That’s sort of my point: there’s no technical reason why feature length film budgets should be increasing rather than decreasing; instead, it’s a purely social reason: specifically, people (falsely) believe that a big budget is necessary to make something with any kind of audience. Demonstrating that a worthwhile feature-length film can be made with a budget in the tens of dollars instead of in the millions is probably the best way to counter this.

In the 90s, plenty of pictures were made for ten thousand dollars or so. That number has stuck in people’s minds as the low-end estimate, but in reality, that refers to the cost of a low-end film camera, plenty of film, and film editing equipment — or a low-end camcorder, a bunch of tapes, and a video toaster. But, today, most americans have video cameras in their pockets that knock the mid-range 90s camcorders out of the water. We need to redefine the idea of the “shoestring budget” for film from $10k to twenty bucks.

Written by

Resident hypertext crank. Author of Big and Small Computing: Trajectories for the Future of Software.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store