> Lo/No Budget Review

Ah, well given your love of researching your films, I'm sure you're aware that "Hobo..." started life as the fake trailer that won the competition to be featured in the actual Tarantino/Rodriguez "GRINDHOUSE".
You know me well. Yessir. Already knew it: http://www.google.com/url?q=http://...EQFjAC&usg=AFQjCNGSEE8LTwsdShoQI-tj_auGeSwHPQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1LlazPgxKrA

And if you watch Jason Eisener's Treevenge you'll note many of the same coloring, actions, & camera movements.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ugMiRU08rf4

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1343750/

I like it when directors can have "a look" that transcends across projects.


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However, I just now learned Eisner was a contributing director to V/H/S 2: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2450186/
WhichI did know just got picked up for distro @ Sundance.

http://www.imdb.com/news/ni45714873/
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/risky-business/sundance-magnolia-acquires-s-vhs-414577
 
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Hey Ray, got one for you…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dead_Hooker_in_a_Trunk

See if you can find it, I’d be really interested to know you’re opinion. I’d heard of it a while back, meant to watch it, then forgot all about it. It’s the debut from the Soska Sisters (who’s current movie ‘American Mary’ has gotten some rave reviews (I found it a little… odd)) and was made for $2,500. Certainly fits the bill for your low/no-budget reviews.

Anyway, it was on the ‘Horror Channel’ here in the UK the other night, so I finally got to watch it. Yeah... Hmmm...

If you find it, let me know what you think! :)
 
I did a little cursory looking around about it and it looks generally well received.
Unfortunately, it's not available online for free, but I'll check with our States-side Comcast cable provider to see if it's on their programming list or at FearNet.com.

Also, I can't find a budget on it, and the writer/directors (whom I have heard of before!) are rather elusive about the subject.

http://horrorchannel.co.uk/articles.php?feature=4524
"HC: Budget wise was it hard to get funding?

Sylvia: I think a lot of projects don't get made because there is this notion that there is a proper way to make a film and only through those means can a project grow and exist. It's hard as hell to get funding, especially today. We didn't want to wait for things to be a certain way to make the film, so we decided to bite the bullet and just make the film. We maxed out all our credit cards and called in every favour we could to make the film, but the film was made. It was an incredible experience because everyone who was there was there because they love making films and wanted to be a part of the project. We had the greatest team ever.

Jen: We weren't funded for Dead Hooker In A Trunk. That film is the result of credit cards maxed out, savings depleted, and the support of our loved ones. I can't say how much the film itself cost just yet as we are finalizing things with our distributors at the moment, but let's just say we wanted to maximize on what we could do with nothing. We had very little support at the beginning, only a few true film makers who could see even back then staring at a script written in Microsoft Word with a pair of fledgling film makers holding it proudly out, smiling, that it could come as far as it has. We're living in a rough time. No one really wants to say it, but everyone's feeling the pinch. Even established, proven film makers are having a hard time getting their work funded. It's scary. It's like what chance does everyone else have to get funding for their work? You have to stick to your guns. So many people quit when it gets hard and it is hard, but you have to stick it out. There's always a way."

But it does look interesting, so I'll definitely keep an eye out for it. :)


Have you low budget reviewed Primer?
No, I haven't, and I'm kind of reluctant to.
It's the relatively modern counterpart to El Mariachi, so the cult following is kind of hard to make any argument with or against.
I dunno. Probably just a hang up of mine.

I've watched it once, thought it was fair, don't know what all the hoopla is about.
Maybe I will. Maybe I won't.

You're certainly welcome to take a crack at it and post it here.
Frankly, I always wish others would participate a little more in some of these threads. :yes:
 
$96,000: Daydreamer (2007) 90 min - Drama | Mystery | Thriller

FINALLY!
A decent enough film.

http://www.indiemoviesonline.com/watch-movies/Daydreamer
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0765439/?ref_=sr_1

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTTqjyeehvI

See, this is why you can't judge a film by it's budget or make a sensible guess at its budget by how it looks.
It LOOOOKS like what a $5k-$15k feature film should look like.

IDK whereTH they spent the difference between that and the reported budget of $96k.

The film's audio sounds nice/good enough. About d@mn time someone got some good audio.
However, despite using a rather nice Arriflex it looks like sh!t. http://www.arricsc.com/pdf/Digital_4-2007.pdf
ARRIFLEX-D-21_header.jpg

Interesting stumble upon: http://shotonwhat.com/camera/arri-d20d21

Cr@ppy composition. Crappy movement. Crappy lighting in too many shots.
Shakespeare's pen, people. Shakespeare's pen. It ain't gonna help you.

I don't even recall any score music. IDK if that's good or bad. Judgement call.

The acting was excellent.
Again, another example of where the talent in front of the lens exceeds that behind it. D@mn shame.
Maybe that's where the money was spent.

The story was... eh... pretty decent. I had little problem maintaining interest in it, which is no small feat.

What surprises me the most is that there's like almost no jibber-jabber on the review circuit for this fairly decent indie film.
I can find plenty of reviews for cr@p scifi+horror films, but none for this.
Hmm... does that MEEEEEEAN something?
I suspect that it does, but I'll only be able to confirm my suspicions after looking for reviews of several other dramas. :hmm:

Locating any revenue information on any lo/no budget film is d@mn near impossible, but I also suspect that the budget for this exceeded its revenue. Just another hunch.
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I see the director hasn't moved onto anything meaningful in the 5+ years since. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2133186/?ref_=tt_ov_dr
I'll try to remember to keep an eye out for for the writer's next piece: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1464346/
 
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$50,000: Millennium Apocalypse (Video 2006) 92 min - Crime | Drama | Mystery

51rS4ztCNmL._SL500_AA300_.jpg


http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0951332/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1
"Originally released on the internet in a ten minute episodic web format. Achieving over two hundred-thousand downloads the thirteen web episodes where re-cut into a feature film version and released on DVD, with additional cut and deleted material that was not aired with the original web release. "

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-M8tEOFPvo

http://www.indiemoviesonline.com/watch-movies/millennium-apocalypse

Whatapieceacr@p.

I'm officially restricting these reviews from here out to lo/no budget films released no earlier than 2008, maybe 2009.
The technology has just changed too much since then.
This film LOOKED like cr@p. There's no IMDB citation of camera used but I promise you this was a fan-fic shot on some... 2004 production S-VHS Panasonic camcorder. Cool sh!t in its day, but... an antique by today's standards.

The camerawork is bad.
The images are bad.
The audio collection is bad.
The acting is bad.
The story is bad.
The editing is bad.
I punched out at the 20min mark, so I don't know where the $50k was spent, but this looks an AWFUL :lol: lot like The Wickeds (2004) in quality.

And it ain't just me.
I found few professional reviews and only several consumer reviews:

http://horrornews.net/32899/film-review-millennium-apocalypse-2006/
"“Millennium Apocalypse” just wasn’t for me. It was confusing, more than just a little boring, and the acting left a lot to be desired. I am not going to say it was the worst movie I have ever seen but I don’t think I would ever watch it again."

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/millennium-apocalypse/
"horriable acting, dumb story line. everyones nuts in the movie. the movie 2012 had better action scenes. this movie is just bad!!"

http://www.amazon.com/Millennium-Apocalypse-Shoni-Alysse-Cook/dp/B000KC8MJY
"I stumbled across Millennium Apocalypse and ordered it up. Unfortunately, my excitement wore off after watching 20 minutes of this movie. It was at that point that my wife and I had to turn it off. The acting is very poor, and other than the character being named "Jordan", there is no real connection to the original series.

I did end up watching the entire movie, though at 2x speed to get through this travesty.

To quote Don Knotts in The Ghost and Mr. Chicken, "The horribleness and the awfulness of it will never actually be forgotten.""

http://movies.netflix.com/WiMovie/Millennium_Apocalypse/70111054?locale=en-US
"Worst movie ever, couldn't tolorate more than ten minutes. Don't worry about ever seeing these "actors" again. Video looked like a 1950s home camera. Dircting, music, plot, and jerk holding camera not worth disscussing. Please spare yourself,please!!!!!

I'll say this for the movie...I enjoyed the music but thats about it. Horribly acted, directed and filmed. I made myself watch the whole thing because I'm such a huge Millennium fan and I can honestly say not only have I never seen a worse movie but I still don't have much of a clue as to what the story was about,(goverment testing and demons I think?)."
Actually, the music was the best thing about this. I was honestly somewhat impressed.

Some of these shots look just like something I find myself doing, and horribleness and the awfulness of it is something I find myself attempting to overcome.
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$50 thousand dollars, eh?
Goodness.
Whatawaste.
 
There are plenty of lo/no budget indie films available to watch online for free.
However, for the purpose of this thread I'm only interested in those I can verify the claimed/estimated production budget.
It's about impossible to eyeball what someone has done and make a sensible guess on their budget.
$2,000 films look like $10,000 films.
Films that could have had a $30,000 budget might look like a $8,000 budget, or $12,000 budget.
The monetary difference between $30,000 and $50,000 is significant at this film fund raising and production level but how does that translate to what's on-screen?
"Does a $XX-thousand difference even translate to an on-screen difference?" is a key research goal of this thread.

Budgets at this low a level are a pretty elastic thing. For example I've seen some people claim that their feature cost $300. Well that's possible but only if you already own thousands of dollars of camera equipment and editing gear. Do you judge that film differently than one that cost $10k, had the same production values but the filmmakers started with nothing and had to hire everything the other group started with.

Then there's the issue of were people paid? Most low budget films are done with free labour but you can have a massively higher budget just through paying your key creatives.

There are no rules at this level on how you report your budget and there just so many different ways you can cut a budget. For instance here's a feature I finished recently: https://vimeo.com/59815254

Now I could tell you that film cost $12,000. To be honest I actually lost count of how much it cost but that's the ball park. But about $9k of that went to paying cast and crew. So if you're making a fair comparison to other no budget movies maybe you could say it had a budget of $3k. On the other hand the camera guy owned some of his gear so we had free use of a 5D and lens and I already had editing gear so maybe they should be added to the budget. And how about the $7k of free costume rental we recieved, shouldn't that added to the budget too? In fact, shouldn't all deferred payments be part of the budget? I think they should. It gives a much more accurate view of how much a film cost.
 
And how about the $7k of free costume rental we recieved, shouldn't that added to the budget too?

At this low level of a budget, your ability to get things like $7k worth of free costume rental is what will make or break your film. Writing into your script a bunch of things/people/equipment you have access to costing you nothing is the key here.

I'm afraid many people think low budget is to take the Hollywood model and roll back production quality until it matches the the money they have on hand.
 
50K budget film.

Hi my name is Dimitri. I'm a Brooklyn born independent filmmaker. I'm currently running a indiegogo campaign for my low budget feature film "L.A. Minute". It stares actor Jack Cullison (Milf, Celebrity Sex Tape)
I'm hoping that you all take a liking to our film and help spread the word by sharing, posting, tweeting. Or even contributing if you can. Regardless thank you for your time.

INDIEGOGO CAMPAIGN:
http://www.indiegogo.com/LaMinute



Scene Teaser:
http://youtu.be/Hg-N6Ff_AGg


Indiegogo campaign video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hg-N6Ff_AGg
 
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$12,000: Sabbath (2008) 80 min - Horror

Ain't been here in a while...

51KLgrRwugL._SL500_AA300_.jpg


Trailer
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S8ID56-mUvc#!
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http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1199522/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1
Watch it freeee here → http://www.indiemoviesonline.com/watch-movies/sabbath

Director's website → http://schottenfilmworks.com/index.html

I'm always impressed when genuine writers can type out so much to say about a
poor
movie beyond what I can usually muster:
"That sucks."
http://terrortitans.blogspot.com/2010/12/sabbath-is-full-of-good-concepts-but.html

Very often I try to politely hide behind technical issues. ;)


Okay. Whatever.
On with my own observations.


Umm... begin with some classic DIY nube filmmaker framing shots which will continue throughout I suspect.
(By God I'll study the fuzz outta these shots and test the pudding outta them before airing my dirty laundry out in public!)
Ghastly cliché beer cans in floor shots. :tongue:
I like the slo-mo effects @ 6:23. Too bad it had no purpose. Terrible tripod head pan jerkiness. Tsk-tsk.
Pretty horrible acting, but what are you expecting for the budget? Seriously?
I like the "pale reaper's" makeup. But the whole get-up looks kinda dorky in the pleasantly overcast light of day.
WTH izzup with the zombie girl?
@ 9:04 the black-creature-thing audio should at least somewhat match the video. Pfft.
Alright, some of the subsequent shots don't make any sense.
Some major continuity issues going on with the cigarette dude's hair.
@ 11 Some majorly retarded blood and limbs shots - AND THE LINGERING JUST TO FILL IN TIME IS OBNOXIOUS!
@ 11:59 Who's this (chick?) running through the nascent forest trail? And why is she? Delightful POV work. Not.
@ 12:18 WTH is in the bottom right corner of the frame?! Good Lord.
@ 12:56 OMG. WTH is this and why is she outta focus?
@ 13:02 Oh... the "art shot". WTH. Did the director see this somewhere and just... RANDOMLY do it, too?! Puh-leeeze.
@ 14:01 Oh, just waittaminit. Chicky-boom-boom is taking a run through the forest with frightening music playing, she sees "Pumpkin", then just continues along the trail as if whatever she was running from is copacetic, now. Okay. Whatevs.
@ 14:13 "Do you have any weapons?" Seriously? Seriously. For really real.
@ 15:36 NOW THAT CAMERA MOVEMENT ACTUALLY LOOKED NICE!! But...
@ 15:38 DoP f#cksitup with a 70's zoom. OMFG. :no:
I just love how this couple seems to know WTH is going on (in a VERY nonchalant sort of way, mind you) and I'm glad they do because I sure as h3ll don't.
@ 16:46 <Scratch my head> Now... kinda sorta, what was the reason they left behind a perfectly functional truck to go gallivanting through the forest onto an old dirt road and who knows where else?:weird:
TURN THE F#CKING SOUNDTRACK DOWN SO THAT I/WE CAN HEAR THE SPARSE, LAME DIALOGGGGGG!!!!
Okay, the sh!t going on in the house is just too stupid.

Punchin' ouuuuuuut! @ the 20+ mark.

I promise promise promise that festival screeners DO. NOT. WATCH. entire film submissions!
If the first ten minutes suck the next ten minutes are likely to suck.
And if the first quarter or fifth of a film sucks it's pretty safe to say the whole thing's gonna suck.

Audio is patchy good to poor.
Soundtrack is laid in waaaaay too loud and frequently inappropriate.
Coloring & lighting are decent enough.
Framing is lousy. Pretty consistently.
The actors are... poorly directed and shot. I honestly can see how they could actually be "good" if shot in the right way.
The story is absolute horse sh!t.

C-Yaaaaaaa... !
 
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FINALLY!
A decent enough film.

http://www.indiemoviesonline.com/watch-movies/Daydreamer
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0765439/?ref_=sr_1

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTTqjyeehvI

See, this is why you can't judge a film by it's budget or make a sensible guess at its budget by how it looks.
It LOOOOKS like what a $5k-$15k feature film should look like.

IDK whereTH they spent the difference between that and the reported budget of $96k.

The film's audio sounds nice/good enough. About d@mn time someone got some good audio.
However, despite using a rather nice Arriflex it looks like sh!t. http://www.arricsc.com/pdf/Digital_4-2007.pdf
ARRIFLEX-D-21_header.jpg

Interesting stumble upon: http://shotonwhat.com/camera/arri-d20d21

Cr@ppy composition. Crappy movement. Crappy lighting in too many shots.
Shakespeare's pen, people. Shakespeare's pen. It ain't gonna help you.

I don't even recall any score music. IDK if that's good or bad. Judgement call.

The acting was excellent.
Again, another example of where the talent in front of the lens exceeds that behind it. D@mn shame.
Maybe that's where the money was spent.

The story was... eh... pretty decent. I had little problem maintaining interest in it, which is no small feat.

What surprises me the most is that there's like almost no jibber-jabber on the review circuit for this fairly decent indie film.
I can find plenty of reviews for cr@p scifi+horror films, but none for this.
Hmm... does that MEEEEEEAN something?
I suspect that it does, but I'll only be able to confirm my suspicions after looking for reviews of several other dramas. :hmm:

Locating any revenue information on any lo/no budget film is d@mn near impossible, but I also suspect that the budget for this exceeded its revenue. Just another hunch.
2,012
I see the director hasn't moved onto anything meaningful in the 5+ years since. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2133186/?ref_=tt_ov_dr
I'll try to remember to keep an eye out for for the writer's next piece: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1464346/

the main actor there is actually pretty huge now. Aaron Paul, he's in Breaking Bad
 
$2,000: New Low (2010) 82 min - Comedy | Romance

NewLow_300x450.jpg

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http://www.snagfilms.com/films/title/new_low
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1526610/?ref_=sr_1
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Low

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-M8rdu1JfM


Nice article: http://www.indiewire.com/article/sundance_10_adam_bowers_mines_his_love_life_reaches_new_low
"We barely had any money, so we borrowed every piece of equipment over a hundred dollars. Also, everyone was young and no one was a professional by any means. We were all just friends making a movie together. So, my approach was basically figuring out any way to be able to get the best footage possible without using money as the solution. I’d like to say I used my “smarts,” but that can’t be the case.

We had a lighting kit the first week of the shoot because an old professor lied about needing equipment from the school so we could use it. But, he got in trouble and we had to give it back, so we had to scramble and figure out how else to light our shots. I looked up Aaron Katz (the director of "Quiet City") on Myspace and asked him how he lit his film, and he gave me great advice and introduced me to the wonder of china balls (which apparently isn’t the huge secret I thought it was at the time). Also, the crew and I really learned as we went, so we made some mistakes that I would kill to be able to go back and correct. And, because no one was working for any money, we had to shoot around their work and school schedules."

Meh... http://www.ifp.org/resources/expert-distribution-tips-from-a-microeconomics-101-d-student/


Well... If you're going to spend only $2k on a film THIS is how you do it.
I appreciate (short of "am impressed with") what the writer/director/actor/producer achieved by writing within available resources.

The audio isn't all that bad.
The image quality is pretty good WHEN THE DIRECTOR ISN'T STARVING HIS PANASONIC AG-DVX100B FOR LIGHT IN TOO MANY NIGHT SHOTS!
agdvx100b.jpg

http://www.panasonic.com/business/provideo/ag-dvx100b.asp
Speaking of cameras, whenever this one is off the tripod the images look pretty bad.
But amazingly the handheld DOES get better the farther into the film it gets. Sometimes.


The arid humor is plentiful, just lacking much actual humor that maybe Jerry Seinfeld woulda made a little better.
I can tell the writing is crisp and good, just not my cup of latté.
There's a story in there, maybe I just don't like the subject and am bailing after jumping forward a few times to about the halfway mark.

I can't really say it sucks. Just not doin' much for me.
Would like to see more $2k films swinging for first base rather than the parking lot. :)

That said, if this is the quality of work that can get into Sundance... then I feel very hopeful someday. :yes:
 
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If this thread has taught me anything, its to be completely grateful that I'm no longer as amateurish as most of these filmmakers.

I like making stuff and learning from it as I go, and I swear I learn something new every single day. Thank god I didn't dive into my first feature yet, like I was planning to before I came up with my idea for this web-series (My practice film)
 
Yep.

Big or small, if you're going to do something try to do it well.
I'd rather see a small good film than a great heap of overly ambitious cr@p.

9 times outta 10 any given filmmaker (probably) has all of the technical equipment needed to make a GOOD film, but they don't know WTH they're doing with it, or how to write, or how to spend (not throw) money effectively.

"I got a camera, some buds, and three locations! Let's make a film!"

Whoa. Hold up there pard'ner.



I staunchly believe GOOD films can be made for d@mn near no budget. Something less than the cost of a five year old car.
And by looking at what others have done is how I learn... sometimes what NOT to do. :)


Best wishes on your web-series, MM. :yes:
 
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