Budgets and Media of Student Films

So far, we’ve published one or two filmmakers in every volume of the JSF who are or recently were students. The publisher recently asked some of them about their budgets and some of their choice of media.

Budgets range from almost nothing to the $10-20K range. Working in video or digital art is less expensive, of course. Luke Lamborn (JSF, v.1) fell in this category with “Tascam 224.” On $, he says “limited funding was available for video projects, but had to be applied for in the form of grants.” J.J. Adler (JSF, v.2) says that most of her peers relied on grants or scholarships. I’d hope so, if one needed $20K for a short film in school. It’s nice to know there is some $ out there, but I’m sure it’s still a hassle getting it. J.J. does not recommend self-financing.

Warren Johnston (JSF, v.2) says his budgets are usually determined by “the actual base material cost” and/or, as he puts it, “what medium do I have?” While he says “the budget will greatly affect the length and possibilities of the project,” he still credits divine guidance in bringing it all together.

J.J. says most of her peers are shooting on digital for budget reasons. (“…but if you’ve got a crafty producer, you can shoot on 16mm for really cheap.”) Someday I’ll ask them about how shooting in digital affects their cinema-, dvd-, and/or web- aspirations.

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