Friday, January 21, 2011

Make A Low-Budget Film

Last year, my learned friend and colleague, Suki Singh, went out and made a low-budget film, Emulsion, digging deep as he could into his own pockets so he could just get out there and do it. He's now in the edit suite but by the looks of the trailer, everything's shaping up rather well, and looking awesome. Suki's drive and focus was inspiring, plus he's such a great guy, and he got me thinking: 'you can make a low-budget feature with just a little bit more expense and effort than it takes to make a quality short film'.

EMULSION Teaser Trailer from Suki Singh on Vimeo.

Hmm, is this really true? Yes and no, probably. I mean, what do I know? I've made a couple of shorts, one completely no budget (On the Death of His Wife) and the other (Origin), which cost me a lot of my own moolah. But both experiences gave me the directing bug, and I think I did a decent job with Origin (leading a professional cast and crew).

So, I'd love to direct a feature film, ho yes. But you can't just sit around and expect people to give you what you want. You got to work for it, earn it, or at least get the ball rolling so that things start to happen rather than just sitting at home, complaining that no-one understands your talent.

Next month, I'm going to Industrial Scripts' training course, Making The Low-Budget Feature.

Industrial Scripts is run by my old mucker Evan Leighton-Davis, a fellow script reader and all-round gent (I first met him when he was an intern at the UK Film Council years ago, and even then, I knew he'd be a star). Since their launch last year, Evan and Industrial have blasted on to the scene and established a host of excellent training courses and feedback services (they've got an exciting 'Talent Connector' service for unrepresented writers - check it out).

I've been keeping a close eye on the Low-Budget Film course, especially as it's hosted by Ken Marshall, producer of London to Brighton. It focuses on the practicalities of finance and development, and all the nuts and bolts of getting a low-budget production up and running. I've put my name down for the next course on 20th February so maybe see a few of you there, if you've got that itch that you need to scratch. Whatever the case, let's get busy with 'make and do', and put enough positive action into place so that the chips don't fall where they may, but land nicely in our favour.


drettworlb said...

There seems to be a real buzz around the start of this year on the theme of just get out there and do it. I think with the many many upheavals of last year now done with for the time being people can start looking forward again. It's great to see.

Hiccup3000 said...

You cant sell a short film but you can sell a feature. A high concept film, one actor and one location is what I'm looking at for my next feature film.

-Hiccup -

Screenwriting Books said...

Actually there seems to be growing trend that short films do in fact get sold. Especially with the latest trend of musicians creating epic short films. Also, short films are being shown prior to features now...