Creative Video Producing to Maximize Your Budget
The amount of resources and staff on a Hollywood movie set is astonishing. Iron Man 3 credited 3,310 crew members. Unfortunately, you are not Tony Stark and you do not have an Iron Man, yet. Until then you’ll have to keep your video production techniques at an affordable level. This is feasible through creative video producing and making use of common everyday objects.
Actors? You mean my family
Making a video is the perfect time to exploit your friends and family for your own benefit. Hiring an actor will cost $200-500 a day, your brother-in-law? Priceless. Using your friends will save you money but you will need to allow extra time on set for them to get acquainted with the art of acting.
Why spend your money on lights when you have a perfectly good star 92,960,000 miles away from earth. Shoot your videos outside to harness some of the Sun’s free light. If it’s really bright outside you can use a white sheet or a frosted shower curtain to diffuse the light. Simply hold up the sheet in front of your actor blocking the sun and you’ll get a nice soft light on your actor.
You tried to get a hospital operating room for your video, but they wouldn’t let you because of contamination. Forget those losers in scrubs you have an awesome living room waiting to be transformed. With the proper set dressings, you can transform a room into an operating room or anything you want. Throw a white sheet over your kitchen table and now it’s an operating table. Put some scrubs on your actors, add a cookie sheet with some knives and you have a makeshift operating room.
Traditionally a scene will start with a wide shot of a building telling the audience this is where the actors are. While you may not be able to film in the aforementioned hospital adding a wide shot of the hospital before you cut to your scene will trick your audience in suspending their belief.
Renting a professional camera dolly with an operator will cost you $1000-5000. If you aren’t looking to drop a couple stacks then find a wheeled object such as a wagon, wheelchair, skateboard or a hatchback car. Hollywood director, Robert Rodriguez, admitted to using a wheelchair he stole from a hospital in his first Hollywood film.
Fake Gun Shots
Trick your audience that your prop guns are real by using two 2×4 and clapping them together. Add a hinge to the tail end of both boards to make it easier to clap.
Use sound and actor reactions to convince your audience that more is going on in the scene. Two actors driving a car with no sound is boring. Throw in some police sirens, tires screeching, honk and now you have an action packed scene.
Making a film doesn’t require millions of dollars. It certainly makes it easier but with creative filmmaking you can create amazing pieces of work on a budget. Notable films such as Clerks, Blair Witch Project, El Mariachi, and Monsters were all produced on a minimal budget. To learn more about creative producing and how to save money on your next video, I would recommend reading Robert Rodriguez’s book “A Rebel Without a Crew” and “The Indie Producer’s Handbook: Creative Producing from A to Z” by Myrl A. Schriebman.