Thursday, April 3, 2008

Forget that feature, make a short. Reason #1 - Alex Masterton's "Mr. Video"

Now, keep in mind, I don't intend this next statement to be taken as an insult, it's not. It's just a simple fact... most indie horror filmmakers are on the outside of Hollywood, looking in. Not even looking in, must of us are in the parking lot, looking at the people who are on the outside, looking in.... picking up pop cans, trying to raise enough money to buy some DV tapes. There's very few people who made it in the business, then decided to give it up to make 'creepy for cheapy' movies out of pocket. Most indie horror filmmakers are plugging away, any way they can, not even really trying to make a living making their films. In most cases, they're just trying to make an audience... and build some cred while they're at it. Then, one day, hopefully, they'll get their break... somewhere, somehow. I think it's widely known that one of the best routes to take is by entering film festivals. If you can manage to screen at one, let alone win something, you're on your way to some recognition, which won't fill up your gas tank, but it will fill up that ego and get you some contacts. A lot of film makers instantly want to go the way of the feature, but that's not always the best thing to do... a feature is at least 90 minutes long and they can only screen so many of them at any given festival. However, they can cram a lot of shorts into one night of screenings. On top of that, shorts don't usually take as long, or cost as much to make. Let's take a look at Alex Masterton's 15 minute short, "Mr. Video", a film that recently came to my attention.

Mr. Video" is about the owner of a small video store who struggles, in vain, to earn a living, as he's competing against DVD piracy, internet downloading and an array of customers who never seem to rent anything. Things soon change when a young man enters the store and pushes the owner to the breaking point... I haven't actually seen it yet, but you can check out the trailer here. The quality looks fantastic. Also, it has to be alright, as it's screened at 12 different festivals, including: Tromadance, Rhode Island Horror Film Fest and the Freak Show Horror Film Festival, to name a few. He's been receiving a lot of press, a lot of exposure and he's winning a few awards on the way.

So, instead of dumping all your money into making that feature, maybe you should think about making a kick-ass short, it could be an easier road to take. ...and I'll tell you what. I'll find out how it's working out for Masterton, as I'm supposed to be talking with him about the film soon.

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