The Ultra-Low Budget film suffers from a bad reputation. As independent filmmakers, we need to change this reputation.
I make Ultra-Low Budget films because they make creative and business sense to my company, especially in this recessionary period. I can choose to make a film instead of praying someone else will make it for me. There's a lot of power in that thinking and doing and we need to exercise that power wisely for everyone involved.
Lower budgets allow me to make dramas, a genre that is a hard sell. They allow me to hire incredible new talent that the larger budgets can't afford to invest in. And they allow me to build a library of product that my company can own forever. We have all heard the saying: Content is king!
So I am building content. But I'm not building just any old product. I am vetting my projects and making sure the script and talent are strong and that the project fits the Ultra-Low Budget business model. I can't make a $20 million film on an Ultra-Low Budget. And if my talent sucks then the film will suck.
Ultra-Low Budgets allow me to make good films in a timely manner. If I sat around and waited for all my larger budget projects to be funded, I would be waiting a long time and I would have no product to show for it and I wouldn't be learning how to be a better producer.
I agree that Ultra-Low Budgets are not for everyone. Many investors do not see the upside of backing small films with no-name talent. How does one make money from a film without box office magnets? It's called making great films and expending energy in marketing and selling them. We can do this. We just need to do it with some smart thinking and doing.
I challenge that the skeptics of the Ultra-Low Budget films are not investing in the right filmmakers. You could have the best script in the world but if the producer and director are clueless then there's typically no hope.
We filmmakers need to have more discretion with which projects we back. We need to ensure the scripts, the direction and the acting are strong -- even when there is no money. And it is possible. I know there are incredibly talented people out there who can make magic with $200k. We just need to pair them with the right producers.
Ultra-Low Budget films can be good and they can perform. We need to be diligent about making sure we create the best quality product that can then be sold to buyers and entertain an audience. It can be done. We just need to do it and do it right.