A lot of times I get asked “How much money do I need to make a project?” The answer is entirely dependent on what you want to do with it, but overall my answer is “Your budget is the money you have.”
You are looking to learn, and create a piece for practice and experience, $100 can be more than enough. You ALWAYS want to have food, water, and coffee for your crew and cast. But outside of that you can do projects for any amount!
We’d all have huge budgets and the time and money to make our film dreams come true. But to get there you need to understand what it takes to make a project--all the way from script to screen. And it’s better to learn with low stakes and low cost, then spending thousands of dollars and being unhappy with the outcome.
If you’re making your first project, keep the CAST and CREW small. My first several projects involved 3 people. Myself, another actor, and the director/DP. We ran our own sound. I paid for coffee, water, snacks, and lunch. We filmed for 4 or 5 hours and that was that!
Luckily, we all got along and everyone loved our first Sketch (an X Files Parody) and we did a few more. I learned each time about what it took to get a film shoot together without breaking the bank or stressing over cost.
Are the sketches the best thing ever made? No. Are they my best work? No. Did I learn and make some funny pieces I’m proud of? Yes.
Your money on the things you need, like food, water, and coffee. Find other people who are looking to learn and grow and offer them a chance to work on a project that is fun, short, and actually happening. Learn together and have fun.
You will gain confidence from each small project and grow into larger pieces and larger budgets. Don’t get trapped making small things forever, but add to your resume and move up the ladder.
Working on anything cool? Book a phone call to tell me more!