Make your movie in Vancouver for $28,000
Can be as low as $14,000! See below.
(Short movies, $2500 up)
Plus pizza. Don't forget the pizza!
I am semi famous for low budget shooting with a micro crew. And I have invented
some quick shooting gizmos which save time and money. The prices above are for
a feature length movie, with full editing. If you want to direct a movie, or star in a
movie, this is for you. If you are a writer and want to make your script into a movie,
this is for you. You can make money too, lots of money!! The lower the budget, the
easier it is to make money. If your movie has a story.
What will the quality be like? Your movie quality will be as good or better than the
11 minute short below. It will look as good as movies costing millions!
When you watch the movie, note the credits at the end, and how small the crew was. The outdoor shots
were done in about 1.5 hours. The rest was shot the next day in about 10.5 hours. A different scripty was
used on each day, but the same one could have been used on both days. The actors were well
rehearsed, and it all went smoothly. For your feature film, your crew will have an additional super
versatile PA/lighting/set dec/everything person. It will be shot in 17 days or less. If less than 17 days,
your prices will be lower.
Here's what you get for $28,000:
- Me as DP/cam op combo person, also doing any other jobs that need to be done.
- A full lighting package, with two softboxes, 12 other lights, stands, sandbags, audio gear and many
gizmos to save time. A lightweight camera dolly with 23 feet of track.
- A scripty/audio person, also doing any other jobs that need to be done.
- A "super PA" also doing lighting, set dec and anything else that needs to be done.
- A makeup artist, also doing any other jobs as needed.
- A Canon XHA1, with tripod, super tripod adaptors, "ladder cam" for high shots and all accessories
including a 15 inch HD monitor. A higher end camera is also available, see below.
- A green screen studio, for minor special effects if needed.
- Complete editing, to high standards, in a new Mac Pro computer. My name will be in the credits and I won't
accept anything that isn't top notch.
The script, actors, locations, food, wardrobe, props, and insurance if required. And you direct, unless you
want me to direct.
The $14,000 price above assumes you get all volunteers, including your actors and micro crew, with me
being DP/ cam op, multi tasker with all gear supplied. However, there are advantages to paying them.
Volunteers are fine for a short, but a much bigger commitment is needed for a feature film. I suggest you
pay your actors Starbucks pay, plus a share of the profits, and same with any crew members. Your actors
and crew will be glad to make a feature film, but they have bills to pay too, and offering modest pay will get
the commitment and dedication you need.
I suggest you also pay for your locations. The pay can be modest, but it will get you extra cooperation that
will pay off several times over. However, if you are a smooth talker and know how to inspire people, you
can do it for $14,000! Not including pizza. Don't forget the pizza! (The $28,000 and $14,000 prices both
include editing, you get a completely finished movie.)
Your movie can be shot on a higher end camera, the superb Canon XF300. It meets BBC broadcast
standards, which are the world standards. To have your movie shot and edited in this higher format, add
$5,000. To view this camera, CLICK HERE. To view sample footage by this camera, search the net.
To have me direct your movie, add $3000. (I will hire someone else to be cam op/multi tasker.)
Tips on making a low budget movie.
Making a low budget movie starts with your script. Obviously you want to avoid large crowd scenes, crane
shots, helicopter shots, explosions, expensive stunts, car chases, large street scenes and so on.
For the lowest budget movie you should have only two principal actors, a minimum of supporting actors,
and minimal extras. It should be almost all indoors, to avoid weather problems, outdoor audio challenges,
and time challenges caused by our ever moving sun. Your actors should be very well rehearsed, with the
script finalized well in advance, There should be no time consuming last minute changes to the script,
which confuse your actors, and interfere with their performances. There should be a minimum number of
locations which are cheap to use, without extensive noise considerations. Wardrobe and props should be
ordinary and easy to acquire. Your actors should be in charge of their own wardrobe, and props in some
With all of this in mind, it does not mean your movie will be boring! The story has to be intriguing and
captivating and the acting must be excellent. Fancy shots do not make your movie a success. How many
big budget movies have you started watching on TV, only to click away because the story is boring? If you
write a good script and have talented and dedicated actors, and the picture and audio is good, you will keep
people watching. This is the key to a successful movie, and having it shown repeatedly on TV.
Alternatively, you could rent the equipment and get a volunteer crew of film students. But this would
reduce your chances of getting a quality finished product that you can sell. It would be a lot more work
for you, and it could be very frustrating. Like everything else, you get what you pay for. With me, you
will get a finished movie that you will be proud of. And it can make you real money too! If you want to
make a low budget movie in Vancouver, you have found the right place. Out of town? I can travel!
PS: I can make you a short film too! My short films have won awards and 7 have been broadcast on TV.
PPS: If you have already made a feature film you know how much work it is. Working with me, you can
make your next movie with about half the work. Think about how nice that will be!
Below is some information for new filmmakers who want to make a low budget movie. It is by a
guy named Michael P. Connelly, and it is a promotion for his book, "How To Make A Movie With
A Very, Very, Low Budget". I have put it here to help you understand what is involved in making a
low budget movie. At the bottom there is a link where you can order his book. I put this here for
your information. I am not getting any payment for doing this. If you are a writer who wants to
make a movie, check this out.
WANT TO KNOW HOW TO MAKE AN INDEPENDENT FILM? In most film schools and film production colleges the
art of filmmaking is taught with the idea in mind that you will have a big studio budget to back your film.
Unfortunately, most people graduate and find that the big studios have no interest in their films and so they are forced to
learn things about how to make a movie that they were never taught in film schools. They find that most independent films
are created with a shoestring budget, and they are not connected to any major film studios.
If you really want to know how to make a film with a low budget then you need to educate yourself on the process of low
budget filmmaking. The best way to do this is to learn from those who have been there, done that.
You will learn more from independent filmmakers then you will in any film production classes. By Indy filmmakers I mean
those who work outside the mainstream of the Hollywood film industry. The kind that have passion, creativity, and a
relentless drive to get their movies made with miniscule resources. The kind that will do whatever it takes to get their
If you are looking to learn how to make a movie for film festivals like Sundance, Cannes, Santa Barbara, Toronto, Seattle
or The Telluride Film Festival then you need to read further.
If there is anyone who can identify with a person like you, it is me. You want to make an independent film but you don't
have a lot of money. You cannot afford to go to one of the expensive film schools, so you self-educate yourself by
purchasing a film production book or two on the internet instead.
If only you had been born the child of well-connected Hollywood power players, then maybe your film dream would have
come to fruition by now. That did not happen, so you spend every waking hour of your life trying to think of a way to get
your movie made until you finally realize that the world is unfair and your film dream must be placed on hold. This does
not have to happen to you. Your dream to make independent films can become a reality.
I am a passionate filmmaker that graduated from one of the more affordable, yet decent film schools in the Los Angeles
area called CSUN (California State University, Northridge). I had large dreams, but unfortunately I had a small bank
account. I wanted so badly to make movies right out of the gate but I ran into the cold reality that making movies is
expensive and requires connections in the Hollywood film industry for success.
I tried to get funding from many different sources that fund film projects, but they all wanted to see what other movies I
had done that had made money. It was the old catch-22, where I needed experience to get experience.
After years of frustration, I decided to make a movie using my own money. This movie was funded mainly with my
hard-earned paychecks from various part time jobs. The first film I made was a short film called Rock Killed the
Dinosaurs, and it only cost about $3,000 to make. It did very well on the independent film festival circuit in 1989.
A few years later I made Mike And The Magic Lamp. This film was shot with a $25,000 budget. It won several awards on
the film festival circuit in 1998 including a Silver Award at the prestigious Houston Worldfest, and a top prize at the Santa
Clarita International Film Festival. This led to a distribution deal, which led to me having the money to do another film!
I just completed my latest film with a $50,000 budget. I already have a couple of very good offers from distribution
companies to buy the distribution rights, and I haven’t even entered it in any film festivals yet! I stand to make a very
decent profit. The best part about it is that I am a working independent filmmaker, making low budget movies on my own
If you play by the same basic rules that I have learned to play by when it comes to making low budget films then there is
no reason why you can’t make one that has similar results as mine! You do not need to have a degree from any film
schools and you do not need a whole lot of money. All you need is a relatively small amount of money, a good script,
talented and dedicated people to work with and a strong drive to make a movie.
It is a lot cheaper to make a movie than you think, if you know the secrets to doing it the right way.
Yes, it’s true, the big film studios have invaded these festivals lately disguised as independents but try as they might, they
cannot control the festival circuit. At least not completely, for uniqueness and creativity are king at film festivals and
those are two things the big studios are lacking. Those qualities are usually seen with smaller and more independent films,
making movies on very low budgets.
The Sundance Film Festival, The Santa Barbara Film Festival, and The Palm Springs Film Festival (to name only a few of
many) are still first and foremost about new and exiting talent in the world of independent film. That is where you and I
come into the picture.
Sure, film festival organizers love having the celebrities show up at their festivals to give them publicity, but the film
distributors all know that the real deals to be had are amongst the ranks of the films made by unknown filmmakers. They
realize that low budget films are not necessarily low quality films, and that they can be sold to television channels around
the world for a decent profit.
With the recent explosion in technological advances and independent filmmaking techniques, films have become much less
expensive to make.
We all remember The Blair Witch Project from recent years. This was a film that was shot for about $40,000. A “buzz”
was created about it after it showed at Sundance, and by the time this film festival was over a deal was struck that paid the
independent filmmakers $1.5 million for their film! The movie went on to make $150,000,000 at the box office! A second
Blair Witch film was subsequently made by the original filmmakers, but this time they had a multi-million dollar budget.
This could be your story too. All you have to do is make a movie!
Many people have wondered what it would be like to make a movie, but the fact is, not many have actually acted upon this
thought and brought their dream to fruition. This is mainly due to the misconception that it is just too expensive to make a
People hear outrageous figures on the news that say this film cost 80 million dollars, and that film cost 150 million dollars,
and this turns their dream of making a film into a lofty, far-fetched pipe-dream. They come to the conclusion that only big
movie studios can afford to make movies. Their dream fades away, and on their deathbeds they whisper the title of a
movie they had in mind, but never made.
In the past this kind of thing was a reality, but not anymore. Things have changed. New technology and the information
age have revolutionized the way that movies get made, and the results are very beneficial to anyone who has a dream to
The monopoly that the major film studios once had on the film industry is over. In recent decades the film industry has
seen a meteoric rise in the popularity of independent films. Film festivals like Sundance and Cannes have turned
small-time filmmakers from virtual unknowns to household names overnight.
In recent years there has been a lot of interest directed towards new talent at these festivals. Representatives of movie
studios and film distribution companies flock to these festivals in search of the next great, small film that is often hidden
under the veil of a low-budget movie. Low budget films that cost thousands of dollars to make are purchased sometimes
for millions of dollars!
The truth of the matter is that it does not necessarily cost millions of dollars anymore to make a movie. With the right
script, a talented cast, and the right film production methods, anyone with a burning desire to make a movie can do it for a
fraction of what it used to cost.
There are people all over this world who never gave up on their dreams to make films, despite the difficulties that came
with working outside of the mainstream film industry. Through their struggles these diehard filmmakers have created
cheaper ways to make movies. This revolution was born out of frustration due to decades of having their creative voices
shunned by the big film studios who favored commercialism over creativity.
Talent and a good storyline are generally worth more to movie audiences than an expensive look. If you can just get a
good story committed to film and submitted to film contests, then people will take notice. If a “buzz” is created about your
movie, it can lead to a distribution deal that is worth many times more than the money you invested.
The creative voices of talented independent filmmakers are now being heard, despite what the big studios and their select
few talent agents think. People with burning desires to make independent films have blazed the way. They have busted
down the doors of the film industry, and they have left the door open for anyone else who wants to come inside and join the
I have made 5 films that have all cost less than 50 thousand dollars each. All of my low budget films have won numerous
awards at film festivals over the years. Most importantly, these awards have led to bigger and better film projects for me.
I have lived in the trenches of low budget filmmaking for many tears, and I have learned a lot along the way.
I have spent over twenty years learning the craft of low budget filmmaking and I have written a book that contains
everything I know about this process. Through many painful years of trial and error I have learned valuable tips and
secrets that can help any ambitious filmmaker create a film with a very low budget.
This book contains all of the best methods and techniques that I have learned from working on five of my own and many
other people's independent films. It is called How To Make A Movie With A Very, Very, Low Budget and it is a guide to
independent filmmaking with limited resources.
To order this book, CLICK HERE.
PS: I am not getting a commission for promoting this book. This book on low budget filmmaking will no doubt give you
some good ideas and that is why I included it. I want to help you get your low budget movie made here in Vancouver. You
can find articles on the net about making low budget films and get some ideas together. Then feel free to contact me for a
free phone consultation on getting your movie made. If you are not in Vancouver, I may be able to come to you. My low
budget filmmaking equipment is light and compact and easy to ship.
Need a script?
I can get you one!
Got an idea?
We can take it from there!
Not in Vancouver? No problem.
1. Depending on where you are, maybe I can come to
you with all my gear. It is all lightweight and easy to
2. We can shoot your movie in Vancouver, BUT
MAKE IT LOOK LIKE IT WAS SHOT
ELSEWHERE, USING LOCATION CLIPS AND
GREEN SCREEN. See below for more.
There are lots of talented actors here very keen to
work. You can use craigslist to find them and they
can audition for you by posting on youtube. Those you
pick for call backs can audition again, with me
shooting them this time, and again posting them on
youtube. I can find locations, send you photos and you
can come here for the rehearsals and the shoot. (If
you want to)
I am good at casting by the way and can find low cost
talent for your movie.
You can find me on IMDB, which is not
that easy to get on, with 74 credits:
Some movie tricks. If you want your
movie to look like it is in New York,
we can start with an aerial clip of NY,
then a busy street scene, then cut to
someone entering an apartment here in
Vancouver. The aerial clip and street clip
can be bought for about $200 each, so for
only $400 we can make the viewer think
they are in New York! Similarly, we can
buy stock clips of a highway and some
farmland in the midwest, and then cut to a
farm here, and make the movie seem like
it is in Nebraska or somewhere. There are
farms close by that look the same! No one
will know, it is done all the time. Green
screen can be used as well. Look
elsewhere on my site for green screen
tricks. Almost anything can be done and
this is the cheapest place to do it.
I have spent a long time trying to figure out how to get Adobe Encore to make DVD's with a high quality
image. I spent many hours searching the net, and found that many others were having the same problem.
On forums there were many tips and ideas given on how to set the best quality encoding settings, and this
included Adobe forums, where questions were supposedly answered by Adobe experts. And then I spent
hours experimenting. And then I gave up for about two months, and tried again, again wasting hours and
hours. Finally I found the secret! If you have been unhappy with poor image quality with Encore, this is for
I found the reason that none of the encoding suggestions were working. The "experts" all missed
something very important. Some even said Encore was not capable of burning high quality DVD's and the
only way to get a good quality picture when burning a DVD was to take it to a pro shop, or spend many
thousands on a high end encoding application. Not so! Encore can make very high quality DVD's, and
First, finish your movie in Adobe Premiere, and export it as an mpeg 2 file. I think you can also export it as
an mpeg 2 - DVD file. Forget all the expert blah blah blah, and try either of these file types. Next, open
Adobe Encore, and import your finished movie as an asset. I don't recommend doing any editing in Encore,
and why bother when Premiere is designed for ending.
Second, click on the file, where you see it in Project Box. Then, click FILE, then click TRANSCODE
SETTINGS. (If "Transcode Settings" is grey and not black, click on the file again in the Project Box, and
try again) This is the "secret". ONLY after doing this step will ANY of the suggestions of the experts work!
Why none of them mention this step I don't know. Some obviously don't even know about this step, and that
is why you will see comments such as "Encore is not capable of making a store bought quality DVD".
That's not true!
OK, then thirdly, what I do is use the box that you will see, and click on NTSC Progressive, High Quality,
7MB, VBR 2 pass, and then make your DVD! It will produce an excellent quality DVD. But do note, it will
take up to 4 or 5 times as long to encode as your previous efforts probably did. But it's worth it! I haven't
tried the AUTOMATIC setting yet, using this method, but I think it will do well too. The key to this is you
MUST have your file highlighted before making ANY encoding settings. And you MUST make these
settings in the TRANSCODE SETTINGS box. There! Now all your hard work and meticulous polishing
during editing will actually be viewable when you send someone your DVD and they view it on a TV!
PS: Feedback welcome but please don't ask me general questions about using Encore which you can learn
on your own using Help, and Adobe Forums and so on. Thanks.
PPS: Secret number 2. Once your movie file has been encoded one way with Encore, it cannot be encoded a
different way. If you want to try different encoding settings, you will have to first delete your encoded file,
and re-import your file as an asset again.