Micro-budget film finance and marketing

Film Budgeting

The idea: The smaller the better- unlike in Hollywood where the bigger the budget the "better" because producers and hack executives get to pay themselves more- you want to keep it as small as possible so you can actually raise the amount in a reasonable period of time while maintaining your rights.

In my experience: I was prepared to make my newest film with no budget- but I was able to raise about $5000 which went to paying voice actors and computer hardware/software.

The ideal: You would have enough of a budget to make the film without sacrificing quality or time and be able to pay everyone working on the film a fair amount.

Film Funding

The idea: Self funded, crowd-funded, or private investing- there's enough sites out there to help you raise money for your film IF people are interested in it AND you have a big enough social network to reach enough people AND you present it properly.

In my experience: I launched a kickstarter for my latest film but it failed probably due my poor promotion of it/not having enough connections in my social network/poor presentation. I was able to raise about $5000 through pre-selling the film and accepting individual donations.

The ideal: You would launch a crowd funding campaign and with little effort have your entire budget in 30 days or less.


The idea: The creator of the film maintains all their rights and sells digital downloads of the film- distributes the film online internationally.

In my experience: With my last film I used the site DPD to sell downloads of my film- it all worked as expected and I made profits compared to the cost of distribution easily. The overhead was only $30 a month and no companies/middleman took a cut (besides paypal as a payment processor)

The ideal: Your film sales go through the roof while your overhead stays the same.


The idea: Using affilate marketing to give cast/crew a percentage/cut of each sale so that they in essence  "own a part of the film" When you distribute the film yourself as I do with DPD I can use affiliate marketing programs to allow the cast/crew to become sales reps for the film wherein they can make a cut off of each sale generated by their promotion.

In my experience: I used affiliate marketing with my last film and the program works. I just did not give affiliates enough marketing materials and I didn't reach out to people outside the films production with enough effort.

The ideal: All cast/crew get %50 of each sale attributed to their promotion. Anyone outside of the cast/crew that becomes an affiliate gets %35. Plenty of marketing materials are made available for the affiliates so they can promote the film as they deem appropriate as they may be better marketers then the filmmakers themselves (very likely ^_^)


The idea: Utilizing free services to reach the largest number of people...well like...yeah obviously ^_^

In my experience: I've done almost NO promotion for my films- I've NEVER paid anyone to promote my films- no publicists-nothing

The ideal: Through affiliate marketing programs individuals who may be purely profit driven -drive film sales up. Motivated by making $5 per sale- individuals appear who use the materials you've made available to create a better marketing campaign than the filmmakers could ever imagine.

Affilate marketing WORKS! And up until I did it with my last film you did not see that happening- After I did it I noticed a couple "indie film" distribution sites pop up doing the same thing ^_^ So I know I'm onto something! BUT I'm going to take it further with my new film than anyone has ever done!

So I'm going to take what I started with my last film and push it further! I have a lot of new ideas I'll be putting into practice regarding the marketing/promotion of my newest film. I'm hoping to find a viable pathway for others to follow. I'm learning slowly BUT I will make this work!