How To Make A Feature Film For 25K

Few feature films have racked up cultural significance or conquered cinematic feats while made on ultra (ultra, ultra... ultra) low budgets. There's the 1977 experimental, horror masterpiece that is "Eraserhead", which was wildly celebrated auteur David Lynch's 10K  budget debut into the realm of feature filmmaking. There are the found-footage horror gems "The Blair Witch Project: (made for 25K) and "Paranormal Activity" (made for 15K), the neo-Western action film that put Robert Rodriguez on the map, "El Mariachi" (made for 7K), and the clever neo-noir "Following" (made for 6K) by a then novice Christopher Nolan. 

Then there are the directors who made their impression on the indie film world with their low-budget contributions, oftentimes shaking up what was considered acceptable and palatable for large audiences. There are a handful of 90's cult classics that delivered filmmakers like Kevin...

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POV: In The Business of Elevating Filmmakers - WMM CEO Sam Mestman

Filmmaker. Workflow Architect. Founder. Entrepreneur. And now, investor. The nomenclature is less important. The bottom line is that Sam Mestman, CEO of We Make Movies, has made it his mission to make an impression on the filmmaking world by bolstering storytellers, instituting an affordable and quality driven process around content creation, and ultimately shattering the myth of the false dichotomy between business and creativity. He has worn many hats throughout his career, but no matter the hat, Mestman is in the business of helping people.
 
His personal journey begins with a colossal heartbreak over his first feature film out of NYU film school, in which the issues had nothing to do with the film itself, but a system that was set up for failure. WMM was born out of this deep frustration, while he continued to work in the industry at large as an editor and colorist. In the process, the first iteration of his former company LumaForge (which has subsequently been...
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Smartphonestudio.tv Is Here: WMM x Apple Deliver Free Tutorials

We Make Movies and Apple have banded together once more to launch the new educational platform SMARTPHONESTUDIO.TV, dedicated to teaching you how to shoot, edit and upload professional content using the camera you already have in your pocket. Content creators and filmmakers anywhere in the world can now access 20 free tutorials on shooting with FilmicPro, capturing second source audio with Apogee's MetaRecorder, and editing with Apple’s Final Cut Pro and LumaFusion (by LumaTouch).

Essentially, this is WMM's gift to an international demand for mobile filmmaking. In sharing this high quality, curated information for free, we are making filmmaking accessible to the masses. The tutorials are designed to be an entry level introduction to the fundamentals of content creation with mobile devices, so anyone can jump in with confidence, a strategy,  and minimal stress. 
 
The site is easy to navigate as the...
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POV: Film Financing Silicon Valley Style - Rob Ness

We Make Movies has been disrupting traditional filmmaking since its inception almost a decade ago. Our latest endeavor, the MAKE YOUR FEATURE COMPETITION, is keeping with that tradition as we set out to create a sustainable ecosystem for independent film financing and production. If you've been wondering how we're managing to award at least two filmmakers with 25K each (alongside our full assortment of pre through post production and marketing services) to make their films, perhaps our lead investor, Rob Ness (General Partner of Asymmetry Ventures) can shed some light. 
 
Ness' academic trajectory alone pronounces his versatility, from a BA in Economics, Math, and Interdisciplinary Child Health from UC Berkeley to an MPS in Development & Finance from Georgetown University to an MPA in Development Economics from Harvard University. A few of his diverse career highlights include a senior consultancy at Booze Allen...
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POV: Director of WMMIntl Film Festival Whit Spurgeon

Cinephile and tastemaker, Whit Spurgeon has been a gift to the WMM community since he first joined almost a decade ago. As an actor, he has flavored many staged readings with his unique presence and sturdy character work, and graced dozens of projects that have come out of the Lab pipeline. As a filmmaker, he has used WMM the way one should -- by absorbing as much knowledge from those with more experience, surrounding himself with equally proficient and determined artists, contributing to the creative conversation, and then going out there and actually telling bold and colorful stories to the best of his ability.

As the Director of WMMIntl Film Festival he incorporates his voracious appetite for all things film, management prowess, foresight, and unadulterated enthusiasm into cultivating a stellar experience for both the audience and filmmaker alike. We are excited to introduce you to the talent and soul of our friend and constant collaborator Whit...

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POV: The Filmmaker's Filmmaker - Felix Werner

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We Make Movies
POV: The Filmmaker's Filmmaker - Felix Werner
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Felix Werner's journey through the arts has taken him down many paths, eventually leading him to carve out his own place in the world of all things indie. Hailing from an illustrious showbiz family (his father was celebrated stage and film actor Oskar Werner, his maternal grandmother was Joan Bennet), he naturally demonstrated a proclivity towards the visual arts, but it wasn't until after studying Art History at UCLA and working in the education and film departments at LACMA that he rediscovered his love for film. 

Diving into the studio system in various capacities left Werner wanting more autonomy and creative control so he and his wife Katherine Werner, launched Modern Media Company to bridge that gap. Under the umbrella of MMC they have produced content with a wide variety of styles, formats, and budgets, and Werner has helmed the company as an independent media financier, producer of films and original...

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Why Become A Member? What WMM Can Do For You

To our team of filmmaking professionals, a WMM membership sounds like a no-brainer. The Lab Pipeline alone is such a development boon for filmmakers in any stage of cultivating a project. Or is it our incomparable production insurance service that draws our community in? Actually, maybe it's our ever expanding menu of production services, or our constantly updated educational content? Or...
 
In short, if you are an indie filmmaker or content creator looking to create on your own terms, We Make Movies is the outfit for you. Whether you are looking for a community to foster your ideas, bolster your confidence, or provide you with a critical lens on your material, WMM is here for it. If you have a DIY spirit and are on an economical budget, we are here to help you solve your problems. If you are looking for a place that will give you the opportunity to make the movie that you want to see, it behooves you to become a member of WMM. 

What Level of...

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Writing Film Treatments: Why & How To Write Your Treatment

 

You have a story to tell, but before you embark on the process of writing the script, consider writing a treatment. A film treatment is a sexy outline of your story, a roadmap, a detailed synopsis of your film or visual project (music videos, commercials, etc.). It contains all the essential elements of your film, such as the core concept behind your story, significant scenes, main character arcs, and crucial plot points. It's purpose is to sell your story to a potential producer or investor but it's a valuable tool as part of the development process as well. It helps you explore the world in which your story lives, aids in nailing down the tone and genre of your project, and allows you to work out other kinks in plot points.

A treatment is the written pitch that can convince the reader, or in the case of our MAKE YOUR FEATURE COMPETITION, our investors (multiple) and producers (that's us - WMM) to want to read the full script. The basics...

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WMM's Make Your Feature Competition Breaks the Industry Mold

In a sea of film competitions that award starter funds, offer packages towards gear, and sometimes even promise gateways of access to the elusive industry at large, We Make Movies is breaking the mold. We are helming a micro-budget feature film competition - THE MAKE YOUR FEATURE COMPETITION - that will see your project through completion by actually making your movie for $25,000

WMM has joined forces with investors from Silicon Valley, in search of multiple projects from inventive and resourceful filmmakers. Filmmakers will submit their feature film treatments (stellar concept or completed script) and pitch to investors and the WMM community for the opportunity to develop their story, from inception to completion. At least two winning filmmakers will land cash  investments of $25,000 each, in addition to tens of thousands of dollars worth of resources in the form of services, equipment, and more. WMM and the investors will partner with winning filmmakers,...

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WMM Tutorials: Make Your Movie Using MetaRecorder

Most people realize that the magical devices in our pockets can be harnessed to capture stunning photography and video content, but there is a world beyond the capabilities of our phones. There are apps for almost anything you want to do these days, but We Make Movies did the research and removed the hassle of weeding through all the clutter, by selecting a few high quality apps to accompany your phone in creating cinematic content on a budget.

Our Smartphone Studio program tours the nation and has also been virtually accessible for the past year, teaching content creators of all ages and walks of life how to make the highest quality films and tell the stories they want to tell. But... did you know we also have a slew of free tutorials that also walk you through the process of filming? We recently covered the use of FilmicPro to achieve professional grade cinematography. Today, we share the tips and tricks behind using ...

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