These filmmakers made memorable movies under tight schedules.
Any aspiring filmmaker or student filmmaker knows that producing a film takes up a lot of time. Multiple factors must be considered, such as scriptwriting, casting, costume and hairstyles, editing, funding the film, choosing where to shoot or build the scenes, scheduling filming, and more. Some movies might have faced rejection right from the beginning, such as Get Out and The Godfather, but initially had to overcome challenges to even get a chance at being made.
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There could even be obstacles in filming the movie alone. For instance, the location and lighting might not be ideal for a particular scene, or the scenes had to be re-shot. Several months or years might pass since the film is finally complete and ready to premiere in theaters. However, that's not the case for these movies regarding filming.
American Graffiti showed the lives of high school teenagers who were determined to enjoy their last night as high schoolers before they would have to enter adulthood. The film was set in 1962 and starred Richard Dreyfuss as Curt, Ron Howard as Steve, and Paul Le Mat as John.
Each of the high schoolers was grappling with their future and whether they were ready to leave for college, even if that meant leaving behind their friends. According to New York Times, American Graffiti was filmed in 28 days (or 28 nights, rather). American Graffiti is available on Paramount+.
Rocky told the story of an underdog that rose to the top. The film starred Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa, a boxer from Philadelphia. His boxing matches barely make him enough money. However, when a boxer calls out sick, he's called to fight the world heavyweight champion, Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers).
One of the most iconic scenes in the film that most viewers recall is Rocky's training montage. It's also the part of the film where Rocky realizes he has a chance against a professional boxer. Rocky didn't have extensive training for the fight, and the movie didn't require extensive filming either. Rocky was only shot in 28 days, according to History.com.
Moonlight, a coming-of-age film, shows the struggles and challenges that an African-American man named Chiron (Ashton Sanders) has to face. The film has three pivotal stages of his life: when he's a boy, a teenager, and a young man, and how his decisions and surroundings impact the further stages of his life.
The film shows the progression of life and attempts to show a perspective that audiences may not be familiar with or can relate to. Yet the film didn't require years to film it. According to IMDb, Moonlight was filmed over 25 days in October and November. Moonlight is available on Paramount+.
Guy Pearce had the lead role in the 2000 film Memento. He portrayed Leonard, a man who was unable to create new memories. His last memory was seeing his wife dying, but he couldn't remember who killed her. He needed to piece together fragments of his memory and any other clues.
The movie was organized in a complex form where the story might be progressing forwards but also returned to the past to reveal more details about what was going on. According to People.com, Memento was filmed in 25 days. Memento is available on HBO Max.
Nobody Sleeps In The Woods Tonight is a summer horror film where a group of teenagers who seemingly relied on technology for all their needs were required to give them all up to enjoy the great outdoors. As they camped with their camp counselor in the woods, one of the teenagers disappeared. The thing the teenager saw was a large mutant that grabbed him by his sleeping bag and dragged him away.
Nobody Sleeps In The Woods Tonight has the elements of a slasher film, and even one of the characters referenced this genre in the movie. According to IMDb, Nobody Sleeps In The Woods Tonight was filmed in 23 days, and for the most part, the film takes place in the forest, near the original campsite, near the mysterious monster's home, and a nearby resident's home. Nobody Sleeps In The Woods Tonight is available on Netflix.
The 1972 film, Halloween, took place on October 31, when a young boy was found guilty of killing his older sister. This boy, Michael Myers (Tony Moran), would grow up to become the frightening mask murderer that everyone fears. After he fled the mental health hospital, he returned to his hometown with the same motive as before, seeking to kill again.
Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis) was, unfortunately, the next victim. She had to defend herself in her home and use the surroundings to hide. The film's action took place on Halloween in 1963 and 1978, and the movie didn't require a long production schedule. Halloween was filmed in 20 days, according to IMDb. Halloween is available on FuboTV.
Whiplash tells the story of Andrew Nieman (Miles Teller), an aspiring drummer who dreams of being a renowned musician like those before him. As a first-year student at the Shaffer Conservatory of Music, Terrence Fletcher (J.K. Simmons) invites him to play in the studio jazz band.
Andrew soon learns that Fletcher is a far harsher critic than he appears to be. He pushes Andrew to his limits to ensure that he never settles for just "good." Fletcher expected perfection, but Andrew was never close to it, no matter no hard he practiced. Simmons effectively instilled feelings of anxiety and fear in the audience, and the short production schedule only intensified the stress of getting the scenes right. According to Hollywood Reporter, Whiplash was shot in 19 days. Whiplash is available on Vudu.
Before Sunset is the sequel to the 1995 film Before Sunrise: in the sequel, Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy reprise their roles as Jesse and Celine, respectively. The film took place nine years after Jesse met Celine and spent a romantic day with her. He wanted to preserve this memory and wrote a book explaining the experience.
While they promised each other they would meet again in six months, they reunited nine years later. Before Sunset was filmed in 15 days, this film was on a shorter filming schedule than its predecessor, Before Sunrise, which was shot in 25 days, according to Entertainment Weekly. Before Sunset is available on YouTube.
Finding a phone booth today might be a challenge. In the 2002 film, Phone Booth, Stu Shepard (Colin Farrell) had to rely on a phone booth if he wanted to live. This wasn't the first time he used a phone booth; he used a phone booth regularly to chat with another woman without his wife's knowledge.
This intensive thriller that took place primarily in a phone booth didn't require an extensive filming schedule. According to IMDb, Phone Booth was filmed in 12 days, with ten days dedicated to filming and two days to reshoot any scenes. Phone Booth is available on Hulu.
A Bucket of Blood starred Dick Miller as Walter Paisley, a busboy who was a talented illustrator. Others soon realized that Walter was also a talented sculptor. Of course, the reality was that Walter wanted to cover up accidentally killing the landlady's cat, so he covered the cat with clay. Soon anyone that Walter killed would be covered up in clay.
The film relies on dark humor, and even though it has a run time of one hour and six minutes, like any movie, it was shot on a tight schedule. A Bucket of Blood was shot in five days, according to IMDb. A Bucket of Blood is available on the Roku Channel.
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Karina Kosmala is a TV/Movies List Writer for Collider. She enjoys watching new movies and TV shows as well as rewatching them to catch the intricate details or Easter eggs. She is a recent graduate of Northwestern University and a former editor-in-chief of her undergraduate campus newspaper. When she's not watching TV shows or Movies, she hosts "Uncovering the Corners of the World," podcast.
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