How to Take Advantage of Your Low Budget (and Get Into Sundance… Twice)

Chon on Ms Purple
Two films at Sundance in three years, and almost no budget to speak of. Here's how writer-director-actor Justin Chon did it.

In this episode of the No Film School Podcast, we sit down with writer-director-actor Justin Chon, whose latest film Ms. Purple hits theaters this week.

Back in 2016-2017, Justin ran a crowdfunding campaign, shot his low-budget DIY film Gookand got into Sundance, where Gook won the NEXT Audience Award. After that, everyone told him not to make another DIY film. But he did it anyway. And he got into Sundance 2019 with his next film, Ms. Purple, by employing some of the same guerrilla tactics: shooting without permits, not accepting no for an answer, and working without name actors. Listen to the podcast above, and check out the trailer for Ms. Purple here:

We've also covered Justin before here on NFS:

Ms. Purple is out from Oscilloscope on September 6 and will expand to more theaters and streaming services from there.

And as I mention in the podcast, you can also catch my own podcast series The First Feature, about the making of my own Netflix Film AMATEUR.

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:

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Your Comment


Great article/interview! I employed a lot of the strategies discussed when I made my first feature, Mr Misfortune ( Before listening to the podcast, I was on the fence about diving into another no budget feature, but maybe that's the way to go. Worst case scenario - it informs future films.

September 4, 2019 at 4:32PM

Rick Caplan

One of the best interviews I've heard in years. This was packed with so much legit advice and actual wisdom I'll probably listen to this again sometime soon. Can't wait to see Ms. Purple.

September 10, 2019 at 9:18AM

You voted '+1'.
Roan Mayln
Cinematographer / Writer