10 things about Claw Hammer

1. It’s a horror-comedy. I wanted to write a comedy similar to Bill & Ted, Beavis & Butt-head, etc., but horror films are easier to market. That and I really miss 80s slasher films.

2. It’s not a slasher film per se. The killer carries a hammer rather than knife. I briefly considered buying the prop hammer used in Drive so I could promote the film with the following blurb: “STARRING RYAN GOSSLING‘s hammer from Drive!” But someone already bought the hammer and we wouldn’t have been able to afford it anyway. If anyone cares, Albert Brooks’s knives are still available for purchase.

3. The screenplay is currently around 59 pages long. That’s short for a feature-length screenplay, but what we shoot tends to be longer than the standard page-per-minute rule. Also, the original Evil Dead screenplay was 57 pages long. What I’ve cut together so far looks pretty good for a movie on a micro-budget. Actually, “micro-budget” is misleading. It’s more like a nanobudget.

4. It stars me and a friend from high school. His work schedule changes every week. We pretty much have to shoot around him. It also looks like we’ll alternate shooting weeks and prep weeks.

5. Most of the characters haven’t even been cast yet. Yeah, it’s ridiculous. I have no idea who will be playing my character’s girlfriend in the film.

6. We’re shooting it way out of order. The first week we shot all the scenes in the main character’s house. The second shooting week we shot almost all of the scenes involving just the two main characters. The next major batch of shooting will probably focus on two other prominent characters so we only have to keep them around for a week.

7. If you can afford it, you should probably shoot your movie in order as often as you can. People really get confused about where the current scene fits in the story and explaining it is a pain in the ass.

8. Having different lenses really matter. Luckily, I got to borrow some from a friend rather than renting.

9. Shooting an independent movie can be really fun. The rest of the time it’s the most stressful thing in the world. Some of my plumbing stories can make anyone wince. This week, there were times the stress from the movie was ten times worse than the stress I’ve ever gotten from plumbing. I may have had a heart attack at one point.

10. We shot a scene that was supposed to be an homage to Kubrick. I now know why Kubrick could spend weeks or months on a single scene. Don’t shoot like that guy unless you have unlimited time and funds.

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