How to Create a Low Budget Movie




Introduction: How to Create a Low Budget Movie

are you thinking of making a movie but dont have the budget or the no-how. then read this instructable, full of all the tricks you'll need to start of a movie.

Step 1: Thinking Time

the 1st step is to think of a plot. will it be a war movie or a zombie. what will I knead to make a zombie or a person die? which of my friends shoed be used as actors? what location? ask yourself these questions and write down the answers.

now think what is going to happen? for example the hero goes and saves the princes who's trapped in a tower protected by an evil dragon but he can't find a way up so he uses the princesses hair as a rope to climb up the tower and so on.

what gear will I use. I will help you with this question in the next step but as an example, will you use flood lights, work lights or a desk lights. the advantage of fluid lights is that on camera in the dark it still seems night but every thing is very clear. the disadvantage is that there very expensive. work lights produce lots of light and are great for green screen (special effects) and are yoused well in dark for close shots but again not cheap but cheaper. a desk light is a 5er but produces little light and is not a great one for darkness. so choose your budgeted light and continue to start to think of gear yourself.

also think of what you have. if you want my example story, do you have a mechanical dragon or balls on wall special effects. i doubt it with the intended budget. list out every thing you have and biuld a story or characters out of it. this way you will have a more doable movie.

also make shore you dont make a movie about nothing. at the very least have a reason wy two companys are shooting the crap out of each other sencesly. take your time on the planning. i write a script simlar to a play (but not a play) i could write...

camera man - first take a zoom out so you can see everything and then take a closer look at the gunshots. take a close up of the charecter loading the gun and then a angle to show the enamies piont of view.
actors - have lots of shooting and reload at a middle piont. shout adjitated comments like curses when gun bullets hit close to you or you drop something. keep the action flowing.
editor- keep the shots sharp and add bullet noises, muzzle flashes, bullet holes and action music.

this way everyone knows what there doing but remember the actors can also be the camera man and the editor if you lack on crew.

Step 2: Gear

in this step i will list the recomended gear, price them and desbribe them. 3  catogries (no-budget, poor man and homless-these will tell u the aprocimate price range)

cheap or homemade camera dolly - 10-30 pounds - a weeled tripod biult to move smoothly wilst  filming. (you could use an old wheel chair or skatbourd. experiment)
recomended: no budget-velbon dolly dl-11 £50
poor man-Davis & Sanford W3 Universal Folding Dolly with 3" Ball Rubber Wheels£25
homeless-skatebourd £10
tripod - 15 pounds - a 3 leged attachment that holds the camera sterdaly.
recomended: no-budget- Manfrotto 190XV Tripod With 701HDV Head £85
poor man- Manfrotto 190XPROB Tripod £55
homeless-Kodak Tripod - Floor-standing £15

green screen - ? pounds - good use for green screen (talked about in step 8)
recomended: no-budget-Smith Victor CH57 Reversible non- reflective Green Screen £65
poor man- 'TUFF' Photographic Background £30
homeless-breen table cloth £2
work lights - 5-35 pounds - a well lited cheap light great for light filming
no-budget-progess lighting p5238-31wb 12v bi-pin die cast aluminium flood lights £50
poor man-desighners edge l-18 home light £25
homeless-desk light £10
good editing software/effects software - 0-1000 pounds - i use windows movie maker and an 80
pound effects software called FX lab pro. i highly recomend it.
no budget-adobie arfter effects £50
poor man-sony vagas
homeless-windows movie maker
home made fake blood pouches - 2 pounds for a litre - (talked about in later step)
smoke machiene - 10-6000 pounds - a miechiene that produces smoke to give a more gloomy effect. (there is an instructable on how to make your own)

Step 3: Location

now I'm going to talk about location. for first movies a home with a garden works or multiple houses from your friends. later on you could use an UNPOPULAR park wood or marsh exetera. or if you have a high annof budget why not rent out a perfect field or ware house. think what location would soot your movie. if its a horror dark gloomy forest or an abandoned church would do well. think of 1-10 locations for different times of the movie. bare in mind that one large location could do the job as it may have lots of smaller shot opportunities inside it. keep in mind your possable locations. dont go dreaming. search around youre area for good ilm oppertunities or ask friends or family, if you lack family, please produce them.

Step 4: Costumes & Props

costumes are vital unless the costume is casual clothes for a more every day movie or a comedy. for a war movie either buy, rent or even create a realistic army costume. make shore you have good props like guns, grenades, portable lights all set in the aera of the movie. think what clothes would be sotable for your movie. old and undead, army, casuel or a knight in shining armer, it all dependds on the movie you wish to create. keep in mind your budget. it might be worth spending some time to think about it.

Step 5: Make Up

DONT USE MARSKS (unless top of the range). make up is impotant as a zombie movie with no make up will truly suck and a mask will look to unrealistic. think do you need rotting flesh, blood wounds, people looking pretty or paling of the skin (or darkening). you can use cheap every day make up to create these effects. you can use a pale eye shadow put over the face to give ithe person a paler look or some red lip gloss for a stained blood on the skin. use your imagination. im shore you can find tortorials for make up on the web.

Step 6: Filming

in action shots go for very quick change of position of the camera. just tell the actors to freeze, stop the camera, move postition and continue. this gives a sence of speed. before filming a shot take the camera and move it to lots of differnt angles and deside the best. will it be on the right, the left. looking up from the floor or down from a window. you can diside.

Step 7: Actors

make shore the actors play there roll and stay in charecter at all times. discuss there new persionality and choose the best peron for that roll. it is important that there not stupid and make every one luagh on set or a 2 miniute shot could take an hour (its happend to me, no kid).  also a exited person would not play well as a polatition but more as a sports guy.

Step 8: Special Effects

this is where the green table cloth comes in. if you hang it on a wall it will become a green screen or chroma key. if it is well lit, you have the corect software (able to get for free of the internet) you can make an army of the same man, a spaship fly across the sky. you can do just about anything you want. agian there are plenty of tortorials for chroma key. just search. you dont need hard to find software to make effects either. you can cut a muzzle flash in from paint (or mac equivilent). just as long as you use your imagination you will be able to do alot of special effects for free. but remember to plan the special effects before filming the short or else disarster.

fx lab pro (highly recomended.)

Step 9: Effects (no Computer)

these are some effects you can create without a comuter.

1 fake blood pouches - get red food colering and a thick syrep like corn syrep or washing up liqiud. (note edible is best ) then mix it togerther add a bit of green food dye and there we have fake blood. now get some latex gloves(you could take some from the petrol station.) and poor the blood into 1 finger for a normal one, or the hole hand for a shotgun explosion through the chest.
when needed just push it against your body and it will explode full of edible blood madness. its awesome.

2 moving parts on zombie body - you will need 2 baloons , a tube and a bunch of elastic bands. elastic band a partly blown up balloon on to one end of the tube. . repeat with other side. now stick one side onto the persons face. run the tube down the neck and out of the sleeve of one arm. now cover the part of the tube on the neck with make up and the baloon on the face. now film the face wilst you squeez the other baloon. to make it move again squeeze the now big one and repeat the sueezing of the baloon in hand

3 fake limb - cut off one trouzer leg or long shirt arm and stuff it with newspaper. (dont do this if you are making a leg, just stick a maching shou at the bottem of the trouser) cut out a detaild 3d hand from polistyreen and cover it in liquid latex and a skin color make up and stick it on the arm. now button the arm/leg on the trouser/shirt and take your arm or leg out and hidden at the back. when you want it to come of just pull, brake the buttons and vwala. a fake limb.

4 pull hart out - film the hand giong to the haurt and then stop. make a fake body out of pillows/newspaper and shirts atached to nothing. undo the the buttons where the hart would be and place a container full of a skinned potato and fake blood. now button the shirt up and film closly as the hand gose in the shirt and pulles the potato out. (eat it if you wish)

there are endless. search the web for more, send me a message on how to do this or that. use your imagination.

Step 10: Editing

now that youve finneshed filming your movie you can put it on a computer and use your chosen editing software to put the seens together, ad your special effects, or those awesome transaction. explore all of them. think what would be the coolist way of looking at this shot. add transactions or morph peoples face. make that army you wanted in this sean or the zombie in that. there are endless posabilities.

Step 11: Tips

1,be careful when you create a comaady and that all find it funny not just you.
2.dont steal other peoples ideas. use your imagination.
3,you can create a cheap liquid latex by adding water to jelotine.
4.dont make the movie to impress, make shore you enjoy yourself whilst making the movie.
5. dont make spelling mistakes like 100 times like i have in this instuctable.
6. read part 2 at

good to be of esistance. thanx

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    9 Discussions


    9 years ago on Step 2

    is this a troll post? You misspelled almost everything on here..


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    no its not its just it was rushed in about 10 mins to burn some time and i didnt check anything sorry


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    ye sorry about that. this was more for fun than user pleasure. ill try to improve on later arcticles. hope it was still useful


    9 years ago on Introduction

    It's terribley hard to read, if you put the effort into it you see that it is a good instructable though.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    The skateboard is a good idea for a dolly, but the wheels are awfully small. This could get you some really shaky footage if you're not careful. A better, albeit more expensive, solution would be to build one of your own (possibly using bike wheels). When Robert Rodriguez (Sin City/Spy Kids) started making movies, he just borrowed a wheelchair from a local hospital and sat in it while filming.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    ive herd of the wheel chair before however if youre local hostpital is not willing to lend it then wheel chairs can sometimes cost more than a cheap dolly!


    9 years ago on Step 11

    another great tip is for your actors to never look directly at the camrera.