A common misconception that beginning independent filmmakers have today is the notion that they need money to make an independent film or movie. On one hand, yes, money does make the filmmaking process easier. On the other hand, there are a variety of elements you can master in order to make an independent film on little to no budget. Read on for four of my best tips on how to make an independent film on little to no budget and launch your independent film career!


If you’re just beginning your filmmaking career, my advice to you would be to spend as little money as possible producing your films. This approach will require you to become more resourceful with each and every independent film you create, and, in return, you will not just become a filmmaker, you will become a better filmmaker. Today, I am going to give you four tips on how to make an independent film on little or no budget!

I shot my first couple of short independent films while serving a military deployment in the Middle East, and using only a small Sony camcorder, bulky laptop, and a video editing system (Final Cut Pro). In my free time, I organized, planned, and executed each film production as if it were the real deal. The resulting independent films were not award winners, but they each taught me lessons in film production and gave me a foundation of skills to build upon for my film career. I also teach these lessons as an instructor at a film school, F.I.R.S.T. Institute.


Tip 1: Gain a Variety of Skills in Each Facet of Film and Video Production

Ultimately, this is what a good film school or video production college will teach you. Having a wide range of skills will allow you to do more on your project, ultimately spending less money and relying less on other people. Don’t get me wrong, having a good crew around you is essential, but the more you can do and know, the better off you’ll be. This is essential when launching a film career, or working to become a filmmaker.

Tip 2: Get Connected in Your Local Film Community

Find and connect with other local filmmakers in your community in order to expand your resources and knowledge. This will allow you to gain a different perspective on the filmmaking process, ultimately giving you more tools for your toolbox. Help them on their independent films and they will return the favor. Everybody wins. This is also where the benefits of formal training at an accredited video production college or film school come into play. We all need training at some point in life!

Tip 3: Become a Good Organizer

Once you’ve gained a basic knowledge of film and video production, the organization and planning of your independent film is what will truly make or break your production. I often tell people that the success of a film is determined in Pre-Production and not actually on the day of shooting. Pre-Production often times isn’t the most enjoyable part of making a movie, but you must appreciate it for the role it plays in the overall success of your film. Ultimately, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

Tip 4: Just Do It

I’ve talked with plenty of young filmmakers, students from film schools in Florida, and professionals who’ve had a project “in the works” for quite some time. They are waiting for one thing or another to get their movie just right. Before long it becomes just “that movie idea”, and not an actual movie. This is why I always suggest that young filmmakers start by shooting a short 2 or 3-page script at one location, with no more than three actors. Practice before you get to your “great movie idea”. This way, your great movie idea will truly be great.


Mastering these four elements will put you on track to your film career. Successfully producing your independent film with little to no budget can make you a very skilled filmmaker. Learn from each film you make and add your new skills to the independent filmmaking process on your next movie. Patience is key, and over time you will get the desired results your looking for and become a great film director in the process. Remember, your training all starts somewhere, so pick a film school or video production college that will give you the desired results your looking for. See you on set!


If you have a dedication, drive, and passion for the film and video industry, F.I.R.S.T. Institute’s Film School in Orlando, Florida is a great place to get the hands on training needed to launch your film career. As a student you will work on several industry related projects such as commercials, testimonials, documentaries, music videos, and you will even learn how to become a filmmaker! These projects will build your professional demo reel ready for employers. We pride ourselves on offering small classes with career specific training. You could be our next success story! Classes are enrolling now, so contact us today!