Ultra Low Budget Films: Tips to Save Money During Every Stage of the Process

Hosted by Jim Wareck

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Jim Wareck

Webinar hosted by: Jim Wareck

Spirit Award Winning Producer (Shaka King's NEWLYWEEDS)

Jim Wareck is an Independent Spirit Award winning independent producer and writer whose award-winning feature films include the Sundance hit NEWLYWEEDS, the directorial debut of Shaka King (JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH). Jim most recently produced the film WHEN I AM DONE DYING, which played at prestigious film festivals in Tallinn, Santa Barbara, Seattle and Ankara and garnered numerous awards. The film is being sold by Magnolia International. His previous films have been picked up by distributors including Showtime, Gravitas Ventures and FOX. Jim also serves as a producing mentor for the National Association of Latino Independent Producers Latino Lens program and lectures on independent filmmaking at the university level. Jim has found continued success as an independent filmmaker by understanding how to maximize the resources at his disposal. Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

If you're planning to shoot an ultra-low budget feature film you need the right resources to maximize your budget From pre-production, on set and post-production.

We've brought in Spirit Award winning producer Jim Wareck, who produced Shaka King's directorial debut and Sundance hit, NEWLYWEEDS, to teach you how you can stretch each dollar to make sure that the quality shows up on screen.

Jim certainly knows how to do this. After he produced NEWLYWEEDS, his director Shaka King went on to direct JEDUS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH, which won 2 oscars and was nominated for 6!

 

Like it or not, producing a film of any level or any size is a giant investment—not just of time and passion, but of MONEY. Hiring a crew, negotiating talent, locking down equipment, locations, costumes, props, even film festival submission fees—costs add up quickly. And if you’re an independent filmmaker with limited resources, it’s almost too easy to exceed your budget or not even find the money you think you need in the first place. This is why, as an independent filmmaker, you need to be smart about where you spend money and how. Understanding how to navigate this can make all the difference and determine whether you’ll ultimately be able to produce your project or not.

You’ll never be able to make your film for free, but that doesn’t mean you need to spend millions. On the contrary, you’ll find that most film productions spend more than they need to, investing in equipment they don’t need or otherwise wasting money on unnecessary steps. Experienced independent filmmakers are adept at understanding where to cut costs, where to find shortcuts, where to ask for favors, and where you should REALLY be devoting the bulk of your money towards. With the right strategies and approach, you’ll be surprised by how frugally you can make your movie without sacrificing quality.

Jim will walk through the process of producing your own ultra low budget feature from pre-production through post and give you strategies to spend your money efficiently and stretch every dollar every step  of the way when you have limited resources available. He will break down where money is normally wasted in a production and teach you how to create and stick to a realistic budget in all its complexities. Jim will help you identify opportunities to save money in pre production, including working with your writer to write for your budget level, targeting and attracting the right cast and crew, identifying who you actually need, and how to negotiate rates. You’ll learn the pitfalls of budget drains on set, how to build an actionable shoot schedule, and how to remain as EFFICIENT as possible each shooting day. You’ll even gain tips on how to save money in post production so you can fully understand how and where to find shortcuts in your project and what aspects should never be skimped on.

 

Through this invaluable webinar, Jim will arm you with the understanding of how much you really need, of money AND yourself, to produce your film.

What You'll Learn

  • Looking at the Big Picture: Why Can Movies Cost So Much to Make?
    • General distribution of funds
    • Where is money normally wasted?
  • The Budget
    • How to create a budget and stick to it
    • SAG budget levels and how they work
    • The important of contingency
  • Saving Money in the Script Stage
    • Working with your writer
    • Writing for your budget level
  • Casting: Getting the Talent You Want Without Breaking the Bank
    • Targeting and attracting the right cast
    • Strategies
    • How to negotiate
    • How to make it personal
  • Building Your Team
    • How big should your team be?
    • The MOST important jobs you need on any set
    • Where can you double up roles or responsibilities?
    • Negotiating rates to fit your budget
  • Saving Money During Pre-Production
    • What are the two biggest costs of any film?
    • Development costs that can be built outside of the budget
    • Building your shoot schedule
    • Tips to save when securing locations
    • How to get equipment for cheap
  • Saving Money on Set
    • Efficiency is paramount-who and what is ACTUALLY needed each day?
    • Maximizing your time
  • Saving Money During Post-Production
    • Reshoots
    • Creative ways to use your edit to save money
  • Final Thoughts
    • How much do you really need to produce your indie film?
    • Where is it okay to find shortcuts and which aspects do you never want to skimp on
    • The silver lining of a limited budget
  • Q&A with Jim

About Your Instructor

Jim Wareck is an Independent Spirit Award winning independent producer and writer whose award-winning feature films include the Sundance hit NEWLYWEEDS, the directorial debut of Shaka King (JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH). Jim most recently produced the film WHEN I AM DONE DYING, which played at prestigious film festivals in Tallinn, Santa Barbara, Seattle and Ankara and garnered numerous awards. The film is being sold by Magnolia International. His previous films have been picked up by distributors including Showtime, Gravitas Ventures and FOX. Jim also serves as a producing mentor for the National Association of Latino Independent Producers Latino Lens program and lectures on independent filmmaking at the university level. Jim has found continued success as an independent filmmaker by understanding how to maximize the resources at his disposal.

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