By his own account, Michael Budd’s debut feature as producer & director, “Love of My Life,” sounds like it was something of a trial by fire in production and distribution. From haunted locations to his crew convincing themselves that they’ve been infected with golden staph, it was no easy feat getting it across the line (and across the globe). A less positive filmmaker might have missed some of the lessons this horror film had to teach its creator, but for Budd, who comes across as a walking, talking filmmaking master class, it was all made possible thanks to his boundless energy for performance and the industry he loves, and his dedication to being prepared at every stage of the journey.
Love Of My Life trailer:
“The directing’s done before you get there.”
His first big break was as a stand in for Lawrence Fishburne on “The Matrix” sequels, and even then he left nothing to chance. “I don’t think many people have ever rehearsed to be a stand in … but I did.” Never one to rest on his laurels, Budd spent his time on set studying the Wachowski’s directorial style – and the thorough pre-production work they employed on the massive sci-fi franchise. His attentiveness and infectious enthusiasm struck Fishburne, who suggested the would-be actor head to London and develop his craft there.
Flash forward several years, and he and two-time collaborator Liam Barrett developed their low-budget horror feature debut with the intent to sell it to the American market; a plan which led them to engage the services of an LA based editor to ensure that the project connected with their target audience as well as possible.
He and Barrett chose horror because of its enduring legacy for finding an audience; which, if you’re paying attention, makes it a perfect genre to get your start as a feature filmmaker.
As Budd describes in the interview below with Any Camera Will Do, it’s important that in an industry so focused on the visual, that filmmakers understand it’s better to have something to show to potential investors or executives than simply a lot of hot air. You need a calling card.
“I’m the guy who made Love Of My Life. That’s my calling card.”
Taking us through every step of the journey, from concept to completion, including how he hit the pavement and fund raised the money for the production budget, Budd is open and pragmatic and provides a myriad of practical advice for filmmakers trying to get their first project off the ground.
Director Michael Budd on Love Of My Life:
It looks like his remarkably assured directorial style is already starting to pay off, with his next film “Life Of The Party” set to star the Karate Kid himself, Ralph Macchio and Vinnie Jones, with a substantial bump up in budget to boot, as well as being in negotiations to helm a feature in the UK.
“I strive for the forever stuff.”
Budd’s approach to filmmaking is inspiring stuff. His dedication to planning his projects starts with the consideration of who he’s making it for, and continues right through to teaching himself how to engage with distributors personally. He talks in the above video about how he believes it’s important to create and sustain an industry here in Australia, to create a legacy that lives on past the film and the filmmakers themselves, and it’s a philosophy that we 100% endorse here at Any Camera Will Do. Once you’ve seen his brand of do-it-yourself gusto for yourself, you’ll believe it can be done too.
Want to know more?
And as always, if you have any questions for Michael, leave them in the comments or hit us up on the AnyCam facebook page and we will chase Michael down for more info!