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12 Tips to Make a Movie on a Shoestring Budget

Lights, Camera, Action!

Making a movie can be expensive, but today we're diving into 12 tips for making a film on a shoestring budget. Ready? Let's roll!

  1. Plan it out: Nail down your script, shot list, and storyboard. Planning saves time and money on set.

  2. Look into local talent : Tap into your community for actors, crew, and locations. Networking locally saves cash and adds authenticity.

  3. Borrow gear/use what you have/buy cheap new products: Don't buy equipment. Borrow or rent from friends, film schools, or local production houses. When you buy expensive camera gear, it can become outdated very quickly. Even experienced movie productions will lease equipment and gear. You can use your iphone pro, ipad, go-pro's, video drones, etc. which have HD cameras and can get you amazing shots. Check out cheap gear that gives you panoramic views and rotates and pans with a remote. You can get those "money shots" for hardly any money.

  4. Be location-savvy: Get creative with locations. Use free or low-cost spots that can double as different settings. Offer businesses credit in a film.

  5. DIY props and costumes: Get creative and crafty and make your own props and costumes. You can get free fabric from stores getting rid of out of date fabrics. Thrift stores and your own closet as well as tapping into your cast and crew's closets are free goldmines.. Don't be afraid to ask for sponsors and give them a credit in your film for free props and costumes.

  6. Natural lighting is your friend: Take advantage of natural light to give your scenes depth. Shoot during the "golden hour" for extra magic.

  7. Cheap LED Blogging Lights DIY videos with LED blogging lights on tripods are a great option. They are cheap and available online. Some lights come with different shading options.

  8. Collaborate with musicians and write your own songs: Find local musicians or composers willing to work on a passion project or for a reduced rate or even free for a credit. Write your own lyrics. Put ti to music using AI and music loops.

  9. Master post-production: Editing is where the magic happens. Experiment with color grading and sound design to enhance your film's quality. Master sound editing and learn how to key frame to remove breath sounds in dialogue. Make sure you do not go above a comfortable sound level (Final Draft red is an alert that it is too loud, key frame it to reduce the sound level in those spots).

  10. Garner support and buzz on social media: Use social media to build buzz. Share engaging content and behind-the-scenes footage to attract supporters.

  11. Crowdfunding can help fund production and postproduction: Turn to crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter to raise funds for your film. Craft a compelling campaign and spread the word. Make sure to give incentives to the high rollers who fund you substantial amounts, like credits on the film, a cameo appearance, VIP red carpet tickets to film festivals, etc. Get creative.

  12. Free publicity: Use free publicity websites, appear on podcasts and local news channels to promote your film and publish free press releases. There are tons of free press release sites online.


Making a movie on a tight budget is not impossible. It involves creativity and using your resources when you can get access to money resources. Nothing is impossible when your heart and soul are in it. Use these 12 tips to turn your limitations into creative opportunities. Lights Camera Action!

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