5 ways to save money on a shoot

Low budget filmmaking save money

Ever wondered how to cut corners on your low budget movie? Below is a list of things you can do to earn money in savings on your next shoot?

Reduce crew

Do you have people standing around eating all your food? Do you really need an assistant’s assistant? If you are on a student movie, you want to keep your crew as small as possible to remain efficient. The larger you crew, the more expensive your food/travel budget will be.

Camera package

For short, documentary and even feature films, format is not a rule. You do not need 35mm to make an award winning film. DV films have gone on to win major awards such as the French low budget movie l’Esquive , entirely shot on DV and winner of the French Cesar (Oscar equivalent). If you can, and with the tools at your disposal, stick to HD for all your future low budget filmmaking needs.

Format

Save time and money by choosing 720p over 1080p resolution. Time costs money. The less space you take up on memory cards the better, otherwise plan to buy more external hard drives. Most online HD platforms are 720p, and very few are full HD at this time.

Locations

Do you really need to film in an airport or can you cheat it in an office building? Most films these days use tricks to make you think you are at an airport with sound effects and establishing shots. Think creatively to go around the permissions that would otherwise cost you a fortune.

Extras

You may feel that you want to have 100 extras for your party scene, but in reality this is not necessary if you are shooting in a small space. Blocking actors and extras cleverly can make your shot look populated without the need of a massive ensemble cast. Once again you save time, crew, food and travel costs.

By saving money you actually earn money. With your savings you can spend this on your next film or allocate it to PR/marketing costs.

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