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MONSTERS film


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#1 Lance Tang

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 08:07 PM

Hey guys,

Do any of you know what software was used to make the film "MONSTERS," and more specifically, for the visual effects? Apparently all the visual effects were done on a budget of less than 15k.

You can see a behind the scenes of the movie at http://www.slashfilm...bly-low-budget/
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#2 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 04:21 AM

Wow, after seeing this trailer:

http://www.slashfilm...gareth-edwards/

I'm really amazed by this. It looks really interesting. I was totally unaware of this film. As for the effects software, in the Attila The Hun BBC production, it stated that he used After Effects and Photoshop:

http://www.slashfilm...attila-the-hun/

Since most VFX people get comfortable with their tools and are reluctant to change them, chances are AE and Photoshop were used extensively, after all, we know he already had them and was an expert with them. The animation software is not mentioned but chances are he used either 3d Studio Max, Maya or Lightwave my guess would be 3D Studio Max as it seems to be popular in Briton.

I WILL say ONE thing though, when he mentions in the making of video that you posted that anyone can go out and do this, it's bunk. YES, everyone with a few thousand bucks can buy the software but he was a freakin' VFX artist on several projects for the BBC for cryin' out loud!! Not everyone comes to the table with those kind of skills. That being said, from what I saw in the trailers, he did an amazing job. B)

Edited by James Steven Beverly, 25 August 2010 - 04:23 AM.

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#3 Scott Fritzshall

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 02:36 PM

Ehhhhhhhhh this is going to be one of those movies that gives everyone really unrealistic expectations. He made the movie for $15k because no one got paid, including himself. He's also a very experienced visual effects artist with a really really good eye, and he made his film on the fly in ways that made the effects easy for him to do. He says a lot of stuff in that interview that's really misleading as well, and implies that all you need is a computer and a camera and you can make professional quality movies.

The thing about Edwards is that he's one of those one-in-a-million people who can do everything the wrong way and end up with something that looks right, and while there are definitely clever techniques at play in his work that are picking up on, you really have to take him with a grain of salt or else you'll risk inadvertently picking up some really bad ideas. With those caveats in mind, if you want to see a really thorough breakdown of how he works, www.fxphd.com had a course with him where he went through a whole bunch of shots from his previous film Attila and showed how he did them. It doesn't look like they're offering that class now, but they might have it again in the future.

Edited by Scott Fritzshall, 25 August 2010 - 02:36 PM.

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#4 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 02:00 AM

I took a look at the Monstersthemovie.com website and apparently the actress and some experience and is union which makes it surprising she would work for free. From what I saw in the trailers, the acting was decent from both of them. Also, he specifically mentions he hired a professional sound man which is also strange that he didn't get paid. I SUPPOSE it COULD BE done for 15K, the actors working under the ultra low budget SAG contract, the sound guy hired at a flat rate, as he mentioned, the locals pressed into service for free, travel expenses gotten at cut rates, staying in inexpensive hotels. I think he said they shot for 3 weeks. I'm really wondering how he managed to get the light right with no one there to even hold a bead board or foam core. Maybe he pressed the locals into serice for that as well. I wouldn't like to try shooting a feature under those conditions but I do have to admit the trailers look good.
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#5 Richard Boddington

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Posted 29 August 2010 - 05:15 PM

Looks like this could be the first micro budget movie that looks like a much bigger movie and does very well. Blair Witch, Open Water, and Paranormal Activity, all produced enormous ROI. But they all looked "low budget."

Monsters doesn't actually look low budget, it looks very slick. And quite the hilarious plot point that the aliens are confined to an area where the US asserts all the "aliens" come from. :blink:

This guy may disprove Phil Rhode's position that there is no hope for UK filmmakers :lol:

R,
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#6 Scott Fritzshall

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 04:11 PM

NPR program The Business just aired an interview with Edwards yesterday that's probably worth listening to for anyone interested. Particularly of note is that the figure they're now quoting for his budget is actually $250k, which is considerably more believable. I'm wondering if that figure includes Edwards' pay, or if his fee is accounted for separately.

You can download the interview here: http://www.kcrw.com/...blood_music_sup
(fyi his interview is in the second half of the program)
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#7 Paco Sweetman

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 05:04 PM

I have just seen a preview of this film in the NFT London. The editor did a talk afterwards that was very illuminating.

The film was shot on a Sony EX3, with a lens adapter and 3 prime Nikon Lenses attached (don't ask me what lenses or lens adaptor)

Realistically I think the film is very good, but, I found his approach (shooting on the fly with scene cards) to give mildly redundant dialogue. Don't let this deter you though. It just wasn't for me (the Dialogue, not the film) There is a great atmosphere to the film and I did like the scenario, it was well rounded.
Considering the guy is only 35 it is a huge achievement.

The effects were done using After Effects for the compositing shots, and 3D Studio Max for the 3D stuff of the alien.

His credits on the film include Writer, Director, Cinematographer, Special Effects and Production Design. If you have a chance to see the editor of the film (who ever says that) talk, then do it. The guy shot making of footage during the film will probably put it on the DVD when it is finally released. It's great because it shows the absolute nuts and bolts of how the film was made.

What he has on screen for £200k puts so many of the big budget filmmakers to shame. I would recommend it. And I hope the guy goes far.
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#8 Jed Shepherd

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Posted 25 November 2010 - 07:58 PM

Just read an interview where the creator said he doesnt know where the 15k budget rumour came from but that he thinks the real amount was closer to 1.5 million.
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#9 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 07:50 AM

This guy may disprove Phil Rhode's (sic) position that there is no hope for UK filmmakers




I can only reiterate what's been said. For every guy like this there's 100,000 (literally a hundred thousand) people with neither the talent or training to do what's been done here, and 100,000 more who are perfectly capable but will never get funding.


What depresses me about it is that, as someone said above, it will encourage an enormous number of people to waste an enormous amount of money on the basis that they're going to be the next [insert recent indie hit] as has happened dozens of times before and will happen dozens of times again. Great for Edwards, dismal for everyone else. We're the people who'll be sitting on this forum counselling people not to destroy their financial lives by going to film school on the basis that this kind of success is a dead cert.


P
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