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Sam Raimi and ‘The Evil Dead’ provide a blueprint for indie filmmakers

The story of Sam Raimi’s bloody masterpiece should inspire all filmmakers.

I love horror. My office is a real shrine to Hitchcock, Cronenberg and Carpenter. So when I stumbled upon a video about the origins of another horror master, Sam Raimi, I immediately hit play.

If there’s one do-it-yourself indie filmmaker who should inspire you and your work, it’s Raimi. Regardless of how you feel about his work, this is a writer / director who started small and has proven that fun concepts and original ideas can start a career.

This video, compiled by The Royal Ocean Film Society, follows the story of Raimi’s early years and how he launched this first iconic project. Let’s dig in.

Raimi started just like you

I love hearing about Raimi’s early work because it sounds like what so many of us do as indie filmmakers. We hang out with our friends, find people with cameras, costumes, and locations, and just go out and have fun creating original content.

Fortunately, Bruce Campbell was one of Raimi’s close friends.

But all they did was what you should do. Make stuff. Show it off on your college campus or other platforms. Everything to take your work outside!

So many get caught up in planning and dreaming and forget to make content. So go out there and do it!

Conceptual evidence

Another interesting thing that this team did was a proof of concept.

They knew that as filmmakers they didn’t have a pedigree – not yet. So they met at a friend’s cabin and created a quick, rundown version of their ultimate vision called. together In the forest. Then they showed it to anyone who could see it. (Sometimes by being a little pushy and a little dishonest, which we don’t advocate.) But they managed to raise about $ 85,000.

So do not be discouraged even if you have grandiose and expensive ideas. Maybe start a little smaller. Instead of a feature film, make a short film that introduces your world, how it should look and who might populate it.

David F. Sandberg did that! He made a short horror film that Warner Bros. then made full-length Lights out.


‘The Evil Death’Recognition: New Line cinema

Use setbacks to your advantage

The crew on evil Dead had a place, a dirty hut in the middle of the forest with no electricity. Raimi talks about the miserable filming and the fact that the set was covered in crap when they got there.

But the crew didn’t let that stop them, and as the video shows, the dingy environment adds to the charm of the film. The lighting is a bit glaring, the cabin looks like it’s falling apart, everyone looks exhausted.

They obviously didn’t have a steadicam. Instead, they mounted the camera on a board and walked in that direction for the perspective shots. It’s one of the most famous and unique elements in the film today.

The makeup and visual effects are practical, but they were convincing enough to win the film NC-17 rating. Break out your fake blood!


‘The Evil Death’Recognition: New Line cinema

Don’t take yourself too seriously

Another from evil DeadThe appeal of it is that the story doesn’t try to be serious.

It’s still scary, it’s still bloody, but it’s also just plain fun. The video hints at the relationship between comedy and horror – both of which involve build-up, tension, and payoff. One only uses a punch line, the other just a scare

We can apply this advice not only to the story, but also to the making of the film. This was a lousy production, and a lot of the crew and talent dropped out when filming fell way behind schedule. But Raimi wasn’t deterred. If they lost an actor, he had producers, other crew members, or himself to represent that actor. His hands appear in the movie, and it’s pretty seamless.

To achieve your vision, you may need to advocate non-traditional roles on the set as well.

We hope this is a good motivational boost for all filmmakers. Raimi was only 21 when he made one of the most popular horror films in history. Don’t let anyone tell you that you are too young or too old! Just start rushing.

What’s your favorite part in Raimi’s story? Leave it in the comments.

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