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Making my first Short film. WITHOUT A BUDGET

Updated on May 27, 2015

No budget Filmmaking tips

First of all if you want to make a short film you have to be committed to the cause. Especially with no budget because if you have no budget you just have to find the people who are passionate about working on films and want something to add to their showreel. With my short film when I was writing it I tried not to get too carried away. Stating the obvious would be no CGI scenes, no locations you can't afford to film in or no expensive props I'd have to go out and buy. So you have to read over your script a number of times make lots of drafts before the final product. Make it as great as you can and as cost effective as you can before going to the production phase. I learnt the phrase in college you can make a good script into a bad film but you can't make a bad script into a good film. This is very true!

Making A short film no budget

Trials and tribulations

I'd like to begin by saying my experience could not have happened without the help of friends,family and people who become your friends throughout the process. Don't forget that you should never underestimate the amount of people who will want to get involved with your project. A lot of the no budget process is favours and relying on others whether it's for locations, help on set, borrowing camera equipment or even actors. Don't let your ego get in the way help is VITAL. Also you should always check your locations before arriving with the crew on the day the last thing you want is to bring all that kit to a location which doesn't even suit your film.

In my case I had already picked my crew members before I even finished the script so I had no problems there. But if unlike me you didn't have a crew advertise online there is always people looking to get their foot in the industry getting more experience on your film is just one way. I have found lots of little roles to apply for in peoples films through it's very useful there are many more sites such as and but mandy is the one I use most frequent. As for actors I got all of mine from a free helpful site named StarNow it's brilliant just list your roles explain it's no pay and wait for the applications to come in. How you choose to audition or talk with them depends on the type of role it is you want them for.

The whole of the production phase is now up to you you should have organised your dates in pre production with your actors and crew. From here the only money it should cost should be maybe taxi's and crew expenses to get from location to location and keep the team happy and you'll have a much better working environment. If you can't afford too much with food expenses just make sandwiches and bring flasks of tea or coffee and save money.

Post production is also entirely up to you on what software you use to edit on. If it be a free software like windows movie maker because all you need to do is cut and fade things together. Or obviously a proper filmmaking editing software like Final Cut Pro or Adobe After Effects which will give you all sorts of effects and tools to use again the only problem is the price it's around £500 so if you can find a friend or acquaintance who has it it'll be much better to use than a program like WMM. Having a friend their with you to help edit can prove to be a good decision as you have different points of view and you can share your feeling's on what should be different one thing I learnt from my experience is this. The director isn't always right if your not the director and have an opinion, voice it! There is always a chance he may have done something the wrong way and it's useful to have people that let you know what they think occasionaly. Just don't be too assertive and have too many opinions because then he wont listen at all.

Anyway I hoped this helped anybody thinking about making or participating in a short film and gave them a little insight and perspective about no budget filmmaking. Bye for now!

My Short film

Short Film No budget

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    • Mikewrites LM profile image

      Mikewrites LM 5 years ago

      Thanks! Im glad you enjoyed it :)

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 5 years ago from Land of Aloha

      Enjoyed watching your short film. Interesting the way you film....I really like the "blackouts" between scenes. I think you've probably got a great eye. Looking forward to seeing more from you in the future.