I've been making films since the fifth grade. In this time, I have created countless shorts that continually get better. As a senior in high school, I felt I should make a final film to sum up all I had learned. For this to be an official end cap, the film had to be finished before I departed for my first year in college. As a soon to be college student, I had no money but dreamed big. This is how I made my 20 minute short film for $80 and how you can to.
This is part I of what will be a three part guide divided into pre-production, production, and post production. It will be followed up with detailed individual guides on the more important steps in each large step.
This guide will not be an exact process but rather a collection of resources filled with knowledge and tips that should help you to create a very high quality production for almost no money. It is general simply because of the enormous scope of material that I will be covering. Look for more detailed and specific information in upcoming instructables that target areas of the process.
There are a few quasi-legal tips scattered throughout the instructable. I am not responsible if you go to jail. Be smart and make wise decisions.
With that said, lets see what we will be working towards (I highly recommend you see it in HD):
The Teaser ( See it in HD at Vimeo ):
Step 1: Assumptions
I am going to assume you have the following items. I will mention alternatives and various versions of these as I address them but it will help greatly if you own them already.
A camcorder - Ability to capture to a computer is a must. We will discuss this in detail later.
A tripod - While the $10 one from Wal-Mart will do, a nice fluid head will help tremendously.
A computer - PC or Mac.
Compositing Application - Not necessary but definitely adds "awesome."
Friends or Family - If you lack either, please procure them before continuing.
Time - Making a professional, cheap short is a time consuming process. Make sure you have plenty of it to devote to your work.