In recent years, we’ve seen a number of directors and producers put together successful films on a relatively low budget such as The Blair Witch Project, (1999) , Clerks (1994) and Open Water (2003) – just to name a few. But on a limited budget, it can be extremely difficult for these filmmakers to be successful in their endeavors. They must carefully follow a certain set of guidelines for a film to reach its maximum potential.
With that in mind, there are a few simple and basic guidelines to keep in mind when attempting to put together a successful film on a limited budget.
1. Draft a Creative, Engaging Script
An important ingredient to any successful film is a good, quality script – which is the most critical aspect to the success of a low budget film. As evidenced through the success of Writer/Director Kevin Smith’s film Clerks, a quality script can carry a black and white film that was shot on a $27,575 budget to an enormous amount of success. The film eventually grossed over $3 million in theaters, with millions more by way of VHS and DVD sales. Due of the cult following of the film, an animated series, a comic book, and a sequel were spawned using the exact same characters Smith created for the film.
The key to writing a good low budget script is creativity and originality. With no budget for special effects, elaborate sets and desirable filming locations, a script must carry the film from start to finish. It’s the creative element that will keep the audience guessing and interested in the development of the story.
2. A Visionary Director
In most cases, successful low budget films are directed by individuals who are willing to take risks, are innovative, and know what it takes to put together a quality film. Examples of this are again, Kevin Smith, who wrote, directed, produced and acted in Clerks, Jared Hess, who wrote and directed Napoleon Dynamite (2004) and Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez, who co-wrote and co-directed The Blair Witch project (1999). All of these writers/directors put together an original script and played a vital role in managing and directing the creative elements that made their films so successful.
For steps 3-5 of Andrew John's low-budget film success article. Here
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