'First Match': Money-Saving Production Hacks to Make Low-Budget Features Shine

first match
Here's how the 'First Match' team turned a modest budget into a polished Netflix Original feature film.

Netflix Original First Match is an engrossing drama, shot in Brooklyn’s notoriously tough Brownsville neighborhood, about a teenage girl called Monique who joins the boys’ wrestling team at her school as a way to try to reconnect with her dad—a former champion wrestler who has recently gotten out of jail. Mo is expertly portrayed by Elvire Emanuelle, who is one of those new actors you see and immediately know that they are going to have a big future.

On this episode, I'm joined by First Match writer and director Olivia Newman, DP Ashley Connor, Editor Tamara Meem, and producers Chanelle Elaine and Bryan Unkeless, who came onto the project with such impressive credits as producer on I, Tonya and co-producer on the three Hunger Games films.

We discuss how the team took their film from a short to a Netflix Original, how they crafted a sports movie inside a personal narrative instead of the other way around, and the strategies they used from pre- to post-production to stretch a limited budget into creating a very polished final product.

Listen to the episode by streaming or downloading from the embedded player above, or find it on iTunes here.

Please subscribe and rate us on iTunesSoundcloud, or the podcasting app of your choice. You can play all of our No Film School interview episodes right here:

This episode was edited by Jon Fusco.

Check-Out: Microphones - Best Deals this week

With any & every B&H purchase You will automatically be entered into the Monthly Gift Card Raffle.

Your Comment


Just watched the film, powerful....the cast, especially Elvire Emanuelle were just incredible. Thanks for the inspiring interview!

April 2, 2018 at 9:31PM

John Haas

I read your post and think this movie is great. Thank you for sharing with us this nice post. Also, I'm going to watch this film with my friends from buy annotated bibliography.

July 19, 2018 at 3:25AM

Nora Richi

I wonder if it's your free essay writing website to discuss the movies?

October 12, 2018 at 5:25AM



August 20, 2018 at 8:32AM, Edited August 20, 8:35AM


Sure, just like free essays about films

October 12, 2018 at 5:28AM