Image credits: Pixabay
Making horror films on low budgets may seem to be a farfetched imagination. If you dare to ask why, most would say a good horror film in today’s times of relentless march towards technological innovations, is impossible. Will today’s audience accept a horror movie made without use of CGI or other kinds of special effects which make a film look indubitably real or genuinely scary?
You would be surprised to know that the answer is ‘yes’. There are a number of successful film makers who have made successful horror films devoid of CGI effects and have still made a film which looks real, scary and most importantly entertaining.
Necessity is the mother of invention
When you are working on a small, constrained budget and you know that you have to circumvent all your handicaps and make a great horror movie, you will find a way through. Often working with constraints and limitations bring out the creative side in people. Even if you have to cut corners, you can rest assured that your movie won’t be less entertaining if you have a solid script with good story telling techniques and well developed characters.
Try to use an original storyline and keep it as free from tropes and clichés as possible. Today’s audience is far more accepting of new ideas. You don’t need big stars. Your characters must be relatable and should have a real problem or dilemma. Even the fear must be steeped in the grasp of reality. It is important to use imagination in the scripting as well as execution stage and use the right elements to create a very authentic horror feel.
Image credits: Pixabay
Some ideas that work
- Have a small but efficient support team: You can make any film on any budget if you have the right crew on the set. You need an efficient team and not necessarily a large team to make good horror movies. You don’t need big names but rather a story that can be the pull. Use people you know and who are willing to work for small stipend. You don’t need lavish sets. Use real places and shoot with basic equipment.
- Capture the essence of the surroundings: Sometimes to create an eerie feeling, you have to move your camera in a certain way. Try to capture the surroundings of derelict buildings and cemeteries where you shoot, with slow movements and hold your camera to the same spot for long periods.
- Use the right sound track: A horror movie is incomplete without the right background scores. Sometimes, silence is more important and you will have to know when to pause other sounds and just let silence takeover. You can use stock music available online while editing because it is a more economical option. Use monotones and mix up the sound palette.
- Use the right editing techniques: Post production workflow is very important for a low budget horror movie. Color corrections, using CGI to create gore, using some other CGI to create surreal feelings like levitation, etc. can be done within a small budget.
You don’t need a big budget to make a great movie. Human mind is devious and it adapts quickly to situations. So, if you have a small purse, it will find ways to work within that constraint and if you give it a big budget, it will also find ways to utilize the money but create something which is not necessarily better. The choice is yours.