Saturday, May 7, 2011

Films you didn't know were under 5 million...

When you watch a film, its hard this day and age to know really how much was spent on it unless you have a sharp eye.  So I thought I would give an idea of what a film looks like when the production company had little to no budget compared to the big boys.

First up- Winter's Bone

This film was shot for 2 million, on location in the Ozarks, had no recognizable talent, and crushed it at the theaters last year. It also was directed by a woman, which is unfortunatly rare in the film industry.  And finally it was nominated for oscars. Not bad for the price of a Arbys franchise store.

Next up- Hard Candy

This is one messed up film,(Shot for under 2 million) and it was the big introduction to our favorite Juno actor, Ellen Page, whom had done little stuff on tv movies before this messed up little film.  It didn't do so well in the theaters here in the States, but they loved it over in Europe... those sickos.

Finally- My Big Fat Greek Wedding

(Shot for under 5 million)Granted, when you have people like Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson helping you out, you can make shit happen for a film at whatever budget. But this little comedy was shot for peanuts... and made an insane amount of money because of smart steady marketing.  Much like my previous post, the actors got screwed once it made money and sued.

So in the end, these three examples are across the board as far as genre; one romantic comedy, one twisted thriller, and one drama.  Noticed I stayed away from horror because, frankly, there are too many examples of awesome horror films shot for nothing that found its audience.  But with these examples, they all have some things in common.

  1. Little to no huge crowds of extras. This costs a lot of money and I am sure the producers were calling friends and favors for the wedding crowds in My big fat.  
  2. Repeat locations- Dressing up and moving to new locations is expensive.  When you have a crew of 30-80 people and a cast of 5-10 moving even 2 miles is a costly endeavor. Tiny budget films work around that by having less locations, and hide production value by taking a single actor and shooting a new location with a skeleton crew.  
  3. Great writing- If you pull in the crowd early with great writing and flow of the movie, the illusion is set and it wouldn't matter if they were acting next to a cardboard background. We would buy it!


Fwission May 7, 2011 at 10:32 AM  

Bet you didn't know Paranormal activity was over 5 million :)... Nah just kidding

Mile High Film May 7, 2011 at 10:34 AM  

I know I was thinking about using it but I would count that as a novelty film that they marketed purposely as"look at this little film, it cost nothing"

Wintermute May 7, 2011 at 11:16 AM  

nice research, never even heard of two of those movies. its crazy to think how much gets put into a movie, seems a little silly really.

Dav0h May 7, 2011 at 11:34 AM  

Honestly thought My Big Fat Greek Wedding was in the 5 million+ mark. Surprised me.

Lt Nite May 7, 2011 at 12:17 PM  

I was really surprised with MBGW being at such a low budget. I looked into Hard Candy it actually looks interesting. Good writeup!

Dave May 7, 2011 at 12:35 PM  

i am surprised My Big Fat Greek Wedding didnt cost over 5million, hard candy too. Not seen the first film

Anonymous May 7, 2011 at 12:45 PM  

I've heard of all of these movies but never seen any of them.

jblogger45 May 7, 2011 at 1:25 PM  

great post

PaulBlark May 7, 2011 at 3:46 PM  

MBFGW is a great example of a low budget movie goin big!

R.C May 7, 2011 at 4:32 PM  

Hey, here's another film for you: Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters had a budget of $750,000!

Blogging Skater May 7, 2011 at 6:12 PM  

the promotional picture for hard candy is weird, a person in a bear trap

zepdragon May 7, 2011 at 7:17 PM  

Only one I've heard of was Greek Wedding

HiFi May 7, 2011 at 8:55 PM  

These movies received a lot of air time in social media. Very interesting

pv May 7, 2011 at 9:05 PM  

ill check out the first film for sure

MikeNeuman May 7, 2011 at 9:18 PM  

That was an eye-opener.

Nom de Plume May 8, 2011 at 6:53 AM  

Hard Candy was a fantastic film

(EuroSicko here :P)

Loev May 10, 2011 at 3:49 AM  

Everybody loved Blair Witch right? And that must have been under $5? Think that deserves a mention, without knowing the actual cost.

Oh, and can you please watch, if you haven't already, Blair Witch 2 Book of whatever, forgot its name and make a long post about how it is a disgrace to not only films but also every single person who ever saw just 5 minutes of it's intelligence. My god, that totally killed it for me.

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Sammy May 19, 2011 at 7:55 PM  

Hard Candy was the best


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