5 Things You Should Know Before Making an Indie Movie

#2. Don't Have a Bunch of Stuff in It, You Numbskull!

Sometime in the third week, when our souls had all been ground to a fine powder by the collaborative creative process known as "trying to make people laugh," we found ourselves riding around in the bed of a pickup truck down bumpy, freeway-adjacent gravel roads to scout possible locations where we could strip me to the waist and have me lie down in the cold and dark for many hours and film it. And that's what I deserved.

You don't set your first movie in "the woods." That's stupid. It's too vague and amorphous and full of animals, like a terrible orgy. Fortunately, we didn't set our movie in the woods. We set it in a cabin, a store, a laser tag arena, train tracks, a van, a parking lot, a church, a quarry and the woods. The parking lot wasn't that tough to get to, to be totally honest. I don't want to risk hyperbole.

And don't put a bunch of shit in your movie! Like, shit for the people to hold or do business with. Just let the actors act, you know? Because it turns out you have to buy all of that stuff: the chainsaw and the kegs and the van and the machete and the rifles and the rope and the jars of various sizes.

Man, you know, I never listed it all in a row like that. I should wrap this column up before the men from the government arrive to question me.

NEXT TIME: I understand volunteer work is quite rewarding.

IMPROVISED SOLUTION: Purchasing any and all props that will be required for the following day's scenes each night at the town's only 24-hour business, a Walmart Supercenter. You will bathe here, get your hair cut here. Its flickering plasma screens will be your only connection to the outside world. Learn to love it and its strange, oblong denizens.

#1. Don't Expect to Like It, No Matter How Long It Takes to Come Out, You Pathetic Husk of What Was Once Called a Man!

Between the time the movie I'm currently plugging at you was filmed and now, the director Travis had a child, several of the actors landed TV roles, the Higgs boson was discovered and an Ice Age swept across the globe and slowly receded. Watching it now feels like looking at a high school graduation slideshow.

And as the editors, Travis, Abe and I have also each seen the movie about a hundred times, in maybe 20 different forms. It took that long and that many viewings to get it right, lose perspective, forget the movie existed, watch it with fresh eyes, actually get it right, lose perspective again and then convince some foolish people to distribute the movie. And become unfrozen, I guess, from the Ice Age.

As you'd expect, I hate the film now, and I look forward to sharing it with all of you. I think you're really going to like it.

NEXT TIME: Do it all over again. Think of a less cheesy line with which to end the resulting column.

IMPROVISED SOLUTION: Apropos of nothing, remind the nice people that they can currently BUY TICKETS to see Kill Me Now premiere (and meet the cast and crew) on December 5 in Los Angeles or December 6 in San Diego! They can also stay on top of all Kill Me Now news -- including how to download it once it's available online -- by following Kill Me Now on Facebook.

Check out more from Swaim in The 3 Worst Pieces of Advice on the Internet and The 6 Least Necessary Sequels to Viral Videos.

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Michael Swaim

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