What is Micro Budget Film School?

Light Bulb

How many filmmakers does it take to change a lightbulb?

100.

1 to change the lightbulb, and 99 to criticise about how they could have done it better if they had the funding.

For many, many years, I have watched sensational filmmaking talent go to waste. I’ve seen multi-award winning filmmakers struggle to do anything more than make a short film once a year. I’ve heard them speak with such passion about the feature films they want to make, but struggle to find a real opportunity to apply that passion and create the works they dream of. And I’ve watched them walk away from the Film Industry because, sadly, the landlord isn’t taking “hopes and dreams” as payment for rent.

I’ve seen educated, talented, passionate filmmakers who can’t get a real start, spinning their wheels in the mud, grid locked on the path to a sustainable career in this art-field. I’ve seen the Martin Scorseses, and Quentin Tarantinos of the next generation who just can’t get a goddamn break! It’s exhausting! It’s tiring! And for me, it’s bloody depressing to think of what incredible films we won’t ever get to see because they won’t ever get made.

The Same Excuses, Recycled…

Why can’t they get made? Why don’t filmmakers get the cameras rolling on their passion projects?

The excuses are always the same:

  • “I need funding, but the money always goes to filmmakers that are already established”
  • “I can’t afford to make a feature film from my own pocket”
  • “I need a successful film to attract investors, but I need investors before I can make the successful film”
  • “I need a good producer who can worry about all the money stuff so I can just make films”

Well, I don’t think those excuses are good enough. I want to see the films, I want to work with the talent, I want to grow and help this industry. So I’m building Micro Budget Film School as a place to explore, collate, and share resources to help emerging filmmakers break through the barriers and get their films made.

Showing you How to do it, not just talking about it

There’s enough blogs and sites on the internet that talk about film. They will criticise popular blockbusters, analyse story structure in small indie films, even interview successful filmmakers on their press tours for the latest film…

But there’s no point studying the big blockbuster films when we will never be able to make them until we get started on cheaper, smaller scale films! Christopher Nolan’s first film cost $6000. Darren Aronofsky’s first cost $60,000. Kevin Smith’s first film cost $27,000.

It’s a whole different style of filmmaking, and it’s called: “Micro Budget Filmmaking”.

Micro Budget Filmmaking trims the fat. It’s about making excellent quality films for budgets so small, you CAN afford them. It’s about making thrilling cinema that stands it’s ground in a forest of big-budget garbage, despite being made for a fraction of the price. It’s about making films that people are hungry for, films that people will talk about… but doing it without getting the hottest hollywood star.

After all: Filmmaking is an extraordinary art form. So why should it be only accessible by rich, wealthy, white, men in Hollywood? That’s garbage. I care about this industry too much to let it be owned by the 1%. I want voices of dissent back on the screen. I want minority groups to be able to share their stories with the same fervour and power as the rest.

But I know that money is, and always will be, the biggest hurdle. So that’s why I started Micro Budget Film School. Not to pat filmmakers on the back. Not to swill wine and discuss poor plot points in the latest Marvel film.

But to gather, share and create resources that can show filmmakers HOW TO DO IT, CHEAPLY.

Who This Is For?

Micro Budget Film School is dedicated to solving all the problems, from the creative to the logistical, from the financial to the managerial, to help you get your first feature film MADE and SOLD.

If you love film and you want to make film, whether you’ve been to a Film School or not, I encourage you to share what you find on this site, and contribute to the community of hungry filmmakers.

If you don’t want to make film, if you just enjoy watching– then maybe this isn’t for you. There are many other sites which will interview famous actors. But that’s useless to the start-up filmmaker. That’s what I’m going to do differently here.

First order of business is a soon-to-be-released 7-part PodCast series (already recorded), that interviews multiple successful micro-budget filmmakers and looks at how they solved these problems:

  • How to keep the budget small (between $5k and $50k)
  • How to raise and get the budget
  • How to allocate/ spend those funds
  • How to shoot efficiently and cheaply
  • How to distribute the film

I want you to hear this. I want you to listen to what these filmmakers have to say. I want you to see how it CAN be done. So enter your email address below to join the mailing list, and you’ll be the first to know when the PodCast becomes available- and as a thank you, you’ll get access to the ‘Micro Budget Screenwriting Method’, a 12 page eBook that outlines a strategy for writing films that are guaranteed to be cheap to produce.

I’m sick of seeing great talent go to waste. We don’t need quitters. We need talent to grow stronger, and push forward, because I believe everyone has a good story that needs to reach an audience.

About Me:

Bradley Stevens, founder of Micro Budget Film School

Bradley Stevens.

My name is Bradley Stevens, and I’m the founder of Micro Budget Film School. I personally run the 2-Day Micro Budget Filmmaking Class myself. I began making movies at 10 years old with an awful black-and-white video camera, a zombie mask, some friends and some fake blood. We sucked, but I was addicted. I saved for my first colour-camera, and kept making what I could.

At school, I focussed on being an actor, topped my class and went to university in 2005 to study acting. I was hungry to work on any film at any cost, and so worked on over 20 short films in less than 3 years. Some won awards (including a Best Actor award for me) whilst other films were so bad they probably shouldn’t have been made. I even got representation with my country’s top acting agent, but was later told I didn’t have the “leading man” look, and they stopped putting me up for work. It was clear my career was not someone else’s responsibility… I had to make it work myself.

In 2009, some filmmakers and I committed to making a no-budget feature film for $400. It was all we could afford. I was a co-producer, assisted with story, composed the music, acted in it, and much more. We were young and naive… but we learnt a lot. Unsurprisingly, we cut too many corners and the film never found an audience. We had no strategy- we made whatever we could, and crossed our fingers. If only I knew then what I do now.

Having met so many passionate filmmakers over the years, I noticed that their talent wasn’t what was holding them back from making extraordinary films and having a stable career.

It was always the same thing stopping them:

Opportunity.

Or rather, the lack of opportunity.

Micro Budget Film strategy was the missing piece. Filmmakers had passion, but lacked the business skills to put their passion into purpose. Filmmakers needed the solution to finding money for production, spending it correctly, and selling the films that they made. If Filmmakers knew how to do this, then they could create their own opportunities to do what they do best.

I’d already learnt that opportunities aren’t found… they’re made. And if the filmmakers I knew couldn’t figure out the answers, then I was ready to do it for them, help them make their own opportunities.

So I made it my goal to learn everything about making affordable films that find success. I researched extensively, spoke with all the professionals I could, interviewed micro budget filmmakers, and compiled that information. I tried to fill in all of the missing pieces, and it took me 2.5 years of working my ass off to solve and collate it all.

Perhaps it’s my acting background, but I also discovered that I have a knack for presenting information in a way that’s clear and concise, especially on topics that can be overwhelming. I ran a few test classes, teaching what I’d studied, and received amazing reviews from filmmakers who told me that my class was more relevant for their careers than the majority of what they learnt at film school. That included students from the top Film School in my country, and one of the top in the world.

I don’t pretend to be the shining example of how it’s done right– not at all. But I’ve worked damn hard to put all of my information together, and I have an incredible passion and skill for teaching people.

I believe in cinema. I believe in the power of film. And I’m here to help Filmmakers utilise that power.

In a nutshell, Micro Budget Film School feels like my calling. I hope I can help you.