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 Post subject: WAR OF THE BUDGETS
PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2005 7:45 pm 
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Martian War Lord

Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2005 7:01 pm
Posts: 1259
Location: UK
LOCATION: Hollywood vs. New Jersey

THE SKINNY: There is not one person on this planet that doesn’t know that Hollywood blockbuster films are very, very expensive. The average studio picture can cost anywhere from 35 to 100 million dollars. With budgets like that, what chance does the Independent filmmaker have to go up against these behemoths and win over audiences?

Three New Jersey filmmakers are searching for the answer to that very question. How? By challenging two Hollywood powerhouses to a challenge. They are putting up their $99.99 budget film up against Steven Spielberg and Tom Cruise’s $200 million re-telling of H.G. Wells’ THE WAR OF THE WORLDS and asking the public to vote on which film is more entertaining.

"This is not a joke!" says writer/director Jim Riffel. "It may seem unbelievable that a feature film can be completed for under $100 but with the advanced nature of today’s digital video technology, some smart guerilla producing techniques, and a few, well-placed favors it’s well within one’s reach."

Producer/actor Ian George takes a hard look at the conflict of the artist trapped in the studio system of filmmaking.

"I have all the respect in the world for Mr. Spielberg and Mr. Cruise but I think they’re at a real disadvantage," says George. "If you’re working with and risking hundreds of millions of dollars you’re forced to stick to a formula you believe your audience wants. It really puts you in a corner. You can’t take any chances and your film inevitably becomes predictable. It you’re working with less than 100 bucks, which we are, you’re forced to come up with strange solutions to character, plot, music, effects, etc. I think the biggest advantage we have is that our film, by default, will be different from everything we else out there."

The New York University Film School graduate is very confident that this, his eighth film, will capture a more appreciative audience than the one that will see WAR OF THE WORLDS when it invades screens on June 29th. But how is he planning to gauge audience tastes?

"I’m hoping to stream the full film over the Internet the first week of July. I’m just looking for a website willing to do it." explains Riffel. Once a place on the web is established for this $99.99 epic, a voting page will be put into place so audiences can vote on both films. The film and voting page will be available for a month.

Riffel is realistic about his chances against a big summer picture.

"Since there is no way I can compete with tens of millions of people who are going to see WAR OF THE WORLDS the final determination won’t be who receives the most votes," says George. "It will be by whichever film has the higher average – voting zero for awful and ten for perfect.."

As of this writing, Riffel’s film is 90% complete.

iF Magazine will be following this story battle of the budgets.


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