Five Things Not To Do When Shooting a No Budget Film By Yourself

No Budget Film

<img src="No-Budget-Film-Bhushan-Mahadani.jpg" alt="No Budget Film Bhushan Mahadani">

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No budget film or micro budget film is a difficult task. There is actually no budget or very less budget, no top end equipment, no best crew, no perfect marketing team,… As this task is difficult, there are more chances of committing mistakes.  Here are the top five things you should avoid when shooting a no budget film all by yourself.

Shooting the movie by yourself.

There are really good reasons not to try and shoot a movie yourself. Camera guys are specialists so you don’t have to be. They know every detail of that latest camera build that seemingly changes every week. They know what fixture is going to give you the quality and exposure you need where you need it – even after you’ve changed the blocking on them for the third time. They know how to mount that camera where you pointed your finger. Safely. Filmmaking has depended on the skills of many minds coming together since its inception. Why are you trying to undermine all that? Well, maybe you were handed a script that you simply cannot say no too.

Use new, untested gear.

This is one of the most common mistake. It happened to me during 2008. I was shooting for a no budget film for a friend and he hired a camera about which i didn’t know(and he also). We wasted a lot of time just to understand the camera.

Not using other movies as references in pre-production.

Watch the movies of the genre you are going to shoot with your DOP and editor. There is always some similarity. Use it as reference and discuss it with your crew. If the reference movie is shot on the big budget ask your crew the ways to minimize the budget, use DIY techniques like i teach in filmmaking tutorial section.

Not telling anyone how you did it.

Please tell everyone the budget you have shot in.  Let them know how you shot, your extraordinary crew and the schedule in which you have shot. This will give idea to the potential producers that once you have done it and yu can do it again.

Telling people you made the film on a shoestring budget before they’ve watched the film.

If you tell people you made the film on a shoestring budget before they’ve watched the film, they will look more closely for flaws. Expect the review of the film to have at least one qualifying line that says “While the shoestring budget was occasionally apparent…” or the like. Let people go in with no expectations as far as the production value of the film is concerned. And as for it’s use as part of marketing narrative about the film’s evolution, no one really cares about low-budget film stories anymore.

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