Low Budget Filmmakers

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Top 10 Tips for Low budget Filmmakers

Making an indie film can be rough, especially for beginners. Many times filmmakers go off halfcocked and jump into making a film without really thinking it all through. Here are a few tips that will help you on your filmmaking journey.


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CHOOSE THE RIGHT SCRIPT

Look for character-driven stories with no stunts or effects, limited locations, a limited cast and utilize resources that you already have access to.

PLAN

Spend time in pre-production. The more you can plan, the smoother your shoot will go.  Take the time to plan and save time later when it costs.

MOST FAVORED NATIONS

When paying people less than they’re worth -make everyone equal- one pay rate for everyone.  This helps show respect, not play favorites, and everyone will be working for one common goal.

CAREFULLY PICK UNION OR NON-UNION

If you go with an actor’s union, understand the full contract.  Quite often although the production terms may be reasonable, the distribution terms may be not.

CAMERA TECHNOLOGY

Never feel that you have to use a specific camera because that’s the “hot” tech.  Not all cameras are created equal and it is the talent behind the camera that matters, not the tech itself.

WORKFLOW

Know your production and post workflow before you shoot.  This will save time, money, and frustration later.

MUSIC RIGHTS

Don’t go for “label” or commercially released music- the rights are complicated and expensive.  Find unsigned, talented artists and get permission to use their music or have them record original music for you.

UNDERSTAND YOUR MARKET

Do your homework. Research your demographic and market – is there actually an audience for this film? How will you sell it? Can you visualize a poster and tagline? Knowing those before you shoot will increase your chances of success.

WORK WITH PROFESSIONALS

Every step of the way, your project will benefit from the experience of true professionals. You may not be able to afford the best in the business, but experience matters – hire the right people for the job, not just friends and family who are available.

PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR SOUND

Sound is one of the most important aspects of a movie – bad sound is intolerable, even over bad picture. Know how to capture the best sound and how to finalize it in post. If you don’t know – see tip #9.

I discuss each one of these in detail on the show. Enjoy!

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LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

SPONSORS

  1. VideoBlocks.com – (IFH Discount SAVE $50)
  2. Tailorsound.com (IFH TRIBE DISCOUNT 15% OFF – (Just type HUSTLE anywhere in “Post Your Brief” section)
  3. Rise of the Filmtrepreneur®: How to Turn Your Indie Film into a Moneymaking Business
  4. Rise of the Filmtrepreneur®: FREE AUDIOBOOK
  5. Indie Film Hustle TV (Streaming Real-World Film Education)
  6. Alex Ferrari’s Shooting for the Mob (Based on the Incredible True Filmmaking Story)

REAL-WORLD STREAMING FILM EDUCATION

  1. Indie Film Hustle TV (Streaming Real-World Film Education)
  2. Hollywood Film School: Filmmaking & TV Directing Masterclass
  3. Filmmaker in a Box – Learn How to Make an Indie Film – 18 Hours+ of Lessons 
  4. Storytelling Blueprint: Hero’s Two Journeys
  5. The Dialogue Series: 38 hours of Lessons from Top Hollywood Screenwriters

FILMMAKING RESOURCES

  1. Filmtrepreneur® Podcast
  2. Bulletproof Screenwriting® Podcast
  3. Six Secrets to getting into Film Festivals for FREE!
  4. FreeFilmBook.com (Download Your FREE Filmmaking Audio Book)

Action Items:



Check out this video for additional tips and advice on low budget filmmaking by D4Darious.


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1 Comment

  1. Barny on November 9, 2017 at 6:21 pm

    I love this podcast because I find it inspirational and motivational; however, this episode had the opposite effect on me. I feel like this whole top ten list could be reduced down to “Have enough money to work with the professionals who don’t need you.”
    Apparently, ‘low budget’ means something different to Alex then it does to me.
    I cannot afford to hire people who have been making films their whole lives. It isn’t a matter of my being stingy with my Scrooge McDuck sized mountain of wealth; I simply do not have enough money to pay someone with these credentials.
    #8 Understand your market.
    Billy Hearst is not spending his time listening to this podcast, of any podcast I grant you, it’s struggling film makers, who are working out of a 1997 minivan, who listen.
    Should I work with professionals? Yes.
    Is Jennifer Lawrence returning my calls? No.
    Please return to the uplifting, inspirational topics of past podcasts. If I want someone to tell me that I don’t have enough money to make a film, I’ll call my Dad.
    Thanks.