How to Make a Sci-Fi Movie
There are only two types of science fiction films: ones which take place in a bleak, post-apocalyptic future, and ones which take place in a bleak, non-post-apocaplyptic future. However, don't lose hope just because the only two props you own are a lamp you stole from your grandmother's attic and a set of broken crutches! It's easy to recreate "the future" in science fiction films! Follow this easy guide and you'll have yourself a genuine science fiction set in no time!
1) Post-apocalyptic movie: Film in the desert. One of the most deadly futuristic military weapons is the "Atomic Sandbomb," which is able to reduce entire cities to sand (literally) within seconds. Luckily, these weapons aren't very radioactive at all, and the contaminated areas are often well-marked with signs and a green camera filter to let the audience know that there's something really radioactive going on there. The "mutants" who inhabit the area should look like normal human beings, only with a slightly more noticable drooling problem.
2) Non post-apocalyptic future: Film in downtown Canada. Canada has a few cities which are really clean, thereby depicting the "Big Brother" motif. You know, because Big Brother is an obsessive-compulsive who spends a few billion dollars each year for robots that fly around and dump wading pools full of cleaning wax all over the floors of business buildings (which also double for shopping malls).
The optimal shape for aliens are "humanoid," except for slight mutations. Like a big fucking apple fritter on their head.
You see, science fiction movies are all about extremes; either the future is really fucking dirty or it's really fucking clean. The cars are either junked-up 1970's scrap heaps with 15 tons of metal bolted to the top or they're expensive and meticulous VW Beetles (although I'm not sure why everybody in the future drives cars manufactured in 1999). The people either dress up in cheap rags and shirts covered in dirt or they wear cheap rags and shirts they bought in Target and tore the collars off of. Okay, maybe the last one was a bad example.
In movie-making terms, the phrase "Science Fiction" means "the future." This means that any film taking place more than 15 minutes past the current time is considered science fiction. Keep this in mind next time you want to make a movie and you're not within walking distance of a major desert. Or Canada.
Starring actors need not be classically trained. In fact, most science fiction actors are capable of portraying only three different emotions per movie, and two of them are "confusion." Determine what the coveted "third emotion" your movie is about by examining the script and figuring out what your movie is about and writing down the corresponding emotion:
Aliens - Rage
Time Travel - Fury
Cloning - Seething hatred
Fighting for Survival Amidst a Post-Apocalyptic Landscape of Destruction - Bloodlust
Killer Robots - Explosive ferociousness
As mentioned above, there are five major themes for all science fiction movies. Try to stick to one of these themes or else the Science Fiction Network won't pick up the rights for your movie and you'll miss out on the $12 + bus fare that they offer.
Alien Movie - Hostile aliens have invaded the Earth and it's up to some guy with a huge jaw and thick eyebrows to save the planet! Every single alien in the universe comes in the following forms:
Skinny grey alien with huge head. Although this type of alien is supposedly based off "real life" descriptions from witnesses who enjoy brewing their own moonshine and shooting at street lights, feel free to take creative liberties and modify it to your liking. After all, a movie about aliens who can't be stopped and have no weakness probably wouldn't be that entertaining, unless you're marketing it to the aliens. And who knows what the hell aliens like to watch. Probably reality TV.
Many up and coming directors choose to downplay the "invulnerability" factor by making the aliens susceptible to all kinds of inane things, such as shotgun blasts, empty warehouse explosions, and hand to hand bludgeoning with a fire extinguisher. Despite the aliens' superior intellect, they should also fall prey to laughably puerile "traps" such as hiding in the dark shadows of a hallway and rigging a plastique-laden car to drive into their parked UFO. The greys should also have slender arms which flail around spastically throughout every scene, providing no real purpose except to showcase the fancy black sticks which your prop guy / caterer / brother spray painted to animate it with.
Bug parasite. These parasitic creatures ride to Earth on a watermelon-sized meteor (NOTE TO FILMMAKERS: use a watermelon) and breed quickly, infecting any human they can crawl into. Since the alien has a total of approximately three seconds of film time, you can save time and energy by repeatedly cutting to stock footage of a silverfish or a millipede or a comb with cat whiskers glued to it, instead of actually building an alien puppet. To ensure maximum flexibility, film the parasite in front of a backdrop that can be worked into every scene, like a generic floor or a table. This also makes life easier for your actors, who only need to memorize the following lines:
SCENE: The alien spaceship.
ACTOR #1: "Look out! It's an alien!" (pointing to some area off camera)
ACTOR #2: "Where?!?"
ACTOR #1: "On that table!"
(Cut to shot of plastic comb on a table which is obviously located in the director's mom's kitchen. Blurry image of a Domino's pizza flyer is in the background, and family dog can be sleeping to the right)
Alien with lots of teeth that drools and crushes wooden objects. These are the most difficult aliens to produce, as they require both a guy who can find enough rubber to make a suit AND a guy stupid enough to stand around in the suit all day, sweltering under enough heat to make his retinas combust. However, these types of aliens have flexibility that the other two don't. For example, they are really strong and can break boards. The easiest way to show an alien's physically prowess is by placing a couple hundred tables in between it and your main character, who should run two steps forward, turn around to stare in horror at the alien, run two steps forward, and then turn back again. Repeat this until you run out of either film or set. The alien should take this time to break the tables and casually toss them out of his way, thereby showing off his incredible power. If possible, he should also punch through a wall, assuming you can afford the cost of drywall. Which, if you're making a science fiction movie, you probably can't.