Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The March Begins...

Almost everyone wants to make a movie, or at least be part of the making. I'm no different, aside from finally getting motivated enough to try to make it happen. We’ve reached the point where the technology is on hand to (ideally) make a competent-looking backyard film: say, a Canon XL2 (with aftermarket boom mike), Final Cut and an eager cast and crew. And a script that embraces the constraints of a nothing budget and rolls with it.

I think I have that script and it’s called The Deadly Penguins. It’s a spoof of the Cold War-era monster movies that flickered on late night television in the days before infomercials became the ubiquitous screensaver. The bulk of the action takes place in the recreation room of an Antarctic ice station, so location is basic or greenscreened.

Granted, these days “Spoof Movie” is as lethal a pejorative as “Backyard Movie” so there’s that. But it has zombie penguins in it. And zombie nuns, so perhaps that’s a decent enough counterbalance. That aside, I could give a flying rats ass... it’s a movie I want to make and I’m going to make it.

The way I figure it, I think I can do this on $2,500. I spent that amount on the XL2, so the goal is to make a movie for under $5,000 all told.

At the moment, I have eight bucks in my pocket, $4.86 in the bank and a scratcher worth a free ticket on my desk. I’m not expecting much with the redemption on the ticket, so there you go.

But I've also written, directed or produced several stage plays, so there's that. I have a talent pool to dip into, and the resources to make it happen. Well, except for the money... but if I'm clever enough to get the ball rolling, then hopefully I'll be clever enough to figure out a way to keep it rolling.

On the agenda is a staged version of The Deadly Penguins to workshop how the gags play for a live audience, sell T-shirts and to get the actors off book before the shooting begins. Staging is set for March (if for no other reason than to use a “March of the Deadly Penguins” hook for the promotion). Ideally, after the stage run ends, a warehouse will be rented and shooting will begin.

This week I’ll invite the actors I see in the roles for a reading and we’ll see how it rolls.