It's quite commonplace for filmmakers to fear the act of storyboarding moreso than writing the dreaded business plan. This is baffling, when you think about it - if someone can take a stack of paper and gleefully go through the mammoth task of turning it into a film, you'd think putting a series of doodles together would be no sweat.
On a super-low budget film, everyone wears more than one hat. But when you start working on larger projects, you have treat these departments separately. Here are some basic tips to help you sort them out.
Transportation is the most difficult budget category to wrap your head around. But if you're not smart about it, you could wind up deep in the red - on something that no one in the audience will ever see.
Somewhere deep in their hearts, most film school graduates harbour a vision of the successful filmmaker's life. A life spent writing, taking meetings, calling 'action' on set, going to festivals and premieres, and enjoying life. Then they graduate, and they start PAing. Reality quickly overtakes fantasy.
Exteriors have many advantages over interiors. They can impart a bigger sense of scope and more production value. You can work with fewer lights (if you're shooting days). They often cost less to rent. But they have one significant disadvantage - you're at the mercy of the elements.
The director's looking at the beautiful archway. The DP is figuring out where the morning light comes in. The sound guy hears an ice cream truck nearby. What should you, the producer, be doing? Figuring out where everyone's going to pee.
Independent filmmakers are wary of effects, not without reason. They can be time-consuming and expensive, require some expertise, and can distract you from telling your story. But they can also help you tell your story and raise your production value . If you just follow some simple steps, you can produce good effects on a tight budget. So don't be afraid. The force is with you.
The traditional way of shooting a scene: get a master, close-ups, two-shots, three-shots (if there's a multiple-character scene), and cutaways. These setups come from a shotlist and storyboards. It's a fine way to make a movie, but it's not the only one, and for low-budget filmmakers, it may not even be the best choice.