Tips for low-budget filmmakers: Edison Death Machine Edition

When making a low-budget movie locations are at a premium. People call in favors, beg for access, and find the cheapest possible places to film. This is how one winds up rewriting a script so that Captain Kidd's grave is located in the parking lot of a motor lodge.

Of course, sometimes a script can't be rewritten - sometimes you need absolutely need a location because the entire premise of the film depends on it. Such is the nature of the museum in Edison Death Machine. Simply put, there's no movie without a museum. Unfortunately, despite the assurances of the following placard-

This is clearly not a museum. They tend not to have low foam ceilings, glaring fluorescent light, or institutionally-tiled floors.

The chairs aren't especially believable, either. So, let's say you find yourself in a situation where you have access to a retirement home or medical clinic, but need it to double for something else, like a museum or school. Here's a fun trick...


Remove the ugly chairs, put the odd art aside, and throw some tarps over the questionable flooring and toss up a few stepladders. Then just put up some signs announcing that the location is being repainted in anticipation of the big event that's important to the script - suddenly you've doubled the believability of your location!

Can't really suggest much to help with the low ceilings and ugly flourescent lighting... maybe use the stepladders and shoot from high angles? That could hide it nicely!

Anyhoo, until next time, this has been Count Vardulon's Tips for Low-Budget Filmmakers! TM and R, 2012.

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