Monday, June 25, 2012

What a short film really costs to make, plus an update on L.A.

Firstly, an update on Tiger, which is finished and will be screened at The Lighthouse cinema this Saturday afternoon before heading out on the festival circuit. My little film is leaving home! (That's how it feels, anyway).

I wrote before about how it was funded and thought I'd follow this up with a final tally to give anyone else out there thinking of doing the same an idea of costs.

To date, the film has cost nearly 3,200 euro. A third of that was put in by the co-producer and myself, while another third was raised by two fundraising events ( a quiz and a networking party) and a plant sale at an allotment (amazingly lucrative). The final third was raised from friends and family, mostly by putting a trailer up on Fundit and collecting donations.

Production cost 2,100 euro, with post-production and other costs such as screen hire, DVD burning and artwork splitting the other 1,100 more or less evenly.

As always, the question is: now that we've finished, would I do it again the same way? Yes and no. I'd much rather not have to produce another low-budget short, not because I don't enjoy it - there are aspects of producing that I enjoy very much - but because fundraising takes up an awful lot of time. And it's time I'd rather spend writing.

So my final piece of advice (for now) for wannabe low-budget producers is to exhaust all funding routes before going down the road of raising the money yourself. Apply for Signatures, the Filmbase shorts programme and any other funding scheme you can find. Unless you love running events or begging people for funds, in which case knock yourself out!

In other news, my house is in the process of being sold, removing a long-term obstacle to my move Stateside. It's amazing that sometimes when you make a decision and take action, the Universe gets behind you and things start to happen. Literally the day I bought my plane ticket to L.A., our estate agent called with an offer we could accept. We've been trying to sell this house on and off since 2009 and all of a sudden, we had a buyer.

So here's my advice to everyone else - whatever dream you're putting off, take some action. Book that holiday. Take that class. Ask your crush out for a drink. Yes, they can always say no, but at least you'll know you tried!

The important thing is to get started. Once you're in motion, nothing can stop you!

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