Sometimes you can tell when a low budget movie is low budget. We have some pieces of advice to help you avoid these simple mistakes.
We all know it: we sit down to watch a movie and feel distracted by the elements that seem out of place or cheap. We may find that an actor was not the best choice, or that certain elements in the story do not serve their purpose. These small details build on each other until the film is burdened with these errors.
These mistakes are common problems filmmakers experience early on. An idea that sounds cool on paper just doesn’t translate to film, or there are certain elements of filmmaking that aren’t prioritized.
Everyone has to start somewhere, and many people don’t have the luxury of realizing that they are making common mistakes until they have put the entire movie together. Shane Stanley breaks down with Filmmut the common mistakes young filmmakers make their low budget films appear as low budget films. Watch the full interview here:
Don’t spend a large part of the budget on the graduation party.
Many filmmakers focus on the end at the beginning. When creating a budget, many young filmmakers reserve a fixed portion of the change for a big graduation party. Instead of spending three to five thousand dollars on a graduation party, think about parts of your movie that could use a little more money.
If you need to hire an editor, find one and take some of the funds away for the graduation party. Pay attention to where money is being distributed and find creative ways to best bring your vision to life.
Your friends and loved ones are not always the right choice.
We love your friends, we really do, but wonder if your friends are good actors when casting your film. If your friends are fantastic actors then cast them when they are suitable for a role and find creative ways to use their skills. If they don’t fit the best, there are so many places to look for good actors to bring your story to life.
If you’re looking for a cast for your film, take acting classes at the local film school or university and ask people to audition for your film. Make sure you hold auditions so you can find the best fit for the role. Don’t be afraid that someone outside of your circle doesn’t like your work because the truth is that you are doing something that you are passionate about and people will notice and respect that. Be open about sharing your work with others who are also looking for work.
Do not try to cast someone who is not suitable for the role.
Sometimes you can’t find the person you need for a role. Don’t sweat because there is probably a real person in the world who does exactly what you want them to do.
If you need a cashier who has a few lines, go to this place and ask if the owner or cashier could read a few lines. Finding the right person can be as easy as walking into a store. Chances are they will become recognizable characters in your movie and you could change the course of their lives.
Stop wasting the location.
Your job as a filmmaker is to bring the audience to a place they can’t go. We can all walk into a suburban house or the grocery store, but what makes the house or the car or the parking lot so special in your film?
Think of it this way: Why do so many people visit the locations of the places they see in films? It’s because they want to interact with a world that they want to be a part of. The viewer wants to put themselves in a world created by the filmmaker, and isn’t that the overall goal of a film?
Remember, you are trying to make a name for yourself. You have to do what will benefit you and your cinematic skills. Making a movie is hard, but it could be an easier process if you work hard for what you want and stand out for yourself. Making friends in the industry is important, but don’t let those friendships dictate your filmmaking skills. Filmmaking can be selfish. Don’t be afraid to do the things you want to do. Just focus and don’t make the common mistakes many filmmakers make when they start out.
What helpful tips do you have for young filmmakers? Let us know in the comments below!