The Microbudget Conversation

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

  • The Microbudget Conversation: A Filmmaking Tool

    After our last post the response was overwhelming in regards to what micro is, if it’s important, and where it’s headed. In the spirit of conversation I worked with Todd Looby (pictured below) on a post almost exactly the opposite of Scott’s. Todd sees micro-budget filmmaking as a skill, a tool, and somewhat of a stepping-stone. Our conversation wouldn’t be a conversation without this point of view.   To me, microfilmmaking is not an end that anyone in his or her right mind should be pursuing. Of course, as people interested in filmmaking, we are not necessarily right in the…  Read more

    On Jun 7, 2011
    By on Jun 7, 2011 Columns
  • The Microbudget Conversation : Art And Poverty

    This week I leave you in the capable hands of our editor Scott Macaulay. One of the exciting aspects of this gig is learning from a fella like Scott. A producer of some of my favorite indie films, he has been a great mentor and producer of this column. I asked him to just go nuts and write what was on his mind. Voila!   Last fall, I posted a call for new columnists for this website, and the first to respond was John Yost with the idea for this “Micro-Budget Conversation.” I liked John’s proposal for a number of…  Read more

    On May 12, 2011
    By on May 12, 2011 Columns
  • The Microbudget Conversation: Dirty Word

    It seems that this column is really starting to draw out a conversation from us micro-budget folks, and beyond; I couldn’t be happier. There seems to be a lot of dialogue happening in the comments, and I’m getting constant feedback from filmmakers from all over the world who are trying to make a new DIY model work. Every once and a while I get requests from some folks who want to contribute to the column itself. Many times these requests come from publicists, or folks just looking to sell themselves, but every once and a while a real dialogue is…  Read more

    On Apr 19, 2011
    By on Apr 19, 2011 Columns
  • The Microbudget Conversation : Jamie Heinrich Says, Just Do It

    This column usually focuses on one subject per post that tackles one specific aspect of micro-budget filmmaking. I never wanted it to be a place where we talk about the latest gear or tips on how to get a film done; There are other awesome sites for that. However, after talking with filmmaker Jamie Heinrich, about no-budget filmmaking, he sent me the list of important things to remember below. Jamie recently completed his film I Like You, and after seeing the trailer I can’t wait to check it out. Jamie’s advice is funny, to the point, and no nonsense. I…  Read more

    On Apr 5, 2011
    By on Apr 5, 2011 Columns
  • The Microbudget Conversation: Brandon Bethmann

    Short films can often be gateways to feature films, experiments in storytelling, or stand alone works of art. After film school I still made one short film every year, but for me they were ways to try out ideas before committing to something feature sized. For some folks they are end goals that are beautifully done and well thought out. Sometimes however, we get short films that are too long, or ideas that exist between short format and feature length. Plus, with the introduction of Youtube and Vimeo we also seem to have an over abundance of “short films” that…  Read more

    On Mar 22, 2011
    By on Mar 22, 2011 Columns
  • The Microbudget Conversation: Micro Mundo

    In the summer of 2009 I had the pleasure of attending the Maine International Film Festival in Waterville. Not only did I get to meet one of my favorite authors and find an actor I will use for life, but I also had the pleasure of meeting Alexander Berberich (pictured below). It is my hope that I can work with Alexander until we are very old, bitter men, and I recently asked him for his viewpoint on international micro-budget filmmaking. Alexander is a jet setter by definition, and whenever I speak to him he seems to be in a new…  Read more

    On Mar 10, 2011
    By on Mar 10, 2011 Columns
  • The Microbudget Conversation: Sounds Good

    These past two weeks I’ve been in Rochester, NY working on the Orphaned soundtrack with all the usual suspects and collaborators.  (Let me know if there are issues with the feed. This is an ongoing daily live feed where I will eventually be distributing free content…it is part of my MFA thesis.) I had been trying to write a response to the latest “explosion” of indie film acquisitions, the new world models of indie film financing, and the influx of nobody filmmakers. BUT I found that others with something to say, have already said it best, so I scrapped it.…  Read more

    On Feb 23, 2011
    By on Feb 23, 2011 Columns
  • The Microbudget Conversation: What Are The Festivals Good For ?

    Sorry to all for the week off. A little festival called Sundance was happening, and this column would have been lost in the hustle and bustle. PLUS, I’ve become agoraphobic after editing Orphaned for three weeks straight now. I no longer possess social skills and hygiene. (But the movie looks good so far!) After our second article posted, Blake Eckard contacted me and thought I needed to talk to someone ASAP. It could only be one person, Jon Jost (pictured below). Jon is one of Blake’s favorite film directors and he is a legendary indie filmmaker. It was a no-brainer.…  Read more

    On Feb 1, 2011
    By on Feb 1, 2011 Columns
  • The Microbudget Conversation : Films Too Small To Fail

    I first met Zak Mulligan through my DP Sean Donnelly a few years back. After a bit of back and forth on the merits of Kickstarter, I helped him with a little production design on his first feature, and we became fast friends and supporters of each others work. Zak and his directing partner Rodrigo Lopresti were recent participants of IFP’s Independent Filmmaker Labs with their first feature film I’m not me. Zak also won the Best Cinematography award at Sundance last year for his work on the film Obselidia. He’s here to talk a bit about the advantages of…  Read more

    On Jan 18, 2011
    By on Jan 18, 2011 Columns
  • The Microbudget Conversation: Blake Eckard Has Questions Without Answers

    This week we hear from the Micro-Budget Filmmaker Blake Eckard. After I had put my first feature up on the web for free downloading, Blake contacted me and we began a three-year conversation on the highs and lows of micro-budget filmmaking. I think Blake’s take on the subject is one of importance and it needs to be shared. “Orson Welles, by his own admission, didn’t believe in artists so much as “works.”  He also hated (or liked people to believe he hated) talking about himself and his films.  Although it may be fashionable to say it, I don’t think there’s…  Read more

    On Jan 11, 2011
    By on Jan 11, 2011 Columns
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