Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Film-making Dreams

Last week I watched a movie on NetFlix that I had been eyeing for some time. Hunter Prey (2010) is a low-budget sci-fi film that is surprisingly good. Although it does seem to combine elements (both visual and story) from other films, it does so with a flair of originality and a couple of surprises. If you get the chance, I highly recommend seeing it. It’s currently available on instant view and DVD.

But, that’s not what I want to talk about today. What I want to talk about is film-making. Watching this film made me recall a dream I used to harbor. Many moons ago, I had aspirations to become a film-maker. I read books on the subject, watched featurettes, and basically tried everything I could to learn how to do it without 1) actually doing it, and 2) going to school for it.

I have to say, if I hadn’t gotten married at 19, I may very well have pursued that dream. But, as it was, having a new family and being rather na├»ve to the ways of the world, I decided that I had to just give up that dream and concentrate on other, more practical things.

Well, I didn’t actually give the dream up. It just sort of got put on the back burner indefinitely. It would resurface every now and again. Once I even started planning and writing a film based on a short story a friend of mine wrote. Like Hunter Prey, it was to be a (extremely) low-budget sci-fi movie. It never got past some initial writing and concept sketches. But it was still fun to think about.

I think what I really liked, and what really grabbed me about Hunter Prey, was the production values, and how good they were on such a small budget. The alien make-up was top-notch, and looked as good as anything George Lucas ever did. In fact, there were many elements that were reminiscent of the original Star Wars film. The equipment was extremely well-done. It had that functional, well-used look, without being cheesy.

And this all appeals to the closet Cosplayer in me. I have never Cosplayed, and have never owned a good costume of any kind. But I have always wanted one, and have spent many hours planning and designing costumes that I would like to have and wear. One day, I will go to a geeky con in a costume that will have people asking for pictures all day. That would be sweet!

So, anyways, back to film-making. With the advent of digital cameras, and film-editing software, the prospect of doing a short film is probably more feasible now than it ever has been. Who knows, maybe I will make a dream come true in a small way. After all, I used to dream about getting published in Weird Tales magazine, and I have two stories that should see print there next year.


Jason E. Thummel said...

Two in Weird Tales? I'm jealous. Congratulations on that, by the way. As you know, it puts you in some very fine company.

Paul R. McNamee said...

I was part of a screenwriting group for a long time. I enjoyed the writing more than movies, though, so finally realized it wasn't quite for me.

But, let me say, screenwriting will teach you structure like nothing else. I still fall back on what I learned quite often when outlining and developing a story.

Charles Gramlich said...

That's one thing I've never had an urge to do, screenwriting. It just always seemed to take out all the stuff I liked best about writing. I will have to watch this movie, though