Thursday, February 5, 2015

Connecting the Dots Between Low-Budget Horror and Low-Budget Anything

'Sup Rockstars,

Image Credit: E-how on Low-budget Horror

a) Find various ways to communicate with your audience.  You might need a previous Sundance presence to get a press release on IndieWire but it doesn't hurt to have one prepared and sent out if your Kickstarter pans out anyway.  If you spin it to be more educational than promotion, you're offering new value.

b) They repeatedly go back to the point that embracing one's constraints is what can often make a film worthy.  Horror has a lot to do with the imagined threat.  Real places will contain a greater degree of authentic material than a low-budget production can pull off through design.  And yet a design aesthetic is absolutely necessary to underscore horrific themes.  The theme and the tone are, after all, the selling point more than talent option here.  Unfamiliar characters are more relatable.  That means you have more control through your script and can match your script to your scale.  This can be liberating in that it narrows your options and focuses your goals to crafting a story that is both within reach and absolutely worth telling.  You won't be relying on fluff resources and it will make you stronger.

c) I think the existential concerns we encounter in horror can be appreciated in drama and romance and even comedy - all genres the more typical of low-budget means because you can shoot these stories where available and strip away all the crazy expenses if you work at it.  What we deal with as human beings crosses all these boundaries and will remain interesting as long as you can honor your own assortment of human experiences.  I have to believe that while low-budget horror remains the top of the go-to genres to begin with because fear remains incredibly visceral, love and humor and change can be just as powerful - budget constraints a given.  We don't see it as often being a roller-coaster generation with somewhat lower attention spans, but what I'm saying is don't be tempted into horror just because.  Rather use their insights on efficiency and tension to craft other genres and see where you land.

d) Know your genre.  Know what's expected and respect that anticipation.  Successfully pulling off what's been proven is the first challenging step to owning the license needed to innovate.  Where your originality comes in is with a personal concept or view - not something externally stimulated but an awareness or insight born from within about an experience that you keep returning to in one way or another.  These elements of your persona are capable of proving your premise and giving that spin that helps set your product apart.  Really what I'm saying is that you have to balance your self-awareness against that of the masses.  They want your contribution but probably not your overhaul.

May the film gods bless,
Carlos Sanchez