Low budget film making: can anyone do it?

Low budget film making: can anyone do it?

In an earlier post, it was said that anyone can be a photographer in this day and age. Can anyone make a low budget film?

“Primer” (2004, Shane Carruth) is a mind bender if there ever was one, and it was made with $7 000. It was possible because of Carruth’s pre-planning as he had no crew, and the fact that he had a mind-blowing script. Carruth achieved his dream due to the use of natural lighting, 35 mm stills of locations which helped him emulate a particular feel on 16 mm, use of free ‘stuff’ (i.e. friends and family who acted for him as well as free locations) and discount from a local film distributor. To save on film, he and his friends rehearsed their scenes until they were flawless and only then de he hit record.

There is much debate in the low budget film making community. Many feel overwhelmed because festivals are getting thousands and thousands of submissions and there may be no commercial success after all the effort and money has been spent. And obviously, theatre and distribution monopolies would be taking enormous (and unhealthy) risks on low budget films.

On the other side, there are independent theaters with fringe audiences who support passion projects. A ‘good’ camera is unnecessary and there are plenty of fabulous forums to follow on FilmmakerIQ or No Film School ranging from cinematographic composition to psychologies behind film viewing. And finally, if a good producer is found…

In the end of it all, and what most film makers tend to say, the most important thing to do is to just go ahead and make something!


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