If you’re looking for tips on how to make a low budget horror film we may well have the answer. Our research for Top Found Footage Films enables us to interact with many different amateur filmmakers and find out how they got started.
You see most of us horror geeks dream about being giving the opportunity to bring our scary movie ideas to life. I’m no different – I just wish I had the time…
Recently we have noticed that a majority of these low budget producers have taken their lead from a book written by indie horror producer Danny Draven.
Now Draven had spent several years working for Charles Band at Full Moon Pictures before finally launching his own production company named Darkworld Pictures. With this new production team behind him he released Ghost Month which was shot using 35mm film.
It was during the production of Ghost Month that he decided to assemble all his experience into a handbook for future generations of amateur filmmakers.
The Book is called The Filmmaker’s Book of the Dead…
The publication is a complete guide on how to make a low budget horror film. It is filled with detailed information that explains the procedure used to make a homemade horror movie.
The book is organised into different sections based on pre-production, production, and post-production. It is a remarkable guide that offers authentic advice to amateur filmmakers on:
Basically covering every step leading up to the release of your first horror feature!
Danny Draven has a revolutionary style to his writing that instantly makes you feel at ease when reading. If you want to make a low budget horror movie and are a little concerned about the ‘intimidating terminology’ then this is the book for you.
Draven manages to provide the low budget movie tips in a conversational manner. It’s not like he’s teaching you – it’s more like you’re having a beer with him at your local bar!
He’s not afraid to point out the holes in his career either by constantly pointing out the things he did wrong along the way. I don’t know about you but I often feel a lot happier knowing I’m not the only idiot on the planet!
Once you have your scary movie ideas in place Draven will teach you how to complete the project within it’s allotted time and budget. He also offers important insights into distributors and how they might attempt to rip you off for your work!
I think the most powerful aspect of this book is that it can apply to all genres of filmmaking. The low budget movie tips provided are applicable to any genre you are looking into.
I still think that Draven is at his best when discussing the unique challenges inherent in the horror genre. He seems to be more at home when he is discussing techniques used to make horror movie effects and general ‘gore’.
There is a accompanying website that offers extra help on how to make a low budget horror film. This helps the product become a lot more exclusive and powerful – what other filmmaker’s guide out there offers this?
The site is packed with authentic digital media designed to aid your scary movie ideas:
- A nice selection of sample contracts
- Examples of budget sheets
- Advice on correct script formatting
This website is a sensational idea as it will help to keep the book fresh and up to date. From what I have experienced the site is constantly being improved upon – it rocks!
Post Production Workflow
Yeah don’t let the title above put you off ( as it nearly did with me! ). If you want to make a homemade horror movie stand out you are going to have to get your head around the technical bits ( unfortunately! ).
This technical aspect of filmmaking comes naturally to some people but not so naturally to others. Luckily Draven has nailed the subject of post-production workflow for DV and HD video so that it is relatively easy to understand. The following are just some of the subjects he manages to cover in layman’s terms:
- Color Correction techniques
- Print Timing techniques
- Special Features for your DVD’s
- Digital Press Kits
Now I’m no rocket scientist – far from it really! If I can get through this section with a degree of success you can to!
So you’ve studied the guide and you’ve produced your sensational new horror offering….who’s gonna watch it?
Sure your family and friends may sit through it and give you polite ( yet biased ) feedback but what happens after that?
Fear not – Draven has covered this tricky step for you to!
He explains how easy it is to submit your new ‘blockbuster’ to various film festivals that take place each year. He goes through the procedure of preparing your movie for a DVD or Blu-Ray release and the various routes you can choose to explore online!
I found this chapter of the book utterly fascinating as I had no idea what power these distributors had within the industry.
Draven doesn’t pull any punches – he lets you know exactly what to expect from these distributors and you will be shocked at some of the demands they can ( and will ) make!
The Downside of The Book
There was one little gripe I had with the guide and it was all contained within the first chapter. Maybe I’m a little picky but I don’t really feel I need a summary of the various horror sub-genres!
I feel most of the people who are interested in this subject will already be up to date on these categories and don’t really need the baby steps offered here.
If I was going to make a homemade horror movie on a sect of vampires I’m pretty sure I’ll know everything needed on the subject of vampires beforehand!
I felt it was a little patronizing to assume people will need this knowledge if they had bought the book – everyone knows the difference between a zombie and a werewolf right?
How to Make a Low Budget Horror Film
This is the only flaw I found in the guide and to be honest – it’s not really a deal breaker is it?
If you are looking for a comprehensive guide on how to make low budget horror films then this is the book for you!
It even includes low budget movie tips from horror icons such as Robert Englund and Herschell Gordon Lewis ( The Godfather of Gore! ).
It’s a revolutionary way to look at filmmaking and a lot of fun to boot! No matter what your background, if you’re a lover of the horror genre, or a maker of independent films, you should pick up this book…