How to Produce & Shoot a Successful Low Budget Horror Film

Hosted by Nick Phillips

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Nick Phillips

Webinar hosted by: Nick Phillips

Producer at PBR Streetgang

Nick Phillips is the Producer and Director at the production company PBR Streetgang. A former studio executive with over 20 years experience in both creative development and physical production, Nick has done extensive location work all over the world and recently expanded into directing. Nick started his career in New York with a nine year stint under the Dimension Films label. While there, he was involved in franchises including SCREAM, HALLOWEEN, HELLRAISER, THE CROW, and HIGHLANDER. He moved to the Dimension LA office in 2003, during which time he appeared on Season 3 of "Project Greenlight", which aired on Bravo, helping shepherd the film FEAST through production and launching a new franchise in the process. By the time he left Dimension, he had risen to the post of Vice President of Production. In 2005, Nick went to work for Sony Pictures Entertainment where he helped create the micro budget genre division Stage 6 Films, under Peter Schlesell. While there he worked on successful sequels to 30 DAYS OF NIGHT and VACANCY, among others. He soon after moved into a position at Sony Screen Gems, working under Clint Culpepper, where he was involved with franchises including UNDERWORLD and RESIDENT EVIL.Nick then went on to serve as EVP of Revolver Picture Company, a fully financed independent genre label he co-­founded in 2012 with veteran casting director Kelly Wagner (THE GRUDGE, HOSTEL). During his time there, they produced the genre features PET, HAUNT, BENEATH, and DEVIL'S BACKBONE, TEXAS and co-­financed and produced the horror reality TV pilot "Fight of the Living Dead" with Alpine Labs and Blackbox TV. Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

Low budget horror films have never been hotter or more in demand. Last year, The Hollywood Reporter stated that the horror genre was saving the film business and that low budget horror was helping to lead the charge. More and more companies are looking to follow the Blumhouse model of making horror films on the cheap and then raking it in at the box office and VOD. Even the streaming platforms have jumped in with both feet. But make no mistake, just because many of these production companies and filmmakers are keeping their costs down, they are not skimping on quality. Quite the opposite in fact. Horror film aficionados demand great stories, memorable characters and scares that are earned. They want fresh ideas, a unique vision, and an experience they can return to again and again. To stand out from the crowd, you need to be prepared not only to find or produce great material, but to understand how to navigate the landscape.

More people produce and shoot horror than just about any other genre. And in such a crowded field, it can be hard to stand out. Go to any film market or horror trade show and you are instantly inundated with posters for dozens if not hundreds of horror features, short films, television shows and digital content looking for a home. After a while, everything seems to look the same. But there is a way to break out of that crowded field and assure that your work gets seen, bought, distributed and/or screened. And we have just the guy to show you how to get it done.

Nick Phillips knows horror. In his 20 years in the business, Nick has worked, developed and produced films for Miramax and Sony Screen Gems. In 2012, Nick co-founded his own production company specializing in genre films, the Revolver Picture Company. Just some of the films Nick has worked on include Scream, Halloween, Hellraiser, the Crow, Vacancy, Feast and The Roommate. Now, exclusively for Stage 32, Nick will share his knowledge on how to create terrifying films at not-so-terrifying costs. Films the industry wants to have a piece of and horror fans won't be able to get enough of.

Nick will start by teaching you one of the most common failings of producers and filmmakers within the horror space, namely what you should look for in a horror script. From there, he will talk development and the production process during this all important period of the project's evolution. Nick will show you how to stretch your budget dollar, by minimizing locations (but maximizing how you use them), making the right hires, keeping the shoot moving and staying on schedule. He will teach you his tricks on working with actors during the most intense scenes and keeping them motivated. Speaking of actors, he will discuss whether name talent matters or whether choosing the best actor for the part is a better approach.  He will show you how to get the best production value throughout the film. And everyone knows, a great horror movie demands a sequel! Nick will show you how to set yourself up so that your project is franchise ready.

 

This is a fully comprehensive overview of how to immerse yourself in the horror genre as a producer and/or filmmaker.

 

"I have no desire to work in any other genre outside of horror. I've been frustrated that my vision always seems to be too expensive for the money I have available. Thank you, Nick, for showing me the path to seeing my vision through while keeping my costs down. I'm inspired again!"

Matt H.

 

"There is nothing scary about this webinar. It's fantastic."

Devon M.

 

"Man, was this eye opening. I have seen the light and now know how to keep my costs in check. Let the blood flow!"

- Francisco D.

 

"My all female slasher grindhouse project is back on my production slate thanks to you, Nick. I don't know how that makes you feel, but I feel fantastic!"

- Marissa G.

What You'll Learn

  • What You Should Look for When Developing and Producing the Script
  • How to Minimize Locations and Maximize How You Use Them
  • Creative Ways to Stretch Your Dollar - Don’t Fear a Low Budget 
  • A Key Hire - What to Look for In Hiring Your Makeup FX Artist 
  • How to Keep the Shoot Moving, Stay on Schedule and Still Make a Good Movie
  • How to Work with Your Actors Through Tense Moments 
  • How to Earn the Crew's Respect
  • How to Set Yourself Up to Franchise Your Project
  • How to Cast the Right Actors for Your Characters - Does Name Talent Matter?
  • How to Get the Best Production Value and Make It Look Good!
  • The Key to the Scare - What I've Learned as an Experienced Producer
  • How to Get Your Audience to Debate What They've Seen in Your Film
  • How to Scare Your Audience in the First 5 Minutes
  • Q&A with Nick
  •  

About Your Instructor

Nick Phillips is the Producer and Director at the production company PBR Streetgang. A former studio executive with over 20 years experience in both creative development and physical production, Nick has done extensive location work all over the world and recently expanded into directing.

Nick started his career in New York with a nine year stint under the Dimension Films label. While there, he was involved in franchises including SCREAM, HALLOWEEN, HELLRAISER, THE CROW, and HIGHLANDER. He moved to the Dimension LA office in 2003, during which time he appeared on Season 3 of "Project Greenlight", which aired on Bravo, helping shepherd the film FEAST through production and launching a new franchise in the process. By the time he left Dimension, he had risen to the post of Vice President of Production.

In 2005, Nick went to work for Sony Pictures Entertainment where he helped create the micro budget genre division Stage 6 Films, under Peter Schlesell. While there he worked on successful sequels to 30 DAYS OF NIGHT and VACANCY, among others. He soon after moved into a position at Sony Screen Gems, working under Clint Culpepper, where he was involved with franchises including UNDERWORLD and RESIDENT EVIL.Nick then went on to serve as EVP of Revolver Picture Company, a fully financed independent genre label he co-­founded in 2012 with veteran casting director Kelly Wagner (THE GRUDGE, HOSTEL). During his time there, they produced the genre features PET, HAUNT, BENEATH, and DEVIL'S BACKBONE, TEXAS and co-­financed and produced the horror reality TV pilot "Fight of the Living Dead" with Alpine Labs and Blackbox TV.

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Reviews Average Rating: 4.5 out of 5

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