Producing the Micro-Budget Film

Learn industry trade secrets to cutting costs while shooting your script.

Producing the Micro-budget Feature will take participants step-by-step through the process of producing a low-budget indie film. Learn all the important aspects to produce a low budget film with high production values. Make your film the best it can be.

This Production class is for Producers, Directors, Screenwriters and anyone who wants to make a low budget narrative feature film, documentary or short.

Participants will learn the following areas of production:

Development – understand how to option material or a script, learn about the important legal contracts which are necessary to start building your film’s chain of title.

Script Breakdown – master how to break down any script and create the foundation for your film’s schedule and budget.

Scheduling – comprehend how you can schedule a film and utilize different scheduling software formats.

Budgeting – determine how to use the breakdown and schedule to create film budgets. Try out different software programs and decide how to make your film with the least amount of money and still keep great production values.

Funding – learn to fundraise though crowd funding, pre-sales, fiscal sponsorship, and other keys to finding the money for your film.

Casting – tips on how to hire a casting director or do the casting yourself to get the best talent possible.

Pre Production – ideas for planning your film to save you thousands once you get into production.

Locations – scouting and negotiating for your locations so they are affordable.

Legal – learn what contracts are required and how to get good legal advice for your film.

Insurance – determine what insurance you will need and how to purchase it.

Production – master how to make the best decisions during principle photography and keep under budget and on time.

Wrap – determine the steps to wrap out a film and know how to begin to create deliverables.

Post Production - create a post production work flow and schedule/oversee the post production process till the film is finished.

Audio - understand the most important steps in audio production and post audio, including how to schedule and hire talented personnel.

Music - master how to hire a composer or put together a sound track, including how to negotiate proper music licensing

Archive Materials - full explanation of where to find and how to negotiate the rights to archive materials if your film requires it.

Marketing/Publicity - ideas for the best ways to sell your film with a press kit and marketing strategy.

Film Festival Strategy - find out the best festivals for your particular film and how to take a film onto the film festival circuit.

Distribution/Sales - how to get a sales agent and negotiate a distribution deal for your film.

Students are asked to bring a film treatment and script for a feature film they'd like to work on in class.  Or a feature length screenplay will be provided if you wish. For documentary filmmakers, please bring a written treatment and fundraiser proposal.

Students leave the class with

1) draft of a complete budget

2) script breakdown

3) draft of a schedule

4) production book template

5) written treatment/logline/synopsis

Whether you are interested in producing documentary or narrative films, learning the essentials of micro-budget films is key.

New digital technologies allow movies to be made for as little as a few thousand dollars. Feature filmmaking has never been more accessible. Learn industry trade secrets to cutting costs while shooting your script. Discover creative micro-budget solutions for potentially expensive problems. 


Kyle Martin

Kyle graduated from NYU’s Film and Television program in 2007, and began working alternatively in advertising production as well as the independent film community. As a Producer for Jay Walter Thompson, Kyle created content for Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson, Smirnoff, Macy’s, and Cadbury Adams.

Kyle’s first project as an independent Producer was the short film Blue Dress, winner of the Best Student Film Award at the Hamptons International Film Festival. Wild Combination: A Portrait of Arthur Russell, his first feature length documentary, premiered at the 2008 Berlin Film Festival, was released theatrically by Plexi later that year, and aired on the Sundance Channel in the spring of 2009. His follow up feature length documentary, Brock Enright: Good Times Will Never Be The Same, premiered at the 2009 South by Southwest Film Festival and is slated for release via Factory 25 in 2010. He recently completed production on NY Export: Opus Jazz and Tiny FurnitureNY Export: Opus Jazz is the first feature film adaptation of a Jerome Robbins work since West Side Story.  It premiered at the 2010 South by Southwest Film Festival, where it won the Emerging Visions Audience Award, and had its broadcast premiere nationwide on PBS’s Great Performances this March. Tiny Furniture is the second feature from writer/director/actress Lena Dunham.  It premiered in Narrative Competition at this year’s South by Southwest Film Festival, won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Narrative Feature, and is being released by IFC.  Kyle has been nominated for the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature for Tiny Furniture.