A Guide To Low Budget Filmmaking

There are lots of things to consider if you’re new to filmmaking. If you’re just starting out this can be somewhat overwhelming. However, we have come up with a few notable suggestions to get you going. Here’s our guide to low budget filmmaking

 

Filmmaking on a budget

The Gear Isn’t Important

A common misconception people have is that you need fancy gear to be a filmmaker. Wrong. In fact, when you’re starting out, we recommend that you use whatever equipment you have access to. This can be a phone or second-hand point and shoot camera. As long as it records video, you’re good to go.

You’ll notice by setting yourself limitations with your gear, you’ll focus on the more important aspects of filmmaking such a story, themes and techniques. This will help you to better understand the fundamentals of filmmaking and cut your learning-curve in half. You will also be inclined to solve problems, compensating for the gear’s limitations. This is a vital skill to acquire as about 50% of filmmaking is all about problem-solving.

 

To find out about the best low-budget cameras, click here.

Good Starter Gear:

  • Camera
  • Microphone
  • Tripod

 

Low Budget Filmmaking

Learn To Edit

Editing is arguably one of the most important steps in the process. There are several theoretical and technical skills that can be applied in the edit, however, the most important being knowing how and when to cut. There’s plenty of great resources out there such as Walter Murch’s ‘In The Blink Of An Eye’, or if you’d prefer to watch videos I’d suggest ‘This Guy Edits‘ on YouTube.

It’s recommended that you start with some free basic software to learn the key components of editing. Then once you’ve mastered the fundamentals, it’s worth investing in some more advanced multitrack software.

Types of Software:

Free

  • iMovie
  • DaVinci Resolve

Advanced

  • Adobe Premiere
  • Final Cut Pro
  • Avid

 

Low Budget Filmmaking

Don’t Neglect Sound

When people start advancing their filmmaking knowledge, they realise the importance of sound. This is something that is often neglected. An audience will forgive ‘bad’ image quality, but not poor audio.

When budgeting for gear, it’s recommended that you spend as much on sound as you would on the image. Another way to look at it is that sound is 50% of your film, therefore it’s vital to produce clean audio.

Things to consider:

  • Sound Design
  • Ambience
  • Foley
  • Dialogue
  • Music

 

Low Budget Filmmaking

Story Is King

Above all else, it’s the story that you’re telling that will engage an audience. Much like other storytelling mediums, you should think about structure and purpose. Essentially, if you can tell a good story, you can make a good film.A good practice is to list your interests, passions or significant events in your life. By drawing from your own knowledge and experience, the story will be more relatable and therefore have a greater emotional impact on the viewer.

Try to be realistic with your ideas. Although this might sound like a limitation on your creativity, it’s a good idea to start with figuring out what you have access to and build from there. Do you know any actors? Do you have access to unique locations? Anything that’s obtainable that will make your film stand out from the crowd.

Things to Consider:

  • Conflict & Resolution
  • Story-world
  • Emotion
  • Core Themes
  • Message or Agenda

 

Low Budget Filmmaking

Distributing Your Film

You may think that all the best films are produced in Hollywood and that you need to be in the industry to get your film out there. Although this may have once been the case, it certainly isn’t true today. With the rise of the internet and social media platforms, it’s never been easier to share your film with the world. However, this also means that the competition is a lot higher, meaning your film should be unique and creative in order to be successful.

In saying this, don’t be a perfectionist! You’ll only learn by doing and taking and taking action. So don’t worry about if the outcome doesn’t live up to expectation, move on to the next project and continue to develop your craft.

If you want to find out more about distribution, click here

Platforms:

  • YouTube
  • Vimeo
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Blogs / Websites
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Written by EarthFlo

3 Comments

How To Vlog Like Casey Neistat - Redefining Genre

[…] Casey is a heavy believer in the idea that story is the most important aspect of any film. He often preaches how the gear isn’t important and that too many creators focus on the technical aspects, rather than the core principles. If you want to find out more about getting started with filmmaking, click here. […]

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