Low Budget Movie Price

Cost To Make a Low Budget Movie

Last Updated on July 28, 2021 | Written by CPA Alec Pow
First Published on March 8, 2016 | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popivker

So you want to make a low-budget movie – it will cost you, depending on several factors. Usually, independent films are based on a low budget and made by new filmmakers that are still on the proving grounds when it comes to film production. Some films throughout history have proven that low-budget movies can make it big and get on the cinema screens.

If the film is just a concept that needs to be developed but doesn’t have funds it can be presented as a project on Kickstarter or Indie Gogo Pages. One such example is the movie Kung Fury, which was launched with less than $10,000, the cost to make the trailer, and was funded with fans’ money to the sum of $600,000, giving the filmmaker the opportunity to finish the project. Some movies such as Phone Booth cut their budget, filming the entire movie on one set from different angles, and the movie was proven to be a success.

Not all movies can be created with a small budget. With all the technical details, you cannot expect to film a high-end sci-fi movie without a large investment.

One of the big successful low-budget movies was The Blair Witch Project that had a final price of only $60,000 and made a huge impact in the cinema industry grossing the value of 240 million dollars.

Some other filmmakers rely on bringing in famous actors to act in their movies. While this is a good idea to kickstart your film, it is not a bulletproof method of making a successful movie altogether.

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The price of making a movieFrom the script, equipment, and actors so far the easiest low-budget movies to produce are horror films. Most fans of horror movies do not want to be impressed by the special effects during the movie but to be thrilled with the constant feeling of being scared. Some of the movies released had a tiny budget of around $20,000 and rely purely on the dialogue between the characters and the background story, giving the movie a special feeling during the entire screening. So what it comes down to is that budget is closely bound with the “it” factor that a movie must have in order to make at least what was invested within the making process.

When George Lucas asked his close friend Tim Burton what did he think of his first Star Wars movie – he replied “This movie is great by itself and either it will be a huge success or a total failure”.

Also, a good example of a successful low-budget movie is an Indian Bollywood film, Curry Western, that had a low budget of only $400,000 and yet was a big-screen success and made a gross revenue of 67 million dollars. If we consider this type of movie together we will notice that they all had something special that made them go big. There is no proven formula that works like a charm in the film industry but surely there are some pretty good examples of how to make a successful low-budget movie that will be shown on the big screen.

Should the average working Joe work on a low-budget movie?

The movie industry is full of good movies and actors – are you ready to take down a piece of paper and work on a great movie idea that can turn into a million-dollar movie? Then start working on the script and when you think you have enough to amaze the audience, launch your project on Kickstarter. The general feedback might surprise you!

Alec Pow
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