Sunday, July 05, 2009

Only in the lower 48

Bill Cunningham points to a discussion over here about "lo-fi sci-fi". This would be movies like Primer or these Neill Blomkamp shorts:

There's movies like Infest Wisely (I haven't watched it yet but it seems like a good idea.)

Although ideologically I favor such pictures, not one of these has actually made any money.

This tutorial on building a 3D room in AfterEffects has inspired me as far as making a "comic book movie". My feeling now is that we do virtually everything in AfterEffects: with all the prep of images in Photoshop. That's actually kinda exciting.

I do really wish I could get an effect which makes the live-action footage look like drawings or paintings. So far none of the tests I've done has created what I really want. We can certainly make the visual effects look like cartoons, why can't we do that with the live action? Maybe we just go to super super super-duper high contrast?


Belle Epoque said...

I'm trying to get the connection between the slogan in the picture and the pitney bowes postage meter...? Kill a woman, and then write home to mother about it?

Chance Shirley said...

Surely Primer made some money. The budget was less than $10K. Allegedly.

Andrew Bellware said...

I can't figure out the Pitney Bowes thing either. I found the image in a collection of "most offensive ad campaigns" but out of context like this it's just... weird. Like stamping things causes that much drama...

I think you may be right Chance. I didn't realize they almost grossed $500K at the box office.
I figure the picture cost $150K once they got to print (they always "forget" about post-production costs in those low budget figures.) Then whatever they spent on prints and advertising... If they grossed $500K in the theaters - divided by the exhibitor's cut, and then whatever their TV and DVD deals were, the filmmaker made $75K for domestic and maybe upwards of $200K worldwide?

Chance Shirley said...

I wasn't even necessarily saying the filmmaker made money. Just that somebody made money on the movie. It was a small, small theatrical run, so I don't think the P+A would have been crazy expensive.

Good point about the post cost, though. When Primer played Sundance, i believe they projected it on 35mm from a 2K color-corrected scan. That one print might have cost $100K. I would love to do a 35mm print of one of my movies, but it would probably end up costing more than the production budget. That price tag is hard to justify.

Unless you get a screening at Sundance...

Andrew Bellware said...

You're probably right that somebody made some money on Primer.

For me, a screening at Sundance isn't worth a film print -- just project from HD. None of the theaters there are good enough to justify film output.
Where they SHOULD have spent their money on Primer is in the ADR. It sounded like it was all done into the internal mic on an iMac.
Yeah, the distributor prolly made money. And the producers prolly got a bit of an advance.
Right now I don't think there's a distributor who would touch a picture like that.
Now Interplanetary on the other hand, that's a MONSTER!