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Indie Filmmaking (1 Viewer)


Senior Member
I am an aspiring filmmaker, and I am just looking for some one who can give me the run down on:

  • Price range of a roughly 2 hour long film, little to no special effects, written and directed by myself. And, if profit is even possible.
  • How I get my movie to be seen.
  • Where to look for cast and crew (other than among friends)
Any answer to these questions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


Senior Member
What is your location? My forum is looking for scriptwriters, actors, producers etc to help each other out.


Senior Member
I can't exactly answer the last two but the price for a 2 hours film varies. It usually depends on the complexity of the storyline, setting, cast number, amount of stunts, location shoots, etc.

Yes, it is - that's the URL of my forum. :) The forum is still fairly new [about a month old] but hopefully, it'll help out in some way


Senior Member
  • Price range of a roughly 2 hour long film, little to no special effects, written and directed by myself. And, if profit is even possible.
it's impossible for anyone to give you any range, since only you know what the script is, how large a cast it has and what they have to be paid, what equipment you have available at what cost, etc. ...whether you can make a profit will depend on how much it costs and what you're going to do with it... practically, speaking, you're looking at pouring money into a hole and leaving it there, since you would have to market and distribute your film to theaters, in order to make any money at all and then would have to make back your costs, before any profits can be realized... chances of a nobody with no experience doing that are nil to none...

the only other way to make a few bucks would be if it was good enough to sell to a cable network... again, not very likely for an inexperienced newbie, but anything is possible and such miracles do occur now and then...
  • How I get my movie to be seen.
as noted above... you can also pony up the funds for entering it in competitions and taking it to conventions like showbiz expo and nafte...
  • Where to look for cast and crew (other than among friends)
depends on what you can afford to pay... try community theaters, university/community colleges' drama departments, and actor's equity [or the canadian equivalent] in whatever major city you're near...


Senior Member
First, mammamia is right...There is no way to answer the cost of any film without doing a proper budget. On that note, I would suggest doing a short film. If you do have a screenplay, then you can shoot an extended trailer for the film...I dont completely suggest this, but its been done...

Either way, it wouldn't break your bank account....unless you have car crashes and CGI....But starting out, keep it simple with a good story with just a few locations. Another note on short films, keep them under 10 minutes...possibly 6 and under.

But, like I said..think about doing a short film to start out. It will also serve as a good reel to further your career.....and did I mention Festivals? A great place to get your work shown!!


WF Veterans
Gritty realism movies are on the upswing. So just get a few people, a good script filled with irony and subtle humor, get them at a bus stop, and film it.


Senior Member
Ditto to what everyone else has said. Being part of a filmmaking group, I find comedies are the easiest, and cheapest films to make. Unless you have a large pool of money, it will be hard to do other genres (except a few others such as abstract/surreal). As for getting actors/actresses without paying, you should build your social network.

Winning film competitions with shorts is the best way to get noticed (as branbran stated earlier). I participated in a 48 Hour Film Festival in which my group won best sound design, and best cinematography. Shorts can be time consuming, but the result can be an outstanding product.


Senior Member
I hate to say this but comedies are notoriously hard to make and even harder to write for one very simple reason. Everyone has a different sense of humour. Unless you can write something that suits the sense of humour of the wider audience, you are likely to fall flat on your face.


Senior Member
You can get a lot of things very cheap with a small production depending on where you live. As far as actors, you can get quality talent by going SAG Experimental. This will defer all payments to the talent until the film is sold. If its a short film, then you will be shooting it for the purpose of exposure. Although, short films have been sold before....

I advise you to do a short film FIRST! You need to do a script breakdown and get a solid budget. This will give you the details of costs like: (props, set dressing, equipment, crew, locations, meals, craft service, etc...) To get a good equipment list you will need to find a good DP (Director of Photography). Discuss the look you want along with your vision, (if your directing it yourself). The DP will also bring in his own crew and will help you find your key crew. Gaffer, Key Grip, etc.... Also, find yourself a good AD (1st Assistant Director), he will help you prepare for the shoot from a technical side of things.

Shoot a short film and get used to the steps for pre-production. There are so many things that can go wrong and you don't want your first feature to be a disaster. A short film will have minimal problems due to the length of the shoot. I can give you more details if you want on the pre-production side.....


Hey Sock

I am somewhere north of you in Ottawa.

There is no fixed cost for a film because there are too many variables.

Low budget independent films will always have flaws. This is fine. But you can do a couple of things to help your cause.

Work with the best actors possible. ACTRA, the Canadian actors union, has programs in place for low-budget films. You can and should consider speaking with them to see if you can find a way to incorporate as skilled a cast as you can. I have worked with union and non-union actors project dependent. You can go non-union and be fine but if you can find a way to use trained and experienced actors it makes a big difference.

There is an allure to shooting on actual film but it is expensive. There are some great mini-HD camera's out there now that once tweaked in post production look great.

Don't rush but don't lose momentum. It is easy to go to camera too soon because it's exciting. The one thing you have control over is the script. Make it as good as you can - write, rewrite and never start shooting without a few table reads under your belt so you have a true sense of how the words sound spoken out loud.

You may not be shooting on 35mm but that doesn't mean the camera can't and shouldn't be placed in the same spot a 35mm camera would be. Make a fluid and well thought out shot list/storyboard. Again this is something you can control and it won't cost you anything. I can't draw to save my life but I have created story boards for myself that at least let me sit back and visualize the flow of scenes so I know where pace falters, where I need more movement, close-ups, etc (this is only for scripts you are directing yourself)

If you have the money to hire one person, hire a decent camera operator who knows a little about lighting.

Even if the crew is working for free, feed them well. It doesn't have to be a lot or expensive but give them coffee and snacks and treat them all with respect. It makes a better film, saves you money in the long run and gives you better karma.

Be open to suggestion but stick to your convictions. Collaboration is only good to a point but at the end of the day there has to be someone making final decisions.

As far as crew, depending on where you are this may be more difficult. Most medium to big size cities have film co-ops. If you live near a city with a production community get to know some of the people and be professional when you present your idea and plan. Crew get offered the "opportunity" to do low-budget all the time. More often than not, the offer is disorganized and driven by someone who just has a vision to make a film. This won't cut it. Be professional with an idea of schedule, work involved, etc.

Getting films seen is more difficult. Few broadcasters will come on board in preproduction. Still worth exploring but it is difficult. If it gets exposure on TV then it would probably be a sale after the film is done.

Target festivals.

Also talk to distrubutors before you shoot. If nothing else you will get good market place advice and it will move you a little further into the film community. Be willing to take advice but remember, you are driving the ship at the end of the day. To much advice can't be incorporated from too many places or you will end up with a jumbled mess.

PM me if you want and depending on where in Ontario you are I can steer you in some directions that might help and also give you a heads up of potential pitfalls that inexperience can lead to.

The Dark Hart

A two hour film can cost anything from nothing to 40 million pounds. Before you start anything on your film advise you read some books. I recommend the Gorrila Film Maker's Guide and the Gorrila Film Maker's Blueprint. Both are extremely helpful books and have helped me very much.

If you are new to film making, i advise you make some no budget short films first. Better to mess them up than something you've invested monet into. ;)