15 Tips On Making Your First Micro-Budget Feature
“As It Is In Heaven” is a feature film directed by Joshua Overbay in Kentucky around a small college film department. Shot in Scope digital video, the film is opening in New York City, Chicago, Seattle, Lexington, L.A., New Orleans and other cities in July and August. Below, Overbay writes about how, as a first-time director, he managed to make a micro-budget film and get it released. Find out more about the film at the web site: http://asitisinheaventhemovie.com.
Like every other young, ambitious directing student, I graduated film school with two goals in mind: making a feature film and making it as soon as humanly possible. I had a solid script two years in the making, a business plan, a team of committed filmmakers, a “reasonably” low budget ($900,000), some industry connections and a degree of momentum from a year on the festival circuit. According to the textbooks, we were set for success. Even our script was built on the practical wisdom that we should suspend our desire to make personal films and instead focus on something that could start our careers: a successful genre film. And yet, after two years of numerous meetings, false starts, trips to Nashville and LA, phone calls, thousands of emails, multiple rewrites, and various “attachments” from cast and crew members, we hadn’t raised a dime.
Suddenly, my young idealism was challenged: Were the many sacrifices my wife made to get me through film school worthless? Had I put us into decades of debt for a ridiculous dream? “Many are called, but few are chosen.” Maybe I’m not “chosen.”
It all came to a head via a trip home for Thanksgiving. As I was driving, I turned to my wife and said, “It’s over. It’s not going to happen.” And as soon as I said it out loud, I knew it was true.
I don’t believe in fate. Nor do I believe in quitting, which is why it’s hard for me to accept defeat. After about an hour of sadness, I came up with a new plan: I would make a micro-budget film. Screw placing marketability above artistry. I would make something I care about.