misc Can a filmmaker with the right passion make films with virtually no budget?

My husband has often said that we need to make a movie that pisses off enough people that there are protests and boycotts. That's the kind of (free) publicity that will attract an audience.

I hope you do find one, even if it's not exactly the one you're aiming for.
You're right! We made FART-THE MOVIE in 1991. It was released by 4 companies on VHS/DVD, and is currently on 19 streaming channels. We're still cashing checks after all these years...
Can a indie filmmaker with the right passion make films with virtually no budget?
I always look at it this way, when people say "budget", they really mean money. Money purchases many things, in the case of a movie, it is usually supplies, equipment, and people's time. A clever filmmaker can work around the money piece if they are creative in how they obtain their resources. Usually, the biggest trade-off they are going to have to make is time. You may have to make creative compromises as well though again with good project management and a willingness to trade time for money, one has an excellent shot at creating amazing art.
I agree... a lot of this is not a filmmaking problem, it is a project management problem. As you said, the biggest trade is time.
It isn't always about the cost of a location. The advice is often
based on time.

As you point out not all productions are the same, but often
when shooting a low/no budget film equipment is being rented.
If you have the budget for, say, five days of rental and you
have several locations, the time to pack up, transport and
set up can really cost you in terms of time at a location.
Rather than a 12 hour day at one location you get, maybe 5 or
6 hours before you have to pack up and move. Then 4 hours
at the next one.

If one location is a (major) obstacle for you then a one location
story is not a good fit for you. Yet the advice to keep to one location
for a low/no budget shoot is still good. Not for all productions under
all situations, but good advice to consider.

There have been some great stories told that do not use many locations.
Locations-a-plenty are not needed for some stories. Some writer/directors
like to challenge themselves buy limiting the locations. Especially for short
films: I made a short (6 minutes) that takes place in a closet. And one (5 minutes)
that takes place on a restaurant patio. Won a bunch of awards. My first feature
was in one house.

As with all "rules" or advice about making a movie, there is some wisdom considering
them - but not every rule or advice fits all productions.
Because when one reads up on making low or no budget films, especially shorts, the lists of tips so often includes keeping the shooting locations to a single place. I've read this over and over again. So it's not a rule, but a very common suggestion.

Well there could be something I'd not thought of yet. Some limitation or expense(s) cropping up.
Another thing I noticed is how many low budget and shorts do indeed keep the shooting to one location, or at least all actors at the one location with some (so called) establishing shots done elsewhere. It might not be a written rule but a practice that seems quite prevalent. And for me it's a (major) obstacle to keeping the picture interesting going forward. But that could just be me, and others might disagree. Story (script) and casting would be my top concerns. And then next I want (as many as I can afford, or snatch up for free) locations that keep it interesting. And that third priority for me - might certainly not be for another director.

And if locations a-plenty it is not that important for some experienced film makers, then I'd be interested in hearing why.
So yes, the "why" is rhetorical, yet there might be something I've not considered.

btw, I've worked on quite a few film and tv shooting locations on major shows over the last 7 or 8 years. I know I won't be able to do any shoots of my own along those types of budgets, I won't get a lot things period. But I obviously feel that the location(s) are of the (important) stars of the film shoot.

Thanks for commenting.
For me it depends upon why the "one location" tip is being used? Is it because you are putting all of your precious dough into that one location (paying a location fee) or are you saving money by keeping things all in one place at one time? If it is the former, maybe so, maybe shooting at that particular location is vital. If it is the latter, I would suggest their are other ways to save money.