No-Budget Filmmaking Advice
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No-Budget Filmmaking Advice

This month’s Filmmaker Magazine has a great article by Karin Chien (with contributions by Ben Howe) on how “Exploding Girl” got their indie production off the ground. Here are a few of the high points:

No-Budget Maxims:

1. Scale the script and director’s vision to the size of the budget.

2. Try new methods and new technology. Last year, it was the RED, this year it might be the Canon 5D.

3. Have a Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C. Be prepared to shoot Plan C.

4. Look around, dig deep and take stock of all the resources you have.

5. Don’t be shy. Always Ask.

6. Be grateful and show it! It’s common courtesy, and it will help the next no-budget film that shows up exercising maxim #5.

Practical Tips:

1. Find large spaces with free wi-fi!

2. Make sure all of your production (grip, lighting, camera, sound, set dressing, props, wardrobe and unit supplies fit into one cargo van. Yes, it can be done.

3. Borrow an SUV or van from a friend. It will be super useful.

4. Only get a grip when you need one. Make do with talented PA’s when you can.

5. Shoot locations that come with free extras.

6. Keep track of other productions that will be wrapping during yoru production and offer to take their craft and expendables off their hands.

7. Find enthusiastic and smart interns and PA’s with multiple skill sets!

P.S. This article isn’t available online so go pick up a copy of the magazine to read the full article. It is totally worth it!

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