7 ESSENTIAL CONSIDERATIONS TO ECONOMIZE YOUR FILM SHOOT
Making a movie can get costly depending on your vision and on the demands of the script. However, there are some Essential Techniques To Economize your film shoot and in this post we’re sharing 7 of them.
Without further ado:
1) MAKE USE OF NATURAL LIGHT, i.e., SUNLIGHT
Shooting indoors will require plenty of lights and plenty of lighting set ups. However, if you’re shooting outdoors you have all the light you need and it’s already setup. If you adjust your camera settings correctly at the most you may need a diffuser of sorts, that’s it.
Using sunlight will save you money and speed things up, way up!
2) SHOOT ON LOCATIONS…WHILE THEY’RE OPEN
Shooting on locations is for most film productions a money saver vs. building sets, etc. In most cities you can generally shoot on many public locations, e.g., streets, parks, etc., without a permit (most viable when it’s just the director and actors shooting). We talk further about this in Guerilla Filmmaking: What It Is And Pointers On Doing It.
And taking it a step further, when it’s a location you need to pay for, see if the price can be reduced, or even free, if you shoot during business hours. This can work perfect for b-roll shots and montages. However, if it’s for scenes with dialogue it will create challenges in audio and continuity for your editor. That’s why we recommend Don’t Fix It In Post, Get It Right In Production.
3) LONG SEQUENCES vs. COVERAGE
You can easily save hours or days by filming long sequences vs. coverage. A scene that requires six different camera angle set ups also requires six different lighting set ups. You can easily eliminate all that set up time by filming the scene in a long sequence. A tip to effective long sequences is to have your subject(s) move around, thus providing purposeful camera movement. Not sure when to move the camera, check out: When To Move The Camera In Filmmaking: There’s Only 3 Reasons.
With coverage it will take a lot longer and a lot more money to shoot a scene. Therefore, consider shooting long sequences.
The ultimate long sequence film is probably Alfred Hitchcock’s suspense thriller, Rope. It’s a film with a twist to hide the “perfect” crime.
4) WEIGH THE TIME COST OF SPECIAL EFFECTS (FX)
Your FX may not be dollar costly, but if time is money, you could end up broke. That is, FX can take a very long time.
The less of them you have, the better. And if you need any, plan out much time for them. A simple FX make up may take hours. Again, weigh the time factor.
5) YOUR GARAGE OR LOCAL THRIFT STORE FOR PRODUCTION DESIGN
Most likely you’ll only need the items for your movie, e.g., props, costumes, just for the movie. It’s pretty safe to say that you’ll never use them again. Therefore, why go out and by new and expensive things when you can get them from your garage or a thrift store? Get what we’re saying?
6) THE LEAST AMOUNT OF LOCATIONS
We know, this one is tough. You have all of these great locations in mind. However, do also keep in mind the cost to travel to these locations, moving equipment to these locations, food delivery, etc.
It’s possible to shoot a film in at least half the time if it’s in one to the fewest locations possible. It’s been done in many great films. For example, in Alfred Hitchcock’s, Rope. In the 1957 classic film, 12 Angry Men. The film takes place almost entirely in a jury room. Tape is another great single location film. A great part of it takes place in a motel room.
7) EVERYONE IS FED + SNACKS
You will get way more production from your crew and cast when they are fed…thus, not hungry. Not only so, the moral will be animated thus making for a happier filming environment. Don’t implement all of the aforementioned and neglect this one, your house of cards will come tumbling down.
All of these considerations can economize your film shoot. However, do keep in mind how they fit with your vision. We’re not saying sacrificing your vision for economics. We’re simply saying you have options to economize your film shoot.
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