No Money? No Problem: How To Make That Film Without A Budget

You love movies, you love them so much, that you want to make one. And after a month of personal deliberation, you’ve come to the conclusion—I am making a movie. There’s just one problem. No money!

So, you’re broke. But you are committed to making a film. The good news is, it’s worked before. Maybe not on complete broke grounds, but certainly on the grounds of having a low budget.

Major studios like Universal, MGM, and Paramount can make a movie spending a quarter of a billion dollars. But, is it always good? No, in fact, some of the better movies were made with low budgets like; Blair Witch Project, Evil Dead, and Night of The Living Dead.

How can you pull it off? Here’s a few ways that will help you become the next Kevin Smith.

It’s All In The Script

Some of the most memorable scenes may be high flying, barrell explosions and vehicle turning, but good dialogue is also crucial. Take for example; Reservoir Dogs, the scene in the restaurant was epic, where bank-robbing thugs talk about etiquette on tipping a waitress.

If your story is tight, like an alibi, it’ll sell. Good actors have good agents who read good scripts. Each scene should say something, each character should be interesting. And that doesn’t cost millions of dollars.

Fundraise And Save

No matter what endeavor you enter in life, you need to plan well ahead. Make a budget and adhere to it. You need to plan for your film post and during production. What kind of costs are you going to be doling out?

Location permits, perhaps you’ll hire affordable lighting crew, cameraperson, and sound are all relevant. Perhaps you’ll apply for an affordable “Screen Actors Guild” actor. You’ll need to factor all of this into your budget, and don’t be afraid to research a rough estimate of costs for each endeavor. The ultimate goal, for any scene that you make is to go cheap to free as much as possible. Sometimes renting a camera makes much more sense than ownership, heck, almost everyone has a cellphone, and you could go that route to shoot.

Fundraising on platforms like CrowdFund, GoFundMe or even Fundly can be a great way to get the word out about your work but also to help fund it. If you have something appealing, you know how to network and can give people value, then you could fundraise enough for your next film. It helps to set a limit and be fiscally restraint making the movie.

Go Local, Do It Yourself

So just as anyone can make a movie, if they have the creative genius and the desire to do so, just about anywhere and any place can be made into a movie. Remember Kevin Smith? What about the movie, “Clerks,” a movie shot inside a corner store.

You could make a movie inside an igloo, inside a cave, by the water, up a tree, any which way. And if you’re on a budget, it helps to go local. Put an ad out for local talent, who are looking for something to put on their resume. Provide them value in return. Treat them good. Take care of your help, and they will show up every day to help you produce a blockbuster.

If you write a movie about zombies, then you’ll need to figure out how to do the makeup yourself or do some social networking to find someone willing to do it for free or cheap.

When it comes to editing, there are so many user-friendly apps and programs out there today that you can use without hiring a professional. While you may opt to do so, because sound mixing and editing clips is a make or break for a movie, you could choose to dive in and do it yourself.

If you write a script of what is familiar to you, things that you know, then there’s a good chance you’ll be able to use props, items and other elements inside your script and your film.

Permit and Insurance Please

There are just some things that you cannot wiggle your way out of. The government, at the end of the day, will get theirs. You must be aware of this. Do yourself a favor and obtain insurance for production, just in case you have an incident on set. If you do, throw the budget out the window, and the script in the trash.

Most local municipalities have permits, ordinances and other nuances. You will want to look into this before you go forward with your project.

When it comes to making a movie for cheap, producing your film for cheap, it can be done. If you apply yourself, go to sites like Amazon, Ebay, Craigslist, etc, for cheap equipment and deals on props, makeup, and other gadgets to help with your production–then you can save yourself a load of money.

Never let the size of your wallet dictate the size of your creativity and desire to create good art. It can be done, write that script, and go make your movie.