How much money should my friend and I spend on making are first film?

first time filmmakers the both of us, what should be are budget? keep in mind that him and I are both in college still.

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  • 1 decade ago
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    Here's the first step: concentrate on writing a short story that isn't overly complicated and will be technically easy to shoot and edit.

    Since this is your first effort, you need to think about writing a fun story, something funny perhaps. Try not to write too many characters into the story. Two, maybe three at most. For talent, look for Actors in the Theater Department and don't overlook any local comedy clubs.

    Get some rehearsals in and polish the script. When you feel fairly confident about that, invest a lot of time into storyboarding the shots. Even if you change things once you're actually shooting, this kind of prep will help you and your partner know you're on the same page as you can discuss exactly how your movie will look and flow. Talk about everything! The sets, how they should look, where the sets are, when you can shoot there... wardrobe, props, transportation!, food (crafts service and actual meals), bathroom facilities, makeup, hair...

    And of course, the format you'll shoot on. Film is ultimately the best way to go... 8mm or 16mm... but if you have access to a decent quality 24P (23.98P) HD camera, go ahead and use that.

    When you're choosing the camera format, make sure you know how you're going to edit it all. It's no good to shoot in 24P if you can't digitize it somewhere and edit it.

    And do not overlook the importance of quality SOUND. An audience will overlook "mistakes" in the picture... but they will not tolerate bad sound. You MUST capture the best sound on set during shooting as possible. And then, just as you think through your post-production workflow for picture, know exactly how you're going to mix the sound and then marry it back to the picture.

    You have to think about EVERY element before you ever get anyone on a set. You'll be asking others to donate their time to YOUR project, so don't waste their time by not having worked through all the details.

    This doesn't have to be complicated and it shouldn't be, especially for your first film, but whether your movie is five minutes long or 120 minutes, every movie has the same details and it's up to you, the Producers, to make sure everything is prepared.

    And most importantly, if this is something you really want to do, then it won't be "work" at all... you'll be having fun at every stage! And one way to make sure you have a positive experience is to do the proper preparation for every element.

    If you get in a corner and feel like you don't know enough about "something," don't be afraid to ask for help. Need help with costumes? Go to the Theater Department or the Fashion Design school (if there is one) and find someone who is interested in what you're doing. Need help with camera and lighting? Find an older film student... or, when your projects get bigger and better, go to local professionals in production companies or news affiliates and look for Cameramen who want to shoot a movie on the weekends.

    Having said all of that, to your question... how much money should you spend? That depends on how much you have. No sense in writing a script that you can't possibly shoot. If you can't afford proper lighting, write a script that takes place outside in the daytime. You won't need lights, but you should have bounce cards and other ways to control the sunlight. You won't need to spend money on costumes if your Actors can bring clothes that fit your story. A lot of things on the University level can be gotten for free or at significant discounts. Hopefully your filmschool has cameras and editing equipment you can use for free.

    So, what WILL you have to pay for? Film and tape stock. That'll probably run you a couple hundred dollars or so. It depends on how long your story is and how many takes you need to get it right. You'll have to pay for snacks and at least one decent meal a day for your volunteers. You'll should pay for gas if your volunteers have to drive anywhere significantly far away. So there are things you have to pay for and some things you should pay for. Take those things into account as you write your script as it will be your SHOOTING DAYS that will be a large determiner of how much your movie will cost. Maybe you break the script down and realize you need six days to shoot it. But you only have enough money for four days. Now what? Well, you can find more money, rewrite the script, or compromise on something else, like not shooting something the way you wanted to or finding a cheaper way to do a scene or shot.

    There is no "single number" that anyone can give as to what any movie will or should cost. That dollar amount will vary depending on a whole host of factors as required by your story and limited by your logistics.

    Brian Dzyak

    Cameraman/Author

    IATSE Local 600, SOC

    http://www.whatireallywanttodo.com

  • 1 decade ago

    Your goal should be to spend as little as possible.

    Whenever a spot in the script comes up that would cost money, see if there's any way around it - donations, volunteers, making the prop yourself, or re-writing the story. Use friends and drama students for characters, and pay them in pizza/beer. Borrow equipment from your school as much as possible. There's no reason your first film has to cost a fortune.

    You could also look into finding sponsors, including product placement sponsors, to help offset costs. Storybids can connect you with brands looking for product placement opportunities.

  • durfee
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

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  • 1 decade ago

    you can probably rent most of the equipment, i have no idea on what you are trying to do anyways. but you should reduce your spending by simply getting others involved. if this guy was able to buy a camera and have fist fights and become a hit. anyone can do it too.

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  • 1 decade ago

    OUR not are.....

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