Wednesday, November 01, 2006

$10K & under!

So this week-end is the Delaware Valley Film Festival, and I’m thinking of going. I do know of someone’s short film that is in the festival and it would be great to see it. The festivals requirements were that the films budget was not over ten grand, and that’s why I never bothered to submit my film. Now you say that with just $10K or less how can a person pull off a successful film? There would be certain limitations that is for sure when you’re filming for such little money, but there are also a lot of things you can do that will make you’re film just as interesting as the ones Hollywood churns out.

How? You ask. Well first you’ll be shooting in DV. Not film. No lab, and no film stock, so you can now channel some of that money into your cast & crew. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Hire REAL actors. Go out and hold auditions, or use a local casting company. Local talent is preferred. That way you don’t have to splurge on hotel rooms, and extra meals. When you make a film you will be surprised to find where the money really goes. Food, room, and transportation can eat at any budget, and when you have a small budget of $10K or less every dollar counts.

I’ve already gone over on how to make a film for less by limiting actors, locations, and crew, but one thing I haven’t discussed is scheduling. Scheduling a film is important. I see or hear of too many films shooting and stopping and then shooting again. The hardest thing to do is start filming again after a brief time of not filming. Especially if you are not paying people. If you are paying people, and you schedule this brief hiatus then actors & crew can make alternate plans on their off days. It’s even great that you may have friends who are really talented, and can act, but paying them ensures that they’ll be there when you need them. It also says that I value you’re time, and I don’t want to exploit you because you are my friend. I know it’s hard, and every cent counts, but keep cast & crew happy and you’ll ensure that you’re film will get finished. Remember also to treat your people right. Feed them properly. Not just quick take-out stuff, but real meals. Remember you are what you eat, and if you serve junk you might be looking into a rebellion happening among your cast & crew. So in the end do the cheap thing and provide for the cast & crew. You won’t regret it.

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