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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Contents:
  1. An Inside Look Into Writing and Directing an Indie
  2. The seven stages of film production - Film Production
  3. Producing + Directing the Ultra Low Budget Movie
  4. Film Directing Tips

Thanks for the advice - excited to see the final product! As Rod is on a long plane ride for the final round of shooting on a doc project he has been working on for five years, I'll answer for him I'm one of his producers, hi Rod whenever you see this! We had an 18 person crew total that bumped up to 20 for our two heaviest days. Rockstars really. Rod and I have talked about this a lot. With a larger budget we would've splurged on days. Hands down. Remove a bit of that time crunch anxiety, lighten our daily loads and also more chances to let shots breath for another thirty seconds meta already.

An Inside Look Into Writing and Directing an Indie

We can't wait to show you all this film. It's gonna be rad!

How to shoot a No-Budget Film

Follow us on facebook and check out our KSR and share if you feel so inclined! Very impressed by the trailer. Good stuff. Glad you dig what we are putting down! We all were driven to make a strong character piece and narrative that wasn't defined by its genre, just elevated by the dangerous circumstances and environment they have to contend with.

We wanted to make something that someone who professes to hate horror films could love as much as someone who watches nothing except horror films. Thanks for the insights, Rod! These are very helpful to me as I prepare to shoot my first feature film in the near-ish future. One thing that I'm very curious about, if you're able to say, is what was your budget? I'm always curious to see what kind of things films were able to accomplish on what budget. Also, did you budget out your film and seek a certain amount of money, or did you just sort of try to get as much as you could and then plan your film around that budget?

Great to hear from you and very cool to hear about your experiences in the trenches making films. It's certainly a battle some days.


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Absolutely on the rain covering front. We kept the foam core on a C stand and just tarped it whenever the weather didn't behave.

We also had them handy on our iPads and phones but there's something nice about being able to walk a few steps away from camera and wrap your head around something before posing a question, looking at the next shot instead of having to poke someone nobody got time for that , and generally just having a feel for the day's work from a top down perspective. With storyboards we had very little to offer but found a very enthusiastic and awesome artist who was able to work with us and our constraints.

The seven stages of film production - Film Production

This was hugely helpful in locking in really strong keys on the crew front, was great for showing to cast during prep to understand how we wanted to execute key moments, and was especially helpful as we went out to investors and demonstrated our execution gameplan and workflow for the shoot which was pretty ambitious. Our cast and crew were all paid day rates and had food and accommodations covered plus the very scenic 6 hour travel time from nyc.

Part of how that worked I would wager is that it's fairly common to sublet apartments in NYC as a freelancer when you get an out of town shoot. Plus when you are on a shoot, you tend to save money since you are being fed and housed and are also just always busy and usually tired as I'm sure you can relate!

Points to us were very important as though it's a rough racket distributing a film, we worked incredibly hard on our distribution strategy from the beginning and are as invested in its success as everyone else. More on that to come in a future post! As for favors, it's not an annoyance or burden for us as it feels great to bring people onto our other jobs we freelance produce all sorts of video content where we can give those that worked hard for us higher rates. Plus we get to work with people we trust and have a working relationship with already so there's no learning curve.

We unfortunately have to be clandestine about our budget right now for strategy reasons but suffice to say, it was low for a film with this level of ambition and what we all needed from it for us to warrant breaking our backs making it. And we'd do it again and hopefully will again sooner rather than later perhaps with a slightly larger budget though!

Producing + Directing the Ultra Low Budget Movie

Maybe over a beer sometime down the road I'll slip you a folded piece of paper with a number on it or we will just reveal everything once we sell the film! We designed the film with a number in mind and the line budget reflected what we knew we could do it for. It was certainly a struggle at times you could always use another twenty bucks but it was crucial to us to stay lean and nimble as we want to position the film with the best opportunity to recoup the budget for the investors who have gotten us this far. If we hadn't been able to raise what we did, cameras would not have rolled is the short answer!

I often cut too soon making edits tough. The idea of a silent master is good.

Work out the blocking and get more coverage. I storyboard scenes the week before shooting but I've often thought doing the whole movie would be a good idea. Why did you spend money having your storyboards illustrated by a professional? In a rainy environment it helps to put the storyboard images in plastic in a binder. A small binder was easy to work with. How did you manage to get a cast and crew to take time off from work for a solid 20 days? I can't miss work for a month and have money to finance my movies or pay the bills. Points of profit seem like a good idea as long as you clarify that there probably won't be any profit.

I like hiring friends and using my son as crew. They have fun on a movie shoot without me worrying about them working for less than normal rates. I don't need a bunch of favors to repay.

Film Directing Tips

I don't have time for that. I learned the "don't cut too soon" lesson very early in my filmmaking attempts. I shot for 3 years with a hacked GH2, and one of the only real quirks to the hack was that it took a second or two to actually start recording after hitting "record", and whenever you hit "record" again to stop recording you'd lose the last second or two of footage.

Looking at it now, it seems ridiculous to think that I'd almost immediately after I got the shot I wanted, but as I'm the one operating the camera and the one who editing the footage later, it was easy for me to think, "Oh, I'll cut right here! I can't think of many situations where I'd let it roll a full 30 seconds as I almost always cut on action and keep my shots pretty short, but I definitely make sure start rolling and stop rolling a good seconds before and after my shots. Hey Anton, I realized I responded to the wrong commenter. I responded above to David by mistake damn iPhone!

Hi, As a student filmmaker n with a very low experience in the field compared to you guys I just wanted few tips. Influenced by Freddie Wong youtuber , I m planning to start a YouTube season of episodes on an awesome si-fi story I'd written but I don't want to spoil my story with the amateur quality of cinematic look. Although I know vfx till an extent n we've a basic props to begin with, but never had gone for something so awesome. Totally nervous.

And the most important- we don't have that one multi-tasking guy. I have a dozen of things to ask but I understand nobody has a time to answer them all.

Would love your help in anyway possible. Loved ur trailor, n for sure gonna share. Do the best with what you have and don't worry too much if the cinematic quality is less than you imagine.