film budget, finance, distribution tv, pilot, movie distribution, publicity Uncategorized

How to get money for your film

This video by Film Riot discusses the in’s and out’s of money making for indie filmmakers. Please take note that he does mention that Film Riot videos do make about $1,000 on Youtube because they have over 1-MILLION views. Yep, there’s a stat to take notice of. (Here’s the Youtube url for those of you using a mobile device

Host Ryan Connolly also mentions that he sells Posters and some ancillary products — but he never recoups his cost. “Short films are passion products…you make them to get exposure…you rarely make any money…”

How does he get money to make a film? He goes to people to sponsor him — of course, Film Riot has a large subscriber base, and products like Adobe, and manufactures of cameras respect Film Riot, so he has a realistic approach to getting investors based upon his Film Riot following. Do you have an audience of millions like Film Riot?

Another method, do what Alex did with the Movies Plus Fire TV channel. He streamed his film for 6 months. He then took the download stats to an investor (about 70,000 downloads) and Alex got financing based upon his success on Fire TV. See how you can do this for $4 on

Kickstarter, Film Riot has never used it. He does talk to a filmmaker who treated Kickstarter campaign like a full time job and made “Pizza Time.”

Also, The film “Sky Watch” (released on Youtube) is discussed, and how the filmmakers no-budget, badly made short films finally helped him to produce films like Sky Watch successfully. He says “you can’t make money on narrative films…” And he “fostered relationships from short films” to gain financing on a bigger productions. That’s a lesson.

If you treat your cast and crew like peons or minions, do you think they’ll help you on future productions?

David Sandberg talks about how he used low budget equipment like a homemade built dolly made from Ikea parts, cheap 300 watt lights to shoot his early shorts, and like Blender 3D software (free). He says “professional gear takes a beating and will go on forever…cheap gear will [cost] you…time.”

Below is another Film Riot – budget oriented video. Before watching it, Youtube played a “Masterclass” advert-video by Ron Howard. It was very interesting to me, and one thing stuck out. This is a little off topic, but please indulge me for a second.

They showed Ron Howard behind the scenes, he instructed an actor to say a line a particular way, and Ron said the line the way that he, an actor would say it. I’d like to point out that Ron Howard has the acting chops to do this, while other Directors might not have the experience to suggest to an actor that they emulate his delivery. (A little food for thought.) Let’s move on to the next video.

What is low budget?
This is mostly a video about independent films made with low or now budget. Ryan says a micro budget is up to $500,000 outside of the Hollywood system, but geared towards being sold to legitimate distributors, some who are “Hollywood.” Here’s the Youtube url for those of you using a mobile device

Note that Ryan mentions these are not hard and fast rules and “numbers.” When focusing on shorts, budget can depend largely on where your located. His short films were all low budget films (like $300.) And he discusses how he progressed up to $100,000 for his “Ballistic” short, where he depended on allot of free crew-work and more. He says “…The more money I had…the more stress…and tighter restraints.” So, the take home lesson here is that having more money does not guarantee that you’ll have an easy, stress-free shoot.

I hope you enjoyed this article. If you’d like to read more, please visit my Patreon page: — (c) Dean Lachiusa

TV show reviews Uncategorized

Spellfury, a Sword & Sorcery Comedy Series

Years ago I spoke with Travis Gordon, the writer/producer/director, CGI artist and the creative thrust for the Spellfury youtube series. He’s a great guy with high hopes for his micro-budget TV Sword and Sorcery (and comedy.) Spellfury is just plain fun.

I fell in love with it the first time I watched an episode. Does it have the big budget effects and talents like Felicia Day? Nope, but that’s okay by me. I don’t judge Spellfury on it’s merits as a high-tech show — because it’s not poised to be compared with Stargate or Dirk Gently.

She Punches With Elf Power!

Actress/Producer Julie O’Halloran answers questions about the popular web series “SpellFury.”  She plays the role of Druinia, a passionate, multi-talented Elf on a mission. 

Druinia of Spell Fury uses Elf power

Q: The outfit is a little tiny, do you ever get any feedback good or bad regarding how your character is portrayed?

Answer: The feedback has been positive. Although the outfit is a little revealing, I think Druinia comes across as a very strong and independent character. I think the fans think its just part of the fun of the show.

Q: What parts of Druinia’s character are strong, and how do you see her overall – as a sensitive character?

Answer: Druinia is very independent and strong. She’s tough when she has to be but she has shown her softer side as well. I think the interesting part of her character will be balancing how tough she will have to be in fighting off different creatures on the show, but also being vulnerable at the same time, showing that she’s a real person with real feelings.

Q: Is it difficult to work in green screen? Explain how you get ready for the process of working with characters that will later be placed into the scene. Any trouble with fight scenes?

Using Green Screen on the Set

Answer: I have a very supportive cast and crew who make the fight scenes fun. We rehearse them a lot, and work out all the movements so things go pretty good all in all.

Q: Any thoughts on how Druinia’s character will expand in the next season? Do you think your character will have a love interest in the story?

Answer: I think Druinia will learn more about herself and what lengths she’s willing to go to avenging her father’s killer. She will encounter more characters and more creatures that will test her in different ways. As for a love story…I don’t think anything is out of the question, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens!

Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about it: “Spellfury is an action comedy web series. It is a “a comically low-budget fantasy series that gently mocks The Lord of the Rings genre with exploding monsters and bad wigs”. Spellfury is a comedic fantasy adventure web series written and directed by Travis Gordon and stars Julie O’Halloran as Druinia”

Meanwhile, I’ll contact Travis and see if there is a way to get Spellfury streamed on my TV-channels. Here’s the primary cast n’ crew: Jason Devlin, Penu Chalykoff, Sarah Ferguson, Travis Gordon, and Costumes by Ann Gunthorpe of “Ye Olde Bag Company.” Below is the youtube intro (episode 1.) Here’s the Youtube url for those of you using a mobile device.

Thank you for watching, I love to support indies, especially Webisodes like SpellFury, and I hope you do too. — (c) Dean Lachiusa