5 Things to Remember When Creating a Film on a Shoe String Budget
Are you tired of flexing those creative muscles with little to no result? We figured you could use some advice.
Don’t Be Afraid to Fail
This sounds much easier than it is. Too often you’ll see people getting in their own way once they’re confronted with adversity. The door will be slammed in your face at times. You will be told that your ideas are bad when you are positive they aren’t. Don’t quit. When something happens that moves you a step backwards, be prepared to pick yourself up by your bootstraps and move forward. It’s the only way out of the situation and you might learn something about yourself. Practicing perseverance in the face of obstacles not only will help you to become more creative, it will help you to grow in your problem solving skills. You will be that much more ready for the next time to hone your tweaked talent.
Everyone’s time is so valuable from family activities to making a living in order to pay the bills. So when you are taking on a “dream” project or chasing your passion on the side, usually there is either low funds and/or high risk starting it up. This applies to independent films as much as small businesses. And with low budgets come overlaps in job tasks. This is simply because when there is limited money, there are usually limited players. And even less passionate players due to the fact that this is not necessary their passion. The problems arising in the case of indie filmmaking are production teams and individuals have to sometimes juggle too many tasks and/or wear too many hats. Personally, the best advice I can give: write a list of all job tasks in the order of priority, apply it to a realistic time line, and whenever possible delegate, delegate, delegate.
Gathering a crew of hardworking individuals around you is one of the most important tasks any writer, director, producer or every day manager can do. In order to get the optimum results, this group of savvy individuals will need to be formed into a cohesive unit with you at its center. You have to get to know them, what motivates them, what they like and how to get the results you need with their trust. If you can get them to take chances, they will surely create something memorable. Taking chances only happens if they trust you. Taking the time to see if they need any assistance will demonstrate you care and that you want to see them succeed.
Surround Yourself with Encouraging People
When you want good advice in your life, where do you go? Who is going to be honest with you and challenge you? Who is going to provide you with objectivity and/or constructive criticism? Your best friend? Your sibling? Your mom? I’m not suggesting that you put mom on the payroll just yet. However, your answer to the question should give you an idea what types of people you will want along side you. When you are sweating and putting in all the hard work it will take, positive people who are supportive will help a great deal. They may not necessarily share all the same passions for your idea or business but if they are caring and personable, they make for invaluable team members, coworkers and mentors.
Ask for Contributions
The biggest mistake is believing that you can do something all by yourself. So when you do ask for help, it is important to be clear and concise with your needs for the project. With any indie, you need to incentivize the experience for everyone involved, be it investors, actors or crew. Help them to find why this project will benefit or help them even if it means providing them with free products or prizes. It is also important to note, time is as valuable as money in these instances and people’s schedule should be as appreciated as their wallets. Thank them and do it sincerely and with eye contact wherever possible. That being said, crowd sourcing and fundraising are two great ways to ask multitudes of people for help. Using Kickstarter has been a valuable tool for many filmmakers in the past. Currently, our team at Bouncing Ball Films is working on a webseries that shoots next month (King of Fitness) and Kickstarter has proved invaluable. However, without the support of our family and friends, we know that we will fall woefully short of our intended goals. So don’t forget that personalized emails and phone calls go a long way and can illustrate the heart of your intentions.
Be sure to check out the new King Of Fitness Kickstarter project!
Shawn M. Smith lives in Miami, FL with his wife and ukulele.