Creating an independent film budget requires that you get very creative. Unlike studio productions, most independent filmmakers do not have unlimited resources. Instead, most indie filmmakers will quickly realize that their budget is out of their price range. If this is you, here are some tips for reducing your independent film budget.
Looking at the initial budget, is there anything you can get for a discount, or free, or barter? Depending on where you plan to shoot your movie, you may find that local businesses and restaurants will provide you with resources, locations and food for free.
But in order to find these deals, you must be willing to pick up the phone and ask. Make sure that you maintain your integrity and do what you say you will do.
Other areas of the script that require significant resources involve children, animals and weather. None of these elements can be predicted. While sourcing these elements may not be difficult, once on you may find that the unpredictability inherent to each can cause delays and setbacks. You must always remember the time is money. Avoid any element that you cannot easily control.
My producer friend Forest Murray taught me that your screenplay, your schedule and your budget are actually part of the same larger document. If you change one element in any of them, then you are actually changing all of them. Make sure you avoid making haphazard changes to any of the documents. Thinking this way will help you realize the bigger scope and scale of your project.