Watika Lemon is making a movie! Or at least a short horror film. In this series, we will Walk you through the behind-the-scenes process. One warning: we have no idea what we’re doing, so please don’t take any of our advice to heart.
It all starts with a script. This is usually where you can let your imagination fly; but as I sat down to write this untitled horror film I was keenly aware that I would be shooting on a budget of something around $200. So instead of going crazy, I tried to construct a story that was actually do-able. I kept it to one setting; my bedroom, and one character (I can afford at least that much). The monster (it’s a horror movie, of course) would be limited to sound effects and brief glances. I won’t go into the details of the story just yet, but I will add that the story has no dialogue, which means we don’t have to buy decent microphones or worry about audio editing.
I decided to write the script in short story format; partially because I don’t really know how to write s screenplay, and partially because it seemed like a more efficient choice given that there was no dialogue. The script/story ended up being about two pages of a notebook. By my rough estimation, that should result in a five or so minute movie. The stage direction and props were based on things that were already in my room (another cost-cutting move).
The main character is a young woman, in classic teen horror movie tradition. ’80s horror is my primary influence, and I think that will show through in the final product.
Next came the storyboard. This was a relatively new process for me, having to break each moment into component shots that stitch together to tell a story. I have a little experience in that from drawing comics, but a storyboard is more detailed and less forgiving. The storyboard, which I drew in a Star Wars: The Phantom Menace notebook, runs 11 pages and features crude stick figures and short descriptions of the action going on in that shot.
Doing the storyboard helped to visualize the story better, which led to a few revisions that will hopefully make the story clearer and improve the pacing.
And that’s it. We now have a script. The next step is to bring it to life.
In the next instalment, we’ll look at some of the equipment we’ll be using, and talk about the technical tests we have done to find the right setup.