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Fast, Dirty, and Cheap: Lessons Learned for the No-Budget Feature

In this week’s episode, I go way back to a simpler time, the 90s, and discuss the lessons we can learn from some filmmaking legends. I’ll discuss films by Robert Rodriguez, Kevin SmithChristopher Nolan, and Richard Linklater to break down and learn the techniques they used to make awesome, no-budget feature films with limited resources.

“In no-budget filmmaking, your limitations are your guide.”

If you take note of what filmmakers did before you, you can jump-start your filmmaking career. Enjoy!

I also included this killer video by The Royal Ocean Film Society. In the late 1980s and 1990s, there was a great movement indie cinema of no-budget filmmaking that was the beginning for some of the most successful and popular filmmakers of the modern-day. Let’s take a look at five features from that movement and see what lessons we can learn on how to make a great film with as little money as possible.

Here is the original budget from Kevin Smith’s Clerks.

Here are some key points discussed:

  • Shoot black and white
  • Be disciplined
  • Try not to use guns
  • Film something that hasn’t been seen before
  • Take stock of what you have and make a movie about it
  • Don’t take things so seriously


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