No-budget films are usually made by people who aren't getting paid. But this is controversial to some who think that if you can afford to make a movie you can afford to pay your crew. Is this realistic? Is it unethical to not pay your crew?
The crazily falling price of film technology and the advent of social media and the “gig economy” have all come together to make it possible for filmmakers without Hollywood connections to produce feature films. Filmmaking tools that used to cost literally millions of dollars can now be had for hundreds to a few thousands of dollars. Aspects of filmmaking can now be “internationalized”, bringing down costs further. Not surprisingly, there’s plenty of great features that have been made for next to no money. Some of them have gone on to great success.
Filmmaker Daniel Kremer has made six microbudget features since 2007 - an impressive achievement. Here he talks about how that has been possible and about his filmmaking method, including his approach to what he calls "structured improvisation".
This was a really fascinating interview with one of my students, filmmaker Josh Jordan, who is about to shoot his first feature - a microbudget called This World Won't Break about a country singer approaching middle age.We covered all aspects of his filmmaking process. Definitely worth watching.
Thanksgiving is coming up and then it’s time to start thinking about Christmas. And you know what that means: New Years Resolutions! Maybe you’ve wanted to quit smoking or go to a gym or learn to dance salsa. How about an even better New Years Resolution? 2017 will be the year that you finally become a feature filmmaker!
There's a lot of ways to cut corners on your no budget feature film to get it in the can and out the door. We're big fans of making your film whatever way you can, by hook or by crook. But this is one corner you should seriously consider NOT cutting.
Technological innovation has made filmmaking affordable to millions. But to get truly innovative, microbudget films out there into the world and build audiences, we need something more: we need a movement.
HERE I PROVIDE AN EXCERPT FROM OUR BOOK: MASTER THE NANO ON WRITING GOOD SCRIPT FOR YOUR NO-BUDGET FILM:
Three-act structure gets a bad rep. Blame Hollywood. They have perfected the three-act machine to drain the life and edges out of scripts – catalyst happens at 12 minutes, first act change at 22 minutes, B story introduced at 30 minutes, etc. But this is in part because the three-act structure is such a powerful and simple machine for storytelling. That is, simple to say or analyze – not so simple to do well.
Everybody makes mistakes. Some of us make a lot of them. It’s no different when you start making feature films. Every feature film process – script development, pre-production, production, post, festival strategy, distribution – has A LOT of moving parts. You can and probably will screw up multiple times on any given day. The hope is that your screw-ups won’t be fatal to your project. And most of them aren’t but they can certainly set you back in terms of time, money and heartache.
If you’ve ever shot a feature film in 10-15 days you know that it’s a manic, stressful experience. You’re shooting 8, 10, 12 pages a day to try and get your story in the can. It’s like climbing Mount Everest: it can be done, others have done it, but dozens die every year halfway up the mountain.
Click on the image