring Filmmaker Here Looking For Help
Post by: splat on February 29, 2016, 08:02:40 PM
No worries, that is what we are here for.

As for effects as shown in the vid they don't need to be expensive. In the end it is about being creative with what you have or can spend the least amount from. Cheap effects can be just as good as pricey when applied creatively.

Hell, my throat cut wound in LUNG II is tissue paper and homemade fake blood.
Title: Re: Aspiring Filmmaker Here Looking For Help
Post by: JethroClemson on February 29, 2016, 10:57:56 PM
No worries, that is what we are here for.

As for effects as shown in the vid they don't need to be expensive. In the end it is about being creative with what you have or can spend the least amount from. Cheap effects can be just as good as pricey when applied creatively.

Hell, my throat cut wound in LUNG II is tissue paper and homemade fake blood.

You were in LUNG II? That's so cool! Oddly enough, I just saw Otoobach's review of it the other day and thought it was fantastic. Small world.

Personally, if you ask me, i would love to see you and some other recommended person in special effects dept to deal with gore factor.
Because its always a pleasuring and challenging experience to deal with two individuals ego and views in working on projects, and who knows, the result might be too better than u expect right?
Dunno,if you think this is right or not.
But this is my opinion.

It's going to be really interesting; since I have a really basic "newbie" understanding of things from what I saw with working with the aforementioned individual when I was working at a haunt two years ago, and what I gathered from watching IndyMogul years who when that was still active.  The most I've ever done on my own was a generic zombie makeup look on a zero dollar budget with some leftover spirit gum I had from some prosthetic I bought, a poorly done (and super fake) dummy to do a fake hanging, and an attempt to do an eye gouging effect (al a Night of the Demons) with acrylic paint, stage blood, and grapes. Yeah, super weird and overly ambitious for a 13 year old.

But needless to say, it's going to be really cool to learn some tricks of the trade if she's on board for the project. We're both fairly twisted individuals, so I'm sure the outcome is going to be fun to see in the end.
Title: Re: Aspiring Filmmaker Here Looking For Help
Post by: A. Baez on February 29, 2016, 11:04:38 PM
Be subtle with it tho... Don't glorify the guts and gore! Unless thats what you are trying to do... you shoot it right, you get the right sounds and editing... along with story the shittiest gore, twisted paper and latex will haunt someone...
Title: Re: Aspiring Filmmaker Here Looking For Help
Post by: JethroClemson on February 29, 2016, 11:21:18 PM
Be subtle with it tho... Don't glorify the guts and gore! Unless thats what you are trying to do... you shoot it right, you get the right sounds and editing... along with story the shittiest gore, twisted paper and latex will haunt someone...

Understood.
Title: Re: Aspiring Filmmaker Here Looking For Help
Post by: JethroClemson on March 01, 2016, 01:27:24 PM
A newbie and experienced talent working together, certainly sounds a amazing experience if you ask me.
But in the end, its all about the director and his perception anyway.

The friend I mentioned in the original post will be co-directing it with me, and we've been bouncing ideas off each other when we tried to have a small table read for what I have so far a few days ago. He's also the one who said he has ideas for places we can film the more critical scenes (and thankfully one is pretty much perfect for what I need), and now I'm just waiting to hear back from him if he got the thumbs up to film at one location in particular for some sequences.

This is going to be especially interesting for me, since I think of myself as being the socially awkward type with some less than great self-esteem issues. So that being said, it will be different to be in an environment where I'm sure being different and having so many ideas might be praised, rather than shunned.
Title: Re: Aspiring Filmmaker Here Looking For Help
Post by: JethroClemson on March 02, 2016, 01:52:08 PM
Well in that case, am sure you guys could come up with something more twisted, that you both and rest of us fans would certainly enjoy and remember.

Thanks, man. :)
Title: Re: Aspiring Filmmaker Here Looking For Help
Post by: GCharles on March 02, 2016, 10:37:07 PM
Depending on the effect you're going for, you can use chopped meat drenched in fake blood. You can use liver drenched in fake blood... Lighting is ultra important to hide the meat you're using. With lighting, make it good, but always go a little brighter, you can darken in post, you can't really lighten in post.

If you plan on cutting into skin, you really need a special effects person to make you (or learn yourself) how to create that flat latex skin type material.

Plan your shots for maximum effect. Sound effects in post are extremely important. Good Luck.
Title: Re: Aspiring Filmmaker Here Looking For Help
Post by: JethroClemson on March 04, 2016, 03:08:52 PM
Depending on the effect you're going for, you can use chopped meat drenched in fake blood. You can use liver drenched in fake blood... Lighting is ultra important to hide the meat you're using. With lighting, make it good, but always go a little brighter, you can darken in post, you can't really lighten in post.

If you plan on cutting into skin, you really need a special effects person to make you (or learn yourself) how to create that flat latex skin type material.

Plan your shots for maximum effect. Sound effects in post are extremely important. Good Luck.

Thanks, man.

I'm a little worried about lighting issues for one of the shots, since it's going to be filmed in a room where that can be hard to get right (such as a cellar or basement). I think the guy who is directing it with me has the same concerns, but might have a trick or two up his sleeve. We're also waiting to hear back from that special effects person I mentioned previously. He messaged her something about it last night for me, since I'm the nervous type who doesn't want to come off too strong. So if all goes well, we could work something out. One of the things for me that would suck is if a lot of work goes into specific details, and they aren't noticed by the viewer.

No worries sir, hope the movie gets released sooner.


Thanks.  8) I'm hoping to work out one of the next scenes over the coarse of a few days, and forward it to my bud to look over to see what he thinks. It's such a pipe dream, but it would be amazing to see this get somewhere by the end of the year (or even the summer).
Title: Re: Aspiring Filmmaker Here Looking For Help
Post by: JethroClemson on March 05, 2016, 04:04:57 PM
Also, how do you deal with overcoming anxiety and confidence issues (if you dealt with that) as a first time director? I spoke to my buddy about this, and he's a bit nervous too, but said we'll lean on each other for support so we don't get stuck "in the headlights". While that does make me feel somewhat better, it still worries me a bit--especially with this being the first set I'll be working on, and the change of pace might be really different for me.
Title: Re: Aspiring Filmmaker Here Looking For Help
Post by: NDS on March 27, 2016, 09:56:04 PM
I get nervous no matter what when it comes to filming, Sometimes I use the anxiety to keep my mind sharp when framing my angles or directing the cast or crew. I feel you will do great JethroClemson! Make some art  ;)
Title: Re: Aspiring Filmmaker Here Looking For Help
Post by: A. Baez on March 28, 2016, 05:47:04 AM
I get nervous, but I end up becoming friends with the people I've worked with and it makes it easier. I Directed a SAG actor in his late 20's to early 30's actresses from 22-30+ all older actors and I am 20, so I get very nervous on how are they gonna take direction from me? You have to sell them your idea (usually when you are casting) you have to make any insane, bizarre, nudity/violent filled idea is professional (or professional-ish sounding) and not have them leave or be uncomfortable cause then the acting sucks... then again you have to make that sell in general that this gore, nudity, no dialogue, hand painted whatever it is... is the shit and you should check it out... I usually get overwhelmed and definitely anxiety filled and stressed out pretending to be this semi-professional, doing everything, and make sure no one is dropping the ball and so on... i usually end up getting very sick when finishing a shoot due to my severe anxiety issues and depression. Push through it if you are nervous... just think "well they're here so doing something I'm creating, so it can't be too outrageous" it usually calms me down.
Title: Re: Aspiring Filmmaker Here Looking For Help
Post by: GCharles on March 28, 2016, 04:22:06 PM
Lighting: This is IMPORTANT. Film lighter and darken in post. If you shoot dark, it's almost impossible to lighten the shot without losing quality.

Nervousness: Be PREPARED. When I say prepared, I mean you should have everything set for the shooting day. Then you should have a contingency plan for the unexpected things that WILL happen.

Before I'd shoot I'd have the scenes I wanted to shoot. I knew the emotions, I needed each actor to emit during each line, and reaction. I had props list, shot list, costumes list, and notes on just about everything. You'd be surprised how relaxed you'd be if you're simply prepared.

There will be times when shit happens (DP had his car broken into, steps away from where we were shooting. Thankfully they only grabbed the GPS, he had a loaded gun in the glove box), and there's just nothing you can do but act as professionally as possible. If you go in unprepared, it's just asking for trouble.

Oh, and never let them see you sweat.
Title: Re: Aspiring Filmmaker Here Looking For Help
Post by: JethroClemson on April 25, 2016, 05:00:24 PM
Hey guys, it's been a while since I made an update, so I thought I'd let you guys know how things are going. But before I start, I want to say thanks to everyone who has been giving me tips and advice. It's really awesome to hear from others, since I've lost touch with a lot of the horror buffs I use to work with and there's no one to really click with.

Currently, the script is about 80% done. The friend I've mentioned a lot pitched an idea for a scene, and I'm going to try to find the time to do a test draft of it and see how it works. There's a chance that it might be scrapped in the event we can't get permission to film at said location, but we'll have to see. Aside from that, all that I really need to do is format it, and we're done.

Filming is currently on hold due to personal and financial things that have come up, and it's not likely we'd even get everything we need for a while. Said friend has also been wanting to invest in some great quality cameras and sound equipment (not just for this project, but others that he plans on doing). I feel that even if we had everything we needed, I'd be hesitant to go into production right away. The makeup artist friend I mentioned briefly is in L.A. right now attending a convention, and said something about being stoked to start school. It's kind of silly and petty, but she was not only the first person to come to mind to lead the makeup and effects department, but also a supporting or minor character role--and from what I remember being told, she loves the idea and she's up for getting involved if she's available . So for the time being, I'm not too sure what's going to happen when we're ready to get things into production.

So yeah, that's about it. Things are going well, but slow. I've also been using some down time to come up with more ideas, there being 15 in total (excluding the current one being tackled), and I've been told a few I mentioned have potential. When those will ever happen, I don't have a clue. But hey, shooting for the stars as always. I know once we're ready to get started, I'll let you guys know.

- AJ
Title: Re: Aspiring Filmmaker Here Looking For Help
Post by: JethroClemson on July 03, 2016, 07:39:54 PM
Update:

Well it's been a while since I've said anything. So here's what's going on. It's been about two months since I feel like I've really tackled the main script head on. If I wasn't juggling new ideas or concepts, I was struggling with some mental health issues or procrastination, so it's been hard to light a fire under my ass to get back into action. There was a test scene my co-director pitched to me back in March or so, and I never really did much to it. However, I was able to make something work and just wrapped it up--and it was the last thing I really needed to do for it. So basically, the script went from being 85% done to complete---at least as far as a solid rough draft goes. I just forwarded it to said co-director ) and I'm waiting for him to get back to me on it. If all goes well, we're set to go into pre-production soon.

In my personal life, there's a lot going on right now, so I'm very doubtful that we're going to be able to do anything major this year; even if we opt to do a kickstarter campaign of some kind to get us going. I'm also not what we're doing as far as cameras and sound equipment goes; if we're renting from a company that he knows of or if he got a camera for his photography and other projects that we're going to use primarily. That's something I'm going to have to get back with him on, as well as more with the people he's made connections with on the other sets he did stuff for--since I remember him talking to some people and they said they'd be more than happy to help out.

Currently, I'm working on about three other projects that I'm hoping to get the majority of the framework hammered out or actually get the writing process started; one is a brutal revenge thriller, one is an anthology rooted in the Deep Web, and the last is a found footage style stalker movie centered on a horror fan who is obsessed with Fred Vogel. I'm not sure which one I'm more excited about, but this is going to be fantastic if everything goes well. I just thought I'd get that out there in case anyone was wondering.
Title: Re: Aspiring Filmmaker Here Looking For Help
Post by: woodenheart on July 03, 2016, 08:30:22 PM
Thanks for the update!

and this sounds amazing!



Quote
one is an anthology rooted in the Deep Web
Title: Re: Aspiring Filmmaker Here Looking For Help
Post by: JethroClemson on July 04, 2016, 03:28:12 PM
Thanks for the update!

and this sounds amazing!


Thanks. My buddy is coming over soon, so I'll ask him if he's gotten to it yet.
Title: Re: Aspiring Filmmaker Here Looking For Help
Post by: JethroClemson on October 06, 2016, 10:52:34 AM
So here's the long awaited update for my short film, "Have You Seen Me?".

What I hope is the last draft of the script was completed last month, and I'm waiting for my co-director to look it over and see what he thinks. He just finished directing his first film (a short for a festival coming up) and is working on the set of another, so I'm not sure when he's going to have time to look it over. As it stands right now, production on the film has come to a halt due to personal matters in my life barring us from going any further. However, chances are we can for sure start next year and I'm hoping that if the odds are in our favor, it will be done in time for the NEPA Horror Film Festival. I'm also hoping that by then my old work friends, Brandi and Chance, will have down time from school (one is attending Ve Neill's Cinema Makeup School and another just started attending Tom Savini's Makeup School) to help out with the effects--as I've said before.

As for what's going on right now; I've been dedicating my time to working on another script called "The Greatest Fan" which I'd love to get off the ground within the next three or so years--which is the aforementioned concept about an obsessed horror fanatic going on a killing spree to get the approval and attention of Fred Vogel. I recently messaged Toe Tag about the concept, and I'm still waiting to hear a response back. So here's to hoping they dig the idea, since it would be awesome to help spread the sickness in a unique way like this. I've gotten a lot of positive feedback on the idea, and my good buddy who is helping me with HYSM has honestly been my biggest supporter of this one and he gets all giddy when I talk about how delightfully fucked up it's going to be.

I may start sharing exerts on here to see what you all think. Just let me know if this is something you'd be interested in.
Title: Re: Aspiring Filmmaker Here Looking For Help
Post by: JethroClemson on November 30, 2016, 08:27:56 PM
November Update: Well sickos, it's been a while since my last update. I have some more news, and this time it feels like its set in concrete for us.

In the last post, I said some personal matters have gotten in the way and put advancing production on the project on hold temporarily. Since then, a few of them have cleared up and right now there's only a couple of matters that I'm worried will make things somewhat difficult for us--but nothing we can't manage. As it stands, I'm one last draft away from having the final version, and I'm looking forward to looking it over with my co-director next time I see him; which might be soon, since I just got in touch with him to discuss something.

With where we are in terms of going into production, he told me there's a very real possibility we can get things into motion come January; and that several of the crew members from his first film are really interested in what I have in mind. While I can't confirm this specifically, we may have secured all the sets, and the last two thing I need to do is check in with one of my old makeup artist friends to see if they'd be up for working on the set--even if it means having to fly back into Pennsylvania for the shoot, and see if my co-director can get in touch with one of the actors/directors from the local film scene about getting a solid soundtrack (of sorts) done.

Financially, we haven't discussed what's going on for that yet; if we're going to crowdfund or work with what we have. If we do end up going in that direction, I'll let you guys know. We are hoping, as I mentioned previously, to get HYSM (or another script I finished recently called "The Wailing") done by the summer at the very least in time for the NEPA Horror Film Festival; which will have guests like Lloyd Kaufman, Todd Sheets, Teri McMinn, Lisa Gaye, and many others there for next year--which I'm super stoked about.

I'll make another update when I can, until then--stay creepy.
Title: Re: Aspiring Filmmaker Here Looking For Help
Post by: JethroClemson on February 01, 2017, 04:04:04 PM
February Update: Hey everyone, so I've had my hands tied for a while, but here is a new update for where things are with the short.

With the script, it's officially pretty solid and I'm certain the current draft I forwarded to my creative partner is the final one. I also finished a shorter version of the script in the event something goes wrong and we either lose two of the major sets we needed, we can't do the driving sequences, or some of our actors dip out. It will be half the runtime, but get the key plot lines established from the jump. It will all be contained at one set I know we have, and it might be a two day long shoot at best.

In the meantime, we're just waiting to hear back from some bars we've tried to get in touch with to see if we can film there. A place where we were at a few nights ago for a screening of The Redsin Tower said we could probably film there, but in another part of the building, which means we'll have to dress the set and take it all down for something that will be only a fraction of the film itself. So I'm crossing my fingers that they'll agree to us coming in a few hours before they open and let us shoot what we need quickly.

The toughest part now is getting the equipment we need. I remember him telling me how, while filming his first short film, the sound was the hardest thing to get right, and he had to deal with ADR after dealing with the mess that was having the misfortune of filming during the hottest day of the summer. One of our sets is going to be packed, so on top of the sound, we have to worry about the lighting, which is going to be so fun to manage. Aside from that, getting the set dressed for that scene is the other challenge I'm trying to work on in my head. I'm back to trying to figure out if it's a smarter bet to make what we need or buy/rent/borrow it. At the Redsin screening, I was asking Fred about this, and I forgot what he said specifically because of the noise in the other room; but I remember him saying for Redsin and another movie, it was all done with rubber guts and the movies where it was real stuff from a butcher shop, they disposed of it quickly afterwards.

So for the time being, I'm stuck on where to take things unless I go with what I said in November and I try to pull some strings with the SFX team at my old job to see if they have ideas for what we can do. I'm hoping the next update from me is stating that we're officially in production or post-production.

tl;dr -- We're playing the waiting game to see what sets we have secured, and we have a backup script in the event everything blows up on us. We're also trying to figure out how to make sure our technical aspects are the best they can be, and I've been spending a few days now juggling SFX concepts for the set. I think I found at least one thing to cross off the list, but not the rest. I guess that's what my crew is for?
Title: Re: Aspiring Filmmaker Here Looking For Help
Post by: JethroClemson on July 03, 2017, 10:50:01 AM
July Update: So, where the hell have I been? I've ghosted for what, four or five months now, I think. Unfortunately, a lot of things have come up that slammed the breaks on the original plan.

My buddy who I've mentioned before and I have been up shit creek in the luck department; with family related issues being the core of it. They were nearly back to back, so we were both caught off guard--and still are. We intended to have something done by September, but that's not going to happen now since we have another project coming up for a film challenge, and if the odds are in our favor, we'll start shooting sometime this month, done by early-mid August, and then get to see it on the big screen in October.

So for the time being, the original game plan is dead in the water for now. But, I'm hoping this new one will make up for it, assuming we can get away with since the guidelines are strict (max. 10 minutes and can't exceed PG13).
Title: Re: Aspiring Filmmaker Here Looking For Help
Post by: splat on July 03, 2017, 06:38:44 PM
You went to The Land of the Rising Sun.