Microbudget Films

Layover Movie

Let’s say you desperately want to make a feature film, but you don’t have any money to do it. Can you scrape together a few thousand? Good, because writer/director Joshua Caldwell and producer Travis Oberlander join us this week to explain how they made Layover for only $6,000. Beyond making a movie for a few months’ rent, Geoff and I will answer your screenwriting questions and continue our star-spangled conversation from last week by exploring the concepts of Freedom and Revolution as they apply (for better and worse) to filmmaking. You should follow Caldwell (@joshua_caldwell), Travis Oberlander (@tobewan), the show (@brokenprojector), Geoff (@drgmlatulippe) and Scott (@scottmbeggs) on Twitter for more on a daily basis. Please review us on iTunes Download Episode #66 Directly Or subscribe Through iTunes

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Director David Wain has been a big name in the alternative comedy scene for a long time due to his work on The State and Stella, but he’s still looked at as something of a neophyte in the world of feature films. He’s directed one cult hit with his weird summer camp spoof Wet Hot American Summer, and one mainstream hit with his criminals-turned-mentors movie Role Models; but his last film, Wanderlust, kind of came and went with only a whimper. Let’s just chalk that up to the fact that it had Jennifer Aniston in the lead, though. Has anyone ever heard of a comedy she was in making any money? Undaunted by the terrors of possible obscurity, Wain is going back to the drawing board and putting together another project. Variety has word that it’s a comedy called They Came Together, and that it comes from a screenplay that has deep roots in Wain’s past. He co-wrote the film with fellow The State and Stella member Michael Showalter right after Wet Hot American Summer came out. It was a simple time, before Wain had to concern himself with things like studio concerns and mainstream relatability. Which begs the question – will this long unproduced script see Wain returning to his more absurdist comedic roots? And, if that’s the case, will a healthy dose of weird be what it takes to re-engage the eyeballs of a public who all but ignored his last project?

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Lionsgate is trying out a radical new approach to making movies – one in which you don’t spend a bajillion dollars producing, distributing, and advertising every film. Their new initiative, which focuses on what they’re calling microbudget films, is set to start releasing 10 films a year that all cost under 2 million dollars to produce. Seeing as the normal practice seems to have become releasing one film that costs 200 million to produce, you can see how this is such a change of pace for the industry. Lionsgate executive Joe Drake explained the strategy, “Microbudget films involve minimal overhead and very little risk, but a potentially high reward. This initiative allows us to add another layer to our slate of movies that work both financially and creatively.” That doesn’t seem so hard to figure out, make more movies for less money and each one becomes less of a risk, and you have more chances for something to hit big and recoup all your money. I sincerely hope it works out. The first three films to be produced under the initiative have been announced. The first is called Rapturepalooza, a comedy set after the religious apocalypse. It’s being directed by Paul Middleditch, written by Chris Matheson, and has Craig Robinson set to star. They refer to it as Zombieland meets The Big Lebowski in the press release, but that sounds too good to be true. If I was trying to sell movies that’s probably how I would describe everything. The […]

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published: 12.23.2014
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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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