Tips for Making a Film on a Small Budget
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If you're a person with a passion for film, you may have considered trying your hand at being a filmmaker. Whether you have just graduated from film school or come from a different background, you'll need to make your independent film on a budget. You may have crowdfunded your project, or a private investor has been interested, or you may have decided to fund the film yourself. Either way, working on a tight budget can be more difficult than you think. Here are some basic tips to keep in mind.

Keep it simple

You won't have the money to spend on special effects, elaborate costumes and props, or to fly your cast and crew to an exotic destination. So try not to put this in your script at all. Focus on character development and dialogue and a great storyline. This is because all of these extra things can be very impressive if the audience has nothing to do with the characters, or if those experiences are incomprehensible they will lose interest. Understand your limitations from a production engineering point of view and keep your script simple.


If you want to use music in your movie, you must first get permission to use it. Popular songs can be expensive, and popular bands may not respond to you at all. So, consider finding a musician or composer willing to create a soundtrack for you. You still have to pay them for their work, but you can negotiate these fees with them. When they are trying to start their music careers, they may want to work with you.

Do what you can

You may be interested in a particular role in filmmaking, such as a director or screenwriter. With limited resources, you may have to do various tasks yourself, provided you have sufficient skills to do so. Things like film editing, casting, cinematography, etc. play an important role in production to keep your overhead down. So try to do as much as you can yourself, or assign a few roles to each member of your team.

Don't forget about portable chargers

If you plan to record portions of your movie in a remote location or outdoors where there may not be a power source, be sure to turn the power on and bring portable chargers for your gear. When your cameras, laptops, phones, and anything else you use run out of power, it can cause a setback in your production schedule that can be disastrous. If you prefer a smartwatch for keeping in touch with people and doing other chores, make sure you have a smartwatch with long battery life.

Pay your crew

Yes, you are on a budget, but if you want to get the best work out of people, you are paying them. Everyone deserves to be paid for their time and effort, and while the prospect of attracting interns or friends to help out, the truth of the matter is no guarantee that they will deliver or even show up if not paid.

There's a lot more to making a movie on a budget, but above are just a few basic things to think about before starting your project.

About Steve Conway

Content marketing and inbound marketing expert Steve Conway is excited about the discovery of new technologies that will enhance his already sophisticated digital marketing skills.


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