Film Courage: Pascal, what is the difference between making a $500 movie versus an $85,000 movie?
Pascal Payant: Exactly the same. Seriously… it just goes to different aspects of it but it was not more complicated because when I do a film, I try to do it with the bare minimum. For example with ON THE HORIZON we made it for $85,000 but most of that money went for travel, actors, food, plane tickets and it goes fast like this [snaps his fingers]. So when it is time to do the budget it’s not that complex. So whether I am doing a $500 or $85,000 film, I am using exactly the same technique. I shoot the same way. The only thing I had was a bigger camera. But other than that, it was exactly the same process.
“I love doing short films. Short films are about finding your style and signature.”
Film Courage: Which camera was it?
Pascal Payant: I used the Red Dragon. I used it because I was debating. I was like “Should I go with Canon?” With the Red I chose it because I knew that my shoot would be chaotic, traveling all the time and I know that sometimes I might miss something. With the raw footage you can fix everything later, so that was a fail-safe.
Film Courage: With ON THE HORIZON you had it as a short film first and then you decided to make it as a feature film. Aside from making it a longer movie, did you notice that were things that surprised you with having this longer script in lengthening the film?
Pascal Payant: No. For me it was more…well let me say that I love doing short films. Short films are about finding your style and signature. I had an idea and I wanted to do it.
For instance with the short film for ON THE HORIZON, I shot that in like three hours and it came out amazingly. We shot in the desert. So when I did that I was in the process of finding my funding source for the feature film. I was searching for like $300,000. That’s a lot of money! With that idea I was like “Can I make this story?” with ON THE HORIZON and just reshape it to make it around $60,000 to $85,000.
I scaled it down and I was asking favors from people. I know it’s kind of a cliché but you ask people for favors, look for sponsors and it worked out. Sometimes by doing something an idea clicks. And when I did the short film version that was the revelation of “Oh, screw the $300,000.” Let’s make it for maybe $60,000 and I’m sure it’s going to be easier to find investors and it worked.
Film Courage: I often hear filmmakers say they want to make something but they don’t have the budget. That they make a film, it has to be a $1,000,000 plus project. How was it for you to come to that decision that if I am going to do this, this is all the budget I may get currently and I still want to make it?
Pascal Payant: Yeah, but I’ve been doing this for the past ten to fifteen years and I’ve always used the same technique. No crew. I do everything myself…..(hear more of Pascal Payant’s full interview on Youtube here).
More videos with Pascal Payant:
“Hi, Mom!” Zooppa has partnered up with T-Mobile on a brand new project! T-Mobile gives its customers unlimited data and texting in over 140 countries and destinations—at no extra cost. T-Mobile wants to inspire those customers to travel and get off-the-beaten path—to be explorers, not tourists—and unlock adventures they can share when they take their phones. The ‘Hi, Mom’ project focuses on sharing the most extreme moments of adventure outside of the United States with family and friends back at home.
The project is open for submissions until February 21st, 2017 at 4:00 PM PST. There are $40,000 in total cash awards available that will be assigned to the top eight videos chosen by T-Mobile. In addition to the cash awards, all winning videos will also be featured on T-Mobile’s social and web platforms or as a part of a compilation celebrating adventurous moments from around the world.
THE WEEKEND SAILOR is a new feature documentary about the unexpected victory of the Mexican yacht Sayula II in the first crewed sailing race around the world in 1974. The most demanding sailing quest in history.
Sailor, Ramon Carlín visits his rebellious son, Enrique in the United Kingdom and comes across a magazine advertising a sailing race around the world. Although he had been sailing casually for two years, Ramon embarks on this race and brings his son along as an opportunity to not only teach him discipline but real life experiences as well.
Catch 22: based on the unwritten story by seanie sugrue: With Hurricane Sandy looming on the horizon, five hard-lived friends come to from a send-off celebration alongside an unexplained dead girl. What are friends for?
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT): Zooppa and Nickelodeon are inviting filmmakers and motion graphic artists from around the world to reimagine TMNT on a global scale through depicting what they are up to in various home towns or cities. The goal is to show how the Turtles would come to life in any given location, using local city or pop culture influences to help tell the story. Zooppa and Nickelodeon are looking for imagination and creativity, the videos made should be a fun way to share Turtle stories from across the globe––authenticity is key!
The project is open for submissions until February 23rd, 2017 at 4:00PM PST. There are $25,000 in cash awards available to the top 10 videos that will be chosen by Nickelodeon.