6 Tips to Make your First (no budget !) Feature Film
1/ Write a script with what you have
Got access to an amazing house ? A cool garden ? By the beach ?
2/ Make a List of your resources
Have a dog or a cat that can do tricks ? Whatever you have, write it down and put it in your script, then write around it! This will add production value to your film.
3/ Limite the number of actors and/or location
The more actors or location you have, the more expensive it might get (unless you can find some really generous people willing to work for free or let you use their location for free)
4/ Don’t write more than 100 pages
More pages=more shooting days. And beyond that, it is best practice for a first feature to not make it too long. You want to keep your audience interested, and if it is your first, you most likely will make a few mistakes, so keeping it short and concise will likely be in your best interest. Nothing is worst than having a boring film.
5/ BE PREPARED!
Do not neglect the importance of pre-production and preparation, this will save you a LOT of precious time on set. Make a shot list, a storyboard if you can, rehearse with your actors, go on location scouts with your DP and Sound Person.
6/ Do Not forget about SOUND !!
Sound can affect the impression we have of the quality of a film even more than the image. Imagine not being able to hear what the characters are saying ? This will definitely take you away from the story. And doing ADR is a tedious task that doesn’t sound natural, so you definitely want to avoid going there.
BONUS: If you want to save yourself some frustration, get a script supervisor. It’s hateful when you have the perfect shot but you can’t use it because of a continuity error.
And of course, before launching yourself in the amazing (but challenging) adventure of a feature film, don’t forget to practice your skills on short films!