Chances are that your early film will be one shot on a micro, or what’s known colloquially as a “shoe-string” budget. These are some of the most entertaining and exciting projects to work for, but they can also be quite difficult. Micro budget filmmaking is where many people get their start and it’s a chance for you to recreate some of those glory days of 70s filmmaking. Put your problem solving skills to the test and use these tips to get your production running.
Make the Script Fit the Budget
It’s a given that you need a solid script to make an excellent movie, but the script should also suit the production. You could not have set something like “There Will Be Blood” in a single room, nor could you have easily gotten away with showing some of the more dramatic events. The script is extremely solid, but it’s not meant for a micro-budget film. Look for shorter films that take place within a few rooms, or at a single location. Even longer scripts can work if you can settle on a location. Think of movies like “Phone Booth” or “Castaway.”
This also helps you create a “home base” where you can set up shop and work from. You might need to work around a hill all day shooting several scenes. Your crew isn’t going to appreciate having to lug every piece of equipment all the way from the parking lot. You may also use the home base as a relay point, so other people on the crew can set up for a scene as you’re wrapping another.