Okay folks, this is officially over. I detail the reasons why below:
In 2008 I began work on what was intended to be a feature length horror film. This was my second attempt at making a feature length film. In 2003 I made my first feature, which was financed with money from family, and never screened anywhere. My first film and the lack of response was a major disappointment. I began learning about distribution and marketing using the internet. I tried to implement what I learned by making Zombie Ferox. That is the title of the horror film I wanted to make. The storyline was inspired by The Naked Prey starring Cornel Wilde, the last man on earth tries to survive on foot in a zombie infested wasteland. I did not have the funds to shoot the film all at once. Also, after the experience of my first movie, it didn’t seem wise to invest a lot of money in a film that did not have a distributor. I decided to make the film in a piece meal fashion. Not being able to afford a permit to shoot in my hometown,Los Angeles, and after almost getting arrested trying to film anyway, I found an affordable filming location in Nevada. I found local actors in Nevada and brought makeup artists from Los Angeles out to the desert to film. I shot the first 10 minutes of the movie, edited it together, and was very happy with the finished result. I should let you know that the makeup artists were the only paid crew I had, the actors worked for free, the location was cheap, and I still ended up spending around $8,000. I spent $5,000 of my savings and put $3,000 on my credit card. The cost of the makeup artists, special effects, and insurance was still very high. I also filmed outdoors in the Nevada summer, when the heat was about 115 degrees, so I had to pay for misters to keep the actors and crew cool. By the time I had shot that first part of the film in July of 2011, I had already been working on the film for three years. At the time of this writing, the video I uploaded to the Zombie Ferox youtube channel has only had 344 views. In the years leading up to filming, I tried networking online with the horror community without looking like a shill. Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and still no audience. No one is paying attention. So, due to the cost of filming and the less than enthusiastic response, I am moving on. I am going to make another film. A film that will be completed. Right now, I just have some sketchy ideas about what I want to do. But one thing I can tell you, is that I will film on the streets of Los Angeles and there will be no special effects makeup.
My new website is danielsemel.com
I’ve created a new youtube channel and uploaded Zombie Ferox, which you can watch below.
Last Wednesday, at Borders in Hollywood, Lloyd Kaufman did a book signing for his new book “Direct Your Own Damn Movie!” I’ve read and re-read his other two books many many times, “All I Need To Know About FILMMAKING I Learned From The Toxic Avenger” and “Make Your Own Damn Movie!”
After Kaufman signed my books he made me promise to write a review on Amazon, which I did. I’ve included my Amazon review below along with pics of my autographed books.
My Amazon book review for “Direct Your Own Damn Movie!” –
I just met Lloyd Kaufman tonight at a book signing at Borders in Los Angeles. After signing my copy of ‘Direct Your Own Damn Movie!’ he pleaded with me to go on Amazon and give it a good review. I’ve skimmed it on the way home and I can honestly say that this book is another great asset for the independent filmmaker just like his first two books were, which I have actually read. I have started directing a horror movie of my own, without a film crew or a budget, and I’ve found his other book “Make Your Own Damn Movie” very helpful so I know I’ll get a lot out of this one too.
The reason Lloyd Kaufman’s advice on filmmaking is such a great resource is that Lloyd is the genuine article. He is a real independent filmmaker that has experienced success and failure, but most importantly he is also a great human being. One book of his that has helped me get through the dark times is his memoir “Everything I Know About Filmmaking I Learned From The Toxic Avenger.” That book is more personal, documenting Lloyd’s struggle to become a filmmaker, its not a How-To book but it is great.
Lloyd, YOU are one of the great filmmakers. Troma films are amazing films.
thanks for the inspiration, the book from you I’m really waiting for is the one on how to do your own special effects. My horror film has a lot of gore and I have no experience with make up, so I’m working with a special effects make up artist I can barely pay, so it would be nice to know how to do it myself.