Producing a Feature Film – Case Study
Let’s skip all of the screenwriting, story structure, and the creative things for the moment.
Let’s talk about how I snagged a producer – also known as my dear friend Julia. Since I know she won’t want Cinema Bandit to show up when someone googles her name, I am going to refer to her as The Producer.
My producer and I were classmates in film school and graduated around the same time. We were big on dreaming about where we would go and what we would make. We had also worked together on her short film Shadow of a Doubt – she directed it, I produced it.
I had wanted to do a feature for 2018, preferably in the summer, but as many already know – life happens – and I was unable to think of doing a feature film until early September. I sent the producer the treatment then, and we decided to do it.
I remember the exact moment she agreed to do it because I was watching Cityslickers for the first time and I was half-crying over Billy Crystal saving the baby calf and half-crying tears of joy that we were going to make a feature film.
This was a joint effort on both the producer and I’s part. She worked as both Executive Producer, Line Producer and Director of Photography.
What’s the difference between Producing and Line Producing? Line producing is taking care of the details of the shoot. The scheduling. The casting. Overseeing everything. The less people you have, and the less money you got for your production, the more your producer does for you.
You might be thinking, “well, that’s great Taylor. Not everyone has a network of people they can count on to not only help, but produce a film.” And that’s true. That’s why if you’re working with virtually no budget, it’s important to find people who have the same goals and aspirations you do.
I am eternally grateful towards Julia with her help in guiding my script, encouraging me to be a badass, and stepping in where we needed her. She was crucial to Capitol Video.
This is how I got a producer for the film; it was just friends, working together to make something great. It was also a film that took $3,000 to create.
It’s important to look at film with a realistic view. If you come from a family that is more than eager to give you $200,000 for your indie film, then that’s realistic – for you. If you don’t have a penny to your name, but you have a smart phone – then that’s realistic for you. Work with in your means!
Next, I am going to talk about budgeting. I will go into detail how we budgeted for our film, and talk about what you can and cannot do on a budget of $3,000.