The founder of a small film studio tell how he can make a movie for under $50,000.
You've heard of low-budget movies. Victor Alexander has come close to perfecting the no-budget movie. "I can make movies for next to nothing," says the founder of American Victor Organization Inc., in Newbury Park, Calif. That is not an idle boast. In an industry where "cheap" generally means a $5-million budget, Alexander has managed to stay within the $50,000 range when producing or coproducing a film.
This year, he says, his 14-year-old company will reap gross profits of about $200,000, thanks to the growing demand for movies on home video and cable, as well as in foreign markets.
Of course, Alexander must make concessions. A movie that starts out as a horror film may become a western, depending on the costumes he can scrounge up. He is currently shooting two science-fiction films because he got a good deal on a spaceship interior. As for actors, Alexander gets them any way he can. His most successful film, Kill Zone, featured one of his financial backers as a veteran who mistakes Riverside, Calif., for Vietnam and mows down 50 people. (The film was sold to 20th Century Fox.) Star Quest, a movie about a cross-cultural romance between an alien and a human, stars his wife, Liv, a former electromechanical designer.
Alexander hopes that someday a big studio will discover him. "I'm just trying to get pictures made," he says. "This isn't glamorous. But it's really enjoyable."