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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Budget Part 1

Before I start writing anything I would like to thank Dov S-S Simens for the DVD course, his blogs and other people who have shared invaluable information on the internet, these things helped me to learn a lot and do whatever I have done. If I am using any information from any author I shall give reference to them and in case I have missed any please let me know so that I can update them.

Also I write things here not because I’m an expert in the field but I want to share my experience and my blunders so that anyone starting fresh doesn’t do the same. “They say failure is stepping stone to success but we don’t have all time in life to fail and succeed, it is wise to learn from others mistake”

Budget PART 1:
“Presence of money might not help you make a movie but its absence will definitely hold you from making movies”

Most of us who have the interest, passion to do a film are knocked down even before we start thinking about making a movie because we don’t have money to make a movie. We just can’t think of making movie because it takes a huge amount to make movie, Yes!! Really huge!! We see that most of the movie which are released states their budget and it hits millions..yeah!! 150 millions, 100, 90, 60, 50, 30, 10 and it goes on. “Oh!! My god I can’t even think of a million now how can even think of making a movie”, this very thought stops us from daring to make a movie.

But let me tell you all one very important thing I learned, most of us go watch a big budget movie just to see what have they spent the money on and often we come back frustrated and shocked thinking where the hell did they spent that much money. We all know that most of the movies advertise to be big budget film only to lure us(now the latest gimmick 3D). How do you actually know the amount spent? Well here is the formula Dov has for it:

Let’s say a movie X claims it’s a 30 to 40 millions. Take the lower number, half it, and subtract a million ie. (30 x 50%)-1 million=14 millions.
Now you can calculate similarly for a 20 Million movie and so on. You will find that most of the movies are grossly inflated and this inflated value discourages independent film makers.

The Bengali film director Satyajit Ray, the first film in the trilogy (Apu Trilogy), Pather Panchali (1955), was produced on a shoestring budgetof Rs. 1.5 lakh ($3000)
In the UK, the 2006 film The Zombie Diaries was written, produced and directed by filmmakers Kevin Gates and Michael Bartlett. The film cost was £8,100.
In Russia, the 1997 crime film Brother was made on around $10,000.
The most successful low-budget film was 1999's The Blair Witch Project. It had a budget of around $60,000.
Rodríguez made his first independent film El Mariachi for $7000.
Paranormal Activity is a 2007 horror film written and directed by Oren Peli, was made for $15,000.(Personally one of my favorite directors and I would like to thanks Oren for being my inspiration for making After Effects Of Paranormal Activity. After watching his movie I was so freaked that I wanted to make the After effects of watching PA and I kind of did it).
And the list goes on…

The reason I mentioned movies which are grossly inflated and lack the quality and movies which are made with low budget yet becomes successful is to highlight the fact that money is not the sole factor which decides whether we(Independent film makers) can make a movie or not. If you are really passionate and have ideas and desire to make a movie then with proper planning and some money you can make a movie.

“If you are thinking about making a movie, then stop thinking and start making one”.

There are few who want to find a producer who can finance their movies so that you need not have to worry about the budget. If you are ready to spend your time knocking their door and hoping that one day the door will open then time only can answer your hopes. I too did knock too many doors and most of them were not ready to help me, I was dejected, I was shouting within “Give me a chance, let me learn ,I have ideas, I can do better……” but no one cared!!. Well now I understand why no one cared. I know what mess a first timer can make and why they don’t want to waste their money to teach you. I feel good that no one cared because I made the mistake at my cost and I’m not answerable to anyone or I have not wasted others money and time.

So what should we do so that producers care about us? Producers let us direct there 20 million budget movie. Remember if you want to make a 20 million movie then make a 2 million movie first. If you want to make a 2 million movies then make a 20,000 movie first. If you want to make a 20,000 million movies then make a 5,000 movie first. Courtesy Dov S-S Simens .

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