Producer / Writer / DP
Loved this tutorial! Thank you for sharing!
When budgeting, food always seems to cost more than you estimate. I'd take from your $400 for talent and bump up your food budget. If you feed people well enough they most often will forgive you for not paying them much. It is really good to pay people, and when you can pay something.
Because you don't know a lot about lighting use your $300 for lighting plus $300 for gear to find a DP who has lights and may even have that other gear. You can still work with him closely and perhaps learn a lot.
If you can, save some cash for extra day of expenses. They always happen, more often when you don't plan for it. Anything you have left over-buy more food or pay what you can to people.
That was awesome! I have wanted to process my own film, but haven't found a good method of transferring my film to digital that was cost effective.
See if there is an actor or film group in your area often you can at least get a start there finding people. Reach out to other creators in your area. Visit your local community theater. If all else fails: Friends and Family.
I think this is awesome. Things always need work but you could tweak and reshoot until the end of time and never have it quite be what you are hoping for. Better to finish it and take note of what you can do better next time. Hope to see more!