The Microbudget Conversation

We're Only Talking a Few Thousand Dollars by John Yost

  • The Micro-Budget Conversation: The End

    “Filmmaking is a visual medium. Is it a gimmick that I care about aesthetics in a visual medium? I think a well-shot film looks beautiful. I think well shot digital looks adequate. It’s simply a preference. Truth be told, I’ve always thought the idea of micro-filmmaking was something of a gimmick. How little someone spends on a project doesn’t interest me. Is The Blair Witch Project more enjoyable knowing they spent such a small amount? Should I not support the Batman movies because the budgets are excessive? I just don’t think it’s that important. The great thing about Kickstarter is…  Read more

    On Apr 19, 2012
    By on Apr 19, 2012 Columns
  • The Microbudget Conversation: SXSW #1

    2,637. That’s the number of days it has been since I was in Austin, TX. My wife and I moved there right after working a full season at the Maine Workshops, and the moment we arrived we realized we absolutely loved the place…and there was no way we could stay. At the time (and until I’m dead it seems) I owed an incredible amount of money in school loans and 2004 seemed to be the year everyone decided to stay, or move to Austin…I considered working at Jamba Juice after two months without a job…I said “considered.” We were flat…  Read more

    On Mar 8, 2012
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  • The Micro-Budget Conversation: Is Enough… Enough ?

    When and how did Edward Burns become the mouthpiece of micro budget cinema? That’s a question I asked on Facebook after a late night holiday bender and noticing the ridiculous amount of press Ed got for making a film that certainly didn’t cost him 9K. Then I thought, who really does make a film for 9K? If you add up all the favors and salaries that are not getting paid you’re in the hundreds of thousands. Then I thought, oh man is there any such thing as micro-budget at all? Or is it like the myth of cover girl beauty.…  Read more

    On Feb 16, 2012
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  • The Microbudget Conversation: The Success Of Failure

    Well after a great holiday, and another Sundance, we are back for a new season of the conversation. This year we’re going to try and expand the definition of micro and see it as more of a state of mind and community, as oppose to a budget. I’m looking to hear from more filmmakers, see how they are expanding the limitations of technology, and see how the new model is effecting the old. We are also working on a project you’ll be hearing more about as the months roll on. Our hopes is that it will be some of the…  Read more

    On Jan 31, 2012
    By on Jan 31, 2012 Columns
  • The Microbudget Conversation: What Is Your End Goal?

    As the editor of this column it is my job to choose the contributors, shape the voice, and move the column in a forward direction. The last post really struck up a good conversation, and it is now clear that my decision to move the blog in a new direction would be a welcome change. This does not mean, however, that we will stop talking with micro-budget filmmakers on timely topics and take the time to check in on their latest projects. Despite what some people feel, one of the functions of this column is to help contributing filmmakers get…  Read more

    On Dec 20, 2011
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  • The Microbudget Conversation: The Journeymen

    As most of us receive our early morning Sundance rejection email (which literally makes us the 99 percenters…again.) we should all take a moment and reflect: what drove us to this? What brought us to this moment where a single email is either enormously heartbreaking, or just another bump on the dirt road of DIY/micro filmmaking? I’ve asked fellow columnist, and bi-coastal filmmaker, Gregory Bayne to shed a bit of light on his practice of treating each project as the first uphill battle of many, and how that journey is essential for the career independent filmmaker. We have an almost…  Read more

    On Dec 2, 2011
    By on Dec 2, 2011 Columns
  • The Microbudget Conversation: Form And Content

    As we wind down “Season One” of the conversation we take a look back and discuss what might have been overlooked. When I first started this column my hope was that filmmakers and tastemakers would use this forum as a way to debate, raise questions, and challenge one another. For the most part I’ve been happy with the subjects raised by this column and the subsequent conversation that has started in the comments section of some of the posts. However, as we push forward in the new year I would like if we didn’t just talk at you, but with…  Read more

    On Nov 29, 2011
    By on Nov 29, 2011 Columns
  • The Microbudget Conversation : Ex Girlfriends

    Earlier this month I had the opportunity to take a master class with Ted Hope and Christine Vachon.  Now out of respect to them I will not reveal all that was discussed, but what I can tell you is that my perspective of things has been altered quite a bit. I first started this blog with the intention of showcasing microbudget work as the passionate filmmaking it is…and fuck the rules. (The whole series of manifestos is evidence of that.) We were making cinema fast and cheap, and we needed to completely re-write the rules; a message that can be…  Read more

    On Nov 15, 2011
    By on Nov 15, 2011 Columns
  • The Microbudget Conversation: Tips From The Mix

    This week I give you a bonus post and contest. In keeping with what seems to be our “Do Your Homework” theme, we have Grant Edmonds from with some quick sound tips from a sound mixer’s perspective. Sound is always the microbudget killer, often transforming a wonderfully acted and shot film into something no one wants to see or hear. We’ve talked about its importance and ways to get good sound in the field, but we have yet to discuss the value of a great sound mix and how to prepare for it. In keeping with the Microbudget spirit,…  Read more

    On Oct 25, 2011
    By on Oct 25, 2011 Columns
  • The Microbudget Conversation: Down And Dangerous

    In sticking with our “Do Your Homework” theme, this week on the conversation we dissect one aspect of the micro-budget equation – crowdfunding. As someone who is about to use Kickstarter for the first time, I felt it was best to leave you in the capable hands of someone who had not only successfully met his goal, but who doubled it. Zak Forsman is no stranger to the world of microbudget filmmaking and I love his advice on crafting a great campaign. At IFP week I heard tons of questions from filmmakers on how to wrestle the task of a…  Read more

    On Oct 19, 2011
    By on Oct 19, 2011 Columns
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