How To Make A Movie Within A Budget In 7 Easy Steps

Some movies make you sad; some make you happy while others make you wonder how on earth the creators were able to produce such master pieces. The fact is that it’s much easier to make movies today than it was decades ago. There are tons of digital technological devices that present everyone with the chance to make great movies. Nowadays, great movies are being produced with as little as a mobile phone!

Movies like BMX, Apple of My Eye, Dot and lots are examples of movies shot on mobile. Moreover, a quick search on Youtube will reveal lots of beautifully shot viral videos made without robbing a bank. So if you’re wondering how to make a movie on a low budget, the great news is you can make your dream movie without spending a fortune on film making software. Follow these steps to make a great movie on a low budget.

Writing your script is often the cheapest part of producing your movie.  As a movie maker, your mission is to tell a story, a visual story.  Don’t be in a hurry to churn out just any story. Take your time to dream and imagine every scene you want in the story. Make sure you write down the details as they come to your head. Pay attention to the theme of your story; do you want it to be about love, fantasy, action or something else? Write down the first draft of your story as it comes to your mind’s eye. Don’t worry about it being perfect, it’s just the first draft.

After writing your first draft the next step is to develop it into a screenplay. A screen play will break down your story into filmable scenes. This will make the filming process easier for you. In writing your screenplay, you must pay attention to the dialogue of your characters, directions and movement and exposition cues that would help your cast understand exactly what you want.

Step 2 – Source For Filming Equipments

After you’ve developed your story, the next step is to source for equipments. A lot of new movie makers give up at this point due to the cost of filming equipments. However, as I earlier mentioned, you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on filming equipments when you can shoot a professional movie with as little as a mobile phone.  Basic equipment you need to shoot a movie on a budget would include an iPhone , iPad or a darn good android phone, fluorescent lighting, tripod, voice recorder and a storage device. You can rent most of these for less than 100 bucks.

It’s time to get your cast together.  As a movie maker on a budget, you might not have access to Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie. However, you’d be able to find pretty great talent around you. You could also source your cast from upcoming actors. Another great way to get an excellent cast on a budget is exploring talents in schools. You can also minimize your spending by getting the people you’re choosing to play other roles on set.  One of your actors could be a pretty good camera man or makeup artist. Whatever the case, be sure to maximize the talent power of your cast. When casting for your movie, here are some important roles you must fill:

  • Story Characters
  • Cinematographer
  • Set Designer
  • Sound and Music Editor

Movies are all about visuals so it’s only a given that a movie maker should pay special attention to aesthetics. Aesthetics go a long way in making your movie leave an impact on the minds of your audience. I mean, I still remember the alien looking blue beings in Avatar, Yoda in Star Wars and Cyclops, the one eyed-monster in The Odyssey. When organizing the aesthetics of your movie, you have to pay attention to the following:

  • Movie Shot Type – Rough like in Hardcore Henry or smooth like in Titanic?
  • Set – Natural, Manmade or both?
  • Wardrobe – Day to day clothes or imaginative robes and costumes?
  • Lightening – Hard or soft lighting?

Step 5 – Find A Location

Location is another big decision for a movie maker. Location is often dependent on the story itself.  However, for a moviemaker on a budget, you might not want to use too many locations or you’d find yourself running out of money for your movie very fast.  Another tip on choosing location is to ensure that the distance from one location to another is not too far apart. You can’t shoot a movie in two different states on a low budget.

So far, you’ve read about how to make a movie on a budget using affordable film making software. I bet you’re pretty excited at the opportunities and possibilities. However, it’s time to actually walk the talk; it’s time to film. As a movie maker, you’re not just on a mission to tell a story but you’re also on a mission to make the world believe your story no matter how incredulous. I mean there are days I wonder about where Max of the Mad Max movie went, what the Avengers are up to or when Batman will find love. That’s the power of a great film – it creates a real world in the mind of the audience. You want people to watch your movie and express emotions like its real.  It might take multiple shouts of “cut!” but make sure you get the perfect shot. Always get a good second opinion while filming and don’t forget to save to multiple storage devices.

Step 7 – Edit

Another major step you’d have to take to make an awesome movie is editing. Editing is a huge part of your story and will determine how well your movie will turn out. Once again, you don’t need expensive editing or filming software for this. I’d recommend using what is in my opinion, the top 3 best movie maker for Mac; Lightworks, Blender and Shotcut. These softwares also work with Windows. The good news is that they’re all free! However, for mobile device users, my top 3 best movie maker app for ipad or iphone would be Hyperlapse, Slopro and iMovie. If you’re looking for the best film making and editing software for android, you might want to check out PowerDirector, Movie Maker Filmmaker or Adobe Premiere Clip. If you’re looking to edit your movie online professionally, on a budget, then you’d definitely want to check out  VideoRemix.  VideoRemix is perfect if you want to make a video that converts and drives sales especially online. Another interesting thing about VideoRemix is that it offers cloud-based editing for all your videos and enables you publish your finished movie to different platforms as soon as it’s ready. This tool is especially good for personalized videos and campaigns.

There you have it; how to make a movie without robbing a bank!

Finally, you’ve made your dream movie, even if it might still be in your head right now. My advice is this; don’t stop at one movie! Your first movie is a learning curve, it might not become a blockbuster but with time, you’d get better at making movies and if you persist, I could one day be in a cinema trying to buy the tickets to your box office movie.

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