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The Brother From Another Planet — How to Make a Low-Budget Movie in NYC

July 12, 2010

John Sayles’s “The Brother From Another Planet.”

Should have seen this when Mom Dukes told me to watch it way back in the day.  Finally caught it on Netflix Insta-Stream yesterday (which, with theater prices hovering around $12.50 in Brooklyn these days — (about $3 more than a Chipotle Burrito [my standard for where you can expect to get just enough food for your money]) is my new go-to resource for seeing anything movie-wise).  (Lotta parentheticals there.  Sorry.)

But!

This movie is ill.  Why?   In my view, it’s a paragon of how to make a movie in NYC economically, guerrilla style.

A great lead actor, talented ensemble cast, natural lighting everywhere, easily accessible locations, creative art direction, and a creative story that’s smartly weaved.  I admit, it’s a little kitschy for modern times, and maybe several minutes too long, but brilliant nonetheless.  I’m all about it, especially in this day and age.  And with cameras like the 7D out there–you could shoot this joint today for like…a few thousand?

Check this scene.  Simple–well lit, well shot, well edited, well acted–well directed.  Perhaps all you need on the low-end of production.

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