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Producing for Profit by Andrew Stevens

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Chapter 10How to Manage Production Costs

Learn Smaller to Get Bigger

There is an old adage, “Good small-boat sailors almost always make good big-boat sailors, but very rarely do people who start out sailing big boats turn into good small-boat sailors.” The same is true of filmmaking. If you have been given huge budgets and resources from the beginning of a film career, it is much harder to learn the skill, discipline, and fiscal creativity that are needed to make a small film.

There are so many things to beware of when budgeting and scheduling an independent low-budget film. Some of the higher-ticket items that can undermine a low-budget film—and the solutions—are listed below.

Unions and Guilds

For a low-budget independent film, reducing ...

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