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As an avid movie watcher and do-it-yourself kind of person I always wanted to know how it would be to make my own movie... I did!

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A bit of history...

In mid 2005 I brought up the idea of shooting a short movie with limited or no budget to Clifford, a close friend and (now ex-) colleague of mine. I didn't really expect him to catch on but it seemed that he in turn wanted to try out directing a movie, whereas I wanted to focus on the behind-the-scenes stuff as well as post-production. We almost immediately decided to give it a try.

...and ran head first and full speed into our first obstacle: What to shoot?

It is a major problem to approach authors of short stories and ask permission to film their work without any prior work to show as an example - and without a script we could hardly make any good stuff. Home videos and similar short event films done with a single camera don't quite cut it. Or to put it another way: I wouldn't call any of this old and improvised videos "reference material".

So the problem boils down to: No good video, no script - no script, no good video... Can you say: "infinite loop"? I knew you could!

It seemed to us, that the only way to get started in this business - even as a low-profile, home operated, no budget short film producer - is to do your very own script.

Fast forward to late 2005: we had no idea what story to write that was at least somewhat original and wouldn't blow the (non existing) budget.

While looking at some commercials on a TV in a display window of a shopping mall it hit me: we could do a little spoof of commercials! And this is where Lethal Discoveries comes in!

During the initial conception phase we did some thinking on what products our commercial should sell. But since we are afraid of trigger happy lawyers we couldn't come up with any product that couldn't somehow be taken as mockery of an existing product. A newscast about a parcel that was mistaken for an explosive device brought the idea: Let's do a commercial for bombs! Nobody in their right mind could mistake that for a serious commercial.

In the ensuing brain storming we had so many funny ideas that we couldn't boil them down to the usual 20 or 30 seconds of a single commercial, so we decided to make it an infomercial! Still, not all initial ideas made it to the final version of the script - we know that no good will come from half baked ideas that seemed funny.

Slate iconInitially Lethal Discoveries was planned to be a no-budget production. I would acquire the equipment to be used in later productions but no money should be spent on the movie itself so we could afford to release it free of charge - BUT...

...there was the problem of finding suitable actors: One person to host the show and one guest that shows off his products. We tried to find people in our immediate friend/colleague range that would fit the bill and be willing to perform on camera.

In mid 2007 we had exhausted our and our friend's connections: Either the people we asked had no interest in participating, or they had no time to spare. This was the time I decided to shell out "a few" bucks for real - if unknown - actors and contacted an agency.

Since I had to pay the actors out of my own pocket I will not offer the movie for free - I want to cover at least some of the expenses by selling it on DVD... And to all of you "sell out" and "we want it for free" shouters: I will probably start making profit on the movie if - and only if - I sell more than five hundred copies! And that still doesn't cover anything of the equipment!

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