So, a few years ago, I got together with some fine talent and made a little movie called BURDEN OF LOSS. We spent about six months working on the film and it was great fun. However, on the last day of shooting, one of the actors came to me and said "I want to make a movie, too. I just don't know how to start." No problem, I can put a movie together and we can shoot it.
Now, understand that this was September 11, and I assumed we would start on this project as soon as BURDEN was finished with post. I kicked around a few ideas, though, just so I could give Jerry an idea of what we could do, and came up with a concept that I thought could be developed fairly easily, using some of the same talent as BURDEN OF LOSS, some of the same locations, etc. So, I met with Jerry on September 14th, we had a cup of coffee, and I laid out this crazy apocolyptic, Lovecraftian, police-procedural. He thought it sounded great and we agreed on a miniscule budget that would be very tight. Then Jerry dropped a bomb. "We have to shoot the week of Halloween."
This Halloween? Six weeks from now, Halloween?
Yes. So, instead of saying no, I started smashing out a script, finding actors, hiring a special effects girl who had just graduated from a "prestifious effects school", and putting it all together. The effects girl didn't work out, so I ended up doing the effects myself with the help of a couple of castmates, the script was still being written, the cast was coming together (and falling apart when they found out we had no money) so casting became a need, and our shoot date started to creep up on us. Actually, it was barrelling down on us like a crazy steam train that had hurtled off the tracks and was carreening uncontrollably through the center of my life. BUT...I was able to start shooting this epic with no cash, on the Saturday one week before Halloween, and we just kept shooting. We shot in the morning, went to work, came home, fed the cast while working out the shots for the day and finishing up the effects and final touches of what was actually the first draft of a complex screenplay while we were shooting it. Oh, and just before this all started, my male lead told me he couldn't be in the movie because he had to get a real job. LOL! I took over the role since I was the one person I knew for a fact was going to be there every day. I shot, I shot and I pulled in every favor I could. And the day after Halloween, we wrapped.
I was exhausted. I had just shot two movies back-to-back, and now I needed to begin post.
Then the call came.
I was set up to show a film at a local convention on November 14th. They called, explaining that they had lost one of the movies they were premiering to a bigger venue, and did I have anything that might fit the bill? I told them I had just finished shooting, and was entering post on two features. "What are they about?" Well, BURDEN OF LOSS is a love story with a horrible cult and monsters, and THE REALITY is an apocolyptic, Lovecraftian, police-procedural. They wanted THE REALITY. So I started post, and busted my but to finish it in time.
At Midnight on November 14th, the theater filled and people sat down to watch a movie that I finished burning out to dvd only five minutes before. It was concieved, written, directed and edited over an eight week period, with a huge cast, special effects, and a budget of just under...$500! It isn't the cheapest movie I ever made, but it is the biggest cheapest movie I ever made. Just to let you all know.
So, here's the trailer for your entertainment.
The Reality Trailer from Cheapest Movies Ever on Vimeo.