Okay, you want to make a movie. You’ve got those creative juices flowing, and you need an outlet. You have a GREAT idea, a technique in mind, and a screenplay that rocks. You’re missing only one teensy thing: Money. You don’t have the money to attract a film crew. If you had money, you’d be shooting tomorrow.
I’m known for the techniques I teach in regards to raising money. But raising money takes time. And perhaps you don’t have time. You want to producing something NOW. So what do you do? First off, while it’s very challenging to shoot a full length feature film for no money, it can be done if the story complements your lack of resources… That said, another approach is to focus on either shooting a short film, or shooting some scenes for your eventual feature.
Attract a Film Crew
The truth is, all three of these options require that you work with (at least a small) film crew. And being able to attract a film crew with little to no money is challenging. So if you don’t have money, you’ll need to figure out another, mutually agreeable benefit. Using the example where you shoot some scenes for your eventual feature, here are on four things you’ll need to make your project attractive:
1.) The Concept: Is your film an exciting concept? Is it something that people are going to hear and go, “I want to be a part of that?” That’s a great starting point. If you’re not getting excited reactions, maybe you’ve got to change up your idea.
2.) The Pitch: The second aspect is the Pitch. You’ll have to be extremely excited when you pitch your idea to your potential film crew. If you’re not excited, how can they get excited?
3.) Nuts and Bolts: If you have A SAFE location set, and it’s not a hard place to get to… And people feel safe and comfortable working with you, they’ll be much more likely to sign on.
4.) Your Timing: Creative people love to be part of projects with a cool concept, that is pitchable, and the nuts and bolts of it all sound doable… Then it just comes down to the timing. Do they have a paying gig currently? Are they in good financial shape? All of this matters.
Be Totally Transparent
When you work to attract a film crew for your no budget project, many may say no. Be up front. Start with disclosing the fact that you have no money for the project. Then work up from there.
If a prospective crew member says no, there should be no hard feelings. But you do want to make sure to give them the feeling that if they agree, it’s gonna be a fun time. The set will be safe. The work will not be too hard… And everyone will work together to produce something really great.
Many people will work with you to simply get material for their reel. In addition to actors, this includes cameramen, editors and sound engineers. They all need reels as well. So make sure to pitch that when you’re trying to get them on board. If you’re stuck and need inspiration, check out this article on Making a Short.