Friday, May 21, 2010
Blair Witch Project - Actors, with just camping equipment and mundane audio/video equipment (which was part of the story), were actually sent into the woods for 5 days, and were given cryptic directions they would find on scraps of paper lying in their path. They really did get tired, dirty, stressed & scared.
Cube - Aside from a handful of simple digital effects shots, the entire film was shot in a 10’ cube. Change of “location” was achieved by color filters on lights.
El Mariachi - Made for $7000, raised by the director/producer submitting to paid medical experimentation. Lighting was just two cheap lamps cleverly arranged. Extras included two local hostile-to-the-production talk-show hosts won over by giving them cameos. DVD includes fascinating 10-minute lesson on cutting corners.
Done right, the viewer has no clue there was practically no budget – because the story, directing and acting were right.
El Mariachi’s director, Robert Rodriguez, went on to become a major Hollywood player. He still does all post-production work in his garage.
All too often, when you pare a big-budget production down to the story and its truth, there’s nothing there to convey. If you don’t have a story to tell, but have to tell one, money can still buy fame.
I’d love to do a series of shorts that take the start of blockbuster movies, then apply a moment of realism which abruptly cuts the film short. There’s a 007 film that starts where Bond jumps off a cliff to freefall into an uncontrolled airplane, then a long blind pause reveals he has succeeded in catching up & taking control before it crashes; I’d edit in a fireball, then roll credits (backed by a slow zoom in on a dark smear on the canyon floor). Likewise a slasher movie where the first would-be victim grabs a 12-gauge, performs the indicated response, then resumes the night of fun & frolic with the others.
Edit: xkcd wins...
Tangent to the tangent:
The high point of Executive Decision was 20 minutes in, where a big-name actor abruptly falls out of a plane and is not seen again.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
M.D. Creekmore over at the The Survivalist Blog – a survival blog dedicated to helping others prepare for and survive disaster – with articles on bug out bag contents, survival knife choices and a wealth of other survival information is giving away a Go Berkey Water Filter System (a $139.00 value)! To enter, you just have to post about it on your blog. This is my entry. Visit The Survivalist Blog for the details.
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Well, you know what happened to that shipment.
News of the loss of the huge and much-anticipated cargo reached Mexico on May 5. Enthusiastic expectation turned to horror and lament, so great that every year the nation remembers the loss with ... Sinko de Mayo.