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$10,000 budget - can I do it on this?

I want to produce a 'low budget' production.

I think it will take 2.5 days to shoot. I'll need 2 cameras, monitors, and sound for up to 4 people at once.

There are 3 sets, (1 big, 2 small) so lighting for each set.

Take out $2,000 for the location, craft & insurance.

Am I dreaming the rest can be done with $8K?

-------

Actors work for free.

I need leads for DP, Sound & Lighting.

Is it too much to hope for that the leads bring their own equipment - or some of the required equipment? Obviously I'm going to have to rent extra lights and mics, but can I save money by finding the right leads?

Thanks everyone.
 

Alcove Audio

Business Member
indieBIZ
And what about post? Or do you have a separate budget for that?
 
I think it will take 2.5 days to shoot.

With such an abbreviated schedule, I'm guessing this must be either a short film or a "found footage" type film. If it's a short, $10,000 should be more than enough. Most indies I know produce shorts on far less than that. Hell, I know people who have produced full features on less.

Yes, many DPs have their own camera, many gaffers their own lights, most sound recordists have their own mics, etc. It's not at all unreasonable to hope for that, especially if it's a paying gig.
 
It's actually a pilot for a reality show with a bunch of contestants, judges, models, etc.
Yes, I need to cover post with that 8K as well.
We want a pilot and a 'sizzle reel' out of the footage.

If we don't 'raise' the 10K, I'm wondering what the lowest budget amount would be to still have this be a go.

I guess I should stop asking production company people how much this is going to cost and find some San Diego indie group willing to help for money.
 

Alcove Audio

Business Member
indieBIZ
It's actually a pilot for a reality show with a bunch of contestants, judges, models, etc.

Then you're going to have to spend quite a bit on production audio - each contestant, judge and anyone else who speaks will have to be wired up with a wireless lav.

You are probably going to have to think about multiple cameras as well.

This isn't filmmaking; "reality" shows have an entirely different set of rules and requirements.
 
Have you contacted an interested distributer broadcaster for the show's premise?
Or is this potentially just a speculative redistribution of wealth set in motion without credible interest by a broadcaster?
 
I want to produce a 'low budget' production. I think it will take 2.5 days to shoot. I'll need 2 cameras, monitors, and sound for up to 4 people at once. There are 3 sets, (1 big, 2 small) so lighting for each set. Take out $2,000 for the location, craft & insurance. Am I dreaming the rest can be done with $8K?

As ever, it depends on what you intend to do with the finished product, your pilot.

If your intention is to make a pilot which is ready for broadcast, then as Alcove implied you would need to spend a very considerable part of your $8k remaining budget just on the production and post-production sound to achieve broadcast requirements. If your intention is to create a pilot to tout around broadcasters, who if they take it on would remake your pilot, then you don't need to achieve broadcast standards and you can spend a great deal less on the sound.

This can be a bit of a vicious circle scenario, obviously a pilot ready for and compliant with broadcast standards/requirements is a more attractive proposition for a broadcaster than one which needs remaking but you have to spend considerably more money and therefore take a considerably bigger risk to achieve broadcast standards. The balance of risks needs to be carefully researched IMHO, with factors such as which broadcasters, which demographic, etc., your show is aimed at. This can be a very complex area and is why rayw has asked such a pertinent question.

I need leads for DP, Sound & Lighting. Is it too much to hope for that the leads bring their own equipment - or some of the required equipment? Obviously I'm going to have to rent extra lights and mics, but can I save money by finding the right leads?

The equation doesn't really work this way. In the case of sound at least, "finding the right leads" with the right equipment is not going to cost less than finding the wrong lead and renting the equipment, it's going to cost more, maybe considerably more, at least initially. In the longer term though that initially higher cost will save you money because you won't have to spend so much time/money fixing the problems caused by the wrong lead or run the even more expensive risk of being told the problems can't be fixed or having your pilot rejected for broadcast for non-compliance.

G
 
Originally Posted by rayw View Post
Or is this potentially just a speculative redistribution of wealth set in motion without credible interest by a broadcaster?
Yes... my dreams don't require interest by anyone.

My dear husband just offered to buy me a Canon T4i and some lens package. My co-writer has a T3i.

No chance those cameras can yield broadcast quality? I mean, I don't understand if iphone movies can make it into film festivals, why does TV have to be so much better?
 

Alcove Audio

Business Member
indieBIZ
I mean, I don't understand, if iphone movies can make it into film festivals, why does TV have to be so much better?

Because this is not film, this is reality TV, and your competition is the major networks and their affiliates, not other low/no/mini/micro budget filmmakers. The standards are different, and your audience expects much higher production values.


I'm just an audio guy, but I wonder how suitable those cameras are for the run&gun and longer takes required by most reality shows.

It would help us all if you would define your target market and your desired distribution medium; it makes a huge difference as to how you allocate your resources.
 
Because this is not film, this is reality TV, and your competition is the major networks and their affiliates, not other low/no/mini/micro budget filmmakers. The standards are different, and your audience expects much higher production values.


I'm just an audio guy, but I wonder how suitable those cameras are for the run&gun and longer takes required by most reality shows.

It would help us all if you would define your target market and your desired distribution medium; it makes a huge difference as to how you allocate your resources.

My target market is 13-35 Females (English Speaking) - Sure, it would be nice to get networks to pick it up, but at the moment, me and my friends just want to create this show for the target market (not to mention the experience,) use the internet to grow a following, get sponsors to advertise related products, eventually bring in 'named talent' as guest judge - that kind of thing.

We think we can raise a total of $5-$10k for the project initially.

what does - run& gun mean?
 
My target market is 13-35 Females (English Speaking) - Sure, it would be nice to get networks to pick it up, but at the moment, me and my friends just want to create this show for the target market (not to mention the experience,) use the internet to grow a following, get sponsors to advertise related products, eventually bring in 'named talent' as guest judge - that kind of thing.
So, you're good with spending up to $10k of OPM on something that you're implying has no commercial distributor interest.

FWIW, your evasiveness on a friendly, peer filmmaker forum of giving direct answers to direct questions that potential sponsors of related products are also sure to ask does not bode well.

Give this thread a comprehensive read:http://www.indietalk.com/showthread.php?t=46841
Tease out what business aspects could be applied to your project.

what does - run& gun mean?
Having a HIGHLY portable camcorder-like camera with audio being recorded separately set-up, easily able to be rapidly moved from one location to another simply by walking and carrying the whole rig.

Like a soldier with a machine gun running through a forest or urban environment shooting at anything moving that ain't friendly: Running. And gunning.

As opposed to something on a tripod and rails where lights are fiddled with for an hour to get "just the right shot."



This may be a good series for you to review, as well: http://www.videojug.com/search?keywords=Reality+Show Production Secrets
 
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To DreamLarge,

I have zero experience or training with reality shows, so take this with a grain of salt. Your production methods may be completely different to a more traditional film/tv show. Yes you can do it for $10k with proviso. You're not going to be able to pay people what they're worth. For that fact, you're probably not going to be able to pay the cast and crew at all. As a producer, you're going to have to do a lot of wheeling and dealing and do a lot of promises (probably in writing) of future work if the show gets picked up.

Consider this, a really cheap reality shows budget can run $100k an episode, with the higher end ones going much higher. Your $10k is probably only going to cover insurance, permits, food (if you do your food on a budget that is), locations, transport and maybe a little bit of gear hire. Of course this is going to depend on the nature of your reality show. The more locations, you're going to use, the higher the cost will run you. There are other factors like shooting days that will change budget requirements. The more days you're shooting, the more it will cost. If you can rush and get it all shot in a day or two is going to cost less than if you shoot for week. You may have a few bucks later for post production, including audio. The better negotiator you are, the less you're going to need to spend up front.

The downside to these deals of writing in jobs for future work is it may hamper your ability to sell the show, especially with the key roles.

If we don't 'raise' the 10K, I'm wondering what the lowest budget amount would be to still have this be a go.

That's the kind of question you want to ask a UPM/Line Producer. There are many factors. If it is a reality show, I expect it's somewhat unscripted so a lot of the variables that go into those kind of calculations may not accurately work in reality shows.

My target market is 13-35 Females (English Speaking) - Sure, it would be nice to get networks to pick it up, but at the moment, me and my friends just want to create this show for the target market (not to mention the experience,) use the internet to grow a following, get sponsors to advertise related products, eventually bring in 'named talent' as guest judge - that kind of thing.

If this is your aim, you may struggle to earn $10k an episode, assuming this is a runaway hit.

Good luck!
 
http://www.lensrentals.com/

This place does wonders. You should be able to do your entire shoot using this place.

Use excel and actually list out a schedule, and tie in a budget with that schedule. Do not ask the cast to bring in their own equipment, unless you plan to compensate them.
 
$10,000 budget - can I do it on this?

Of course you can.

When are you planning on shooting? I'd be interested, and have a small team who've been around the lo-budget block. :cool:

Hit my email button if you need more info. :abduct:

.
 
http://www.lensrentals.com/

This place does wonders. You should be able to do your entire shoot using this place.

Use excel and actually list out a schedule, and tie in a budget with that schedule. Do not ask the cast to bring in their own equipment, unless you plan to compensate them.


Thanks for this info. As for cast, bringing their own equipment - that was never on the table. Cast needs to focus on bringing the drama!

:lol:
 
IMO, I'd dream bigger and take the $10k and make another feature. Doable and you'll have a product you can sell (downloads and DVDs) if you fail to get distribution.

TV projects and shorts are pretty much DOA products and a complete waste of 10k unless you already have inside connections. A feature has a somewhat better upside if you're willing to market the heck out of it.

Good luck.
 

ChainOfTitle

Inactive
DreamLarge, You're asking a very tough question to answer. Can you do it? Only you know that, it depends on your resourcefulness. What people are answering is what 'they' can do.

Insurance and catering is important and I'm glad you addressed that. Make sure you have explored all the options for cheap equipment rentals from film co-ops in your area. Make sure you have a working budget (not just a dollar amount, but what can be allocated where), do a script breakdown, figure out locations and a solid shoot schedule. What do you need for sets, costumes, make-up, props? . That is really the only way to know you have enough. I very much recommend paying a little to qualified people - DOP, Actors, and sound (very important). Take a look at SAG's Indie options - yes, there is lots of fine print, yes you will likely have SAG own a piece of the film and have to pay residuals BUT, good performances give a value to your product. Giving a piece of your film for a great quality product is not a bad idea. Retaining 100% of nothing is still nothing. So really think about where the remaining $8000 will go. If you are able to get one or two somewhat known actors interested, it will give your pilot legs. It is possible and it has been done. Talk to SAG to see if your project qualifies, then get ON THE PHONE and talk to agents. They want their rising stars doing stuff, they will have names to recommend. Actors who have done one of two small TV appearances are a good target.

I disagree a little with the above comment about TV Pilots being a bust. I would say a TV pilot with a 12 episode bible attached has more chance of getting picked up than a feature. Yes you can independently distribute through DVD or VOD, but I assume you want your money back. A legit distributor will want Errors and Omissions Insurance which will run an additional $3000+. If you have a clean CHAIN OF TITLE you can bear this expense once an agreement/license is secured.

The odds are against you and you are crazy for trying, but every success in filmmaking starts the same way. Your organization and planning will make the difference.

So my answer is YES YOU CAN, because I did it. I made my first documentary, "Bangkok Girl" for under $10,000. It broke audience records on CBC in Canada, and has been featured on Kunskapskanalen in Sweden and Netflix in the USA. It was distributed internationally on DVD and VOD by Passion River for 4 years.

We are dreamers and while we are living in what we want to happen, we have to remember to focus on the here and now. If you don't know what you are doing paperwork wise, then make sure you have someone on board who does.

I am working on a free resource to correct the gaping hole in free online resources - any help spreading the word would be appreciated.

https://www.facebook.com/chainoftitle
 
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