Film på lavbudsjett

Have no film company? Just want to skip all the hassle and get down into making your film? This article gives you some tips how to get your films done without driving your mum and dad into bankruptcy.

Low budget or no budget

Even when a film production is volunteer-based, it's good idea to be prepaired for some costs. You might need to borrow or rent equipment, get a car and gasoline for transportation or buy some props or costumes. Money can be saved by getting stuff from flea markets or relatives. Still, when the schedule is tight it’s often the easiest solution just to go out and buy the missing item. When saving money, careful pre-production is the key number one.

Getting equipment

There are companies that rent out equipment, but since its raw business, it can be pretty expensive. A good way is to find out about regional film centres and youth media centres near you. They usually have equipment to give out for free for non-commercial productions. Most of them also have quite adequate video editing possibilities and sound studios. What’s best, they normally also have personnel to help you get started if you are not familiar with the technique.

It is quite common to ask for sponsorship, but it almost never comes in form of actual money. Companies can often give out stuff for free to get their name to the titles. If you for example would love to use a crane for your opening shot but can not afford it, you can try to arrange a deal with the local crane company to borrow one of their machines for a couple of hours. In return, they will get their name and logo in the end of your film. It’s also a good idea to send them the copy of the finished film. When it comes to sponsorship, it’s always better if you know where the film is going to be screened. Try to think of what they could get out of the deal and don’t be afraid to contact the boss in stead of the secretary. Most importantly, remember to keep your promises.

Name your producer
No matter how small your production is, it’s always good to have a producer for the production. When the filmmaking is in full steam, it’s hard to keep everything in mind at the same time. You’ll thank yourself for having someone to take care of the money, reseats and other practical stuff and let yourself concentrate on the actual filmmaking.

Your films are your recommendations
If your film is any good, send it to as many festivals as possible. If the film gets awarded, it’s the best recommendation when trying to get funding for your next production. You can also try to sell your film to TV. The money you’ll get is not that much per minute, but it’s still something. When making the contract, make sure that you both understand the conditions: normally, the television gets exclusive TV screening rights for a certain period (f.ex. three years) but you can ask if you get the right to distribute your film f.ex via internet.

Written by Saara Konttinen