How to Budget Your Indie Feature

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Charles and George are joined by filmmaker and writer Kath Tolentino today to chat about lots of topics like AAPI movies, seeking representation, and tech news. Today’s big topic is one that’s sure to benefit filmmakers starting out: budgeting for independent features. Give this episode a listen for guidance on your next Indie film’s budget!

In this episode, we talk about…

  • How many streaming services are currently offering carousels of films that supposedly celebrate AAPI Heritage Month (Asian American & Pacific Islander), but the nature of the content they’ve chosen has been disappointing to say the least.
  • Questions about how they chose the content - should the films be about AAPI issues or have a prominent AAPI actor or director?
  • How the carousels of AAPI content could have been expanded if more Indie and short films were included.
  • How to know when to hunt for agents or managers once you’ve created a great short film.
  • Why shorts can generate interest from representation but have a lower ceiling for next steps - representation will always want to immediately know what you can do that will make them money.
  • The roles of agents vs managers, how they differ, and what they do for you.
  • How people perceive that this industry will make them a ton of money, but it’s hard to make a lot of income, especially with the amount of money agents and managers take as their cut.
  • Atlas Orion Anamorphic lenses which are great for widescreen and a specific quality.
  • Atlas’s new Limited run of Silver Edition lenses which will allow the flare to match the color of the light. These are super niche lenses and they're going to make 100 sets.
  • What to look for in buying your first set of lenses if you feel overwhelmed by all the review blogs and videos out there.
  • Why creating a budget where you pay people at proper industry scale can be difficult to determine.
  • What ends up happening with most Indie films is that the budget is created backwards from what producers feel like they can realistically raise for the movie.
  • How the schedule is closely intertwined with the budget - the number of days you shoot will alter the costs drastically.
  • Why if you’re hiring a line producer, you want to find someone who is used to working on films with a similar schedule to yours.
  • How usually you will have a few factors locked in and will build the rest of the budget around that.
  • Why you need to always build a contingency into your budget and allow more for cast than you think.
  • Using Kickstarter and WeFunder and why there’s something to be said for finding a way to make your movie within the confines of a smaller budget.

Links to Resources:

Atlas anamorphic lenses

For more information about lenses, check out our Gear Guides.

Our last episode with Kath where she chatted about her indie feature: I'm Producing a Feature...What First Steps Do I Take?

Charles Haine: http://www.charleshaine.com/

Kath Tolentino: https://www.borderwoman.pictures/

You can find everything we spoke about today and more here: https://nofilmschool.com/. Please like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and check us out on Instagram!

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