- 22 Jul 2020
Making a film on a budget
If there's one thing independent filmmakers know how to do well, it's how to make a little bit of money go a long way! While working with low budgets could be seen as restrictive, filmmakers embracing the lean ethos have led to a groundswell of exciting independent films around the world. Films that explore exciting new ways to tell a story, innovative methods of distribution and a higher chance of a return for the creators.
Open Channel brought many of these young visionaries together at the Generation Next: Micro Movie Conference in Melbourne earlier this year to share their successes, challenges and advice with aspiring filmmakers.
Over two days of panel discussions with Australia's most exciting new filmmakers, content creators, and expert advisors, we heard the stories of how these bold and risk-taking movies have been made, how they have found audiences, and how they are launching careers.
Some of the highlights included Australian filmmakers Jesse O'Brien (Arrowhead), and James Hewison (Snowtown) sharing their experiences, the Short and Sharp Microbudget Pitching competition, and a fantastic Skype session with Jason Blum, CEO of Blumhouse – the company behind low-budget hits like Paranormal Activity and Whiplash.
Some of the key messages over the two days were:
- Don't try and squeeze a big budget movie idea into a tiny budget – use your budget as a starting point to create a story fit for the form.
- Don't try to do everything yourself – invest money were it will have the most impact (i.e. a good publicist)
- Look at alternative methods of distribution and digital platforms – you need to know your audience, and how/where you can reach them. There are platforms for distribution that didn't even exist five years ago!
- This year's conference included a number of new additions including networking lounges for attendees to meet with industry organisations. Myself and ModelFactory's Head of Markets and Marketing Stephanie Charles, were lucky enough to attend the conference and host one of these Star Rooms. Here we had over 20 one-on-one sessions with filmmakers, producers and actors all eager to learn about how ModelFactory can be an effective tool for people working with small budgets, by placing free casting calls on site for fresh and aspiring talent to apply to.
- It was fantastic to meet with so many passionate innovators in film – the future of Australian film is in very good hands with these pioneers at the helm.
- Making your own micro-budget film? Why not place a casting on site and see what ModelFactory has to offer!