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The Quintessential Horror Movie

Dagless MDDagless MD Registered User regular
edited February 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
Im an independant film maker, and I've been burdened with the task of
making a short 8-10 minute horror film.

I'm having real trouble coming up with an interesting and original idea,
there is a budget, but it is low, I have access to film equipment, casting
calls, make-up artists and a budger (albeit low).

This film needs to have completed post production within 7 weeks, so you
can appreciate that all help would be greatly received, the swifter the
better.

I can't stress enough how essential it is that the core idea is original as it
will determine the success of the film.

Any suggestion that I eventually run with will be credited in the final piece.

Thanks in advance,

have at it.

"Maybe if everyone close to you had died...
You'd be sarcastic too."
Dagless MD on

Posts

  • TheungryTheungry Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    I don't know how i feel about supplying intellectual property, but i will say this: Newspapers new, old, local or international are a filmmaker's best friend when looking for original ideas. Just stay away from AP stuff because that has been widely circulated.

    Theungry on
    Unfortunately, western cultures frown upon arranged marriages, so the vast majority of people have to take risks in order to get into relationships.
  • QuelrethQuelreth Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    If you're making a short film with a small budget, I'd recommend going for the Japanese horror route and doing something that builds up creepiness and suspense to something really weird and unsettling, rather than try and do a lot of bad gore or a monster flick.

    Other than that, that's all I got. Need more information.

    Quelreth on
  • DaySleeperDaySleeper regular
    edited February 2007
    Is there any stricter guideline than 'horror movie?' Is it supposed to be a slasher flick or psychological or what?

    Ideas off the top of my head:
    Zombie infestation with a twist: Zombies are the standard and there is a health wave running through them

    Okay that is actually stupid, but it might help you think or something. Brainstorming is not really a strength of mine.

    DaySleeper on
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  • MunacraMunacra Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Are you going through a writer's block of some sort that you can't come up with your own ideas?

    Try running, writing, drinking, reading, playing sports, whatever takes your mind off the equation.

    Listening to music helps get me in the mood and turn on the idea machine.

    Find some creepy music and let your imagination run free.

    You're not going to be successful as a filmmaker if you can't think of anything good to film in the first place.

    Munacra on
  • SlagmireSlagmire Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Gods I love zombie flicks... 8-10 minutes you say? Do it on the final moments of the zombie apocalypse: the food supply of the zombies (humans) has been completely depleted and zombies are starving to death (yes, I know a lot of zombie flicks would say this shouldn't be an issue, but after so much time passed by, how are they continuing on?). Also, give the zombies a little bit of their humanity/intelligence (think Bub from Day of the Dead or Big Daddy from Land of the Dead) and are capable of feelings, including love.

    The main character is the last zombie on earth, and is spending his last moments passing by the corpses of his fellow zombies, some of which might be considered, by zombie terms, friends, and another he might of been especially close to. Add in some flashbacks and that should fill out a 8-10 minute span with very limited speaking parts... though I'm sure the physical acting will be put to the test (both facially and motion-wise). I'm sure it won't be a real strong horror flick per say other then the fact it involves zombies, so include a scene or two in flashbacks where there will be scenes that might be considered horror (i.e. an attack on the last bastion of humanity or sharing a meal with another).

    btw, make it a sad ending - no coming back to life as normal. If I hear you did something like this I'm coming for you.

    Slagmire on
  • Vincent GraysonVincent Grayson Frederick, MDRegistered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Slagmire wrote:
    Gods I love zombie flicks... 8-10 minutes you say? Do it on the final moments of the zombie apocalypse: the food supply of the zombies (humans) has been completely depleted and zombies are starving to death (yes, I know a lot of zombie flicks would say this shouldn't be an issue, but after so much time passed by, how are they continuing on?). Also, give the zombies a little bit of their humanity/intelligence (think Bub from Day of the Dead or Big Daddy from Land of the Dead) and are capable of feelings, including love.

    The main character is the last zombie on earth, and is spending his last moments passing by the corpses of his fellow zombies, some of which might be considered, by zombie terms, friends, and another he might of been especially close to. Add in some flashbacks and that should fill out a 8-10 minute span with very limited speaking parts... though I'm sure the physical acting will be put to the test (both facially and motion-wise). I'm sure it won't be a real strong horror flick per say other then the fact it involves zombies, so include a scene or two in flashbacks where there will be scenes that might be considered horror (i.e. an attack on the last bastion of humanity or sharing a meal with another).

    btw, make it a sad ending - no coming back to life as normal. If I hear you did something like this I'm coming for you.

    I was going to suggest something zombie-related, but I like your idea better.

    The world truly does need a very serious drama about zombie love.

    Vincent Grayson on
  • QuelrethQuelreth Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Slagmire wrote:
    Gods I love zombie flicks... 8-10 minutes you say? Do it on the final moments of the zombie apocalypse: the food supply of the zombies (humans) has been completely depleted and zombies are starving to death (yes, I know a lot of zombie flicks would say this shouldn't be an issue, but after so much time passed by, how are they continuing on?). Also, give the zombies a little bit of their humanity/intelligence (think Bub from Day of the Dead or Big Daddy from Land of the Dead) and are capable of feelings, including love.

    The main character is the last zombie on earth, and is spending his last moments passing by the corpses of his fellow zombies, some of which might be considered, by zombie terms, friends, and another he might of been especially close to. Add in some flashbacks and that should fill out a 8-10 minute span with very limited speaking parts... though I'm sure the physical acting will be put to the test (both facially and motion-wise). I'm sure it won't be a real strong horror flick per say other then the fact it involves zombies, so include a scene or two in flashbacks where there will be scenes that might be considered horror (i.e. an attack on the last bastion of humanity or sharing a meal with another).

    btw, make it a sad ending - no coming back to life as normal. If I hear you did something like this I'm coming for you.

    I was going to suggest something zombie-related, but I like your idea better.

    The world truly does need a very serious drama about zombie love.

    Lo and behold.

    I haven't seen it, and I'm pretty sure it's not very serious, but that's probably the closest you're gonna get right now.

    Quelreth on
  • SlagmireSlagmire Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Quelreth wrote:
    Slagmire wrote:
    Gods I love zombie flicks... 8-10 minutes you say? Do it on the final moments of the zombie apocalypse: the food supply of the zombies (humans) has been completely depleted and zombies are starving to death (yes, I know a lot of zombie flicks would say this shouldn't be an issue, but after so much time passed by, how are they continuing on?). Also, give the zombies a little bit of their humanity/intelligence (think Bub from Day of the Dead or Big Daddy from Land of the Dead) and are capable of feelings, including love.

    The main character is the last zombie on earth, and is spending his last moments passing by the corpses of his fellow zombies, some of which might be considered, by zombie terms, friends, and another he might of been especially close to. Add in some flashbacks and that should fill out a 8-10 minute span with very limited speaking parts... though I'm sure the physical acting will be put to the test (both facially and motion-wise). I'm sure it won't be a real strong horror flick per say other then the fact it involves zombies, so include a scene or two in flashbacks where there will be scenes that might be considered horror (i.e. an attack on the last bastion of humanity or sharing a meal with another).

    btw, make it a sad ending - no coming back to life as normal. If I hear you did something like this I'm coming for you.

    I was going to suggest something zombie-related, but I like your idea better.

    The world truly does need a very serious drama about zombie love.

    Lo and behold.

    I haven't seen it, and I'm pretty sure it's not very serious, but that's probably the closest you're gonna get right now.

    Well, not so much as one of them was alive throughout - I mean the zombies have been around for a while, slowly dying (no humans). Though it's certainly not the first instance of "zombie" love; Return of the Living Dead 3 was a good example of it too (again, human loving girl that dies on him). My Boyfriend's Back is another... but damn, I couldn't stand that one, even for being a cheesy 80's camp comedy.

    Slagmire on
  • TheungryTheungry Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    That movie was boring as hell.

    Theungry on
    Unfortunately, western cultures frown upon arranged marriages, so the vast majority of people have to take risks in order to get into relationships.
  • SlagmireSlagmire Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Theungry wrote:
    That movie was boring as hell.

    I didn't say it was good - just a good example ;)

    Slagmire on
  • TheungryTheungry Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Slagmire wrote:
    Theungry wrote:
    That movie was boring as hell.

    I didn't say it was good - just a good example ;)

    Yeah, its a shame because it had a lot of potential as an idea. I don't even remember much about it other than a few funny moments and being glad when it was over.

    Theungry on
    Unfortunately, western cultures frown upon arranged marriages, so the vast majority of people have to take risks in order to get into relationships.
  • Milquetoast ThugMilquetoast Thug Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    The number one rule of the horror film should be this:

    Death is when the monsters get you.

    Work with that.

    Milquetoast Thug on
  • thorpethorpe Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    One thing to remember; just because its a horror film doesn't mean you have to have supernatural or sci-fi elements or even an obvious serial murderer or something.

    The most scary film I've ever seen (and which I'm humiliated to state I've forgotten the name of) followed the day to day life of a nightguard at a museum being driven slowly insane by his forced departure from his homeland of France (it takes place during WW1 or 2, I forget).

    It scared the shit out of me with its creepy Egyptian motif (that being the exhibit he guarded) and visions, without resorting to some clumsy monster.

    thorpe on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • GrisloGrislo Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Slagmire wrote:
    ..or sharing a meal with another..

    Recreate the spaghetti sharing scene from Lady and the Tramp, but with intestines instead. Ah, to be a zombie in love..

    Grislo on
    This post was sponsored by Tom Cruise.
  • CalebrosCalebros a k a TimesNewPwnin Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    I find myself the most freaked out at movies that play on the more common fears and suspense and not just gore and OH SHIT THAT GUY DOESN'T HAVE A HEAD.

    I prefer to be disturbed rather than shocked or startled. I saw a japanese horror flick once called One Missed Called, and the most terrifying scene in the entire movie was when the girl who was trying to track down whatever supernatural antagonist it was in an abandoned building (yes, cliche) but at one point, she heard a noise so she stood still, turned around, and a pair of hands slid a pickled fetus in a jar out of the crack of the door. She stared at it for a second, heard another noise across the room, looked, and another fetus-in-a-jar was slid through a crack in a door. Another noise, another turn, another fetus. That part really freaked me out because.... what the fuck, director? What the fuck made you think of that?

    I guess it had mostly to do with the feeling that something was everywhere, you were scared and knew it, and proceeded to fuck with you as it saw fit. It didn't have to come out or be aggressive, all it had to do was push a jar through an open door and you were terrified.

    So yeah, that's my advice, for what it's worth.

    Be subtle and disturbing.

    Calebros on
  • aquabataquabat Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    three things you should concentrate on


    quiet

    fear

    atmosphere

    one prtagonist and her imagination as she walks down a street or in a dark place

    aquabat on
  • CalebrosCalebros a k a TimesNewPwnin Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    aquabat wrote:
    three things you should concentrate on


    quiet

    fear

    atmosphere

    one prtagonist and her imagination as she walks down a street or in a dark place

    thats a good one

    it'd be easy to do in 8-10 mins as well

    everyone walking alone at night gets that tension, the anxious feeling of being followed and the little feeling inside you urging you to go on faster before what it is that's not behind you catches you

    Calebros on
  • Dagless MDDagless MD Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Seriously guys what the fuck?
    I don't know how i feel about supplying intellectual property

    I did say that I'd give any plot ideas a writers credit in the final piece, so you know what you can do with your fucking interlectual property you pretentious miserable bastard.
    Okay that is actually stupid, but it might help you think or something. Brainstorming is not really a strength of mine.

    Then why the fuck are you posting?
    You're not going to be successful as a filmmaker if you can't think of anything good to film in the first place.

    Fuck you pal, go die in a fire. I did say "Burdened", the horror genre isn't a strength of mine hence why I'm asking for advice on ideas, NOT how to come up with ideas.

    Im real disappointed PA. The word that is now banned from this discussion is: "Zombies".

    A low budget Zombie flick, how fucking original.

    Japanese horror is a nice idea and I'll look into it.

    I'm looking for plot here, that's what I'm having real trouble with, the initial idea is the only thing holding this production back. So any more ideas would be greatly appreciated.

    Dagless MD on
    "Maybe if everyone close to you had died...
    You'd be sarcastic too."
  • TheungryTheungry Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Wow, i'm sorry i gave as much advice as i did. I hope your film sucks.

    Theungry on
    Unfortunately, western cultures frown upon arranged marriages, so the vast majority of people have to take risks in order to get into relationships.
  • CalebrosCalebros a k a TimesNewPwnin Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Christ, you two. Grow up.

    Calebros on
  • DaySleeperDaySleeper regular
    edited February 2007
    I'm sorry, Dagless. I thought I could give you a jumping off point and maybe you could get some more ideas. Perhaps instead of asking a bunch of presumably helpful and friendly strangers you could do your own fucking homework.

    DaySleeper on
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  • Mr_GrinchMr_Grinch Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Just off the top of my head (literally I'm making shit up as I go along in work so this may be UTTERLY apalling), not exactly original either but it should fill 7 or 8 minutes. Oh and I'm scribbling down so apologies for poor ENglish.

    Child (boy) wakes up in the middle of the night. He walks to bathroom, on his way out we see something move in the mirror, almost off camera. Queue Ominous music and dark lighting to try to build up suspense.

    The Kid goes in the bathroom and the door shuts, we follow up the hall to the parents room. Either blood or an arm sticks out of the door. Staying low turn round to face the door. The kid comes out, rubs his eyes (eyes likely adjusting to the low light level) and he looks towards us, obviously seeing the arm/blood on the floor. He runs towards the camera on the floor (towards arm/blood).

    He finds his parents dead on the floor, as he looks up in to their room something runs across the mirrors (I'm imagining built in wardrobes with mirrors), something black and without shape (just a shadow). It runs from the end of the mirrors towards his reflection. Kid screams and runs out of the room.

    We follow him down the hall and in to what is obviously his sisters room. (dolls, toys etc). He bursts in looking for her, not finding her he hides under the bed. Under the bed we hear movement coming up the stairs (possibly from a 1st person view), down the corridor and towards the terrified child. The door opens slowly, we see low down from the point of view of the kid, a foot comes forward in to view.

    His sister (let's place her about 12 years old) speaks as she walks in the room:

    "Johnny?"

    He shuffles under the bed and she screams a little then realises it's him. Climbing under they huddle together.

    "I saw Mom and Dad" - Boy
    "Me too, I've phoned the police..." - Girl

    Dialogue could essentially be called out and everything just hinted at. They're terrified of whatever happened to their parents and don't dare speak too loud for fear their killer may be about.

    Something moves in the mirror at the end of the girls bed/on the bedside table. They see it. They cower under the bed.

    We now see from the hallway. The sister's bedroom door slams shut, we here screaming and banging from both children as the bed's lifted up and down. Thrown about. We get a quick glimpse of the action in the room. The bed is thrown up in to the air. Lots of screaming.

    The door swings open and the boy manages to scramble out. Turning around we see the arm of his sister fall out. He turns to see her, bloody, cut, dying. She looks utterly terrified. Her eyes close.

    The boy screams and runs down the stairs. He bolts for the front door just as the door bell goes. He swings it open and there's a policeman there.

    "We got a call from this address, are your Mam and Dad home son?"

    The boy stutters, obviously utterly terrified.
    The policeman steps in, it's obvious to him something's amiss. As he closes the door we pan to a side view of the kid stood behind him. We see reflections in a nearby mirror of the child and the cop. From the back of the kid's feet extends a shadow. It towers above his head. Close up now on the boys face. Bright red eyes and evil as fuck grin.

    Outside view of the house, we see the front door slam shut and the cop start to scream.

    Fade out, roll credits, do NOT insert bad metal music.

    (YEs, I do realise this family has an awful lot of mirrors in their house. Feel free to attack this idea for being stupid/lame/shit, I am not proud :) )

    Mr_Grinch on
    Steam: Sir_Grinch
    PSN: SirGrinchX
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  • Mr_GrinchMr_Grinch Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Quelreth wrote:
    Lo and behold.

    I haven't seen it, and I'm pretty sure it's not very serious, but that's probably the closest you're gonna get right now.

    I've seen it. God knows why. I love my dodgy horror movies and myself and my flat mate rented it. We were in fucking hysterics throughout. It starts relatively tame but it's about this lass who's boyfriend becomes a zombie. He slowly turns more and more zombie like and she stands by him by either feeding him or providing an alibi (it's been a few months since I watched it!).

    There's one part where they're planning to get away on holiday somewhere, basically get him away to a remote island. It all goes well until the boyfriend goes mad and starts eating the travel agent.

    It sounds more entertaining than it actually is.

    Mr_Grinch on
    Steam: Sir_Grinch
    PSN: SirGrinchX
    Oculus Rift: Sir_Grinch
  • DekuStickDekuStick Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Mr_Grinch wrote:
    Mirror Shadow Story

    All the mirrors make sense to me except for the first one. If he sees the shadow in a bathroom mirror then I can see it. All the mirrors make sense and it's not like a large amount of mirrors for a family of four.

    The parents could have a large mirror on top of a dresser. This is common.

    A mirror in a girls room is like finding hay in a hay stack.

    I've seen countless homes with mirror sliding doors in their main entrance (mine included).

    In fact I have all of these mirrors you mentioned in my house.

    DekuStick on
  • Mr_GrinchMr_Grinch Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Point taken, as I said I scribbled it down pretty damn quickly (last 5 minutes) so it might take some refining to iron out any problems. I did however mean there should be a mirror in his room, that's the one you see on the way out. He doesn't look in it. In the bathroom you could just have him head down either splashing it with water, or just flat out not looking. I know I don't when I get up mid evening. Incidentally mirrors always have creeped the hell out of me, I always catch a glimpse of something moving and jump.

    Another I've just done now but I like it a LOT less but it may be cheaper. I think the general idea has been done before though:

    Woman forced to relive suicide over and over as punishment for the sin, I'm not religious myself but in some religions don't you go to hell if you commit suicide? Her hell could be repeating it over and over again:

    I.e Start it by showing her lying in front of a car. Bloodied up, people around her, driver CLEARLY shaken. Her eyes close and the camera fades out.

    Film the rest from her point of view. Have her wake-up in bed that morning, possibly looking at her bedside table and seeing a cocktail of drugs and booze. Failed attempt.

    We get a voice over of her thinking:

    "What the hell? WHat a weird dream"
    Glancing over to bedside cabinet
    "Guess that didn't work last night."

    Have her walk about, lost in her thoughts about suicide, why she wanted to. Try to make her come around to a different way of thinking. She wants to live.

    Eventually round it off with her coming back to the street we saw her on before. Make it familiar for the audience, show the car that hit her, and the driver we saw earlier heading down the road.

    Have her realise what's going to happen:

    "Oh my God, I've been here before. That car. That dream!"

    (If you couldn't guess I can't write dialogue worth shit)

    She's got no control over her body. We hear a voice over of her scream. On screen she leaps in front of the moving vehicle, her conscious unable to change what's happening. Camera fades out.

    She wakes up in her bed (from her view). Looks to her left. She sees the tablets. She stands up the same as before. Realisation hits her. She screams and screams and screams but her body keeps doing the same actions as last time.

    Not quite as fond of that idea but with some refining it could work. It's a little less traditional horror and you've got a unique (ish...other than blair witch!) first person view to film from. Be incredibly cheap to do too.

    ::Edited slightly::

    Mr_Grinch on
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    PSN: SirGrinchX
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  • Dagless MDDagless MD Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Thanking Mr Grinch, fair play to you for giving it a go. Unfortunately I won't be
    taking on your ideas because anyone who has done film before knows how
    difficult it is to work with children and women... especially women.

    But you do show some interesting ideas, I've come up with something now
    though and I'm going to go in a different direction.

    I'm appauled by the lack of input, Daysleeper, your "inspiring input" was about as
    useful as me jumping on a thread of yours on H/A and saying "I don't know".

    Theungry, sorry you gave me as much help as you did? You didn't give any help
    you cock-juggling thunder-cunt.

    Thank you in general for underlining the fact that you can't ask strangers for help.
    And on a Help and Advice forum? What was I thinking?

    Dagless MD on
    "Maybe if everyone close to you had died...
    You'd be sarcastic too."
  • DaySleeperDaySleeper regular
    edited February 2007
    Dagless, you asked for ideas. People gave you ideas. There's no reason to jump down their throats because you thought they weren't good ideas.

    DaySleeper on
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  • TehSpectreTehSpectre Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Dagless MD wrote: »
    Thanking Mr Grinch, fair play to you for giving it a go. Unfortunately I won't be
    taking on your ideas because anyone who has done film before knows how
    difficult it is to work with children and women... especially women.

    But you do show some interesting ideas, I've come up with something now
    though and I'm going to go in a different direction.

    I'm appauled by the lack of input, Daysleeper, your "inspiring input" was about as
    useful as me jumping on a thread of yours on H/A and saying "I don't know".

    Theungry, sorry you gave me as much help as you did? You didn't give any help
    you cock-juggling thunder-cunt.

    Thank you in general for underlining the fact that you can't ask strangers for help.
    And on a Help and Advice forum? What was I thinking?

    I think this kinda turned around into a bit of a troll poster. I mean seriously...this guy is just being a real dick now.

    TehSpectre on
    9u72nmv0y64e.jpg
  • Willeh DeeWilleh Dee Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    TehSpectre wrote: »

    I think this kinda turned around into a bit of a troll poster. I mean seriously...this guy is just being a real dick now.

    Here here.

    Willeh Dee on
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