How to make a great film on a budget.
No money, no problem. Follow these tips to make a high-quality movie on a shoestring budget.
Having a small budget for your movie may feel like a huge roadblock. With the right investments in the right places, however, you can make your dollars and effort go further than expected.
Where to cut film costs.
Here are some easy ways to cut initial costs, so that you can spend your budget smartly:
- Script: Write a realistic screenplay that reflects your budget. Consider fewer characters and realistic settings, themes, and costumes. A low-budget, action-packed, science fiction film loaded with special effects just won’t execute as well as a realistic story with real-world scenery. When you can save on those extras, you can really invest in what matters.
- Minimize wardrobe: Let your actors dress themselves. They’ll get to further define their characters through fashion, while you save money on costumes.
- Use local music: Remember, you must purchase the rights to music. This can get expensive if you’re trying to use popular songs. Consider composing your own score or employing a local artist for less money than a platinum Beyoncé hit.
- Location: Film on location to save money on set costs. And to make it even lower budget, use the same location throughout the movie. Public places are best — the outdoors is both visually compelling and totally free.
Where to invest your money in filming.
Two simple investments will take your movie from good to great. Use the money you saved here:
- Talent: Your actors are your best asset. Pay them well and ensure they’re taken care of, so that they can bring your characters and story to life.
- Editing: Your movie comes together during the editing stage. Here, you’re cutting scenes together to define the film’s pace, adding music to underscore your story, and employing lighting for dramatic effect. Don’t skimp on your video editing software — choosing the right program will be essential in elevating your film.
Explore what more you can do with Adobe Premiere Pro to create a high-quality movie on an indie budget.