How to Make a Short Film with No Budget

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Wanna make a short film by yourself but don’t have enough budget? Okay, don’t worry, my friend!

If you have a killing story, an audio and video recorder, editing software, and some good friends, you are ready to go! But how to make a short film with no budget?

Well, you can’t make a film with zero investment, though. Still, you can obviously make one on an insanely low budget. To be frank, no budget films actually mean low-budget films. And anyone can afford that cost easily.

In this article, you will find some awesome tips to pursue your dream despite your financial status. So, let’s begin the journey!

Tips for Making a Short Film with No Budget

The following points will tell you how you can make a low-budget movie look professional. You will definitely be surprised to see how easily you can make a film.

Assembling Your Gear

In reality, you should gather all your gear even before coming up with a story. Since you are making a zero-budget film, most probably you can’t arrange enough equipment to shoot anything.

For example, if you want to make a horror film but don’t have gear for special lighting, you can simply create a storyline that needs to shoot mostly in a dark environment without any special effect.

Anyway, the equipment you may have with you is a camera, a microphone, a tripod, and some lights. Even if you don’t have a high-quality camera, you can shoot with your mobile camera too. Nowadays, making a short film with an iPhone has become very trendy.

Besides, some sites rent professional cameras that you can borrow for an affordable cost. If you want to show professionalism, you can try out this option.

Then after checking out what you have, you can select your genre and create a basic storyline. After that, proceed with the next step.

Choose Location

Your story also depends on location too. Especially in zero-budget filmmaking, choosing a perfect place plays a vital role. Since it’s very hard for you to spend money on traveling, don’t include millions of places in your script.

So, it’s better to stick with one place. And also, make sure you don’t have to pay the rent for the location. But how can you find a free venue then?

Well, you can ask your friends or acquaintances as well as post your needs on social media. You can surely find someone who willingly lets you use their place. You know, many people wish to see their home in any movie. Utilize their enthusiasm and go forward.

Choose Actors Who Will Willingly Work for Free

After selecting the venue, you need to pay attention to the actor selection process. Here you also have to think about your budget and proceed with the reality. You need to find interested people who will work with you for free.

This time you also find many enthusiastic people. Just don’t expect you will find a Tom Cruise for free. I mean, don’t expect too much from a newbie actor or actress.

Create a Solid Story

At this point, you need to finalize your draft story. Just remember, whether you are making a big film or a short film, the story is everything.

You can consider a topic that is not too serious if it’s your first time making a short film. On the other hand, draw the roles according to the characteristics of your selected actors and actresses.

If you do so, your story will seem more realistic. And your team can also adopt the story effortlessly. Last but not least, try to do something that is unique, avoid a common plot.

Schedule Your Shooting Time

After completing the pre-production preparation, now you have to schedule your shooting time. Create a deadline to shoot each part. It will help your team to maintain a routine.

And keep it in your mind that your cast and crew are with you out of pure love for the work. And that’s why they have agreed to your proposal in the first place. So, while creating the schedule, make sure you don’t force them to do anything and consider their free time and situation.

After all, everyone’s honest effort is what makes a project successful.

Don’t Waste Money on Fancy Dress or Makeup

You can save a lot of production budget if you don’t give too much effort to the dresses or makeup. You know not only the fancy clothes or makeup cost, but also the makeup artist also charges a lot. So, it’s better to stay casual as you want to make a no-budget film.

Use Flim Software

After filming all the parts, the final thing you have to do is edit. You can find many dedicated apps for this purpose nowadays. And you also don’t have to spend tons of money to work on them.

Before selecting software, see if it is easy to use or not. Since editing film is already tough work to do, if your software is also hard to handle, it will add extra pressure. So make sure you understand all the functions properly.

Moreover, your software also should contain sharing features. Thus, you and your team can work together remotely, which will save time and money.


What is a Good Budget for a Short Film?

On average, you may have to spend around $14,000. Based on genres, the budget for a short film can be more or less. On the other hand, a high-budget short film may even require around $100,000 –$200,000. Hence, a good budget actually depends on what type of story you want to tell and how you want to visualize this.

How Long are Short Films?

No fixed rule says how long a short film should be. It can be a couple of minutes or even 50 minutes. However, 20 minutes is said to be the average length.

How Can I Make a Free Movie at Home?

You can make a free movie at home with your mobile phone and free online movie-making software. In fact, with a strong and unique story, the outcome can be good enough.

Do Short Films Make Money?

Short films don’t make money. Rather, you can take it as a future investment. You can present your work at a festival to build up your network with producers, agents, or other film industry-related people.

What to Do After Making a Short Film?

It depends on you and your expectations. The most common way is to submit your work in any Short Film Festivals. You can also share it on an OTT platform or share it on social media and earn from views.

Final Words

Now you know how to make a short film with no budget. So, don’t be afraid to pursue your dream even if you don’t have enough funding.

Just follow these tips I have mentioned in this article, and show the world your creativity. Wish you a beautiful future ahead.