Make Movies That Make Money! — The Low-Budget Filmmaker’s Guide to Commercial Success by Philip R. Cable
The term “low-budget” can refer to anything from a $10 million indie flick to a student film produced on borrowed equipment with little or no money. Low budget filmmakers can range from seasoned auteurs attempting to shed the shackles of major studio control to novice talents trying to break into the industry.
Designed for would-be filmmakers of all experience levels, this book explains how to make a good, commercially successful, low-budget movie in the current multi-million dollar Hollywood climate. The purpose is not only to show how to get movies made and distributed, but also how to maximize a film’s potential for significant profit.
Written in practical, understandable terms, the book covers everything from commercially viable genres to the most efficient film and video formats, along with tips on hiring stars, pursuing investors, distributing and marketing a film, and keeping track of expenses.
Philip and I have spoken to one another now and again since the late 1970s.
He’s gone on to make a slew of low-budget movies that have been shown mainly in international markets and which have gone direct to VHS or DVD here in America. He has a lot of experience in the field and has made his investors that important thing: money.
Now he’s put all that hard-won knowledge in a book so you don’t have to go bugging him with late night calls about How To Do It. It’s all there in these pages.
Here’s a bit that’s also applicable to books:
You may be asking yourself, “If money-making movies can be made on a low budget, then why isn’t everyone doing it?” The answer is simple. It’s because it’s hard. Very hard. It takes imagination, skill, determination, and an awful lot of hard work to make a good low-budget movie; whereas incompetence or indifference can be masked with a big budget. Bad direction and technical ineptitude can sometimes be fixed in post production if you have the millions to allot to it, but the low-budget filmmaker cannot afford that luxury. The low-budget filmmaker has to be better trained, demonstrate more imagination, and have more moxie than his or her big-budget counterpart. When this kind of filmmaker finishes their movie they earn a reward beyond the financial. The movie of such a filmmaker is a true creation of that filmmaker’s style, brain, heart, and spirit. It reflects their artistic soul and business acumen. The collective demands and/or input from committees, or studio executives, or a huge film crew cannot produce this reflection.
Only two of his works are listed in the IMDB. He tells me he has a new one making the rounds somewhere out there, called Vampiress: Lady of the Night. It will probably also wind up on NetFlix or DVD or the iTunes Store, so keep an eye out.
This book was published last year — so you can see this isn’t exactly a timely pimpage post. Consider it part of the Long Tail.
This is available only in print. And all of you know I hate print. So to recommend this is out of character for me — and makes it a worthwhile book. It’d be great to have a digital version of it one day.
Buy it at the McFarland website
Here’s a clip of some of his older work:
Some background on that clip. A post about one of the costumes. And trading cards!