Making a £8000 film for £500

Short films cost money to make, but how much money do they cost?

In this video we are going to break down how much it cost to make our short film The Asylum Groove. If you haven't seen the short film yet you can find it here.

The film is just over 3 minutes long, we shot it over 2 days, and had a crew size of 9.

We are going to break down the cost of the film into a few different areas. First will be the things we spent money on like equipment rentals, props and costume. Second will be the cost of the equipment we already owned or borrowed from other people, and finally the cost of people's time.

Set - £35.09

The location we used for the film we were able to get for free, but we did spend money on dressing the set to help tell the story. We created the Bedsville Disco sign, pinned up balloons, bought and weathered the record player and added signs to the doors.

Costume - £52.98

The main cost for the costume was from the scrub set and also the elbow and knee pads which our actor wore during the tripping shots. We also bought the dust rags which hung out of the character pockets and we also bought a bow tie for the executioner to wear.

Props - £71.94

Props that we had to buy for the film were the mop heads, wood to build the chair, the head sponge and chair straps.

Music - £23.99

The music for this film was such an important part in the film, it helps to set the tone and mood. We started off with about 20 tracks we found on various different sites, but settled on this one from audio network.

Food - £27.61

Feeding your cast and crew is super important and if it is the only thing you spend money on do it.

Travel - £30.00

We didn’t want any of our cast and crew to be out of pocket travelling to and from the location.

Equipment Rented - £242.39

For this film we had to rent 3 Aputure 300d lights as we did not have any lights that would be suitable for the production.

Total cash spent was £484

The total cost to make this film was £484 which is actually £24 more than it cost to make our last short film Backstage.

The equipment we used to shoot the film was equipment we have been building up for the past 6 years, and it is the same equipment we use on a day to day basis to make these videos. If someone wanted to go out and shoot this film on the same equipment we used, we have worked out it would cost around £4,850. Now making the total cost of the film £5,334.

This total cost only includes the equipment we owned. Rob our first assistant camera and Opie the second assistant camera both brought their own kit which we used. This included C-Stands, tripods, a steadicam and many other pieces of equipment and lots of tape. We have worked with them a number of times and they bring what they think we need to make the production the best it can be.

To put a value on this equipment we have said it would cost about £500 to rent the equipment that we did not already own. Now making the total cost for the film £5,834.

But that’s not everything, what about people's time? For everyone who worked on the film they did it in kind. Hopefully one day we will have the budget to pay everyone, but we have estimated if we paid everyone a standard filmmaker’s rate in North East England, the total cost of the film would be £7,834.

This is a scary number to us and is something we simply can’t afford.

This film would have been impossible to make at that cost, but getting to know people over time who want to help, building up your equipment little by little, and making sure you cater for everyone who works on your film, then it makes it possible to make a film for £484.

You don’t need all of the equipment we used to make a film, not all of the time anyway. We shot our short film Corpse on a Canon 550D with a 24-105mm lens, and on the same shoulder rig we used to shoot this film and we still think that film looks good.

Go out there and make films on whatever equipment you have, and we hope this video has helped people understand how much it can cost to make a short. It is something we did not know until we started to make bigger films.

Let us know in the comments about your experiences of making short films and the things you’ve spent money on to make your films better, give us a thumbs up or a thumbs down if you liked or disliked this video, hit the orange lens cap to subscribe, and remember achieve it one shot at a time.


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