Saturday, July 31, 2010

How to Make a Movie in 6 Days (give or take): Part 3 "Is it worth it?"

Can a micro-budget feature shot in 6 days turn out to be good?

Is it even worth it creatively and financially?

Yeah, yeah everybody always brings up Blair Witch, El Marachi, Clerks and now Paranormal Activity. But these flicks are rare. There are tons of micros out there cluttering up the market and most are not good.

Well, I've already directed 3 micros, worked on a bunch of others and am in the midst of directing my 4th, so I guess you know where I stand. Financially I do think they are worth it. I used to work for a company that put out 6-12 micros a year. They would shoot them for under 5k and turn around and sell them for 20-30k, minus some deliverable costs. Of course over the years the dvd market has changed. This company is now self distributing their product and some of the distributors they worked with in the past have gone under. However, there is still a market for micros (depending on the genre) and they can still be profitable. I believe the mistake the above mentioned company made was not putting their profits back into their productions. They continued to churn out product with no real ambition to better it. I think it's ok to produce these movies, but they should be a means to moving onto bigger and better productions. Every cent that I have made on my features goes right back into my production company. I hope that I'm soon at the point where they're making the kind of money that I can actually both put money into my pocket and my productions, but until that day my main goal is to better the quality of my movies.

Technically and creatively, micros can also be successful. There are things I would love to change about my earlier features, but I do think creatively they've earned their rights to exist. Sure they're not hollywood glossy, but they are at times entertaining and even original. There is a certain level of quality that money does buy, but if you're careful and use the budget to your advantage, you can come up with something successful.


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