Filmmaking / Directing : Making a movie by Tressa Jones

Tressa Jones

Making a movie

Hi, I'm new up here and am so excited to network. I'm a bestselling author and after excessive requests I have decided to write a screenplay for one of my series, then hopefully make a film. I'm not familiar with that part of the business at all. I've spoke to a few people, but I don't know how able they are to make a quality film. Next problem, I need to do it one a budget. Is there any advice you professional people could give me or know who could help on a budget? I think this series could be so great with the right people. Thank you in advance.

Marcus Clark

Welcome Aboard! I live in Mandeville and own a video production company. I mostly do editing and DP work and own my own equipment for both as well. Let me know what kind of services or help you may need, and I'd be happy to assist!

Mikhail P. Schalk

Oh cool. What are the books? Low budget can mean a lot of things. But finding a good line producer would be a good start. Their job is to breakdown the script and come up with ways to save money. There's a lot of different ways to make a movie. It would help if you had a ballpark idea of the budget range ahead of time. Under $1million/ Under $500k/ Under $100k/ Under $10k/ Under $1,000... If you want a really quick and rough estimate on the budget, the biggest cost factor is usually the number of shoot days. You can only do so many setups in a day. And the more locations in the story, the more you have to move around and set up shop all over again. If it's based on a bestselling book then crowdfunding to raise money might be a good option, and the budget just depends on your audience.

Tressa Jones

Nice to meet you Marcus. We're practically neighbors:) Mikhail I would love to be able to keep it under 5k. I know it's not a lot. I've had many people request to be in it so I have almost all my actors and a make-up person. I was told about gorilla filming. I think that could be pulled off fairly easily(in my mind anyway) That's as far as I've gotten. I'm an author with almost no knowledge in film.

Mikhail P. Schalk

Guerrilla* filmmaking. Haha, I know it sounds like gorilla. Yeah for under $5k that's probably a necessity. Christopher Nolan's first film "Following" was made that way for $6,000 and he spent it almost all on film stock. At least you should be able to afford good food for the crew throughout the shoot. You absolutely want to make that a priority. And since everyone is volunteering scheduling might be tough. Everyone will have a veto on choice of shoot days. So you might also plan to have backup crew in your contacts waiting to go for those days where everyone can work but the makeup artist. Also keep in mind that the shoot is just one part of making the movie. Editing, finishing, sound/ music, and distribution take a lot of time and hard work too. Many months of work for a feature. All of that should be planned and considered when budgeting. is a great site to research more about low budget and guerrilla filmmaking.

Tressa Jones

Haha sorry. I didn't think of the difference in spelling. I'll definitely check out the site. I didn't realize so much went into it. I really want to make this happen but if it doesn't, it doesn't. Thank you for the info

Mikhail P. Schalk

No problem. Good luck with your movie.

Cedric T. Bradley

Hello Tressa, my advice to you is to keep networking and don't give up. I made my first film in 2001 lot of talkers build you a team.

Amanda Toney

Hi Tressa, there are a ton of online classes here on stage 32 that discuss how to turn a book into a movie. If you go into education (found on the top menu bar) you will find them all. Best of luck!

Nicholas Jordan

go with what this Sannon Stegall says

Donny Broussard

Tressa, I'd be happy to take a look at your script and give you an idea of what it would or should cost you. Sometimes it's better to shoot a trailer or proof of concept film and use that to raise the proper amount of funds needed to make the film the right way. I'm in Lafayette, LA and would be happy to talk with you and offer up any advice that you think might be useful. Good luck!

Regina Lee

Hi Tressa, bestselling authors should take advantage of their publishing agents' relationships. Have your publishing agent introduce you to a book-to-film agent, who can be a great career strategist and help you package your projects.

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