By rogermarsh, Mar 21 2013 5:02AM
I offer two films on DVD that I wrote and directed. They were both made as a guerilla filmmaker on little or no budget - and are considered community films. My first film, Haunted R&R Station, was a combination of my acquiring a broadcast quality DV camera and finding a neat story about a haunted hotel in the little town of Mt. Pleasant, Pennsylvania. The film cost me $5,000 to make and an additional $3,000 was acquired to post produce the film and bring it to DVD. It's a fun story with ghostly recreations.
My second film, Mars Attacks Mt. Pleasant, was also shot at the R&R Station Hotel after a great collaberation with the owners from the first film. I announced I would produce an original comedy based on one of my Chicago stage shows on just a $1,000 budget. One week of pre-production and two weeks of production where we actually shot the film. I came to town the winter before summer shooting and held screen test audition with local actors and signed up more than 300 Extras we would need especially for the crowd scenes. Local police assisted with closing road when we need to. The community responded to local press about the project and we basically received everything we needed from makeup to props. We actually put out a call for a giant UFO model and a local guy called to say he'd built one many years earlier for a town festival and it was collecting dust in a storage area. We quickly acquired it as well as an entire fire department and their antique truck for yet another scene. The film then premiered in nearby Scottdale at the Geyer Performing Arts Center where the last scene in the film was shot. Cast and crew arrived by limosine in a parade of vehicles.
The story is very funny and the local actors have a lot of fun with what we were offering. It's far from a slick, Hollywood production even on a shoestring budget. This was like no budget and made in our garage. But we completed the project and turned out a quirky product.
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