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Your No-Budget Film Doesn’t Work Anymore. How to Make it Work?

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Every now and then, we keep hearing the term of ‘no budget film’ & films being made on ‘shoestring budgets ‘. Infact, many films of this kind adopt these terms to promote it in the market. They view it as an added beneficial tag along with their film. But, how many of these films have faired really well with the audiences? Not just the feature films, even short films associated with the no budget tag don’t seem quite impressive.

Of Course, not all films with this tag have this problem. But, certainly most of the short films on the web with the no budget approach don’t excite us at all. Those films lack content & depth, have minimal performances & substandard making styles. If one questions the creator of such films on why it occurs, he/she blames the “no budget”. But, they don’t seem to realise that it was them that have taken this path of approach. Without realising, it is just a paradox of its own where the no budget results in poor quality & creator blames the no budget.

No-Budget has to be Eliminated While Writing a Story!

When a writer keeps in mind the ‘no budget’ while writing the story, it will definitely backlash in most of the cases.  This will occur as he/she will simply discard any ideas that don’t fall under one’s capabilities at that particular point of time.  When a story is born with this approach today, it will obviously be a very cliched & tedious watch for today’s viewers. I’m not telling that the ‘no-budget’ approach is wrong. But, while writing a story, the no budget approach is nothing but a mere block for us. One has to let the characters of the story move & determine the events of the story, no matter how big it may seem.

First Story, then Compromises!

Once the story is done, one can easily bring in their respective no-budget approaches to it. Here, one might have to bring in compromises depending on the various content to be justiceful for the no-budget approach.  This is where many people fail to understand that it is okay to compromise. There is room for alternate ideas is what we fail to contemplate. Even the mighty director Shankar had to accept compromises for his debut flick Gentleman (1993). The accident of vineeth in this film was initially supposed to be a train accident but was later changed due to budget issues.

If there happens to be a sex scene in a story, we all know how tough it is to secure an actress (for short films) to perform it. In that case, it is okay to compromise by altering the scene by just showing the scene after they perform sex.  Sometimes, showing less has greater impact too! Manmarziyan (2018) has several of these sex scenes where they don’t show the actual scene. Even then, there was a large impact on the audience. Now, we do not know why the makers of Manmarziyan chose to keep it that way & it certainly is not because of budget constraints or the actors being uncomfortable or even the censor board. However, the takeaway is that the impact can still be carried to the audience. We can consider such compromises even for the violent scenes in a story. If there happens to be a scene where a guy stabs another guy, one can just show the aftermath of the event & still deliver the intended with apt making.

Adoption in a No Budget is Comparatively Easier..

Also, one way of doing the no budget approach for ones film is to adopt a story. One will not end up on a fine product when he/she writes with a no budget approach. One might find difficulties in writing a story & then making compromises. But, when one adopts  another story written by someone else, he/she will definitely somehow end up on a fine tuned product with a no budget approach.

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