Show menu
Shooting People
By continuing to browse this website you are agreeing to allow us to use cookies

US vs UK film websites (delete if you will)

Since I can't delete this post, I'll use it.

When we compare the US and British film industries, we might think of Hollywood (which includes two Canadian companies, a Japanese one, a French one, and one started by an Australian) and the BBC. The "American" film industry is perhaps the most inclusive in the world.

Britain is one of the world's largest economies, much larger than Nigeria or other countries that have thriving film industries. According to official statistics, about 12 percent of Brits work in the creative industries. (Full time, main income source.)

However, I'd like to point out the difference between websites catering to filmmakers. And, to websites in Britain and the USA.

The main difference is budget professionalism.

British crowdfunding websites limit how much you can raise. Now, crowdfunder calls 50k a "major" campaign. I think they consider a film to be a part time endeavor. The average film on a UK crowdfunding website wants to raise 5k. And yes, I've had projects rejected, or questioned, for wanting to raise too much money, even when my budget was smaller than Napoleon Dynamite or Blair Witch! (Crowdfunder is great, however, in that their fees are much lower.)

US crowdfunding websites don't tend to have a limit. And, it's not unusual to find a film wanting to raise 100k or more. British films wanting to raise a million, or even 40k, will chose an American site.

Feature films that cost less than ten houses are microbudget. That's right, I said ten houses. If you can mortgage your house to pay for a self-funded feature film, it's nanobudget or picobudget. Where houses cost 300k, less than 3 million is microbudget. (Yes, I made a five k film, but it never got past Vimeo.) That's why self-funded films almost always lose money, they are under-budgeted.

That's because so many people are involved, if you want high production values. If you want to hire a lot of professionals, it'll cost a lot of money. So, when I write microbudget (or nanobudget) films, I keep the cast small, and the locations minimal, and use lower production values as an effect.

US filmmaking sites are not all aimed at self-funded films. So, while Shooting People has its high budget as over 500k, US sites may have their second lowest budget bracket at 5 million.

Now, things aren't generally cheaper in the UK than the USA. Brits are no longer dying in boats to reach America. How many man-hours can you expect at 100k, even at UK minimum wage? Not a lot, compared to the labour intensive process of making a film.

Stage32 has more budget choices for films. Even though they have many microbudget producers who can't afford 5k (including some from developing countries) they don't fool themselves that 500k is high budget for a feature film.

Happy New Year, and Happy Shooting. Thank you for everything you've done. I think this minor, adding more budget categories, change could help more films get more realistically funded, and distributed. There are so many good people here, but fewer investors than elsewhere.

(silly blog)