15k budget for feature film?

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    Ok, here goes, can a feature film be made on a budget of 15K? i’m working on a submission, that obviously will need to be quite detailed, for funding from a, for now, private interested party. i would love to film it on super16mm, but a small budget of 15k might not go far enough. would it be better to use the budget for other requirements and stick to digital cameras? what camera would be as good as film? (i’m an old romantic when it comes to the look of film). obviously, cast and crew fees would be top of the list, but what are the going rates? would there be an interest in deferred payment contracts? would the fit cast and crew? If you were to work on such a low budget film, what would you realistically expect as renumeration? what crew places could be left of the balance sheet? any thoughts or ideas most welcome.


    it can be done
    Primer was made for $7k with a crew of 5 and has done really well

    Paddy O’Shea on here is currently shooting a feature and while I’ve no idea what his budget is, I imagine it would be less than 15K


    I can honestly say that if I had 15grand to make a feature I wouldn’t waist money on shooting it 16mm,
    I think it would be a logistical nightmare, stuff you have no control over and every time film is involved it gets really expensive, cost of film, film processing, colour grading, film to digital transfer, for editing, and then a digital to 35mm transfer to top it all off, then when you finally get a distribution deal your gonna need to transfer it back to digital anyway for digital projection and digital dvd and digital download.

    Basically you need to be really nuts about film not to go for digital, especially with advent of the new "Digital Film" cameras ie DSLR’s on the market, even the pros would argue with you over this.

    Go here… listen to the pros talk about it.


    …and watch all three episodes, then come back and tell me you would waste 15k on 16mm film.

    Unless you spent the last 10 years working with film and know all of its ins and outs?


    Yes, i know, i know. but that whirling sound is such a turn on. <img loading=” title=”Smile” />

    Yeah, the DSLR might be the route. i bow to your, and their, superiour knowledge.

    "Gefkane":3mii1jsr wrote:
    Yes, i know, i know. but that whirling sound is such a turn on. <img loading=” title=”Smile” />

    Yeah, the DSLR might be the route. i bow to your, and their, superiour knowledge.[/quote:3mii1jsr]
    wimp! :wink:

    Avatar photoSeanBreathnach

    I have to chime in with Dan there – 15k is a tiny budget for a feature, and if you go super16(lovely format) you will have a lot of costs associated with that. You just need to decide where you get most bang for your buck. If you do a budget breakdown I think you’ll find super16 will fall away in favour of dslr.



    Sorry to be a party pooper but Paddy’s feature (Tree Keeper) is budgeted at a lot over 15k (Try adding a zero on the end and then some)

    Shooting a feature on 16mm for 15K is technically impossible for the following simple reason:

    Kodak Vision2 100T 7212 400ft (120m) costs about E150.00 (Just over 10 min of runtime at 24fps)

    Lets say you shoot 7 reels a day (Fairly conservative) thats E1050.00 for stock

    Assuming a very tight shooting schedule of 15 days (25 -40 days would be normal for a indi feature)

    Thats E15,750 just for raw stock,
    Chances are you might what to develop some of this stock.
    And sync the sound to the rushes
    And get a least an 1080 scan so you can edit it and view it (or at least an SD telecine, if your feeling very broke)

    In real terms it would be very difficult to shoot a feature length project on 16mm for less than about E45,000 to E50,000

    And that excludes all the costs of the film (Like wages, rentals, accommodation, transport, insurance, post, you get the idea)

    And before I get flamed as a digital lovin old sod, my super 16 is sitting on the shelf above my computer and yes it does make a lovely whirling sound

    Listen to the lads above and spend your money on a DSLR and a couple of nice old primes and start shooting
    All the best
    Rupert Mac
    DP The Tree Keeper (Which we seriously considered shooting on Super 16 :wink: )



    meh, what would i know. just figured as it was paddy that he’ll do it the cheap ass way cos thats what he is :wink:

    now that i know he is paying i think i shall send on my bill for my consultancy services. <img loading=” title=”Very Happy” />

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