11-02-2007, 12:52 AM
This is just an idea I was toying around with, while talking to the park manager of the Batfish the other day. I know there was recently a movie made entitled "Below" which was a horror movie, it is pretty good, but back to the point, it was filmed onboard one of the museum Subs of the Gato class, I believe the Cobia but I could be wrong, but it was extremely accurate with a few well known actors, I said why cant they do that with a normal story. Anyways my idea was to make a new, accurate, WWII submarine movie which is filmed onboard a surviving submarine, I know it is pretty far fetched, but the park manager at the Batfish said that all of us Subsimmers could send a batch of emails to a movie company asking for this, like we did for patch 1.3 to UBI, and it might work, we could tell them we will sacrifice having Brad Pitt be the CO for an accurate movie detailing the American "Silent Service's" role in WWII because no high movie actors could save them money. The movie could be based off of one of the really good book about the subs, such as "Wake of the Wahoo", "Clear the Bridge", "Batfish". Any good book would do as long as it details the trials and tribulations of an American Fleet Submarine. What im talking about is the Das Boot for American submarines.
Guys I know it is far fetched, so I also have a less far fetched idea, and that is a group email to the history channel, military channel, discovery channel, etc, asking them to do a show on American subs in the Pacific, since not too many people know about it. I think that would probably be the most realistic idea.
Please do not criticize these ideas, Im just trying to get our Silent Service members the respect and attention they deserve.
11-02-2007, 03:24 AM
If it is feasible to make a profit from such a thing, there is nothing stopping you from doing it yourself. After all, that is only what any other movie production company does, i.e. looks for finance when it has a script, works out a budget, casts it, and off it goes. However, it is tricky for an independent movie to get a release, and some movies that are in the can never manage it, so you would have to be certain that you could at least sell it as a DVD or digital download and be sure that the sales would cover the costs, which means unless you have a surefire promise that everyone on subsim would buy a copy, then an advertising budget would also need to be factored in. One idea you might try, is public funding, for example, get everyone at Subsim or U-Boat.net or wherever to give you five dollars, and get a profit share, that'd get you 125,000 dollars if everyone at Subsim chipped in! A similar deal was offered to the actors in Star Wars in exchange for working for nothing, but evidently they all thought it would flop, so didn't bite, bet that's a bummer LOL.
Advertising is usually a large proportion of the total production cost of a movie, for example just ONE 30 second slot on a decent TV network will not see you getting any change out of 50,000 dollars (if you are lucky), that's for ONE airing alone, and probably not in a prime time slot either, so you'd be looking at either a viral web-based marketing approach, or something along the lines of what big movie companies do, which is to make a 'making of' documentary and offer it free to TV companies to show, so it effectively becomes a free advertising contra-deal.
Such an undertaking would certainly not be cheap to do in terms of production, ostensibly it might seem like an inexpensive approach, but there would be numerous difficulties. Funding, like everything else, affects how good a crew you can get for a film, and you would certainly need a very good lighting director and camera operator if you were going to film actually in a sub rather than on a set with room for suitable lighting rigs. although there is no doubt that filming in tight environments with a steadicam is a good way to invoke cinematic tension and reality. I have been involved in TV productions for stuff like car enthusiast programmes in the past which were inexpensive one camera and a presenter types of operation (even went in front of the camera once, blink and you missed it LOL), but they still had to stand or fall on the quality of the production, presenter and the scripting.
There is also the problem of any external or action sequences, sure it may indeed be a genuine sub, but are its systems capable of looking like they are operational, things such as dials and lights etc? Could it show loading torpedoes? if not it would make for a rather dull sub movie I imagine. To be fair, some of that could be post processed or filmed 'carefully', but this is where another problem crops up, the need for a decent production designer to iron out some of that. So an important production constraint would be to have a character-driven, rather than action-driven script, so that it got around the budgetary demands such an action-oriented script would necessitate, you'd most likely have to start 'at sea' for instance, as there would not likely be any way to show the thing docked at a big naval facility.
Exterior shots would not be impossible with greenscreening and matting, but to get panoramic exterior shots would require a very big greenscreen for example, not impossible for sure, and CGI is CGI whether you do it on your PC or at Industrial Light and Magic (notwithstanding long rendering times), IL&M incidentally, don't render stuff at much higher than a decent PC screen's resolution even for big screen movies you might be interested to know. But doing it on a shoestring budget is unlikely to offer the possibility of gripping exterior shots of towering waves crashing over the conning tower for example, and I daresay the sub's owners would not be keen to let you throw water and oil all over their prized possession. Matting shots with CGI are not that tricky to do, there is even one in that silly Hunt For Red Hot Coders movie I put up the other day, where a flight simulator shot is matched to a Dangerous Waters shot and overlayed with the guy on the winch, effectively making it three shots glued together, but to do it with live action and computer generated ocean effects would require a good eye for stuff, there's no doubt about that.
Most of these problems could be ironed out it is true, but it is kind of putting the cart before the horse to think about a set location possibility etc, before you even have a script.
However, if I were determined to do something such as this, I wouldn't let anyone stop me, and ultimately that is the kind of drive you would need to pull it off. It's certainly not impossible, but a simple undertaking is not what it would be if you wanted any action sequences. Don't let me or anyone else stop you though if it's what you want to do.
11-02-2007, 09:03 AM
Given the long answer on how to do a film is perfectly valid I would percieve your hardest issue is making something profitable without it being of mainstream interest. Yes we are all submarine enthusiasts here. But the rest of the movie market will averagely consider submarine films as "boring".
Cant see Hollywood doing a decent story/film on this genre, Red October was poor enough even with the money.
If i were to write a sub film i would have to do the following.
1. Plunge the cinema into darkness for about 3 minutes
2. Get the SHIV type creaking noises and sounds of whispering to generate the atmosphere.
3. After about 3 minutes set off a few thunderflashes, ramp up the volume give loads of explosions and then the coup de grace....
4. Set off a shed load of garden sprinklers to rain water down on the audience.
Better still....lock the doors and the exits. Mwahahaha:rotfl:
PS i think a better idea is buy the sub from the museum, set it up with seats and a small cinema, sound effects and sprinklers and all that. then sell it to Disney World or Universal Studios as a ride!
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