Saturday, August 31, 2013

Horror Without CGI, The Sky Has Fallen - Part 2

Horror Without CGI, The Sky Has Fallen - Part 2

I did a list of my favorite horror films today and reviewed whether or not any of them had CGI in them and with the exception of two I think that they are all CGI free. The majority of them are from before the age of CGI, but then again most of the greatest movies are pre computer generated effect.

What are the two films?

Fine, The Grudge and The Descent.

In the Grudge it is necessary, but I would argue that the most frightening moments are not delivered by software. The Grudge does an amazing job with sound effects. In the Descent it comes down to a few seconds of wall crawling in the dark. That movie did not need it, but it was done well (I think shadows and darkness helps a lot in this regard). I am not against using it, but I am against depending upon it or having it as the first, second or even third option. CGI creatures mostly look like crap. If you use it only when absolutely necessary and combine it with an actual creature. Meaning animatronics or guy is suit then it can work. If you want an example of what I am talking about check out the film Brotherhood of The Wolf. If you want an example of how not to do this I direct you to check out any horror film on the Sci-fi channel. The creature on a playstation one game are more convincing. I am not allowed to show any stills or clips from their movies unless I am praising them. If I break this rule I will find a ghost shark hiding in my refrigerator. To conclude my personal views on CGI, I think that is works for creating buildings like the city of Rome in Gladiator. For times in history that you can not recreate easily like the cars and buildings in the Great Gatspy it has a place. For living and breathing creatures (a quote from the Grinch coming) it stinks, stank, stunk.

What about Lord of the Rings?

Does not look realistic.

What about Golem?

Guy in suit. With human eyes and human movements. The CGI is mapped over his performance.

What about Matt Damon?

Fine, you got me there. He almost nearly passes as a real living and breathing actor.

Okay let’s get back to the interview with Doug Roos. You can visit the kickstarter campaign by clicking this link. You can visit the facebook page by clicking this link.


  I guess that I should ask some basic production questions.

The one that comes up most often is what kind of camera did you shoot with and were you happy with the results?

-I used a Panasonic HVX-200 with a Redrock Micro35 adapter and Nikon lenses. It was the best option at the time for my minuscule budget. I'm happy with the results. Using a mini-35 adapter made a huge difference in the quality of the image. I wish Red Epics would have been available back then and that I actually could've afforded one, but if I had sat around waiting for those, I never would've made my movie.-

How long did the shoot take?

-About 25 days. We shot 5 weeks in a row, taking a few days off here and there. Then I went back and did some pickups, a few more FX shots, etc.-

Now that you are in post production what is it that you wish that you had known before you started the project?

-Millions of things. You learn so much making a movie. It's the best kind of education you can get, and even when you're done, you can learn even more about marketing, selling your film, etc. I've read so many books since finishing my first feature, and I wish I read all these before I started: Save the Cat, Your Screenplay Sucks: 101 Ways to Make It Better, How NOT to Write a Screenplay, Making a Good Script Great, Friendly Enemies, Directing Actors, Actors Turned Directors, I'll Be in My Trailer, The Greatest Acting Teachers and Their Methods, etc. I also edited another feature, and that made me look at my own quite differently. I actually went back and re-edited my movie to make it better. I shot new footage as well. The problem if you're the writer and director (and the editor, which I don't recommend) is you're too close to the material to see it objectively, which is why it's so important to get feedback not just from friends and family but reviewers and people you don't know.-

 I see that the film has won many awards. There is a debate in the micro budget world between those who believe in festivals and those who consider them more trouble than they are worth. Where to you stand on the subject?

-I think festivals are definitely worth it. The difficulty is picking the right festivals where you actually have a chance of getting in. Moviemaker Magazine always has a list of 25 Festivals Worth the Entry Fee, and most of those recommendations are pretty good. If you're making an indie no budget film, you should see where other similar no budget movies got accepted or search for festivals that have a special low budget category.-

What is the next project going to be?

-I'm doing a massive creature feature with hundreds of monsters and some really exciting characters. Again, it will be all practical FX. No CGI. Those are the only kind of films I'm going to make. The big inspiration on the next one is John Carpenter's The Thing since there will be transforming effects and all kinds of crazy stuff like flamethrowers, etc. It's still several years away, but we've already started making the creatures, because it's going to take a lot of time. I can't wait to do that one. Anyone who is interested in it can sign up for updates on our website:

Thank you so much! -

Thank you Doug for taking time out to do ths interview. If you would like to own a copy of the finished film it is one of the perks at the kickstarter campaign. So check it out there. You can get a copy while also helping to complete the movie.

I am still looking for trailers for my trailer pages. I have just posted ten new trailers on the top trailers page. Please take a few minutes to check them out. I can tell you basically what is coming in the next few weeks. There is one more crowdfunding interview coming up, I hope. Then we are going to look at casting and what is wrong with type casting. You could be missing out on some world class talent and not even be aware of it because of your script and or casting call. Also a post on using your own social assess to promote your project better.

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