September 5, 2014 at 2:49PM

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Post a story about your micro-bugdet movie here

Many of us have created micro-budget features that have not been featured on No Film School. Here's your chance to talk about your project. Write a short description and include a link to a trailer or other media.

14 Comments

I'll go first: My micro-budget feature is called Space Trucker Bruce. It started out as an idea for a short film then I decided to create a feature. it took 6 years and cost about $10,000. I built the sets out of cardboard and old computers. There were 8 sets built in my back yard and rooms in my house. I would build a set, film in it, tear it down and repeat. The movie was a learning experience and also a challenge to see if I could make an entertaining space movie with no budget. Space Trucker Bruce is a space based sci-fi comedy. Here is a link to Vimeo On Demand where you can watch the trailer and rent the movie for $0.99. https://vimeo.com/ondemand/spacetruckerbruce

September 5, 2014 at 2:56PM, Edited September 5, 2:56PM

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Anton Doiron
Creator/Filmmaker
592

Hello! I've just started post-production on my first feature - DON'T. STOP. RUNNING (www.facebook.com/dsrmovie - lots of screengrabs, behind-the-scenes pictures and other information)

DON’T. STOP. RUNNING is classic escapist entertainment. It’s an action thriller about two estranged brothers -­ thrown together for a treasure hunt ‐ who soon find that they are the ones being hunted. As they race across a barren wilderness they realise that if they want to survive they’ll have to work together.

We shot over 24 days in wilderness locations - using natural light (with reflectors and sun position apps) and a HUGE amount of smoke... We shot in RAW on the BMPCC - and our main lenses were a SLR Magic 12mm, a Nokton 42.5, a Kowa 8mm and an Angenieux 12-120.

I'm going to be writing up quite a few articles over the next few months, which hopefully might be of use to anyone else planning their first feature - looking at writing process, the casting, costumes, filming in avaialble light etc. etc. I learned a lot from other people being generous with their information, so hopefully we can give a bit back too!

Cheers,

Alex.

September 6, 2014 at 4:14AM

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Alex Richardson
Director
3146

cool! I'm also working on a woods project with my BMCC. I'll check out your Facebook site. What did you do about bugs around the camera in front of the lens? I've tried stepping back and also fanning air in front of the lens.

September 8, 2014 at 4:02PM

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Anton Doiron
Creator/Filmmaker
592

Ah - I guess it depends where you're shooting Anton, but we were pretty lucky - there weren't too many bugs around! I don't know what you'd do if you were stuck in the middle of a midge-storm... Maybe through a mosquito net coated in permethrin over the camera and cut a hole in it for the lens...??!

Good luck with your project!

September 9, 2014 at 4:31AM

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Alex Richardson
Director
3146

In 2011, on my brother's birthday, he asked me if I could pull off a Doctor Who regeneration effect. I loved the idea, and we took my Rebel T2i out for a spin.
Fast forward a few months, and we had a tiny short about a time lord that regenerates.
It took us about 2-3 hours to shoot, and took me months to edit, as per usual.

Then, in 2013, we decided to up the ante; make a series out of it. We wrote a season arc outline, the first three episodes(which were about 10 minutes each), and felt happy about the project.

Now, as for budget: next to nothing. We had money to buy food for the crew for two days worth of shooting, and we shopped some new gear to go along(a couple of lenses, and a cheap-ass Røde VideoMic knockoff from ebay), and that was it.
We gathered a tiny crew with myself directing, a director of photography, a production assistant, and two actors.
As we always prefer to shoot guerilla-style, the locations were mainly outdoors - where we could just put the camera in one direction, and hit record.
This time around, it was a multicam setup, using the aforementioned T2i, and a 60D to go along with it, for BTS material, and also for reverse shots.

Then the problems began.

The shoot itself went alright. We had to stop here and there to adjust the shooting script, like you do, because when we started shooting it, we realised we'd fallen into the George Lucas trap: You can write this, but you can't say it. All our lines were delivered poorly, even though they looked just fine on paper, and my direction helped the performance. The actors did a good job, it just didn't feel right at all.
After we were happy about the takes, we called it a wrap, and went our separate ways. I imported the files as usual, and began pounding away at the edit.

A month or so later, I had, what I thought would be, a finished edit. I didn't like it, but brushed it away as being the only guy staring at it for one month. After sharing it with a few friends, however, they confirmed my fears, as this was pure and utter crap. Pacing was off by miles, and the general tone came across as perplexed at best.

I decided to put the project on ice for a little while, but then it happened. My harddrive failed on me. Now, you'd assume I had backups, but this is one of the times I didn't, and all the footage seemed lost forever.

Thankfully, a colleague of mine told me about a fancy app called "DiskDrive" that should be able to pull all my old files from a drive, if it span up to life again. The drive did just that, and I was able to fetch most of the files.

Most, however, being the keyword here. About 90% of the files from the short episode was recovered, and in a bad way, as well. The files didn't play back right, and had to be converted to new files via Premiere.

After all this was done, I had to try and re-cut back to a viable edit. This was when the missing 10% came into play. All the footage missing was key shots linking scenes and progression. Without them, the story made no sense, and suddenly the protagonist would teleport from location to location, without any means to do so. I was devastated.

But then I began to think outside the box. Like an editor. Like someone who had just gotten a huge chunk of footage, and the assignment to make a film out of it. And so I did. I took what I have, and basically rewrote the thing as I went along. The finished product? 2.5 minutes long, and lightyears better than the original 7 minute cut. I'll have you know, though, it wasn't perfect this time around either, but it was a lot better.
The sound was also an issue, as it wasn't even present anymore, and I had to get people to help me build the entire thing from scratch. Thankfully, only the protagonist talks, and he does so for two lines. And being a Time Lord thing, the other protagonist was myself, so ADR wasn't much of an issue, really.
I recorded all the ADR during an hour, and I did it all by myself. The other actor had since moved, and was unavailable for the next 8 months or so, so getting him on board to do it, was nigh-impossible. Luckily I still remembered all the lines in the short, so delivering them again, was no issue whatsoever.

But I digress.

We released it as "Whoish! part 2" in February this year, and had great fun, and all within a micro budget of only pizza-money.

We shot part 3 this summer for a bit more money(namely gear), and had loads of fun, and by the looks of it, it'll be millions better than part 2, which I still don't like that much.

September 7, 2014 at 8:15PM

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Tom Ellingsen
VFX Artist/Director/Actor
74

That's a very interesting and familiar sounding story. My biggest fear is loosing footage. I have a FreeNAS box with mirrored drives where I store everything. I have an external drive stored offsite in case of fire or NAS failure.

September 8, 2014 at 5:05PM

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Anton Doiron
Creator/Filmmaker
592

Hello,
The Case of Fortune is a feature film made with a next-to-nothing budget.
The project started as a little black&white short film we shot in one night, called The Hand of Fortune.
Next we made a more complicated sequel to that film, The Band of Fortune.
As we were on the editing process came an idea of a third film to complete the full trilogy of films, The Land of Fortune. Eventually that lead to a feature length package of all three films with a frame story connecting them together, The Case of Fortune.

The Case of Fortune is a story about three producers that are assigned to a top secret mission: They have to shoot the movie of all movies.

You can watch The Case of Fortune on YouTube and maybe give some feedback or ask further questions of the process if you like to know more.

Full feature:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yNEWbdUxwqg
IMDB info page:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2046149/
Trailer:
http://www.imdb.com/video/withoutabox/vi3140066329?ref_=ttvi_vi_1

Enjoy our film, cheers,
Risto / Kuvamusa

September 9, 2014 at 2:44AM

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I like the trailer. the part with the guy who keeps saying sex movie is very funny.

September 9, 2014 at 12:55PM

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Anton Doiron
Creator/Filmmaker
592

Hi guys. My movie call Elections, and it's part of the trilogy. It's about the apocaliptic future when the humanity it's in "peace". One wide world coalition persude to others in the name of the freedom. One group call "hunters" are the group persude the peolple that think diferent. David, the caractrs it's one of them but he descober that not everything is as it seems.... The cost for the firsth movie are 56.000 euros (72,500 dolars) and have the colaboration of one big comunity of people for the dresses, gas, food, etc... We are very excite ;D

September 10, 2014 at 6:49AM

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Ragüel Cremades
Film producer and director
7618

Thanks for Sharing Raguel! It's nice to have lots of help when making your movie.

September 12, 2014 at 7:41PM

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Anton Doiron
Creator/Filmmaker
592

I filmed this micro budget movie inside the biggest casinos in Vegas with no permission. also, the lead actress is a nonprofessional actress who is portraying her real-life story on screen, the kids in the film are real kids. We even filmed a chase scene off the Las Vegas strip. Here's the trailer for LAS VEGAS STORY! (with Eric Roberts)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5hGN1uuMYw

September 14, 2014 at 6:55AM, Edited September 14, 6:55AM

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Byron Q
Writer/Director
179

That's really brave filming in a casino without permission! Also very cool to get Eric Roberts in the film!

September 19, 2014 at 5:00PM

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Anton Doiron
Creator/Filmmaker
592

How'd it go with Eric Roberts? He's so involved with film. Awesome!

October 19, 2014 at 5:28PM

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My first feature, 12 Til Dusk, is a modern western - coming online November 14. You can find more info on the release at 12tildusk.com and read my experiences with the film under the banner of the "No Budget Guide," also at the same site. You can watch the trailer on vimeo: https://vimeo.com/108954102

October 19, 2014 at 5:30PM

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