It can be a very frustrating experience to try to create a good movie with a low budget. You have to make some very tough decisions, and you have to do it early too. In addition, you must get many things correct as you have little or no room for mistakes.
While you may get some people to volunteer as your crew members, or you may call in a few favors for accessible locations, cutting corners in filmmaking may be disastrous and affect the creative levels of your movie. So the question is, how do you make a good film with minimal funds?
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If you’re reading this article, then it means that you’re trying to avoid the common mistakes that people make when creating low-budget movies. Instead, you want to learn to pull it off without experiencing the disappointments that may come with cutting corners the wrong way.
The truth is, creating low-budget movies is not as hard as it used to be anymore. This is the 21st century, and filmmakers are now spoiled with options on resources to make movies. So, even without a massive budget, you don’t have to make crappy movies. You have to consider many things when making a movie, though, and some of these are discussed in this article.
The first thing to consider is your script. Your story must be cheap if you’re making a low-budget movie. As a writer, you may be tempted to go wild in your imagination, but you must caution yourself if you don’t have the means to pull off your imaginary fantasies. For instance, if you’re shooting a contemporary drama, you will spend less than shooting a futuristic science fiction movie. On the other hand, if your movie is a high-concept one, then you must be clever about how you shoot it.
As a filmmaker, your screenplay must play towards your strengths and the available resources too. The producer also has to look into the number of actors and location changes needed for the script.
Stay away from elements like stunts, special effects, expensive locations, etc., as much as possible because they can raise your overall budget massively.
How good the casting of a movie is, determines how good the movie is. This is true for all films, especially low-budget ones. You can’t underestimate the importance of your cast. Your audience may look past the set design and camera issues, but they will never overlook poor acting. It will destroy whatever illusion they were having about the movie. So, you must get your casting right.
Getting the right cast may be problematic because your movie is a low-budget one, but it isn’t impossible. If there’s one thing that you must focus all your energy and resources on during your pre-production, then it has to be your casting.
One of the easy ways to get cast for your movie is to look through actor glossaries like Spotlight and Backstage. You can also contact agents or check Facebook groups. Although you’re working with a low budget, you may be able to convince a professional actor to come on your set if your script is good enough.
Before you start your casting, make sure that your budget and schedule are in place. This will allow you to be honest when making offers to prospective casts.
As far as the camera is concerned, there are plenty of options to choose from. However, since you’re going low budget, you may have to settle for something that you can access easily. Your choice as the producer is to hire someone who owns the equipment you need, rent, or buy the equipment.
It may make more sense financially to buy a camera instead of renting one. However, when you decide on the equipment to use, your distribution goals must be on your mind.
For instance, streaming channels have camera equipment. You will also get away quickly with many mistakes when you’re on small screens than when it’s a cinema projection.
The lighting design is another thing that you must consider. Many low-budget films use natural lighting only. However, if there are night scenes or indoor locations in the script, you must create a budget for lighting. It also makes sense to do some lighting and camera tests before starting the production. This will help you discover and understand any limitations with your equipment.
One aspect of production often overlooked in low-budget movies is the sound. You can easily ruin your film with bad audio, or it may cost you a lot of funds to improve the sound post-production. So, it’s crucial to have a quality audio recording while you’re shooting.
It may be costly to get a good sound recordist with their equipment, mainly because you can’t afford them. However, this shouldn’t make you neglect your audio recording. Check to confirm that it’s clear enough before and after every take.
One essential skill a good filmmaker must have is to not always rely on money before they make their movies. You can still make high-quality movies even with a low budget. You have to cut down on your cost in several ways, make tough decisions and avoid mistakes. Some of the things to do are discussed in this article.
Aziz Nicleson is a journalist with 5 years of experience providing professional essay writing service in London magazine “Shop&buy.” He also worked with BrillAssignment, where he writes college paper. In addition, he is a professional mini-tennis player.
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