How are indie horror movies done on such low budgets since they are popular?
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Topic: How are indie horror movies done on such low budgets since they are popular?

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    Default How are indie horror movies done on such low budgets since they are popular?

    I am writing a script for a horror movie project I would like to budget for, cause horror is very popular as far as indie film genres go, but how are indie filmmakers able to make them on microbudgets? There are two things that get in the way as far as low budget goes I would say and that is:

    1. Stunts.

    If you have a character chasing another character with a knife for example, and it leads to a fight, where a character has to fight for his/her life falling, and therefore requires stunts, which requires money.

    2. Multiple shot set ups.

    Since horror scenarios require characters to escape each other and hide and get the jump on one another, it requires much more shots to keep going to as you go, compared to say a comedy or a drama that requires less since there is less moving and chasing around typically

    So how is it that horrors seem to be more make-able on a microbudget in comparison to other genres?

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    Junior Member   awpixfilms's Avatar
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    I am soooo far away from even starting the process of beginning to remotely consider a project like that: I'm not good enough. That said I believe that for once the budget comes second: talent first, then budget. It takes talent and full dedication: from the photography to the make-up end effects and ending with a talented direction. Takes can fly to break into 1 second sequences easily. Like you said. It takes talent first, and talent can be anywhere, independent or not.


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    Super Moderator   How are indie horror movies done on such low budgets since they are popular? How are indie horror movies done on such low budgets since they are popular? How are indie horror movies done on such low budgets since they are popular? How are indie horror movies done on such low budgets since they are popular? mara's Avatar
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    Also it requires a great deal of planning and rehearsal. That maximizes efficiency and minimizes expense once you're ready to shoot.

    Screenwriter and script consultant: www.maralesemann.com

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    Oh yes for sure :). It's just that they say horror is the most successful genre in the microbudget world. Is that true? Cause if it is, how are some ways that they get around all these stunts and insurance you need?


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    Super Moderator   How are indie horror movies done on such low budgets since they are popular? How are indie horror movies done on such low budgets since they are popular? How are indie horror movies done on such low budgets since they are popular? How are indie horror movies done on such low budgets since they are popular? mara's Avatar
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    Micro-budget doesn't mean NO budget.

    Screenwriter and script consultant: www.maralesemann.com

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    Yep I know, but since insurance and stunt coordinators are not cheap where do other microbudget filmmakers find ones, especially ones working for cheaper compared to a union or something?


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    Junior Member   How are indie horror movies done on such low budgets since they are popular? Kongkrissss's Avatar
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    Micro budgets don't use those things, u need to be a man of many traits, u are the stunt coordinator, u do everything. And if there are bigger stunts, try finding ways around it, mabye cut around it, mabye use a dummy, I don't know, just try finding workarounds.


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    Okay but I was told that I am breaking laws if I do not use a stunt coordinator, so if I want to market the movie after and send it off to festivals, would they care if I broke these laws and all, and would they want all that proper paperwork, or would they not ask questions and just accept the movie?


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    Junior Member   How are indie horror movies done on such low budgets since they are popular? Kongkrissss's Avatar
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    Eh, I think it somewhat depends on the direness of the stunts, but idk


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    Super Moderator   How are indie horror movies done on such low budgets since they are popular? How are indie horror movies done on such low budgets since they are popular? How are indie horror movies done on such low budgets since they are popular? How are indie horror movies done on such low budgets since they are popular? mara's Avatar
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    If you use union actors, the union requires you to use a stunt coordinator. As long as no one gets hurt, legal authorities don't give a damn. And film festivals aren't going to ask for paperwork.

    But keep in mind that there are real reasons why stunt coordinators and insurance are required - if someone gets hurt, you open yourself up to a major lawsuit and/or reckless endangerment charges.

    Last edited by mara; 12-01-2018 at 12:39 PM.
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    hmmmm ok it's a 2-part reply: for marketing (selling a script) I would mention that you also target micro-budget productions . it's not a laws breaking thing at all. But there are risks in marketing ideas like that and here's the second part: if you read mara's post again ... between the lines.... it's all in there. lemme give an example that's really happening and will continue to happen (until the unions get up to date with reality): a steadycam operator with union and everything and a micro-gymbal operator (more like the home-amateur oriented new things that work really really well). the first with protections and the other without protections. But then if something happens the production will be open to winds and fury. And they don't like that.
    so it's a tough decision: you wanna mention it? (the micro-budget friendly thing). I would.


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    Okay when you say 'you want to mention it', do you mean mention to the cast and crew about how I have no insurance?

    Last edited by ironpony; 12-01-2018 at 11:52 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
    Okay when you say 'you want to mention it', do you mean mention to the cast and crew about how I have no insurance?
    and what the insurance has to do with anything?


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    Okay but I'm lost, what are you saying exactly, that I should say?


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    Quote Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
    Okay but I'm lost, what are you saying exactly, that I should say?
    how you see it fit and what you think will help the sale of your script: micro-budget friendly? I would mention it but then it's up to you.
    Now about the insurance thing: don't mention anything. Besides.... productions are not stupid and they know how to deal with THAT (sub contractors and sub-sub contractors ad libitum just to name one thing). Not your problem , not your place to discuss about that kind of stuff, ever.


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    But I am the producer and the director, or I would be one of the producers. So how would that not be my job then?


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    Junior Member   How are indie horror movies done on such low budgets since they are popular? How are indie horror movies done on such low budgets since they are popular? How are indie horror movies done on such low budgets since they are popular? AJ Young's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
    But I am the producer and the director, or I would be one of the producers. So how would that not be my job then?
    It is your job as the producer to provide insurance when asked by a cast or crew member. However, it's generally assumed production has insurance when the crew/cast is hired. The liability for the production is still ultimately on the producer, so having insurance protects you. If a cast or crew member gets injured, rental equipment is damaged, or location is damaged then the production has to fit the bill. Insurance covers those costs because the costs themselves can quickly climb.

    When a rental house, location, union, or cast/crew member require insurance, it's because they recognize that a sole individual can not cover the unexpected costs that come with something terribly wrong happening on set.

    You, as the producer, can make a movie without insurance, but it puts all of the financial and legal liability onto you.

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