As you’re putting the final touches on your Persona Non Grata scripts (due Monday, April 30th!), here are a few things to keep in mind to keep those entries low-budget and make the most out of your potential $250,000:
1) Limit your effects shots. Maybe you need a nice establishing shot of a location that’s impossible to shoot. Great! A VFX artist can build that. But if that kind of work has to go into every shot, your movie just went from low-budget to big-budget.
2) Utilize simple-but-just-as-effective tricks of the trade that don’t cost as much — clever sound design, for example. Sometimes the basic tools can even help you tell a better story.
3) And although it’s one you’ve heard before — DON’T plan to “fix it in post!” On small indie projects, this often means whatever is trying to be achieved hasn’t been thought the whole way through. Try to do it in production. If it’s impossible in production or still needs that extra something to help it along, have a plan for post or consult with post-production experts (we might know a few…) BEFORE cameras and actors and crews are brought in. This will prevent headaches and will very likely get you a better end result.
Good luck! In the end, there can be only one…. Actually, that’s Highlander. But you know what we mean.