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Indie Horror Film Shows What You Can Do (And Get) For Free 109

Posted by timothy
from the very-few-academy-awards-so-far dept.
Wescotte writes "The Amateur Monster Movie is the first feature length film by King's Tower Productions and writer/director Kyle Richards, all filmed within an hour of Milwaukee, WI over the course of 57 days during the summers of 2009 and 2010. It was shot as a 'no-budget' film and the entire cast and crew worked for free on owned or borrowed equipment. After a few film festival appearances, highlighted by the Wisconsin Film Festival, and — a cast and crew favorite — the Oshkosh Horror Film Festival, Richards decided to release the film for free online, a move intended to encourage more movies and media to do the same and allow free media access to everyone online. The film can be streamed from Vimeo and YouTube or downloaded via torrent at Pirate Bay, KAT, and magnet link. More information and production stills can be found at the Facebook Page, and IMDB." The acting is straightforwardly campy, but (promise or warning) the gory, zero-budget special effects start about four minutes in.
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Indie Horror Film Shows What You Can Do (And Get) For Free

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    ...but that would be straling the publisher's HARD WORK!

    THINK OF THEIR CHILDREN!

    oh, wait...

  • Vodo (Score:5, Informative)

    by arnodf (1310501) on Sunday March 10, 2013 @05:05AM (#43129791)

    I'll leave this here: Vodo [vodo.net]
    Great stuff there

    • by Wescotte (732385)

      Thanks for the link. This is a pretty interesting service I was completely unaware of. Have you submitted work or just a user/viewer?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Vodo is a fantastic service. I wish it would get bigger.

      The quality of some of the shows are just above average, like around 60-80% score area, but the story and even settings? 100% just got put out of business, 200% is the new guy in town.

      I'm hoping the internet becomes the place to go to for niche audiences since TV production companies still rely on stupid crap like Nielsen ratings without even considering the psychology behind the popularity differences and fan-groups of shows.
      Case in point, people mo

    • by BeCre8iv (563502)
      Vodo is the real reason big media wants to shape traffic.
  • Magnet link broken (Score:5, Informative)

    by emj (15659) on Sunday March 10, 2013 @05:08AM (#43129797) Homepage Journal

    So the magnet link was broken, but tinyurl supports magnets [tinyurl.com], because slashdot mangles magnetlinks [magnet].

  • by Anonymous Coward

    ...see Jiggly Baby 3 (http://youtu.be/PX92BOIkBs8 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2278686). And yes, it really is the third in the series.

    • by Wescotte (732385)

      You might interested in watching The Time Machine (I found at a yardsale) [youtube.com]. It's by far the worst movie I've ever seen and I can't tell if it's a joke or not. I mean The cost of renting the camera they used in this film for a single day was at least twice the shooting budget of The Amateur Monster Movie for all ~60 days in production!

      Either way if you enjoy watching train wrecks it's a pretty interesting film. The "orange juice" scene at ~5:30 is particularly amazing. Also if you don't make it in far enough

    • by Wescotte (732385)

      Just watched the entire thing. It's not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. Sure, the premise and story is silly but these guys clearly have a fundamental understanding of how to make a movie were The Time Machine probably do not... I think given some money and the desire to do it these guys could probably pull off an actually watchable film.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 10, 2013 @05:35AM (#43129835)

    Preferably one set in NYC. I hear there is a *huge* demand for that genre.

    Maybe I should start advertising for it in my sig...

  • Death is cheap.

  • I am the filmmaker (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Johnny Mason (2861797) on Sunday March 10, 2013 @06:32AM (#43129897)
    Hey everybody, I made this movie. I was the writer, director, producer, co-editor, and an actor, and I did a bunch of other shit too such as remove hiss from over 900 individual audio clips! It was awesome. If anyone is interested in knowing anything about this great film please ask me and I will be happy to try and answer. Thanks for giving the movie a watch, I'm happy to have your support!
    • First question: why?

      Second question: dear God, why?!?

      Third question: would you mind it being shown on Australian television?

      • First question: I guess because I thought it was all in fun and games...

        Second question: oh god wait...

        Third question: I would not mind at all if it were shown on Australian television, it would be a great honor. Message us through facebook or our site with any inquiries regarding that.
    • by paiute (550198)
      I will watch it if you promise there are no frigging zombies or vampires. Are there frigging zombies or vampires?
      • There are no frigging zombies or vampires, just fuckin' zombies and a werewolf. Maybe you watch half, eh? (Fuckin' zombies are a little different than friggin zombies btw--but no time for details on how!)
        • by paiute (550198)
          Sorry, no. That's a dealbreaker. I'm sick to death of the zombie theme. Why on earth couldn't you put ten minutes into coming up with something original?
          • by Wescotte (732385)

            If it persuades you to watch the film... There is probably only like five minutes of screen time for zombies. It's a comedy that just happens to have zombies (and a Werewolf) in it. But if you're dead set on not watching it maybe become a fan of our second film currently in post production called The Wayward Sun [facebook.com]. This way you can stay informed when we release it later this year as it has nothing to do with zombies.

            • by paiute (550198)
              Okay, I'll do it - as long as you promise to name your third movie It Has Nothing To Do With Zombies.
              • by Wescotte (732385)

                Damn, unfortunately our third film is already named and it's called Bird Land [spadeheartclub.com] and is in preproduction right now and looking to be shot late this year.

    • If anyone is interested in knowing anything about this great film please ask me and I will be happy to try and answer.

      It might be because I'm watching on Youtube, but the blacks seem very clean (non-grainy) for a consumer-level camera (Canon Vixia HV30) ... how did you achieve that?

      • by Anonymous Coward
        He offered them free ribs and Purple Stuff if they'd stay off the crack cocaine for the duration.
      • by emj (15659)

        The guy behind the camera/postprocess did an amazing job imho.

      • by Wescotte (732385)

        If you have any specific technical questions I'd be happy to answer then but long story short we had a pretty damn talented DP/Camera Op [imdb.com] and Colorist [imdb.com] who did an amazing job. We have a ton of production stills on our Facebook Page [facebook.com] that might provide some insight.

      • Our colorist did a great job with the grainy footage and deserves most of the credit, but I believe reducing the quality of the footage from 1080 to 720 also helped in our case. The HV30 was pretty adequate in low lighting, so it usually left us with a decent amount to work with. A lot of the night scenes are much brighter, noisier, and more colorful in the raw footage, so reducing the saturation and brightness to try and better represent what you see with your eyes in moonlight naturally helped hide the gr
        • Our colorist did a great job with the grainy footage and deserves most of the credit, but I believe reducing the quality of the footage from 1080 to 720 also helped in our case. The HV30 was pretty adequate in low lighting, so it usually left us with a decent amount to work with. A lot of the night scenes are much brighter, noisier, and more colorful in the raw footage, so reducing the saturation and brightness to try and better represent what you see with your eyes in moonlight naturally helped hide the grain as well.

          Thanks! I didn't realize how involved colorists were with picture quality, but it makes sense. I see they have to choose a balance between brightness and noise, demonstrated here: http://aaronwilliams.tv/2010/12/colorist-tip-9/ [aaronwilliams.tv]

          Also, the HV30's 1/2.7 inch sensor size seems considerably better than my HF200's 1/4 inch sensor size, which probably also helps a lot. Just as a side note, a lot of people here might have DSLR's, and those.. especially Canon 5D Mark 2 and 3's, are very good for low light video,

          • Indeed. For my second film I purchased a DSLR (Canon 60D) and using a prime lens that could go down to f1.4 allowed us to shoot in firelight without needing any other source and it worked out great imo. It was a very worthy upgrade, although live zooms became next to impossible to do smoothly with the DSLR zoom lenses, that was really the only significant drawback. We were filming in 100 degree weather and were able to keep the camera shaded enough to never have any notable problems with overheating luckily
    • Hey everybody, I made this movie. I was the writer, director, producer, co-editor, and an actor, and I did a bunch of other shit too such as remove hiss from over 900 individual audio clips! It was awesome. If anyone is interested in knowing anything about this great film please ask me and I will be happy to try and answer.

      Thanks for giving the movie a watch, I'm happy to have your support!

      I would love to be as productive as you, and to make a film like you did even if its released for free. How did you schedule your time to do it all so quickly and how did you avoid costly mistakes?

      • Thank you. It's not easy to find time to do all of this that's for sure. The main thing is, as the director and/or producer, you need to make yourself available to shoot at nearly any time possible, then you can adapt to the ever-changing schedules of your peers. I was lucky enough to be working a part time job that only required me to work during lunch during the week, so I had weeknights and weekends free while we were shooting. I used weeknights to schedule with the cast and crew and weekends to shoot. D
  • The Haters (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DaMattster (977781) on Sunday March 10, 2013 @07:50AM (#43130169)
    I don't know why "the haters"are coming out lock, stock, and fold. For one, this is an attempt at reclaiming the art of movie making from the big budget, mafiaa studios. Instead of judging the movie by comparison to these big budget studios, watch it for what it is and enjoy the fact that it was made by some everyday, above-average joes. I'm going to watch it now.
    • by skine (1524819)

      You are acting like low-budget movies are rare or even a brand new concept.

      However, I would be willing to make a significant wager that low-budget horror forms the plurality of movies made today. Hell, they're not the only group of people making low-budget horror films in Milwaukee that I know of (RedLetterMedia and Mark Borchardt from American Movie).

      Also, it's easy for an aspiring film maker to start with horror, since most horror movies use a very simple plot and rely on standard cliches. Plus, they've s

    • Uh, yeah, average joes are what moviemakers totally hate. Did we not know that? For more information on this topic please consult peopleofwalmart.com. Then, come back and tell us how the average joes are OK. Hint: they're not.
    • by chrismcb (983081)

      For one, this is an attempt at reclaiming the art of movie making from the big budget, mafiaa studios. Instead of judging the movie by comparison to these big budget studios, watch it for what it is ...

      I don't quite understand your comment. You are saying, this movie isn't as good, because it is a big budget (and criminal) movie, but we should appreciate it anyways? If it isn't as good, I don't really care how much they paid to make it. I tend to like big budget movies because those movies ARE good. And if this movie isn't as good, then they did a poor job to "reclaim the art"
      I haven't actually watched this movie, so I don't know how good it is.

    • by tehcyder (746570)

      Instead of judging the movie by comparison to these big budget studios, watch it for what it is and enjoy the fact that it was made by some everyday, above-average joes.

      What it is, is a movie. If it's a good movie, excellent, well done for getting round the limitations of film-making on a tiny budget. But if it's a bad movie, I don't care whether it's made by orphan kids dying of cancer, it's still a bad movie.

  • Ok, I managed to get through the first 30 minutes, laughed my head off and feel generally quite well entertained.

    Remarkably well done for a zero budget movie.

  • Seems like the B moives you see on the syfy channel the that are so bad they are good.

    • by rochrist (844809)
      Actually, I'd say much better than run-of-the-mill Most Dangerous Night on TV SyFy originals. This movie doesn't take itself seriously. Those do. Plus, this one is better lighted.
  • by Woogiemonger (628172) on Sunday March 10, 2013 @12:23PM (#43131779)
    I'd like to just get my two-cents in about SAG-AFTRA, the main actors' union filmmakers have to deal with these days. I make films too, and while I submit them to film festivals, just like this film I prefer to release it free online when it's out of the film festival circuit. While SAG-AFTRA does have accommodations for no budget films, where you don't have to pay the actors professional rates (actors, both union and non-union, often will work for free or very low compensation, mainly for the experience), they have a seemingly arbitrary limitation on how you can distribute the film afterward. A SAG-AFTRA rep told me that I could show my films in film festivals, or online (new media), but not both. If I distributed the film on both, they require me to adhere to the laundry list of standards enforced on big budget productions, including compensating each actor at $100/day. So basically, if you recruit a SAG-AFTRA actor for a no budget production, your film will get swept under the carpet after it's out of the festivals. My advice to indie filmmakers... do not consider union actors. Hold longer auditions if necessary.
    • by Wescotte (732385)

      I know for ultra low budget/student contacts with SAG they have fewer restrictions but are these distribution clauses still included in those contacts? If so that's pretty crazy.... Thanks for the info I'm going to have to do some research.

      • I know for ultra low budget/student contacts with SAG they have fewer restrictions but are these distribution clauses still included in those contacts? If so that's pretty crazy

        Yes, ultra low budget/student contracts with SAG (now SAG-AFTRA) are exactly what I'm talking about. It really is that bad.

  • Sorry but it is tiresome, I constantly hear how much better fan movies are than Hollywood movies but they always have the same problems, lousy script and terrible acting. There have been a few exceptions but even Iron Sky had the problem of a brilliant concept that they didn't know what to do with and they had a substantial budget and lots of free labor. Also camp films are played straight not played for laughs. It's the ridiculous qualities that make them camp not over the top acting. Fan movies will only
    • by chrismcb (983081)

      Fan movies will only come into their own when people take them seriously enough to put the effort into making them professional.

      The problem is, for the most part, that takes time. A lot of time, time people don't have if they also want to eat, have a roof over their head, AND want to afford the equipment for the film.
      Can a fan film be good? Sure there are some talented people who will put in their free time to make something cool. They'll do it, just for the fun of it. Just like some street musicians are very good. But this is the exception not the rule. People need to eat.

    • by gmhowell (26755)

      While people are learning things, may I suggest learning about paragraphs?

  • It's in the subject line, the comment is redundant but I had to type something ;)
  • We've slowly been working on a Cthulhu/Lovecraft style universe with erotic story aspects but thanks to the collapse of film making in Michigan it's slow going. Anyone interested check out http://www.hex.xxx/ [hex.xxx] we've got some short YouTube videos up and are looking for interested folks both here and online to participate. - HEX
    • by tehcyder (746570)

      We've slowly been working on a Cthulhu/Lovecraft style universe with erotic story aspects but thanks to the collapse of film making in Michigan it's slow going. Anyone interested check out http://www.hex.xxx/ [hex.xxx] we've got some short YouTube videos up and are looking for interested folks both here and online to participate. - HEX

      I really wouldn't encourage a whole bunch of slashdotters to "help out" because they think they're going to get a chance to see some boobies.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Star of "American Movie"... nice to see the midwest indie film scene represented...

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