It is true that films being made on low or almost no budgets meet with many hurdles, exigencies and frequently get stalled due to lack of enough resources. But believe it or not, a no-to-low budget movie may offer you to best chance to really learn your craft and/or trade. It may demand some sacrifices to be made initially but the experience of working on such a film set is often invaluable.
Gain experience and explore the imaginative streak in you
A very popular maxim says: “Necessity is the mother of all inventions.” Working on a shoe-string budget and without many of the regular and often indispensible facilities brings out the innovative side of your character. You learn to multitask. You learn to coordinate and plan better. You budget allocation is perfect because you know that you are either working on borrowed money or you have maxed out your credit card or you are on the verge of bankruptcy.
You know that you can’t afford to make “expensive mistakes”. The script will also be more realistic and you will learn to make adjustments with the script, the props, the set and even the cast and crew, depending on the final resource allocation. You will also learn to select the best cast and crew. Everybody would be overworked and will give more than you have asked for since everybody on the set is working in order to get an exposure rather than the lure of money. Wastage would be little, if any.
Do something you are passionate about
It is not possible for everyone to get selected as a crew or cast in a big-budget Hollywood studio film. Most directors, scriptwriters, actors and technicians start off by working on a part time basis. They have a day job and they work on their areas of passion at their spare time. A no-to-low budget film gives you the opportunity to work at your own convenience. The schedule is far more flexible and you can work on it even as you hold a day job which gives you a steady income.
Grow your network
Working on small budget independent films often give you the chance to collaborate with other likeminded, talented and equally earnest and passionate individuals. It is easier to come to a consensus. Working on small projects often connects you with big names, who may decide to work on your film or may lead you to other connections. You can talk to them, show them your work and impress them.
Add new footage to your showreel
One of the oft-quoted advantages of working on a no-to-low budget film is that it enriches your CV and gives you new material for your showreel which your agent can share with big names in the industry. It paves the way for your first big breakthrough.
So, if you are worried about the business prospects of a movie or you feel that you can’t make too much money on it although you love the concept and the work of the people working on the film, you may have to rethink. There are more than one positive that you can count at the end of the project.