Saturday, June 20, 2009


One of the biggest questions that any student filmmaker, or any independent filmmaker is constantly asked is how much they spent on their films. Among the short, indie film circuit, it's always fun to watch a film and play the "I could have made that in $___" game. At Playhouse West last week, we watched a 25 minute film that cost over $30,000. They shot on the same HD camera that I shot my Junior thesis project on, and when asked what they spent their money on they took the time to list all of the ways they saved money on set. Which left us all asking each other afterwards "so...where did their 30 grand go?" 

As I continue to work on my screenplay and begin pre-production, I realize how much writing your own work allows for you to project your estimated budget from the get-go. I always assumed I would hate the writing process, but I'm currently really enjoying it. Mostly because I know how much I am in control of in the start. Things like locations, number of pages to shoot in each location, number of characters, number of costume changes, all dictate how much money I'll be spending in the fall. 

I am currently, well, broke. After not working last semester, I am currently living in an expensive city waiting for my scholarship check to come in and meanwhile leaning a little to hard on my parents (Thank you!) while having no money to save for the project. I scout the internet for grants to apply for, confirmed that I'll have a job in the fall (which will be a help, but by no means a bountiful fund), and I consider my lowest options such as maxing out a credit card, cuddle-only prostitution, and starting up a business on Venice Beach selling tye-dyed shit. 

In terms of this project, I know where the money will be going. To camera rental, underwater equipment rentals, possible location fees, and a small amount of set decoration. And craft services, but that is unavoidable. Done. There it is. Is it too early to start looking to marry for money? 

Bye kids,

Listening to: Tymps (The Sick in the Head Song) - Fiona Apple

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