Saving Money On Low Budget Filmmaking

Today filmmaking isn’t just the preserve of the big Hollywood studios that have huge budgets at their disposal.

The way that technology has advanced and the numerous new outlets for filmmakers’ means that anyone has a realistic chance of making a high quality end product, even when working within very tight budgets.

Amateur filmmakers, whether they are looking to step up to a professional career or are simply having a great time without any thoughts of earning a living from a hobby, can now create superb end results.

The bottom line is that, as with most things, the equipment at your disposal will have a very real impact on the quality of film that you can come up with. It can be a struggle to buy the best but thankfully there are plenty of ways you can get great deals and save yourself money.

Buy or rent

Whether you are making documentary films, scripted comedies or drama productions, working to a budget means making sure every cent counts.

Planning is essential if you are going to be able to fund, pre-produce, produce and post-produce your project and that’s even before marketing or distribution enters the picture.

Using the best equipment you can is essential in order to achieve the best looking results, and sometimes that means the best solution could be not buying anything at all.

Renting cameras and other equipment can mean you spend a fraction of the amount you would if you were buying new or previously used. If a shoot is only taking place over a short period of time this can really make financial sense.

However, if production is over a longer period or you really want to go full time it can be worth trying to get the best price and jump in with a straight purchase.

Buying used gear

As long as it has been well looked after, buying used equipment can make good financial sense. It may be that an older model can do everything you need it to and be available for less than half the price of new.

Sometimes a lucky purchase can mean getting ‘as good as new’ and basically having the best of both worlds, but maybe without the fancy wrapping of a new purchase.

Outsourced talent
Hiring a lighting director might be a great way to look after complicated lighting set-ups or make sit-down interviews look really high-end, but most amateur projects simply won’t have the funds to cover such an expense.

Using local online notice boards or forums can be a great way of meeting people with other specializations who might want to get involved in your project and bring their own skill set to the production with little or no outlay on your part.

Online deals
Of course using the Internet isn’t just about making personal connections because getting a great deal on new or used equipment is also really easy.

There are plenty of reliable and highly respected stores offering money saving items online that means you can make even the smallest budget go much further.

A simple web search will usually throw up a good selection of outlets and if you know have to phrase your enquiries in the right way there can be a wealth of good deals just waiting to be discovered online.

Films and filming
The bottom line is that today’s technology has put filmmaking firmly within the reach of anyone who wants to get involved.

Whether that means being a director, cameraman, lighting or sound technician or a one-man band mixture of all three, even the most limited budget shouldn’t be a hurdle to getting your hands on the right type of equipment that will allow you to realize your dream.

Amateur filmmaking is a great way to learn the basics of the craft without having to spend vast amounts of money. In fact, many famous names in the movie industry have started off this way and gone on to claim their own place in the history of the silver screen.

With today’s digital technologies equipment is lighter and more fully featured than ever before and getting more capable every day. If you think money is the only thing holding you back from becoming a filmmaker, you might be surprised at how easy it can be to make a film on the smallest of budgets.

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