Last summer, I was in the middle of my second-to-last semester of a Screenwriting MFA program when I was laid off from my job. Fortunately I found a new position in less than a month, but my workload at my new position was so heavy, I had to drop out of grad school at the end of the semester.
I came to L.A. to be a writer. It's been over a dozen years now, and nothing's really panned out. I had a few false starts in the early days, but once I settled into a (relatively) stable career in marketing, I felt less and less motivated to crank out another script that nobody'd read. Going back to school was supposed to light a fire under me to get back to chasing my dream. And it did, just not how I'd anticipated.
During that semester last summer, I took a production class and realized what I should be doing: making my own projects. So I wrote a low-budget horror script. It's high-concept, commercial and most importantly franchise-able. If I can get it made, I can get it sold.
Now I don't have the capital to independently finance a 90-page script. For the past six months, I've spent my free time in pre-production on the first scene which I plan to shoot as a short film; it's a self-contained scene that sets up the world and the antagonist. I'll use the short to get investors and sell myself as the writer-producer-director of the project.
I know some of you are filmmakers, or aspiring filmmakers, or people who just think they know everything. What I'd like this thread to be is a resource for people like us to discuss the nuts and bolts of the independent filmmaking. Most of what I know is from the stacks of books on producing and directing that I've read over the past few months or the limited experience I've had as a P.A. years ago.
I'm going to ask a lot of dumb, eye-rolling questions because I'd rather look stupid in here than on set. That being said, let me start off by asking, What type of lighting gear should I rent for a night shoot? I'm shooting a campfire scene with three characters. I don't want the only light source to be the campfire. I'd like to approximate the sort of "moonlight" you see in horror movies.