Oct 16

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Movie Money 2



Finally, after months of saving money you’re ready to start making a movie. You’ve finalized the script and now you’re trying to find all the things you need to begin filming. Script alters are something you’ll want to avoid, so when you’re writing it, try sticking with what you have available or you can easily gain access to. Not everyone has access to a crane or helicopter, so avoid swooping overhead shots if you can. Here’s the first question you need to ask yourself; where do you start? Begin the budgeting process by asking yourself a few questions.

  • Do I have the lenses I need for the shots I want? If you aren’t able to get certain close up or long shots, your idea may suffer in the end. To avoid this try sketching what you want your shots to look like and do some test shooting.
  • Do I know enough people to fill every role I’ve laid out? While writing a micro-budget movie, try casting the roles as you’re writing. Have people in mind that can provide the performance required to bring your words to life.
  • Do I need help behind the camera? Sometimes all you’ll need is a tripod, microphone stand, and a few lights mounted to take care of a scene. There are other times however that you’re going to need someone to move the camera while someone else moves a light. Extra hands on a set can go a long way for saving time and effort.
  • Where am I filming these scenes? If you have your own soundstage or warehouse, you’re pretty much covered for anything you could need, but if you’re working on a shoestring budget, you have a friend’s yard and maybe a park to film at. A lot of times simply asking permission to film on someone else’s property will be enough. Very rarely will you be asked to pay any money to shoot in someone’s parking lot or at a mom and pop store. Make sure you get a release signed by the rightful owner/renter of the property just to be safe.
  • What kind of props will I need? A prop is anything that the actors need to manipulate and interact with. Anything from a cell phone to a machine gun, you need to make sure you’ve got what you need. Most weaponry you’ll be using will be props, so you’ll need to make sure they look real enough for the screen.
  • Will I need any special effects makeup done? This might be one of the hardest things to fulfill if you’re in need of any quality effects. Props can be purchased and anyone can use them. To do makeup effects well you’ll need someone who can apply them to the actor so that it looks natural. Anyone can put fake blood on someone, but it takes a bit more of a trained hand to make a cut look real or a bruise look better than blue/black shoe polish.

Some of these questions might not apply to you, and if that’s the case, you’ll save some money.

Now that you’ve gotten a lot of needs taken care of, you might have some extras that you’ll want to get. If you plan on having long days of filming, you’re going to need to feed everyone you’ve got to help you. You can always have shorter days and work around times people would eat. One good reason to stick to longer days is that if you get on a roll, you won’t want to stop for the day and send everyone home. A quick break for food can allow you to film for a few more hours. Always keep a full supply of water for a day of filming. Even if you’re only shooting for a couple of hours, if any of your actors is in a heavy costume you’ll need to keep them hydrated.

The key to funding a movie is to always expect to spend more than you plan. You might have nearly everything ready to go on film day, and you inevitably discover about twenty things that won’t work as expected. Hopefully this helps when you’re getting ready for that big day.


Jarrod Kershaw

Supraliminal Films: Accounting

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