One night to get it right: the making of an independent film

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Do The Right Thing

You want as many opinions about your work as you can get to put it all in perspective. To figure out what makes a great script, try reading screenplays of your favorite movies and studying them. Script Magazine is a good resource for learning the basics of script writing. Once you feel confident enough to put the figurative pen to paper, sign up to Celtx , a great tool for writing in proper screenplay format, for a free subscription. Keep in mind, though, that as a filmmaker, you may need to buy the script or at least be able to provide proof of a decent budget to make that story come to life.

Source from your close networks, too. We all have a friend with an amazing story or know someone with the writing chops to help you tell a screen-worthy tale. When looking for the sort of film that would suit a first-time indie filmmaker, remember to keep locations, characters, and effects to a minimum. Special locations require money or, at the very least, a knowledge of guerrilla filmmaking techniques. More actors means more expenses, and fancy camera movements that require a jib or a Steadicam could take a decent chunk out of your budget.

Keep things simple. When analyzing the scenes you want to shoot, think of the camera as a conductor for emotion. What view of your subject evokes the feeling you want? Does that feeling grow when you move the camera, or is it more powerful to be still? You have to ask yourself all these questions for every second of your story. Above all else, the story needs to be captivating and interesting. Ask yourself, what makes this story different, why does this need to be made now?

Can you live with this story for one to two years? Checking out some great films that take place in one location could spark your imagination. Be prepared to map out where every dollar will go. Have an emergency stash of contingency money for unforeseen expenses. Be sure to save money for festival costs, too. Also, consider paying for their transportation. Keep in mind that some people have regular jobs and other priorities, so always ask for availability before locking anyone in. CLASSES Most of the inspiration you need is already on film, so start watching how the masters tell their stories and begin to formulate your own voice.

Many prosumer cameras and DSLRs can produce images of a high enough caliber to look cinematic. With the right planning and a good cinematographer, you could easily shoot a feature film on an iPhone.

2. Theatrical release is kinda bullshit.

If you can afford a Red or an Alexa camera, then do it! Depending on how low-budget your indie is, you might not have lights and may want to consider shooting outside. If you need night scenes, a camera like the A7S II shoots in extremely low light. These are the behind-the-scenes people who may wear multiple hats on an indie film production. Assigning one experienced person to each of these roles will only enhance the value of your production. Filmmaking is a collaborative process that cannot be done alone.

Keep in mind that you will need references for your crew, so start getting mood boards together. These little details will go a long way to figuring out who is absolutely necessary for your crew. Then you know the importance of seeing a place before investing yourself. The same goes for location scouting. If not, hop on public transportation—or get into your car—and go for an adventure. Look around for where your scenes could take place.

Take pictures so you can reference them later and make a more informed choice. Success in directing comes from complex preplanning, then simple execution. If you find a suitable location, such as a deli or a shoe store, try going in and talking to the business owner. People can be accommodating. Always do your research beforehand. The picture will suffer. Once the final product is locked, you will have to consider your festival route. Maybe your leftover budget allows you to hire a publicist with programmer connections to carve a path for your film.

Since they do this for a living, they might know the tastes of programmers and have access to their ear. If you do land your film at a festival, and your budget allows, you might be able to fly out your actors to that festival. Best-case scenario, you land a distributor and need to create assets like trailers, posters, still images from set, closed captions, subtitles, various formats of your film, a 5.

Throughout this whole process, never discount the power of social media. Pull sound bites from your film to promote it. While in preproduction, your characters should always be on your mind. They do this for a living and are in constant contact with talent you may not have been able to find yourself or even have considered for a role. You can set parameters around age, gender, ethnicity, and location for each character and watch the submissions roll in. You can also peruse the talent database, and sort through headshots and demo reels to see if someone stands out.

Arnold found her lead, Sasha Lane, on a beach in Florida. You could be as lucky! If you do hire them, convey that you want them to be themselves, not a fictional character. Try talking to them normally but in the context of the scene. Even if you plan to do an ultra low-budget or microbudget film, if you use union actors, your production company will need to become a SAG-AFTRA signatory.

Inside an indie: Making a film from scratch without a Hollywood budget

Be sure to leave at least three weeks to work on union paperwork and processing. Ultimately, finding the right actors for your project can be a matter of thinking outside the box when it comes to potential resources. You want actors who are curious and able to ask smart questions about your inspiration and vision, release plans, budget, crew size, accommodations, and pay. So reach out to drama programs and acting schools, use social media to message actors—use it all—and be prepared to answer questions up front.

Word of mouth is a powerful thing in the film world. Know whom you definitely need in your crew, who would be nice to have budget permitting , and whom you can do without. Have a description of the rate if any , the hours, location, and a synopsis of the project all ready to show when asked. Ask the experts. Ask your AD about the schedule. Ask your producer if this scene is working the way it should. You are not an island. Make a production bible. This should have the script marked with notes, all locations with relevant information, contact information for cast and crew, scene breakdowns, character notes with wardrobe references, camera notes, shot references, the shot list, and your storyboard.

Lay out your production in an organized manner. This article from No Film School is a great resource for preshoot prep. Storyboarding is essential, as it helps you visualize the movie and articulate camera movement to the cinematographer and to yourself. Going through a shot list is the next important step, as it will also help you discern what kind of equipment you will need to get each shot, and explore creative options around any expensive rigs or other rented equipment you may only have a limited time with.

Next up is a shooting schedule that will help you time your scene executions. You must go over this schedule with your DP. If time permits, set up a walk-through with your DP on set. When it comes to filming, a safe time allotment for an indie film is about two and a half hours per scene. That time will fly, so if schedules allow, take time beforehand to rehearse with your cast and work on the lines.

You really get to sculpt the characters here. Touch base with all your cast members, and make sure they know what wardrobe to bring if they are providing their own. Oskar is initially upset by Eli's need to kill people for survival.

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However, Eli insists that their bloodthirsty natures are alike, in that Oskar wants to kill and Eli needs to kill, and encourages Oskar to "be me, for a little while. Lacke, who has lost everything because of Eli, tracks Eli down to the closed-off apartment. Breaking in, he discovers Eli asleep in the bathtub. He prepares to kill her, but Oskar, who was hiding inside the apartment, interferes; Eli immediately wakes up, jumps on Lacke and kills him, feeding on his blood. Eli thanks Oskar and kisses him in gratitude. However, an upstairs neighbor is angrily knocking on the ceiling due to the disturbance the fight has caused.

Eli realizes that it is no longer safe to stay and leaves the same night. The next morning, Oskar receives a phone call from Conny's friend, Martin, who lures Oskar out to resume the after-school fitness program at the local swimming pool. This leaves Oskar trapped alone in the pool. Jimmy forces Oskar under the water, threatening to stab his eye out if he does not hold his breath for three minutes.

Marketing Independent Film From Start To Finish By Elliot Grove

While Oskar is being held underwater, Eli arrives and rescues him by killing and dismembering the bullies, except for the most reluctant of their number, Andreas, who is left sobbing on a bench. Later, Oskar is traveling on a train with Eli in a box beside him, safe from sunlight. From inside, Eli taps the word "kiss" to Oskar in Morse code, to which he taps back " puss " small kiss in Swedish.

The film project started in late when John Nordling, a producer at the production company EFTI, contacted Ajvide Lindqvist 's publisher Ordfront to acquire the rights for a film adaptation of his novel, Let the Right One In : "At Ordfront they just laughed when I called, I was like the 48th they put on the list. But I called John Ajvide Lindqvist and it turned out we had the same idea of what kind of film we should make. It wasn't about money, but about the right constellation". I had some period when I grew up when I had hard times in school So it really shook me", he told the Los Angeles Times.

Lindqvist had insisted on writing the screenplay himself. Alfredson, who had no familiarity with the vampire and horror genres, [9] initially expressed skepticism at having the original author do the adaptation, but found the end result very satisfying. Alfredson felt that the film could not deal with such a serious theme as pedophilia in a satisfying manner, and that this element would detract from the story of the children and their relationship. A key passage in the novel details what happens when a vampire enters a room uninvited, an action that traditional vampire lore usually prohibits.

He realized in post-production that the sound effects and music made it "American, in a bad way", and had to be removed for the scene to work. The novel presents Eli as an androgynous boy, castrated centuries before by a sadistic vampire nobleman. The film handles the issue of Eli's gender more ambiguously: a brief scene in which Eli changes into a dress offers a glimpse of a suggestive scar but no explicit elaboration.

An actress plays Eli's character, but her voice was considered to be too high pitched, so it was dubbed by voice actress Elif Ceylan. According to an interview with the director, as the film was originally conceived, flashbacks explained this aspect in more detail, but these scenes were eventually cut. When Alfredson showed him eight minutes of footage for the first time, he "started to cry because it was so damn beautiful".

He could obviously never do that. The film is his creative process", he said. Casting of the lead actors took almost a year, [20] [21] with open castings held all over Sweden. Alfredson has described the casting process as the most difficult part of making the film.

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They were supposed to be "mirror images of each other. She is everything he isn't. Dark, strong, brave, and a girl. Like two sides of the same coin. It is about creating chords, how a B and A minor interact together, and are played together. The area where the filming took place dated from around the same time as Blackeberg, and has similar architecture.

In particular, the scene where Eli leaps down on Virginia from a tree, was shot in the town square of Blackeberg. Most of the filming used a single, fixed, Arri B camera, with almost no handheld usage, and few cuts. Tracking shots relied on a track-mounted dolly , rather than Steadicam , to create calm, predictable camera movement. Cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema and director Alfredson invented a technique they called "spray light".

For the emotional scenes between Oskar and Eli, van Hoytema consistently diffused the lighting. The film contains around fifty shots with computer-generated imagery. Alfredson wanted to make them very subtle and almost unnoticeable. The crew used a combination of real cats, stuffed cats and computer-generated imagery. The film features analogue sound-effects exclusively throughout. These analogue sounds can be digitally reworked as much as necessary, but the origin has to be natural".

Late in production it was also decided to overdub actress Lina Leandersson 's voice with a less feminine one, to underline the backstory. We needed that incongruity. After a vote, the film team ended up selecting Elif Ceylan, who provides all of Eli's spoken dialogue.

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  6. Alfredson instructed him to write something that sounded hopeful and romantic, in contrast to the events that take place in the film. The song "Kvar i min bil", written and performed by Per Gessle , resonates repeatedly through the film. The Swedish premiere was originally planned for 18 April , but following the positive response from the festival screenings, the producers decided to postpone the release until autumn, to allow for a longer theatrical run. The American discs feature both the original Swedish dialogue and an English dubbed version, while the European versions feature only the Swedish, and an audio-descriptive track in English.

    Icons of Fright reported that the American release had been criticized for using new, oversimplified English subtitles instead of the original theatrical subtitles. Let the Right One In received widespread critical acclaim. The critical consensus reads, " Let the Right One In reinvigorates the seemingly tired vampire genre by effectively mixing scares with intelligent storytelling". Swedish critics generally expressed positive reactions to the film. In 26 reviews listed at the Swedish-language review site Kritiker. Reviewers have commented on the beautiful cinematography and its quiet, restrained approach to the sometimes bloody and violent subject matter.

    He described it as a story of "two lonely and desperate kids capable of performing dark deeds without apparent emotion", and praised the actors for "powerful" performances in "draining" roles. Let the Right One In is one of those films — an austerely beautiful creation that reveals itself slowly, like the best works of art do. In their rationale, the authors noted that, "in these days where every second movie seems to feature vampires, it takes a very special twist on the legend to surprise us — but this one knocked us out and then bit us in the jugular", and found that the "strange central friendship" between the two lead characters was what made the film "so frightening, and so magnetic".

    Alfredson won the Gothenburg Film Festival 's Nordic Film Prize as director of Let the Right One In on the grounds that he "succeeds to transform a vampire movie to a truly original, touching, amusing and heart-warming story about friendship and marginalisation". The details surrounding the film's eligibility for the award resulted in some confusion. This would be exactly enough to meet the criteria for the 81st Academy Awards instead. Despite the fact that the film was released within the eligibility period for the 82nd Academy Awards, it wasn't among the films considered because the Swedish Film Institute doesn't allow a film to be considered twice.

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Let the Right One In Theatrical release poster. Main article: Let Me In film. British Board of Film Classification. Archived from the original on 20 December Retrieved 13 December Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on 26 April Retrieved 30 April Dagens Nyheter in Swedish. Archived from the original on 10 September Retrieved 6 March Archived from the original on 27 September Retrieved 16 July Archived from the original on 21 October Los Angeles Times.

    Archived from the original on 5 October Retrieved 14 March Swedish Film Institute. Archived from the original on 14 June Retrieved 14 June Svenska Dagbladet in Swedish. Archived from the original on 14 February Retrieved 8 March Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 21 April Retrieved 9 May Ain't It Cool News. Archived from the original on 6 December Retrieved 23 October Archived from the original on 3 March Retrieved 7 March Archived from the original PDF on 27 August Retrieved 20 April The Guardian.

    Archived from the original on 31 December Sandrew Metronome. Sky Movies. Archived from the original on 2 August Reverse Shot.

    Fortean Times. Archived from the original on 22 May Retrieved 26 October Bland tentaklerna". Aftonbladet in Swedish. Archived from the original on 3 November Archived from the original on 22 December Retrieved 21 December Archived from the original on 19 October Little White Lies. Archived from the original on 14 January Retrieved 10 April Dala-Demokraten in Swedish. Archived from the original on 19 July Retrieved 11 July Allt om film. Film Threat. Archived from the original on 7 November Retrieved 7 November American Cinematographer. American Society of Cinematographers.

    Archived from the original on 16 July Retrieved 24 September Magasinet Filter. Archived from the original on 15 February Retrieved 31 December Independent Film Channel. Archived from the original on 28 December FilmNyheterna in Swedish. Archived from the original on 8 July Retrieved 15 August Archived from the original on 2 May MovieScore Media. Archived from the original on 8 May Retrieved 28 February Ain't it Cool News. Archived from the original on 23 January Archived from the original on 8 March Stockholm City in Swedish.

    Archived from the original on 31 March Retrieved 2 March Archived from the original on 27 February Archived from the original on 15 September Retrieved 5 March Archived from the original on 9 March Tribeca Film Festival. Edinburgh Film Festival. Archived from the original on 30 August Rotten Tomatoes.

    Archived from the original on 14 May Archived from the original on 23 October Retrieved 27 July

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