No Budget Filmmaking, Part One

Our entry level initiative, Got Genre?, gives up to three teams a $2,500 in-kind budget, and that’s it. No cash to splash out – the equipment is taken care of, and that’s it. It is No Budget filmmaking. For 2011, teams are working on heist comedy The Burger Joint, sci-fi thriller Isis, and cel animation The Dream Lodge. We’ve asked members of each team to tell us a bit about the experience.

“No budget” filmmaking is a challenging but rewarding process. After working on a feature film late last year with a large cast and crew, it has been extremely refreshing to take on a smaller-scale production outside the University environment. Thanks to the MRC and the wider availability of DSLR cameras now, it is becoming more and more affordable and practical to achieve a high-quality product on a little-to-no budget. Of course, you still have to be smart about you go about making a film with no budget and you must be able to pull people and resources together from all sorts of different places. Preparation really is the key and it is especially important to be efficient when cast and crew are donating their time to be there. Having said that, no-budget filmmaking would not be possible without their generosity, nor would it be possible without donations of equipment from the MRC and other production houses, as well as catering contributions from friends, family and small businesses. Whilst there are certainly still plenty of limitations imposed by working without a budget, I find no-budget filmmaking to ultimately be an inspiring and liberating way to make films.”

– Aaron Nash, producer Isis