The Six Day Horror Movie

A No-Nonsense Guide to No-Budget Filmmaking


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About the Book

When someone offered Michael DiPaolo $5,000 to help make a Digital Video horror film, he jumped at the chance to test a theory: an ultra-low budget feature, shot in less than a week, with a paid cast and crew, could be successful if meticulously planned. Using one computer and one camcorder, he produced and edited Daddy, which had its theatrical premier in New York City in 2004.
This book breaks down the production through a detailed daily diary, emphasizing that the most important aspects of successful producing are careful planning and camaraderie in the group. The work covers many points important for the low-budget filmmaker, including selecting a story; budgeting; scheduling; picking cast and crew; scouting locations; finding wardrobe, food, and transportation; and what to do if you run out of time or money. Postproduction is also covered (editing, computer work, and sound design), as is the result of all this hard work: screenings, festivals, and distributors. One chapter covers the primacy of cinematic point-of-view, and another profiles some role models for the aspiring low-budget filmmaker: Edgar Ulmer, Val Lewton, Roger Corman, John Cassavetes, Ed Wood, Jr., and Jean-Luc Godard. Later chapters explain strategy and tactics of guerrilla filmmaking and show the budding filmmaker how to recognize both his limitations and his strengths.

About the Author(s)

Michael P. DiPaolo began by writing, producing, and directing feature-lengths based on fictionalized variations of the confessions he heard working at the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office. He has spent more than 15 years in independent features working as a writer, director, producer, cameraman, and editor.

Bibliographic Details

Michael P. DiPaolo
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 244
Bibliographic Info: photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2004
pISBN: 978-0-7864-1905-0
eISBN: 978-0-7864-2714-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction      1

PART I: Making a Horror Film in Six Days

1. Planning Daddy      5

2. Ambushing Daddy      20

3. Finishing Daddy      35

PART II: An Introduction to Guerrilla Filmmaking

4. Patron Saints of the Underground      41

5. Point-of-View      53

6. Two Fundamental Theories      56

7. Strategy and Tactics      58

PART III: How to Be a Guerrilla Filmmaker

8. The Story      75

9. The Plan      89

10. Your Team      146

11. The Ambush      163

12. Metamorphosis of the Ambush      190

13. Presenting the Ambush      200

14. Beware of the Bottom-Feeders      210

Appendix 1: Daddy Timeline/Schedule      215

Appendix 2: Daddy Script Excerpt      218

Appendix 3: Daddy Scenario Excerpt      220

Appendix 4: Daddy Outline Excerpt      221

Appendix 5: Daddy Budget      223

Appendix 6: Daddy Full Schedule      224

Appendix 7: Daddy Sample Shot Log      226

Notes      229

Bibliography      231

Index      235

Book Reviews & Awards

“rich…carefully laid-out…knowledgeable…excellent”—Fangoria; “detailed book…an informative look”—Burlington County Times.