Saturday, March 3, 2012

RedFall: The Hunt for a Retractable Knife

I have been searching online for a retractable knife to be used in the film for about a month now. I began searching for a company that already has retractable knives made that I could buy or possible even rent. I found some websites that rent or sell retractable knifes. However they charge you about $2,000 for them and some also require you to have insurance. That’s just something I really couldn’t afford.

After that failed, I tried searching for special effects companies, in hopes of getting a retractable knife created. I did find some big time special effects companies and some small time companies. Some had no clue of what I was asking. You’re a special effects company for films, how do you not know what I’m talking about? Others said they could make one for me; however they were all charging considerably more than what I could afford. Prices ranged as low as $450 to over $1,000. I know that doesn’t seem like too much, but keep in mind that we are making this film independently. If we had a studio backing us, then this hunt would have ended weeks ago.

The hunt continued and I kept searching. After sending out 40 plus emails, I finally found a guy at a special effects company that will make us the retractable knife for $250. That’s a great price for an independent filmmaker to afford. Thus the hunt was over. The retractable knife is being made as I write this and should be ready in time for the scenes it will be used for.

As I was searching, I found a lot of people online that were also searching for retractable knives for their projects. Some seemed to always be talked out of it by someone telling them to film the scene in a way so a retractable knife isn’t needed. I myself even had a special effects artist tell me to film around the actual knife stabbing someone. This really pisses me off. I feel that the scene that I wrote only works if you see the knife stabbing the person. If you didn’t see it then the whole scene isn’t as effective. I would rather re-write the scene completely then film around it. Which I’ll admit I was about to do as I felt that finding a retractable knife was like finding the Holy Grail.

I want to end by saying that even though it was hard to find someone to make us a retractable knife, I still did it. I searched, and searched, and searched. And that searching finally paid off. If you’re an independent filmmaker and you really want to use one for your film then you need to get out there and search. Don’t change your scenes or film around it.