I think I can speak for much of the readers of NFS, but I thoroughly enjoy reading these advice pieces from filmmakers breaking into the industry. It really helps gives perspective and sets you up to have realistic expectations when approaching the daunting task of producing a film, let alone a feature. Love it.
Maybe I'm over analyzing, but I always thought the coat rack in the short film helped build a sort of psychological distortion between the lights on and off. It's the same height and even has a hat to indicate where the head would be.
When the lights on, the coat is the darkest aspect of the frame. When lights are off, the coat disappears in the shadows and the creature is now silhouetted by the light from the other room. Sort of like a "wait, it's just a coat rack. Right? There's not really a monster there." Also Idk about you guys but as a kid I was always "seeing things" in the dark that were really inanimate objects! Classic mind playing tricks on you. Sorta plays to that fear in my opinion. Aight I'm done ranting!
These are some awesome tips! I especially appreciate the one regarding shooting each scene an "extra" 30-seconds. Definitely something to consider doing in the future. I have two questions:
1) What was the size of your crew?
2) If your budget only allowed for you to splurge on one thing, what would it be? (i.e. actors, location, props, gear, effects).
Thanks for the advice - excited to see the final product!
I personally like making smoke bombs. You don't get the same look but it does add that "production value" you may be looking for. Plus it's stupid cheap. You only need two ingredients: saltpeter and sugar. It cost me about $15 total for a 10b bag and the sugar.
If you have a camera capable of high frame rates even better. Just proceed with caution as it is somewhat explosive if you get the measurements wrong.