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How to Shoot and Sell a $5000 Micro-Budget Indie Film with Claudia Pickering

Today’s guest is writer/director/actor/producer Claudia Pickering. She recently wrote and directed the feature film “Frisky” for just $5000. I wanted to have her on the show to discuss the tricks of the trade when making a feature for such a low budget. The film has also played at countless film festivals and won a ton of awards. Check out the trailer below.

Two twenty-somethings move to San Francisco to chase their career but end up chasing tail instead.

When two twenty-something women move back to San Francisco, where they had met on exchange years earlier, their high career aspirations quickly become sidelined by their sexual interests. While wildly crass and charismatic in their public personas, they are in fact fundamentally at odds on many levels. Their opposing beliefs surrounding responsibility and romance, combined with their close quarters while crashing in an acquaintance’s living room, find them thrust onto a fast track to discovering what their friendship is really made of. Based on true events, Frisky is an honest, tongue-in-cheek look at what it is to be a woman in the limbo years between college and “the real world”.

★★★★  “This fearless, fun comedy offers a welcome female take on twentysomethings finding themselves amid aimless drifting, partying and hook-ups, its simple story bolstered by a sharp script and charismatic comedic turn from writer/director Claudia Pickering.” – Empire Magazine

Here’s some info on Claudia:

Claudia Pickering’s comedy filmmaking career began with acting which leads to writing comedy sketches… and they just kept getting longer. To be more specific, it began when she and her mate Anna convinced Danny Trejo – movie star, ex-convict and face of Old El Paso – to perform a Backstreet Boys-style dance under a dimly-lit bridge. They did not ask the 65-yr old to take off his shirt, he did that all on his own as they evidently have that effect on people.

Since then, International film festivals have showered her two feature films Frisky and Winning Formula with official selections and awards, which is a nice change from when she and her mate Tori used to steal stickers in first grade and wear them on their school uniform collars as though they had been legitimately awarded them.

It surprised the pants off Pickering when Friskywas distributed by Madman and optioned by Jungle Entertainment to create a TV show, which is handy as she is likely to be pantsless for a large portion of the show itself. She did manage to keep her pants on,if you can call yoga tights pants while directing the Resting Pitch Face web series for Google and is currently in development on 3 features through her company Cliff House Productions with mixed pants status. One of her extracurriculars includes running the Freshflix Film Festival in Sydney (Vivid) and Los Angeles (AiF) which is mostly just an excuse to take photos at the media wall to update her LinkedIn profile.

The above projects have allowed her to avoid the field of Architecture in which she holds a Masters’s degree – a method superior to holding her breath until she faints, which was her avoidance tactic of choice up until about age three.

Claudia Pickering’s Tips For Budget Filmmaking

  • Use Craigslist to advertise for cast and crew, also ask your network.
  • Offer a profit share for people to work for free.
  • Use the majority of your budget for post-production sound and color.
  • Offer bigger credits for those working for free
  • Do most of the dirty work yourself.

Enjoy my conversation with Claudia Pickering.

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LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

SPONSORS

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  2. Rise of the Filmtrepreneur®: How to Turn Your Indie Film into a Moneymaking Business
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  4. Shooting for the Mob (Based on the Incredible True Filmmaking Story)
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