Wednesday, June 4, 2014

See Joshua Caldwell's $6,000 feature film LAYOVER!

Those of you in Los Angeles tonight should try to catch the LA premiere of friend-of-the-blog Joshua Caldwell's film LAYOVER.  The film is screening in competition as part of Dances With Films, following a successful premiere last week at the Seattle International Film Festival.

Caldwell shot the entire feature for a budget of $6,000, making use of a borrowed camera and stolen shots.  He also wrote a fantastic post about the whole experience on the site No Film School. It's something everyone dreaming of making an indie film should read. An excerpt:

Write Set Pieces that Can Be Accomplished on a Budget

If you know how to pull it off for no money, you can allow for a few scenes that look expensive but were actually the cheapest scenes we shot. There’s a trick, however, to making some of those set pieces scenes work: don’t write any dialogue or require any performance from your actors.

The reason for this is while you might have a really expensive looking scene, you may not be allowed more than one take. These are scenes you shoot guerilla style. Here’s an example:

There’s a scene in the film where our main character Simone meets up with a friend and they go to a club in Hollywood. The club is packed, it’s busy, it’s fun, colorful and dark and our editor, Will Torbett edited the hell out of it. Feels like we owned that club.

But we didn’t. We got permission to be there with our camera and film but nothing else. We couldn’t control the lights; we couldn’t control the crowds or anything else. But I knew that would be the case (because we didn’t have the money to shut the place down) so I wrote a scene that didn’t require any dialogue (dialogue requires multiple takes) and only had specific piece of action to be filmed (Simone seeing her friend). The rest was just girls dancing and having fun.

BUT that was also the point of the scene. For Simone, this is the point in the movie where she starts to let go and have fun. So it became the perfect character-based set piece and it really increases the production value of the film.

SlashFilm also conducted a video interview with Josh that you can find below:

The film screens tonight at 9:30pm at the TCL Chinese Theatres.  Tickets are available here

Over on his own site, Josh talks about his Indiegogo campaign to raise money to film the remaining two films in what he sees as "The LAX Trilogy."

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