November 11, 2013
Trying to get a movie made with minimal financial backing can be frustrating, as tough decisions need to be made early. Check out my first hand tips on creating a killer low-budget film.
Sure, you can get your crew to volunteer or call in favors to get your locations for free, but there are also risks associated with cutting corners that can directly result in your film suffering on a creative level. So how do you create the very best film with a minuscule budget?
After producing and directing dozens of micro-budget or low budget projects myself, I’ve inevitably learned my lessons (sometimes the hard way) on where you can afford to cut corners and where you absolutely can not. There may not be an exact formula for this, and of course every production has it’s own set of requirements and needs, but here are my thoughts on keeping your budget down as they pertain to various departments on a typical small scale film…
Casting a Low Budget Film
Skimping out in casting is the number one issue that most micro-budget films suffer from. When dealing with a low budget, it’s tempting to call up your actor friends and ask them to give you a freebie, but this is generally a bad idea.
Unless your friend is exceptionally talented and you’ve written a role with that person in mind, you will end up casting the wrong person for the role. And ultimately that will be a very bad starting point for your film. That’s not to say that your friend isn’t a good actor, but simply that they may not be the right person for the project. Don’t simply cast them because they are free, cast them because they are good and they deserve the role.
This however, doesn’t mean that you need to spend an arm and a leg on your cast. I suggest setting up a real casting session (at an affordable location) and bring out actors that are willing to work on deferred payment or for their portfolios. You can absolutely get talented actors on board with your film who are willing to donate their time, if you in turn provide them with something of value – the script.
If you’re going to get actors to come out for free, ensure it’s worth their while. Give them the opportunity to play an amazing role and treat them well throughout the process. You want to find people that are as much a part of the film as you are.
Crewing a Low Budget Film…
click here to read much, much more on Creating a Low-Budget Film That Feels Like a Blockbuster