Film Diary #1 No Budget, All Story
UPDATE: June 20th 2016. Here’s a Podcast about this blog and other film things. Paul McGhie and Joe Tremain discuss this post and Paul (33) talks to his 28 yr old self about what it feels like to finish WEBCAST.
It started with a movie.
As if it’s ever going to start any other way, right? You don’t see people out birdwatching witness an eagle go swooping by and go “Hey! I want to make a feature film!” So that’s a stupid way to begin, but hey, it feels dramatic. So I’ll continue.
There are actually two films in my life that have made me want to make movies. The first, made me want to be a filmmaker (we’ll save that for another time – see, I do suspense too!), the second made me want to make a feature film.
I can’t remember where I first heard about The Silent House (La Casa Muda), but I remember being excited by its concept immediately. ‘Real horror in real time’ Being the horror sucker I was, any film that threatens to scare the wits out of me usually shoots straight to the top of my ‘must-see’ list. This one, a film by Uruguayan director Gustavo Hernández, claimed its 78 minute runtime was all shot in one take. It’s not – it’s just a gimmick. The camera they used doesn’t have the capacity to run that long, but this is besides the point. Within 10 minutes, The Silent House strips back the horror house tale into it’s simplistic form; there’s a girl trapped in a house in the middle of nowhere, and she’s isn’t alone.
What occurs in the next hour of footage is a masterclass in fear and terror as our poor heroine moves through her dilapidated surroundings, all the time aware of the creaking floorboards and moving shadows that dance around her in the dark.
The film’s finale doesn’t quite live up to it’s beginning, but nevertheless, I was completely impressed. I IMDB’d it to find out more. There, at the bottom of the page was something that made my eyes go wild.
I couldn’t believe it. Could a full length film be made with so little and be so impressive? It turns out it could be. I searched the web to find out more. The film was shot on a Canon 5d Mk2 – a regular DSLR with a ‘record’ feature. “But hang on,” I thought to myself. “I’ve just made a short with one of those. I have a friend who owns one!”
And that’s all that I needed.
I had the equipment, if not the money as yet. All I really needed was the story.
But what was that story to be?