Monday, September 27, 2010

Making it 3x's...

I read or heard or was told somewhere, sometime from a source wiser than I that every time you make a movie, you make it 3 times; once when it is written, once when it is produced and once again when it is edited.

I wrote Monsters in the Woods originally as an ultra-low budget horror satire of ultra-low budget horror movies. The cast was fairly small, and the scope, while ambitious for the budget, was still relatively small. There was a strong undercurrent of humor (as there is in all my scripts) but it never overpowered the scares or seriousness of the proceedings. The entire 1st act of the movie was to be shot in found footage fashion from the perspective of a single behind the scenes camera operator. The 2nd 2 acts opened up into a more traditionally shot narrative. It was lean, mean, biting, personal and it was to be all shot for under 5k. That was the script I wrote.

Then we went into pre-production. 1st off, we managed to attract Glenn Plummer. This did two things: 1. It bumped up the budget a bit. 2. It made me take a 2nd look at some of the other casting and production plans. A few more characters were added to better play of Glenn and some casting changes were made. A female cast member had to drop out after filming a major sequence. We had to compensate by creating not one, but two new characters to pick up where that character left off, without re filming the sequence. Also, more money was put into FX. 1313 FX was now creating 3 full-bodied monster suits.

Then we went into production. The cast came together and gelled in ways I couldn’t have imagined. I quickly created new scenes to fully explore this chemistry. This added days onto our already tight schedule. 2ndary characters grew into integral parts of the ensemble. The subtle undercurrent of humor in the script became more pronounced in production. One of the strongest elements in the movie is fast becoming its sense of humor. The trick in post is going to be to balance that humor with the more serious and scary elements.

With only 2 major days left to film, I anxiously await post to see what kind of movie it turns out to be.


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