Saturday, June 26, 2010


For low budget indie filmmakers, the key to making a good movie is *resourcefulness.*  This begins with the Idea and continues with the Script.

What I mean is this: if you know Hollywood's not going to swoop down and wave their magic fairy wand over your project, blessing it with 20 million golden bucks 'o pixie dust, then you need to have an idea that can make the most of what resources you have.

One of the keys is available locations.  If you're best friends with the director of the county hospital and he's willing to give you a floor for three weeks, then a medical movie makes a lot of sense.  You can get lots of production value out of that.

Maybe it's a run down municipal airport.  Or a large warehouse.  Or a golf course.  Look around you and figure out what you have.  For those writing the political thriller taking place all over the White House, it's going to be difficult to pull that off on a small budget.  Building sets is expensive.  Try to stay away from that.  Also, limiting the locations is a great idea.  Ideally, try to have your story in a place that gives you multiple looks without having to move the company.

On my last film "Rising Stars," I accomplished this by setting the location on a college campus.  Only one day out of the whole shoot was somewhere else.

Other areas of resourcefulness is equipment.  If you can get a great deal on cranes, jobs, and dollies, it can make a huge difference.  Same thing for HMI lighting, high quality mics, and high quality cameras.

These are just a few ideas to help you maximize production value on your film project.

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