Production The film was devised, storyboarded and directed by Gareth Edwards, who also worked as the visual effects artist. Allan Niblo and James Richardson of Vertigo Films work as producers on the production. The filming equipment cost approximately $15,000, with the budget coming in at under $500,000. The film was shot entirely on location: any settings featured in the film were real locations often used without permission asked in advance, and the extras were just people who happened to be there at the time. Edwards had the idea for the film while watching some fishermen struggling to haul in their net and imagining a monster. He had the idea to make a monster movie set "years after most other monster movies end, when people aren't running and screaming, but life is going on" and "where a giant, dead sea monster is considered completely normal." He pitched the idea to Vertigo Films, and they asked Edwards to watch a film called In Search of a Midnight Kiss which starred Scoot McNairy and had been made for $15,000. As the chemistry between Edwards' two characters was so important, he wanted a real couple, and luckily McNairy's then-girlfriend (and now wife) Whitney Able was an actress, and joined the project. The film was shot in Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Texas in the US, over three weeks. For about 90% of the filming the crew comprised seven people transported in one van: Ian Maclagan (sound operator), Jim Spencer (line producer), Verity Oswin the Mexican 'fixer', Edwards, a driver, and Able and McNairy, the stars. As the low-budget production didn't run to a camera dolly, Edwards made do by sticking the camera out of the van window, cushioned on some bundled-up clothing. As most of the extras were non-actors who were persuaded to be in the film, their action was improvised. "As a result of all this random behaviour, the idea of scripting the film went out of the window. Instead I had a loose paragraph describing the scene with just the main points that had to be hit; how the actors carried this out was left up to them." Each night during the shooting period the editor Colin Goudie and his assistant Justin Hall would download the day's footage so the memory sticks could be cleared and ready for the next day's filming. Back in the UK, Edwards had over 100 hours of unique ad-libbed footage (rather than repeated takes of scripted scenes which would be very similar) to edit into a coherent film. Edwards did all the special effects himself using off-the-shelf Adobe software and Autodesk 3ds Max. The first assembly was over four hours long, and over eight months of editing was trimmed to 94 minutes. Once the film was locked, Edwards had five months to create all 250 visual effects shots, a process he undertook in his bedroom. "[I was] churning out about two shots a day, which was fine until I got to the first creature shot. Then suddenly two months went by and I still hadn't finished a single creature shot; it turned out to be the hardest part of the whole process." Due to time constraints, the sound effects had to be produced before the special effects were undertaken.
Release Monsters premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival, as part of the SX Fantastic screenings, on 13 March 2010. On 17 March, Magnet Releasing acquired the rights for the North American distribution. In May, the film was screened at the Cannes Film Market. Monsters had its UK premiere as part of the 64th Edinburgh International Film Festival, on 18 June 2010. The Los Angeles Film Festival also held two screenings, part of the Summer Showcase, on 23 and 26 June. The film's theatrical release took place in Russia on 30 September, distributed by Volgafilm. Magnolia Pictures released Monsters in US theatres on 29 October 2010. The Canadian theatrical release was on 5 November, after DFilms acquired the rights on 24 May 2010. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monsters_(2010_film