HOW TO MAKE MONEY A FILM ON A LEAN BUDGET
The end credits of a film can be the most intimidating aspect of filmmaking for an aspiring director. Why? Because it’s four minutes of name scrolling of all the participants in the making of a film.
The aspiring director will start to panic because he’ll never get that many people together to bring his film script from paper to screen. He may even be right. Keyword, may. And that’s because it takes a whole lot of money to bring 4 minutes of end credits in the form of people together.
However, that many people are not needed to make an aspiring directors film. In this post we’ll share five tips on how to keep your film crew as lean as you can afford, even as lean as just you, the director, and your actors.
1) KEEPING LIGHTING LEAN
Lighting is equipment heavy, people blotted and time consuming. You can easily save money and time on all three by shooting exterior (outside) and during daylight.
When you need to shoot indoors make certain it’s during daylight and shoot near windows.
And if you must shoot during the night, don’t. Read Insightful Tips On Filming Day For Night.
2) KEEPING LEAN ON SFX
Something as simple as a bruised eye can take quite some time to get right. And it can even throw off your continuity if you do not match it exactly or as precise as the previous shot.
The best way to keep lean on SFX is to not have them or limit them in your film.
3) KEEPING LEAN ON EQUIPMENT
Equipment rental can get extremely costly depending on how many days you need them for. You will definitely want to shop around from a few rental houses before you settle on one.
Depending on your budget, it may make more financial sense to hire a Director Of Photography who owns his/her own equipment. If you’re not looking to hire a DP, you can buy a DSLR camera and film yourself. This is a worthwhile investment if you intend on making various films on your own.
This advice is also true for any sound equipment you may need.
As a matter of fact, check out 6 Essential Must Have Filmmaking Equipment For The Independent Filmmaker to know what equipment you will need.
4) KEEPING LEAN ON PERMITS
Don’t get permits is the direct answer. However, that comes with a risk. Filming in certain cities, places with out a permit will get your equipment confiscated and could even land you in jail.
With that said, it’s usually perfectly okay to film in most public outdoor spaces without a permit. If you’re going to do it, it’s probably best to do so when there isn’t much foot or car traffic around. In other words, not during hours that you could be a nuisance.
Definetely check out Guerilla Filmmaking: What It Is And Pointers On Doing It for more insight on permits and other must knows.
5) KEEPING LEAN ON LOCATIONS
This is rather simple to address. Film in the least amount of locations as possible. Moving around from location to location is time, money and energy consuming.
Is it possible to shoot your entire film in the least amount of locations? One to four? Then do so!
We hope these tips are useful to you as you map out how to keep your film shoot as lean as possible without compromising your vision, though you may have to.
And please note, the ultimate way to keep your film shoot lean is to shoot with just you and your actors and a production assistant.
It’s possible, it’s been done and it may work for you. Simply summarized, it would be you and your actors outdoor. You yell action, they act, and your PA booms/records audio.
Do that for all of your scenes and you’ll have your movie ready for post production.
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