Two trends that are widely regarded as overused gimmicks are coming together at last, in a valiant effort to unite them for the good of movie fans everywhere.
Found Footage 3D intends to be that singular film which transforms the bad into good, and finds a way to use these techniques as useful ways to tell a story rather than the tired gimmicks they have become. The innovative film has been completely shot, and in the editing process they discovered that the budget for their effects was double what they thought it would be for some tricky effects shots.
While director Steven Degennaro is adamant on his use of mostly practical effects during the shooting of the film, it turns out that at least one shot required much more in post-production. Check out his reasonable plea in the very amusing video below :
This film comes from some serious horror fans, who even went so far as to enlist the assistance of a co-creator of the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Kim Henkel. According to the film-makers this project is meant to be the Scream of the “found footage” genre, reshaping the familiar elements into something new and exciting. According to their indiegogo campaign :
You may remember the same thing happening to slasher movies in the late 80s and early 90s. So when Scream came along, horror fans were ready for a smart movie that poked fun at the worst of the genre while exemplifying the best of it. It was funny, clever, and scary in equal measure, and it’s one of my absolute favorite horror movies.
Which is why, 20 years later, I’m making Found Footage 3D.
FF3D is about a group of filmmakers who go to a cabin in the woods to shoot “the first 3D found-footage horror movie”, but find themselves IN a found-footage horror movie when the evil entity from their film escapes into their behind-the-scenes footage.
Like Scream, the characters know all of the rules, tricks, and clichés of the genre. Like Scream, it turns those clichés on their heads and exposes many of the genre’s recent efforts for what they are: cynical cash grabs by clueless amateurs and/or Hollywood suits with dollar signs in their eyes. And, like Scream, FF3D is not just funny—it’s scary as hell.
Make no mistake—this is a horror movie, not a spoof.
Finding new and engaging ways of using these techniques in the face of the backlash these two genres seem to encompass seems to be the risky proposition here. Director Steven Degennaro took to reddit yesterday to answer any questions, and we were able to learn a little more about the film and the ideas behind it. For example, in response to the question of the current state of animosity in these genres and why he chose to combine them, he says :
3D and found footage are actual a more natural fit for than even I realized when I started to write this script. Because we are making a movie where the camera actually exists inside the world of the story, we get to play with 3D in a way that no one has ever really done before. If we want something to appear in one eye, but not the other, we can do that. If we want footage on a computer monitor that someone is filming to appear in 3D to the audience instead of just a flat screen, we can do that do. And we can have things move from one window on a computer screen into another window by coming into and out of the plane of the monitor. There are lots of things like that that I’ve had a ton of fun playing around with.
At the same time, the nature of found footage means that we used consumer-grade camcorders to shoot the movie. One of the qualities that these cameras have is really deep focus, meaning that we were able to compose shots with lots of layers of depth in 3D. In a more traditional movie, the thing you want the audience to look at is in focus and the rest of the shot is blurry, which means that even if you (as an audience member) wanted to, you couldn’t look at the background, or a tree in front of the characters. With our movie, there’s a much more realistic sense of depth because your eyes can choose to focus anywhere on the screen (for the most part). It’s much more like real life, which makes it perfect for found footage, which is supposed to be immersive and real.
Another interesting answer from the director came in response to the question of how he thinks his film separates itself from the current glut of found footage and/or 3D films :
Mostly by telling a compelling story with quality acting. There are a whole bunch of people who think that because they own a cell phone and have a couple of friends, that makes them a filmmaker. They think that found footage is easy. It’s not. I’ve made 4 or 5 short films now, and worked on hundreds of movies in my career as a sound guy, and I can say pretty confidently that making a found footage movie is actually a lot more difficult than making a “regular” movie in a lot of ways.
So even though this is my first feature, I’ve been in this business for almost a decade, and I’ve been writing scripts for longer than that. I spend two years working on this script and months finding the perfect actors. Our budget is considerably higher than your average found footage movie, but still lower than your average indie horror flick. So we get the best of both worlds, meaning that rather than blowing our entire budget on lighting and Red cameras and all the other things that are required to make a low-budget move look professional, we instead were able to spend that money on the things that actual matter to making a movie better: hiring the right cast and crew to tell a really compelling story.
The other thing we have going for us in the “meta” angle. Our movie is funny and smart in how it approaches the tropes and cliches of found footage and skewers the glut of derivative crapfests that have been released in the last few years, while at the same time telling a story that is truly scary. So if you love found footage movies, then you’ll love our film. And if you think most found footage movies are stupid, you’ll still love our movie.
Or so we hope, anyway. The audience will ultimately have to decide for themselves.
The film’s indiegogo campaign goes on for a few more days, until November 11th, so get in there and show your support for an independent film project from some creative people who are dedicated to bringing you a new and uniquely horrifying experience!
They have tons of great rewards up for grabs, including signed props, T-shirts, original Texas Chainsaw merchandise from the private collection of Kim Henkle, and even a bloody chunk of flesh and bone from one of the film’s more gruesome deaths!
Support their indiegogo campaign here, and learn more on the official Found Footage 3D website.