Low Budget Film Guide Part 2

By Christian Bell

 

 

 

henry portrait of a serial killerHenry: Portrait of A Serial Killer 1986

Writers - John McNaughton and Richard Fire
Director - John McNaughton

$110,000

A chilling examination of a serial killer.  The film was shot over 28 days using friends and family as cast and crew.

 

 

night of the living deadNight of the Living Dead 1968

Writers - George A. Romero and John A. Russo
Director - George A. Romero

$114,000

The film that created the zombie genre.  Romero redefined horror and would do the same with his next film Dawn of the Dead.

 

 

open waterOpen Water 2003

Writer/Director - Chris Kentis

$130,000

A couple get stranded in 'Open Water' when their boat leaves without them.  The film was shot on DV, giving it a very real edge.

 

 

 

onceOnce 2006

Writer/Director - John Carney

€130,000 (approx. $160,000 at the time)

A musical following a busker and an immigrant in Dublin.  The film won the Academy Award for best song.

 

 

 

swingersSwingers 1996

Writer - Jon Favreau
Director - Doug Liman

$250,000

The endlessly quotable story of struggling actors in LA.  The film launched the careers of Doug Liman, Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn.

 

 

bad tasteBad Taste 1987

Writers - Ken Hammon, Tony Hiles, Peter Jackson
Director - Peter Jackson

$255,000

Aliens come to earth to collect human flesh for their fast food chain.  The debut film of Peter Jackson was made over the course of four years.

 

 

producer's foundation certificate

 

cubeCube 1997

Writers - Andre Bijelic, Vincenzo Natali, Graeme Manson
Director - Vicenzo Natali

CAD $365,000

A group of strangers are picked off one by one as they try to escape the titular Cube.  Only one room was built for the entire production, with the set dressing being modified to act as different rooms.

 

halloweenHalloween 1978

Writers - John Carpenter and Debra Hill
Director - John Carpenter

$320,000

A horror classic that single handedly launched the slasher genre.  The low budget meant that actors wore their own clothes and the famous mask was a painted Captain Kirk mask.

 

 

mad max Mad Max 1979

Writers - George Miller and James McCausland
Director - George Miller

Australian $350,000

The film that launched Mel Gibson's career features incredible action sequences that would normally be unthinkable on a low budget.

 

 

evil deadThe Evil Dead 1981

Writer/Director - Sam Raimi

$375,000

A perfect example of the 'take a group of kids to a house and chop them up' genre.  Sam Raimi's debut film took a year and a half to complete.

 


 

napolean dynamiteNapoleon Dynamite 2004

Writers - Jared and Jerusha Hess
Director - Jared Hess

$400,000

This mostly plot less film follows uber nerd Napoleon Dynamite.  A real sleeper hit that developed a cult fanbase from the moment it hit the screens.

 

 

brickBrick 2005

Writer/Director - Rian Johnson

$475,000

A hard boiled detective story set in a high school.  Rian Johnson spent seven years shopping his script around before deciding to make it independently.

 

 

 

living in oblivionLiving in Oblivion 1995

Writer/Director - Tom DiCillo

$500,000

A film that demonstrates what can and will go wrong on a low budget film shoot.  The ultimate cautionary tale for filmmakers.

 

 

 

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About The Author

christian bellA graduate of the Metropolitan Film School, where he made short films about tortured misunderstood artists, Christian now devotes his time to the Raindance cause in the hope that he can somehow make amends for his crimes against cinema.  He spends all too much of his time watching films no-one has ever heard of and then preaching the word to all who will listen.

 

 

 

 

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Low Budget Film Guide Part 2