“The passion translates. If you have passion for the project it comes across.”
Some movies are just as expensive as they seem. At the high end you have films like “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” with its surfeit of $10 million-a-picture superstars and baroque special effects; at the low end there’s the early films of Joe Swanberg, which were famously made for the price of a few dozen sandwiches, and also looked like it. But other movies are harder to read. Thanks to advancements in digital technology, as well as increasingly savvy production strategies, professionally shot, acted and edited films can be made on shockingly low budgets. But that can be easier said than done—how can a first-time filmmaker make the most of limited resources and make a small film feel big?
Where better to discuss and share secrets about this phenomenon than at the Little Rock Film Festival, a modest-sized regional festival that feels much larger. With its savvy slate of both recent international fest standouts and southern charmers, and a week’s worth of both wide-ranging state-of-the-cinematic-arts discussions and late night VIP riverboat cruises, the 9th iteration of the Little Rock Film Festival showed how size can be more of a state of mind.
Festival programmer Justin Nikels moderated a panel which included three filmmakers with recent experience at wringing the most out of modest means: Kent Osborn, screenwriter, star and executive producer of “Uncle Kent 2”; Robert Byington, writer-director of “7 Chinese Brothers”; and Dan Schechter, writer-director of “Life of Crime” and “Supporting Characters.” How did they manage to make million dollar movies for mere thousands? They offered these 5 strategies for starters…
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