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Want control? Want creative control?

Want 100% creative control of your baby and ensure that what you wrote is what is produced and directed the way you visualize then there is only one-way… and that is to go the independent route not the studio route.

PRODUCER-4-Spielberg (Even Spielberg lacked 100% control on his first studio financed movie)

So as not to be seduced by the studio system always remember the “Golden Rule” which is “He Who Has the Gold, Makes the Rules“.

And, if you opt for Studio System (Warners, Paramount, Disney, Agents, Movie Stars, Names, Medium & Mega Budgets) financing and succeed remember “The Studios Have the Gold and the Studios’ Executives Will Make the Rules”.

However, if you want total control then get realistic, drop the budget and go the independent route with either a No-B or Micro-B movie for your first project.


Once again; You’re a filmmaker. You have a dream. You have a vision. You wrote the great script. And you are firm that the only way it is made is if you have “creative control”.

In the industry it’s called “Final Cut Approval”.

OK. Fine… then get real, drop the budget, and hustle Private Investors, Sugar Daddies, Friends & Relatives, Dentists & Doctors or CrowdFunding donators for your minimal budgeted 1st movie.

gold-1 (Never forget Hollywood’s “Golden Rule”… “He who has the Gold….”)

However, always remember that private investors, friends & relatives or Kickstarter/IndieGoGo dollars are going to be small and dictate that your first film is made with budgets closer to $20K-$30K (“Paranormal Activity”, “Clerks”, etc.) or $30K-$60K (“Saw”, “Blair Witch”, “She’s Gotta Have it”, etc.) or $60K-$100K (“Once”, “Brothers McMullen”, “Night of Living Dead”, etc.) or at the absolutely most $200K+ (“Napolean Dynamite”, “Halloween”, “Mad Max”, etc.)… assuming you know 2-3 doctors or dentists in your area that desire to be renaissance men (aka: Executive Produce or Co-Produce) and invest.

Thus, your first feature film is going to be either No-Budget or Micro-Budget or Low-Budget… and Low-Budget is not Studio Low-Budget ($2,000K-$20,000K) but Independent Low-Budget ($20K-$200K+).


To make the point super clear… You’re first feature film will be some variable of Shoots A-E outlined below…

NO-Budget2 (“Tangerine” is a great example of a No-Budget movie, shot with iPhones in real-time.)

(A) REAL TIME MOVIE ($10K-$20K): a weekend shoot, a script written in continuity, shot in real time with two iPhones or Samsungs and proper sync sound.

(B) 5-DAY SHOOT ($20K-$30K): a 1-week (5 shooting days), non-union shoot, with no permits, with 3-4 actors and a 5-7 person crew, two 4K cameras and a 90-page, 1-location, stage-play, character driven story that is likely unfinished and has you needing a distributor to pay for finishing funds.

(C) 1-WEEK SHOOT ($30K-$60K): a finished movie shot guerilla style to include editing, music and DCP print, of a 1-week shoot (9 shooting days, 2 weekends), with 1 Red, a 10:1 Shooting ratio and a 7-10 person crew that is ready for the Film Festival Route.

(D) 2-WEEK SHOOT ($80K-$150K): a 2-week shoot, 13 Shooting days, signing with SAG ($100/day Ultra-Low-Budget Agreement), with 1 Red or Alexa, a 20:1 Shooting Ratio, a 10-12 person crew and a 2-month post production period with $3K left for publicity at Film Festivals to attract a distributor.

(E) 3-WEEK SHOOT ($200K-$300K): an 18-day Shoot, 100-page Script, Shooting Schedule 5 pages/day, with 2 Reds, equipment insurance, a 40:1 Shooting Ratio, allocating 3 Takes/Setup, professional actors, a 12-15 person crew, with solid craft service, a 3-month post, with 2-Days ADR & 2 Days Foley, budgeting $5K for music and having $10K for marketing, social media, facebook and Festival publicity.

The key to one of the above movies, due to their minimal budgets, is that “you are under-the-radar” and actually got a feature film made stops critics from criticizing you.

Now lets see how much talent you have.

Happy Filmmaking,

Dov Simens / Creator of 2-Day, DVD & Streaming Film Schools (


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