Is Making a Micro Budget Film Worth It?

Is Making a Micro Budget Film Worth It?

You certainly are not going to get rich making a micro or low budget movie. However, you can make your money back!

Laurence in the Canada Asks:

“I love your site! Any chance you can drill down a bit more and tell me some ballpark numbers on different micro budgets. I’m not sure what I will have to shoot with?”

I’ve received so many questions on how much I can expect for a return on my film that I’ve decided to do a second post on the subject.

Also See: How Much Can My Film Make

As with any art project you are counting on many factors to work in your favor. Many times these factors change that will skew these numbers. With that said, the following budgets number in my updated projection program. These numbers are based on VOD, Cable TV, Web & Streaming. Getting your film released in Europe, Eastern Europe, Africa the Middle East, Asia, South America and North America. Even a small Independent distributor can get you that exposure. You would still have to do Social Media marketing on your own, as with ANY project that’s your responsibility.

Here are some Ballpark numbers for you to look at.

Micro Budget Projections for your budget of: (all are in US dollars)

BUDGET      |      LOW END     |      HIGH END
$ 5,000     |        $ 8,000     |       $12,000
$10,000     |      $18,000     |      $28,000
$15,000     |      $35,000     |      $50,000
$20,000     |      $45,000     |      $68,000

These are ballpark numbers, they are NOT concrete. You certainly are not going to get rich making a micro or low budget movie. However, you can make your money back!

Things to Keep in Mind When Developing a Film Budget

  • Recoupable costs from the distributor would have to be paid out of that money as well as any lab fees and promotion or service fees.
  • You also will have costs to fix your film to pass the QC Report, such as editing or fixing audio.
  • More Importantly, you should take into account that you need to market your film through social media.
  • Just because a distributor buys your film, doesn’t mean your job is done. You are responsible for the marketing. Similar to book authors, publishers don’t plug their book. You need to keep exposing your product to the public.
  • You might want to take out $2000 a year for at least three years to do social media marketing (the first three years are the most important and when you recoup the bulk of your return). So, say $2000 year for three years that would be $6000 on marketing.
  • Then you minus in the distributors 30% cut (usually a 70/30 deal), for 7 years. (You get 70% & they get 30%)

Thanks for the question, Laurence!

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