When you are working on producing an independent film, most likely the project will be driven purely by passion and not a large Hollywood budget. Having to bring your vision to fruition with limited funds can be a daunting task, but if you spend your money wisely, there are ways to ensure that you get the biggest bang for your buck. After all, you can’t buy success.
You may decide that where you want to spend the majority of your budget is on production value. Hiring a cinematographer can help you to feel confident that your film will look beautiful and professionally done. You also must consider what equipment you will need to shoot your project. You will need at the very least, a camera.
What caliber of camera is up to you and what production value you are trying to achieve. Lighting will most likely be necessary as well, unless all of your shots take place at the same time of day. You must decide whether it is necessary or important to you to invest in purchasing these items, or if renting them is an acceptable route to take and which will pay off in the long run.
Spending a large portion of your budget to secure a big Hollywood name is a good way to get the attention of distributors and peak their interest, making it more likely that they will support your project and help it reach the masses. Having a household name attached to your production helps to draw larger numbers to the box office.
The name could be a lead actor or director, whichever you see as most necessary for your particular project. A big name gets your project noticed and generates a buzz surrounding the film, which can lead to more press about your project. Word of mouth is the best advertising you can get and it is free.
In the event that you have not been able to grab the attention of big distribution companies or that you have chosen to take care of this matter yourself, you can spend a nice chunk of your budget on distribution. Ensuring that your film gets seen is one of the most important aspects of production, and really what the whole thing is about, reaching the masses. All of your hard work is all for naught if no one ever gets to see it.
No matter how you look at it, producing a film is not cheap. When you are working with a tight budget you really need to take some time during pre-production to get a plan together and really assess what is of most importance to you and will help you to create your vision the best way possible. The ultimate goal is success and there is no clearly defined path to get there, so dividing and using your funds in a creative way is what movie making is all about. Successful films can be created with any budget; you just have to make them happen.
Anthony Silver is a big fan of independent films. The company he works for, SeeFlik, is currently running a video contest centered around the Presidential race with $3,000 is prize money to be awarded.