Monthly Archives: February 2011

Digital filmmaking 101 – Dale Newton and John Gaspard

I didn’t think I’d like this book. I bought it months ago, put it on my shelf and promptly forgot what it was about. I picked it up again based on the title as I kinda thought it was about the nuts and bolts of what you teach film students, and since I’m tutoring a video production paper again I thought I’d flick through it for ideas.

It’s not that kind of book. At all. It’s better.

What it IS is a really great guide to producing low budget movies. These guys have been there and done it, right and wrong, and they still love the process. And they love to share their knowledge and experience.

They discuss scripts including ideas for how to write low budget films. They show you how it’s possible to make a feature for around $8k (US$), what that includes, where to spend more money if you have it, and where to pinch pennies. They even tell you exactly what gear you’re going to need. They make suggestions for how to raise funds, breakdown your script, cast and crew up, and how to make it through production. They even have a section for special effects on a low budget, with lots of anecdotes about their own indie effects.

I was surprised that they went into great detail (and books usually lose me at this point) and it was still interesting, readable, and on every page I found hints and ideas that I will utilise on my next ultra-low budget film. And though they are very realistic in their expectations for their movies, their excitement is infectious.

Now excuse me, I have to go work on my application for Escalator!

Good luck with yours 🙂