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fwtep
04-12-2005, 03:41 PM
Since I post a lot here and the Cinematography one, I thought I'd let you know that the movie I directed, co-wrote, co-produced, and did the FX for is finally out.

Today Sony Pictures is releasing my movie on DVD in North America. It should be available for sale and rental everywhere there. They've changed the name from Primeval to the more exciting sounding Sasquatch Hunters, but hopefully that's all that was changed (I haven't seen the final DVD yet and they had the right to make changes). It's not the greatest movie ever, but hopefully it's fun and interesting enough (I'm not a good judge of my own work). Think of it as the type of thing you'd see on the Sci-Fi Channel rather than some big Hollywood film. If you don't like it, I promise the next one will be better. If you DO like it I still promise the next one will be better. :)

The movie is about a team of researchers who've hired some Forest Rangers to take them deep into the forest where they hope to solve the mystery of some fossil bones that had been found there a long time ago. I'll let you figure out what happens. :)

The creature was designed, modeled and textured by Taron, rigged by Ron Griswold, and animated by me. Animation was all in messiah, as was some rendering (messiah:studio 1.5). Shots that required CG hair were rendered in LW with Worley's aptly named Sasquatch (http://www.worley.com/sasquatch/sasquatch.html).

Here's a link to Sony's page for the movie: http://www.sonypictures.com/homevid...3396109636.html (http://www.sonypictures.com/homevideo/catalog/catalogDetail_DVD043396109636.html)

And here's the official site: http://www.flickerscope.com (http://www.flickerscope.com/)

Fred

PS: I'm still negotiating overseas distribution, so no date yet.

PPS: Sad to say, but there are some good examples in it of what not to do in a screenplay. Oh well, live and learn. And learn I did.

igorsandman
04-12-2005, 04:34 PM
Hello,
It's impressive how you stay humble while you're at the place I dream to be. You're talking about your film as if it was an amateur short or something. :)
I'll remember this lesson of humility when I'm there, talking about my first film released on DVD.
I'm curious about that film of yours. If I get a chance to put an hand on it one day, I'll have a look.
I wish you luck on your next film.
Regards.
-IS-

spudk
04-12-2005, 04:39 PM
Since I post a lot here and the Cinematography one, I thought I'd let you know that the movie I directed, co-wrote, co-produced, and did the FX for is finally out.

-snip-


PPS: Sad to say, but there are some good examples in it of what not to do in a screenplay. Oh well, live and learn. And learn I did.


Congrats on getting your movie done. Would you mind sharing those examples?

fwtep
04-12-2005, 04:49 PM
Congrats on getting your movie done. Would you mind sharing those examples?I'm heading out for a for a few hours, but hopefully later today or tonight I'll list some.

Fred

bugzilla
04-13-2005, 07:06 PM
First, a very big congratulations for getting a feature film made, but most importantly distributed. I am working on a feature length animated indie film and would like to know your experiences contacting and making the deal with your final distributor. I am sure that many others on this list would be interested in that as well.

fwtep
04-13-2005, 09:00 PM
First, a very big congratulations for getting a feature film made, but most importantly distributed. I am working on a feature length animated indie film and would like to know your experiences contacting and making the deal with your final distributor. I am sure that many others on this list would be interested in that as well.Finding a distributor is partially sending out a bunch of screeners to places that you think would be interested (based on other projects they've distributed), and partially luck. Luck plays a HUGE part in it. At many places there's one guy who will see it and make the decision. If he's having a day when he's not in the mood for your film you might be out of luck (unless it's so astonishing or such an obvious moneymaker). Or maybe they just picked up a similar film recently and don't want to have two similar products. Or maybe, on the good side, the guy had just been talking to some friends who wished people would make more of a certain kind of film, then your film happens to show up in the mail.

There are no guarantees that you'll get distribution, and there's no "standard" way of going about it. I was very lucky. I'm absolutely sure that there are films which are much better than mine but can't get distribution because they don't have a built-in market like horror or bigfoot does. I knew that from the beginning and that's why I chose this project instead of some other projects that I'd rather have done.

Another important thing is to have a name in it. Even if it's a "has-been" or low-level name it's still going to help tremendously. Not only will it please distributors (worldwide), but I believe that to someone standing in the video store even a third-rate "name" makes a film seem "real" as opposed to just a bunch of guys with a video camera. I should have gotten a name actor for my film but I didn't. I figured I had bigfoot and that's as much of a celebrity as anyone else, even more famous around the world than some big stars. It certainly DID help to have a famous creature, but a famous person would have helped even more. And you'd be surprised at how cheaply you can get some names you've heard of. Not people like Tom Hanks (unless your script is brilliant), but people like TV actors or up-and-coming people, or pro wrestlers, or rock stars, or actors whose career is a little cold. And you don't necessarily need them for the whole shoot. It could be just a day or two. I've known people to get names for as little as $4000 (for a couple of days) to $50,000 (for the whole film).

If finding and negotiating distribution isn't something you're comfortable with or are good at, you can hire a "producer's rep," which is what I did after a while. (I did it right after my distributor said they wanted the film, because I wanted someone who could help me through the process. It's better to get a rep as early as possible though, perhaps even during production.) The rep is similar to an actor's agent but it's for a film. They have contacts with various distributors and help you get a good deal, then they take a percentage. The percentage that they take can be more than made up for by getting you a better deal than you may have gotten without them.

Fred

Megalodon
04-13-2005, 11:22 PM
Fred,

Congratulations! I've already ordered through Amazon and can't wait to check it out.

And... BEST OF LUCK in your next project!

Dave Williams

dobermunk
04-18-2005, 08:39 AM
Congratulations agian, Fred!
And please: keep us up to date with the feedback you receive on your film / European distribution, etc.

David

Captain Spalding
04-21-2005, 11:26 PM
Nice, I liked it!

Sid Barnhoorn
04-22-2005, 09:21 AM
Ey Fred,

Congratulations man! :) The trailer was pretty exciting, great fx. You're really going up with this one, I bet. So, what's your next project gonna be? ;) hehehe

Cheers,
Siddhartha Barnhoorn
(composer for film, tv and media)
Email:
info@sidbarnhoorn.com
Website:
www.sidbarnhoorn.com (http://www.sidbarnhoorn.com/)

fwtep
04-22-2005, 02:29 PM
Ey Fred,

Congratulations man! :) The trailer was pretty exciting, great fx. You're really going up with this one, I bet. So, what's your next project gonna be? ;) heheheThanks, but I'd hold off the "congratulations" until you see the movie. :) It's not any kind of masterpiece. But it was fun and very educational. I'll hopefully be able to announce soon what the next project will be, and it'll be very different.

Fred

Parky
04-27-2005, 12:15 PM
Watched the trailer and it's looks very very good; what was the budget on the film?

Megalodon
04-27-2005, 06:32 PM
Fred,

My wife and I finally got to watch the movie last night. Her first thoughts.... another Sci-Fi channel "monster/bug movie." After watching it, we were both pleasantly surprised. The first thing she said was: Now why doesn't Sci-Fi have movies like that?

We discussed the movie and agreed that the acting was MUCH better than any of the "Saturday night movies" on Sci-Fi and the effects were pretty good and placed VERY well within the movie. A little to begin with and alot at the end. There were one or two creature movements that we both didn't like (and that's subjective), but aside from that the movie was VERY good and extremely enjoyable. We liked the characters and the humor was done very well. We would have preferred to see this as a Saturday night Sci-Fi movie than say Snake King, Raptor Island and a score of others that I can't remember.

I think that being Sasquatch, it's definitely more of a niche market than say Jurassic Park, but it was VERY well done and you should without a shred of doubt be VERY proud of this film. Would selling it to Sci-Fi not have recouped your investment? I know they don't pay very well but this is (IMHO) an exceptional film!

Congratulations and I wish you much success with your next venture!

Megalodon

digikris
04-28-2005, 12:35 AM
Hey Man!!!

I loved it. Very interesting.

Hari

csc2h
04-28-2005, 01:34 AM
Wow...this is really funny dude...I was at Hollywood Video the other night and picked up your movie and was like "this looks kinda odd"...Well, the name that they renamed it to is just awful and it actually made me kind of laugh, and I cant believe Sony did that- Primeval is such a better name and it would have caught my attention more so I think YOU were in the right direction, but its just cool that I picked that up and a fellow cgtalker made the thing but I didnt even realize it at the time...Im going to rent it here in the next few days...congrats on getting it published and finished! and BTW, im in Tennessee so your movie has definately gone pretty far....

fwtep
04-28-2005, 03:55 AM
Megalodon & Digikris: Glad you liked it. It was definitely made with the Sci-Fi Channel in mind. It's not a great film (as I've said before), but our hope was to at least be entertaining. I tried to avoid as many annoying cliches as possible, such as something jumps out but it's just the cat, or when someone is told not to do something ("don't open that door!") but five seconds later they do it anyway. For example, in this film as soon as they realize something is wrong they decide to leave, they don't say "hey, maybe we can communicate with it!" Other cliches we had to have, like the deaths at the beginning. Those characters were added during reshoots/pick-ups because distributors want a "grabber" right at the start.

I believe the first half hour after the opening titles is way too slow, but after that it gets going and is, well, at least "OK." I'm more proud of the fact that it's done and out there than anything else; it was quite an effort. It wasn't the kind of budget where I had tons of people to rely on. I DID have a few people, but by and large I had to do a whole lot more work than I'd originally intended. Of course, on the up side, I now know a LOT more about every aspect of filmmaking. I mean things you don't normally think of, like getting a good deal on film and equipment, the paperwork, etc. So the next film will be significantly better even if it's the same budge. And speaking of budget...

Parky: The budget was about $350,000. By contrast, most of the "Sci-Fi Original Movies" you see on the Sci-Fi Channel are 1 to 3 million dollars. For example, my friend Joe Conti's film for Sci-Fi, "Bugs" was about 2 million. Still, he did all of the FX himself too (though like me, he had help modeling and texturing), and he had over 10 times the number of shots to do. If I could do it again right now-- or better yet, for the next film-- I'd shoot HD with the Panasonic camera that's coming out in the fall.

Fred

Parky
04-28-2005, 03:20 PM
Parky: The budget was about $350,000. By contrast, most of the "Sci-Fi Original Movies" you see on the Sci-Fi Channel are 1 to 3 million dollars. For example, my friend Joe Conti's film for Sci-Fi, "Bugs" was about 2 million. Still, he did all of the FX himself too (though like me, he had help modeling and texturing), and he had over 10 times the number of shots to do. If I could do it again right now-- or better yet, for the next film-- I'd shoot HD with the Panasonic camera that's coming out in the fall.
Fred

That's alot of money, and that's on the lowish end? WOW!

Well, I'm going to purchase a copy, and spread the word over here in the UK. It's good to see indi film makers getting the limelight from time to time.

fwtep
04-28-2005, 04:59 PM
I probably could have done the film for quite a bit less by not paying people, or deferring their salaries until there was a profit on the film, but I've worked on projects like that before and I felt it was unfair, so I decided I wouldn't do that to other people on my project. Not that people were getting paid huge sums, but they were getting a rate they were happy with.

Fred

Megalodon
04-29-2005, 06:15 AM
Fred,

I don't know if you actually shopped this to the Sci-Fi channel, but if they did pass it up they're nuts. There was a Sasquatch movie with Lance Henrikson they had one Saturday many months ago - I think titled Sasquatch - and it was not as good as your film! I don't want to come off sounding like I'm defending your film because you frequent here, but I'm simply looking at the quality and entertainment value. WE (my wife and I) REALLY ENJOYED THE FILM! And for my wife to say that she liked it, it REALLY had to be good!

The first thing that made me jump was when the last of the three hunters running finds the main group and begins to cup his hands to his mouth to yell to them - and then a Sas grabs him. That was unexpected and great. I thought the film was paced VERY well and like I said in an earlier post, it was MUCH better than most of the fare at Sci-Fi. I DID like Bugs, but that is the rare exception on the Sci-Fi channel. I pretty much religiously watch all of the Saturday night Sci-Fi shows to see how different not-as-experienced filmmakers create these movies. Most of them are really not that good, but then I assume that they are learning - as we all are. The most recent one that took place on an oil rig (and I can't remember the name of it) was edited (IMHO) very poorly. The acting wasn't too bad, but EVERY time an actor put down a mike or phone they cut to a cloesup of them putting it down. EVERY time! It was annoying and looked very amateurish.

In your film, I did not recognize any of the actors but they did an excellent job. I wasn't expecting to be able to say that, but they all did great. I didn't notice anything negative regarding the editing or camera angles - I have no professional experience in these areas but one can instinctively know if something is wrong. Again, I don't want to come off like a cheerleader, but I honestly think you did a great job. And for only $350k.... I think that's incredible. Yes, it's "only a Sasquatch movie," but it is a GOOD Sasquatch movie!

Bottom line, if you don't get anything out of this - monetarily speaking - you've been robbed. If Sci-Fi didn't pick it up, they're stupid. Compare it to most of their "original" Sci-Fi movies, Sasquatch (and yes, the better title is Primeval) is by far the superior product.

I DO hope you keep directing because you did better than good. I'll be looking forward to your next film!

Megalodon

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