At the end of the summer, my horror script, TOO MANY PREDATORS was supposed to have become a short film directed by Chris Messineo of the New Jersey Film School (http://www.njfilmschool.com/), and the man behind Off Stage Films (http://www.offstagefilms.com/) – both award winning institutions, by the way. But after finding the perfect location with screenwriter/director Paul Williams, the owner got cold feet and screwed the deal after giving us a green light.
Granted, I had looked for another venue but nothing happened. Proprietors were either squeamish or wanted money I didn’t have. After all, this was to be a “no budget” enterprise, but that was also no longer the case. In order to film, I’d need to raise at least $4,000. I felt awful about doing so because that meant I’d have to ask friends and family for financial support regardless of Kickstarter. Knowing many people who had taken monetary hits during the downturn, I didn’t want to ask for a dime when they had bills to pay. Of course I could use my own funds, but I don’t have anything close to that amount.
I wrote the whole thing off as a missed opportunity and focused on selling my novel, writing another script and teaching.
Then, Chris came up with the best possible solution: His Advanced Filmmaking Workshop at the New Jersey Film School would make the movie at a cost I could afford (well sort of). It didn’t take much thought, or much convincing from my girlfriend, to give him the nod. The advanced class is made up of adult students who have already taken courses and proven themselves at the school in New Providence, New Jersey. And they know what they’re doing because a previous class won the DVXuser Villain Fest. The film, THE WATER’S EDGE, is about two brothers in the woods “full of dangerous men” (http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?248629-quot-The-Water-s-Edge-quot-NJ-Film-School). The story, directing, lighting and acting are fantastic, and it’s clear why the short won. Recently, another advanced class came in third place with another short film. With this kind of track record, I’d be foolish to pass it by.
Since I’m sharing some of the cost, I will earn a producer credit as well as screenwriter. My first meeting with the filmmaker’s will be this coming Sunday at the school’s vast new location, and it is fabulous. Complete with a large shooting stage and green screen, and with some excellent equipment, the result should be amazing. Granted, I do see the film in my mind’s eye, including camera angles and such, but the class has my trust and I can’t wait to indulge in the director’s vision. After all, I want to learn as well to helm my own project in the future.
TOO MANY PREDATORS will be used as a public relations tool in a press kit to fund a horror feature of mine, but right now the pre-production meeting looms, and I look forward to the experience. For now, I await notes from Chris about the revised script.