Filmmaking / Directing : Films under 1 million by James Greasley

James Greasley

Films under 1 million

Does anyone have examples of films that have been made for under 1 million? Or films that could of been made for 1 million if certain things were tweaked? Trying to gain some context. Thanks in advance!

Rutger Oosterhoff

"El mariachi"(1992) Budget:$7,000 (estimated) Gross Cumulative Worldwide : $2,041,928

compared with: sequel:"Desperado" (1995) Budget:$7,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA: $25,625,110

Basic difference:

(1) Do everything yourself screenplay/camera/post production

(2) Use family and friends for rest of crew and cast

and more:

Scott Sawitz

Single location, small cast ... you can make a film like Evil Dead with a small cast and one location and can make it for well under 1 million

Dan MaxXx

Ryan Coogler made "Fruitvale station" for under $1M.

"Searching" $1M budget, box office gross $75M ++

Debbie Croysdale

@Dan Ryan Coogler did well for making Fruitvale Station for under one million. I saw it 2014 Sundance and remember film contained numerous public places, trains, police and guns.

Michael DeMasi

I think a creative and SMALL team can make amazing contenet for very little money. Cast/crew salaries aside you can get very good camera/sound equipment for not that much money. Check out this article below on GH2 (<$1000) vs Red Scarlet ($16,000). Red is better but not 15 grand better. Also beg for locations.

Tony S.


Peter Dowd

One of my favorite examples of this concept is “Tangerine” by Sean Baker (I believe was available on Netflix), it was filmed for around $20k as I understand it.

Gustavo Freitas

“It Follows” - $ 1 million budget, $ 22 million gross.

Tony S.

TANGERINE had a $100K budget, made $1M theatrical plus $250K ancillary.

For iPhones, not bad.

James Greasley

Thanks everyone!!

Jorge Barboza

Clerks was produced with a bit less than $28,000 mostly from max out cards

Mo One

Hi James,

You should check this website: It gives the movie budget and how much each film made.

Pete Whiting

Napoleon Dynamite was pretty low budget from what I heard.

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