Tuesday, August 18, 2009


My New Film Diary

Tonight I start a 3-night stint working as an extra on the re-make of STRAW DOGS by Rod Lurie, in Bossier City. I just finished reading Robert Rodriguez’s “Rebel Without A Crew” at about 4:am this morning, which is partly why I’m starting up this diary.

Last year I had decided to make a “no-budget” film to take advantage of the movie making that has been pouring through North Louisiana lately. I’m not sure what that advantage is, other than the local recognition and acceptance that, yes, a film can be made in North Louisiana, and that maybe it could catch the eye of someone who might be able to help me get the movie out there, once it is completed.

My idea was to use gear that I already own to create my film: two Canon GL2 video cameras, 3 lights, an assortment of wireless and hand held microphones and a Zoom digital audio recorder for redundant audio. I bought the gear right before I left my job at a local cable station (where I had worked for 21 years) which also included a digital video editing system called “The Kron” that immediately became obsolete the moment I bought it.

The film is “PLAN X FROM BEYOND” and is homage to the old no-budget sci-fi movies from the 50s. The germ of the idea came from a film I saw called “Lost Skeleton of Cadavra” which was shot on video and bumped up to film. The idea had been kicking around in my head for about a year and then one night my wife and I went to see a big screen showing of the movie “Plan 9 From Outer Space”…That night I decided on the title of my film and began working on script ideas.

My thinking was that this would be no-budget because I didn’t have any money, but I did have gear and creativity on my side. I also thought that I would shoot it with no real time schedule…just here and there as the winds and ways would allow. That has turned out not to be such a good idea.

I did some preliminary shooting at Big D’s Bar B Q of the opening dance party sequence (which subsequently got shut down by the police) but lost my wind, when my 2 main characters, my daughter and my son, left town to go back to college.

Since then I haven’t really picked up the cameras again.

Other ideas have wafted through my head for possible no-budget movies:

A period piece called “The Cross Lake Monster” based on a true story…

A movie about a couple of would be blues guys and their misadventures on the road to obscurity….

A film about an older guy in his mid fifties, trying to start a career as a singer/songwriter…

And the adventures of an out of work super hero with no real super powers trying to get back on top of his game…

These have all been “just ideas” with little to no development going on…a few false starts of scripts that have been lost to time.

Of course, my inner critic keeps yelling at me, “This is stupid! You’re almost 54 years old! This is a young man’s game! You’re just spinning your wheels.”

Then I read Rodriguez’s book and it inspired me again.

It inspired me not only to move forward on making my own no-budget movie, but it also inspired me to do it all myself and with a quick turn-around time to complete it.

I need a deadline, folks...

So for the next three nights I’ll be an extra on someone else’s movie and I’ll use my time developing and writing my script. At this moment, I’m not sure what it will be.

I’m making a list of things to carry with me in a small back pack.




Deck of cards

Business cards (in case I meet some folks who may be good to have in my movie)

Rodriguez’s book.

It’s beginning to rain…hope the production is still on for tonight.

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