Blog Games

Anyone can write, produce & direct… Produce a $1,000,000 Feature Film for $200,000. Write the Great $1,000,000 Screenplay. Direct a 3 Week Movie.


INDEPENDENT (LOW-BUDGET) FILM MAKING: The Finances, Script, Shoot, Crew & 1 Scorching Tip

(1) BUDGET: $200,000-$300,000 or $300,000-$500,000

(“For $200,000-300,000 you possibly can produce a $1,000,000 film and signal with just one guild.”)


Need to make a “Million Greenback Function”?

Nevertheless (Shh! Secret coming), you do not want $1,000,000 to make a “Million Greenback Function”… all you want is $200,000-$300,000 (Shh! See Scorching Tip Under).

Now, allow me to stipulate what $200,000-300,000 can accomplish…

You possibly can execute a (A) Four-week Pre-Manufacturing to scout, forged, rehearse, crew and design correctly, with a (B) Three-week (18-day shoot) Manufacturing, with (C) a 10-week Publish-Manufacturing interval that has a (C-1) 5-week Image Edit, a (C-2) 2-week Sound Edit, a (C-Three) Three-day ADR session, a (C-Four) a Three-day Foley session, with (C-5) a 1-week Combine and M&E to make sure a (C-6) color-corrected print or DCP out of your lab with an unique (C-7) music rating.

Now, with an additional $200,000, assuming you could have $400-500Okay, simply think about what you may produce which, throughout advertising interval (See Scorching Tip Under), when requested “What’s the price range?”, you’d probably say… “$1-2 Million” and even “just-under $2-Three Million“.

And should you had one other $100okay and $500,000-$700,000 money which, as soon as once more, when requested “What’s the price range?” (See Scorching Tip Under), you’ll say “just-under $Three-5 Million”.

Once more… (See Scorching Tip Under).


(2) SCRIPT: 90-100 pages (Three-Four places)


(“Script is not a 1-location stage play. It’s extra a “Intercourse, Lies, Videotape” film with Four-5 places, inside a Four block radius, with straightforward parking for forged & crew)


The No-Price range ($10Okay-$20Okay) and Micro-Price range ($50Okay-$100Okay) scripts (85-90 pages) are self-written (Remaining Draft or Celtx) with a narrative, like Hitchcock’s “ROPE”, occurring throughout 90-minutes of real-time.

  • With $10-100Okay you’re a Hyphen (Author-Producer or Author-Director) and writing the script.
  • With $200-300Okay you’ll be able to afford to rent somebody (aka: Author-For-Rent) to put in writing the script.

The Low-Finances screenplay, assuming you have got $200-300Okay, and making an alleged $1M function movie, permits you to allocate $10Okay-$25Okay to rent a author for a Remedy ($1-2K/week for Eight-10 weeks) and a Beat Sheet (40-50 scenes), with 2 Drafts (90-100 pages), that has a narrative with construction (aka: Starting, Center, Finish) that takes place, not in real-time, however over an prolonged interval with nice dialogue, Three sub-plots, and a disaster with a satisfying decision.

Plus, inside the script, you’ll be able to afford Four-5 places (the Cemetery, the Bar, the Police Station, his Home, her Condo and…) all Four-5 blocks of one another, with 6-Eight actors, to incorporate 1 semi-name ($10-25Okay for 1 Day) to play position #Four, and 10-12 pages EXT-NIGHT location (doubtless the Cemetary) scheduled for the final days of the shoot.

  • That is not a No-B or Micro-B script.
  • That is an Unbiased Low-B script.

An alternative choice, since you possibly can price range $25,000, is to buy/choice ($25,000 buy worth with a $5,000 non-refundable choice) the unique rights to a regionally produced stage play, that you’ve seen and love (you will need to adore it… not identical to it… it’s essential to adore it), with Three-Four actors, nice dialogue and character interplay that may be shot in 2-weeks at one-location.


(Three) SHOOT: Three-Weeks (18 Days)

With $200-$300Okay money you possibly can afford skilled crew, two 4K cameras and gear, catered meals and sensible places rented over the scheduled Three-week shoot.

Additional, if desired, you possibly can signal with an Above-The-Line guild, the Display Actors Guild…

Deal Site - Slate

(“Three-Week Shoots have solely 20 minutes to arrange, block, mild, rehearse and execute a shot.”)


This settlement (aka: *contract) states for 90-Minute Narratives (Hollywood-talk for a Film), with budgets underneath $250,000, you possibly can rent SAG Actors for as little as $100/day.

FOOTNOTE: * Please-Please-Please learn the Extremely-Low-Price range Contract rigorously and perceive money owed, monetary obligations, deferrals and deferments earlier than you shortly assume the settlement has you solely obligated to the $100/day.

Lets proceed…

  • Three-week shoot has 18-Capturing Days.
  • 18-Capturing Days, 90-page script is a Schedule of 5 Pages/Day.
  • 5 Pages/day, 10 Hours Capturing is 1 Web page in-the-can each two hours
  • 1 Web page, with 6 setups, each two hours is 20 minutes/setup

To Direct and get protection and permit actors a 2nd take, to reinforce their efficiency, with a schedule of 5-6 pages/day, you will need to schedule 1 Web page in-the-can each 2 hours.

Directing 1 scene/web page each two hours, with 5-6 setups/web page/scene, interprets to 25-30 setups/day with 20-25 minutes/setup.

Additional, directing 1 scene/web page each 2 hours, with 5-6 setups (Grasp Shot, 2 Medium Photographs, 2 Closeups, 1 Establishing shot) nonetheless wants quite a few Three-5 cutaways framed as closeups.

  • Lighting, 1 setup each 20-25 minutes, means 10-15 minutes to maneuver and regulate the lights.
  • Lighting Director (aka: Gaffer) has barely time to mild with a single Key, 2 Backs, and if tremendous quick 2-Three Fill Lights.

Your Cinematographer (aka: Director of Images) is allotted sufficient cash to lease two 4K digital camera packages (Reds “Sure”, Alexa “Perhaps”), with a package deal of Four Prime lenses and 1 10:1 Zoom lens, with a help employees of two Digital camera Operators, a 1st AC, a 2nd AC and a DIT.

  • Sync Sound will probably be wonderful, for you possibly can afford a top quality sound man, together with his/her personal gear and Van, that features a Growth/Mike Man.

Salaries (See Under)…

Schedule. Actors. Direct. Cameras. Lights. Sound. Crew… After permits, insurance coverage & places…What’s subsequent?


(Hello, I’m Dov Simens and my grammar and syntax may be poor however my details, based mostly on expertise, are strong and I would like you to launch your movie profession…


In low-budget movie making consider meals as-food consider meals as-fuel…. “It’s essential to gasoline your crew properly.”

Meals in your forged and crew for Three-weeks is (1st) a Breakfast provided at $75/day by your Craftservice Individual, (2nd) a Lunch at $10/individual provided by both a caterer or an area restaurant who brings it to the set, (third) a Snack desk at $25/day provided by the Craftservice Individual, and, on the times capturing additionally EXT-NIGHT you’ve got (4th) a second meal (pizza, burgers & fries) provided once more by the Craftservice Individual with the help of two PAs.



(Four) CREW

With $200-$300Okay, and a Three-week shoot, you’ll be able to allocate $80-90Okay for salaries for a crew of 20-25, that are…

… DP ($10Okay)… Digital camera Operator ($5K)… 1st AC ($4K)… DIT ($4K)… PM/LP ($7K)… PC ($5K)… Sound ($5K)… Growth ($2K)… Gaffer ($5K)… Greatest Boy Electrician ($3K)… Grip ($Three.5K)… Greatest Boy Grip ($3K)… Hair/Make-up ($5K)… Assistant ($2.5k)… Script Supervisor ($4K)… Craftservice ($2.5K)… PA 1-Four ($1K/every)… PD ($7K)… Set Decorator ($4K)… Paint-Carpenter ($3K), and so forth.

That is $80-$90Okay, for a Three-week shoot, and you’ve got employed professionals on your key slots of DP, PM, PC, PD, Sound, Gaff & Grip and 2-Four yr movie faculty grads for all of the supporting slots.



And now the Scorching Tip.

(“Hollywood Lies. The Finances is? Yuk. Yuk. Yuk… The Film Studios are the one producers, in any business, who inform the buyer/viewer what it prices to make their merchandise… “The finances is”… You assume they inform the reality? …They lie… They love, for advertising functions, to grossly inflate the reported price range.”)



Within the early ’80s, 2-years after arriving in Hollywood, I obtained my first job as a PA (42 years previous and a PA at $125/week) on a Roger Corman (aka: “King of the Bs”) function.

Mr Corman has remodeled 700 “Million Greenback Function Movies” (All with the phrase “Blood”, “Zombie”, “Nightmare”, “Slime,  “Deadly”, “Ultimate”, “Bloodbath”, and so on. someplace in title) which have made income and when requested “what’s the finances” he’d all the time responds “A-Mill… Simply Beneath-A-Mill.”

1-year and a number of other “Simply-Underneath-a-Mill” options later, I noticed, now a Line Producer, that I by no means noticed greater than $300Okay, typically solely $200Okay, for a Three-week shoot (prep & publish included), to make what Mr Corman was calling a “Simply Underneath-a-Mill” Function Movie.


“Oh. I received it. Hollywood lies. Million Dollars Options are made for $200,000-$300,000 in money.”

The Scorching Tip is to all the time keep in mind that no matter finances you learn or heard about of any movie is… it’s ALWAYS A LIE.

HOLLYWOOD LIES: They both inflate the finances to create a bigger perceived worth or within the No-B or Micro-B world they deflate the finances to make the film look like extra of a darling.

All the time keep in mind “Hollywood Lies” and no matter your actual finances is “Inform nobody. For it’s nobody’s enterprise besides your buyers, your accountant and the IRS.”

However when advertising, and somebody asks “What was your price range”, play the sport, and both inflate or deflate the quantity… Welcome to Hollywood.


Completely satisfied Filmmaking,

Dov Simens / Dean / Hollywood Movie Institute



Need to launch your movie profession?

Then both of my three confirmed movie packages are good for you…

Online Film School

(Streaming! Three Clicks. Begin proper now…

DVD Film School

(DVD! View time and again…

2 Day Film School

(Stay! Community!   APR 6-7/2019,   AUG 10-11/2019 or DEC 7-Eight/2019)

No-Concept. No-Bull.

Hold Updated… Be a part of our e-mail record.

 *** NO-BULL ***



fbds = doc.createElement(‘script’);
fbds.async = true;
fbds.src = ‘//join.fb.internet/en_US/fbds.js’;
var s = doc.getElementsByTagName(‘script’)[0];
s.parentNode.insertBefore(fbds, s);
_fbq.loaded = true;

window._fbq = window._fbq || [];