What if filmmaking was affordable to everyone?

As you know, money is usually a big determining factor in filmmaking. It determines who can or cannot afford to be a filmmaker. And the type of films you can make.

So, here’s a hypothetical question.

Edit: What if big budget filmmaking was affordable to everyone?

Should money be a determining factor in filmmaking? Or, should the playing field be level and just let talent separate us?
 
Last edited:
It already is.

Any idiot with a cellphone and MSMovieMaker can (and does) make a film.

Of course... just patching together >90mins of video isn't necessarily "a watchable film"

Just to prove my point, let me introduce you to my little friend... : http://www.indietalk.com/showthread.php?t=47265

Films, of any merit, cost money.
Every hobby costs money.

What if money was not the determining factor in fishing?
Or water color painting?
Or plinking?

How will we know the world's next Ray Scott, Georgia O'Keeffe, or Craig Harrison?

If you make a 90+minute film for free, tell me how many people will ever see it, and appreciate it, if you don't advertise for it?
 
Nowdays it is completely possible to create a film without any or little money.

Think about before, when the only consumer camera was super 8 or vhs and if you wanted to have good quality you had to use 16mm film.

The downside is that since it is so easy to make films, the whole film market (indie films) are so saturated that it gets harder and harder to break trough from the rest of the group.
 
Ray and Ita are spot on.

Stay away from the gearheads and technofreaks and you'll find filmmaking completely affordable if you think outside of their box.
 

directorik

IndieTalk's Resident Guru
indiePRO
As you know, money is usually a big determining factor in filmmaking. It determines who can or cannot afford to be a filmmaker. And the type of films you can make.

So, here’s a hypothetical question.

What if filmmaking was affordable to everyone?

Should money be a determining factor in filmmaking? Or, should the playing field be level and just let talent separate us?
Filmmaking is affordable to everyone. Not hypothetical. The playing
field is level. Money in not a determining factor in filmmaking.

I do not believe money determines the “merit” of a movie. A creative,
talented person can make a watchable, interesting, compelling feature
length movie for under $500. Why couldn’t they?

I can think of more than a dozen stories I could tell (and tell well)
using only a phone camera (or equivalent) and free editing software.
The “playing field” holds challenges for everyone. How a filmmaker
overcomes those challenges is the determining factor.

An even better question is:
Since filmmaking is affordable to everyone, why aren't there more excellent movies being made?
 
I think there are many excellent short films being made for the web, there is just so much noise its hard to find them. Features dont seem to be working on the web, not quite sure why, but I have theories..
 
I guess I didn't explain myself correctly.

When I said the playing field is level, I meant everyone can afford the same resources as a big budget film.

So, I guess the question would be "What if big budget filmmaking was affordable to everyone?".
 
I think there are many excellent short films being made for the web, there is just so much noise its hard to find them. Features dont seem to be working on the web, not quite sure why, but I have theories..

The web is the most zappiest medium there is.
You can go anywhere on any moment: the audience has less patience on the web.
 
If films are being made from $0 - $300 million, how is that a level playing field? In my scenario we all can afford the same resources. The only thing separating us is how we use them.
 
If anybody can gain access to millions of dollars, then those horrible filmmakers out there and horrible youtube amateurs would then be PAID to put out garbage... that's not the kinda world I wanna live in
 
Here's the thing: talent and experience already seperates us. You could give a newbie $10million dollars and he wouldn't know what to do with it. He'd probably buy an Epic or an Alexa, and the film would still be awful, and probably look like it was shot on a DSLR anyway.

If you're hard-working, dedicated and talented enough, there is no reason you can't work on films with modest budgets, even if that's $1mil, instead of $100mil.

Raw talent doesn't go all that far - experience is huge. Learning things by doing and through professional experience is what gets you creating stuff on par with the big boys.
You can throw as much money as you want at someone who's never made a film before - they're still going to forget all about Production Design and sound.
 
Now we're getting somewhere.

Some of you feel that the playing field should not be level, to keep out the undesirables.
Some of you feel that the playing field is already level.
Some of you feel that the playing field being level is not an important factor.

Interesting.
 

directorik

IndieTalk's Resident Guru
indiePRO
You’re right, you didn’t explain yourself well at all.

So in your scenario every movie made would cost exactly the same.
A first timer would have $300,000,000 and David Lynch would have
$300,000,000, and you would have $300,000,000 and J.J Abrams
would have $300,000,000.

Okay. I don’t get the point of your scenario.

If every single person who wanted to make a movie (every filmmaker)
had $300,000,000 to level the playing field there would be ten of
thousands of horrible, unwatchable movies made that cost $300,000,000.

Change that number to any number you can think of from $30 to $300
to $300,000 to $3,000,000 to $300,000,000 and you get a level playing
field. And you get crap and art.


Edit: What if big budget filmmaking was affordable to everyone?
Then some people would make horrible, unwatchable crap and some people
would make great films.

Money is not now nor has ever been a determining factor in filmmaking.
 
Anyone can make a movie. Only those with talent, creativity, discipline, terrific people skills, great marketing skills and a phenomenal work ethic make great films on a low/no/mini/micro budget.
 
"The society which scorns excellence in plumbing as a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy: neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water."
John W. Gardner
If everybody had the equal means to make movies you would have a butt load of crappy movies and not nearly enough time to wade through them since you would be busy making your own crappy movie.
My only real talent is writing. I have been published (primarily non-fiction) and I love to use my ability to entertain. There are writers that are far better and far worse than me. In that respect there is a level playing field in the writing business. What determines who is a successful writer is how you use the talent to make people want to continue past the first few paragraphs of a story. When I pick up a video at Wally-world I read the synopsis on the label and nine times out of ten it will tell me if I want to buy it.
 
I think if everyone were able to make big budget movies, we'd have a whole lot of really fancy-looking cat videos.

Also, Uwe Boll's movies have made a lot of money. How many of us can say that?
 
Also, Uwe Boll's movies have made a lot of money. How many of us can say that?

For who? Himself and some savvy German investors using the tax loopholes that used to exist.

Has he had any profitable movies? I guess some of them perhaps, but he's seriously in the hole overall:
House of the Dead: total budget $22MM, gross $13MM
Alone in the Dark: total budget $32MM, gross $10MM
In the Name of the King: (not sure total or just production) budget $60MM, gross $13MM

Now that his primary source (the German loophole) is gone, he's managing to continue on his "reputation", which he is extremely quick to keep front-and-centre by rattling any cage he can get his hands on with his, um, personality traits. He's managing to ride that and probably making a decent amount of money (for himself at least) with all the secondary markets that his films get sold to.

He's a prime example of what the quality of movies would be like if everyone had access to the budgets he manages to put together.

Now, don't get me wrong, I will absolutely give credit where credit is due; he's a brilliant at businessman & marketing and clearly very good at persuading (or tricking) people into getting involved. But, as a filmmaker? Not so much.

CraigL
 
Top