As you may know from our pitch video, one of the most challenging (and awesome) things about Savage Blood is the fact that as a crew, we’re collaborating across the UK and Germany spanning two independent film industries and audiences. The original story was to be shot in German and then potentially in German and English and distributed to both audiences without dubbing. After all the point of a great psychological horror is that it gets into people’s minds on a fundamental level. This is still something we would love to do but to begin with we had an immediate problem – how to shoot the pitch video with the crew on separate sides of the Channel.
We are very lucky that our team is bilingual allowing us to shoot all in English, but how to get it filmed? The only answer was to shoot it in chunks and edit together, a fantastic idea and a great way to get each of our team talking about their passion on this shoot. And it was, aside from the fact that not all of us had experience in front of the camera and even the once who know how to operate a camera, treated it too lightly because after all – it’s ‘just’ the pitch video, isn’t it? Piece of cake!
After several wooden attempts filmed by the side of a busy road, a living room, a noisy forest and assisted by well-meaning family and one overly judgmental cat, we called cut and all agreed that we can live with the result.
Luckily though, when Martin Kaps, the actor who plays “Ben” had a look at it, he told us more or less straight forward how disappointed he was. It was rubbish. We are filmmakers! And here we were doing a pitch video without giving thought to the locations? Right he was. So, we redid everything. That was then the third time. By now we all knew what we wanted to say – and the result is what you see on our campaign page.
Our biggest mistake was that we knew what we wanted to tell people but forgot to treat it like part of the movie and so here are my top tips for making your first pitch video:
- Find a crew to help you out, 112 takes later and you realize that however good you are with a camera you can’t be in front of and behind it at the same time.
- Don’t try and shoot with a vocal cat in the room, they will resent the diversion of your attention.
- As a director, producer, writer, don’t be afraid to listen to your cast, crew and anyone else who is kind enough to give you feedback. An honest actor might be able to see more that you can.
- Never settle on something, that’s just ok.
- Let people know exactly what you are doing and why you are doing it, there’s no point making a pitch video that just tells people you are making a movie.
Thanks to John Trigonis writer of Crowdfunding for Filmmakers, Joe Wilson creator of Vampire Mob and Playshorts & Leilani Holmes of the London Screenwriters Festival for giving their valuable feedback on the Indiegogo page for Savage Blood.
Have you done a pitch video before? Share your advice and hash-up stories in the comments below and we will be tweeting the best to our followers under the hash tag #savagebloodfilm
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Written by Jennifer Inman
Social Media Team for Savage Blood Film and blogger at grahaminman.com
Jennifer is involved with Film making and Finance, she studied English Literature at UEA, now studying Accountancy with the ACCA