Skip to content

How to Produce Your First Feature Film

How to Produce Your First Feature Film or Short Film.

A question I get asked often is How to Produce Your First Feature Film or short film? This can be intimidating, it was for me when I produced and directed my first film BROKEN (Watch it FREE on Amazon Prime). Here are some of the questions I asked when producing my first film:

  • How do you get the locations I need?
  • How many shooting days can I really afford?
  • How do I “back into” a budget?
  • How do I create a reverse budget?
  • Do I need shooting permits?
  • How do I get production insurance?
  • Where do I get my crew?

Since I had never really produced anything longer than a 30 sec commercial, producing a 20 minute film seemed like climbing Mt. Everest. Luckily I had Jorge Rodriguez, a great producer who also acted as my line producer on the project.

He was able to breakdown everything and create the reverse budget. A reverse budget is simply starting with a number, lets say eight thousand dollars, then creating a budget that fits into that $8000 box.

Traditional budgets are created based on the script while a reverse budget is created based on a top budget number i.e.: $8000. This technique allowed me to create my first few projects on the money I had available.

FILMMAKING HACKS1 SML THUMBNAILS

It worked for Robert Rodriguez.

One tip I can give you when producing a low budget film is to use what you have access to. Director Robert Rodriguez famously said that:

“I had some guns, a bathtub, a small Mexican town, a dog and turtle.  I wrote all of these things into my script for El Mariachi. It was the only way I could make it for such a low budget.”

I did something similar for BROKEN . I had access to a crazy looking abandoned hospital location and I wrote my entire film to fit into that box. I couldn’t have made BROKEN any other way.

Take a look at the video below and listen to producer Jorge Rodriguez explain how to “back into” a indie film budget. Good luck and keep shooting!

Take a look at Anatomy of a Killer Stunt. It goes BTS of how we did some really cool stunts in our films.


Enjoyed this blog post? Please share it in your social networks (FacebookTwitter, email etc) by using social media buttons at the side or bottom of the blog. Or post to your blog and anywhere else you feel it would be a good fit. Thanks.

I welcome thoughts and remarks on ANY of the content above in the comments section below…


Get Social with Indie Film Hustle:
Facebook: Indie Film Hustle

Twitter: @indiefilmhustle 
Instagram: @ifilmhustle

YouTube: Indie Film Hustle TV
Podcast: IFH Podcast
Indie Film School: IFH: Guerrilla Indie Film School

 

SaveSave

Facebook Comments

1 Comment

  1. Stanley Schmitt on October 10, 2015 at 6:16 am

    Here is a good article I found on fundraising methods for shorts. Some good ideas. http://shortfilmconnection.com/top-10-fundraising-methods-for-a-short-film-project/ Cheers