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Funding a 10/15 min 16mm short

Hi
I am planning or shooting a short next year on 16mm but I can't find it myself.

Everyone has their talents and I have always found getting a budget together tough.

Either some help or some ideas how and where to start would really benefit me
Thanks you in advance

  • First step: don't shoot on 16mm. I'm old. I love film. But damn, digital is so beautiful if it's done well. And if you want to make it look like a grainy, tiny, 16mm frame, you can do that. Don't forget, not only do you have to buy film (and lots of it), develop the negative, but telecine that negative to digital. Do you have camera assistants that are savvy in film? That's not nothing, that's everything. I know many young people that are union professionals that have never shot on film. Never. They couldn't load a 35mm mag to save their lives. Truly, rethink this film thing. It's going to cost a fortune.

    6 months ago
    • Hi Dan,
      As I say, my intention is to shoot this short on film. I was looking more for discussion on funding than formats. I am fully aware how good digital sensors are. I don't buy into it being a replacement, it's simply another format. If worst comes to worst and I can't afford the film of course - digital ... but as I say - I'm looking to fund a 16mm short film and hopefully I can do that.
      Thank you for the comment though I'm sure people will find it rather interesting...

      6 months ago
  • Funding is simple.

    You simply need to find a source of money for whom your film ticks their boxes.

    Investment money? Nope. The ROI on any short format is nil.

    Charity / Campaign /Docu money? Nope. They might love the story but I can't think of any reason why they'd accept the higher cost of film.

    Art Money? If you can find an arty type funding body that likes your pitch, they could support you. Competition for funds is a tad fierce mind :-)

    Edu Money? Hmm. Perhaps you could offer the chance for some film students to get hands on experience with actual film. That might be an offer that a film college might find they could run with. Esp if you can provide your time for free re some "pre shoot" lessons to bring them up to speed.

    6 months ago
    • I think Marlom's on the money here - Edu cash (most likely offering 'film' lessons?) is pretty much the best chance you have of drawing money away from other projects - it's something you're doing that's different.

      6 months ago
  • Remember for every £1 you spend on stock/waste/TK is £1 you don't get to spend elsewhere - so unless you have enough money to pay for the whole production normally, then extra costs of going the film route mean backers get less movie for their money, and you ask more people to subsidise your dreams.

    I note you didn't pitch anything about the short other than the length and acquisition format - I know that's not your actual campaign, but it does suggest that story and mood are secondary considerations. You may wish to consider that when discussing it with people (especially as most filmgoers/backers don't know or care about acquisition format!)

    In a marketplace where there are more films chasing the same few quid all the time, you need to stand out as the one project that people will give up their own money to subsidise. Shooting on 16mm may be that thing that makes you different and attractive to backers, but you'll have to show how that decision to spend money on shooting on film adds more to the project than better costume or makeup or sound, for instance.

    6 months ago
  • Yeah of course, great comments thanks for the those suggestions

    In all honesty I was thinking at this moment whether getting the amount I need for the stock is plausible- I really do appreciate I haven't mentioned much in the way of plot you're dead right...in fact it's a period drama so there would need to be a fair budget for the various art/makeup and costume departments...I just heard that there are certain funds specifically for film shoots so thought someone may know about that but just getting budget in general is probably the best thing then see where it head so from there
    I appreciate your suggestions a lot though guys. Some good food for thought - it's made things sound very plausible

    Also marlon thanks for laying things out simply. Made your point clearly much appreciated

    6 months ago
    • I assume you've had a hunt under 'opportunities' here on SP - that's pretty much all the "funds" available at any time. Not a lot, TBH, and almost always with constraints. The way most people fund their films is by taking a second job!

      The 16mm packages including TK are pretty decent value, but you're still looking at 31p/second. Even on a 6:1 ratio, you're looking at £200+ for a 2 minute scene just for stock and processing. I do admire people shooting on a 6:1 ratio, it shows real discipline and it's what all the 35mm low budget features of the 1980's used - but most directors and crew are used to the ability to run cameras for repeated takes these days. 6:1 vanishes quickly if there's a problem and you're shooting coverage!

      6 months ago
  • Yeah I feel that shooting coverage is lazy - it just says you can't imagine what you want so you get everything.
    I am in contact with bfi at the
    Moment but I don't expect anything. I hope to get some positive feedback to funding opportunity somewhere.

    And I appreciate the kind advice from yourself.

    I've done a lot of research and o know budget wise what I need at the moment and if funding is less than I think then the format will likely be the first thing to change...I just don't want to:)

    6 months ago
    • Shooting coverage is lazy? Oh, dude, no. As an editor, you're gonna make me cry.

      6 months ago
    • @Dan Selakovich hi Dan
      Shooting coverage shows lack of foresight- as an editor you may want more but if a director knows what they want and they get it...why would you need coverage? It's usually just settling for safety shots that aren't as creative but are get out of jail free shots...but I'm sure you know best bud

      6 months ago
    • @Graham Bradshaw I think we have vastly different definitions for the term "coverage." But OK. I'm not trying to come down on you at all. I hope it comes out amazing. I think the reason I've stuck around SP all of these years is to keep people from making the mistakes I've been hired to fix. I hope to put myself out of a job.

      5 months ago
    • @Dan Selakovich maybe it's a transatlantic thing Dan like the names for lighting stands...as far as I've always known it when a dp says they are shooting coverage it means shooting the shit out of something so they have safety and all options.
      As opposed to shooting required shots

      5 months ago
  • I'm confused (this is a normal condition of mine). From the post, it seems you are looking for help with the budget, not where to find the money, but I guess maybe both?

    My snarky comment on not shooting on film wasn't so much an art issue, but a budget issue. Do you know how much money you need? Seems to me that's a first step. Even a really simple budget would be of some help. Start with hard costs: things that you don't want to compromise on. On a short, I tend to start with feeding the crew (since I'm guessing everyone is working for free or near nothing). $20 a plate I would say is an OK place to start. Times the number of crew times the number of meals a day times the shoot days, etc.

    Film is a hard cost. Because everyone is shooting digitally, you'll probably not get a deal on film stock or processing--especially for 16mm. Same goes for 16mm sync camera and lens kit. And you can't really figure out your film and processing until you know your shooting ratio. I'd say 10:1 would be minimum, especially with an inexperienced film crew.

    And on and on. Figure out your hard costs first.

    Or perhaps you've done a schedule and budget. If so, how much do you need?

    6 months ago
    • Thanks for your reply Dan:) really helpful. As I said I am aware price wise how much shooting film will add, so I'm asking if anyone knew of where to start with getting funding together from sources as usually I find myself- but if I can't get the money together it's obviously a no go.

      I really appreciate your advice though. I will be shooting probably 5/6:1 as I won't shoot tonnes of coverage and storyboard etc will mean I can plan the visual story - I have an old dp friend I know that will lend me his 16mm shooting kit.
      I need from a rough budget if shootings 16mm for a 10min short £2,700
      But that's just the initial budget for 3 shoot days
      I have never raised funds for a film first and the advice the other guys have offered so far has been Excellent as well...
      I appreciate all your help all you guys...(especially the price of lunch;))

      6 months ago
    • @Graham Bradshaw 6:1 is very low by modern standards, even for pretty experienced directors, so if you're shooting 5:1 that's quite something! Is that your current ratio when you shoot digital? I'd frankly want to be sure I was comfortable shooting drama 5:1 before only buying 2000'.

      What Dan is saying (and remember, Dan has made more movies than just about anyone you'll ever meet) is that having coverage gives the editor options to tell your story. Home gamers may direct and edit, but many great directors will shoot their shots then let the editor create the story with the material.

      6 months ago
    • @Graham Bradshaw I don't deal with 16mm, but that price seems low, even at that shooting ratio. I assume this is for a 4k scan of the negative. Possibly DaVinci color correction. Are you doing a key code imbed? Most offer a wet gate option... highly desirable. Are you cutting the negative, or doing a digital out from the negative scan? Then as your final, a Digital Cinema Package? Or a Tape Master? Or both? Under $4k sounds dirt cheap. Maybe I'll move to the U.K.! Paddy, will you buy me a bear?

      5 months ago
    • @Dan Selakovich Or a "beer." either would be cool. I don't know where I'd put a bear though.

      5 months ago
    • Oh, wait... is your 2700 pounds for the entire film, or just the 16mm processing and transfer? Again, confused. That's me!

      5 months ago
    • @Dan Selakovich Hi Dan, Ratecard is about £175+VAT (@20%) for a 400ft/11min 16mm reel including processing, cleaning, TK and saving to your own hard drive. Shooting 6:1 for an 11 minute short would cost 6 x £175 (+VAT), or around £1200 including TK.

      5 months ago
    • @Paddy Robinson-Griffin
      That's cheaper than I was was quoted, I had about 1500
      Awesome

      5 months ago
    • @Graham Bradshaw Cool - I'm sure there are different deals about, this one was from www.frame24ltd.co.uk/epages/es768558.sf/... and seemed pretty reasonable getting it as a package with processing and TK since it's useless without

      5 months ago
    • @Paddy Robinson-Griffin PS I'm sure the devil is in the details - the resolution of the TK sounds like one I'd certainly ask about.

      5 months ago
    • @Paddy Robinson-Griffin Well, that's a straight forward, minimal options way to go. Still, that's damned cheap. Pretty awesome.

      5 months ago
    • I think Dan is bang on the money with this. You need a budget and not just a top sheet. A detailed budget will tell you how much you need. Don't fall into the trap of saying I only want to spend... £x and try and fit everything else in around that. You'll fail and make so many compromises that you'll end up with a 'compromised' film.

      Shooting ratio for an inexperienced director and film camera crew could be 10/12-1 ish. Minimum. And you DO NEED COVERAGE. Again, inexperience will tell you other wise. And I don't mean inexperience in a bad way. Maybe if you have directed a half dozen films you'd be 'experienced'. But in my view, shooting film is very different from shooting digital. Set up times for example can be double or triple the times to set up a digital camera.

      5 months ago
  • I understand entirely and as I say I really do appreciate the advice.
    I am one of those who likes to thoroughly plan before hand...obviously I'm not that experienced but I feel like everyone hasn't their way. I think the reason 6:1 is low by modern standards is because of the wally kids like me who buy dslr and realise that they can take 200 photos and eventually they will have one worth looking at. I think the practical way of working is getting it perfect first. Who knows...I guess everyone has their own way.

    i wasn't poo pooing the advice at all...I appreciate all that those have offered

    Maybe trying to get another few hundred feet would be safer:)

    6 months ago
    • If you take 2000' for cash, see if you can take another couple of cans on sale or return for instance, or make it up with ends.

      I do agree regarding shooting ratio and if you're actually getting 5:1 already, then it's great to be so disciplined. Planning is hugely valuable - if you're planning every shot and cutaway, you're certainly improving your chances of shooting low ratio. And being that disciplined makes for a faster shoot, always good.

      5 months ago
    • @Paddy Robinson-Griffin Paddy, do they still have short ends in 16mm? Here in Hollywood, even 35mm ends are really hard to come by nowadays.

      5 months ago
    • @Dan Selakovich TBH I doubt they're common for 16mm, fair point. Likewise 35mm - there may be some dog-ends left over from the studio productions or some commercials, but they'll be the exception

      5 months ago
  • God damn it. Where's Wozy on all of this? All the old hands are chiming in! Marlom (spot on, brother), Paddy, me... WOZY! Any advice for this kid?

    5 months ago
    • This kids all up for advice on funding a short film on 16mm:)
      Cheers guys

      5 months ago
    • @Graham Bradshaw Ha! If I were shooting in the U.K., my first calls would be to Paddy and Wozy. They are absolutely amazing on advice and knowledge. They've even changed MY mind now and again. Not an easy thing to do.

      5 months ago
    • Da daaaa. Here me is!

      This is going to sound tough I'm afraid. And it has been said above. Don't shoot on film! There's an obvious knowledge gap here around shooting, formats, producing, genre and fund raising. Im not going to go over what's already been covered a number of times.

      I love film and would prefer to shoot on it any day of the week, mainly for the nostalgia though. I've shot film, loaded film, edited film, transferred film... and it take shit loads of additional time and money to do so. Money that will not really go on the screen - it wont add any value whatsoever. You may argue, but there are digital processess available now that can mimic film grain so well that most people wouldn't be able to tell the difference.

      And for a film that most obviously needs a budget for its costume and possibly location, you're robbing those departments of available funds.

      Most people would fund their own shorts. But you may need thousands of pounds to be able to realise this ambition. And you wont get a return on any investment here, so why would someone invest? And £2,700? Sounds quite unrealistic to me. What glass are you going to use? Don't scrimp on glass. Using cheap glass will mean you're wasting your time on film.

      I know it sounds like I'm just parroting whats already been said. But to me this sounds so ambitious for someone with no funds or experience in fund raising that it feels like its going to fall apart.

      With my producers hat on, I wouldn't want to do this. Back in my day of film, a typical budget for a 10 minute film over 3-4 days would be a grand a minute - so that's £10k. And thats when everyone used film. Trying to find a film experienced camera crew now that will work for expenses will be challenging in itself.

      But I also know that perseverance is a might thing. If you want it badly enough, you'll get it. It may just take some time to work it all out.

      Good luck though - I will root for you.

      Wozy

      5 months ago
  • I'll say this one last thing about your shooting ratio and leave it alone. You mention your planning. That's great. And terribly important to over plan. But here's my worry; films are made with the involvement of other humans. And those humans called actors aren't machines. I've had the experience many times (back in the film days), when actor A killed it on a first take, but actor B didn't get warmed up until take 3 or 4 or 7. Then add to that, actor A got worse on take 3 or 4 or 7. It really determines HOW you will structure your coverage. If actor A is amazing on early takes, I'd shoot his single first, the go out to the master, two shot, etc. until Actor B is warmed up and killing it. But you're going to burn through a lot of film before you figure out that humans aren't spot on every second after "action."

    I know that's sort of complex, but think about this simple scenario: you've shot 4 takes on one shot. This could be because a dolly grip screwed up, a car in your period piece drives through the background. A helicopter destroys your sound. Or, hey, the actor forgot his lines or just wasn't good. So that's 140 feet of film in 16mm on a one minute scene. So your 6:1 ratio is completely blown. You'll have to find a way to make the scene work, scraping what you had planned with what is now, in reality, a 2:1 ratio.

    I meet a lot of filmmakers, many first feature directors back in the day, that think a 10:1 ratio means 10 different camera set ups. It's not. It's how much film you burn in camera setups AND multiple takes. If you do 10 takes, boom, no more camera setups for you.

    5 months ago
    • Hi Dan
      I know you're trying to offer me friendly advice but that is rather obvious stuff...I totally understand those potential issues. We've all met the actors that want the 3rd, 4th or more takes. I know what shooting ratios are ambitious and tough marks to reach, but hey I need to push myself. Let's hope planning and rehearsal help me scrape a little better ratio. I do work in film and tv and I do understand the processes I'm not a TOTALLY clueless amateur even if I'm less experienced than you very experienced vets...really the only advice I was looking for after all the discussion about ratio and budgeting etc I just wanted to know ways of finding funding which a kind gent helped with about 20 posts ago:)

      I do however appreciate the passion you guys all have in film and filmmaking - I sincerely hope I'm passionate enough when I'm your age to patronise youngsters :) I'm kidding I know it's kind words and it's a all been appreciated!! Food for thought. If it all starts working out I will let you guys know how it comes along

      5 months ago
  • Guys, time to forget it now...

    Let Graham do it how he wants to do it and he can learn all this for himself.

    Graham - presume you're aware of all the usual schemes - BFI, Creative England, your local London borough (if applicable), other local authority schemes, arts council (again, if applicable - highly unlikely). Other than that there's really nothing for shorts, apart from just getting friendly with local councillors, the Co-operative, that kind of thing. And zero extra help if you want to shoot on film, especially if you're relatively inexperienced. I should say, there's relatively more help for docos, which isn't the case here, and there's lots of competition-based funding, which generally involved selling something (often yourself!).

    But as everyone has said, if you're sat there playing with moveable figures then you're just treading water. You need to budget this down to the pound. Until you do then you have no idea what you need.

    On the film note - as a DoP I'd consider going back to 16mm for a project (I'm not pitching!) but only if:
    cast and crew were experienced, the director had a proven track record and there was enough cash for proper camera and lighting kit (and crew to use it). In other words, if it were more professional then your average low-budget short. Otherwise it's WAY too risky.

    Jamie

    5 months ago
  • 5:1 is entirly doable when shooting film. I've shot on loads of low budget shorts, TV drama and Indie features (both 16mm and 35mm) that shot 5/6:1. It was quite common practise in the pre-digital age. Its only since the digital age that insanely huge shooting ratios have become the norm. I've heard both directors and DOPs use the expression "shoot the shit out of it" and they do! Creating many headaches for DITs and Editors. On a recent big budget movie they were shooting 40:1!

    Speak to Frame 24 (google them). They buy up unused Stock from features such as Star Wars/Justice League etc and have both 16mm and 35mm stock which they have obtained this way. 16mm tends to be scanned at 2k while 35mm is 4k. There are two labs in the UK - Cinelab and Kodak London (formally Idailies), if you want some contacts for them, message me and I will put you in touch.

    With regard to 16mm cameras, there are many owner/operators out there. Also, you can buy a decent 16mm camera on ebay for a couple of grand and flog it after. Also, some hire companies will give you the camera for nothing providing you hire lenses, grip etc from them, just to get the camera off the shelf. (again, if you would like contacts, message me). Shooting on film these days is not as expensive as a lot of people think it is. You just need to know the right people, have a good producer and a strong 1st AD.

    If you are well storyboarded, have good, well rehearsed actors, a strong 1st AD and film-experienced crew, then it is quite possible to shoot a Super 16 short quite economically.

    Good luck!

    5 months ago
    • Mark, speaking as an editor (mostly) 40:1 would be a fucking dream! The biggest film I salvaged was 30:1, and it was amazing to have all of those choices. Coverage isn't "shoot the shit out of it." Well, maybe for complete idiots, it is. But so often, using a few lines from an actor, using multiple takes, I can craft a much better performance. One actor I edited, a high shooting ratio made her a star. I give actors careers, and it's because of that shooting ratio. The digital age didn't give high shooting ratios. Those have been around forever. David Fincher is infamous for 50 takes on a CU. I think that's insane, but I can't argue with his results. It all depends on so many things.

      5 months ago
    • @Dan Selakovich
      Sure, David Fincher uses high shooting ratios but he shoots digital. Even has his own custom built Red Camera (could be seen as a prototype for Panavision's new DXL).

      The only time I've seen high shooting ratios in the pre-digital era was on Commercials. One director was quite notorius for it. Then his one attempt at doing a big Hollywood movie resulted in him being fired and the film being recut by the movie's lead actor!

      If an actor can only turn in a good performance from masses of takes and then that performance being created in the editing, then you don't want to hire that actor. He/she will bankrupt the movie. Better to get an actor who can nail it in 5 than one who's performance has to be salvaged.

      Spielburg (who shoots film) uses a very low shooting ratio and slavishly shoots a storyboard (he doesn't shoot coverage). Ridley Scott, likewises. All directors are different. Hitchcock was also of the 'shoot a storyboard and not coverage' school.

      "Shooting the shit out of it and looking for moments," a phrase heard often on set, may work in the digital world (it is particularly prevelent with Music Videos) but in the Film world it is a disaster.

      My comments are based on decades in the Camera Department, going from Trainee, all the way up through the grades. When I started we were shooting on Arri SRIIs and Eclair NPRs (16mm) and Arri IICs, Arri IIIs and BL4s (35mm). I've even worked with a Mitchell!

      My observations are based on my experience over the years. As is everyone elses.

      5 months ago
  • Graham, do you have a producer on board? I'm guessing from your comments that it's just you at the moment trying to pull the project together. Possibly the first step before trying to look for potential funding would be to bring a producer on board who can help with budgeting etc.

    As Jamie says, until you have a firm budget, you don't know how much money to apply for.

    Also, the more experience you can show as a team, the more likely you are to attract funding, even if it's just via a Kickstarter campaign.

    A producer with a track record may have a better insight into where to look for possible funding for shorts, especially outside London where there tend to be more schemes to support regional filmmakers.

    5 months ago
  • By the way, One Stop Films are running their Christmas competition at the moment. The winner gets to make a short film on 35mm for the cost of the catering basically. Go to onrstopfilms.co.uk

    5 months ago
  • Regarding shooting ratios. Too much is very much better than not enough. What's enough depends on the production. How many cutaways, reactions and parallel actions? Factual is often oportunistic. We've shot 70.1 more than once and were pleased to have done so. Features have usually been storyboarded and shot on paper well before the camera is on location. It's more like paint by numbers than an opportunistic test bed. Even with digital, 20.1 is luxurious if the pre production team have been able to do their jobs. 5.1 ought to be comfortable for many if not most feature dramas. 3.1 is not a rarity.

    5 months ago
    • Sure, John. But those low shooting ratios depend on experienced people on both sides of the camera (not just the director). The less experience any one person in the chain has, the higher the shooting ratio needs to be. You can have a dolly grip with 30 years of experience, but if the focus puller is on his 2nd short the dolly grip's experience means little.

      5 months ago
    • @Dan Selakovich of course

      5 months ago
    • @Graham Bradshaw That wasn't point toward you, Graham, but John. You seem to have a handle on it.

      5 months ago
    • Let me just say one other thing. Most of us veterans that post know that others will be reading these things. Often, what we have to say isn't pointed at the original post, but addressing the many mistakes we've seen over the years of our careers by ourselves and others, to benefit members that read these posts. Too often, we see red flags flying that we've seen a lot. This doesn't mean that you, Graham, are in that red flag club. We don't know you. You might be. You might not be. So don't take it too personally. Often, when we go off on tangents from the original post (in this case, funding), it's meant to make sure that the thought process has taken place. I can't speak for the rest, but I certainly post to make sure that other members are aware. Something that might not be accurate to you personally, might be a gold mine for others. I hope you take it in that vein.

      5 months ago
    • @Dan Selakovich I appreciate your master plan:)
      I'm sure everyone else does. We all have our strengths and we all have our weaknesses so this kind of discussion of course is useful for everyone. Life is about learning, if you think there's nothing left roll over is what I was always told:)

      5 months ago
    • @Graham Bradshaw Hiya, I think we're all a bit constrained by this really, really ugly threading style in SP to a degree, so sometimes a general point can seem directed. And one thing I love about SP is the general cases.

      I don't know most people here, so am always speaking in a general case. I learned a LOT from other members here whether current members, or deep in the past where it was just a curated email list, and a lot of that was from listening to others talking in general cases!

      All the old dogs are itching to be proved wrong, by the way ;-)

      5 months ago
  • Thanks for those last few comments guys - if you don't mind I'll most likely message a couple of you to ask more questions
    Much appreciated

    5 months ago
  • Hi Graham!
    I shot a 16mm documentary 20 years ago and reckoned the budget was around £5000. That was cheap even then. Financed it all myself with dayjob and with the help of some great guys willing to work towards a common goal. I'm sure you'll find some folks eager to shoot on film and work for minimal costs.
    So I ended up with a 15 min award winning documentary that's been used many times by TV production companies looking for archive of an execution chamber.
    I think the film route was definitely a good idea for me and I don't regret the decision at all. I know this is 20 years on but if your heart is set on it then do it and crowfund the project. Raised £7k to help finish my last documentary. You could make gifts of film frames or suchlike.
    It won't be easy but if your heart is in it then you'll do it!
    Cheers
    DGS
    PS that 16mm film is available to watch on my profile.

    5 months ago
  • Wow, this one received so many responses and asked more questions than that. Just thought I'd mention that I shot one of my indie features on 35mm "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" (no not that one, shot mine approx about ten years earlier) on a shooting ratio of three to one. Worth noting though the following, this was my third feature length film. I had been shooting shorts on Super 8mm & 16mm for over a decade. I was working with a group of actors that I knew very well indeed having worked on tape, film and in theater for several years with prior to casting. The film stock, processing and the tele-cine expense equated to half the budget of the entire film. We rehearsed for weeks before beginning filming. I love and am specialized in down-the-line shots (where I move the camera in a rehearsed way as choreographed actors move in and out of a frame and whole scenes are often shot in one take with no cuts). Would I choose to do this now with the advances in digital technology, well frankly no, even with my wealth of experience shooting on film I would simply be making a cross to bear for myself. If I was going to set myself a challeng I'd think about hiring a DJI INSPIRE and shoot with a 5K camera, something presently pushing the envelope. I know that this would really excite and attract a talented cast and crew and enable me to create something remarkable.
    Thankfully there are dozens of film format enthusiasts out there still dying to get involved in working in that medium, but I suggest that you avoid the film schools for potential crew, you need a dedicated crew of specialists with years of experience to pull this one off, they're out there just try harder to find and secure their help before turning over. Best of luck with your shoot Graham. Sorry as I said...more questions than answers.

    5 months ago
  • Hey Graham,
    Getting a budget together that was the original question? So how you do it? Let me stress everything begins with the amazing and fascinating script, without that no one really is interested.
    I have now funded 11 shorts and am an award winning short director and have had high B list actors in my films. First these experienced guys have given you a ball park figure for shooting on 16 or 35mm for the film - £1,200 upwards.
    How long is your script? How many actors? How many locations? So crew - keep to a minimum always and pay from £100 - £130 a day if possible. so let's say sound , dop , all round jo (gaffer/1st a/c ) you director don't get paid so minimum £400 x no of days but if you need specialist people for the 35mm you may pay 200 a day especially for your dop who may throw in the camera too. Then if not you have to hire a camera and lighting and pay for the film , but again go for a gaffer who will have a few lights included in his price or give you a preferential rate. Then actors can be had for free if you ask friends, ditto crew or from £80 (around minimum wage) to £132 a day (equity rate) and believe you me top, top actors will work for £132/day on a short they like the look of. Otherwise if you want someone profile you may pay 300-500 or even a 1000 a day. Don't go there for a short unless you win the Jamieson who throw an A lister in for free!or Pears or Short,shorts. Then crew and actors you have to pay for their travel. Cap it at the beginning and use only crew and cast that live near your location. So I cap at £15 return per day. So let's say on a 4- 5 day shoot (average for 15 min film) you might budget £600 for 5 actors , 5 crew for travel. State it at the beginning then it is clear and up to cast and crew to apply or not. Next locations, beg and borrow or be prepared to pay £100-500 a day unless it's a castle or hospital or something. Last food and beverages;add £5 per meal per day minimum £15 x no of actors and crew.
    Ok so it all starts with the script- keep no of actors and locations to a minimum and keep it to 10-15 minutes for your budget. That is approx a 8 - 12 page script. This length film is preferred by many festivals anyway. Just a ball park figure could be £6,000 to £10,000 for the whole film but hey maybe you get everyone and everything free on a collaboration or pay a lot less if you are careful?!

    So now how do you get that money? 1. Save up and pay for it yourself. 2. Get a good presentation together I.e make a poster, page on synopsis, page on film references and treatment, page on you as director, photo, all about you in the best possible light, awards etc. A page on producer, dop, pAge on your projected schedule and where you think the film is going. Make this in photoshop and word, as visual and beautiful as possible. This "presenter" you can use on a crowdfunding page, sending by email to every friend and relation asking for a small contribution and all the many, many competitions and award bodies that give money. So it's a waiting game often. Applying to say iShorts through BFI would take 6 months before you heard back and got an award or not. Someone in an earlier post mentioned a specific 35mm film award competition, go for that.
    Though my blog is primarily aimed at female film makers, it really could apply to men tooand more details on raising money for Shorts can be found on there; www.artyfartyfilmgirl.tumblr.com

    5 months ago