$500 YouTube Video Gets Director $30 Million To Play With From Hollywood

from the seems-a-bit-much dept

cram writes in to let us know of a filmmaker/post production guy in Uruguay who spent a grand total of $500 to make a 5 minute "robots attack the world" movie that he put on YouTube, and, in response, has now been given tens of millions of dollars by a Hollywood production company to do something more significant:
There are a few things that are a bit unclear from the story, which alternates at points between dollars and pounds, so you may question the validity of the details. However, watching the video is quite compelling, yet again. We've seen other top amateur films with amazing special effects made on the cheap, and this is another one to add to the pile. Hollywood keeps insisting that it needs to produce $200 million movies, and studio insiders, who like to hang out in our comments and dismiss amateur special effects as being worthless, will -- of course -- mock this as being nothing special. And, sure, you can definitely see that the quality of the $500 effort is not the same as a big budget Hollywood film. But it's not that far off. And what can be done today for $500 couldn't even have been matched by Hollywood's bigshots a decade ago. Just think what an amateur and $500 will do a decade from now? And then explain, again, why we're going to "need" to produce $200 million special effect bonanza movies again?

In the meantime, congrats to this guy, who turned $500 into a chance to play around with a lot more (though, not $200 million). It's difficult to turn that sort of opportunity down, though it would have been even cooler to see what he could have done on a smaller budget as well.


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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2009 @ 4:56am

    hoax?

    Do we know for sure who it is that made this? If there is any ambiguity there, I'd say the story of a guy doing this himself is a big studio hoax attempt to do some viral marketing of a big budget movie.

     

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    Richard (profile), Dec 18th, 2009 @ 4:59am

    I've always been skeptical

    of the budgets for CGI special effects anyway. CGI ought to be cheap it's just computation - which is cheap these days anyway.

    Ever since I first worked of real time image generation - over 25 years ago I've failed to understand how the film industry managed to waste so much money doing things that I knew could be done for much less.

    Have a look at the povray hall of fame for many examples of low budget effects.

    http://hof.povray.org/

     

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  3.  
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    Richard (profile), Dec 18th, 2009 @ 5:00am

    Re: hoax?

    Rubbish!

     

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    Tim, Dec 18th, 2009 @ 5:11am

    The effects

    The effects sure beat the heck out of anything I've seen in ANY of the Sci-Fi channel movies.

     

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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Dec 18th, 2009 @ 5:25am

    Re: hoax?

    Oh, how hard is it to believe that a guy spent $500 to make a Youtube video in his spare time and then some big shot movie producer from Uruguay (who's in LA) saw it, and thought that it was so cool that he just gave the guy $1,000,000 and a budget of $43,200,00 to make a movie with "Spider-Man" director Sam Raimi.

    OK, that douse sound like a visual effects owner's wet dream.

     

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    senshikaze (profile), Dec 18th, 2009 @ 5:25am

    Re: The effects

    you know why? its because syfy hates people.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2009 @ 5:27am

    see that the quality of the $500 effort is not the same as a big budget Hollywood film

    These special effects are better than the ones used in the Wolverine movie ... and that cost $150 million.

     

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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Dec 18th, 2009 @ 5:30am

    Re: Re: hoax?

    Hay, is this the movie that they're making?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2009 @ 5:39am

    Re: Re: Re: hoax?

    Yep.

     

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    Felisha, Dec 18th, 2009 @ 5:41am

    Money

    $500 isn't a lot of money when you take into account that most software that a person uses like 3D studio Max or others will be more than $500. There is some wonderful films that are being done on open source platforms as well but usually not this good. You also have to take the time to conceive, model, shoot, render, composite, and final post is all very time consuming. At $5/hour this person would have to do it in about 100 hours not counting software, hardware, or camera costs. A big budget film while sometimes over the top has a time frame in which they have to get the movie done in and involves hundreds of people. Look at the credits at the end of the movie sometime. Those credits don't even count the hundreds of uncredited people on the back.

    Kudos, to this person for a well executed short. I hope that he does well in the future.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2009 @ 5:41am

    Re: Re: hoax?

    Well, if you wanted to give away 50M movie-making "scholarships", why not go to a film school and start handing them out to the films of the top directors? Wouldn't that be a way safer bet than using a random Youtube video guy? If it did happen that a guy made a $500 Youtube video and now he's in this position, there sure are a lot of unknown steps in between:
    1. make youtube video for $500.
    2. ???
    3. get $50m to make the movie with Sam Raimi.

     

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    PopeRatzo, Dec 18th, 2009 @ 5:44am

    Re: hoax?

    You couldn't rent the camera he used for $500.

    This is a hoax.

     

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    :), Dec 18th, 2009 @ 5:45am

    DIY

    Anybody want to learn how to do it for free?

    http://www.blendernation.com/camera-tracking-tutorial-with-blender-and-voodoo/

    The difficult part is light. But if you have a chrome ball somewhere you can film that and duplicate the lights in the scene and see if the virtual chrome ball have the aproximate same shapes as the real one in the footage.

     

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    Simon McDonnell, Dec 18th, 2009 @ 5:48am

    Think I'll fall for that?

    Wouldn't surprise me if this was just a load of viral mainly to try and gain back some public opinion with the "Hey guys, see, we're not really that bad" looking after the little guy media spiel.
    While they're at it they try to spin out the old "american dream" crap.

     

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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Dec 18th, 2009 @ 5:53am

    Re: Re: Re: hoax?

    I was actually half agreeing with you. The scholarship idea is much better, the guy owns a visual effects shop, and if this guy can make that kind of movie with $500 why would they pay him a million to make a movie with a $42 million budget.

    It's possible that this all happened and it all happened that quick, but what are the odds?

    This is still a damn good example of giving your work away for free to sell other works, even if it is some mass conspiracy.

     

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    :), Dec 18th, 2009 @ 5:57am

    Colin Levy

    http://www.colinlevy.com/tutorials.php

    Great kid lots of very good tutorials to make some very cool effects working in the new short film from the blender foundation.

    And the special effects to bad he don't have the one that he imitates the nightcrawler on x-men that one was cool.
    http://www.colinlevy.com/vfx.php

    C'mon is not that difficult to do it.

    I did camera tracking to change car plates in some videos of some friends that didn't want to get in trouble so they could post those and I'm not a film maker.

    The part that gets me is animation I just don't have the eye to see how things move, but if it is to put static things in film I can do it and it doesn't take much time.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2009 @ 6:19am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: hoax?

    What I want to know is, what kept this one from being lost in a sea of a gazillion youtube videos?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2009 @ 6:20am

    Re: Re: hoax?

    I thought the camerawork/cinematography looked pretty shockingly good, forget about the special effects.

     

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    moore850, Dec 18th, 2009 @ 6:23am

    Re: I've always been skeptical

    The reason it's expensive is render time. In order to render at super-high resolution for the big screen, on a deadline, even with free software it will take some serious hardware and that costs money no matter what.

     

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    :), Dec 18th, 2009 @ 6:25am

    Film Riot

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8m9uEN9Xlwc

    Great source also for special effects and other stuff on the cheap.

     

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    Charles Vestal, Dec 18th, 2009 @ 6:25am

    $500 on what?

    Saying this film was made for $500 is pretty disingenous. If you have donated/volunteer actors, free time from the filmmaker in his off hours, presumably equipment and software being "loaned" from his day job, you are looking at a significantly larger chunk of change. Still probably less than 20k all told, given the cost of consumer equipment capable of this level of effects, but why would this cost $500 and not be totally free? Because it sounds better to be a cheap professional than to be a hobbyist.

     

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    :), Dec 18th, 2009 @ 6:40am

    Renderfarm DIY on the cheap.

    http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,1697,1847365,00.asp

    To get great results you don't need thousands of machines.
    And with Graphics cards reaching processing speeds on the order of super-computers(CUDA) people don't need that much to get really cool effects.

    It will cost you $10.000 today to have a very good farm that can render realistic scenes in a day.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2009 @ 6:46am

    The thing that is never calculated in these costs is human time. It's a $500 movie with about $50,000 worth of man time, and an unknown amount of software and computer time, etc.

    Cost is a very relative thing.

    Avatar is a great example. $300 million dollar movie, and a few years from now, the expensive software that was designed to do it will likely be available for a few thousand dollars. The cost of developing cutting edge stuff is much higher than any of us can imagine. Replicating it a few years later isn't anywhere near as expensive.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2009 @ 6:49am

    Re: Re: hoax?

    Totally agree.

    $500 of purchases + several hundred man hours curiously costed at $0/hr. Assuming that all the hardware we see was CG, and all the extras volunteered or were taken from old archive footage or were also CG (unlikely) then we still have the time spent designing the robots, etc etc.

    $500 is just the actual cash handed over to buy stuff, presumably ? Time, actors and and the electricity and heating in the home he used as production premises don't count etc etc.

    Did he compose the music too ? Or was that donated royalty free ?

    I hate the way people's time is never included in these stories. You might give your time for a labour of love but people who do this for a living need to be paid.

    Hey, if you don't count the labour, do you know how cheap Office 2007 was to develop ?

     

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    jsf (profile), Dec 18th, 2009 @ 6:57am

    $500 Amount is Misleading

    If the story is true congratulations to whoever made this. It is kind of interesting and pretty well done.

    Even if it is true however the $500 amount is VERY misleading. You can not make a video like this for $500. Given the quality of the video I would expect that the camera(s) used cost more then $500. Plus you have the cost of the PC(s) used to created the CGI and do the editing. And unless he used only open source software there is A LOT more the $500 worth of software used.

    Now doing a video like this for a real cost of only a few thousand dollars I can believe, but you don't make this using a $500 laptop and it's built-in webcam.

     

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  26.  
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    R. Miles (profile), Dec 18th, 2009 @ 7:04am

    Re:

    Avatar is a great example. $300 million dollar movie...
    I'm putting donuts up to say this movie shouldn't have cost so much.

    In relation to Hollywood's charge for per-hour use vs. the normalized rest of the world, this "$500" would be turned into "$120,000". It's very conceivable to produce a movie for far, far less expense than what "Hollywood" does it for.

    Mike's position on why Hollywood feels the need to spend so much is a little misleading, for it's generally the "unseen" costs that inflate a movie's production cost.

    Hollywood is notoriously expensive. Try billing a top-name actor in a movie, as an example. Is any actor worth more than several hundred thousand dollars to "act"?

    I'm betting what we'll see in the future from Avatar is students taking a new approach to movie visualizations, rather than story. Avatar, from what I've read so far, is more about the scenery than the story, retold again as to be typical.

    While many believe 3D to be the "wave of the future" for movies, I can't agree. No matter how well a movie is made or its expense, if people don't like it, "3D" means nothing.

    Ishtar, anyone? Or how about Howard the Duck? Even Speilberg himself has a stinker with A.I..

    I enjoy Cameron's works, and this alone makes me want to see Avatar, but if this is nothing more than a glorified mecha anime plot, I will be disappointed regardless how expensive it was to make.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2009 @ 7:10am

    Re: hoax?

    No, it's real.

     

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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Dec 18th, 2009 @ 7:27am

    Re: Re: Re: hoax?

    How about all the dumps he took in the restroom? That food had to cost SOMETHING!

     

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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Dec 18th, 2009 @ 7:42am

    Re: $500 Amount is Misleading

    Yeah, those disposable $500 cameras are such a drag.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2009 @ 7:42am

    "the guy owns a visual effects shop, and if this guy can make that kind of movie with $500 why would they pay him a million to make a movie with a $42 million budget."

    If the guy owns an effects shop and THIS is the best that he can turn out then why the fuck would they give him money in the first place?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2009 @ 7:48am

    Re: Re:

    The 300 million includes 15 years of work to not only make the movie, but also to develop and create the tools to make it. That included a system that allowed the cgi backgrounds to run and for the filming of actors to be done in a manner that the director can see them working together, to make sure the live action makes sense and fits in.

    The next movie made with the same technology will be much cheaper.

    Mr $500 movie made his cheaply because he is using technology who's development has already been paid out by others over time. Instead of hiring a team to create 3d modeling software, he uses a package he already bought for something else (so the cost doesn't appear in this movie) that didn't cost him more than a week's pay for a good developer) and thus, his costs are lower.

    If you add up the development costs of the products he used (to make it comparable to Avatar in that regard) I suspect his movie would be in the tens of millions for cost, rather than $500.

    Sort of like buying an old car for $500, and then expecting the dealer to sell you a brand new one for the same price.

     

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    Richard (profile), Dec 18th, 2009 @ 8:07am

    Re: Re: I've always been skeptical

    The reason it's expensive is render time. In order to render at super-high resolution for the big screen, on a deadline

    But if you're not on a deadline....

    and the youtube video isn't super high resolution

    and the super high res only generates about a factor sixteen - still only takes you from $500 to $8000 not $200M

     

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    jimbobalu (profile), Dec 18th, 2009 @ 8:11am

    Story Line

    The story line is not that compelling. Why is it aliens invade shooting chemical rockets, which they can only carry so many of but keep magically reloading, and why do they bother destroying buildings when they just go to the center of town and join up to explode destroying said buildings again??? I really didn't find the effects that compelling or believable.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2009 @ 8:15am

    Re: Re: Re: hoax?

    You only count labour if you paid for the hours. Amazing how that works, right?

    I mean, gosh, I only work 2000 hours a year! Out of 8700! I'm making huge net losses annually! I must be flat broke!

    God forbid people have free time, right?

     

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    Richard (profile), Dec 18th, 2009 @ 8:17am

    Re: Re: Re:

    If you add up the development costs of the products he used (to make it comparable to Avatar in that regard) I suspect his movie would be in the tens of millions for cost, rather than $500.

    Sort of like buying an old car for $500, and then expecting the dealer to sell you a brand new one for the same price.


    The development costs aren't included when you buy even a new car - then it would cost $5 Billion.

    However in Graphics most development of new rendering techniques has been done by academics - who then publish the results in ACM TOG, Computers & Graphics and/or present them at SIGGRAPH or other conferences so everyone can just use them for free. Now if the movie industry had had to pay for all that work....

     

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  36.  
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    :), Dec 18th, 2009 @ 8:23am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Want to see a link to a game of pac-man?

    Augmented reality was not developed for this movie, it has decades of development and I doubt the money came from the movie industry.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/4607449.stm

    And there is the fact that there is open source tools to create augmented reality apps.
    http://www.libspark.org/wiki/saqoosha/FLARToolKit/en

    http://singularityhub.com/2009/11/12/ sixthsense-augmented-reality-device-goes-open-source/

    http://www.hitl.washington.edu/artoolkit/

    Nice try though.

     

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  37.  
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    :), Dec 18th, 2009 @ 8:30am

    The iPhone has and ap for that!

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-10266380-1.html

    Layar takes the sort of GPS POI data in current map-based apps, like ATMs, houses for sale, or nearby hotspots, and displays them overlaid on the landscape as seen through the camera lens.


    Surely it cost millions to develop that app :)

     

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  38.  
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    Nick, Dec 18th, 2009 @ 8:33am

    Missing the point

    I spent 10+ years in the animation & vfx industry.

    (a) In a big budget movie, most of the money goes to the talent, not the effects people. Duh.

    (b) yes, some movies like Avatar involve developing new technology, but most don't. Saying that this guy didn't budget for developing the fx tools he's using is bogus.

    (c) if you can call in favors you can easily rent a good enough camera in Uraguay for the budget. Assuming the people were donating their time and he already had the software, this was probably the biggest expense.

    (d) the cost of rendering is way overblown. Yes, it's far quicker to do YouTube resolution (I would guess he actually did 16x9 NTSC) than film -- it's 1/4 or less of the number of pixels. But bear in mind he had no particular deadline and rendering power is pretty cheap these days. What did he care if it took 6 months to render? Where you get in to big rendering bills is when you need a lot of hi-res frames in a very short space of time.

    (e) After talent, leeches (sorry, producers) and unions, the biggest source of cost in a Hollywood production, is the clusterf*ck that is a typical hollywood schedule. Everything is always a rush and that costs more. Doing it on your own timeline is a much much cheaper proposition.

    The guy clearly has talent. The budget is realistic for what he did as a passionate/skilled amateur (and I only say amateur because he's not an official Hollywood type).

    Scaling that to a Hollywood-style production will be tough. I wish him luck.

     

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  39.  
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    AnonBeliever, Dec 18th, 2009 @ 9:09am

    Re: Re: Re: hoax?

    The music sounded awfully familiar - 28 days later?

     

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    trilobug, Dec 18th, 2009 @ 9:54am

    Re: Re: Re: hoax?

    Anyone that believes that this only cost $500 is extremely naive.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 18th, 2009 @ 9:59am

    Re: Missing the point

    (a) In a big budget movie, most of the money goes to the talent, not the effects people. Duh.

    Funny. I wrote that on a recent post, and one of our regular commenters, who works for the movie industry insisted it was the other way around. He pointed to the effects budget on Spiderman and said it was much more than the talent.

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2009 @ 10:30am

    Re: Re: Re:

    And posting this comment actually cost you several billions of dollars.

    See what I did there?

     

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    Tom Black, Dec 18th, 2009 @ 10:54am

    *yawn*

    So the guy made an effects-heavy sequence that looks okay for a small investment. So what? It's meaningless without a story of some sort to make you care about what's happening. The shots tell us nothing about the relationships. They don't express any awareness of actual filmmaking technique. This is little more than an effects reel and as such it's successful, but to hand a larger budget over to a guy who can cheaply composite silly-looking robots into footage is a bit ridiculous. Of course, stranger things have happened.

     

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    Mikecancook, Dec 18th, 2009 @ 11:43am

    Re:

    I was SO going to say the exact same thing! And the story was more compelling.

     

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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Dec 18th, 2009 @ 12:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: hoax?

    It could easily be done for $500. I could do that kind of video quality with my $120 1080p hand held. Everything else is just editing. I'd also bet that he only had like 4 or 5 extras and the rest were edited in. But, we must keep in mind that he already had the software to do all of this.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2009 @ 12:25pm

    Nice Video

     

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    Lucretious, Dec 18th, 2009 @ 12:51pm

    The robot design is a bit too retro looking and thus less terrifying than they could have been. Otherwise kudos for pulling this off for $500. While special FX tools are now available to most everyone, its knowing how to use them convincingly that makes all the difference.

     

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    Fentex, Dec 18th, 2009 @ 1:47pm

    $500?

    There is no way that cost only $500. Such a valuation must ignore the cost of labour and certainly the cost of plant and equipment used in rendering the effects.

    The extras in the scenes may have volunteered their time, but it isn't reasonable to not count what it would cost to pay for people when comparing production with a professional show.

    It's a fun little piece, and a great way to demonstrate ones prowess as a producer, director and special effects artist.

    And a strong argument about the quality of art not depending on ridiculous quantities of cash - but I don't think it helps drive the points home by using distracting figures that invite argument over their veracity rather than consideration of the film makers success.

     

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  49.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2009 @ 4:21pm

    Re: $500?

    He shelled out $500 to make this movie. Therefore it cost him $500.

    Really people, why is that so hard to understand?

    If I buy a $1.00 candy bar, it COST ME $1.00! Just because I had to walk 10 minutes to get to a convenience store does not increase the money coming out of my own pocket!

     

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  50.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 18th, 2009 @ 9:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: hoax?

    Nicely done though ... seems to be the same 25-35 people over and over again, unless you see their faces, then they seem to not show up again. The camera style is the same as the early episodes of the new BattleStar Galactica where the camera shakes as the vipers fly by. The building blow ups are all trangular in form. All the explosions are along a line, vertical or horizontal. The top of a building blows up not the whole building.

    I can see how this could be done with a 1080p camera and a laptop. So a hoax? it could have been done by ILM, but I tend to want the best of humanity.

    So lets do the Will Smith movie independence day over with this guy as the director. His movies cost was 5 minutes for 500 dollars ... or ... 100 dollars a minute. The movie independence day had a budget of 70-75 million it was 145 minutes long at this directors price of 100 dollars a minute ... thats $14,500 USD. No wonder they want him for the next spiderman movie!!!! Talk about cost savings!!

    Lets not talk about people finding out how cheap these movies can be made for ... lets just hire him so he doesnt tell anyone else ...

     

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  51.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 18th, 2009 @ 9:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: I've always been skeptical

    "and the super high res only generates about a factor sixteen - still only takes you from $500 to $8000 not $200M"

    Shhhusch!! .... dude be quite ... if the techno illiterate studio exec's knew how much rendering actually cost they might insource it!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 18th, 2009 @ 10:07pm

    Re: Camera tracking is so cool :)

    Disruptive technologies ... gotta love them ... go blender!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 18th, 2009 @ 10:19pm

    Re: $500 on what?

    "given the cost of consumer equipment capable of this level of effects"

    "software being "loaned""

    My cell phone is a BlackBerry and it does video of that quality. Mix the video it does with blender and or 3Ds Max and give it a couple of days and a jr hs kid could do that video.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    identicon
    Freedom is Freeloading, Dec 19th, 2009 @ 2:50am

    Re: Re: Missing the point

    Funny. I wrote that on a recent post, and one of our regular commenters, who works for the movie industry insisted it was the other way around.


    No, I did not insist it was "the other way around" as that would be just as stupid as the comment I was replying to. What I DID say was the largest costs of a movie depends on the movie. "paying for stars" is not automatically the highest expenditure despite your assertions to the contrary.

    Avatar and Spiderman are far from the only examples where the visual effects budget exceeded the casting budget. (The Matrix, 2012, The Hulk, District 9, The Day After Tomorrow, Star Trek etc) When you actually have to pay people for their work, and you don't have half a decade to stretch out production, things get expensive fast.

    What a surprise.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Dec 19th, 2009 @ 11:01am

    Re: Money

    "$500 isn't a lot of money when you take into account that most software that a person uses like 3D studio Max or others will be more than $500."

    That's a one-time fixed expense. It's not accurate to simply tack that cost entirely onto a single project, unless that's the only project you'll ever do. If you're a serious hobbyist, you'll have already purchased something like this anyway, so it's probably not accurate to figure that cost into the budget at all.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    identicon
    Gil York, Dec 19th, 2009 @ 11:35am

    video

    very cool effects. I'd like to know how he did it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
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    jezsik (profile), Dec 21st, 2009 @ 12:16pm

    A more interesting question ...

    So, that's what a hobbyist can do for pocket change, eh? What can he do with a few million? Well, a much more interesting question would be "How much would it cost Hollywood to produce that clip?" I think the biggest problem facing traditional filmmakers is a perception that you have to throw money around like a chimp flinging feces if you want to get anything done.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
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    Joe (profile), Dec 22nd, 2009 @ 10:34pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: hoax?

    Looks like it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSYYEDXaGo0

    I'm glad Mike posted the video. I hadn't seen it before, and it's pretty impressive. $500 or not, I enjoyed it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  59.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2010 @ 3:08am

    Re: I've always been skeptical

    youve got no idea what you are talking about

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  60.  
    identicon
    Matt, Sep 10th, 2011 @ 8:32am

    didn't you read the original story?

    This guy took several years to make this, not several months. This is an old story. He didn't buy 3D software, he self-admittedly pirated it. He used Maya and Soft Image, if I remember correctly. He shot the footage with people who volunteered, as is often the case when making small independent projects like this. He taught himself everything that he knows, and as far as owning a visual effects company, he most likely works out of his house, and has a staff of one - himself. He was not a successful VFX creator. He was just a guy who could do a lot with a little. Now he has a lot to work with, and likely he'll do something even better than this.

    For those of you that think VFX doesn't cost a lot of money, you seem to think that studios making big movies use stock footage, or pre-made 3D models. They don't. They make everything from scratch. Building a believable 3D model takes a boatload of time, no matter how good you are. Lighting a 3D scene, texturing and shading, adding kinematics, skinning, and animating movement that looks real all take a boatload of time. Sure, he spent several years doing this, so if he valued his time in dollars, he probably spent the equivalent of $150k making this movie. But he didn't spend that. He used his FREE time. It's called free time because it doesn't cost us anything. If you are any good at filmmaking, you too can make a movie for $500. If you want to get paid for your free time, then don't go into the movie making business. You have to give away a lot of your free time before you see a $30M paycheck.

    Good for this guy. Even if he sucked (which I don't think he does) he still got the deal that every pissed off person on this board wishes they got, but didn't. Don't be jealous. Go out and make your own awesome video and spend the time promoting it until it goes viral and see if you can make your own name. But don't be a hater.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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