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4 Successful Films Made With a Student Budget - Sophia Belnap - Blog

4 Successful Films Made With a Student Budget

If you're a student filmmaker, budgets are probably a constant worry. Fortunately, not all movies need CGI and huge stars to be successful. If you're looking for some inspiration, here are four successful films made with a student budget.

  1. The Blair Witch Project

While horror often involves intricate sets and amazing effects, the genre is also popular among student filmmakers. For one thing, scary movies allow for creativity. Also, crazy effects aren't needed to make a truly terrifying experience. The Blair Witch Project is an excellent example of this. The movie, which popularized the found footage filmmaking style, centers around a group of students. With cameras in hand, these people go searching for the legendary Blair Witch. The cameras in question were the only ones used to make the movie. This setup allowed the filmmakers to avoid practically any expense involved in filming. The lighting, camera operation and sound quality didn't need to be perfect! The less the audience saw, the creepier the final result was. Because of this, the lack of any true visual scare only enhanced the experience. After watching this movie, aspiring filmmakers may get some student loans and begin classes immediately.

  1. Clerks

Clerks, similar to The Blair With Project, is a movie that's famous for being made on a low budget. The movie avoided color and expensive stars, and it also needed very little in terms of props. Most of Clerks is just two men talking. While the plot may not seem very engaging, Clerks made a name for filmmaker Kevin Smith. The movie also popularized the indie filmmaking world. It's interesting to note that Smith had to deal with a difficult schedule. Like many student filmmakers, Smith was forced to film during later hours when the gas station was closed. While Clerks wasn't a huge hit when it was released, the movie was idolized by a large community of movie lovers.

  1. Lord of the Flies

The Lord of the Flies is a book that strikes fear in the hearts of many school kids, mainly because reading it is usually assigned as homework. Fortunately for students everywhere, there are two movie adaptations of the classic novel. While the nineties version has the benefit of color and a bigger budget, the sixties adaptation still stands out as the superior film. Despite being an adaptation of a beloved novel, The Lord of the Flies was given a very low budget. Because of this, scenes like Piggy's fall couldn't be filmed fully. However, the lack of amazing effects was made up for in tone and style. The growing fervor of the boys could be clearly felt in every shot, and the lack of flashiness created some intense realism. While neither adaptation is completely faithful to the book, the low-budget sixties version is generally hailed as the more successful one.

  1. Night of the Living Dead

Upon a first watch, Night of the Living Dead can seem like a generic zombie flick with middling effects. However, George Romero's classic changed the horror world forever, despite having an extremely low budget. Consider the zombie genre. Films like Shaun of the Dead and shows like The Walking Dead probably come to mind. Without Night of the Living Dead, none of these examples would have been made. Essentially, Romero invented the concept of zombies. Romero also managed to make slow-moving monsters seem absolutely terrifying. In order to save money, the actors used were friends, family and local actors. A skeleton crew was brought along to complete filming. In the end, the film was a huge success without spending more than a hundred thousand dollars.

While working with a low budget can be very limiting, it may also help to increase your creativity. Think outside of the box and see what you can do!

Publish Date: May 23, 2022 6:11 PM

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