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FM1
10-28-2013, 09:40 PM
Hi Guys,

I'm going to do a short film. The budget is $70,000. I'm looking to hire a cast of 5 people, who have IMDb credits for speaking roles in movies. I do have a specific look in mind for each character. Should I hire a Casting Director, or is it not worth it for a short small budget film? If I should, any worthwhile advantages instead of doing it myself? Any disadvantages bringing in a Casting Director?

Hope you can help guys :)

Best Answer:

Please, Please, Please for the sake of the indie film industry do a feature film with that money. You might as well pore gasoline on that cash and burn it now. I cannot stress enough to make a feature with that money.

Think about it -

Short completed = 0% chance of return

Feature completed = A hell of a lot better chance of making the money back plus some, then guess what --> You get to do another Feature Film!

Nick Soares
10-28-2013, 11:18 PM
Please, Please, Please for the sake of the indie film industry do a feature film with that money. You might as well pore gasoline on that cash and burn it now. I cannot stress enough to make a feature with that money.

Think about it -

Short completed = 0% chance of return

Feature completed = A hell of a lot better chance of making the money back plus some, then guess what --> You get to do another Feature Film!

The Camera Man
10-29-2013, 06:54 AM
If you know exactly what you are looking for in your cast and you don't mind upsetting a few people when you decline them (I would...) then you may as well sort out the casting in my opinion. Wouldn't want you spending money on something you don't strictly need to invest in!

JHar888
10-29-2013, 09:06 AM
Please, Please, Please for the sake of the indie film industry do a feature film with that money. You might as well pore gasoline on that cash and burn it now. I cannot stress enough to make a feature with that money.

Think about it -

Short completed = 0% chance of return

Feature completed = A hell of a lot better chance of making the money back plus some, then guess what --> You get to do another Feature Film!

Seriously though! $70,000 for a short? That's just unproductive as far as getting your career off the ground goes.

VTLithyouvong
10-29-2013, 12:25 PM
Either go big with a feature or do like 10 shorts. I say go feature.

FM1
10-29-2013, 02:17 PM
Please, Please, Please for the sake of the indie film industry do a feature film with that money. You might as well pore gasoline on that cash and burn it now. I cannot stress enough to make a feature with that money.

Think about it -

Short completed = 0% chance of return

Feature completed = A hell of a lot better chance of making the money back plus some, then guess what --> You get to do another Feature Film!

Hey Nick!

Thanks for the advice :) I don't have the time commitment to turn this into a feature. The idea wouldn't stretch to a feature without major changes. You are 100% right about the feature potential to possibly make the money back and maybe profit.

FM1
10-29-2013, 02:24 PM
Seriously though! $70,000 for a short? That's just unproductive as far as getting your career off the ground goes.

Hey JHar888!

This is something I enjoy part time. I'm not trying to build a career from this.

FM1
10-29-2013, 02:32 PM
Either go big with a feature or do like 10 shorts. I say go feature.

Hey VTLithyouvong!

Thanks for the advice.

Nick Soares
10-29-2013, 03:24 PM
Hey Nick!

Thanks for the advice :) I don't have the time commitment to turn this into a feature. The idea wouldn't stretch to a feature without major changes. You are 100% right about the feature potential to possibly make the money back and maybe profit.

Filmmaking angels have cried a tear today..

I will commit to make it a feature for you!

OffMindEnt
10-29-2013, 04:17 PM
I'm curious to know how you've been able to get that much funding for a short film?

Will it come out of your pocket?

Nick is totally right, please, please don't spend that much money on a short film. Even if you can't adapt this particular story into a feature, don't spend anywhere near that much money on the short.

Shorts are great for many reasons, one of them being the fact that you can get talented people to come on board and commit their time to film a short that they feel passionate about, and often do it for no pay or for very little pay, since it's common knowledge that shorts don't make any money, and they usually have very small budgets.

However, when you have a $70,000 budget, people will demand to get paid their usual fees.

For example you can hire an experienced DP who might have a 10 year track record shooting big budget dramatic tv-shows, but if you're making a sci-fi short for example, that DP might work on your project for free, if he's a die hard sci-fi fan and has always wanted to do that.

However once he hears you have a $70,000 budget, he's probably going to want his usual fee paid for his work.

Here is a great example of a low budget short:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJ6KbPtTav0

Their budget was only $1,000, there was no crew, only the director and the actress, it was filmed in three days but the director spent 6 months in post.

The rights for that short were just aqcuired by Universal/Syfy, and the director is on board to possibly helm a big budget big screen remake of the story, or a TV show.

Bottom line is, you don't necessarily need a lot of money to create something wonderful.

FM1
10-30-2013, 04:17 PM
I'm curious to know how you've been able to get that much funding for a short film?

Will it come out of your pocket?

Nick is totally right, please, please don't spend that much money on a short film. Even if you can't adapt this particular story into a feature, don't spend anywhere near that much money on the short.

Shorts are great for many reasons, one of them being the fact that you can get talented people to come on board and commit their time to film a short that they feel passionate about, and often do it for no pay or for very little pay, since it's common knowledge that shorts don't make any money, and they usually have very small budgets.

However, when you have a $70,000 budget, people will demand to get paid their usual fees.

For example you can hire an experienced DP who might have a 10 year track record shooting big budget dramatic tv-shows, but if you're making a sci-fi short for example, that DP might work on your project for free, if he's a die hard sci-fi fan and has always wanted to do that.

However once he hears you have a $70,000 budget, he's probably going to want his usual fee paid for his work.

Here is a great example of a low budget short:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJ6KbPtTav0

Their budget was only $1,000, there was no crew, only the director and the actress, it was filmed in three days but the director spent 6 months in post.

The rights for that short were just aqcuired by Universal/Syfy, and the director is on board to possibly helm a big budget big screen remake of the story, or a TV show.

Bottom line is, you don't necessarily need a lot of money to create something wonderful.

Hey OffMindEnt!

Thanks for all the helpful advice :) The short example you included was awesome! Most of the amazing short films I've seen have had much bigger budgets. I'll look at trimming my budget back substantially or putting the money towards a different feature film to be made at a later date when I have the time.

khathawayart
11-24-2013, 10:56 AM
70K sounds waay too much for a short---but it could be an awesome short.

But 70K sounds waaay too low for a feature. But I guess Nick would have some ideas how to stretch a buck. He's got the cred.

At any rate, good luck on whatever you do.


Kurt Hathaway
khathawayart[at]gmail.com

FM1
12-01-2013, 05:51 AM
70K sounds waay too much for a short---but it could be an awesome short.

But 70K sounds waaay too low for a feature. But I guess Nick would have some ideas how to stretch a buck. He's got the cred.

At any rate, good luck on whatever you do.


Kurt Hathaway
khathawayart[at]gmail.com

Thanks Kurt

Four Wise Monkeys
03-26-2014, 09:11 AM
I second that, 70,000 is a lot for a short film. I have done my feature film for 1000 :)

UniqueAmI
03-26-2014, 11:35 AM
If you're going to pay for the talent, then you should. IMDB credits don't mean much unless you know the credits. In which case it's good to have a go between the agent and you.

If you can't sit in a room and truly tell the difference between a good or bad actor, then definitely hire a casting agent.

You have a lot of money, spend it wisely.