When you are breaking into the indie film market the biggest and most important hurdle comes in the form of finances. Not many would want to invest in a rookie filmmaker with absolutely no experience in the industry. So, how do you make a mark with a tight budget? Here are 5 tips and tricks which will help you get started.
- Film on your home turf as much as possible. Indie films are not particularly known for their exotic locations. When you are writing the script, make sure you keep the story close to home. Setting the film in a place which exceeds your budget is quite unnecessary. Additionally, the task of moving from one location to another along with transporting your equipment will drill a hole in your pocket.
- Opt to shoot with equipment which is economical. When you are working with tight finances, there is no point in blowing all of it on cameras, tripods, and other gear. Find alternatives to ensure your film does not face any hiccups. For example, instead of buying a high-definition DSLR which can cost above $1000, choose a point-and-shoot camera from Canon which costs about $200 to $600. You can also rent rather than buy your equipment.
- Hire a good cast. Hollywood is full of aspiring actors who are willing to work for next-to-nothing just to get their name out there. Some of them may be great actors who haven’t gotten their big break yet. Find them and use their talent to push your film (and them) to success.
- Edit for free. Editing gives your film a polished and complete look. Software such as Adobe Premier Pro CC and Final Cut Pro X will cost about $500 and $300. Rather than invest in these, you can make use of free software such as Windows Movie Maker and iMovie on your computer and put the money saved in other important aspects of the film.
- Work with a friendly crew. This does not mean you do not pay your cast and crew. When you work with known people you are able to negotiate their pay and create an amiable atmosphere for filming. Your friends and family can also double as your crew and take a load off your budget.
The challenge here is this: you have to show experience to get suitable financiers but you need financiers to make films and get experience. The only option is for you to get the ball rolling.