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Letter To The Editor:
Where to Start?

I am wondering if you could possibly help me. My husband is an aspiring director here in NYC. He has not made his movie yet, but he is certainly one to be classified as a 'microfilmmaker'. Your website is fabulous and I was wondering if you also have a print copy that he could get a subscription to?

Also, I have looked at your book, and I am looking for something that can really help him try to get money and where to start. Could you recommend anything? He already has the 'Film and Video Budgets' book, although it's the 2006 printing. Any information you could provide would be wonderful. Thank you!

-Kate H.B., New York City, NY


Currently our website is exclusively online, as we have readers in every continent (including Antartica). When we are able to expand our web team, then we will be looking at the possibility of a .PDF and Kindle version down the road. If that proves popular, than a print version would be pretty easy to adapt, even though it would only be available for the U.S. and UK.

I assume that you mean that you've looked at some of the books that we've reviewed here? (While I personally have co-authored GreenScreen Made Easy, it doesn't really deal with fundraising.) Perhaps the best book on fund-raising, when your husband wants to upgrade from micro-budget to an Indywood budget, would be the Tom Malloy book, Bankroll. It doesn't come out until June, but we reviewed it last month and it is amazing!

In the meantime, most microfilmmaking can be done with little to no fund-raising, so learning the basics, as you've alluded to, is the best place for him to start. Some good books that we've reviewed that deal with the entire process of low-budget filmmaking include:

And, although we haven't had a chance to review it, Rebel without a Crew from Robert Rodriguez is considered an industry icon. (As is Stu Maschwitz's DV Rebels Guide.)

Of course, if your husband would prefer video-based training on some of these subjects, then we'd recommend having him look at some of the DVD courses available from Kelley Baker (aka The Angry Filmmaker). Kelley's a former sound designer from Hollywood (who did the audio for movies like Good Will Hunting, Finding Forrester, My Own Private Idaho, etc.) who has become a microfilmmaker and who has excellent training on both no-budget filmmaking in general and audio production. If that is of interest, then you can read our interview with Kelley from last month's issue (which has links to Kelley's site).

Hopefully these ideas will help inspire him and keep him exploring new elements in the world of no-budget and low-budget filmmaking.

God Bless,


P.S. Whatever you do, make sure your husband does NOT fund his film on credit cards! For every Kevin Smith, there are thousands of filmmakers who destroy their credit and their lives making films with credit cards. (And trust me, we've seen a lot of these disasters firsthand.) Better to use more basic equipment and stay out of debt, because even a successful film can take years to generate profits that could alleviate the debt you put into it.

JeremyHankePicture The director of two feature length films and half a dozen short films, Jeremy Hanke founded Microfilmmaker Magazine to help all no-budget filmmakers make better films. His first book on low-budget special effects techniques, GreenScreen Made Easy, (which he co-wrote with Michele Yamazaki) was released by MWP to very favorable reviews. He's curently working on the sci-fi film franchise, World of Depleted through Depleted: Day 419 and the feature film, Depleted.

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