Hey there adrenaline junkies! It’s time again for another film race! The latest edition of the 72hr Horror Film Race starts this Thursday.
We’ve done fairly well at the film races over the past few years, including a top 10 finalist finish for Your Top 3 in the 100hr Film Race 2020, and top 15 finalist for Head Case in the 72hr Horror Film Race 2021. We also won best VFX for Head Case!
Our other efforts didn’t place as well, but we’ve learned so much in the process that it hardly matters.
However, I’m a fairly competitive person sometimes, and I’d like to win one of these some day. I’m not sure Horror is the genre to do it in, but it’s the most out of my comfort zone, so I’m delighted to try again!
We’re going with a very small group this time, and it’s very possible we’ll do stop motion. We’ve done plenty with Lego and could totally do something based around things that move by themselves. Last year we also tried a cool little experiment with human stop motion that has a lot of potential. You can check that out here.
We’ve also got green screen technology, and I’ve got a better handle now on how to use it. We used it with our last Film Race film, The Conversation Killer, for the 100hr Film Race 2022.
The trickiest thing is how to approach the Horror aspect of the film. Some elements of Horror, and I’m looking at you, gore, need setup, cleanup, and a location you can mess up. It can be done using VFX, but not without a lot of skill. We are very unlikely to do gore.
Horror is known as a genre that can be achieved cheaply, however, and often with satisfying results. You can lean into the low-budget feel and do an intentional (or not) b-movie. You can push that further into satire, parody and even actual comedy. You can use tricks like suspense-building (aka nothing happening, but creepier), weird camera choices (surveillance, shaky), and little glimpses of monsters that never fully materialize. You can make everyday people the monsters. These techniques are fantastic filmmaking strategies that go far beyond any genre.
I rarely watch Horror movies, so it’s a real challenge to offer something up to experienced, bloodthirsty audiences.
On Thursday at 7pm PST, we’ll get the 3 required elements of Action, Theme and Prop. Those will determine everything we do, and the script/concept that I’ll create.
I’m aiming to make a 5 minute film. Top priority is scary, but funny is okay too. The challenge is Horror, and I want to tick that box.
I’m expecting to do a storyboard more than a script. Suspense-building seems about right for our budget. Low dialogue, maybe even voice over or narration. Maybe just music. Maybe just sounds.
We have a number of random musical instruments on hand, and I’d like to try making some ‘music’ to go with the visuals. If we shoot in stop-motion, we’ll have to build the sound from nothing regardless.
Overall, a less-scripted, more abstract concept might be really fun to try. I’m really really excited about how the required Action will play with stop motion. Maybe super cool, maybe impossible!
Have you ever attempted a contest like this, film or otherwise? What sort of updates or behind-the-scenes stuff would you like to see? Let us know in the comments of through email@example.com! I’ll be posting here and on Twitter as much as possible over the course of the race! Hope you follow along! Thanks for reading!