California (Michele Lupo, 1977)


Here’s another location shot from the same area - Sierra Alhamilla, about a quarter mile from the Leone / Carlo Simi western town from ‘For a Few Dollars More’

(autephex) #222

Man, how great would it be to go to Almeria and film our own low budget western :star_struck:


That’s why I was there … not an easy thing to pull off with no dinero LOL fun, but a long way from artistic. Here’s a pic of yours truly trying to keep the spirit of the SW alive :rofl:

(autephex) #224

Oh wow, I didn’t realize that’s what you had gone for… you look great there, perfect for this kind of movie!

How long ago was that? Things have come a long ways in terms of how much easier it is to make a low budget movie with current technology. I mean people are making movies on their damn phones, not that its a good way to go, but digital technology really makes possibilities open up if willing to work within limitations.

The main hurdle for this kind of movie is the costumes, sets and props… all of that is much harder to come by


We had a lot of that stuff … the main issue for me was hopeless direction and lousy actors - all nice guys and gals, but hopeless otherwise, bless them. LOL :smile:

PS; this was 4 or 5 years back.

(autephex) #226

Haha yes I can picture it. Bad actors is another very large hurdle.

But then I also just remember guys like Fidani, who just made it happen… maybe just not let the actors speak much, its a western after all :stuck_out_tongue:


Fidani would be like Fellini in comparison to this mess ! :rofl:


In independent films with erratic shooting schedules it’s also a big problem syncing up 2 unpaid actors on the same day at the same time. At least where I am, you can get qualified actors that are MORE than willing to be in your film for free but each has their own schedule and aligning that with 1 or more other actor complicates things exponentially. My self-employment at least allowed me to sync with anyone.

I made a 16 minute film where I limited the cast to basically 1 actor, a digital object, and two voices heard on the phone. It was enough to get me on IMDB and in a film festival but the digital actor took me a while to accomplish in post production. I’d have been better not going that route unless someone else did the animating.

(autephex) #229

Interesting… that all makes sense. And of course your project is never as important to these other people as it is to you


If you have to convince actors or non-actors to be into your film it will most likely always be unimportant to them.

Another sync thing is locations, maybe an office is only available weekday nights but some actors are only available during the day. And, say, if everyone is available only on weekends it will take a lot longer to complete. Then you have to start thinking about hair continuity because they might look way different in 2 months hair-wise. When you’re filming you may not realize it because hair grows gradually but when you later edit two shots that were filmed a month apart it is glaring. There are so many things like continuity and so many jobs on regular films that are taken for granted but an independent filmmaker has to do for themselves.

(autephex) #231

I would also imagine that a big problem with many independent level actors is that so many of them are probably clueless as to what doing good work really means, and a lot of them are probably just chasing some kind of fame with semi-delusional ideas, rather than actually wanting to do good work…


A lot of actors that LOVE acting and aren’t chasing fame, etc… do theater. They are good, in it for the right reasons, and are just compelled to do it. If they believe you are competent and can complete the job they go the extra mile. Another thing is actually finishing the movie. So MANY people start of making a film but never complete it. I worked full-time for year at zero pay on my project in post-production because I would never let down the actor that spent his time being in the film and trusted me to complete it. Once people see that someone can’t deliver, for whatever reason it is, they’re less likely to trust that person.

(autephex) #233

I see the indie movie biz is very similar to the indie music world :crazy_face:


The project I was involved in was by my suggestion, to be kept very simple … a homage to SWs in the form of a spoof 30 second commercial … this would have been feasible, as we had costumes, weapons, free access for a day at a western set, plus miles of desert locations - what actually happened was a poorly thought out attempt at a narrative, which was filmed over a 3 year period. Almost every aspect of it was shoddy … and when assembled (rather than edited) ran 50 excruciating minutes - I wouldn’t work with an inexperienced group again.

PS: I had 3 varying lengths of beard … the last and best one taking about 8 months to grow … never again. LOL :rofl:


Aldo, it was a 30 second commercial that was assembled from 50 mins of footage? Is it uploaded somewhere?


It started as an idea for a comedy commercial, showcasing locations, but the owner of the camera assumed the position of writer, director and editor - and with no previous experience, or talent, jumped in and way out of his depth.

There was probably hours of footage … when I say assembled, that’s because it wasn’t edited with any degree of skill. Typical amateur nonsense, when the ego overrides basic common sense, and every shot, no matter how irrelevant or tedious was included, for fear of upsetting the participants involved.

It wasn’t uploaded online, thank god! … and I wouldn’t tell if it had LOL Come back Fidani, all is forgiven. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:


Sounds like little or no pre-production. Was there even a script or storyboard?

This should get it’s own thread. You guys that dub SWs no doubt gain a lot of experience and knowledge from that. I liked a short scene that I saw posted that I believe Autephex did but I haven’t seen anything otherwise that I’m aware of. I dubbed my entire film because it streamlined the actual production incredibly. It was the way to go!

(autephex) #238

Yep I have pretty extensive editing experience at this point - a lot from my custom work but I’ve also edited a couple documentaries together. Would love to do an actual film sometime.

Poor California, so off topic… :yum:


There was a basic outline and script … but about 10 minutes into shooting the first scenes, maybe less … I knew this wasn’t going to work. All suggestions I made were either ignored or taken as an intrusion … I just got drunk and enjoyed the scenery :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

I have some theatre and drama experience, and I’m good with accents, which doesn’t make me a professional, but in this instance I was over qualified. I was also naïve enough to think, ‘how hard is it to just show up and say your lines convincingly?’ … but the majority of our cast really couldn’t cope … some were even reluctant to get their clothes dusty for the sake of authenticity!

Back to discussing ‘California’ asap ! LOL :rofl:


Great conversation. :+1:

Hola, California! :wink: