$30,000-$50,000 FEATURE FILM (AKA: Micro-Budget Filmmaking)



Producing the $30,000 Feature Film:

This is the 1-Week Shoot, 90-Page, 1-Location Script.

90-Pages, 7 Shoot Days… Working 15-18 hours/day executing a Shooting Schedule of 12-13 Pages/Day.

If 1-Page of Script, formatted properly, becomes approximately 1-minute of Running Time… Then you must get shot (aka: covered at least 1-Page In-The-Can every 45-50 Minutes.

Phew…. But doable.


My prior blogs showed how to make a $1,000-$10,000 No-Budget Feature like “TANGERINE”; a $10,000-$20,000 Credit Card Feature like “BROTHERS McMULLEN”, and a $20,000-$30,000 Shot-For Feature Film like “CLERKS” or “IN THE COMPANY OF MEN”… now permit me to show you how to spend $30,000-$50,000 and not only make a better movie but even finish it.

Key phrase is “Finish-It” not “Shot-For”

$30,000-$50,000 is more than enough money to do a (A) 1-week shoot with (B) qualified crew, (C) professional actors, (D) practical locations and (E) state-of-the-art 4K cameras…and (F) finish it.

And when you finish a movie, and go to a film festival (assuming the audience loves it), you are in a much better position to negotiate deals with distributors than if you had a “Shot For” feature film and you are literally begging for finishing funds.

Key word is “begging”… for when you haven’t 100% totally finished your movie… distributors, who are not your friends or relatives, know that you are broke (please read this again: “you are broke”) and they become vultures, for they know that you are broke.

I repeat B-R-O-K-E… And when you are B-R-O-K-E and negotiating with someone who knows that you are B-R-O-K-E you are not negotiating from strength.

So allow me to show you how to get into a much better negotiating position, with a theatrical distributor, when you are premiering at a film festival and your film is F-I-N-I-S-H-E-D as in D-O-N-E.


Micro-Budget Filmmaking A-Z

For $30,000-$50,000 you have enough money to make & finish your movie and…

(1) Budget $3,000-$5,000 for SCRIPT WRITING

(2) Budget $5,000-$6,000 for 2-Week PRE-PRODUCTION & 2-Day REHEARSAL

(3) Budget $10,000-$17,000 for 1-Week PRODUCTION & SHOOT

(4) Budget $3,000-$4,000 for 3-Day PICK-UP

(5) Budget $7,000-10,000 for 6-Week POST-PRODUCTION

(6) Budget $2,000-$8,000 for PUBLICITY, SOCIAL MEDIA & FESTIVALS

 The Top 10 Micro-Budget Filmmaking Tips

FIRST: SCRIPT (KISS): 90-Pages, 1-Location, No Moves

SECOND: STORY (Drama): Dialogue Oriented, Character Driven No Stunts, No VFX

THIRD: CREW (Minimal) 8-10 with two 4K/Red Cameras

FOURTH: (Costumes): Contemporary, No Period Piece

FIFTH (Slug Lines): Do not have any EXT-NIGHT sequences

SIXTH (Schedule): Plan a 1-week, 10-12 Page/Day Shooting Schedule

SEVENTH (Directing): Always get a Master Shot first

EIGHTH (Actors & Get It Done): Remember, no shot saves a film. Get a Master & Move

NINTH (Camera & Crew): Get a DP who’s been a big budget DP’s’ CO

TENTH (Audio): Make sure the Sound is sharp & clear

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I promise you that with $30,000-$50,000 you can execute a quality 1-week shoot… with a professional Camera Operator (procuring his/her first Independent DP credit)… with a great script and… with superb actors being paid  ($100/day), with enough money for a 6-week Post Production process for a finished movie that you will still have $2,000-$8,000 left over for Social Media, Film Festival(s) and securing a distributor.

Happy Filmmaking,

Dov S-S Simens / Dean / Hollywood Film Institute


For more in depth detail my Streaming Film School and DVD Film School are available at www.WebFilmSchool.com.


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