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Zero Budget Hacks for Short Film Making

In 21st Century Digital technology has made it possible for films to be shot and edited (with special VFX) in low budgets. Entire feature length films can be made for the cost of the catering budget in a traditionally funded and produced industry movie.

Many Low cost oriented movies turned the fate of No Budget / Zero Budget movie into a runaway box office success. Movies like Reservoir Dogs (1992), Pi (1998), American Psycho (2000), Memento (2000), paved way for Zero budget oriented Film making.

Let me unwrap 5 Exciting Low Budget Hacks for enthusiastic Short film Makers :


Location Plays an Important role in deciding cost of making a film. If you can reduce the amount of location moves, or eliminate them, then you are a huge step closer to reducing your budget. It is time-consuming and highly expensive to move from one location to another along with cast and crew costs you a bomb.

The only trick here, is to take a bunch of actors to a limited location and shoot it. This is nearly equal to stage plays or dramas but u need to know that it takes a real talent to turn limited location script (which can be termed as a play) into a movie successfully.


One Suggestions for all budding Makers is "Never ever Try to Cast your Friends unless they act well". You may have this feeling of Casting them in ur short but remember one thing you may tempt to cast them but this plan always back fires.

The best way is to find a stellar cast of talented unknowns than use your besties.

You can pay them as per schedule or offer them share in profits. Some people even accept cut in pay if they are really involved with the script and story.


All you really need is a camera which helps you to transform your vision to screen in front of Audience. There are some film competitions where you shoot on a single Super 8 film cartridge, editing in-camera. It's even possible to make your film on a smartphone.

You may not have a RED Epic Camera, but there are people started using DSLR cameras like the Canon 5D Mark III to shoot brilliant films. You can even use your iPhone 5s or 6s with lenses that use a 37mm screw-on mount using the Phocus 2 case.

With having assembled kit including Tripod, Lenses and cases you can pull 4k quality in unbelievable low budget.

4. CREW :

The Crew consists a producer to handle the budget, a director to spend it, a cinematographer to light the scene and operate the camera, a sound recorder, and an editor to cut the film. But in case of low budget movies you have to double up on these roles. Fortunately, it's easier than ever to find required help from fellow film-makers. Above everything else though, if you really want to meet like minded people get on a film festival events or making friends through social media . It won't take long before you meet like minded people all over the social media.

Managing crew is one of the most tedious task in film-making. This is equal to Herculean task if Director is also a producer. It makes him to work twice harder as he has to manage 2 responsibilities. But one thing for sure "A Perfect Crew always makes a Perfect Product".


Some times even good movies find zero response. This is due to bad promotion or Zero promotion. Because with only promoting or marketing your product you can create certain interest & curiosity in people to watch your film.

Contemporary filmmakers use social media to create a following of people eager to sample and appreciate their latest work. First step for any filmmaker is to register the domain name for their production company and film title, as well as Facebook and Twitter profiles which involves Zero cost for the team.

In good old days we have to spend lot of amount for promotions but now the explosion of social media has changed the landscape for budding film makers.

So, This is my list of Zero budget hacks which every short film maker can give a shot.

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